Last week I posted an 'Ask Me Anything' story on the FKN Gym Wear Instagram page.
I've never done anything like that before and to be honest, this was a pretty huge step for me personally.
How is this huge you might think...It's just a post on social media right?!
It all comes down to Fear.
Fear of what?
Fear that no one would ask me anything!!
Seriously, do people really care who I am or where I've come from?
I'm just a regular guy who loves to lift, listen to hip-hop music, ride skateboards and I also happen to run a clothing brand.
Well, that story ended up with a HUGE response!
It was a good mix of questions about what garments are coming out, is FKN going to be doing more competitions and giveaways, the usual questions a clothing brand would receive I guess, but also, a LOT of questions about me.
So with that crazy and humbling AF response AND with more and more people telling, correction, BEGGING me to start putting my story out there, I guess it's time to start.
A lot of people (probably 99.9% of you) don't know that I've worked in the fitness industry for over 20 FKN years!
That's not how long ago I started lifting, that's how long ago I started getting paid to help people through health and fitness.
Here's my career timeline in a nutshell and the path that brought me here today:
- Bodybuilding Competitor (1995)
- Personal Trainer Course
- Gym Reception
- Personal Trainer
- Membership Sales
- Gym Manager
- Gym Owner
- Fitness Promoter
- Supplement Store Manager
- Supplement Sales State Manager
- Writer/Photographer for Fitness Magazines
- Supplement Company Marketing Manager
- Fitness Business Coach
- Gym Clothing Guy
This path to starting FKN Gym Wear wasn't a straight line by any means and definitely not a consciously strategic one.
There are 3 countries and four Australian states in that journey!
A lot of ups and downs, successes and failures, all of which I plan to share with you.
But to give you an idea of where I really came from, before the Range Rovers and AMG's, from the very VERY beginning, here's something I've never shared.
I grew up in a very small town, in the part of that very small town where some of the neighbouring houses might be missing windows or their verandahs...Yeah, that kinda part of town.
As a kid, I didn't really understand that's not how everyone lived, because when your nine years old and your favorite toy is a stick, everything is relative.
It was my mum and my younger brother and I versus the world.
I don't ever remember going without, but I do remember some of my Christmas gifts not coming in their original packaging...
I did OK at school, when I tried, I did OK at sports, when I tried, but looking back, I realised that my real passion was being creative.
I loved to write, I loved to draw and I loved my stick.
We moved around quite a bit, so I went to 5 different primary schools and making friends was always a bit difficult.
These moves probably have something to do with my guarded personality, poor relationships and not opening up easily.
I'm also convinced that this is what attracted me to skateboarding early on and bodybuilding later.
They're sports that you do by yourself, for yourself, much like business.
You don't need a team or much equipment and your success or failure is 100% on you.
It doesn't matter where you live, or how many friends you have, there is always something to skate, lift or read.
In fact, I remember before I could afford a gym membership, doing upright rows and bench presses with my little single bed!
There's so much to this and just writing right now, getting this off my chest, makes me feel so humble and grateful.
I used to look at my past as a negative...embarrassed, but as I get older it is in fact the complete opposite, a blessing in disguise.
It's shaped who I am and given me the focus, drive and passion to succeed, no matter what the world throws at me.
I truly hope that you enjoyed reading this little peek inside my life and how I came to be where I am today.
Never be embarrassed by who you are, where you're from or what others say or think about you.
Life isn't perfect and that's what makes it perfect.
If you enjoyed this, or you know someone that might be inspired, please share on social media and let's get the word out!
Ben FKN London