International Men’s Day 2022: Ethan Savage (All Strong Strength & Performance)
In celebration of International Men’s Day 2022, we interviewed past client Ethan Savage. Ethan is a strength & conditioning coach who works both 1-on-1 and with teams to promote the benefits of athletic-style training across organised and individual sport as well as in everyday life.
How did you get into this profession?
While studying for an English degree, I began taking my own training more seriously. After I graduated, I worked with a few PTs 1-on-1 and found that what they did was something I’d like to try and evolve. There were gaps in what people were offering, and with some of the experience I’d picked up, I reckoned I could fill in the gaps. An opportunity arose in the Lifestyle Fitness PT Academy and I took it, later becoming the first ever graduate. Now, I help run the academy, providing some of the teaching and assessment.
What is your biggest challenge running a business?
When you own your own business, it can be hard to know when to take breaks, and when you take breaks, it can be hard to deal with any losses you incur as a result. Finding the right balance between work and private life is difficult, but if you like what you do, your relationship with work is likely to resolve into something quite healthy once you find your rhythm.
What advice do you have for men thinking of start a business?
Make sure that you’re sorted with any education and CPD you might need along the way. It’s sometimes hard to come by and can often be quite expensive, but your knowledge is going to be what sets you apart from others, and while experience is the best teacher, your teachers are likely to have a lot of experience which you won’t have to live through!
What has been your greatest achievement to-date?
I’d probably have to say that becoming financially independent and being able to rely solely on my own efforts for income is something I’m quite proud of.
What men inspire you?
In my own “industry”, Brian Shaw, a man who started in a garage and now holds 4 World’s Strongest Man titles and a multi-million dollar fitness empire.
There are also local men like Stevie Shanks and Brian Irwin who provided many of the foundations for my love of strength training. As always, there are the men in my family too: my brother and my dad, both of whom inspire me daily with their strength, care and love.
How do you wind down and relax?
I love being by the sea anywhere in the world, though the North Coast of Ireland is my favourite. I also love strength training and testing myself in the gym, but when I’m not up for that, I’ll probably be painting miniatures or playing video games. Once in a blue moon I’ll play or record with my old university band, “Below Bermuda” as well.
What mental obstacles did you need to overcome when you started your business?
Mentally, the fear of going it alone was huge. No more safety net, no more regular, guaranteed hours and no more fixed income. Having the confidence to know that what I was doing was right didn’t come easily, and there were a few instances of considering part-time work to supplement my income.
How did you overcome it?
I stuck it out. I told myself that I didn’t need to go back to work and that I had the skills and knowledge to get to where I wanted to be. Any time I had a bad month, I compared it to the last bad month, and each time I did that I found that I was still improving. That gave me the confidence to feel that I was in the right place. Now, I’m finding that word of mouth and reputation are bringing me new work quite regularly, and every time I notice that it boosts my confidence and helps me keep my head down.
What advice do you have to men struggling?
Get active – everyone says it, but it’s true. It’s extremely hard to get started but getting started is the most rewarding stage. As well as that, get as much fresh air as you can, try and see the sun every day and then make sure you shower every day! Hygiene, nature, and hobbies. They’re the three key elements.