Name: Kelechi Okafor
Job title: Personal trainer (twerk and pole dance instructor) and actress
Time in current role: Personal training for 5 years and acting for 8 years
To learn more about Kelechi’s personal training services, visit her website www.cocoaspersonaltraining.co.uk
Why did you decide to start your business?
I decided to work for myself because I’d always been aware that I liked to do things on my terms. For years I’d tried working in roles that were dictated to me by various hierarchical structures but I didn’t feel fulfilled. I didn’t feel like I could make a difference that way.
What are the key functions of your role?
Some might think the key function of my role in terms of personal training is to get people fit, and although that is part of it, the main purpose of my role is to help people trust in their inner strength. Getting fitter surely aids this, but the focus should always be on the inner life and not just the outer.
Talk us through your typical working day
My typical day starts with me training myself in the morning. It would be a disservice to my clients and students if I wasn’t working on myself physically and emotionally because I wouldn’t discover tools that could be of use to them. In the afternoon I try to get all outstanding admin done, things like replying to emails or promoting my classes on social media. In the evening I’m usually teaching a fitness class or training a client one-to-one.
Your favourite part of the job?
Seeing results. I love that moment when a student can move their body to a beat without me calling or clapping out the beat and timings. I’m elated when a client is able to lift a weight they never thought possible. I’m proud when a client looks at their before and after photos and is astonished by the progress. All of these aspects make me feel fulfilled and like I have an amazing job.
…and the part you could do without?
Definitely the financial constraints that stop me from having a studio of my own. I’m unable to do more things to encourage women in the community to get fitter because I have to consider hire rates for different venues. Hopefully by the end of this year I will have sourced a space that allows me the freedom to do more outreach.
How would your clients describe you in three words?
Fun, professional and caring.
Plans for the future?
My plan for the future is to train people to do what I do in the unique way that I do it. I’ll have a studio of my own at this point and the people I train will be the face of it. This will give me the opportunity to pursue more acting work.
Do you have any advice for other aspiring entrepreneurs?
Be realistic but don’t stop dreaming and always know your worth because those who recognise quality will appreciate what you have to offer. LLY