Today we’d like to introduce you to Leo Carreon.
Leo, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far. I struggled most of my life with being severely overweight and having an unhealthy relationship with food. With the scale escalating upwards toward 400lbs, I was beginning to experience way too many obesity related health issues at way too young of an age. I realized the quality of my life was so poor and I had completely reached rock bottom. It was then that I decided I needed to take control of my life.
Over the next two years, I dedicated myself to working out and creating healthy eating habits. In the process of losing 200lbs, I developed a passion and began to fall in love with health, fitness, and nutrition. After achieving these life changing goals, I quickly knew I wanted to share this experience and help motivate others to do the same.
After two years of being a certified personal trainer at a local commercial gym, the gym went out of business.
I was left at a crossroads of what to do next. It was clear. I made a decision to take the gamble of believing in myself as I once did before.
Except this time, I emptied out my bank account, created a business name, and a logo. I developed my brand by handing out free t-shirts to anyone that would wear them. I relied heavily on social media and word of mouth to market myself.
Six years later, I continue to focus on growth and development with a booked schedule of in house clients along with web-clients all around the country. My passion continues to grow and there’s no better feeling of fulfillment.
Has it been a smooth road?
The most difficult part of starting or owning a business, is building up your clientele without that corporate type of support. It’s difficult to rely on people to develop a trust in you as an individual rather than a brand name. You have to start from the very bottom. There were days I would have one client at 5am and then my next appointment wasn’t until 5pm.
I remained persistent through the struggle and thankfully, success followed quickly. I contribute much of it to the limited clients I did have at that time. Fortunately for me, they were extremely supportive by allowing me to use and display their own personal turnaround stories as my marketing. It helped me build a stream of consistent referrals and developed a strong presence on social media.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
As a personal training company, my goal was to be unique. I knew this wouldn’t be easy. How can this company stand out from the rest? The vision began with offering a variety of ways to help a person reach their fitness goals. I knew I had to begin developing customizable plans for people. No two people are alike. Some have busy jobs, some have busy home lives, kids, etc. Whichever it is, I wanted to develop programs they could easily adjust to and find a way to incorporate health and fitness into their daily lives.
I began by offering different plans: one on one training, small group training, online programming, text support, customized workout plans based on a client’s lifestyle, strengths and enjoyment, even pairing compatible workout buddies to help aid in additional support. I understand that what worked for me, may not exactly work for the next person. Environment, lifestyle, genetics, family/friends, work, etc. can all affect how we may respond to certain types of workout plans or routines. Some people may prefer early morning, while others may prefer after work. Some may love to talk and workout with people, while others may like a little more one on one focus and attention. Whichever plan or routine that may suit a person, my job is to find a way to still achieve successful turnaround stories and amazing body transformations.
Make it Happen Personal Training prides itself on being different in an industry that is saturated with selling the quick fix, I preach the honest truth to our clients. I know I need to consistently research new training and coaching techniques, methods and styles. People and society continue to change, I know my coaching has to continue to develop as well. I focus on implementing different ways of teaching people to healthily lose weight while creating healthy eating habits along the way.
Make it Happen Personal Training is best known for having many great turn around stories. I am able to connect with clients and understand their struggle because I’ve been through this battle and continue to work at it for myself. I feel its part of our jobs as trainers and coaches to do our best to lead by example. My biggest reward from making this career choice, is learning and growing from others while I help them to learn and grow for themselves.
What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
I have so many feel good stories I can share, and they all have one thing in common, that mental aspect that goes along with any successful transformation story.
For most people, when we are severely overweight, the mere thought of walking into a gym completely intimidates us. Most of us are very self-conscience, self-doubting, and insecure. We feel like everyone there is there to judge us. One of my favorite accomplishments with clients is watching them break through and overcome these insecurities. As they start to get physically stronger, they become mentally stronger as well. A whole new confidence develops and our abilities evolve and transfer over to our day to day life. This new outlook helps us reach our full potential in and out of the gym. Confidence not only helps us reach our goals, but more importantly helps us develop healthy habits like making fitness a part of our daily lives. I guess I would have to say, helping people improve their quality of life, overall health and wellness, this would be my proudest and most successful achievements.
Address: 6122 N. Pulaski Chicago IL 60646