In Conversation with Real World Coaching and FIT3SIXTY
Emma May White and John Clark are a dream team, partners in life and business and both with entrepreneurial visions for the future. If you’d like to turn over a new leaf in the New Year, together, perhaps Emma and John can help? Ruby Edwards has a conversation with them to find out.
Emma runs Real World Coaching* Clarity Coach, Motivators and Behaviour (DISC) practitioner. Her mission is to help as many business owners as possible to build the best version of their business, whilst being the best version of themselves.
Emma and Real World Coaching are all about people and behaviour, with the logical mind, experience in implementing systems, new ways of working, personal development structures and change management in the forefront of their ethos, keeping the people focus, to back a rounded approach to growing your business.
Partner, John Clark, is a two-time winner of Britain’s natural strongest man title and the man behind the local phenomenon FIT3SIXTY Ltd, a gym experience with 3 sites, 2 based in Worcester and the latest in Malvern Link. John and his team at FIT3SIXTY offer personal training, group training, daily nutritional support and state of the art technology, equipment and scientific, evidence based coaching and understanding.
Their aim is to find your version of fitness. The one you enjoy, the one that you can stick to.
Do you fancy learning more about how to kick-start your New Year? We invite you to hear what the couple have to say:
My alarm goes off…
J – My alarm goes off at 4.30am. Most mornings, I’m out of the house at 5am and over to one of the gyms. I start training around 6am and then get on with the day, which is based around 1 of the 4 gyms. I spend time with the team; checking in with them and contacting new members. We offer a 30 day trial before full membership, so I make sure the new members are comfortable, happy and know what they’re doing. I tend to come home around 8pm – and fall asleep.
E – Ummm. I would love to say my alarm went off at 4.30am! I set my alarm for 6am. And it keeps going off until around 6.30am… sometimes 7. I have around 15 alarms before I can drag myself out of bed! Once I’m up I’m alright though – if I go to the gym it will be around 7am. Or maybe midday. My days are so varied so my routine has gone – I work better later into the day anyway.
J – We’re polar opposites of each other! A big ethos that I promote is routine. If it becomes routine it’s not much of a hardship. Like with training, I try and make it part of my day. Some force themselves to do what others do – even if it’s not them and it then doesn’t work. It’s about finding what works for you.
E – I trained with John years ago and he often reminds me that with training you’re the average of what you do. I now apply that to everything, if you’re not a morning person you can only do it for so long. Consistency works better in the long run.
J – I used to wake up and scan my emails and messages but now I get up and try not to look at my phone until after I train. I was finding that I was being distracted, so now pick up my messages later – I use airplane mode – and deal with the 7am rush when I turn it back on. I had 3800 notifications last week so I now have 2 phones – 1 personal and 1 work – and I limit my time on personal social media.
E – I work a lot with clients who are overwhelmed with the busyness and expectations technology brings, so we work together to reset routine to regain some boundaries between business and home…
J – That reminds me of a great Denzel Washington quote: “Know the difference between living and making a living”.
E – Yes, I find that SMEs feel the need to respond to emails at all times and therefore creating unrealistic expectations. Create your own boundaries – if you send emails late at night, maybe use the delay option for 9am to help set realistic expectations.
J – I do that with my team now. We’ve agreed to a contact blackout on Sundays – unless queries are really urgent – they rarely are. We have a WhatsApp group for my team and we don’t use it on Sunday. You can burnout really quickly in my business – I’ve been reading a book about it and recommend it for those who are interested: try Simon Sinek’s book “Start with why.”
E – How we choose to use mechanisms such as social media, and enforcing boundaries around that are good for business. It is important to reduce the likelihood of burnout, create consistency, and maintain a healthy customer: business owner relationship, whilst also leaving time for why you set up the business in the first place. You can’t grow if you are stuck in day to day noise. Also, for me I have to practice what I preach, no use helping others to re-discover their why and enjoy time away from the business if I am glued to my phone!
How did you meet?
J – We both met through our businesses and a shared interest in work. We then had a chat over a few drinks and a number of dates from there…
E – And we now we have a puppy who is gradually eating through the house…
I'm responsible for
E – Keeping John sane.
J – Professionally, I’m responsible for 4 gyms, 7 employees and over 400 members. Personally, I’m responsible for my relationship with Emma, my daughter Tilly, and the two dogs Winston and Poppy.
E – Business-wise I’ve been used to managing large teams. In my previous life I was head of the IT portfolio office for Sanctuary housing, so it’s been an interesting adjustment now that I’m managing a client – relationship. I have little responsibility for a team now, but through elements of that understanding of giving a service I can support other business owners and teams. I have far less control, instead shifting the focus to help others take responsibility. A shift to accountability rather than being in control.
J – That’s been my biggest issue to let go, let the trainers do their thing rather than me jump in and tell them what to do.
E – Quite often business owners don’t hand over control. They are constantly messaging and don’t have processes and structures in place so I work with behaviours, mind-sets and processes, putting structured mechanisms in place so that a team are enabled to do what you want them to do, when you want them to do it, how you want them to do it. People don’t want to be micro managed.
J – I give my team a rule book and the team just need to stay on the pitch. I give them autonomy and they have the freedom to have their own expression whilst keeping everyone in line with the joint values and structures of the business. It’s an ongoing evolution.
E – It’s the hardest thing to do to hand over control to others. It is very difficult, evolving over time. It needs to be consistent and controlled to get everyone playing on the same pitch.
J – Some businesses wear their emotions in front of their team, creating an unstable foundation. I find that people are employed for stability, so I try to give that. I want to be leader, not just a manager.
How do people find out about you?
J – Social media, referrals and word of mouth – half of our new members are friends and family, loved ones of current members who want to be a part of the journey. We have offline and online communications – this year, we’re engaging with the Chamber of commerce and were nominated and shortlisted for the best use of social media awards at their annual awards. We share details of our membership options, so everyone’s able to maximise the value of their own membership. We want people to get out what they want – so we provide a tailored membership. Most gym memberships focus on just access whereas we focus on coaching, daily support, ongoing access to the sites and education so you become self-sufficient of your own training and lifestyle.
Our membership allows clients to use all of our sites. Some work in Worcester and live in Malvern so use the most convenient site so that they miss rush hour traffic. We thrive on growth – genuine and authentic.
E – My main platform is LinkedIn and my website. I use Facebook to show the personality of the business but to be honest the majority of my clients have come through referrals and word of mouth. I also love speaking so take any opportunity to speak at events which has helped increase my visibility locally. I also host a networking event ‘business and beer’ in Worcester.
One of the issues with social media is that we strive for instagoals; everyone looks like they’re the bee knees, they take a picture of what things look like so it sets everyone up with unrealistic expectations of what you want to do. We concentrate on our authentic view of business goals and what’s realistic rather than an instalife. I support people in building the best version of their business and uncover why they want it. It can be a real tipping point – chasing others’ instagoals. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
J – Yes through a real focus on authentic messages we’ve continued to grow. We’ve added 100% in terms of our goal turnover for this year but they’re my goals not copied from someone else’s version of success. I have a real personal drive to succeed with the gyms and to effect as many lives as we can.
E – It’s about setting the right goal. Creating your version of success, maybe your goal for business is to ultimately run the business 3 days per week rather than 5, to spend quality time with your family. It has to be the right goal for you all round.
J – Find your greatness. What is YOUR version of greatness? Is it running the 100m Dad’s race on sports day or tying your shoe laces without being out of breath? An average of what you do, greatness is achieved in the commitment of continual acts every day and that’s the bit so many people miss.
I got the job
J – In 2012, I was a Sports Development Officer, delivering the Olympic Legacy. As I progressed, I found that I less worked with people and spent my days sending emails. I was also competing as a high level strength athlete, winning the Midlands strongest man twice and well as the Britain’s natural strongest man title twice too. My success in sport led to people asking for help, so I pursued my interest in personal training whilst working as a personal trainer (PT) before and after work. I then took the leap in fulltime self-employment 4 years ago. I was fully booked as a PT so decided to open up a training facility in Worcester 3 year ago – FIT3SIXTY. We out grew that space in a year. A significant knee injury meant that I retired from high level strength athletics – which was best thing for my business. FIT3SIXTY expanded and I saw a 65kg weight loss. I’ve been lean and been 185kg,able to deadlift a house, then the size I am now – so I’ve undertaken a journey both professionally and as personally through my development as an athlete. So now I compete in Brazilian Jujitsu – out of the martial arts gym I bought a few weeks ago.
E – I worked in IT and business change management for 10 years, project/ programme management, business analysis, change management. I ended my IT career as Head of Portfolio for Sanctuary and loved managing a team but have always been interested in the people side of things, working with people and team dynamics, overcoming obstacles – from a personal perspective, not just process-driven. I was managing personal coaching alongside my fulltime job and supporting individuals wanting a career change from long term careers i.e. teachers, police officers, giving them the confidence to take a leap and move into something else. I helped them in roles they loved – so I did the same. I always wanted to own a business, consulting and supporting others. I think I was always destined to work for myself but fell into the instagoals trap and set myself ‘superficial’ goals at 21, which were by the time I was 30 to earn over £60k a year, own a hot tub, house and sports car. I achieved that by 29 and was unfulfilled – I realised what would genuinely make me happy was to work for myself and do something I loved whilst having the flexibility to spent more time with the people I loved. 2 weeks before my 30th I fulfilled a ‘new’ by the time I am 30 list and made the leap to self-employment.
I soon realised how much money I was wasting on nothing and cut down on buying stuff I didn’t need. I now work with business owners, combining coaching with DISC behavioural and business strategy and planning to enable business growth. Mostly I work as a consultant and coach, delivering 122 support, team workshops, process improvement, behavioural profiling …
What makes you different?
E – From a business perspective, I’m naturally good at seeing how to make things better, but my niche is my complete focus on people, putting people first. It’s not the easiest strategy for business owners to get on board with as it can historically be seen as ‘fluffy’, but a strong focus on behaviour has far more of a long term impact, and my background in process and strategy grounds that ethos. After all there is no point having a great vision if no-one is working towards it.
J – We make the complicated simple. A formula of positive daily habits, understanding your why and the how and being the average of what you do will get you where you want to be.
We don’t sell you a dream that you can’t achieve. Does your behaviour match your expectations? The onus is firmly on each person. It’s a very real concept. We live a life like others. An honest lifestyle, one that people can also live sustainably, not an Instagram projected one.
E – We have a shared ethos between both businesses that we live in the real world, setting the right goals for individuals, we provide a ‘reality check’.
What’s in your ‘fridge?
E – Tonic.
J – We have minimal essentials as we don’t have a set evening routine. We have the usual butter and milk but tend to buy as we go. We’ll chat around lunchtime and decide what to buy and cook together later.
E – Sometimes I put something in the slow cooker if I am really ‘on it’ that day… but not that often.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
J – I wanted to be an architect and took the A ‘levels to do so but then when it came to a University course, which is 8 years to study to become and architect, and I chose sport instead, which is what brought me to Worcester.
E – I wanted to be a singer – I did sing professionally for bit – but hated it as it turned my passion into a necessity. I still sing in panto, in fact I’m starring in Dick Whittington with the Powick Players in February, and sing in a blues band called “Beacon Blues” alongside the business.
What do you do after work?
E – We might cook together, watch Friends, and sometimes go to gigs. We often go away together for the weekend, take the dogs for a walk, go out for meals in Malvern, Hereford, Worcester, Cheltenham…
Latest Issue of the Magazine
Media Partner You Do Better PR Agency delivers business news from around the County in the popular monthly interview entitled In conversation with.
You Do Better provide public relations and communications support to organisations around the Three Counties. Specialising in content and media management, Ruby Edwards and the team of associates at the Agency, provide pay-as-you-go PR. The team charge a reasonable hourly rate; starting at £35 per hour, as they prefer clients to stay with them because of their skills and experience rather than because they have to.
Together, they help you raise the profile of your business.
Targeting key business figures across the County, Ruby writes In conversation with featuring Worcestershire’s movers and shakers from a diverse range of organisations including sole traders, SMEs, charities and good causes, limited companies and PLCs.
in association with You Do Better PR – PAYG PR The Worcestershire Ambassadors are a group of individuals who share a common passion for Worcestershire
In our first interview for this regular business feature, we’re in for a treat with some sparkling conversation from Ali and Paul Chester of The Christmas Decorators – a firm based in Kempsey, Worcestershire.