Tiffany Grubaugh translated her love of sports and desire to help people into Fitness and Sports Performance gym, where she has devoted the past four and a half years to coaching clients to achieve their goals.
A standout high school and college basketball player who played professionally in Germany for a year, Grubaugh earned bachelor's and master's degrees in exercise science, with an emphasis on health promotion, performance enhancement, and injury prevention.
Returning to the United States after playing basketball abroad, Grubaugh worked as a sports performance coach with Velocity Sports Performance for two years, and for three years as the assistant coach to the women's basketball team at Mercyhurst College, where she specialized in strength and conditioning. "I liked figuring out how to make people a better athlete," Grubaugh said, noting this inspired her to seek further training.
Grubaugh took a position with Detroit Medical Center, working to rehabilitate patients with spinal cord and brain injuries, which brought a new perspective to helping clients reach their physical goals. "It was a challenge to my thought process of how to achieve results." A relationship brought her to Grand Rapids, and she was faced with the choice of working for others, or working for herself. "I interviewed at a few places, but decided it was the right time to start on my own."
As many business owners know, passion and skill in a particular area do not mean running your own business will be easy. However, Grubaugh had taken the opportunity to learn from savvy business owners as she honed her skill as a trainer—marketing, advertising, and building clientele.
Grubaugh worked with a realtor to find the perfect space, and continued to hone her business skills. "Along the way, I definitely began to realize that there were so many things that I needed to learn about and become better at, to run a business. I have taken some courses and hired a fitness business coach. I've read more books and articles than I can even remember at this point." Michael Gerber's E-myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It was particularly insightful. "He explains that most business owners are 10 percent entrepreneur, 20 percent manager, and 70 percent technician, but there needs to be a perfect balance in your business." Running a business, Grubaugh elaborated, requires three separate individuals:
1) Entrepreneur – Visionary, dreamer, lives in the future
2) Manager – Planner, keeps order, lives in the past
3) Technician – Doer, provides the service, lives in the present
"I definitely fit this profile at first and for a long time ... only 10 percent entrepreneur and 20 percent manager," Grubaugh said. "I have since learned to delegate, teach, and manage people to do the things necessary to operate a successful business. If I continued to train 40 hours per week, there would be no way that we'd still be in business. While I opened the business in the first place because I love helping and coaching people, not to run marketing campaigns, I have realized that if I want to impact thousands of people's lives, I can't do it on my own. I'm now training about 15 – 20 hours per week, and running the business, managing people the rest of the time."
Establishing a fitness center that would help clients to set specific goals and purposefully achieve them was Grubaugh's vision. "We begin with a consultation, and peel back the layers to discover how you want to live. There are a lot of people who are intimidated to begin—people who have never worked out. Coming in for a consultation is something to be proud of. We have people at many levels working out here, and we make sure that clients know we want them to reach their goals. We make people feel welcome, and that they're accomplishing something. We set ourselves apart by getting results, and focusing on a healthy lifestyle. It's not just about a number on a scale." She noted that FSP is not the type of gym where clients just wander in and hop on a treadmill. Here, clients are assessed, their goals guided by expert knowledge in human physiology and proper workout programming, and their motivation supported by both the staff and the FSP community, overall.
Grubaugh has been intentional about hiring staff members who are passionate about achieving this vision, in part by filling the roles defined by Gerber's E-myth Revisited. Her team includes Zebb Dewes-Taylor, fitness coach; Julie Kelley, business manager; Carese Bartlett, marketing specialist; and Stacey Herdegen, membership specialist, all of whom are enthusiastic about fitness in their personal lives and committed to Grubaugh's vision for FSP. Grubaugh's journey exemplifies many elements that are vital to business success: learning from mentors, completion of training in deficit areas, seeking out the right staff, sharing a vision, and continual education.
To learn more about Tiffany Grubaugh and Fitness and Sports Performance, visit the FSP website or Facebook page. Fitness and Sports Performance is located at 4950 Plainfield Avenue NE, Suite A, in Grand Rapids, and may be reached by phone at 616.250.1026.
Written by Jennifer Reynolds, West Michigan Woman magazine staff writer.
Photo courtesy of Fitness & Sports Performance.