Reginald Jones is one of the few college athletes to make the leap into the pros, landing in the National Football League and playing with the New Orleans Saints and the Cleveland Browns.
Rapidly becoming one of the elite fitness experts, his consulting firm proposes that organizations employ fitness as a means of reducing healthcare expenditures, and lowering absenteeism. Fit 2 Win consulting offers educational seminars and workshops, as well as wellness coaching and the ‘K.E.E.P™.’ program for executives.
Now working on his first publication, a fitness and wellness book, Jones has been speaking and consulting for more than 10 years, nationally as well as internationally. He holds a bachelor of arts from the University of Memphis.
Carlee McCullough, Esq.: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
C.M.: What is the most rewarding part of being at the helm of your own business?
R.J.: You are executing your own dreams and visions, and not someone else’s.
C.M.: What is the most challenging part of being at the helm of your own business?
R.J.: Most often, it is the challenge of resources for a small firm. It may be human resources or financial resources. In some instances it can be both human and financial resources.
C.M.: What would you say are two personal qualities that are most responsible for your success?
R.J.: Discipline and determination. You have to be disciplined to learn and master your craft; as well, you have to be disciplined to operate in excellence. Determination is vital, because everyone and every business will face challenges, and you must be determined to overcome obstacles in business and life. I believe failure is not an option.
C.M.: Who were your biggest inspirations?
R.J.: John Johnson, founder of Johnson Publishing Company-Ebony & Jet magazines. I remember reading about John Johnson when I was in the sixth grade. I read about how Johnson was a successful businessman and publisher. I knew then I wanted to be an entrepreneur when I was older.
Also, the late Sam Mills, former All-Pro linebacker for the New Orleans Saints, served as my mentor. I asked Sam how to be better than an average player in the NFL. He taught me, unequivocally, not to rely on talent alone – but that the elite players in the NFL not only, knew their playbook inside-out, but also, studied their opponents and knew the opposition inside-out.
C.M.: How does your firm compete against other consulting firms?
R.J.: I pride myself on being creative and innovative. When I started Fit 2 Win in Chicago, I competed with other firms by promoting my K.E.E.P. program (Key Executive Exercise Protocol). Essentially I did private fitness coaching for executives in their homes or offices in downtown Chicago. As a result, this allowed Fit 2 Win to get in the door of their companies, to do Corporate Fitness & Wellness, in the form of seminars and workshops.
In a similar approach, I promote my motivational speaking by eliminating the middleman in the form of speaker bureaus. I establish relationships directly with meeting planners, event planners, and entertainment management companies.
My latest out-of-the-box creation is a program that I plan to launch this fall. Living here in the Bible-belt, I’ve done some research and discovered that over 80 percent of clergy in the U.S. say they are stressed from the job, and over 75 percent of U.S. clergy are overweight. To provide a solution for this industry, I’ve designed a Clergy Fitness & Wellness Roundtable. This roundtable is designed for clergy to have a small confidential forum with their peers, to address and find solutions to their fitness and wellness challenges.
C.M.: If you were speaking to the youth in your community about becoming an entrepreneur, what would you suggest they do to pursue that career?
R.J.: Pursue your passion. Once you know what you are passionate about, read and study that industry. Read books about your industry routinely. Do an internship if you are not at the stage where you are able to start you own business, and work in the industry until you are able to go out on your own. Also, be sure to visit your local Small Business Development Center for free consultations and unlimited resources. In addition, use the resources at the Small Business Development Center to create a business plan, which is a road map and blue print for your business.
C.M.: Do you have any closing words that you would like to share with us?
R.J.: I would encourage all athletes and future entrepreneurs to become avid readers. The average American reads one book a year. An inexpensive way to get an edge and become knowledgeable is to read regularly. Get a library card and frequent the library.
Remember: Dream. Reach. Realize.
(For additional information about Fit-2-Win please visit www.fit-2-win.com.)