1. So Fatima, what inspired you to choose a career in Fitness and Health?
There were lots of people who were handling fitness very badly that I felt I really needed to jump straight into it and provide people with a true, super effective and safe fitness experience. Anyone can have the body of their dreams. But it takes a lot of hard work and the right guidance. That’s where I come in!
2. What is your typical day like?
I am lucky to be training a lot of very successful women. If they can wake up at 5 am to train, then I need to be up at 4 30 am to make it worth their while! And so the day begins. I am in personal trainings or coaching classes until 1 pm (which is when we break for lunch). From 2 to 7 pm, my super talented manager and junior assistant takes clients while I work on Skype consultations, nutrition plans and possible collaborations. From 6 30 to 8 pm, I coach my boot camp classes and then it’s time for my own workout. By 10 30 pm I’m ready to call it a day! I try to go out on alternate weekends but it is very hard to balance a social life with a start-up business. One has to have clear priorities!
3. What is the best part about running your own fitness studio?
When women actually come up to me and tell me I’ve changed their life!
4. What are some of the main challenges you have faced while pursuing your career goals?
Back stabbing friends and competitors who are willing to play dirty. I’ve had competing studios call up my clients and offer them services at half the price. I take it as a huge compliment because I’ve only been in the field for a year! If the big studios are feeling threatened then I’m obviously doing something right!
And then there are investors who pop up every month. They say they want to take over my business and ‘help’ me make it big. I might be young, but I’m not stupid. FZM Boutique Fitness is my baby and I plan to grow it very slowly. I’d rather have 50 happy clients than 500 not-so-happy ones!
5. Do you have a role model? Who and Why?
I would say that someone like Salma Hayek really inspires me. She is completely self-made and when she moved to America from Mexico, no one believed she would make it. But she did. I admire people who are stubborn and believe in the power of their dreams.
6. What are the top three skills that have been critical for your success?
Hard work, Consistency and not giving a damn about what other people think.
7. Have you used any networks to help you achieve your goals? Which have been the most helpful?
Social media has been extremely helpful. However, I do not like to advertise or market in traditional ways. I just train very, very well. The more clients I get, the more clients they bring. I believe that if you work very hard, word of mouth does all the promotion for you!
8. Are there any online resources related to your field that you can point our readers towards?
Crossfit.com for genuine articles on health, fitness and longevity. I’m also a fan of bodybuilding.com and I like the way Men’s Health magazine simplifies fitness for the average Joe. However, there is lots of information out there. If you are new to fitness, work with a certified trainer before you start any diet or exercise regimen!
9. What is the most valuable piece of advice you’ve ever received?
From my mom and my uncle: No one can take away your ‘Riszk.’ Basically you will receive the fruit of hard work and if anyone tries to unnecessarily harm you, karma will deal with them!
10. Finally, how do you define success?
Going to bed each night with a feeling of accomplishment and waking up every morning (or every other morning) with a sense of personal fulfilment.
Israa Nasir, Co-founder of Ammi Service and a Therapist
Video: Nazish Hussain, Founder of Secret Stash
Farrah Hamid, Founder, Prettly.com
Madiha Waris Qureshi, Consultant, World Bank
Arsla Jawaid, Foreign Policy and Counter-terrorism Guru
Sana Khan Niazi, Founder, Paimona
Sobia Sheikh, Finance Manager, Sodexo
Ruqayya Diwan Adamjee, Creative & Social Impact