Nikki Shapes L.A.

I met Nikki about a year ago via Twitter. My wife and I were starting to put together a business called Community Perks and looking for small businesses to partner with us to serve the non-profits and schools in Santa Monica. We agreed to sit down and meet over coffee and I’m sure glad we did. At one point, we traded services so I know what it’s like to train with Nikki. She’s very attentive, listens well, yet can tell how hard to push you by reading your body language. When you meet her, it’s hard to imagine she can push you hard because she’s so nice, but don’t let her charm fool you. Personal trainers are about image (to me at least). If they don’t look the part, why would you hire them? Nikki walks the talk and she’s also committed to eating healthy too. If you’re struggling with weight or performance, I highly recommend contacting her!

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1) Health/Nutrition is obviously a HUGE issue in the United States, so why did you become a personal trainer?

Physical fitness has always been a part of me. Growing up with one sister, I was the one playing sports with my dad and loved it! I became a personal trainer because I wanted to teach people how working out can be fun and beneficial at the same time.  The benefits are endless 🙂  I also wanted to teach people how to correctly perform exercises so they do not injure themselves!

2) Why did you decide to leave a gym and train on your own? What are the pros/cons of being your own boss?

The reason I stayed at my previous gym for so long was for my clients. I couldn’t leave them! But life is about timing and I couldn’t stay at a gym (they changed owners) where I didn’t believe in their philosophy so that was my reason to leave! I took the leap and never looked back.  Sometimes you just need a little push.  If you love what you do and are passionate about what you do, you will succeed.  Their are only pros to being my own boss. I get to make my schedule and get paid for all the time/energy that I put into my clients (instead of the gym taking 75%).  You get out as much as you put into your business.

3) How would your clients describe your style of training?

I think they would say challenging, but fun. Each workout is different so they never get bored!

4) How do you gain new and retain current clients?

I believe I retain my clients because I actually really care about my clients and their goals.  I also try and teach them how to make this a lifestyle change. You always have a couple people that don’t get it, but at least I can say I gave 110%.  I gain new clients through my website, yelp, or referrals.

5) What’s one piece of advice you want to give fellow entrepreneurs?

If you believe in your product and work hard, you will succeed.

Nikki Kitamura has been a Personal Fitness Coach for over 13 years. She graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a B.S. in Kinesiology and is AFAA, CPR, Nutrition and First Aid certified. Nikki uses a “whole health” approach to solutions that ensures my clients experience lasting, sustainable results that improve their quality of life, confidence and overall well being.  

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