Andras speaks about his background and growth with World Gym (owns three franchise units in Ohio – Brooklyn, Akron, and Sheffield Village) and what he learned from getting his three gyms through challenging times
David Andras is a serial entrepreneur who owns, in addition to three World Gym franchises, several other businesses: cafes, sports bars, coffee shops, consulting companies and co-working spaces. Andras is also an international speaker and co-authored a book on entrepreneurship. He also started his own podcast. Below, Andras answers some questions from Athletech News (ATN).
ATN: What keeps you motivated, because you’ve also worked through different economic challenging times?
David Andras: The fitness industry has been just my passion. I truly want to help people. It’s like I always say: there’s no better gratification than having the ability to help change someone’s lifestyle for the rest of their life. So, that keeps me resilient. That keeps you going that pushing a lot. We’ve had a lot of blocks in the road, but I think being connected to your members, keeping your passion will keep you strong and keep you connected to your members with empathy.
ATN: How did you navigate change during the pandemic?
David Andras: During the pandemic, we had to obviously adjust a lot of things. One of those was digital. We’re in the process of doing our own apps and making us more accessible online, which has been a big way to stay in contact and keep that communication going, even when I’m not in the club. Another big thing has been more digital conversations, and letting my members know: hey, I’m still present. I have an open-door policy. You can reach out to me anytime.
ATN: How do you prioritize and maintain a high level of performance?
David Andras: I could not do it without my staff. I have people that have been with me for years, and it’s because of those individuals that I can step away and do other things. They’ve been my rock. For sure.
ATN: Any advice on best ways to run a gym in the Midwest?
David Andras: The Midwest is a very challenging market. This is a working-class market who doesn’t like smoke and mirrors. On the fitness side, it’s a very unmotivated group in the general population. It’s obviously become more prevalent with insurance companies and corporations encouraging it providing assistance in those areas, but on the gym side it’s tough. In my years, I’ve seen many individuals come and go from this market. Sometimes they come in, and they have great ideas, but they don’t know how to adapt to our mentality. The majority either quit, got fired, or went back to doing what they were doing before. I’ve seen that over and over again over the last twenty some years. It’s a difficult market and I think you really have to build that genuine relationship with us in the Midwest. It’s about trust, it’s about likability and it’s about respect. And if you don’t have that, and if you don’t do what you can to reach out with the demographics here, they’re never going to give that back to you.
ATN: What’s Mission Matters?
David Andras: I’ve partnered with Adam Torres and Mission Matters. Adam is definitely an incredible individual to help promote entrepreneurs and really allow us to share experiences. What helped us become successful, the good and the bad. So, their mission is to promote that. I love the title Mission Matters because I think as entrepreneurs or business owners, we should all have a mission that matters, and ultimately my mission is to create an environment for not only my family, but my staff, my members, everybody. I want them to have a place to enjoy themselves, get better, be on a journey, to commit to a healthier lifestyle, and really, just to become successful, whether it’s in business or whether it’s in fitness.
ATN: Any other advice?
David Andras: No matter what it is you do personally, you have to commit, you have to act, you have to be passionate and you have to be consistently persistent. You also have to have blind faith that no matter what happens, I’m going to get through it. It’s going to be the best on the other end, I just have to work through it. I’m going to reach this goal. Commit, have faith, and be consistently persistent on achieving your goals.