This week Vivid Minds Vivid Futures interviews Mick Cutts, owner of Bodycuttz Personal Coaching. Mick provides individually tailored personal fitness sessions to a diverse range of clients.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born in Sheffield, England and came to Australia in January 1977 as a ‘£10 Pom’. I settled in Sydney and, as part of the £10 Pom deal, I had to have a job when I arrived. I started off working in some sort of a processing and packing plant and then got a job as a wardsman at North Shore Hospital. From there, I joined the NSW Police. On completion of my training, I was initially posted to North Sydney, then there were a few transfers before I became a member of the Child Protection Unit/Major Crime Squad based in Bathurst.
What does Bodycuttz Personal Coaching do?
We’re a personal training business providing personalised fitness coaching to clients of all ages. While I work with clients who haven’t got any problems at all, my focus these days is on rehab – shoulders, knees, you name it, we work on it here. It’s a private and personalised service. There’s no one watching or making you feel uncomfortable – there’s no one here to judge you. Training is a lot about working on both the body and the mind. I sometimes feel like I’m a bit of a life coach as well as a trainer because of the experiences I’ve had.
When and why did you start your business?
I was in the NSW Police Force for 23 years, but my career was cut short because I ended up with PTSD. That happens to many people who work in emergency services. It was a substantial change in my life. I was seeing psychologists for a period of time and in one consultation, the psych suggested that I get back to the gym. I’d always been into fitness – I started lifting weights when I was 14. So, I joined a gym, found a trainer, then became a trainer. I went to TAFE and completed my Cert III and Cert IV – the rest is history. I started out teaching aerobics and then started personal training. That was in 2000. Getting back into the gym was a huge benefit in managing my PTSD – it got me back out in the world, seeing and interacting with people.
That was Sydney. When did you shift the business to Armidale?
I came to Armidale in 2002 and started work at Sport UNE as a trainer. I saw an opening for a more personalised approach to coaching. In 2005 I started my own business, initially doing PT in the park. We opened our own gym in 2006. We changed direction again in 2014 – it’s now exclusively personal training and done from our own place. This gives me the opportunity to get to know my clients better and tailor programs to suit their needs.
What were some of the challenges in starting your business?
For me, it was changing from being an employee to being self-employed. Coming out of the worst parts of PTSD and being confident to start on my own and back myself was challenging. Before I re-located to this set up, finding the rent for premises and also hiring staff to cover all the classes we offered was difficult. There’s always a way, though. It’s about the mindset you bring – most challenges can be overcome if you take a deep breath and back yourself.
What do you like most about running your own business?
I like the flexibility I have now. I can train people in the morning and spend the afternoon in the garden if I want to. I also like working with so many different people. I can take the business in the direction I want it to go. You don’t get that opportunity when you work for someone else.
What advice would you give a business just starting out?
The most important thing is to provide a quality service. You have to want to help – if you focus on that, you will attract the right clients and your business will grow and prosper. Finding your niche is an important part of that. I’ve found mine – working with clients requiring rehab or working with clients with special needs. Along with that, you need to keep up to date with what is going on in your field – you’ve got to embrace lifelong learning. Nothing stays the same in this industry – or most likely, in most industries – staying in touch with the current trends is how you keep your business fresh and relevant.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by seeing my clients get results. One of the most rewarding things I’ve done is work with a young client who has cerebral palsy. I also work with clients who, like me, have PTSD. I enjoy the challenge of researching and developing customised programs for all my clients. My reward is seeing the progress they make over time – both physically and mentally. Working one-on-one, you can see people’s weaknesses, the difficulties they’re having, you’re constantly adapting the program to give each client the best chance of success. It’s great to see people walk out of here with a spring in their step knowing I have helped in some way.
What is your secret for success?
The main thing is providing a quality and honest service. Part of that honesty is telling some potential clients that they are not a good fit. If I think I can’t work with someone, I’ll tell them. That way, it’s a win-win situation for both of us. I like to develop a good working relationship with all my clients.
What’s next for Bodycuttz Personal Coaching?
I expect the business will keep ticking along. I like the way things are at the moment – the one-on-ones, the personalised service. I’ll keep on learning – there’s always something new to discover. I want to provide my clients with the most up to date programs, so that means I need to feed my own knowledge base.