A Story Of Success, Failure, And Achievement

Chano Jiménez is a Fitness Business Consultant

A Little Bit of History- A Story Of Success, Failure, And Achievement

It was 1988 when, at the age of 18, I got my first job. At that time, I had just started my official studies for a degree in physical education and sports. Because my mother was a teacher and a friend of hers, the headmistress of a public school, needed an assistant teacher for the physical education classes, I started my part-time professional career. At that time, although I am still the same today, I was a tremendous sportsman. That same year, I started to practice bodybuilding in a competitor’s gym with a great record in our region, the Canary Islands. That champion, Manuel Cabeza Luque, saw sporting potential in me and decided to train me personally, becoming very good friends.

However, in 1988, Manuel died in a terrible motorbike accident. His brothers inherited the gym business and offered me to be the manager. A short time later, in 1989, they decided to transfer the business. Another friend of mine, Antonio del Rio, who was also a bodybuilder and had received a significant sum from his parent’s divorce, offered me to be a partner in the gym purchase. At that time, I didn’t have any money, but he insisted that he wanted me as a partner, and we agreed that each month I would pay him back 50% of my salary as an installment payment for my part of the business. That’s how my business career started. Three years later, due to personal differences, we decided to dissolve our partnership and I sold him my share, obtaining a small sum which, together with a strong bank debt, allowed me to have my first gym as sole owner, the TATAN GYM 1.

I still remember that 6 months after the opening, I swallowed my tears because the business was not yet up and was in danger. Fortunately, I held on and, by studying a lot about business management, the business improved so much that I came to have a chain of 4 gyms and, at the age of 27, to lead the Canary Islands’ fitness market. For 20 years, I enjoyed a very prosperous company that allowed me a certain degree of diversification within the fitness industry (distributions of sports nutrition, sports equipment, public facilities management, and my first jobs as a consultant for public institutions and some private companies).

In all this time, I lived a thousand adventures and ups and downs, founded a small family, and experienced a risky but quite happy life. Until, in 2008, the famous financial crisis came along. At that time, our company was very much in debt from recent investments (until then, the situation was very favorable, and I took a lot of financial risks), and suddenly, the banks closed all our credit and forced us to convert our debts into very short-term loans at stratospheric interest rates. We held out as long as we could, but in 2014 we had to declare ourselves bankrupt, and I lost absolutely everything, including my companies, all my assets, and personal property.

Fortunately, I had not stopped studying many years before and had started a sporadic professional activity as a business consultant. Consequently, in 2015, I left my beloved Canary Islands and my family behind to move, first to Barcelona for 6 months and then, definitely to Madrid (to date), to look for more opportunities in my work as a sports business consultant. The beginnings were tough because I was still very little known and had no economic resources to promote myself. In fact, doubting my chances of survival, I accepted a job as a commercial director in a socio-sports club in Madrid (that was the reason for my transfer from Barcelona). The professional experience in this club was very disappointing and almost frustrating due to my bosses’ ineptitude. In 4 months, I found myself having to start from scratch again.

But, this time, having already made it clear that my vocation and personality demanded great professional autonomy, I chose to focus 100% on my career as a consultant, and things began to change at great speed. In 2016, the machine began to accelerate, with an increasing number of clients coming to me to improve their businesses. During this period I have also published two books: VENDED MALDITOS BENDITOS and ATRACCIÓN DIGITAL, with notable success in the Spanish-speaking fitness sector, and in 2021 my new work STRATEGICAL FITNESS MARKETING will be released (see publications at https://chanojimenez.com/#publicaciones.

Another of the facets that I have developed a lot in recent years has been as a speaker at an international level, with numerous presentations, seminars, and courses throughout Spain and a good part of Latin America and the United States. Some of these interventions have been in very prestigious events, such as the annual IHRSA Congress, considered the most important in the fitness industry (you can find more information here https://chanojimenez.com/conferencias-fitness/ ).

Honestly, since 2016, my business has not stopped growing until the Covid-19 pandemic hit. But, fortunately, the business inertia and resources of all kinds that we have been accumulating over the years are allowing us to carry it relatively comfortably and with great expectations for the coming years. For more information about Chano Jiménez’ career, you can check this link: https://chanojimenez.com/chano-jimenez/

The Academic Field

One of the aspects that I consider crucial in my professional career is continuous training. From a very young age, I understood that learning and acquiring knowledge was not only of great value for its possible applications in professional and business positions but that qualifications were an excellent letter of introduction and insurance for placement in the labor or business market, whatever happened. In fact, I believe that what saved my career after losing everything in 2015 was my strong commitment to academic preparation. In this sense, after completing my degree in Physical Activity and Sports Sciences, I took a Master’s in General Business Management, then another Master’s in Sports Management, and then a Ph.D. in Economics. I have recently completed a postgraduate course in Neuromarketing, and I continue to study daily, especially in Digital Marketing and Human Behavioural Sciences applied to business.

Tips For Getting A Job

  • If you work on something you enjoy, it will be much easier for you to stand out and find work. Also, your dedication will be infinitely more bearable. Working all your life on something you don’t like is a sentence.
  • Focus on a particular area of knowledge, where you can become one of the best specialists. Seek consistency with this, studying as much as possible and gaining professional experience in your chosen field.
  • Develop a resume as complete as possible, but for each job interview, study the company and adapt the resume to what they may really find most appealing about you.
  • Take great care with context aspects in communication, such as the graphic design of the CV or your personal image for the interview (always adapted to the company’s profile).
  • Show the utmost formality and interest in the position you are applying for and demonstrate your interest in the company and its characteristics during the interview.
  • If you have passed the first screening of CVs and arrive at the personal interview, the aspect that will most influence the position’s achievement will be that the interviewer likes you. If you are good at empathizing, the interviewer will feel comfortable with you, and his or her subconscious will look for reasons to hire you.

Authors And Recommended Reading

I will only refer to the 5 authors who have helped me the most:

  • Michael Porter, with numerous research and publications on Business Strategy.
  • Tom Peters, an international consultant, a true source of inspiration for entrepreneurs around the world.
  • Daniel Kahneman, psychologist and Nobel Prize in Economics. A super specialist in human behavior.
  • Al Ries, author of numerous marketing bestsellers and one of the most influential speakers in this field worldwide.
  • Stephen Covey, author of the best-selling book on productivity, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.”

Wishing you all the luck in the world, I am at your disposal in my web chanojimenez.com. 

Also read How I Started a Business Specializing in Software development, Digital marketing & website design/hosting

A Story Of Success, Failure, And Achievement

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