Subject: Trina Lambe

Company: Train by Trina

Messages in the Malt. After finishing a career
in professional figure skating, Trina
Lambe changed directions and went to
work for a local brewery in Toronto. “It
was my first ‘real job’ and it was there that
my entrepreneurial spirit was sparked,”
she recalls. She began as the office manager
for the start-up company, which, she
says, allowed her to participate in the mechanics
of business growth and success.
At 25 she became a senior manager, but
began to look beyond the brew business.
“I put my thinking cap on and asked myself
what brings me the most enjoyment.
Being active! I took my passion for exercise,
applied some business knowledge,
and 3 months after quitting my corporate
job I was fully booked as a personal
trainer and had already hired my first
trainer to work with me.” Though she has
parted ways with her former career,
Lambe notes that her former boss continues
to be her mentor.

Trina Goes Headhunting. Lambe’s primary
business focus is to truly inspire as
many people to fitness as possible.“ My
mission in fitness is to ‘reach, teach and
educate thousands of people on how to
live a healthy lifestyle through activity,”
she says. Her mission statement can be
found all over her website, perhaps to ensure
that her company’s clients recognize
the breadth of her passion. With a full
client schedule—and a desire to maintain
a balance between her personal and professional
lives—Trina found herself limited
in successfully achieving her mission.
“When I started this business, I was the
only trainer. Eventually, all my time slots
were filled, but I wanted to accommodate
more clients. Realizing that I couldn’t do this alone, but not wanting to reject new
clients, [I decided] it was time to expand.”
Lambe then focused on seeking out
highly qualified and motivated trainers
who could meet the demands of in-home
training. “They are people who can think
on their feet and don’t need every tool to
create a great workout.” Lambe performs
detailed, thorough physical and lifestyle
assessments with each new client, and
then turns to her database to determine
which trainer within the client’s general
area (she never asks her trainers to travel
more than 15 minutes) is the best person
for the job.

Condo Conversions. Lambe has also
tapped into the burgeoning condo fitness facility
market,which she has found both
lucrative and satisfying. “In Toronto, the
condo market is very hot,” she says. “This
sector is in dire need of quality customer
service from a fitness expert.” Lambe believes
that many condo facilities lack the
personal touch that helps people develop
long-lasting exercise habits. “This is
where Train by Trina steps in.” She offers
on-site group exercise classes and personal
training (using the same client-trainer
matching techniques she uses
with her in-home clients), as well as
health lectures and product information
nights.“ Each [condo fitness facility] is very
different and has a different demographic.
We develop a strategic plan for each and
every facility.”

Keen Business Sense. Train by Trina
has experienced success not only because
of excellent customer service, but
also as a result of Lambe’s ability to set
reasonable business goals and to know
when to ask for help. “I complete annual strategic planning for setting challenging
but achievable goals. I enlist the help
of business consultants (business coach,
accountant, marketing consultant, admin/bookkeeper and public relations representative)
to provide advice and steer
me toward my goals in running a healthy,
viable business.” She performs periodic
self-evaluations to make sure she is on
track. “Business succes and fitness success
have so many commonalities, it’s scary,”
she says. “When you pull clients out of
their comfort zone after they have
plateaued, you get different results. Do
the same in your business. Get uncomfortable
each day with tasks that are going
to generate the outcome you want.”

Ryan Halvorson is the associate editor for
IDEA and a certified personal trainer at Excel
Sport and Therapy in La Jolla, California.

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