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Kenmore Entrepreneurs Strengthening Local Residents and Economy Along the Way

Above photo: Blake Peterson- September 18, 2019 /staff photo Exterior of Reign Fitness. Bothell-Kenmore Reporter

Entrepreneurs play a key role in any economy, using the skills and initiative necessary to anticipate needs and bring new ideas to market.

Reign Fitness, a personal training business that opened its doors in 2019, was founded by fitness coaches Willie Davies and James Robbins, the gym offers a myriad of personal training services catered specifically to clients’ needs.

Tradition of Entrepreneurs

Kenmore has a long tradition of welcoming entrepreneurs, whether they were legitimate business owners, such as John McMaster who purchased a lumber mill in nearby Bothell, which he operated until 1905, or the owners of numerous cafes and various roadhouses, some of which served illicit booze during Prohibition.

Kenmore Heritage Society caught up with entrepreneurs Willie Davies and James Robbins to find out what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur and learn more about what running your own business entails. Check out what they had to say ….

James & Willie

1. Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur?

Willie: We both worked for someone else before Reign and realized that the (fitness) industry was failing clients, and we just couldn’t see ourselves going down that same path. We knew we could provide a better service for a better price.

James: I feel it ultimately came down to us believing in ourselves and believing in what we could do as far as providing the community with a holistic approach to health and fitness. Creating something that everyone felt comfortable being a part of.

Ribbon Cutting

2. How did you decide to locate Reign Fitness in Kenmore?

James: Kenmore was a landing spot for us as it is close to home. We both grew up in Shoreline, very close by, and always knew we wanted to get back into the community that raised us. We feel fortunate to have found the space we’re currently in.

Willie: Knowing Kenmore is a great city also helped, plus there wasn’t another gym in the area like us.

Happy Clients!

3.    I asked you once if you needed to advertise for new clients and you said “No” – how do you attract new business without conventional advertising?

Willie: Word of mouth. We have the best clients! We offer such good customer service that every client who sets foot in Reign loves to tell family, friends or others who may need help to come see us first. From there we continue to grow each month.

James: I believe we’ve been successful in part by simply showing up and providing the best possible service we can. Really connecting with the client, their needs and wants, and ultimately providing results. From there, we’ve been extremely grateful for the support our clients have given us in referring Reign Fitness to people within their circles. That alone has helped us expand and expose us to the greater community.

Hard Work = Rewards

4.    How do you reward yourself when you succeed?

James: Rewards come from the hard work we put in. I think seeing happy clients who want to continue working out with us and talk about us is reward enough.

Willie: Every day, doing what we do and seeing the rewards our clients get… that alone is a reward. We feel complete day to day knowing we did something to help people.

Smart Spending

5. How do you set your business up for financial success?

Willie: Staying within the limits. We don’t tend to overspend on things we don’t need when it comes to the business side of things. We also continuously provide a level of training that should keep us in the game indefinitely. Gyms fail because they lose sight of what people need when it comes to training, or the trainer’s ego gets in the way. For us, we need to stay in our lane, work hard, be attentive, and be friendly. If we continue to do that; we will continue to have success and thrive in this industry.

James: It comes down to being thoughtful: not biting off more than you can chew and only spending where it makes sense. We are always trying to add to our business in one shape or another, but it has to make sense with value that addition can bring. If it doesn’t make sense, we wait for another opportunity to arise.

Can’t Imagine Doing Anything Else

6.     Tell me about a time you said “I’m done with this” and wanted to walk away.

James: Haven’t reached that point!

Willie: Never! This career choice has been the best decision of my life and has made me the person I am today. I battled weight all my life and now to be in control and help others, I couldn’t imagine not doing it.

“Every day is work and each day is a new day. You have to show up with the right mindset and attitude to bring your best for that day.”

Amazing Employees, Family & Pets


7. How do you balance your personal life with your career?

James: I think with anything you begin from scratch; it takes time. We had to put the hours in early to get to a point we were able to have a little more time at home, especially with us both being dads now. The hours are still put in but it’s about being efficient with the time you have. Going through all of this you learn the value of time quickly.

Willie: We have amazing employees who make it possible for us to work early mornings and be off by the afternoon to see our families. We also coach baseball and we only need to be at two practices a week so with the support of our families we can continue to give back to youth and the sport we grew up loving.

Adapt & Change

8. What makes a bad entrepreneur?

Willie: Someone who isn’t able to adapt and change. Times change which means at times the business needs to change. Not big changes, but even something internal to make sure employees are happy, etc. Change is good!

James: Complacency is the first thing that comes to mind. Just because you’ve reached a certain point in your career doesn’t mean you have made it or can relax. The fire has to continue to burn, driving you forward to learn and provide more.

Show Up – Bring Your Best

9. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?

James: I’m not sure about advice, but a phrase I got from baseball that translates to what we are doing now has always hit home for me: “You never have it figured out!” In other words, every day is work and each day is a new day. You have to show up with the right mindset and attitude to bring your best for that day. Continuing to push forward and being present in the moment, there is always something we can learn or take away.

Willie: Don’t stop chasing your dreams and never take the first “NO” you get! But my absolute favorite is “Treat others as you want to be treated.” I try to apply that to my training every day.

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