We are starting a new WeGiveIt series, #YOURPRO, asking experts and leaders of different industries to share how they are adapting to the sudden change of lifestyle and what is it their new normal. The first expert of this series is Robbie Fotheringham founder of RF Bespoke Fitness for Children and Adults.
Location: London and anywhere you are
Current job: RF Bespoke Fitness Founder
My favourite website is… Sadly BBC News in this current time.
My favourite book is…What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School, by Mark McCormack. Quiet, by Susan Cain
My role model is…Sports icon growing up Jonny Wilkinson. Current: My parents
My favourite food is: Italian
My life dream: Happiness/contentment and to live by the sea.
First of all, tell us something about you and your business
I run a bespoke fitness business – RF Bespoke Fitness – carefully designed to develop physical and mental wellbeing for adults and children. Services include Personal Training, Sports Specific Coaching and Mentoring. Our RF Trainers come to you whether you’re at home or abroad as part of a package. Through my years of playing professional sport, personal training and illustrating children’s books I’ve managed to build a rather niche business for myself. I’m able to combine the physical aspect of training with creativity and imagination. This recipe has allowed me to bring out the very best in my clients, young and not so young. I have the great good fortune of a career that I love.
We are in a unique situation with a lot of uncertainty during this time. Some are more fortunate than others. For me, I have had to adapt fairly quickly to the online world, as a good deal of my work is face to face. I’ve been lucky enough to have a successful client base through word of mouth, but as a secret introvert, having to film myself online and create content on social media has taken me way out of my comfort zone. However, in being this lockdown has been a blessing in disguise for me. I’ve been able to push aside my fears and develop video workouts and challenges each week to keep my clients engaged, and motivated. I’ve found that short and sharp video clips along with a 20-30 minute live online sessions is the way forward. I don’t know why I haven’t done this before!
I believe structure is key. Things that I feel are important to factor into your day are the following: Exercise, of course, this can vary from 10 minutes of stretching and moving to a HIT session, or going for a gentle jog. This will keep you energised and motivated and above else distracted from any worries. Reading and arts and crafts. A superb way to unwind and again take your mind elsewhere. Socialising and communication. This will keep you sane. I try to call one friend a day who might be by themselves or in a worse position than me, and this is where gratitude falls into place. Live in the present rather than worrying about the past or future. All easier said than done I know, but if you can factor those into your day, it will have a big impact on your mental health and productivity levels.
I’ve always had a great relationship with my clients, and quite often I would have to travel for work being away for a few weeks at a time. I always make sure they have a programme to follow whilst away. I try to keep in touch as much as possible whether that might be a quick call or text message to check in with them and see how they are progressing. I think this approach has worked pretty well so far. The lockdown situation is not too dissimilar, in fact it’s spurred me to develop new ways of communication such as Zoom and video calls.
Hugely important. If you’re like me and run your own business it can be a lonely world. You have to be proactive in making time for your friends and loved ones. It has a large impact on your confidence and mental state. I like to keep my head down during the week and make time on the weekends to enjoy a social life. I do believe we all need human contact and having a relationship over the phone is not quite the same. I enjoy moments of solitude, whereas some of my friends require constant attention! But getting the balance right is key.