Is fitness one of the secrets to business success? Considering that both spheres are predicated on personal achievement, which in turn encourages adherents to be goal-oriented, then yes, it would appear so. And if I’ve surmised correctly, then Ryan Cheal had a terrific head start even before his business card read Vice President, Celebrity Fitness.
He’s played professional rugby for a UK club called the Harlequins. He also represented England in his teens. And when injury forced his hand, he applied to be a fitness trainer, inadvertently signing up for Business 101.
“I applied at a local gym, the Hampshire Tennis and Health Club but they didn’t have space for a trainer. So I ended up becoming a sales person. I guess my passion from competitiveness and sport helped push my career upwards.”
Before his Malaysian post, Cheal spent time in the Middle East and Dubai, especially developing health and fitness businesses. “If I was back in the UK, my options would have been slightly limited. You don’t get to leapfrog your career even if you’ve performed above and beyond the job requirements.”
I ask him about the toughest part of the job. “I’d say the toughest part is generating new ideas, keeping my team engaged. I want them to be excited when they work with me, to have that energy and optimism that we’re going to achieve new goals today. The other aspect is doing a lot of reading. I read business journals, management books, because you can’t never stop learning.”