We had the good fortune of connecting with Jonathan Puu and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jonathan, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
I think the term “work life balance” is commonly misinterpreted. Working is a part of life for me and is something I enjoy. The balance part is making sure to address other things that bring fulfillment to my life, that will enrich what I do for work. Reading, training, and volunteering for other organizations help bring that balance. I’m also big on travel but that is something I feel I get too caught up in as well.

I used to glamorize not having to work as part of the “balance” part. But I truly do enjoy what I do and find myself working “too much” and not doing enough of the other things that bring fulfillment in other areas of my life.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I’m currently working beyond full-time on our company, Pu’u Muay Thai, which has expanded operations into Santa Barbara, California. We founded our 1st location in 2014 in Ventura, California which is still operating today.

We are the only authentic Muay Thai academy in Ventura & Santa Barbara that specializes in beginners. With our company leading the way in our industry, we have other martial arts academy operators visit us to view our operations and get insight into how we have grown our influence and authority as much as we have in our industry.

On top of our in-person services, we are also known for our online media & content that we produce, my work as a professional ring official and a key supporter of non-profits that help grow Muay Thai here in the United States.

To get to this point has not been an easy road. We’ve been extremely fortunate to have had some key team members who have supported us throughout the years, and without them, we wouldn’t have been able to capitalize on the opportunities as they came to us.

Having key team members has been integral in helping us to grow our operations. You often hear people say “you need to delegate” which is true, but you have to delegate to the correct people.

This growth has not been easy, and you can see my track record of gray hairs as they increased throughout time. But those lessons are invaluable and will allow me to continue to grow our company to it’s fullest potential.

We are a minority owned small business with big ideas for our industry. We’ve been focused immensely on not only internal growth at our academies, but external growth using online resources. Small business shutdowns really changed our outlook on the reach of government into our business and has had us looking at international options to expand operations to.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If you’re here, you have to see the outdoors. I didn’t realize how much nature surrounds Phoenix, even near the city center. I’d highly recommend Papago Park with an iced coffee when the sun is at it’s coolest early in the morning or a visit to Tom’s Thumb if you’re up for working up a sweat with a killer view.

I’m also plant-based (not the annoying kind, I swear) and would recommend anyone who wants to try more plant-based options to check out what the City has to offer. There is a ton of awesome eats here.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I dedicated my first book to my first trainer, Fred Lemus (Rest In Peace) and would like to start this as a shoutout for him. Without him, I wouldn’t have stuck it out in the first 2 years of my training.

Also my Thai instructor, Nokweed Sri-Ampai, for giving me guidance throughout the years in Muay Thai.

Website: http://pmtlifestyle.com

Instagram: https://instagram.com/puumuaythai

Youtube: https://bit.ly/pmt-youtube

Other: TikTok: https://tiktok.com/@puumuaythai

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