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

Hi Maurice, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk is a fortunate opportunity that we are lucky to execute and do not take for granted. To be in a position to take a chance on something that is so meaningful and can have such a positive impact on both your life and career is a rarity and what we work so hard for. There would be no Wurk gym if we didn’t take a risk. Banks turned us down, said we didn’t have a good enough business plan, or SWOT analysis. We felt that we have been in this industry for so long that what we didn’t have in analytic data we had in experience. So we started the creation of our gym with no loan or investors and used what we had saved up in our own personal accounts. It was a big risk and it’s paid off immensely both personal and professional for us.

Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
Hard to say what sets us apart from others when we’re not really focused on what others are doing. We’re aware of the trends and what’s popular in our industry because that’s being smart business owners but we don’t try to be different we focus on being ourselves. Our industry is saturated with the same cookie cutter message and visual representation of that message that takes advantage and exploits peoples vulnerabilities and ignorances as it pertains to the access of their own personal health and fitness. We firmly believe that we are not that in how we look and what we try convey in our approach to educating people about the simplicity of being healthy and taking care of themselves.

We’re most proud of what we’ve accomplished thus far and having the longevity in a career that is often short lived. We have positioned ourselves to occupy many lanes and take advantage of a variety of opportunities that many gyms do not have available to them. We get to be ourselves and speak to an audience that is often forgotten about because being healthy is often presented as a luxury for the privilege. We’re excited to hopefully change the mindset and idea of what health is and how everyone has access to it when their properly educated about it.

We’re dinosaurs in this business. Almost 17 years in it before social media made it effortless to start a health and fitness career and self appoint yourself as an expert with no accreditation or experience because of what you look like.

Professionally we’re at a place that is representative of putting the work in. We both obtained degrees in kinesiology, have had a ton of experience under the super vision of qualified professionals, and been obsessed with the willingness to learn and be open to educating ourselves to be better from others.

This path hasn’t been easy but when you want to accomplish something of the magnitude that we have you anticipate that. You hope it isn’t easy because there’s much to learn and experience to reach the level in your profession you want to achieve. Accepting that mindset doesn’t make it any more tolerable, less frustrating, or defeating at times but it slowly helps shape your approach to handling missteps as an opportunity to dig deep and figure out where you need to improve instead of getting emotional about the temporary setbacks. We’ve been fired, kicked out of gyms, and had gyms unexpectedly close with no plan B for tomorrow. When you come out of something like that you are thankful for those experiences as it has made us stronger and given us a level of intelligence that can only be gained through hardship and defeat in preparation for the next level.

I think brand gets overplayed and can become a disingenuous quest to seek the approval of groups obsessed with labels. What you see and how we act in our gym is how we act in our personal lives. Our audience we’ve developed is the result of not trying to be a brand but be truthful in who we are and what we stand for in the business and industry we are a part of.

Our story is hopefully one that many feel they can attempt and accomplish. We’re not world class athletes or unique in any sense. We’re just two hardworking dudes who have been doing it for a long time with no shortcuts who achieved creative professional freedom through persistence and a strong work ethic.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I probably wouldn’t be the best friend to currently hang out with unless they want to do super quiet tranquil stuff. I work almost 7 days a week and I’m super selfish with my mental and emotional time as so much of that is given to my business and the people I train who are responsible for its success. Minnesota is beautiful and surrounded by large endless plots of nature. If a friend of mine wanted a good time then we’re headed to where trees, lakes, and squirrels gather and the north shore and fifty lakes are my favorite places to be. I’m competitive so cooking would be done by me as I’m trying to get better at smoking and cooking large proteins such as ribs, briskets, and roast. I hang out everyday with the most interesting people. Our demographic is so verse and made up of so many unique people and personalities it’s never a dull day at the office.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My parents. Could not have asked for a more supportive, encouraging, and motivating life givers. My mother has always worked for big corporations likes brown and Wilkinson and General Electric so she knew the rules and tactics in that type of an industry. My father has been an entrepreneur since I can remember. He had a company that help people with interviewing skills for potential job interviews. My courage and risk taking came from him.

Website: wurkgym.com

Instagram: @wurkgym

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/maurice-buchanan-67733461

Twitter: @Wurkgym

Facebook: @wurkgym

Image Credits
Matt Brouse

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