We had the good fortune of connecting with Tego Schoenemann and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tego, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Starting my own business was really more a product of the environment than a concerted effort/idea. I had just gotten my personal training certificate and my degree when the Pandemic hit, and the two gyms I was working at at the time both closed down for quarantine.
Luckily for me I had bought my own home gym equipment a few years prior, and decided to take training into my own hands. That was when I started Tego’s Dojo. I was able to start small, helping friends and family until it grew into what it is today. I have been solo ever since, but really it took that first leap of faith for me to know it was possible; I think without the pandemic I would still be at big box gyms.
What should our readers know about your business?
My business is helping people get more competent in the gym and get some confidence in themselves. I realized that a ton of people have very strenuous relationships with exercise and eating. It can be very uncomfortable to learn awkward movements in a packed gym, so I offer a personal, private environment for people to use as a foundation.
What sets Tego’s Dojo apart from others is that very setting I mentioned. The Dojo is built by nerds for nerds. This is not the kind of place where gym bros will hawk your form, or hog a bench talking about last night’s football game (though I might ask your opinion on the latest Marvel movie).
I work very hard to cultivate an environment that is not intimidating, so my clients can learn unimpeded. This ties in with the biggest lesson I’ve learned since starting; accepting your niche. Once I learned that I was more comfortable talking about video games and anime than the NFL draft, I started making a space that reflected that so that other people who felt the same way would have a place to go and train.
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.
Two words: MEXICAN FOOD.
Mexican food is the sole reason I can never leave this state so anyone who comes to visit is getting the whole tour. Sahuaro’s, Taqueria Mi Casita, and Maskadores come to mind first and foremost.
Hiking is always one of my favorite activities, especially when the weather is nice. Whether Camelback, Flat Iron, or Humphrey’s Peak we could take a morning (or day) to just see the beautiful scenery.
If they’re looking for drinks, there are plenty of bars in the valley, but I’m partial to barcades that include videogames myself. ComicX, the Grid, Bonus Round, Cobra Arcade, or Endgame are all my favorite spots to hit for a drink, barfood or just some rounds of Super Smash Bros.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The person who deserves extra credit in the story is anyone who has mentored or helped me through this process. If I had to choose just one though, it would be Jason Vado.
He was the person who trained me to become self sufficient. Even though I had gone to school and was a great trainer, I felt that I was lacking in the customer service and sales department. He showed me how to not only train clients, but attract and keep them. Those are very valuable lessons you don’t often get when first starting out.
He demonstrated (and still does) how to be both personal and professional, and I still consult him from time to time when I have questions. So I would say, he deserves this shoutout!