Business: Fitness Focus, Dubbo

As the 2019 winner of the Dubbo Chamber of Commerce Gold Rhino Award, Andrew Bassett is a shining example of success in business.

With a background as a gymnastics coach, Mr Bassett purchased a local fitness business seven years ago which he rebranded and made his own.

“When I bought the business, I had no business experience,” he said. “I started the business with $2000. I’d been in the industry for six months.”

But as the former PCYC high-performance gymnastics coach, Mr Bassett knew all about discipline and commitment. 

“I knew I was going to have to work hard. I had to learn everything about business - finance, HR, dealing with a range of clients,” he said.

The pathway to this point has been a mixed experience for Mr Bassett. After starting Fitness Focus, he became burnt out and had to look at the best options for both himself and the business.

“I would describe the last seven years as a journey of self-discovery,” he said.

“I went through a journey of discovery that started after I started the business. 

Working long hours, not seeing his family and pushing himself too hard all took their toll.

“I was exhausted, I used to be a people pleaser, I used to say yes to everything. I had to understand that the customer is not always right. That led to being exposed to business coaching. That helped me to understand the journey to true success and personal fulfilment.”

A friend invited Mr Bassett to visit a life coach in Bali. It became a life-saving action.

“That led me to so much more self-discipline as a person. My beliefs, my values, it all changed. What it allowed me to do was have a level of relationship with that coach.

“It came down to one person who believed in me. I learned that my wife is not my psychologist or coach.”

Mr Bassett is now steered by self-belief and does not let things get on top of him.

“Once I did that deep healing, that really helped. I still meditate, and I’m obsessed with psychology, understanding the psyche, the steps behind reaching success.”

The business has since gone ahead in leaps and bounds. 

“We opened in 2013; we’ve gone from 300 to 3000 clients and upgraded the building. We have clients coming from the neighbouring towns of Narromine, Trangie and Wellington. Swimming lessons are at capacity and the fitness area is popular.”

Mr Bassett is a great ambassador for the city as he loves being in business in Dubbo. 

“I love Dubbo. I love business in Dubbo, the opportunities in Dubbo are all here,” he said. 

Fitness Focus reciprocated that level of community commitment through numerous charitable ventures during the year.

“One of the biggest things is giving back to the community because they give to us,” Mr Bassett said.

“We have hosted a number of community campaigns. We held a charity ball for the women’s shelter, Dancing with the Stars which supports the Cancer Council, along with supporting local organisations, the farmer appeal, people with special needs and sponsoring sports teams.”

Describing Fitness Focus as a community-based facility where people can feel good through health, fitness and mindset, Mr Bassett said it’s all about supporting the team of 35 employees to empower individuals on their fitness journey. 

“Achievement is from a collaboration of people that trust me or trust that I trust. I empower people to step into their full potential,” he explained.

“People are reaching their goals and striving for them.” 

At this year’s Rhino Awards, Fitness Focus received a swag of awards including the coveted Gold Rhino along with:

  • Excellence in Environmental Sustainability- Green Rhino
  • Excellence in Small Business
  • Excellence in work, health and safety
  • Outstanding Employer of Choice

Mr Bassett was thrilled with the awards, describing it as a joint achievement for him and the team. It follows on from being named as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2015 and various fitness industry awards.

“This year has been a massive year of wins. The award I most wanted to win was Employer of Choice. That award is not just me, it’s my whole team, every single person. It’s a token of what we do.

“The key to success in any business is your employees. If I didn’t have an incredible team, there is no way I could do this.”

If you are a miserable, unhappy person, you bring that into your business and you will have these people working in your business.”

Mr Bassett’s advice to others is to value education and learning.

“I left school at Year 9. I became a gymnastics coach. There is always an opportunity. I have learned to trust myself and love myself more, unleashing my inner awesomeness.”

While Mr Bassett said there is always room for improvement in the future, the biggest strength he can share is to accept fault.

“Keep moving forward, forgive and forget. We are moving forward, we love Dubbo, we are community-focused. Don’t compare – comparison is the thief of joy.

“Know yourself and your clients. The opportunities are endless, it comes down to the type of opportunity you want it to be. 

“We need to reach the top; success is saying yes or no.”

Fitness Focus is located at 7 Janaali Rd, Dubbo.

Andrew Bassett’s tips for success in business:

  1. Know your purpose, your mission and company values.
  2. Plan to win or not plan and fail. Success loves specifics.
  3. It’s not about perfection, it’s about progress. There’s no such thing as failure. It’s feedback. With the biggest roadblocks, you find another way.
  4. The culture in your business is not set by who you employ but who you fire. 
  5. Who do I need to be in order to create what I must create today? Leadership is what it’s about. Sometimes you have to be the big bad wolf in order to have standards.