Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is Toronto-based fitness aficionado Gidon Gabbay, who offers people the opportunity to transform their lives through his two businesses, G Force Home Training and Big Hit Kickboxing Studios. We caught up with him to find out what inspires his career and what advice he would share with other young professionals…
What was the inspiration for your career route?
It’s pretty cliché, but my entrepreneurial inspiration came from my own physical and mental journey. I went from being the ‘skinny-fat’ kid to the personal trainer. My desire to learn, then teach, and later launch my own businesses grew alongside my health/fitness transformation. I love having a positive effect on people’s lives.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career so far?
Building a team of 10 amazing trainers for G Force, all to deserve and justify our fleet of Smart Cars. Also, opening Big Hit’s Oakville location.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
In the next five years. I’d love for Big Hit to grow into a franchise with hundreds of locations, expand our corporate relationships (including G Force in the hotel space), and launch a new fitness company. In 10-20 years, I hope to expand all of my businesses into the franchise model.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Know that there is always going to be sacrifice. It’s extremely difficult to launch your own business and not everyone truly understands that when they decide to jump in. My biggest advice for young professionals is to remember to enjoy the ride.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is it (or they) important to you?
Big Hit is a big supporter of Sick Kids. A lot of our members and friends have strong connections to this foundation, so we love having the opportunity to partner with them. We ask members to pay a charitable donation to The Sick Kids Foundation if they late cancel one of our classes. G Force also supports several organizations by volunteering stretch and rehabilitation services at charity golf events throughout the summer.
What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
When my business partner and I opened our first Big Hit location in Toronto, we were just a start-up. We knew we had a unique concept but we struggled to bring people in. We came very close to shutting down because were running out of capital to survive. At the time, it would have been easier to give up but we really invested in local marketing and begged our landlord for more time. Thankfully, we were successful and are still going strong.
What does the word notable mean to you?
Recognizable. I think someone who’s notable is someone who’s made an impact on people.
Where is your favourite place to wine/dine in your city and why?
Home! I spend so much of my day running around that I love evenings where I can relax and have dinner at home.
What’s the most visited website on your Internet browser? The most played song on your phone?
The data collecting section of my companies’ websites are easily the most visited pages on my browser. My most played song is always different depending on mood and the season. Right now, it’s probably a Reggaeton mix.
Who’s one person you think everyone should be following on social media?
What’s your favourite country to visit and why? And what’s the next one you plan on travelling to?
I love travelling to Israel and the United States, specifically California. Both are beautiful but, most importantly, I have family there.
What gives you the greatest FOMO?
As mentioned, a lot of my family lives outside of Canada. I get major FOMO when my family gatherings are taking place abroad and I’m unable to attend.
What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
I’ll tell you after Canada legalizes it.
What’s something you wish you didn’t spend so much money on? What’s something you wish you spent more on?
I wish I didn’t spend so much money on cars and I wish I spent more money on property.
And finally, what does success look like to you? Work, play, or otherwise…
I think of success as being able to retire next to my family and friends while donating a lot to charity and living only in beach towns. All the while I’d like to keep building and envisioning more and more. I never want to stop.