Shane Dennie: Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur

Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is Shane Dennie, who owns a personal training company specializing in in-home weight-free training, corporate workshops and bootcamps, as well as basketball skill development through youth camps, clinics, and after-school programs.

Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
The inspiration started when I was five years old and I first started to play basketball. From that moment I loved the feeling of working hard and pushing myself. I was able to play at the college level and professionally overseas. When that was said and done, I didn’t know what to do with my life, but I knew that I loved the feeling of working out and getting out of my comfort zone. The best way for me to stay close to that is to share it with others.  

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part of my day is being able to interact with people and push them to their limits physically and mentally, and to see the empowerment that they feel after each workout.  

The most challenging part is constantly finding ways to break the monotony of training the same person and keeping them constantly engaged. Each person is different. Each person responds to a different sort of motivation. So when you’re dealing with people on a day-to-day basis, you need to find a way to challenge each person differently. 

What is one sign that you’ve seen over the years to suggest that your work/life balance is off?
3:45am: I wake up, get my workout in, and get to my first appointment at 5am. When I leave my daughters are asleep, and sometimes by the time I get home they have fallen asleep. Another sign is when people start suggesting that I should take some time off. 

Where do you see yourself in five years?
Older. Being even busier. I see SD Training as a hot pot for basketball skill development. I see myself with a bigger and stronger team, extending past the GTA and migrating to other parts of Canada and the US.    

What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
Tearing my ACL while in college. I wasn’t able to play for two years. I needed three surgeries, and I never thought that I would be able to play again. That’s where my true ability to get outside of my comfort zone started; when I could walk, I couldn’t stand on my two feet. It also taught me that it’s always about the process, not the product, and this is something that I use and preach to my training clients and basketball students.

What does success look like to you? Does Money = Happiness?
Success to me is a feeling of liberation, happiness, and the hunger to continue to better yourself. That extends way past business; it starts with family, it starts with the people that are close to you, and it trickles down to everything that you do. 

Money does not equal happiness. Money helps with happiness, because it allows you to enjoy some of life’s luxuries… vacations, concerts, Raptors games. But money doesn’t equal happiness because there are other factors involved in happiness, like family and quality of life. I keep my focus on quality, because I know that quality is infectious, and quality will equal money. 

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Being able to go overseas and attain a dream. Playing basketball professionally was a goal of mine since I was a kid, and when I hurt myself I thought that dream was over. But to get through the rehab and get myself stronger than what I was really helped to inspire me to reach that goal. 

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Attack your business with no reservations. Think big. Don’t be afraid to seek advice from others. And in the context of training, I have an acronym that I ask myself everyday: HYPE – Have-You-Practiced-Enough? 

Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
I like Ruth’s Chris. I love going out for a steak. T-bone or porterhouse. 

When you’re not working how do you love to spend your “Me” time?
My ‘me’ time I enjoy spending with my family. I take in a lot of music, I love watching basketball games, and put the little ones to sleep when I can. 

Where is your favourite place to travel? Why?
My favourite place to travel is Jamaica. That’s where I got married, and there’s always a nice nostalgia because of that. 

If you had to choose a theme song, what would it be?
Swagger Like Us by T.I. That refers to the whole SD and Weight Zero team. 

If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you be doing?
I’d be a bum. I can’t see myself doing anything else, and I’ve never thought of a fall back. I don’t think about failing. 

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
Over the years I have played in various charity basketball tournaments (Children’s Cancer, Boys and Girls clubs of Canada, to name a few). I think that these types of events are a great way to get the community to participate in a cause while having fun and promoting exercise and well-being. I also regularly extend scholarships to talented youth who can’t afford to sign up for my camps. Often their school or team coaches will refer them to me, or other parents or community members.     

What to you is notable?
Someone who is consistently able to get out of their comfort zone in any walk of life (not just training), and welcomes change, challenge, and having the ability to adapt to life’s variables. 

Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
Samsung Galaxy S4.

#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)

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