Don’t Let Anyone Put You in a Box.
You have a dream that you are just dying to make come true. You’ve spent a lot of time and, in some cases, money to do what you feel you are called to do. It’s just that the thing you are into isn’t popular; everyone’s not doing it. Support is non-existent from your friends and family. They want you to pursue another avenue, one that they understand and thus shoot down your initial desire.
People will sometimes feel the need to tell you what they think you should do. Maybe they mean well, or perhaps they don’t. Either way, that is not your cross to bear. Everyone has a life to live, and they should live their life and no one else’s. Each one of us has a purpose the needs fulfilling, and yet most don’t ever reach their true potential. Obstacles like naysayers get in the way of many people working in the area they are passionate about and stop them. The thing that I learned about obstacles, though, is that they are put in place to slow you down, not stop you permanently. I am all too familiar with this life lesson; we’ve had many first-hand encounters in the fitness entrepreneurship journey.
I didn’t let others place me in the proverbial box in which they created for me.Mike Nicholson
How It Started
After receiving my B.F.A. from Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio, I received several job offers in the graphic design realm. I worked at a couple of ad agencies, and then I opened up my own graphic design business shortly after. The money that I made was great; I enjoyed using my talents in the visual arts realm, and everything was going fantastic.
One day I woke up and placed both feet on the floor. There I sat motionless for approximately an hour deep in thought. I thought to myself, Here I was achieving greatness in the visual arts but doing nothing with my passion for performance art or fitness; I had very little involvement with dance, and I wasn’t working out anymore. So I decided to change that and came up with the bright idea of starting my own dance fitness business.
Why Didn’t They Believe In Me?
Fitness was making the come up around this time. Cardio exercises were dominating the market, this was evident due to the plethora of exercise DVDs being advertised on infomercials. Dance cardio was leading the pack with the prominent Zumba program created by Beto. Zumba seemed terrific, and all, but I wanted to do something different, something that I knew and loved growing up in Brooklyn, New York. I called what I wanted to do M. Nicholson Hip Hop Fitness; it wasn’t your average dance cardio class because I designed it to enable participants to get a full-body workout.
Why Didn’t They Believe In Me?
When I shared my idea with others, they told me that they didn’t think it would be successful. At the top of the list of why my idea wouldn’t work was that everyone was doing Zumba and that I should do it too. My friends told me to do Zumba. Zumba instructors shared that I should do Zumba. Zumba, Zumba, Zumba is all I kept hearing from everyone. I stuck to my guns and didn’t cave in and proceeded to make my vision a reality because I knew they were wrong.
What Was My Plan?
Since everyone was doing Zumba, this left the field open for another genre of dance fitness format to gain traction. I believed I had value to offer to those starting their fitness journey and to the fitness enthusiast. Hip-hop culture is intertwined throughout the world. From fashion to music down to how we dance. My observation was that more people listened to hip-hop music than anything, so it was a no-brainer.
How It’s Going.
On a night when a terrible snowstorm hit Gahanna, Ohio, M. Nicholson Hip Hop Fitness was born. Five people braved the horrific weather conditions to make it to my first class on Mill St. Fast forward a few years later; we are putting on concert-type events, and our dance fitness program had reached onwards of 6,800+ members that have graced us with their presence. Betting on me, sticking to my dream, and putting in a lot of blood, sweat, and tears paid off for me big time. I didn’t let others place me in the proverbial box in which they created for me.