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Current Issue In Print Leadership The Bottom Line

Diva Richards: The Bottom Line


Every month, Club Solutions sits down with an industry expert to share in their wealth of knowledge. In the January issue, we sat down with Diva Richards, the owner of Hard Work No Excuses.

1. How did you get started in the fitness industry?

I started at the YMCA in north Philadelphia. I received my first personal training certification at 18 years old. I just wanted to be in the weight room back then, because women weren’t really in those spaces. I wanted to learn and get strong mentally and physically.

2. What’s been the key to your organization’s success? What are you most proud of?

A significant key to my organization’s success is the community. I’m most proud I have created a space for other trainers to grow their businesses and an area where members feel safe and included. In addition, the community places the value of work ethos and commitment to health and wellness over aesthetics.

3. What has been one of the most significant accomplishments of your career?

As I feel I accomplish business and personal goal milestones quarterly, my biggest accomplishment is opening the Hard Work No Excuses fitness club. It is a 10,000-square-foot facility and includes everything I ever dreamed of. The goal is to keep building and let my work speak for itself.

4. What has been one of the biggest challenges you have faced in your career? And how did you overcome it?

I have a fitness space that focuses on making you better from the inside out. Also, my business coaching company assists executives in becoming the best version of themselves and focusing on improving company culture in small to midsize businesses. The most challenging aspect has been finding my voice and creating a brand identity in an already saturated market. I’ve overcome this by staying true to my business’ core values and teaching my community to accomplish their life and fitness goals by eliminating excuses.

5. What is one lesson you have learned other fitness professionals can learn from?

Do not underestimate the amount of time needed to train staff properly. The more time you invest in team education, the more likely they will perform at the required levels. So, however much time you plan to budget for training, be prepared to triple it. We have found that weekly and monthly meetings are great. Sessions should always be recorded, so team members have access to the information. It holds everyone accountable and keeps the team in sync.

6. Tell us one fact about yourself others may not know.

Fun fact: I wanted to be a jazz drummer but ended up going to school for performing arts instead. I obtained a bachelor’s of fine arts in dance from Temple University in Philadelphia. After that, I wanted to do Broadway. Though my life turned out drastically different, in many ways I still get to perform, entertain and inspire.  

To learn more about Diva Richards, connect with her on LinkedIn.  

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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