The Blair Brothers: Coming baCK and the Business of Sharing What You Care About and Doing it Well
If you live in Chatham-Kent, you’ve likely heard of Blairs’ Boot Camp. Since 2009, brothers Josh and Nate Blair have been helping locals achieve a higher standard of fitness and healthy living through building their fast-growing workout business. Their journey from hometown athletes to successful business owners has encountered challenges and uncertain circumstances, but the brothers' determination to pursue the things they love and care about has brought them through to winning situations.
The Blair brothers moved back to Chatham-Kent, where they have faithfully given back to their hometown. Like many others, they see untapped opportunities in this area. Their story illustrates the possibilities in Chatham-Kent when entrepreneurs put faith and hard work behind great ideas, and the community supports them.
Hometown Boys to Boot Camp Brothers
After high school, Josh and Nate Blair pursued many exciting opportunities. First enrolling in the army where they studied engineering, the Blairs also coached hockey in Namibia and Spain, and attended post-secondary education in Australia. They had always believed in seizing attractive opportunities in front of them, and their natural athleticism opened doors to involvement in sports-related positions.
Based on their experience and personal interest in health and fitness, it’s no wonder that the venture bearing the Blair name is a boot camp. However, there is more behind their success than exercise knowhow. They have also been honed to be leaders.
The brothers’ careers away from home have taught them the value of respecting others, how to work as part of a team and effective coaching strategies. They even studied at Hillsong International Leadership College. They may not have identified themselves as entrepreneurs before they left home, but they have proven that they effectively identify opportunities with great potential, and are able to successfully pursue them.
Why Blairs’ Boot Camp Has Worked Out
When the Blairs moved back to Chatham-Kent, running a boot camp was simply a fun idea to use their training and experiences in a way that could help others better themselves. They never envisioned making it their livelihood or owning their own business…until it took off.
Much to their pleasure, the Blairs found participants ecstatic about what they had to offer, and the pursuit of physical fitness has become a more obvious and highly positive trend in this area. By attempting to share what they love with their community, the Blairs uncovered an untapped, profitable market.
The trials of entrepreneurial proficiency often begin when a business’ momentum picks up. This was almost immediate for the Blair brothers. Fortunately, they seem to have passed the test by staying committed to a few key principles.
Principles of Blairs' Boot Camp Fitness and Training Business:
Assess who is best at doing what and fill roles with the right people
Meet business needs (accounting, legal advice, real estate guidance) with talented and skilled people you can trust
Hire amazing people who can be trained to be leaders
Principles of Blairs’ Boot Camp:
Don’t put the business before the people it exists to help
Think about each individual
Focus on providing a quality boot camp
Josh and Nate identify themselves as “Type A” personalities. They want to do things themselves and be in charge. However, they’ve surrendered to the fact that they can’t be in control of everything if they want Blairs Boot Camp to grow. Their solution is to put significant consideration into their staff; to hire trainers to be as effective as they are and passionate for the right things. This way, they can duplicate themselves and maintain high quality programs.
The Irreplaceable Value of Supporters - Reasons to come baCK
Coming back to Chatham-Kent was another opportunity for the Blairs, but attractive for different reasons than those that took them away. Chatham-Kent is home and coming back meant being able to invest in long term relationships and success, with the support of family and friends close by. For newcomers, Chatham-Kent also means the support of a community that is supportive of small business.
The pathways that allowed Blairs’ Boot Camp to get off the ground within six months of coming home were opened to them by friends, family and people who believed in what they wanted to do. The faith of locals willing to invest in them allowed the business to get off the ground, which has benefited them and the rest of the community. The Blairs' Boot Camp facility is now based in the former McKeough School (where the boys attended elementary school!) and is truly a learning institution where people come together to exercise and to be inspired to live a healthier life. Turning an abandoned school into a fitness-focused facility is a great illlustration of reinvention and re-purposing - things that Chatham-Kent is focused on.
It takes more than incredible ideas and entrepreneurs for a community to progress. Chatham-Kent benefits from an environment where talented and innovative people are boosted by special individuals willing to put actions behind their support.
Learn more about Blairs’ Boot Camp by visiting www.blairsbootcamp.com.
Learn more about moving baCK to Chatham-Kent at Choose CK