Name, age & current position: Sam Blythe, 34, director and personal trainer at Fitness Matters Ltd
First job and pay-packet: Before receiving my first professional rugby contract, I was a gym instructor. I don't actually remember what I was paid, but I guess without that experience I wouldn't be where I am now.
What I've done in my career and how I got where I am today: Before being a rugby player I worked in fitness, but was happy to put it on hold when rugby became my profession.
The two obviously go hand in hand to a large degree and I always stayed up to date with the latest training techniques and nutrition thinking.
The exposure you get to training in the rugby environment also helped in that respect. When I made the decision to retire 15 years later, it seemed a natural change of career for me as deep down health and fitness is at the heart of me.
Many, many people have asked if I felt I should have continued playing longer. I can honestly say it felt the time was correct. Rugby has been great to me, among other things allowing me to bring up my kids properly, but it was time to put my efforts into something new.
Career high point: My career in business is still very much in its infancy so they are pretty much all high points as the business is still in its period of growth. During my rugby career without doubt it would be helping Exeter Chiefs to promotion from Championship to Premiership last season.
Career low point: No real low points in my current career other than a few awkward situations to get out of. Up till now I count myself pretty lucky and am fortunate that most decisions have been good ones.
When I'm not working I like to: Spend time and relax with my wife and three children. I obviously follow the Chiefs closely and am a keen sportsman. I also spend a fair amount of training myself, ensuring I practice what I preach.
Things I've learned that I wish I'd known when I started: Be patient and realise the fruits of the hard work you are currently putting in, aren't always seen until further down the line. I am learning!
My advice to someone starting out in business now: Listen to the advice of those who have been there before, and don't be scared of making mistakes. Never become complacent as things can turn around easily, both for the good and bad.
My ambitions for the future: Keep Fitness Matters moving forward, at the same time never compromising the core principles of the business and remember where it all started.
Original Article was featured in the Express & Echo on 4th March 2011.
Fitness Matters is a member of thebestofexeter view them here
Member since: 3rd May 2012
I am the Membership Manager at thebestof Exeter. My role is to maintain good relationships with the best businesses in Exeter. I am also involved in organising our bi-monthly networking events and help...