Making a Business Out of Yin and Yang
By Meredith Simmons
If you visit The Athletic Buddha in Concord, a suburb of Sydney, Australia, you’ll find traditional, functional fitness and bootcamps—as well as meditation and yin yoga classes. Owner and founder Daniel Ucchino designed the business to encompass the separate wellness disciplines after finding himself with memberships to CrossFit® boxes, yoga studios and meditation schools.
“I had all these memberships,” he said. “Why can’t there be one place where you can do both? I wanted a place where you could have both the yin and the yang.”
After 18 years as a personal trainer and six years studying meditation, Daniel realized that he could build a business that worked out the body—and the mind. Once he had the vision for The Athletic Buddha, Daniel had a new challenge: determining how to launch a new business.
As a personal trainer, Daniel worked for himself, but now he needed to find a location, staff it, and get new customers through the doors. “This is the biggest thing I’ve ever done,” Daniel explained. “It took 10 months to find the actual premises—then there was setting up systems and bank accounts and hiring staff.”
Despite the time it’s taken to launch The Athletic Buddha, Daniel feels that he was meant to launch a business like this.
“It’s been long enough that things have fallen into place to a degree,” Daniel said. “It’s like a puzzle that’s being built.”
As part of the launch process, Daniel looked for fitness software that could help him achieve his goal of bringing CrossFit® WODs and yoga classes together, eventually selecting MINDBODY to help him run The Athletic Buddha.
“MINDBODY is starting to become a lot more popular in Sydney,” Daniel explained. “We’ve used it ourselves booking workouts at other venues. Our research said that MINDBODY was the best to use in Australia.”
In the end, all of the work Daniel has put into launching The Athletic Buddha is for one purpose: to bring the balance of yoga, mindfulness of meditation and the challenge of CrossFit together in one place.
“Rather than saying, ‘I do yoga, but I don’t do CrossFit®’ or ‘I do CrossFit®, but I don’t do that other stuff,’ it’s bringing the two together.”