Entrepreneur Stories

PowerBlockI enjoy hearing Entrepreneur stories. I always have. Here is story that I would like to share with you. This one is about a man who had a lifelong passion for physical fitness and helping people get in shape. The story is about Greg Olson who started a company called Power Block, right here in Owatonna, Minnesota.

Greg has always had a passion for being in shape physically. While not a body builder, he has always worked out and stayed physically fit. When he was in college, he started a Martial Arts Club. He coached and trained 3 to 4 times a week with a club that grew to 120 members. This allowed him to continue to train, to pass along his love of Martial Arts, and it also gave him income to pay for college.

For a few years he ran a fitness center in Iowa and taught classes there as well. Later he worked as a design engineer for a company called Cybex in Owatonna. Cybex is a company that sells fitness equipment to gyms, schools, sports teams and other organizations. Greg designed fitness equipment for them and many of his designs are still being sold today.

Greg never lost his desire to be an entrepreneur so he began to work on some designs of his own to target the home fitness market. The day finally came for him to open his own business. With his business partner he started the company called Power Block. The design they came up with was a set of dumbbells where the user could change weight simply by moving a pin. This became their USP, or unique selling proposition, and is what they are best known for today. Every year now, they sell millions of dollars of fitness equipment to weight lifting and fitness enthusiasts all over the world.

There are at least four great things that we can learn from Greg’s story.

  • Humility and gratitude are character traits of successful people. When Greg told his story, it was clear to us that he credits God for his success as well as for giving him his unique interests and passions. He was refreshingly humble in is description of his success and was truly thankful for his blessings. Humility and gratitude are necessary for worthwhile accomplishment.
  • Do something that you love. Greg told me that if you have a passion for something, you have a higher chance of success if you can work in that area. This is great advice!
  • Find a way to blend your training and your passion. As an engineer, Greg found a way to combine is skills at design with his love of fitness. He worked and excelled in the world of fitness equipment, found a way to market even bigger ideas and see greater financial success as well as creating a new business.
  • Start early in creating income from your interests. Greg put himself through college by starting a Martial Arts Club, by teaching and by coaching in the area of his interests. Sometimes we hold ourselves back from opportunities like this. We think that we need some “official certification”, when what is most important is proven success and a desire to teach.

Do you have an interest in something? Has God blessed you with skills or experience in areas that you are not using? I encourage you to find a way to put them to work. Greg certainly did. He put in a ton of hard work and long hours, but he was doing work that he loved. Get started on your areas of interest early. Don’t wait around for someone to give you permission to start. Read, investigate and talk to someone who is doing the thing you would like to do. Nine times out of ten they will be happy to spend some time with you. If you have any questions, shoot me an email, rocky@workyoucanlove.com, and I will be happy to help you out!

About The Author

Duane Rockensock

Duane (Rocky) Rockensock is a husband, a dad, and the National Reconditioning Manager for AmeriGas Propane. Since he was a teenager, Duane has loved hearing the stories of how people have started creative businesses or found ways to use their talents to accomplish amazing things. For that reason he started this blog to encourage teens and adults to find their purpose and to provide the tools and resources to make that happen!