Edge Magazine Feature Article talking about South Tampa's Best Personal Training Facility Body By Design and it's creator :
Mark Misner was born in Selma, Alabama where he lived briefly as his father was in the US Air Force and the family moved around often. Mark grew up mostly in the New Jersey area and participated in and was passionate about youth sports where he learned from various coaches, role models and mentors the importance of hard work, discipline & dedication. “I knew early on you have to work hard to achieve the things you wanted. I was very competitive. I always wanted to do well and achieve my goals.”
Mark attended Florida State University where he received a master’s degree in Accounting. Mark was offered an internship with a CPA firm in Tampa and fell in love with the Davis Islands Community. “I accepted a full-time position with a firm in downtown Tampa and actually wore a suit every day for 3 years, believe it or not, before I realized I just couldn’t do it. I had zero passion for accounting. Funny story, I never understood how business people could wear suit jackets every day in Tampa’s 100-degree weather, then when you get to the office where it’s freezing, you take the jacket off and hang it behind the door and then at lunchtime everyone grabs their jackets (in our climate) and goes downtown in the heat for lunch, I just couldn’t get it (laughs).”
During that time, Mark continuously kept active. “I always kept up my physical fitness; I always enjoyed exercising and was motivated to expand my fitness knowledge and share it with others. I wanted to help others embrace and come to realize the enormous benefits that fitness provides. At the time, I was not married yet, I did not have the obligations, children, etc. yet, so I decided to go for it and, in 1989, I opened Body By Design Personal Trainers. It was a big jump; I probably did not realize how big it was at the time. I had one person that mentored me a little in the beginning, but that was it. I learned the business side as I went along. I did not know at the time the downside and risks involved with owning your own business. The statistics on small business survival include some scary numbers. I can only imagine what those numbers or survival rate is today after what we experienced this year with COVID.”
Body By Design has been in the same location for 31 years working with all different types of people of various ages with different backgrounds and abilities.
“31 years later, I have enjoyed watching people of all ages transform. I am still excited to wake up every morning at 3:50 am, walk a few minutes to the studio and start my first session at 5 am. I have clients that have been with us for 10, 15, even 20+ years. They are like family and the reason we continue to grow. There is no better compliment than referring your friends and family to us, for that I am very thankful.”
1. What is the best advice that you have ever been given?
If you work hard, your efforts will be rewarded.
2. What is something no one knows about you?
Well, other than having been an accountant for three years and having a CPA license, I enjoy go-kart racing, it is exhilarating. I always enjoy tackling new challenges.
3. Toughest Lesson Learned
I should have bought real estate. It was important for me to be on Davis Islands. I love the community and it was also important to be right next to Tampa General so the option to buy was not there. After 31 years in business, it would be nice not to be at the mercy of a landlord.
4. Tell us something Positive that you can take away from 2020?
Virtual Workouts! Over the years we have had a few clients that traveled during the summer months so we would create Facetime workouts for them, but this year has opened an entirely new opportunity for revenue with customized virtual workouts. Our virtual workouts have been very effective, and it is something will continue beyond COVID.
5. How do you deal with the pressures of owning a business?
Recognize that you need to seek advice and counsel from others, whether it be a marketing person, attorney, accountant, you can’t wear all of those hats, or at least you only can for so long, and be successful. Be Patient.
6. What is the best thing about what you do?
Helping people! I don’t sell widgets, here. I’m not a sales guy, I am just here to keep you healthy and make you feel good. You know that feeling you get after a workout? There is nothing else like it. I enjoy assisting others to experience that and watching them transform their life and to be a part of that, I love it.
7. At the end of the day, how do you want to be remembered?
I look at that a couple of different ways. It’s about our children and leaving a legacy. I have always felt that as a parent and as a trainer I must walk the walk that I talk. I must lead by example, and I hope I always have—as someone that backed up his talk with his discipline and commitment.