Fiona Sullivan

This is my story

I decided to re-train as a Personal Trainer after having my first child and being made redundant from my position as a Training Consultant.

I completed the level 3 Diploma in Personal Training in 2011 with a combination of online theory training and weekend practical training. Since then I have completed a Certificate in ante and postnatal exercise, Boot Camp Instructor and Insanity Instructor Courses.

I now run three exercise classes per week, a trail running course and I currently have 4 clients I see for Personal Training.

I love what I do and it fits in very well with looking after my two children, the youngest of which is 2. I can take my oldest, now 6, to school and pick him up every day which is lovely. I am looking to increase my hours when my youngest starts school in 2018, at the moment he does a combination of pre-school and going to a childminder.

I am very lucky to have a supportive husband who has helped massively with family finances and without whom I would not be able to do what I do.


In a nutshell

Fiona Sullivan Personal Training logo

I love what I do and it fits in very well with looking after my two children!

What made you decide to qualify as a personal trainer?
I have always been passionate about health and fitness as well as helping others, being a Personal Trainer combines all of this.

Describe a typical day

Every day is different but my Tuesdays look like this:

  • 8:55 drop eldest son at school.
  • 9:00 hand over youngest son to childminder.
  • 9:15 -10:15 meet client for 1:1 Personal Training
  • 10:30-11:30 meet client for 1:1 Personal Training
  • 12:00 collect youngest child from childminder
  • 15:15 collect eldest from school
  • 19:00 – 20:00 meet client for 1:1 Personal Training

What qualities would you say you need to succeed as a personal trainer?
Reliability, flexibility, empathy, friendly and enthusiastic personality

How do you find running the business fits in with family commitments?
It can be difficult to find the time to do planning and paperwork sometimes around housework and looking after the children but you need to make time for yourself and sometimes accept that ironing can wait!

What sort of investment do you typically need to make to establish yourself as a personal trainer?
Initial set up costs and outgoings are quite high to pay for training, equipment and marketing. I was lucky to have savings set aside for this but there are loans available I believe and low cost alternatives for marketing etc.

What’s next for your business?
More classes, more 1:1 clients and one day I hope to open a gym/fitness centre with childcare options available on site for mums who want to exercise.