Dan Sweeney doesn’t hang around.
Having run a private personal training studio for two years, in 2017 he decided to grow the business, opening Dan Sweeney Health and Fitness in the South Link Business Park.
One of the things that set the gym apart was its owner’s dedication to his customers and 8k-strong social media following.
Soon, other entrepreneurs wanted Dan to work his unique brand of magic on their projects and DigiGuys Media was born – a new company specialising in social media content and branding.
And all this long before he nears his 30th birthday.
With both endeavours now firmly up and running, the busy dad barely has a minute to himself… and he wouldn’t have it any other way.
In his own words, this is how Dan Sweeney is working it:
“I am a 28-year-old dude from Cork City who likes creating ideas, grabbing attention and making people laugh. I went to Colaiste Chriost Rí secondary school in Turners Cross before completing a personal training course with NTC in The Mardyke Arena.
I have always been the type of person who wants more. While working as a manager in a number of gyms, I felt confident it was something I could do for myself. I have never been afraid to try something. If it doesn’t work out then it wasn’t meant to be. That has always been my attitude.
The toughest part was doing it all myself. When I opened my first studio, I was the personal trainer, the marketer, the accountant, the cleaner and the receptionist. Although I received amazing help from family members, at the end of the day it was up to me to make the business work.
I made plenty of mistakes but it is something I feel every business owner has to experience. It’s the only way to learn. Jump right into the deep end and you will start to swim.
I spent nothing on advertising over the first two years. I believe you can grab people’s attention by being creative and quirky rather than throwing money at it.
My father has always told me to be honest and true to myself. This has been the reason I have been able to build the business we currently have. Customers and clients can always tell when you are sincere and honest.
Three things in my working week I love doing? Drinking coffee. Creating ideas. Drinking coffee
My advice to another wannabe entrepreneur in this industry would be to get ready for the most amazing rollercoaster of your life! There will be moments of worry and moments of elation but everything will work out with hard work and dedication. In our case, we had been saving over the years but the bank manager turned out to be a very nice man and helped turn the dream into reality!
If you try to copy someone else or be someone you are not, your audience will soon see through it. Don’t be afraid to be different to the norm. We live in a country where being different is sometimes hard but I believe it should be celebrated and encouraged. Allow your business to show off its personality and connect with its audience.
Video killed the radio star. You have to move with the times and ensure your business is advertising and marketing where the audience attention is. Yesterday it was TV, today it’s social media. Who knows what tomorrow brings?
Having an amazing team allows me to stay on top of things. Fortunately, I have a number of staff with DSHF and a business partner with DigiGuys.
I have taken many risks but it’s all part of business and life in general. I wouldn’t change any of these as it is all a learning experience. If you do not make any mistakes in business, you are doing something wrong!
Networking is important. Creating together allows each business to grow and grab more exposure while doing so.
How do I switch off? At the moment I don’t! My wife, Cathy kills me! This could be my advice to another wannabe entrepreneur! It’s something I struggle with at the moment as my mind is always looking ahead and creating but it is also something I am working on. In time, I hope to take the entire weekend off and spend it watching my two kids grow up.”