Perform For Life: A Boutique Personal Training Studio in The Castro and Hayes Valley
Perform for Life is a boutique personal training studio in San Francisco conveniently located in the Mission / Castro and recently opening in Hayes Valley. Perform for Life’s foundations were built upon principles of building trust and creating a community where clients feel appreciated and valued, and an environment for personal trainers to establish careers in which they are supported and encouraged in their professional endeavors. Together, they are passionate about helping others perform better in sport, recreation, and most importantly: life.
We interviewed Perform for Life founders Bryant Sharifi and Justine Sharifi and asked them some questions about their business, advice for new entrepreneurs, and how to make the most of their GGBA membership:
Why did you decide to create your business?
Bryant was in the big box corporate industry. As someone with a background in exercise science, he was passionate about continuing his education and the philosophy that you should never stop learning. He saw that a lot of the culture of the industry was based on really heavy sales and that a lot of talented technicians were unable to thrive in the training industry because of that pressure. It wears a lot of wonderful practitioners out, and they end up leaving the fitness industry. He wanted a place that could push education and service over sales for the trainers to excel in that way and to create a place with stricter requirements for trainers. At Perform for Life, all trainers have exercise science degrees to create consistency and security for our clients. It was more important to have a valuable professional who exemplified good customer service over the pressure of being a salesman on the gym floor.
Do you have any specific policies in place regarding workplace equality?
We’re an equal opportunity employer. As stated on our careers page, “Perform for Life provides equal employment opportunity to all individuals regardless of their race, color, creed, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristics protected by state, federal, or local law. Further, the company takes affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed and employees are treated during employment without regard to any of these characteristics. Discrimination of any type will not be tolerated.”
Why did you decide to join the GGBA?
For one, we have a large LGBTQ+ community at our Mission / Castro location. Without their love and support over the years, we wouldn’t be where we are today. In addition, we also wanted to be more aware of the issues they are facing as a community and how we can be a better advocate for them.
How has the GGBA helped your business so far?
We appreciate the community, and we wanted to find a community of other business owners. We’ve met so many people that we’ve been able to partner with and refer our clients to.
In addition, we also met our chiropractor Dr. Krystal Drwencke and partnered to help with Ascent Sports Chiro’s debut at our Hayes Valley location.
What has been your biggest reward / satisfaction during your journey as an entrepreneur? And your biggest disappointment / nerve wrecking situation?
One of the biggest rewards and satisfaction we get is being out in the industry or going to events and being recognized as educated, fun, and community-focused. The second accomplishment is being able to employ and take care of our employees. We’re able to offer 401k match and health insurance after being in business for only 3 years. As for disappointments, we don’t have the attitude of having disappointments. Everything is a lesson, and we strive to be resilient. Nothing is the worst thing. We always have to adapt. I think the reality is as beautiful as San Francisco is, it’s tough for small businesses to make it. You want to be able to provide a life for our staff.
What’s the more important lesson you learned being an entrepreneur?
Justine : The most important thing that I’ve learned is to adapt. I think one reason people quit in business is because they need a growth mindset. When something fails, it’s easy to want to give up and be discouraged. You have to be flexible, adapt, and reinvent yourself. You can’t dwell on it. You always have to problem solve. At that point, there’s nothing you can do about it, so what can you do about it? Resilience is important. People often fail because they get discouraged, they don’t adapt, and they don’t problem solve. The things that make us different from other people is that others dwell on it and they can’t more forward with it. They don’t reinvent themselves or adapt.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking of starting their own business?
You should always operate with integrity and the big picture in mind. You can’t just think of the quick buck right now. You have to really value your clients, because they are choosing you. You have to be transparent with people. We always try to put things in writing and try to make it well-known, because trust is so important to us. You have to take people’s trust seriously. You really have to say what you do and do what you say.
Anything else you would like to share?
Our grand opening party / 4-year anniversary celebration is THIS WEEKEND on April 28 from 3 – 6 PM at 61 Gough Street, and we are beyond excited to finally show what we’ve been working on for the past few months. It’s an exciting time for us with our debut in Hayes Valley, and we hope you can all make it. You can find more information about the theme and vendors here; the Eventbrite link is also where you reserve your spot by getting your ticket! If you’d like to RSVP on Facebook and/or share with your friends, here’s the link for that as well. If you want to see our previous events including our GGBA Make Contact event, you can check it out on our website.
If you can’t make it to the grand opening, we welcome you to check it out in your free time. The gym will officially be open May 1. We’ve got some amazing new member offers including 50% off your initial assessment and 20% off your first month of training.