Jonathan Feinman M’10
Founder and Executive Director, InnerCity Weightlifting
How I Started My Business
We launched in January 2010 with four enrolled students and had more than 50 by the end of March. We were working with young people that other people had scratched their heads about, wondering how we were able to get them into the gym. I said, “It’s easy. I pick them up.” Knowing that we were working with a population that very few other organizations were, and the fact that every time they showed up they kept bringing more and more and more friends, it gave us this opportunity to start building relationships with different foundations and individuals. Initially, we were just getting advice, but then we brought them into the gym we used and the conversation became “we’re way over capacity, we need a space of our own,” and we were able to start getting funding for that. We’ve been at our own gym in Dorchester since 2012, and have more than 200 students.
Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs
Do it. It might just be my style, but I learn much better by performing and then learning from reality. You can think forever about how something might perform, but until you do it, you don’t really know. Fortunately, we had a lot of guidance and could mitigate major risks. After that, we just went out there and did it because you won’t be able to know the details until you start doing. Even if it doesn’t succeed the way you might want, you’ll learn a ton along the way that will help you out.
How I Define Entrepreneurship
To put it simply, I define entrepreneurship as doing. Specifically, doing something that either hasn’t been done before, or in a way that hasn’t been done before.