Tom Hatten, CEO and founder of Mountainside Fitness, has built a fitness empire based on simple principals, like a philosophy of teamwork and finding those with a passion for what they do. His recent book, Dream On, is available for purchase, and it details the beginnings of Hatten's success but delves into so much more.
"The idea for the book began in 2012 as I was looking back over my 21-year career. I didn’t think I’d be here, so it forced me to stop and look at it on the whole," Tom says. "I started to get my thoughts and feelings out. This is not a book about how to start a business but all the things about running and growing a business."
Tom recalls being a 'kid with no money' to facing the economic collapse to his ultimate success with the business. He wanted to offer readers a behind-the-curtain look at successful people and what their story truly is.
"Anyone who reads this will know me at the end. I appreciate honesty; I think it shows strength. This book is a very honest perspective, and it was the right thing for me to put out there."
Tom describes Mountainside Fitness facilities as nonintimidating, friendly and a high-value concept. He feels his branding came over time, as he continually put personality first and fitness second when hiring employees.
"You stand out if you aren’t fun and enthusiastic about being healthy. You can't simply be motivated by sales. I figured if I am not obsessed about sales, then my staff and clients will be stress-free too."
Mountainside has sought out the ability to "conquer all things at a fair price." The company incorporates many amenities along with a progressive foundation for fitness. From the number of classes offered per week (80) in three separate studios and cardiovascular machines with TVs on them to interactive childcare and a large strength floor with sectorized machines, free weights and Core training areas, Mountainside offers high-quality amenities for a reasonable cost.
Tom believes people are loyal to people, not things, and in that same vein, he has hired employees looking to offer a personal touch to complement the array of amenities.
"Do I help you learn what the treadmill does or say, 'Here you go, good luck,?' That difference can drastically change someone's motivation. Our biggest success is that we deliver the fitness, but more importantly, we care that you’re here. It doesn’t end when you walk in the door; it starts."
Tom says he loves the childcare aspect of Mountainside and feels it is beyond compare. His goal was to offer a program where kids wanted to go.
"If they are excited to visit, it motivates us to visit, even as tired parents."
Another big difference is Tom's belief in trying before you buy. Mountainside has a free five-day pass in order to get into a rhythm and make sure it is the right fit for you. We all need exercise as a stress reliever, and going to the gym shouldn't cause stress. He also believes in purposeful workouts, so finding a gym that is a good fit is key.
"The thought of owning my own business to see if I could create something was exciting to me," Tom says.
He takes great pride in the environment he's built at Mountainside Fitness and encourages entrepreneurs and clients alike to read more about making their desires a reality and to truly Dream On this year.