In each Power Couple Profile you will meet a couple that inspires us to grow stronger together. Our goal is to learn from these incredible people and share their unique stories and experiences with our readers. If you know a power couple we should connect with, don’t hesitate to drop us a line!
I know Bryant from when I lived in San Francisco. We worked together at a gym called Crunch. I have always admired his knowledge of fitness and boxing. He was a great workout buddy that pushed my limits. He has expanded my knowledge and I respect him as trainer and now a business owner. He is hardworking, good-hearted, and has a great, positive attitude. The philosophy behind Perform for Life is the reason Justine and Bryant are succeeding in the brick and mortar business.
Names: Justine and Bryant Sharifi
Location: San Francisco, CA
Occupations: Co-founders of Perform for Life
Dating since August 2012, married in December 2014.
How did you meet?
We met through a friend in Las Vegas, although it’s not as juicy as it sounds! I happened to be in Vegas with a group of my girlfriends and he happened to be in Vegas with a group of his guy friends. We had a mutual friend who introduced us to each other.
What makes you a Powr Cupl?
I think we definitely bring out the best in each other. In 2014, we married each other and our passions, and together created the concept behind Perform for Life. Although, Bryant worked as a certified strength and conditioning specialist, and I as a registered nurse, we had very different personal journeys that shaped our relationships with our physical wellbeing. We discovered that we had the potential to combine our philosophies to make a positive impact in the training world. We made the bold move of opening up shop in San Francisco with the intention of developing a respected establishment and brand in the fitness industry that promotes superior quality service, coaching, and education. 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, we are passionate about helping others perform better in sport, recreation, and most importantly…life.
What is your love language? Give an example of how your partner expresses that to you.
Words of affirmation and physical touch. We are naturally very affectionate, verbally and physically. We definitely verbally acknowledge and appreciate each other, and because we share the same love languages, it helps keep our love tanks full!
How do you hope to inspire other couples?
Justine: We always try to be ourselves and we also help each other to become our best selves. We are all flawed human beings, and it’s important that we seek understanding with one another. I think it’s important to believe in our significant others and help support their dreams.
Bryant: It can be the most beautiful thing—the partnership of having both a business and a marriage. If you find the balance of having separate rolls that work and having alignment with your marriage, then it is easy. We believe in education and community, so we’re not at opposing ends of the business. We’re in this together.
What was the lowest point in your relationship and how did you overcome the difficult times?
I wouldn’t say it was the lowest point in our relationship, but opening up the business was definitely the most challenging. When we opened our business together, we gave up a lot and sold many of our belongings to help bring this dream into fruition. During that process, we were living in a studio together as well as working all day and into the night side by side. Until we figured out our own strengths and weaknesses, we would overstep each other’s boundaries and micromanage each other. But it worked itself out and fortunately we found that we were both good at different things and owned them. Once we grew our awesome team and made more time for work-life balance, we were able to get our groove back!
What is the best investment you have made in your relationship?
Justine: I wouldn’t call it a tangible investment, but it’s really just believing in each other and trusting one another in both personal and professional endeavors. And another one is taking our own health seriously. Looking back on when you start a business, it can be very unhealthy because when you don’t take care of yourself, you’re in extreme adrenal fatigue. So learning to truly live by our own values is extremely important. Basically, the best investment in our relationship is what we have done for our personal selves. When we hire coaches or really make it important to eat quality foods. Also, you have to remember to take breaks because you can only take care of others when you take good care of yourself,.
Bryant: Trusting in having a business and a marriage together. That’s an investment right there.
What is the key to a strong and successful relationship?
Again, it all comes down to seeking understanding, and I think a common disconnect in relationships is that you simply don’t understand each other. So I really think understanding each other is a priority. It really comes down to the golden rule—“treat others how you would like to be treated.” Just be patient with each other.
Just a Cupl More
What was the motivation behind opening Perform for Life (P4L)?
For Bryant, as a personal trainer, there was a lot of push on sales and not enough on growth as a professional with continued education. His experience in the corporate setting made him realize that he wanted to be apart of an environment where you are surrounded by others who want to grow professionally and personally. He did not want the mindset of “sell, sell, sell,” and wanted people around him to take their personal profession seriously as well. He wanted to develop something that was developed in that way—not with the mindset of “sell, sell, sell.”
Our motto is “To exercise, socialize, and revitalize as a community, promoting a healthy, balanced lifestyle, and helping our clients become the best version of themselves.”
What was the reason of wanting to share a business together?
Justine: The bottom line is that we care. It doesn’t matter what I do, I just want to be there for people. Although, I find it’s more rewarding in the fitness industry because you get to see a client through their transition and evolution. When I was as a nurse in surgery, I only got to see them before and comfort them, which was also nice, but I didn’t get to see them through the way and build that on-going relationship with them.
Bryant: To share our common values. Justine was all about community, and I was all about professionalism. We both have our strengths, but we want to live that life together and enjoy it together. And we can do that simultaneously when we have a business together.
What is each other’s role in the business?
Justine: Bryant handles more of the educational side, whereas I handle the community side.
In a digital world where brick and mortar businesses statistically have a low success rate, why did you decide to take that risk and open a gym?
We’re crazy! To be honest, once we made the decision we just kind of went for it and didn’t look back. It just felt right and we believed in each other. We didn’t give ourselves any other option and just moved forward. It can get overwhelming at times to think about the bigger picture. Especially when it was just us two starting out, there was no time to think. We just had to make moves and go with our gut! Also, really anything is possible. Statistically or not, people have done it before, so you know it’s possible.
I noticed you started a youth training group at your gym…explain why you decided to start that, and what has your experience been like working with young kids.
Justine: Growing up, Bryant had a lot of influential coaches in his life. His relationship with sports and the coaching world really shaped him to be the person he is today. It’s his way of really giving back to future generations. It’s something that we would like to grow even more because there is a special energy with youth.
Bryant: Sports have really shaped my path, both athletically and academically, and career goals. Sports taught me discipline so becoming an athlete gave me confidence to pursue my dreams. There’s no better way to serve, than to serve young kids—not only to make them better athletes, but to make them better people.
Justine, are you still a practicing nurse?
Not anymore, I stopped practicing last summer. I was juggling nursing part-time and Perform for Life full-time for a while. When I do something, I want to give it my all and it felt like I was dividing myself, so I really just wanted to put 110% into Perform for Life!
Bryant, do you still train for boxing?
I do train for boxing every once in awhile. At this point in my life now, not being a competitive athlete, it’s more about staying athletic and functional for life and my passion still lies in sports and movement, so I enjoy doing a variety of different sports and activities to keep me happy, healthy, and fit.
How do you separate your personal life and your business?
Justine: With practice. And it’s never completely separate. This is like our second home. We’re always talking about people at work, to them, etc., so you just do your best and set some boundaries.
Bryant: It’s about knowing when to go home and when to leave it at work. Also, trust in your process and your team. When you can do that, you can really let it go. The business can run on it’s own when your employees feel successful and your members give you feedback that it is going well.
Tell us about a mistake you’ve made in your business and what you learned from it.
Justine: Nothing is a mistake—it’s always an experiment, and that’s actually what we’ve learned! To have our relationship and business grow, we need to grow as individuals as well. You make mistakes, but you always try to make it right.
Bryant: It’s important to remember what you stand for. Don’t try to do what others do. Be true to your own values in your business.
In your business, what has proven to be the highest impact marketing strategy at the lowest cost?
Getting client testimonials.
Give some advice to other couples that want to start a business together…
- Get your own working spaces, when you can! It made a difference, when you’re forced to be side-by-side every moment. You need that space!
- Finding out what your strengths are then divide and conquer
- When you both are working on the same thing, you might micromanage, which could cause you to step on each others’ toes
- Trust each other! Always trust that the other is doing their job.
- Just have fun and take breaks! Don’t let the pressure get to you. Enjoy life.