The passion for sport and entrepreneurship

Read about Valeska’s Erasmus Journey to her host Rui Moreira in Denmark

My name is Valeska and I am currently living in Austria. I have had a passion for sport since I was a little girl and I want to pass this on to more people.  

My dream is to create a gym where people can work out on their own, in groups or with the help of a coach. I want to help them feel good in both ways: physically and mentally. They should be motivated to test their strength, dedication, and fight.  

Of course, having your own business and being independent is not an easy task. Besides the financial aspect, I think the most important element is the desire to build the business. If this does not exist, it results in making excuses. But if we develop our desire, we will learn to walk, to run, and to then to finally compete. It’s like the sports’ world.  

My journey started when I saw the program information on the website. As usual, I was browsing and looking for something and it came up. I read briefly what it was about and went on with what I was doing. I started preparing the necessary documents. I didn't pick the host based on any demographic criteria, but it was important to me that we had similar and complementary goals. Rui Moreira is owner of a sports´ club in Denmark and was the perfect host for me.  

At the beginning of the process, I was a little nervous about the unknown, but that quickly passed and I'm glad I took that step, found a suitable host and was approved to participate.

It has always been interesting and enriching for me to visit new places. I love nature, architecture, and every country is different in that respect. Meeting people with a different culture and upbringing has its own uniqueness and can show and teach us many things, but at the same time, it is so different from the way we have lived and been raised that to some extent it makes me feel out of place. 

During the exchange Rui and I performed various activities, which were related to discussing and researching different services for both sports´ clubs. We wanted to reach more customers and help them achieve their goals of having a healthy body and figure, and reducing the risks of certain diseases. 

I also explored my gym competitors, their pros and cons, and the host guided me in creating a strategy on how to differentiate myself from the competition; how to find my special USP. 

We also discussed my goals – offering different machines for more variety, and classes for different people and preferences; offering childcare services for the mothers who want to work out but don’t have time.  

We created templates for contracts, memberships and cards design and a payment system. I worked with gym management software to have a better organization of work and to easily manage and monitor my future business and performance. I took part in Rui’s training and personnel meetings so as to learn how to manage them. Together we visited Rui's sports´ club, as well as other clubs and gyms, worked with documentation, went to different meetings with partners, edited my business plan, shared ideas, experiences, and knowledge from each other, discussed our future and current concerns related to the development of our businesses, etc.

I learned a lot of new things for business implementation, staff management, price calculation, contracts, how to work with gym management software, how to gain more customers, how to promote my gym, the services I will offer, etc. Rui always mentored me and shared his knowledge and strategies with me, and in return, he also discovered a lot of new services to offer while learning a few techniques from me.

The whole exchange went smoothly, no problems arose. I met a lot of new people - clients and business owners. They were all very individual. I certainly gained a lot of knowledge, in many areas. I realized that with entrepreneurship comes great responsibility - for the development and success of a company, for the well-being of staff and customers. An entrepreneur has to think about the best interests of many people.

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