London, UK, originally from KenyaContact This Student: Superbodied Performance
Speciality: Nutrition, Weight Gain, Weight Loss
Pre-Academy Experience: New to Online Training
Goals: Do What I Love, Travel/Work From Anywhere
Kenya-born Shiggi has always been a high-energy person with multiple interests.
As a child, “I had far too much energy and not much sense. My parents said to themselves, we can’t have her running around home, so they put me into all the sports.”
Her mom had been a professional bodybuilder and while other girls might have been thrilled for a glimpse at their mother’s copy of Cosmopolitan, Shiggi preferred to sneak off with her mother’s Muscle & Fitness magazines.
But it would be years later that Shiggi would find her sweet spot as a personal trainer.
While attending University in England, Shiggi explored multiple careers. “I tried three courses and found them all really really boring,” she explains. Music engineering, graphic design, and architecture all have a place on her educational resume.
They each taught her something about what she didn’t want to do.
Shiggi decided “that a 9-5 job was not for me.”
The whole work environment and lifestyle disagreed with her — to the point of having to take medical leave for depression and anxiety.
She describes the feeling like this: “You get out of your box bed, you leave your box room, you leave your box house, to get into your box vehicle, to sit in your box office, to sit behind your box computer. It’s just like moving boxes… I realized I was far too scatterbrained and creative for this kind of life.”
After a while, Shiggi got into security work. A highlight: speaking to Serena Williams as part of her security gig at the 2016 Olympics.
“Serena was very, very human. Talking to her, and seeing some other athletes, inspired me to push fitness [in my career],” says Shiggi. “I realized that there’s a lot of regular people out there, who aren’t top level athletes, but who just need a little bit of help.”
She developed a personal mission statement to help people, to speak to them in their language, and to take the initiative to make it happen.
With her fitness certification (and years of experience from her own continued athletics), Shiggi started working as a trainer.
After some good, bad, and ugly work experiences in gyms, Shiggi realized something: she had to play by her own rules.
One of those rules: flexibility. Some personal losses in the family made her realize that the ability to travel was important. She had to find a way to keep serving her clients without always being there in person.
“I hadn’t been back to Kenya for 15 years. It hit me when my grandmother passed away. As a personal trainer, if you stop working, you stop getting an income. I wanted to be with my family after her passing so I left. When I returned to London I didn’t have any clients anymore.” The idea of online training appealed because, “I wanted to create flexibility with my in-person clients, so if I’m away they still have the ability to train and continue to work with me.”
Another — perhaps even more important — rule: how many clients she was willing to train at once.
“I know that a maximum of 12 online clients is good for me,” says Shiggi. Any more than that and I burn out. I can never quite go “full time” as some people would. And I’m okay with that.”
Shiggi used the Online Trainer Academy to give herself room to play.
“Originally with online training, I had this idea that I would build an empire and be queen of the world”. But she realized that wasn’t for her. “I don’t need a full blown business; I only need half of that. I don’t need 20 or 30 online clients. What I’ve got is more than enough for me.”
Using the Academy’s methods, she quickly reached her maximum of 12 clients, paying between £100-150 a month, within a hybrid model. Now, Shiggi has her “1k Extra”, making room for her multiple interests. Most notably, her budding DJ career using the moniker Neopink.
Her aim is to work only between Monday to Friday. “By 4:00pm on a Friday I’m no longer a personal trainer, I’m a DJ. I go into the land of shadows.”
“My goal is to only work with clients online. If they want, they can see me in person but it comes at a premium, because otherwise I’m in studios or flying around Europe.”