Jordan Clark - Benefit Martial Arts & Fitness

Jordan set up his own martial arts school in 2019 after deciding he wanted a change of career from being an electrician. He was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in May 2009.

In this interview he tells us more about being a business owner with IBD.

Q: Tell us about your business

A: I set up Benefit Martial Arts & Fitness in January 2019.    


Q: When and why did you start your business?

A: I started my business because I love martial arts, it’s my passion & so is teaching. I also really hated my previous job as an electrician, so I was ready for a new start and more importantly ready to do something I enjoy. I am also very interested in self-development and always wanted my own business.

Q: Are there benefits to running your own business when you have IBD?

A: Definitely. You are your own boss so you decide how hard you want to work. I work from home in the day so I have easy access to a toilet, I can eat healthy home cooked food and I can have a lie down if it's needed. I have a lot more freedom working for myself.

Q: How do you deal with the stress and workload of running your own business and do you think this has an impact on your IBD?

A: Stress definitely has a massive impact on my Crohn's disease. I’m very driven and will set goals that I want to achieve. This is great to grow your business but sometimes it can add to your stresses if things aren’t going as well as you hoped. I deal with stress by meditating, exercising, eating healthily, knowing when to switch off from business tasks, being organised so I'm not leaving things until last minute, celebrating small wins as well as big wins in the business and just remembering the reasons why I started the business and what impact I'll have on other people makes me feel grateful, happier and ultimately less stressed. Down time is super important, even though I feel guilty for not doing work, I find it really helps my stress levels when I prioritise ‘me’ time.

Q: What are your hopes for your business in the future?

A: To be the best martial arts school in the world, positively impacting as many people as possible. I want multiple centres across the country, with an awesome team to help run my business. I hope to own several businesses throughout my life, not just martial arts.

Q: What advice do you have for other people with IBD who are thinking of starting a business?

A: Start now, get perfect later. The stresses of thinking about doing something are a lot bigger than actually doing something. The first year in business is going to be stressful but you have to have a business that is built on passion or the stressful times won’t feel worth it. Look after yourself with daily meditation, healthy food and exercise you enjoy.

Ask for as much help as possible, look for people in your field of business that are where you want to be and ask them for help. I’ve asked so many successful martial arts school owners that I thought would be too busy to help me but I’ve actually had a positive response and often given a free phone call with them.

People do want to help you; you just have to find the right people. Getting help will massively reduce your stress, as it's better to learn from their mistakes than wasting time making your own mistakes.

Don’t let IBD stop you from starting your business, it's definitely possible with the right mindset and help. Plan your IBD around your business, look at what implications your IBD could cause and find solutions to these implications. Having staff can be a stressful thing but staff give you freedom, which could mean less stress in the future. 

Q: Is there anything else you would like to add/say?

A: Your health is number one. Without your health you have nothing, so always prioritise your health - even if it means missing out on deals, or not reaching a certain amount of profits etc. Health first, always.

Support Jordan

You can find out more Jordan and support his business via his websiteFacebook and Instagram.

Are you a business owner with IBD? Join in the conversion using #IBDBusinessOwners or get in touch to share your story with us.

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