Meeting a Community Need Successfully with Joe Zentmyer of First Ascent Climbing & Fitness

Joe Zentmyer realized that Chicago, a city with 10 million people in the metro area, was in dire need of a climbing gym to serve their many avid climbers. Many tried to open climbing gyms before them, but the real estate cost of finding a climbing gym building with 50ft + tall ceilings.
Before they opened First Ascent Climbing & Fitness, Joe and his co-founders looked for 3+ years for a space to open their business. This was the greatest obstacle they faced when initially building their business.
Now grown to four locations in the Chicagoland area, First Ascent Climbing & Fitness is still growing with the Chicago climbing community. Joe tells interviewer TK Coleman how he manages stress and avoids burnout, why working out makes him a better manager, and how to play to your strengths and work on your weaknesses.
Listen to the episode here or click the video below for the full interview.
Discussed in this Episode
  • How to impose personal limits on your work
  • Avoiding burnout
  • Why working out makes you a better manager
  • Why Joe breaks out his work by day
  • How Joe learns to become a better communicator
  • Joe’s advice for entrepreneurs
Show Notes
Joe Zentmyer is the co-founder and CFO at First Ascent Climbing & Fitness. On this episode of Small Business Edge, Joe shares how the climbing community in Chicago was in need of a climbing gym for 20 years, and the founders of First Ascent were the first who were to do it successfully. Joe shares what sets First Ascent apart from other climbing gyms, and how they have successfully grown the business to multiple locations. Like any entrepreneur, Joe doesn’t have a “standard” workday. He talks about what his typical week looks like, how he spends his weekends, and the importance of having his own fitness routine in his life.
To learn more tips, insights, and advice for business and franchise ownership, listen to other podcast episodes from Small Business Edge.
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