NAME: Michelle Kuehn
INSTAGRAM HANDLE: mich_realboxingonly
JOB TITLE: CEO & Founder
MOVED TO THE UAE IN: 1995
Michelle was home-schooled all her life, moving to The Middle East when she was a teenager. She learned to read, write and speak Arabic after attending American University of Sharjah in 2000. She moved to the US to study Business and Marketing which she graduated in before moving back to Dubai to start a job in an events company in Media City.
Following the successful launch of The Media Network in 2012, Michelle decided to take a career U-Turn by opening her own Boxing Gym, which she described as a risk but a 'calling'. She has no fitness experience, no experience opening a business and was not a boxer, so to say she was under qualified was an understatement but she believed in herself and was determined to make it work.
Michelle opened Real Boxing Only gym in February 2018 and for six months, she had the largest learning curve of her life. By the 2nd year, she was just about starting to find her stride, and then Covid hit us, they closed gyms for three months and she has the biggest challenge of her life.
Even after losing everything in the Pandemic, Michelle has not lost her focus and determination to make this a success. Real Boxing Only has grown in the last 12 months by 210%, expanded by 4,000sqft and doubled the team - as well as begun the process of franchising.
She truly believes that sometimes, a dream with good work ethic and the ability to learn is all you need to succeed in a field that is not your industry and one that is male dominated. The spirit of a fighter doesn’t hurt your progress either.
What does her day look like..
5AM - wake up, and COFFEE – motivational content, affirmations and out the door by 5:45am
6AM – In my office, I do all my writing at this time of day, I am fresh minded, and I can accomplish more in the next two hours than some can in a full day 😊 I write motivational, inspirational emails to our database every day. I also try to post on my social a lot at this time – as I said – I am mentally very BRIGHT
8AM - by now, I will be going over the previous days sales, emails, looking at our class bookings, checking our social media and the previous days bookings to check our growth. I look over our accountants scheduled payments for the day, and cashflow
10AM - I will normally meet with my reception or have a briefing with them, and I have probably eaten twice by now – as I am always hungry. Some days I also have training at this time. Training is key to my mental strength, and it gives me energy
12NOON - I am normally needing quiet time now to rest my eyes because I spend a lot time on screens, I will normally read and have lunch. I try to lock my office door for an hour, to make sure I am recharged. We know that team management is always the hardest part of leading, but key to anyone’s success - so being rested is important to keeping a clear mind.
2PM - By this time, I am onto my coffee again – to get through meetings I will have around this time, whether its with staff, or suppliers or business partners. I prefer meetings from 2 to 4 as I am less productive mentally for the other things.
6PM - We really start to get busy again now, from 5pm onwards our parking is full. So by now I am checking what sales are for the day, and making sure they are on target. I will write new class programmes, be replying to emails and face-to-face time with clients. I watch classes from this time too, especially any new ones we are launching and see how the coaches are handling their workload.
9PM - I write my list for the next day, go over everything I accomplished for the day, then I leave the office about now, and head home to go for a run, bath and sleep by 11pm. Sometimes I have emails, but my eyes are quite tired by this time – so I try to stay off my phone unless I am messaging reception. I do listen to sleep songs, meditation or affirmations in my sleep – as I have a very active mind while sleeping so this helps shut if off. I don’t wake up again until the alarm – out like light. Although I have been known to reply to emails and messages in my sleep – not something I am proud of.