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In 2020, the world experienced a monumental challenge which will forever change the way our society moves forward. A global pandemic was the catalyst for an entire world to stop in time. Economies plummeted, virtuality became reality, and countless working class people became unemployed all while the COVID-19 virus spread rapidly. Over the course of the past few months, many tragic stories surfaced of companies going out of businesses and countless others failing. However, despite these difficult times, there have also been many stories of tremendous success and perseverance regardless of the circumstances. 

Kila Duncan is a certified personal trainer, former athlete, and founder and owner of PurelyStrongFitness, an online based personal training for normal people trying to enjoy daily life. She launched her company at the beginning of the national lockdown in early 2020 due to her previous gym pivoting. Kila had wanted to pursue her own online personal training business and was able to do it online with the new found freedom she had.

Purely Strong Fitness offers 4 different services – personal training, hybrid training, remote training, group training – all which accommodate a client’s specific preference. Kila desires to empower and educate the everyday person to live life to their fullest. She describes herself as a “Realistic Trainer”  because she understands that “life happens” and that everyone is different. She wholeheartedly strives to make her clients purely strong and purely themselves.

Before all of her titles, Kila is a 2nd generation Filipino-American and daughter of an immigrant mother who is a teacher by profession. Her livelihood and ethnic roots have been defined by pure resiliency and sheer determination. A strong work ethic and a “never give up” attitude has allowed Kila to overcome many challenges she’s had throughout her career. As a personal trainer, she would be working paycheck to paycheck and not attaining her full potential. The compounded stress of her prior work experiences made it even more meaningful to Kila to start her own business. She is finally in the driver seat and running her own show.

Kila had moved from Austin, Texas to The Woodlands just outside of Houston. Inherently, with her location change, one of the first issues that arose were finding new clientele.  

Her initial tactic was to reach out to 50 plus people to become potential clients. This proved to be much more challenging and exhausting than Kila had anticipated.  “I thought it would be easy and not so hard and get burnt out how I did”, Kila expressed. She stated that “without guidance I was hoping to god that my clients would stay and even begging them to stay”. 

To solve this problem, the ABC team went to work on ways to expand outreach and attract potential clients. One of the solutions brought up was to have a social media makeover. Purely Strong Fitness’ Instagram changed its theme to keep up with the new style of many popular and accredited strength coaches and personal trainers. More importantly though, Kila was still able to remain authentic to her brand of being a coach for everyday people. Once she

had started raking in some clients, she was able to implement the onboarding process the ABC team had recommended to her. The streamline process was clear and concise resulting in an effective and efficient process. Kila mentioned that, “It didn’t take as long to get someone started. It cut down the process to one hour and made everything faster”.

In addition to finding new clients and learning how to run an online business, Kila was struggling with piecing together the financials for her business. This caused the most stress and anxiety for her since this was her first time starting and running a business. The constant stress and pressure of the much needed work added to the list of things Kila had to get done. Despite being overwhelmed, Kila was able to persevere with her own will-power and with the help from ABC. ABC worked closely with Kila to create an income statement, build a budget, check her balance sheet, and make recommendations for accountants. The ABC team worked from scratch to get Kila on track and help alleviate the constant stress of starting a new business. After working with her, ABC felt like she was always meant to be a business owner, but she just didn’t know how to get there. Kila expressed how happy and empowering it was to realize what it meant to be financially independent.

There are many ambitious, hard working, and dedicated people who have the entrepreneurial spirit and the drive to succeed. However, many of these people do not always see their own potential or do not have the resources they need to succeed. Kila Duncan is an extraordinary example of that archetype who was able to push through all of the obstacles set in her path and come out on top. Her success comes from more than just her personality, but from her Asian immigrant roots where the values of hard work, resilience, and determination is a staple in our culture. The Asian Business Collaborative strives to find driven entrepreneurs, like Kila, to provide the resources and empowerment to help them succeed and reach their fullest potential. Our team works hands-on and deliberately to give clients the best service possible. At the end of the day, we desire to see our fellow Asian business owners prosper and foster an open and loving community.