Joe Fiu is hands down my favourite Wellingtonian.
I didn’t actually meet him in Wellington though – I met him through mutual friends who worked with him when he was at Niu FM (Radio Station here in NZ ) and he’d come up to Auckland for something work related (I think) for the weekend.
My friends invited me over for drinks at ‘The Hills’ and this is where I was introduced to the Joey lol! We all pretty much hit it off straight away – typical night at ‘The Hills’ lots of laughs, drinks & singing as you do and then we were all talked into crashing a party in Sandringham ….. which was great until my friends got into domestics ….. Niko: Take your shirt OFF Del Del: Neh! Me: ummm ok I’m gonna go hang out with Joey now which was the start of a beautiful friendship haha from that night until now we’ve kept in pretty regular contact through good old facebook & twitter. This guy is good peoples!
About a year ago or maybe more recently he invited me to ‘Like’ his Elevate+ page on facebook. To be honest I didn’t really check it out or have a look at what it was all about – I just logged on and did the obligatory ‘Like’ and would see updates in my newsfeed occasionally. It wasn’t until Joey started tweeting & retweeting clients pics or posts that I realised it was a ‘Health & Fitness’ progamme AND that he’d actually started it and was running it/co-owned the business with his business partner. How cool! Joeys only 25 which to me is pretty impressive. I’m thinking wow! Joeys younger than me and he co-owns and runs his own business? Mantis!
So nearly 3 months ago my bro-in-laws band ‘The Daylight Robbery’ decided they were going to do a 12 month health & fitness challenge which they kindly opened up to non-band members. We will have completed the 12 weeks at the end of this month #fatrobbery represent (shouts to Ron Amosa for organising it all for us, our PT Shoneel who took us for our Saturday group sessions & the boys at Ludas Magnus Gym – Hot Rod & co who also chipped in with beating us into shape lol) ….. I remember Joey tweeting us encouragement when we were first starting it and thinking Thats right! This is what Joey does! His whole career & passion is seeing people have ‘Better living everybody’ so was pretty stoked when he agreed to let me feature him on my blog. You’re doing an awesome job Joey bro! Check out his story below, why he’s passionate about health and fitness & some of his own tips on starting your own business.
Me: Is your government name Joseph Fiu? lol!
Joe: Haha “She only knows me by my Government name” – Lloyd Banks – I’m just Joe Junior Fiu (named after my uncle Joe) who brought my mum, dad and brothers over from Samoa for a better life.
Sidenote: ok so she DOESN’T know him by his government name – I’ve been totally botzing it lol! How bout I’ve been calling Joey ‘Joseph’ to be a smart ass because I assumed Joe was short for Joseph which is the equivalent of someone calling me Penelope thinking thats what my name is short for. Note to self: Sometimes peoples names are not short for anything lol
Me: Have you lived/grown up in Wellington all your life?
Joe: Born and bred in Wellington all of my life, although I did have a very brief stint over in Brisbane after finishing my Year 13 year at High school playing rugby for Wests Bulldogs in Twoong. Other than that have always been here.
Me: What were you doing with Niu FM/what position did you hold there when I met you?
Joe: I started with Niu FM (The Pacific Media Network) in July 2010 as a Sales Account Manager, which later progressed to overseeing promotions, events coordination and operations for the lower North Island. Great fun and an awesome experience, loved the people and getting to know the Radio industry and still have great friendships with the people there.
This is my chance to thank people like Nina Fa’amausili who really took me under her wing and guided me in the right direction in terms of organizing and making sure the product was never compromised when dealing with clients.
Me: How long did you work there for?
Joe: Almost 2 years, finished up February 2012 to pursue new challenges
Me: How did you come to be working there (besides applying for the job)? eg were you straight out of school? uni? another job?
Joe: I studied at Victoria University from 2006 to 2009 with a Bachelor in Commerce & Administration majoring in Marketing and Human Recourse Management & Industrial Relations. From there I actually couldnt find any work in any of those fields, recession playing a big part but honestly my heart wasn’t into it so I got into the Lift business working for Schindler Lifts for half a year before moving into an Account Manager role with a local independent station at the time X105 Hit Radio – then moved onto the Pacific Media Network after 4 months.
Me: You still do the coffee break segment with Tofiga & Nic right? Is that just on Fridays?
Joe: Yes, am still doing the Coffee Conversations with Nic & Tofiga on the Mid-Morning Upload, Niu FM 11am every Friday! Great fun and I love to interact with the audience out there. It’s all a bit of tongue and cheek about relationships and the different awkward situations people may face. Mainly it’s a bit of escapism from their day to day lives and the audience put their 5 cents into matters – all great fun and banter!!
You can listen in to Joey with Niu FMs Mid Morning Upload Hosts Nic & Tofiga on Friday mornings at 11am. Check out the Niu FM website for your local frequencies & details on how you can stream them online for overseas listeners.
Me: So what IS Elevate Plus?
Joe: Elevate Plus is a team training organisation where we design health & fitness programmes to help others push their limits and achieve their goals, combining a range of fitness techniques into the programme but adding two components – personal attention and FUN! It’s Team Training/Small Group Training as in you come and train in a team environment, the advantages are that if you were to get an hour with a PT it’d cost around $90 for a good one but we charge a 1/3 of the price a week and you get more sessions to choose from. More flexibility!
Me: How did you come up with the Concept?
Joe: Many people were coming up with small “Bootcamp” style outfits charging people an arm and a leg to get fit, my business partner and I stood back and thought actually it shouldn’t be too complicated, expensive or boring for people to want to get fit. We went to the drawing board, jotting down everything we thought could improve the current market …… Elevate Plus was born!
Me: Is it your business/are you the co-owner? Who do you run the business with?
Joe: I’m really blessed and lucky to have a great like-minded business partner Patrick Ho who runs the training side of the organisation, whereas I look after the Sales & Marketing strategy side of Elevate Plus.
Me: How did you come to know the person you run Elevate Plus with?
Joe: I have known Pat for years and have had a few workouts with him as he is a Personal Trainer and when I was thinking I wanted to pursue this idea he was the only person I knew that could make this work.
Me: What made you decide to get into this line of business?
Joe: I wanted to help inspire people to challenge themselves, whether it be in doing certain exercises, keeping a healthy (balanced) diet or even to change small habits such as having 8 glasses of water per day, getting out of bed early, being prepared for the day – all of that sort of behavior is all the types of discipline that the body needs to stay healthy.
I read the bio “Between a Rock and a Hard Place” by Aron Ralston (the movie 127 hours is his story), and his determination to do what he did (cut off his own arm) to set himself free and prevent himself from dying, if someone can go through that sort of pain and struggle to live, then why can’t everyone have that same will power to stay healthy and live longer?! Puts things in perspective.
Me: Was it a scary decision to decide to just do it/go for it and run your own business?
Joe: Heck yes! The main thing I kept in mind was that I didn’t care what people thought of my idea or the business, I didn’t do it for them! I did it because I truly believed there was a gap in the fitness market that the big companies couldn’t satisfy but that we could take advantage of so you just have to be brave and take the plunge. If I failed then I failed, life would be boring if we didn’t fear failure – it makes it all the more important to succeed at this idea.
Joes favorite quote:
I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. – Michael Jordan
Me: What were some of the things you needed to do in order to get it up and running? Did you need a business/marketing degree?
Joe: In order to start up the business all you need is your idea and think “what’s my point of difference?!” From there, go out and find every answer to your questions on the business & learn from others on how or what they did when they first started their companies or their careers. That’s the main thing – keep wanting to learn from others, pick up new ideas, and always be prepared!! Being prepared ensures your business is flexible and adaptable to change.
Me: Do you have other staff or is it just you and your partner?
Joe: At the moment we’re pretty full on and in the process of bringing in new staff.
Me: Is Elevate Plus what you do full time now?
Joe: It’s my full time gig now, I never thought when I first started that it was going to be so full on (7 days a week) but it’s that sort of commitment you have to put in to make sure you have a quality product, and most importantly ensure the clientele are looked after.
Me: You plan to expand to Auckland? (Is that right?) Can you give deets of where & when if Auckland peeps would be keen to go along to check it out. (are you still coming up to do it?)
Joe: Auckland is definitely on the cards for Elevate Plus, we’re looking to do a promotion up there very soon before the year ends so keep your eyes and ears peeled on our website page www.elevateplus.com
– our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/elevateplusnz
– or follow us on Twitter! @ElevatePlusNZ
Me: I see you play for Poneke Rugby Club? (is that Prems? How did you guys do this year?)
Joe: I started off with the Premiers this year but with so much going on I wasn’t able to keep up with the team and moved down to the 2nd side which was slightly more relaxed which was a blessing. We had a difficult year, but was awesome fun along the way – love the comradeship and brotherhood of the team.
Check out Joe & his Poneke rugby team brothers showing us another award winning talent of theirs (other than rugby) after the jump….. Joeys the one in the red hot pants lol
Me: Have you always been pretty healthy yourself?
Joe: I’ve always tried to maintain a balance in my lifestyle, you’ve got to enjoy life as well as stay fit & healthy.
I like the quote on being healthy “It’s your lifestyle, not your life”,
you’ve got to indulge too!
Me: What goals do you have for your business? short term? Long term?
Joe: Our goals for Elevate Plus is to be the Numero Uno in the fitness industry in NZ for group or team training companies, that means the first name people look to when they are wanting quality training and advice.
Most importantly we want to change people lives, it’s not about charging a fee and showing people an exercise then walking away, doing it all again the following day. Everyone that does our programmes we put emphasis on encouragement throughout their elevate journey – sounds corny but what we’re trying to teach people isn’t anything they don’t already know – live a balanced lifestyle. Some people just need a bit more help to realise that ideology. Anyone that does our programmes we want them to have that attitude of YEEEEES!!! I achieved my goals and have changed my lifestyle for the better!
Continue to grow our Wellington Region presence and getting more people to reach their health & fitness goals!
Be the number 1 company in NZ for small group or team training groups.
Me: Lastly, I’ve been impressed with Sela & Pua (Niu FMs breakfast show hosts) encouraging people on the Morning Hustle to live it up with a healthy lifestyle. For people who really struggle with their weight & find it hard to be motivated to get out there and exercise & live a healthy lifestyle or who think they ‘don’t have time’ – what 3 tips would you give them to at least get them started?
Joe: My 3 tips:
1. Nothing comes easy in life, sacrifices have to be made in order to reach your goals. Whether it be with weight-loss or training, or even at school trying to get good grades, it doesn’t just happen – you have to make it happen.
2. You may miss your favorite tv show, you may have to go to bed earlier, you may have to get out of bed earlier, but what should always be in the front of your mind is your goals, be determined!
3. You’ve got the power, so use it!
Thanks so much Joe Jnr lol!
And because I love you guys I wanted to leave you with Joe & the Poneke Senior 1’s rugby team dancing to Vistoso Bosses ‘Delirious’ ….. GOLD lol!