We had the good fortune of connecting with Drew Lawson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Drew, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Well, there really wasn’t much thought that went into at all! Let me explain what I mean. I’ve always had a feeling that I could build a business around my lifestyle and inspire others to live healthier, stronger lives. The thing I’ve learned about pursuing a life in entrepreneurship- is to turn off your brain and follow your heart. There were so many times when I had thoughts that I could never start my own business, I wouldn’t make it financially, I wouldn’t be a good enough coach, or people will be disappointed with their results. If I would’ve listened to these thoughts, I never would have left my career and built the business that I have now. I never would have severed the tie of safety and security behind a steady paycheck and ventured out into the world of entrepreneurship. No matter where I worked- gyms, hospitals, clinics- I would wake up in the morning and go into work with this underlying feeling that I could be doing more. That I was meant for more. I didn’t have the equipment. I didn’t have the financials. I didn’t have the clients. But I did have what we all have. A small, quiet voice telling me to follow my dreams and everything that I needed would be supplied to me. Somehow. Someway. And that’s exactly what happened! I don’t think anyone who is “successful” can really tell you exactly how they did it. But I do know this. There are certain character traits that are associated with success that need to be developed. Integrity. Honesty. Humility. A heart towards serving others. And a disciplined commitment to seeing your life’s vision through till the end. That’s how I started my business!
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Like many other entrepreneurs, my brand has pretty humble beginnings. I was studying exercise science at The University of Houston and was working my way through college as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. I had this incredible vision for my life- I wanted to open my own facility someday, have online video health courses people could take, and really be an influential figure in holistic health and strength training. But. I had absolutely no clue how any of that would happen. However. I’ve learned since then, that as long as you focus on sharing your passion or dream with the world, the exact things you need will find you. Anyways. I was working out in my garage at the time, when a neighbor walked by and said “hey, are you a personal trainer? I have a son who plays basketball who could use your help”. And just like that, Strength Ministry was born. I began to train his son and his wife with just a barbell, one dumbbell, cheap resistance bands, a speed ladder, and a tire I found on a walk around the neighborhood. Since then, I’ve graduated with a degree in exercise science, maintained my certification in personal training, am a certified nutrition coach, a licensed holistic lifestyle coach, and a licensed integrated movement specialist. I continued my health education with The CHEK Institute and am a current CHEK trained professional. I currently still train clients out of a garage studio in downtown Houston- with an equipment upgrade of course! What separates my brand from others is the holistic health component- I can teach others how to reduce stress, eat for their body types, get better sleep, and make optimal lifestyle changes that will help them live their dreams! With my specialized training and equipment, I can measure and correct forward head postures, pelvic tilts, and bring a spine back into alignment. What I’m most proud of is making that necessary decision to fully work for myself and serve others to the best of my ability. It was never easy. And everyday I still struggle with thoughts of failure and lack- but I’ve learned that it’s in those times especially when you need to praise God the most and focus on what you are grateful in your life. Thanking him for the struggle because it’s what’s needed to grow and move forward. Whatever it is that you do, focus on filing the cup you do have right now- even if it seems small- fill it so much that it can’t help but to spill over into our next cup! That’s how you move forward.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Okay first up, I’m a big nature guy. Now Houston might not seem like it has too much natural beauty going on- but it does if you know where to look. I spend most of my weekends at the various parks along the Buffalo Bayou. There’s some great trails, sculptures, kayaking, and even a dog park if that’s your thing. At night, there’s a beautiful view of the Houston skyline from Eleanor Tinsley Park. Next up we gotta stop and get some of the best burgers in Houston at Rodeo Goat. Located right by the Houston Dynamo stadium- this spot’s got a great atmosphere with outdoor seating and some of the most unique burger toppings I’ve ever seen. Tabasco mayo, jalapeno bacon, grilled peaches, blackberry compote, and hydrophonic sprouts just to name a few. After we’ve fueled up- we gotta make it over to the museum district. Now I think Houston’s museums don’t actually get enough exposure nor credit for how extensive and awesome they are. From The Museum of Fine Arts, to The Museum of Natural Science, to even The Museum of Health which always has amazing exhibits going on- there’s something for everyone of all ages! Also in this area, I love walking through Centennial Gardens which in the right season, has a volunteer herb and flower garden where people are encouraged to touch, smell, and even taste certain plants- amazing! Not to far from there, there’s a Japaneese flower garden that in the right season, is ripe with koi fish, turtles, and beautiful flowering plants. Other than that, there’s great hole in the wall restaurants and bars to visit through midtown and EADO.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Firstly, all the glory to God. For being with me when friends and family couldn’t understand or see the vision he put in me. For always making a way even when it seemed impossible. For lining up the right doors and closing the wrong ones. It’s my hope to use my business to show him through me to others.
Secondly, to my mother Suzanne Lawson. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for her unconditional support. Even when I make crazy decisions like switching my major three times during my undergraduate degree or leaving a great job to start my business with noting. I know dad’s proud of the both of us.
And lastly, to my best friend Gio Perez. For showing me how to lead as a young man and step into roles others can’t fill. For providing a way for me to start my business from day one. Brothers for life.