The low-down on Sam
- Passion for fitness started as a teenager
- Used tech to transform PT
- 28 by Sam Wood now a huge success
- Loves the real-time insights MYOB online accounting delivers.
2 MIN READ
Sam talks business, MYOB and building on his success
You may know him from The Bachelor, but these days Sam Wood is transforming thousands of lives with one of Australia’s most successful online fitness programs.
G’day, Sam. Most people know you from your TV show, but you’re a business owner too?
Yes! I run a personal training studio called The Woodshed and my online fitness program, which is 28 by Sam Wood.
Was fitness always a passion for you?
Absolutely. I got into it because I was a skinny kid who was sick of being skinny, and once I discovered how much you could actually change I was hooked.
"I was a skinny kid who was sick of being skinny."
Having a great mentor in business is hugely important. Who was yours?
Craig Harper who opened Australia’s first personal training studio.
Craig came up to Ballarat, where I was doing my Human Movement Degree and did a talk and I realised there and then – Personal Training was what I wanted to do.
So, I asked him if I could do work experience.For the first three years I put the free in freelancer!
The Bachelor host, Osher Günsberg, describes you as a down-to-earth and driven. Is that fair?
Ha, I guess so! Craig’s studio was over 130kms away. He told me it probably wouldn’t work but I persisted and made the trek, until I finished Uni.
And the rest is history?
Working with Craig was great and gave me the foundation to do what I’m doing now.
"When I discovered how much you could change I was hooked."
Great segue, Sam. Trainer to tech entrepreneur, can you tell us more about that journey?
Well, I come from an entrepreneurial family. So, I always knew I wanted to do my own thing, which led to Gecko Sports (Sam’s earlier business - a sports and fitness company aimed at kids) and then Australia’s largest personal training studio, The Woodshed.
But 28 was the big leap.
And it just took off after the Bachelor?
I didn’t set out to launch an online program when I went on The Bachelor, I wanted to find love. But the penny dropped after hundreds of people sent me emails asking for recipe tips and training advice.
Has its success surprised you?
I knew we were onto something when we had 3000 people sign up after a month, when we launched in 2016.
Today, we’ve worked with over 150,000 people, and have 25 full-time staff. It’s insane!
"The penny dropped after hundreds of people sent me emails."
How important is it to have the right tools to thrive in the tech world?
With 28 growing the way it is, it's critical we have something that can keep up. For us, that’s MYOB.
It has everything we need, and the fact that it's all online, and we're an online business - the two just marry well together.
You literally log on, find your information in real time, match that up with our online payment gateway, and that’s kind of the check. Are the two in alignment? If they are, the business is running the way it needs to.
What’s next, Sam?
I’m really excited about this online space, I mean the scalability just blows you away. I want to grow 28 to be as big as it can become.