The Uncommon Path to Ninja U with Scott Behrends

Episode 44:

Starting any new business involves a leap of faith. But the reward is that you get to use your gifts to do something you’re passionate about. When you are aligned with what God has gifted you to do and what you are passionate about, even though it’s not an easy path, the burden is light. We see it again and again in our work with entrepreneurs.

That’s why we are so excited to talk with guest Scott Behrends. Scott took what might seem like a quirky passion – an interest in athletic training based on the obstacle courses and the general mayhem of American Ninja Warrior – and turned it into a business.

We talk with Scott about the power of niching down, clear communication, and what it takes to build a business while keeping your day job. It’s never been easy, but in those moments when he got nervous about the path forward, God pushed him through the doorway and on to the next steps. That’s when exciting things can happen in our lives, and we talk with Scott about all those peaks and valleys along the way.

Scott married his high school sweetheart and has 3 kids (occasionally more because they are also a foster family). He attended the University of Northern Iowa and studied Personal Training, but then changed his major to Computer Science. He keeps up with all things tech and has worked in IT since graduating.

Scott fell in love with ninja when he first saw American Ninja Warrior. It was the sport he always wished existed as a kid (he was a climber)! When his sons kept making obstacle courses in the backyard & timing themselves, Scott recorded them & uploaded one to YouTube. “Backyard Ninja Kids” was born, and it now has over 4,500 YouTube subscribers & over 7,000 Instagram followers. Scott and his sons (Ben & Jason), daughter (Lia), and wife (Lindsey) have enjoyed being part of the ninja community.

Scott and his two business partners recently started Ninja U, a gym with the vision to encourage, educate and engage kids of all ages.

What You Will Learn in this Episode:

  • How to grow your passion on a budget
  • How to shift a hobby into a business
  • Why niching down is the smart business move
  • The time investment it takes to build a business
  • The importance of choosing good partners
  • Why building a business is likely to be one of the most challenging times in your life
  • How God expands your capacity when you need it most
  • How to be open to the unknowns as you prepare your business for the future
  • Why the burden is light when you are in alignment with God’s purposes for you
“The support of your spouse is so crucial. My wife's dream and mission was to be a foster parent. So she was walking with me and my vision and passion and I was walking with her and her vision and passion and we were walking together.” – Scott Behrends Click To Tweet “I always wanted to open a gym. I actually went to college starting as a personal training major. But that seemed unrealistic in terms of job prospects, so I switched majors. Now I started a gym anyway!” – Scott Behrends Click To Tweet “When I started to interview business partners, it was stressful. I would get to a certain point and realize it was not a good fit. Those conversations were uncomfortable, but I knew how important it was to work with the right people.” – Scott Behrends Click To Tweet “Being entrepreneurial requires clear communication with your spouse and business partners. Stay patient, keep having those conversations, and make sure you're actually doing something to resolve problems when they come up.” – Scott Behrends Click To Tweet “To reach a goal, there are a lot of micro things and a lot of macro things that you just have to keep working towards.” – Scott Behrends Click To Tweet “I can sometimes overthink things. Doors were opening, I was finding the right partner, the right space, things were falling into place, and yet I was still apprehensive. That’s when God had to kind of dropkick me forward.” – Scott Behrends Click To Tweet “Honestly, I’m excited about the unknown. I don't know exactly where this business is going to go, but I know it's going to continue to blossom.” – Scott Behrends Click To Tweet “When I finish work at the gym, I’m just filled. Filled with joy and purpose, knowing I’m where I’m supposed to be.” – Scott Behrends Click To Tweet