Man on a mission


Attendees at our second event of this year’s InspiringBusiness2019 campaign, which took place at the Hallmark Hotel on June 19, were treated to another inspirational tale from an amazing local businessman.

Former Mr Universe and fitness entrepreneur Mark Bowering regaled his captive audience with the story of how he built his fortune and what really makes him tick, and keeps him ticking!

A few weeks ago, we trailed the story of fitness entrepreneur Mark Bowering. Here, we share full details of the inspirational presentation he gave at our latest seminar.

Living the dream

Right from the off, Mark was a man on a crusade – in his case, to do his bit to clean up the body building industry, having caught the bug for it himself. “I’m the son of a dad who’s a real athlete – a former boxing and rugby champion,” explained Mark.

“But I was quite a chubby teenager and not all that happy with myself. I decided to try body building and even set my sights on and won the Mr UK and Mr Universe titles in my early 20s, through intensive training and determination.”

However, Mark soon discovered that the use of steroids on the body building circuit was epidemic in proportion.

He said: “Although I wanted to get fit and achieve a certain physique, that whole thing was against my personal ethics. I could see that those doing it, while they might achieve their physique targets in the short term, were setting themselves up for significant health problems down the line. So, I set about creating my own, natural supplements.”

These became so popular among his own friends that Mark decided to ‘do a crazy thing’ and give up his career as a trainee biochemist with Reckitt Benckiser to pour all his attention into developing his business, and convinced his dad to do the same.

“I persuaded my dad to leave the job he hated painting offshore containers, and co-invest with me to buy a gym that come up for sale, and rebrand it as Peak Physique. We then started selling my supplements to people who came to the gym,” he added.

“Then we took advantage of the Internet’s birth and branched out online, and that really took off – before long my girlfriend and mum were all working with me, fulfilling orders in the shop.”

A unique vision

Before long, Mark’s vision of offering something truly innovative really paid off.

“When we first decided to produce our own supplements at scale with the name PhD, we branded them very differently from what was out there at the time. Rather than look like the macho, testosterone-inspired supplement brands that were commonplace, we went for a subtle, scientific look that would appeal more to women and different age groups, as well as young men,” he said.

“It was this, as well as the quality ingredients formula, that eventually led to us doing the deal with Boots.”

Mark sold the entire PhD business to Boots and continues to sell the product in his Hull shop, among other, carefully selected brands of supplements, vitamins and sportswear.

Believing in a cause

Four years on from achieving that pinnacle, what motivates him to keep on, keeping on?

Mark said: “It’s great to know I’ve achieved a degree of financial stability through my business but I still work in my gym and shop every day because that, ultimately, is what I love doing and I’d be bored without that reason to get up in a morning.

“I think being successful in business ultimately comes down to knowing what motivates you and remaining true to that – for me, it’s about helping people to live better, more fulfilled lives.

“That’s why, at the gym, we offer personalised programmes right through from blood work to understand people’s bio markers and generalised needs, to tailored workout programmes and the right nutrition to help them achieve their goals. Whether someone wants to drop weight, improve their mental alertness or enhance their performance, we can support them in doing that.

“I love interacting with and developing my team too.”

Mark’s ultimate secret of success?

“Being humble is the biggest lesson I’ve ever learned, in life and business,” he said.

“That and remaining true to yourself.

“In business it’s inevitable that we’ll experience lots of pinch points and pain in getting to where we want to be, and it’s how we deal with these that’s important. When success does come, it’s so easy to get carried away with what’s going on, the success you’re achieving and how busy you are, but money – if you’re lucky enough to make some – shouldn’t change you and it’s so important to remain focused on what you really want.

“I think the most successful business people have a personal passion for what they do, it’s something that they really believe in, and it’s not just about filling a gap in the market.”

Striking the right balance between business success and personal wellbeing is high on Mark’s list of priorities, which he shared with our InspiringBusiness audience:

  • It’s the journey that’s important, not the end destination
  • Dream big
  • Be goal oriented
  • Know yourself
  • Take action
  • Establish discipline and routine as tactics to help relieve stress
  • Ask people for help
  • Money won’t make you happy – time and experience will.

Read more about our InspiringBusiness2019 campaign and how you could win more than £20,000 of business support to take your company to the next level.

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