Joel Bigelow – Endure Athletics

Joel Bigelow - Endure Athletics

What’s the origin story of your business? 

I worked in a manufacturing facility in Murfreesboro for 13 years where I was able to see firsthand what goes on in the rundown, rent-by-week motels. I was always surprised and saddened when I saw how many kids were outside waiting for the bus while living at a motel. I have always wanted more for my life.  I didn’t necessarily want more financially, but instead I wanted to have meaning and purpose, the ability to positively impact the community that I call home. So, I founded Endure Athletics with the mission of enriching the lives of homeless children and youth.  We do this through a fee-free after-school program, a 9-week summer camp, and other enrichment activities throughout the year. 

What’s an obstacle that you’ve had to overcome to build your business?

Credibility is an obstacle for sure. In the nonprofit world, everyone has the idea of doing good. The question is always, “How long can you last? Is this a hobby or are you really going to be able to make it?” Now that we are in our 7th year, I believe we have the credibility and the programs in place that we can show where every dollar goes. 

What is unique about owning and running a business in Murfreesboro?

There’s a great community in Murfreesboro. Murfreesboro and Rutherford County residents are very giving. They truly care about the betterment of the community they live in and are willing to support the organizations that work to make their home better every day.

As a business owner, what keeps you up at night? 

I would have to say the uncertainty of it all. The lives the children we serve have. How can we better serve them? Are we doing the right thing? The things outside my control are the things I tend to think about the most.

If you could wave a magic wand and make one problem go away in your business what would it be? 

I don’t believe in magic wands. Businesses are always going to have problems and not all of them are going to be easily solvable or solvable at all. Working hard and being passionate about what you’re doing will make it all worth it in the end.

If you could travel back in time to the day you started your business, what advice would you give yourself?

To put my personal priorities in the correct order. God, my wife, my four daughters, then Endure. Yes, the work we do is very important.  But that work means nothing if your relationship with God fractured, if your wife wants to leave you, and your kids feel that you love other kids more than them. Prioritization is key. 

What time of the day are you most productive?

Great question. I start my day every day by taking my four daughters to school. Then I go to the gym. Then I begin “working”.  

What’s one thing you’d say to a person starting a new business?

Don’t do it for the money, do it because you’re passionate about it. Sometimes your passion is the product. Being passionate about what you’re doing allows you to enjoy what you’re doing and gives you more drive to put your best foot forward every day.

Learn more about Endure Athletics by visiting their website!

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