We had the good fortune of connecting with Khalil Abdul-Aziz and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Khalil, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
A sense of community is a major factor in the success of our brand. Since the beginning, it’s been my goal to create a very unique community and culture that can’t be duplicated. At Cycle Gang, we’ve been able to develop a team culture around family, friendship, and support. Group fitness can’t flourish without community, and we’ve been able to take a holistic approach that’s really made an impact. I believe that personal development and empowerment is the basis of community development. Not only do we want you to get fit, but we want you to succeed in all aspects of your life, and for our members, it starts from the inside, out.

What should our readers know about your business?
What sets Cycle Gang apart from others is what we refer to as our “secret sauce”-our sense of community. Like I’ve said before, there is just something very authentic about the way we relate to our members, and the way they interact with each other. At this moment, I think I’m most proud about being able to take an idea I had some time ago, and to watch it manifest and reveal itself in real time. The excitement I feel about what our growth and what the future holds, drives me on a daily basis.

Starting a business from scratch is never easy, but I love challenges. I embrace them because I know it’s a part of the process, and presents an opportunity for growth. In my opinion, the way you overcome challenges is by looking at them from the right perspective. Instead of looking at them as a punishment, I look at them as tool or a catalyst for the next step.

The biggest thing I want the world to know about our brand is that we are changing lives and saving lives-literally. We are able to strengthen the mind, body and soul with the work we are doing, and that is what we want to be known for.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I really love outside festivals and park settings, so that’s more my style. But I’d definitely say there are a couple of places in the city that I really love. I’m a big foodie, so I’d recommend Aye Tea Elle and Virgil’s in College Park. Love those spots.

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?
Family is so important to me-growing up, I looked up to my brother Codi C a lot. Because of him, I have a strong desire to succeed, and to do things with “flair.” Of course, my mother, who is the source and the reason I’m here, is another inspiration for me. She was one of the most giving, good-natured people I’ve ever known. She let me know how important it is to treat people well, be kind, and give back.

Programs like The Boys and Girls Cub and Big Brother, Big Sister impacted my self-esteem in such a positive way. My mentor at the time, Steve Kinamen made a huge impact on me, and I still think of him to this day.

Organized sports made me the competitive and passionate person I am. I thank my Pop Warner coach, Charles Johnson for his dedication to our team and to my development.

I attribute a large portion of my overall sense of community development and self-improvement to The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, as well as The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan through the Nation of Islam.

Some of my favorite books include John Maxwell – The 21 irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Napolean Hill – Think and Grow Rich, and Message to the Blackman.

Website: thecyclegang.com

Instagram: @cyclegang

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