We had the good fortune of connecting with Shawn McClendon and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Shawn, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I look at risk taking as a necessity when it comes to having faith.

I tend to be a calculated, risk-averse type of person. I think about decisions a lot internally, running the consequences of each choice through my mind, and letting the resulting thoughts sit in my mind until I know I have peace about a particular choice. Rarely do I make spontaneous decisions.

However, because faith is very important to me, I’ve realized that faith requires risk taking. It requires believing for something that you don’t see, and adjusting your life to fit that belief. I have held the desire for many years to be a full-time entrepreneur, realizing my own dreams and potential. I believe that God laid it on my heart to do so, and yet, fear and logic kept me from making the plunge until just recently. After all, I worked a steady 9-to-5 position as a software engineer making six figures, and I have a wife and two kids. It’s simply not logical to leave such a position.

And yet, if my faith in God and in my ability to be a successful entrepreneur is real, I shouldn’t hesitate to take the risk of leaving it all. While I did hesitate for years, I finally embraced the risk and walked out on pure faith into my destiny as a successful entrepreneur. Am I making as much as I was? Not yet. Is it hard work? For sure. But I can honestly say that my fears have not been realized, and working on your own project is fulfilling in a way that a job could not be for me.

It definitely helps, by the way, to have a wife who is fully supportive and who embraces risk taking herself.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I own two businesses; a math tutoring business and a health and fitness business.

My tutoring business, Math Swap Tutoring LLC, is not actually something I dreamed about for years. Rather, it was, to me, a no-brainer way for me to use my extensive math knowledge from my engineering background to help kids forced into virtual learning during the pandemic. What excites me the most, aside from helping people, is that I am building a tutoring business with people like myself, who took a lot of math in college – engineers, scientists, programmers, accountants, etc. – that they never use, who want to help people, and who also want to know if they “still got it.” I’ve just brought on two additional tutors, and I anticipate bringing on more since math tutoring seems to be in relatively high demand.

While I have yet to reach my various business goals, to get where I am now with the tutoring business was not as difficult, specifically because of my experience with building my health and fitness business for the past several years. To form the business structure, account for the finances, and actually get to work was quite simple. What is proving to be more difficult in this phase is getting a steady-enough stream of work to fully supply the tutors who work with me with students, and to make sure that my systems are robust enough to allow me to not have to be too hands-on. What I have learned, though, is to not allow fear to hold me back from trying new things, because the one thing that walking in fear ensures is that you never learn and you never have new experiences.

My health and fitness business, Back to Basics Health and Wholeness LLC, has largely been a labor of love that is just now starting to show glimmers of momentum. I have done many things in the business, from personal training for individuals, to group training, to writing books and newspaper columns, to hosting events. After years of jumping all over the place, I am now settling more into my space as a health and fitness educator, producing two podcasts, writing books and a magazine column, and conducting webinars. It excites me that I have narrowed down to what I believe is my sweet spot in the health and fitness industry, and I have become more comfortable with promoting healthy living in the way that comes natural to me. As a health and fitness entrepreneur, I want people to see me as one with purpose and integrity who lives what he talks, and who shares truly life giving information and strategies.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If a best friend was coming to visit my town, Macon, GA, I would take them to our downtown area, which has blossomed over the past several years due to revitalization efforts. I would perhaps take them to Amerson River Park to get some walking and workout time in. We would stop through my favorite Jamaican spot, Island Pot, and we might also have to stop and get a famous fried fish sandwich from Saleem’s Fish Supreme.

We would have to visit nearby Fort Valley to get some peach ice cream and cobbler from Lane’s Packing Company, and finally, I’d have them visit my church, Kingdom Life, in East Macon for some “truth, life and community” as the church’s motto states.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First and foremost, I dedicate this shoutout to my wife. She is a true supporter who believes in me when I don’t believe in myself. She also is extremely creative and willing to try things without having all of the plans laid out. This is exactly what a person like me needs to be pushed to my next level.

I also want to shout out The Urban Leadership Academy It is a program created by The Urban CEO, a non-profit organization associated with my church, that brings community business owners and other change agents together to help them refine what they’re working on to be even more effective leaders in the local community of Macon, GA. Being able to be a part of the academy during its 2019-2020 cohort was incredibly motivating for me as an entrepreneur.

I also have to give props to my family. My mom was an entrepreneur cosmetologist, and her business was essentially the family business. To this day, all of my family members – my mom, dad, two brothers (and their wives, too) – own at least one business.

Website: https://yourhealthatthecrossroads.com

Instagram: instagram.com/shawnb2bfitness

Facebook: facebook.com/shawnb2b

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPm-1I7gql3wwQL4HWCACdw

Other: Tutoring website: https://mathswaptutoring.com

Image Credits
Garden photo by Jojo Ward

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