11 Mar 2019
TSCC Café Succé – The Success Story of Natalia Folbrycht
TSCC had the great opportunity to interview Natalia Folbrycht, the Country Manager for Fitness24seven Thailand. Below you can read the full interview about her interesting success story!
Natalia, you have experience from working in many types of industries, from restaurant, real estate, airline to manufacturing. And many, many more. Now, you’re currently working in the fitness industry. How do you adapt from moving from one industry to another?
‘I think it’s not about the industry where you work, it’s the task you have. Most of the industries I worked with have been startups or expansions or turnarounds,’ says Natalia. ‘I’ve been asked many times “what is your speciality”. I don’t think I have an industry, even though I love fitness myself, but it’s about the task and the things that need to get done in the project that you get.’
You played football for like 15 years. How important is it for you to exercise?
‘Well, exercising is part of my life. To have the pace I have, you need to exercise. I cannot do it without it. Soccer is the sport I like to watch live or on TV. But working out myself, it can be cardio or strength training or any different kind just to get yourself moving.’
Football as a team sport, do you think that playing football has helped you in your career?
‘Yes. I usually say that everything is applicable to a company because you set the goals, you work as a team, and have all these things you want to achieve. To win the league or win a game. I think that’s the base where you get your discipline, when you play in a team, and also the team´s understanding in setting goals.’
Let’s move on to the next question. What has been the greatest learning for you when it comes to working in different countries and industries that have helped you with your career?
‘I think it is understanding the culture. Sometimes I don’t understand, but the understanding that you don’t understand and need to adapt to different cultures, that’s a great learning.’
Natalia continues stressing the international experience from work in different companies and in different countries.
‘It’s very beneficial in terms of building your knowledge bank and putting it together. I would say the cultures and the countries experience. I can really understand why Asian people act in some way, even if I don’t understand.’
Are you more flexible to understanding and taking in?
‘Well, I think I am super flexible. The thing is that sometimes I don’t understand them, but I have the knowledge that I don’t understand, but this is the way it is. I cannot change it.’
Natalia was hired in Sweden and sent to kick off Fitness24Seven in Thailand. She is now one and a half years into that venture, going back and forth.
If we look at your career, you have already succeeded in a lot of things. What is the best decision, or decisions, you have made in your career and what does the word success mean to you?
‘Success. That’s a word that many people will relate maybe to money or career. For me, success is to work with something that you enjoy. When you wake up every day and want to go to work, and you don’t want to go home from work, that’s success for me, because then I’m passionate about what I’m doing, and I also have the passion for the things that I’m doing. I think the passion I have is to build companies or to turn around companies, so I think success is not necessarily connected to money in my case. It’s more about the experience I get in the different countries. I am grateful for the chance to work abroad. Not everybody can do that, and I am honoured to get the missions abroad because it is success for myself.’
‘My work is very hard, but I don’t feel my work is work. I really feel it’s just fun. For me, it’s very challenging, but the day I don’t like it or I don’t feel it’s fun, I will not work at that position anymore. The day I don’t develop, I will move on because I need that development all the time. That’s maybe why I move around. Maybe two years is usually what I have in each company or country because I need to develop. I am not a maintainer.’
What tips do you have to someone who wants to pursue a career in the fitness industry? What experience and skills do you think it is good to have?
‘I wouldn’t say only fitness industry, because again, I’m going back to… relate to what a mission is. What is your mission? I think curiosity is super important because if you’re not curious, you will not find out things. There is not a silver plate served for you with all the knowledge that you to know to do something. You need to find out for yourself, so curiosity would be one word.’
‘Second word would be courage. It can be scary to move abroad. New culture, new language, new food. Most of us people are very comfortable, don’t want to move on from their comfort zone. So move out of your comfort zone, and have the courage to do that.’
‘The third thing, if you don’t have the passion for what you’re doing, you will not succeed. You need to have the passion, and you need to feel it is fun. So I think to find something that you enjoy in terms of passion.’
Last question. Recently, you opened your third branch in Sathorn Thani. Will you continue to grow here in Thailand, and do you have any other news you would like to share with the public?
‘We are here to take over, so we are growing. It’s going a bit slower than planned because of different circumstances, but for sure we are here to take over. We will open a lot of gyms soon. We have about three more locations planned in pipeline right now.’
Interview by Albert Persson
Edit by Christer Nilsson