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Bob Cheeks: An Author and Entrepreneur We Can All Learn From

I interview authors, artists, and filmmakers to get their unique perspectives.

Who is Bob Cheeks?


An entrepreneur & author Bob Cheek's new book gives the inside story with Bob’s 33 workouts to mega wealth, “Dumbbells to Diamonds'' can help you achieve the same result with luck, timing, and good old common-sense. His laugh-out-loud story is brought to life with cartoons by legendary cartoonist John 'Polly' Farmer.

As a result of his loss-making business, Bob Cheek was broke. His heady days of political power were over and his dreams of landing a lifetime of superannuation were dead. In spite of mishaps, mayhem, and failure, Bob never gave up and eventually launched a chain of 24 hour gyms, which he sold eight years later for $50 million. In his new book, Bob gives you tips and tricks on how you can also, get out of your rut of loss-making and step into the life you have always wanted.

Here are some questions I had for him:

After a long career in politics and journalism, what made you turn your attention to the fitness industry?

I had previously owned gyms. When I lost my seat in politics I did not qualify for a pension (only seven years, needed to be eight) and at nearly 65 years of age I did not have enough money to retire. So I took a gamble and opened another single gym - which grew to 37.

What is the premise of "Dumbbells & Diamonds" and how is it different from other books in the fitness industry?

The premise is you're never too old and you need to take risks in life. You can take a humble dumbbell and turn it into diamonds (wealth). The book is different because it is part memoir and part how to make money from the industry. It also exposes the dark side of fitness and wellness as well as the positives.

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What surprised you most about the writing process?

Combining my 40 year fitness journey with 33 golden rules for success in business. (I've called them workouts to keep the gym flavour). As a former journalist I found the writing process relatively easy, but dealing with publishers and editors was time consuming and frustrating.

Who do you see as your prime audience?

Everyone really. Gym goers and the fitness industry (about 60 million Americans are members of gyms - 20% of the population); older people who want to be inspired to "have a go" whatever their age; budding entrepreneurs; business men and women because my "workouts" can be applied to any industry, not just fitness

How were you able to start a multi-million gym franchise successfully? Does the reader get any insight into this?

First, I did not franchise my gyms; they were all company owned (unusual in the industry). I go into great detail about the difficulties of starting a new business with little money and how to overcome the obstacles.

Can you give us an example of a practical application you've featured in your book?

All the 33 workouts are practical applications obtained from 40 years in the industry. I go from how to start up and avoid mistakes right through to how to successfully exit when the time comes.

Where can readers interested in fitness find your book?

Go to and order through Amazon. They will be available in American book stores later.

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