View video transcript

Ethics Center: How ethics and fitness go hand in hand

(DESCRIPTION)
Logo, US Bank. Text, Ethics Fitness. How a small business stays true to its ideals.

Two women smile as they watch a group exercise.

(SPEECH)
My name is Elaine Miller.

My name is Narina Minassian.

And we're the owners of AAY Fitness and Nutrition. AAY stands for all about you.

(DESCRIPTION)
Elaine and Narina sitting in folding chairs in a gym, workout equipment scattered behind them. They smile and embrace. All About You logo is shown.

(SPEECH)
Our goal is to give people everything that they need in a fitness and nutrition program.

(DESCRIPTION)
Two women run in a gym. Another leads an aerobics class.

(SPEECH)
In the fitness and nutrition industry, there are a lot of ethical issues because we really have a big responsibility to take care of our clients.

(DESCRIPTION)
Narina coaches a woman doing crunches.

(SPEECH)
We need to put their health and wellness and well-being above all else, even above our own personal interests and our own financial interests. So it can get very tempting sometimes because it is hard as a small business owner to make a living.

We've seen other businesses that really try to hook clients and get them in, for example, by talking about weight loss and how they're going to promise that they can lose a certain amount of weight in a certain amount of time.

(DESCRIPTION)

Elaine coaches clients in exercise. A group of clients exercises in the gym. Elaine smiles at a client. Elaine and Narina sit in folding chairs in a gym.

(SPEECH)

And that's something that we kind of have talked a lot about, and we've had to think about how can we market ourselves in an ethical way that's going to be truthful so that we can have integrity, and that we're not going to be raising expectations too high.

(DESCRIPTION)
Clients run in place in the gym. Narina slaps hands with a man and high fives a woman after a workout.

(SPEECH)
There are smaller ethical issues I think that we have been faced with. For example, it's important to us to be fair across the board to all of our members. Somebody will come to us and want a special deal and they think because we're so friendly with them that we can give them a discount when we don't offer it for somebody else.

(DESCRIPTION)

Clients exercise as Narina and Elaine talk. Narina embraces a client.

 

(SPEECH)

And so, that is a struggle for us a little bit because our tendency is to want to give in to everybody and give them what they ask for. But at the same time, if we help one person then just because somebody else didn't think to ask us they don't get that same special deal. So we've had to really make sure we have policies that we set across the board.

(DESCRIPTION)
Clients jump and do punches for exercise. Elaine and Narina sit in folding chairs in a gym. Women running in the gym in a line.

 

(SPEECH)
For all the small business owners it's really important in the beginning to really identify what your core principles are. For us, our core principles is to put our members safety and health and well-being above all else. And that can guide every business decision we make. Because we know if it's something that's going to help our members, then it's a good business decision.

 

(DESCRIPTION)

Elaine and Narina sit in folding chairs in a gym. Elaine and Narina smile at clients exercising in the gym. Clients throw weighted exercise balls into a wall.

 

(SPEECH)

If it's something that can compromise their well-being in any way, then that's not a route that we want to go. So no matter what business somebody is in, I think just identifying those core principles to begin with, to have something that's sort of a guiding principle is going to really help in the long run.

Because there are so many decisions to make and small business and it's very easy to get thrown off track when you're trying to make money.

And just to really stay true to your own morals and ethics and stay consistent with it. That's the challenges, to separate the emotions and the business.

(DESCRIPTION)
Elaine and Narina give each other a high five. Clients smile and walk around the gym. Elaine and Narina sit in folding chairs in a gym. The two women walk in the gym, one carries a large exercise ball.

Logo, US Bank. Equal Housing Disclaimer. 

How ethics and fitness go hand in hand

The owners of AAY Fitness & Nutrition stay true to their ideals as they grow their small business.

For Elaine Miller and Narina Menassian, the owners of AAY Fitness & Nutrition in Los Angeles, business success and a strong commitment to ethics go hand in hand. In this video, U.S. Bank recently spoke to them about their passion for ethics as they help their community live happier, healthier lives.