Pat Divilly from Galway says social media changed his life and allowed him to develop a thriving business.
“It took me from working as a waiter to having a successful fitness business in a short few months. It helped me build a profile and a business and it’s given me the lifestyle I’ve always wanted,” he said.
He is careful, however, to keep his private life offline.
“Having said that I’m not as active on social media as I used to be. I used to share my whole life there but as I’ve gotten a bit older I’m happier with a simpler life and less sharing of everything. I enjoy the ability to connect with and learn from like- minded people, and hopefully inspire people with my thoughts, words and actions.”
Social media has transformed the 29-year-old’s approach to business.
“I’ve written three best- selling books and spoke on stages all over the world. I started a small local fitness class in Barna in May 2012 with five people and, using social media, have been able to reach over 25,000 online clients in the past five years.
“Facebook in particular took me from a guy on my local beach with five clients to a guy with over 220,000 followers in a few short years. That kind of following opened up doors in traditional media, with opportunities for physical books, large in-person seminars and work outside of Ireland. Without social media I don’t know where I’d have ended up.”
Pat had used his online presence for good also, and he is actively involved in charity work.
“Using social media, myself and my clients were also able to raise €250,000 for local charities and build a school in Nepal.”
Pat has seen his confidence grow, thanks to the support he receives online.
“Starting out I lacked confidence and had failed with my first business, so there was always a voice of self doubt saying ‘who’s going to listen to me?’ Then as I built a following I’ve found people form an opinion of you for good or for bad before meeting you, which can be a bit strange.”
He suggests anyone who wishes to follow his example on social media should “be yourself and be unique.
“Remember why you are doing what you’re doing. Is it to help people, to share a message, to build a business or to support your lifestyle? Whatever your reason stay focused on that.
“The biggest thing that holds people back is their fear of criticism and succumbing to it will keep you invisible.”
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