Thursday, Sep. 20 2012 4:04PM
Welcome to the ‘Borough’
Lee’s Summit business owner “naive” to economic downturn
By Toriano Porter
Bryan Marlborough had a plan and he was sticking to it.
Marlborough, the 29-year-old owner of Complete Strength Development at 108 N.E. Tudor Road in Lee’s Summit, was determined four or five years ago to open his business amid strife that caused a downtown in the nation’s economy.
So, the 2001 Raytown South High School graduate took an unusual, but practical route when it came time to make the decision to step out on faith and start the process of entrepreneurship.
“I was out of college (William Jewell) for two years at that time, and I spent almost a year and a half of that time training for football tryouts, so I was really naive to the whole economy situation,” Marlborough, a current member of the Excelsior Springs-based Midwest Titans minor league football team, said. “It was a good thing, because it didn’t affect my goal and vision negatively. I knew I wanted to help people and do it a certain way, and I felt starting my own small business was the best way to do that.
“I really wasn’t thinking about the economy; I was just thinking about what I could offer people and my long-term vision for a personal training business.”
Marlborough started Complete Strength Development under difficult circumstances.
“I started at a place over by Lee’s Summit High School,” Marlborough said of the origins of his business. “I was working with a physical therapy company – we were doing the personal training part of the business – and I just kind of wanted to go off on my own. I found a small space in an industrial area; a little warehouse. It was terrible. Plastic doors, no insulation; I stayed there for about a year to figure out what I wanted to do.”
Now with three certified trainers on staff and a growing client list, the semi-pro football quarterback and businessman is trying to make it all fit his life’s plan – a plan that includes playing football for a few more years in hopes of a paying gig as a quarterback at the professional level.
Marlborough, a rookie with the Titans, attended Baker University in Kansas for a year before transferring to William Jewell, but only played college football for one season.
“I’ve been thinking about it for the last couple of years,” Marlborough said of getting back into football. “I’ve been out of football for about 10 years, I’ve always loved it and I’ve always thought about it, but last year I started training for it. I gave it up for a while for a lot of different reasons, but I still wanted to keep playing.”
Eli Shipley, a personal trainer at Complete Strength Development since January, said he had no doubts that Marlborough could still lace up the cleats and toss a football around. A part-time starter for the Titans, Marlborough and teammates will travel to Little Rock, Ark. Sept. 22 to face a team from Kankakee, Ill. for the Alliance World Football League championship at legendary War Memorial Stadium.
“I knew he’d have no problem at all,” Shipley said of Marlborough’s football exploits. “He’s good. If he keeps training he’ll be good at it.”
Business-wise, Shipley, born and bred in Lee’s Summit, said he handles the community side of personal training, while Marlborough works predominately with athletes.
“I’m more on the weight-loss side,” Shipley said. “(Marlborough) is more into sports (training) and athletes. I’m more of the general fitness, weight-loss and overall health. It’s been awesome (working in Lee’s Summit). It’s been word of mouth for me, but I’ve been really blessed to have the people that I started with and they’ve just kind of told people about us. They enjoy what they are doing here and they kind of just keep coming back.”
Marlborough wouldn’t have it any other way.
“It’s been challenging and exciting,” Marlborough said of being a business owner. “I didn’t really know much about what I was doing when I first started; I just knew I wanted to work with people. I just dove into it. Probably not as smart as other people would do it, but it’s been awesome throughout the whole process. We’ve grown gradually and steadily.”