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EP 55: Aaron Smith – GROWTH & REFOCUSING

“People come for the workout, but they stay because they belong somewhere and they aren’t a number at KX” – Aaron Smith

The brains and brawn behind KX Pilates, Aaron Smith, is an award winning innovator and entrepreneur in the fitness industry. Launched in 2010, KX Pilates was developed  in line with the Japanese philosophy of ‘kaizen’, meaning continuous movement. Participants in classes can expect a unique and truly dynamic workout that isn’t always associated with traditional pilates and is aimed at transforming physical and mental fitness.

Over the past decade, the business has grown from one studio in Malvern, located in Melbourne’s east, into one of Australia’s largest pilates franchises with 74 studios, including one in Jakarta, Indonesia. In 2018, Smith stepped down as CEO to focus on further international expansion and development of a new pilates reformer apparatus.

“You need to find a mentor who has been there, done that… when people are successful they want to give back” – Aaron Smith on learning how to run a successful business.


The conversation covers:

  • The catalysts for Aaron starting a fitness business (1:50)
  • Stumbling on the style of training that KX is based on (3:22)
  • Joining a young entrepreneurs collective and learning how to run a business – online, customer service, marketing, finance (5:00)
  • Doing deals at the right time and learning about franchising (6:41)
  • Aaron’s thoughts on the key to success in a saturated market (9:45)
  • Why Aaron stepped down from the CEO role to shift his focus (13:40)
  • Making sacrifices for the success of the business and his family and lifestyle (18:53)
  • Turning 10 in 2020 and having to close all the studios due to Covid (21:57)
  • Staying afloat and relevant during Covid lockdowns (26:24)
  • Adapting to change and making the pivot to online training sessions (30:23)
  • Aaron on the excitement of the next big steps for KX (32:32)
  • Top tips for getting into business and the things that has helped Aaron succeed (44:01)

“We spent a lot of time and energy on our branding and our people – for us, it’s all about community” – Aaron Smith

Aaron dives into a very honest conversation about what drives him to push the boundaries of success and how he’s had to adapt the business to an ever changing fitness industry landscape. He discusses the importance of innovation, but backs it up with knowing when to stay in your own lane and focus on the core of what is important. Aaron is a firm believer in stepping back, refocusing and employing the best people for the jobs that he, as a founder, isn’t necessarily qualified for.

Did that podcast resonate with you? Are you interested in learning more about the success story KX? Head to LinkedIn or Instagram to follow KX and connect with Aaron Smith.


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