(Chapter 1) My name Is David Billy, and I am excited to share my story with you. I was born in Tanzania, spent my childhood in Kenya and most of my teenage life in Namibia and South Africa. I grew up in a family of 4 children; coming from a middle-class family with not alot of money, my parents worked really hard and did their best to make sure we would turn out ok. That is my foundation and has formed me to believe that you can achieve your dreams by hard work and dedication.
I arrived in Holland in 2004 to study physiotherapy and worked part-time in different gyms. After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Physiotherapy, I received a letter from the IND stating I had to leave the country within 21 days. Luckily, one of my friends had a connection with an immigration lawyer and she advised that the only way to stay in the country was to start my own company! I was 25 years old. No clue about starting a business but I learned one important thing; “if you want something really bad, nothing can stop you and you will always find a way”.
(Chapter 2) In 2011 an opportunity opened up, a gym in Amsterdam Oud-West needed a physiotherapist. The place had potential but it was not well taken care of. I thought to myself, “If I ever win the lottery, I would love to take it over”! Two hard years passed and I wasn’t happy with the situation I was in. The crisis had hit, insurance companies enforced more control and they demanded more paperwork. I chose this profession because I enjoyed sports, health and I wanted to improve people’s lives in a positive way. But the system forced me to have an office job. I decided that I wanted to create something that gives honest service without being controlled by a system; something I am passionate about that gives back to the people. The summer of 2013 I started the first pilot of GOH concept in a small location.
After successful 2 years of running the business, I had a great opportunity to obtain an investment through some of my loyal clients and via Crowdfunding to expand the business. When I started GOH, I had no idea how I was going to make it a profitable business. Money wasn’t the reason I started it, but rather passion and to make a difference in people’s lives. In September 2016 GOH 2.0 opened in a bigger and modern new location.
(Chapter 3) July 2019, a number of investors were not happy with previous agreements around payments and we received numerous letters from their lawyer demanding their money back. A new payment settlement was agreed upon but unfortunately this was not enough to keep these three investors satisfied for long. After three months, they demanded a full pay-back, which we were not able to give at that moment. They took us to court on November 5 and within 10 minutes, GOH Concept was declared bankrupt. They were fully aware of the consequences for all other investors, for myself and the team.
My focus from that moment was to continue to fight and find a way to re-start the business. Failure was not an option. On December 17, we re-opened as a new entity under the name of – BEYONDFIT. We are now owned by shareholders who believed in the concept and were keen to take over.
I believe meeting the right people at the right time who are willing to help and support my vision is not a coincidence, but rather confirms that I am on the right path. I tell people today, life has endless challenges. It therefore imperative to be able to get up and keep going no matter what! For that, you need to be BEYOND FIT. To achieve that, we need to make our HEALTH the number 1 priority. And that is what we stand for.
(Chapter 4) After 2 months of opening Beyondfit, the corona virus pandemic hits the world. All gyms and public activities are shut down. The crisis demands business owners to be innovative and creative in order to survive this economic tragedy. My only objective, is to survive yet another catastrophe! I stay positive, keep believing in myself and in God, pushing even harder and repeating these words in my head every morning when I wake up – “I GOT THIS”!