At first glance the trained, tattooed physique of physical trainer Corey Springer may intimidate most men; however, after a ten minute conversation with this inspirational young man one would discover a level of articulate intellect that matches his well groomed exterior. Some call him Corey, many know him as Narq. This catchy alias has evolved from a focused image to a bustling brand.
From the quiet personality of a young boy and the eldest of his siblings, he was raised to always take pride in his appearance. Growing up in the ghetto, he developed a reputation of being “too pretty” and he became ostracized and labeled as a narcissist. This only inspired Corey to place more effort in his hobbies and crafts, establishing a strategy to use this to his advantage. Following an unfortunate incident where a picture of him was being slandered on an online forum, he adopted this narcissistic persona and the nickname Narq was born.
With the birth of this nickname he forecasted how he could make financial gain from it and build it into a brand. Through research and general interest of physical fitness, he not only became known for his great body, but also for his vast knowledge in the subject. Broadcasting living the fitness lifestyle, made him more attractive to potential clients. He pushed an eclectic, snobbish brand and people latched onto it. Hard.
He began writing for a website in 2003 and instantly drew attention to himself. During this time he founded Narkside Tees and his first sale was acquired through the social medium Twitter from a client in Australia. T-Shirts were also sold to regions in the USA and the UK.
Corey possesses a deep love for Barbados and his people, and he truly defines the term “support local”. He enjoys pushing commerce to other Barbadian companies and entrepreneurs so commerce can return and cycle therefore building a sustainable model. However after observing the experiences of his father, who is also an entrepreneur, he knows all too well the rises and dips in the local market. He has learned Barbados follows cycles and climates instead of indefinite support, hence his strong focus on the international market.
Corey believes strongly in social media and its advantages which have assisted him extend his reach. He considers it to be the evolution of e-commerce. Several years ago the idea of making money online was a trendy topic; there were no provisions for it. It was very difficult for entrepreneurs to acquire credit cards and PayPal options were unavailable for our region. He developed creative ways of acquiring money utilizing the benefits of Western Union and Money Gram, among others. Although the procedures were tedious, through determination they proved successful.
Corey’s flagship enterprise is Apollo Fitness Barbados and apart from the aforementioned Narkside Tees, he also has an online forum and catering operation called Narkside Nutrition and also partners to produce the popular weekly workout event Barefoot Bootcamp. However from developing these businesses over the last decade, he realizes that entrepreneurs are still not viewed as being professionals in the eyes of mainstream financing facilities. Corey commented that start-ups for an entrepreneurship are still perceived as a viable liability. Whenever a proposal for funding is submitted most of the time small business owners are met with negative answers. When asked about a realistic solution to this challenge Corey suggested while there may not be a quick turnaround of this perception of how entrepreneurs are viewed, they can however purposely push funds to support up and coming small businesses. In addition, an operable functioning unit of entrepreneurs can be established with access to a pool of funds, who can analyze proposals and ideas of other entrepreneurs and funnel money to sources efficiently.
Corey has worked from his early teens. The way in which he was treated was demoralizing both monetarily and also to his personal discredit. This is how he learnt the unfortunate lesson of exploitation and decided that instead of struggling at the mercy of another person, he would struggle and work hard on his own two feet.
Dazzle learnt from Corey the importance of comprehending the difference between managing and building a business. Corey shared that success is not necessarily looking at sales figures because it does not genuinely equate to knowing how your business is growing. Success is the maturation of people speaking about your business and persons identifying your business as quantifiable and tangible. Simply put; success is people. Networking is also crucial for business. “Networking is like oxygen”, Corey said. “Businesses that do not network have no legs to stand on. They have no longevity. No active reach outside their general circle of supporters.”
His service is affordable for the average Bajan. Where it may lack in financial gain, it makes up for it in the human element. The satisfaction of seeing people reaching their goals gives Corey Springer the inspiration to get up every morning and go again.