Three Minutes Across the Counter with: Master Chris Berlow

Master Chris Berlow at class. Photo courtesy
Master Chris Berlow at class. Photo courtesy
Integrity, respect, perseverance and self-control are everyday values, says Chris Berlow. 

Berlow owns and runs the United Martial Arts Center on North State Road in Ossining.

But that's not all. He's an author, working on his second book. He's  a Patch blogger. And, for the past few years, Berlow has organized a "kickathon" for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Westchester/Hudson Valley.

Patch: How did you get your first start in business?

Berlow: I was let go from my previous instructing job.  Looked for a teaching job—it was October and no jobs. My close friend encouraged me and said, "You need a Taekwondo School, it was what you are born to do." I took his advice, took out a loan for $10,000 at 25% interest and made it happen.  

How did your parents influence you as a business owner?

B: My parents have always been my biggest supporters. My father and I built out the location together and had it up and running in two weeks. My mother was my first employee and was a major part of our school. She was the face that everyone saw once they came in.

P: How long have you lived here?

B: I have lived in the Westchester community all of my life.

P: What's your favorite thing about living here?

B: I love this area because of the diversity of the people and the recreation opportunities. I really love the fact that we have some of the best Hiking and Mountain Biking in the North East as well as being with like minded heath conscious individuals. 

P: What's a business mistake you've made that later you were glad you did?

B: I think that all small businesses are masters of making mistakes. For me it was the building of my own building. To build the building we are in, I had to go through major hurdles where I had to pull out all of my martial arts values. Biggest one being Perseverance.

Tell us something about yourself that most of your neighbors don't know.

B: I am involved in a second business called Empowered Mastery where I have an opportunity to take martial arts values to Corporate America. Our book, "YOU Have Infinite Power" will be released Nationally in May to Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and wherever books are sold. 

What's the best business advice you've ever received?

B: Honestly, it was to get a mentor in your respective industry and follow their lead. This way you don't make the same mistakes that they have made.  

What advice would you give to a small business owner just starting out?

B: Be sure that what you do is in alignment for why you are doing it. If you are involved in your business for only the money, then you are destined to fail. If you truly love what you do and know that you create tremendous value to the community you serve, you will be there for the long run.

What do you look for when you hire?

B: Anyone I hire must be home grown. They have had to be a student of mine so they understand the UMAC culture and environment. I look for an active interest in the success of others to determine whether they could instruct for me. Of course, they have to be good martial artists as well.

P: Thanks!


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