From 14 Years of Not Being Able To Pay Himself A Salary, To Becoming #1

“There is really a lot you don’t know, so be open other people, listen, ask questions and learn.” – Ken Endelman

Ken Endelman is the CEO and founder of Balanced Body, the world’s largest resource for Pilates equipment and education.

In 1976, a Pilates instructor visited Ken’s custom furniture store in Hollywood and asked him to build an improved pilates reformer (the main piece of equipment used in Pilates). He designed a modern reformer that was smoother, quieter, safer and more user-friendly, resulting in a new career and a revolution in the mind-body exercise community.

Over the years, Endelman has collaborated with Pilates educators, studio owners, fitness facility managers, physical therapists, athletic trainers and home users from around the world. He has made hundreds of improvements to Joseph Pilates’ original equipment, many of which have become industry standards. His innovations have been awarded 28 patents in the United States and six in Europe.

Endelman co-founded the Institute for Pilates Method and Polestar Education and has produced numerous Pilates instructional videos. He has authored articles on a wide variety of topics relating to both technical and business aspects of Pilates equipment and programs and is a frequent presenter at Pilates and fitness conferences around the world.

Endelman is a member of the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science and the Pilates Method Alliance, and he has completed in-depth educational seminars with a number of Pilates senior master trainers. He is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles. He’s also passionate about building a sustainable company for future generations—and even cycles to work nearly every day!

Below are some highlights:

3:30 Ken’s First Real Failure

7:20 Pilates Reformer

8:30 Dissolving A Partnership

9:20 Having A Well Lubricated Reverse

11:20 Failing Pollywog Business

12:30 Lessons From A Paper Route

13:45 Couldn’t Afford His Own Salary For 14 Years

18:40 What’s The Closest You’ve Ever Come To Quitting?

21:35 What’s The Biggest Risk You’ve Ever Taken?

24:20 Taking 10 Years To Fire People Who Should’ve Never Been Hired In The First Place

28:06 Negative Effect of Bad Employees on Culture

31:05 Losing Hundreds of Thousands On One Mistake

34:00 Advice For Budding Entrepreneurs

35:40 Ken’s Most Recent Failure

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Bonus Content

As you may already know, each guest completes and submits a “Resume of Failures” as part of the show.  You can find Ken’s here.



Beyond every major success, you’ll find countless missed attempts, oversights and mistakes. What matters most, is how YOU choose to respond to it!

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“My reputation grows with every failure.” ~George Bernard Shaw
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” ~Winston Churchill
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” ~Thomas A. Edison
“I failed my way to success.” ~Thomas Edison
“My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.” ~Abraham Lincoln
~“The better a man is, the more mistakes he will make, for the more new things he will try.” ~Peter Drucker
“You can’t have any successes unless you can accept failure.” ~George Cukor
“The only time you mustn’t fail is the last time you try.” ~Charles F. Kettering
“The majority of men meet with failure because of their lack of persistence in creating new plans to take the place of those which fail.” ~Napoleon Hill
“Failure doesn’t mean you are a failure… it just means you haven’t succeeded yet.” ~Robert Schuller
“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” ~Elbert Hubbard
“I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is a step forward.” ~Thomas A. Edison
“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” ~Michael Jordan
“You always pass failure on your way to success.” ~Mickey Rooney
“Life’s real failure is when you do not realize how close you were to success when you gave up.” ~Anonymous
“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” ~Albert Einstein
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” ~Thomas Edison
“Failure is instructive. The person who really thinks learns quite as much from his failures as from his successes.” ~John Dewey
“The only real failure in life is one not learned from.” ~Anthony J. D’Angelo
“There are two kinds of people in this world: those who want to get things done, and those who don’t want to make mistakes.” ~John Maxwell
“In order to succeed you must fail, so that you know what not to do the next time.” ~Anthony D’Angelo
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” ~Henry Ford