Nisan Trotter is an entrepreneur, public speaker, author and owner of TROTFITNESS in Lewisburg, Penn. (population: 5,730).
Trotter was raised in Silverhill, Ala. (population: 997), where he was brought up by a loving support group of family and friends. He said he cut his teeth on the pews of the local church and learned about hard work early on, citing his mother and grandfather as two important examples in his formative years.
As an African American growing up in a majority-white community, Trotter became aware of racial disparities and prejudice that still linger. Relatedly, he saw how hardworking employees like his mother were often at the mercy of others’ decisions. This gave him a desire early on to take greater control of his destiny through business ownership.
He learned more lessons on hard work and teamwork as he became a standout three-sport athlete in high school, earning him a football scholarship to the prestigious Bucknell University in Lewisburg. As a first-generation college student, Trotter excelled as an athlete and in the school’s business program and received several honors for his leadership on and off the field.
A year after college, Trotter returned to Lewisburg and worked for Bucknell. He eventually became an ACE-certified personal trainer and built a reputation as a top fitness expert in the area – on his way to establishing TROTFITNESS with his wife, Yorelis Trotter.
Known as “The Fitness Preacher,” Trotter brings great energy and talent to his work – whether he is speaking to a group, helping his clients get in shape, advocating for racial equality, or being a husband and father of three. Joy, authentic enthusiasm, along with a savvy business sense, are all keys to success as an entrepreneur and in life, and Trotter has those qualities in abundance.
In this episode of the Rural Business Show, Trotter discusses what it was like growing up in the rural Deep South and the childhood experiences that influenced him to become a business owner.
We discuss some of the racial injustices he and his family went through and the continuing racial disparities in the United States.
We talk about his college experience and why he decided to return and build his business in Pennsylvania, another majority-white community.
He shares the lessons he is learning as a business owner and new challenges his business is navigating due to COVID-19.
Trotter also gives advice to those considering starting a business in a rural location and the important role entrepreneurship plays in race and social justice issues in communities.