Small Businesses of Broken Hill – In Conversation with Darren Nankivell

By Dylan J. Stone

At just 24 years old, Darren Nankivell is truly an inspiration to the entire community.

A budding young business owner, Mr Nankivell has demonstrated that Broken Hill can truly provide the opportunity for anyone to follow and achieve your dreams.

Mr Nankivell started work at Crystal Strength and Conditioning at the start of 2020 as an employee, and just over two years later, this April, he bought the business.
His passion for fitness was lit in 2014 when he took up soccer as a sport and realised his fitness “was not where it should have been”.

“We believe in creating a motivating, dynamic environment filled with like-minded people of all ages and body types, who are committed to working hard and achieving lasting fitness results,” says Mr Nankivell of his business.

He says the goal is to prioritise consistency over intensity to prepare his clients for a long and fulfilling life.


While most gyms simply focus on fitness and health goals, Mr Nankivell says Crystal Strength and Conditioning provides a wholistic approach to health and fitness, and Mr Nankivell’s strong and direct connection with all of his clients certainly illustrates this goal.

For Mr Nankivell, the big plus being in business is the level of freedom he has been able to achieve.

But he is quick to say, “freedom can be a double-edged sword, but not having to report to someone, and being able to make business decisions, provides me with the comfort and flexibility to look after my clients in a much more meaningful way then I could as an employee.”

“It also holds me accountable to make sure I’m doing the things I am supposed to be doing, such as putting much more time into the business,” he says.

There are challenges too, of course, including higher stress levels.

Mr Nankivell has only been in business for himself for three months, so he says, “this is still very much a learning process about business skills and business development,’” but he is taking it in his stride as he realises his dream of small business ownership.

As a new business owner, and a young person inspiring a generation of aspiring small business owners, Mr Nankivell says you should absolutely go into business, “if you’re truly passionate about what you’re doing, and can see yourself remaining in business in the future”.

“My dream was a gym, and if it feels right in your gut and if you’re willing to put the hard work in, then you should pursue it.”

Networking is also critical, he says and is something he encourages all aspiring and new business owners to do.

“Talk to other people and business owners, network, and connect with others. Find out if there is a true place and market for your idea, and always get advice.”

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