By Mike Beas
Hendricks County Business Leader
What Olivia Roney used to examine as a potential weakness or character flaw she now considers an asset. Given the way Roney, only 23, has grown her business, Crouching Tigers, no one should question her inability – or is it unwillingness? – to take orders.
“I’m very much a leader,” says Roney, a martial artist who has designed a business that is a mobile fitness and martial arts program with a curriculum devoted to the physical, emotional and social development of children ages 2-12. “I’ve been studying martial arts for 14 years and wanted to come up with a plan that was as convenient and affordable as possible for parents.”
Headquartered in Brownsburg, Crouching Tigers incorporates a non-contact philosophy, though kicking and punching techniques are taught as a method of improving a child’s balance, coordination and self-esteem. Martial arts teaches children to use their hands, feet and words as tools and never as weapons.
Best of all, they come to you by conducting classes at preschools, daycares and the like throughout the entire Indianapolis Metropolitan Area. “The good thing about our program is it makes their center look better because we offer convenience and we’re a no-contact martial art,” says Roney.
The second of seven children raised primarily by a single mother in northern Indiana, Roney’s background has supplied her an endless supply of motivational ammunition to not only succeed as a businesswoman, but flourish. The rapid growth of Crouching Tigers (from 30 clients in 2008 to 450 today) states she’s well on her way.
“I was raised in poverty, so I have that drive to rise above it,” says Roney. “I am shooting for $8 million a year by the time I’m 30.”
But it’s not all about the almighty dollar sign. Roney’s older brother, Adam, performs graphic design work for Crouching Tigers and younger sister, Hannah, works as one of the martial arts instructors. In addition, Roney desires to be able to pay for college for her younger siblings and let them explore whatever academic path is most enticing.
Or there’s always the family business, a real kick if ever there was one.