I love seeing how fatherhood pushes men to become a better version of themselves. Especially when it happens before you even have kids. It’s realizing at a young age that you need to be the change you want to see! And that’s how Tre Hicks’s story starts.
Tre hails from Greenville, North Carolina, where he tells me Eastern North Carolina has the highest percentage of fatherless children per capita in the state. He recalls being able to count on one hand how many people he knew whose father lived at home with the kid and their mother. He vowed then, that his children would not have that same experience.
“I really always wanted to be the best father I could be! As a kid I would say that. I just saw the lack. I said I gotta do better!”
Tre talked about the great relationship he had with his father and how much he learned from him. He talked about how supportive he was and how he showed him the power of hard work. He’s taken these values with him through his personal life and business. He mentioned that he wasn’t the best player on the field, but he was going to out work anyone else because he saw how hard his father grinds. He will continue to carry that trait and pass it down to his children.
“I wasn’t very skilled. I was super hard working and dedicated. I was the dude that came in before the workout started and stayed after… I learned that from him. He would go in a 5 am and wouldn’t come back til late.”
After graduating from East Carolina University, Tre began a career in finance. He liked it, but soon realized the corporate “rat race” was not for him. So he took a leap of faith and invested in his passion of fitness and health. He became a personal trainer. That’s when his first baby was born, Elevate With Tre! His business did so well that within the first 5 months, he was able to open up a 5,000 square foot gym with no loans!
As the business continued to grow, the pandemic hit, so he went from close to 150 clients to none. And during this time is when his son, Tre Jr. was born. Rather than accept defeat, he was able to pivot his business into e-commerce as he became involved with Herbalife. Using the same marketing techniques as his personal training business and implementing new ones, he was able to garner over $100k in sales his first year!
Before I go into how great a father Tre is to his son, I want to mention how he fathers his community in a sense. Tre realized that local kids wanted to work out and get training in different sports but could not afford it. So he started opening his gym up to kids on the weekends. It went so well that the Mayor became involved. That started his non-profit, Operation Elevate Sports! He was able to get community sponsors and other businesses donating money and services. So now, not only are they providing the youth sports training, they are giving them leadership development, access to mental health specialists, nutritional food after their workouts, and other educational materials.
When I brought up Tre’s son to ask him how fatherhood has changed him, his face just lit up! Anytime a mans face lights up when talking about their child, you know they’re proud to be a father! Even though his son is only 5 months old, he credits fatherhood as kicking his motivation into overdrive! He wants his son to have the keys to the business, his college paid for, and a down payment for a house by the time he turns 18. No excuses!
“From the time I seen this dude, my work ethic went through the roof! I couldn’t sleep at night half the time. I would wake up and go to my laptop and just start doing work!”
Tre does understand that even though he wants to work hard to be the best provider to his wife and son, it’s important to balance his time, so he can be a present husband and father. He’s began to implement times, where he stops working, puts down his phone and focuses on his son and wife. More than a business man, Tre wants to be known as a dope father and husband when people think of him.
Above all, Tre’s biggest mission is legacy! He is trying to break the generational curse of people in his family just working to survive. He wants to build generational wealth! He wants his son to have options. Whether it be taking over the Elevate business, starting a new business, or going to college. He wants his son to have the freedom to choose and not feel like he has to follow societal norms!
And of course, I needed his Dear Father letter!
Thank you! I appreciate you for teaching me about hard work. I’m going to do the same thing for my son!
I love these types of stories. Tre knew from a young age the change he wanted to see and has worked hard since then to bring his vision to fruition. I respect what he’s doing for his community and the future generation. And I love to see young, black men pour into their wife and children. And even though he is a health and fitness guru, I got him to admit that Jr. can have some McDonalds every once in a while.
Make sure you follow Tre and hit him up for help on your fitness journey.
Also check out his non-profit: Operation Elevate Sports