Category Archives: Inspiration & Motivation

Momentum Matters: 5 Steps For Starting A New Business

The number on question people ask me about my experience as entrepreneur is “How did you get started?” then there are a bunch of follow-up questions like …”Did you have a clear vision?”   “Did you have a business plan?”  “Did you have investors?”   And the answers are No, No and No.  I’m a big believer in the power of momentum…..once you get moving in a direction that energizes you, it’s hard stop.  And while you’re moving forward, you start attracting amazing opportunities. Or at least this was the case for me. Let me shed some light on what I believe to be the 5 key steps for bringing a business idea to life.  (Warning:  None of the steps require writing a business plan.)

So a little bit of background,  I was a pretty risk averse person and I played it by the book throughout my 20’s… graduated from college, spent two years in HR at Texas Instruments, earned an MBA, then joined a Big 4 consulting firm.  Overall life was good, but deep down I knew something was missing. While I was grateful for the stable salary, opportunity to travel and exposure to complex corporate challenges, something inside of me was not satisfied.  I’ve never considered myself a “creative” person, but I had a deep desire to “make new stuff” and lead people and feel excited about my work, and I wasn’t getting that.  During that time, I was also struggling with my weight as I had to travel to a different state or country every week, Monday through Thursday.  So eating healthy was a challenge.  I started taking Turbo Kick classes at 24 Hour Fitness and they were so freakin’ fun!  I got really into it, loved the way I felt after class, and thought it would be fun to sign up for instructor training just so I could get better at the moves.  So one weekend, I paid the $189 fee and spent a Saturday learning how to teach Turbo Kick class (the best decision of my life).  And this leads me to STEP #1: Follow what energizes you.  Never in a million years did I ever think I would ever start a fitness company.  After all, I was chunky kid and my childhood dream was to be a talk show host.  BUT, I really enjoyed these group fitness classes.  They were a hobby.  They were challenging.  They excited me and I didn’t mind working really hard and really long to get good at them.  I love this quote form Mark Cuban, “If you really want to know where your destiny lies, look at where you apply your time.”  I realized I was spending more of my free time planning workouts rather than working on client decks….very telling.  At that point, I knew I wanted to start some sort of fitness venture, but I didn’t know what it would look like.

2012, Selfie after teaching my 1st Turbo Kick class at 24 Hour Fitness

While, discovering something that energizes you is super exciting, it still takes lots of  hours to develop the craft and become great at it. As a former collegiate athlete this principle is engrained in me and I know that I have to practice a ton if I want to be great at anything. If I was serious about starting a fitness company, I was going to have to develop a rigorous routine to develop the skills required to do so.  STEP #2: Start Developing The Skills You Need To Succeed.  At that point I got a part-time job (side hustle) at 24 Hour Fitness teaching at least 1 class per week.  I knew I couldn’t start a group fitness company unless I was a badass fitness instructor.   I also started this blog because I knew that I needed to develop some marketing skills (of which I had none).  Blogging gave me hands on experience with social media and free marking tools.  It also gave me a therapeutic outlet to share my story in a very authentic way.  Blogging changed my life.  For realz.  For 2 years I maintained the side hustle of teaching fitness classes and blogging, in addition to working full time in management consulting.  Yes, I was tired.  Yes, I had a lot to juggle.  But my side hustle pumped me up so much that I didn’t mind staying up late and working all weekend to keep my blog updated and prep for fitness classes.  The skills I developed during this time prepared me to excel in leading my business, before I even started my business.

2012, After starting my blog, I got some “professional” fitness pics taken at JC Penny! (wow Brit)

So now I was rolling!  During this time, my blog was growing and getting recognition from PopSugar and Greatist.  My classes at 24 Hour Fitness were packed.  I was feelin’ myself!  BUT, I wasn’t making any “real money”… I had a hobby… I didn’t have a business…  I wanted to start a business so I could work in fitness full-time and quit my “real job!”  But I had a ton of business ideas and was feeling overwhelmed.  From apps, to class formats, to video series – ah!!!!!  Many of you can probably relate with me at this point… so you have a “passion” or a business idea or an interest in something but you don’t know what to do with it.  You spend countless hours discussing it with our friends, journaling, thinking about everything that could go wrong, etc.  Then you get overwhelmed with all of these thoughts and say, “screw it” someone else is probably already working on this and 5 steps ahead of me.  I get it.  I’ve been there.  This was me.  But the best thing you can do at this point, is JUST MAKE SOMETHING ALREADY  (STEP 3).  I made workout DVD (GRIT Ultimate Body Burn).  There’s so much power in simply keeping the ball rolling.  Your product or service doesn’t have to be perfect, it just needs to reflect you!  AND you need the experience of creating something from nothing.  Creating my workout DVD gave me a new level of confidence that I could take and idea and bring it life.  It also polished my project management skills and collaboration skills.  And it was just fun.  So if you’re mulling around in the “idea phase” stop thinking and start doing!

Once you’ve created something, you’ve got to find like-minded people who LOVE IT!  Notice I didn’t say you need spend tons of money on mass marketing.  That’s not a good look.  You just need to find people who are already on board with what you’re doing and educate them! Remember, momentum is everything!  Give them free samples, throw a party and buy their drinks share your story with them. STEP 4: Find Your Tribe and Energize Them!  A highly engaged tribe of people who love your product/service are the most valuable asset your business will ever have.  During my 2 years of side hustlin’,  I was teaching FREE classes at the W Hotel every single weekend.  I would post free workouts on my blog every single week.  I was energizing and investing in my tribe. If you show people that you genuinely love them and are passionate and committed to a common purpose,  they will be your biggest advocates and all of the marketing you need. Find the RIGHT people, love them and keep them excited!

Now that you’ve got ball rolling, just keep it rolling!  Once you stop, it’s so much harder to restart.  STEP 5: Never quit, never ever give up. Sure there are obstacles and setbacks and bad days, but hopefully you absolutely love what you’re doing and you’re enjoying the process.  I’m a big believer that if you’re  committed to a positive cause, consistently improving and growing and strengthening your tribe, your business simply CANNOT fail.  It’s actually impossible….as long as you don’t quit!  The opportunity to open the first GRIT Fitness studio literally fell in my lap.  A student in my Turbo Kick class at 24 Hour Fitness has a son who was looking for someone to share his commercial space in Downtown Dallas to run fitness classes.  Seriously?!?!  GRIT Fitness was developed out of a side-hustle, a 30 minute workout DVD and this blog.  But the energy and momentum from years of smaller efforts are what has grown us to a business led by 50 fabulous women serving over 3,000 clients. Never underestimate the magic of simply moving forward.

GRIT Fitness #DREAMTEAM at our 2016 Holiday Party

Dallas GRIT Fitness Flagship | Construction Progress

ALMOST MOVE IN TIME

Hey hey friends!  I’m SO THRILLED to share a construction progress update today because SO MUCH has been accomplished in so little time.

So, this week all of the former walls in the facility were demolished leaving this huge open space…

IMG_0981

IMG_0982

and by the end of the week, the new wall frames and sheet rock were constructed –  YAY!

IMG_0992

This is a major milestone because the new GRIT FITNESS flagship studio will have 2 studios under 1 roof: 1 group fitness studio + 1 indoor cycling studio. (It’s also just super cool to actually see the future floor plan in real life – not just on construction drawings).

I’m big believer that variety is the spice of life and the key to an effective fitness regimen, so I’m super keen on providing continuous variety to my clients AKA the #GRITFAM.  Offering cycling classes in additional to our 7 original group fitness classes is a phenomenal sweaty combo!

Furthermore, we made more great progress on the locker room.  Last week the locker room looked like this (NO plumbing)…

IMG_0983

This week the trenching for plumbing got underway and we are on track to install showers!

IMG_0978

We still have lots of work to do (e.g. flooring, lighting, sound, decor) but the BIG construction efforts are well underway and almost done.  Summer will be here before we know it and I can’t wait to offer more of our fun, fierce fabulous fitness classes to the Dallas community.

It’s not too late to back our campaign and help make this vision come to life.  We can’t do it without you!  Thank you so much for the contributions, kind emails and words of encouragement so far.  You are loved and appreciated.  #thebestisyettocome

xoxo, Brit

indiegogo-logo

The Power of Vulnerability

 

IMG_0759

Hosting book club last week with my FAB friends!

Hey friends!  Happy Sunday.  I hope you had a fabulous weekend!  My weekend was super busy, but I don’t mind (I like it like that).  Last week, I hosted my best friends at my bachelorette pad for a LOOOONG overdue book club meeting/wine night.  We start the book club over 3 years ago, but unfortunately have not met in the last 18 months.  Needless to say, we very much appreciated the time together AND thoroughly enjoyed our book, Daring Greatly by Brené Brown (yay Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday crew).

Daring Greatly is all about the power of vulnerability.  While putting ourselves in vulnerable situations often makes us feel weak, it’s actually one of the most empowering actions we can take to strengthen our relationships and our sense of self-worth.

The week I had a unique opportunity to “choose vulnerablity” by sharing a video that I think makes me look “weak.”  Here’s a little back story…last summer I met an awesome producer, Clint Howard, via Thumbtack who developed the GRIT promo video that’s my studio’s website.  A few days ago he sent me this “behind the scenes” video he created.  I hesitated to share it because I want to put on a “strong/girlboss” image, but after thinking about it some more I decided it’s good for me to be totally transparent and let my clients and blog followers know exactly why GRIT exists and why the #GRITFAM means the world to me.  You can watch the video below…

Grit Behind the Sceens from Clint Howard II on Vimeo.

While I run the risk of being made fun of, negative feedback, etc., I’m comfortable enough in my own skin to face whatever outcomes may be.  Most importantly, I believe in the vision of GRIT Fitness so much that I want to make intentions crystal clear.  Quite honestly, this is the first time in my life that I’ve felt this way and it’s so liberating!  Having a truly unique personal passion/ life purpose is simply the best.  And for it, I’m forever grateful.

 

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Me and my #dreamteam of instructors and advisors getting ready to get to WERK!

Me and my #dreamteam of instructors and advisors getting ready to get to WERK

Hey Friends – happy 2016! First off, my sincere apologies for the sporadic blog posting.  We have been crazy busy at GRIT Fitness with a rush of new members who are ready to get fit and feel fabulous in 2016.  I’m not one for excuses, so I’ll just say “my bad” and start doing better.  Most posts coming – I promise!

To kick off the New Year, my team and I met for an inspirational brainstorming and goal setting session.  We chatted about things that were going well at GRIT and things that we can do better. We also spent time articulating our vision of an “amazing fitness experience” and then set some team and personal goals around that vision.

12419357_1075392815825297_2946181706116644382_o

Letting our innovative juices flow to help create a bigger, better GRIT Fitness!

12493938_1075392805825298_9044613857863675638_o

Setting goals for 2016!

Fortunately, I had a great boss back in my consulting days who taught me about setting SMART Goals: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time Bound.  What are your goals for 2016? I encourage you to also set smart goals – they are more effective for driving to results!

As a small business owner and new entrepreneur I value this quality time with my team.  Sure, I see these ladies everyday as sweat and smile during our classes at GRIT, but the most important thing I’ve learned during my first year as an entrepreneur is that my business success is 100% dependent on the engagement and performance of my team.  Without my team – I have nothing! #realtalk

As a self-proclaimed “independent woman” this was a tough pill for me to swallow because a part of me prides myself on developing the concept for GRIT Fitness on my own and getting it up and running by leveraging my skills and experience.  But as we continue to grow, there are SO MANY things that I simply can’t do by myself and SO MANY things that I just don’t know.   I have to develop and empower my team to be leaders in their own right, take risks and to share their gifts with others.

While I absolutely LOVE group fitness and feel so blessed to wake up every day and pursue my passion, I get so much more joy from serving my team and creating a foundation for us all to pursue our passions together.  I’ve learned that “it’s great to do what you love, but even greater with the great team.” Teamwork really does make the dream work.  xoxo,Brit

12360283_10153714179786217_3134927850122376357_n

Maria, GRIT Body Sculpt & HIIT instructor, showing off her mug



GRIT Fitness 2016 New Year Challenge

Happy 2016 my friends!  I hope you rang in the new year with those you love.  I enjoyed New Year’s day by teaching SOLD OUT back-to-back classes at my studio at “Brit’s 2016 Sweaty Surprise” class.  Essentially, I picked all of my favorite songs from 2015 and choreographed a mash-up workout of kickboxing, body sculpting and dance exercises.  It was a one hour of good old sweaty fun.

To keep the momentum going, I’m hosting a #NEWYEARBESTYOU challenge for our GRIT family. If you don’t live in Dallas, you can still participate!  All you have to do is write down one personal goal of how you will be your best self this year and email it to dallasgritfitness@gmail.com.  Then you must complete 15 workouts that are each at least 30 minutes long before the end of January.  Share your progress by posting 15 post-workout pics to Instagram and use the hashtag #newyearbestyou.  Everyone who completes the challenge will earn our newest “I’m Allergic to Basic Workouts Tank Top” #dontbebasic.  Let’s do this thang!

New Year-2

If you live in Dallas, come join the challenge in person!  We are offering a killer New Year deal for unlimited classes and official membership to the GRIT Family.  For only $105 per month you can join the party, take the challenge and hang out with me (which I hope you want to do)!  Here’s the link to sign up: REGISTER NOW

New Year Sale!-2

Alright gang, let’s make 2016 the best year of our lives and let’s do it as a team!  Here’s to a happy, healthy New Year!  xoxo, Brit

If at first you don’t succeed, pick yourself up and try again

Good morning friends!  I hope you’re ready to kick-start an amazing week.  This weekend I enjoyed not 1, not 2 but 3 fabulous holiday parties and today I’m in major need of a sweat session to burn off holiday cookies and champagne (sooooooo good!)

I wanted to share update with you that I hope gives you hope and encouragement.  If you recall,  a few weeks ago I traveled to San Antonio to participate in the local SBA InnovateHer business pitch contest and I didn’t win.  (You can read my recap here).  I expressed my disappointment, but resolved to keep pushing forward to make the vision of my business come to life.

RESILIENCEis knowing that you are the only onewho has the power and the responsibilityto pick yourself back up-2

Me making my pitch (once again) at the InnovateHER pitch competition in Dallas, TX

Well…today I’m happy to announce that I recently competed in another local SBA InnovateHer business pitch contest and I won 1st place!  This means that my business pitch will be submitted to Washington, DC for the national competition after all.  I’m overjoyed and feeling proud of myself for not giving up after my setback.  I’ll be honest, I had to give myself a major pep talk to go at it again after losing the week before.  But I figured I had nothing to lose but my pride.  It was worth it!

As icing on the cake I connected with a fabulous group of Dallas women entrepreneurs.  We’ve already hung out since the competition and I invited them to come represent their brands at the  #GIRLBOSS women-owned business showcase to take place at my fitness studio this Saturday!

12239451_1014521358637016_6077015851618987641_o

Me with the judges and fellow contestants in the Dallas, TX InnovateHER pitch contest – November 2015

My ultimate mission with the GRIT by Brit blog and the GRIT Fitness studio is help others develop the mental grit needed to best their lives.  Each day I have to practice perseverance to make it a habit.  It’s not easy, but I believe we can train ourselves to be “gritty.”  By choosing not to quit in the business plan competitions,  I’ll more readily persevere through the next challenge I face.

That said, I don’t believe failure is anybody’s destiny.  Life if too good for that 🙂

xoxo,Brit


My 2nd Business Pitch Contest

IMG_1699

Me giving my pitch for GRIT Fitness at the Innovate HER competition in San Antonio, Nov. 17, 2015

Hey Friends!  Last week my mom and I made  road trip down to San Antonio, TX where I competed in the InnovateHER Women’s Business Pitch Competition sponsored by the SBA (Small Business Administration).  It was a bittersweet experience as I practiced all week, picked out the perfect outfit and thought through all of the questions the judges may ask.  Alas, I didn’t win 🙁

However, I felt really great about my pitch delivery.  Unlike the competition I recently won at the Dallas Entrepreneur Center (DEC), this was a true “pitch” competition meaning I only got 2 minutes to speak and could only have 1 slide on the screen.  That said I had to prioritize the most critical aspects of my business plan and immediately excite the judges.  This experience definitely pushed me past my comfort zone and elevated me to a new level of public speaking and handling high-pressure situations.  Also, I got to the meet the founders of these 4 awesome, female-owned start up companies – I highly suggest you check them out and show them some love!

IMG_1707

The 5 Finalist – Me and the fierce female entreprenuers who presented our businesses to the judges – I was so inspired by their awesome ideas, passion & energy!

In the spirit of “keeping it real” I was super bummed about the outcome (I even shed a few tears when I was alone in the lady’s room).  Honestly after watching the video of my pitch, there wasn’t anything I thought I could have significantly improved.  Fortunately, my competitive nature is getting the best of me and now I’m even more motivated to spread the positive vibes of GRIT Fitness and impact women all over the world!  #CantStopWontStop

Before I went to bed that night, I came across this post that gave me so much peace, hope and purpose.

“I want to be in the arena. I want to be brave with my life. And when we make the choice to dare greatly, we sign up to get our asses kicked. We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time. Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.”
― Brené BrownRising Strong

I remember being in my corporate career with my steady paycheck and awesome expense account and thinking to myself, “I want more than this.  I want to take a risk with my life and pursue my dream.”  Now I’m living boldly and there are several ups and downs, but boy is it exciting!  I hope this quote positively impacts you as much as it did me.

Keep up the good work ladies and shout out to all of the #GIRLBOSS chicks out there!  xoxo, Brit

IMG_1732

Me and my Mama Kay enjoying margaritas and Mexican food on the San Antonio River Walk after the competition – you can find a silver lining in EVERY experience if you just look for it!