Category Archives: Encouragement

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!

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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

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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!

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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

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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!

5 Tips For Expanding Your Small Business

Wow – it’s crazy to think that just 1 year ago today, I took the giant leap of faith by quitting my management consulting career and setting out to open my own fitness studio, GRIT!  At that time I wrote a blog post, 10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Quitting Your Job, and today I’m so grateful to still be working for myself and continuing on this crazy, chaotic, entrepreneurship journey.

We are about to close our 10th month of business at GRIT Fitness (woo hoo) so now my focus is on phase 2 – expansion.  I’m finding expanding the business to be just as if not more challenging than starting the business.  I need to standardize my processes so they can be replicated, keep my current clients satisfied, excited and engaged all while executing my expansion strategy.  As you can imagine, the work is exciting but I feel like I’m being pulled in a million different directions.

As I continue through this phase, I want to share my 5 super practical tips that have helped me prioritize my time and make smart growth decisions.  If you’re embarking upon the growth/expansion phase of your business or project, these tips can help!

Brit’s 5 Tips For Expanding Your Small Business:

1. Articulate Your Business Case For Action – How much will it cost to expand my business and how much additional revenue do I expect?

GRIT Fitness classes are bursting at the seams - expansion is critical in order to service our demand

GRIT Fitness classes are bursting at the seams – expansion is critical in order to service our demand

Why do you need to expand?  Are you bursting at the seams with an overflow of volume that you simply do not have capacity to take on?  Are your clients demanding more services or product offerings?

Here it’s critical to calculate your return on investment (ROI).  Remember to always grow your sales before your grow your cost.  It’s easy to get wrapped up the hype of having a second location or a presence in a new city.  But remember, sales are KING. If revenue is not increasing at the same rate or faster than your costs, you may want to rethink your growth strategy.

2. Recruit and retain great talent – Can I quickly acquire and train a winning team?

Me and 2 awesome members of my #dreamteam, Emily & Annabel. Without them, GRIT Fitness is nothing!

Me and 2 awesome members of my #dreamteam, Emily & Annabel. Without them, GRIT Fitness is nothing!

Let me make something very clear: NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR TEAM – PEOPLE ARE YOUR GREATEST ASSET.  That said, know what skills and talents are required to grow and maintain your business.  Recruit people who are passionate about your vision and who possess those skills and talents.  Then do everything in your power to keep them engaged!  I highly discourage you from expanding your business faster than the rate at which you can acquire great talent.

3. Explore & Confirm Your Financing Options – Where will I get the money?

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Me and my home girls shooting a new promo video to kickstart our crowd funding campaign!

NEWS FLASH: Unless you have a rich uncle or your business has already earned a lot of revenue (like $200K), getting access to capital is very tough for a new business.  Banks won’t talk to you.  You can can apply for an SBA (Small Business Administration) loan but the process is super slow with lots of red tape.  Or can you take money from investors, but you’ll have to give up a percentage of ownership of your company (I’m not down with that).  There are some other small business loans but the interest rates can be quite high, like 8-11%.  Last, you can opt for crowd-funding like KickStarter, which allows members of the community to fund your business because they like/believe in your concept.  In return you provide small tokens of appreciation like complimentary goods/services, swag, etc.  The downside, is that crowd funding campaigns can be time consuming because they require lots of marketing to be successful.

At the end of the day, all of these financing options have pros and cons, so you need to evaluate each and find the best solution for your business.  Remember, business expansion costs money so you must have plan to get some cash!

4. Know Your Target Customer and Keep Her Happy – How does expansion better serve your target customer?

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GRIT Fitness targets young, social, active, hip, professional women between the ages of 21-35

A GRIT Fitness, I have a “muse” if you will.  She’s a young, professional woman between the ages of 21-35 who’s high-achieving, social and ready to take on the world.  She is my target customer.  Any time I make a business decision, pleasing her is my top priority.

You should be able to quickly define your target customer and know what he/she wants.  Keep your target customer’s needs at the forefront of your mind as you think about expanding.  Go where they are and give them what they want.  This can be tough because pleasing your target customer may mean that you disappoint some other customers.  I believe that not trying to please everyone is they key to branding success (and to being a happy person – wink wink).

5. Maintain Your Vibe – What is your culture and how you will maintain it?

FUN. FIERCE. FABULOUS. That's pretty much sums up our culture at GRIT Fitness

FUN. FIERCE. FABULOUS. That’s pretty much sums up our culture at GRIT Fitness

We just kick-started the #FallN2Fitness challenge at my studio and our classes are PACKED with fierce chicas who are determined to stay fit this fall.  Typically, October/November are times when we fall OUT of our fitness routines; however we are determined to break the cycle and fall IN to fitness 🙂 Class challenges are a great culture building tactic  that I’ve implemented at GRIT Fitness.  They help foster a sense of community and encourage our clients to push past their comfort zone AKA “show their grit!”

Regardless of whether we expand to a 2nd studio location, online, DVD’s. etc.  we must maintain the behaviors and core values that make GRIT Fitness special and unique.  It’s imperative for you clearly articulate what key behaviors, practices and values you will keep consistent as you expand your small business.

While expanding your business or project may be a little stressful, I think it’s one of most rewarding experiences.  I constantly remind myself that THE JOURNEY IS THE REWARD.  No matter the fate of GRIT Fitness, I’m having a blast bringing my idea to life, taking risks and helping people live happier, healthier lives.  I hope these tips are helpful and I wish you all the best to you on your journey!  xoxo, Brit

3 Healthy Habits For An Active Lifestyle

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Selfie in my floppy hat from the balcony of our oceanfront suite

Hey Friends! I recently got back from Mexico with my boyfriend on a much-needed 4 day vacay. We went to Playa del Carmen Mexico for a little fun in the sun. Here are a few pics from our trip…

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Beautiful view from our hotel balcony

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Of course I enjoyed many mojitos 🙂

As much I love chillin’ and relaxing it’s so good to come back home to a job I love!   Upon my return, I immediately got back in the swing of things by teaching 4 classes in 1 day, 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening. No rest for the weary 🙂

While I’ve quickly got back into my workout routine, I’ve been pretty sloppy about getting adequate nutrition and rest. This week I’m making a personal goal to recommit to some of the daily habits that I’ve always sworn by, namely the following:

  • Get 8 hours of sleep each night
  • Drink 2 liters of water each day
  • Take 1 multivitamin each day

I hope sharing these daily goals with you helps me stay accountable throughout the week. Wish me luck! If you’re looking for more healthy habits, check out my Top 10 Healthy Habits for Sustained Success!  What are some of you healthy habits?

Have a happy, healthy week ahead.  xoxo, Brit

Savor The Moment

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Me and my Dream Team at the grand opening of Dallas GRIT Fitness – so blessed to have the most energetic, talented and dedicated team of instructors and friends!

Hello hello my dearest blog community!  I hope this post finds you joyous and well.  Wow – what a week.  My new venture, GRIT Fitness, is growing like crazy.  We’ve had record attendance over the past 2 weeks and I couldn’t be more grateful for the early success.  In the midst of writing newsletters, planning special events, networking with brand partners, creating playlists, cleaning and developing instructors, I’m trying to take a few moments each day to sit still and savor the moment.  Of course I want to grow GRIT Fitness to be the world’s leading fitness/wellness brand BUT sometimes I get so focused on “what’s next” that I forget that I’m actually living my dream TODAY!  This time last year, I hoped and prayed for an opportunity to quit my consulting career and wear workout clothes every day.  A chance to wake up each morning with a direct opportunity help people reach their fitness goals and simply be a source a positive energy to everyone I encounter.  Now I get to do just that.  So amazing.  For me, learning to savor the moment is easier said than done, but little by little I’m getting better at it and I can see an improvement in overall wellbeing, mood and happiness.

For instance, this morning as I sit at my kitchen table writing this blog post and checking things off of my “to do” list, I try to be really mindful of how yummy my greek yogurt parfait tastes.  Usually I just scarf it down while typing an email, but today I paused after I took a bite and thought to myself, “damn, this is pretty tasty.”  Sounds so simple, but it really put a smile on my face.

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Brit’s breakfast 3/19/15 – greek yogurt, blue berries and watermelon (giant pot of black coffee not pictured)

Yesterday, I enjoyed tea time at Sip Stir Cafe with my good friend Megan, founder of the The Lyon’s Share Wellness.  We try to get together once a month to share stories and encourage each other.   Like me, Megan also quit her consulting career to start her own business.  She’s a certified nutrition and running coach whom I very much admire.  After our chat, I hung around the cafe and caught up on work and during that time I took a moment simply express gratitude for positive, healthy friendships.  I often take those for granted, but boy does being around positive people nourish my soul!  So good 🙂

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Yesterday at Sip Stir cafe after my tea time with Megan – savoring positive friendships and the yummy apple/lemon grass tea

I’m going to continue to mindfully pause throughout my day and savor the good that’s in the present moment.  Hopefully it will become a healthy habit!

Alright gang, I’m off to teach my noon spin class for the awesome employees at Fossil corporate HQ.  I’ll savor that sweaty ride and endorphin pumpin’ playlist 🙂

How do you savor the moment?

GRIT by Brit 3 Year Blogiversary: Life Lessons and Favorite Posts

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Hello friends!  Well it’s true, time does indeed fly when you’re having fun.  3 years wow!  Today I went back and read my very first blog post.  It was hotel gym workout that I made up while working in NYC.  I made the graphic in PowerPoint (Canva and Pic Monkey didn’t exist then – haha).  Today I’m taking some to time to reflect on how far I’m come as a blogger and a person in the past three years.  So in addition to sharing my fav blog post I also want to share the biggest life lesson I’ve learned from my blogging experience which is to Be Unapologtically Yourself.  As many young women, I often apologized from my preferences, quirks, body “flaws” etc.  But the only thing worth apologizing for is failing to be true to yourself.  Blogging has taught me the value of being vulnerable and given me the confidence to speak my mind.  If you’re on the fence about starting a blog, I highly encourage you to go for it!  Nobody can be YOU like YOU can be you.  So whatever you have to share is a unique gift to the world, as long as it’s a true reflection of you.

That said, as promised, here are my fav blog post from year three.  I hope you enjoyed these posts as much I did.  Also for your reading pleasure, CLICK HERE  to read my 2 year Blogiversary post and my fav posts from my second year of blogging!

Here’s to hundreds of new blog posts to come! xoxo, Brit

A Goal Without a Plan Is Simply a Wish

Me in 2009 at 178 pounds vs. in 2014 at 155 pounds #progress #actionplan

Me in 2009 at 178 pounds vs. in 2014 at 155 pounds #progress #actionplan

Happy Transformation Tuesday!  I’m keeping today’s post short and sweet…

3 years and minus ~25 pounds…the only thing consistent is my dress (thanks to my tailor).  Once I got serious about taking control of my weight, and my life, I wrote down an exercise action plan and stuck to it for 8 weeks.  I worked out with a personal trainer every Friday morning, did 30 minutes on the elliptical every Monday and Wednesday and lifted weights every Tuesday.  Over time, I increased the intensity of my workouts and started eating less simple sugar.  The key to my weight loss success was writing down a weekly action plan that consisted of small tangible, realistic goals.  My success is NOT due to following a hardcore diet plan, starving myself or sticking to an insane workout routine.  Little by little my weekly actions became habits which lead to a healthier lifestyle.  If you’re just getting started on your fitness or weight loss journey, I highly encourage you to write down your action plan!  How will you achieve your goals?

A Goal Without a Plan Is Simply a Wish