Category Archives: Inspiration & Motivation

GRIT & Gratitude

Hey friends!  I hope your day is going well. I can’t believe it’s already November – this year is flying by.  However, I love the fall and I love this month because of its gratitude focus.  I’m a big advocate of performing acts of gratitude because…

Grateful people are less resentful, more optimistic and healthier than their ungrateful counterparts

We have a couple of fun events going on at my fitness studio this month to help us focus on being grateful.  For starters, this Saturday at 12:30pm we’re hosting a Thanksgiving Potluck Party complete with food tasting, bottomless mimosas and Fabeltics swag bags.  As a Fabletics Master Trainer, I get the awesome privilege of hosting official Fabletics events in Dallas.  If you live in Dallas, come join the party!  You can join for free as long as you bring a dish to share, otherwise the entry fee is $10. Check out our Facebook Event Page for details!snowflake-3

Also, our November Challenge is all about Gratitude.  This month, members of our #gritfam have to complete 10 classes and post 10 contributions to our gratitude board.  In doing so, they earn the newest GRIT tank top.  Pretty cool huh?

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Check out all of the gratitude posts that we’ve accumulated so far!  Just reading all of the things that people are grateful for instantly boosts my mode and makes me appreciate life.

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 I hope that you also take on an attitude of gratitude this month – it’s great for the mind, body and soul.  xoxo, Brit

How do you practice gratitude?

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

Start-Up Success Secrets

Hey friends!  I just returned to Dallas from a fun-filled, informative weekend in Chicago!  My primary purpose was to visit my best friends (Jan and Lakshmi) but in the midst of our patio chillin’ and fine dining I received some valuable business inspiration!

I read #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso during my flight.  Have you read it?  It was a funny and inspiring read that got me in “empowered entrepreneur mode” for the duration of the trip.  My main take away from the book is to BELIEVE IN YOURSELF AND EVERYONE ELSE WILL BELIEVE IN YOU TOO.

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My in-flight reading! #GIRLBOSS

The weather in Chicago was absolutely perfect, sunshine with a cool breeze.  Lakshmi, Jan and I enjoyed several cocktails on the patio throughout the weekend.  Jan is a member of SoHo House so we also had a yummy lunch on the roof.  So fancy huh?

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Having a drink by the river and enjoying the awesome weather

On Thursday night, Lakshmi invited me to an exclusive party that her company, 1871, was hosting.  1871 is Chicago’s entrepreneurial hub for digital startups.  The party was their annual fundraiser celebration that also highlighted the companies in 1871’s community.  Throughout the night I got to chat with fellow founders/CEOs.  Nothing inspires me more than hearing success stories from young entrepreneurs like myself.  There’s hope – yeah GRIT Fitness!

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Lakshmi, Me and one of the 1871 Entrepreneurs

I was excited to put on an old dress that I love – it’s a metallic, fitted Alice & Oliva dress – an oldie but a goodie.  I wore it 2 years ago the Dallas Autumn Ball (see here at the bottom of the post) and was pumped to get some more wear out of it this weekend.  I love fancy events – great drinks, lots of dancing and engaging conversation – what more could I ask for?

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Oh hey – show stopper! LOL

The fun didn’t stop there.  On Friday morning I got to attend another exclusive event with Lakshmi (yeah – she’s connected). It was a private breakfast and discussion at the Virgin Hotel for a hand-selected group of 1871 entrepreneurs. Alistair Campbell, former spokesman/press secretary  British Prime Minister Tony Blair, was the keynote speaker.  He talked about his new book, Winners,  and having a “winning mindset.”

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Alistair Campbelle (right) and moderator (left) at Virgin Hotel Breakfast event

I found his comments very thought-provoking.  Especially this one…

THE WINNING MENTALITY IS BASED OUT OF ADVERSITY.  

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Deeply engaged at Alastair Campbell’s talk. Photo by Cloud Spotter

He elaborated with numerous sports examples.  But his bottom line was that the feeling of “not being good enough” can really drive some people more than anything.  As a small business owner and a “grit” enthusiast, I couldn’t agree more.  Nothing motivates me more than overcoming obstacles and proving to myself and to others that I am capable.

The rest of the weekend was filled with laughs, deep conversation, a sweaty ride at SOUL CYCLE and a final farewell home-cooked dinner at Lakshmi’s place.  While the fancy events were nice, I gained the most valuable insight and inspiration from my dearest friends.  Every time I’m around them I feel so good about myself because I know that they love me for who I am.  I can be 100% myself, silly-jokes, crazy comments and all.  And this brings me to the last secret to start-up success = CREATE A BRAND THAT IS TRUE TO YOU.

At the end of the day, there are unlimited products and services in the world that are essentially the same.  However, winners are able to deliver value in a different/unique way.  A way that makes people feel connected to them.  The best way to be unique is to be yourself!  Let that uniqueness shine through in your brand.

Remember, nobody can be you like you can be you!  xoxo, Brit

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Me, Lakshmi & Jan taking a selfie before I headed back to the Big D

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

Top 5 Inspirational Quotes for Business Owners

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Annabel, Kemi and I posing at the IDEA World Fitness Conference – GRIT Fitness Instructors represent!

Hola friends!  I hope your week is going well.  This week is a bit of a bear as I’m still getting back in the swing of things after being in Los Angeles for the IDEA World Blog Fest & Fitness Convention. This was my 2nd time attending as last year I went for the 1st time and had an absolute blast.  Check out my blog post reflecting on my most memorable moments the 2014 IDEA World.

This year’s conference was equally energizing and inspiring and better yet, 2 of my best friends & fellow GRIT Fitness instructors (Annabel and Kemi) came with me!  We enjoyed 3 days of workshops, workouts and fitness classes in LA.  My adorable aunt (who’s 75 years old and super amazing looking – OMG see photo below) hosted us at her fab house.  We had an awesome trip perfectly balanced with relaxation and invigoration.  Here are a few pics…

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Day 1- arriving at IDEA World Fitness Convention w/ Kemi (left) and Annabel (right)

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After super sweaty Soul Cycle class in West Hollywood! We opted for a fierece workout instead of a fancy dinner on night one (wink wink)

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I ran into some of my Dallas Fitness friends while in LA – say hey to the Lync Cycling gang!

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And more Dallas Fit Friends – Mark Shipman from the Ride House & Shredded by Mark 🙂

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I took a killer workout with Gabrielle Reece – HighX workout – check it out!

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And obvi I made lots of new blogging buddies during Blog Fest!

I love attending these conferences because I pick up little nuggets wisdom from fellow fitness entrepreneurs.  Here are the Top 5 takeaways that impacted me most…

Top 5 Inspirational Quotes for Business Owners

  1. Nobody can be you like YOU can – Dare to be different from the masses.
  2. Only iron can sharpen iron – Surround yourself with positive, smart highly motivated people.
  3. Work ON your business and IN your business – Don’t get so caught up in your business operations that lost focus on strategic planning.
  4. Anticipate and prepare for change – Change is inevitable so put lots of energy in continuous improvement and never get too comfortable in your current situation.
  5. People are your greatest asset, treat them as such – The only thing that truly seperates good business from great business is passionate and loyal human capital.
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Farewell photo with my new selfie-stick! Me, Kemi and my Aunt Nita who hosted us at her beautiful home in Baldwin Hills, CA!

Rock on this week!  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