Category Archives: Lifestyle

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

Onzie Activewear A to Z: Brit’s Favorite Fitness Looks

Onzie in Action

Hey Friends!  It’s been a while since I’ve posted about my fav workout clothes.  After opening my fitness studio, I haven’t blogged as much about Fitness Fashion.  But don’t you worry, I still diligently acquiring my fair share of activewear!  For the past year I’ve really been really into Onzie, a funky fitness line of clothing based in Southern California.  I especially love their bold colors and crazy prints – they scream energy and fun!  Above are a few of my looks from recent weeks!

Better yet, today Onzie came out with new video called “Yoga A-Z.”  The video features 26 sweet yoga poses (one for each letter of the alphabet) each demonstrated by a fab chica rockin’ her Onzie activewear.  Watching the video is like a more interactive way to shop online (hehe).  If you’re in the market for some cool new gear (or a just want a fun distraction from work) CLICK HERE check out the video!

I hope your day is as beautiful as you!  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

Summer Skin Regimen: Biossance Facial Moisturizer

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Hello Friends! I hope this post finds you joyous and well!  Today I want to share a new beauty find I recently discovered and absolutely love!  Now keep in mind that I’m super picky when it comes to facial skin care products because my skin is a little on the oily side and I loathe looking shiny. Especially in the Summer it’s difficult to find a moisturizing treatment that’s non-greasy (hello 100+ degrees in Dallas).  However, I appreciate the importance of adequate skin moisture for wrinkle prevention and healthy PH balance.

That said I’ve been trying out Biossance Revitalizer which is unlike any facial moisturizing treatment I’ve used before.  First off, it’s made from Squalane which “replenishes your skin by using a moisturizer found naturally within you.”  It’s formulated to restore your own biological beauty.   Added bonus, you can also use the Revitalizer on your cuticles, dry skin patches or as hair serum for shine.

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Trying out Biossance and loving it!

I decided to try the Revitalizer for 30 days as part of the Biossance 30 Day Embodied Project. A lot can happened in 30 days – we can transform our bodies, our minds and our skin!  So for the past month I’ve followed a very simple 2-step summer skin care regimen:

  1. Every morning, wash my face and apply oil free SPF 15 sunscreen
  2. Every night, wash my face and I apply 2-3 small drops of Biossance to my face and neck before bed

I can honestly say that my skins feel revitalized,  super smooth and not oily despite the blazing temperatures outside.  I took a selfie before bed last night to show off my complexion – I’m super impressed.

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Chillin’ with no make up on…

What’s your Summer Skin Care regimen?

6 Health Benefits of Dance Cardio Workouts

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Our Zumba / Dance Cardio class at the Westin Galleria Dallas after Summer Sweat Series #2

There are short-cuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them.

– Vicki Baum

Happy Monday beauties!  I hope you had a fabulous weekend – mine was busy but lots of fun.  Yesterday morning I enjoyed an energetic Dance Club Cardio class at my studio, GRIT Fitness, and I couldn’t help but acknowledge how happy I felt after class.  There’s something about dancing that just makes my soul sing and getting a good cardio workout in the process is icing on the cake.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, my studio is partnering with the Westin Galleria Dallas to bring a series of free workouts and pool parties each month this Summer.  We’re calling it the Sumer Sweat Series.  Our 2nd series was a Zumba / Dance Cardio class and it was a HIT – over 200 members of the Dallas Community came to sweat and shake with us.  Here are some pics from the event…

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Emily (GRIT Dance Cardio Instructor) and I before her class

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Over 200 ladies shakin’ a little something and ballistic’ calories at the Westin Galleria Dallas

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Representing my clique 🙂

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The Fierce Four Dance Cardio / Zumba instructors who led our class

In the spirit of sharing my love for dancing I did a little research to summarize its key health benefits.  Check it out!

6 Health Benefits of Dancing

  1. Relieve Stress (Journal of Applied Gerontology) 
  2. Improve Memory (The New England Journal of Medicine)
  3. Lift Your Spirits
  4. Manage Weight
  5. Increase Energy (The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition)
  6. Make New Friends

This week I highly encourage you to try out a dance cardio class or at least dance a for a few minutes infront of the mirror – your body and your mind will thank you!  Also, if you live near Dallas, join us for Summer Sweat Series #3 on Sunday August 9!  CLICK HERE to register for free.  xoxo, Brit

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GRIT Fitness Featured in Dallas Morning News

Hey Hey Happy Monday!  I hope you had a wonderful weekend!  Mine was full of b-day celebrations – 4 of my closest friends have birthdays this week which means my calendar was full of pool time and partying – yippee!  (Shout out to Jen Kelm, Melissa Bass, Cerise Manns and Leslie Jerome – I LOVE YOU ALL)  As icing on the cake my fitness studio, GRIT Fitness, was featured in the Dallas Morning News.  We are moving on up!  Here’s a quick run down of my weekend shenanigans…

On Friday morning, I woke up bright and early to take Maria’s Flexin’ Flow class.  I always encourage the instructors at my studio to take each others’ classes as it helps us grow as teachers and makes our team feel cohesive and supported.  Me and Annabel (who teaches Dance Club Cardio and Turbo Kick) thoroughly enjoyed Maria’s Friday morning class and all 3 of us posed for a little post workout photo 🙂

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Maria, Annabel and Me after Maria’s Friday morning Flexin’ Flow class

On Friday night, I celebrated the b-day of my childhood best friend, Leslie.  She lives in Memphis  right now with her husband BUT they are moving back to Texas next month.  I’m so excited!  If you recall, I was a bridesmaid in Leslie’s beautiful Southern Charm wedding a few months ago.  She and I had a blast at dinner and drinks on Friday night.

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Me and Leslie at HG Supply in Lower Greenville, Dallas, TX

On Saturday morning I taught my usual Flexin’ Flow class at the W Dallas Hotel on the 16th floor wet deck.  It was super hot and sweaty but tons of fun.  We had a huge crowd on Saturday, over 90 people.  Afterwards of a few of my friends from the Junior League stayed on the wet deck and we enjoyed post-workout mimosas at the pool bar.  Check out this awesome review from D Town Sweat from Saturday’s class.

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Miranda, Maria, Coral and Me about to enjoy post-workout mimosas

Sunday morning started with a chill trip to Starbucks where I grabbed the Sunday paper to check out our feature.  I was so pumped to see that our article made the front page of the Health section! CLICK HERE to read the full article by Special Contributor Kimber Westphall (Twitter @fit_trip_Kimber).  I’m so grateful that Kimber chose to reach out to me and put the spotlight on my new little business.  She and I also made a cool video together which you can view below…

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The b-day festivities continued on Sunday afternoon with Melissa’s birthday pool party.  Melissa and I met last summer when she attended my Flexin Flow class at the W hotel.  Overtime we became friends and now she teaches Flexin’ Flow at GRIT fitness.  It’s great to see her grow into an amazing yoga and fitness instructor.  We spent the whole day chillin’ outside, jammin’ to good music and drinking delicious cocktails.  It felt good to truly refrain from working all day and just enjoy some fun in the sun!

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Melissa posing with her birthday cake! Happy 28th

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Coral, Melissa, Maria and Me enjoying the party…hanging out in something other than workout clothes for once!

Today I’m back to the grind.  I’m writing this blog post from my favorite coffee shop, MudSmith, as I enjoy an egg/avacado sandwich and prepare for my classes this week.  This weekend was awesome and I’m looking forward to an even more amazing week ahead.  I wish you the same.  xoxo, Brit

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