Tag Archives: entrepreneurship

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

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.

IMG_3075

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?

IMG_3079

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!

IMG_3084

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?

FullSizeRender_1

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.”

IMG_3111

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.  

EMC_0985

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

IMG_3124

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

Top 5 Inspirational Quotes for Business Owners

DSCN1034

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…

FullSizeRender

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

IMG_2551

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)

IMG_2581

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

FullSizeRender

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

IMG_2578

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

IMG_2577

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.
IMG_2609

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

Dallas GRIT Fitness: My 1st Studio – Progress on Site Renovations

Hey guys – happy Tuesday!  So I’m back in Dallas and back to work renovating and preparing for the grand opening of my very 1st fitness studio!  I can’t believe this is all happening.  It’s SO MUCH more work than I anticipated but I’m loving every minute of it.

My studio, Dallas GRIT Fitness, is located in East Dallas at 3821 Ross Avenue.  I’m SO excited to bring the very 1st one-stop-shop for a variety of the most energetic group fitness & yoga classes!  No more having to drop in to 5 different studios to attend your favorite workouts.

Right now, I’m in the thick of of renovations and managing contractors.  We started off by tearing down 6 walls in what use to be a chiropractor’s office.  Talk about manual labor.  I had a little bit of a hiccup last week when the City of Dallas officials stopped by and said I needed an additional permit for the demolition work that was done – YIKES!  We had to stop working for a couple of days until we secured the permit – UGH!  Fortunately, everything is squared away now and we are back in business!

IMG_9843

My friend Turner, owner of Dallas Fit Body Bootcamp, did all of the demolition work by himself! Talk about GRIT

IMG_9823

Turner knocked down 6 walls on 1 Day #BEASTMODE

IMG_9835

During the demolition, the flooring guys came by to give me an estimate on wood floor installation

IMG_9827

I almost fainted when I heard the price… maybe I can get wood floors installed barter for classes???

IMG_9848

At the end of Day 3 all of the wall were gone and the debris was cleared out. Turner and his buddy Glen literally did magic!

Once we got all of the walls knocked down and cleaned out, we did a mini celebration – YAY!  Then the painters came in and worked their magic.  I decided to go with gray walls and white crown molding.  What do you think?  My biz partner, Tuner, will run Dallas Fit Body Bootcamp in the suite next door.  We’re excited to offer cross-studio memberships and  joint workouts 🙂

IMG_9886

Painters doing the final touches on the crown molding

All done with painting yay! Now I need to get a "Dallas GRIT Fitness" sign made to go in the entry way behind the welcome desk

All done with painting yay! Now I need to get a “Dallas GRIT Fitness” sign made to go in the entry way behind the welcome desk

Now that painting is done, the flooring guys will install beautiful maple wood floors this week.

Last but not least, we will wrap up renovations with mirrors, wall art and sound/lighting installations.  Then we are good to go!  I’m having an orientation for all of my rockstar instructors in early December and “soft opening” in late December 2014.  I’ll be sure to keep you updated on the progress.  In the meanwhile, check out the studio website: dallasgritfitnesss.com

So much is happening so fast!

Thanks for being a part of the journey.

Lots of luv, Brit