Tag Archives: starting a business

10 Questions to Answer Before Quitting Your Job: How I took a leap of faith to start my own business

Hey gang.  As many of you already know, I recently quit my consulting career to open my own fitness studio, Dallas GRIT Fitness (my dream come true)!  My double duty life is officially over.  No more weekly travel, no more day-to-day interaction with corporate clients, no more expense  account, no more health insurance (yikes).  I’m terrified.  I’m exhilarated!

my badges

Over the past 4 years I’ve served over 10 corporate clients, worked for 2 large consulting firms and traveled over 600,000 airline miles. My bittersweet departure from corporate America has come – here’s to the next chapter!

To clarify, this was not a knee-jerk decision. I’ve been praying and preparing for this moment for 2 years. I don’t know if everything will work out. I may fall flat on my face. Nonetheless, I feel confident about my transition thanks to the wise insights from friends, family and mentors. In the spirit of sharing these wonderful words of wisdom, I summarized these insights into 10 questions and my associated reflections.

10 Questions to Answer Before Quitting Your Job

1. What do I dislike about my current job?  

Job dissatisfaction tends to fall in 1 of 2 camps:

  1. “I dislike my job because it’s hard”
  2. “I dislike my job because I don’t care about what I’m doing.”

If you fall in the latter camp, this may signal that you should change career paths.

Hardships and challenges are actually good. They build grit and help us achieve long-term goals.  I highly discourage quitting your job because it’s hard or because you have to work with difficult people.  These are temporary situations and you can control how you handle them.  But if you don’t care about what you’re doing, it’s difficult to be passionate about your work.

This Summer I got to hear Jillian Michaels speak at fitness conference and she said, “Work with passion is purpose, work without passion is punishment.”  When we lack passion, we lack energy.  And we need energy and enthusiasm to be our best selves.

energy and enthusiasm

 

2. Am I emotionally stable?

My dad always told me to never send an email when I’m angry and to never make a decision in a valley.  Likewise, it’s probably not a good idea to quit your job if you’re in the midst of tough life experience.  I considered quitting earlier this year when I had to work with a leader that I simply did not like.  At times I was so angry and frustrated I just wanted to throw in the towel.  But now I’m glad that I toughed it out because I was able to reach my savings goals and leave my firm on good terms with a positive reputation.

3. What energizes me?

Contrary to popular belief, I didn’t dislike my consulting career.  In fact I LOVED my job the first 2 years.  However, once I started teaching group fitness, I realized that I had an excitement about leading workouts that I simply didn’t have in consulting.  I can vividly remember auditioning for my first group fitness instructor position.   I was more nervous for that audition than I had ever been for any corporate client engagement.  I practiced for an entire week and even had my mom come over and watch me do mock auditions in my living room. I initially chalked up my nerves to being out of my element.  But the more I taught group fitness classes, I noticed that I spent hours and hours making the “perfect playlist” and brainstorming ways to energize my class.  I never put that much voluntary effort into my consulting work.  This was that proof that my energy came from my fitness career not my consulting career.  I’m learning to lean into the things that energize me and I encourage you to do the same.

4.  What is my gift?

I love this quote from Pablo Picasso, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” I believe that our “gift” is any talent/skill that we can share with others to help them live life more abundantly.  It’s often something that we are both naturally good at and enjoy doing. Often, you can discover you gift by answering question 3 – find what energizes you!

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5. Do I have a vision for my future?

After I started teaching group fitness I knew I wanted to start a fitness business, but I didn’t know what it would look like. It took me 3 years to develop a vision for my fitness studio.  Without a vision, it’s hard to prepare.   Go ahead and ask yourself the fundamental questions of any new venture: What is my core product or service? Who is my target customer?  Who are my competitors? What is my differentiator?  What are the industry dynamics and trends?

6. Have I identified my “Champion Friends”?

When contemplating the “big corporate jump” it’s critical to have a solid support group.  It’s equally important to avoid negative influences.  Overall I’ve found that people fall into 3 camps:

  1. Champion Friends – This is your core support group.  Champion friends will support you, love you and encourage you regardless.  My champion friends each supported me in their own unique way: my friend from business school (cheerleader), my pastor (spiritual advisor) and my parents (risk managers). It’s a good idea to identify a core group of champion friends and stay closely connected with them during your transition.
  2. Hesitant Friends – These are good friends, however seeing you prepare to take a leap of faith strikes a chord within them.  The reason is that deep down they also want to make a leap but haven’t or won’t for whatever reason.  Be careful with this group, they may unintentionally discourage you.
  3. Haters – These folks aren’t happy with their own lives, so they can’t be happy for anyone else.  Just disregard the negativity and spend more time with your champion friends.
haters gone hate

Photo Credit: NY Magazine

7. Have I prepared and executed an action plan?

In preparation for my departure from corporate America, I literally created an Excel spreadsheet containing “Action Items Before My Last Day.” I included start and end dates for each action and closely tracked my progress. My action plan included things like: meet with a career coach, attend a fitness conference, secure a personal line of credit, research health insurance options, create a financial business plan, etc. I told myself I couldn’t quit my job until the action plan was 100% complete. I highly recommend you make an action plan.  It served me well.

goal without a plan is just  wish

8. How much money do I need to save?

After chatting with some trusted advisors, I decided that I needed to save enough money to cover my living expenses for 6 months.  I don’t think this is a hard and fast rule, but I highly recommend saving enough money to cover your living expenses for a few months + additional funds to invest in your business.  At first I blurred the two funds, which made me think I was in better financial shape than I really was.  I was better off setting a personal savings goal in addition to a business investment goal and making the sum of these two figures my overall savings target.

9. When is the right time to transition?

Don’t even think about jumping ship until you’ve completed your action plan and met your savings goal.  That’s step one.  After you’ve reached that point, it’s just a matter of trusting your gut.  There was a very specific time when I knew deep in soul that if I didn’t leave immediately, a part of me would die.  The part of me that’s super energetic, vibrant and excited about life would die and I would just be a person who wakes up each morning and goes through the motions. I responded to that gut reaction and gave my 2 weeks notice the very next day.

10. Do I truly believe in myself?

We are so much stronger than we think and we possess more power than we assume.  I always say this in regards to fitness but this truth transcends to all aspects of life, including our careers.  If you’re going to take the leap of faith to start your own business, you must be confident and you must BELIEVE in yourself!  There will be ups and downs and many obstacles on your new journey, but when you work hard, serve others and pursue your passion, the reward will be great!

believe-in-youself

Wishing you all the best and lots of success.

Show your grit! Luv, Brit

Dreams Coming True: GRIT by Brit + Dallas Fit Body Bootcamp teaming up to launch the BEST group fitness studio in Dallas!

 

new destinyHappy Monday Friends!  I have big news.  Just over a week ago, I quit my job – AHH!   I’ll share more details later this week about how made this decision as it took many sleepless nights, self-reflections and panic attacks.  Nonetheless I’m super happy to announce that starting today, I will spend all day every day pursuing my passion.  Each day I get to wake up and help people live healthier, happier and more abundant lives!  I’m overflowing with joy right now because I have been waiting for the moment for over 2 years.  It’s been exhausting living a double duty life of maintaing a corporate career AND teaching fitness glasses AND blogging.  Now I don’t have to constantly switch personas. I can just be myself and it’s so liberating!

God works in mysterious ways.  Just after I gave my 2 weeks notice, I was teaching my usual Turbo Kick class at 24 Hour Fitness and after class I had a long chat with one of my regular class members.  Her son happens to be one of my closest, hometown friends so we often chat about the good old days growing up in Mesquite, TX.  She also has another son, also a friend of mine (Turner), who is  well-respected personal trainer and owner of Dallas Fit Body Bootcamp.  She mentioned that he was looking for a fitness partner to utilize the other side of his gym which was currently sitting vacant.  I literally jumped with joy when I heard this news.  Long story short,  Turner and I are now partners in crime!

Having my own fitness studio is my DREAM!  It’s so crazy that this opportunity came only AFTER I took a leap of faith and quit my job.  If you want to walk on water you’ve gotta get out of the boat, right?

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Me and Turner last Thursday after signing our business agreement!

The very next day I met with Turner to tour the gym.  The space is perfect for my own fitness studio.  It’s about 1,300 sqft, has a beautiful foyer, long walls for big mirrors and is perfectly located in East Dallas.  On one side of the gym Turner will run Dallas Fit Body Bootcamp and on the other side, I will run GRIT Fitness.  We are offering all-access passes for those who want to workout on both sides of the gym.  So excited!

collage for grit site promotion

GRIT Fitness will be the 1st and only studio in Dallas providing a variety of leading group fitness formats!

You guys know I’m a group fitness junkie so I’ll be offering a variety of my all-time favorite group fitness formats including PiYo, Turbo Kick, Power Yoga, Body Sculpt, Dance Cardio and Hip Hop.  I’m also bringing on some of Dallas’ best yoga and dance instructors to help me create the ultimate, energetic experience.

Turner and I are on a  mission to create the #1 group fitness studio in Dallas.  We are passionate and we work our butts off so I’m 100% confident we will succeed.  I’ll keep you posted on our journey – there’s sure to be ups and downs but we are ready for the challenge.  BRING IT!

Our gym is located at 3821 Ross Ave. Dallas, TX 75204.  We will start demolition on the new space today!  Visit the GRIT Fitness website for updates, dallasgritfitness.com – Grand opening January 2015!

teamwork

 

IDEA World Fitness Blogfest Most Memorable Moments

I’m still riding high from attending my very 1st IDEA World Fitness Convention and Sweat Pink Blogfest. IDEA World is largest fitness conference in the world with people traveling from all over the globe to see exhibits of the latest fitness and nutrition developments, share expertise and listen to keynote speakers like Jillian Michaels, Tara Stiles, Cassey Hoe, Chalene Johnson, the list goes on and on… Simply put – it’s fitness heaven!

Fortunately, I made it back to Dallas in time to teach my beloved weekend Piyo and Turbo Kick classes before flying out again on Sunday night for my corporate career (double duty). As I reflect on my time at IDEA World, I want to share the most memorial moments that had the greatest impact on me.  In order of occurrence, here they go…

Cool California Vibes

Just arriving to Anaheim,CA and soaking up the sun and cool California vibes!

Just arriving to Anaheim,CA and soaking up the sun and cool California vibes!

I love me some “Cali Swag.” Every time I’m on the West  Coast I feel young, cool, hip, relaxed and imaginative. Sure enough, when I arrived in Anaheim, CA last week all of those feelings rushed through my mind, body and soul. I woke up each day at IDEA World and basked in the beautiful California sunshine, cool breeze and anticipation of all of the fitness excitement that awaited me. From day 1 I felt welcome, wanted and wonderful. I love California.

Being Surrounded by Passionate People

Brit and friends at Idea World

Hanging out with other fitness bloggers, connecting with old friends and making new ones!

It was so great to run into old friends like my Harvard Business School classmate Minal Mehta, co-founder of BollyX Fitness and also make some new fitness blogger friends like Tiffany and Tasha. To be honest, I was kind of in groupie-mode the whole time because I finally got meet, in person, so many of the  bloggers that I stalk on Instagram.  “Classy” people say you should “act like you’ve been there before” but, hey, I haven’t been!  No shame in my game 🙂

Being Inspired by Jillian Michaels (surprisingly)

Grit by Brit and Jillian Michaels

In awe listening to Jillian Michaels give the most inspirational keynote address EVER!

Okay so, real talk: I have never been a Jillian Michaels fan.  I appreciate hard work and brutal honesty, but I never really got on the Body Shred/Jillian/Biggest Loser bandwagon like most of America.  Wow – meeting someone face-to-face can really show you how judgmental you are.  That’s what happened to me.  I actually teared up during Jillian’s keynote address.  She’s so passionate and encouraging, not about weight loss, but about believing in yourself and having the courage and confidence to follow your dreams.  I wrote down several things she said that had a big impact on me, but the one statement that stuck the most is the quote I put on the photo I took of Jillian (above) – “Work with passion is purpose.  Work without passion is punishment.”  The moral of the story is, “Do what you love and work your butt off at it!”

 

PiYO Workout with Chalene Johnson

Grit by Brit and Chalene Johnson

Getting an afternoon PiYo sweat session and photo op with my #1 fitness inspiration – Chalene Johnson

Simply put, Chalene is my fitness inspiration. Actually it’s a tie between her andBilly Blanks (who was also at IDEA World). I was obsessed with Tae Bo when I was 15 years old,  but Chalene is the person who impacted my new-found love for fitness instruction and blogging. 3 years ago I got my very first fitness instructor certification in Chalene’s format, Turbo Kick.  Shortly after I started this GRIT by Brit blog. Since then, group fitness instruction and blogging have been my passions, my obsessions, the things that make me smile when everything else in my life is going wrong. So meeting Chalene in person was a very special moment for me – one that I will cherish forever, for the rest of my life.

 

Business and Blogging Tips from Cassey Hoe @Blogilates

Grit by Brit and Cassey Hoe

I felt empowered and inspired by Cassey Hoe who encouraged us to never give up on our dreams!

I totally look up to Cassey Hoe as social media guru and fitness entrepreneur.  Cassey writes one of the most well-known fitness and wellness blogs, Blogilates,  and quickly grew in popularity because of her effective and fun Pilates videos on YouTube.  Needless to say, I totally geeked out when I met her. Since started her blog she’s launched a clothing line, released several signature workout videos for her format, Pop Pilates, and done several top-tier brand partnerships.  I learned some really valuable tips for GRIT by Brit, like how I need to start writing a regular newsletter….looks like have work to do this week (P.S. Check your inbox).

 

Adding 3 New Headbands to My Collection

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Love these wide headbands from Living One Love

In case you can’t tell from my workout photos, I have a very serious headband obsession – I own over 50!  My excuse is that I have a big forehead (aka 5 head) so I need the extra coverage – hehe.   Any way, I’m always looking for new headbands that A) don’t slip B) are wide/thick C) have cool bright patterns.  Ladies and Gentlemen I have found what I’m looking for!  I love love love these headbands from Living One Love.  I just bought 3 for now, but there will be more…trust.

Winning a Lorna Jane Gift Card (yippee!)

Flipping through the Lorna Jane activewear catalog to pick out me free pieces!

Flipping through the Lorna Jane activewear catalog to pick out me free pieces!

I was already familiar with Lorna Jane active wear becaue my cycling studion in Dallas, Beyond Pedaling, carries their line.   Also, they just opened a store in North Park mall.  However, I don’t own any of their stuff. After seeing the Lorna Jane exhibit at IDEA World and realizing that their stuff is really freaking cute (i.e. super bright colors and inspirational saying like “run girl run”) I can already tell that I’m gonna be a Lona Jane addict. Yay for winning Blogfest raffle for a Lorna Jane gift card!  But I already feel sorry for my bank account when the gift card runs out, eek!

 

So Much Free Swag

idea world free swag
Let’s do the list:  A cross-body Zumba bag, Zen Planner water bottle, exercise-pilates ring and DVD, tons of healthy snacks, headbands, Sweat Pink shoelaces, sunglasses, ahh the list goes on and on!  Not much to say here – the swag speaks for itself.

Leaving Inspired to Take Risks and Pursue My Dreams!

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As I mentioned last week, I’ve had a pressing desire to open my own chain of fitness studios.  I want to create a place that manifests the core values of Grit by Brit .  Starting a business is risky and stressful, but it’s also so rewarding!  After my time at IDEA World, I’m convinced that being a fitness instructor is my calling.  There is nothing I’m better at and enjoying doing more than using fitness to encourage people to live their best lives.  Most importantly, I want to do it in away that’s fun and positive!  That said, I’m riding this IDEA World inspirational high to get cracking on my new fitness studio concept.  Lots of work ahead, but I’m a gritty chick and up for the challenge!   What do you love to do?  What’s your dream?

“You are worthy of happiness and you deserve to sing everyday.”

Lots of luv, Brit