Hi Friends! This month will be 3 years since I recorded this TV segment sponsored by Cadillac, sharing the start up story for my business, GRIT Fitness. I know several of my followers are young women hustlers, either starting your own business or debating how/when to start. This video will give you very detailed look at my story – side hustle to CEO.
For more business advice and inspiration, check out these blog posts from the GRIT by Brit archives:
Hey guys! I made a new video on my YouTube Channel to help you eat healthier in 2021! Here’s the deal, to be a true boss babe you’ve got to be strong and healthy. Here’s how I plan my meals for the week to ensure I’m getting adequate nutrition to lead my business and take care of my family. Hope you enjoy the video and be sure to subscribe to my channel. xo, Brit
Recipes for my meals for the week (3 meals prepped)
Hey Friends! Happy 2021. I just posted a new video on my YouTube Channel that’s all about goal setting for fulfillment. Click above to watch. And if you’re serious about making 2021 your happiest and healthiest year yet, sign up below for my 21 day Goal Setting Challenge! It’s complete with a 1 hour goal setting workshop, printable workout plan AND 30 on-demand workout videos led by me and other GRIT instructors that you can do from the comfort of your home.
Happy New Year friends! Thanks so much for reading my blog. I believe that what we appreciate, appreciates! So I’m keeping up my long-standing tradition of expressing gratitude for the top 10 moments I experienced this year. Obviously, 2020 presented unique challenges, but we made it through! And we didn’t come this far, just to come this far. So let’s keep pushing forward with hope, knowing the best is yet to come. Happy 2020! xo, Brit
1. Honeymoon and New Year’s in Aruba
Zach and I were fortunate to travel out of the country one last time before COVID-19 hit.Little did we know, we’d be quarantining together at home for the rest of the year. We even got matching “BZ” tattoos while we were there! So grateful for fun in sun for a week after our wedding and fireworks on the beach New Years Eve.
2. Celebrating 5 years of business
This video captures it all. Being an entrepreneur is an exciting, lonely, fun, challenging experience and I would’t change it for the world. So grateful to do this work, full-time for the past 5 years!
3. Launching GRIT Fitness Virtual Studio
A few years ago I launched a mobile app with the hope of creating a virtual fitness studio experience…that project wasn’t profitable and didn’t take off very well.While COVID-19 shut down my brick and mortar businesses, it propelled the development of our new virtual studio. Now we have the ability to truly connect and workout with women all over the world via your livestream and on-demand fitness classes. Learn more about GRIT Fitness Virtual Studio HERE
GRIT goes global – let’s claim it!
4. Harvard Business School Case Study Published
💥PUBLISHED💥 @harvardhbs WOW. Navigating COVID-19 as a small business owner has been quite the journey the past 2 months, BUT seeing a Harvard Business School case published this week with ME as the protagonist is something to be celebrated! Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that MBA students all over the world would study the company I founded 5 yrs ago (and still maintain 100% ownership) to learn about effective entrepreneurship. For 15 months I had pleasure of working with most brilliant case writers and professors at Harvard as they traveled from Boston to Dallas and followed me around all day, interviewed my instructors and staff, performed detailed research about the boutique fitness industry and so perfectly captured my start up story @gritbybritand critical decision points and highs and lows I’ve experienced along the way.
This case is all about the big decision I had to make to grow GRIT beyond our start up phase…we wrapped it up in late 2019…and now it looks like we’ll need to start working on the sequel, “How to pivot your business and thrive in a global pandemic! 🤔” I’m so grateful for all that I learned through this process and more importantly to be role model for young, black, female founders all over the world and be one of the very few black women protagonist in a Harvard Business School case. If this girl from Mesquite, TX who went to public school can go to Harvard and start her own thriving business, you can do ANYTHING!
5. Being on Master’s of Scale Podcast and partnering with Capital OneBusiness
Massive shout out to Capital One Business for selecting my company GRIT Fitness to highlight as one of the courageous small businesses who have pivoted our business model during COVID-19. I had the pleasure of sharing our story on the Masters of Scale podcast, in a 3 part feature (starting at minute 4:15, then 22:44 and last at 45:25). Here’s the link to listen to the full podcast (which is really good btw) – I hope it inspires and encourages you.
6. Buying our first home!
I finally gave up the Dallas Uptown hi-rise life for a proper house.This was my first time going through the home buying process.My lil bro just got his real estate license, so he was our realtor. Zach and are about 6 months into home ownership as husband and wife and we couldn’t be more grateful.
7. Reopening my fitness studios after shutting down due to the global pandemic
To God be the glory for keep my business afloat. The support and loyalty of our amazing members (I LOVE YOU #GRITFAM) and staff (I LOVE YOU #DREAMTEAM) allowed us to weather the COVID-19 storm and keep the doors of all 3 GRIT Fitness studio locations open. In environment where so many small business are shutting down, each day I’m just grateful, as a small business owner, just to be here.
8. Opening GRIT KO Boxing Studio
3 years ago I had the vision for GRIT KO – a safe, judgment-free place for women to learn proper boxing technique, let out aggression and get a killer workout with their girlfriends! It took us a year to find a space for the studio. Another year for our team to do the market research and create the format. Finally at the end of 2019 we signed a lease for a 2,500 sqft space, spent lots of 💵💰on equipment and finish out while investing tons of time training with a professional fighter (thank u @m.o.v.e.hq) The team and I were ready and eager to share this awesome experience with the GRITFAM in March 2020, but then… RONA 🦠
We put all plans on hold and instead of opening GRIT KO, we converted our brand new boxing studio to a 2nd spin studio so we could safely serve more women while allowing for social distancing. BUT, after 3 years of hustling and adjusting, we finally opened the doors to our KO Boxing studio on November 8, 2020 and classes have been AMAZING so far!
9. Rettig Family vacation to Panama City Beach
We drove 12 hours from Dallas to to the Gulf Coast, with my hubby and my lil pup, Pearl.It was Pearl’s first time travel and she did so good – I was so proud of her!Honestly, this was the best trip I have experienced in a really long time.There’s no time like family time…especially when I have a special someone to share it with now too.
10. Celebrating 1 year of marriage
Zach and I celebrated the ano! We enjoyed a chill relaxing week, 100% off of work. I spent the day looking at our beautiful wedding photos and we took the top layer of our wedding cake out the freezer and ate it for good luck. But we don’t need luck. If God is for us, who can be against us? I’m so blessed to do life with my amazing husband, Zach.
YAY for 1 year as Mr. and Mrs. Wold #ToHaveAndToWold
2019 was a year of transition…I went from being sick to being well, single to married and from small business owner to CEO of a company with over 90 team members. All my life I’ve prayed for the these milestone transitions, but they have each come with huge sacrifices and challenges. Last year I learned that I have to say “no” to GOOD to say “yes” to GREAT — good and great are mutually exclusive; it’s impossible to have both — those changes are uncomfortable and scary. At the end of the day, I know for sure that we can create the lives of our dreams as long at we have the GRIT to stay positive, the tenacity to fight like hell (even when we don’t feel like it), a heart to serve others, and, most importantly, we trust and believe that God is for us and His plans to prosper us will always prevail if we keep our faith. 2019 was the best the year of my life so far, not because everything went according to plan (it didn’t) nor because I made no mistakes (I made several) but it’s the year that I’ve truly learned to just enjoy the journey — the good, the bad, the ugly. I’m grateful for all of it. Learning to love the “messy” stuff is powerful. Why? Because I’m not afraid of failure. Challenges don’t paralyze me. And critics don’t make me doubt myself. I’m here, in this position, for such a time as this, on divine assignment and NO WEAPON FORMED AGAINST ME SHALL PROSPER – in the name of Jesus! (Isaiah 54:17) Thank you 2019 for all of the challenges and beautiful transitions.
Here are my most memorable moments from my “transition year” of 2019…
1. Girls Winter Trip to Denver in February
Zach and I had been dating for about 2 months and I knew I wanted to handle this relationship differently than my past relationships. I wanted to love without losing myself. The old me, would have cancelled all of my personal plans to make myself available for my new man, but I’m proud that I stayed committed to my friends and my personal passions. We had the best time eating drinking, talking and site seeing. There’s nothing like girlfriends.
2. When Zach told me he loved me
March 22, 2019…1 year ago today, Zach and I hung out at Katy Trail Ice House for 11 hours straight watching March Madness basketball (yes 10am to 9pm). We’d been dating for 3 months after meeting on Hinge…and at the end of that really looooong date, he told me he loved me 😍 now, you might think that was just the summer beer talking, but 3 months later we got engaged and the rest is history! I love sharing my love story especially during times of crisis, because I felt so hopeless about ever finding love before I met Zach. I was 34, single, worked over 80 hours per week, super stressed out and overwhelmed running a small business, slowly recovering from Bell’s palsy / Ramsey Hunt syndrome, had been on non-stop online dates but had yet to meet the right person. I honestly wanted to give up hope finding a life partner and even spent a huge sum of money to freeze my eggs so I could preserve my fertility in case I had to go through motherhood alone. But it’s in THOSE moments when you’ve given you’re ALL and you truly have NOTHING LEFT, that you create space for a MIRACLE to happen. No matter what you’re going through, don’t lose hope. Miracles happen every day.
3. Wedding planning as the Bride to Be!
We got engaged in June our set our wedding date for December, only 6 months yikes!From engagement parties, wedding shower, 2 bachelorette parties and wedding dress shopping, guest listing and endless text messaging with my fabulous wedding planner – planning my dream wedding was an experience I’ll cherish forever, I love love love hosting events and to get plan one on this scale (we had nearly 400 people at our wedding) was so much fun! The best parts were the joy that it brought my parents AND that Zach loved being involved in the process. Can we do it all over again? JK
4. Visiting 6 countries in 6 months with my fiancé
Zach and I traveled to Italy, Croatia, England, Ireland, Costa Rica and Aruba! We are so blessed to enjoy the privilege of travel and our experience was a great way to get to know each other better and rack up some memories in our short, 6 month engagement. This was truly the experience of a lifetime.
5. Signing our 5th commercial lease to open a GRIT KO Boxing Studio
SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED 🖊 I’d love to say that the commitment gets easier over the years, but I gotta be honest….we started @gritbybrit 5 years ago, this is the 5th commercial lease I’ve signed and I still get the butterflies of excitement (and fear) exactly as I did opening our first studio. It’s doesn’t get easier. But, I’m COMMITTED – emotionally, physically and financially!
God is so good. When we started this community, our only goal was to SURVIVE! AKA “not go out of business” – but the vision we have for ourselves in so much smaller than what God has planned for us. God wants us to THRIVE, not just survive! Never did I ever imagine that we would open 5 studios in 5 years. And let me tell you what, our success is not a result of sheer talent, skill or money. On the contrary, it’s the result of 2 things:
The passion, enthusiasm and commitment of the GRITFAM & DREAMTEAM 💕
The grace of God 🙌🏾 GRIT FITNESS is so much more than a boutique fitness concept, we are a MINISTRY, on a mission to empower women to accept themselves for who they are, fight like hell to become all that they have been called to be, and be a light in the world of compassion and community.
Whatever you are going through, know that the best is always yet to come. And if you feel fear…DO IT ANYWAY! You got this and you’re more than a conqueror
6. Being Selected as an Outdoor Voices Brand Ambassador
BIG NEWZ: I’m a part of the OV Family🤩 Thank you @oudoorvoices for naming me an official “Doer” I’m so honored and excited to represent the OV brand along with the #GRITFAM@gritbybritand help women all over the world get stronger, more confident and in greater community! I had a blast leading community events and being a role model for a fun, active, healthy lifestyle.
7. Getting accepted into the Leadership Dallas Class of 2020
It such an honor for the Dallas Reginal Chamber to select me into the Leadership Dallas class of 2020! During the orientation retreat, I spent 2 days tucked away with the smartest, kindest, most thoughtful business and civic leaders in Dallas to strategize, plan service projects and push ourselves to expand our leadership capacity. This was only the beginning of our year-long journey and I’m excited about the friendships, challenges and opportunities that I developed! The learning curve never ends and I’m ready to do whatever it takes to be the best leader for the #GRITFAM@gritbybrit and for the Dallas community!
8. Bachelorette Party in Napa in October
I was on cloud “wine” after the most amazing bachelorette weekend in Napa 🍷 🍇💕 Grateful for girlfriends who flew in from around the country to spend some quality time with me before my big day 😇 So blessed and grateful
9. Hosting 3 fitness and wellness retreats, including our first retreat to Costa Rica
In 2019 we traveled to Cabo San Lucas, Lake Texoma and Costa Rica for retreats. I’m so grateful for the PRIVILEGE to do this work. A wise mentor one told me, “the only way to be a successful entrepreneur is to truly enjoy the grind” and now understand what she meant. Words can’t express the experience of getting to pour sweat, heart and tears into 19 strong women on our 5th fitness/yoga retreat and most importantly, getting to play a small role in helping these ladies become all that God has called them to be
10. Wedding of My Dreams
MARRIED ❤️ 12.28.19 “Two are better than one…If either of them falls down, one can help the other up” – Ecclesiastics 4:9-10. This video captures it all 🙂 Thanks to our awesome videographer, Heacox Creative Co and photographer Pharris Photos
This year I set a goal to read at least 1 book per month and I’m so excited about my 12 book, boss babe reading plan!
I spent a ton of time selecting a solid combo of personal growth, fun fiction and girl power inspiration and tried to align them with the seasons and how I usually feel at certain points in the year.
Sooooo….any ladies looking to join me on the 2019 reading journey can check out my 12 picks below! I think I’ll call this “Brit’s Book Club” and now officially be on my journey of becoming Oprah 🙂 Enjoy!
January – Girl Wash Your Face, Rachel Hollis
February – The Secret, Rhonda Byrne
March – Activate Your Brain, Scott Halford
April – Becoming, Michelle Obama
May – Visioneering, Andy Standley
June – What To Ask The Person in The Mirror, Robert Kaplan
July – Nine Women One Dress, Janel Rosen
August – How the Might Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In, Jim Collins
September – GRIT: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Angela Duckworth
October – Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind, Joyce Meyer
Last year I suffered from a stress induced illness called Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, which temporarily paralyzed the left side of my face. I was shocked when the doctors told me that despite living a “healthy lifestyle” (i.e. exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet) this sickness is caused 100% by stress – that’s right, a lack of mental health!
“I was shocked when the doctors told me that despite living a “healthy lifestyle” (i.e. exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet) this sickness is caused 100% by stress – that’s right, a lack of mental health!”
The cure/prevention was not to do more but rather to do less. My doctor essentially prescribed me a heavy dose of R&R – I was supposed to CHILL OUT in order to get better. For a Type A, highachieving person, this is totally counterintuitive. Do nothing? Do you know who I am? I thrive in stressful situations! I thought I was going to go crazy! However, I’m grateful for the illness and for my recovery process because they taught me to value self-care. And if you are a high-achiever, self-care is not going to the gym or writing a “to do” list or reading a book about growing your business. Self-care is just relaxing and then relaxing some more… that’s it! It’s about placing a high value on “me time.” It’s about learning to CTFD (calm the F down). Here are 7 ways I chilled out during my recovery from Ramsay Hunt and ways I still chill out today. They are NOT productive, but they are relaxing which makes me a mentally healthy woman…
Keeping the 5 year tradition alive! So happy to share the highs and lows of 2018 – I’m grateful for all of it. If you want to go back in time, here are my year end reviews for 2013, 2014, (think I missed 2015), 2016 & 2017…enjoy and be blessed! xo, Brit
1. Giving a TEDx Talk
This was hands down the most exhilarating experience of my year. It challenged me and took my back to my old high school speech and debate days (nerd alert). Not only did it challenge my public speaking skills it forced me to be super introspective as a leader and really dissect my leadership style and be vulnerable about sharing my passion for people and building a strong, sustainable community of women that I lead at GRIT Fitness. You can watch my TED talk at the link below (I’m the very last speaker and go on at 04:02:00): https://livestream.com/tedx/events/8155001
2. Hosting 2 Wellness Retreats (Cabo + Lake Texoma)
Now these were just fun! I like to call them the “fitness bachelorette parties” instead of retreats, lol. My friend/teammate Kaleigh Walker approached me with the idea of hosting a retreat, something I’d never done before, and we did it! It took lots of planning (itineraries, collecting payments, logistics, communications, creating workouts, etc) but it was an awesome experience. Hosting these retreats totally gave one of those “OMG I can’t believe this is my job” moments. I remain so grateful for my work. It’s so hard to believe that only 4 years ago I wrote this blog post “10 questions to ask yourself before you quit your job”, just when I decided to quit my long term management consulting career… so glad I took the leap!
3. NYC reunion with my business school friends
Work hard play hard! Over the summer I had the good fortune of taking a trip to NYC, during which I took a TON of fitness classes and spent lots of quality time with my best friends from business school. I bonded with the ladies almost 10 years ago as we were in the same section (Section B Class of 2010) at Harvard and spent every single day together for 1 year. While we all have very different socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds and even live in different countries and work in very different industries, what bonds us it our commitment to personal growth, excellence and genuine love and respect for each other. That said, every year we make a point to see each other face to face (no matter where we have to fly in from) and encourage each other, talk about our business ventures and have some good ole’ girlfriend fun!
4. Battling Ramsay Hunt Syndrome
This one hit me like a ton of bricks…I pride myself on my “grit” and “perseverance” and ability to push through anything. But I learned the hard way this year that self-care is not weak, it’s necessary. I had a lot on my mind this year: opening a new studio, turning 34 and freaking about not having a family yet like all of the other Dallas girls (comparison is so stupid), managing over 80 staff/employees, my business growing so fast I felt like I couldn’t keep up – anxiety overload! Then one day I literally hit the ground and couldn’t do anything. I went to the emergency room and was quickly CareFlighted to the hospital. After tons of CT scans, IVs and blood test the doctors confirmed that I had a shingles outbreak in my ear which caused lots of inflammation in my cranial nerve and paralyzed the left side of my face. Crazy thing…the entire illness is 100% stress induced WTF?! I freaked out even more at this point because the doctors said that there was 50% chance my face may not recover and go back to normal…This was the wake up call I needed to truly “let go and let God.” SURRENDER has been my word for 2018. I had to rely my on my faith, my friends and my family and quit trying to be superwoman and do everything on my own. The biggest lesson I learned from all of this is to be vulnerable and ask for help. That doesn’t mean I’m weak, it actually means I’m strong.
5. Hiring a Full Time Studio Management Team
After almost 4 years of business, I’m so grateful to have a full-time management team to operate our 3 DFW locations! Sad part is, if I hadn’t gotten Ramsay Hunt syndrome, I don’t think I would have hired another manager. Maybe everything happens for a reason…Now our team consists of 2 general managers, 1 social media manger, over 45 fitness instructors and over 40 front desk staff. Can’t believe it!
6. Freezing My Eggs
This was the biggest decision I made this year (and a huge financial investment). Okay real talk ladies: I felt so guilty because I was 34 and I felt like I should be settling down and having kids, but the reality is that I don’t want to do that right now. I’m having a blast growing my business and empowering women. I feel a strong conviction that what we are doing a GRIT is so much more than fitness, it’s a ministry to speak life and hope to women all over the world and if I don’t put my whole heart and soul and time into this right now, I’ll regret it forever. That said, I do value family and I want to have one of my own some day. BUT the reality is that female fertility drastically declines at age 35….so I bit the bullet, invested a ton of money, gave myself 3 shots in the belly every day for over a week and froze my eggs. I feel like a giant weight has been lifted off of my shoulders! Now, I can chill out a little bit more and not worry so much about my ability to have kids in the future because I have stash of 34 year old eggs in the freezer that I can grab later on. Thank God for technology and more options for women!
This was such a blessing and a a huge team victory! Watch the video tour above and see inside our newest, dreamiest GRIT Fitness location!
8. My 2nd Fibroid Removal Surgery
This year I had to go back under the knife and get more fibroids removed. I wasn’t really having symptoms (like the last time – you can read more here) but during the retrieval of my eggs, my doc noticed more fibroids and highly encouraged me to get them removed. I’m super picky about my surgeons, so I flew back to Boston to Brigham and Women’s hospital so the best laparoscopic surgeon could do my operation. I’m grateful that the surgery was a success and I’m healthy and blessed to have a body that can carry children! Ladies, it’s so important to be proactive about your fertility – ask lots of questions and always get 2nd and 3rd opinions from OBGYNs.
9. Spring Fun in Los Angeles: Girlboss Rally & GRIT by Brit Pop Up Tour
It’s always been so important to me to focus on the mind/body connection when it comes to fitness. That’s why I named this blog “GRIT by Brit” and my company “GRIT Fitness” – this year I created a program of daily positive affirmations and a law of attraction workshop that went along with the workout program. I’m super proud of it and plan to keep improving it and eventually offer it virtually to women all over the world!
Hello friends! Please join me for my 21 Day GRIT Challenge! I’m excited to share my personal tips and philosophies to getting stronger mentally, physically and emotionally. This program connects the dots between physcial fitness, spiritual inspiration and mental toughness. If you’re need of some genuine, authentic motivation, this is the program for you! I believe that mental grit (i.e. passion and perseverance for long term goals) can be learned and we are capable of being gritty and great at whatever we do! The key is to practice daily habits that make us stronger. During this 21 days, we’ll train our minds to support the pursuit of our biggest dreams!
Kick Off Workshop
21 days of unlimited GRIT Fitness classes to all locations (OR participate virtually via the GRIT by Brit app)
Law of Attraction Seminar
Brit’s Healthy Habits Guide & Tracking Workbook
Workout Planning Tips
Participation in private GRIT 21 Day Challenge Facebook Group
I have an upcoming event that I’m so exited about. For one, it’s going to be a super high-energy, sweaty workout with awesome music from a live DJ – yay! Secondly, it’s totally FREE for the Dallas community.
Show your GRIT and burn some major calories in my signature mash-up of high intensity interval training (HIIT) and toning! The entire class is rhythm-based and set to an energetic mash-up spun by DJ Rocko. *Dont forget your yoga mat, sneakers, towel and water.
All of the fun is a part of a mobile tour sponsored by TaxAct (hello tax season!). The TaxAct Mobile Tour will feature my 30-minute workout and a short talk about starting your own business with yours truly and Amy Karp Photography founder, Amy Karp. Don’t forget the jams by DJ Rocko, coffee, food trucks and so much more. Kick off your tax season with me – I’ll see you at The Bomb Factory parking lot (details below)