Category Archives: Inspiration & Motivation

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

Dallas GRIT Fitness Flagship | Construction Progress

ALMOST MOVE IN TIME

Hey hey friends!  I’m SO THRILLED to share a construction progress update today because SO MUCH has been accomplished in so little time.

So, this week all of the former walls in the facility were demolished leaving this huge open space…

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and by the end of the week, the new wall frames and sheet rock were constructed –  YAY!

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This is a major milestone because the new GRIT FITNESS flagship studio will have 2 studios under 1 roof: 1 group fitness studio + 1 indoor cycling studio. (It’s also just super cool to actually see the future floor plan in real life – not just on construction drawings).

I’m big believer that variety is the spice of life and the key to an effective fitness regimen, so I’m super keen on providing continuous variety to my clients AKA the #GRITFAM.  Offering cycling classes in additional to our 7 original group fitness classes is a phenomenal sweaty combo!

Furthermore, we made more great progress on the locker room.  Last week the locker room looked like this (NO plumbing)…

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This week the trenching for plumbing got underway and we are on track to install showers!

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We still have lots of work to do (e.g. flooring, lighting, sound, decor) but the BIG construction efforts are well underway and almost done.  Summer will be here before we know it and I can’t wait to offer more of our fun, fierce fabulous fitness classes to the Dallas community.

It’s not too late to back our campaign and help make this vision come to life.  We can’t do it without you!  Thank you so much for the contributions, kind emails and words of encouragement so far.  You are loved and appreciated.  #thebestisyettocome

xoxo, Brit

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The Power of Vulnerability

 

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Hosting book club last week with my FAB friends!

Hey friends!  Happy Sunday.  I hope you had a fabulous weekend!  My weekend was super busy, but I don’t mind (I like it like that).  Last week, I hosted my best friends at my bachelorette pad for a LOOOONG overdue book club meeting/wine night.  We start the book club over 3 years ago, but unfortunately have not met in the last 18 months.  Needless to say, we very much appreciated the time together AND thoroughly enjoyed our book, Daring Greatly by Brené Brown (yay Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday crew).

Daring Greatly is all about the power of vulnerability.  While putting ourselves in vulnerable situations often makes us feel weak, it’s actually one of the most empowering actions we can take to strengthen our relationships and our sense of self-worth.

The week I had a unique opportunity to “choose vulnerablity” by sharing a video that I think makes me look “weak.”  Here’s a little back story…last summer I met an awesome producer, Clint Howard, via Thumbtack who developed the GRIT promo video that’s my studio’s website.  A few days ago he sent me this “behind the scenes” video he created.  I hesitated to share it because I want to put on a “strong/girlboss” image, but after thinking about it some more I decided it’s good for me to be totally transparent and let my clients and blog followers know exactly why GRIT exists and why the #GRITFAM means the world to me.  You can watch the video below…

Grit Behind the Sceens from Clint Howard II on Vimeo.

While I run the risk of being made fun of, negative feedback, etc., I’m comfortable enough in my own skin to face whatever outcomes may be.  Most importantly, I believe in the vision of GRIT Fitness so much that I want to make intentions crystal clear.  Quite honestly, this is the first time in my life that I’ve felt this way and it’s so liberating!  Having a truly unique personal passion/ life purpose is simply the best.  And for it, I’m forever grateful.

 

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Me and my #dreamteam of instructors and advisors getting ready to get to WERK!

Me and my #dreamteam of instructors and advisors getting ready to get to WERK

Hey Friends – happy 2016! First off, my sincere apologies for the sporadic blog posting.  We have been crazy busy at GRIT Fitness with a rush of new members who are ready to get fit and feel fabulous in 2016.  I’m not one for excuses, so I’ll just say “my bad” and start doing better.  Most posts coming – I promise!

To kick off the New Year, my team and I met for an inspirational brainstorming and goal setting session.  We chatted about things that were going well at GRIT and things that we can do better. We also spent time articulating our vision of an “amazing fitness experience” and then set some team and personal goals around that vision.

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Letting our innovative juices flow to help create a bigger, better GRIT Fitness!

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Setting goals for 2016!

Fortunately, I had a great boss back in my consulting days who taught me about setting SMART Goals: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time Bound.  What are your goals for 2016? I encourage you to also set smart goals – they are more effective for driving to results!

As a small business owner and new entrepreneur I value this quality time with my team.  Sure, I see these ladies everyday as sweat and smile during our classes at GRIT, but the most important thing I’ve learned during my first year as an entrepreneur is that my business success is 100% dependent on the engagement and performance of my team.  Without my team – I have nothing! #realtalk

As a self-proclaimed “independent woman” this was a tough pill for me to swallow because a part of me prides myself on developing the concept for GRIT Fitness on my own and getting it up and running by leveraging my skills and experience.  But as we continue to grow, there are SO MANY things that I simply can’t do by myself and SO MANY things that I just don’t know.   I have to develop and empower my team to be leaders in their own right, take risks and to share their gifts with others.

While I absolutely LOVE group fitness and feel so blessed to wake up every day and pursue my passion, I get so much more joy from serving my team and creating a foundation for us all to pursue our passions together.  I’ve learned that “it’s great to do what you love, but even greater with the great team.” Teamwork really does make the dream work.  xoxo,Brit

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Maria, GRIT Body Sculpt & HIIT instructor, showing off her mug



GRIT Fitness 2016 New Year Challenge

Happy 2016 my friends!  I hope you rang in the new year with those you love.  I enjoyed New Year’s day by teaching SOLD OUT back-to-back classes at my studio at “Brit’s 2016 Sweaty Surprise” class.  Essentially, I picked all of my favorite songs from 2015 and choreographed a mash-up workout of kickboxing, body sculpting and dance exercises.  It was a one hour of good old sweaty fun.

To keep the momentum going, I’m hosting a #NEWYEARBESTYOU challenge for our GRIT family. If you don’t live in Dallas, you can still participate!  All you have to do is write down one personal goal of how you will be your best self this year and email it to dallasgritfitness@gmail.com.  Then you must complete 15 workouts that are each at least 30 minutes long before the end of January.  Share your progress by posting 15 post-workout pics to Instagram and use the hashtag #newyearbestyou.  Everyone who completes the challenge will earn our newest “I’m Allergic to Basic Workouts Tank Top” #dontbebasic.  Let’s do this thang!

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If you live in Dallas, come join the challenge in person!  We are offering a killer New Year deal for unlimited classes and official membership to the GRIT Family.  For only $105 per month you can join the party, take the challenge and hang out with me (which I hope you want to do)!  Here’s the link to sign up: REGISTER NOW

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Alright gang, let’s make 2016 the best year of our lives and let’s do it as a team!  Here’s to a happy, healthy New Year!  xoxo, Brit

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?

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