Hey hey friends! How’s your week going? I’m back in action after enjoying an AMAZING getaway to Blue Ridge Mountain, GA! My classmates from Harvard Business School and I have an annual tradition of going on a “family vacation.” We basically pick a random rural city and spend a few days cooking, engaging in conversations about life, making fun of each other and simply disconnecting from the craziness of our demanding careers.
We’ve each taken different career paths and culturally have very different backgrounds, but we’re connected by our values and senses of humor. This year we rented a beautiful lake house about 2 hours outside of Atlanta in Blue Ridge Mountain, GA. 2 years ago we went to Asheville, North Carolina which was also a blast. We even made a “Buddy Bootcamp” video at our lake house that year, haha – you can view it here.
I just wanted to share some pics from the trip, because during this time with my best buds I felt so grateful and content. It’s crazy how simply taking some time out of the day-to-day can restore and rejuvenate your spirit.
Overall, I think the Fall is great season to chill out a bit and reflect on how great life is. I’m grateful for my awesome friends and for the time that we spend together. How do you reflect and rejuvenate?
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. My friend told me there are 15 books all entrepreneurs should read in order to succeed. However for now, I hope these tips will help you out!
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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. People want to start their own business, but do not know where to start. Whatever the industry or profession, you can always find a way to start your career. For example, if you are aiming to become a self employed truck driver, you could research Skip Lorry Insurance to get you started and have you covered for anything that may happen. You’ll get there eventually. 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
A bonus tip for your small business, my friend was recently telling me about they made the most out of their energy bills by using business energy comparison websites like Usave. I’m told they got a great deal through those sites.
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.
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?
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?
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.”
I found his comments very thought-provoking. Especially this one…
THE WINNING MENTALITY IS BASED OUT OF ADVERSITY.
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 thr
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…
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?
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.
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:
Every morning, wash my face and apply oil free SPF 15 sunscreen
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.
Image: 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…
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
Relieve Stress (Journal of Applied Gerontology)
Improve Memory (The New England Journal of Medicine)
Lift Your Spirits
Increase Energy (The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition)
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
Image: Maria, Annabel and Me after Maria’s Friday morning Flexin’ Flow class
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 🙂
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.
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.
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…
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!
Today I’m back to the grind. I’m writing this blog post from my favorite coffee shop, MudSmith, as I enjoy an egg/avocado 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
Hey friends! I hope your week is off to an amazing start! I’m excited to be back in Dallas after a WONDERFUL weekend in Boston. I didn’t quite stick to my Liquid Detox Plan as I had hoped (oops) but I felt great at my 5 year Harvard Business School reunion! Did any of you stick the plan? If so , how did it go?
My weekend in Beantown was filled with inspiring discussions, informative sessions and LOTS of partying. Here’s a quick recap of how it went down…
I arrived on Wednesday (a day early) to meet with my Professor, Tom Eisenmann, Co-Chair of the HBS Rock Center for Entrepreneurship. He’s been helping me with my business plan / investor pitch to grow GRIT Fitness to 4 studios by the end of the next year. Fingers crossed I raise all the money I need by the end of this Summer and we keep the fitness party going in Dallas…and beyond!
Then all of my classmates made it to campus and the socializing began! We enjoyed 2 days of classes and seminars to stay abreast of the latest business theories and insights. Between sessions we got to catch up and enjoy refreshments. Here are a few pics of me reconnecting with my classmates and getting my learn on!
When the first night rolled round we were ready to PARTY! During business school I could party all night and wake up early the next day feeling refreshed. Now…not so much. Let’s just say I’m struggling a bit as I write this blog post. BUT it was worth it! My best girlfriends/classmates traveled from across the globe (Paris, South Africa, Uruguay, Shanghai, etc.) to come together for this one special weekend – so I had a duty to RALLY! Let’s just say, we didn’t miss a beat. I had SO MUCH fun dancing, eating, drinking and pre-gaming in our baller AirBNB rental property…
We wrapped up the weekend with a swanky gala at Top of the Hub with our entire class. It was really cool to get all dressed up and savor the final night. Sigh…so great.
As I mentioned, I was really inspired by my experience this weekend. Here are a few points that stuck with me and I hope positively impact you as much as they did me…
Pursue fulfillment instead of success – I’m actually pretty proud of myself in this regard. Quitting my consulting job and pursuing a fitness career (fulfillment) instead of success (financial security) has been the best decision of my life. Whether or not I’m successful, at least I’m fulfilled.
The journey is the reward – Actually achieving a goal is anticlimactic. I got the promotion…or I got married…now what? The process of pursuing the goal is the fun part. Enjoy the journey, it IS the reward.
All we have is now – The only moment that matters is the present one. For all we know the past may have never happened and future is not promised. I’m going to try to put down my cell phone more and enjoy the awesome moments of each day.
HOW is more important than WHAT – Information is free flowing these days so simply knowing facts isn’t that impressive. Knowing HOW to use information is where the real value lies.
Have a wonderful day. I love you to pieces! xoxo, Brit
If you’re like me, you often associate taking a break with “taking an opportunity to throw your healthy habits out of the window.” I’ll be honest, in the midst of a demanding day, my afternoon pick-me-up sometimes comes in the form of a sugar cookie. However, I’m trying to proactively plan for my midday lull and have healthy options on hand to help power through my day. Here are 5 healthy ways to take a midday break and rejuvenate:
1. Write Down A Positive Affirmation – You guys know I’m a big believer in the power of positive thinking. When I’m bored or distracted in the afternoon, sometimes I’ll search for a positive quote, write it down and then say it out load. It makes me feel empowered and ready to take on the rest of the day.
2. Enjoy A Healthy Snack – I recently discovered Chobani Flip Greek Yogurt and I’m obsessed. I love that I can enjoy tasty flavors like Almond Coco Loco and Salted Caramel Crunch without compromising nutrition. Chobani Flip Greek Yogurt is a much better afternoon snack than my sugar cookie.
3. Get Active – Go for a 10-minute walk or knock out my super efficient 10-minute Cardio Abs Workout. Physical activity gets endorphins flowing and will instantly boost your mood and energy.
4. Escape With A Novel – Instead of sitting still for hours to enjoy a new book, I keep one in my bag and read it in 10-minute increments. It’s the perfect way to escape from my daily grind and give myself an enjoyable mental break.
5. Enjoy A Glass Of Lemon Water – Lemons are loaded with nutrients and lemon water helps aid in digestion. Also, I find lemon water tastier and more refreshing than regular tap water. Here’s an interesting article sharing 10 benefits of lemon water.
I hope these midday rejuvenation ideas are helpful. Here’s to enjoying healthier options to refresh for an awesome day and an amazing life! “To love this life is to live it naturally.” – Chobani
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Chobani through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Chobani Flip Greek Yogurt, all opinions are my own.
Ah springtime…out with the old and in with the new. I love spring because it feels like a fresh start! I usually try to rev up my workout regimen, get super strict about taking my daily multivitamin and drink 2 liters of water per day. I recently discovered Airborne® Everyday, which is a dietary supplement that has similar immunity boosting benefits as the traditional Airborne effervescent tablets PLUS a multivitamin.
I’ve always been a fan of Airborne® effervescent tablets. I started taking them back in college to boost my immune system through the extreme winters in Ithaca, NY. Every morning before practice, I’d drop one of those bad boys in a cup of water, watch it fizz and gulped it down. A good sweat session, lots of water and my daily Airborne® was my go to solution for staying fit, happy and healthy.
I tried Airborne® Everyday the past week and I really like it. Each morning I chewed up 2 gummies in place of my daily multivitamin – much more enjoyable than swallowing a giant horse pill. Also, I didn’t feel nauseous as I often do after taking my multivitamin. The amount of vitamins and minerals are pretty similar to those in my multivitamin so I wasn’t missing out on any nutrients. Plus, I received the Airborne’s® crafted immune support. On the down side, there are 6 grams of sugar per serving. (I figured I’d make up for it by adding some extra burpees to my classes at GRIT Fitness – wink wink). Overall, I think I’m going to make Airborne® Everyday a part of daily routine this spring.
What’s your daily immune support solution? Post a comment with your answer and you can win a 3-pack supply of Airborne® Everyday! Here’s to a happy, healthy spring! xoxo, Brit
Disclosure: I have been compensated with free product but the opinions are mine.