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
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
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!
Since I started this blog 5 years ago (wow!) I’ve kept the tradition of writing a year-end post to recap my Top 10 most memorable moments. I’m not proud of my blogging frequency this year (will do better in 2018, fingers crossed)…but I am proud to end the year with one final post! So here we go, in order of occurrence (not importance), here are my Top 10 moments of 2017…
1. Getting a dog, Pearl
Let me start by saying that I’m a not a “dog person” and never in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined getting a dog. Doing so, however, was hands down the best decision I made last year. I love Pearl SO MUCH, more than I ever thought possible. Having a dog has made me more patient and helped me be more balanced and get my mind off of my company every once in a while. Although, my company inspired Pearl’s name, “No Grit No Pearl!” (Yes, she transformed from a little brown puppy to a big white fluff in 12 months…IDK
2. Hosting My First Conference, WHAT SHE SAID
This was a really big team accomplishment. All of my boss babe friends and I put our heads together and hosted Dallas’ first young women’s empowerment conference. The conference took place at the W Dallas hotel with a welcome reception at GRIT Fitness. We enjoyed over 25 amazing speakers, tons of vendors, a dance club cardio happy hour, tons of swag from Tory Sport, mimosas to kick-start the day and cocktail reception to finish the festivities. I was also the keynote speaker (you can watch my full speech above). I was very honored to share the entire GRIT Fitness start-up story and important lessons I’ve learned from taking the company from a small side hustles back in 2012 to a successful small business in 2017.
3. Attending the Inaugural Girl Boss Rally in LA
Yay for 2 conferences in 1 year! After hosting my conference in Dallas, I then traveled to LA to attend the Girl Boss Rally hosted by Sophia Amaroso, author of the book GirlBoss and Founder of Nasty Gal. She had a SICK line up of speakers including two of my ultimate girl crushes, Ty Haney (Founder of Outdoor Voices) and Emily Weiss (Founder of Glossier). This conference inspired me because it made my BIG dreams seem more attainable. Just listening to so many young ladies who were about my age lead and grow multi-mullion dollar brands made me feel very confident that I can do the same.
4. Closing my original business location in East Dallas
I shed so many tears on this day. This was hands down one of the toughest moments of my year. I have so many amazing (and difficult) memories at the original GRIT Fitness East Dallas location. This is where my idea came to fruition – we opened this studio in Jan 2015, just 3 months after I quit my consulting career at Deloitte. My OG team members and I hosted a big “grand closing” party and each of the original instructors taught together – it was super fun and nostalgic. Someday I plan to buy real estate back in East Dallas and open young women’s co-working space with a fitness studio in the back – a tribute to where GRIT began!
5. Opening a New Business Location at SMU Blvd, Dallas, TX
When one door closes another door opens. Soon after we moved out of the East Dallas studio, we celebrated the grand opening of our SMU location. This studio is much bigger with better amenities and a cycling studio! It was a very proud moment for me and my team. This transition reassured me that the best is always yet to come.
6. Summer Fun in California
California LOVE! I took the best summer vacay to the west coast – it went like this: A bunch of fitness classes in LA > baller wedding in Newport Beach with my family > hangout with a bestie from biz school in Palo Alto > hang out with a bestie from undergrad in Oakland > another amazing wedding in Sonoma (where I caught the bouquet – hey!) along with wine tasting and quality time with my sister.
What more can I say?
7. Launching the GRIT by Brit app
So proud fo this! Launching my home workout app was a big item on my 2017 goals and it’s launched! I invested a lot of time, money and energy into this project, because strategically I know that having a tech service offering, in addition to brick and mortar studios, is critical for the long-term viability of my company. Now I can workout with ladies all over the world! I’m still working on some live stream functionality and very cool timer plug-in that leads my workouts with sound effects so you can just press “start “and start sweating! If you haven’t already, DOWNLOAD MY APP
8. Hiking Camelback Mountain
I went to a wedding in Scottdale for one of my high school friends. The day before the ceremony, I hiked (the hard side) of Camelback Mountain with two awesome ladies from Houston who were also friends of the bride. It was freaking HARD! I’m talking rocks on rocks on rocks. But, I did it. And I felt really good about myself. I even shed a tear at the top because I truly believe I can feel God’s presence when I’m alone with nature.
9. Being Awarded “Best Fitness Program” by D Magazine
Could. Not. Believe. This. So grateful for this huge honor. To me, this award means that GRIT is officially on the map in Dallas. Now the pressure is on like donkey kong to continuously improve our services, meet the needs of the growing #GRITFAM and continue creating the strongest women in Dallas!
10. Euro Trip 2017
I traveled a ton back in day when I was a consultant, but since I founded GRIT 3 years ago, I haven’t had the opportunity to travel as much. I got a serious itch to get back to Europe this holidays season and I’m so grateful that I finally reached a point where I had the financial stability and free time to make it happen. I visited Manchester > London > Amsterdam > Paris = 1 heck of a way to end the year!
Hey Friends! Last weekend I got the awesome opportunity to travel to Los Angeles, CA and attend the inaugural #girlbossrally hosted by Sophia Amoruso, Founder and Former CEO of Nasty Gal. 2 conferences back-to-back weekends! I co-hosted the 1st WHAT SHE SAID, Women’s Empowerment Conference in Dallas Feb 25th and then jetted to LA for the GIRLBOSS Rally March 4th.
So what is the GIRLBOSS Rally? You ask….
Girlboss is about being the boss of your own life. We will gather the next generation of curious creatives, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and tastemakers to spark conversation around the topics they are passionate about. From marketing and brand building to getting paid and quitting jobs, health & wellness, sexuality and more, it will be a day filled with actionable takeaways.
The rally was truly a once in a lifetime, girl power inspirational experience. Here are the top 5 things I learned:
1️⃣ There are 40 million women born between 1980-2000 who want more experiences and less stuff and to be the author of their own lives! 2️⃣ Slow is smooth and smooth is fast (slow down!) 3️⃣ It’s great to dream big, but more important to work really freakin’ hard 4️⃣ Don’t compare your hustle to their highlight reel 5️⃣ Be aggressive. Take the shot. Get out of the your own way!
It was so motivating to feel the energy of 500 female hustlers under 1 roof. Simply being in the presence of other GIRLBOSS women gave me the kick in the butt I needed to keep fearlessly growing my business at GRIT Fitness and the courage to take some new risks!
Here are a few pics from the rally for you to you enjoy…
Wishing you happy International Women’s Day and encouraging you to be a BOSS of your own life! xoxo, Brit
I’m so excited to announce that my company, GRIT Fitness, is partnering with W Dallas Hotel to host the first WHAT SHE SAID women’s empowerment conference in Dallas. WHAT SHE SAID is a new global speaker series featuring inspirational women from the worlds of fashion, fitness, music, tech, media and more. W is giving these incredible women at the top of their game a platform to share their personal stories at W Hotels around the world, inviting attendees to mix, mingle in true W style, over cocktails and incredible music!
I’ve partnered with the W Dallas – Victory for several fitness / social events over the past 4 years including Cardio and Cocktails and Flexin’ Flow on the WETDECK! I love the hip, creative vibe of the hotel so I though it would be the perfect location to host a women’s conference! I mean look at this ah-mazing conference space! AND we got some awesome local, #GIRLBOSS interior designers to decorate the panels with super chic styles.
Over 80% of the speakers are members of the #GRITFAM (GRIT Fitness community). I had strong passion to host a conference this year because I want young ladies to connect outside of the gym and have “real talk” about turning their passions into action. This event is not limited to GRIT members ALL ARE WELCOME and we hope you decide to join the fun! Here are the details…
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Friday, February 24 – GRIT Fitness Design District
5-8PM Dance Cardio Party and Networking Reception presented by Tory Sport and Dulce Vida Tequila
Saturday, February 25 – W Dallas Victory
9AM Check in, coffee and breakfast bites served
10AM Side Hustle to CEO, Brit Rettig, founder of GRIT Fitness
11AM Goal Setting for Success, Boss Women Who Brunch
12PM Lunch, Expo of local #GIRLBOSS vendors
12:30 – 3:30PM Breakout Sessions
Time to Get Your Money RightAction-planning workshop for getting out of debt
Look Good, Feel Good
Fitness, nutrition and health “real talk” for looking and feeling your best
Winning in the Workplace
A GRIT girl’s guide to getting ahead in corporate environments
Creativity to Cashflow
Turning your creative passion into a money-making machine
Succeeding at Start-Ups
What it takes to lead and work at the world’s leading startup companies
3:30PM Closing happy hour with live DJ and cocktails
Speakers: Amber LaFrance, Co-Founder/Owner of Culture-Hype PR and Owner of DFW Style Daily; Molly Mathias, Founder of MM Vintage; Leah Frazier, Founder of Diamond Icon and Blogger at BeautyforAshes; Lindsey Kilbride, VP of Sales for Trunk Club; Rachel Kuhr, Founder of Productable.Us and former Innovation Lead for Mark Cuban Companies; Lakshmi Shenoy, VP of Strategy and Business Development for 1871 Chicago; Danielle Moye, Pediatric Cardiologist at UT Southwestern; Megan Lyons, Founder of The Lyons’ Share Wellness; Erika Elmore, Regional Diversity Officer for Morgan Stanley; Brittany Madrid, “Living Well” host as seen on WFAA; Liz Stanley, Founder and Blogger for Oh Hey Dallas and model; NaTarra Allen, Personal Trainer at Equinox; Courtney Sanders, Founder of Think & Grow Chick, LLC; Emily Hsieh, CFA, CFP® and Founder of Narrative Financial; Annabel Williams, Regional Sales Director for AIG; Ashley Fincher, VP and Legal Counsel for Comerica Bank; Brittani Rettig, Founder of GRIT Fitness; Yasmeen Tadia, Founder of Fluff Pop and Make Your Life Sweeter Brands; Alison Magdstadt, Marketing Director for Neiman Marcus; Marty McDonald and Ashley Cash, Co-Founders of Boss Women Who Brunch
GRIT Fitness, founded in January 2015 by Brittani Rettig, brings an innovative approach to boutique fitness by providing energetic group classes in a community-focused environment. A carefully curated and enthusiastic staff of instructors teach over 60 classes each week at two studios, ranging from dance and kickboxing to high-intensity interval training, toning and cycling.
About W Dallas Hotel and WHAT SHE SAID
Since its inception, W Hotels has always worked with female icons in fashion, music, design and fitness to enrich the travel experience and provide a platform for emerging visionaries. To take that further, WHAT SHE SAID is a global speaker series hosted by W featuring women across these fields, sharing their stories, and providing opportunities to mix, mingle and network. Previous speakers have included Rachel Zoe, Diane Von Furstenberg, Who What Wear, WNBA, etc. Because everything is bigger in Texas, W Dallas – Victory in partnership with GRIT Fitness is turning WHAT SHE SAID into a two-day women’s empowerment conference! The conference will be a day and a half chalk full of robust curriculum for our local female entrepreneurs and girl bosses. We’re talking about all things fitness, personal finances, kicking A in your career and discovering your passions and purpose! We’ll be bringing in Dallas’ most influential women to inspire and motivate the next generation of female entrepreneurs – AKA YOU, girlfriend! Join us and get ready to connect, ignite your creativity and take your passions and turn them into actions.
WHAT SHE SAID – DALLAS | SUPPORTERS & EXHIBITORS
DFW Beauty Guide
Dulce Vida Tequila
Ellevate Network – Dallas
Harper & Tucker
Jess Peterson – Indpendent Consultant for Rodan + Fields
Joiya Johnson – Business & Accounting Services
Lemonade by Lauren
Lexie Faucher Photography
Nikkie Smith Designs
Peechy Keen Studio
Read Between the Lines
Rose Pearson – Executive Consultant for Rodan+Fields
Sugar Bear Hair
The Cookie Cheff
The Iman Project + Lavender & Mint
The Lyons’ Share Wellness
Tory Sport, NorthPark
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.
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.
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.