Welcome to the What Makes You Sweat podcast! On this show we talk with fitness professionals and entrepreneurs from all over the world about how they’ve built their business, what makes them sweat, and their biggest lessons learned. Learn how to start and scale your business, and navigate the world of being a fitness entrepreneur.
Your host, Martha Fedorak, is a CPA, MBA by trade but a fitness instructor and entrepreneur at heart. She has been teaching yoga & fitness for over a decade and finally took the leap to quit her corporate job to co-found a successful fitness startup.
Colleen: Growing a membership-based fitness business with CDP Fitness
As a retired marathon runner, Colleen loves to workout and workout hard. After years of running injuries, Colleen retired from running and fell for challenging strength workouts: Barre, Pilates, and Lagree Fitness. She quit her job at a big pharma company to become a full-time fitness instructor. She always intended on having an online presence and even purchased the URL for her business more than five years ago. The pandemic was the perfect push Colleen needed to build her online fitness business, CDP Fitness.
- The key differences between growing her following in person and online and how the pandemic was the perfect push Colleen needed to teach online
- Why Colleen was concerned that the membership model wouldn’t work for her classes and how she’s built a business model that is sustainable while keeping her clients happy
- The top two things she’s learned about advertising and promoting herself as a brand online and on social media, and how to overcome the comparison game as a fitness entrepreneur on social media
- The most valuable feedback Colleen’s received from her members
Susan Hu: Opening your heart to the possibilities
After obtaining two masters degrees and working in marketing and communications for seven years, Susan decided to follow her passion for yoga and become a full-time instructor in New York City. Susan is an advocate for self-care and for making yoga accessible to everyone. She started Everyone’s Yoga, an online platform for accessible yoga, before the pandemic and has since grown it to a platform bigger than she ever imagined.
- The yoga practice that shifted Susan’s life and how her background in marketing and journalism naturally led her to launch an online platform to share her passion with others
- What happened when Susan overcame the initial resistance of going online and how Susan used her online platform to connect, grow, and raise the overall vibration of her community
- NYC’s yoga market and the key differences that set Susan’s offerings apart from others in a saturated market
- Susan’s real advice for getting through challenging times, especially as an entrepreneur facing uncertainty in the pandemic
- “Everyone should be meditating for 20 minutes a day - unless you’re too busy, then you should be meditating for an hour”
Clarissa Karunaratne: The power of social media and building community
Pre-pandemic, Clarissa was working her “dream job” as a social media manager for a boutique fitness studio and teaching yoga sculpt classes in LA. When the studios closed for lockdown, everyone was forced to show up in ways they never thought they would. For Clarissa that meant bringing her classes online and staying connected with her community virtually. Clarissa took a risk on herself by quitting her job, investing in an online platform, and putting her social media skills to use to grow her own business.
- The power of social media and top three marketing and social media tips for growing an online business
- The real truths about the tough parts of following your intuition as an entrepreneur
- How to overcome a period of transition and growth, take a risk on yourself, and follow your intuition
- The importance of having a plan but finding success by being flexible for opportunities that arise
- How connecting with your community virtually through uncertain times strengthens the community:
“lockdown has connected us on a whole other level and has forced us to show up in laces we never thought we would… as humans we’ve gained a bigger understanding for one another; no one know how to navigate a global pandemic”
Lee-Anne Reuber: The real truths of Entrepreneurship
For many fitness professionals, owning a studio is the ultimate dream of fitness entrepreneurship. 2020 has been a tough year for the boutique fitness industry. Today we’re talking with Lee-Anne Reuber, who was ahead of the game and pivoted her studio to bring her business online even before the pandemic. We’ll talk about how she made the leap to let go of the “dream studio” and launch a virtual fitness platform. Lee-Anne shares her major lessons learned as an entrepreneur in the wellness space, the reality of owning your own business, and how her offering is unique in an up-and-coming virtual space.
- How Lee-Anne made the leap to pivot her business from a physical studio to an entirely virtual platform and why she pivoted even before the pandemic
- The main reason why it’s so important to have a clear “WHY” as an entrepreneur, and what Lee-Anne’s biggest WHY is both in running the studio and virtual platform
- How to launch even when you don’t feel ready and the importance of being open to new opportunities as they present themselves
- The importance of investing in yourself and how taking a risk on yourself can ultimately lead to greater success
- Choosing to have a positive mindset on money, how to invest in your business, and why taking on debt isn’t necessarily a negative thing for your business
- The power of affirmations and how Lee-Anne uses affirmations and visualization to set herself and her business up for success
- Top three elements for getting out of your head and into your body that are used in SSS’s signature Connektion class and how these apply to entrepreneurship:
* Pushing past limiting beliefs
* Getting comfortable with the uncomfortable
* Letting go of the fear of failure
Aly Gray: From bodybuilder to business builder
Aly is a top competitive bodybuilder and fitness instructor based in Florida. She is a total boss babe and left corporate America to build her business rooted in her passion for fitness. When the pandemic hit, Aly launched her business, Aly Gray Fitness, where she provides online training programs. Aly keeps it real and she’s not afraid to talk about anything from the rollercoaster of entrepreneurship to the balance of mental wellness when it comes to fitness and bodybuilding.
- The rollercoaster of entrepreneurship and how Aly views challenges and overcoming disappointment as opportunities for growth - both personally and professionally
- Aly’s top lessons learned from starting a fitness business from scratch
- Opening up about how to balance mental health as a competitive bodybuilder and fitness professional, and how Aly used the discipline learned from competitive bodybuilding to translate it into to building her own business
- The strategic plan she put in place when starting her business from the ground up and her top lessons learned
- How to work smarter not harder, and how to set goals with uncertain and changing circumstances (i.e., during a pandemic)
Penny Petersson: Owning your Niche
Penny is an international yoga teacher having lived in Sweden, Australia, and now Canada. She’s an advocate for women’s health and in particular pelvic health. She lives with a chronic condition that causes her a lot of pain physically and mentally.Penny opens up about how being vulnerable, honest, and open about her struggles have helped open up new opportunities for her and her business. We talk about how Penny discovered her unique niche as a yoga teacher and how she’s owning it is helping her to authentically connect with her students and grow her community.
- How Penny found her unique niche as a yoga teacher and how narrowing down her niche enabled her to build trust and connect with her clients on a deeper level
- The key reason Penny invested in herself and the powerful effect that the investment has had on the growth of her business
- The importance of being vulnerable, open, and honest, and how letting go of the fear of what others’ would think helped Penny build trust and connect with her audience
- What it’s like living with an uncommon chronic condition, how Penny adapts her movement practice for her physical and mental health needs, and how she adapts her teaching for her students’ mental and physical needs
- Penny’s top advice for starting a wellness business and growing a following from scratch
Penny's website: wellbeingbypenny.com
Penny's Instagram: @wellbeing.by.penny
Habitly's instagram: @habitlyfit