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#BEYOUROWN MEETS ANN MARIE SVOGUN

#BEYOUROWN MEETS ANN MARIE SVOGUN

To date, Ann Marie Svogun has worked with hundreds of clients just like you to show you how it is possible to retrain our bodies and minds. From sponsorships with Kora Fitness and Bodybuilding.com, Ann has a hollistic approach to creating a sound mind and body fueled & outfitted by top tier companies in the fitness industry. We explore her journey from start to finish, the Kora Fitness ethos and her e-book.

 Hey Ann, can you introduce yourself to us?

My name is Ann Marie and I am the founder of The Fit Blonde LLC, a community of hustling women who want to take their lives of indecision, stress, or weight gain to living a life of self-empowerment and body confidence.

I am an entrepreneur as well as fitness & nutrition enthusiast fiercely committed to female health and empowerment. My mission is to help women reach their fitness goals, learn how to have a better relationship with food, boost their overall strength, and develop a positive self-image regardless of what phase of their lives they are. To me, there’s nothing more fulfilling than showing women it is possible to have a body they are proud of despite their busy schedules. 

Can you take us through your journey to where you are now?

As the daughter of a high school football coach, I learned early on the valuable role fitness could play when shaping the mindset and well-being of an individual. As I watched my father coach players that were later recruited to play in the NFL, I learned firsthand what it took to compete at a high level and consistently trained to meet those standards. The values that had been impressed upon me moulded me into a three-sport powerhouse, including national attention as an alternate on the 2002 Junior Olympic field hockey team as well as a position on a Division 1 team upon entering college. While at Quinnipiac University, I continued to tap into my potential as I was recognised as a four-time Academic All-American, NCAA player of the week, two-time NEC player of the week, team MVP & captain, and NCAA Woman of the Year finalist. I felt strong, empowered, and unstoppable.   

Yet when my journey as a student-athlete came to an end in 2008, I reached my first obstacle as I no longer had a game I was training for or teammates to train with. I found myself asking now what? Initially, my exercise plan consisted of in-home fitness programs that awarded me flexibility but didn’t always teach me how to perform a specific exercise or why I was doing it. I simply pressed play, trained for 30 minutes, and went on with my day. It was difficult to stay motivated, to consistently show up based on my busy schedule, and/or receive the level of support I desperately needed to see any lasting results. I felt frustrated, overwhelmed and deflated that I’d never again had the inner or outer strength I once had.    

Fast forward to two babies later and 30 pounds heavier where I met my next big obstacle. I knew giving birth was a beautiful stage of my life but I couldn’t help but miss my pre-baby body. I made matters worse by comparing my body to other women who were at different stages of their lives, different ages, and athletic abilities. To make matters worse, I felt completely overwhelmed when the baby-weight didn’t come all the way off and I began to wonder if this would be my new normal.

I knew I wanted to eat healthy but I didn’t know what to eat, how much or when. My cravings would spiral out of control and when I began hiding these embarrassing moments from everyone around me, I knew there had to be a better way.  As someone who has felt this, let me tell you, it can turn around and you can gain control of your eating and fitness habits, too. 

My Core Curriculum: Anatomy of a Six Pack guides women through the process of completely transforming their current mindset when approaching how to train their core, make better food choices and, more importantly, develop a positive self-image of yourself.

What is a day in the life of you like?

My day often begins while the rest of the world is most likely still sleeping. Since I am still a full time working mom of two, I need to be creative with when I can carve out time to work on my business which means often setting my alarm for 4:15am. Yup, it’s just as early as it sounds! Thankfully, I am an early riser and will often capitalise on a quiet house before the commotion of the day or the millions of directions I can be pulled that would prevent me from my business to-do list.  

After work, my first priority is to carve out a little me-time and do something I enjoy, most often,my escape is the gym. While I initially felt too tired, selfish, or even guilty exercising when I could be tackling some off my to-do list,  I discovered shortly after having my first children that this time was absolutely necessary to clear my mind, reenergise my body and allow me to be more present at the moment when I picked my children up from school. Since adding as little as 30 minutes of exercise to my daily routine, my relationships with my husband, my children and my co-workers are more enriching. I try not to sacrifice this time as much as possible. 

My family is and always will be my number one priority. Heck, besides have a tremendous passion to help others (I call it my deeper purpose).I would love nothing more than financial freedom for my family. With that in mind, I make sure that time with them is intentional even though it may be shorter than I’d like it to be. Therefore, after the children are put to bed, lunches are made and the dinner is cleared, I’ll pull out my planner and muster up any remaining energy to complete lingering tasks from the morning. By accomplishing one smaller task before bed I find I’m able to sleep more soundly than leaving it until the morning when I could be starting something else.

In short, self-care, intentional journaling, meditation, and the obvious Netflix are ways I shut it down and prepare for the next day. 

No sugar coating here: when you’re starting a business, the days are long, the hours are sometimes more challenging when you’re mulling through software than rewarding, but with the end goal in mind…you’ve got to keep pushing forward. Everything is “figure-out-able” with ingenuity and a dogged work ethic. As your own boss, there’s no “falling behind” there’s just doing the best you can, with the time you have and never giving up when things get tough because they will. You have to stay consistent, positive, and grind!

What was the concept behind launching The Fit Blonde?

I knew I was always passionate about health and fitness but it wasn’t until many friends, family members and even followers on IG asked about my training schedule—how I train, how many days a week, how many hours a day, etc. that I thought about turning this knowledge into a user-friendly fitness book that could be accessible to all women regardless of their age, current fitness level, or amount of equipment as a full-blown business professional. 

While initially, the creation of the program was where I spent the majority of the time, I wanted to create a community that would support women throughout their fitness journey as statistics have shown people typically quit after the first two weeks without the proper support and accountability. I knew if I could get women beyond that initial hurdle, they would not only begin to see changes in their bodies but also physiologically begin to transform leading to increased confidence and self-empowerment. 

That led to the inception of the private, exclusive Fit Blonde Facebook group. Within this community, I literally follow the same program as my tribe! YES, I for real follow my own program. I created the program because although I have trained using bodybuilder’s programs in the past, my personal style of training combines years of competitive training with scientifically backed research specifically designed for women in the hopes it would be less intimidating!

These workouts are not crazy new training movements or ones that require a lot of equipment—they’re basic, to the point, easy to follow, and effective in maximising time & efforts in the gym without spending hours a day lifting. I would love to see nothing more than women go after what sets their souls on fire, to believe they are capable of creating the sort of change they’re after and feel a sense of empowerment that we were able to accomplish a goal they set out to achieve whether it be short or long term. 

Too often, people give up or never get started on what they really want or convince themselves they’re not good enough, their under-qualified, they don’t have the time/the money/ the courage to put themselves out there in fear of failure. And, while I was once part of that crowd, it’s my mission to help women rediscover their voice, get out of their comfort zones and make an impactful change on how they view themselves and their bodies. 

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Exclusive Facebook Group: Join hundreds of other women on the same journey as you learn how to have a positive self-image when it comes to health and fitness. I provide daily tips, recipes, sample workouts & meal plans, 24/7 online support and challenges to keep you accountable & motivated.

Sneak Peak into Core Curriculum: Anatomy of a Six Pack. This is a sneak peak at my program and includes the first week of my program absolutely FREE because I’m so confident once people opt into what this offers they’ll continue to purchase the entire program for less than the cost of a monthly gym membership! 

 Core Curriculum: Anatomy of a Six Pack Price: $14.95. This is my signature program for people who know right out of the gate they’re interested in purchasing and entering into my FREE Facebook community where I will provide daily tips, motivation, and sample recipes to accompany this program. This is essentially my “Fit Blonde Tribe” where work to empower others to reach their full potential. 

How is your business funded, is it bootstrapped, self-funded ect?

My business is all self-funded! Seeing this was more of an independent dream & self-project, I didn’t have a lot of capital to invest in my business so I had to get creative. Initially, I left my idea dormant for years thinking I’d never be able to save up enough money to create anything. 

Then, I remember standing in my kitchen Thanksgiving evening of 2018 speaking with my family about this crazy idea I couldn’t shake from my head. And, my dad said, “If it’s the first thought that pops into your head in the morning and when you want to succeed as much as I want to breathe, you’ll find a way.” 

So, I did. 

I began with a lot of research using Youtube and Google and I was amazed at the free resources available at your fingertips in terms of how to start your own business. I buried my face in library books, podcasts, webinars, Facebook groups, and IG chats to learn the tricks of the trade. I was absolutely amazed at how much valuable content was readily available, it truly breathed oxygen into my program as I tried to get out of the gates. This is a great way for you to get started as well!

Then, I remember having a conversation with my husband over dinner when I said to him I’d like to do something a little scary and invest a little money each month to software (Leadpages, Convert Kit, and Paypal) that would allow me to independently launch and publish my book. To my delight, he agreed and I immediately got to work pouring hours of my time into perfecting my launch pages. 

Can you tell us more about your brand DNA and ethos within Bodybuilding.com?

It’s no secret I set high standards for my overall physical health and what I put into my body is no exception. That is why I hadn’t aligned myself with a supplement company for years because truly I wanted to find a brand that coincides with my beliefs about supplements and nutrition. In my opinion, the fitness market is way over-saturated these days with products claiming to give you a monster “pump” during your workout or even worse guaranteeing you’ll drop 5-10 pounds quickly. Yet, many of these companies don’t share the ingredients within their products, the dosage of the said ingredient or potential side effects they can cause. I didn’t want to fall for the “hype”, quick fixes or marketing lies!

I will only fuel my body with products that work with, not against, my body. With that in mind, I wanted to find a line that focuses on sports supplements as well as clean quality products that are designed to improve health and wellness! 

Everything formulated at Bodybuilding.com is just that. I am continually impressed with how their products are not only engineered to complement one another but also the amount & level of education provided in terms of why they’re so important in your daily performance. Within Bodybuilding.com, my favourite brand is Jym by Dr Jim Stoppani. He is proud of the products he creates and does not hide anything from his consumers. He’s studied supplement science for decades, has delivered supplement advice to millions of people in the pages of Muscle & Fitness, FLEX, and Muscle & Fitness Hers, as well as his personal website. And, if that wasn’t enough, as a girl who loves her chocolate,  I am blown away with how AMAZING his Pro Jym (protein powder) tastes to satisfy my sweet tooth!

After a year of sampling different products of his line and flavour options, I decided Jim Stoppani produces the highest quality brand on the market. And, don’t just take my word for it, customers of Bodybuilding.com rated it Brand of the Year in 2018. I will go nowhere else for my daily vitamin, pre & post workout powders, protein shake base, and night-time recovery and I’m so fortunate to be able to offer amazing products like this at a discounted price for my IG followers and clients. 

You can check out the latest blends of proteins and supplements, gain access to hundreds of workout routines, as well as healthy recipes by using the link below. I’d be happy to chat with you about your individual goals and select the products and programs that are right for you. 

Can you tell us more about your brand DNA and ethos within Kora Fitness?

I became an ambassador for Kora Fitness in the fall of 2018. I was initially attracted to the style of their clothes; however, I quickly fell in love with their mission “to help customers unlock the best versions of themselves in and out of the gym.” They provide the athletic gear necessary to keep athletes motivated, and with every purchase an opportunity to give to someone in need. Yes, you read that right, a rare company in an already saturated fitness industry that has affordable clothes AND that donates a portion of every purchase to one of four charities: mental health, clean water, child sex trafficking, or hunger instead of keeping profits for themselves.  

Having served on three separate mission trips to the third-world country, Nicaragua, when I was in college, I have always had a passion to help others live happier, healthier lives. Between staying with host families, interacting with the locals, conducting professional development workshops for school administrators and teachers, building running water systems at a nearby schools and taking in the beautiful surroundings of this distant land,it quickly became a mission trip where my desire to help was far out-weighed by what I was taught in terms of compassion, community, and hope for a brighter future. 

It is my personal initiative to not only remember the people who so deeply impacted my life but also ensure I carry them with me in the stories I tell, the lessons I teach, and the people in the States I come into contact with. I can proudly say that a portion of Core Curriculum: Anatomy of a Six Pack will be donated to charity as well in the spirit of promoting health and well-being to as many people as possible. 

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Can you tell us about your very first E-book that you are due to launch and the writing process?

My knowledge of fitness truly took off when I was in high school and was further propelled as a Division One athlete. Since this ebook was created years after graduating from college, it is a compilation of over a decade of competitive training based on what methods proved to be effective in getting the ab definition I desired. 

The concept of publishing a book of some sort had been on my bucket list since I created one back in 2004; however, it wasn’t until a few months ago that I really acted upon the idea of taking years of personal experience to share it with other women who may be on the same fitness journey as me. 

Step 1: Brainstorm & Drafting Phases (Starting Line)

I began by brainstorming all the core strengthening exercises I had ever completed and then systemically and strategically began piecing them together into a program week by week getting more difficult as I progressed through the blueprint. From there, I created a rough draft using Google Docs and simultaneous drafted a set list of pictures I’d need to properly have someone else complete the same movements. 

Step 2: Layout & Creation Phases (Getting Out of the Gates)

I recruited an amateur photographer to shoot each exercise (she was actually a former student of mine)! and transferred both the content and images into a free software program, Canva. From there, I was able to play with font sizes, colours, etc to create a PDF file I was proud of. I sent a copy of my completed book to the U.S. government for copywriting; however, the question of how to sell this PDF became a huge hurdle for a non-native businesswoman. 

I had hit a huge obstacle but was determined to keep going. I did something scary and made a huge financial investment into my business with money I had saved up. As an educator, I felt this was a good investment and one that would reap huge returns. 

And it did. 

Through my online training, I learned the ins and outs of how to create a business engine with professional looking opt-in and magnet pages, e-mail sequences, and how to convert my growing audience on Instagram into paying customers without coming off as sleazy or creepy. 

After much research, my software of choice for this ebook was Leadpages, Convertkit, and Hoover. All were competitively priced and necessary to start up my business. While there are other options of there and you ultimately choose what makes the most sense for your own business…they offered the most options at the most affordable monthly price. 

Step 3: Publication & Legal Registration Phases (Full speed ahead!)

From there, I went to the U.S. Secretary of State website and registered for my LLC, tax identification information. This step was done simulations as reaching out to my insurance company to ensure my program was legally protected. 

Then, it was officially launch time! 

Can you highlight 3 tips for helping us incorporate fitness into our busy lifestyles as an entrepreneur?

  1. The Magic Formula: Consistency + Effort If you have ever felt unqualified, that are you lacking appropriate credentials, or that you are not naturally gifted at something, please don’t let that be the reason you don’t pursue a job, a relationship, a goal, or a dream. Any talent or skill can be learned and developed with enough determination. There are people not any different from you and me, who are able to complete 10k runs, who can speak 10 different languages, who can write a book or create a successful business & that didn’t happen by chance or accident.

Whenever I see that my only thought is: “now I know that it is possible” the next steps to figure it out are:

1️) Do I really want it?

2️) What would it take from me to get there? What do I need to do?

If your answer is yes to the first question, then Consistency + Effort is your answer, the rest is logistics!

2. Create a Disciplined Routine. People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year when they should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas. I always remind my clients, to not make it their goal to be fit. Instead, they should make it their goal to be disciplined, to show up when they don’t want to and push to failure on every set, and, I can promise, being fit will follow.

Being fit reflects hard work. You can’t obtain it without passion, patience and a badass attitude. You can’t inherit it. You can’t borrow it. You can’t hold onto it without constant discipline. I’d recommend pulling out a calendar (on your iPhone or hard-copy if you’re old school like me!) and plan out your workouts for the week or, even better, the moth. Make it the most important appointment you have of the day, one you cannot break, and show up, every day. Your mind and body with thank you!

3. Set Measurable Goals & Revise as Necessary. The only way to track our progress is to set goals you can measure and continue to evaluate them over time. So picture this – You set a goal and then you achieve it. But, what happens after you accomplish your goal? What’s next? I have realised that it’s not really the goal that is the reward but yet the journey you have set forth and achieved. When we set goals, we often only focus on the result. However, the value you gain from achieving the goal isn’t just about the end reward. The process of achieving your goal and the experience you have gained will change you and that change is why the journey is worth the reward. 

A great body is not just a thing you have; it’s a lifestyle you lead. But, it’s important to remember, some days are easier to be motivated than others. The only thing we can do is try our best. Some days that’ll mean walking into the gym like Beyonce and other days it’ll mean leaving after two exercises. I just want you to know that if you ever do leave because your head’s not in it,you’re not alone, it happens to everyone! Yes, even me.

I really think mental health is just as important as physical health so you gotta be kind to your mind, go have a chill night, give yourself permission to have a break and try again the next day. We are all in this together (unintentional High School Musical reference!), and listening to what your body needs is so so so important. Remember, working out is a lifestyle, not a short term solution. Some days are better than others but the trick is to have more good days to outweigh the bad!

What strategies do you have in place when looking at the expansion of your business?

I’ve learned that when it comes to business, continually putting yourself out there and networking is the “name of the game.” Once you work on building a stand out brand and consistently show up by adding value to people’s lives, others will begin to gravitate to your positive vibe and mission. Don’t ignore these signs. No offer is too small when you’re starting out nor relationship not worth fostering. Remember you’re selling an experience/lifestyle as much as you are a given product. So, taking the time to develop relationships are critical to your overall business success. 

When you’re just getting started, it’s important to realise you most likely need people and their resources more than they need you. So, offer up whatever level of expertise you do have and the beauty of reciprocity will naturally return the favour when you least expect it. I have reached out to countless dream fitness companies and IG accounts offering to speak on behalf of female fitness and while often times I have heard nothing from many of them, I have gained sponsorships in complimentary fitness fields (i.e. protein bars, supplements to aid workouts and workout gear) by simply helping others. 

As my brand continues to evolve, I plan to bring on a full-time business and financial advisor and potentially even my own personal photographer. To be continued.

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How do you define success?

He looked at me from across the table and asked me to remind myself of one thing. At first, I was confused. My husband often asks hard questions—you know, the questions I try to avoid because they seem overwhelming, messy, or force me to make difficult decisions. The sort of confrontation I love to put off until “I’m ready.”

He could sense I was reaching a place of existential crisis(!), about ready to throw up my hands, but he calmly asked one simple question, “Ann, what do you need to remind yourself of right now?” I could tell there was sincerity behind those eyes I fell in love with & with a little persuading I answered. Just above a whisper, I said: “I’M A FIGHTER.”

At that moment, I was reminded that success does not go to the richest. The most intelligent. The ones with the most connections, flashiest outfits or perfect workout videos.

Success doesn’t care if you’re young or old, tall or short, pretty, a novice in the field, or figuring it all out as you go. Success simply goes to those who refuse to give up. He reminded me of when you consistently show up when you refuse to let your past dictate your future, that my friends, is when you find success.

Remember, it’s not about who has the largest bank account or the most social followers. Success goes to the fighters, the hustlers, those who look at the odds stacked against them and believe, without a doubt, there is something bright, powerful, and beautiful just on the horizon.

You want success? You have to keep fighting for your dreams. Don’t let them die with you.

Have you ever had any other mentor? If so how has this benefitted you to grow?

I’ve had several mentors over the years who have both shaped me personally and professionally. Without their unwavering support, there is no doubt in my mind I wouldn’t have been able to achieve as much as did nor would it mean as much to me. 

My very first mentors were my parents. Their patience, often tough love, sound morals, consistent discipline, and unquestionable love have collectively laid the foundation for my desire to serve others. As educators, they instilled within me the importance of helping others regardless of age, race, gender or ethnicity.

My next set of mentors were my coaches. They helped transform a skinny girl with a big heart into the fitness machine you see before you. It was because of them that I learned how to win and lose gracefully, stay focused in the face of adversity, work as part of a team, and pick myself back up when I got knocked down. 

My last mentor is Stef Joanne. She is a no-nonsense, hustling entrepreneur who provided the blueprint I needed to create a standout brand that makes me feel like a leading fitness professional in my industry. Her systematic, online training has allowed me to not only generate content I’m proud of but also top-notch, professionally polished design layouts that looks like I hired someone to create them! I am grateful for her guidance and wisdom. 

While he’s not necessarily my mentor, my husband, is definitely my biggest fan. We met at college in a library. I remember thinking he was—quite possibly—the coolest guy I’d ever met. But not cool in the varsity quarterback kind of way.

He was cool in a charming, thoughtful, and incredibly dorky kind of way. He had the bluest eyes that I’d ever seen; Those baby blues coupled with eyelashes so long they touched the inside of his glasses when he studied, made him even cooler. 

We went on dates to Stop & Shop since I didn’t have a car at 9pm, he supported my field hockey team and then later my grad school degree, he proposed, purchased our first dog, helped raise two beautiful children, bought me my first big girl car, and believed in my business before it was something worth believing in.

Every time I felt something was impossible, he was by my side and asked me to believe. Believe that everything happened for a reason. Believe that what didn’t break us made us stronger. Believe that hope felt foolish at times, but was necessary all the time, in love & in business. The boy who stole my heart in college became the man who inspires me to continue believing.

What outlets will you use to market your E-book?

The biggest outlets I used for marketing were online using social media using both ‘passive’ and ‘active’ lead generations. Passive lead generation does not require me to do anything beyond posting content on my website, Instagram profile or posts but are typically seen as the icing on the cake rather than the main source of leads. 

Below is a sample list I used when generating passive leads (credit: Stef Joanne):

  • I have created images to use on my website in my blogs to send people to my lead magnet.
  • I have created a tab just for my freebies on my website.
  • I have added a link in my email signature to send someone to my lead magnet optin page.
  • I have added a link to my free lead magnet in my Instagram and other social media sites where applicable.
  • I have created an opt in a link at the bottom or sidebar of my website.
  • Then, I created “Social Media Swipes” to promote my Lead Magnet opt-in URL on my social media profiles.  Below is a sample list I used when completing Step Two: 
  • I have created at least 10 Social Media Swipe Images and captions to promote my lead magnet opt in.
  • I have checked on my Social Media Swipes after they have been posted and responded to questions and comments.
  • I have scheduled myself to go LIVE on Facebook 1 time a week and written it into my calendar.

 

To begin active lead generation, I

1) created a free Fit Blonde Facebook group,

2) utilised paid advertising (Facebook ads),

3) posted content that included my program optin on both Facebook and Instagram

4) pitched opportunities to companies that compliment the fitness industry to serve as a guided blogger or podcast interviewer. 

What is the best business advice you have received to date?

Never try to be anyone but yourself & don’t fall into the “comparison trap.” 

It’s about becoming the best version you can be. Too often we think we need to be more educated, have a better body, have more money or connections to get started, when in reality all you need is to be authentic and share your unique story. I have found when I have allowed myself to be vulnerable, for people to go on my journey with me (the good days and bad)…I have developed credibility with my audience and showed I’m relatable and human, just like them!

It’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others- especially if you’re not happy with the way you look or feel. But that’s a huge waste of time and energy, and a major self-esteem killer.

The greatest battle you will ever fight is between who you are and who you want to become. That is an individual journey, friends! We are all at different stages of our fitness or business journeys. While there may be things we admire about others, let those things be an inspiration & catalyst for growth rather than a deterrent that invites self-sabotaging thoughts to take up precious real estate in your head. 

Everyone’s journey in health and fitness is different. Embrace your curves, your scars, your stretch marks, your current athletic ability and everything in between. While it’s nice to have people who’s pages you draw motivation, it’s important to step back and remember we’re all made differently and, babes, that’s your superpower! You are strong. You are beautiful. You are enough. 

Remember, all you can do is to focus on being the best version of you. Get up every day with a relentless determination to chase your dreams, to fight for who and what you love, and never stop until you’re done. Once you recognise & embrace this, your confidence will be off the charts! Below are two pictures of me 10 years apart! Have fun and don’t get too stressed out or worried about the outcome. 

You’ll take so much away from simply putting your best self forward and keep showing up. Especially on IG where pictures are everything…it’s too easy to get stressed out with finding the perfect place to take a shot, let alone how you will edit it to fit your page colour theme. While it is important to have crisp pictures, I have found the message you share is way more important than the image behind it. 

Enjoy the art of photography, but don’t let it consume you or prevent you from posting. There are so many free websites that have amazing stock photos you can use let alone companies that will allow you to use theirs for as little as $20/month. 

Use your business as an opportunity to give back to the community and advocate for issues you’re passionate about. 

There’s always a choice to do something selfless for others. In today’s day-in-age more than ever we need to be accepting, open and show kindness first before making quick, snap judgements. Not only will you be brightening up someone else’s day but I can guarantee you’ll never feel more fulfilled. 

What is the number 1 critical lesson you have learned in your fitness career so far?

For years, I listened to critics or even worse my own self-doubt telling me I wasn’t “good” enough to make it in the fitness industry. After a while, I believed them. I began to question so much of what brought me so much joy.

It wasn’t until I released the pressure to be someone else’s description of “athletic” that I fell into a world of happiness. It doesn’t matter if I’m not the fastest runner, I can’t do more than 8 pull-ups in a row, or even that I struggle with my balance when doing yoga poses. To me, fitness is so much more than the perfect body. 

It’s about feeling more comfortable and confident in your own skin, to be proud of the progress you’ve made over time in your health and fitness journey, and to empower those around you to be a better version of themselves than they already are. Can I get an amen?! Today, I’m free to train, teach, and breathe in the freedom that my newfound confidence has provided. I would love nothing more than to help you experience this, too! 

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: the key to improving your self-worth is to stop caring what other people say and start living for who you are meant to be. There will always be critics. So, you mine as well do what makes you happy.

A seminal point in your career so far?

“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” I love this quote! Why is it we’re so good at dreaming big but 99% of the time we fail to take action on making these dreams a reality? I know so many people who don’t make decisions because they’re afraid of failing or too scared what others might think. I know because that was me. 

In order to overcome our obstacles, we need to face them head-on. Fear- most people focus on all the little things surrounding what could go wrong rather than all the beautiful things waiting for them when they allow themselves to live a big, bold scary life in a relentless determination of what truly sets their soul on fire. Acknowledge that something scares you and go for it anyway.

Discomfort. No one likes to feel uncomfortable, to admit they don’t know something or how to do something. It’s easier and sometimes more enjoyable to stick with your routine. But where’s the excitement? Where’s the growth? The older I get, the more I’m willing to accept I may not be the smartest, the fittest, the most knowledgeable about fitness…and, that’s 100% okay. Because I’m willing to admit I’m on a unique course that is different than anyone else. And, babes, it’s liberating. Your dreams are on the other side of you feeling “uncomfortable”. 

I replaced that scary feeling I had in my gut of failing with the feeling of accomplishment as I witnessed clients I was helping succeed in their own health and fitness journeys. From the emails, Facebook or Instagram messages, to text messages I would unexpectedly receive, I knew I was making a difference and that was all the motivation I needed to keep moving forward. 

What challenges have you seen to have been presented during the growth of your business?

I think the biggest challenge is that this is a second career. I am a full-time educator by trade. I have not taken a single business course in college so I put off my “dreams” for a long time determined there was no way I could “compete” in an already over-saturated industry with little experience, time, or money. But I shifted my mindset to “why not me?” if I was willing to put in the time/effort to see if it was even something I enjoyed and ever looked back. 

Yes, admittedly, there are definitely growing pains (especially with technology) but I’m learning as I go. My learning curve is pretty steep right now and often I have to remind myself to treat my mind/body with the same grace I would expect a client to. But, overall, I’m having such a blast exploring and creating my own unique brand soul essence. And, would strongly encourage if there’s something you’re passionate about sharing with the world, do it! Everything is figureoutable! The rest will follow. 

Which other leading entrepreneurs and pioneering game changers do you also admire and why?

I’d have to say my biggest fitness and entrepreneur game changer would be Dr. Jim Stoppani. He is a fitness legend, published author, and an entrepreneur from the United States. He earned a doctorate in exercise physiology, along with a minor degree in biochemistry and took his level of expertise to the business world creating arguably the most well recognised, award-winning brand in the bodybuilding world. Not only does Jim know how to create successful fitness programs, launch his own clothing and supplement line and run his own business but, he does so with extreme professionalism and unparalleled class. 

Humility: It’s obvious to admire a man who has single-handedly transformed the lives of thousands (including my own). But, what’s even more impressive is his incredibly genuine interest in his fitness enthusiasts, who almost instantly feel like family. And, while many can only admire his efforts from afar, I had the unique opportunity to meet him in 2018 at a local GNC in Connecticut. 

He not only talks the talk, but he also walks the walk. When he’s not busy creating new programs for his fans, he’s on Instagram LIVE providing tutorials, responding to comments, or posting helpful meal plans and exercise alternatives all for free! The amount of value he adds on a daily basis is a true inspiration to aspiring fitness enthusiasts. In addition to his smarts, he consistently hosts giveaways of his leading brand, again for free. It is my dream to carry on his mission and empower as many women as possible to live happier healthier lives. 

What is a good article or book you have read recently?

A couple of books I’d highly recommend are ‘High Performance Habits’ by Brendon Burchard,  ‘The Mindset Of Millionaires’ by Lewis Howes and ‘Can’t Hurt Me’ by David Goggins.

What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?

#BEYOUROWN is a platform that educates and inspires the next generation of women entrepreneurs with the necessary tools successful leaders in their respective fields already employ. It’s for the hustlers, the movers-and-shakers, the doers, the game-changers, the women who feel a deeper sense of purpose and want to boldly share it. 

#BEYOUROWN allows women to shout their purpose from the rooftop, unapologetically. And, by creating a platform that enables such authentic messages to be heard, it gives fellow women the permission to dream, liberate that creative genius locked up inside and share their unique gifts with the world. 

Finally, what can we expect from you next?

Ultimately, my idea of living my best life is supporting women living theirs. Below are a few goals I have outlined that will help me achieve this. 

Short term goals: 

  • Complete my NASM certification. 
  • Create a total-body fitness program that can be accessed by women of all ages and athletic abilities. I would like to see my programs reach an international audience and will have to research the best methods that will allow me to reach a wider audience beyond the United States.
  • Host a LIVE fitness event (educational seminar followed by live workout) about the important role fitness can have in shaping the overall well-being of women and how they can create a positive self-image with the proper tools and mindset. 
  • Create and consistently post valuable content on the Fit Blonde Youtube channel. 

Long term goals:

  • Continue evolving my stand out brand by investing both time and money into business marketing strategies.
  • Create an app for my workout programs versus PDF digital copy.
  • Create my own fitness clothing line.
  • Donate a portion of my LLC proceeds to a charity of my choice. 

 

 

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Website: https://thefitblonde.lpages.co/the-fit-blonde/