Over the last 6 months or so, I’ve been crossing paths with some amazing people. These crossed paths have opened my eyes and my mind, and I credit my growing success to these interactions. (I got my first and only tattoo in October to symbolise the importance of crossed paths in my life. The significant people I’ve crossed paths with include my husband, my friend and colleague Kathy, all of the motivating friends I’ve made in my fitness tribe, and the list continues to grow as my business grows and as I grow.)
I attended a fitness conference in the fall where Todd Durkin (http://todddurkin.com) was one of the presenters. He came out in his signature grey Under Armour hoodie and proceeded to “motivate” a room full of fitness pros in the way only Todd Durkin can. He talked about his rules for himself and his credo and I walked away with a page full of notes and with the impression that he is undeniably himself in every aspect of his business and life.
I was fortunate enough to work with a business coach (www.eleanorbeaton.com) in January who I had attended high school with and has since grown a very successful business coaching some amazing women leaders to achieve amazing things. (And yes, I am counting myself among those ranks.) She was a successful student when we knew each other in our previous lives and I am happy to say that she is still very much herself. Her laugh has that same infectious sound, she still exudes the same confidence, and it feels good just to be around her. She continues to be successful because she knows who she is and embraces that with every step she takes.
I mentioned my colleague and friend, Kathy (http://www.fitnessjunkiesns.com) who I have been working out with since March 2015: I walked in to her class that first evening and knew I had found a special person. She led and still leads, her boxing-based bootcamp class with enthusiasm decorated with colourful language, energy, and a sincerity that instantly attracts people to her. I have watched her business grow from an extra-curricular activity to a full-time business. She has received awards and recognition from the media because her business reflects her as a person and that person is someone everyone wants to be around. Her business is a success because she has not wavered from being herself.
As my path continues to cross those of amazing people, I find I’m discovering more and more inspiring and authentic entrepreneurs and trendsetters. A short list of these folks are Jill Payne (http://www.spiritualathlete.org), Taryn Brumfitt (www.tarynbrumfitt.com), Stacy Chesnutt (https://stacychesnutt.blogspot.ca), Lindsay Gee (www.lindsaygee.ca), Chandra Crawford (www.fastandfemale.com),
and even Tony Robbins (www.tonyrobbins.com). I am inspired by all of these folks because of their success and their message, but most importantly because they are all very much themselves. Seems like that should be a given, right? Who else could you be? Anyone who has spent any time in the fitness industry knows that being true to yourself and staying authentic can be challenging at the best of times. I am finally embracing who I am and what I’m most passionate about. I walk around with butterflies in my stomach because of the excitement I’m feeling as a result of this shift.
I started my business in September 2015 as a wedding and party planning service (who doesn’t love a wedding?) The area where I’m currently living is a little slow to see the value of a wedding planner and my clients ended up coming from the fitness industry. My business coach asked me why I wasn’t focusing solely on fitness and wellness? Good question! I have a human kinetics degree and I’ve been a certified personal trainer for 12 years. Why had I ignored that? Fitness is fun and health and exercise get me all jazzed up! Eureka! I feel like the moment I embraced my niche in the event planning market great things started to happen. I had decided to be myself in a world where I was working so hard to be what everyone else wanted me to be. Work doesn’t feel like work anymore and most days I have so many ideas and inspiration flowing through me that I feel like I could burst!
As fitness and wellness professionals I encourage you to be yourself in everything you do. If you don’t believe in energy drinks: don’t include them in your events. If you feel like being healthy is more than a number on a scale, then throw it out. If you want to eat fast food every now and then, do it. Clients will recognise your authenticity and there is nothing more attractive than that. Our clients are looking for permission to love themselves and we can only give that to them by loving ourselves first. Love yourself enough to be who you really are. It looks good on you;-)