it's small business saturday. the one day of the year when holiday shoppers are encouraged to #shopsmall to show small-town businesses some big-time love! raised in the-middle-of-nowhere rural colorado, we caught up with our chief fitlosopher to pick her brain about what it's like to be a #girlboss who runs a small business that employs a team of (you guessed it) 5 fabulous females.

find out what it's like being a woman in small (but mighty) biz.

READ ALL ABOUT IT.

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one thing our chief fitlosopher knows all-too-well from her many years in the health + fitness entrepreneurial trenches: hitting a wall is inevitable. this holds true in life, in business, in fitness. when our chief fitlosopher sat down with Inc. Magazine recently, she talked about the parallels between olympic sports and running a a successful business. 

find out 5 things olympic athletes do (that you should be doing too) that will help you push through those walls and up your life game.

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when it comes to negotiating, it’s no secret our chief fitlosopher relishes the art of the deal. get this: our goal getter fitspiration journal is gracing the glossy pages of SELF magazine’s july/august olympics issue - in an article about negotiating like a boss, no less. 

in the spirit of the olympic games, our (girl) boss shares her top 3 goal(d) medal tactics to negotiate #likeaBOSS 

head to the blog to read up on her go-to tactics + comment for a chance to win a signed copy of our now-famous goal getter fitspiration journal!

 

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it's fitbook's 8th birthday!

in true frazzled-mom mode, our chief fitlosopher takes a break just long enough to reflect on the past 8 years: milestones, memories + musings.  

who: you
when: this week
what: life lessons + (healthy) cupcakes + quite possibly a giveaway
why: fitbook's birthday!

join us as we celebrate + as she shares the 8 oh-so-valuable lessons fitlosophy has taught her about this thing called life.


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Entrepreneur magazine, June issue, page 50. a 1-page spread on fitlosophy. read why the entrepreneur behind this tiny-but-mighty fitness brand was brought to tears.
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“some people dream of success, while others wake up and work hard for it." (like really really hard.)

when's the last time that you woke up, just so laser-focused on your goals that the mere thought of waking up each morning excites you? can you imagine what it feels like to live a life where your purpose and passion are so intimately intertwined where your work isn’t actually “work” at all; it’s just what you do. you don’t do the work because you feel like it; you do it because it matters.

so imagine how this entrepreneur who briefly dabbled in the world of competing (yes, me…i donned the pink bikini…and then stuck to business), was star struck when i first had the opportunity to meet and go on to work to co-create a product with this fitness legend, 4x figure olympia champion, nicole wilkins.

 so how did this collaboration come to be? read more to find out.

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with nine locations throughout Louisiana, Aspen Weight Loss Clinic is working toward making the south a healthier place. read how they're using custom fitbooks to help their clients (and employees) reach weight-loss goals.

 

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4-page spread in Entrepreneur magazine on the topic of fear as a catalyst to success – and the article starts with my name. some might say, “oh, wow that must be the most amazing feeling in the world.” 

and it was. 
for a moment. 
(hear me out.)

 

 

 

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small business makes the world go ‘round. entrepreneurs are the pulse of our economy. here's why small business matters on a macro level:

small businesses provide jobs for 48.5% of the U.S. population and account for 63% of new jobs created.

businesses with <20 employees represent approximately 90% of the nearly 5.7 million firms in the U.S.

small businesses produce 46% of this country’s non-farm GDP
[source: small business & entrepreneurship council] 

but here’s why small business matters to me.

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you could have told me that i was crazy to "anything worth having is hard work."
start my own business (because many did) and that my idea was worthless (heard that too). but, i would have done it anyway.

perhaps i'm stubborn (because i am) or downright nuts (arguably so as well), but there is nothing nor no one who could've stopped me from following what i felt was my purpose; my calling.  my mom said my first sentence was, "i do it myself!"  and so i did.

as i reflect on the past 7 glorious yet not-so-glam years as an entrepreneur, consider this my gift to anyone who ever even toyed with the notion of starting a business. note: this is not intended to frustrate aspiring entrepreneurs or to even come across as though i'm not grateful, because i am. (very). but rather, this is meant to shed some light on the truth behind what it really takes.  think of it this way:

  • what is the one thing couples say at their 50th wedding anniversary?  or what do sleep-deprived, yet utterly fulfilled parents of a newborn baby tell their friends?  "it's the hardest thing we've ever done - and yet so worth it."
  • or for the single, yet-to-be-parents crowd like yours truly, maybe this will resonate: have you ever been telling the story of a really gnarly crash or injury and you go to show your scar or bruise and it's just not quite impressive enough to get the reaction you were hoping for? so you start to elaborate, in an attempt to justify your war wound; to validate your pain.

consider this me sharing my entrepreneurial scars or my beautifully-earned bruises that have made the triumphs even that much sweeter. so without further ado, my 7.5 not-so-glam lessons from yours truly.

"opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."  ~thomas edison

1. it's hard (hard) work.
if you want to start a business because you can work whenever you want, set your own hours, and be your own boss...don't. that's the mythical, textbook version of entrepreneurship. the truth is, while you can work whenever you want, that means you will put in way more hours than you ever expected. you'll work into the wee hours of the morning/night; in fact the two often blur together. yes, you can absolutely vacation on a whim, but know that you can never completely check out. you want to be your own boss so you don't have to answer to anyone? try again. your customers are your boss; your employees, your vendors, your partners - they all look to you for answers. so if it's independence you're wanting, be a consultant or an employee - not a business owner.

2. passion is overrated.
am i passionate about what i do? absolutely. but is passion enough to keep me going? absolutely not. if you love something and think that's enough of a reason to start a business, i would tell you to just keep enjoying it as a hobby. because odds are, if you make a living out of it, sometimes the very thing you loved will become "work." not fun. so you have to have something much deeper; much more meaningful than just passion. whatever it is that drives you mustn't just be something you want to do; but something that you can't not do. [author's note: that was intended to confuse you; re-read the prior statement for absolute understanding of this intentional double-negative.]

3. prepare to be rejected - a lot.
don't be fooled by all the positive posts about the successes; with every WIN, comes about 100 rejections. don't be impressed by big names like target, walgreens, and amazon. yes, they're wonderful. but did you know i've also been rejected by companies equally as big; that i landed deals only to have them fall apart at the last minute?  a dear friend (and fellow entrepreneur) was commiserating with me one day and he stated, "entrepreneurs are some of the most insecure people; we always have something to prove." ouch. so true. guilty as charged. but i'll take it. see i may be soft-hearted with people, but when it comes to business, i'm tough as nails. you tell me "no" and it's "challenge accepted." my advice: bounce back, keep going.  

"timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success." ~biz stone, twitter co-founder

4. you will get your heart broken.
my heart has been broken (many) times with the hopes of something that never came to be. from that i learned to not celebrate the wins (or fret my failures) too early or often.  prepare for the moment when your brand (your baby) is knocked off and you sit on a shelf in a store, crying. they say imitation is the best form of flattery. i'd rather not be flattered. there will be loss. there will be failure. there will be copycats. do not let any of those win the battle. choose to let those drive you; let them be the fire that fuels you to prevail.

5. check your ego at the door.
i didn't pay myself for two years. there were months were i would skip my paycheck just to make payroll. conserve cash like a maniac. cashflow is the absolute toughest thing you'll face when starting a business. you want to know why i drive a kia (other than because i love it)? because i put my business first; not my ego. often times the best thing for your business isn't always what's on-trend or popular. this isn't high school; this is business. hands down, the most valuable lessons i've learned in my business were also the most costly. the reason we've been profitable for 7 years isn't because i'm brilliant (because i'm not); it's because i always (always) put the business' best interest before my own. i may not be sportin' around town in a red ferarri, but i take care of my team, pay my bills on time, and invest in the future rather than lavish in the cash.

6. prepare to be misunderstood.
be prepared to accept love and support from the most random, kind people; and be equally prepared to feel isolated and alone when those closest to you aren't as happy for you as you'd hoped. often times friends and family won't understand why you work the hours you do; or why you can't hang out on the weekend; or in my case, i think it took 5 years for anyone to even know what i did! (in their defense, i didn't either.)  hold your head high; surround yourself with those who lift you up. just don't be surprised when it's not at all who you'd expected or hoped it would be.

7. (finally) savor the wins.
if you're doing what you're truly meant to do, you'll find that the joy increases over time, not decreases. it's easy to be giddy when you land your first deal. but after 3 years? 5? 7 years? i've found they mean even more as time goes on because with each passing year, i've put even that much more of my heart and soul into achieving that next level of success. if you burn out (which you inevitably will), take a step back.  you're going to want to quit. you will want to give up. you will cry. like a small child. in the fetal position. all the things i don't post on facebook? yeah, those are the things that make me appreciate the good times so much more.

"never get too big for your britches." ~momma

7.5 it's not about you.
(i'm only taking credit for 1/2 of this last one because, well it's not about me.) 
never take the credit - give it. without an amazing team to bring your vision to life, supportive vendors and partners, and loyal customers who spend their hard-earned money to buy your product/service, you won't go anywhere. and if you think you can do it on your own without God's good grace, good luck. i've found that about the time you get start to get too confident, low and behold, business (and life) will humble you mighty quickly. it's tough out there. take the time to help others who might want to follow in your path, because if you really think about it, someone along the way did the same thing for you.

if after reading this you still want to undergo this adventure, you're one of two things: either stupidly optimistic or brilliant. or both. in my experience, it takes a bit of each of those aforementioned traits to amount to anything in this life.  this coming from someone who hasn't "made it," but someone who has braved the 'trepping trenches and still (without a doubt) wouldn't rather be doing anything else. it's a labor of love; and we're still happily wedded after these rocky but rewarding 7 years.

happy birthday, fitbook.

with nothin' but love,
your sleep-deprived + fully fulfilled chief fitlosopher