Pivot or Push Forward
Although I have been working for about seven years in the fitness industry, I have only officially been running my own business for roughly one year. It is by no means my full time income as I am contracted at the studios I currently teach at but I am trying to best see how I fit into the Toronto fitness scene. Over the past few weeks I have felt really discouraged about where I see myself. It isn’t so much of me comparing myself to others as it is thinking of where I envisioned myself being and having a harder time achieving it than I anticipated.
If you don’t know me well or didn’t know me growing up, my sights were set on being a dentist. From grade 3 until first year university that was what I was going to become. To this day I still don’t really know why I picked the profession - I guess I recognized they were successful financially and I always had a good relationship with our dentist, so why not! However, when summer rolled around after my first year and I needed a summer job I began teaching Zumba and my whole life shifted.
This was my first pivoting point. I was instead going to become a fitness instructor! Since those early days I have evolved into a fitness instructor/personal trainer/life coach when my clients need me/workshop facilitator/female empowerment enthusiast. Whenever anyone asks me what I do I never come up with a short answer - it’s probably because I like to talk and have lots to say :)
The past year has been filled with great success and community building but even more disappointment and learning moments. Although social media likes to make it seem like everything is going well there have been many tears, sleepless nights, overthinking, hesitation, reservations, and one person or cancelled classes. I have offered workshops, gained personal training clients, established a community of great women, FINALLY launched my Fall Reset, but still I am no where close to being where I anticipated.
On the outside you might think that my standards are set high when in reality I am now at another point where I have to decide to pivot or push forward. As my young business evolves I need to recognize and understand where and how I can best serve my community. Is it through personal training, group fitness, workshops, retreats, corporate wellness, or online coaching? Or a combination of it all? I have no idea. And I won’t know until I try it.
Regardless of the situation, whether it be a relationship, friendship, or career, we all come to a point where we need to decide if we pivot and redirect our focus or push forward in the direction we are currently on. I have limited experience in this as I never want to consider myself a failure or coming up short of my goals but I know that I need to make a smart business decision to experience future success.
As I navigate this for the first time for something that has held such significance to me, I made a small list of things I am working on. I would love for you to share anything that has helped you during these critical times in whatever situations you have experienced them.
Be realistic and practical in your decision making. Whenever I need help with this I call my brother, John, as he is a numbers guy and can realistically and practically help me through different decisions. As much as I want certain things to work I have to recognize when it actually doesn’t make sense and won’t benefit me in the best way possible.
It is a learning opportunity not a failure. I only put my best foot forward so when things don’t end up as planned it is hard for me to not feel like a failure. However, any business owner will tell you that with all of the successes we see on the outside comes many failures or learning moments to get to be experiencing all of that current success. This one is tough for me but I need to reframe and reflect on what I have learned this past year.
Your offerings can and need to shift. I have had a certain idea of the way I wanted to offer services. However, after one year I have learned that some of that is not as successful as I anticipated and I might need to make a shift into another form to see greater success.
Support others who are also in the same situation. I not only support other females as much as possible but other small business owners. Whether that be attending an event, sharing information on upcoming projects via social media, or referring clients/friends I try my best to give to others. I know that in return I will build stronger connections that will benefit me too.
Have confidence. Although the vision of where I wanted to be may and should shift as my career and business evolves, I must remain confident in my abilities, my values, and what I am capable of. This one is definitely the most difficult for me but I remind myself that with each class I teach, client I work with, and course I take, I and constantly evolving into a more experienced and knowledgable fitness professional.
I know that I have a place in the fitness world, despite how saturated it is. Competition is a good thing and I love continuing to learn and build connections with others who work alongside me in getting people to feel their best. Although I don’t know exactly what is next for my business, I know that it will include a bit of pivoting and pushing forward as I give the best of me to my community and clients. Even as I get uncomfortable with change and growth I will continue to reach to new heights. Stay tuned as there are big things coming for my community!
Yours in self-discovery,