I definitely would not consider myself to be a health nut or gym rat—but over the last few years I’ve attended my wonderful little gym here in Waco, I’ve grown to love how the classes challenge me, the community that welcomes me, and how I learn more about myself every single time I attend a class. I’ve also grown to love how in one of the most unlikely of places—my gym—I’ve had some big business revelations and learned a few entrepreneurship lessons along the way!
When going to my gym, I’ve observed how they do things and walked through their experience as a client. And when I look at the lessons I’ve learned, I think they’re so applicable to our businesses as creative entrepreneurs and I just had to share them with you in today’s unconventional blog post.
So keep reading to dive into the four lessons I learned about business, growing your brand on your own terms and crafting the business of your dreams from my sweet little gym.
STAY IN YOUR LANE
The first big entrepreneurship lesson I’ve learned from my gym is to focus on staying in your lane.
This is a mantra I’ve really embraced in my own creative journey, and it’s also coincidentally a fun phrase I see popping up on tank tops in my gym that encourages us to focus on our own workouts and our own fitness routines.
What I love the most about this is that my gym, Refine31, doesn’t encourage us to focus on how we can be getting bikini ready for the summer or how to compete against everyone around us in order to experience gains.
Instead they remind us that our workouts are our own and the only person you’re competing against is yourself. To focus on making yourself better, healthier and happier for your own benefit and not the benefit of others or to try and fit into some of society’s most unrealistic beauty standards.
And what I love about that so much is that it reminds me of my own journey—not just as a business owner, but also as a woman—it reminds me how I can focus on keeping my head down and what’s right in front of me as I pursue my own definition of success. And in business, I really find that the idea of staying in your lane looks a lot like finding ways to make your journey your own.
Whether that is unfollowing negative sources of content on Instagram or simply keeping your blinders on and focusing directly on what’s in front of you rather than getting distracted by all the shiny things that are out there.
I believe this can be a beautiful concept if we are willing to be brave enough to embrace it. If you are willing to be brave enough to say that your vision of success, what you’re dreaming up for your business is enough. And because of that you don’t need to get caught up in comparison or try to live up to other people’s expectations. You can simply stay in your lane, pursue your own definition of success, and experience the fulfillment that comes along with that.
EVERYTHING’S BETTER WITH AN ACCOUNTABILITY BUDDY
The second lesson I learned from my sweet little gym is that everything is better with a buddy.
What I mean by that is we are always encouraged in our gym to bring a friend or at the very least have an accountability buddy who will hold us accountable to crawl out of bed in the early morning and show up on time.
And when I look at that on the surface, yes it’s so much more fun to sweat it out in the gym with a buddy or make a fool of yourself in a new class with a friend by your side. But also, if I look at that idea in business it reminds me that we were never meant to walk this journey alone.
Running your business in a vacuum is not only lonely, but it can be dangerous and an isolated experience.
Whether you have one close industry friend or have a massive Tuesdays Together group cheering you on, I believe you were not designed to walk through your creative journey on your own. We need someone on our team who understands what it’s like to be an entrepreneur, what smart hustle looks like, and the sacrifice that goes into this journey.
Having that buddy is going to make all the difference.
SHOWING UP IS HALF THE BATTLE
The third entrepreneurship lesson I learned from my gym is that showing up is only half the battle.
I don’t know how many times I’ve rolled out of bed in the morning on my way to an early morning spin class and struggled to put one foot in front of the other.
Partially it’s because I’m operating without my usual cup of coffee, but also partially because the idea of getting my butt in the saddle and sweating it out for 45 minutes is not necessarily my idea of fun. But I promise you, every time I show up and invest in myself through that time and invest in my body through exercise I never regret it.
I’ve never been sorry I got my butt out of bed in the morning and came to the gym. And when I think about that in business, I think it applies to the fact that showing up to do your best work day in and day out takes dedication and commitment. Some days might not sound or be any fun. I know there are some days I’d much rather sit on the couch and binge a Netflix show then pop in my inbox and see what my clients need of me. But if I’m being honest, when I show up for my business and the clients I get to work with, I never regret it.
I’m always reminded how they appreciate the work they do, how honored I am to serve them and how together we are literally able to put our heads together and create magic through their branding or educational experiences.
So friends, showing up is half the battle. But if you choose to show up day after day, I promise you will not regret it.
CREATE AN EXPERIENCE BIGGER THAN YOUR WORK
The final lesson I learned from my gym is to create an experience that is bigger than just your work.
One of the things I really love about my gym is they always find fun and creative ways to create participation-based contests or do a fun giveaway that gets us all showing up to more workouts and doing whatever we can to participate.
These are always super simple giveaways that usually involve earning a sticker when showing up for class and at the end of the giveaway you can win a free month of classes, super cute apparel or an exclusive private fitness class for you and your friends.
It’s fun stuff, nothing life altering here, but it’s a little extra push that makes showing up and doing the work we were already going to do so much more fun. And on top of that, what it does is unite us all together towards a common goal.
We’re already there sweating like crazy to better ourselves, but now we’ve also earned the benefit of sweating to earn an entry into the giveaway. And it’s always something we laugh about and encourage each other about to make sure when we’re walking out of class to say hey girl, don’t forget your stickers so you can count today’s class in the giveaway! It’s something fun that brings us together as a community!
And when we look at that in business, we can apply this same idea to invite people, clients and our community into something that is engaging. We need to invite them into something that is bigger than just the work that we do. Whether it’s through a free Facebook Group or a hashtag you have going on Instagram. There are so many fun ways we can focus on building a movement that’s bigger than the work that you do.
How can you think about ways to invite people to connect with you, your brand and the mission behind your work in a way that gets them excited?
There are so many fun examples of this out in the industry and I just love the promise and possibility that can come when we choose to connect with people in that way.
So friend, you probably didn’t think you’d find some fitness-based advice on the blog today and I’m sure you didn’t expect I’d be able to swing some random lessons from my gym into practical takeaways to grow your business—but I hope you’ve been encouraged to see four ways you can continue to grow your business and take your brand to heartfelt new heights though these fun takeaways.
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Your turn! Where’s the most random or unexpected place you’ve found business inspiration? Whether it’s at your gym, your kiddos soccer game or at the dentist, I’d love to hear where you’ve found some of your best business lessons! Let me know in the comments below!