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Today, I thought we would dive into business, entrepreneurship! It’s all about going out there and doing your own thing, or just finding something that you want to do. I frequently hear people say, I would love to start a business. They ask, “how did you start? Where did you start? What should I do?”

To help answer all of your questions and set you up for success, I wrote list of my top 10 tips for thriving in business.

#1: Passion is The Foundation

The passion level has to be there in business. It has to be enough to get you up in the morning and make you excited to go to work. The passion has to be deep and it has to be something that you really love. 

When people ask me about business, “where do I start or what should I do?” My answer is always find something that you love first and see how that can become your work. It’s the energy and passion that takes something small and turns it into something bigger. 

I have always had a passion for group fitness. When I started teaching group fitness, I made $5 a class, but I loved doing it. I was working fulltime as a pharmaceutical rep and teaching group fitness on the side. I wanted to pursue my passion and not my boring fulltime job.

I had to be creative and figure out how I could take that passion and, and do something where I could, it could be my real job. And when you do have that love and joy, for something you do, I think it just helps to elevate it to the next level. And so I can't stress that enough. Life is too short and you really should do something that you love.

#2: Create Your Dream Team

Find a team that balances your weaknesses and makes you stronger. We all need people on our corner. We all need a group, a team, a tribe to help us in this wild ride. 

It's important for leaders to know their strengths and know their weaknesses. When You build a balanced, collaborative team your weaknesses are lessened. When things start to slip and fall, you have a team around you to help. Each team member brings their own strengths which balance out others weaknesses.

Make sure to love them and take care of them because we can't do it alone. Be loyal to a fault. Love your people and let them know. At barre3 and The Nail barre, we do all sorts of group events, social media highlights, and stars of the week. We come together as a group often. They are my everything. I can't do it alone. 

#3: Don’t Settle

Don't settle and don't let people tell you no. Be confident in who you are and what you're capable of. And when you're not confident of it, don't show it on the outside. Fake it till you make it. 

I have heard ‘no’ about a million times over the years, but I never let that get me. Back in the day when I tried to open my first barre3 studio, I got “no’s” from just about every bank. I was worried about funding my business, but I knew my dream was worth it.  10 years later, each of those banks now knows what barre3 is. I made a name for myself and my brands in despite of their “no”.

Don’t let other people’s opinions, thoughts, or lack of encouragement make you settle for something lesser. Don't let people tell you what you are capable of. Be confident in your abilities, your ideas, and your execution to make it happen. I feel like that's a big piece of the puzzle is believing that you can… execution will follow.

#4: Times are Changing

Never stop learning. Never stop growing as a business owner. Things have changed. When I look back 10 years ago, it was only Facebook. And all we were like, how many likes? I remember sitting at my kitchen table looking at how many likes I had gotten on a photo. An awful, grainy, low quality photo - I dare you to go back and look at your Facebook 10 years ago. It's hilarious!  And that's all we had. We didn't have all these new tools and content types. It was just grainy still shots. And at the time you were proud of that content. 

Social media has made the learning curve quick. Everything changes so fast. It is important to try to look at all areas of business and figure out, what is the next best thing or the next big thing that's changing the game? A few years ago it was automations. It was new and foreign, but today it is the industry standard.

You can pay for just about anything these days in business. If you want to use a bunch of platforms you can or you can double down, do the research and find what is best and most effective. It takes more work, but it makes all the difference to have the calls with the developers to ask:What is the product? How can it help us? Does it integrate with our own systems? 

Knowing what is new and the advances being made in my industry has been a game changer for funneling our clients through automations via text, via email, having these different buckets of clients to reach them each about their personal needs. We would pull all these reports, print them out, and highlight who we needed to reach out to. And now everything kind of happens through one platform. So there's such smarter ways to get the work done, but you have to keep learning and you have to keep growing. 

You know, as a 40 year old woman, do I want to necessarily go make a bunch of reels or do a bunch of videos or have content days? No! I became a business owner because I love to teach fitness and then it morphed into all these other businesses. But times change and it's part of the game. And so staying up on that and making sure you're up with the times is really crucial.

#5: Stay in Your Own Lane & #6: Take the High Road

Stay in your own lane and take the high road. When I first opened my studio, boutique fitness wasn't really a thing in Columbia. Fast forward and now there's a boutique fitness studio on every corner. We've been here the whole time and I'd like to say we kind of introduced boutique group fitness to our city. The competitive nature amongst businesses can be really hard. have always stayed in my own lane. 

Do not care what everybody else is doing. People will try to poach business or copy your ideas.  There are so many other things to worry about when you are running a business that worrying about what others are doing and comparing yourself to other businesses can steal the joy out of it and can make you go crazy. 

Recently a local studio owner was chatting in a very public place claiming that my studio's internal refresh was inspired by her colors. She went as far as to say “she stole my colors”.To be honest, I didn't know her studio even existed. I started to get a little angry internally - my studio that has been here for ten years was not copying a brand new studio that had been open less than a month. I never said anything and kept my disbelief to myself. I could’ve easily taken my anger to social media and called her out, but I didn’t. I am a woman who sings the praises of others and whose mission is to support women. It's not a good look when people are bad mouthing each other, especially when they put it on social media. We are all in the same industry and need to live in harmony.

Your clients might not see it right away, but they see it eventually. Stay true to who you are. Worry about what is happening within your own four walls. And, and then make sure you treat people the way you would want to be treated. You know, you can't control how others treat you, but you can keep taking the high road. There are hard days with that. I can promise you, but you never want to let your integrity go because of one issue with a competitor. You can only control your own actions, words, and impact.

And at the end of the day, that's really important to me. And I think it shows, it shows in the end product. I really do. 

#7: Focus on Moving The Needle

Say no to the things that don't move the needle. Sometime last year I heard the phrase “move the needle” and it is now my top principle of business. In every situation, I consider “does that move the needle? What moves the needle? What are the goals? What are the, um, KPIs that really move the needle? Are we looking at things that don't?”

Don’t do something just to do it. Do it because it will move you or your business closer to a goal. If an activity doesn’t move you in the right direction, just say no. 

You can apply this principle to life also. If your kids' school asks for volunteers, think about, “Does this move the needle for my family? Am I going to get to spend time with my kids? Is that going to be important to them that I'm there?” If your overarching answer is no, just say no. Your time is limited, you have to really be cognizant of what you're doing each day, and sometimes reevaluate.

#8: Get Your Ducks in A Row

Be organized and plan ahead. Map out your year and the categories that you are targeting. 

Since I own multiple businesses, we look at each of our businesses year at a glance, month by month, and in  different categories. We have categories of events, categories of promotions, and then looking at what are our revenue opportunities, retention. Our categories get broken down into metrics, goals, ideas and more. For example the retention category includes… What is our retention metric? How are we retaining our current members? How are we going out and getting new leads? What is our retention goal for this month? 

It's really important to put down the goals. Your goals should be specific and measurable. I love to look at previous years and see how we can grow upon the previous year. Then I think about the method in which we will reach that goal.

Check in on your goals and outline for the year weekly. Not every concept that you pre-plan will be a hit. When you check in regularly you are able to access what is working and keep yourself on track towards your goals. When you check-in ask yourself “What do we need to do to move the needle forward?”

Now we have to be flexible too. I think that's really important. There are years,  for example 2021 and all that was a mess. I would plan stuff out and I would have to change it because things kept shifting in the world and in our country. But normally. I make a plan and then we can always pivot. If you have a really strong outline and make sure you're looking at the categories that are important to you, making tweaks is simple.

Start with a really broad base and then dial it into the nitty gritty specifics to make sure that the execution is flawless. 

#9: Plan 10 Years Out

Have a big plan for yourself and your business. This goes hand in hand with being organized and planned ahead, but the big plan looks a little further out. The Big Plan is one of the first sections in the Plan, it is a space to look 10 years out. What do you want for yourself then? What are the steps to take to get you there?

Take this concept and apply it to your business. If you don't look out ahead, all of a sudden your goals are not achievable. You need time to plan and take action steps towards your longer term goals. Sometimes that's not, sometimes it's fun. It can be hard to know where to start, but I always start with where I want to be in 10 years then work my way back to what needs to be done this year to set myself in the right direction. 

This process takes thought. I encourage you to take some time to sit down and talk about it with yourself, that is uninterrupted and quiet because nobody can do that for you except you. 

#10: Your Community is Everything

Don't forget your North Star really is your clientele! Your clients and your community are really everything.That's why I do it. I've created this space for women that gives them a sense of self, confidence, and self -love. My clients are like an extension of my family. 

My team and I have to work hard to make sure that we show them that love and show them how much they mean to us. We do what we do to make an impact on the world and that's it's pretty important!

What’s Next….

That’s my top 10 tips for thriving in business (currently)! Somebody asked me the other day…

“What's your next business?” I'm like, oh, no, no, no. But I always say, you never know. You always have to take the opportunities that come around and make sure that you're dreaming big because y 'all, you can do it. Do big things. It's amazing what you can do when you believe in yourself and have a strong team to support you!

I would love for you to leave here and take some time to think, think business. You know, what are your top 10? What are your non -negotiables? What are your missions? What are your goals? How do you want to take it to the next level? Have a little brainstorming session and as always feel free to reach out to me!

About A Girl In Sweaty Spandex Podcast
Lauren Truslow is the mom who shows up in sweaty spandex, and she’s not afraid to own it. In this podcast, she shares her experience as a fitness studio owner and instructor who’s spent the past decade birthing businesses and babies in a culture that wants to break women down and say they’re not enough. 
She’s over that, and you should be, too!

Join Lauren as she gets real on deleting impossible standards, embracing what’s real, and turning up the positivity in  the life you want to live. Whether you’re a student, mom, working woman, or fear you’re entering a post-spandex phase of life, she’s here to remind you that the world out there is yours to own—stretchy pants included.
(click this box to be listen on spotify)


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