The Business of Fitness held its first workshop at the end of 2019, aiming to help those in the fitness industry understand more about what they were offering and how to run a more successful business. Run by Erica Wolfe-Murray, who heads up innovation studio, Lola, and is the author of Simple Tips, Smart Ideas, and Vicki Anstey, founder of Barreworks, finalist in SAS Who Dares Wins and now in training to take a little row across the ocean, it promised to be a useful day; it’s not often you get two extraordinary business women in the same room.
I didn’t have many set business plans for myself this year. I started 2019 in a sleep-deprived state and while my Mums and Babies classes and personal training sessions were ticking along nicely, I didn’t have a set plan for them. Or rather, I had many ideas but as I’m often reminding myself, you can do anything but not everything; my issue is often that I have ideas coming out my ears but no road map for completing these. I was lucky enough that an additional opportunity for a FitTech company came my way which secured me a base income that I didn’t have to think too much about – working for yourself can be quite unsettling financially, especially as a parent – but it meant that I had less focus on getting my ideas off the ground.
I needed a boost, a kick up the proverbial ass, to help me shake up what I was doing. I wanted to be in control and to set goals which I had a proper plan for, as opposed to just bobbing along.
I was excited about this workshop. I’d heard Erica speak before at the UK Barre Summit and out of all the speakers there, her words of wisdom stayed with me the most. It was also great to be hearing from Vicky too – having completed the Barreworks Barre qualification (yes, I’m a barre instructor!) I’d already experienced her high standards and knew this would be a valuable day.
Hosted at No1a Duke Street, we were in a room tucked away upstairs. After everyone introduced each other, we shared what we wanted to get from the day. There was a mix of people there – those who were just embarking on their first foray into the fitness business and others who, like me, needed inspiration and guidance. It was a relief to discover that I wasn’t alone in the challenges I faced.
The day was fast-paced. From learning more about the current business of fitness landscape, we swiftly moved into discovering more about ourselves, our experience and how this could be used strategically in our business. We also covered how to think of yourself as a business, including understanding financials and minimising failure. It turned out that everyone struggled slightly with financial planning, but everyone left with more of an idea of how to get this under control.
By the time the day had finished, I was mentally and emotionally exhausted, but brimming with ideas and next steps. It was a tough day, not just because of all the information that you’re taking in, but because Erica makes you look at yourself and helped you identify the things in yourself which hold you back. At one point, after answering questions in our workbook about our childhood, I announced that I was finding it quite emotional and then to my horror, started to cry! It was obvious that I had a lot of stored up emotions around my reflections of my childhood, even though I considered them to be a happy time. Another task which dug out the emotions (for all of us), was when we were asked to physically shape our ‘inner critics’ and share what they were saying. It’s made me realise that I am terrible for locking away my emotions and that if I only ‘felt’ them more, I might get to where I want to faster.
It’s hard to explain the value that this workshop holds, but I’m positive that everyone who attended got something of significant value from it. I might have made it sound quite serious, but it’s a lot of fun and there was a lot of laughing. There’s also a lot of value in doing this as a group – we all learnt a lot from what others shared and in turned, shared our own experiences with the aim to support and provide empathy. We all left with a clearer idea of how to run a better business.
If there was one thing I’d improve? Making it longer! I would love for this to be a 2 day workshop so I had proper amounts of time to get into the nitty gritty of it and also nail my financial situation. However, each attendee received a copy of Erica’s book, which is the blueprint you need to take your business to the next level in your own time.
If you work in fitness or health, or are thinking about it, you’d be wise to book a spot at the Business of Fitness workshop. Alongside other likeminded people, you’ll understand how to maximise your past experience and personal journey to maximise your business potential. Plus, there’ll be a crash course on smart financing and inspiration for revenue streams and future planning. The next one is happening on 25th January 2020, with more dates coming soon. Find out more at thebusinessoffitness.co.uk