The Truth About Being A Female Fitness Entrepreneur
Everyone has the dream of enjoying the freedom and life of an entrepreneur, but do you really have what it takes to make it in the world of business with no boss, no co-workers, just YOU to call the shots, but also to carry all of the responsibility?
In 2011 I made the huge jump from being an employee to venturing into this entrepreneur world. I wanted the success, the freedom and complete control of my life like I had heard from so many other successful entrepreneurs without a clue of what I was doing.
In today’s society, we are taught to go to college, get a good job and work your life away and maybe one day you will retire and enjoy the last few decades the way you want. Add into that being a female who is taught to go to college, get a good job, find a good spouse who will be the “provider” then one day you will retire and repeat the above process. Regardless of your industry, venturing out into the world of female entrepreneurship can be one of the most rewarding and scariest things you do in a world of 9 to 5ers and male business owners.
I have always had a passion for health and fitness and pursued a business in this industry as I felt passion alone would carry me down the path to success. I think fitness entrepreneurs are a different breed and I surround myself with them for multiple reasons, one of them being that the focus and discipline you learn in the gym with your workouts is the same focus and discipline you translate into your business, money, relationships, etc.
In business, you have to learn to make your own voice the voice of empowerment, confidence and determination, especially at the start of your business when you really are just trying to keep your head above water and have no proof you will survive. The same is true when you step into the gym to do a workout that seems way more advanced than you are ready to handle. The question is; will you crumble under the “weight” or will you believe enough in yourself to see the workout and the business all the way through?
When I started the ABS Protein Pancakes in 2014, I was a struggling personal trainer always searching for clients. Out of a soul searching journey of wanting more for my life than a never ending hamster wheel of clients, I came up with an idea. I had a delicious recipe and an idea of turning this protein pancake recipe into an International brand without knowing the first thing about selling a food product. The more people I told about my dream to create a meal replacement product of protein pancakes the more “That’s nice…good for you” responses I got. I had dreams of being on TV, seeing my product in magazines, making a massive positive impact all while sitting in my tiny apartment in Tampa, FL googling things like “how to make a nutrition label”, “how to start a supplement line” in between personal training clients. Which brings me to my first point, it all starts with a belief.
I am very fortunate that I come from a family of very supportive men who have always encouraged my ambitious spirit. However, sometimes being a female with huge goals of being the next Oprah or Sara Blakely it is better to keep your dreams to yourself than to open up the opportunity for others own self-doubt to latch onto you. “Work hard in silence and let success make the noise.” It’s not necessary for you to shout to the whole world what this amazing dream will be one day, all that matters is that you are shouting it enough to yourself until it becomes so engrained in your subconscious mind that all of life conspires to help make this dream a reality.
My business is on its way every day to being the vision I continue to hold for it, but on this journey so far, here are the top 4 lessons I have learned about being a female entrepreneur that I hope will inspire you:
Your daily meditation and/or spiritual practice will be your rock and foundation when self-doubt creeps in, when others discourage you from your goals, and when that wonderful time of the month shows up and you want to give up all together to crawl in a dark place and just go take an hourly job at a coffee shop because it would be so much easier. Always go to that inner voice and it will remind you of your truth.
Strength train at least 3-4x a week with heavy weight. Why? Because there WILL be days in business when your whole life feels like it is falling apart and you literally are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders that you need to actually walk into a gym and put some heavy weight on your shoulders then pick it up and nail your lift so you can remind yourself of how strong you really are. The weight you feel is just a symbol and YOU will lift the weight both physically and mentally in life.
Choose your friends and support system wisely. I have always valued solid friendships, but I never realized how important of a role they would play in my life as an entrepreneur. Your friends don’t necessarily have to be entrepreneurs (although it does help a ton if they are), but they do need to be solid, supportive and loving people who believe in your dreams and visions. As the saying goes, you are the sum of the 5 people you surround yourself with and if you want to keep growing you better not be the biggest fish in your pond or you will see it effect your growth as a person and in business.
Have a vision board and meditate on it daily. Everything that exists in this world was once just someone’s vision in their mind that they believed enough in to bring it to life. When I appeared on Shark Tank in January of 2016 for the ABS Protein Pancakes, that was no luck of the draw. I had Shark Tank, Daymond John, and so much more on my vision board that represented my idea of success that went all the way back to the start of the pancakes in 2014. I held onto that vision all the way to being in the Sony studios in LA in 2015 filming the ABS pitch on Shark Tank. It all started with a vision and a belief in myself so use your vision board as your private space to dream big and believe in those dreams.
I am only at the start of my journey as a female entrepreneur, but I believe any entrepreneur-- male or female--starts their journey in the hopes of inspiring others to give birth to their own dream. None of us really have any idea what we are doing, we have just learned to listen to that inner voice and continue moving and that’s what makes all the difference.
We are all here to write our own story so don’t judge yourself if your success isn’t at the same pace of someone else’s business. Accept where you are as your starting point then continue to take action steps each day that bring you closer to the business and life you want; then one day you will wake up living the life of your dreams and inspire others to do the same.
Wherever you are in your journey, hold onto your vision and believe that anything is possible. When you believe enough in yourself to even start down the path, the next step always appears just like turning on the headlights down a dark road, life will show you just enough in front of you to guide you to your final vision.
Author: Ashley Drummonds