The Studio Is Flooding: I Need Your Help

Friends, I’m at a loss.  And I need your help.

I simply don’t know what to do.

Since August, the studio has flooded 5 times, including 1 more flood this week, because … someone or someones (ahem) have failed to turn the sink off before leaving the bathroom.

I literally don’t know what to do about this.

I mean, I’m glad that everyone is so conscientious about washing their hands after … you know.  But, as adults, it seems pretty basic to push both handles back to prevent water from spilling over the edge of the sink, dripping down the cabinet, pooling onto the floor, spilling into the storage room, and eventually rushing towards the studio floor.

If you were at a friend’s house, would you be in such a rush that you’d leave the water running in the powder room?  Nope.  You’re probably checking every corner to make sure you left it looking better than when you locked the door behind you, lest you leave the embroidered hand towel unfolded or the soap looking slimy.  Am I right?

She's On Her Toes Sink

Yep, I just double checked … You can turn the water off!

As I sit listening to the gentle hum of a high-powered fan drying the floor, I have to shake my head.  As an entrepreneur always seeking solutions to problems, I know there has to be an answer …

We could …

  1. Install a lock on the door and hand out a key with a HUGE wooden paddle-like-thing attached. You know … just like you were in grade school dragging that monstrosity in front of everyone as you tried to disappear into the walls, classmates staring at you, knowing that you had to go to the bathroom.
  2. Install a camera pointed at the outside of the door to document who goes into the bathroom and catch the offender or offenders wet-handed. Hummm … how would that phone call go?  “Um, hi.  This is Carolyn at Pure Barre, I’m just calling to let you know that our Bathroom Door Cam has identified you as the responsible adult who left the sink running and flooded the studio.  Is this a bad time to talk?  Wait, what?  You can’t hear me over the emergency response team sucking up gallons of water and the industrial-grade fan blowing to dry the floor?”
  3. Charge a towel fee for all new and existing clients.

Y’all!  What do you suggest?  I’m sure that someone out there has the solution.  Please, come to my rescue and help me solve this tidal wave of a problem.

Wait … you know what to do?  It’s simple?  You mean, if everyone turned off the faucet like we’ve done our whole child and adult lives, this wouldn’t happen anymore?  Nah, that seems too easy.  I thought you’d pick #3.

How to Master the Art of Negotiation for Your Business … Even if You Got a “C” in Art

Negotiation is an interesting word.  What comes to mind when you hear someone say “negotiation”?  Do you tense up and get a little fearful that you’ll be swindled or taken advantage of?  When we think of negotiating, most of us immediately think of the pain and agony of our last car purchase.  Many of us avoid negotiating at all costs because it’s not fun.  It makes us uncomfortable.  And we want to avoid conflict.

What comes to mind when you hear someone say “crucial conversation”?  That doesn’t sound so bad.  In fact, it sounds important—like something that you don’t want to put off and really talk through.  Well, here’s the thing, every crucial conversation that you have—whether it’s with a boss, client, spouse, or child is a negotiation.

In fact, just about every conversation you have in your business is a negotiation as well.  Think about it …

That email exchange you had with a client about which package they’ll purchase next.  You’re negotiating their next sale—Will they stick with what they had before?  Will they spend more?  Will they spend less?  Will you totally blow it and lose the sale?  Everything you say during this crucial conversation will have an impact on whether or not you retain that client.

What about that text you just sent an employee?  Chances are you want something from them or are communicating important information.  That’s a negotiation.  You want the outcome to be in your favor and probably want the employee to be happy about it so they’ll keep working hard and attain great results.

I recently saw former FBI hostage negotiator, Chris Voss, speak at a conference.  And I was so blown away by what he said that I immediately bought his book, Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It, to learn more.  I mean, everything the guy said was an actionable change that I could make in my business … RIGHT NOW.

I hope you’ll take a second to purchase the book too because each chapter has amazing information that will change the way you communicate in your business.  (Click here to purchase.)

But I know that sometimes there is so much going on that reading a whole book is just not going to happen.  So … I summarized each chapter with the key points and how I’ll be using and implementing them in my business for you to take advantage of right away.  You’ll definitely want to read the book, but I’d hate for you to miss out because you’re busy.  (Click here to download the book summary.)

She's On Her Toes

One of the key pieces of information from the book addresses exactly why many of us don’t like to negotiate—and that is because they way we’ve been taught to always seek a “yes” response from our counterpart is totally wrong and unnatural.

Voss says: “Saying ‘No’ gives the speaker the feeling of safety, security, and control.  You use a question that prompts a ‘No’ answer, and your counterpart feels that by turning you down he has proved that he’s in the driver’s seat.  Good negotiators welcome—even invite—a solid ‘No’ to start, as a sign that the other party is engaged and thinking.”

How can you get a “No” right away when speaking with clients about a future purchase?  Instead of asking someone the usual “Do you have a few minutes to talk?” ask “Is now a bad time to talk?”  Do you see the difference?  If you get a “Yes, now is a bad time” on the second question, most people would typically follow up with a better time and you can simply get back to them.  If they say, “No, now is a good time” then you have their total focus.

The same principle of seeking a “No” response can be applied to emails and texts that go unreturned by clients—so annoying and frustrating!

According to Voss: “There’s nothing more irritating than being ignored.  Being turned down is bad, but getting no response at all is the pits.  It makes you feel invisible, as if you don’t exist.  And it’s a waste of your time.  We’ve all been through it: You send an email to someone you’re trying to do business with and they ignore you.  Then you send a polite follow-up and they stonewall you again.  So what do you do?  You provoke a ‘No’ with this one-sentence email.  Have you given up on this project?”

 I’m sorry, but this is pure gold.  How many clients do you have that never got back to you after taking a free class, or free week, or after finishing an introductory offer?  If you’re like me, lots.  And we still try to connect with them to bring them back into the studio.  By changing our approach to include the words “Have you given up on …” to the email will provoke that “No” response and get them engaged in speaking with us again.

These are just 2 actionable items that I learned in this book!

To read the book yourself click here.

To download the summary prepared by me, click here.

Hopefully you’ll check out both and get some great ideas to improve the crucial conversations in your business including, client retention and communicating with your employees.



















How to Hire Amazing Teachers for Your Fitness Studio

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you have hopefully gained an appreciation for some of the unique opportunities and problems of owning a boutique fitness studio.  One of the most obvious from a management perspective is that you need to hire and build your team with individuals filling two main roles: sales/customer service and teaching.

Since both of these roles demand entirely different skill sets, this can be a challenge.  There are like a zillion books, courses, and articles on how to hire and train someone in a sales role.  However, there isn’t much out there to guide you as you seek to hire amazing teachers.  This is super unfortunate, because training a teacher is a huge investment of both your business’ time and money—both of which are extremely valuable!

Because of this large up-front investment, hiring teachers can be risky, especially since you don’t really know how long they’ll be under your employment.  Teaching fitness is often a side gig for many, and myriad factors can impact a teacher’s availability, including change in life circumstances, change in job, or a move out of town, just to name a few.

In my book, She’s On Her Toes: How I Started A Business, Expanded It, Almost Lost It, And Got Back On My Toes, I explain my hiring process from start to finish and discuss why it’s imperative to create the culture of your business before your employees do it for you.  As discussed in the book, your employees will have all kinds of ideas about what the culture of your business should be—and they are usually bad ideas—so you have to step in as the leader of the organization and define the culture from the top.

Click here to buy the book

In my course, How to Hire a Rock Star Team, I walk you through how I created my hiring process and take you through each step.  It’s a comprehensive process and after completing the course, you’ll have your own hiring process complete with an exciting job description and killer ad.  And perhaps more importantly, you’ll know where to place that ad, how to conduct a great interview, and how to ask the right interview questions.  The best part … once you’ve created a hiring process, it’s yours to keep.  You can use it over and over again, every time you need to grow your team.

Click here to check out the course

But … many of you have been asking how I hire teachers, which neither the book nor the course specifically discussed … until now!

I recently sat down with my manager, Emily, and one of my longest-serving teachers, Traci for a video discussion on how to hire amazing teachers.

She's On Her Toes Platform Training

I love this picture from a training–Emily, Traci and I are all in it.

We talked about what makes an amazing teacher and how to identify those qualities in an interview.  We also talk about how to take a good teacher to great, as well as how teachers can stay motivated to keep learning and improving.  Finally, we share one thing that almost all of our teachers have in common—where we found them—it almost seems like we cracked the secret fitness teacher hiring code.  If a potential teacher candidate has this on their resume, I will always make time to interview them.

And this video is now part of a new Bonus Section of the course!

The new How to Hire a Rock Star Team Bonus Materials include:

  • Access to a Private Facebook Mastermind Group (if you want)
  • How to Hire Amazing Teachers Video Roundtable Discussion

It occurred to me that some of you would prefer to ask questions in private outside of a Facebook group, so I’ve also added 2 chances to meet with me directly to help you grow your team including:

  • 30-minute video call with me to fine tune your ad
  • 30-minute video call with me to fine tune your interview questions

You’ll have to check out the course to watch the video … But, our big takeaway from the discussion was that hiring a teacher or someone for a creative role isn’t much different from hiring for a more traditional sales/customer service role.

Making sure that each and every new employee you hire is a fit for your business’ culture is THE most important thing to ensure their success in your organization.  As the owner of a fitness business, you want to look for characteristics and values in your potential teacher candidates, and the teaching just falls into place—with a lot of practice, of course!

I hope you’ll check out the course and utilize all the amazing new Bonus Materials—it was so fun to create the video with Emily and Tracy!

I am super passionate about my team and working together to grow our studios and create an amazing client experience.  That’s why I created the course, because every fitness studio owner should have a great team and a great business.  It takes a lot of work, but once you build the foundation, it makes owning your business more rewarding and frankly, more fun!

Click here to buy the book, She’s On Her Toes: How I Started A Business, Expanded It, Almost Lost It, And Got Back On My Toes

Click here to learn more about the course, How to Hire a Rock Star Team


Stay Comfortable or Reach Your Potential: The Story of My First Pure Barre Intensive Class

Everyone in the Pure Barre world has their “first class” story.  It usually includes the following:

You walked into the studio.

Didn’t know anyone.

Thought class couldn’t be “that” hard.

Was in shell-shock during what the teacher claimed was the “warmup.”

Felt like a complete idiot with arms and legs flailing while everyone else seemed to anticipate the next move.

Finished class, red-faced, wrecked, and hardly able to hobble out to your car.

Meanwhile, everyone else smiled, glistened, and looked fabulous as they effortlessly moved onto the next part of their day.

But … you still came back to your second class because deep down you couldn’t let Pure Barre defeat you.  You knew you’d be better at it the next class … and the next class … and the class after that.

Eventually class became comfortable.  You knew what to expect.  Maybe you even knew some of the exercises.  But that comfort and feeling of security was crushing your potential.  If you stay in your comfort zone, you’ll never know how good you were meant to be.

It’s so interesting.  First class stories are a dime a dozen.  But what about Intensive Class stories?

At Pure Barre Winston-Salem and Pure Barre Clemmons, we offer several Intensive Classes throughout the year including March and April during our Pure Health Challenge.  An Intensive Class is longer, more challenging, and offers an “intensive” focus on a particular muscle group, like upper body, lower body, inner thigh, outer thigh, or abs.  Each Intensive Class run 75-90 minutes while our everyday Empower and Classic classes are completed in 45-50 minutes, respectively.  An Intensive Class is meant to take you out of your comfort zone and show you what your body is truly capable of.  After taking an Intensive Class, you’ll have glimpsed your potential.  And it’s awesome.  Let me explain …

I signed up for my first Intensive Class, Bye Bye Inner Thigh, on a Saturday morning when I lived in Atlanta.  I was excited because my favorite teacher was teaching.  She actually convinced me to pay the extra $35 for the class promising a great experience.  I was told to bring a $1 bill—I only had a $20, so I hoped that was ok.

When I arrived at the studio, the class would have normally been over-full with maybe 25 women ready to shake and lightly perspire.  Not today.  5 of us showed up for the Intensive.  Fuuuuuu$$$$ck.  Why weren’t more people signed up for this class?

I told the teacher I only had a $20 bill and asked if that was ok.  She looked at me funny and said, “Oh sure.  That doesn’t matter.”  Great—but what was it for?  A tip?  I was told to bring my $20 into the studio and grab my normal equipment including a double tube, weights, and a ball.

Soon, I found out why there were only 5 of us in the room.  The class was f$cking hard.

I was shaking and what could only be described as convulsing uncontrollably all while squeezing that $20 between my inner thighs.  “Never let it drop!”, the teacher happily chirped over the mic.

“Or what?!” I thought!

Oh man.  We still had 55 minutes to go.

I wasn’t about to wimp out and drop my $20.  Hell no!  Someone else can have the honor of giving up first.

I’m sure we did some seat exercises in there somewhere, but I think I blacked out.  Next, all I remember was lying on the floor with my legs up in the air squeezing the ball so hard that even my teeth were shaking.  By this point, I had completely sweated through my luon clothes and my hair was sticking to my head like I had just gone swimming.

Oh man.  We still had 30 minutes to go.  How was that f$cking possible?

I was starting to wonder how I was going to get home.  Uber didn’t exist back then.  Would I be able to use my legs to push the pedals of my car?  No time to think.  We were on our sides and somehow I was lifting my legs in a scissor, but by now my lower body was completely numb.  My $20 didn’t look so good.

Eventually we made it to abs.  Yes!  Almost done … not quite … are you kidding?  Knee dancing now?!  This has to be wrong.  I can’t keep my seat hovered over my heels.  Oh wait, somehow I’m hovering.  Last 10!

I don’t really remember stretching.  Honestly, I’m not sure how I got home.  That class wrecked me.  I didn’t want to put that $20 back into my wallet.  Do you think the teacher would notice if I used some disinfectant wipes on my money?

But the funny thing was, I loved it.  That Intensive Class was like taking my first class all over again.  I started pushing myself harder in my regular weekly classes.  Sh$t, if I could last 75 minutes of thigh-shaking terror, I could certainly step it up in a shorter class.  And that’s why getting out of your comfort zone is so important in fitness.  When you show yourself that you can do something incredibly difficult once, what’s to stop you from working just a teeny bit harder every day?  Nothing!

So, if you’ve been hesitant to sign up for an Intensive Class because you like being comfortable, remember, that you’ll never know how great your potential could be by staying in your comfort zone.  Don’t let fear or complacency determine where you are on your fitness journey.  Keep getting stronger.  Reach out for your potential.

I can’t wait to see everyone on Saturday for the Lower Body Intensive!

I Own 2 Fitness Studios and I Don’t Have Time to Workout Either: The Pure Health Challenge Explained

It’s the dirty little secret of the fitness industry.

Before you actually open your fitness studio, you have big dreams of a balanced life, working out every day, and eating clean.  When you actually open, life is nothing like the dream!  Oftentimes you find yourself giving up your spot in class so a client can take.  Maybe a critical last-minute task prevents you from taking class.  Or you’re simply too stressed out from dealing with your employees, finances, and high-maintenance clients to workout.  Did I mention that this is all happening while shoving handfuls of crackers, protein bars, or whatever is easy and portable into your mouth for sustenance.  Fitness studio owners, like most other small business owners, need help prioritizing fitness too!

The struggle is real.  Don’t envy me because I own 2 fitness studios.  I don’t have time to workout either!

She's On Her Toes Pure Health Challenge

2 classes in 2 Days!  That might be a record!  Just kidding–it’s not.

Like the rest of the world, I too have to prioritize working out and eating healthy.  It doesn’t just magically happen.  Damn, if only it did!  This is why I’m such a big proponent of our Pure Health Challenge happening at my studios, Pure Barre Winston-Salem and Pure Barre Clemmons, during March and April.  I need this Challenge just as much as you do.  The Pure Health Challenge is a way to practice consistently taking class each week.  It’s also a chance to think about healthy eating (which so many of us don’t do).  And it’s a way to do both of these things in a group setting so we’re all accountable—and hopefully successful!

I always get a lot of questions about what the Pure Health Challenge is and is not.  Here goes … your most burning Challenge questions answered …

What is the Pure Health Challenge?

The Pure Health Challenge starts on March 5th and ends April 29th.  During the Challenge, participants take 4 classes each week and focus on healthy eating and self-care.  Since we’re all taking the Challenge together, the Pure Barre community provides everyone inspiration and strength to keep going and make fitness and health a greater priority during these two months.

What do you get when you pay for the Pure Health Challenge?

The Pure Health Challenge costs $40 and includes the following:

  • 2 Pure Barre Intensive classes—take 1 in March and 1 in April. Intensive classes are 75 minutes long and focus on specific parts of the body for more targeted, intense work
  • 5 recipes for easy, simple, healthy foods each week—as an example, the first week is “5 Smoothies You’ll Want to Wake Up Early For”
  • Self-care tips from your Pure Barre Team
  • Pure Barre community events including a dog walk and Spring Fashion Show

So, why do I have to pay for the Pure Health Challenge?

It does cost the studio money to put on the Pure Health Challenge.  We have to spend extra time organizing the events, learning the Intensive classes, and compiling recipes and self-care tips so you can get the most out of the experience.  I have to pay my employees who get involved for their hard work.  Yes, we could do challenges like other fitness studios and gyms and put minimal effort into how the challenge is organized and have the challenge be free.  But, that wouldn’t benefit our clients in the way that a more involved, Pure Health Challenge actually helps our clients get healthier and more fit.

I will also say this … if you pay for something you tend to take it more seriously and actually do it.  Ahem!

Why is the Pure Health Challenge 2 months, that seems like an eternity?

Did you know that it takes 66 days to create a lasting habit?  This is why the Pure Health Challenge is 2 months—it’s done by design.  After 2 months of taking class 4 times each week, you should have created the habit and will hopefully keep up that habit of consistently working out even after the Challenge is over.  Sneaky.

What if I don’t want to eat healthy?  I already workout, so I don’t see the point.

You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to.  However, working out is only half the equation.  Eventually, you will stop seeing results from simply working out and not eating healthy foods.  You will have to change the way you eat to keep getting stronger and more fit.

It’s a lie.  Whoever told you that eating French fries after working out was ok and those calories wouldn’t count, was full of sh$t.  I know, bummer.

But that’s where the Pure Health Challenge comes in.  By making small changes in what you eat, you can eventually see big results.  Each week of the Challenge, you’ll receive 5 easy, simple, healthy recipes.  Try one or work to incorporate all 5 into your weekly meals—the choice is yours.  Curious about each week’s recipes …

5 Smoothies You’ll Want to Wake Up Early For

5 Salads You’ll Actually Want to Eat

5 Treats That Won’t Make You Hate Yourself

5 Sides That Make the Main Course Boring

5 Pestos to Use Beyond Pasta

5 Main Dishes Where Meat is Optional

5 Sauces with Endless Possibilities

5 Beverages for Maximum Sipping & Pic-ing

I love these because by the end of the Challenge, you could literally make one small change at every meal.  And … you’ll have a whole library of choices to keep going back to once the Challenge is over.  It’s all really manageable!

There you have it!  What the Pure Health Challenge is and isn’t.  If you still have questions, please let me know or talk to us at the front desk next time you’re in the studios.  It’s not too late to sign up!  Make sure you get your 4 classes in each week and try one recipe and tag us on Facebook or Instagram—we’ll be rewarding you for your efforts with a drawing for gift cards to local businesses.  Who said being healthy didn’t have its own rewards?!