Podcast Episode 18: What’s it like taking your first Pure Barre class? We share our stories.

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.

She's On Her Toes.jpeg

Today, we tell all about when we took our first Pure Barre classes … and you might be surprised at what we thought.

Listen to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and 7 other platforms.

Follow me on Instagram and see what I’m working on in my business each day @shesonhertoes

I’m super-passionate about leading and managing my hardworking team.  Check out my courses How To Hire A Rockstar Team and 5 Days to Time Freedom to keep developing your leadership skills.

Podcast Episode 14: Ask Carolyn Anything

What if you could find out what your boss is really thinking? Yikes! Too scary?!

This week, the tables are turned and Emily and Christina will be asking me all the questions … including what I did before opening my Pure Barre studios, what I’m most proud of accomplishing in my business, and which one of them is my favorite manager. Just kidding!

But I did share something that I really didn’t want to reveal. What is it? You’ll have to listen to find out!

This week’s episode is sponsored by my online courses. If you are ready to hire a team and create a hiring process tailored for your business, then check out How To Hire A Rockstar Team, which walks you step-by-step through the exact same hiring process that I use. So, I know it works!

And … I just created a course, 5 Days to Time Freedom: Find More Time in Every Day to Do What Matters Most. If you find yourself saying “I never have enough time” or “Where is all my time going”, then this course is for you!

Find out more here: coursecraft.net/u/shesonhertoes

Podcast Episode 12: 3 Ways to Beat the Summer Fitness Slump

It seems counterintuitive. Wouldn’t you want to workout in the summer?  All those shorts, cute sundresses, rompers, and bathing suits show more skin and require more confidence than your baggy winter sweaters. But, alas.  No.  What seems like a busy time for fitness is actually known in the industry as the dreaded summer fitness slump.

Listen to the She’s On Her Toes Podcast here.

You know, that time when it seems like almost all of your clients head out of town to the beach, the mountains, fabulous trips to Europe and the Caribbean, and a few more trips to the beach for good measure.  It’s a time for fitness studio owners to hunker down, spend as little money as possible, clean out your back-storage room, and anxiously await your vacationing clients to all come back for a busy Fall—please come back!  Pretty please!  You haven’t forgotten us, right?!  You have to workout eventually …  seriously, we miss you.  Come back soon …

But what if you could evade the summer slump?  Is it possible to actually grow your client base in the so-called slow summer months? You’re damn right it is.  In fact, adding clients in the summer is possible—yes, there is a segment of the population that doesn’t take a 3-month vacation.  Unfortunate as they are (poor “vacationless” souls), they can keep your summers busy which is a great morale boost for your Team not to mention nice for your finances. Here are my top 3 ways to beat the summer fitness slump:

Don’t Switch to a “Summer Schedule”:  It’s tempting to think that when a large segment of your client base heads out of town, you’d be better served to switch to a “summer schedule” and eliminate or consolidate classes.  While it seems that you would save money by not having to pay a teacher for a class that’s not full, you’re actually giving clients a reason not to visit your studio.

The first summer Pure Barre Winston-Salem was open, we decided to eliminate the 9:45 AM class because attendance was really low.  We rationalized that clients would just come to the 8:30 AM class or another time in the early morning or afternoon instead.  This was a huge mistake.  Clients who regularly took class at 9:45 AM thought we had taken the class off the schedule permanently and we actually lost about 15 clients who just couldn’t understand that the class would be added back at the end of August.  Head hits desk.  Bourbon is poured.

Lesson learned.  Now, I don’t switch to a temporary “summer schedule” which eliminates otherwise popular class times.  Removing classes can confuse your clients and thus give them a reason not to keep taking class at your studio.

Do Schedule Pop-Up Classes or Community Events:  The key to attracting new clients in the summer months is to host community events or free classes that are open to the public. In addition to creating interest in your studio for new clients, community classes are also fun for your existing client base—a win-win for your business.

But as a business owner, there is a lot of risk involved in hosting a class outside.  You’re trying to re-create an in-studio experience outside where things such as traffic noise, weather, and a host of other factors could potentially ruin the experience for your paying clients and any new clients just learning about your business.  Ah!  It’s a lot of pressure!

If you invest in the proper equipment and have some back-up systems in place, hosting a Pop-Up or outdoor class should be pretty painless.  How did we do it?

First, we invested in the proper equipment including a branded tent, branded table and tablecloth, a portable speaker, and wireless microphone.

KD Canopy:  We purchased our tent from KD Canopy several years ago and it’s been used a lot! While the company will tell you this tent can be set up by 2 people, you’ll have a much easier time with 3 or 4. The quality of this tent is great and it’s easy to pack up, move, and store.  We also added on a branded tablecloth, which we’ve used many, many times more than the tent.  Definitely get the tablecloth!  It was an easy add on that is a staple to our marketing efforts at events.  Both the tent and tablecloth have been great purchases and make a very professional first impression.

Weltron WAS-TUBE 5 Portable Bluetooth Active Tower Speaker ($455.04):  We literally just bought this speaker after learning about it from a company we had been renting equipment from for our previous outdoor classes.  While the cost seems expensive, we were paying the rental company $400 for each use of their equipment, so this speaker has already paid for itself and we have several other outdoor and off-site events planned before the year is out. I bought this speaker through Amazon using American Express points, making it virtually free (another way to save).  Pretty amazing—which also describes the sound quality of the speaker.  Did I mention it’s extremely easy to set up, break down, and transport?  Simply connect your iPod or other player to it and turn up the volume.  If you’re looking for professional-sounding equipment for indoor or outdoor use, look no further.

Samson Airline 77 Headset Wireless System with Fitness Microphone ($299.99):  This is a similar model to what we use in our studios, which is a huge advantage to teaching a class in an unfamiliar environment.  You can easily connect this system to the Weltron Tower Speaker and have both music and the mic working at the same time.  Just plug the mic in, connect, and use.  It’s that simple.  We had a back-up mic just in case.

Announce a Multi-Month Challenge: Initiating a multi-month challenge is a great way to keep existing clients engaged and regularly taking classes in your studio during a time that would typically be slower.  It’s also a great way to keep client energy high and keep your studio relevant.

Starting June 1st, we are kicking off the Ruby Barre Challenge at Pure Barre Winston-Salem and Pure Barre Clemmons.  What is the Ruby Barre Challenge?

  • The Ruby Barre Challenge is a 7-month Free Challenge that anyone with an active package can participate in.
  • Clients are challenged to take 15 classes each month staring in June and finishing in December.

Here’s a picture of the Challenge Board we created …

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What do you think?!  We actually had to get a second board … but I love the “ruby” magnets that everyone can put by their names to keep track of their progress each month.

At the end of the Challenge, we’ll have a celebration for everyone that successfully took 15 classes each month.  And for the first time ever, all Challenge winners will sign a red barre that will hang on the wall at the studios.

While many of your clients will take the summer months to spend more time traveling than taking classes in your studio, that doesn’t mean you have to accept the so-called summer slump. By taking the time to plan some great events and keep things fun and engaging during the summer, you can actually keep building your client list which can mean thousands in additional revenue for your business at the end of the year.

Listen to the She’s On Her Toes Podcast here.

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?!

My Why

So incredible!  Yesterday, I attended the annual meeting and luncheon for the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce … and Pure Barre Winston-Salem won the Truliant Best Small Business in Winston-Salem award for 2017!

I mean, seriously?  What an honor.  Winston-Salem was literally built from small businesses growing into large corporations (think RJ Reynolds, Hanesbrands, Krispy Kreme, Wachovia/Wells Fargo, BB&T and the list goes on) paving the way for thousands of other startups and small businesses to make their mark on the city.  And now, my business has been recognized as being the best.  Thank you!  To the Chamber, Truliant, my amazing clients, and my incredibly talented team of hard-working employees—Thank you!

So why do I do what I do?  Being a small business owner isn’t always glamourous.  It can be really hard sometimes.  But, I am motivated by the idea that there is nothing worse than wasted talent in this world.  You know, the idea that everyone has great potential and can accomplish great things.  And for me, that starts with being physically fit to accomplish all those great things.  When your body is strong, your mind is strong and you can do just about anything.

Every day, I get to see my clients do amazing things in the studio that I know help them do amazing things outside of the studio.  I’ve been fortunate to see clients who walk into Pure Barre completely unsure of themselves and their physical capabilities, transform into confident and strong individuals.  I’m extremely fortunate to experience these things on a daily basis.  It’s inspiring.

What if you were at the center of a workplace where everyone was pushed to be their best?  What if your business was bigger than yourself?  What if you could wear leggings EVERY SINGLE DAY?

Yep.  Life is pretty damn good.

How to Form the Right Strategic Partnerships for Your Business

At the beginning of your business lifecycle, you’re just living day-to-day, constantly putting out fires or just able to focus on accomplishing what’s directly in front of you.  But as you hire and develop a team of great employees, you can start to think and interact beyond the walls of your business.  Maybe you start to meet and socialize with other business owners.  Maybe these other business owners have a similar client base to your own—wouldn’t it be great to work together and join forces to market both businesses together?!  Maybe, or maybe not.  Working with another business, or forming a strategic partnership, to reach a similar client base can be a great business tool or a colossal headache.  Does it make sense to create a strategic partnership and link your business to another?  Ask yourself these 3 questions:

Will both businesses receive equal benefit from the partnership?

This is the most important question to ask yourself when looking to partner with another business.  If both of your businesses won’t equally benefit from working together, then it can’t really be called a “partnership.”  Now that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t figure out a way to work together, but a true strategic partnership is mutually beneficial for both parties and not a one-sided endeavor.

Signs that you’re not entering into a strategic partnership:

  1. You will be spending money on an event or promotion to benefit both of your businesses, and the other business will not be sharing the expenses, or vice versa.
  2. You and your team do most of the labor to organize an event or promotion and the other business does not, or vice versa.
  3. Your business receives a disproportionate amount of leads from an event or promotion and the other business does not, or vice versa.
  4. You put your business at legal risk forming this partnership–if you answer “yes” to this question, no need to bother asking any other questions.  No partnership should put your business at risk.  It’s a no-go.

We just had a great event partnering with Village Juice, an amazing restaurant serving cold-pressed juices, smoothies, salads, and toasts.  Everything served is clean—meaning no artificial ingredients.  As their website says, “We believe real food doesn’t contain ingredients, it is ingredients.”  Since we’re in the middle of the Pure Health Challenge (Literally half-way done!), having an outdoor class at Village Juice was a great way to get my clients together for a fun class, drink and eat some healthy, tasty food, and socialize after.  Both businesses received an equal benefit from this partnership—Lonnie, the owner of Village Juice, was assured a packed house on Sunday morning after class and we had a great event venue and a chance to refuel with clean food which will promote better post-workout results.  Both businesses also got a chance to show potential new clients what we’re all about.  A partnership at its best!

Unfortunately, not every partnership is as well-paired as ours with Village Juice.  One time, the studio was asked to have an off-site class at another popular local business.  We spent a lot of money to rent equipment and market the event.  We also closed our studio to encourage people to attend what was billed as a special and unique off-site class.  We taught the class—doing most of the labor.  Unfortunately, the other business didn’t do any marketing to their own clients (even though they had agreed to) and the only people who showed up were invited because we had told them about the event.  So, we closed the studio, invited all the people in attendance, did all the work, and the other business had a huge sales night.  We unfortunately, got very little benefit from the experience, other than knowing that we’ll never schedule another event like that again.  Does this mean that I wouldn’t work with this business again?  No!  I’d be happy to go back and teach a class at any future event they’d like to schedule—for a fee.  If they wanted to host a class in the future, I would require a fee to teach the class and they would be responsible for all of the marketing to build attendance.  Why did this experience lead to a failed partnership?  Perhaps it’s because we really aren’t trying to reach the same client base.

Are both businesses really trying to reach the same client base? 

To get the most from a strategic partnership, you’ll want to determine if your potential partner is really trying to reach the same client base as you are.  So, go ahead and ask them: “Who is your ideal client?  I just want to a make sure we’re going to be putting our efforts towards the same goal.”  If your potential partner is actually trying to reach a new demographic by working with you, perhaps you would be better-served to forgo this pairing.  Why?  See above.  If you end up spending more money and more time to get less than the other business, then you don’t have a great fit for a strategic partnership.   This leads us to the importance of setting expectations for any future partnerships.

Do both businesses have the same expectation about the goals of partnership?

The best strategic partnerships occur when both parties take their time to establish the primary goals and direction of the partnership.  I am really excited about a new partnership that Pure Barre Winston-Salem and Pure Barre Clemmons has formed with Fleet Feet Sports of Winston-Salem.  During the month of November, Pure Barre will be part of Fleet Feet’s Living Fit Series and have 4, 45-minute classes at Fleet Feet on Monday’s at 6:00 PM.  Pure Barre is a great cross-train for running and we recently created a package specifically for runners or those who like to cross-train—Flex Barre, which is 4 classes a month for $69.  This package is great for anyone who is running or doing other cross-training, but still wants to add Pure Barre for a low-impact strength training exercise.

Before we both agreed to this series of events, I met with Stacie, Director of Training Programs at Fleet Feet, to discuss how working together could directly benefit both businesses and what our goals and expectations of the events were.  Stacie was interested in providing a great cross-train for their running community during the colder “off-season.”  Although, is there any off-season for runners?!

Since we now have our Flex Barre package, I was interested in reaching out to introduce Pure Barre to more people in the running community.  Most importantly, both Pure Barre and Fleet Feet are constantly seeking to offer their clients a quality experience.  Our main goal at each business is to build a great brand that is synonymous with quality and excellence.  I can’t wait to update you on how this partnership goes.  I think it will be really fun and exciting!  Who knows, maybe those runners will inspire me to do a little cross-train—or at least get some new shoes.

Hopefully you’ve noticed that each of these 3 questions build off of one another.  You really need to ask all 3 to get to the answer of whether a potential strategic partnership is a good fit for you and your business.  Don’t be afraid to ask direct questions.  If you ask a question and the answer is a little shaky or vague, think about that and whether it’s a sign that the proposed partnership is not necessarily going to benefit your existing clients or allow you to gain access to new clients.

Partnerships can be a great business tool, but if they don’t work out, you might feel taken advantage of or angry that your expectations weren’t met.  I’ve partnered with other businesses with great success and unfortunately had some less stellar outcomes.  Sometimes it’s important to take the risk and see what happens, but a little preparation and definition of what each potential partner is seeking can go a long way to serving the needs of both businesses.

I’ve been able to travel more recently—which has been great!  But I’m finding that I need to get back to having great accessories to make travel easier—like a cross-body bag.  I’ve been looking at some options and I’ll give you my top picks on Friday.  Hopefully I can make a final decision by then!

Until then, stay on your toes!

What’s been Holding You Back? Solve that Problem to Help Your Clients

It’s often said that the best businesses solve problems that matter or that our biggest problems are the source of our biggest opportunities.  What if solving the biggest problem you face personally—I mean, right now—tackling your biggest life problem at this exact moment, was the key to providing an amazing experience for your clients?

Now that I’ve owned my Pure Barre studios for five years, I’ve realized that the best businesses not only solve big problems, but they evolve to continue to be relevant for their clients as new problems surface.  When you first open your business, you’re in the Initial Problem Phase.  You’re solving an identified problem for your new clients.  For me, it was offering an amazing, high-quality barre class since no barre classes of our quality and consistency were available in Winston-Salem, NC.  And that’s been fun.  Building that community of women has been extremely rewarding.

But now, we seem to be entering into the Follow-On Problem Phase—just offering a great barre class isn’t enough.  My clients want to incorporate overall health and wellness into their fitness routine.  They want more variety of classes including cardio and they want to eat and live better.  Basically, they want it ALL.  And come to think of it … so do I.  I want to eat better, have more of a variety of workouts, and live a better life.  Who doesn’t?  What if solving my own problem is the key to moving my business into its next phase?

A few months ago, I came to the realization that most of our studio events were stale and getting boring.  We were in a rut of doing the same events each month and clients were no longer showing the same level of enthusiasm to participate.  What to do?!  If any of you regularly plan events to keep your clients engaged and returning to your business on a regular basis, you know that developing something new can be difficult and time-consuming.  It’s also nerve-racking because you never really know if clients will embrace your ideas until you announce them.  Furthermore, if we were entering into the Follow-On Problem Phase, what exactly was the new problem my team and I were trying to solve?

The biggest problem I am personally trying to overcome is being consistent with my classes and eating better food.  I’ve written how I started the Whole30 and when I finished those grueling 30 days, I felt awesome and didn’t really want to go back to eating like I had been.  Ok, I was totally ready for a Corona or 4, but that was about it.

When you’re single, cooking for one can be less than exciting.  It’s really easy to get into a rut of making the same things or throwing random leftovers together because it seems like a waste of time to prepare a proper meal for just one person.  But that’s so bad—because often time eating for one involves prepared or processed foods that aren’t that great for you and can zap your energy making working out seem like a chore.  It’s a bad cycle to get into—especially for someone trying to lead a fitness community.  Finding Sarah Adler and her website and blog, Simply Real Health (www.simplyrealhealth.com) has been perfect for me.  The blog is full of great ideas, recipes and pictures.  The cookbook of the same name, Simply Real Health is also amazing ($39.95).  I’ve tried almost all the recipes and started eating breakfast more consistently after trying the smoothies.

But what I’m the biggest fan of are the seasonal meal plans.  I just bought Spring and right now, you can download a free 3-day sample meal plan to try out.  The Spring Meal Plan was about $100 and includes 4 weeks of recipes for every single meal.  There are also some great bonus items including healthy snacks, great side dishes to incorporate if you’re having friends over, and a guide to healthy choices in restaurants.  It’s perfect for me because each week I get a complete grocery list, head to the store knowing exactly what I’ll need to make all of my meals each day, and I’m good to go for the week.  Oh, and the best part … everything tastes amazing and is easy to prepare.  Thanks to Sarah Adler and Simply Real Health, my healthy eating problem was solved!  So of course, I had to pass on this gold to all my clients and thus the Pure Health Challenge was born!

As I mentioned before, our events seemed stale and uninspiring. We had just been recycling them from previous years.  It was time to shake things up and drill down to what really mattered most to me and my clients—a total health experience.  Here’s what we came up with and what we’ll be doing in my studios for all of June and July. That’s right!  60 days of Pure Health!

  1. First, we decided that we’d need a baseline to know where we all are with our health. My chiropractor, Dr. Gray, has this body composition analysis machine called, InBody.  We partnered with him to bring InBody to the studios in the beginning of June for every Pure Health Challenge participant to get an assessment including weight, muscle mass, fat mass, water, hydration level and many other indicators to know where they were at the beginning of the Challenge.  After 6 weeks, Dr. Gray will come back to the studio with InBody to measure everyone’s progress.  We’ll literally be able to quantify all of the work completed during the Challenge.  Exciting stuff!
  2. Of course, everyone gets the Simply Real Health cookbook to start planning healthy and tasty meals.
  3. During the Challenge, we’re asking everyone to take 4 classes each week. This seems reasonable and doable.  If you complete 4 classes each week, you’ll earn a small reward from Pure Barre or our other partners, Village Juice and Kleur Shop.  If you don’t complete the 4 classes, just reset the next week.    But, sometimes just starting is the hardest part, so we’re partnering with Kleur Shop to host an evening to talk about what’s holding us back from committing to working out like we know we should.
  4. At Pure Barre, we have special Intensive classes which take our clients further out of their comfort zone to target specific areas of the body and do some exciting new things we wouldn’t normally work in a regular class. Everyone participating in the Pure Health Challenge will have the opportunity to take our Strength & Balance Intensive in June and the Full Body Burn Intensive in July.  Sweat!
  5. And what Challenge calendar wouldn’t be complete with an outdoor Pop Up class?! We’ll have an amazing pop up at Village Juice the morning of Sunday, June 25th and get some great juice and healthy snacks after.
  6. Finally, one of my favorite restaurants in Winston, Spring House, agreed to create a Paleo Happy Hour for all Pure Health Challenge participants at the end of July.  Thanks Chef Tim and Elizabeth for letting us celebrate our good health!

Coordinating all these activities was a huge undertaking, so I’m glad I have my Team to help me.  I’ve never been more excited for anything at the studios!  Figuring out how to solve my own problem of consistently taking class and eating healthy, good food brought about this amazing program of events that will benefit the hundreds of women taking class at the studios this summer.  Going forward all of our events and programming will seek to provide a better understanding of total health—until we reach our next Follow-On Problem Phase.

If you’re local to the area, stop by the studio and learn more about our Pure Health Challenge.  If not, check out the links to Simply Real Health and start the workout you like best in your area.

Tomorrow, I’ll share my newest life hack—how to make a smoothie without bananas or avocados.  I am allergic to bananas and avocados, which makes smoothie consumption pretty difficult—but I finally figured out how to substitute those elusive fruits and now feel like I’m winning at life—or at least breakfast.

Until then, stay on your toes!

Simply Real Health Cookbook ($39.95)

Simply Real Health Free 3-Day Sample Spring Meal Plan