3 Min ReadCareer 20 April 2020
Resiliency During COVID-19
I wasn't too surprised when I saw my mentor, Julia Pimsleur, flooding my inbox with her annual, Million Dollar Women Summit invitations. How could I be? Julia Pimsleur prides herself on her mission of "closing the financial gender gap by helping one million get to one million in revenues."
So I should have never thought that her drive would all of the sudden disappear during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even now, she has that same determined, creative army of women that are living out the phrase, "the show must go on!" This is the underlying power that the Million Dollar Women organization brings — to overcome any boundary in business and thrive while doing it.
For years, Julia Pimsleur reminds all entrepreneurs that, "Only 3% of women entrepreneurs reach $1M in revenue — we can change this in the next few years if we remove the obstacles for ambitious female founders. The summit will help women scale up their businesses faster by helping them round out their business skills and providing access to women who have already crossed the million-dollar mark and want to help others do the same." But even now, Julia has had to change her original teaching practices. But nothing, not even a global pandemic, can stop her and this summit from bringing women the knowledge they need.
My Experience With Million Dollar Women
The biggest takeaway I had when I attended the MDW Summit in April 2018 was adopting the mindset to "Go Big." Although this is a crucial part of scaling your business, I've noticed in my own and other women's lives, that we tend to develop a "do it yourself" attitude. Over the years of working with Julia personally, being a Masterclass Graduate, and immersing myself in different industries — I see the power of optimizing and outsourcing. The best part, in my experience, about the Million Dollar Women Summit and Masterclass, was the variety of female founders you can meet. I am still in touch with women I met in April 2018 and have been able to collaborate with a number of them in very different ways. This community has been a driving force for me in meeting new networks, learning new ways to delegate, and learning how to find funding for any type of business. More importantly, many members of these female founders are my friends. Surrounding myself with like-minded individuals, and people with a driven mindset not only inspires me but bring out the best in myself and my work.
Attendees leave equipped with a huge array of key learnings, so much so that we can almost completely bypass all the mistakes that entrepreneurs before us have made. From learning how to get your customers to come to you to fundraising like a pro, this conference is supplying ample opportunities to use the current down-time to scale your business. It is priceless.
Joining The CommunityDuring this dark time, although not every day has been productive, I have found light in connecting with other determined female entrepreneurs. The anxiety, guilt, and sadness of a pandemic that all of us are facing, is a new situation to navigate. Now, more than ever, the need for social interaction is a form of self-care. And, if you're anything like me, using this time to be productive in business is another form of self-care. That's why I encourage all female founders to be #BigBoldBrave during this time and join a community that has elevated me as an entrepreneur in so many ways. You can register here.
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Sometimes it takes falling to rock bottom in order to be built back up again. I learned this many years ago when the life I'd carefully built for myself and my family suddenly changed. But in those times, you learn to lean on those who love you – a friend, family member or someone who can relate to what you've been through. I was lucky enough to have two incredible women help me through one of my lowest moments. They taught me to love myself and inspired me to pass on their lessons each da
If it weren't for the empowering women who stepped up and brought fitness back into my life, I wouldn't be standing – in the door of my own business – today.
In 2010, I was a wife, a mother of three, and had filtered in and out of jobs depending on what my family needed from me. At different points in my career, I've worked in the corporate world, been a stay-at-home mom, and even started my own daycare center. Fitness has always been a part of my life, but at that point being a mom was my main priority. Then, life threw a curveball. My husband and I separated, leading to a very difficult divorce.
These were difficult times. I lost myself in the uncertainty of my future and the stress that comes with a divorce and found myself battling anorexia. Over a matter of months, I lost 40 lbs. and felt surrounded by darkness. I was no longer participating in my health and all efforts to stay active came to a halt. I didn't want to leave my home, I didn't' want to talk to people, and I really did not want to see men. Seeing my struggles, first my sister and then a friend, approached me and invited me to visit the gym.
After months of avoiding it, my sister started taking me to the gym right before closing when it wasn't too busy. We started slow, on the elliptical or the treadmill. This routine got me out of the house and slowly we worked to regain my strength and my self-esteem. When my sister moved away, my good friend and personal trainer started working out with me one-on-one early in the morning, taking time out of her busy schedule to keep me on track toward living a healthy life once again. Even when I didn't want to leave the house, she would encourage me to push myself and I knew I didn't want to let her down. She helped me every step of the way. My sister and my friend brought fitness back into my everyday routine. They saved my life.
I began to rely on fitness, as well as faith, to help me feel like myself again. My friend has since moved away, but, these two women made me feel loved, confident and strong with their empowerment and commitment to me. They made such an incredible impact on me; I knew I needed to pay it forward. I wanted to have the same impact on women in my community. I started by doing little things, like running with a woman who just had a baby to keep her inspired and let her know she's not alone. I made sure not to skip my regular runs, just in case there was a woman watching who needed the inspiration to keep going. These small steps of paying it forward helped me find purpose and belonging. This gave me a new mentality that put me on a path to the opportunity of a lifetime – opening a women's only kickboxing gym, 30 Minute Hit.
About four years ago, I was officially an empty nester. It was time to get myself out of the house too and find what I was truly passionate about, which is easier said than done. Sitting behind a desk, in a cubicle, simply didn't cut it. It was hard to go from an active and chaotic schedule to a very slow paced, uneventful work week. I felt sluggish. Even when I moved to another company where I got to plan events and travel, it was enjoyable, but not fulfilling. I wanted to be a source of comfort to those struggling, as my sister and dear friend had been to me. I wanted to impact others in a way that couldn't be done from behind a desk.
I began to rely on fitness, as well as faith, to help me feel like myself again.
When I heard about 30 Minute Hit, I was nervous to take the leap. But the more I learned about the concept, the more I knew it was the perfect fit for me. Opening my own gym where women can come to let go of their struggles, rely on one another and meet new people is the best way for me to pass on the lessons I learned during my darkest times.
Kickboxing is empowering in itself. Add to it a high energy, female-only environment, and you have yourself a powerhouse! The 30 Minute Hit concept is franchised all over North America, acting as a source of release for women who are just trying to get through their day. I see women of all ages come into my gym, kick the heck out of a punching bag and leave with a smile on their face, often times alongside a new friend. 30 Minute Hit offers a convenient schedule for all women, from busy moms to working women, to students and senior citizens. A schedule-free model allows members to come in whenever they have a free half hour to dedicate to themselves. Offering certified training in kickboxing and a safe environment to let go, 30 Minute Hit is the place for women empowerment and personal growth.
Through my journey, I have learned that everyone is going through something – everyone is on their own path. My motivating factor is knowing that I can touch people's lives everyday just by creating the space for encouragement and community. It's so easy to show people you care. That's the type of environment my team, clients and myself have worked hard to create at our 30 Minute Hit location.
Fitness saved my life. If it weren't for the empowering women who stepped up and brought fitness back into my life, I wouldn't be standing – in the door of my own business – today. The perfect example of women empowering women – the foundation to invincibility.
This article was originally published September 12, 2019.