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What is your business & why that field / service/ product?

My business is called Fit Like a Girl.  I am a certified personal trainer and I help my clients who have been left frustrated with their weight loss and fitness goals create healthy, sustainable habits and reach their goals while feeling confident and badass at the same time.  

My mission with Fit Like a Girl is to break stereotypes of what it means for a woman to be “fit”; I want women to know that we can still be sexy and feel pretty while being strong and total badasses!

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Photo by Jeffery Kelly

What inspired you to start your own business?

I initially did not set out to become a self employed business owner.  

I started Fit Like a Girl as a blog and Facebook page for my own accountability for my own fitness journey where I discovered weight lifting and I loved how I felt stronger and more confident.  

I obtained my personal training certification in 2016 as a way to help my friends with their fitness goals and learn more about working out.  Fit Like a Girl became my “side hustle” along with my full time career as a veterinary technician. Over the course of 2017, I discovered I had a strong passion for what I was doing and loved helping others with their fitness and health goals.  So I worked like a mad woman to take on personal training full time in the early months of this year, I took that leap of faith and I’m not looking back!

 

Do you have a go to quote / motto?

I have several quotes that help keep me going and I repeat to myself all the time.  My favourite is one I just found online: “beautiful girl, you’re meant to do hard things so believe in yourself”.  When I feel like I am overwhelmed, I just remember it’s not supposed to be easy but I can handle it.  

I do also have a quote for my business that I have turned into a hashtag and include in my business logo which is “Live, Train, Love & Fight”  It was my motivation when I was starting my business, in my martial arts training and when I was going through my multiple knee injuries and surgeries over the past three years.  

I want to have each of my clients find their own meaning in this phrase, but what it means for me:

Live is to live your life to the fullest and live without regrets.  Living so that you don’t look back one day and wish you’ve done more.  

Train is in reference to learning and growing as a person as well as working out and enhancing fitness.  

Love means to love your life, your body and yourself.  Love yourself no matter how you look or where you are at on your own life and fitness journey.

Fight refers to fighting for your rights, fighting for your goals, fighting disease and bad habits.

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What’s a personal goal of yours to accomplish? 

I have so many personal goals it’s hard to pick just one!  One that always stands out for me is to go back to competing in martial arts, specifically Ju Jitsu.  I suffered through some bad knee injuries and had two surgeries over the past three years. I have had bilateral ACL reconstruction in September 2016 and then a meniscus surgery this past March that have sidelined my martial arts training and competing.  I am slowly coming back to training, but I’d love to feel the rush of competition again and give myself something to train for.

 

Do you have a professional goal or set of goals for your business?

Again, so many goals I want to accomplish!  For my clients, I want to help them achieve their health and fitness goals, whether that be losing 5, 20, or 50lbs, improving their health, having a better relationship with food, making healthier choices, feeling less achy and painful, whatever those goals may be.  I also want to help them find their confidence. I want to help them feel unstoppable, strong and sexy. I want to break down the barriers of women in fitness and help women know that we are strong, both mentally and physically.

 

Why do you love being an entrepreneur?

I still have a hard time classifying myself as an entrepreneur!  I recently had a friend say something about me owning my own company and I remember saying “well not really” it was just a knee-jerk reaction and she looked me and said, “well what the hell do you call it when you have your own business with a company name?!” I laughed and said she was right, I just never really thought about myself as a entrepreneur or the “owner of a company”.

But what I love the most about owning my own business is that I am in charge, haha!  I love to make my own schedule, even if it means I am busier than I want to be, I know that I made myself busy and that something to be excited about.

 I love being able to form family-like relationships with my clients and being there for each step of the way in their journey.  I laugh with them, I cry with them, I celebrate each win with them. Many may think I am just a personal trainer, but I find there’s  so much more to it than that. I am really in the business of transforming not only their bodies, but their minds and life.

 

Did you ever have a time where you wanted to give up? How did you overcome that feeling?

I am still what I could classify myself as a “self employed infant”, because I am still so new to all of this so there is so much I have to learn and struggle through.  I do classify myself as a determined (some would call stubborn and controlling haha) person and I refuse to give up. That being said there are times when I think to myself, “I have no clue what I am doing, I have no idea what it means to be a business owner”  But I just put on some of my best boss babe music (I mean, that’s why Beyonce exists right?!) and write lists like a mad woman to figure out whatever problem is in front of me.

 

What’s your best boss babe moment? 

When I first started having people come to me for advice.  Whether that was just to ask some fitness and health related question or when I had people seek me out to train them.  The best moments for me are referrals. When I have one of my clients say they referred me to a friend or coworker because they love working with me, I’ll think I must be doing something right.  

What platform do you find most success / interaction from?

I find Instagram (@fitlikeagirl.ca) and Facebook (facebook.com/fitlikeagirlca).  I am slowly trying to understand the algorithms and keep up with the changes. I would like to build up my website and blog more.  

 

Work-life Balance: What you do you do to destress? What is your must-have moment of the day?

Since I am still a newbie at being a business owner, I am still working out the kinks of a work/life balance.  Since I work mostly in the evenings, it can get hard during the week to spend valuable time with my husband, but when I get home in the evenings, even if it’s late, I try to spend as much time with him as I can and turn “off” work mode.  

I also love to be outdoors and try to escape to the mountains whenever I can.  This past summer, we went several times to the mountains for hiking, camping, backpacking, etc.  I enjoy being able to work my schedule out so I can take the time to head to the mountains, be without cell service and just adventure with my husband and friends.  

For de-stressing, I make sure I squeeze in my own workouts and keep up with my fitness.  Whether it’s in the morning or between clients, I put on my headphones and try to focus on myself for even just 45 minutes.  I also have been making more of an effort to prioritize my martial arts training, so I try to go to classes when I can and focus on improving my skills.

What are you looking to learn from other YEGBOSSBABES in the Community?

Anything I can!  I love meeting other badass business ladies and hearing their experiences and knowing I am not alone in this crazy journey of owning a business.  

 

Find Jackie on Instagram or on her website.

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Photo credit desilesphotography

Officially, I am a Registered Acupuncturist and Traditional Chinese Medical Doctor, specializing in sexual and reproductive health. Unofficially, I sit with people and try to sort through the messiness, and intricacies, of being human haha. I guess you could say I’ve always been drawn to human sexuality and sexual health, I noticed very early on how crucial our sexuality is and how much it contributes to our over health and well-being. Just like our Mental Health is an important focus and can tell you a lot about what is going on for a person, the same applies to how we go about our sexual health and how we view it.

I have always been fascinated with entrepreneurship and the business side of things. I was that typical kid that never liked being told what to do and had to figure it out myself (sorry Mom lol). I think as human beings we crave creation and creating things in our life and my job just so happened to be something that I wanted to create for myself.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: “Expansion is NOT linear”. I constantly have to remind myself of this quote, along with many of my clients. When it comes to growth and creating, (a business / family / art etc) the process has a natural expansion and contraction to it. Sometimes it feels like you’re killing it and others it feels like you’re taking two steps back but in the bigger picture you’re growing.

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Photo credit desilesphotography

In order to grow, I definitely set a lot of goals for myself. Goal Setter! (for all my Lululemon crew out there haha). A big one I’m in the middle of is launching a project that I have been working on for a very long time. It’s my Soul Project and it involves a lot of beautiful people so there is a lot at stake. With launching it, I want it to have a global impact in the realm of Sexuality. How people view it, what they know about it (for themselves and sexuality as whole) and how it is spoken about. Who knows, after that maybe books, talk shows, speaking engagements, workshops. sky’s the limit ! =)

That’s what I love about being an entrepreneur, there is really no limit to what you can create. I love that I am really in control of what I get out of my business. I have no one else to blame if things go wrong, but that means I am always the solution as well. It can be scary but so empowering and rewarding.

Although it is rewarding, there were SO many times I wanted to give up! Haha, ALL THE
TIME. In school there was more times than I could count and when I first started practicing, I questioned myself constantly. I haven’t had that feeling in a while though. It gets hard and some of the remedial tasks are daunting but the pay off far outweighs that.

The only way I got through it, honestly, was to keep going. There was no other option than to keep going. I also recognized early on (thanks to my development training that I got a chance to have while working at Lululemon for years) that I had this story about me not finishing things. Once I recognized that, I was able to see when I was wanting to quit because I was scared. I had to experience what it was like to go through something difficult and get through it. I had to see the other side. Everything you desire is on the other side of that discomfort you experience.

If I never kept going I wouldn’t have the cool, boss babe moments that I have. Like when I got my first full week of bookings and I started a waitlist for clients to get in to see me. As a practitioner that is a huge feat, and something that a lot of us strive for. I achieved that relatively early on after school and that was very rewarding for me.

As a practitioner, getting your name out there is an important focus and my website has been a great way to do that. Just like Instagram, it’s great because it gives me an opportunity to give information, resources for people, advertise, and educate. . It’s a fascinating little business tool.

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Photo credit desilesphotography

With being in the health and wellness industry we talk a lot about “work-life Balance” and I have a slightly controversial view on it. I think the concept is talked about a lot but not really understood. I also think in this day in age we glamorize being “busy” (or “grinding” haha). With being an entrepreneur a lot of my “down time” is spent on developing myself and my business. To be honest, if I didn’t do that I wouldn’t be able to grow the way I have and at the speed that I have. It takes a lot of work to develop a business and a brand and that’s not always balanced. I am just now at a point where I can begin to adjust my schedule to something more centred around myself and take my personal time into account. If I demanded that straight out the gate, I would not be where I am. A lot of practitioners come straight out of school and have a sense of entitlement – they think they should get paid a top wage, have a clinic give them clients, all the while working 3-4 days a week with hours that work for them. Balance is not a perfect straight line, it is crooked and in the bigger picture it ends up being balanced. Sometimes you have to sacrifice areas of comfort in order to accomplish something bigger than you imagined you could. With that being said, I’ve noticed the importance of self awareness, if I know my patterns that show up when I am under higher levels of stress then I know I need to balance it out with things that fulfill me (ie: gym, time with family/partner, mindless television, nature, journalling, budgeting, creating etc).

I’m really excited to learn from and see what other YEG Boss Babes are up to and see their growth. I want to see how women view themselves in roles that would typically be male dominated. I think women have a vast array of qualities and seeing how they apply those to success in business is so cool to me. If one of us wins, we all win.

Find Nicole on Instagram or on her website

 

We are so happy to have been given this opportunity to collaborate with one of the newest event venues in the Edmonton area, The Whitewood Barn. This venue is unbelievably beautiful and is unique to the area. Owner, Chris Rickie, is a huge supporter of our community and we could not have been more spoiled by her hospitality. This Fall Market was a huge undertaking and was made so successful by our giving community and two of our co-founders, Amy Bender & Kayla Kaliszuk. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to make this our most successful Market yet with over 900 RSVP’d customers.

Thank you to everyone who attended, and we are excited to plan more Markets in the Edmonton area in 2019!

For more information about The Whitewood Barn, click here