October 9, 2014
At a Glance
Bio The path that led her to this point
My journey to starting my own business has been anything but linear. A once inactive (read: lazy) person, if you told me five years ago that I would become qualified fitness professional I would have never believed you. With a now-redundant degree in International Studies, I once saw myself bound for diplomacy or humanitarian aid...
While I loved every second of my undergraduate degree (a major in languages, a compulsory exchange program and numerous volunteering opportunities), upon commencement of a Master of Development Studies, I became disenchanted with the industry and came to realise that this was not the right path for me.
I knew two things: I wanted to help people on a personal, grassroots level, and I could not settle for a job that I wasn't passionate about.
It was around this time that I discovered pole dancing.
With absolutely no fitness background (I had never even been to a gym before), I had found a form of exercise I loved.
Once I discovered what my body was capable of, I couldn't get enough.
It was amazing to find a way to love exercise and I felt so amazing I was finally looking after myself.
After years of health problems and low energy, for the first time in my life I felt like I was capable of anything and nothing could hold me back.
When I was asked to become an instructor, I realised how much I enjoyed teaching and inspiring others to take control of their health and stop settling for anything less than a truly passionate, and exciting life.
This led me to become a personal trainer, however I knew very early on that fitness alone was not the answer.
My studies in wellness coaching helped me realise that superficial goals do not make for long term results. With a naturally curious mind I began to delve deeper into understanding our motivations and the importance of mindset.
I researched studies in positive psychology, psychoneuroimmunology and cognitive behaviour therapy and discovered a revolutionary link between confidence and health, which is now at the core of all the work I do with my clients.
Q&A Insider advice & tips
What's been your greatest achievement to date?
Learning to understand and accept myself.
Friends, family and pressure from society can often make us feel we need to be a certain way. Taking the risk of going against the norm to discover myself for who I really was, not who I thought I was supposed to be, was the most beneficial decision I have ever made.
What's been your biggest challenge so far?
I often feel like I am a deep person in a shallow industry. In an era of #fitspo, I have had to be creative to get my message out there, instead of resorting to taking my clothes off and assuming people will want to look like me.
I never want to shame people into exercising.
Best lesson you've learned along the way?
Patience. I'm very ambitious and motivated, however with a deeper message like mine, I have had to learn to be patient.
By being authentic and true to myself and my message, people are able to really relate to me and this is how I am able to make the most difference in people's lives.
A website, book or resource that has helped you in your business or inspired you and why?
The only person who hasn't jumped on the Apple bandwagon, I love the convenience of my Chromebook.
It is light, allowing me to work from anywhere, and it syncs to all my other Google devices, meaning I can write programs for my clients while sitting at my desk, and view them on my phone or tablet while in session.
A book that has had a profound impact on me is The Element, by Ken Robinson.
The Element is about finding your passion and using your natural talents for fulfilment.
Understanding how these two things connect is essential for anyone starting or running their own business, as passion is crucial to success. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a bit of inspiration, or wanting to reconnect with their original purpose.
Which person or brand do you most admire and why?
I have always admired Jane Goodall due to our mutual love and passion for the welfare of the great apes and other animals. However I also look up to her determination and courage, going against the norm and making the brave decision to follow her passion despite the challenges she faced.
What advice would you give someone starting an independent business in your industry?
Be authentic. As the fitness and wellness industries continue to grow, there are new fitness experts and health bloggers everywhere.
If you are true to yourself, your audience and clients will be able to connect with you and your message. Always have the best interests of your clients at heart - they will be able to tell if you don't.
Finish this sentence
Everything changed for me when…
I stepped out of my comfort zone.
Signing up to a volunteer program overseas, quitting a corporate job to start a blog, moving to a country where I didn't speak the language - all of these things challenged me and put my in situations where I felt scared, helpless and close to giving up. However each time I pushed through, I became stronger, more resilient and learnt priceless lessons along the way.
I now will never not do something just because it scares me. I know that to be constantly evolving and moving forward I need to step out of my comfort zone, and I have learned to love the challenge.