(Hey Chicks, We love sharing our story, struggles and triumphs with other peeps in the industry to help them create their dream careers too. Recently we were asked by Kyle from the awesome website bootcampideas.com to share about how we started FIT CHICKS and what led us to develop our awesome 200hr Fitness & Nutrition Expert Program with the goal to inspire his readers to take the plunge and follow their fitness passions. Check it out below…Happy Reading! Laura xo)
SPECIAL POST: I ignored my Dad & built the largest female fitness company in Canada
I still remember the day I told my Dad that I was leaving my corporate job in International Marketing to pursue a career in fitness.
I was 29 years old, climbing the ladder and had a million opportunities ahead of me. My dad basically told me that I was insane and that I would never be able to make any money much less a career teaching women how to get their sweat on.
He said I was in for a big struggle ahead.
But I knew the corporate road was not my path. After my own personal health makeover including a total overhaul in fitness, nutrition & wellness that completely changed me (at my highest weight I hit 200lbs, smoked, drank and battled with an eating disorder & anxiety), I knew the power of taking accountability for your choices could change your ENTIRE life – inside & out.
And I wanted to bring that to others.
Before: Almost 200lbs, smoking, drinking and very sad
Fast forward to 7 years later. With my business partner Amanda (or what I like to call my co head chick!), we have taken our company, FIT CHICKS, from starting in Toronto with 7 women to becoming the largest female only fitness company in Canada with over 20 locations, created a “Top Seller” DVD program on The Shopping Channel, run continually sold out weekend fitness retreats, have a television show called “Shape Up with FIT CHICKS” and named 2015 Top 3 Fitness Professionals in Canada by Can Fit Pro. All while helping thousands of women creating the health, body and life they deserve.
I wish I could tell you it was easy to grow the business but I would be lying.
It was A LOT of trial and error.
A ton of sleepless nights.
And a LOAD of money trying to guide my way through learning the ins & outs of the industry (plus all the certifications to get fitness, nutrition, wellness and business educations And to be honest, most of them sucked!).
So pumped to be named Top 3 Fitness Professional of 2015!
We knew a lot of our fellow fitness peeps were experiencing the same struggles. And last year it got even worse.
We started seeing many talented women throwing in the towel without any idea how to start or grow in the fitness business or support.
At the same time we began receiving email after email from instructors, potential health professionals or chicks want to start in the industry asking for our help.
Their questions ranged from how to design & teach packed classes to building online training programs. From how to create REAL and effective nutrition programs that worked to implementing wellness techniques for our stressed out peeps.
And the question we got asked the most…”how did you build a successful business AND how can I do it too.”
Competing in my first fitness fitness competition
It was so frustrating as we wanted to give them a solution but the only courses out there were weekend program in select locations or 2 years college degree. These courses were all expensive, time consuming and in locations that didn’t work for everyone.
Not 1 course included all aspects of health (fitness, nutrition and wellness) and more importantly, after completing the course they went out into the world without confidence or support.
Then I had my A-HA moment.
Listening to them talk, that moment came back when my Dad told me that I was crazy for pursuing this dream and how much time, energy and money went into building my business. How looking back, I can’t believe I kept going and wished that someone had been there to show me the way.
Like building our first bootcamp, I knew if there wasn’t this type of guidance and program out there then FIT CHICKS had to create it.
Love getting to spread the healthy love with my bestie, Amanda
Talking to Amanda, we got FIRED up (we call this when the chick power kicks in and you can’t fight it once it starts:).
Using our 20 years of expertise in fitness, nutrition, yoga, wellness & business, we decided we wanted to create a program like NO OTHER out there.
One that was versed in ALL aspects: fitness, nutrition, wellness and business.
That not only would create a truly unique fitness professional BUT would also teach how to create a fierce, profitable business while getting clients the best results like we did.
Because the truth is to succeed in this business and in healthy living, you have to approach it from all angles. Times have changed and for you to stand out, you have to change with it.
In April 2015, we our launched our first 200hr Fitness & Nutrition Expert certification to an amazing response. Taught live online, we have students from around the globe building the careers of their dreams right from their living rooms.
This program is truly the shining moment of my career to be a part of these chicks’ road to success!
To be honest, there is no certification of this kind in the industry. This is not just a fitness or nutrition course; it is a total body, life changing journey – inside and out.
What makes its truly unique and different is it focuses on ALL aspects of health.
You will have the edge on all trainers in the industry as you can counsel on fitness, nutrition & wellness AND will have the skills to market & build a successful business (aka more clients!).
You are not just going to learn the info in class but you are going APPLY and practice what we cover – leaving this course with the skills, experience confidence to be a leading fitness rock star!
So yes, while my dad was right that at times it was a “struggle”, it was the best learning I ever had.
And after 7 years, FIT CHICKS is still thriving, growing, creating and teaching others to do the same. The ups and downs have been amazing lessons that I can now give to others on what to & what NOT to do. That will save others SO much time, money and energy. And to be able to help create amazing careers for women around the world.
My monthly fun on CTV Morning!
Morale of the story: If you are looking to change your path, go for it. Surround yourself with the right people who are creating what YOU want and learn from them. Forget the nay-sayers. Take action. Be fierce. There are huge thing things ahead for you if you go after them. Oh and don’t listen to your Dad :)
Laura Jackson is Co Founder / Head Chick of FIT CHICKS, the largest women’s only fitness company in Canada. With a focus on fierce fitness for ALL women, FIT CHICKS offers 8 week award winning boot camp style programs at over 20 locations as well as weekend health retreats and at home DVD programs. Since its launch in 2008, FIT CHICKS has helped thousands of women get fit and fierce.
Certified Personal Trainer, IDFA Fitness Competitor, Culinary Nutrition Expert and Holistic Nutritionist, Laura is the TV Host of “Shape Up with FIT CHICKS” on Rogers TV. She is also a fitness and nutrition contributor to national publications and TV Shows such as The Huffington Post, National Post, Breakfast Television and CTV Morning Live as well as a health blogger for The Calgary Herald.
Laura’s passion & commitment to women’s health has also earned her the title as 2015 Top 3 Fitness Professionals in Canada by Can FIT Pro and 2013 Stevie Award for Women in Business – Health & Wellness Company of the Year.
Laura will continue her mission of getting women pumped about health on Season 9 of CBC’s Dragon’s Den, bringing FIT CHICKS “Fierce In 8″ DVD programs to The Shopping Channel in Jan 2015 and the internationally recognized Fitness & Nutrition Expert certification program for female fitness professionals.
For more info on Laura and FIT CHICKS, visit www.fitchicks.ca.