This week was a big deal for me. Wednesday marked an entire decade since I left my old banking job in the city, and started Lovefit!
Although I didn’t take on my first paying client until August 2008, and didn’t officially launch until the October, I always see 18.07.08 as the birth of Lovefit. It was the day I walked away from a steady pay cheque, private health care, a pension scheme, sick pay, maternity pay, and pointless meetings. It was the day I decided to do something a tad radical and go out completely on my own in a completely foreign industry. It was the day I likely avoided a second nervous breakdown before reaching my 30s.
Over the past 10 years my business has seen some fairly radical changes, and in other ways much has stayed the same.
I was looking back through old lesson plans from when I first started out, and found myself cringing slightly. The tens of thousands of pounds invested in education has certainly been worth it! I also flicked through old client lists and forgot that when I started out, about 75% of my clients were men. Now Y chromosomes are strictly off limits (sorry guys!), and most of my clients are pre- and postnatal women. I started off travelling to clients’ homes, and now only do 1-1 sessions at my home studio. I started off on my own, built up to having a full-time trainer, an admin assistant, and two class instructors by 2014, and then came back to just me last year.
As with all things in life, there have been ups and downs, tears and laughter. Oh the stories I could tell! I’ll tell you these two: Many moons ago, one client did a pregnancy test in my loo (unbeknown to me) and I was the first to know her exciting news. On another occasion, I was out walking with an older client and it started to rain. She didn’t want to get wet, so after loitering in a pub doorway for a while, she called us a cab! Needless to say, times have definitely changed.
Highlights from the past 10 years include:
– The amazing community and friendships forged within my pre and postnatal groups. I love how the women have become really good friends, and it’s nice to feel like Lovefit enabled that.
– Doing the StrongFirst certification. Incredibly tough, but truly memorable.
– Working with a client who is now around 6 stone lighter, and still moving in the right direction.
– Completing Spartan race with a bunch of brilliant women, and laughing so hard.
– Appearing on local radio (and Australian radio!) a few times.
– Meeting all the little babies, having known them first as bumps.
– The annual Woman on Fire conference I attend; getting to learn heaps and hang out with women serving women.
I have been lucky enough to be educated and mentored by some incredible people, so a huge thank you to Jenny, James, Kaisa, Charlie and Dax, who have all been instrumental in different ways at various points along my journey. Some of you haven’t been able to get rid of me yet 🙂
And a MAHOOSIVE thank you to each and every one of you. For reading this, and my previous ramblings. For trusting me, joining me, laughing with me, and sharing your stories. I had no idea what to expect when I started this business. I promised myself I’d just go with it, and here I am: 10 years later, still standing, and pretty proud to be doing what I’m doing.
Finally, we all have to take a moment to thank my husband, without whom, Lovefit (and I) would have crumbled. He is my sounding board, my tech support, my biggest supporter. There’s no way I’d have made a decade in business without his help behind the scenes. All hail Martin!
As for the next 10 years… Well, I have a few things up my sleeve. Lovefit isn’t going anywhere, and I’ll be introducing a barre class in the autumn and a major new offering by next summer, once I have up-skilled!