Today we have a guest post from Laura Jackson of Fit Chicks telling us about how she left her stable job and started and grew her fitness business. I love reading stories like this about people pursuing something they love.
She also wants to tell you about the program she puts on every year for fit pros so make sure you read to the bottom to see what that is all about.
She introduces herself pretty well so I’ll let her take it away!
Deciding to ignore my Dad’s advice, I have built the largest female fitness company in Canada (and you can too!)
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 this was not my path. After my own personal health makeover including an 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 combining ALL of these aspects to change your ENTIRE life – inside & out. And I wanted to bring that to others.
Fast forward 7 years later. With my business partner (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.
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!).
We knew a lot of our fellow fitness peeps were experiencing the same struggles but last year 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, build online training programs, create nutrition programs & guides, implement wellness techniques to building a successful business. They were frustrated that the only courses out there were weekend program in select locations or 2 years college degree. They 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.
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.
I didn’t want that for these chicks (or for you!) I wanted them to be able to bring their passion for health to the world, build successful careers that they can support themselves and get the skills & confidence while being able to learn within their current lifestyle & pace.
So this year, we set a goal to make it happen. We wanted to help create a different kind of health professional. One that was versed in ALL aspects: fitness, nutrition, wellness and business. That could create a fierce, profitable business while getting clients the best results like we did. It was time to take our 20 years of expertise in fitness, nutrition, yoga, wellness & business and instead of training chicks, it was time to train the trainer.
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 now it’s time for you to stand out you have to change.
In April 2015, our launched our first 200hr Fitness & Nutrition Expert online certification to an amazing response. Taught live online, we have students from around the globe students 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.
Morale of the story:
If you are looking to change your path, go for it. Surround right people who are creating what you want and learn from them. Forge the nay-sayers. Take action. Be fierce. There are huge things ahead for you if you go after them. Oh and don’t always listen to your Dad 🙂
– Laura Jackson
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.
More Info on Fit Chicks Fitness and Nutrition Expert Program (for trainers)
The Fitness and Nutrition Expert is a complete and thorough professional 200hr certification program. It is broken down into 4 modules: fitness, nutrition, wellness and business. Please see attached brochure for full details and curriculum.
We have developed this certification due to the lack of “total health” certifications in the market (ie they focus on fitness only with no review of nutrition OR you get the cert but no skills how to apply in business). Please note there are no other health certification programs in the market comparable to the amount of information and training you will receive in this program in all 4 areas.This is not just a fitness or nutrition course. What makes it 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!).
Already certified? This program is created to enhance prior professional fitness and nutrition training or to serve as your introduction to this awesome field.
Upon leaving the program, you will receive the certification seal of “Fitness & Nutrition Expert”. The course is also accredited with Can Fit Pro so the fitness portion will be equivalent to receive the FIS certification upon application.
DATES & LOCATION
Dates: Sept 21 – Dec 9 2015
Location: Courses will be taught through an online learning platform. All classes will be taught live but taped for any chicks who miss a class.
The classes will be taught on Mon & Wed evenings and select Sundays. For the full class schedule and times, please see attached.
SAVE $500 when you register by Aug 14th!
Early Bird $1499 + HST (before Aug 14, 2015)
Reg Tuition – $1999 + HST (after Aug 14, 2015)
Referral disclaimer: In trying to be completely transparent I want to let you know if you are referred by me to this program, Bootcamp Ideas does get a portion of the sale. Kind of like how when a client refers a new client to you, you might give them some movie tickets or a gift voucher. That said, I am very picky and careful about the products I promote on this site, it’s why you only see a few products that aren’t mine, that come from trusted sources. I’ve looked through the Fit Chicks program and it is legit. I particularly like how it doesn’t stop at fitness and nutrition but also teaches you about the mindset and business skills you’ll need. An area that I feel a lot of programs lack or just gloss over quickly. Lastly, you should only sign up if you feel like this program will benefit you. Feel free to ask me or reach out to Laura or Amanda at Fit Chicks if you have any questions. – Kyle
Kyle Wood created Bootcamp Ideas in 2010 when he was hunting around on the internet for workout ideas. He ran a successful bootcamp in Victoria, Australia and spends his spare time managing this site, adventuring (or lazying) with his wife and find new ways to make bootcamps even better.