Launching a new business? From figuring out what you’ll offer to how you’ll market your work and serve clients and customers, the beginning can feel extra tough. Astrid Swan, a celebrity trainer based in Los Angeles, CA, recently talked with us about how ruthless starting up can be. “I’m often referred to a ‘B boss’ and I love it,” Astrid admits. “I’ve worked very hard to get to where I am today, and often without support. In an industry that is mostly male-dominated, I strive to be authentic to who I am so I can kick ass everyday.” Astrid shares the secrets that have helped her rise to the top while building her brand and biz.
Believe in yourself.
“It’s completely natural to feel nervous when building a business or doing something new, but I learned many years ago (in acting class) that energy is energy. Nerves give off energy, and you can channel that energy into confidence with just a switch in your mind,” Astrid proclaims. “There are so many quotes that speak to believing in yourself, and I read some every morning.” She goes on to say, “I have to believe in myself. When I train clients, I teach them the same thing. I can believe in them all day long, but I can only take them so far—ultimately, it’s on everyone to dig deep, just as I do.”
Hear the word no—and show up to the challenge.
“My industry, fitness, is male-dominated and I’ve heard ‘no’ more times than I can possibly count: ‘No, you can’t lift that weight.’ ‘No, you can’t train that client because he’s male.’ ‘No, you can’t teach at this time’,” Astrid explains. “But when I hear the word ‘no’, I show up for the challenge.” She says that her confidence and power comes down to knowing her strengths and believing that her training style always sees great results. “I know what I do, and I don’t accept the word no,” she says. Neither should you!
Be a forever student.
Astrid says the fact that she’s a forever student has made a huge difference as she’s grown her business. “I believe the best teachers are forever students,” she notes. “I continue my education every year. I love taking classes all around town, getting outside my comfort zone and learning from my peers.” Whether it’s a complimentary new skill, operations stuff, or a course that’ll advance your current knowledge, challenge yourself to do the same. It’s a great way to stay ahead of the curve.
Treat everyone with the same respect.
“I treat everyone equally, and truly appreciate everyone who works with me,” Astrid tells us. “Together we’re a team.” We agree that the best businesses are successful because people work together. “Help out wherever you can and never put yourself above anyone,” Astrid advises.
Be creative and be present.
Building a business requires intense focus and calls for lots of creativity! Astrid says that learning how to present and come up with fresh ideas have set her apart as she’s grown her client base and built a successful brand. “I never come to work without a plan, but I’m also able to be flexible,” she says. “I find ways to switch up the workout so no one gets bored and everyone feels challenged.” Are there ways you can add variety to your day or what you offer your clients? The newness will add an exciting vibe, every time.
Know your truth and forget about the rest.
“It’s unfortunate, but gossip seems to go around more when you’re doing well,” Astrid says. “If this happens to you, don’t let it get you down—remember winners focus on winning, and losers focus on winners.” She says that knowing her own truth and learning to let hurtful untruths roll off her shoulder has been a saving grace.
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