It’s kind of hard to believe that it has been seven years since Dragonfly began, basically out of my car. I drove all over St. Louis that first year trying to make it work. I had a small list of clients and they were anywhere from Downtown to Town & Country to right back here in South City. What I was doing didn’t make a lot of sense, but it propelled me forward and gave me the courage to keep trying. I’ve learned a whole buncha stuff in the past seven years, and quite a lot in just the past few years. I thought I’d share a few with you and they aren’t exactly things I expected to learn from owning a fitness business.
Speaking of fitness business…
#1 I’m actually not in the fitness business. When people ask me what I do I should say, I’m in the business of giving a shit…about people’s health, about their happiness, about how they feel about themselves, about what they are doing in the world, about all of it. I care about giving people more than they expect and providing them with a place of inspiration (not just perspiration). I care about every single member that walks through our doors. And it’s not just me, but all of us here. Our team. We know when our members get married, get divorced, when their dog dies, when they lose their job, when they get a promotion, when they’re in an accident, their struggles and their joys. Why? Well, you know…we give a…we care!!
Y’all, find something and give a whole bunch of shits about it. It will give you purpose and meaning on the hard days.
#2 If you’re actually trying…you will screw up, over and over. You will screw up. You will feel like a fool. You will feel like the tiniest, dumbest person on Earth on occasion. (Or maybe that’s just me.) Wipe off the dirt. Wipe the tears. Put your ego aside. Fix it and learn from it. CARRY ON and don’t ever stop living from your heart.
You are actually trying my friend. Trust me, I have screwed up so much…and I will continue to do so because I’m just going to keep trying to get better.
#3 It’s ok to feel. Allow yourself to feel…and then figure out why. It’s completely ok to feel…sad, happy, whatever it is. I have a lot of feelings…sometimes all before breakfast! 😉 And not all sunshine and rainbows either. But I finally stopped worrying about and thinking something was wrong with me and just allowed myself to feel so I could move on. What I’m saying is don’t ignore your feelings…that doesn’t make them go away. Feel them, confront them, and hopefully that will help you to move past them and learn how to deal with them. And please know you are not alone. It’s very hard, but so is never dealing with them.
#4 Trust your gut. Let me say that again in case you glazed over it because you’ve heard it so many times. TRUST YOUR GUT and then act on it, quickly. I won’t ever ignore my gut feeling again.
#5 Be kind. Everyone is actually fighting battles you know nothing about. Everyone. This is a big one I keep learning more about. And it guides me to really strive to be a better person. Everyone struggles…me, you and even that person whose life looks perfect on social media. I’ve seen it. I’ve felt it. This is a reminder for all of us. We should always come from a place of kindness and understanding. We should give people the benefit of the doubt. It’s hard to do sometimes because…well, people. LOL. But it is the right thing to do. And not being kind takes so much energy!
#6 Don’t just fit in, belong. Community is everything here. When you ask our members what they love most about Dragonfly, honestly, it’s each other. It’s the community. (I think they like us too. 😉 )
Is that woo-woo? I don’t know, but it’s pretty awesome to watch our members meet one another, cheer each other on, find things in common, share some laughs and have their workout crew. They are all different, yet they belong. That’s special. It reminds me that I never want to fit in. I want to belong. I want to find my people.
And the last one. I’m taking a chance here by sharing this one with you.
#7 When you feel like quitting, remember why you started.
I thought about quitting last year. Not selling, not scaling back, just straight up closing. My lease was almost up and I had not signed a new one yet. Physically and mentally I felt really terrible. I was working way too much, not sleeping, and there were people, places and things draining my energy like I had never experienced before. I had no debt, so it would be a clean break and I would have one heckuva home gym. It made me really sad to think that in a time when I had been working hard on plans to grow that I was, for the first time, considering giving up instead. But I had to sit with that and consider it because I was really struggling. (And by the way, I feel comfortable sharing this with you now because that was in the past and because…#1, #2, #3, #4, #5 and #6!)
So, anyway…we did move into that bigger space and we now have around 200 members! 🙂 I’m really thankful for our wonderful members and awesome team. And I know there will always be tough times, but…I remembered why I started. And my WHY was bigger than all of those other things. When you feel like quitting, remember why you started.