Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?Once I’ve done the school run, I check my emails and respond to anything urgent. Then I check my Social Media accounts, respond to any comments/queries, share any blogs/articles or class information and spend a bit of time engaging with my students.
I then check to see what workload I have that day (I’m doing Housework and keeping my two year old amused during all this), respond to requests for work, articles (I write a Health and Fitness column for my local paper), oh and I am continually studying so I’m usually checking/completing coursework at the same time!
I make sure dinner is sorted for the family for that evening, pick up my daughter from school, feed the kids, then I go to class when my husband gets home (I teach 5 classes a week, sometimes more if one of my team need cover or I’ve been asked to do an Ice Breaker/Team Building exercise.
What made you start the business and how did you get started?
I’ve always been fairly active from an early age, I did Martial Arts as a child (I was the youngest female black belt in my area), and then I moved into Salsa at the age of 22, that’s how I came across Zumba (at the age of 32), through two of my students!
I started teaching Zumba alongside my day Job (I worked in Human Resources for a large Auditing company), then when I had my daughter, I handed in my notice and started teaching Zumba as my main job. I progressed into teaching different formats and eventually became a fully-fledged Fitness Instructor in 2013.
I had previously gone under the name of Zumba Central but that didn’t really work anymore as I taught different formats. I started Cardio Central in 2013, as I wanted to teach more fitness classes and diversify.
What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date?
There’s so many to choose from! In addition to teaching Fitness classes, I’m also an events promoter and I successfully ran (along with my husband and my team) one of the largest Dance Fitness events in the UK to date (we had over 800 people in attendance). That was such an incredible day, one that I’ll never forget!
What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?
Finding out what works and maximising on it! I’ve taught classes that have been dying an absolute death but I’ve had a few loyal students and so I’ve continued them on, despite losing money!
I’m happy to say that I no longer run my business like that! I have a very good eye for what is new/upcoming in the industry, I’m also very well respected and so I get to try things before a lot of other people know about them!
What are your future plans for the business?
I want to move more into a Train the Trainer role and run/create courses for the Fitness Industry. I’ve trained instructors and written programs for other brands and now its time to do it for myself!
I have a Tutor qualification (I did PTTLS years ago) and I have a lot of Fitness qualifications, I am very big on continuous development and I am always researching/studying something Fitness based!
It’s the next step for me, a natural progression so to speak.
If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
I wish I’d started 10 years earlier!
That’s is seriously the only thing, as I believe your mistakes can make you stronger/more successful than your achievements!
Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams?
Because it’s really hard to make it/be taken seriously when you are a woman in the Dance/Fitness Industry!
When I started out, it was extremely difficult to make it as a female dance instructor, it was a very male dominated arena (still is really), then I became a DJ, again it was extremely difficult! I had to fight to get bookings, it just made me more determined though!
This vein continued throughout my dance career, when I became a promoter, I experienced some real egos/backlash/negativity from some of the male artists. At the same time, a lot of the people I admired and respected gave me some great advice, which helped in my career.
I would encourage anyone to follow their dreams, irrespective of what others think, my mom is my biggest fan, she has always encouraged me, supported every venture and given me a (virtual) slap when I’ve started to doubt myself.
She’s one of the strongest women I know and I want to be exactly the same for my daughter. I have to set an example for her, I also need to show my son that women can be just as successful.
What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?
Get as much training as you can, network as much as possible and be prepared to work for free sometimes to gain experience!
I did (and still do) all of those things and it got me to where I am today!
What or who inspires you in business and why?
There’s a lady called Rachel Holmes, she runs a company called Choreography to Go, she also runs a weight loss program called Kick Start Fat Loss which has Instructors world wide, she is amazing! She’s a strong, hard working woman who is not afraid to do exactly what she sets out to do!
I attended a seminar with her a couple of years ago and she encouraged me to Blog, fast forward two years and we are friends and she is very supportive, even though she is ridiculously busy!
If I am half as successful as she has been throughout her career, I’ll be happy!
It has to be ‘Carpe Diem – Seize the Day’! You only get one life and its important that you grab it by both hands and do as much as you can with it!
Fitness Class Website: www.cardiocentral.co.uk
Blogs: www.thehealthcarpenter.co.uk www.themummytrainer.co.uk