“I look back and all I can think is wow. If I would have gotten into the doctoral program that I had applied to, I would not have a business and there would be no personal training. There would not have been any of that. I am glad that God was able to redirect my path because I am so much more thankful for where I am now.”
Brianna and I have known each other since we were six years old. Our moms forced us all to be in a book club together, and once a month we would all get together to go over a book we read, and play and run around the house. Truth be told we did more running around the house than discussing of the book. But one thing for sure that I always remembered about Brianna is that basketball was her heart. She was the most athletic out of us all, and God forbid we all decided to race outside because she would win before we even started. The monthly book clubs may have faded as we got older and our schedules got busier, but one of the best things it gave us all were friendships that stood the test of time. Brianna and I have not talked in years – but from following and keeping up with each other on social media, I have been in awe of how she stepped out on faith to build her brand.
You don’t always know how things will turn out until you try.
“After I graduated from Point University I was on track to pursue my doctorate in physical therapy. But after two attempts, two years of trying I did not get in. I decided to go an alternate route and go get my master’s first in food and nutritional sciences, THEN go back to get my doctoral degree. However soon into my master’s degree program, I realized that the nutritional sciences route was not really what I wanted to do. I had received my personal training certification before I started my master’s degree, and in September 2019 I started thinking about the business I want to create and what steps I needed to take. My goal for my brand, J Flexx Fitness, was to launch in December – but then school got crazy. Things in my personal life got crazy, and I was not on track to launch when I wanted to. But on Christmas day 2019, I decided to go ahead and launch it and make corrections and adjustments as I went. Here we are now, I’m building my brand day by day, training virtually due to the virus, and on track to be self-employed within a year.”
Where do you begin?
Launching a business, in any industry can be extremely overwhelming. It can be impossible to feel like you are on the right track if you don’t know where to start. If you type in “how to create your own business” on Google, you’ll receive more information that your brain can even comprehend. One of the best things for Brianna was investing in a business coach.
“My first big investment was investing in my business coach. She helped me understand that things may not feel perfect from my end, but from the consumer’s side, they don’t know what is perfect and what is not. She taught me that sometimes you just have to put yourself out there and the right people will come. And one of the best pieces of advice that she could have given me was that you have to believe in what you are selling. You have to believe that the price you are selling your product at is worth it. If you come across through videos and messages as timid or always trying to change your price to meet the demands of the consumer, then it comes across that you aren’t confident in what you are selling at the price you set.”
As helpful as her business coach was, Brianna wasn’t afraid to admit that it was scary at first to get in the habit of investing in herself.
The fear of taking a risk.
“I invested in a business coach, had no full-time job, in the middle of a pandemic. And for people who are not in the entrepreneurial world, they would sometimes ask me why would I do something like that. And what I had to realize is, that investing in yourself is just that – it’s yourself. You’re not investing in the opinions of others. You’re not investing in what your mom or dad is going to think. You are investing in you.”
Brianna has built her brand, J Flexx Fitness, centered around helping her clients form long term fitness habits that will allow them to one day not need a trainer. She prides herself on holding each of her clients accountable, and no matter if she has 2 clients or 25 she talks to them individually at least once every single week. Her clientele mostly comes from social media, and she notes that the way she has approached social media has changed drastically over time.
“I used to feel as if I always had to post on my Instagram stories pictures of myself with my hair nice or wearing nice clothes. Always feeling like I couldn’t show too much skin but I still had to show some. What I realized is that people want to work with people because of their PERSONALITY. You have to be likable. It doesn’t matter if I am in a bikini or sweatpants if I have something good to say people are going to listen because of my personality. Everyone has a different approach, and you just have to find what works for you and the type of client that you want to attract.”
If any of you are interested in starting your own business and building a brand, Brianna has three pieces of advice for you – that honestly can be applied to so many areas of our lives.
- Have a strong support system. – “When you are an entrepreneur and you’re self-employed and you are just getting started it can feel very lonely if you don’t know many people. You are going to need advice. You need someone to talk through problems with.”
- Find a business coach or take a business class.
- Just do it. – “It sounds so cliche, but it is the truth. You have to do it regardless of how you feel. It’s just like having a baby. You are never fully going to be ready to have a child. You’re just not. Treat your business like a baby. On some days your business will be great. Some days your business will be crying and just terrible. You have to be okay with trial and error, some things will work and some won’t.”
So happy for the brand you are cultivating, Brianna. You remind us all that sometimes the most important decision we can take for ourselves, is the decision to try. Success is not guaranteed overnight, but small steps each day will add up to huge returns.
Follow Brianna’s business, J Flexx Fitness on Instagram at @bri_jflexx.
Water Your Garden today.