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When reality doesn't match the math: Doing business differently

When I decided to become an entrepreneur, I knew it would be hard work, but I was excited for the freedom it would bring me!

But, I ran into a problem…

There seemed to be no actual way to make more money in a way that would release some of my time and bring me freedom.

Essentially, everything I knew about work and business was from my experience as an employee and self-employed fitness instructor, and while I was quite successful at providing for myself, it was all through the exchange of time for money.

And I realized that at the level of business and the level of revenue I’d need to provide for my own salary and basic living needs as a human, PLUS the cost of maintaining and preferably growing a business, PLUS the extra I’d dreamed of so I could actually have some freedom and experience life in a fulfilling way…perhaps even in a way that I could THRIVE…this trading of time for money was just not going to cut it.

I needed to be open to learning DIFFERENT systems.

Let’s take a step back for a moment.

When I first opened brick-and-mortar Volair Fitness Studio, I adopted the standard membership model. I had my initial revenue goal of $16,000/month (which was the amount necessary for basic function with little growth potential), calculated the number of memberships required to hit that goal. Basic business math, but cool.

Then I started thinking about growth or scalability.

To stick with just this model, more members = more classes = more instructor salaries, supplies, equipment maintenance/replacement, more management/admin work, etc, etc, etc.

Essentially...More just requires more.

So, I started to consider different types of programming and started with a program-based model. Around this time, there was also a pandemic and I shifted to online programming, which changed my revenue goals, but same basic math.

PLUS, I was super excited about these programs I was creating because they were much closer aligned with the ways I prefer to coach in terms of intention, progression, consistency, autonomy, relationships, etc.

AND these programs, for some reason, seemed different and more scalable than memberships.

Then I sat down to create a strategy with my business coach.

I had my exciting new programs in place. Now was the time to do the math. Break it all down and create the strategy to reach my financial goals.

And then I heard:

"All you need is 30 clients a month"

Something felt like it froze inside of me. My coach saw it immediately, asked what was wrong, and assured me not to worry if I thought it was a big number because they would help with the messaging and marketing and make sure it was all possible (with the shift to online, it was very much like starting brand new).

We finished the call but something still wasn't sitting right.

My programs were 6 weeks, so I'd either have to start a new program each month and have overlapping programs, which meant I was constantly teaching, or have 60 people in each program.

Again, I tried to attribute this unsettled feeling to the worry of attracting that many people each time, but the unsettled feeling stayed.

I realized 2 things:

  1. 60 people is a LOT of people to hold space for at a time. And how much attention and energy can I really give to 60 people at once? I LOVE having about 5 people or fewer in a group. It creates a beautiful, intimate experience where everyone can feel seen and heard and I can address everyone's goals. 60 or even 30 people per program would mean I couldn't run my programs in a way that felt good for me. Of course, I could hire other instructors to support, but that runs into the same problem as the memberships I’d had previously - Ever growing expenses at a similar rate to the ever growing revenue, which means, not much change in the bottom line.

  2. If I had to be constantly running programs, where was my break? When would I have time for my own adventures and growth? When would I even have space for basic replenishment? How would Volair evolve if I had no space for creativity? Where was my freedom?

I knew this wouldn't work for me. At least not in a way that made me feel really good about both my life and my business.

I knew I had 2 options:

I could give up.


I could look for another way.

I wasn't ready to give up Volair, so I started looking for new ways to build wealth in business (and in life) that would enable me to prosper doing what I LOVE!

And let me tell you, there is a better way.

I’ve run a workshop a couple of times now called ‘The Breakthrough Formula for Fitness Professionals’ which gives a framework for how you can release yourself from the defeating cycle of business growth. The framework is fully adaptable to YOU! Your intentions, desires, goals, values, and gifts. It has actually offered me a solution to my scalability-with-freedom business woes. I’m currently working on how to share that in a more accessible way for people with busy schedules who find it challenging to attend live workshops and will share it with you soon, so please check back or join our mailing list to hear when it’s released.

Until then, have faith…there is a better way!

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