Business can bring up your own insecurities. — We each had our own limiting beliefs along the way — body image and not being ready to teach on this scale. We were able to step into the mindset of you may never feel ready but this was about serving our community, not about us.
The COVID19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives. But sometimes disruptions can be times of opportunity. Many people’s livelihoods have been hurt by the pandemic. But some saw this as an opportune time to take their lives in a new direction.
As a part of this series called “How I Was Able To Pivot To A New Exciting Opportunity Because Of The Pandemic”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Heather Hakes and Lacey Duran, Co-Founders of MOGI FIT.
Heather Hakes and Lacey Duran, Co-Founders of MOGI FIT are passionate about living a fitness and wellness lifestyle through the use of yoga, essential oils and mindset (mind|body|spirit trifecta). MOGI FIT is built on a foundation of making yoga + wellness fun again. With a mission to help improve your life, MOGI FIT provides the tools you need to succeed.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
Our hometown is Littleton, CO. We are cousins and less than a year apart in age and grew up together with our siblings. We still laugh about the yard games and activities we used to play. Heather was an entrepreneur from the start and used to buy candy from Costco to sell to neighborhood kids. Lacey was the athlete and grew up in sports which led her to collegiate softball. In hindsight, we’ve always been creative and had a love for being active and having fun.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
We have two quotes that really resonate with us, especially for the year we’ve all experienced. For Heather, “Life is happening for you, not to you” and for Lacey “Let go, let flow.” Both of these quotes help us to remember to focus on what we can control. We’ve been able to leverage adversities and obstacles in our lives with the perspective that, although cliche, everything happens for a reason.
Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
The teachings of Abraham Hicks are a significant building block for where we are today. Through years of learning and studying the philosophy of the Law of Attraction, we understand the power of our focus and energy to attract what we want into our lives. We’ve had a lot of fun experimenting and implementing the teachings.
For example, Lacey used to dream about homeschooling her four children and traveling the U.S. in an RV with a laptop lifestyle. She has now been successfully doing this for over a year! And, for Heather, who is an adventure seeker, quit her corporate job in 2017 and received a six-figure payout which provided her the means to travel the world to visit her bucket list destinations!
Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before the Pandemic began?
We are both entrepreneurs and have been for years. Heather has been focused in the personal development industry for three years where she coaches on mindset, is the host of the Mind Over Matter podcast and has done countless speaking presentations for various audiences. Lacey has been focused on health and wellness which led her to teach yoga and essential oil education where she has spent the past seven years building her own business.
In January of 2020, discussions began for creating a mobile yoga business and partnering with local businesses. The original idea was to bring yoga outside the studio directly to the consumer. The initial business plan was set to launch in May 2020 and then COVID hit.
What did you do to pivot as a result of the Pandemic?
Our initial reaction was to put things on hold thinking the quarantine would only last a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, that’s not how it panned out. We set things aside to wait until we had an inspired direction of where to go next.
After a month of letting things settle, we started looking into online platforms to bring our idea to digital life. Our original business plan was to collaborate with local breweries, bars and co-working spaces to bring yoga outside the studio directly to them. This led us to our new and improved business plan with a much greater opportunity than we originally had planned for.
We connected with a team of developers to help bring our vision to life. Although we were delayed over six months from our original launch date, we have successfully gone to market and are so excited to bring MOGI FIT to others who are passionate about a fitness + wellness lifestyle.
Can you tell us about the specific “Aha moment” that gave you the idea to start this new path?
We connected with the founder of an online fitness platform who already had an established client base. We discussed the pros and cons of joining another business platform but it wasn’t quite the direction we wanted to go. After further brainstorming, a lightbulb moment happened and we realized we could create the trifecta of mind|body|spirit on our own platform.
We wanted to provide a yoga + wellness platform that would be inclusive of mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. Our goal is to remove the stigma around yoga, make it fun and accessible to all at an affordable price and on your schedule.
How are things going with this new initiative?
We have officially launched! We’ve had many delays and overwhelm along the way. Going back to our life lesson quotes, we trusted the delays were happening for us and we persevered. We had to let go of control and trust the flow of the process.
Now we can look back and in less than a year, with countless obstacles, we’ve brought our vision to life! We are so excited to provide our offerings and introduce the mind|body|spirit trifecta to other health and wellness enthusiasts.
Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Definitely grateful we’ve had each other along the way! There were times when we both confessed we would have quit if we were on our own. Having each other to lean on when things felt difficult, we were able to keep going. In hindsight, the accountability has carried us through. We helped each other to take it one day, and one step at a time, especially when we felt stressed or overwhelmed.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started in this new direction?
We are so grateful for the setback that the pandemic created. Our original business plan doesn’t excite us anymore. We had to get into the mindset and trust that everything was happening for us. Even though we couldn’t see it at the time, the challenges we faced allowed us to have a much bigger impact for our members.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Business can bring up your own insecurities. — We each had our own limiting beliefs along the way — body image and not being ready to teach on this scale. We were able to step into the mindset of you may never feel ready but this was about serving our community, not about us.
- Be flexible. — Our launch date was a moving target. At some point, we realized that this was version 1.0. It wasn’t going to be perfect to start, but we needed to get started.
- You don’t know what you don’t know. — We’re very resourceful and ask a lot of questions. We know there’s still plenty we may not know, but we trust that we’ll figure it out along the way.
- Partnerships need balance. — We have very different personalities and lean on each other for our own strengths. We had a common vision and wanted to be able to express our uniqueness.
- Not everyone is an ideal customer. — Niching down was really hard. However, we understand the power in a target market rather than being diluted trying to speak to everyone.
So many of us have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. Can you share the strategies that you have used to optimize your mental wellness during this stressful period?
It goes back to focusing on what you can control — your thoughts and emotions. We choose to be intentional with what we consume and stay informed as needed. We continually study and learn the power of mindset, energy and emotions. Also, we have non-negotiables. We each have our own morning routines to help us stay grounded and focused. We know from experience that having winning habits and staying consistent leads to desired outcomes.
You are both people of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
L — Live like there’s no tomorrow.
O — Offer a helping hand to others.
V — Value yourself.
E — Express gratitude.
Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!
We’d love to sit down with Jeff Bezos and pick his brain! During our initial phase, we used Amazon as a great metaphor to refer to. Amazon started out as an online book retailer and has grown exponentially. We’d love to learn how Jeff thinks about business, what to focus on, what to let go of and how to expand globally.
How can our readers follow you online?
@mogifit on IG
Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!