“I want to launch a self-love movement for children” With Kerrie Gotell, Founder of KFIT body

I would launch a self-love movement for children — a program that includes fitness and nutrition education, along with motivational…

I would launch a self-love movement for children — a program that includes fitness and nutrition education, along with motivational coaching to help kids communicate, gain confidence and build their self-esteem in their formative years preventatively before the self-loathing tends to kick in. I want all kids to grow up loving the body they are in, and not spending their lives comparing themselves to others.

I had the pleasure of interviewing: Kerrie Gotell, Founder of KFIT body, who has spent nearly a decade empowering women through fitness and nutrition programs at her private studio based on the south shore of Massachusetts. KFIT is more than just a gym, it’s a tight-knit community of women who are dedicated to achieving their wellness goals, and inspiring others to love the skin they’re in by discovering their strength.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I was certainly not a natural, recognized athlete or fitness prodigy growing up. In fact, I was actually quite the opposite, and fell into the wellness industry almost by accident.

Since I can remember, I had always dealt with major self esteem and body confidence issues. Like many young women, I felt that fitness was simply a damned means to an end — a vehicle to squeeze into a smaller pair of jeans…out of pure principle, measurement of a size that I was “supposed to be” at that time, that was never ever enough.

But as I started to engage in working out on a regular basis, I started to focus more deeply on the way that exercise made me feel, rather than the way it made me look.

After a few career changes, I decided to go back to school for physical therapy. I truthfully didn’t think there was much of a career opportunity as a trainer, so I thought PT was a smarter choice.

I learned a great deal as a therapist, but I also learned quickly, I truly enjoyed being on the preventative side of wellness, versus rehabilitation.

I began training a few girlfriends at a local park, which quickly spawned into a tight-knit community of female followers who were eager to have their own space where I could help them accomplish their goals, and they could continue to lean on one another for accountability’s sake. I really enjoyed empowering women to do things they physically never believed they could.

Eventually, I left the field of physical therapy to pursue my passion of fitness and nutrition full-time in launching the original KFIT studio, and have just relocated this year to a larger space thanks to our perpetual growth. The rest is history!

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company?

The most interesting story,in my opinion, is that I was ironically lucky enough to be encouraged and inspired to launch my business by my own target audience and client base.

Most entrepreneurs are doing the reverse, launching a business and hoping that their target buyer will show up for them based on their value proposition.

Although it was a large risk launching a business, I was fortunate enough to transform a casual, small fitness group in a local park into a community of over 300 women now sharing wins and challenges across a 7,000 square foot location!

I never fully imagined the amazing outcome, and I’m super thankful for the original few that motivated me to build KFIT from scratch and believe in myself.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

There are so many! One time, I printed the wrong studio address on our bench mailers. I was moving so quickly, and copy editing isn’t a major strength of mine. I was literally sending customers elsewhere! Rookie mistake.

The lesson learned in this case was to slow down, proofread, and/or delegate to someone on your team who can put a second set of eyes on things when you’re stuck in a whirlwind!

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Being an all women’s facility is certainly a factor that separates us from standard studios nearby, but I am proud to say that the KFIT community is definitely our largest differentiator.

The support and camaraderie that our girls experience is like no other, and they will tell you that first-hand because they believe in our brand values, and my staff and members together are the ones who truly bring those principles to life, in and out of the studio.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

I think all entrepreneurs need to go through their own burn out to understand what their work threshold is, and in turn what what works best for them to achieve balance. It’s hard to tell someone just starting out who wants to give it 150%, that they can accomplish more by doing less! With that being said, my advice is figure that threshold out as quickly as possible.

If I could offer two take-aways for wellness entrepreneurs in particular, it would be:

  • Learn to value your time. We enter this field because we want to help people, but we often undervalue ourselves and over-extend at a lesser rate, especially with long-term clients who we’ve built strong ties with. You’re an expert, know your worth and charge for it.
  • Become an all-star at Time Management. Manage each day and a tight task list that is prioritized. Address the most important task daily and procrastinate on ones that can wait. Ask yourself, does this need to be done now? If not, put it on the back burner until the most pressing tasks are completed.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

There are so many people who continue to offer guidance and support, helping me move forward along my career path. There are so many obstacles that we as entrepreneurs face, I believe it truly takes a village to raise a business.

Everyone from my own family to the KFIT community provides me with the utmost support to continue on this mission. I also find fellow entrepreneurs as an amazing resource for knowledge and, as we can exchange challenges and solutions together in a more relatable way.

When I was contemplating leaving my full time career to pursue entrepreneurship, I had all the thoughts any typical person does — the voice that tells you why you will fail over and over again. I read 13 pages out of a book called “The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur”, and quit my job.

Five years later when I was going through a business slump, I came across “The Pumpkin Seed” from the same author, which helped me propel my business forward. When I went through a failed business venture, “The Tribe of Mentors” helped me to understand that failures were in fact opportunities.

Lastly, I’ve got to practice what I preach and give myself some credit! As a business owner, I often discredit my own achievements and hyper-focus on my faults. But the drive it takes to succeed truly needs to come from within. I am learning to own my success and reflect on my accomplishments in order to lead from a place of gratitude, not self-doubt.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I am a huge believer in giving back to the community in a meaningful way. KFIT participates in many charity events each year to support local families in need, as well as causes that are close to our heart.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?

My favorite quote is: “What you seek, is seeking you.”

I spent a long while traveling down a path that didn’t serve my ultimate purpose. If you are in a job, relationship or even friendship that doesn’t feel right, I recommend following your gut.

I truly believe once you become in tune with your instinct and move toward it, you will move closer to your purpose and live a happier, more fulfilling life.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Entrepreneurship isn’t comprised of Passion, alone.

There is a bit of a misconception that doing what you love is easy. Loving what you do is absolutely a blessing, but as Serena Williams said, “Luck has nothing to do with it.”

Tenacity is in my opinion is instrumental to succeeding as a business owner. There are days you want to bury yourself in the sand. There are times when you put in long, daunting hours. There are countless mistakes made. There is worry and there are sleepless nights. Be prepared for an uphill battle, but the view from the top is certainly worth it, and not too crowded!

2. Read every book on leadership you can find.

Every company is in the business of people. If you cannot empower and inspire others to embrace your vision as closely you do, it will be a challenging and lonely road. Also I love this quote from Lao Tuz, “Leadership is the ability to hide your panic from others.” As aforementioned, I leaned on the deep knowledge of other leaders shared in books during my most difficult moments, and I believe that their stories were the encouragement I needed to move forward.

3. Spend money. It takes money to grow a successful business.

I’m not telling you to put yourself in a deep, dark hole financially, but understand that entrepreneurship is a give to get. You must invest in the key people, tools, and space that will enable your growth, and if you’re self-funded, that often calls for risk-taking.

4. Delegate your weaknesses.

Surround yourself with people who fill the gaps, and are skilled in areas where you may be deficient. You will grow faster by letting an expert take on those tasks you do not excel at, or don’t have time or interest to pay close attention to. You should absolutely oversee that role and learn from your partners and mentors, but accept that you will not excel at every facet of the business. Know what you’re best at, and devote your efforts and energy there.

5. Take time to invest in your wellness.

It easy to get caught up in the nonstop mentality of entrepreneurship, that we often miss out on the flexibility and benefits of being your own boss! Make it a priority to press pause, and ensure that both your mind and body are healthy (in whatever way that means for you), and the process will be much more enjoyable.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I would launch a self-love movement for children — a program that includes fitness and nutrition education, along with motivational coaching to help kids communicate, gain confidence and build their self-esteem in their formative years preventatively before the self-loathing tends to kick in. I want all kids to grow up loving the body they are in, and not spending their lives comparing themselves to others.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Instagram: @kfitbody

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kfitbootcamp/

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

Originally published at medium.com

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