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Tracy Fitzpatrick of Aline Studios: “Sense of Humor”

Sense of Humor. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Laugh and have fun as much as you can. Enjoy your environment and the people in it. Life is short, and we spend so much time at work. Of course, you will have your bad days but try to get out of yourself and get into other people. […]

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Sense of Humor. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Laugh and have fun as much as you can. Enjoy your environment and the people in it.

Life is short, and we spend so much time at work. Of course, you will have your bad days but try to get out of yourself and get into other people. Listen to them, ask questions, and you will learn so much about yourself. Listening to others is so healing because you see how they struggle and overcome obstacles. You find camaraderie in the human condition, and wherever there is bad, there is good as well. I try to keep positive and love to make people laugh. I keep the studio filled with great music, and even though clients are working hard, I always try to make it fun.


Being a founder, entrepreneur, or business owner can have many exciting and thrilling moments. But it is also punctuated with periods of doubt, slump, and anxiety. So how does one successfully and healthily ride the highs and lows of Entrepreneurship? In this series, called “How To Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur,” we are talking to successful entrepreneurs who can share stories from their experience. I had the pleasure of interviewing Tracy Fitzpatrick.

Tracy Fitzpatrick is the owner of Aline Studios Pilates Gyrotonic Yoga in Newport Beach for over 30 years. She’s a mobility specialist, a former dancer/choreographer, and has been teaching movement for more than four decades. She uses her expertise as a movement coach to help people recover from illnesses, surgeries, and injuries and help people achieve their fitness goals.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started

I started dancing at age 12, by age 17, I was a professional commercial jazz dancer and teacher. I had my son at 18, his father and I separated, and he left the country. I was alone, 19, with a baby. I graduated high school and had just started dancing professionally. After the baby, I thought I wouldn’t be able to dance professionally and be a single mom, so I decided to put myself through college and hopefully become a dance professor.

I got into school, and I ended up having more talent than I gave myself credit for. My career took off, and I danced for several companies and produced my own shows in L.A. and O.C. I started my own dance company while I was still in college and worked two jobs.

I studied Pilates last semester of college. I had taken a few classes, but at the time, there was only one studio that I knew of in O.C. and three in L.A.; this was 1989–90. I was mesmerized by the Pilates class I took that I decided I had to teach it.

I left college with only one class to finish. I was too scared to take the student loan to complete my degree. Instead, I borrowed 1500.00 dollars to get certified before any actual formal certifications existed in our area.

I ended up with an old school certification and a 2-year apprenticeship, so not only did I have a knack for the work, I graduated Pilates training as a highly skilled teacher. The whole time, I raised my son alone, choreographed and performed all over L.A. and O.C., taught Pilates mat work in a small gym, and worked a full-time job.

Some of my gym clients heard there was Pilates equipment and asked if I would train them privately. I purchased a Pilates reformer with a Discover card, and clients from the gym came over to my living room to train. I think I was 9.00 dollars an hour. I had no idea that what I was doing had financial value. All I had on my mind was my passion for teaching Pilates and getting people in shape and out of pain.

My clientele grew; Newport is like that; once a few people hear about something good, they all come.

I move to another one-bedroom apartment above businesses. It had that business feel, but it was still my home. My son had the bedroom, and I slept on a futon couch in the living room, where I had the studio.

I slowly raised my rates and bought more Pilates equipment. I still worked full-time at an advertising agency but was able to work at night and on the weekends at home.

That little gym where I taught mat work led me to start Pilates programs for other gyms, P.T. practices, and yoga studios. I was teaching all over O.C., and my classes were popular.

That one-bedroom apartment was very significant in that it was down the street from Quiksilver.

One of my clients was married to the V.P. of marketing, and he sent me clients from Quiksilver. I worked on the Roxy and men’s designers, sales staff, and eventually the athletes. I trained the men’s pro-am team, champion Lisa Anderson, and the women’s Roxy team.

We moved to a larger home, where I continued teaching in the living room. I worked seven days a week and was able to quit my day job. As soon as I did that, I was training well over 12 hours a day and weekends 8–10 hours a day.

I needed help, and one of the gyms I taught a class at let me look through their resumes. I pulled just one out, and that woman would stay with me for over ten years, helping me grow the business.

There was a dark underbelly brewing in the small but growing Pilates world at the time.

A physical therapist in New York had purchased the name Pilates and had slowly begun suing anyone and everyone using the word in any way, shape, or form. So, unless I aligned with him, it was illegal for me to teach this work. I never wanted to move my business out of my home because I wouldn’t survive a lawsuit. So I hid my business in my house and taught there for 10 years.

Eventually, there was a class-action lawsuit filed by a reputable equipment dealer. They were able to take on the legal costs, and Pilates was released from the trademark. Now, Pilates is a term like ballet; anyone can use it, that’s why Pilates is so popular today.

Then, the city found out I was working out of my home. They said I could continue, but I couldn’t have employees. I couldn’t let my assistant go, so we went down the street to the closest shopping center and found a little office space behind a market. I didn’t know at the time we were the third studio to open in all of O.C.

Our success was rapid. My assistant and I worked long hours trying to keep up. I needed more help, but there were only two Pilates certification schools. There are styles of teaching, and each school has its own style. We were developing our own. So I started my teacher education and certification and began training teachers we could hire.

I worked slowly and diligently with each teacher, so they were highly skilled when they graduated. I made sure the teachers could do the work at an expert level on their own bodies. I coined the term Comprehensive Pilates Training which is now widely used in all schools. Meaning they get trained in mat and all the equipment and can do the work at either advanced or expert level.

By the ’90s, Gyrotonic was up and coming; I got certified and added Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis yoga to the studio. We were the first studio in O.C. to do both. At this time, I had also heard about another technique using the ballet barre.

There was one place teaching barre work in L.A. So I drove up to take the class. I walked into a small studio in Santa Monica to take this class called Lotte Berk. The class was full of movies and T.V. stars. I jumped right in and understood the work immediately.

By the fourth class, the instructor was ill, so the studio owner asked me to sub for her. I agreed, and I was scared out of my whits. I couldn’t remember all the choreography since I had only taken four classes, so I added my own choreography. The clients loved it, and the Aline Technique class was born, the first barre fusion or mat fusion classes. I taught every Tuesday in L.A. from that day on and brought that work to my own studio.

We had sold out Aline Technique barre classes, and I drove up to L.A. to bring Aline Studios into the L.A. business and teach classes there. Within three months, we sold out in the L.A. studio; our clientele was primarily celebrities.

By the late 90s, we were outgrowing our space in O.C. We expanded to a beautiful art gallery-type warehouse at The Lab in Costa Mesa. We didn’t know at the time, but we were the largest Pilates, Gyrotonic, and barre studio with reformer classes and fusion classes in O.C. All of these things we did are models for huge franchise businesses today.

I started the Pilates program for Yoga Place, now Yoga Works, and for The Vintage Country Club in Indian Wells. Later I expanded their Gyrotonic program. Both of those programs are still successful today.

So Aline Studios was in L.A.; I expanded the yoga programs to include Pilates at Yoga Place, now Yoga Works, a staff of 6–10 teachers, and over 600 clients coming and going. I was working 12 hour days, seven days a week. I was miserable and a little crazy from fatigue and overwork. I had to handle staff, clients, teach classes, and run the finances and marketing. It was too much, and now I was a single mom for the second time.

Thank goodness in 2008, the economy hit right at the same time my lease was up. I was making some big life decisions on what kind of a Mom I was going to be this time around. So, I decided to close up shop while on top and teach to the Vintage Country Club in Indian Wells.

I had already started their Pilates and basic Gyrotonic program and staffed it for them. So when I went there to teach, I brought my other Gyrotonic equipment to expand their program. It was a risk to extend; if the clients didn’t like it, it would fail. Even though I am no longer part of it, it’s still going strong today, so is the other studio in L.A.

The Vintage has a high-profile clientele such as Charles Koch, the Calloways, the Colemans, and many other huge names in the business world. They were all my clients, and I taught six days a week, eleven-hour days.

I went to the desert to try to be a Mom and not work so much. I ended up overworking again, so I decided to move back to O.C. and re-group at the end of the season.

As soon as my clients heard I was back, they started calling, and before you know it, I opened up another studio. This time I worked alone and managed my schedule so I could be there for my son.

A local yoga studio heard about my Aline classes and asked if I would teach at their studio. Those classes were successful and launched quite a few teachers into their own businesses of yoga fusion studios.

I have stayed small since 2009, working in small groups and privates. I have been focusing and honing my work into what it is today. The work I teach is healing-based, and many people come to see me before and after surgeries and after physical therapy. I have helped people with back surgeries and pain, joint replacements, chronic and acute pain and injuries, and pre and post-natal. I have worked on two people, both semi-paralyzed. One of my paralyzed clients went from 2 canes to using only one and could ride a bike by the time I completed his program.

Now, my son is 19 and a Texas Union Ironworker; the other son is 36 and has a lighting company in L.A. My next adventure awaits me as I begin the process to head towards an N.D. degree, So we’ll see how that goes.

What was the “Aha Moment” that led to the idea for your current company? Can you share that story with us?

That moment was in my first Pilates class.

I had gone to college already as a professional dancer and was producing my own shows. I was a single mother, and I also worked two jobs. I was strong and at least 10 years older than my peers.

I took a Pilates mat class as part of a Methodology course. I had read about Pilates in one book in the library at Cal State Long Beach; there was not much written about it at the time. Here I was, this strong, independent, dancer and I could barely finish one class. I knew right when I finished the class, I was going to teach this work.

After getting certified, I couldn’t work at a Pilates studio because there were only two, so I had to create my own business. The two studios in town had such different styles. I decided to buy a reformer, teach privates out of my living room, teach mat classes in gyms, and figure the rest out for myself.

I sold Pilates programs to gyms, yoga studios, and physical therapists. Most of my selling was in the form of educating and selling my passion for this work. Those classes fed my private training business as well.

In your opinion, were you a natural-born entrepreneur, or did you develop that aptitude later on? Can you explain what you mean?

Looking back, I absolutely was; I just didn’t know it. That’s the thing, though, when you love what you do, it does not really work. If I had limitless energy, I would do this all the time.

I was passionate about what I was teaching and the teachers I was producing. I saw the work on my own body, and my P.T. and chiropractic clients got out of pain and in shape fast.

The aptitude was, I created my business to create a job for myself. I just had no idea it would take off as it did.

When I produced my shows as a dancer, I didn’t have the finances or the prestige to have proper dance concerts in actual theaters.

I didn’t know how to do theatre production, so I produced work in coffeehouses, nightclubs, and underground nightclubs all over SoCal. My idea of dance production was to bring proper concert-level modern dance to people who would never buy a ticket to see modern dance.

I produced my own multimedia shows that included music and art exhibits. I learned just by trial and error, guerrilla P.R., marketing, promotion, and producing, which I still use today.

Was there somebody in your life who inspired or helped you to start your journey with your business? Can you share a story with us?

It’s my clients; their belief in me and in the work propels me to keep going.

Most of those clients that I trained in my home stayed with me for years. I can only imagine what these people thought coming to a single mother’s apartment to learn Pilates. I had no shame, even though my apartment was as big as some of their master closets.

I was able to show them through the work the passion for this type of training, and they saw it and felt it on their own bodies. They always knew I would do well, and they helped me and pushed me along the whole way.

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

Aline Studio still stands out today because a person would have to buy several different packages at several different gyms or studios to get what you get at mine. I can deal with so many different levels of fitness, injuries, and limitations.

I can train using multiple modalities and equipment in one session. So you will be doing a Gyrotonic warm-up, a Yoga upper body, a Pilates lower body, and Aline HIIT training. I can do 5–4 people at a time, all training on different equipment, in other modalities.

I also have half of my business devoted to people who have issues with their tissues. So I do pre-surgery, post-rehab, pre and post-PT clients. When I worked out of my living room, I would often get a knock at the door. I would answer it, and someone would be standing in my doorway saying, “My friend told me there was a lady that lived here that could get rid of my back pain.” So my business slowly developed over the years into helping people recover. At first, I only took cases I could handle, and I would refer out if the case was too difficult. Now, I have the confidence and experience to take almost anyone.

My teacher education is now morphing into mentoring, so I help good teachers make the leap into great ones. I take my 40 years of teaching experience and help them navigate through the ups and downs and get them where they need to be fast. This happened because I take so much time with each teacher, and there are prominent certification schools that turn out 100 teachers a year. The teachers need that branding and community being out on their own teaching. So a few teachers asked if I would coach them, and mentoring began.

Everything I do comes from people asking for more. I found Lotte Berk, Barre work because a client saw a picture in a magazine and told me she wanted to do that exercise. Gyrotonic came from another client telling me she heard you could do yoga on equipment. Everything is inspired by my clients.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Courage

I dared to follow that first impression of my first Pilates class. At that time, I worked with two dance companies, did my own dance production work, took 33 units in school, and worked two jobs. I took that one Pilates class in college, and within the next month, I was in a certification program and out of school. Within two years, I had opened my own business in my apartment. It took courage to open a business selling something that had no name recognition at all.

I dared to close my studio while still profiting because I knew the economy was going to tank. I had the courage to take the Vintage Country Club position in Indian Wells until I could figure out what move to make next. I was so scared in every move I made, but I moved with courage anyways.

Integrity

Very early on, when I was working from my home, I would get what I call my ‘microphone too close to my speaker.’ The long hours and chaos from running a studio out of my home meant I was living this business day and night.

In growing my business, I knew I had a lot to learn, and I didn’t have time to get a business education. I had to learn on my feet, and a lot was coming at me from all directions.

I remember one day making a conscious decision. I knew I needed to be about something, and I chose a word; that word was integrity. I put my head down and went to work, and thirty years later, I lifted my head up, and I had accomplished it. I had name recognition, authority in my field; people knew of me if they hadn’t trained with me. I focused everything I did on that one-word integrity, and it built my business into what it is today.

Commitment

In the early days of Pilates, no one knew what it was. There was no name recognition, so I used to copy articles I found in magazines or newspapers and hand those out to prospective clients. I couldn’t just give a business card, and a brochure needed to be five pages long. To this day have never had a brochure. So I made the commitment to educate people about the work. My commitment to educating prospective clients ended up being my sales pitch. It wasn’t forced or salesy. It came from a place of genuine commitment to the work and the benefits it provides to people.

Often leaders are asked to share the best advice they received. But let’s reverse the question. Can you share a story about the advice you’ve received that you now wish you never followed?

When I closed my business to move to the desert, my clients panicked. They didn’t know I was overworked and unhappy because I never let them see that. I could feel I was changing, and I didn’t like who I was becoming.

One of the trainers who had been talking to our clients as the studio was closing said to me, “The clients know that you are selling the business, and these clients want you to know they are not for sale.” I remember it seemed everything went quiet in me for a second. Instead of listening to that statement like a business owner, I took it in like a person who had a job. Any attempts I made to sell the business were halted, and I regret it to this day.

No clients or instructors could ever understand the pressures and risks business owners are under. You take a paycheck; you avoid risk. Yet, I thought like a paycheck person when I should have kept my business owner hat on. In one moment, I forgot about the years of my life spent on this business and all the financial risks I took. Instead, I spent a considerable portion of my salary at The Vintage to keep the studio open until everyone finished their packages. It was financially and emotionally exhausting.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them create a work culture in which employees thrive and do not “burn out” or get overwhelmed?

My CEO clients at Vintage taught me a lot about the corporate world. I learned the issues small businesses face are similar to large corporations. They said employee problems were the most significant and most costly problems companies faced.

The owner has to establish the culture; the managers have to believe in that culture and only hire people in line with those beliefs.

After you find people aligned with those beliefs, you have to find out what motivates those employees. Is it money, time off, education, or title? You have to find their communication style, and once you have that, then all you have to do is lay down the boundaries. You have to get to the heart of what makes those employees motivated and try to give them what they need to flourish.

What would you advise other business leaders to do in order to build trust, credibility, and Authority in their industry?

With trust, you can’t fake it until you make it. With Yelp, Google reviews, and social media, we are really at the mercy of our customers, as it should be.

To create something, you have to believe in it fully and run it with integrity. Trust and credibility in my field come from a love of people and a commitment to the work you produce. You have to believe in what you do and acknowledge that you are helping people in some way. By doing that, you are never selling; you are solving people’s problems, and that creates credibility.

Authority comes from time. Authority can’t be bought by a brochure or ad. Authority comes from a consistent commitment to the work you do and producing that work with integrity.

You become an authority to your clients, the people who are walking in your door day after day. The better you serve those people, the longer you are in business. The longer you are in business, the more authority you have in your industry.

Can you help articulate why doing that is essential today?

It is crucial to stand out in service today because so much of that is getting lost in branding.

Marketing and branding are essential for client capture but cool only lasts so long. How many times has branding let us down? There will be significant changes in the future of doing business this way because the younger generations are thinking differently from people from my generation.

What keeps a business running is an integrity. Customers don’t need to be branded; they need to be educated and not just seek out pretty shiny things that don’t last.

What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start a business? What can be done to avoid those errors?

In my field, I have seen studios come and go. Many studios are started from people in the corporate world who didn’t want to live that way and thought a Pilates studio would be fun. Many studios start from teachers who want to expand out of teaching into business ownership.

I see a lot of owners who underestimate the work that is involved in this business. They brand, market, take their spot in the marketplace, capture clientele, and then sell their businesses. It’s a job times ten. So if you are not prepared for that, you will have a huge wake-up call.

To avoid this, try managing a large studio or program in a gym first. Get some experience in the hours that it takes to teach and run the business side as well.

Do you feel comfortable sharing a story from your own experience about how you felt unusually high and excited as a result of your business? We would love to hear it.

When I had to leave my first space I rented because a large gym moved into the shopping center’s anchor suite and wanted a non-compete with my business, I was devastated. I had moved from my home to a commercial space, Pilates was still illegal to teach, and I had to hide out from the Pilates police too. It was so stressful and scary. I had my entire life invested in this business, and being only 3 studios in our area, it wasn’t like I could close up and get a job.

There was a shopping center called The Camp and The Lab or The Anti-Mall that had opened up right down the street. It was hip, it was cool, it was up and coming. I couldn’t afford to rent retail, but the owner of The Camp and The Lab had an opening sharing the building he was in called the SoBeCa building.

I drove down the street SoBeCa was on, and it was a beautiful art gallery space with 20-foot ceilings, a rarity in O.C., and huge roll-up doors and white cement floors. I remember climbing into a planter to look in the window. These types of spaces you only see in big cities like L.A. or N.Y. There was nothing like it in O.C., and I had to have it. I was going to have this space; that was it.

I called the number on the sign and made an appointment with who I thought was the leasing agent, and it ended up being the President of the whole shopping center. He wasn’t interested at all. He had no idea about what I did, and my excitement over this space didn’t help explain at all. I’m sure I confused him, and when the meeting was over, I knew I blew it.

He had told me he was once President of Quiksilver, and I knew the current head of marketing; his wife was one of my first clients. So I left the failed meeting and immediately called my client and asked for a huge favor of which I never do, but I needed a Hail Mary.

The next day the President of The Camp and The Lab called me and said, “That was a smooth move, Fitzpatrick.” He thought I actually was a business person. It was really old-fashioned passion; I knew from the day I peeked in the window that space was my dream studio and knew we would do well there. We stayed there until 2008 when the economy tanked. The owner of the shopping center was very disappointed when I told him we were closing. I had been training both him and his staff at the time. They really wanted me to stay, but I just couldn’t keep going on working like that forever.

After we left that space, so many other studios tried to move in and replicate what we did. No one was able to do it. It really shows you how far passion can take you.

Do you feel comfortable sharing a story from your own experience about how you felt unusually low, and vulnerable as a result of your business? We would love to hear it.

One of my most significant lows was closing my big studio in The Sobeca Building. I was so happy there. My second son was small, I was a single mother again. My studio was so big I hired a nanny, and clients brought their kids to play in a bounce house we set up in the back. My Aline Classes were booming, and there was enough room to even dance a bit. So I had danced in my life again.

The truth was I was working too much. Most of the work was collecting money and getting clients booked in; this was before online booking.

I would teach all day and then sit at the desk all night. I couldn’t work on business development; the staff was snobby because the studio was super cool. My dream turned into a nightmare, and I was unhappy and exhausted. When 2008 hit, my lease was up, and it was almost a relief in some ways. I loved that space, but my dream looked good on the outside but was really not good for me personally.

The President of The Camp and Lab was really upset I decided to leave. He tried to get me to stay, but I knew I couldn’t keep on like I was.

I knew the economy was going down, but I never knew how bad it would be. So I closed the studio while we were still doing well. It was the right thing to do, but still, to this day, I miss that space and how beautiful it was.

But alas, four walls do not dictate a business; its owner does.

Based on your experience, can you tell us what you did to bounce back?

I took a position as an independent contractor in Indian Wells at the prestigious Vintage Club.

I expanded their Gyrotonic program and made enough money to take some time off at the end of the season. I thought I might live in the desert, but being there 5 months was just too hard on me physically. I knew I couldn’t go back for a second season. So I opened up another tiny studio in Newport Beach.

I promised myself I would hide out in my new space, not market, and only work on a few people for a higher price. People found out like they always do in Newport, and I got busy again.

This time I had fewer office responsibilities, and since I was the trainer, it was easier for me to keep up with collections. Clients walked in, and the boundaries were clear. I had my part, and they had theirs, and I learned about community and setting rules and procedures. I knew that through clarity and communication, people could choose to participate in my business or not. If they decided not to, it was fine with me. I would find more clients who felt as I did.

I still, to this day, do not have an office in my studio. After working so hard in my big studio, I decided to work from home and let the studio be a space for clients.

Okay super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “Five Things You Need To Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur”? Please share a story or an example for each.

1. Drive

You have to be driven; you have to want it.

I always wanted to be a dancer, but I decided I couldn’t keep up that dream and be a good mother to my son. So I found Pilates, Yoga, and Gyrotonic. With the same drive I danced with, I created programs to help people. I taught them how these techniques can transform their bodies and their lives. I was driven to train people so they would love movement as much as I do.

2. Belief

You have to believe in what you are doing, even if no one else does. If you are the only believer, it doesn’t mean you are wrong.

When I first started teaching Pilates, no one knew what it was. I was calling schools to try to train kids; I was calling chiropractors and doctors. I had so many rejections, but I never worried. I knew they didn’t have a clue what I was talking about. I copied articles and sent them to P.T.s and surgeons; I just never stopped. I knew this work worked. I knew they didn’t know that. I believed if I could educate them, then they would understand. I ended up being right.

It took many hours of calling and writing people, I had to teach many free sessions to ‘sell’ myself. Eventually, people started coming, and everything I believed about what I was doing came true.

3. Discipline

You have to be disciplined to master your craft.

Maybe you will lose your client or even your studio, but you will never lose the work you invested in yourself. You won’t lose mastery of your craft if you have the discipline to take the time to perfect your work. This buys you boundless confidence because many things come and go in business, but if you take the time to invest in yourself, you bring that with you to the next challenge.

When I first opened my studio, there were only 2 other studios in town. By the 2000s, studios were on every corner. People who had investors, bigger spaces, better prices, or more class times never rattled me because so many of those owners didn’t have the mastery of the work or the creative programming. They did have lower prices, which was great for people, but I was looking for students who wanted to learn these modalities rather than bodies to train. It’s a totally different business model.

4. Sense of Humor

Don’t take yourself too seriously. Laugh and have fun as much as you can. Enjoy your environment and the people in it.

Life is short, and we spend so much time at work. Of course, you will have your bad days but try to get out of yourself and get into other people. Listen to them, ask questions, and you will learn so much about yourself. Listening to others is so healing because you see how they struggle and overcome obstacles. You find camaraderie in the human condition, and wherever there is bad, there is good as well. I try to keep positive and love to make people laugh. I keep the studio filled with great music, and even though clients are working hard, I always try to make it fun.

I remember one of my clients, from a prominent family in Newport Beach, had a family event to go to. It was a challenging event, and she was nervous about facing certain people at this event.

She came in for her appointment after the event, and I asked her how it went. She started in on the story, but I interrupted her, “Did you ask people if your butt looked good in your pants? You know because you do Pilates”. She looked at me dumbfounded and bust out laughing. No one had really given her the chance to see the absurdity of the situation and the humor potential of her pain. It was a joke with a risk. If that comment didn’t land, I would have lost a client, but instead, we laughed, and any time something terrible happened, we referenced that joke.

5. Dream

I always try to look for the next thing to try to accomplish. I always make goals for myself. I refuse to become redundant or repetitious. I’m always watching my client’s bodies and thinking of ways to change the work or routines and help them surpass what they thought they could do.

I dreamed of my art studio space, and I found it. I dreamed of opening a Pilates studio where I could still teach movement and stay as close to dance as I could. I started barre work because I went to L.A. to take the class, and the teacher got sick, and they asked me to teach the class I was a student of. That class was full of celebrities, leading to me opening up a studio in L.A. with an entire celebrity clientele and sold-out classes.

Everything I did, I dreamt first. And when the opportunity came to bring the dream to fruition, I move into it without question.

We are living during challenging times, and resilience is critical during times like these. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?

Resilience is a muscle. It’s an interesting muscle in that every time you face difficulty, and you make it, your resilience muscle gets stronger. Many other muscles get stronger, too, like your gratitude muscle, your faith muscle, and so many others.

I think a bad memory is also a good thing. I think it’s good to forget bad things or bad things people have done to you. All of this must be done with intelligence, street smarts, and experience.

You don’t want to keep repeating mistakes, but it’s good to forget in a way that is good for you. If you had a bad situation in life or business and dealt with it, let it go. Don’t keep hanging on to the story and allowing it to dictate your life and your future stories you are creating now.

Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Would you mind sharing a story?

I think being a mother at 18 and having to raise my son on my own. Although it was hard and I struggled for many years, it built me into the person I am today. I realize now, I’m 57, that the main reason why you get to make it out of tricky situations is that someone is coming up behind you at some point, and you gotta help them. Maybe it’s listening, perhaps it’s words of wisdom, either way, someone is going to come into your life, and they are going to need help, and you might be the only person capable of doing that because you’ve been through some things.

In your opinion, do you tend to keep a positive attitude during difficult situations? What helps you to do so?

I don’t know if I keep a positive attitude because positive sleep in the same bed as negative.

If you strive for one extreme, you are bound to face the other at some point because that’s just how things balance out. If I can try to detach a little and separate myself from the emotions tying me to the situation, I can give myself some space and time to see the issue more clearly. If I can see the matter more clearly, I can see my part in things and gain some control of the problem by understanding my role. If I am positive all the time, I don’t know if I can remain neutral enough to see the issue or event. Plus, positivity requires a great deal of energy. How about, as Cesar Millan says, “calm, confident.”

Can you help articulate why a leader’s positive attitude can have a positive impact both on their clients and their team? Please share a story or example if you can.

A positive attitude, when it’s real, is a magnet.

As a business owner, basically, all you do is solve problems. The cool thing about solving problems in business is you get rewarded for it with success. Life is not like that. You can have problems in life, and when you fix those problems, you get the payoff, and other times you don’t.

When you get good at solving the problems in your business, you get addicted to the payoff’s positivity. It changes your perspective on facing difficulties. You can see things more clearly. You can see through problems rather than just see the problem, and this skill carries over to life. Any person who understands this concept and can master it should pass it on to their staff, who then, in turn, will change the way they work with clients.

Many people come to me in incredible physical pain. They usually have been in pain for months, some years. Pain can do a number on a person’s psyche, changing how they think and feel about their lives and the world around them. I have helped so many people recover from chronic pain over the years, and the one thing I always ask these clients, “Do you believe you can get yourself out of pain.” Over the years, I have gotten hundreds of responses, and it’s the ones that say no that I love the most. When they tell me they don’t think they could ever be out of pain, I say, ‘That’s alright that you don’t believe this now; I will hold the intention for you to be pain-free until you get there.’ Inevitably, they heal, and they forget they ever were in pain. I don’t like to do the I told you so, I like it that they forget.

Okay. Super. We are nearly done. What is your favorite inspirational quote that motivates you to pursue greatness? Can you share a story about how it was relevant to you in your own life?

I’m butchering this one, but I love it,

If an artist wants to be known for his work, then let him be known for his paintings rather than his speech about them.

I love this quote because when I was a professional dancer, I had to develop a resume. A dancer’s resume includes any prestigious teachers you have studied with, places you trained, and projects you’ve done. Having this roster of famous teachers you have studied with does not guarantee that you are a good dancer. It could mean you are only good in class, it doesn’t mean you are a good performer, only dancing can prove that. So when a dancer would rattle off the list of everyone they have studied with, in the back of everyone’s mind was, ‘Well, let me see ya dance then”.

I found this later to be true in the Pilates world. Just because you took a course with so and so or teach retreats in Bali doesn’t mean you are a skilled teacher. It just means you are good at marketing. In my field, this matters.

How can our readers further follow you online?

www.alinestudios.com

Blog https://alinestudios.com/blog

Instagram @alinestudios_

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

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success and good health!

Thank you so much. I really appreciate that.

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