You’ve probably noticed that we’ve been hard at work adding incredible members to the FASTer Way corporate DREAM TEAM. In addition to continuing to service our clients and continue to grow the FASTer Way, with the help of my team members, I finally have more margin to spend time sharing about a topic I’m passionate about: entrepreneurship.
It’s hard to believe that eight years ago this week, I started my virtual fitness business. I started my business as a blog that was actually inspired by training a gym client who told me I needed to share my program by writing a book. I laughed and told her that I couldn’t write a book (which is ironic considering my first book was released last week), but I COULD start a blog. I created my fitness blog as a way to share value, publish content, and provide virtual training for clients that had moved out of state.
My blog quickly took off and allowed me to connect to a number of professionals and companies that greatly helped me when I first started and then eventually created the FASTer Way just three years ago. Since then, I’ve learned so much about starting, growing, and scaling an online business. Here are three lessons to help as you create your own online business:
1.Be willing to iterate and do it quickly
When you ramp up a business and prepare to scale, you have to be willing to iterate. What was working when you first started your business might not be working anymore. Listening to the marketplace to get a good pulse on what people want and need is key.
Eight years ago, fitness bloggers like me were limited to one-on-one training. That eventually led to group workouts, and then I even created two workout DVDs. But fast forward a few years, and thanks to technological advances, the FASTer Way is disrupting the marketplace and creating a new category of fitness and nutrition industry. We’re the only company to combine digital fitness with nutrition and support to empower our clients to change their lives. We are moving at the speed of the internet, and this is required to rise above competition and fill a need in the marketplace. Adaptability is now a core value for my corporate team, and it should be a core value for you as well.
2. It’s not the critic who counts
If I allowed internet trolls and haters to stop me, we would never have launched the FASTer Way over three years ago. When I first introduced intermittent fasting as a core strategy to the program, I received so much criticism that my husband Brandon told me that anyone else would have quit. But we didn’t do that, and we still won’t budge when criticism comes. And guess what? Intermittent fasting is now a mainstream trend.
This quote from Theodore Roosevelt sums it up perfectly:
“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”
It’s taken some time, but my skin has thickened to negative reviews and copycat programs; they no longer trigger me. As you follow your mission, you might be criticized by friends, family members, and strangers. But this doesn’t matter. Keep your confidence in your vision and mission, and turn the criticism into fuel.
3. Team is everything
You cannot do it all on your own. You can try, and you might even be able to grow your business, but you won’t scale. You need people who can come alongside you to help your business take off. Our team has changed over the years and it will continue to change, but that’s a GOOD thing.
Not everyone is adaptable or willing to embrace a start-up culture, and sometimes it’s necessary to part ways with team members. Embrace the change, and know that the empty seat on the bus WILL be filled by the right team member. I’m so grateful for each and every person on the FASTer Way team, and can’t wait to see what we will accomplish together!
I hope this list of just a few of the many lessons I’ve learned over the years will help you focus on what really matters in creating your business. I can’t wait to share more with you soon!
-XOXO, Amanda Tress