Women with Cool Jobs

Fitness Empire Franchise Founder & CEO of Largest U.S. Fitness Program for Moms, with Lisa Druxman of Fit4Mom (Stroller Strides)

September 20, 2023
Women with Cool Jobs
Fitness Empire Franchise Founder & CEO of Largest U.S. Fitness Program for Moms, with Lisa Druxman of Fit4Mom (Stroller Strides)
Show Notes Transcript

What does it take to build a franchise with nearly 2,000 class locations, 1,850 instructors, and over 250 franchise owners across the United States?

Lisa Druxman built a fitness empire that meets moms where they’re at, literally in their neighborhoods and physically to create health and wellness!  She is the Founder and CEO of FIT4MOM, which is the largest fitness program for moms in the United States. Plus, she's a noted speaker, author, and podcaster. 

She initially created Stroller Strides in response to wanting to use her time during maternity leave  in a way that would allow her to be with her brand new baby while also being active and healthy. She ended up sharing what she was doing with her community in a short TV segment, and the rest is history.

We talk about:

  •  What is it like to build the business while having young children? 
  •  What are some of the details and nuances of building a franchise? 
  • What's the difference between being a franchisee and an entrepreneur building your own business? 
  • What are some specific techniques she uses to manage her time and mindset? 
  • How do you decide what ideas to pursue?
  • How to lessen the learning curve for yourself and others



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Lisa Druxman:

The more hard things that you go through, the more you grow, like. So I have gone through so many hard things now and 22 years that I have pretty high confidence in my capacity to get through those things. So I'm not saying I like conflict. I'm not saying I like the problems, but I know I can get through that. So they don't faze me the way they did at the beginning at the beginning. They definitely faced me I'm like, oh my god, this is too hard or too expensive, you know. And so the more you do this, and the more you get through, you're really gonna develop the confidence to get through it.

Julie Berman - Host:

Hey, everybody, I'm Julie and welcome to Women with cool jobs. Each episode will feature women with unique trailblazing and innovative careers. We'll talk about how she got here, what life is like now, and actionable steps that you can take to go on a similar path, or one that's all your own. This podcast is about empowering you. It's about empowering you to dream big and to be inspired. You'll hear from incredible women in a wide variety of fields, and hopefully some that you've never heard of before. Women who build robots and roadways, firefighters, C suite professionals surrounded by men, social media mavens, entrepreneurs, and more. I'm so glad we get to go on this journey together. Hello, everybody. This is Julie Berman, and welcome to another episode of women with cool jobs. So today, I am so excited to have a guest on who has helped moms and kids live their best lives have quality time together. And also for the mamas out there to squeeze in some time for them to do activity and to focus on their health and get some exercise in. And so she is the founder of fit for mom, the country's largest fitness programs for moms, which underneath the umbrella of fit for mom, is stroller strides. And you may have heard about this, you may have participated in shoulder strides, or one of their many other program offerings for moms, whether that's moms who are still pregnant moms who have young kiddos, but they allow women to have these beautiful playful interactions with their kids while also getting exercise, which I of course, love. I have seen them at parks near me and have always been curious how they work. And so it's really incredible, that here I am talking to Lisa, about this vision that she had that started as just something that she and her son were doing together. And she started sharing about it and then it just like exploded. And she saw that there was this huge need and desire for moms to do something like this. And so needless to say, she has been building this company for many years now. And in addition to doing this, she's also a speaker and author and a podcaster. And it was just so fun to not only get to hear about all the sorts of tips and suggestions that she has, as being someone who's who's was a parent with a young child. And then she has two children now who are who are grown, or almost grown, and but then going through this process and and really going through all these twists and turns of building an empire and doing so while figuring out how to balance motherhood and running a business. They have 2000 classes all across the country, 1800 50 instructors, and over 250 franchisees nationwide, this really means that she's not only doing the work, to build the business, and to really ensure that the participants are enjoying their experiences and want more of it. She's also doing the work behind the scenes, so that the franchise owners are really able to earn money, that they are serving their audience in whatever part of the country that they're in, you know that there's the systems in place that that make it easy and all these other things that you have to consider that goes into franchising, which is so interesting, because I have never learned about these in detail myself. So this was a wonderful glimpse into like, what does it take to have a franchise to build a franchise? What do you have to think about when you have franchise owners? What do you have to think about as you're building a business and all those components and so she shared some really amazing tips and even like some details about how she manages her time, so I was just so appreciative because right, I'm in that same spot where I'm building something with my own business. And also, I'm a mom of young kids. And she's worked with, you know, hundreds of people over the years, whether mom's in courses, and she's still teaching, or whether that's the franchise owners themselves. So this was such a really fun episode to learn something that is completely new to me, and also to hear another mom's story about how she still feels just as passionate about what she's doing, as she did years ago when she started. So if you feel like you love this episode, please make sure you share it with at least one friend who it will resonate with after you finish listening, that helps show that there are so many opportunities and things that women are doing right now. And also it helps grow the show, which I am so appreciative of. Alright, so now without further ado, here is the episode with me and Lisa, enjoy. All right, well, hello, Lisa, thank you so much for being a guest on women with cool jobs. So you have had a cool job for a while now you are founder and CEO of fit for mom, which is the largest fitness program for moms in the United States. You're also a podcaster, an author, a speaker. And just overall, like when I was learning about you, and like learning about what you've accomplished, I kind of think of you is like really building this fitness empire. But based on meeting moms where they are like, physically, mentally, I'm a mom of three. So I really appreciate what you're like what you've done and what you're doing with your company. And it's just such a pleasure to be able to interview like a mompreneur, who's been right who's been like helping moms for a while now. So thank you so much for being on. Lisa.

Unknown:

Thank you so much for having me. Thanks for all the kind words.

Julie Berman - Host:

Sure. So I want to ask you a few questions about your job in general. But like the first thing I want to start out with is like, how do you define your job? How do you explain your job to people?

Unknown:

Oh, wow, how do I explain my job to people, when I'm used to explaining what fit for Mom is I mean, for fit for Mom is that we offer fitness classes for moms across the country at every stage of motherhood. So our flagship program is stroller strides. That was the program I created 22 years ago, where moms actually workout with their babies in the stroller. And now we have eight different programs. So now I think, you know, my job is the I'm the idea monkey. So I'm the one who comes up with the ideas and the big, hairy, audacious goals. And then I have an incredible team who helps make them happen. So I have I feel like I have the best mom job in the world.

Julie Berman - Host:

I love that. I love that you use big, hairy, audacious goals as well. Because I think right, we should all have big, hairy audacious goals. That's so good. Thank you for explaining that. And can you go back now a little bit like tell us how you got started in this field? And I'm assuming you haven't around 22 year old now adults do.

Unknown:

Yes. I always know how old the businesses by how old my son is. So I was looking to start a business. I was on maternity leave with Jacob. When he two years ago, it was August 2001. One I actually started stroller strides. But he was born in May. So during my maternity leave, my time with him was so precious because I thought I had to go back to my 60 hour week job. And so I created a stroller workout that I could do with them so that I didn't have to miss time with him to go work out and it was our best hour of the day. But what was missing for me it was I had so many questions about motherhood, I knew nothing about motherhood. So I started a local class in my neighborhood with four moms. I named it stroller strides. And I figured I can help them get back in shape after having a baby and they can help me with all the things that you need to know about becoming a mom. And I used to do the fitness stories for the local news station. And they called and said, Hey, we've got an opening tomorrow. Can you come in? I was like, No, I'm on maternity leave. And then light bulb went off. I'm like, I'm gonna promote Stroller Strides, like it's a business. And if so wasn't it was like not even I show up with my you know, I'm very postpartum with a three month old baby and they had to put my cell phone and my email on the green screen because I didn't have a business website or anything. And I promoted a grand opening class that I didn't even have a permit for. And when I got home there were sending emails waiting from women who were like, Oh my God, I need you to get out of the house. I need something to do with my baby. You know, this is sounds amazing. And so I did that grand opening class and 40 Moms showed up and two news crews showed up. And to make this very long story short, I decided not to go back to work and to turn it into a business. And I started stroller strides in San Diego in 2001. We opened 12 class locations, I hired other instructors were also moms. And we all felt like we hit the mom job lottery because we were getting a chance to work with our baby and have such an incredible impact on our community. And then we started getting requests from women all over the country who wanted to either start or join classes. Now realize, Julie, this is before Facebook, this is before social media. This is I mean not to age myself, but this is truly calling your sister cousin friend and saying, Oh, I'm doing this really cool class in San Diego. And so we ended up franchising the business. So here we are now 2023, we have nearly 300 franchisees nearly 2000 instructors across the country and fitness for every stage of motherhood, much journey.

Julie Berman - Host:

That is amazing. And I love. I mean, I think that was really helpful to have that context that you kind of put in there that like it literally was word of mouth, like not necessarily through social media. Because I think nowadays, right, we just sort of automatically think of social media. But that is incredible. I mean, that story that you just started to do something because you wanted all the time that you could have with your son, and then it blew up into this amazing thing. And yet also this thing that really is helping moms connect with their children, whether as the person running a franchise and a business themselves, or as the person attending and enjoying the class, and just getting that connection with their kiddo at the time. Absolutely. Yeah, that's awesome. Well, thank you for sharing that story. And like, what was your background? Like, before that? I mean, were you involved with doing things with children before that? Or like fitness before that? What what was that? Like?

Unknown:

Yeah, I had been in the fitness industry for a decade at that time. So that means I'm going well over 30 years. Um, you know, and I started as a group, exercise instructor and personal trainer, but at the time before starting fit for mom, I was the general manager at a very large multimillion dollar health club, very luxurious, high end health clubs. So I really learned about the business of fitness and the fitness business I working in the industry for so long.

Julie Berman - Host:

Okay. Because I was gonna ask that too. I mean, like, I can imagine, after you had 40 Moms right, show up to something that you didn't even plan for, right? Like, it just turned into something that people wanted to do, like, how did you? I guess, like, take those initial stages, and then build it into this huge business that it is today? I mean, that that in itself, I think is incredible.

Unknown:

Yeah, I mean, you figure it out one step at a time. I mean, building the class, that part was easy for me. So that part wasn't a stretch, but learning how to franchise the business, learning how to share it with others. That part was hard. So I really thought about that every single part of the business needs to be replicated by someone else. So it needs to be documented. How do you do things? How do you do a grand opening class? How do you market your class? How do you respond to a lead when they come in? So for a franchise, you really want to try to make as much as you can a business in a box and a turnkey business, as you probably know that most new businesses fail. I mean, I think it's like 90%. But almost 90% of franchise businesses succeed, because it's a figured out system. So we had to figure it out and figure it out one day at a time and one step at a time. And certainly the business now at 22 years is very different than what we started a long time ago. And it continues to evolve. And what will look like a year from now or five years from now will also be complete growth.

Julie Berman - Host:

Yeah. Do you feel like there have been? I don't know how I like to best phrase it but like major changes in sort of what moms themselves have been looking for, or has that remain consistent?

Unknown:

Wow, that's a great question. The thing that remains consistent is that moms will often come for the fitness but they stay for the community. It doesn't matter what socio economic group you come from, what community you come from. All moms are looking for connection, and they're looking for a place to belong, a place to be appreciated, a place to be seen. So it doesn't matter if you're a mom of the 90s or 2000s or 2000 20s. I think that part is really consistent. I think the part that is ever changing for us is how do you reach new moms and where are the new moms? So that has been very much art Team meeting to stay on top of their social media game and the digital advertising game. That part's changed a lot. In the early years, we had incredible PR exposure. We were on the Today Show and Good Morning America, and virtually every parenting magazine and Fitness magazine. Now it's really more about the fitness influencers. So those are some of the things that I feel like have changed in the business. But I think mom's wanting to connect and have community I don't think that's ever going to change.

Julie Berman - Host:

Yeah, yeah, I could see that. And I think from my experience, I've been a mom for eight years. So I can definitely say like, it's it's those connections, especially at the beginning, when you're a mom, and you're like, what, like, I'm tired, right? Like, I'm just figuring this thing out. It's so helpful to have those connections and to know, also you're not alone. And really, yeah, I get tips of the trade and all those things. So awesome. Well, and if you can explain now, like, what's your job? Now? I know, you said like, you come up with these big, audacious dreams? And can you go through like, what is a day in the life or week in the life? Like for someone who has built this amazing business and created these franchise partnerships all over?

Unknown:

Well, you know, I, I hesitate to share because it doesn't start here, right? Like you have, there are so many stages of being a business owner. And I see this with our own franchisees because we have franchisees who are brand new. And we have franchisees who have been with us for nearly two decades. And you know, we all start, I think almost every entrepreneur starts as a solopreneur. Like we all start where we wear all the hats, you do everything from offering the service to the sales to the admin, maybe, you know, maybe bookkeeping, like we all start doing all of it. And so over the last two decades, what's happened is that I've really gotten clear on like, I think of it as four buckets, what are the things you like to do? What are the things you don't like to do? What are the things you're good at? What are the things that you are not good at? So like, think about all of the things that need to happen, and where did those fall for you. And then what I've done over the last two decades, is get rid of the things that I don't like, and I'm not good at. I'm not saying it's perfect, but it's pretty darn close. So the way and plus my kids are growing up, which is has made a huge, huge difference when the kids were young, gosh, I just wanted a few hours to work, you know, whereas now I could work 14 hours a day and nobody would care. It's up to me to block those hours. So day in the life, I'm very big on morning ritual and morning routine. So I wake up at five. And I have a ritual of journaling, kind of habit tracking, gratitude, and meditation, I work out, I get all that done. Before I do anything before I check email, or social media or slack like all of that has happened. I take my dogs on at least a half hour walk every day. And I'm always listening to a book or podcast. When my day does start, I give myself about a half hour window to catch up on emails and that kind of thing. So that I'm not feeling like I'm diving right into a meeting and being late. And then I also time block my week, so that I have some days like today where I'm doing podcast interviews and getting a chance to do some meetings. And then I have other days that I completely block off. So there's no meetings, so that I can do the kinds of work that take more creativity and more projects. So it might be writing or doing some strategy kinds of things. I feel like a lot of my job now, I feel like it's my responsibility as CEO to be up leveling my mind and up leveling my network. So I spend a lot of time learning and a lot of time in meetings and meetings with building my network and building connections. So that's very different from what it used to be two decades ago.

Julie Berman - Host:

Yeah, thank you for explaining that. I mean, and I think that's so interesting to hear kind of where you're at now. It's very inspiring. Because I'm at the other end of the spy know,

Unknown:

as are most of my franchisees are listening. They're like, Oh, that must be nice. So like yeah, it wasn't always like this I was doing the the hustle and the struggle like all of you before

Julie Berman - Host:

horse, of course. And like how going back to that time when you were starting out? How did you sort of manage those times when you had, you know, like a young child and yet you're building this business. You had this vision for expansion as well. How did you manage those pieces and you know, and then even figure out like, when do you need to bring in help or when do you try to do things on your own?

Unknown:

Well, Julie, I didn't I did a terrible job. Remember I started the business because I wanted to be a mom first and foremost. So when the business took off like a rocket ship and we were selling six grand Chase is a must. And, you know, we're getting all this amazing national media, I was failing at everything, I felt like I wasn't being a good mom, I felt like it wasn't being a good wife, I felt like I didn't have the focus and energy for the business. And I wasn't doing a good job for a long time. And then I put a line in the sand and realized I created this for myself. And I could also create something different. And I redesigned my whole life based on what's most important to me, and how I do my schedule and how I build my team. And that's honestly how I wrote the book, the Empowered mama, which is about how to reclaim your time your health in yourself, I share kind of what I figured out and how I created new tools for myself so that I could design a life that I love to live and that I felt was in alignment with my values, because my values are held on my values, our family, I was totally out of alignment with that, because I wasn't taken care of any of those things. So I got grounded to what my values were what was most important to me. And I really redesigned my schedule, and slowly built an amazing team so that I can do what I love.

Julie Berman - Host:

Yeah, yeah, thank you for sharing that. I mean, I think that's, it's interesting to hear, because I think it can be easy to slowly like or quickly as it was for you add in all these different things. And then before you know it, like your day and your week are just not how you originally pictured, you know, not the reason that you actually started down that path in the first place. Like, I know, sometimes that totally gets to be the same way for me. So I appreciate that hearing, that you really paused and had to figure out like, what actually do I want to know? And like, how do I actually want to live every day,

Unknown:

I am obsessed with time, I do so many podcast episodes on time, and I write so much on time. And I just feel like it's the only resource that we can't buy more of. And so I am so thoughtful and purposeful about how I use it and what we teach our franchisees to do. And my recommendation if there's other mom entrepreneurs out there are women like you who are juggling, running a business and having young kids. In the beginning, I tried to do both at once, you know, I tried to be on the computer and doing emails and then also with my toddler and like, you become so drained, and you're constantly multitasking and it just doesn't feel good in your heart. And you've always feel like you're not doing a good enough job anywhere. So I would highly recommend to any moment openers, get some childcare, like it might not be full time to get some hours. And so if you only have four hours a week to work, I don't know what it is, but like whatever it is, be so focused on that time, and so purposeful. And so really, I'm a very big believer and blocking your time. And batching the work that you do and on taking breaks. So block break and batch.

Julie Berman - Host:

I love it. Yeah. So all the BS, all the important the BS, yeah, thank you for that. And I am going to I have to think about that for myself. Like how would I apply that and in a more efficient, effective way for you being being someone who really is kind of like a visionary for for moms, right, like the idea of being able to balance this idea of health and wellness, but also spending time with the people we love. And also because you have been going through and building this business and now you have so many different facets, which I was looking at all the different options you guys have, which is really cool, you know, some for pregnant mamas some for moms just without their kids even some more with a with like a very specific health focus. And then the stroller strides is is kind of what I'd heard of before. How, like how do you figure out when you do have a big idea? How to follow that? Or like do you try to find all the facts and like all the supporting information? Is it like very like heart based and intuitive? Or how do you make these decisions being

Unknown:

questions or questions? Okay, so I mean, my team does call me the idea monkey, I have more ideas than I have a lifetime to, to achieve them. And not all ideas are worth pursuing. And I think a lot about a friend of mine who works at Apple and he said Lisa, we get like 98 Good ideas a day that we have to say no to and a good leader follows what they are supposed to do and says no to all the other doesn't mean they're not good ideas. So like, you can't go after everything. So my team and I have really come up with some good processes where I have a place to put all of the ideas, okay. And then every quarter, we review all of the ideas. And we talk about what resources would it take and resources being money resources, being time resources being people? What's the reward of that idea? Is it low, medium, or high? What would we not be able to do? If we take on this idea? Is it a distraction, and then I have each team member rank the ideas, and we get scores. Now, even if it's you alone, you can still go through that same process by yourself. But from there, we really start to see alright, what are the things that we're willing to pursue? If we have some ideas that we're going to go after? When we're like, Okay, this is going to be, I'm thinking of it, I'm thinking of a specific one that we think we're going to go after in 2024. It's a big tech project, which is not an exciting idea to me, but it's one that I know that we need to do. And it's big, and it's gonna take up so it's going to take up time, and it's going to take money. If we say yes to it for 2024, which I think we are, we will say no to a whole lot. Because you can only you only have so much bandwidth. So whether you're a team of one, or I have a team of 25, you know, your bandwidth expands with your team. But even that is limited, right? And so I would say my recommendation to making decisions is, is it an alignment with your values is in alignment with your passion with your why for your business? Very often, I come up with ideas where my team has to remind me, Okay, that's great. But we're fit for mom. And our biggest commitment is to our franchisees. So it's a distraction from the rest of the business. Yeah, so and we have a list called one day, someday, one day, so even on the ones that don't get voted, that we're going to do, it doesn't necessarily come off a list unless we decide that it's an idea that's no longer good. It just belongs on the seventh day one day, and there may be some ideas that I do and another stage of my life.

Julie Berman - Host:

I love that I love the someday one day list. That sounds so good. It's almost like a business, a business bucket list.

Unknown:

Yes, yeah. And it's just something because I'm always worried that an idea is gonna get lost, or that I need to keep it in my head. And I try to keep as little in my head as possible. So just have a safe place for your ideas.

Julie Berman - Host:

I love that. Okay, that is so good. Trello. Okay, I was gonna ask if you didn't mind sharing, because there are so many different tools like growing amounts of tools. And it's sometimes hard to know what to use, like, what's practical, what to pay leave or fried a lot,

Unknown:

we use the free version of Trello, we might pick to pay for it now. But for many years, we use the free version. I have a template that we've created that has q1, q2, q3, q4. Someday, one day, and then that's it. And then what we do is we expand it when q1, when like, when we're planning for q1, we then break it into three more columns of January, February, March, and we move the things to decide Alright, when are we getting this done? Is it January is that February, March.

Julie Berman - Host:

Love that. That's great. Thank you for sharing that detail with us. I probably could

Unknown:

share the template with your your listeners, if you want. Just remind me and I'll get

Julie Berman - Host:

back to it. Yes, that would be amazing. Okay, I will I'm making a note right now. Thank you. That would be amazing. And I'm curious, like, because I've heard a little bit about franchises, how franchises work, but I know also, there's like a lot of details and rules and things that go into that. So when you were first getting into it, and now like how, how can you manage that? Because I feel like that is a different model than other businesses where they aren't franchise space. Do you have like lawyers on call and these kinds of things to make sure that you are following you know, whatever the guidelines are in those in those spaces and places for for that franchise.

Unknown:

So let me give you a look behind the curtains. Okay, and share a story that doesn't see it told you the beginning of my story. But I didn't tell you this part because it's not that I it's not that I'm Private about it. It's just not normally part of the story unless somebody asks. So when I first started and we got those requests from across the country, I went to an attorney and I said, you know, what do I do I want to share this business and she said, Well, you definitely want to license. You don't want a franchise. She said, franchising is super expensive. It's very a lot that has to go into it. And so licensing is the way to go and being a young entrepreneur with not a very big network as Okay, and so we licensed the business And so we sold were selling licenses. And we had 128 licensees, and we were on the Today Show. And two weeks after the today's show, we got a letter from the Federal Trade Commission that said, somebody reported you and we think that you should be a franchise a normal license. So I went to a franchise attorney, and I said, What do I do? And he said, you're basically screwed, because you're in, I can't remember, like 40 states and you have 128 licenses, and you'd have to defend yourself and all of those states. So it would make more sense for you to just tell between your legs say, hey, we made a mistake, we'll we'll transfer will become a franchise. And again, I'm going to say same lesson, young entrepreneur, not a big network didn't ask second opinions. And so I listened again, both times, I've should have gotten second opinions. So we did end up franchising the business it is franchising is very is very expensive, you have to register, you have to create something called an FTD, which is a Franchise Disclosure Document, which is a very, very long, boring document for every prospect. And all franchises have this. So when you apply, you get this FTD and I would highly suggest you get a glass of wine, because it's really boring. But it is all there to protect you the franchisee it shows that this business has like everything about what's in the business and what you're going to get and what you're not gonna get. And it gives you financial information about the business, all the financials are out there, and so that applicants can make a good business decision. So if you're thinking about franchising your business, you have to have an attorney help you create your FTD you have to re register with the registration states every single year. So every year you do a new FTD you do you register again. And you also have to have your business audited every single year. And everything's public. So whereas I know a lot of business owners, if it's your own business, and you don't have any partners, and it's just your own business, maybe like well, sweet personal expenses and stuff under their business. You can't do that. It's almost like you're a public company, because you're audited, and all of your all of your financials are public. So I am a fan of franchising for the franchisee I tell people who want to become the franchisor to really, really proceed with caution. It's, it makes sure it is the right business model for you make sure that you have the team in place the cash in place to be able to make it work. Yeah. Thank you for waiting to get a second opinion.

Julie Berman - Host:

Yeah, oh, my gosh, thank you for explaining that and your experiences, I think, yeah, I can't. I mean, I can't even imagine what that would have been like for you to go through, not only the first time for that right the second time, and to have to do all these things and in a very stressful moment. And

Unknown:

it was very stressful, because they told us the Federal Trade Commission told us you need to offer all of your licensees their full money back, which would have bankrupted us. Luckily, only two people took it and the only reason that they checked it was because they were moving. So they figured it was a good way to get it out. But everybody else was super happy with the business. We also had to go to like, it's almost like franchise probation school, like we were on action, we are on probation, and had to go to all kinds of courses on franchising. So now we are really franchise experts. Dr. Sloth, I'm doing it. So yeah, it's all worked out. We do we do very well with it. But there was a lot in the story.

Julie Berman - Host:

Yeah, I mean, a lot of learning. And I think that goes back to even what you were saying at the beginning, that part of what you feel like your job is now is just sort of meeting people and getting out there. And, and that's really interesting, too, because I think that's one of the things when you are starting out, it's like you don't know what you don't know. And you don't always know even who to ask, right? Like, who is it that you should be asking and what should you be asking? So I think that's, that's so interesting, too, that you make it a point now to really be out in the world and connecting with people. And is there anything that you would recommend like as far as what you've learned about how to connect with people and just meeting people in the world and and also, finding people who can be like those advocates for you or those sort of voices of like, let's consider these other aspects as well.

Unknown:

I am a huge, huge fan of peer groups. I highly recommend peer groups. I got into them too late, not too late, but I wish I got that into them earlier. I wish I knew about them early. Are there all kinds of peer groups that are out there. And while some might feel too big for you, there's probably something that's just a step, always step into one. That's a stretch, right? Because you want to be around people who are going to grow you. So I've been in some small ones with some, just some smart, female entrepreneurs that like we kind of created on our own. We did it for years where we met every single month, I've been in very organized ones like Vistage, I am currently in one called entrepreneurs, organization, EO, I am this year joining another one Joe polishes Genius Network. And each time, it's always a step up, like another level of investment. But more importantly, another level of the types of people that I'm meeting the resources I'm gaining access to, and the network I'm gaining access to. But being an entrepreneur is lonely, and it is chaotic. And it's a roller coaster. So to realize that you're not alone to learn from others who have been there, I am always all about lessening the learning curve for others and being in a peer group, you're all lessening the learning curves for others.

Julie Berman - Host:

Yeah, thank you for sharing that. And some of the ones that you've been into. I think that's really interesting. Like, I went actually, to this big event this past weekend. And it was a whole bunch of women who, who mostly were like, in the beginnings of their journey, you know, and entrepreneurship, but it was just so wonderful to be in a room with people who are like, in the same boat, because it does sometimes feel like you're just in this silo, you know, and for me, like when I'm not having these conversations with amazing women like you, I'm just in a room by myself staring out my window.

Unknown:

Yeah. Beginning and within, I'd say within a year, maybe two years of starting fit for mom, I started my own networking group, because I didn't even know really what they were how to find one. I called it the mob, mommy owned business. I invited other local owned mommy owned businesses. So what was nice was we also worked since we're all moms to businesses, and most of us had businesses for moms, that we were able to really like also help network for each other and help create business for each other. And that was my house. It was at my house once a month. And you know, I put out some appetizers, there was no money involved. And so there's so many ways to do it. At fit for mom, we do peer groups for all of our franchisees, we call it cohort connect. And all franchisees are, they take a quiz to decide what cohort they want to be placed in, like, are they looking for business balance? Are they looking to create an empire like, Oh, are you a community creator? Those are some of the names of some of our cohorts. And they meet once a month. And so there's a certain amount of learning that we share from home office and then just sharing with each other. So I'm clearly a very big fan of peer groups and having that community

Julie Berman - Host:

Yeah, I love that you have that built in to I mean, that's amazing. And also that you ask people like what type of experience I guess, are they looking for? That's so cool.

Unknown:

Yeah, cuz not everybody wants the same thing. And sometimes it's at different stages of motherhood, you might want different things like your first you might just be interested in the business balance, you know, having a career that integrates with motherhood. But after you've been doing this for a while, and your kids are getting older, a lot of them are like, No, I want to create an empire. And so those women who really want to be taking their business to the next level, are focusing on different things.

Julie Berman - Host:

Yeah, that sounds so cool. That is so well thought out. Like I just love that so much. Yeah, it's, that's great. You know, and, like, I want to ask, too, for, because I know you're based in San Diego, but you guys have I mean, like I literally looked on your website, and there's one of your organization's like, someone's doing it down the street from me. So which was so cool. They're at a time, which I've never gone there that early in the morning. So I think that's why I've never seen them. I am not an early bird. But I loved that literally, there's someone at my local park. And that's just so amazing. So you're in all these different communities across the country? How like, I guess, how do you put things in place, whether that's through, I guess the the franchising part of it, or just through the things that you've developed? Like, how do you figure out what works for each community? And also, I guess, to allow that flexibility for each individual franchise and woman who's teaching to be able to kind of create what they need to and adjust based on who's actually within their groups across all these places in the country?

Unknown:

Yeah, I think there's two stages that that are two parts of it. The first part is when somebody's looking to buy as far as what is the territory look like. And so we have a great demographics program that will not only tell us if you have the population density, but do you have the right amount of women in the age range? Do you have the right amount of women in the right socio economic group to make sure that a class will work. So we first make sure that the territory will work and it breaks our heart. I just had a conversation with our sales director today, because we sometimes do get women who would be a great candidate, but they're interested in this really rural area that it probably doesn't make sense, we are trying to we do have an idea, we do have an idea that we might do in 2024, to how we might be able to still have something to offer those ladies. But besides that, so that's our part of it, then their part is to decide what are they going to offer. So almost every I shouldn't say almost all of our franchisees start with Stroller Strides that really is our flagship program. And then they decide to add more. We've a great onboarding process that gives them guidance and suggestions on how many programs to us add each year, and how much do you want to grow? But it's really it's paced based on them and what they want to do.

Julie Berman - Host:

Okay, thank you. Yeah, that's really interesting. I like the fact that it's like staff space, you know, like fact face first, and then per the choice of the person doing it. That seems like a great balance. That makes a lot of sense. So for you, I'm curious, like, and I'm trying to figure out which I guess which direction to go with this question. But maybe you can like kind of AP in which direction you think might be more fun to answer which one you want to go in? Like, I'm curious, because I like to ask question around. If women are hearing this, whether they're young women or older women, and they're hearing this and they're like, oh, my gosh, this sounds super cool. Whether it's from the standpoint of you know, maybe becoming a franchisee, or if it's from the standpoint of like becoming this founder and business owner, are there certain pieces of advice that you would give people from either or both of those standpoints? And I know they're completely different. So feel free to choose one, or both. But like, just how can someone get into a similar space where they're just feeling really inspired by by this and by what you've done, essentially as like a mompreneur, but also creating like an empire of other moms out there, like doing cool things with their kids.

Unknown:

I think it starts out very similar. And that is, whatever business you want to create, or whether you want to join us as a franchisee make sure that you vibrate with the values of that business. Alright, so make sure that it really we believe in finding your passionate purpose, your passionate purposes. What are you good at? What do you love? What does the world need? And what will people pay you for? Don't like it. I'm not saying don't. But if for me, it's very hard to imagine. And I do know people who do it but starting a business that I had no passion for, like I had. I have a friend who started a business and it's printing and God bless her like she just wanted to be a business owner. But for me, I would I don't think I'd have. Being a business is hard. Being a business owner is hard. And I don't think I could get through all the hard times if I wasn't passionate about it. Like, I am so incredibly passionate about helping women find the strength and motherhood. I am as passionate about it now as I was 22 years ago. So if you are excited about that, then you should be different for mom and franchisee if you're starting your own business to figure out what is the thing that excites you is in? Is it in alignment, thinking about whether you're joining us as a franchisee or being a business owner? Really? How much time will it take. And that's really what the benefit of joining us as a franchisee or anybody if you're joining a franchise is that it's very well thought out. You don't have to reinvent the wheel, right? You've got a proven business process. We're gonna give you operations manuals, we're gonna give you marketing, we're gonna give you all the tools that you need to run the business. If you want to be in my position from 22 years ago, everything has to be created. Everything has to be created, from the concept to the marketing, to the tech to building the team just it's not for the faint of heart and love it. I will be an entrepreneur for the rest of my life. And I love working for myself and getting to walk my talk. I felt like as an employee. I mean, how many times as an employee because I'm guessing all of us were employees at some time. Like, you'd be so frustrated with how the business was run, right? Like why don't they do it like this? Well, as a business owner, you gotta walk your own talk like you get to like, you gotta go for it the way you want. Now, here's some thing I'll tell you why you should be an entrepreneur versus a franchisee for some people. Being a franchisee means you need to be someone who likes to follow the rules that you like the brand that you're buying, and you want to do things the way that brand does it. You cannot buy a fit for mom franchise and be like, Okay, we are going to two stripper pole stroller strides. Like, I just made that up. Man can't do that. Because cuz you need to make sure there's the brand integrity there. Yeah, so if you'd like to color outside the lines, you don't like to follow rules. You should not be a franchisee not just for us, but not for anyone. You should go do your own thing. Okay,

Julie Berman - Host:

thank you. That was an amazing answer, because I asked you a super hard question. Oh, yeah, no, that was an amazing answer. And I love actually the distinction too, between being a franchisee versus being an entrepreneur. That's really interesting to hear, especially like that distinction between kind of Yeah, like, do you is it? Does it feel really good to you to kind of have that all those materials and that outline and the things to follow in the marketing and all the pieces that go into that? And then you just like, run with it and go with it? Versus Do you want to color outside the lines? Do your own thing?

Unknown:

Yeah, there's a saying in franchising, this is not mine. This is a franchise saying that says you're in business for yourself, but not by yourself. So like, I was speaking to a franchisee earlier today, and she's like, Oh, my God, our franchisees are my family now, like you have to over 200 other franchise members to lean on. You have a whole home office team to lean on. Like, you're not by yourself in the business, but you are in business for yourself. Okay,

Julie Berman - Host:

yeah, your business. That's really cool. Yeah, that's very interesting. Thank you for like that, that example. And for for you. I'm curious, like you talk about, you know, like that you just love doing this as much as you did it 20 years ago, like, what do you think that means? Like, do you think there's a little bit because you're so passionate about it? Like, I actually sometimes use the word like, I'm kind of obsessed with this podcast? Like, I just love doing it. And I think about it all the time. Yeah, I think about like, people ask me, How do I find guests? And I'm just like, I don't know, how do I not find guests? Like, I just, I just think about it all the time. So whatever I'm doing, I'm like, Ooh, she seems cool. Like, let me let me consider this. So I'm curious if that's the same for you like, do you? Do you just think about it all the time? Do you? Like is it something that you're always like, How can I do this better? Or like how can I change this? Or how can I add to this? Or like, I'm just curious what that's like for you?

Unknown:

Yes. 1000 times? Yes. Yes. With it. Yes. Always figuring out how we can make it better. Yes. Never stop thinking about it. But the thing that I do want to add in case I have not made it clear. There have been so many times that I did want to throw in the towel. I don't want anyone to think it's been 22 years of bliss. And then I've always been on the high. Because there's absolutely no way that is true. There have been so many times I have wanted to throw in the towel. And my dad's a psychologist and he used to always say me bigger kids bigger problems. Well, let me tell you, the same goes true with business, the bigger the business, the bigger the level of problems. And so whether it is frivolous lawsuits, or pandemic or all kinds of crazy crap. And there have been many times where I wanted to throw in the towel. It wasn't that I didn't love it for mom, but I'm like, It's too much. It's too much for me. And my husband would always say to me, okay, maybe you can totally throw in the towel. But you need to get through whatever you're going through right now. And then you throw in the towel. And of course, whenever I got through whatever it is, I'm like, Oh, I love this business. I don't want to throw in the towel. And something else that happens with that is the more hard things that you go through, the more you grow, like so I have gone through so many hard things now and 22 years, that I have pretty high confidence in my capacity to get through those things. So I'm not saying I like conflict. I'm not saying I liked the problems, but I know I can get through them so they don't faze me the way they did at the beginning at the beginning. They definitely faced me I'm like, oh my god, this is too hard or too expensive, you know? And so the more you do this, and the more you get through you're really going to develop the confidence to get through it.

Julie Berman - Host:

Yeah, that's really helpful to hear. And that makes a lot of sense. Just like yeah, the more you I think I don't even know where I heard this was like the more you go through the more you go through something to that effect, you know, like Yeah, and then of course you learn from it, but I think that's really a powerful thing to share that it's not always Yeah, like butterflies and rainbows and, and that also you get more are, like, aware of that you can get through it,

Unknown:

there's a great book called The Four C's by Dan Sullivan. And the gist of it is I'm trying to make sure I can remember in the right order that everybody wants confidence. But before you can have confidence, you have to have courage, you have to have courage to make a move, and then you need to have commitment that you are going to go through with it. And the more committed you are, then you're going to build, I believe, capacity and competence. And once you have that, that's where the confidence comes from. So I might have said, five C's, but I think I messed it up a little bit. But the concept is still the same as like, we all want confidence. But you can't start there. You know, I still teach body boost one of our programs. And I taught at 6am this morning and had a brand new client and I could tell she was frustrated because she was needing to modify most of the moves. And I wanted her to modify most of the moves. But she was comparing herself to some of the ladies next to her who had been taking classes for years. And you can't compare your beginning to someone else's middle or someone else's end. You can't start with confidence. You have to first start with courage. Yeah. And then the commitment to move forward. I love so we've gone with the bees today and the seas today.

Julie Berman - Host:

I love it. Yeah, that's so good. Well, I got I mean, that's just such good. I'm gonna have to go find that book. Because that sounds like an amazing way to learn. How not only to be more confident, but like how to actually go through the steps of starting anything new. Yes, well, yeah, whether that's going to new exercise class or right or like a mathematics class or doing anything. It's starting with courage. I love that. Well, thank you so much like this has been such a great conversation. I want to ask you my my last question that I asked to all the guests. And it is this will you share a sentence that uses verbiage or jargon from your field? Then translate it for us? So we understand what you're saying.

Unknown:

Okay, okay, I'm trying to decide whether or not to teach you like a fitness jargon word, or for mom, GRE.

Julie Berman - Host:

Or you could do both, you can

Unknown:

quit because I feel I don't know that I've nailed exactly what you're looking for. The fitness jargon word is Dr. So I know you like an acronym. And it stands for dialysis rec die. And if you are not sure what that is, it is a separation at the linea alba. And if you're not sort of sure what that is. Alright, think about your rectus abdominus, your core muscles, the ones that you think of those washboard muscles. So picture that washboard there's a line down the center, that line down the center is the linea alba, when women are pregnant, there is a separation at the linea alba. And sometimes it separates too much. And it causes certain types of pelvic floor dysfunction, different dysfunction in the body. And so that's something we're really thoughtful about fit for mom. So that is my fitness jargon word. My Fit for mom acronym that came into mind is care. And it's something that we really focus on for all of our managers and our leaders. And it's to connect, appreciate, recognize and encourage. So that's kind of our management, philosophy, connect, appreciate, recognize and encourage.

Julie Berman - Host:

I love that those are great examples. Both of them. They were perfect. I give you an A plus, right? Yes. Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Lisa for being here. And being a guest like sharing just not only your experience, being a mom for newer like building this empire that you feel like your experience being, you know, in the franchise world, but also being an entrepreneur and kind of the ups and downs of that if if people are listening, and they're like she's rad, or I want to learn about the fit for mom classes and things, where can people find out about those? Where can people find out about you and maybe connect with you?

Unknown:

Yeah, so if you go to for mom.com, and it's fit with a number for mom.com you can find out about our classes you can find out about franchising. I also have a special for your podcast listeners. So if you go to for mom.com forward slash podcast, you can enter to win a free month. You can also claim a free week at any of the locations and you can get 50% off of our fit for mom on demand program. So lots of things on that page for you fit for mom.com forward slash podcast, and I'm pretty easy to follow. I'm on Instagram and Facebook, although I don't post super often you're gonna find out about what I'm doing with my kids 22,018 And so it's at least a draftsman on Facebook and Instagram.

Julie Berman - Host:

Awesome. Yeah. And I will share those as well in the show notes. So thank you it was such A pleasure. And I learned so much about just like franchising and running a business all all the pros and cons. So thank you.

Unknown:

I enjoyed the conversation. Thank you for having me on

Julie Berman - Host:

Julie. Of course, it was my pleasure. Hey, everybody, thank you so much for listening to women with cool jobs. I'll be releasing a new episode every two weeks. So make sure you hit that subscribe button. And if you love the show, please give me a five star rating. Also, it would mean so much if you share this episode with someone you think would love it or would find it inspirational. And lastly, do you have ideas for future shows? Or do you know any Rockstar women with cool jobs? I would love to hear from you. You can email me at Julie at women with cool jobs.com Or you can find me on Instagram at women who will jobs again that women will jobs. Thank you so much for listening and have an incredible day