Elizabeth Suarez is a highly successful entrepreneur and owner of two franchised fitness studios in West Palm Beach and Wellington Florida. Having navigated her career with determination, focus, and persistence, she has received extensive recognition for her business and athletic pursuits.
With an awe-inspiring education, Elizabeth completed a B.S. in Equine Studies, a B.A. in Business Management, a B.S. in Biology, and an A.S. in Nursing. Her training did not end with these accomplishments. While serving as a Firefighter, Elizabeth earned multiple certifications during her Emergency Response Training program and received various awards, including, the Most Physically Fit Award, the Most Outstanding Recruit Award, and two Life-Saving Awards.
Living a life of monumental success has not impeded her desire to help others recognize the importance of taking responsibility for their health and wellness. For example, Next Gen, is a program Elizabeth launched to provide financial support and awareness of health and wellness to the younger generation. Elizabeth Suarez shares her inspiring insights and methods on her journey to success.
What is your typical day, and how do you make it productive?
I start my day from my home office. I look at my calendar to see what tasks I have lined up. I typically end up in either of my studios or running errands throughout the day. The way that I make it most productive is that I stick to that schedule. Everything personal and business-wise is always on the calendar. I live and breathe by that, and that’s what keeps it most effective and efficient.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I confide in individuals close to me, whether it’s my husband, my family, or someone I respect in the community or business world. I get their honest opinion on whether or not they think it is a good one. Once I share it, I feel the idea has come to life, because now it is real and we’re talking about it. Once the idea is in motion, I will come up with the first five steps forward and slowly begin making that plan a reality.
What’s one trend that excites you?
A trend that excites me is the new chat CPT. AI is scary but exciting. I think it can be beneficial when automating certain tasks such as recording interviews or editing previous works. It is a pretty cool trend that I see picking up speed rapidly.
What is one habit that helps you be productive?
I think in general I am very much a creature of habit. I think my organizational skills and ability to follow a timeline makes me very productive. I have a real knack for accomplishing my tasks each day, as I don’t easily lose my focus or give in to distractions.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to always be honest, regardless of what people are going to think or say. I would say the older that I get, the less I care what people think. Which in turn helps enable me to be more authentic and do the things that I truly want to pursue. When I was younger, I was so concerned with what people thought of what I was doing or what people thought of me as a person, that I would almost censor those things or even tell half truths about things just because I was so guarded or worried about what people would think or say about me. So I’d tell my younger self to just be yourself. Be honest. Don’t hide anything from anybody out of fear of being judged. Just do you.
Tell us something you believe almost nobody agrees with you on?
How I choose to communicate. To be a productive leader, you need to be direct and demanding. There’s a significant difference between being demanding and demeaning, and it’s essential to understand the difference.
What is the one thing you repeatedly do and recommend everyone else do?
Definitely, use the calendar. I know it is repetitive. I have said it multiple times, but I can’t stress it enough. I mean, I repeatedly add things to my calendar, and check it multiple times a day. It made my life, work life, personal life, everything, much more organized and balanced and less chaotic just because I stick to my schedule. I cannot stress enough how important that tool is.
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?
Normally, what I do is I work out, if I’m feeling overwhelmed, or I’m feeling maybe a little bit disheveled, disconnected, or overwhelmed I work out, go for a run, go for a walk, or a ride. I get away from whatever the issue is, and then come back to it. I step away, refresh, and come back with fresh eyes.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business or advance in your career?
I would say, focusing on more individualized touchpoints has helped to grow the business. In the beginning, I wanted to automate processes so I could work remotely. However, there are pros and cons to this strategy. At the end of the day, people want personal connections, and they crave to feel seen, heard and appreciated by management. It just helps grow the reputation of your business by genuinely caring for your customers and seeing them as more than just a number. For us, for the gym, specifically, implementing things like personal phone calls, rather than automated texts or emails, personal phone calls to check on people to see why they haven’t been in the gym for the last week or check on them if we know that they had an injury. Or if we know that they are on vacation, call them when they said they were going to be back and get them back in the gym. Paying attention to those little details makes a big difference regarding growth.
What is one failure in your career, how did you overcome it, and what lessons did you take away from it?
Since opening both gyms, it has been a learning process, and I am always working to overcome new obstacles. It’s important to know how to delegate; however, it’s also essential that all employees undergo the necessary training ahead of time.
When I first opened my gym, I was an absentee owner and was not in the studio as much as I should have been. I delegated a lot and trusted that it would be done properly. I didn’t take the time to ensure everyone was on the same page and, as a result, took a financial hit. Years later, I have the knowledge and experience to know better, and we have adjusted our protocols.
Another challenge for me was communication. I am a very direct person, so finding the right balance between my communication style and my employee’s was also an adjustment. I overcame this obstacle by developing a level of self-awareness and took a step back to really look at what my employees needed and how I could better serve them.
What is one business idea you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I would suggest considering something online as a business. It seems like everything these days is moving online, whether that be selling things on Amazon or offering some type of subscription or experience or anything similar. My biggest advice would be to look for something that you can do remotely. Give yourself the freedom to take your laptop with you to work. If I were to start a new business, that is what I would do for sure.
What is one piece of software that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Loyal snap is a platform that I use, it is a CRM, which helps me track leads and sales. It integrates with mindbody, which is our processing, merchandise services. I would say that that platform helps to enable us to make sure that no leads fall through the cracks. All of the employees love it. It is very user friendly. But it’s not just that software, there are so many different ones that integrate with our current ones that really help to make things seamless and smooth. Another one would be Waiver King. But again, having these softwares that help with organization and help us to be successful has been a game changer.
Do you have a favorite book or podcast you’ve gotten a ton of value from and why?
I enjoy Joe Rogan. He has got a great podcast. His podcast is so eclectic and diversified. The people he interviews are from all walks of life. I also enjoy Jordan Peterson. He’s also pretty diversified, but the way that he reverses engineers’ questions or topics is more digestible than most can deliver, making it more enjoyable and capturing. On the health and wellness side, my husband and I thoroughly enjoy Huberman Labs, which is a podcast that focuses on a wellness lifestyle. He is a scientist that is not biased and doesn’t sell any products. He gives you great scientific advice about a slew of different things. Those are my top three podcasts that I enjoy. For books, I would say one of the books that I enjoyed the most was Relentless by Tim Grover, very motivational. I prefer books that tell stories about people such as autobiographies, but on a deeper level, I love hearing people’s real-life stories. I feel like I can always find a way to relate to other people’s life stories in some way, shape, or form. I enjoy motivational books.
What’s a movie or series you recently enjoyed and why?
I do not watch too much TV. But I did recently watch Mindhunter, the series about FBI agents who interview psychopaths. It takes place in the 60s. It is the first time that they’re actually interviewing these serial killers and trying to understand the mind and the behavior around it. It was basically the first dive into behavioral analysis or behavioral science. It was fascinating. That was a good one to fulfill my nerdy side. My husband and I watched The Last of Us together. I do not particularly care for scary movies or scary series. But my husband and my oldest stepson both love this type of stuff. I enjoyed The Last of Us because it was something that we could watch as a family and talk about and enjoy together. I sacrificed my wellbeing, mental health, and being terrified by some of the zombie scenes, because I enjoyed just doing it with my family and watching it with the boys!
- Use your calendar daily.
- Create a daily list and schedule.
- Create your schedule including both business and personal tasks.
- Clear your schedule before the end of each day.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.