Be persistent. Good things don’t happen overnight, and the best parts of life take time and effort.
Rachel Withers is best known as a thriving FITpreneur from the UK. As a former dancer who trained with the Royal Ballet she is no stranger to the world of dance. She decided to channel her love of dance and knowledge of ballet to create fun and challenging group fitness classes for any level.
Rachel Withers had a variety of reasons for founding BalletBeFit. After stepping away from the dance world to focus on her family, Rachel realized she wasn’t caring for her body like she did when she was dancing. She knew how ballet techniques and exercise could benefit the body, and she wanted to share that knowledge with others while getting back in shape herself.
The first group class she created went so well that Rachel Withers was approached by other dancers and fitness professionals who wanted to teach their own BalletBeFit classes. Rachel turned BalletBeFit into an online community in 2016, making it her goal to help women build a successful business that doesn’t interrupt family life.
Rachel Withers learned a great deal of her marketing knowledge through her years of experience in the student accommodation industry with Student Facility Management (Student FM). Her career gave her 14 years of management experience, and in 2010, she was promoted to Head of Marketing. This knowledge base was extremely valuable for Rachel to continue her journey as a FITpreneur, expanding the reach of her growing company.
Through her fitness knowledge and entrepreneurial spirit, Rachel Withers has successfully cultivated a community of dance teachers and women who want to stay in shape without dreading their fitness routine.
The courses Rachel has created through BalletBeFit are designed to help any woman start her career (full-time or part-time) as a successful FITpreneur. In addition to courses that teach the basics of ballet technique and fitness, some courses focus on specific groups, such as tailoring classes to older adults, ante/postnatal women, and children. Not to mention that some of the courses Rachel designed are made to help instructors grow and sustain their business.
All the professionals Rachel hires into the BalletBeFit fold are experienced instructors who can expand their knowledge through BalletBeFit Academy, allowing her to maintain high standards for the company and their clients.
Rachel Withers expertly used her experience to cultivate a successful business around something she loves — ballet and fitness. Through her company, Rachel hopes to help prospective FITpreneurs create successful businesses, essentially leading to a healthier and more in-shape world.
Where did the idea for BalletBeFit come from?
After leaving the dance world, I worked my way up to a property business whilst looking after my children, so I didn’t particularly focus on myself or look after my health. I was continuously feeling tired, getting colds and just not feeling great. I decided it was important to get back in shape so I could enjoy my time with the children and the family, so I started going to a gym. I was attending various fitness classes, but I missed my dancing. That’s when the thought came to me: Why not combine all the knowledge I had learned in ballet, and combine it with fitness. I asked the gym if I could hold classes. The classes proved very popular, and it wasn’t long before other teachers and instructors approached me to ask if they could also teach the class! From there, BalletBeFit was born.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I am a morning person. I usually get up at 6 a.m. My dog, Poppy, pretty much wakes up at the same time. I take the dog out for a 30-minute walk in the morning. I love it. It gives me time to listen to podcasts. Afterward, I have water with lemon and do my meditation for relaxation. I focus on a pleasant scene and visualize being there. It really sets me up for the day.
Breakfast usually consists of one poached egg on rye. I then hit the studio and either workout doing BalletBeFit, or have a session with my personal trainer. I like to combine different forms of exercise. Once the workout is over, I jump in the shower and get ready for the day.
At 9 a.m., I begin my workday start-up ritual. What I do is review all the goals I have set for myself in advance. I use the Full-Focus Planner and I have all my goals in there — personal and business. It takes me less than five minutes. I just flip through my goals to remind myself of where I’m going.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I write down my business ideas to keep them front-of-mind. For visualization, I also create a mood board that helps the ideas really come to life.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I love that we’re seeing more focus on self-development in the UK. People are taking better care of their bodies and minds, leading to a happier and more productive society.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
It may sound counterproductive, but I believe that rest, relaxation and downtime are extremely important for productivity.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to be persistent. Good things don’t happen overnight, and the best parts of life take time and effort.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
In Brazil, the language is Portuguese. Most people think they speak Brazilian.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I continuously find myself reading and studying. Education is the best way for a person to improve their skills and themselves.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Having a mastermind group has been key in helping my business grow. It has enabled me to have specialised knowledge needed to grow the business.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
At first, I tried to do everything myself. I would spend too much time working out how to do tasks instead of getting them done efficiently by asking for help. After I began working with experts and creating my mastermind group, the business really began to grow.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
MLM marketing provides a great opportunity to start your own business with a small outlay, while having all the support to succeed. Jeunesse is one of the most exciting MLM companies on the market. Their website:
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently spent a night out with friends watching the amazing Hofesh Shechter Company. It was thought-provoking and inspirational. Such a talented choreographer and amazing company. I suppose it is both personal and professional, in a way.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Kajabi is a great piece of software to host my courses. It also allows me to contact and communicate with my clients.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz. It is an amazing self-help book that has changed the way I think and has really had a positive impact on my life.
What is your favorite quote?
“Accept yourself as you are. Otherwise, you will never see opportunity. You will not feel free to move to it; you will feel you are not deserving.” — Maxwell Maltz
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.