If you don’t lock things down and focus on the task at hand, things will become disorganized. We don’t ever want to feel like we’ve wasted time – time blocking helps to remedy that.
Serena is a fitness professional and entrepreneur, having ten plus years experience in the wellness industry. She provides clients and subscribers with wellness services that show how fitness can be part of your everyday life no matter what. Her feature service is the virtual studio she’s created and leads online workouts with a team of three other coaches to clients from all over the world. Serena’s favorite things are to connect with other start up leaders, travel, enjoy great coffee, and decorate!
Where did the idea for SerenaFit come from?
My company name is a combination of my first name, Serena, and Fit which correlates to fitness, health + wellness. I liked that it was short, to the point and included my name. People could immediately associate my company with me as a person. I’m a personal trainer who’s coming into your life to improve your fitness. Seemed to make sense to combine the two!
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Wow. So my “typical” day starts at 5 am. By 530 or 6 am I’ve already coached a 30-minute virtual session. My clients are from all over the world at this point, so EST doesn’t mean much! Those sessions run back to back for a few hours. By 830am it’s on to my personal workout. (Ps. While I”m coaching I’m sometimes documenting my routine via Instagram to keep others in the loop!). My personal workouts last about an hour and include everything from HIIT to strength training to yoga. By 10 am I’m showered up, have eaten breakfast – usually my Green Glo protein shake with loads of greens + some fruit and am out the door by 11 am. From there it’s off to my co-working space (1776). There, I’ll write, work on new content for subscribers, reply to emails from clients/partners/team members. I cap it around 3 pm so I can have downtime back home. I take the bus back to the house and enjoy dinner by 530 pm. From there I try to stay away from screens and read, meditate, journal or watch Netflix (necessary indulgence!). In bed by 10 pm sharp to do it all over again by 530am.
How do you bring ideas to life?
This is something I’m getting better at. I tend to wing it and implement ideas without much planning. Ideally, when I get an idea, I’ll run it by a few people and create a timeline of implementation as to not get ahead of myself. I’m big on whiteboarding and handwriting things down so I can see the big picture. I think it’s essential. You have to see how things are going to flow before you throw it out there. Once it’s a go we use MailChimp and Facebook ads to get our concept announcement out there. They’ve proven to be great tools to use at next to no cost.
What’s one trend that excites you?
AI. I’m not sure it’s a trend so much as a major change in how we live as human beings, but AI and 3-D shopping/art/products would have to top my list. While it looks cool to the everyday user, the backend work on creating something that advanced is a huge sign of the times. Technology is powerful and improving every single day. Knowing that my product lies on a digital, technological platform makes me feel like I’m part of this shift! Things are changing. How we do certain things on the day to day will definitely change in the next ten years. It’s really cool to think about.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
My ability to connect with people and my determination is really strong. I’m an only child and have always had to figure things out on my own without feeling like I had a catch net. My parents, of course, were always there, but they’re not there with you at networking events, interviews, everyday life etc. I’ve always wanted to make them feel like every dime they’ve ever put into me and my future was well spent (ROI!), so I’ll connect with others to grow and expand every single day of my life, forever. I don’t want to let myself down, or others down. I pull from my resources to make connections to hopefully turn them into something BIG. I also get a creative high knowing that I can concoct something out of thin air, just by sitting down with another business owner to chat over coffee. It’s powerful!
What advice would you give your younger self?
Money management girl! Oh my goodness, budget, save, invest. I have been making money since I was 16 years old. I wish somebody told me to save a little piece of my Abercrombie + Fitch paycheck or invest the money I made coaching lacrosse. I knew money was important and something to not mess around with, but I never REALLY understood. I’d be a millionaire today if I took time to think about my habits with money. It’s a non-negotiable in today’s life.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
That trainers aren’t superhuman. People look at me and talk to me like I never have a craving or eat a slice of pizza. “How do you do this every day, all day?” They’re convinced I have it all figured out. False my friends. The only thing that may separate us is that I always catch myself. I never let unhealthy habits creep in for more than day or two, and I will always work out in some capacity. There isn’t a secret sauce, it’s just personal dedication. But I will tell you that no matter how much you may disagree with me on this, we are very much alike at the end of the day.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Time block. There are WAY too many distractions around us. If you don’t lock things down and focus on the task at hand, things will become disorganized. We don’t ever want to feel like we’ve wasted time – time blocking helps to remedy that. Set a timer for 25 minutes and close all windows on your computer. Only keep the page you’re working on open and shut the cell down. You’ll love yourself if you can fit in at least 5 time blocks per day. You’ll get so much done. Instead of saying, “Yeah it was a busy day” you can now say, “Yeah I wrote one blog, scheduled my Facebook posts, emailed my coach and researched for my next project.” Success! It’s about working smarter, not harder.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
To be relentless. You will experience many setbacks on your journey to the top. Mental blocks, social sacrifices, rejection – you name it. These experiences should only make you want it more. Get the advice and constructive criticism you need and turn it into a positive. You have to remember why you started this – to change the world? That’s not an overnight thing. You have to be relentless in the creation of your vision. You will 100% lose things along the way. I sure did. But I’m here and I’m determined to make something really really amazing. It’s an energy that’ll never settle down. Don’t forget that the idea you have in your head, wasn’t put there by accident. It’s your responsibility to bring it to fruition. Get fired up!
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I’m not sure I’ve had one, standout fail in my entrepreneurial career, but talking to the points above, I’ve had setbacks. I’ve spent thousands of dollars on website designs that were never finished and had to spend time cleaning it up. I’ve paid marketers who’s work ethic was so bad I was shocked they collected a single dollar in life. I’ve relied on others to be punctual and reliable and they fall through putting my brand and name on the line. I’ve also invested lots of time pitching, maybe not effectively, my product to have people come back at me and say no, or get back to us when it’s developed a bit more. And then I’ve had people commit to me and then literally go silent – crickets. Add all of those things up and it’s a feeling of major disappointment. I’ve had to fix lot of things in my career, but it was a learning experience. The next time I sought to work with somebody, I knew all the right questions to ask.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Somebody needs to invent a program or company that teaches adults basic lifestyle habits. I’m not sure I ever really learned how to budget my money at 25 or during my first job. I never was taught ways to self manage or plan. I never was taught how to balance life or how to organize my home. We are expected to figure things out on our own and it’s really hard. It could be called, “School of Life” or something. I mean you get the idea: a one-stop shop to learn essential tools for managing and living a balanced life through online classes, social, and homework/real-life application. I’ll be your first customer!
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
For Christmas, I donated money in my family’s name to charities that connected to their everyday life. My mom lives to be outside either running, camping, relaxing so I donated to a park-cleaning charity in her name. My dad is a computer graphics specialist so I donated money to a charity that supplies children with laptop computers. And my boyfriend is a huge advocate for anti-bullying so I donated money that helps adolescents work through tough experiences at school. They still talk about these gifts today. I don’t know if I’ll buy material gifts anymore. Donating is far too rewarding!
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Mailchimp. Here, I’m able to organize important information that clients and subscribers need to know about. I can automate emails so I don’t have to repeat myself and waste time on creating the same thing over and over again. I can save templates, collect data and direct people to my website to hopefully get my brand out to the masses! It’s also free for small businesses and lists so it’s really a must for start-ups.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“You are a Badass at Making Money” by Jen Sincero. Her “no bs” way of writing is fantastic. She is such an amazing influencer. She’s also real-life. I don’t feel like she would talk to me any different in real life than how she does in her books. The information she provides is great and prompts you to apply things. She asks you important questions that can sometimes be tough to answer, but in a good way! And at the end of each of her chapters, there are journal prompts so you can sort things out when it comes to your relationship with money. It’s very impactful.
What is your favorite quote?
“Everything is figure-out-able” – Marie Forleo
- Be intentional with your time. Say no to things that don’t serve you. Time block so you can close out each day with the feeling that you accomplished something or got one step closer to your goal.
- Be relentless. No matter how many times somebody says no, turns you down or says “not today,” flip it into a positive and continue on.
- Don’t lose touch with who you really are. Reflect on the things you love and have meaning in your life. Use those positive thoughts as a way to ground yourself during moments of overwhelm.
- Workout every day. Even if it’s 15 minutes. Everything counts. Your mind and body will love you for it.
- Never be afraid to ask for help. Whether that help comes from technology or a person – seek it out and give up a little control to allow that tool to actually assist you.
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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.