Chantal: Well, first of all, thank you so much for the opportunity because I love to be able to hopefully inspire a few people, share my story with a few people because it’s been quite a, it’s been an interesting journey where I’ve gotten to today. So I’ll give you the brief background, which is, I actually started my career in media. I worked for 15 years in like media based role, sales and marketing based roles until I had a little bit of an epiphany and I went, you know what, I don’t really want to do this corporate thing anymore. I actually want to hang out at the gym and I want to do something that I love. Which was actually a pretty confronting thing to realise because for 15 years of my life I thought that it was all about money and it was all about job title and then what actually happened, what brought me to that stage was that I used to have an amazing personal trainer.
So a woman that’s been in the industry for a really long time. And I used to do that thing, how you’re up the front of the classroom, in front of body pump, like front row and I used to watch her and think, oh my goodness, I want to be on that stage. I actually want to teach that class. And so my transition, my career transition happened at that point because I said to myself, well, I think I’ll still keep working in media, but I might just go and train to be a body pump instructor. I might just go and do that as a bit of a hobby, an extra. And I started doing my certificate three, which at that stage you needed to do a cert three to get your group fitness certification. And as I was doing my cert three, I loved it so much that I said, hang on a second, I actually want to do my cert 4 I want to become a trainer.
So it was completely out of the blue. I at that stage, I hadn’t intended on transitioning careers. I thought media was it. I didn’t really think about anything else, but I honestly fell in love with fitness. I fell in love with learning about fitness. And then I started to work with people and that was as a personal trainer and as a group fitness instructor, and I realised that actually this is what I wanted to do. So over a period of I don’t even know how long it took, but I gradually kind of phased myself out of my media role and I went from five days and then I negotiated four and then I negotiated three and by the time that I got to about two and a half days in my role, I had to have one of those chats with my managing director at where we both kind of (shrug shoulders questioning movement) it’s probably time.
So I left my security blanket, my financial security blanket, which was my corporate role, and I dived into fitness and after a little while doing personal training and teaching group fitness, there was a part of me that still had, I guess, this desire to have a business component to what I did. And as fate would have it, I ended up meeting Justin Tamsett who owns Active Management at the time and he said to me, well you’ve got a business background and you’re working in fitness, why don’t you come and be a business coach for my business. So that’s really how it all started. And it was only a couple of years after that that the fitness business podcast was born, which is now my love and my baby and the fitness business podcast is of course a show that we create for fitness professionals. It’s a weekly business based podcast, which really was created to help personal trainers, gym owners, gym managers to improve their business based skills and their business knowledge, which would then hopefully help them run more successful and more profitable businesses so that they would stay in the industry for longer and they’d be able to really achieve their WHY, which is generally changing people’s lives. So I feel incredibly blessed to have been the host of that show for going on three and a half years now, which as you know Nads in podcast land is a lifetime.
Nardia: It is.
Chantal: Three and a half years, people didn’t know what a podcast was three and a half years ago, so I feel really, really blessed and lucky to have done what I’ve done and to be the host of the show, and of course I’m sure we’ll talk about it, but it’s also opened up so many other doors and opportunities for me along the way. So there’s the overview.
Nardia: I love it. Amazing. And what I particularly love about this story too is the path that you actually have taken is so unique. Oftentimes when people get into fitness, they think I’m going to become a personal trainer, become possibly a group X or boot camp instructor. And then their big dream is to open a brick and mortar.
Chantal: Oh yes.
Nardia: And that seems to be the only career path available for people. And what you’ve just gone and shared with us is that your career path was so different. It’s so different because like you said, three years ago people didn’t know what a podcast is and now your whole business is around this thing.
Nardia: Did you ever envision yourself being here doing what you’re doing?
Chantal: Absolutely not. I thought that I would probably end up doing PT of some sort and doing business coaching of some sort. And as a matter of fact, the PT component didn’t last very long, it just wasn’t for me. I really, I craved that business side of things. It’s what I love. And so no, three and a half years ago had you asked me what I’d be doing right now, it would not have been full-time podcasting, that just wouldn’t have, I mean that would have been a dream, but I just didn’t think that it was actually financially possible to do. And I should put a kind of footnote here to say it’s not, you know, there are the, the John Lee Dumas’ of the world and there are people out there that absolutely do make podcasting full time, and I’m very conscious that that’s not a large percentage of people, I know that, we’ve set up the business in a very unique way that we’ve been able to make that the majority of what I do, but at the same time there’s not masses of podcast hosts around the world that only podcast. For a lot of people it’s a passion project.
So I feel very lucky to actually be in this position and I think at the same time, ever since, I guess probably about two and a half years ago, it’s been a very conscious decision to make this a business that is profitable and to make it a business that, or to make it a business full stop, as opposed to just being what it originally was, which was a content piece and it was complimentary to the rest of the business. So it was like having a look at a business and saying, well, you know, we produce blog posts and maybe some videos and Facebook posts and maybe do some live stuff. And initially the podcast fell into that content bucket. And so it really was a very conscious decision from the owner, Justin Tamsett to say, well, let’s make this profitable, and then, you know, I feel very blessed to have been part of that journey to getting it to where it is today.
Nardia: Whenever I talked to you, I mean obviously listeners you’ll probably understand, well you’ll hear that we are friends, so whenever I talk to you Chantal, it is always so apparent to me how you would be the perfect example of where passion and skillset have met to form this new kind of career. And I think when we talk a lot about the Simon Sinek book, it starts with WHY, trying to figure out your purpose. He always talks about the intersection of those.
Chantal: Absolutely. And I think you’re so right Nads, and as a matter of fact, which, you know, I’ve told a few people, I’m actually writing a book about that right now. So I’m writing a book about where that passion kind of becomes a profitable business. So, you know, launch date 2019. But you are so right Nads and I’m very conscious of the fact that that is, that’s not always an easy thing to do, like to go from being passionate about someone and discovering your WHY, to actually making that WHY and that passion a sustainable business or a sustainable interest as I like to call it. So I think that I always, a lot of people kind of say to me, do you regret having started in media and having done that before you found fitness?
But I honestly don’t. I actually think that that 15 years that I spent in corporate taught me so much to be able to sculpt what I’ve done today and I’m a true believer in that, and that is you know, you have to look back at where you have been. You have to think about the lessons that you’ve learned in the past and bring the I guess bring those key lessons into what you plan on doing in the future. You know, I quite often look back and think about some of the really significant managers that I’ve had over the years. Some of the people that have influenced me over the years that I’ve learned from. And I think it’s so important that we, you know, we all go through ups and downs throughout our career regardless of what we do. It’s really what we choose to take with us and learn from and utilise that makes the biggest difference.
Nardia: I love that, so wise, but I really love how you mention the word profit and sustainable there, because I do think a lot of people who are probably in that same position, they’re transitioning between safety, full-time job and wanting to pursue a passion and I they think that passion is enough. I’d love for you to, what are your thoughts on that? You know, would you recommend somebody throw something all in just to pursue their passions or do you think there needs to be an idea that is at least profitable there?
Chantal: Yeah, I love that question Nads because I think that, and fitness industry is in particular we get a lot of people that enter the industry based on passion because it’s something that’s very emotive and generally there has been a life-changing moment that’s led you to fitness or to transformation of some sort. So in answer to your question, I think that passion is an amazing seed. It’s an amazing kind of starting point. But what I always say to people is once you’ve got that, it is absolutely essential that you then start to think about, okay, how do I take this from being something that I love and I’m passionate about to something that I can actually create profit from that can be long term, and for me there’s a couple of different components to that.
The first thing is having a really thorough understanding of the market that you want to exist in. Because it’s one thing to say, well, I love working with mums and helping mums out in some way, shape or form, but if there are 50,000 other people that are already playing in that market, then it’s really important that you take a look and say, okay, well maybe that marketing is too broad for me. But if I went over here and I worked with mums specifically who have babies that are between one and three years and I really target my service offering for that very specific niche market, then instead of having 50,000 competitors, maybe I’ve just narrowed that down to 10,000 competitors for example. And then if I have a look at that, okay, so what is it in that market or what is that pain point of that market, how well do I understand that market in order to deliver a product or a service to them?
So going back to that original question is, yep you’ve got your passion, but the first thing you need to think about is what is it that the market even needs. Okay because if there’s not a need out there for a market, then who are you giving you a product or service to, you know? So I think that point is really, really important before you get too far down the track. And I know that with a lot of people that I have worked with in the past, you get so caught up in the excitement of doing things, starting your own business, deciding on your brand colours, what you logos going to look like, and all that stuff is super exciting, yeah. But if you go too far down the track without actually going through a discovery process and really understanding if there is a market that exists for what you want to supply, then you’re going to waste a whole lot of time.
So it’s really that first step to transitioning from that passion point to understanding if it can be a sustainable interest and therefore become a sustainable business, is really about having a look at your market, identifying your Avatar, understanding who it is that you’re actually speaking to and servicing, because once you’ve got that grounding and you can truly truly understand who it is that you’re helping, then you can start to build on that. So that seed that we’re talking about, that passion seed it starts to get layers and you start to be able to build to create what it is that you’re trying to achieve. Does that make sense?
Nardia: Thank you. That is so useful and it’s just talking about niching or niching, for my [Inaudible 00:15:27] counterpart. I’m just thinking from the context of say a personal trainer or a business coach, and I don’t know if you have observed this, but a lot of trainers will kind of get quite resistant to this idea of niching. It kind of scares them a little bit, that they have to narrow their focus because then they’re worried that they’re not going to attract the right people and so forth. So what are your thoughts around why niching is so powerful?
Chantal: Yeah. So this is a huge piece because to take a step back a little bit. So I’ve been, it was 10 years ago when I did my certificate four in Personal Training. I know because that’s where we first met, and I remember at the time that the message from the RTO, from the training organisation was, you know, find a niche and focusing on that niche and that’s a really good pathway. But at that time, the niches were described as things like mum’s or weight loss as a niche or I don’t know, older adults, you know, and yes, that is a concept of a niche, but we need to think that the world is constantly changing. The world is constantly changing, so we’ve got to think about, okay, how can we, how can we take it down to that next level? So the term that I use and I know that you’ve, you know, Daniel Priestley, he wrote an amazing book called ‘Key Person of Influence’, and I first came across this term which is micro niche.
So really what that’s about for anyone at home who hasn’t come across that term before, it’s saying, okay, so if your niche for example is mums with young children, then your micro-niche might be, mums with young children who are going back to the workforce for the first time since they’ve had their kids. Okay? So it’s taking it down a level. I’ll give you an example of one of the amazing women in our industry who’s done an incredible job. So if your niche is mums with bubs, her niche is mums with bubs who are dealing with postnatal depression. So the reason I give you those examples is because for me there is a wealth of opportunity in a micro niche and the difference between 10 years ago and today, is that 10 years ago we were generally limited to our geographic location. Okay. So regardless of what type of industry we’re in, we were generally limited to, are people within a 15-kilometre radius of where I am? Can I go out and reach people and talk to people? Can they come into my bricks and mortar facility, can they come into my store? Can I meet them?
If I’m a personal trainer can I meet them at the local park and give them a training session? We are not limited to that anymore. The Internet, this amazing thing that we’re doing the interview on today, the Internet has allowed us to actually provide products and services to people all over the world. And that is the biggest difference is that you now can actually create yourself as an expert in a micro niche and you can be sitting in Australia and selling your product or your service or your coaching or whatever it is to someone who’s in the USA, who is in England, who is in Russia. It doesn’t matter. You now have the ability to be able to reach people anywhere. So here’s what a micro niche does, or here’s what the biggest benefit is. You can become an expert.
So before Nads I was talking about how important it is to truly understand your target market, who you’re talking to, the reason that is so important to truly understand what their pain points are, how you can make their life better, how can you improve things for them, make things more efficient. Provide them with a product or service that is going to help them within their life is because by doing that, by knowing your target market intimately, that allows you to then go and research, it allows you to then go and gather all of the tools and the information that you need to answer or to help that target market. By doing that, by being that collector of information, by becoming the most knowledgeable person around on that particular target, guess what, you become an expert. You start creating content around that very, very specific topic. You start creating videos and blog posts and you set up a website and a Facebook page on whatever it might be, but specialising in something really specific means that yes, your audience is smaller, but you don’t have to just market to people that are around you.
You now have a worldwide, you’ve got a global market that you can now speak to. So being savvy with your online presence, with your internet marketing, with your online marketing your website is absolutely essential, if you niche down and if you want to have a global reach or if you want to have a broad reach. So going right back to where we started this conversation Nads, I think that no one should be afraid of getting really specific with the target that they’re working towards. I think we should actually embrace that, because as we were talking about, we’re talking about different markets before and I said, you know, you go from like 50,000 to 10,000. That’s exactly what’s happening when you’re niching down as an expert as well, because I promise you right now there are hundreds and thousands of people, let’s use personal trainers as an example. There are hundreds and thousands of personal trainers who specialise in working with mums with bubs, but there are very few trainers who specialise in working with mums with bubs who are dealing with postnatal depression, or last year I did a whole lot of research in this area. To give you a few examples, there’s one personal trainer and you think about an outdoor personal trainer, Chase Tucker who’s a personal trainer in Brisbane just works with people that want to do their first mountain climb. Like how specific is that? There’s a trainer in the US that just works with returning war veterans who are amputees.
Nardia: Wow. Amazing.
Chantal: How specific is that right. There are people now, which I absolutely love, there are now trainers that are coming out that are working with very specific medical conditions, things like people who are developing exercise based routines in conjunction with medical industry for MS patients, for cancer patients, for people that are have experienced stroke. And so there are so many opportunities out there if you just find that really specific niche, if you master your online presence, and I’ll shut up in a second.
Nardia: I don’t want you to shut up.
Chantal: But the other thing I can say, because I know that in my head, if I was listening to this right now what I might be thinking is, okay, well I know that I can niche down, but all that online stuff is complicated and it’s, you know, that’s when you need to build your team. That’s when you need to reach out and get the assistance of, get the assistance of that Dream Team around you to help you in those areas. If you’re not an online expert, I’m not suggesting that you have to become an online expert, but you have to work with people that know what they’re talking about that can help you take your passion and turn it into a business.
Nardia: I love the idea of niching. It’s something that I’ve only just become comfortable with myself probably in the last five years. And I think it was Dan when I was kind of tuning into him a lot, what he said, you can have a global small business.
Nardia: I think it was him that did that. You know the way I look at it to, we have 7 billion people on this planet, let’s just say 4 billion are accessing the Internet. It’s a scarcity mindset to say that there’s not enough because there is more than enough to go around.
Chantal: There is more than enough, absolutely.
Nardia: Now speaking of expertise, I want to draw attention to your obvious expertise, which is asking amazing questions and interviewing a lot of different people. And so with the fitness business podcast, you know, you’ve racked up over two and a half thousand hours of interviewing thought leaders, business leaders, people at the top of their game. Now that has got to rub off on you. It’s like you’ve probably had this absorption of 2500 hours worth of amazing learnings. So I would love to know what have been some of your biggest key insights you’ve had over your journey with all these podcasts and interviews.
Chantal: First of all, like I feel very lucky to have had that volume of information to have kind of received that volume of information at a time, and I love this question because it’s been a really interesting three and a half years and to put that into context, so yeah, 2500 hours, it’s probably racking close to 3000 hours now and I’m just going to glance over at my board. So that is 190 interviews and its 3 and a half years of nonstop show production. So it is a lot, and there are one or two interviews there that didn’t even make the cut. So it might be closer to 200. But in answer to your question, so a couple of really big learnings that I’ve had and I’m always interested to look at things from an entrepreneur mindset because for me that is a personal interest and I’m always fascinated to see what it is that makes the best leaders. What are the qualities of the very best leaders, what is it that they have that makes them so good at what they do? And it’s interesting because I’ve kind of observed a couple of different areas. One is the focus that they have on organisation and people, so organisation is in having a very strong understanding of the business that they are in, but also understanding the value of the people within their business and the value of nurturing those people.
So the very best leaders that I have interviewed that is a major focus for them is those people, and I mentioned to you just before, how important is that if you’re not a specialist in a particular area, you don’t have to be an expert in everything. But you do need to bring, you need to draw in people or resources that can help you, and the very best leaders are very, very conscious of that, that they’re not always going to be the best at everything. So that’s kind of one area. And so it’s, you know, recognising the value of the people that surround you and not only looking after them, but making sure that they can complete you as a whole and filling in any gaps that perhaps aren’t your strongest areas. That’s number one. The second kind of area that I’ve observed as being absolutely key, a real standout to the very best leaders is the professional development piece. If you read any book that’s been written about high performers, you’ll find that there’s a really common thread which is, how much time and energy they invest into their personal professional development.
So how much time are they spending reading, listening to podcasts, listening to audiobooks, having conversations with people to learn new stuff and that’s been a really common thread. And by hearing about that and hearing about the learning habits of those people, it has transformed my life because what that’s meaning, so I am now an audible addict, I am crazy addicted to audible. I’m sure that all of your listeners being podcast listeners would know what audible is but just in case effectively I would say, I don’t know what the percentage is, but let’s say 80 to 90 percent of all printed books now also have an audio version. And for me, getting started to use audible, so I just subscribe, so you get like you subscribe you get one credit per month and you can download a book and any extras I just pay a little bit extra per month.
So I went from reading probably honestly zero books a year basically, like since finishing school I would have gone to like, school zero. In the last three and a half years I will generally read two books a month, on average plus all of my podcasts and stuff like that. Now that is a massive increase. That’s a lot of books per year, but audibles allowed me to do that, because I may be like Nads, I don’t know, but I live an incredibly busy life. I have a major flaw which is I cannot say no. So I am constantly taking on new things or going, Oh look, bright shiny objects, I’m going to do that, I’m going to say yes. So as a result of that I’ve had to find a way that I can learn. I can have my professional development, but I don’t physically sit down with a book. I would love to, but it just, for me at the moment audible is the answer.
So going back to what you said, so the first piece is really about organisation and people. The second piece is about professional development and finding a way that you can incorporate professional development in your life. A lot of these high performing leaders that I have interviewed will say, you know what, they wake up an hour earlier than the rest of the family or half an hour earlier than the rest of the family, and they dedicate 20 minutes, 30 minutes to professional development. It’s that morning routine that you hear a lot of entrepreneurs talking about which is saying, so what are those tasks that I’m going to set in my day, personally I always just make it three. What are those tasks that I’m going to set? Maybe you’re doing some journaling, maybe you’re spending 20 minutes doing professional development, some type of movement, and in a lot of cases, some type of meditation. Another interesting point.
So there’s the first two pieces, and the second one is the movement meditation piece. Now that third piece, I don’t know if I just said second, but that third piece was a real surprise to me. So when I started doing these interviews with leaders across the world, I kind of expected that the people in organisations would be a big key part of what they did. And I kind of expected that the professional development would be a really key part, but I really underestimated how important movement and mindfulness is in the role of a business leader or an ultra-high performer, especially within the fitness industry.
And I know that probably sounds backwards because you kind of go, well, you’re working in fitness, so of course movement’s going to be part of it, but anyone in the industry would know that quite often when you start running a business in fitness, guess what.
Nardia: It’s the first thing to go.
Chantal: Running the business that you kind of put your exercise and your health and everything off to the side. How crazy is that? So I’ve learned that that is actually a really key component, it’s actually kind of equally balanced with the others and that is incorporating some type of mindfulness. So whether that be meditation, whether that just be having time out, a little bit of reading, that type of thing, having movement of some type that might be running or it might be just doing some yoga. But that’s a really key part. So there’s those three components that I’ve really seen as the standout consistent elements amongst the very best leaders that I’ve interviewed.
Nardia: Amazing. Thank you for just selling 2500 hours to that. But again, very, very powerful. And I do suggest if you haven’t tuned into, or not subscribed to the fitness business podcast, that you actually go ahead and do it and listen to Chantal ask, because I think one of the powerful things about you Chantal, is your ability to ask amazing questions. I think it’s Anthony Robbins who talks about, you know, the quality of your life is determined by the quality of questions that you ask. And so I think that people will have a lot to learn from you just by simply tuning into how you ask things, which is very cool.
Chantal: Thank you.
Nardia: I also have to bring attention to the fact that, you know, you’ve really stepped up your speaking game. And I was having a giggle to myself because I’ve be on to LinkedIn to check out your profile, and I find it funny how I know how badass my friends are, like they’re badasses. But then when you go read their resume or their profile, you go oh man, they’re really, really badass. And not that I’m surprised by that, it’s just like, yeah, of course you are. And so this year you’ve had a monster year of hosting and speaking at some elite gigs around the world, like you’ve covered off on Filex, Idea and you’ve done Blogfest Idea, you’ve done Fitex, you’ve been hosting awards and mediating that. So tell me a little bit about your experience this year?
Chantal: Yeah. So this has been massive for me because, I’ve always loved speaking. I mean that’s probably no surprise to a lot of people, it’s my full-time gig essentially, but for me there is nothing that quite compares to getting up in front of a room full of people and I feel that, I actually feel like it’s now my duty to pay for the knowledge that I’ve been learning over the last couple of years. So I don’t profess to be an expert in business or marketing or sales or social media. But what I can do is I can share the information that I have learned and as we’ve just done, you know, what I’m able to do is summarise that into some really key learnings for people.
So I feel like that’s a really big responsibility that I want to give to the industry. There’s a couple of, I guess, motivators for me, a big part of it is the fact that there really is not enough female representation on the international speaking circuit. I want to change that. I am absolutely dead set, determined to make it so that we see more female speakers on the fitness circuit, but just speaking in general. I can tell you that the amount of knowledge that I learn from people like you, from my colleagues, my female colleagues in the industry is just phenomenal. So I want there to be a voice there. I feel privileged to be able to share my message and to be able to speak to people and I hope that will start to create more and more pathways. There’s projects that I’m working on that I’m hoping are going to create some more pathways as well.
So that’s kind of a big component of it. And then of course there is the hosting, the MC stuff, which I guess has always been a really big part of my life because I’ve always done everything from hosting shows like video to doing the podcast and live events and stuff like that. So that’s been a really big component, but you know, it’s pretty, I look at that list this year as well and I feel proud, I feel really really proud. I feel a little bit shocked sometimes because I kind of go, shit, this has been a ridiculous year, but it’s not been by accident. If I actually look back and go, well, how have I gotten to this part? It’s been through bloody hard work. It’s taken me 10 years in the industry to get to where I am today, which is really funny because I’ve been having conversations a lot this year, and people have kind of gone, where have you come from? I’ve been working my ass off for 10 years to get here.
So it’s really, it’s very rewarding to be able to do those speaking things and for me that is a big part of my future. It’s where I want to continue to grow. And as I said to you, I mean it’s something that I, at the moment in complete honesty, if I had to have a look at 90 percent of what I’ve done this year, I have been the only female speaker on a speaking panel of anywhere from four to six people and you know what, there are women out there that they have amazing messages, they have amazing experience, but for whatever reason they’re not onstage and they should be.
Nardia: I 100% agree with you.
Chantal: And so I just want to help that become, it shouldn’t be an exception to the rule, I shouldn’t be getting a phone call going, you know, there’s one of you and there’s eight of, you know like, it should just be that we are actually getting up there and sharing our story with people. So yeah, so that’s been a big driver for me as well. And so the next couple of years the speaking piece, the speaking component of what I do is actually an area that I’m really investing into.
Nardia: I love it. And you and I share a very similar value when it comes to championing women and seeing strong woman leading the way. I’ve been at gigs and I’ve presented where I’ve been one of maybe one or two women in the whole conference. So I’m just very aware of the time, but I want to circle back a little bit to, how people are saying, ‘Where have you come from’? Your overnight success is the result of 10 years concerted, focused effort. Have there been any moments in that decade where you’ve gone, I can’t do this, or oh man, I’ve just had a monster fail and my confidence is feeling a little wobbly. Was there anything there that you can think of?
Chantal: Yeah absolutely. The first three years out of corporate was so fricking hard I can’t even tell you. To put it into context. So I went from a very high paying corporate job, and as I said I phased myself out of that, and I went into doing the kind of bit of PT, bit of classes, bit of business coaching. There was several times in that first couple of years where I would find myself sitting at home and this is, and I’ve never told anyone this, where I would look around the house and go, what can I eBay to get some more money in? Like I would be in such a, I didn’t want, so my husband was an amazing support to me when I decided to, you know, imagine rocking up from home one day and going, hey, so, you know, I’m earning $100 and whatever thousand dollars a year, but I’m just going to give all of that up to follow my passion. Right. And my husband, fricking amazing. He’s like, okay. Right.
So for me to then, the first couple months were fine because I still had money left over from corporate, but it was probably like six months into even the first couple of years where I would sometimes sit at home and just think, what have I done? I’ve made a mistake. What can I do to get more money in? I would take any job, like any group fitness job, I’d drive from Carlingford to Bondi to do a $45 class because I was desperate to get the money. Like it was a really hard time to the point that at one stage I went and accepted another corporate role in the first three years. It was I think it was like a three day a week role. It was a massive mistake, but I just felt like I had to, I felt like I had possibly made a mistake that I wasn’t going to be able to earn the amount of money that I was earning or anywhere near the amount of money, and so I accepted a corporate role again and it lasted three months and I was miserable and that I think was a big turning point.
And it was like, you know what, either I need to make a decision either I don’t follow the passion and give it a go, and I just take the easy road and go back to corporate and I earn a nice big salary and, you know, and that’s that, or I need to find how I can actually make this successful and work in a, doing a job that I love with people that I love, in a career that I admire. And bear in mind, I mean that first three years was a struggle, the next three were pretty hard as well, but it’s just been a slow burn. And it’s been a number of elements that have contributed to where I am today. It’s been the people that I’ve worked with and started to liaise with, it’s been growing, my personal brand has actually been a really important component, which I don’t think I really took into account in the early days. And I think that that’s something that takes a while anyway.
But that has probably been for me the last two years, the biggest component is growing my personal brand, has been really important, especially for the speaking stuff. But I think it’s about, I don’t know. You know with weight loss right, I always say and you’ll understand this Nads with working with clients. So it’s like with weight loss when you’re a personal trainer, someone can come to you and go, I need to lose weight and you can go, well these are all the things that you need to do off you go or I’ll help you whatever it is, but that person isn’t going to lose weight unless they truly personally have committed to it, to doing it. They can have all the tools in the world to be able to do it, but unless they have decided within themselves that this is something that they want to achieve and that they’re going to commit to, then the best personal trainer in the world, won’t be able to help them. Business I think is quite similar.
Nardia: I agree.
Chantal: And I think I had that moment where I was like, well you know what, if I truly do want to make this work, then I’m the only person that can make this work. I cannot sit around and wait for opportunities to come to me. I actually need to, what do you call that, like find this pathway myself and it’s not easy, like I don’t for a second profess to say that it’s easy. There’s a lot of struggles, and there’s a lot of ups and downs and there will continue to be in the future, I’m very aware of that, but I can honestly say that, you know, I wake up every day thankful for the job that I get to do and the people that I get to meet and learn from and speak to, you know, I wake up with gratitude every single day without doubt.
And you talked before about that scarcity mindset versus the abundance mindset. And I had to learn about that. I didn’t really understand that because in corporate, it’s a very different mindset to how you work compared to when you are doing your own thing or being an entrepreneur, or running your own business and I really had to switch that up to think about all of the opportunities that are actually out there. And then finding a way to actually take on those opportunities and capitalize on those opportunities as opposed to having that scarcity of just thinking, shit, this is going to be so hard and you know, and it will just be easier if I just go back and get paid a salary, you know. So the challenges, especially in the early days were big and there’s always challenges no matter what journey. I think you have, have you just read Ryan Holiday?
Chantal: Yeah, yeah. So I interviewed Ryan Holiday just a couple of months ago and for anyone that hasn’t read his book, he’s got a number of books but a recent one was ‘Obstacle is the Way’, and I found that interesting because it really is saying, you know, how you view obstacles that come in your path, how you handle those obstacles that come in your path really dictate what your mindset and your future will be like, you know, you can choose to be devastated by something that happens to you and you can shut down and you can retreat or you can go, okay, learn from it. How do I learn from it and how do I move forward with it? So if anyone’s, I guess, experiencing that, then that’s a book that they could check out.
Nardia: Thank you for sharing your eBay moment.
Chantal: I know, I know.
Nardia: I caught the tuna moments, when you can’t actually afford to buy anything other than tuna, and you’re sitting on the floor eating tuna for the sixth time that day.
Chantal: Climb into the tuna.
Nardia: But I love how real you are and you know, sometimes I wish that we were more open and transparent about just how hard and difficult it actually is to pursue your passion. And it takes courage to keep going forward into the unknown when you’ve got safety and comfort behind you. So well done and you know, I’m so glad you did because doing all your amazing work if you didn’t push into that. So I think that’s a really powerful way for us to wrap up the show. Last question for you is for those who are listening, and I’m going to talk specifically to perhaps some fitness professionals or some coaches at the moment. What would be one piece of advice that you would offer them right now that is just intuitively coming to you? It could be about anything.
Chantal: It could be about anything. Okay. I’m going to, as I think through this I’m going to say the first thing that comes to my mind which is, and I touched on it already, which is the power of professional development. I am so passionate about that particular piece because I know that I know the power that it has had for me to learn every day. So every single day, even if it’s one new bit of knowledge and maybe it’s something that you can utilise in your business straight away or maybe it’s something that you put back in there to use in a couple of years’ time or in a couple months time. For me that’s been a massive game changer. And as I said to you, I do that through audible or I do it through podcasts and that I really encourage anyone that is in business. Just anyone, doesn’t matter if you’re in business, if you’re employed by corporate, whatever, it makes you a richer person. Knowledge honestly does and I never truly understood that until I made it part of my daily ritual. And you know, it benefits you from everything from business to personal. To be able to talk about a book that you’ve read recently or an article that you’ve heard about a piece of research that you’ve just found out about with your colleagues or with clients or at the dinner party on Saturday night. You know, it really, really does make you a richer person. So that’s number one, I’ve got two if that’s all right?
Nardia: Of course.
Chantal: The second one is the power of conversation. So I have a habit, so I’m an ideas person. I think you’re exactly the same Nads where I spend, I’m an only child, I’m an ideas person and I spend a lot of time alone because I work in my house with my dogs, they don’t talk back so well, but the beauty of that is that you have clear head thinking and you can have a lot of thinking time. The downfall of that is that you don’t always get to express and flesh out those ideas with other people and sometimes the gold in an idea actually comes about from conversation. And so let me give you an example. So I, and I want everyone that’s listening to have a think about how this applies to what they’re working on currently or what their future goals are.
So I’m working on a really big project at the moment. It’s for women in fitness and it’s been in my head for a couple months now and it’s been kind of churning around and thinking about it, and I’ve got it on paper, I’ve got it on [Inaudible 00:48:53] and I reached out to a couple of friends in the industry recently and I said to them, you know what, I just, can I have a coffee with you? I’ve got this idea, I just want to show it to you and so I’ve started having these conversations and this concept that was in my head has gone from being good to what is going to be great because I’ve been able to have a conversation with people and seek feedback and reviews and input from relevant people, like you. And that’s a really important piece because I’ll tell you something else in a minute, but people that are either in your target market or have been there, done that before, and so conversation is an absolutely vital part of your growth as a business owner, as an entrepreneur, just in general.
And I think that’s really important, and I’ll just touch back on the fact that the thing that I said about relevant people, because the area that you need to be carefully is, there are some people in your life that won’t understand your desires to be successful. They won’t kind of get the fact that you want to start your own business or that you want to create something new or you want to develop a new project. So you need to be mindful of who it is that you have those conversations with, and always keep on that kind of steady head and just think about, okay who are those people that you know are going to be able to provide you valuable constructive feedback, who will be looking at it from a point of view of who the audience is that you’re trying to attract, and I think that’s just an important part of that conversation piece.
Nardia: Brilliant pieces of wisdom to leave us with. Thank you so much for that. I’ve got three quick questions for you before we jump off. First is this, what are you watching or listening to or reading at the moment that’s really inspiring you?
Chantal: Oh my goodness. Okay. I love that question. So I am reading this freaking phenomenal book right now called hang on, it’s called story store. I’m going to look it up on my little audible. It’s called ‘Story Book Brand’. I think it is Story Brand. Donald Miller
Nardia: Yes, all over that. Donald Miller, yeah great.
Chantal: Oh my God, this book is brilliant. So ‘Building a Story Brand’. I’ve got about an hour left of listening on that one that has just been such an enjoyable, I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to like marketing and branding and stuff. That’s what I used to do, so I just love that sort of stuff.
So that’s really cool. That’s my answer. That’s what I’m reading at the moment.
Nardia: Okay. I love it. And I read that and I loved that book as well. I actually took a lot of action off the back of that book.
Chantal: Yes. Yeah, there’s so much practical stuff in there.
Nardia: Okay. So what’s your favourite self-care practice at the moment?
Chantal: Oh, that’s a really good question. I am starting to. So I’ve gone through, because it’s been such a busy year for me from a business perspective, I have been guilty of not putting as much time into my exercise. So as you know, and you’ve been a big influence on me Nads because I think you did a couple of segments where you’re like, don’t punish yourself if you’re not like killing yourself because I love CrossFit and I went through a couple of years where I was like full-on CrossFit just all the time. And then this year I’ve had to actually say to myself, okay, I’ve put a lot of energy into my business and my brand and as a result of that, I haven’t been putting as much energy into my exercise. I’ve definitely missed that, and so at the moment my self-care has been about getting back into exercise but not getting angry at myself for not working out six days a week, twice a day, but actually being okay with the fact that I might work out every second day and that’s okay.
Nardia: That is a massive win to have that paradigm shift.
Chantal: Yeah. It’s huge up here because I’m an exerciser.
Chantal: And so that’s been a really, learning to be okay with that has been hard. I’m not going to lie to you.
Nardia: It is difficult and I think there are probably a lot of women who are just nodding their heads right now, going I resonate with you and I hear you.
Nardia: Well done. Because it’s now with that being nourishing with your movement.
Chantal: Absolutely, and as I get older, you know, I’m 40 next year and I feel amazing. I love, I still love exercise and everything, but I’m very conscious of the fact that I don’t need to smash myself six days a week.
Nardia: I hear you. Last question, and you can interpret this any which way you choose to, but what really turns you on?
Chantal: I would say, you know, what I value, which is how I’ll interpret that is, my husband bought a motorbike right, a Harley Davidson Fat Boy. This thing is amazing. And every Sunday we go out on a ride and we’ll go out for a couple of hours, just the two of us, and we’ll take off and we’ll go and have some breakfast somewhere, and it is, I would go as far as calling it my moment of meditation. It’s actually the one time each week that I have 100 percent clarity, sitting on the back of that bike, and the reason I believe that is because I can’t look at my phone, I’m not next to a computer, I’m not thinking about what needs to happen around the house or what job I need to do. I’m in a moment of complete clarity, fresh air and zero responsibility. Nothing I can do when I’m sitting on the back of that bike except appreciate it. And that’s what turns me on at the moment.
Nardia: It sounds great. I’m like, oh, I feel like I want to do that. I wonder if I can convince Mike into getting a bike.
Chantal: That’s it.
Nardia: Thank you. Chantal, thank you so much for all of your amazingness, your wisdom and for sharing with us your knowledge and also for being real with us as well. I really appreciate it and I know that everyone listening to this is like this is amazing. How can people reach out to you?
Chantal: Yeah, great question. So I totally invite anyone to just drop me a line and say hello at any time. So the best place, believe it or not, is Instagram, because that’s where I am most of the time. So my Instagram handle is chantalbrodrickfitness and on there guys, I mean I don’t sell anything, I don’t do coaching or anything else like that anymore. I leave that up to you and I offer the podcast, the podcast is a free resource, so anyone that actually wants to tune in and it is specifically for, like we created it for the fitness industry, but to be honest, so much of the content is relevant regardless of what you do. You know, we talk about sales and marketing and social media and finance and absolutely anything that has do with running a business or working within a business. So that is available firstname.lastname@example.org. On my social media pages, on my Instagram I share anything from a little bit of motivational stuff to just what’s going on in my life, who I’m interviewing, that type of thing. So I really encourage anyone to connect up, just say hey, let me know that you listened to the WOW Podcast, the WOW Collective Podcast and I’d love to connect with you.
Nardia: Amazing. And you do post mean photos of your salads.
Chantal: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. There are a whole lot of food photos on there.
Nardia: Well, thank you so much for your time Chantal. Much appreciated.
Chantal: Thank you.
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