“Why not?” I am convinced that this phrase holds a place in the personal mantra of every entrepreneur. Everyday, people brave enough to run their own businesses, push themselves boldly into the unknown.
While it can be terrifying, there’s really little room for hesitance –because, if you think only of the possibilities for failure, you’ll undoubtedly forfeit your opportunity for success. Fitness expert Samantha Monus lives by those two simple words, a positive philosophy. Her fearless attitude has launched an amazing career, which now includes a partnership with Venus Williams. A graduate of Florida State University, she fell in love with fitness. Then she did what many of us hope to, she started a business doing what she loved. Monus’ biggest challenge was saying goodbye to an established company and venturing out on her own. Her mind was full of doubts: did she have what it took to start a business from the ground up? Now, a few years later, the answer is a resounding yes.
If you go to your neighborhood gym, say 24-hour fitness, Equinox, or Spectrum, you will have a plethora of trainers available to you. In many cases, you’ll find that they focus on one or two of your needs, but may not consider your entire lifestyle. Monus succeeds in her holistic approach to fitness. She believes there are multiple branches on, what she calls, the “Fitness Tree” including but not limited to: strength training, flexibility, nutrition, and meditation. She individualizes her regimen for each client.
With the help of family, friends, mentors, and inspiring clients, Samantha Monus has made a name for herself in the fitness industry. Monus is now involved with the clothing line EleVen by Venus Williams. They even have a program called Fitness Journey, a six-month nutrition series, which follows 4 participants looking to make lifestyle changes. Additionally, Monus was a key participant in Jamba Juice’s Fit Trend Expo, this past spring. This “health crusader” works diligently to promote wellness by offering individual private training and wellness consultations. Based on her expertise and the company she keeps, it is clear that venturing out on her own was an excellent decision. Like any Made Woman, belief in herself and her abilities was paramount in building her business.
I loved meeting Dr. Monus and she was kind enough to share some tips with all of you Made Women out there:
MWM: What are your top five pieces of advice for aspiring personal trainers?
1. Be patient: It takes a long time to be good at anything. The more you engage, the better you’ll be.
2. Stay open: Many trainers close their minds to something that they were not taught or do not know or understand. Often times, their ego gets in the way. The body and mind are so complex and we are still learning so much more about it than we could have ever imagined. Never poo-poo someone else’s training method because you don’t understand it. None of us are the authority; we can all learn from each other.
3. Emphasize balance: The body needs adequate flexibility and rest. You can’t just burn out your clients - you’ll set them up for injury. Making sure the client is balanced structurally is super important. Emphasizing flexibility and therapeutics are invaluable to having top-notch athletes and clients.
4. Study nutrition (or collaborate with someone experienced in this area): I think many trainers unknowingly recommend products that are toxic and unhealthy. Though they have good intentions, they recommend artificial diet products and crappy protein powders. If it’s out of your realm, then collaborate with someone who is qualified to help.
5. Keep Learning: I’ve never stopped learning. Go out and get more certificates, take workshops, go to seminars, read every book you can in your field. Consider trading sessions with trainers or instructors from outside of your knowledge base. I’ve learned so much from this exchange. Most importantly, leave your ego at the door! Everyone makes mistakes, just learn from them.
MWM: And for those of us who just want to get fit, what do you do if you are interested in making a lifestyle change but unable to afford regular classes or trainers?
Samantha: “Check out the Internet! It's Free and if you don't like it…click to the next workout. We are so lucky in this day in age to have YouTube, NETFLIX, and social media. You can seriously get so many great workouts and motivations online. I love YouTubing workouts and trying them out. Social media provides so many amazing classes, fitness challenges, support groups and healthy recipes, all for FREE!”
MWM: How can we take care of our bodies and stay informed about our health options?
Samantha: “Eat right and avoid toxic people and food that clog your brain and mind. Learn everything you can about health, fitness, and nutrition. Don't believe the media or everything you hear. Listen to your inner wisdom. Study and be open. Read books, watch documentaries, and go to free seminars at health food stores. The more you learn, the more power you have to make healthier decisions. “