First up in my new blog series: the kickass Amanda Alappat. I first met Amanda when I was 24 years old and my father had gifted me a few sessions with a trainer at my gym. When I was asked which trainer I wanted to workout with, I didn't even hesitate before saying "the tiny girl who is always boxing!"
Amanda and I became fast friends and our relationship soon evolved far beyond a trainer-client dynamic. When Amanda told me she wanted to leave the gym and build her own book of business I supported her 100%. I was amazed by her determination, energy, passion and desire to learn how to build a successful business. I watched in awe as she figured out exactly what she needed to do in order to achieve her dream.
It wasn't always easy, and I was there to listen (and learn!) about the mistakes she had made along the way. But she has become a powerhouse fitness presence in New York City, and now that she is a new mama I am so looking forward to watching her figure out how to expand her business to fit into her new life. If there's one thing I know about Amanda, it's that she is the ultimate fighter and she always comes out on top.
Amanda Alappat: Amanda Rose Wellness
What is the name of your company and what do you do?
My business name is my name: Amanda Rose Wellness. I am a yoga teacher, personal trainer, kids mindfulness teacher, pre/post natal instructor, blogger, health coach, doula and mama.
How long have you been in business?
I started my own business in 2009 but have been in the health and wellness industry for almost 20 years!
How did you decide to launch your own business?
I was working for a corporate gym and had a steady book of clients. However, I was growing tired of the corporate policies, the high turnover of managers, the emphasis on sales over client success stories and just a general lack of integrity within the company. Every time I walked into the gym, I felt an internal battle because I loved what I was doing but I didn't love the environment that I was doing it in.
So, I decided to individually speak to each one of my clients explaining my desire to go out on my own and every single one of them agreed to follow me. It was a very validating experience to quit my job and the next day continue to do what I love but on my own terms.
What challenges did you face in the process of launching your business?
I launched a business before the boom of social media so I mainly relied on word of mouth and referrals. I had no platform to build off of, nor did I have any idea how to market my business, how much to save for taxes, if I should file as a legal entity-- and all the other aspects that are required to be successful.
I had worked in a corporate gym for over ten years so I never had to consider medical or liability insurance, how to obtain new clients and how to manage expenses. But I trusted that I would be able to figure it all out and was open to learning along the way.
Did you feel as though there were resources available to you, specifically as a woman business owner?
There were resources available but I had to seek them out. Luckily I had a very business savvy friend who took the time to help me get clear on my cash flow and become organized on how much money I was making versus spending. I also researched a lot of the courses offered through the city (NYC) and ended up taking a free month-long course for entrepreneurs that taught us the essentials of starting a business.
I also found Marie Forelo's B-school, and while it doesn't just cater only to women, it did align with my values. And lastly, I read a ton of books on business and finance which helped a lot.
Any books you'd recommend?
These are my favorites:
Courage: The Art of Living Dangerously by Osho
I WIll Teach You to be Rich but Ramit Sethi
Creating Money, Attracting Abundance by Sanaya Roman + Duane Packer
Sacred Success by Barbara Stanny
Do you have a mentor?
I had a yoga mentor for many years that taught me how to teach yoga and also provided me with a solid philosophy on life, but I never had a business mentor. I have relied on the advice of some smart business savvy people but never anyone who took me under their wing.
What do you love most about running your own business?
Living life on my own terms! I get to make the rules, charge what I am worth, create my own hours, adapt my business as I evolve, take off when I want, spend time with my daughter, say no to things that do not align, create abundance by living in alignment with my purpose, being of service to others while making the world a better place all while having the freedom to live my life!
What is your least favorite aspect of running your own business?
No paid maternity leave, no paid time off, no medical insurance covered by an employer. (Author's note: Amen. This is a BIG problem for women business owners, myself included!)
What is your best piece of advice for other women who are thinking about launching a business?
Just do it! You will never be totally ready or prepared. You will never know everything. Sometimes it's just a matter of taking the first step. Trust yourself that you will always be able to figure it out. Trust yourself that you will thrive! Have the confidence that if your business aligns with your values, dreams, gifts and vision, abundance, success, joy and fulfillment are yours for the taking!