The Pramshed is a Blog by Claire about Parenting, Pregnancy, Career, Travel and Lifestyle.
As part of her Mums in Busines series she’s interviewing Mums from all different backgrounds and businesses.
TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOU, YOUR BACKGROUND AND THE FIT MUM FORMULA?
I help Mums lose weight, get fit, and have more energy and body confidence with online coaching, programmes and tonnes of free content with The Fit Mum Formula, in a way that’s compatible with busy and often stressful family life. A qualified personal trainer and nutritionist, I realised once my first child was born that staying healthy wasn’t nearly as easy. I found myself at the bottom of my priorities and if I was to stay fit and healthy I was going to have to find a way to integrate this into motherhood, regardless of how little time or how much sleep I’d had!
I’ve always wanted to help as many Mums as possible so didn’t want to just be an in-person personal trainer. I’ve written two books, have thousands of blogs and videos online, and collaborate with National media and big brands so that I can spread my message, knowledge and support to Mums up and down the country. It’s taken longer to build the business this way than if I filled my hours with personal training clients from day one, but the wait and patience and persistence has been worth it and I can now reach many more Mums in much less time, wherever I am in the world and whatever family life demands of me.
WHAT WERE YOUR MOTIVATIONS FOR SETTING UP THE FIT MUM FORMULA?
I have a very active, creative brain and have always have some project or other on the go, but when my then business partner approached me with the idea I fell in love with the concept immediately and as passionate to get stuck into it. At the time in 2013 online fitness and nutrition coaching wasn’t around and there were very few resources to help Mums stay fit and healthy.
Exercise classes are all at ‘bath and bed’ time, gyms rarely have creche facilities, and I was repeatedly being told by Mums that they resented having to make separate ‘diet meals’ for themselves and having to cook twice each evening.
It was ok for us as a personal trainer and nutritionist respectively, but we could see other Mums needed some support from people who really understood what it was like being a parent, and could create plans and programmes that fitted into motherhood.
HOW DO YOU BALANCE THE BUSINESS AROUND FAMILY AND CHILDCARE?
Everything is online, so as long as I’ve got internet connection, I can work. That also means I can fit things in around the children. They only went to nursery school 2 days a week before starting school, I do 99% of school runs, and have never missed a sports day, show or parents evening. It’s meant some early mornings and I’m often checking emails or social media notifications while standing in queues, but I’d rather that than miss out on being with the children.
I was brought up with a stay at home mother and benefitted hugely, and I want to give the same experience to my girls. That’s not a dig at working Mums as everyone has to do what’s right for them, but this is how I’ve made it work for us.
SINCE SETTING UP THE BUSINESS WHAT’S BEEN YOUR BIGGEST SUCCESS TO DATE?
I have no fear (!) so I go for things other people might be nervous about doing. I approach journalists and brands, post controversial videos online about health-related topics Mums are passionate about, and am not afraid to try things. As a result I’ve managed to round up huge amounts of publicity including regularly being in National newspapers and magazine, presenting at fitness festivals, and speaking live on radio and even prime time Sky News. I now get approached by brands who are using influencer marketing, and have met some amazingly inspiring people from all the events and International networking I’ve done. I want to reach many thousands of people and help as many Mums as possible, and that’s required big thinking outside of just being a local, in person business. I don’t want to do in-person personal training sessions because I can only reach a handful of people each week that way. I want The Fit Mum Formula to be a household name which inspires Mums to put themselves first and care for their (mental as well as physical) health and body.
WHAT’S YOUR TOP TIP FOR MUMS WHO ARE THINKING ABOUT SETTING UP THEIR OWN BUSINESS?
Find others who are doing what you want to do, but are further along the path, and learn from them. Read their blogs, books and social content (but don’t copy it – have your own message and voice), and reach out to them to see if they can offer any advice or even mentorship.
Don’t jump on every shiny new course or software in the hope it will radicalise your business, it won’t. There’s a time and place for business coaches later down the line to help with specific matters such as Facebook ads or growth strategy, but you don’t need them in the beginning. All the information you need to succeed is readily available for free, but most people don’t take action on it. They’re too afraid to tell people about their business for fear of rejection, don’t blog regularly because they don’t feel they have anything valuable to say, and think that because they’re a beginner, no one will care about their social media posts. Go against the grain and feel the fear and do it anyway! There will be people out there who need you, your services or products. You’re doing them a disservice by not telling them about it!