|What is your current title? Owner|
What is your company name? Not Your Average Boot Camp | Leanne@notyouraveragebootcamp.com |www.notyouraveragebootcamp.com
What are your certifications? NPTI MPT, NSCA CPT Where did you get your education? National Personal Training Institute | BS University of Florida, Business Administration
What is your favorite piece of workout equipment? I love gliders
What is your favorite healthy snack? Carrots and peanut butter
What is your favorite quote or saying? Talk does not cook the rice – Chinese Proverb
If you have the chance to share just a single conversation with Orlando's Leanne Ellington, be ready for your enthusiasm for changing lives to multiply.
Beyond her contagious enthusiasm, one of the first characteristics about Leanne you will sense is her authenticity. What you see is what you get, and undoubtedly, this is why she has found herself on her journey to success.
You soon learn, however, that Leanne does not have a typical fitness background. She didn't grow up an athlete and didn't go to college to study physiology or exercise science. In fact, she was never really exposed to a lifestyle of health and fitness.
Quite opposite, she grew up overweight and very much disconnected from fitness and overall healthy living, mostly because she had not yet been exposed to it. Fast forward through three backpacking trips around the world and successful attempts at losing weight. Leanne returned from her third trip overseas and realized she was ready to "go home and start her life."
Leanne was ready to connect with her strong desire to help women achieve the same feeling of success and enrolled in an intensive training program with the National Personal Training Institute. Shortly after graduating, she applied for an internship with the Institute and quickly began teaching and working with other aspiring fitness professionals. Before long, she was committed to branch out on her own.
Leanne Ellington sets a goal and never looks back. Within a few short months, she replaced her income with her first boot camp and had started building a tribe of loyal followers.
Growing pains and lessons learned
Ready to go full steam ahead to launch her new venture, Leanne's first challenge was finding a client base to fill her first boot camp. She decided to put as many poles in the water as possible; she posted to Craigslist, meetup.com, and started talking to the people she knew in her community. A free pumpkin workout and a lot of optimism later, she held her first boot camp with six clients (only four who paid). Despite early setbacks, including an unexpected and untimely back surgery, she continued to build her clientele by offering programs and services she knew no one else could.
Among the many valuable lessons Leanne learned as she continued to build her business was to be purposeful and directed with her investments. She realized that she was throwing money at advertising, website work and outsourcing parts of her business that she thought would serve her business. She quickly discovered that without specific business systems and strategy, she was not utilizing the resources that would have a direct impact on her growth.
As her business quickly grew, she learned that as an entrepreneur, self-management is one of the greatest challenges, but finding ways to manage herself better physically, mentally and financially has always propelled her success. There were points in time where she lost her "fire" and became complacent; she found that developing and investing in relationships with likeminded individuals through mastermind and mentoring groups was instrumental in keeping her accountable to her mission. Aligning and creating these relationships helped her realize the potential she has in the industry and gave her an endless network of resources and peer accountability.
Authenticity and her success in the media
Leanne's authentic and genuine mission to change lives has proven to executives at WKMG Local 6 News and Fitness Rx magazine that she has a way of engaging with an audience. Leanne has a weekly fitness segment on the morning news and is a regular contributor to the magazine. She believes she was offered these opportunities not because she specifically sought them out, but because she continually puts positive energy into all she does and always offers a giving hand, being appreciative of opportunities she is given. The opportunities came to her because she is committed to what she does best: offering transformative experiences for each of her clients.
While the news and magazine positions lend to her credibility, legitimacy and reliability, Leanne advises that fitness professionals not overestimate what the media can do in terms of direct income and growth. It is still her client testimonials, before and after pictures and strong relationships that impact the growth of her business.
Leanne's thoughts on growth, expansion and taking action
Another valuable lesson Leanne shares of her journey to success is the importance of understanding the difference between business growth and expansion. She used to think that there was no difference between the two; she thought that expansion was the way to grow a business. So when she set goals to grow her business, she thought what she should do is expand. Her first instinct was to expand to new boot camp locations. After making some valuable mistakes, she soon understood that greater success would come when she focused on one boot camp, creating a solid foundation and making it a robust hub of business before moving on to the next venture.
Key to her success has simply been to take action. "I spent a lot of my life thinking of ideas, talking about the details, planning them out, preparing for the perfect execution, and then when it came down to it, no action was taken," she shares. "I think a lot of us suffer from information overload or fear of failure. My favorite Chinese proverb, 'Talk does not cook the rice,' reminds me to stop talking about my goals, and go start doing things to achieve them!"
Leanne's journey moves forward
While Leanne celebrates the one-year anniversary of her newest facility with an expanding staff and clientele, she continues to focus on offering new programs and services, and partnering with local media and organizations. She has recently ventured into the corporate wellness arena and is piloting new corporate employee wellness programs.
She is excited by the opportunities that corporate wellness is offering the fitness industry and is ready to introduce her own authentic spin to help employees lead healthier, more productive lives while improving companies' bottom lines. Leanne's tenacity, resilience and authenticity are the driving force behind her journey to success. She has found her voice, has a deep understanding for the needs and desires of her clientele, and delivers an exceptional experience. She has developed the ability to stay calm under pressure, often taking a "ready, fire, aim" approach to making things happen. As fitness professionals, one of the most significant lessons we can learn from Leanne's story is to always be authentic -- authentic in our purpose and intentions, authentic with who we choose to serve, and authentic to ourselves, never cutting ourselves short of the success we all deserve.
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