Go2Practice is a new mobile directory that makes fitness search simple by showcasing over 100,000 facilities across the US. There are 70million people in the US that frequent fitness facilities currently and over 20% of them are buying other experiences beyond their gym memberships. Go2Practice is the default resource for fit fiends that are looking for their next amazing workout, while they are traveling for business/pleasure or just looking to mix things up. No extra inventory or memberships, it’s a pay to play day pass or class pass opportunity for a seamless workout wherever and whenever you’d like. Built out of personal need for the resource and perfect for the front row group fitness junkies, bodybuilders and everyone in between! Social references and influencers suggestions are coming soon as well as other fun features to engage with every type of “fitfluencers”! Create a profile and watch us grow! It’s free! You see the prices that the gyms set. Your body will thank you later. www.Go2Practice.com
How did you come up with your business idea? What inspired you?
Fitness is my passion and I recognized the need for gym access with a seamless option to a get in a workout anywhere at any time. A close friend of mine was coming to NYC from Philly on a business trip and asked me to recommend a 9am yoga option. She was staying just a few blocks from my apartment, which has been my neighborhood for 18 years and where I primarily teach fitness classes. Even with that baseline, it took me over an hour to research, click around, call front desks, and put an email list together of her options. A few years later, the fitness industry started shifting from year-round memberships to offering monthly options. The next iteration was “no commitments” with the option to pay for the day/class. I was now able to find day passes as I traveled which was amazing, yet still cumbersome to navigate, but progress was evolving! The extra inventory membership models launched, creating negative energy relating to excess capacity, perceived values of assets and the need for new marketing efforts. When brainstorming with a tech startup/fit friend, we questioned why there wasn’t a true directory that aggregated and curated everything? That was my “ah ha” moment! I realized I could make the platform come to life from a unique perspective as an industry consultant, background in partnership marketing and an activator in the group fitness scene.
What were you doing before this? How did it prepare you for the entrepreneurial life?
Post college I dove into marketing for prenatal women, then tobacco and finally cars, all while teaching group fitness classes “on the side”. When I had the opportunity to build a national media division for a fitness brand, I realized my passion for fitness is my strongest motivation. Based in NYC with my corporate team in Minneapolis, at the age of 25 I learned that I thrived working from home, building my own systems for sales and outreach and inner motivation to succeed. Building Life Time Fitness’s media company was amazing, but then I shifted over to Rodale for 24 Hour Fitness, where I worked directly for over 8 years, mixing working from an office and from home or the road the other half of the time. I never departed from the structure and schedule of teach group fitness classes and growing as an instructor for Crunch and Equinox while the industry evolved. Being entrenched in any industry for almost 20 years provides an immeasurable perspective and connection and degrees of separation to so many incredible people who are doing impressive things within the space. It could be a bit NYC centric and something about fitness entrepreneurs in general… it’s a sexy industry and it is only evolving for the better.
Do you have a fixed work routine? Is it important to have one? Any tips for our readers?
I personally thrive from not having a fixed routine and instead having a well thought out plan with logistics set well in advance. Some mornings I’m up and at the gym by 6am, some evenings responding to emails well after midnight, some days doing both. I prioritize physical activity, hydration, sleep, and food choices as fuel for the fire with the goal to keep the tank running on high… when one collapses the others tend to tank as well.
Tips from me:
1) If something will take less than 2 minutes to do it, just do it, including guarding your inbox and responding promptly or even the task of bleaching the bathroom floor
2) Take an extra 2 minutes during each shower to stretch, the extra oxygen and flexibility in the warmth plus the zen moment is worth it
3) Schedule personal time daily – a workout, meeting friends for a drink, taking a longer dog walk, go see a show, hike a mountain etc. Plan in play time and don’t cancel – presence is the present
How do you generate new ideas to stay relevant on the market? Is it important to innovate in your space?
Most of my brainstorming has been with friends from the gym and networking events. Ideas roll off the cuff, I stew on them and then add them in to the priority lists. Using the hook of meeting people in the gym creates a level of interest in both of our lives and ultimately a sense of community. People want to get involved and love sharing their fitness habits and ideas. It is hugely important to innovate and meet consumers where and how they want to engage with technology. I have been watching how other industries affect consumer transition to making purchases and try to leverage how that can affect fitness, specifically online purchases and reservations within food and transportation.
Was it difficult get capital/investors? Has anyone underestimated you as a female entrepreneur? If yes, how did you handle it?
Startups in general are underestimated. To be successful there needs to be passion and drive beyond the everyday and you have to meet the daily startup challenges with positivity. Until this venture I never considered myself to be lesser or saw direct implications of gender diversity issues. As a sales woman I was often a better candidate, never thought I was underpaid or objectified differently, but perhaps that was because I was in an industry that has many powerful female leaders and my direct bosses and bosses’ bosses were all female. In technology and raising capital it is a different feeling all together. There are far less women in every room and powerful voices don’t tend to always be rewarded. Being an entrepreneur and raising capital is a lot like dating, there are quite a lot of toads out there and we are all looking for true love. I’ve found that I must do a better job at touting my experience and why I am going to be the best person to build this business. I am a pretty blunt straight shooter and meet people at their own energy so when a conversation doesn’t feel right, I try to push it off to a follow up conversation that will never happen or throw a quick retort back to any commentary that may have crossed a line which usually is received very well.
What is one thing you find to be true that most people would disagree with?
Active meditation – perhaps it’s because of the community and industry I am in, but the value and importance people put on meditation and its potential benefits lately is vast. While I applaud anyone and everyone who has found personal growth from meditation, I find that my meditative state is while physically active. The goal of calm, focus, and awareness for me is true during and after I physically exert myself. Usually not able to be fully achieved within a group fitness class or something that I need to follow along to but rather being on a Stairmaster or cardio machine and able to just be present. Active meditation… it’ll be trendy one day!