Tag Archives: business

It’s May again already?

Last Fall, I made the conscious decision to stop posting here at onbalance, in an effort to free up some time for my family and my personal fitness training.  The irony is that I was doing a lot of long distance running, and it is on these runs that I get my best ideas for blog posts and other fitness tidbits to share.  I’ve been keeping a list of these ideas, have repopulated by blog posting calendar, and am going to be here every Monday and Thursday throughout the summer….just in time to keep you from flagging while the weather is hot and the kids are out of school.


As usual, May means I’m  in the midst of my busy season teaching swim lessons.  I love working with children and teaching them water safety and the joy of being in the water.  Seeing the neuromuscular connections take place, the mechanics improve, and the body moving successfully across the water never fails to excite me.  And to see the kids’ confidence explode with this success is the cherry on top.


In an unusual turn, we’re having a way wetter and colder than normal May here in Austin, so my Aqua Kriya Yoga classes are off to s slow start.  We’re meeting this year on WEDNESDAY evenings, 6.30-7.30, in Central Austin.  (NOTE:  This week only, class is on Thursday 5/21 instead.)  Leave me a comment or drop me an email at karen @ balancepft dot com if you’d like more information.  Not in Austin but curious about aqua yoga?  Check out some FAQs I’ve answered.


Business-wise, I’m continuing to add new offerings to better support my clients on their fitness journey.  This year, I’m excited to be able to grow my Personal Training base.   I’m looking ahead to August, when all three of my kids are in school five-days-a-week; this means I’ll be able to see more clients even more regularly.  Walking with people as they develop new healthy behaviors is so rewarding.  Please do let me know if you’d like some support and direction for  your own wellness.  Not in Austin?  I can support you through virtual training, too!


In April I finished my certification to become a Prenatal Kriya Yoga instructor.  I’m spending some time this summer thinking about the best way I can reach out to and serve pregnant women with this soul and body nourishing practice.  Stay tuned!


My upcoming fitness goals are, once again, running focused.  In the short term, I’m looking forward to running Beach to Beacon in Maine this August.  Like two years ago when I ran Falmouth Road Race, toeing the line at B2B allows me to participate in one of the classic American summer road races.  It’s in the hometown of American distance running legend Joan Benoit Samuelson, who sparked my mind as a 10-year-old girl when she won the 1984 Olympic Marathon.  Longer term, my dad and I are cooking up a plan to go to South Africa next May to participate in Comrades Marathon, a 90K ultramarathon that is considered “The Ultimate Human Race.”  Again, stay tuned!  I’m going to need your support!

Good health and great happiness to you!


Get EQUIPped!

For the last eight months, I’ve been working like crazy.  In addition to my personal training clients, prenatal classes, Aqua Kriya Yoga classes, Balance Virtual Bootcamp, and blogging, I’ve been developing an entirely new program.

In February I launched EQUIP Fitness Business Development out of a desire to share my passion and knowledge of running a real-world fitness biz.  I’ve enjoyed getting to know other fitness pros as well as people who have been thinking about making the entrepreneurial leap.  One of my services is a phone coaching session where people “Pick My Brain,” and together we try to clarify their hopes and dreams for becoming a fitness entrepreneur.

But  Monday September 30th is the date I’ve been working toward all year. Next Monday the first cohort of fitness pros kick off Strong-Skilled-Smart, EQUIP’s signature business development program.  In just six weeks, we’ll walk step-by-step through the process of envisioning and launching a viable independent fitness business.  I’m so excited for what’s in store.

I still love my clients, both those I see in-person and those I know only online.  But the former college professor in me was itching to get back to some teaching, and Strong-Skilled-Smart is a way for me to do that and help others reach their dreams.

If you’re interested in enrolling for the inaugural offering of Strong-Skilled-Smart, it’s not too late!  REGISTER NOW to grab your virtual seat!

Going Social

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not exactly BFFs with technology.  I am a bit of an anti-Midas when it comes to techy stuff: I go through laptops faster than most people, I barely use apps on my phone, and I still struggle with just how much time to invest in social media.

As I’ve been in the prep and launch mode for EQUIP Fitness Business Development, I’ve been in a crash course of social media.  I’d be lying if I said it’s not completely overwhelming.  But little by little, it’s making more sense to me.  Even better, I’m getting that awesome sense of satisfaction that comes with learning something new.

There’s also been a pretty good learning curve getting the back-end of the Balance Virtual Bootcamp established.  I’m so excited about how these workouts will be delivered early enough in the morning for you up-and-at-’em types…even those of you in Europe!  I’m also anticipating great support and community through our private group Facebook page and the optional (but you won’t want to miss it!) Google Hangout chat.  If you want structure to and accountability for your workouts, this is a great way to get it at a wickedly affordable price.

Now there are some forms of social media at which I excel.  Facebook  (<—click there to follow me!) is a personal hangout for me as well as being a way I enjoy connecting with onbalance readers.  Because I’ve demonstrated a commitment to pinning recipes and workouts and crafty projects that will keep me busy well into my 80s, I decided I should start Pinterest boards specifically for fans of Balance Personal Fitness Training.  You’ll find me pinning healthy recipes, workout ideas, and fitness inspiration there.

I’ll be blogging in the next few days about some of my favorite Pinterest finds.  Until then, follow along here–> http://pinterest.com/balancepft

Let me know what your favorite social media sites are.  Whether it’s a particular blog, or your personal FB or Pinterest boards, I’d love to know what you find interesting.  What’s your best advice to avoid falling down the rabbit hole of social media?

I always love hearing from y’all.  Go on out and make it a great Monday.

PS- If you’d be so kind as to click that “Top Mommy Blogs” button over there to the right (scroll down on some screens), I’d be much obliged.  Grazie!!

Mama Power


I spent some of my Saturday at MomCom Austin today, and I’m all abuzz.  It was a gathering of 150 women for a mix of discussion, learning, listening to speakers, sharing, eating, and general chilling out.  There was some pretty fabulous energy in that room.

I was there as a representative of Cheer Up Buttercups, talking about all the awesome services available to support new parents through the preschool years.    As anyone who has ever met me can attest, I love talking.  I really love talking about healthy parenting.  I super really love talking about ways we as a community can do a better job helping each other navigate the early years of parenthood.  As you can imagine, it was all pretty fabulous.

Despite spending most of my time behind the exhibit table, I was able to meet the beautiful brains behind local companies such as Great Moments in Parenting, Olive You Nanny Services, Striped Shirt, TX MILK, and Mamashine.  It was really exciting to hear the passion of each of these entrepreneurs, animated by talking about doing work that they love.

As parents we all face decisions about work-life balance.  I am fortunate to be doing something I love and still have so much time with my children.  I have a lot of irons in the fire regarding my business growth in 2013, and after being at MomCom, I’m even more fired up to go out and be awesome.

Now you go do the same.  Good health & great happiness to you.

None of the companies mentioned in this post asked me to blog about them.  I just thought they were cool women, and as a mama and a business owner, I like to support cool women.  Simple.

From Architectural History to Personal Training

My favorite benefit of trapeze training — other than the sheer thrill of a fantastic workout– is the people whom I have met.  One of these people, Dr. Laura Faulkner, began her trapeze lessons just after I did.  She, too, was going through a career change, leaving a prestigious university position to become an independent consultant.  She, too, found that trapeze teaches lessons that extend far beyond the rig.

Laura created a forum for sharing her experiences and lessons learned from her career change.  She asked if I would come share my story.  After all, how *did* I decide to make the move from the academic world of architectural history to the seemingly unrelated world of personal training?  I’m going to tell my story today!  You might be surprised to find out that these two worlds have quite a lot of overlap.  I love to teach, and I’ve always been committed to working with passion. 

Come join us for the whole story, and meet others who are going through career transitions as well.

  • New Creation Career Group
  • Genuine Joe’s Coffee House- “The Cellar”, 2001 W. Anderson Ln.
  • Monday, June 1st from 1.30-2.30pm, networking to follow 

Becoming SMARTER

As a personal trainer, I know how important it is for people to have SMART goals: specific, measureable, accountable, realistic, and time-based.  Today I’m going to look at the 2009 goals I made yesterday, and see how I can make them SMARTER– including making them exciting and recorded.

Goal #1- Actively Meet New People

S- Participate in Biz+Balance, both in the yahoo group and the bi-monthly meetings.  Participate in one B+B SIG.

M- Three meetings in the first four months of the year.  Meet (and remember!) at least ten people at each.

A- Record the meetings and new contacts here in the onbalance blog.

R- Completely realistic!

T- Thirty new contacts by the end of April.

E- Think of all the cool women I will meet.  And the fantastic goods/services they offer.  Supporting local mama-owned businesses is good for the local economy and the local vibe.

R- Here!

Goal #2- Eliminate Toxic Relationships

S- Spend less time in online communities where idle chit chat distracts me from being productive AND some of that chit chat is with people I wouldn’t spend time with in a non-virtual relationship.

M- Thirty minutes per day MAX of personal social networking.

A- You’ll just have to trust me! 

R- It’s simply self-discipline.  I can do it.

T- Starting January 1, 2009.

E- Think of all the time and energy I’ll have for work and other productive, satisfying activities!

R- Here!

Goal #3- Improve Marketing for Balance Personal Fitness Training

S- Create a ‘media kit’ to send to local media as well as perinatal health providers; New website

M- Kit to include cover letter, bio, offerings, photo; Website content fine, but new graphics needed

A- Here.

R- Yes.  It just needs to be done.  I know what to write/how I want the website to look.  It’s a matter of making it happen.

T- Media Kit- out by end of January.  New Website up by Spring Break.

E- This is the basis for creating new business.  If that’s not exciting, what is!?

R- Here. 

Goal #4- Continue self-improvement through sewing and flying trapeze (though not simultaneously!)

S- Sewing: become proficient at zippers and yokes for pants so I can make The Bear more RTW clothes; Flying Trapeze: improve swinging and learn second back end trick and one new trick

M- Sewing: can The Bear wear the pants without them looking total homesewn?; Trapeze: can I regularly catch the tricks?

A-  Sewing: post to SewingMamas runway for feedback; Trapeze: the line crew and catcher will hold me accountable

R- Yes.  These are the natural ‘next steps’ in my hobbies.

T- Sewing: by the beginning of the new school year; Trapeze: by the end of the spring session

E- Oh, yeah, it’s exciting!

R- Here.

I’m going to give these goals to my dear friend, M, who knows me well enough to tell me not only when I’m working hard but also when I’m slacking.  She will help hold me accountable, and I’m grateful for that.

Finding my Fire

Today’s reflection challenge is inspired by Steven Covey and his concept of “The Fire Within.”  Feeling The Fire– which is a *good* thing– occurs when your four areas of basic need are met.  Physical, mental, spiritual, and social needs govern our lives (in varying proportion, as seen from yesterday’s balance challenge), and when they are all humming along happily, we feel The Fire.

When thinking about the happiest time in my life, I don’t know if it was The Fire.  I do know that I was physically challenged (training for a marathon while caring for a newborn), mentally engaged (organizing, researching, and leading a walking tour of 1920s London), spiritually active (regularly attending Mass with my husband and consciously choosing to have our baby baptized in our faith), and socially fulfilled (despite being thousands of miles from family and home, I had a fantastic group of friends with whom I identified and felt very close to).  It was happiness.  It was bliss.  But I also knew it was a temporary state, so perhaps I just got lucky for a few years. 

At any rate, I’d love to feel like that again.  My life has changed in significant ways since that time: I have a second child; I live in a fairly suburban environment; I am working to build a business; I am a member of a parish, yet we are not very involved; I have a big group of friends, but my interactions with people tend to be in snippets rather than in long, unhurried conversation.  How can I adapt my current life to the happy, humming state I had before?  Because to live  The Fire is to be genuine….and being my authentic self and acting honestly with others reflects my core values.

But how do I get there?  How do I find my fire? 

I am fotunate because my basic needs are relatively well taken care of.  As I identified yesterday, there is always room for improvement.

Regarding relationships, I feel energized with the progress I have made recently.  I am actively meeting new people and attempting to offer my authentic self to them.  I am not a cocktail hour person; chit-chat is difficult for me.  But give me another person who is interested in having a thoughtful conversation, and I couldn’t be happier.  Similarly, I am working to eliminate relationships that no longer inspire me.  It is difficult to admit that I have continued to participate in relationships simply out of habit, but I have.  And that is not genuine.  I do not offer those people my best, and what I take from them is not positive.  Bottom line: surround myself with people I *want* to be around.

I have so much to learn in the coming year regarding my business. As with most new endeavors, I did not know how much I did not know until I started.  My biggest area of interest is learning to market myself to a target audience (perinatalwomen) so that I can do the work I feel most called to do.  I need to follow through with plans to produce a media kit and to contact local OBs and midwives informing them of my services.

Personally, I want to continue to improve my sewing techniques so that my boys can wear Mama-made love all day while I reap the creative benefits.  I also want to continue learning flying trapeze, as it is a breath of focus and freedom in my life.  If I could sew daily (or whenever inspired) and fly weekly (or as often as the rig is available), I would have a happy balance of creativity, technique, focus, and activity….all of which is energizing.

Bring on The Fire.