This is a guest blog post by IKSH member Catherine Basu
(excerpts from IKSH Saint Patrick’s Day Book Talk)
You might not be able to tell this by my married name, but I’m an Irish girl by blood. So when IKSH founder, Elizabeth Pudwill, asked if I’d like to do a luck themed book talk on Saint Patrick’s Day, I could barely contain my excitement! I pulled out my gold glitter platform heels, some green gear, crammed them both in between the books in my suitcase, and started the countdown to the party, the final stop on my Houston book tour < http://fitarmadillo.com/march-houston-book-tour-events/>.
Yes, I’m now a published author!
I’m also an ACE-Certified personal trainer and the owner of the fitness company Fit Armadillo <http://FitArmadilllo.com>. I have my Master’s Degree in Education, a Biology Degree from The College of William and Mary and have been quoted for my expertise in WebMD magazine, Huffington Post, livestrong.com, sparkpeople.com, and several other online publications. My new book, Superwomen Secrets Revealed < http://amzn.to/2gImve5 >:Successful Women Talk About Fitting in Fitness and Dare You to Join Them, was a Hot New Release and #1 download in 3 categories: Women in Business, Women’s Health, and Quick Workouts.
I might be small at 5’2”, but I’m kind of a big deal, pretty lucky, and successful….or am I?
I’d say I’m getting there!
I definitely have luck – I AM Irish, after all! But as I shared with the IKSH women on Saint Patrick’s Day, and I want to share with you, none of my success was all luck or easy. Along the way a lot of my journey didn’t make any sense. I had times when I felt stuck, depressed, or just down right confused.
Yes! Me, the girl who’s “always” smiling (I’m really not always smiling!). I try to stay positive, that’s true. But it’s also true that this journey to success has been a bumpy ride.
The two quotes that best summarize my journey to entrepreneur and author are:
“The harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” ~Unknown (although often attributed to Thomas Jefferson, who attended my alma matter).
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.” ~Steve Jobs
If you’ve felt stuck, down, confused or all of the above in the past or feel that way now, I want you to know you are not alone. But it can and will get better. You just have to move forward off that one dot.
At thirty FUN years old, I’ve have lots of lucky and more often than not, “lucky” events happen.
Here are a few to put things into perspective:
I failed to find a job in my college major, was laid off from TWO positions in less than 5 years, struggled to make ends meet when I went off on my own as a personal trainer in Houston (thanks, Houston traffic!), had my younger sister move all the way to Australia just when we finally started getting along, the list goes on!
But all these often unfortunate events led step by step to the creation of my business and more recently, the publication of my first book.
Dealing with Houston traffic and missing my family (not so lucky!) made me think about ways to bring my business online. A desire to help women fit fitness into their busy schedules even over the busy holidays led me to broadcast a free live fitness class that was actually successful (luckily!). This got me wondering if private online fitness sessions could work. And eventually, Fit Armadillo <http://FitArmadillo.com> was reborn. The company went from one that was just me providing mobile fitness sessions to my clients, to myself providing a mix of in person and private online fitness sessions to it’s most recent transformation – myself and a team of trainer and certified fitness professionals providing sessions over live video chat and offering last minute bookings.
My successful book? This was another series of “lucky” events that came together.
After studying entrepreneurs I noticed that many who weren’t in fitness careers cited moving more as a key to their success. I gathered interviews for a tele-summit on my own small blog <http://FitArmadillo.com/blog>.
Until I had one AMAZING woman say yes to the video interview series. I was excited, yet overwhelmed. I didn’t want her to feel like the only woman at her level. So I got bold and asked more women. One invited me to have the series on her VERY successful blog. She set me up with my own editor, I submitted the first interview. Then crickets. For a month. So I called the editor, emailed him. Still nothing.
I did this every month for a whole year and finally decided enough was enough! I didn’t want these stories sitting on my computer any longer. I decided to ask the women if they would want to share their stories as part of my book. I was scared to even ask them. I felt I had failed them with the blog series. But….They said “yes” and then rest is history! One of my favorite authors and TED Talkers, Shawn Achor (if you haven’t checked out his talk yet, PLEASE do so HERE < https://www.ted.com/talks/shawn_achor_the_happy_secret_to_better_work>), even shared advance praise for the book.
Are you thinking, “this is all great, but you still seem like someone who’s successful and I’m all over here without my own business or book!”
You want to know can you enjoy more REAL luck? The kind that gets you from one dark place (the second time you’re laid off, maybe?), to starting your own business?
Here are 3 keys to having more luck that I’ve learned from my own experiences:
- Build meaningful relationships
When I started my entrepreneurial journey, I considered myself one of those women who just got along better with men. “Why would I ever join a women’s group?,” I thought.After joining I Know Somebody Houston and later others I now know why. In other role and seasons of my life, I hasn’t been fortunate enough to meet many supportive women.
In this group, I did. Meeting these women and positive role models inspired me to support other women and that positive attitude alone helped me tremendously from one “lucky” event to the next.
- Fit in fitness
Yes, I’m a personal trainer, but I can explain! Fitting in fitness doesn’t mean you have to hire me or one of the Fit Armadillo trainers. It just means to focus on adding more movement to your day. It could be a dance party at your desk or a 10 minute walk when you’re getting started. Both will provide you with more more focus, energy, creativity, and luck. If you don’t believe me, check out the stories of the women in my book <http://amzn.to/2gImve5 >.
- Leave room for fun
Life is too short to be taken too seriously. Pull out your lucky glitter gold shoes evenwhen it isn’t Saint Patrick’s Day. Name your business something that makes YOU smileeven if some people don’t get it. I’ve had many people tell me to rename Fit Armadilloover the years, but many more say they hired me because of the fun name). This attitude of fun will serve you well in business, your personal relationships (what type of women do you think will want to be your friend when you wear flitter shoes?…), as well as when it comes to sticking to your fitness routine. Pick something that’s fun or an activity you can enjoy with fun friends and you’re more likely to repeat it often.
BONUS Tip #1: Give Back
In addition just feeling better and helping me put my life into perspective, giving back has helped me make some wonderful connections.
Some of my favorite organizations that I’ve personally donated time and/or money to in Houston, Texas and am happy to share more information about are:
-Free the Girls < https://freethegirls.org/>
-Memorial Assistance Ministries <http://www.maministries.org/>
-Read Houston Read < http://www.houstonisd.org/readhoustonread>
-Making It Better < http://mibtx.org/>
-Connect4Literacy < https://www.connect4literacy.org/>
-YCP Houston < http://www.ycphouston.org/>
-Single Parents on the Move < https://www.facebook.com/pg/SingleParentsOnTheMove/>
-The Community Cloth < http://www.thecommunitycloth.org/>
As a result of my involvement in these groups I’ve had lucky events happen. The most recent, was a free shopping party I won with Scout & Molly’s West University thanks to Shasie of Live Life in Style < http://www.live-life-in-style.com/>’s Christmas Party. I won the party because I bought several Christmas gifts from The Community Cloth!
BONUS Tip #2: Buy the Book
Rub my maiden name in your hardcopy of the book (if you do it in the ebook, you’ll end up changing the page before you get enough luck!) for some genuine Irish luck 😉 And participate in the #FitNFitDare fitness challenges to get connected to a wider community and reason for sticking to your fitness routine.
Missed the book tour? Head HERE < http://fitarmadillo.com/march-houston-book-tour-events/> to find out where you can get a copy of the book in Houston or HERE <http://FitArmadillo.com/Alist> to get on my list for updates on my book tour.
BONUS: I’ve extended my 10% to The Community Cloth fundraiser! Inspired by Scout & Molly’s West U < http://westu.scoutandmollys.com/ > owner, Susan Baca Bradley, I started the fundraiser at my party, but I want to make a bigger donation. Purchase a fitness session from Fit Armadillo <http://FitArmadillo.com/Book> now-April 1st and 10% of the profits will go back to the organization.
I hope this blog post inspires you to go out there and make your own luck! I can’t wait to hear what happens when you put one or more of these tips into action.
And remember, you can change the world by first changing your world. It just takes one workout at a time. With more focus, creativity, and energy, there will be no limit to your impact, especially with the supportive women of IKSH behind you!
Catherine Basu, MEd is an ACE-Certified personal trainer, the owner of Fit Armadillo®<http://FitArmadillo.com>, and author of the new book, Superwomen Secrets Revealed: Successful Women Talk About Fitting in Fitness and Dare You to Join Them< http://amzn.to/2gImve5 >. She has zero tolerance for diets, supplements, and detoxes (and not just because she’s a huge fan of gluten-full bread!), but lots of love for those new to fitness. An avid runner, she has competed in races from the 1500m to the full marathon, and loves helping others start a running routine.