“Never think ‘this is it’. Always approach everything as an experiment.”
In episode 31 JJ shares how she went from personal training to building her fitness and empowerment brand, including publishing books and podcasts and the many learnings along the way.
JJ Flizanes is an Empowerment Strategist and the Host of The Fit 2 Love Podcast Show. She is the Director of Invisible Fitness and an Amazon best-selling author with a third book coming soon: The Invisible Fitness Formula: Five Secrets to Release Weight and Body Shame. She was named Best Personal Trainer in Los Angeles for 2007 by Elite Traveler Magazine. She also regularly contributes her expertise to publications like Get Active Magazine, Shape, Fitness, Muscle and Fitness HERS, Elegant Bride, and Women’s Health and has appeared on NBC, CBS, Fox 11 and KTLA.
Journey to Empowerment Strategist
- Started in fitness industry 20 years ago. Became a physical trainer.
- Learned a lot about the science side of fitness. Over time realized this was only one set of tools, not always the right set. Started exploring mental, emotional, psychological sides.
- “Empowerment Strategist” came from seeking to understand why people were needing help in the first place. Found that the tools apply to any aspect of life – relationship, purpose, job, etc.
“My mission in my life is freedom and I think that people often feel a lack of freedom in many ways… I realized my purpose and passion was to help people uncover where they could feel powerful and free in whatever goals they set for themselves.”
Going from physical training to writing and speaking
- Branded “Invisible Fitness” because she had deep understanding of the science behind fitness (what isn’t visible that impacts the visible)
- Was asked to write a book about ab workouts, launch ended up getting pushed out eight months.
- Decided to write about her topic that better represented her and her passions and release it before the ab book.
- Wrote about fitness and love – realized she found her husband when she was in a good place and loving herself.
Expanding the Fit 2 Love brand
- Expected Fit 2 Love to be a full line. Business partner was finished after book came out.
- Advice: You might get idea that feels really strong, but it doesn’t mean that the timing is right.
- Later, learned about podcasting and realized it was an opportunity to get more content out, talk about what she thinks
“Prior to that I felt really ‘constipated’ in business. I had all these ideas I want to explore that weren’t in my niche.”
Learnings from podcast
- Decided she was willing to do podcast for two years without making money – would allowed her to create content to use later. Produced 340 shows in two seasons.
- Put video and audio into same itunes channel – didn’t realize people don’t come to itunes for video podcasts.
- Also didn’t get good insights on interest across topics since they were all combined
On decision to break out content from Fit 2 Love
- Realized she was trying to put too much under one brand.
- Each day of the week now has its own channel with a separate brand that is a better descriptor of what the content is about. Just taking existing content and re-branding.
- The topics she has the least expertise in (psychology, relationships, etc.) are garnering the most interest and turning into powerful communities, moreso than Fit2Love did.
“When you work on things yourself as an entrepreneur, you don’t take things personally.”
Vulnerable moment and learnings
- Started training business in LA. Parents had been worried about her ability to pay bills and she had been working to get them to understand.
- At one point the business seemed to be crashing down financially, mother picked her up –was the cheerleader she needed to keep going
“I was good at what I was good at and I learned very quickly the things I was not good at.”
“It can be a lonely road as an entrepreneur”
- Important to have peers, mentors, masterminds etc.
- Always surround yourself with people you consider to be like-minded (at the time)
- Those people might change over time – as you grow and change you might grow out of mentors and teaches and need something different.
“Perspective is really important and you can’t get it if you’re sitting in your office by yourself all the time.”