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July 20, 2020
My interview with Megan Conner, founder SWT-LIVE (psst. she's wearing one of our custom embroidery pieces!)Janel Broderick: Megan, when I think of a handful of people who’ve been pushed to pivot in a big way during 2020, (forever now known as the year that burst into flames quicker than I abandoned my NYE resolution to eat more zucchini), you’re one who tops the list. As a fitness pro who’d been based out of Nashville, you’re now taking your show on the road … VIRTUALLY! Can you fill us in on what you’re up to and what prompted you to shift into this direction?
Megan Conner: Haha!! Well, this year has forced us to take a hard look in the mirror, hasn’t it? I’ve tried to embrace the change and move in a fresh way so the reflection staring back at me has two thumbs up, saying “YOU CAN DO THIS!”
Once quarantine hit I went into rescue mode. Instead of sitting on the couch watching Netflix with my dog (Lulu Lemon), I had to do something to save my business and serve my clients. Although, sitting on the couch watching movies doesn’t sound too bad right now! I’ve taught group fitness for so many years, so I said, “okay, let’s do it again.” I popped on Zoom, spread the word via my social media channels that I was training on a new platform, and the rest is history.
Former clients who had moved away from Nashville started attending virtual classes, friends started inviting friends, co-workers booked classes for their company, families started meeting up across the country to sweat, individually, but together. It was eye-opening, and I saw a community forming. I knew this could be bigger than quarantine.
Janel:It seems like the idea materialized pretty quickly. What’s different about what you’re offering? Are you offering virtual training in response to a need that wasn’t already being filled in the marketplace?
Megan:First of all--one way SWT-LIVE has differentiated itself from other online fitness options is that we are live and interactive. We--your trainers--can SEE you. From there we can coach you, train you, and motivate you. We can modify to meet the specific needs of the group and tailor them to fit your needs. We act in real time. We can make modifications and suggestions for alternative exercises. So, we’re closing the loop, bridging the gap between online instruction and live feedback.
The interaction with SWT-LIVE means that we’re developing a genuine community. One in which we can see each other, encourage, and challenge each other. Isn’t that what fitness is about? It just so happens that we can be in different parts of the world and SWT together now. (Insert virtual high-five!)By focusing on these types of classes, we’re eliminating excuses and travel time--that will serve our clients, even after life returns to normal(ish). Plus, I wanted to make sure this training was accessible to everyone, that’s why we’ve focused on affordable packages for everyone’s budget. Janel: I’m impressed by your willingness to take the risk, change lanes, and move into uncharted territory. How’d you overcome the fear of making this big of a change? Megan: Ummm, I haven’t. Honestly, I’m scared and anxious and can barely eat. I know in my heart that this will be successful, it is just going to take time. I’ve invested a lot of time and money to launch this idea and want this to succeed--more than anything for my instructors. It’s scary taking a leap, investing one’s own finances and time while trying to keep other businesses afloat and identifying the right team. But, I wholeheartedly BELIEVE in this concept. My team is amazing; now it’s just a matter of winning over clients. So, I guess the answer is, while I haven’t overcome the fear, I’m just learning to embrace it and let it fuel me.Janel:What’s your average day look like now? Do you feel like you’re busting down doors—or has it been a smooth ride?Megan: It's been a mixture of both! The classes were well received, so it just seemed like a natural thing to do. The team fell into place really quickly and easily, and my web designer is a dream to with, but everything takes a lot of time, calls, emails, questions, follow ups to get things up and running. It’s truly a matter of busting down doors to spread the word and get my brand out there. And that’s on top of continuing to train my one-on-one clients and coach my runners. I’m calling and emailing and begging. :) I’ll just continue doing that until we get the brand out there. As I mentioned earlier, the hardest thing is trying to spread my time between a business that is already running with one that I’m trying to launch. Thankfully, I have great clients that support this idea!
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