A looooong time ago...I'm talkin' 15-20 years ago, my sister Jen told me about this incredible fitness pro named Lauren Brooks. Jen is one of the fittest people I know, so when she recommends someone, I listen. She mentioned that Lauren focused on fitness with kettlebells, had a ton of expertise, and was a genuine person.
I bought a few of her DVDs - you know, those things that look like CDs but play movies instead of music. Oh right, so, CDs are these round discs...ugh, forget it. I was hooked on her workouts and bought her Baby Bells workout when I was pregnant.
Fast forward to now and Lauran has grown (and continues to grow) her fitness empire. Long gone are the DVDs. In their place, an enormous digital library of workouts, a monthly membership called Lauren's Playground, a thriving community, and a lot more.
I'm honored to now call Lauren a friend as our entrepreneurial journeys have crossed in more ways than one. So grateful that she took time out to chat.
Welcome to the Small Business Big mindset podcast, where we dive into tactical strategies to grow your business. And to make an impact on this world. A huge part of success is keeping your mindset and vision on track. So this is a major part of our process. And this podcast, let's do this. Hey, Erin here, welcome to the Small Business Big mindset podcast this week, we have Lauren Brooks, Lauren, I honestly don't even know how to introduce you because you have built up such a fitness empire. Like, how do you introduce yourself? Yeah, it's kind of complicated. These days, I try to keep it simple. And I just say I'm a strength coach. But I know it's a lot more than that, because I definitely do run a bit of an empire both in person online videos and the Zoom training. And I mean, it is, it's a very hard introduction. And marketing experts would basically yell at me for the way I will introduce myself, but I just took it I'm a strength coach. It's incredible. So Lauren, you have been growing this for so long. And so I was, you know, I told you I'm like, I'm, I'm an OG, Lauren Brooks fan, because I have like, your DVDs, you know, from way back in the day. The the pregnancy one and you know, like baby Bell, I mean, everything. So I still have on my local family other day, and I'm like, I'm not giving them away. And I'm like, she's now a friend. And I'm keeping my DVDs. That even though people don't even really have DVD players anymore, right? You know, maybe Xbox people will put their DVDs in an Xbox. That's when people tell me. Exactly, yeah, Mike there, I'm there. I'm keeping them. That's so funny. But tell for people who don't know, because you are out there you have, you've really have grown such a huge audience. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background and how you got to be where you are today, if you don't mind. Alright, I'll try to make it quick because it's actually kind of a long story. But so first of all, I've been training people for 23 years. That's a long time. I know. But I'm only like, 30. Right. So I started seven. Yes. All right. Um, so it really actually started. Many years ago, it came out of feeling very weak, insecure, lack of confidence. I was not a born athlete. I was very scrawny, probably like the last one chosen. When you get you know, back in the day when they would let people choose the team, I would be probably like the last one chosen because I just didn't have like that aggressive, assertive competitiveness about me. But, you know, at the end of the day, it didn't make me feel very good. And, you know, I got bullied quite a bit, believe it or not, I mean, we all have some, not everybody has these stories, but I you know, I got bullied I was quite a bit quite a target. I was again, very scrawny, much smaller than the rest of the people in my group or in my my age bracket during the middle school years, and so finally, I decided when the bullying was so much to the point where my my family actually had to move. I was in Sugarland, Texas, and my family actually had to move and switch schools to Houston can start start me fresh because it was pretty bad, horrible. Yeah, it kind of kind of really took a huge damper in any confidence building, especially for you know, and I am originally from California, so I didn't really know many people anyways, when I first moved out to Texas. So I decided to take my, my lack of competence into my own hands. And that's the second I got my driver's license at 16. I began to drive myself to a gym and I decided to learn everything I can about it. Completely self taught about how to get bigger. Yeah, it was totally the opposite. I was like, How can I put muscle on so I can be tougher, and just in case I get bullied again. So I was just like, completely traumatized from thinking like someone's gonna kick my ass and stuff like that, to be honest with you. It was It wasn't good. And so I worked really hard to just get myself stronger. I began to surf in high school blue in Texas, Texas, you know, the Gulf? Yeah. So I became an avid surfer. Yeah, I was like longing for my California. I'm born in Hollywood. So I just I missed my California fields. So I began to serve, which is not very common in Texas. And there was a small group of us so I found my people. And I noticed that, you know, the stronger I got, the better at surfing I would get the more confidence I felt. And I just embodied this, but I didn't take it super seriously at the time, until I decided to move out to California, I was 17 years old, when I graduated high school, I was not only smaller, but I was younger. So at 17, I started college, out here just at a community college because, you know, I, we didn't have the funds to pay for a four year out of state tuition university. But luckily, I got in state for the local college and my father remained in Los Angeles. And I moved out to San Diego and I came out here to surf and also go to school. And I just started to I just started again, noticing that when I trained myself and I started getting stronger, it completely changed how I felt as as a human being, if I got out of it, I would completely feel like crap. And so I didn't realize this is what I wanted to do to help other people until probably my third year after I transferred to San Diego State University. And that's when I decided to become to get my degree in kinesiology. And I started training actually, during my college years. And at the time, it was very conventional type training, very bodybuilding oriented, you know, more conventional, like, you know, lat pulldown and biceps by, you know, again, that bodybuilding approach. I don't know if people know that cuz I know this is not a fitness podcast. So I'm used to being on fitness podcast, and this is more of like marketing, right, like business. Yeah, so that so anyway, conventional is just like that typical kind of Gold's Gym, you walk in, or like an LA Fitness, or you sit on and do your leg extensions. And just like that, typical collection of body part type training. And then later on, in the graduate college I studied, I was continued continue to train throughout the entire college years. And that's when, when I graduated, I finally discovered kettlebell training. And this is when nobody knew what kettlebell training is. And I think most people know at this point, right, yeah, I mean, hopefully. Yeah. It's that cannonball with a handle on it a swing around using your hips? Your shoulders? Yes. Yeah. That early on. It's not about this movement. It's all in the hips. Yeah. Right. And yes, and in the beginning, people were just absolutely terrified. And people thought I was crazy for I took this huge risk put took all this money I didn't have. And I was like, one of the first female instructors here out in California, cuz I flew all the way to Minnesota to work with Pavel, you guys. No problem set that to lean. He was one of the main Russian guys that brought over and really popularized kettlebells. And at the time, it was very male dominated. It was like 85% Men, 15% females, and it was, yeah, call this comrades and you had to be super tough and all that stuff. But the point is, it's just, it was super effective. And I just, it was the first time in my life, I just felt so powerful and invincible, because the training was insane. I mean, again, not a born athlete wasn't strong, and got stronger with regular conventional training, but just not quite cutting it. And then I started the kettlebell training, rather than spending two hours in the gym, which most people don't have, especially nowadays, nowadays, when your family running a business couple kids, I don't know who has two hours a day. No. So I took two hours of what could be two hours of hard work into kettlebell training for 30 minutes, and I got 10 times stronger, 10 times leaner, all the other fun things that people want, with 30 minutes of kettlebell training versus two hours of conventional. And I cannot keep my mouth shut. Because personally, I saw such a great, such great results. I've never in my life looked strong, felt strong. And everyone's like, Oh, Dan, what are you doing? And so I just started blogging about it and talking about it and applying it to my students that weren't petrified of it. Because people would look at this and like, just freak out, completely freaked out, until I had to gently gently ease them into it. And I think that's what might have made me be able to create this such a popular way and why I created all these DVDs. Because if you learn it from like this big huge Navy SEAL instructor guy, not too many women are gonna be like, Oh, let me do it. Maybe now that I'm saying back then, you know, I was talking about women in their 60s 70s or new moms. You know, they're not really signing up for to swing an 80 pound kettlebell. Okay, they're like, oh my god, I'm gonna hurt my back. There's no way no way whatsoever. Now, my seven year olds are swinging 60 7080 pound kettlebells that's no problem. Yeah, it's amazing. And their backs feel awesome. And they're walking taller in their skiing fashion, they did what, you know, 20 years ago, and running around with their grandkids. But again, back then this kind of training just wasn't something that, you know, the mainstream felt comfortable doing at all. And so that was sort of that was, that's where I felt like I came in, if I could do it, and I can go through all the hard work to learn how to do it properly and safely. And if I could feel this good, and see like, what what's happening to my students, everybody has to know about it. That's it. Yeah, I know, it was nothing gonna stop me after that. Like I wanted to share this magical training with every single person. That was my, that's how I got started. Wow, that's incredible. And thank goodness you did, because I mean, really, I love kettlebell workouts, and it really is the most one of the most efficient, efficient movements that you can do, really, for your entire body. With the caveat of that, you're doing it correctly. Right for correctly, that's the key, right? Like for anything, right? So like, if you're gonna get into yoga or get into CrossFit or whatever, you know, modality you get into, if you do it incorrectly, you're gonna hurt yourself. So that's why really breaking down and spending time with the foundation just like if you're going to, you know, create a kurta digital course or whatever you want to do it correctly. Otherwise, it doesn't matter. Yep. Yeah, exactly. And so, so you started out with clients? And then and then you made DVDs to kind of expand your clientele. Is that how it happened? Yeah, so basically, I started with clients. And I also, this is when blogs were starting to become very popular. So I started blogging my story with with getting pregnant, and training with kettlebells. And then, you know, talking about how terrified I was of the fact that I had to have a C section. And I absolutely didn't want one because at the time, I finally achieved that six pack. Again, this isn't my 20s when I was, at the time, we were all excited about six packs. And so I got the six pack from training with kettlebells I felt so good and bam, I get pregnant, got married, got pregnant, whatever. And when it was time to get have the babies, my baby was breech. So when I found out I had to have a C section on top of the fact that my belly was like, so big. I lit it literally took me. I mean, it looked like I came in the room about five minutes later, my belly first. I mean, I had to like extend the car, I just leaned back. I mean, I can't tell you how many people asked me if I was carrying twins. So I thought that was it. Like I was destroyed, I took pictures. And I was just real about it. And somehow people began to read my story, because apparently, I'm not the only one that gets a little worried about how the body is going to look after pregnancy. And you know, of course, healthy baby is the most important thing. And so, so I began writing and writing and talking about some of the exercises I'm doing to stay healthy. So I can hopefully give a natural birth and recover quickly. And unfortunately, I didn't, I wasn't able to do that. Due to the breech, baby, however, I was able to recover from a C section with C sections, or just an incredible invasive abdominal surgery, which, unfortunately, doctors, you know, like if you get your knee replaced, you're going to have a PT, you're going to have physical therapy around it. But when you get a C section, and you literally get your stomach completely pulled open, and this huge creature ripped out and like all these sees all these stitches and, and staples and all this stuff. It's it's here's your baby. Just don't go upstairs for two weeks. See you in six weeks. And it's incredible. And I was actually upset about that. And so I believe so many people came to me like well, wow, so I was able to get back in shape it safely with a very healthy baby in hand, huge baby, by the way, very big. And that was always fun. safely and I took pictures and this and that. And people were like, What is she doing? What is she doing? And you know, it was nursing and all those things and that's really I believe what brought a lot of attention in the beginning to me. I started writing more articles I wrote a couple to like bodybuilding.com and different fitness articles. about, you know how to do these things, taking snapshots at the time, this is before YouTube was super popular before Facebook before Instagram before all of that, you know, back back in the day when MySpace was was the thing. This is how long ago this was. Yeah, incredible. So that's awesome. So that you, I love that you, you it's almost like you're on a mission, right? So you have these experiences and you're like, Wait, how this isn't right, you know, like the misinformation and the education that we're not getting? About, about really at all, like recovering after a pregnancy? Is it safe to work out while you're pregnant? Like, the confidence levels, especially in young women. You know, so I just love how you kind of like took all of that and turned it into this beautiful thing that you're you're reading now and so like now you still do client work right? And I see you have a beautiful gym so if you guys were right now Laura and I are in video because we like to see each other and chat and everything but she has a beautiful gym out looks like it's mostly outdoor. Is that right? From what I can see the whole the whole thing's outside. It's there's no walls. We are outdoors. 100% show you this corner. You can see me sitting Yeah, yeah, it's just there's no walls. It's just gorgeous. Very COVID safe. Yes. Yeah, maybe? Yeah, I love it. And speaking of that, like when COVID hit. What did you do? Like how did that impact? Wait, wait, wait you what you do? Yeah, well, when COVID hit, lots of people just shut down. And were able to just completely just go online, or some people just took off, like literally just took off for a month because they had their kids at home this and that. There was zero rest, to be honest with you, for me. And there was a moment where I almost thought I was gonna have nervous breakdown because the stress of having to close down the gym, because you're not well, in the beginning, I didn't close down right away because we were social distancing. At the time this is way before masks were even. This is when we were told not to wear masks like don't get masks leave it for other people. And this is when we were told that you can get it from a surface and you're you need to wipe down your groceries and you need to wipe down everything that comes in maybe even change your clothes, wash your hair the second year, you know, this is when and so I was getting like gnarly headaches in between every client walking in, I was cleaning like crazy. But all these toxic chemicals. And I was getting so stressed out, not not because of COVID. But more because of the chemicals that I was breathing in every second that I couldn't even think anymore. Like it was really hard. And so I decided, You know what, I'm gonna close down, because I just can't keep up with it. So I closed down for about three to four weeks. But when I close down, I didn't just sit around, I actually put cameras up. We spent a lot of research trying to figure out how to teach classes with just myself here, alone, and get everybody who's been coming here in person to go online on this thing that we're on now, zoom. So this is what COVID birth my Zoom classes I would never, I always talked about doing these live classes, because that's the one thing in my business that I guess I could have been doing and I missed I wasn't doing but having to be forced to just, I had to close it down wasn't sure too much unknown at the time. That's when we decided to make it all zoom. And let me tell you, it worked really, really well. However, there's a lot of in person people that they don't have their gyms outfitted, they don't have kettlebells at home, they're used to being here in person. Now for my members from my online empire from my online gym, that's totally separate from my in person gym. Those people they were ready and prepared. So I had people from England, Australia all over the country, able to for the first time ever train with me live. So there was such a positive silver lining to this whole to this whole thing, because we became this virtual family. However, my people, my local people were getting super depressed, they wouldn't even open up their screens because they didn't have a kettlebell. I actually went some out to people, but it was just too much they needed human contact. And so when I saw my students, like some of my happiest students starting to become super depressed, and maybe be at the point where they needed medication. I really had to sit and think about that. I said you know what? Alright, we're outside the city You are going to, I don't, I mean, exercises helps the immune system. It we have vitamin D like, this is my private place, I'm going to allow it. So I just started with three or four people. Usually there was 10 to 12. I let the people that I knew that were struggling so much and, and they were a part of the Zoom class I told them, it's not going to be the same, I'm not going to be able to touch you. Like there's all these different stipulation. I'm not going to touch you. I'm not gonna hand your bills to you at the time that the wipe off your bells when you're done. Like we were so careful for about six months. And then finally we realized, Hey, can't really get it from a surface. Hey, the errors the just the just the sunlight kills it. Hey, this hey, this hey, this, all this stuff? Now we just we trained normal. Yeah. 100% normal knock on wood. We'll have you know, 10 to 12 people. I'll see about 50 to 100 people a week. Never had an issue here. Knock on wood. Yeah, guys. Great. That's awesome. Yeah, I, I was at a CrossFit gym. During that time. And you know, CrossFit, it's it is it's very out door, the garage doors are open, there's, you know, air circulating, you know, but you know, he did have to shut down I want to say I was trying to think how long it was we so we switched to zoom. So I was like working out in my living room, you know, for I want to say it was like six weeks or something like that. But yeah, you're right. It's different. And then and then like I did have Luckily, I was lucky, I did have some kettlebells I did have some weights, that sort of thing at home. But if you didn't, you couldn't get any like they were right. Oh, god, that's right. You can even order any you know, or go to the store. I mean, I obviously the stores were shut down. But like, he couldn't even order anything online, like everybody was out, because everybody was just like, I need to work out at home and they you know, it was gone, you know, so and like manufacturers weren't replenishing them. So that was crazy, too. And I agree with you. I was like, when things started to reopen, at least here in Texas, it was like gyms weren't one of the first and so I was like, That is a place of health, you know, that is a place of wellness. I don't understand why these other places are able to open for a gym can especially gyms like yours, and the one that I was going to where a lot of it was outdoors, you really could social distance and that sort of thing. So I thought that was really warped. But I'm glad that like, you're back to normal, everything's you know, going well again, because I just think it is so important for people for their mental health to in order to have that physical physical outlet, you know? 1,000% I mean, it was just baffled me for a while. Once I realized once we all I mean they they I mean, they closed our beaches here a couple surfers were arrested, you know, so there was a lot of unfortunate incorrect here being put in the wrong places a closed you know, parks for little kids, little kids and nowhere to go. Yeah. And, you know, obviously schools and everything like that. So Right. Yeah, it's it's it can be controversial. But at the same time, there's science has shown that it's extremely difficult to get it outdoors, like extremely difficult. You have to try it. You have to like really be so super close and talking to that person for at least maybe 20 minutes or something. And like, I don't know, yeah, it was very, very close to being in closer contact, I think by saying like, smash crowd, or an hour or something. Yeah. And I think we're still all we still don't know everything. And we're still learning but I think I feel like we know a lot more now than we did. And so and it's still a lot of times like, it's I know people who've did everything right and still got it. So it's just like you just don't know. And so yeah, but I'm glad that like hopefully, we're on the other side of it. Oh, yeah. Yeah. And so like what because you've been in business for so long and you're so successful with what you do and you really are in it and I know you're so humble about it, but you really just as just as someone on the outside looking in for so long, you know I was just seeing you grow has just been that just incredible. What is there like a tool or a process that has changed your business for the better that you're like, Oh, I always use this or once I started doing this, it was really helpful. Man, okay, I mean, there's a lot of different little tools. Well, the thing that has helped me so much is the fact that I do have a business to where if I walk away for hours or a few days or close down, say for if I have to close down for a week, I am still getting paid. So that's extremely helpful. So I'm not the most fitness coaches in my most people in my profession. If they're not working, they're not getting paid, you're getting paid by the hour per student or whatnot. Luckily, I have set it up to where I've created so much content that people can pull from wherever they are in the world. And you know that you can buy the content, or you can join my online membership and have access to so much of it. And so it allows me to not have to pound the pavement 12 hours a day, like a lot of my fitness colleagues to be able to survive. And because I have balanced has been been such a something that I've been striving for, I mean, we're all striving, always striving for balance, as a mom, as a wife, as a business owner, as someone who also needs to take care of yourself, too. Did you have to put yourself in there, which is ends up many times being the last on the list. But it's very important not to not to do that. And it's very easy to do it. And by creating, you know, these products, and courses and content, and using, you know, an easy platform to do that, that has been such a key for me, to be able to still work with people and do what I love, but not have to do it so much that I end up completely burning out. Because burnout is very high in my industry, very easy to burnout and to fit in fitness to where you just can't train one more person. I'm training people probably six days a week, just a few hours a day. So and that's all I need to do. I mean, I could actually train a lot less if I wanted to, thankfully, because I do have the other income coming in from my online gym, which is a membership and you know, people pay like, for, you know, yearly. And so that's been that's been huge. Having something that you can put out there that you can, you know, that's very valuable to people that changes people's lives, that you don't have to repeat over and over again, you just hand them. Here's the key to this. Yeah, I'm glad you mentioned that. Because it's like that passive income, right? So it's like you, and you've diversified, right? So you're not counting on this one area of your business to really keep you a flow. And so like what, what made you expand your business? And that way, when you were working with clients, you did have DVDs early on. So you did have that. But what would you be like, You know what, I'm going to do a course or I'm going to do a membership? Like what led you down that path? Yeah, well, once the DVDs I saw that, that is not going to last forever. You know, as as technology gets better, people are going to need to download and streaming. So I made all made sure all my DVDs were then available as a download. And so that that was one thing, and then when to be honest with you, so I probably came out with like, maybe, like, I think I have like 11 or 12 DVDs out with streaming. And you know, these are very big, you know, it's a lot of work a lot of energy. And there's only so many high production type formats that I can continue to do. Like I don't want to, you know, pop out, you know, 20 to 30 DVDs, it just gets too much and I was at, we were at the place where it was time where people wanted to have more content and more variety. Because you know, when you have a DVD, it's great, but you put the same workout in maybe there's like a couple on there. And you just that's the same thing that you're going to get people people came to me, Hey, we would love to see, it was actually this, my clients, my students that from all over, that asked me hey, what's your next DVD, or, Hey, we would love to see you in a membership, we would love for you to have a membership. They gave me the idea. And when when enough people ask, we would love to maybe get a new workout for new every week or a new workout from you every month. I was like, hmm, that could be a lot of work. But I can understand that people will get great results if they hadn't, you know, different programs to follow throughout the year. And really, because let's let's be real if you look at my first DVD, the form is completely different than where we are now. You know, I mean, like, I was telling my friend who's a student of mine who's a dentist, you know, 29 years ago when she opened her practice, she probably she does different things that she did she use a different technology in the mouth. It still you know, got the fillings done. You know the pain was still better, but now she probably uses better ways to fill the teeth. It still gets the job done. It's just so much more efficient. So that's how the form is the form was okay, and it worked. And people got great results, and people loved it. But now we're even 10 times better than before. And it also killed me, I look back and all these other DVDs that people are still buying, when they don't, when I have like all this fresh stuff, like every few months, I'm like all these other fresh things that I want to share. And I figured it's time to put it in a platform where there's people wanting to pay, you know, not this astronomical fee, but a reasonable fee that they can have this online experience that they can pull whenever they want. And also in a community feel. So I know not everyone's a fan of Facebook, and I totally get it. However, you know, it does allow us to have this group atmosphere to where people can talk about the workouts they're doing and make friends and people have, and it's been, it's been pretty, pretty amazing. Oops, let me turn this now. Yeah, it's been pretty awesome to see people, you know, really come together and actually meet with one another in person, in their location where they are following the same programs. Yeah, I'm a part of your groups, and I've done your workouts and my sister too. So she's the one who got me into you, like decades ago, and loves Lauren's playground, like you know, and so, yeah, it's, it's super quality stuff. And I never even thought about that, how you were saying how the exercise itself or the form itself, it's, you know, it changes, it improves its innovation, and that as well. And honestly, it would never have dawned on me that, that, you know, that that would happen in the fitness field, you know, for certain movements and stuff. So, I'm glad that you kind of blew my Well, we've just all gotten smarter over the years, I mean, and just wood. And you know, with all the mobility out there, and just, you know, maybe some of it's old, but we're bringing it back to life and just in how to create a program even better than the program from, you know, a few years ago, and how to just constantly evolve and improve. And that's the beauty of the online membership is you're already paying this, you know, fairly reasonable fee to have access to, hopefully, you don't have to have access to this ever evolving. Constantly. It's just a living and breathing site, you know, versus, you know, owning a streaming, that's it, like, that's the way it's gonna look, it's great. It's your, you know, what you're gonna get, but this is nice, because it's constantly and and they have access to me too. I, you know, I've always tried to be fairly accessible to people, but not at this level, you know, they get to see me live, sometimes I even get, I give them an option to show up to one of my online zoom classes that I have here once a week, that's a new thing that I offered since COVID, because people were feeling so lonely. And just, you know, from working, they went from working in an office to working at home, they went from having school to having school at home. So all these people are so isolated. And so rather than just popping up one of my previous previously recorded, you know, playground type videos, not not DVD quality, but just more raw. I was like, you know, what, come to one class a week for free as part of your membership, even though it's separate for here. And it just brought a lot of, you know, joy to people, because I would literally talk to them, I'd be correcting their form in their living room. And, you know, really bringing them into our group here. And so that community aspect has been so important and such a big part now of the membership, which is, I wouldn't have done that if we didn't have COVID Yeah, it really, you know, the more entrepreneurs that I speak to, you know, that's typically the trend of like, yeah, I shifted, there's that word shift and pivot, right, you know, and those things that I implemented, never would have really thought about it, or maybe they, you know, struck my mind, but then it was a fleeting thought and, and now they're, it's one of the most foundational parts of our business, and I can't imagine, you know, managing this business without it, you know, but so it's kind of interesting how the pandemic kind of forged the way you know, and and for a lot of companies it forced them into the future force them to innovate, force them to think critically, you know, about the next era, you know, of their, of their business. So it's kind of it's a beautiful thing, which might be weird to say, to see coming out of a time, like this, and you're, you have so much content, it's such great content, and I love how, you know, for because most people listening are entrepreneurs themselves. They're all in all different areas of their journey. Some are just starting out, some are further along, but you know, the fact that you know, so well, who your audience is, like, you know, who that community is, you know, and I used to say, and I used to teach people to focus cuz on the one person that would benefit most from your, what you offer, and I don't say that anymore. Now I say, look at the community, you look at, you know, like who, who, who best to serve, you know, and I and I've heard a few other people start to say that too. And I think the pandemic has impacted that as well, you know, because it's like, you know, do you need to know who you're speaking to? Yes, and who you're serving 100%. But I think it's more of a community focus now. And you can tell by the way that you speak, you know, exactly who you're serving and exactly who you're creating this content for. And it, it runs the gamut age wise, as well, you know, and ability wise, and I think that's great that you're able to do that create content that benefits so many different people yet. It's also a niche as well, because maybe it's the the type of person or the personality, you know, that that binds your community together, rather than the age or the gender, you know, would you say that? Yeah, absolutely. Because we definitely have lots of different age groups in, you know, anywhere from, you know, late 20s to 80s in there. And I would say it is mostly women, but we do have a few men, there's always, you know, there's always a few of everything. I would say the people who do the are the most successful are those people that just want to get right to the chase, none of this fluff, just straight real raw, something that works as efficient, they don't have time for all the nonsense, they want something simple, and just already done for them. Basically, what, of course, they have to do it themselves. But where they don't have to think and you know, a little bit more of a do it yourselfer type person, I would say, those are the people that are the most successful, and the people that don't do as well doing just by themselves, we're finally opened up the door for people who need a little more hand holding, and that's where the live classes come in. You know, so I, I have tried it. And I know, that's probably confusing a little bit, but I have, I have tried to make it accessible for many kinds of people. But yes, it definitely is a person who is open mind, open minded, somebody who does not really want to drive to a gym, or doesn't have the access to a gym. And, and, and people who who are craving community, even if it's from their home, and, and want that support. And so whatever type of person that is, those are the people that are in there. And most people are just, I would say, almost everybody is just so supportive, so nice, so welcoming to anyone new, who's coming in and doesn't know what they're doing. They're trying to help them everybody wants to help, which these are people who just want to help and they know what it was like to be there be that at novice, they know how hard that can be in the beginning. And they just swoop them up and make them feel at home and show them where to go. It's, it's it's pretty cool to see because that community has been open for over five years, I've had my membership now just like a lot of those people have been, you know, doing the videos beforehand. So some of them know each other from like past workshops. But it's definitely been an ever evolving community for sure. Yeah. And you can tell even on your Facebook groups that it is close knit, you know, because people are out answering each other's questions and really chatting. And so like you're, you're handling a lot like you're a mom, I mean, you have a family and now you're you're making this huge business, like, is there anything that you implement into your routine to kind of, you know, they say to fill your cup or to you know, keep yourself energized to keep going that you can share? Yeah, well, for a while now, I've made sure to jump in as a student to a couple of my own classes that I'm not teaching like, I'll design the workouts. So I made sure to put it on my schedule. I have another coach that helps me out. I used to use that time to like go do computer work back in the day, like oh, I need to get ahead and do all this computer work. But then I was feeling rundown. But now instead of that computer work because that can wait. I jumped in as a student with my other students and just hang out just like I'm a student. I you know, if they need my help, I'm there. It's very hard for me to shut that off. But I train alongside with them. Because number one, they get to see I practice what I preach. I can I'm doing the classes with them. I'm in the trenches, I'm complaining like I'm, you know, we're funny we have we have a good time. And just being able to that's number one nourishing me by my training, whether for me, it's with my peers. I'll train a little bit alone, but it's way more more fun to train with other people. And just get that connection because you know, even though I'm an introvert, I crave, we all need connection, whether we like it or not, it just, it's good for us. And so that's number one. And number two walks on the beach barefoot. And we luckily I live over here, I don't, you know, just are getting a nature that is so important to do that a few times a week, if I if I'm not getting a nature, whether it's just even even neighborhood walks, or watching a sunset, you know, actually pausing and looking at the sunset, those are things that absolutely fill me up, me, I'm going to do a lot of filling up. I mean, I take my bath, like there's a lot of stuff I have to do, because I do give so much I mean, I'm work like six to seven days, it's a little much. And I give so much and I would completely be tapped out. If I didn't spend those nourishing moments, you know, even just in the mornings, like sipping my coffee with my eyes closed. And just being grateful. Every morning, just being grateful of the life I have, you know, even if life is tough, still only looking at my gratitude and what there is to just love about this world. And slowing down and just spending time oh my gosh, look how beautiful that sky is. Oh my gosh, and just really pointing out what's so amazing, even if it's a dark day, always finding that one thing that will change that will change everything. Yeah, no, I completely agree. Because it's like, it's almost counterintuitive, but the more you can slow down, the further you'll go, right? Because if you're constantly like plowing forward, you're gonna burn out, and then you're gonna like be 10 steps behind, you know, than where you were before. Because you have to recover and get yourself going again, and mistakes will be made, you know, along the way, too. So I thank you for sharing that. So as you look forward, what are the goals and vision do you have for yourself in your business? Yes, so in July, I know where it was gonna take, take a quick step back, because sometimes have to take a step back to know where you're going. So in July, I had my biggest launch of the playground, which was amazing. And then I decided, you know, I closed it up where no one can come in. And this was the first time I only opened it twice this whole year, which is a huge step for me, I usually I used to open it four times. And so I cut it down half the time, because what was happening to me is when I launch, it took everything out of me to where I could barely move, after, like I was, so in July we launched was amazing, was the best one I've ever had, we invited a lot of people and a lot of new people in. And after that I basically almost burned out. And this was the first time I have felt this way. And so my goal and vision for the feature is to only launch maybe once or twice a year. So I'm not launching till 2022 Now in January, and dialing in and not giving as much. Because I learned that number one Number one, sometimes I just like you said I have a lot of content. And the last thing I need to do is overwhelm people by giving so much more when I already have so much great content. So instead of constantly coming up with new stuff, and being on this content treadmill, which a lot of people in the memberships business are pulling something very special out of this backlog of five years, and bringing it to light versus having to come up with a whole new. And so that's where I have been I have been in, of course, I am coming out with something new today. But I haven't for a few months. And I needed that time for myself. So I can rejuvenate. And this has been the first time I have backed off in my business for five years. And so moving forward, it's going to be more of a quarterly release of something versus a monthly release. And so that's kind of where I am. And just having more community and, and connection versus just spewing out. Oh, here's another program. Oh, here's another program. It's going to be more about developing this connection to where we can almost meet in person at some point very soon. And really create deep, deep friendships versus just being on your own working out that community and making it a tighter knit community is going to be that focus for 2022. That's going to be the main focus. Okay, no, that's great. I'm excited for that for sure. Because I think that's what we need today more than now more than ever, honestly. So and I hope everybody hears that message. And I hope that you take it, they take it to heart, you know, because it's not cool to be burned out, it's not cool to be too busy, you know, anymore used to be a badge of honor. And it's not anymore. It's it's there. There are other options, you know. So where can people find you online to learn about all this cool stuff that you're doing? Yeah, so if you're on Instagram, it's easy, you can just find me at Lauren Brooks fitness. And you can also just find me on my website at Lauren Brooks fitness comm or on the edge fitness.com. So it's very simple. And I run a lot of free challenges which are, which is really fun. So like January, we'll be starting our seven, squat challenge seventh annual, which is always like the biggest challenge of the year. And it's so fun. And it's so simple, not easy. Not easy, but extremely simple. And it's you'll see people that can barely sit down on a chair, two people doing back squats with a barbell. So it really is accessible for everybody. And getting in on the free challenges is probably just my biggest joy to see so many people come together on January 1, and seeing them finish it by day. 21. And like, oh my gosh, is the first time I've ever in my whole life finished a squat challenge. And so many will begin their fitness journey right then in there. And they just they never stop after that. So I definitely recommend if people are interested in that, check that one out. Yeah, gosh, yeah. I look forward to. I'm looking forward to right now. Actually. I'm excited. Your challenges are amazing, you know, because I participate in them as well. And it's like it is you know, it's that sense of community again, and I love that. What an incredible feeling for you to to have people say like, Wow, I've never accomplished this before, you know, and you had a huge part in that. That's it's really Wow, it's so rewarding. It's so rewarding. I love it. I love to see people's, you know, photos that they post every day or like with their dog or videos, you get to see funny ones because there's always one winner who gets to win, like, you know, a membership with us. So it's just, it's just so much fun. I just I love community community is so important. Even though again, even if you're shy, you need it more. Even if you're introverted. You need it just as just as much. No, I agree with that. It's everything. Okay, so, to wrap up, we always ask a fun question, because we are total music heads over here. It's funny because I love working out and I should ask two questions. I should ask this question. I should also ask what's your favorite fitness movement? Or workout? Like that, like today? I was at the gym and I love doing what do you call it? Now? I'm gonna blink on that term. But it's basically sit up and press is what I was doing this already. And so I just so efficient, but But yeah, I love cleans too, with the barbell. Give me that not all day. Okay, but our fun question is, if you could only listen to one music artists for the rest of your life, who would it be? Oh, my goodness. That is so tough. Yeah, but that's tough. I mean, at first Drake comes to mind, because I'm like, that helps me really hard. Uh huh. Me too. I guess as far as fitness goes, it would have to be Drake, but, but I can also listen to like, Bob Marley all day long. Like, and I can trade with Bob Marley. I know that's kind of cheating I gave you know, I get it. And it's yeah, it's definitely on my workout playlist for sure. Yes, it's just so fun. So funny just gets me like, oh, it just it just gets me all pissed off. And it just like gets all stronger. Yeah, it's very easy to train when you're when you're getting when my kids are home. You know, like the teenagers. So they'll say something that really is just, man. Sometimes they deserve a little I don't, but they deserve it. And so I'll just go out and swing a few bells. And suddenly the belts feel a lot lighter. Is it true? Oh my god. It's so true. It's so true. Man. I'd be weak if I didn't if I didn't have these crazy kids. I had no reason to train this hard. Again. Very. It has been so fun chatting. I know that you have clients waiting for you. I could I could chat with you forever. But I was like, Okay, we have to wrap it up. Because you have things to do. But I thank you again for taking the time to chat. Let me tell you my favorite exercise. Yeah, is the single leg deadlift. So like deadlift is my favorite would double kettlebells Oh, yeah. Because that one no matter how many times how I mean, that one always gets the glutes to just feel so good. Just feels good the next day, so I love those. That's a good idea to do those really slowly or else I totally lose my balance. Oh yeah, very slowly. It's all about the brand. I can go do a whole workshop over those. So yeah. Anyway, well, it's been such a pleasure. I so wonderful talking to you, and congratulations on, on everything that you're doing. It's amazing. So thank you for having me. Thank you, Lauren. Thank you. So thanks, everybody, and we will see you next week. Thanks for tuning in to the Small Business Big mindset podcast. To keep the fun going. Check out our Facebook group start and scale an online business For even more free trainings and resources from fellow entrepreneurs. 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