• Jill Volpe Kirk

Get your career in shape

Business advice from a health coach and fitness media expert.www.nikkifitness.com

The best ideas come to you while you are running. That’s not just another reason I give to my personal training clients for fitting in their fitness, it’s also great business advice. I bet that a lot of entrepreneurial ideas have come while pounding the pavement – in your sneakers.

Brainstorm your strengths and interests:My “AHA moment” came just after moving to NYC, while jogging around the reservoir in Central Park. I had had a career in TV News while living in Syracuse, NY, which became a career in TV Public Relations in Boston. All along the way I had been teaching fitness classes after college as a way to keep my Syracuse University cheerleading fitness regimen in shape into my 20s. Then we moved to NYC for my husband’s job in national television and I felt that something was missing in my career. There I was, a few days after my 30th birthday, after having moved to the best city in the world for media and fitness… and around the 3rd mile, I thought, “How can I combine my TV, PR and fitness careers all into one? What if I started making fitness videos and do PR to sell them? It’s not like I live in the middle of nowhere with no experience…. Actually if not me, who? If not here, where? If not now, when!?”

(Running gives you that power cardio-high where you not only think super creatively also feel like you can take over the world – a great combination for a future entrepreneur!) Setting up shop - anywhere:With technology now, it’s even easier to launch a website and do video then when I did it 11 years ago. I launched my fitness video business that hot 2007 July night with the creation of www.nikkifitness.com I started out buying good quality video and wireless microphone equipment, used shooting locations in Central Park and my building’s shared roof deck with city skyline views. Later I also shot on location at my parents beach house in Tulum, Mexico and their country cottage with a pond. When my husband went to Beijing to cover the Olympics, I went and shot video there. Our Italian baby moon? Took the camera. Visiting friends in Florida? Shoot a workout. Chicago wedding? Tape planks on the beach. Photograph a hotel room workout for a blog. Some of your trip expenses can be written off when you mix your travel with work. I ended up even shooting a Fit Travel Workout video that requires no equipment and is shot around the world so that your mind gets a vacation while your body gets a workout. (That earned a spread in the New York Times!)

Figure out how to sellI figured out from searches online and word of mouth, that self-publishing on Amazon also meant videos, and by setting up and uploading videos to a sister site called Createspace, you could get on Amazon! Immediate credibility and I don’t have to lift a finger to fulfill sales. Years later I switched to Amazon downloads of videos, got my own App from companies reaching out to me, and get paid from being an influencer for wellness brands, a freelance writer, and a streaming fitness class instructor (changing with the times). Let your skills and life connections lead your businessListen to your friends and customers… and also where life takes you.The PR side of me said to start making videos for niches and to listen to what clients and friends asked for. I knew that to sell DVDs (it was 10 years ago) I created 12 videos using multitasking toning moves and cardio HIIT combined, in just 30 minutes so that people didn’t have to keep track of muscle vs. cardio days and didn’t have to talk themselves into a long workout. My Military wife workout? Came about because a friend wanted me to train her virtually because she was a “mil spouse” always moving homes, working, also in night school, acting and mom, dad and handyman at home. No time. It became super popular. This led to a whole vertical market to pitch for PR and many military magazines and radio shows, a military base tour and a blog on military.com. Most importantly, Military Spouse Appreciation day became my first national television segment on Fox and Friends, which would later lead to a regular appearing segment on that morning show, appearances on Fox and Friends First, Shepard Smith, and a new personal training client – the executive producer and year later, the main female anchor and several correspondents!

My own destination wedding became the reason for a Beach Bride workout video, and a whole other niche of magazines and TV segments to pitch, with different times of year to pitch and a new personal training niche. It rides are the second most motivated. My most popular video came about because my first-born was fussy and didn’t like little jiggles and swaying to calm his cries. He liked lunges, squats and to be gently tossed up in the air like a rocket ship. The moves we did together became my Baby Bootie Camp Workout, which landed me in everything from Fit Pregnancy to the Knot and the Nest, to Live with Kelly and Michael.

Mentoring “Moves” to tone your bottom line:

  1. Start in small markets. There is a reason most TV reporters start in Podunk, Small Town USA. They make their mistakes there and learn from them before moving into the big time. The same goes for many other careers. I taught my first step class in Syracuse… then got better and more certifications in Boston, then I was ready for the big time, teaching packed classes in NYC! Test your product or service out that way as a soft launch or a dress rehearsal.

  2. “Board meetings” and networking. This is what I called hanging out with friends – when they were also entrepreneurs. We would joke that we learned so much from each other and introduced each other to likeminded people who could be our mentors or service providers, that we called our lunches and happy hour gatherings “Board Meetings.” It’s a super productive way to mix business and pleasure! Also, always say yes to networking opportunities early on.

  3. Brainstorm during your workout. When the blood is flowing and muscles are working, so does our brain. Working out promotes creativity. As I mentioned, the best ideas come when you run. It’s like meditating on caffeine. Clarity, energy and confidence can do wonderful things for your business. That’s what you get during a workout. (It also reduces stress, which is helpful for anyone working these days.)

  4. Track your industry. For me this meant Google word searches for things like “exercise study” and the NY Times wellness section alerts where you are emailed articles pertaining to your industry so that you are aware of studies, trends and fads. It also helps to use these to pitch the media if you can comment on them. It also helps to continue getting more certifications – for me it was yoga, nutrition and prenatal- and attending industry events. Early on, I said yes to every appearance and invite, later you can become much more selective and get paid.

  5. Do PR and practice, practice, practice! Get media training (ask me if you need someone to do it) study what other people in your industry say in interviews and how they say it, read and watch the outlets where you want to be featured, start pitching small markets and getting experience and a “reel” or clip book from those, then you are ready to be come a media superstar.

By running through these “moves” and practicing your PR you might just be running a million dollar business and be a mentor to others someday soon. Just mentor them while on a fitness date instead of over coffee. ------------------------BIONicole Glor is the creator of NikkiFitness exercise videos, the author of The Slimnastics Workout, a health coach, celebrity trainer, group fitness instructor and a freelance fitness writer. The NikkiFitness DVDs/Videos/Apps including the new Anti-aging Walking Workout, Slimnastics Stability Ball Workout, the Seasonal Affective Disorder Workout, Hard Core Abs, Fit Travel Workout, Booty Camp, The Slimnastics Workout (Yoga+Plyometrics Fusion), Red Carpet Runway Workout, Military Wife Workout, Baby Bootie Camp, and the Beach Bride Destination Wedding Workout (Amazon/iTunes/Android). Nikki's "Slimnastics" exercises have been featured in over 100 national media outlets including the New York Times, Live! With Kelly and Michael, Fox & Friends, GMA Health, Shape, Self, Fitness, and Women's Health. Her "Improve the Move" workouts focus on multitasking toning and plyometric cardio intervals (HIIT- High Intensity Interval Training) to cut workout time in half and boost metabolism. Nikki is an AFAA certified NYC personal (and celebrity) trainer, Integrative Nutrition health coach, group fitness instructor at Equinox and Crunch in Manhattan, and a 200hr RYT YogaFit/Yoga Alliance trained yoga instructor. She is also the "spokestrainer" for Huggies Little Movers and SilverSports antimicrobial fitness gear. Nikki got her start in fitness as a Syracuse University Cheerleader, where she graduated with a degree in Broadcast Journalism from the prestigious Newhouse School. For her daily moves and




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