Part 1 In this series of blog posts, this post in particular, will be a little shorter and to the point – I will be telling the story of Sculpt, how I got to where I am today, where we’re going and of course a deep dive into my “Why” and how it goes all the way back to working at Amgen in 2009. Today I want to give some business tips and words of wisdom for starting your own business. It’s a new year and if I can inspire anyone to live their best life and start that fire in them then this will be all worth it. I get countless emails and messages about getting my story and advice on business out there (including my team telling me to do this every day for the last 4 years) so here we are!

If you’re going to start a business the two biggest things you need are to be all in and you have to be obsessed with it. It will be your life 24/7.

Be all in. How you define “all in” will be up to you. My definition was definitely financial (with a lot of expensive mistakes made along the way) and while I didn’t quit my medical device job right away (it took a year and 1 month then I got fired) I can tell you that I opened the studio every morning at 6:15, helped check in and did some Sculpt work for 2 hours at the desk then changed in the changing room in No Libs, worked my job all day then came back and worked the desk at night or taught. In the beginning I didn’t know what I was doing (no one does) and this being my first company I thought it was important to do everything by myself. I did everything myself for a little too long (see control freak next post). I finally hired a Saturday and one Tuesday night front desk person (Lisa, who is still with us!) about five months in. Should’ve done that much sooner. I have done every job at Sculpt360 which I believe helps me be a better leader. No job is beneath you at your own company. I still clean the toilets.

Be a control freak but eventually you will have to learn to let go and trust. I held my severe control freakness (it’s a word I promise) for slightly too long without getting the right training into place. Every business owner needs to be a control freak but recognize that sometimes you get in your own way (Vanessa is very good at telling me that). You will need systems and the faster you put them into place the better – I’ll give some great book recommendations below too. Your systems will always change and evolve. So will your business which brings me to my next point….

Pivot, pivot, pivot. We evolve every day. Someone said to me a few weeks ago “wow I haven’t been here in six months and it’s like a totally different place.” 1) don’t go six months without getting your Sculpt on 2) we evolve every single day. In 2017 I built a wall in two days and put new floors in overnight. You cannot stay the same because what worked for us two years ago doesn’t work now. Also the entire business has changed in four years. Originally I was going to open three studios – 777, Art Museum and No Libs – and call it a day. While I can’t tell you everything I’ve been doing the last four years it’s public knowledge that we are franchising and well we have a studio in New Jersey so we’re pretty far from the original plan. This business has given me more than an MBA ever could.

Never stop learning. You can learn from everyone you meet. I love the relationships I built with our clients (all 7000 of them) and my team. It’s the most rewarding part of this life. When people tell me that Sculpt has changed their life (and their body) or they send me a message telling me what an amazing experience they had in our studio no job working for someone else will get that to you if you have the fire. I get messages all the time about how incredible my team is which brings me to…

Build an amazing team who supports your purpose and coach them to be their best. This one I could go on for hours but I’ll keep it top level today. This was a long, hard lesson over the last four years. As a leader, you need to make sure your team has what they need. I hire on attitude not talent since day one. I also didn’t listen to my gut a few times and it was right. You win some you lose some but you have to take risks. Someone asked me if I have an endless supply of talent to choose from – the answer is no but I think over the years I have a strong supply of people that want to work for me and Sculpt360. That comes with time and proving yourself as leader. This year, along with my team, I am taking it an extra step with all of us writing down our goals in and out of the studio. We’re going to follow that up with a goal workshop in a few weeks. I always check in with my team to make sure they are supported by me but with this goal setting action items I have them sign the bottom too. It is a promise to themselves and gives me insight into what is important to them in writing. I also did my goals so they can see where I want to go this year personally and professionally. We are a team but also a family at Sculpt. If they are their best self within Sculpt I will fight relentlessly to help them achieve their goals outside of the studio.

Books you should read – Outliers, The Tipping Point, Traction (only two people have ever recommended that to me, it’s lit in regards to systems), Start With Why.

Today I am going to a Mastermind Goal Setting Workshop (never stop learning) and it’s important when you run a business to take time and do these items for yourself to be a better leader. Talk to you all soon!

Stephanie