Work In Progress Podcast

WIPp 017 Jennifer Nagel: from Higher Education to Fitness Coach

March 25, 2020 Dana & Angela
Work In Progress Podcast
WIPp 017 Jennifer Nagel: from Higher Education to Fitness Coach
Show Notes Transcript



Our guest Jennifer strikes me as somebody who is well spoken, intelligent and a goal getter. There is no doubt that she excels at whatever she chooses to do. Perhaps being too good at what she did led her down a path that was not what she wanted to be on in the first place. In our conversation, we talked about how she achieved success by everybody else’s yardstick but her own — and how she put a stop to that and eventually found her own version of success and mission.

Here's how and why she made the switch.

We have more interviews on our podcast! Head over there to check out more interesting stories. 

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Jennifer:   0:00
The thing that really would make me happy, that I would love to excel at, that would be a real challenge, was not what I was doing. And I didn't want to be one of those people who, at 65, could barely remember the really big and cool moments in their life. That was really, really important to me. I was made and born for more than okay; I was really born to do something big, whatever "big" was for me, I need to go out there and do it.

Dana:   0:27
You're listening to the working Progress podcast and where your hosts Dana and Angela, we believe your work and your career should evolve with you, and it should always be in progress. In this podcast, you will hear stories of people who turned their careers from something that no longer serves them into something that complements who they are and their life goals. The way I like to think about it is that their careers are growing and stretching, just like they are. We hope to inspire you to get out there and make the changes you want for yourself and your future self. Let's get started!

Dana:   1:15
All right. Welcome back everybody to the Work In Progress podcast. So today we're talking to Jennifer and we found a profile online, and we're super impressed with what she's doing. So currently she is a fitness coach, she's helping busy woman find their way back to fitness or start their finished journey. And she also does some business coaching. So I will let Jennifer introduced herself. And, um, we will start with the questions on why she transitioned away from working. Adds her 15 year career and how she did that. Good morning, Jennifer. And thank you for genius.

Jennifer:   1:51
Hey, good morning. I'm really excited to be on the program with you, too. I love your story, and I'm really excited to share my story So other people understand what it's like. Thio make a big change in their career.

Dana:   2:05
I know that you're currently coaching women online for fitness, and also I read, that, you're also coaching them for business as well. That is so amazing. What got you started in fitness in the first place?

Jennifer:   2:16
Oh, well, I mean, that's a long story. So first I do. My business is coaching women with fitness and nutrition and health. And then I also I'm a member of Ah Ko coaching team, with coaches creating impact. So that's not my business. But it is something that I'm super passionate about because it's basically helping people. Kind of where I was early in my career. I learned how to grow an online business, so but fitness is my number one passion, and it has been that way since I was true, like a little child. And, um, I have My earliest memories were of me, like going to my grandmother's house with all my uncles and my aunts, my cousins, and being in saying, Hey, I bet I could do 100 sit ups and you can give me like a dollar and and that I would constantly, um, do those little mini exercise challenges. And that would be my cute little kid way to earn money. But as young kids, my sister and I would love to spend time watching the ESPN shows. There was, like two hours worth of fitness programming in the morning. So summer time when we weren't in school, we would move all the furniture in our house, and I'm sure my parents really love way along to all of these exercise shows. And of course, we didn't have weights or anything like that. We would go to the pantry and steal like tomato soup or any kind of can that we could hold in our little hands and we'd work out and it was so much fun. And that's I just I loved it. I loved to move around. My, um, grandmother used to call me Wiggle Worm because she said I would never sit still, and so that really continued throughout my entire life. So I was active in sports in high school. I actually started working at a gym and a personal training studio, and my boss was great because he would have me be his, you know, Training Helper. So I learned a lot. He even let me teach him classes. I don't know if he was allowed to do that. I was 16, 17 at the time, and, you know, that was really the first time. I thought, like, Hey, I people do this for a living. It's not just like fun and jumping around and hanging out like this was like a job in a business, and I really enjoyed learning from my first boss bomb, but I went to college. I went to traditional route. I got a four year degree in food science. I love food. And, you know, I was like, Hey, the same school. I learned about food and nutrition on Guy just stayed active. And I built my traditional career, which I'm sure I'll tell you about in a little bit, but always in the background. Fitness was there, so I earned group exercise certifications. I mean, I was certified in turbo kick body pump, you know, grit all sorts of Les Mills things. And I just loved it. So I taught while I was working full time, I always taught classes. I earned my personal training certification. I trained clients. My my now husband and I opened a group fitness studio. Um, personal training studio. I mean, we did all of this in the quote background, as I was working on full time, 40 hour a week job with kids, all of that stuff. But fitness was always there for me. It is. It's my anchor is the one thing I go to when things aren't are tough. Um, you got me through divorce got me through. You know, after having a baby, I just It's always been that thing that I love it it makes you feel good and healthy.

Dana:   5:48
I I wish I could say the same for myself, but on, like, I think we actually went Thio. So we went to the same college, and, um, at our college, we had amazing Jim. But I on Lee took advantage of it, probably twice, Really? And it really was not really that into fitness at all. And I really wasn't healthy at all. Like, you know, before I started probably my thirties, where it really wasn't the age that got me to, you know, start to watch my diet or start to exercise. But it was, I don't know, It was it was kind of like a hobby that I found, um when, like, a few years ago, and I just got really into it. So now I'm pretty good. I work out, like, three times, sometimes four times a week, and at a pretty I watch what I eat. But before then, it was really just, you know, pretty unhealthy.  

Jennifer:   6:41
Really? So I'm so happy that you know, I know that there are a lot of people out there that's not like me that had a healthy of bringing. So it's so good to hear you know, some refreshing stories. But I'm so glad you share that. Yeah, I think everyone comes to fitness differently, and not everyone loves to exercise. And I think the key for me is I like to meet people where they are, because sometimes people do it because they want a stress reliever. Sometimes people do it because they want their body toe look differently. Sometimes people do it because they need a hobby or they're bored. You just have to meet people where they are. And then I help people find the fun or than the joy in that or the fun and the joy of the results that they get. And so it's really important. Thio. No, I don't expect everybody toe just love it the way I do. I certainly hate running, and I know there are people who love doing that and get that great runner ty. But I think it's important to meet people where they are in their business to me, and I would love to say I mean my parents, I think, were relatively healthy, but yeah, I I was a kid. I eat junk food. I remember one year where I probably had hostess chocolate doughnuts every day for lunch. So, you know, no judge for me. I've been there.

Jennifer:   7:53
You worked in a different career for about 15 years before that. Tell us more about it.  

Jennifer:   7:59
Yeah, so I actually started off as a scientist. So I have a degree in food science and the route that I went with that initially was food safety and sales. And, you know, I did a lot of traveling then. I eventually wanted to get my MBA as well, because the travel was difficult and I wanted more mobility. So I went back to school. And when I did that, I entered. I started working at a higher education institution, and so that began my 15 year career in higher ed. And in that career, I started off doing product research and product development with food and and which was very close to my degree area. But eventually I worked my way through the department and then I worked at the college level, and then I worked at the university level in finance and operations. So but further along I got my career, the further away I got from my degree area, which is pretty normal. So even within my my rules at the university where I worked, I changed. So I became really adept at adapting. I worked with recruitment and diversity. And then when I went to finance and operations, I did things like safety and security, university level planning and sustainability. And eventually I became the university sustainability director for a number of years and then, as thesis stain Ability Department was reorganized into another unit is this is very typical in higher Ed, Um, I ended up in infrastructure landing in facilities, which was like, completely not anything that I ever studied ever. But I was, you know, apparently you get, Why was let's just say I was out spoken and I had a lot of ideas on how things could happen, and we just coincided with the new vice president who had led the unit. And so he tapped me and a group of other people to really start to look at the long term future for our organization and then Eventually I became the director of our Strategic Initiatives group. So we looked We did planning forward planning, project management or, you know, a multibillion multimillion dollar unit on our campus. I worked at a very large university, and so that's where I ended my career. So I was there a tous particular institution for 15 years, various roles, but all in higher education. So I know a lot about higher ed. I know a lot about higher ed, particularly on the administrative and operation side, and that's so the whole time when I was doing all this exercise and sort of nations and you know how we had the studio? I did personal trading. I did that before 8 a.m. And I did it after 5 p.m. And on weekends. So I basically I always say I lived a double life. There's a lot of people in my higher ed roll didn't know what I you know that I was ah, you know, figure competitors er and that I personally I did personal training, and then I had this business, and then I was you know, that that's the life that I lead when I left and put after I took my suit off, but, yeah, that's I I basically lived that double life for quite some time.

Dana:   11:18
Well, and at what point in your career did you start getting really into fitness and started to coach people and started to do the figure company competition?

Jennifer:   11:29
Um, well, I figure competitions came about because I just wanted a different challenge. You know, I had already earned lots of certifications, and I just wanted to do something new. So that was more towards, you know, in the last five years or so, but I wash It's been at least 10 years since I've been coaching and training people. But I really started doing things online about, I would say, 3 to 4 years ago, because at the end of the day, there's only so many hours you have in a day. And I guess the business mind and me. It was like, Well, I want to work with and help as many people as possible, but if I have to do only do it in one hour, 30 minutes at a time, all that snot is gonna be a pretty short list. So, um, I actually started seeing other coaches working with people from a distance which has been happening for a long time. But now we have the technology in the apse in order to support that kind of a business. So just a few years ago is when I started to take this online and start to try things out, and I was like, Yeah, I knew I could make some money off of it, but I was more really trying to free up in leverage my time. But, um, this through experience and trial and error and some things that were happening in my job, that was kind of like the this set of circumstances that made me start to think that maybe it was time to switch and change careers and to do what I absolutely loved. And I loved all my life full time,

Dana:   12:59
got it. And what were those things and and what were their circumstances that made you decide to to move away?

Jennifer:   13:09
Oh, not at all. Um, it was actually a to me was a funny story because I consider myself a very young woman. Or at least I always did right. I was always the youngest person on my demon. You know, I was a young, you know, director and all that other stuff. And so I always considered my sung. But one day, so is coming up on. I was getting Oh, maybe was like my 13th or 14th year working at this institution. And someone of my friends said ever you've almost been here 15 years. Just think in a few more years you can start to think about retirement, and it was like someone dumped a cold bucket of water over my head because, you know, sometimes when you're in something, you don't realize how long you've been there. And when somebody started talking about the end of my career, I had this feeling like, Oh my gosh, I haven't done anything I really wanted to do Yet I haven't had the success I wanted yet, and I realized the success that I wanted wasn't at that institution. I had a great job. I had a great position. I made six figures. I was doing well liked by everybody else's yardstick. But I knew that the thing that really would make me happy, that I would love to excel at that would be a really challenge was not what I was doing. So I'm like, Oh, my gosh, I can't do the same. I have to get out. I can't. I can't be one of those people retired. Oh, my gosh. You spend the whole 25 years in one place. It scared me. So I then spent the next year, year and 1/2 doing a lot of personal development. Business development higher. You know, I work with some people to help me understand, like exactly what I wanted to do. Who did I want to work with, creating a brand and getting really, really serious about becoming an entrepreneur and really focusing on becoming an entrepreneur. Old time because I'd been an entrepreneur. I made money. I've had businesses, but I wanted to do it in such a way that it could be a career for me. So, yeah, that conversation with my friend was super casual, and I'm sure she never I've told this story so many times what a profound affection had a when she said that. But I was like, Oh my gosh, I'm too young to be thinking about retirement ready yet so many more instant.

Dana:   15:32
I see that is such a good, um, I don't know. I feel like I've talked to a few people now, and it's usually, I don't know, the driving force that pushed him to move away from their old career are all kind of different from yours, which I really like because I think you're bringing a different perspective, you know, and also like, this is the first time I'm hearing it. But I am. I guess that's a very good way to look at it, right. If you are reminded that you know, we were all you know, we all have, like, an end of career that is eventually going to happen. But to have that to remind you that, are you really doing what you love or what you're meant to? D'oh what you're really passionate about. I think that's a very good reminder. And I think not everyone gets reminded of that. You know, for the unlucky ones, you're just stuck doing something that you absolutely hate. And sometimes people can't afford to walk away or they think that they can't afford to walk away. But I think for you it's Ah, I really like I really like this  your experience that you're sharing, I think it's very, very valuable,

Jennifer:   16:40
Actually you might want just a little bit, because this kind of takes it deeper into why this was so important. But I was someone who grew up in a family that really valued education, stability, having a good job, having a home, you know, owning your own home, all those things. So I grew up for so many years having this, like a report card that I thought if I did these things, I would get in a I would be really, really happy. And so I, um, got married. I had a beautiful daughter. I had a beautiful home. I had a great job, had good credit, all of those things that are supposed to make me happy. And I wasn't. And the first thing I changed, you know? And unfortunately, I got divorced because not because my ex was He's a wonderful man, but I had painted and created this lifestyle that just really wasn't offense. It wasn't really. It was what everyone else told me I should want. And then I have in my thirties, I just discovered that's not what I wanted. And it was a really huge transition just in my mental, just the way I looked at my own life because I I even went to counseling and therapy. And one of the greatest ah ha moments to meet for me was I had never spent time really understanding what was going to make my heart sing. And so I started really being more aware of that. So I made a lot of big changes and it was difficult and nobody ever really understood. But I realized they didn't have to. People thought when I left my 15 year year, career stable six figure leadership job that I was nuts, they assumed that I'd had a falling out. They assumed that there was scandal. They assumed that that something was really wrong. And at the end of the day, the only thing that was wrong was this was not where I was supposed to be. This was not the thing that you know what we got, Sparks. Joy did not spark joy, and I didn't want to be one of those people who, at 65 could look back and could barely remember like the really big and cool moments in their life or to say that they didn't really impact anyone. And that was really, really important to me. So it was more of, Ah, I realized in that conversation with my friend that I It just again It's spent all this time doing something that was okay. But I was made and born for more than okay. I was really born to do something big. Whatever big was for me. And I need to go out there and do it.

Dana:   19:28
That is so inspirational. Thank you for sharing that. And I really like that you mentioned you wanted to bring impact others versus because a lot of the times a lot of people are after, you know? Oh, I am 30. So I should be at this level of my career. I would be going after that title before 40 and then the number I should be making is that I didn't hear any of that from what you said you want to do. And you know, it's amazing that you said the things that really smart joy for you is really something, you know, whatever that may be, but something that allows you to impact others. That's just I can

Jennifer:   20:04
tell you like I have a big house and all that stuff. It doesn't mean anything. It doesn't because it's just stuff. And in fact, the older I get. All right, don't say older. I'm not old. The more mature I get, the more I realize that the things that are really, really important or really they're very meat, like my, my, my my family being able to have great experiences, meaning people impacting people. And I don't need ah, huge home and fancy cars to do that. Yeah, I want a nice car. I want clothes that I enjoy wearing, but you know, it just a lot of this stuff. Just I realized how unimportant it was and how much more happier I was when I finally just like said, What is it? That is what's like really good. What's the good life, what's living the good life? What are the things that I can do that are really exciting and make me happy and help other people and and then, as long as I have enough money to live and not, you know, be homeless were good, you know?

Dana:   21:06
Why do you think so. You said that, um he realized later on all along that this was in your passion, but you did so well. What? What do you think? And, you know, you're able to transition between different departments at the university or college University, right? And what do you think made that possible? Yeah, I didn't hate my job.  

Jennifer:   21:27
I mean, what I think I look at, it is a giant learning journey, because what I know about myself is I love strategy and planning, and in every single one single one of my roles I had the opportunity to do that. I love creating things from scratch. And I also had the opportunity was usually someone who either came into something that was brand new or came in was asked to create something. And I love that. I really do enjoy that. I love the challenge of figuring something out. Um, where there's no obvious answer. I love like sitting around people in hearing lots of different ideas and collaborating and helping get from point A to point B. I love transforming. And those air still things that I do in my current career as a fitness coach and as an entrepreneur is an entrepreneur. I am in charge of my entire business. I have to figure out ways to make things work, and nobody's gonna come help me. I don't have a boss or another account that I can roll, too, if things don't go the way that I want them. And so I feel like I'm successful because those air still those air Jennifer, those army I love a challenge I love, you know, sitting with a problem and rolling it around and finding a solution for it. And that's what I think makes me really good with my clients, because the women that I work with are not. I don't even know what traditional is even the right word, because I don't think anyone's quote traditional anymore. But I feel like a lot of fitness programs and health programs are geared towards someone who they assume works a certain way, lives a certain way, you know, and that's just not the case for the women that I work with. They're people who have really different lifestyles, and it's up to me to help them figure out a way to navigate fitness and nutrition in a way that makes sense for them. Like, how do you work out when you're in your car for four hours a day? Or how do you eat well, when you literally never can sit down and don't cook? So those are the type of women that I love working with because I think their lifestyle presents like a really on challenge for me. And when they get results and when they're able to be successful or lose weight or gain energy or finally figuring out there eating, I feel really great because it's something. It's a unique skill that I know I can bring the able so the skills are still the same. I think I did well because I am very competitive by nature. So whether I love something or hate it, damn it, I'm gonna do the best that I can be good And, um, you know, that's just the driving me. And so I I liked a lot of the roles that I had at the university. I really enjoyed the challenge. Certainly there were days where I was just like Oh my gosh, but I'll tell you the biggest thing that was not a line with me was Clocky clocking in? At least that's what I call it. That's just not how my brain works. I want to be able to sleep if I need to work hard when I need to. And sometimes that's like at five in the morning sometimes that I'm done it two o'clock, but I'm always productive. So that kind of rigid, um, system was really difficult for me to fit into for so long. And being an entrepreneur, I work just as hard, if not harder. It's my own system, and I love it. I thrive in that kind of environment.

Dana:   24:49
How did you make, um, your lifestyle work when you were working both at the university and also coaching people like you said before eight o'clock in the morning and after 5 p.m.

Jennifer:   24:59
On, Let me be real honest. That did not work. It was horrible. I was exhausted. Um, I didn't sleep very well. I was probably kind of cranky. Eso In fact, that's one of the reasons my husband and I well, we were engaged at the when we were not married yet, but we were getting ready to get married and join our families together and We were working constantly. We were not really taking good care of ourselves and our family and our relationship. And so it wasn't working. I was trying to do too much. And so that's why we stepped away from our fitness studio because literally like you it we lived it, breathe it, swept it, you know, And And we asked ourselves. In fact, we were in our mandatory marriage counseling at her church, and there was a great exercise that we did. And it's like, What are your priorities? And we had to do that separately, and then you came together to make sure they were aligned in ours, were they were crystal clear, their burial mine. And then the second question is, now, how do you actually spend your time and do you do it according to your priorities? And it was such a huge wake up moment. Um, we closed our business. We started. I just started training part time at a gym, so I was still working instead of like, 12 jobs. I worked six, but I still paired it back, and I think that's when I started really thinking that How can I maybe potentially that something needed to change. There was no way I was going to, you know, be 55 going at this rate, there was no way. So how did I start to make the transition to do some things and then that, plus my friend's retirement conversation was kind of the catalyst that made it all go.

Dana:   26:45
And so you mentioned that you had several businesses before. Could you talk about them as well?

Jennifer:   26:51
Yeah, well, meaning that we had our fitness studio business. And then I also did individual training. Um, and then I in previous, Prior to that I worked as a group fitness instructor at different places. So I guess it was more a owner business business before that. But I definitely was like an independent contractor, and I worked at other gyms and fitness studios, and then we had our own studio. Then, after we closed our studio, I went back to kind of the contracting and worked as a personal trainer at a local gym and talk class at the gym. And then, even when I was leaving my my organization, I worked because my my online income wasn't full time in the very beginning. I worked as a coach at another fitness studio, so I was I was always working, and I was always working hard and tell. Yeah, that's kind of the the other work experience that I had in addition to growing my own business and our fitness studio.

Dana:   27:54
Yeah, that sounds like a lot to me. Um, on top of what you're already doing, the 40 hour and I get in travelling. You must take into account traveling, cause yes, um, that's that's crazy. And also, when you're teaching a class, I assume you're probably kind of activist, Dr.

Jennifer:   28:12
Yeah, you have. There's prep time. There's class teaching time like you can't Just most of the formats I taught you actually had to do the workout. E could just stand back in the corner. You know, I had to live the bar for body pump and yeah, it was tiring. I don't recommend that because, you know, the stress of physical stress and the, you know, the exhaustion was riel. And but, you know, I was a hustler. I was always someone who wanted to work hard. So there was part of me that there was a lot of There's a lot of soul searching and things that I had to really start to sweat through. When I made that transition, I had to start creating boundaries and making sure I was living a healthy lifestyle. And, um, you know, we weren't purple. I wasn't perfect by any stretch. So please don't follow in that butt stuff. You're listening to that, um, to this podcast like, don't do what I did. That would have been a thing that I would say if I could do things differently, I probably would have on Lee had two jobs entry.

Jennifer:   29:13
Earlier, you mentioned that you did a year around a year of soul searching, trying to figure out, you know, like, what was that? What it would make your heart sing? What did you do during that time? If you could share with us?

Jennifer:   29:26
Yeah, I think the thing is, I knew what would make my heart sing. I just needed to grow out of monetized because, let's be honest, being a group in isn't a they're heading on what city you're in. What do you do like $20.30 dollars for class and you know, you you have a limit. So I What did I do in that year? The first thing I did honestly was I hired a life coach. So there was a lot that I just had to work through in my head and someone that I had met. She she seemed to really understand me. And so we had a few sessions where I could just really talk about my hopes and dreams in a way into a person who didn't think I was crazy. Then I started reading a lot of books, so I read books from other entrepreneurs. I read books on just personal development. So one of my favorite authors is Jensen Chair. Oh, she does the You're a bad ass. You're bad, isn't making money because the way she explained some of these things, it's just it was like, Yes, that's exactly what I'm thinking. And those are exactly my fears, and that's you know, So she really helped me sort through the fear in feeling brave, feeling brave enough to actually make that that lead. So I read a lot of authors. Then I started reading business books. I have an M B A. So let me tell you. It's almost worthless in the online space. Work that way anymore, you know? So I was like, I know right A business. And in a marketing man, it's like it didn't work that way. So I actually had toe unlearn and relearn. Um, so I read a lot of books and articles and listen to a ton of audio books from entrepreneurs and social media marketing and all of those things which are also very outdated, by the way s O that I worked with someone on helping me work through my brand and who I wanted to be and how did I want to show up on and what a business model could look like? And then, honestly, a lot of the talks were with my husband because we were getting ready to make a huge change. I mean, I was the primary earner in our home, and he's a retired Army. That and he's works. But, you know, it wasn't, you know, it wouldn't be enough to replace, So we really have to do some financial planning. And and then I had to Honestly, I think the biggest thing was I felt so responsible for the family and I was so afraid of letting people down, and I was afraid that our kids wouldn't be able to afford college every beer that you have. I mean, we had to work through that, but I was very thankful. I am very thankful that my husband, one of things I love about him the most, is he totally gets me. He doesn't always understand it for himself. He wouldn't do it himself. But he has never, ever held me back from pursuing something that everybody else said was nuts. He's always like 100% believe in you. I don't always understand. But I've always seen you do all these amazing things, so I can't imagine that you would ever fail. So he was always in my corner, just being like the best support system ever. I mean, he understood my need for entrepreneurship. He got my drive and he got my desire to, like, do something out of the ordinary. And he's been amazing the whole time.

Dana:   32:50
Tell me a little bit about how you're a session with you work Or how do you have any programs with your clients?

Jennifer:   32:58
Oh, yeah. Absolutely. Yes. So I work one on one with people in 12 weeks prints, as I call him. So we start off with 12 weeks or three months, and in the beginning we have a conversation. They fill out a consultation form because at the end of the day, I want to know what their life looks like, not just their fitness, but what does your life look like? And then from there, I take the information and they design a program. Now I use a lot of technology, so I have my own branded app. So for those people who are busy, they could be in a gym. They can work at home. I have a lot of clients travel, and so I take all of those factors into consideration and create a plan for them that explains them what they need to do, whether it's rest or exercise. Or here's your training workout for this day, and then we also come up with a nutrition strategy that works for them. It's all delivered through the APP, so I work with people in multiple time zones all around the place. You know the country, sometimes other countries, and it's convenient because they have me in their pocket whenever they need me. The app has communication. So we talk all the time. I could do for him checks we can talk via video all the time. And so what I found what I was a really, like, really cool. Unexpected discovery is that I have way Maur connection touch points of with my online clients and I ever did with training people in. And then, um, we have some clients who want to do another round Other people who maybe move into my maintenance program. And now recently I'm really excited because in working with these women, I'm discovering some really some holes, some holes in the fitness industry. And so I'm piloting right now. Um, a particular program about doing your body for exercise. There are so many things that people don't know about. Basic nutritional, not a dietitian. I'm not a nutritionist, but do you stay in my lane mummies? But from the personal trainer perspective, helping people understand eating or, you know, all the things that actually happens or what needs to happen when you lose weight, because it's not as simple as everybody says. And then you got 20,000 new diets that come out every single day and people are confused and they get bad advice or they grew up in a particular household. This is what you need to do. This is what healthy is, and then they're frustrated when they can't have the results. So in working with women one on one, I discover that this was a big gap. And even if they wanted to work one on one with me, if I could create kind of an educational Siri's or program, help them really understand how this work for their bodies, they would be way more successful with me one on one or some people who already have strong fitness programs like you mentioned. You're working out three days a week and you're, you know, lift that, you doing all the things that makes you feel good and you really love it. But, you know, if, for example, you were struggling on the food side or you had you wanted to set a different goal performance goal or gain muscle or lose weight, there are a lot of people who really have no idea the basics on how to do that. So I wanted to create an educational experience that could really help people, you know, understand themselves a lot better, so that whether they just needed that information or wanted to change if their goals or wanted to be stronger and training program, that they had that knowledge. So what? Basically my main program is 12 weeks, one on one with me. But this year, one of my big goals is to develop two different educational experiences where I've noticed some big holes in the fitness.

Dana:   36:46
When you first found your, um, I guess clients like you already kind of Were you already working with them because you were kind of a personal trainer part time? And then those people became your clients or...

Jennifer:   37:00
Yes and no. So in the beginning, of course, the very first people, when you say, Hey, I'm starting this business order to be the people who have some sort of connection with you. But I, um you know, I was at least smart enough to hire a business call in the beginning and, um, actually had two and both of them healthy really understand how d'oh do social media to cheer my story, share my particular niche and point of view and philosophy. So yes, in the beginning, definitely people who knew me. But a lot of people remember. I love that double life, like a lot of people knew me as Jennifer the executive. And so I had to re introduce myself to the people who knew me and two brand new audiences as Jennifer, the coach and trainer. So I have done a lot in terms of just outreach and videos and, um, all sorts of things to connect with people who are outside of my circle. But one of the great things that has gone really well for me is in my as my clients were successful. My referrals are really high, so people love. They had a great experience, and I really that's really important for me, for them to get results and have a great experience, and then they would refer me to people in their network. So between referrals and a lot of the organic social media marketing, I don't really believe in doing a lot of the paid ads. That's just not been my business philosophy. It works brothers, and that's how we grow my clientele and it's been amazing. It's it's been really great. I also offer a free Facebook community so people will invite people there. And I love sharing just really great resource is and knowledge. And, you know, we do little master classes of lunch and learns and all sorts of stuff. And that's modern women getting fit on Facebook. No, I get a lot of enquiries from there. So maybe friends will refer other friends or people will join the Facebook community, and then they'll see self or have questions and reach out to me. And then we were ever

Dana:   39:08
And how did you ah, create your app?

Jennifer:   39:13
The app itself is software that's out there. And so, as the industry for online fitness has grown, ah, lot of the support technology has grown, too. So this is, Ah, software that's built for people who work with clients online. And then I was able to customize it for my clients and my branding and my programs.

Dana:   39:34
Do you mind sharing that?

Jennifer:   39:36
No, it's Trainerize and their other apps that are similar to that, like Coach HQ. Or, um now, of course, they're all, like running out of my head. All I could think I was trainerize and Coach HQ. But there are other types of APS that are like that. So if you are working with an online fitness trainer and they're not using, like a Google Dr a spreadsheet, they're likely using one of these.  

Angela:   39:59
When you decided to leave your previous career and, you know, start your own business, what was it like? Was it scary or was exciting?  

Jennifer:   40:09
Yes, of course. It was scary, you know. But I have to say I have never regretted leaving, and this is not a knock on my previous job there. So many great people that I work with some friendships. I still do very deep, and I still have will be friends forever. But it was very clear, like when I left that and I started doing my own thing, that that was not my lifestyle. What I do now is my lifestyle. It just feels like a natural fit. And I guess I didn't know what I did. I had a different natural fit because I'd never given myself the opportunity to explore it. But yes, it was scary. I mean, there were certainly months and one of the things that happened like literally almost six months into me. Leaving was I got extremely ill. And let me tell you, it's like the kiss of death for personal trainer. I went from being the height of my wellness and fitness to being in the hospital, and I was in and out of hospitals for months and months and months with thing. I I didn't know what was wrong with me. And so I would go through weeks of being exhausted and, you know, dizzy and my heart rate would drop really low and I couldn't exercise. I gained weight like Look, let me just tell you just being a personal trainer and being chubby and exhausted all the time is not the way that you attract people. So I was scared because I had to still talk about health and fitness when I didn't feel healthy or fit. So for months and months now, it turned out like I had breast implants, and that was the cause of my illness. After seeing eight million specialists, lots of tests, lots of hospitals, I had surgery and had them removed. And I was great. I felt healthy again, but it was very, very difficult, right in the beginning of starting a new business to be no, not only not at my best, but literally at my worst. So it was a huge challenge in the beginning, Mike, you know, financially, things got a little tough for a little while, but I had to continue to ask myself, Is this what I'm supposed to dio? And my mother would even say, Jennifer, I can't imagine you doing anything else. You know, you have to trust God. You have to do it. And I did. And somehow there was always a solution. So I always tell people, if you want to be an entrepreneur, you have to have a no matter what attitude, because there will be about five or six times every year that you reasonably quit. And nobody would blame you. Um, I'm serious, but you really have to truly love what you do. Believe in yourself to know that this is what you should be doing. So I started off, like, doing really well. I got to six figures. I lost six figures. I can. Now, I got back up to six figures and and I know that as an entrepreneur like that's what they talk about those 1st 5 years of business. 3 to 5 years. But until you actually do it, you don't know what fear feels like. My mortgage this month, there were gonna be good. I've never not paid my mortgage. So despite all that, despite how scary it is, despite the fact that half the time you feel like I have no clue what I'm doing um it is also the best thing I've ever done is the best thing ever. I couldn't trade this lifestyle. I mean, there were times when I have to get a job, maybe I'll have to get a job. And I'm like, I can't see that. I mean, I'm allergic for those things. I'm so happy. I mean, Joy, this is I am when you are, like, in that pocket and you are living your Selig. You're that authentic person. You're that really you are out that you there you are happy. I don't care what comes my way. I'm happy. I love what I do truly love it like the same. The similar passion in love. I feel for my Children, my husband. I love what I do and that's there's no fear that's gonna take that away. Some people really do say that, you know, like entrepreneurship is like, really one of the hardest things you can probably ever do because it's just so hard to prepare for. And almost no one can teach you very much about it because it's so different, right? Depending out. What do you want to do, what kind of business you're in and what industry we're in.  

Angela:   44:29
So if you could maybe potentially possibly try your hardest to give people some of your chips, you know, what are some of the things that you know? If somebody is considering entrepreneurship as a career like you aren't already doing right now, what are some of things that they can learn and, you know, try to develop right now before they actually fully jump into it?

Jennifer:   44:48
Oh, that's a wonderful question. I would say Number one always work on your personal development, develop your mind, develop your knowledge, develop your you know, those the books that, you know, girl wash it. All those little books that don't seem all that that seemed like cute and interesting. You know, you have to be a strong human. You have to also be humble and you're gonna learn about all your flaws. Like I had difficulty around money, mind set. And I had to start to build that muscle, you know? So I think one of the common traits is that you have to continuously be better. You will be growing into the person that you want to be. You are not there. No entrepreneur is there. You will continue to grow into that person that you want to be, so you have to start being strong of mind. You have to, you know, do things that challenge you and scare you. It's not like you start a business and you've made it. You start a business and you're at the beginning and you have to continuously grow. The second thing I would say is find a circle of people who you can talk with about being an entrepreneur. One of the best things I've ever done is invest in a mastermind group. So I work with I have a group of women who are people who are about where I am in business and that 1st 10 years of business or movers and shakers who get the types of things that I think about or that mindset because not everybody's an entrepreneur, so you can't necessarily your best friend who is like the best human being in the world. If he or she is not an entrepreneur there, everything's that they can't relate to, whether it's an online community or in person community, where you can be a part of a group of people who are like minded that's so, so important. Um, Number three higher help My business coach right now is a 27 year old Canadian on business coach. He's amazing, so humble yourself and get help, especially if you're moving into an area that's kind of different than what you've been doing and understand that even if it's something similar, there's a lot you don't know. And and this is me speaking as a coach, not only for fitness or business, but like I hire a fitness coach because I have to be able to mentally get out of my own way, and sometimes you can't see it if it's about you. So same with a business coach. I know business and I coach other people, but when it's my business. I need a second set of eyes. So if you're an entrepreneur, get a business coach, period. I think that's important. So work on yourself. Have a community of like minded people. Get a coach. Those are the three things I would recommend.

Angela:   47:40
Wow, I love that I, You know, since we're talking about getting a coach, I think I at least personally, I feel like it's kind of, Ah, new thing that people are kind of adjusting, how they're seeing, getting coaches. And there are definitely a lot more people that are coaches online now, especially what are some ways that people can? I don't know. Try to assess if this coach is the right right coach for me.  

Jennifer:   48:02
Oh yeah, the great question, because there are a lot of people and first you be clear about what you need like first. If you are someone. So in business, if you're someone who's starting a business, look for coaches who work with people who are starting businesses, maybe not people who are scaling just seven figures. That's not really who you want in fitness. Same thing if you are like I work with women who are busy so if you're a guy and you want to, like, gain weight not to say that I couldn't train you, but I may not be the best coach for you. There are other people who specialize. You know, a good coach is going to have a specialization there. There's gonna be something that we could do really, really well. And you should be able to assess that from whatever they're putting out there, whether it's their social media or case studies or some of their posts. Um, I also think that it's important if you have the opportunity to watch testimonials or speak the previous clients of the coach. Um, and that's any industry to get their experience understand, Like, what is it like to work with this person? Did you have a good experience? What was the good, the bad and the ugly? What would you change or improve about this person? And then finally talked interview These people, I always say, like this is my whole philosophy when it comes to people I hire and I consider doctors, dentists, lawyers, everybody, you work for me. I'm paying you good money. I need to know if this is going to be a good fit. It's like a relationship, especially coaching. Coaching become in no matter whether it's business or fitness could be very intimate. You're gonna have to in order to have a good experience, be able to open up to this person, so interview them. So if there were a couple people that you found online or referred to you and you kind of do your up front due diligence and do your research, I talked to him, set up a call, say, Hey, I'm exploring this and I want to see if this is a good fit and have some really good questions prepared and asked Very deep and honest questions. The right coach you will know. It's kind of like dating. You're gonna know that this place is in it for you, and it doesn't mean that they're not a good fit. It doesn't mean they're a bad person or even a bad coach. It just means that they may not be your coat. So, yeah, do your homework a little bit and look for their specialty. Ask for referrals or testimonials or other customers talk to them and then interview the coach.

Dana:   50:26
Are there any helpful resource is you'd recommend for people that are starting out where they want to do something like what you're doing.

Jennifer:   50:35
Burr Fitness accidentally, Um, so Okay, same was plugged, but it's actually still one of the best resource, and I use this before I was even engaged with the group, but online fitness coaching I hands down believe that the group, it's a free Facebook community called aspiring online coaches and, um, I work with that group. But what happens is that there's free training's given by experienced um, and there. No, it's not all fitness, but it's like mainly fitness. But personal service is type coaches, and so people who had experience in the industry is free trainings in there every other week. Every now and then, there are more big events like challenges, or we've just came off of, ah, virtual conference where we brought in like it's a really huge business brand and and fitness coaches to explain exactly you know how you start a business. So I have always found that group to be one of the best free resource is that you can possibly find or business coaching because there's really there's no pressure. It's like everybody can come in. Everybody has met where they are. You can sit through Different resource is so there's really something for everybody who's at various points of getting started. So aspiring online coaches and it's a Facebook group. 

Dana:   52:03
Do you think you could have another career change? Or maybe you would wanna start another business? What would that look?  

Dana:   52:11
Oh, wow. Um, you know, I would never say right now I'm in the throes of, like, scaling my current business, so it's hard to imagine, But I'm also one of those people who, like I said, I like finding solutions to things. So if I ever got to a point where I saw that there was something like, I could really do something about it and I would enjoy it, I would absolutely consider starting another business. But as long as this one was mature and at a point where I could transition out of, you know, operations and that's what every entrepreneurs trying to get to, to be working on the business and not in the business. But secretly, I've always wanted to be a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader or, you know, like someone who like dance or like entertainment. I love that. I do sit here is a in high school and I love to dance. And I love you know, I'm not afraid of a stage. Maybe that's why I always like fitness instruction, but, um, yeah, if I ever got to the point where I could become a the oldest Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, I would totally do it. it.  

Angela:   53:22
I love it. And where can people find you online?  

Jennifer:   53:27
I would love for people to find the online on Instagram at the real Jennifer Nagel, and that's "NAGEL". Or better yet, so that everybody gets something really cool. Like I mentioned, I've got this great Facebook community called Modern Women Getting Fit. And in that community there's leave the different trainings of master classes and tips for real people. They figure out how to incorporate fitness and healthy nutrition and healthy living into their lives. So that's Facebook. Modern women getting fit. And then on Instagram at the real Jennifer Nagel. And then, of course, my websites, 

Dana:   54:08
To our listeners, if you're interested in working with Jennifer or want to find out more about what she does online. Definitely check out those places online and leave her a message.  

Angela:   54:20
This was such a wonderful conversation and think it's so much Jennifer for sharing all of these things of us, and your energy is just amazing, especially at 7 a.m. E. Thank you so much.  

Jennifer:   54:33
Thank you so much, Dana. Angela. I appreciate the invitation. I love what you guys were doing and keep telling these stories. I think it's amazing and thanks for having me on.