Ep. 4 – Brit Smith & Shell Lentfer: How Self-awareness Led Brit and Shell to 4x Their Fitness Business in 24 Months
In 2017, Shell and Brit were about to close their business. They found themselves overworked, underpaid, and totally exhausted by the fact that their hustle was taking them nowhere. After hearing about NPE through a recommendation for business resources from Precision Nutrition, they reached out to speak with our team “simply for confirmation that closing their business was the right thing to do.” When we first spoke to them we acknowledged that was one option, but there were also other opportunities available to them. And despite the fact they were very skeptical at first, they decided to jump into working with NPE to transform their business. They got clarity on their vision, learned how to read and understand financial reports and key business metrics, and immediately started taking MASSIVE action to grow.
In 2018, their client base doubled from 60 to 120 and revenue grew from $13k to $23k within just 6 months. Now in year 2 of working with NPE, their last 12 months have been even more transformative and given more opportunities for Shell and Brit to continue growing.
In the fitness industry, self-discipline and self-motivation are celebrated and relying on others’ help sounds contradictory. Shell and Brit, however, believe that what led them to where they are now is self awareness and courage to ask for help because ‘good coaches need coaches.’
In this episode you’ll learn:
1. How Brit and Shell started off as clients of the previous business they bought and the start of their fitness business partnership together.
2. How going into business has been the biggest personal development strategy they’ve ever implemented, and the realization of being truthful and honest, rather than creating excuses or blaming others, is the only way forward in business (and in life).
3. How communication and emotional intelligence helped Shell and Brit manage their business partnership.
4. The time when they were hustling but not seeing any results to the point where they were about to close their business.
5. How they met NPE and decided to take massive actions to transform their business instead of giving up.
6. How Brit and Shell learned to live and love numbers, got clarity on the state of their business, and moved forward growing their business.
7. How they grew their client base from 60 to 120 and grew the revenue from $13k to $23k in just 6 months.
8. How the help from NPE was transformative for their business and allowed them to be challenged and held accountable for driving the success of their business.
9. How self-awareness and personal development helped them become the business owners they needed to be.
10. Why coaching for coaches is so important for business growth and success.
11. And much more…
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Sean Greeley: Okay, welcome to the show. We’re here with Brit Smith and Shell Lentfer from Pineapple Fitness in Newcastle, New South Wales, about an hour north of Sydney. Brit and Shell, it’s great to have you here on the show.
Brit Smith: Thank you. Thanks for having us.
Shell Lentfer: Very excited.
Sean Greeley: Awesome. So, I’m really excited for people to hear your story. You guys have an amazing journey, and there’s going to be a few things we’ll get into which will be so incredible, but let’s just go back to the beginning. Give people info about your business model, the market you serve, and kind of what the business looks like today.
Brit Smith: Okay, you’re first.
Shell Lentfer: I’ll go. So we have a … basically the core part of our business is group outdoor fitness. It’s women only so for many years … this business has actually been in operation for just over seven years. Brit and I have owned it in its current structure for almost four, and we actually rebranded to Pineapple Fitness in March of last year, March of 2018.
Shell Lentfer: So, the core part of our business is outdoors. So we’ve been outdoor for still most of our business and it’s on the beach.
Shell Lentfer: We’re just in the middle …
Speaker 4: Do you know where daddy is?
Shell Lentfer: No.
Brit Smith: No. Sorry. We’re going to have to start over.
Sean Greeley: You’re good, you’re good. We’ll edit that one out. You’re good.
Shell Lentfer: That’s what I was, yeah. I’m sorry about that, we are at my house, we are out of the studio because there’s a lot going on at the studio, so here we are. I will get my train of thought back together.
Shell Lentfer: So we’re an outdoor business, we live on the coast so most of our morning classes are on the beach, we watch the sun come up, we then have moms classes through the mid-morning, which is at the park at Carrington, which is a suburb in Newcastle. And then it’s just been winter here so the evening classes have been in our studio, so we now have a studio which is in Carrington, but we’re about to have daylight savings in a few weeks and that’s when we come back even all of those limited classes indoors come outdoors and we actually go barefoot down on the sand for a bunch of our classes too.
Brit Smith: Pretty incredible.
Shell Lentfer: So that’s kind of the heart and soul of our business, but the business is also now in our studio. We’ve launched semi-private, so small group training and it’s pretty much personal training but it’s delivered in a small group setting so you get the success of that private focus but you get the comradery of the group, which is what is really the heart of our business. The community aspect for the group and then also those semi-privates, so I guess in a nutshell that’s a long nutshell.
Brit Smith: Yeah.
Shell Lentfer: That’s our business.
Sean Greeley: Awesome, well I’ll start off with one question, actually we didn’t even talk about this in our show prep. So this will be a fun, unplanned question. We deal with a lot of business partners and having a business partner is not always easy, right? There’s a lot of work that we have to do to align to work together and I would love for you guys to share what brought you together as partners and what keeps you together as partners and how do you navigate that journey?
Brit Smith: We’re both actually clients of the previous business that we bought, so I started when the previous business just opened and was training for about four weeks and I was like “I’m going to do this as a job.” So went in and got qualified and became a personal trainer, I think I’d just become qualified when Shell actually started as a client as well. And similarly she got a couple of months in and was like “I’m going to run mom classes for this business.” So we’re both very passionate people that know what we want and just go for it really.
Brit Smith: So that’s how we came together, then we bought the business off the previous owner and rebranded it. We didn’t know each other, we were both clients and we just kind of ended up business owners by coincidence really and that’s how it really happened.
Shell Lentfer: And I think manifesting is knowing what you want and taking action, right? So even though we were doing that alongside of each other, even though it wasn’t something that we identified together, but we ended up … we manifested to be in this together.
Brit Smith: Yeah.
Shell Lentfer: I really do believe and something though, even when we first took the business over that we really knew was important was yes we needed to have a successful business but for us to work together really well and so one of the first things we spent the money we didn’t have on was to go and see a trusted associate that we have who is a counselor, she’s a Psycho Therapist actually, we did a bunch of sessions with her on how we can work well together and really interestingly Brit is a lot like my husband and I’m a lot like her husband.
Brit Smith: Yes.
Shell Lentfer: So it’s really funny, it’s actually been a really good relations for me particularly I’ll come to work and be like “This, this do it.” And Brit’s like “I can understand where he’s coming from.”
Brit Smith: Yeah.
Shell Lentfer: So the work that Brit and I have done and the work that I have done with my husband, you know it just has been a … some of its work but we’ve had to be really intentional about it because we’re at a point now where we can have awkward hard conversations and not feel threatened by it, we just talk it how it is and know that that trust, we know we can trust each other.
Brit Smith: Yeah. It’s the relationship that we can be the most honest, well I know for me I can say exactly how it is and there’s no consequences. Obviously we’re kind to each other but we can call each other on their shit and get on with it and I was super young when I got into business. I was 22 so I didn’t have much experience with emotional awareness and intelligence and all that kind of stuff and Shell had done a bunch of work on it, I had done a little bit but she really introduced me to a whole lot of emotional intelligence and the counselors that she’d seen and that kind of stuff and it’s really helped me get to the stage I am with how emotionally aware I am, so she’s been helpful with that.
Shell Lentfer: It’s probably worth saying I am 11 years older than Brit, so I was 33 when we went into business.
Brit Smith: Yeah. I keep it young.
Shell Lentfer: You can’t tell.
Brit Smith: I keep it young.
Sean Greeley: And it’s one of the first things when you and I started to get to know each other, Brit, it was one of the first things that I noticed about you is how self aware you were about so many things about yourself and the world around you and it really impressed me and I think would you guys advise not just partnerships but business owners, speak to how important doing some of this work is on yourself, around your own awareness, around your own relationships, relationship with yourself, relationship with others.
Brit Smith: Yes.
Sean Greeley: It is probably the most important thing that will not just save your sanity but also empower you to do great things right? Investing the time in yourself and in this work.
Brit Smith: Absolutely, I don’t know how you do business without it. Going into business has been the biggest personal development strategy I’ve ever implemented and if you were to sit in your own pool of thoughts and self doubt and not explore deeper what’s actually at the heart of everything that you’re feeling, I don’t know I would have quit ages ago. And being truthful and honest with yourself rather than creating excuses or blaming others is the only way forward. We don’t bullshit around with each other, we be completely honest with each other and there’s no one else that I can do that as well with and that’s because we’re both so in tune with our emotional intelligence.
Shell Lentfer: And you can just get on with the facts rather than, you all know that you have the friend or that person in your life, you have to wade through all of this stuff before you can actually get to the heart of what’s really going on and so I think it’s been, it takes a lot of energy and hard work and brain space, for us, to turn a business around, and the fact that we can just show up and do it. I need to preface with that, there is always more work to be done, you always can continue to grow, but I really appreciate that we’ve worked through all of that, and it just feels a bit futile if you don’t, so I would highly recommend that other people do that too.
Shell Lentfer: Like I said we spent money we didn’t particularly had or we’d have put elsewhere but I would spend double that to actually go there and it makes you a better human and as a better human you can boss better, mom better, friend better, wife better, whatever that looks like, so yeah.
Sean Greeley: I love it, I love it. Thanks so much for sharing, and so let’s get in it. So you guys become partners and then you’re in business together and every things perfect, right? It all just kicks off with no problems, no issues.
Shell Lentfer: Yeah, and now we’re here.
Sean Greeley: Right, so take us through, you guys have a really interesting story with how you found us. And I know you found us through our friends at PN, you had signed up for Level One Certification for PN and saw within the textbook we were a recommended resource and you were in a very interesting time period in the business, so tell us what that was like and what was going on.
Shell Lentfer: It’s a little bit confronting sometimes when we actually sink back into what it was like back then. So I left a corprate job when I decided I was going to be a personal trainer, and I was actually really passionate about nutrition so I had bought the Precision Nutrition cost early in 2017, this was because the business was really hard and so I thought “Well maybe I need to get back into just focusing on nutrition and make a go of that because we need to do something here.” So fast forward still to October, I hadn’t started it but I opened the textbook, saw NP and Brit and I were discussing how we needed to stop volunteering in our business because our lives were not coping, so we were going to shut the business in its current form, brain storm and do something together.
Brit Smith: Come up with something else.
Shell Lentfer: Or something separate, but I saw this and I actually made and appointment with NP and tricked Brit into coming along to it, I didn’t trick her but I just needed to hear someone else say “It’s the best idea for you guys to shut your business.” Because we can’t just give up. It just felt like failing again.
Brit Smith: Yeah.
Shell Lentfer: On top of what we already felt like failing. So we had a meeting with Rick and we actually spent quite a lot of time on the phone with him in the first week.
Brit Smith: I was so skeptical.
Shell Lentfer: What we needed him to tell us “Shut the business, shut the business.” And he kept saying “Well that is one option but here from what you told me, here’s some other things.”
Brit Smith: Yeah, that’s how we came to be part of NPA and we’ve listened to the podcasts, we’ve been to the seminars, and read every book, not every book but you know we’ve read a lot of books and I was just like “This is going to be another one of those things that we invest a bunch of money and then have no assistance in actually putting it into practice in the real world.” And we’ve tried so many things, we’ve lost confidence in ourself about being able to put things that we’ve learned into practice, we were like “It’s not going to work.”
Shell Lentfer: Yeah.
Brit Smith: Like “Everything we do it’s not going to work.”
Shell Lentfer: We’re working hard and it just felt like, you know the thing were the ducks go a long the water and we’re like “Hiss.” Underneath.
Brit Smith: Yeah.
Shell Lentfer: And people are looking in, now they tell us, hindsight they thought “Oh we had no idea that was going on.” But for us it just felt we were just trying the next thing, or we were hustling hard and having, we just sat at a certain client number and it was just one in, one out.
Brit Smith: Yeah.
Shell Lentfer: And there was no limited profiting, literally Brit and I were paying ourselves less than 50 dollars a week. There was …
Brit Smith: Nothing.
Shell Lentfer: We were volunteering. Enter NP. What was the next part? Was that all you asked us?
Sean Greeley: So you signed up with NP during this very difficult time, you’re not making any money for the business, you’re thinking it’s time to shut your doors, and you talk to Rick and he inspires you somehow to give it a go.
Shell Lentfer: Yup.
Sean Greeley: Tell us what happened, what were the first steps and what started to change?
Brit Smith: So I think we had three calls with Rick before we signed up because I was so skeptical and the only thing still I think that made me go “Maybe this will work.” Is that it was fitness business coaching, so it was business coaching for fitness business and I was like “They’ve done it, they’ve owned gyms, they’ve been in my position, they’re not talking about business advice in general sense, it’s proven so it is going to work for businesses just like ours.” And that was probably the only thing that got me to cross the line and then we joined and that was the start of, no sorry the end of 2017, wasn’t it?
Shell Lentfer: Yup, it was in November.
Brit Smith: Yeah, and we were just like “Whoa.”
Shell Lentfer: So I think the first thing we joined, that was a huge, well as Brit described, it was a huge step of faith for us.
Sean Greeley: Yes.
Shell Lentfer: And then pretty much initially it was just owning our stories.
Brit Smith: Yeah.
Shell Lentfer: We had so many stories and so initial coaching was just about owning stories, understanding and just taking action. We were stuck in that hamster wheel of like “Oh we’re just failing.” And some of it was true we just needed to just take action and move forward. So taking action, we then had decided to leave the National Grand that we were a part of so we were very heavily focused on rebranding and we had to increase our rates, there was a whole bunch of things that we were bringing in. So fast-forward to March of 2018, we launch our rebrand to Pineapple Fitness, we put a whole lot of things in place that was a great platform for our business to move forward, so then if you fast forward to November, so 12 months, November 2018 we’d gone from having 80 clients in November and then it dropped to about 60 as we were …
Brit Smith: Rebranding.
Shell Lentfer: So we had 60 clients in March 2018 and there was 120 in November of 2018. So our business had doubled.
Brit Smith: In six months.
Shell Lentfer: And our income had gone from …
Brit Smith: 1300 a month.
Shell Lentfer: Yeah, up to 23 or something.
Brit Smith: Yeah.
Shell Lentfer: We couldn’t even believe it honestly. We knew we’d done all the hard work but our business has more than doubled with some clarity and someone holding us accountable.
Brit Smith: And in that time, I also went overseas and got married and Shell came because she was my bridesmaid and Shell fell pregnant and was just about to have her second child, so it was a lot in 12 months.
Sean Greeley: Wow it was a big year.
Shell Lentfer: You know what I fell pregnant the night of our Pineapple Fitness launch.
Brit Smith: So she’s a Pineapple baby, she’s legit.
Sean Greeley: Love it, love it, that’s fantastic. Wow, so what a remarkable year really transforming your personal life, transforming your professional life, your career, your business and transforming the lives of 130 clients right, through this growth run.
Brit Smith: Yeah.
Shell Lentfer: Yeah, and we’re coming up on almost a year on that again.
Sean Greeley: Well hold there one second, so I want to talk about what were some of the biggest changes you had to make to go through? You talked about owning your story and taking action, great, but what were some of those big steps you know that were critical in the process for you?
Shell Lentfer: I think it was really understanding where our business was at.
Brit Smith: Yeah.
Shell Lentfer: And we had had an unfortunate incident with an accountant in the past, so we were working with an accountant and we did have a budget in place, so we did have an understanding of where our numbers were at, but we went through our budget and made sure that it was a lean budget. So any spending money, where it was going to be worth it and making us money, so just being really clear there.
Brit Smith: Only numbers, we had to learn to live and love numbers and be very creative and we then we were just like “All right let’s just drill into it.” And we became really good at spreadsheets.
Shell Lentfer: And in that getting clarity, so that was the other thing it’s like “Okay, so we’re at November now by the end of January I want to have another 15 clients.”
Brit Smith: Yeah.
Shell Lentfer: So having that clarity, so again manifesting those clients, I’ve got clarity of what I want and I’m going to take action and therefor it happens.
Brit Smith: That’s probably the biggest thing is how goal driven we are and if someones helping us develop a plan, this is how many clients you need to get this goal, which is going to mean this for you and your life and your business. We’re like “Done, okay.”
Shell Lentfer: “Double it.”
Brit Smith: Yeah, so that was top level having that.
Shell Lentfer: And I think so just alongside of that as well was there was a story that we had about not wanting to be too successful, because how could we truly care for our clients if we were focused on the numbers? So coming back and knowing our why, what are we passionate about? We are passionate about changing the lives of women’s … changing the women of Newcastle’s lives.
Brit Smith: Yeah.
Shell Lentfer: And doing fitness differently and actually it was just connecting with those people so that we could find them and help them do that. So our success didn’t mean that we were frauds, our success didn’t mean that we didn’t care, our success actually gives us freedom to help more people and just losing, that was a big story for me anyway, shifting that mentality and really valuing what we do have to offer.
Brit Smith: Yeah, we are a great service, we do change peoples lives and really knowing that and having that worth about ourselves, so therefor feeling like we’re worth having 150 clients, worth charging what we charge, and we’re going to sit in a consult and tell someone these things because we’re proud of what we offer.
Shell Lentfer: Yup, and I think Brit just touched on it, the other way that was very different is how we brought clients into our business, it wasn’t just like “Here’s an into offer, come try us out, you’ll have fun, woo hoo.” Which worked to a point but now we use the process that you guys have taught us, which is we source our leads, we get them to come in, we actually explain who we are, we find out more about them, so that we can see if we’re actually a good fit and move forward from there. So that was a very different way of how we were connecting without clients.
Brit Smith: Yeah, hugely different.
Sean Greeley: I love that, and we talk a lot about it all starts with understanding the money math of your business, right, and really getting the financial pieces together, understanding the math of how the business makes a profit, how you streamline things to make more profit, and it takes work, right. If you don’t have a background in accounting, you don’t love spreadsheets, it’s uncomfortable to dig into that work, it’s like “Oh no I’d rather just go over here and train clients or go learn about some other subject matter that’s interesting that I have fun with.” So it really forces us out of comfort zone to engage stuff that maybe we’ve never been good at, we’ve sucked terribly at forever, and we actually got to face and deal with it and learn how to get better at the areas that we’re weak and then have those skill sets to then build on.
Sean Greeley: And then you talked about the cost of reposition, getting the sales pieces and process in place, getting the marketing process in place so that that client acquisition can grow. And yeah that’s fantastic.
Sean Greeley: So that was year one really in a nutshell right for you in many way, and you’ve had another year that’s been equally as transformative, and the business has grown yet again in many, many new ways and talk about the continued progression for you.
Brit Smith: So end of last year, so end of 2018 we’d already outgrown our studio, we got this studio at the start of the year, and we were way too big for it so nine months, outgrown the place, and we needed to move. Shell was five minutes from having a baby at this stage, so we were frantically …
Shell Lentfer: Dot was born on the seventh of December.
Brit Smith: Yeah, frantically looking for a lease on a new studio and found one just down the road from where our old one was, which was fantastic, it was an absolute bomb, so spent a good month renovating it, bringing it back to life and so we had this amazing new studio, and we’re kind of like “Oh, so now we’ve got this new studio.”
Shell Lentfer: “Good our clients can train out of the rain.”
Brit Smith: Yeah, that’s an expensive investment for the couple days of rain that we get in Australia.
Sean Greeley: Yeah.
Brit Smith: So then Shell had been on maternity leave, came back and we were like “All right we’ve got to utilize this studio.” New service offering that we started to develop was the semi-private training squads, which they are launching next week, which is really exciting. So they are different to outdoor, they are personalized program, we touched on them earlier for each of our individual clients but it’s delivered within a four person squad so you still get that comradery and that community vibe but all of the benefits of a personalized program. So that’s what we’re utilizing the studio for and also teenage girls classes, which we started two months ago, three months ago now. We’re super passionate about women as you can see and it all starts from that age where they’re so young and influenced and we just want to really make sure they know how capable they are and their self worth is as high as it can be as they go through their teenage years and into adulthood.
Brit Smith: So that’s what we’re doing in the studio, in that time we’ve also put on another 30 group clients in our boot camp, we’ve promoted one of our coaches to head trainer, head coach.
Shell Lentfer: Just rewind a little bit, not all of that, but just alongside to the staff piece. We were in November of 2018, just prior to that we hired, we actually had to let all of our staff go. So we had three staff working for us and we let them go because it just was not really coming back from that so it was literally Brit and I, her planning for a wedding, me heavily pregnant, working a business. We then hired two coaches after following the NP hiring process, which restored my faith in being able to hire good staff again. So back to what Brit was just mentioning then we also hired a guy, that was another massive thing for us.
Brit Smith: Yeah.
Shell Lentfer: And it’s been a wonderful thing. He’s been promoted to Head Coach, just recently and we have hired, so we’ve got another coach and we’ve hired a few other people so I guess we’d had a lot of growth and we kind of had to do that stop, collaborate and listen.
Brit Smith: Yeah, yeah.
Shell Lentfer: And really look at where we’re at again, making sure we had the team to then support us going forward because as Brits just described we are super passionate about supporting people, supporting women and which aspects we do but we can’t keep that community going. It was getting bigger than just Brit and I to be able to do it well.
Brit Smith: Serve them.
Shell Lentfer: Yeah, to serve them, so building a team that was aligned with our core values has been something that has been really rewarding and also tricky. We’ve had a bit of turnover of stuff this year too, but where we’re sitting right now is we’ve got a solid team Lawrence has been promoted to Head Coach and it is incredible.
Brit Smith: We brought on a customer service, admin.
Shell Lentfer: Yes finally.
Brit Smith: Assistant, who NP was telling us about for so many months, so we were like “Okay we’ll do it.” Holy moly she has changed our life.
Shell Lentfer: Yeah.
Brit Smith: So yeah, this year does feel a lot different to last year, last year was just BAM we just grew rapidly, we just had to get leads in and had to bring that business around. This year feels a lot more setting foundations and while we’re still growing it’s been a little bit slower in our group but that’s been okay because we’ve been hiring coaches and promoting coaches and hiring and training admin assistants and all that stuff has to be laid for us to go BAM again now, now that we’re launching semi-privates. It feels also different but it feels like it’s necessary.
Shell Lentfer: Yeah, there’s been a lot of consolidation and I feel personally, and I see it in you so I hope you agree.
Brit Smith: Yeah.
Shell Lentfer: We’ve had to grow a lot as not just coaches and business owners, we’re actually leaders now.
Brit Smith: Yeah.
Shell Lentfer: We’re bosses, we need to lead our team really well because it’s not just about delivering that end service that we do, we have to instill that in our coaches and make sure their aligned with our core value, so they can continue to deliver the quality of standard that we’ve set, and it’s exciting, but it’s a growth lesson for me.
Sean Greeley: It’s a massive growth, and I just want to talk about this a little further because really that first year with us you know hair on fire growth let’s call it.
Shell Lentfer: Yes.
Sean Greeley: And really a lot on your effort and now this next year slowing down the growth a little bit but putting roots in the ground, building that foundation really strong, so you can continue to grow and getting people to come in and care about serving your clients and growing the business with you as much as you do. In key positions, key roles that you’ve solidified, right, so that’s massive. I think the first piece is hard, a lot of people don’t get through that but then I think a lot of people get stuck there, and they just think “Well it’s just going to be me working forever doing everything, and I don’t see how possibly this could transform to be where the business runs, and I’m not there.” Or “I can have freedom to do other things.”
Sean Greeley: That’s a massive shift because it’s a completely different skillset and role that you have to develop into yet again and I think that’s a bigger transformation many ways then the other one.
Brit Smith: Oh absolutely.
Sean Greeley: But that first one is learning new skills and processes, learn to drive, process and execute. Now the other ones its like really you have to change the way you think and engage everything. And so talk about the challenges for you in that, because it really is so much a mental game, the leadership components.
Brit Smith: So much and Shell and I are both “Oh we’ll just do it then.” Like “It’s fine, we’ll just do it.” And that has been a massive head game to stand back and go “Only do what literally only us can do.” And there’s only a few things that only us can actually only do and try and get someone else to do the rest and let them do it and let them stuff up and then support and challenge them until they are doing it at the expectation that you want it done.
Brit Smith: But in terms of the challenges, my father’s a small business owner and he’s a soul trader, and he’s still doing the exact same thing that he did 30 years ago, today, and I watch him where he’s bodied to the ground pretty much and that’s what I thought business was. That’s the only story that I have, so this is totally stepping out of my comfort zone, and it’s hard, it’s really hard to let someone else do the things you know how to do so well and step into the new things for two reasons. Because you know how to do that so well you just want to do that and this is reinventing the wheel now, and I’m like “Fear.” So much fear coming up, I don’t know how to do that, so I just want to go back to what I know how to do really well.
Shell Lentfer: Yeah and what you kind of touched on Sean is it’s not just about our craft anymore. Our craft is going and training client and helping them be the best versions of themselves through our four core values of movement, nutrition, mindset, and community. And we can do that with our eyes shut to point, so now it’s not just about our craft but about our people and fortunately we’re in a business where you can come and take some of those skills there, but it’s about really investing that time in your staff so that practically they can do the job really well, and they can do that, and it’s not just like “Oh I’ll just take it back because it’s just easy.” You’ve got to actually go “No, it’s worth the extra ten minutes, half an hour, whatever the time takes to train you and empower you and then back you so that you feel confident to go out there to run my business because I trained you well, and I’ve got your back.”
Brit Smith: Yeah.
Shell Lentfer: And that is where I really struggle because I still feel time for it. It’s easier to go back into that “Oh I’ll just do it.”
Brit Smith: Old habits, yeah.
Shell Lentfer: And that matrix that has liberated us …
Sean Greeley: The Support Challenge Matrix, yeah.
Brit Smith: Yeah.
Shell Lentfer: Support Challenge Matrix, that’s been really …
Brit Smith: That is our leadership model.
Shell Lentfer: And it’s been really good for the language between Brit and myself because I sit more in the protector, and she sits more in the dominator so when we’re doing that to each other or ourselves or our staff, we’ve got that model to come back to and say “Where are we sitting?” And it’s also been a really helpful thing to talk to our staff because we want feedback from our staff too and so a lot of the conversations start out “Here’s the expectation, this is what we need done from you, what support do you need from me to get this done?” And sometimes it’s like “Just back off, so I can do it.”
Brit Smith: Yeah.
Shell Lentfer: So stop protecting me, so I think that continually keeps coming up and then that an opportunity for us to keep growing and thinking about how do I really lead well? And it’s not just stand there and get down and give me 20. We’re actually wanting them to be empowered for when we’re not there, which I don’t know how to articulate that any better, but it’s a constant thing, and it’s very rewarding, but it is also …
Brit Smith: It’s very rewarding when you get there.
Sean Greeley: Yeah.
Brit Smith: Yup.
Shell Lentfer: I don’t know how I would do it without the support of an external somebody, like you guys obviously, for us to be able to be a sounding board to bounce off. Because you get so caught up in what’s going on you just need to take a step back, call someone who’s not emotionally attached to all the things that are going on as well to help you then grow.
Brit Smith: Yeah.
Sean Greeley: And for those that don’t know what we’re talking about at home right now, so these are some of the frameworks that we teach at NP for leadership development and there are models of how we progress in leadership and how we lead ourselves and others, which are critical components in every stage but particularly when it’s your business is make it or break it based off the success of other people in your business, when you get to this point to continue and grow. And to have some sanity and have some balance back in your life because you get to a point where you can’t do anymore, and you can’t do it all. We’ll share some more link to some of the leadership components hopefully when we release this episode, we’ll have some articles and such for everybody.
Sean Greeley: I’m so glad you touched on that, so talk about, if you think back on the past two years what had been, what would you say to yourself two years ago? That time when you were like “Yeah, we’re just going to close the business.” And looking at how far you’ve come in the past two years. What would be your advice to your past selves?
Shell Lentfer: Mack a plan and take action.
Brit Smith: Yeah and then …
Shell Lentfer: Oh actually, good coaches need coaches.
Brit Smith: Yeah.
Shell Lentfer: First of all to then make a plan and take action.
Brit Smith: Yeah and stop being so egotistic that you think you should know it on your own. It’s okay to need help, it’s okay to have a coach.
Shell Lentfer: That was one of our stories that we both shared was Instagram, social media, any blog you look at. People have just got an idea, shown up, done it, killing it, we should be able to do that because we’re awesome.
Brit Smith: Yeah.
Shell Lentfer: So the one hand we’re thinking that on the other hand we’re like “We’re failing oh my goodness.” So we were just stuck in that we can hustle, we can work hard, so we need to just keep working harder to figure this out. But in actual fact good coaches need coaches and when you look around, I love listening to Tim Ferriss’s podcast, all of the wonderful people he interviews have a mentor, have a coach, and it’s actually a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness to admit that you …
Brit Smith: Have a coach and need support.
Shell Lentfer: Have external support.
Brit Smith: Because like Shell said, you see on Instagram oh they just became so successful and there is no such thing as an overnight success. People just only see snip its of your life so get help, get a coach.
Shell Lentfer: This is what I’d do, I’d be like “Do you know what it’s okay, things are going to be okay. Good coaches need coaches.”
Brit Smith: Yeah.
Shell Lentfer: “We’ve got a plan, let’s do it.” That’s what I would do. “You’ll be okay.”
Brit Smith: I love it, I love it.
Shell Lentfer: We’ll be okay, that’s what I needed to hear. It’s going to be okay.
Sean Greeley: Well I’m glad that you specifically called out what I think is one of the mindsets that limits good coaches from being great business owners. And that is that mindset around “I’ll just keep working harder and figure it out.” And a lot of people stay in that place, and they don’t figure it out and either 20 years goes by, and they’re doing the same thing. Brit you mentioned your dad 30 years, right? Still, the same story. Or they eventually can’t take anymore, and they bail to go do something else, to try again because they couldn’t open themselves to a possibility that there could be a different way to do things differently to get a different outcome. Or maybe too prideful to ask for help, I think we’re in an industry too that is about self reliance, it’s about self discipline and hard work and so lots of times we have this mind set around asking for help or getting external help means we’re doing something wrong, or we failed. When frankly, like you said, you’re in the business of coaching if you sell it but you don’t buy it you’re a freaking hypocrite.
Brit Smith: Exactly.
Shell Lentfer: When you just articulated it like that I’m like “We trade off the fact that people need experts.”
Sean Greeley: Everybody needs coaching, except me, I got it all figured out. I don’t need any coaching for anything.
Brit Smith: Yeah, absolutely and it’s so funny to look back now go “Why didn’t you just ask for help earlier?” And we did in other ways, but we just had to find the right coach, and I think that is a huge piece too. We could’ve joined another thing that didn’t work, or another thing that we didn’t fully connect with, so we were lucky to find the right thing and let out stories go and jump in, dive in.
Shell Lentfer: Yup.
Sean Greeley: Yeah and I’d love for you to speak to it because obviously you’ve invested in lots of different programs and courses and things in the past and growing yourselves and growing your business what has been so special about working with us at NP that you feel has really helped you guys make this massive transformation?
Brit Smith: The same thing that we believe makes the biggest transformation in our clients, our fitness clients and that’s accountability. A lot of the time you’ll invest in a seminar or a podcast, not a podcast, but a course or an online something and you learn all this incredible stuff, there’s so much incredible stuff out there but then it’s up to you to go weigh in and implement it into your business and take it however you perceive it.
Brit Smith: What we needed was someone to hold our hand and like Shell said say “You’re going to be okay, but you need to do these things.” Support, challenge, and then we had weekly calls with Rick and he challenged us when we weren’t doing things and supported us when we just needed to be told what to do.
Shell Lentfer: Follow the dang instructions.
Brit Smith: Yeah, follow the dang instructions. So that I think is the biggest difference. Would you say that?
Shell Lentfer: Yeah, absolutely and I hope I don’t offended anyone by saying this but also we are both females in business, we have females that we coach all the time, there was just something about a male energy and so I guess masculinity can come …
Brit Smith: From females and males.
Shell Lentfer: Right, the masculinity of just take action.
Sean Greeley: Yeah, stop talking about it.
Shell Lentfer: Yeah, just do it.
Sean Greeley: It’s not about feelings, just take action right.
Brit Smith: Yup.
Shell Lentfer: Yeah, your feelings are important it’s going to be okay, we’ve got a plan now do it. When you turn up next week you’re going to have done it aren’t you? Yup.
Brit Smith: Yeah.
Shell Lentfer: Yup, I am going to have, so that’s the accountability piece but yeah.
Brit Smith: I resist everything that our coach tells us to do. They’ll say something, and I’m like “I’m not doing that Shell, that sounds so dumb, I’m not doing that.” And then I go do it.
Shell Lentfer: And I’m like “That wasn’t dumb at all.”
Brit Smith: And I’m like “That actually wasn’t that bad, and it really worked, and I didn’t look as bad as I thought I was going to look in my head for raising the rates, or bringing in contracts or all that kind of stuff.” And I think having that masculinity to go what’s the worse that can happen? A few people drop off, a few don’t like you, who cares.
Shell Lentfer: And I think just on that, and you touched on it before the fact that it was fitness specific or in that wellness space specific. Even with the marketing pieces that we were talking about and working on, it wasn’t just “Here’s the concept now maybe go and apply it like this.” There were some really specific, when we needed specific follow the instructions, it’s going to be okay, you just need to put one step in front of the other, this is what you need to do.
Brit Smith: This is what I did in my bootcamp, and it worked out really well, I have literally been there. I was like “Okay.”
Shell Lentfer: So that expert wisdom and the accountability and now we’re in a space where we, there might be a campaign that’s a good one to run, but we then can tailor it to make sense for us. We’re confident as business owners now to know our clients really well and know all of that, and it is a little bit different, and I do remember one of the first coaching calls we had is it’s not always going to be like this, we’re here to be really intensive with you now, but we’re like parent’s. We want to see you really go and just touch back in when you need a little bit of reassurance or have a bit of a chat, and I feel like we’re definitely on that path now.
Brit Smith: Yeah, and I’m not sure if I’m using the NPA lingo, but we were in Academy when we first started, and a lot of our group calls were about all these marketing plans and getting leads in and all that kind of stuff. Well now we barely touch on the marketing side of the business in our group calls, it’s all about leadership, because that’s our biggest problems right now. But that doesn’t mean that those marketing things don’t happen they just roll over every months now, the different strategies and campaigns that we learned in Academy.
Shell Lentfer: We throw around to help level ideas rather than …
Brit Smith: Exactly, we don’t need to be hand held with every marketing campaign because we know all the skills, and we know how to do it but we need to be hand held in leadership because that’s our new challenge.
Sean Greeley: Awesome, awesome well you guys are so exciting, and it’s just been an awesome journey to watch you grow the last couple years. Tell people, this is a big time for you now to kind of planning out the next year or two in the business and we’re having a lot of conversations about that with you currently and what are some of the things that you’re excited about looking at the next year ahead?
Shell Lentfer: For us I this is something that maybe this answers the last question as well, it’s we’re in business for our own happiness so coming back and always checking back in, the happiness metric, is this business actually delivering or are you at least on the path to getting how you want your life to be? So we’ve had a lot of growth, and we’ve had consolidation and then the continued growth there and so want to continue to maintain that growth, but I’m at the point now where I want to look back and check back in with that happiness metric, I keep using NPA lingo, but just making sure that the business is doing what we wanted it to do.
Shell Lentfer: So we have a mission for the business but is that aligning with the continued mission for our lives and what in 12 months times where do I want to personally stand and look back. I have a young family, Brits newly married and has a very cute puppy, I don’t say that lightly. I’m not saying kids are more important than puppies.
Brit Smith: No, no.
Shell Lentfer: But you know the business is taking a lot of time and a lot of our effort and we’ve got a very, very supportive family so just looking what does, we’re excited for the business, we’ve got heaps of things that we want to do and just looking at how do we grow both of those personal vision and business mission …
Brit Smith: Alongside each other. And that’s a lot of the time we just keep moving the goal post. We’re like “Cool we got here, now what’s next, now what’s next?” We don’t want to keep doing that and then end up in a business that we don’t love. Because a lot of the time you know head down, you just keep pushing. So we’re at the point now were semi-privates have launched, that is growing and becoming a successful part of the business, which is fantastic because it uses that studio that we leased but now we want to make sure that we, like Shell said, the vision for us is super clear personally and then we match the business to our personal vision.
Shell Lentfer: And inside of the business as we touched on before as well, it’s not just about the services that we’re offering to out in-client, but I feel really passionate about looking at what’s supporting our coaches and how can really get into that leadership piece really well and do that. Obviously a lot is going on, and we’re excited for our future.
Sean Greeley: We hear the family calling, so we’re going to wrap up here in just a minute, but I’m glad that you mentioned that this next faze is coming back to the beginning in full circle in some ways really, checking in your vision. And knowing that the further out you go the more work and investment it takes in the planning of the business and thinking out further down the time prize and doing all the intense work in strategic planning to really map that path in how we set up the way to get there and stop thinking just you’re at the place you can’t be thinking about the next month or quarter, you’ve got to be thinking about the next year or three, right?
Shell Lentfer: Truth.
Sean Greeley: And that’s a whole new progression of evolution so and before you were just thinking about how do we make it through this next month, when you first started, so it’s a new time horizon that requires more investment and skills developed in that planning process, but you guys are just doing such great work, and we’re excited to continue to support you and that journey, and I’m sure we’ll have you back again at some point of the show and hear the latest updates and tell people where they can check you out. Tell your website.
Brit Smith: Cool, so our website is pineapplefit.com.au and we’re also on Instagram under the same name and Facebook, so yeah. That’s where we hang out the most, check out those.
Sean Greeley: Awesome, well thank you both so much for being here its been a pleasure, and we’ll talk to you again soon.
Brit Smith: Thank you.
Shell Lentfer: Thanks so much Sean. Bye.
Brit Smith: All right bye.