Mantality got in touch with Nicola Blackburn to find out all about her business Inspiring Choices. Nicola has a few points for running a business and how she delivers a difference within the community. After a lifetime of being involved in sport, Nicola has worked in the health and fitness industry for the last 7 years. After lengthy experience in personal training, Nicola took to something a bit more challenging and started to to deliver fitness classes, both within gyms and also the local community. Find out about Nicola’s drive and how she inspires choices.
Nicola, what is your drive behind Inspiring Choices and why did you decide to be your own boss in this arena?
I am hugely passionate about what I do, and I believe it’s so important to love what you do. Over the years, as things evolve, you meet so many different people and work in various environments. I believe that along the way, you discover ways in which you can help others. I pride myself in working hard and pushing to learn more and achieve more in my work and within my personal life.
What does the name ‘Inspiring Choices’ mean to you?
My work diversified into education and helping vulnerable and disengaged learners, it was then that the name Inspiring Choices was born.
What training and classes can people take part in with you?
P90X, PIYO, and Insanity. These run Monday to Thursday in various locations across West Yorkshire. Myself and the team deliver a variety of fitness and educational sessions across West Yorkshire to local communities as well as in schools.
Where can people attend your classes?
One of our recent achievements is getting 100% pass rate for delivering PSD programme to post 16 disengaged learners in Wakefield at Elite Trainings System Yorkshire. My main drive is for helping people, and for enjoying what I do, and if I can motivate and inspire someone to be healthier or better in fitness, or in life, then I know I have done my job.
What results do you hope for people to achieve when attending your fitness classes?
The results I would like for people who attend are to firstly enjoy the sessions, if you don’t enjoy a class you won’t go back it’s as simple as that. I hope they achieve an improved fitness level. I hope it enhances their body shape. And then I want them to leave the class in a positive and motivated mood.
Where do you see Inspiring Choices further down the line?
I’m excited for what the future holds for Inspiring Choices. I see things evolving further into education and delivering programmes into more schools, as well as being involved in presenting at fitness events, e.g. Fit2Club @ the 02 academy in Leeds. I also want to keep building classes in the community across West Yorkshire.
Most recently I have started working with Ann Marie from AB Nutrition and successfully delivered our first food workshops within the community. Our next healthy workshop focussing on breakfast ideas is on Monday 19th September, 8pm in Calverley, Leeds. These will continue to run throughout the year, focussing on various topics around healthy food choices.
Can you give any advice to anyone who is thinking of starting up their own business?
Have a written plan, set yourself goals both short and long term goals and break them down into daily and weekly tasks. Evaluate each month, and track your progress, however small these steps may be, it’s still progress. Stay open minded that your plan or business won’t just take off and become an immediate success.
Also, listen and learn from others that may know your business or industry well, don’t be afraid to ask questions, it’s the only way you can learn quicker.
What’s been the biggest lesson you’ve learned since launching Inspiring Choices? And what’s the one thing you wish you had known before starting Inspiring Choices (that you did not know before)?
My biggest lesson since starting is probably to have more self-belief, and that I wasn’t thinking big enough. I believe these 2 things are closely linked, it is easy to stay in your comfort zone, as it is what you get used to. However, as you start to see things working, your confidence does grow, and by assessing what you are doing on a weekly monthly basis, it is there that you can start pushing to grow things further. The more focussed you can be and the more your willing to push yourself, the more the results will come.
“Even when things seem like a massive struggle, or you think things are not working, you need to dig in and believe in what you are doing. Believe that quitting is not an option.
What aspects of running your own business have you found challenging? How did you overcome these challenges?
Thinking that I can do everything alone. This is just impossible when your wanting to expand your business. Social media and marketing play a massive part in what I do, however I soon realised this wasn’t my strength. Me spending time trying to learn it wasn’t my smartest move. So I took the step of hiring someone who is an expert in their field , Helen from Virtual Business Support now handles all my social media and marketing campaigns, newsletters etc. This is massive help and allows me to focus on running the business better and more effectively.
Find out more about Nicola and Inspiring Choices at inspiringchoices.co.uk