Niki is a fitness and nutrition expert, celebrity trainer, and media personality. She specialises in helping ladies over 40 look and feel great through innovative and personalised exercise plans, drawing from her experience working in the fitness industry for over 30 years.
Niki is a regular contributor to TV and radio and has worked with brands such as Netflix and Matalan. Her celebrity workout DVDs have sold in excess of 500,000 copies. In 2017, she launched her latest business, providing innovative workout plans and online support specifically for the over 40 market.
It is a joy to welcome Niki to the blog. She is an inspiration.
We all know that starting a new business takes courage, determination, and a lot of hard work. It can a risky endeavour, but it is one that is also exciting and can eventually be a lot of fun. But how do you find the motivation required to begin such a momentous journey?
Personally, I believe that the motivation to start a new business comes from passion. If you love what the business does, how it helps people and how it improves lives — you will be determined to see it succeed in the long-run. You will never struggle with the motivation needed to overcome the obstacles you may encounter.
In this post, I am going to share the story of how I started my latest business and where my motivation came from. I’ll also offer a few tips for women who are changing careers to start their new business.
Starting My Own Business
The journey that led to the creation of my business began a couple of years ago when I was writing a blog post entitled ‘Things To Let Go Of In Your Forties’. I’d embarked on research for the piece, looking for subjects relating to forty-year-olds around the topics of fashion, skincare, health, and fitness online but I was surprised to discover a lack of material targeting this demographic, particularly when it came to health and fitness.
Most articles featured glamorous shots of women who were clearly still in their teens or early twenties along with fitness plans that only made sense if you had the body of a young person.
Although there were thousands of health and fitness articles online, finding one which spoke to someone like me (an active woman in her late 40’s), was like finding a needle in a haystack.
Most of the fitness plans I found online didn’t account for the changing bodies of older women.
By 40 years-of-age, doing 100 burpees or 50 push-ups back-to-back is no longer a simple matter. Our joints and muscles are not as flexible or robust as they used to be. Older women also need to spend more time warming up and cooling down to account for any additional stiffness in our bodies. Some older women also have past injuries to deal with too which can make some types of workouts far too demanding.
I was discussing how poor the choices were with my husband when the idea hit me — I should share my own workouts and healthy eating habits with other women.
My 30 years in the fitness industry has given me a wealth of knowledge when it came to physical fitness and nutrition, and I had already developed a series of workouts that were effective and safe for older women (I knew they worked because they were the routines that had kept me in shape and injury-free for many years) so it made sense to launch online.
The 404040 plan
I spent the next 18 months creating a plan that combined my 40 favourite exercises with 40 nutritious meals. The plan was designed to be performed over 40 days, so I called it the 404040 plan.
Researching the best foods to eat and creating workouts from my favourite exercises was a time-consuming process but it was necessary. Registering the business, creating a website, building social media profiles, and working with a marketing company also involved a significant investment in both time and money.
Getting it all up-and-running required a great deal of motivation and determination. However, I found that it was easy to remain motivated because I was passionate about the cause.
I have always been passionate about my own fitness but as I developed the 404040 programs I quickly realised I was excited to help other women. I wanted to see how my plan transformed the lives of other ladies just like me, around the world — helping them to lead healthier, richer, and more fulfilling lives. Even on a more basic level, simply helping women improve their confidence on a day-to-day basis became a big driver for me.
My Personal Mission Statement
Early on, I wrote a mission statement for my business. At the core of this mission statement were my goals spanning sharing my know-how and helping other people. In times of doubt, I would often reflect on these goals and the experiences of other women who needed help to keep me on track.
A solid business plan:
I worked with my husband to create a highly detailed business plan. This kept me on track and kept motivation levels high. I never felt confused or lost — I always knew which step was meant to be tackled next.
Having a routine has always been important to me. I allocated time for working on my business every day, just as I allocated time for working out and spending time with my loved ones. On one day a week, I still get away from my home office and work in a local cafe lounge, which helps me focus on my tasks and keep me motivated.
Reminders and goals:
Like many women, I have a lot going on each day! At the start, I relied on reminders and goals that I placed in a calendar app on my smartphone to keep me focused and determined on getting the business up and running.
Focus on freedom and adventure:
Being your own boss is quite liberating. I would often think about how much freedom having my own business would give me, which was a significant motivating factor.
Supportive friends and family:
Having supportive people around you will always make starting a new business easier than doing everything on your own.
My Tips For Women Considering Changing Careers
According to recent headlines, one of the main factors deterring women from starting a business is the daunting task of changing careers. I am still working within the fitness industry, so the move to start a new business wasn’t too extreme, but other women are completely changing careers to start their business. If this describes you, here are a few tips I have gathered that still apply:
Have a good think about what you really want in life. Will your new career deliver the financial security and personal satisfaction you require?
Don’t focus on money:
Most people have been stuck in a bad job at least once in their life. When a job is ‘really bad’, they could double your salary and you would still be miserable. That’s why you shouldn’t place too much emphasis on the financial rewards of changing career. If you end up hating the job, the money won’t really matter.
Are any of your skills transferable?
Take a skill audit and think about what you can actually do. When doing so, most women discover they are much more knowledgeable and highly skilled than they had realised. Find out how much those skills will help you in your proposed career.
Create a plan:
Once you have identified a career move you are interested in, make a plan and detail precisely how you will get there. You may require additional training or qualifications but it will all be worth it if you are passionate about your new career.
Remember Your ‘Why?’
As I write this I am sat in my usual chair in my local Cafe Lounge, and one of my older clients (61 years young) has just sent me a photograph of her enjoying her holiday in Spain. She had a big smile on her face but more significantly she is wearing a bikini for the first time in her life. Nothing feels more rewarding than seeing happy clients.
All of the tips I share above have been invaluable in shaping my business and keeping me focused on my goals but the most important thing for me has always been about making positive change and helping others. This is what keeps me going, and that’s why reminders such as that lovely photo are and will continue to be, the foundations of my business. This is my ‘Why?’
You can follow Niki here