Flo Elkins, founder of F.L.O (For the Love Of) Life Fitness, an online fitness and wellness business, is a NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) Certified Personal Trainer based in Los Angeles, California. She works with females over 40 who are entrepreneurs and/or Master Rowers interested in losing weight, building strength and endurance and improving their overall health/fitness journey.
What does “entrepreneurship” mean to you?
Flo Elkins: Entrepreneurship means to me the ability to do the work I feel led to do in the world to enhance my life, my family interactions, my community and the world at large on my own terms and to add value to the lives of those I serve directly. It also means FREEDOM and flexibility in the process!
How did your company come to be?
FE: After having the opportunity to go back to school thanks to the Obama Re-Employment Act, I decided to change careers and become a Nationally Certified Personal Trainer. Based on my own positive experience with a Personal Trainer and the education that I received, I believed that I could help people in an area of life that would benefit all areas of their life. After several family members and friends asked me to help them lose weight, I decided starting my own business in the fitness industry would be a great idea and would allow me the ability to help more people transform their body and ultimately their life.
How has your business changed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic?
FE: One of the few ways that my business has changed in response to the pandemic is that I no longer rent space in a private gym to work one-on-one with clients in-person. 95% of my work is now virtual vs. 65% prior to the pandemic. I accept very few one-on-one, in-person clients now.
What is your proudest and darkest moment so far?
FE: One of my proudest moments in my business was when I received my Articles of Incorporation after being a Sole Proprietor for a few years. Also, when I was chosen by the ParentPreneur Foundation to be featured on the Nasdaq Megatron in Times Square the summer of 2021.
One of the darkest moments was when COVID hit and I could no longer conduct family fitness training with my Alma Mater’s local Alumni Association. I valued that time because it was one of the times when my daughter and grandchildren could also participate in my trainings. I also lost a few clients that I had been working with for a few years that were unable to transfer over to virtual training.
How is your company changing the landscape?
FE: My company is changing its landscape by having more of a focus on working with other Female Entrepreneurs as well as Female Master Rowers virtually through a signature program that places more of an emphasis on holistic wellness in addition to fitness and nutrition and less on one-on-one virtual fitness training. I also plan to include Rowing Coaching & in-door rowing group classes once I complete those certifications.
What do you wish you knew when you started? Is there anything you would do differently?
FE: I wish I knew a lot more about Marketing in general & Social Media Marketing specifically. I also wish I had more opportunities to work with other Female Entrepreneurs in the fitness Industry as mentors.
What advice/credo do you live by as you grow the business / what is your professional and personal mission statement?
FE: Stay focused and don’t quit! Always remember that the work I’m doing changes lives, family habits and traditions, and can extend the lives and improve the legacies of my own family and the families of those I work with and have an impact on.
Where do you find inspiration when faced with challenges?
FE: I find inspiration by listening to personal development videos or podcasts and revisiting my Big WHY! Knowing that I am creating a legacy so that my grandchildren can have a great life and future inspires me. Seeing my grandchildren’s smiling faces gives me great inspiration. I am also inspired by my clients’ progress and hearing from others that I inspire them.
What does “success” look like for you? What do you think will help you achieve it?
FE: Success for me is having ALL my needs met, as well as those of my family and having the opportunity to indulge in my wants. Success is also being able to give freely and abundantly to causes that I believe in (children in the foster care system, women and children in distress and/or transition and the homeless population). Success is also seeing my family and friends all embracing a holistic, healthy and active way of living.
Has personal or professional “success” changed for you since the COVID-19 pandemic?
FE: My professional success has changed slightly since the COVID-19 pandemic in that I want to do more work in the area of in-door rowing as opposed to just on-the-water rowing. I believe incorporating this skill into my repertoire will increase my reach and chances for greater success. In addition, I want to be instrumental in bringing more diversity, equity, and inclusion to the sport of rowing and introducing it to more youth in the inner city.
What’s it like to work alone or with your partners? What advice do you have for fellow entrepreneurs about building and leading teams?
FE: It used to be extremely lonely always working alone. I would feel completely overwhelmed with all the work I was doing. Now with the addition of accountability partners that I meet with twice a week and the hiring of a virtual assistant, those feelings have decreased tremendously. Now it feels as though I am in constant communication with other entrepreneurs. I enjoy working with my virtual assistant. Because of our time zone differences, we are in regular communication when I am working late at night. It just works. I don’t feel the overwhelm with all the tasks I used to handle on my own, thanks to my assistant.
Many entrepreneurs continue to perfect their daily routines to support their work and greater vision; would you mind sharing your morning routine or a regular ritual that grounds your work each day? How has it changed in recent months?
FE: My morning routine consists of starting with three minutes of verbal gratitude, then 30 minutes of meditation, journaling my power statements/my truths/affirmations, then some reading most mornings. I then workout between 45 mins to 1 ½ hrs all before working with any clients. This routine grounds me and gets my day started in a positive and productive direction.
The three mins of verbal gratitude has been an addition in recent months. I end my day with writing in a gratitude journal.
What keeps you motivated during this time?
FE: I am motivated by the fact that I feel great in my body because I stay active and I continue to learn and progress towards making improvements that I believe enhance my quality of life and I am able to share that with my family, friends and clients to assist them in improving and enhancing their life as well. I love getting feedback about the enhancements in strength, balance, endurance and overall health because of the work I’ve done with a client. That motivates me to want to help more people.
What kind of an entrepreneur do you want to be known as, as in, what do you want your legacy to be?
FE: I want to be known as an entrepreneur that really cares about the well being of my clients, employees, and the community. I want to be known as ethical, empathetic, inspiring, and professional. I want my legacy as an entrepreneur to be one that added value to the lives of those I served and one that really made a difference in the world because I left it better than it was before I arrived and encouraged others to do the same.
What is a quote or some words of wisdom that help get you through the tough days?
FE: “I know that everything is working out for my good.” I have to remind myself to give myself and others grace in tough times. Also, that “success is usually right on the other side of frustration.”
Have you experienced mentorship in your career? Do you feel it was easily available to you?
FE: I have received mentorship in my career. In some ways it was easily available because of the different communities I am a part of. In other ways it was a bit more challenging especially when it specifically came to mentors in the fitness industry.
Who are the people who have mentored or influenced you in your life or career? How has their influence changed the trajectory of your entrepreneurial journey?
FE: The first mentor, turned sponsor, that had a huge impact on my life and changed the trajectory of my entrepreneurial journey is B. Ruth Allen. She first took me under her wing as an adoptive parent. She has been an entrepreneur for more than 40 years and she continues to support and encourage me as an entrepreneur. Her motivation, leadership, advice, and sponsorship has been EXTREMELY helpful. Some of the other mentors that have greatly influenced my life and career as an entrepreneur include Juanita Simmons (Da’ Lighthouse), Desiree Doubrox (An Empowered Woman), Frank Stokes (BEST Mobile Accelerator), Dave Smith (Online Trainer’s Federation), Ranise Gillespie (Maxie Media Group) and James Oliver (ParentPreneur Foundation).
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