How She Built It: Secrets From a Coach, Owner & Mom

Over the past decade, I’ve donned more hats than I can count within the MADabolic Franchising system, from dedicated member…to a part-time trainer…to a bright-eyed GM…to a proud multi-unit gym owner. Let’s rewind…

My journey with MADabolic began in 2013, fresh out of Davidson College, where I played D1 field hockey. I was drawn to MADabolic’s unique training protocol and “take no shit” culture, reminiscent of the environment I thrived in during my collegiate sporting days.

A year later, I became a part-time trainer, coaching classes at the crack of dawn before shuttling myself over to the office. What started as a “fun side gig” quickly evolved into a huge passion and by 2017, I left my corporate job and stepped into the role of General Manager for MADabolic’s studios in Charlotte, NC. It was a (terrifying) leap of faith, but one that aligned with my personal goal of business ownership before hitting 30. I figured if I strived to one day own my own business, I might as well learn to operate one.

In 2020, my employers became my partners when my husband and I bought in as part-owners of MADabolic Charlotte. Finally, in November 2022, we took the next massive (and exponentially scarier) leap of faith and took over as sole owners of the MADabolic Charlotte portfolio. Exactly one year later, we opened our third unit, solidifying our position as a prominent multi-unit ownership groups within the MADabolic franchise.

I’ll level with you…while I knew this path to ownership would be extraordinarily fulfilling, I wasn’t prepared for the adversity. 

Amid the triumphs lay unforeseen challenges, particularly as a young female business owner and mother. The odds seemed stacked against me:

  • As a female business owner, I’m outnumbered by my male counterparts and – like it or not – deal with misogyny on a regular basis,
  • As a mother of two, I’m consistently defending my commitment to my career while also navigating the fine line between “career-driven” and “family-oriented,” 
  • As a young entrepreneur, my experience as it relates to my age is often called into question, and
  • As a creative soul that tends to shoot from the hip, I’m often internally battling my natural resistance to the systems and processes that are 100% required to run a successful business.
So what’s the secret? How do I do it all?

Well…I don’t. In every post I’ve ever held at MADabolic, I’ve royally f*cked something up. I once accidentally gave away free memberships to a handful of people for close to two years before someone else noticed my error. I quake at the thought of how much unaccounted inventory has probably walked out of our doors over the years. I’ve struggled with sales and conversion. Digital advertising. Staff management. You name it. But with those errors come growth. You cannot possibly expect to thrive as a business owner if you enter the journey thinking you need to have all the answers. Embracing those mistakes is critical to the learning curve and your ultimate success.

Now let’s circle back to the “how do I do it all” question.

My biggest lesson in the pain points I’ve encountered over years of operating and owning our gyms has been in the importance of people. In my opinion, there is no better place to invest in your business than in your team. How do I do it all? I don’t. The collective MADabolic Charlotte team does it all. We might offer the best workout in, but without the right team in place, we’d be primed for failure.

No owner can possibly “do it all” without burning out or capping their growth opportunities. Sure, you might save a dime in payroll, but at what cost? At some point, penny pinching in your hiring efforts will adversely impact your ability to grow…because you can’t work ON your business if you’re bandwidth is spread so thin that you’re exclusively working IN your business.

Hiring the right people for our business is more than just filling positions—it’s about building the foundation for success.

Each member of our team contributes to the culture, productivity, and trajectory of our venture. The right hires bring role-appropriate skills, fresh perspectives, and an unwavering dedication to our vision. We see them as ambassadors of our brand, embodying its values and propelling it forward. As we’ve learned, the right people elevate, while the wrong ones deflate.

Bottom line: the people you surround yourself with can make all the difference between mediocrity and meteoric success. Choose wisely, invest wholeheartedly, and watch your business soar.

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