If you have ever attended our personal development seminar Live it Now in Sydney or Melbourne, you would have seen a video we play from one of our Platinum Package graduates Ash O’Donnell who is the proud owner of Pilates X. That video was made a little over 12 months ago, and I’m so excited to share the news with you that Ash has opened two Pilates studios in Sydney and has just launched two Bali retreats!
‘I transform lives on rainbow mats. I launched my business because I want to make an impact on people’s bodies, especially female bodies. I want to give women more confidence and self-acceptance and self-love. I do that through the physical, with the exercise, the nutrition and also spiritually as well, we do some meditation, breathing exercises and gratification diaries too.’
‘Prior to launching my own business, I was an exercise physiologist in the cardiac rehab areas in hospitals. I wanted to make more of an impact than just on people who have had heart attacks, I wanted to prevent heart attacks from happening!’
The fastest way to learn about business and to learn about yourself is to launch a business! That’s exactly what Ash did when the opportunity to move into her own studio came to her.
‘18 months ago I made the change to open my own business. I believe I manifested it. I worked really really hard, I wanted to do it on my own. An acquaintance of mine messaged me on Facebook to say, “Hey, this pilates studio is for rent, not sure if you are looking for one, but I thought I’d just let you know.” This studio is five minutes away from my house. I called her up and asked ‘What are you doing?’ And she had to go back to the UK, so I said, “Yes, I will take your studio from you.” In a matter of three weeks, I was in my own business, doing it for myself and I have never, ever, ever looked back.’
The road to success has been a bumpy one at times for Ash, who has had to overcome her fair share of fear and negativity to get to where she is today. By getting her psychology around herself and around her business right, she was able to meet these challenges head on
‘We have grown so quickly and impacted so many people over the past 18 months. Not everyone is going to like us, and that’s okay, but to begin with, I took those little negative comments personally.
‘That was a really great learning curve, to just take things as they come and to know that just because someone says something about you negatively, you don’t have to take it on board and believe it because that’s their opinion and that’s not who you are.
‘If you are really coming from a place of integrity and a good place then that could just be their own stuff coming up. So my way of getting through that was just to keep believing in myself. That was an obstacle starting out, the lack of belief and trust in myself at first. The more that I just kept doing the work and kept seeing great results and kept listening to the positive feedback and seeing the business grow so quickly, it has definitely had a huge impact on my self-worth, self-esteem, and self-belief as well.’
Overcoming fear is a big challenge for many people, and Ash was no different. Needing to overcome the fear of setting up her own business and the uncertainty that brings, she got committed and rolled up her sleeves, did what was necessary, then built a team to support her to break out.
‘There have been so many obstacles I have had to overcome. Fear was a big one. Fear of the unknown and fear of the uncertainty of having my own business. With fear, I find personally for me, the best way to overcome it is to just do the work anyway.
‘I had some success in trying to understand and clear the fear before doing the work, but nothing was more powerful than just sitting down and doing it; no matter how uncomfortable you feel, you just have to sit there and do the work.
‘Another obstacle was trusting that other people care as much about my business as I do. I was a bit of a control freak before I decided to step out of the business, wanting to control everything, all the finances, all the classes, the lot. So I did some more personal development work on myself and opened my energetic level out and was able to attract some really great employees that actually care about my business just as much I do! That was a big step. It took me a good year to work on myself and find people who cared about my business as much as I did.
Often I see in business people spending months or even years working on the perfect business plan or building a website so they can avoid the sales process. They create packages they think their customers want, but in truth, the fastest way to give your customers exactly what they need is to get in front of them and find out! Ash uses this theory to perfection in her marketing strategy.
‘My first sale came through Facebook marketing. I studied all about Facebook marketing and I put up an add. The add was for a seven-day free trial. I gave out my mobile number and tried to get people in that way, but getting clients in the door was really difficult at first.
‘Then based on feedback, I developed my 28 Day Transformation program from there. I offered a unique service, the 28 days transformation service, rather than the typical seven-day free trial. It works a lot better for me.
‘Over the 28 days I really get to know my clients and they also get to really see our good business integrity and superior service and see that this transformation works! We care about their results and making an impact on their lives. From there they want to stay and continue working with us.
Often, owning your own business can be hard. But when you work on yourself and become the best version of yourself, your business will transform. As we say at Live it Now, if you want to change something in your life, you actually have to change something in your life. For many, that first step is the hardest.
‘My one piece of advice to other wanting to start their own business:
‘Just do it today. Not tomorrow, not next week, not next year. Just start today.
‘I can guarantee that when you are in your business you will definitely think that you wished that you did this a year ago. Just start it today because I can guarantee there is nothing better in the world than having the freedom of running your own business and making an impact on the world on your own terms.
Ash has worked so hard on her personal development and the results can be seen in who she has become, her relationships, and her business. She has an exciting six to twelve months ahead as she opens new venues and runs Bali retreats!
‘We have so many things coming up, it’s so exciting, and the retreats are the most exciting things coming up in the short term. We have just launched two Bali retreats, the next one is in six weeks’ time, which is super, super exciting, with the following one in November.
‘So far we have opened two studios in 12 months in Sydney and next, we will be going interstate in Summer with a studio opening up in Melbourne and after that we have our hearts set on opening in either Perth or Brisbane.
‘We are going to be expanding all over Australia. I have full belief in myself and in my staff that we are going to get there together. It’s really exciting and I’m looking forward to transforming people’s lives around Australia, not just in Sydney.
Ash has completed our Platinum Package. This gave her the stepping stones for her personal growth and personal development to make a huge impact in her business. By being able to take responsibility for her own actions, and to check herself when she feels things are slipping, she can put things back on herself when it comes to understanding what she needs to clear or what needs more work. She takes what she needs to work on back to her coach to really sort those things out, then goes back into her business and powers on.
Our General Manager Bianca is now a client of Ash, so to see the student become the teacher and to witness the incredible results Ash is getting with Bianca is incredibly powerful!
If you would like to go on an amazing pilates retreat to Bali with Ash and her awesome team, please visit pilatesxaus.com.au for more information.
Matt Catling – Your Future Now
14–16 Chandos St,
St Leonards NSW 2065
1800 552 168