I am beyoooooond excited to introduce todays guest. She radiates everything I want Still in Progress to be. Hardworking, humble, inspiring, motivating, great hair (seriously). She came from a small town (literally 1 town over from me), we went to the same small university, and EVEN worked at the same golf course for 2 years so this was just meant to be. I’ve had the privilege of watching her grow for a while now, so the fact she’s our next guest really makes me reflect hard on how far we’ve both come. Since university I admired how courageous she’s been…starting her insta and youtube channel @BrookeFit, teaching spinco – could you imagine how much pressure it would be to run a spin class? I’ll stick to back row k thanks. Now she’s assistant managing a branch!? All of these things take SO much courage to do. That fear of judgement is a real fucking thing people and it holds so many of us back, but this is why I love having guests like Brooke on the blog, it’s so refreshing and motivating to know someones backstory and how they got to where they are, and most importantly why they decided to pursue these things. Gotta know your why.
If you’re in the mood to feel inspired (and not in a shitty way where you just feel sad about your whole life), and ready to take on that thing you’ve always been wanting to take on (you know what I’m talking about) Then keep reading. Today we’re chatting all about entrepreneurship, learning the value of your own time and the power of saying no – which I know you struggle with because why else would you be reading a self-development blog?
My name is Brooke Wagner. I’m originally from the Annapolis Valley but now live in Halifax! I went to StFX for my undergrad where I took a Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology and a minor in Psychology. In my last year of my undergrad I started making fitness YouTube videos where I brought on the identity of “BrookeFit”. After graduating I found myself working at SPINCO Halifax where I became a spin instructor and have worked my way up to being the assistant manager of the SPINCO Bedford location. Along with YouTubing, teaching spin and managing a studio I also am now starting a mini company for my illustrations (@bybwags).
What inspired you to start teaching spinco? What inspired you to stay?
I was inspired to start teaching because it was so influential on my life that I knew I wanted to be the one to give others the ability to have the same feeling that I had. The feeling of unity, empowerment and belief in yourself. And you’re probably like, “What are you talking about Brooke this is just a spin class..??” Yes, it’s just a spin class, but what you create on the bike can be so much more! And this is why I’ve been a spin instructor for 2 years now. Every single class gives me something different. I crave it. I miss it when I’m not there. I couldn’t imagine not teaching. I definitely believe a lot of my “successes” (lol if we want to call them that) are based off of SPINCO and how it has driven me to believe in myself and to take chances on opportunities I never would in the past.
Entrepreneurship is intimidating af. What changes did you have to make to your mindset to get past all the negative assumptions that come with it?
**went on a little rant but I loved answering this question!*** hehe
You will need to give something else up in order to get closer to where you want to be. I believe a big negative assumption that comes with entrepreneurship is that you will not have time to socialize. And you know what – they are right. Theres no pretty way to put it. I have had to say no to so many get-togethers. I’ve stopped asking my friends to hang out. I’ve made my weekends work days. But the thing is… I don’t see it as a negative thing anymore. I actually enjoy my life more than when I was going out every weekend.
This was not the case in the beginning though. I had a very hard time deciding if I wanted to go out, get super wasted, be hungover the next day and chance the ability to not be able to put in a full days work because well… “You only live once, you might as well go out!” Or do I want to spend 2 hours of my afternoon going out for brunch, waste the money I want to spend on new camera gear on a $20 sandwich and then get back home only to have 1 hour of day-light to make a video for YouTube? No, I really don’t.
My mindset changed by basically asking the question… Am I spending MY TIME (yes – MINE. my time. BE SELFISH WITH YOUR TIME!!!) on the things that make me happy? And I wasn’t. I wasn’t feeling fulfilled. I wasn’t accomplishing anything. Therefore I realized, this negative assumption that I have to ‘give up’ my socializing time was actually not a negative thing for me. I’ve made this up in my head. I’ve listened to everyone else. I need to change this. And I did. I am very selfish with my time, I spend it the way I want to and I’ve never been happier!
If the person reading this feels like they want to get into entrepreneurship but has no clue where to begin, where would you tell them to start?
The first thing you need to do is just ask yourself why you want to start? A lot of people just simply feel this eagerness. You just feel like you want to own something, or you want to accomplish something but your heart isn’t telling you what that is yet. The reason I started my YouTube channel and my Illustrations is because I love to CREATE and I love to make people happy and laugh. SO SIMPLE. Such an easy reason. Do not make it complicated! So take the time to find your reason for wanting to start something and once you are clear the universe will help you find your path.
After you feel like you know what your reason is you need to RESEARCH! If you feel like you want to start a YouTube channel for example, you need to research the best equipment for beginners, how to edit, how to manage your time, how to make channel art, how to make a thumbnail, how to tell a story, how to engage an audience, when is the best time to upload? BE THE EXPERT. If you have a phone, or a laptop OR A LIBRARY – you have everything at your finger tips. If you want to be something in this day in age you need to know your platform inside and out.
Oh and the most classic… JUST START!!!! If you want some form of motivation, I’d love for you to check out my very first YouTube video and then look at my videos now. I started my YouTube channel by filming on my GO PRO LOL. YOU NEED TO START RIGHT NOW. TODAY. No excuses.
How did you know that you were on the right path? And at what point did you realize you HAD to make a change?
I knew I was on the right path when I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else. Of course I have dreams of bigger and better things (because don’t we all). But when you are waking up in the morning and you are excited about your day, you know you’re where you should be.
If you do not have this feeling and you wake up dreading the day or you hate going to your job, you need to make a change. You need to do yourself a favour and have a mini melt down to be like wtf am I doing wasting all my precious time doing this stuff I have no business doing? Then find resources to help you get back on track. Resources such as people who are already doing what you want to do! Reach out to them and ask how they started. Get a coach of some sort! Business coach, fitness coach, life coach. Use the internet. This world now a days is infinitely resourceful. You have everything at your finger tips. USE IT.
What’s your can’t-live-without wellness tip?
MOVE YOUR FRICKEN BODY! Exercise exercise exercise. Like I’ve said before, I believe SPINCO is a huge reason for my “successes” in my life because sweating it out has more benefits for your body than anything else in this world. It brings you clarity and energy. It brings you a sense of accomplishment. If you workout in group settings it allows you to meet people. Or if you workout at the gym alone if gives you alone time.
I 100% have some sort of ADHD. Even if it’s like 5%, I know I have it because my brain races a mile a minute. I am a fast-pace person. I have a hard time focusing on things if I do not have a coffee (coffee is a great stimulant for concentrating if you are like me) and if you are talking for too long or too slow I will zone out and think about everything else. But the one thing that gets my full undivided attention and that seems to slow me down is exercise. It gives me the sense that I am doing this for myself. I am doing this for my body. For my future. For my health both physically and mentally, therefore I should be 100% devoted to this time. Which is why SPINCO is such an addictive thing for me.
I could sit here all day and say why you should workout (also… there are literally NO reasons why you shouldn’t workout?) but I’m sure we’ve all heard it before. But the one thing I will leave you with is.. without your health, you have nothing.
How do you continue to challenge yourself in regards to personal growth?
3 things I do to help me personally grow are…
One, do different things every day. If you want different you have to move different.
Two, surround yourself with people who will help you get to where you want be or support you in that journey. You are a mix of the 5 top people you surround yourself with.
Three, listen to podcasts and watch YouTube. You should never stop learning!!! Especially as a spin instructor I need to be coming up with different things to bring into my classes (words, saying, thoughts, conversations). I would say podcasts and YouTube videos are my main sources of motivation and inspiration for improvement in life.
What were the fears you had to face to get you and your brand to where it is now? How did you overcome them?
My biggest fear was judgement. When I first started putting myself out there on YouTube, I let judgement create me. Everything I did was based on “what will people think”, “what do people want to see”. I was scared because when you first start anything, the only people who will be watching are your peers. Therefore they already have a perspective on who you are.
The way I got over this was because you get very tired very easily if you upload with a fake face and a fake personality. You begin to loose yourself so I gradually gave in and started to take more chances with my true self. This then caused me to find a community that accepted me for me. People who supported me. People who literally ask when I’m uploading next. I gained confidence. I now knew that people were watching because they actually liked me, cared about me and wanting to see what I will create next.
Knowing what you know now. What’s one piece of advice you would give your younger self 1 month after you graduated university?
It would be to BE DIFFERENT. You will not succeed in this life trying to be like someone else. I caught myself way too many times looking at those who succeed and simply copying everything that they do. Wearing what they wear, talking how they talk, posting like they post, etc. You get really sick. Sick emotionally and physically. You really don’t know who you are or what you want coming out into the real world after university, so you just follow what looks like the right path, right? In my last spin class of 2019 I told my class that the best gift you can give yourself going into this new decade is to 100% accept who you truly are and to not hide it.
If our readers had to implement ONE thing into their daily lives, for the next 30 days, what would that be? Why?
Every time you find yourself worrying or focusing on someone else’s life due to comparison or judgement, stop yourself. One thing I love to say in my classes is, “If you focus on what everyone else is doing in the class, you will waste your 50 minutes. If you focus on what everyone is doing outside of these four walls, you will waste your 50 minutes. Your time is valuable. Time is something we can never get back.” So instead of wasting your time and energy on someone else, reinvest it right back into yourself. Use the energy you would put on those negative thoughts towards others and use it for greatness for your own life.
Do you have a morning routine? If you do. Spill the deets.
I do not have a morning routine anymore because I wake up so early and like I said above, sleep is precious to me so I’d rather get the sleep than wake up any earlier. So I have to set myself up the night before by laying all of my clothes out, setting up my coffee to be ready to just simply press a button for it to brew and having my bags ready to be picked up and go. I give myself like 15 minutes in the morning to get out the door. I’m pretty boring!
Must – have beauty product?
My must-have beauty product is my moisturizer. It is an all-natural cream that is made in Cape-Breton by a family who used to live in Sweden. My friend said when they moved here they were unable to find any product that were as good as the one they had at home so they make them theirselves and sell it online and in their little farmers market up there! The only ingredients are sweet almond, avocado oils, basil and an ancient beauty secret! The moisturizer is called “Basil Wrinkle Cream” and his website is: www.om-made.com! It is amazing. My skin has forever thanked me since I started using it!
Where can all readers find YOU on social media?
Instagram: @broookefitt https://www.instagram.com
Youtube: Brooke Wagner https://www.youtube.com/brookewagner/