By Alexandra Bonetti
When I chose to walk away from a consulting career to create the Bari studio, both a workout method and a business, from scratch, there were several catalysts behind the decision:
(1) work attire = stretchy pants
(2) getting to work out all day = best. body. ever
(3) I knew that if I created a workout that was effective and seriously fun (enough so that my future clients would fall in love with it), I’d be making an important impact on the health and wellness industry.
It’s been nearly four years since I opened Bari, and to update you:
(1) spandex as work attire never gets old
(2) running a company is harder than any workout
(3) I never could’ve imagined the amazing support I’ve received from my community, or how amazing it feels to see people take control of their bodies.
When you’re in the fitness business, the lines between work and working out quickly blur. Once two separate parts of my life, the lessons and passions in each field have come together more than I ever thought possible. And, what I’ve discovered is that the mindset and motivation for success in each part of your life is often the same. You know, as they say — “How you do anything is how you do everything.” (By the way, who is this ever-elusive “they,” and how did they get so smart?)
Here are five lessons I’ve learned so far that apply to both my business life and my fitness life.
1. Play nice.
Collaborate, build a network, and support your peers. The people around you are interesting and inspirational, but only if you give them the chance to be. Your community is your livelihood in more ways than you can imagine.
2. Don’t forget the big picture.
Stay connected to your why. Some days will be tough, you will feel overwhelmed, your muscles won’t be able to do another rep, and your brain will ask for a break. In those moments, it’s crucial to connect to your “why” and inspire yourself to keep pushing. One bad day won’t set you back so long as you regroup, acknowledge your small wins, and keep your eye on your big picture. Whatever it is that’s pushing you forward, don’t lose focus of it.
3. Have a plan, and take it one day at a time.
Working towards the big picture doesn’t come naturally for most of us. If you fall into this vast majority, make a plan and hold yourself accountable to it. Make sure your plan is actionable one day at time; it should fuel your big picture, but cater to your day-to-day and where you are at right now. It doesn’t really matter what you did in the past; it’s about putting your best foot forward one a day at a time. Make a list, a schedule, a calendar, whatever works for you — trust me, very rarely do people wake up for a 6 a.m. workout without planning ahead.
4. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone.
It’s the only way to truly make big strides. I can’t think of a single thing that is exciting, important, or revolutionary that can also be described as comfortable. Embrace the fact that the best things will come when you’re not in your comfort zone, so stop fearing the things you may not be ready for — you’ll get there.
5. Love what you’re doing.
Your job, your workout, the relationships you pick — love them. Find a way to love the things that you know are good for you. Invest in your future self. It means that you can look back and know that you wouldn’t have done things differently, because all along you were striving for happiness.
And stay true to yourself.
In our discovery of what we don’t want, we often stumble upon what we do. Such was the case for Alexandra Bonetti Pérez, a former financial and management consultant, Wharton grad, and exercise fanatic, who sampled every workout possible during her years traveling as a consultant. Limited by exercise myths and methods that did nothing to transform her body, Alexandra left consulting and committed herself to developing a workout that delivered the results she craved. She knew fitness could be - and should be - a lifestyle brand; this vision for an inclusive space for nutrition, culture, art and a true community is the backbone of Bari.