Connie Byrne is an Elite Mompreneur member based out of Guelph, Ontario. She is a dedicated franchise owner of OrangeTheory Fitness, and we are happy to share her Success Story!
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
I have been a police officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for just under 20 years. In order to serve and protect the public it is imperative that you take care of yourself and stay fit for duty. Health and fitness has always been a passion of mine and part of my fitness regime included regular attendance at the Orangetheory Fitness studio in Burlington. Burlington was the first Orangetheory Fitness studio developed in Ontario. The workout is like nothing I’ve ever experienced outside of organized sports. It is fun and there is such an amazing sense of community that I was immediately addicted! I quickly “investigated” franchise opportunities, convinced my partner to go all in with me and we began searching for the perfect location to spread the Orange love. It did not take long for us to select Guelph 100% hands down and we know it was the absolute best choice!
What’s the best part about owning your own business?
The exciting uncertainty, the extreme learning and the amazing mentors, partners, vendors, clients, staff and friends that are part of this wild journey! All of my life I have been cautious and carefully assessed risk. Now here I am in my late 40’s throwing caution to the wind and starting this new career. I’m thrilled yet terrified everyday!
Can you describe a typical day?
We have leased space in a new building so currently every day includes meetings with the leasing agent, tenant coordinator, architects, city inspectors, general contractors, as well as webinars with our Franchisor. Then there are a million marketing decisions, networking events, staff training and of course the best part of my day, working with our members to ensure they are on track with their fitness goals.
Who do you count on for help?
I count on my partner, Stephanie. She is the most important person in my life. She has such amazing diverse strengths that are the true foundation of our business! There is no way and no one I could have done this with but her. I also know what I don’t know so we’ve sought the help of a trusted team of experts like our fellow franchisees, our lawyer, project manager, and marketing specialists.
Have you ever had to sacrifice something at home for work?
I don’t like to consider it a sacrifice as these are choices I have to make to reach my goals at work and in life. I have really been blessed with a wonderfully supportive and understanding family and because I get to work with my partner the bond between us just keeps getting stronger. The only unknowing “victims” are my two dogs, Mollie and Macey. I always feel guilty when I get the look when they’ve waited too long for a walk.
What do you do on a day off? Do you even know what a day off is?
I think I did have a day off once! I zoned out watching football without the computer on my lap. But a good friend of ours always says “love what you do and you will never work a day in your life”. I’m loving this so I’m super busy but it really doesn’t feel like work.
Are you active in your community? What does supporting local mean to you?
The local community means everything to us and is a huge part of our WHY. We have 3 main goals and one is to be a trusted and engaged community partner in Guelph.
Name another entrepreneur who inspires you.
Jen Sincero inspires me. She wrote the book “You are a Badass”. She is hysterical but makes a tonne of sense in every piece of advice she gives as an author and coach.
What does the future look like for you and your business?
My future is being surrounded by courageous people building themselves up physically and emotionally! Wildly successful to us means one small studio where everyone knows your name and is happy to see you sweat.
Any tips for moms thinking of starting a business?
I have two tips. The first is what I keep telling myself everyday. Have fun, be kind and stop taking yourself so seriously. The second tip is from the best person I have ever known and it is the best advice I ever received: “Leap and the net will appear!”