"There’s simply no better time to learn a foundational skill than childhood" with Michelle Miller
My First Workout® is an award winning, mom-founded company on a mission to build stronger family connections and instill a habit of fitness from the earliest age possible. The key to a healthier tomorrow is strengthening kids today. This super smart kids-fitness program that focuses on fun and ease of use has quickly become one of the most innovative and critically essential new products to hit the market in 2019! Certified Personal Trainer and Founder of My First Workout®, Michelle Miller, has over 20 years’ experience in the fitness industry and has developed this program just for kids age 5 to 10 years old. https://www.myfirstworkout.com
Can you tell our readers about your background?
I earned my B.S. Magna Cum Laude in Exercise Science and Fitness from Liberty University in 1997. After college, I got married and pregnant right away, so I found myself as a stay at home Mom for several years. I very much wanted to use the degree I had worked very hard for and that opportunity came at the local YMCA where I was a member and took several classes each week. One day the instructor announced she was leaving and needed a replacement. I was one of the best students in her class and she asked me if I would take over. I got certified to teach group exercise classes and over the next six-year period, had an amazing time teaching senior fitness, step, boot camp and weight training classes. It was hard to earn a living just teaching classes though, so I pursued my certification to be a personal trainer. I have trained individuals ranging in age from 5-92 with varying skill levels from complete beginner to professional athlete. I found a unique niche with people who are coming to fitness with a particular need that requires an advanced amount of training and understanding. I love teaching fitness because every day I get to see people’s lives change for the better because of it. I see my client’s moods, attitudes, energy levels, relationships and lives change before my very eyes on a daily basis. I will continue to encourage as many people as possible to adopt fitness as a lifestyle while here on this earth.
What inspired you to start your business?
On Sunday, March 18, 2018, my young son, Cole, who was 5 at the time, and I were cuddling in bed before starting our day. I was overwhelmed with appreciation for the special bond we have and that he is such a healthy and happy child. I attribute this close connection and his good health to our many exercise adventures together since he was tiny baby. My mind began to wander to other children and families around the world who I am confident also desire health, happiness and good physical fitness for their children but might not know where to start to achieve these things if their education isn’t in fitness. I thought if I could put together everything a parent would need to teach their child how to get started on a habit of fitness from the moment the package arrived on their doorstep, then parent and child could both benefit while they are learning the exercises together.
Where is your business based?
How did you start your business? What were the first steps you took?
The first thing I did was a ton of research. Every question that entered my mind was thoroughly investigated and I printed out so many articles that first month. I must have gone through a box of paper! All that research confirmed that I was on to something great and it firmly established my belief in my product and in my mission to help children and families grow stronger connections through the power of exercise. Seeing the bigger picture through all my research allowed me to take what may seem like unrealistic risks along the way. I still use all those great articles and they are the foundation for my product.
After I knew my idea did not exist and I was going to have to create it, I researched the steps to take when you have a really good idea for a business or product. The common denominator from all the articles I read was to get a notebook and document every step of the way so there was a paper trail to prove how the idea came to life.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness for your business?
Social Media has been vital to the growth of my product and brand awareness. I post to LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Google Business several times each week.
What have been your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge I have encountered is being the face of my product and the constant self and product promotion that is vital for growth. I am naturally a behind the scenes person that likes to work hard and remain anonymous but no one else could represent this product or communicate the mission for why we exist better than myself, so I had to step up to the plate. It would not be the truth to say that I have overcome the inadequate feeling I get every single time I step in front of the camera, but I am taking the steps, such as joining Toastmasters, to get better at public speaking. It’s just like anything else, the more I practice, the better I’ll get.
Another struggle was the amount of technology involved with developing a product and selling it. There is an unbelievable amount of computer work around every corner, and I had no idea there would be so much. My mission to get this product into the lives of children is the driving force that motivates me to stay with something until I’ve figured out how to do it. In the past, I would have just abandoned ship or asked someone else to do it if I couldn’t figure something out right away. With My First Workout®, that’s not an option and I will literally do whatever it takes to keep making progress. I have learned so much about what I am truly capable of doing from this experience.
How do you stay focused?
The statistics on children’s health and fitness in this country are very bad and I know my product can help them so much. That’s what I focus on whenever I’m feeling weak. I walk every single day, and this calms my mind and helps me to process everything more clearly. I do my best thinking when I’m walking.
How do you differentiate your business from the competition?
The differences between My First Workout® and every other fitness company that exists is for starters, kid’s fitness is all we do. Kids are not an afterthought or just another stream of revenue to tap into. Secondly, our goal is to provide kids with the very best in fitness, equal to if not better than, all the great products on the market for adults. All I could find when I searched for a children’s product comparable to what I wanted to create, was dumbed down fitness equipment and short-sighted programming for children. This is so frustrating and sad to me. Kids need programs written for them that will safely and effectively teach them skills and habits for life just like adult do. Adults often turn to fitness because there is a problem they are trying to solve, and fitness holds the answer. Kids make a choice to exercise because they seek out things that are FUN in life. Exercise can be a lot of fun.
There’s simply no better time to learn a foundational skill than childhood. It will positively enable them the rest of their life. My First Workout® is the real deal in muscle strengthening but for kids and this program will progress a child from beginner to advanced skill level at their own unique pace. This program was designed for all children from natural athlete to disabled and all those in between. There is simply no other company or product on the market offering the complex skill of weight training in such a convenient, safe and simple format.
What has been your most effective marketing strategy to grow your business?
I hired a marketing company to work alongside me to produce my vision for the My First Workout® brand and they provided me with tangible, beautiful visual materials. I knew I needed to go big or go home. They listened to me and presented me with professional and creative ideas for my logo, branding, colors, box designs, website, trade show materials, letterhead, business cards, inserts, posters, videos, etc. Everywhere I go, people comment on all my great looking, colorful stuff. People are wowed and that’s what I was going for.
What's your best piece of advice for aspiring and new entrepreneurs?
If you are only in it to get rich, then don’t do it. It’s not worth it. The toll on your health, relationships and finances is just too great. However, if not doing it would leave you with such a huge void and sense of regret that you would be willing to risk everything and regardless of how it turns out still say, “I tried and now my mind is at peace,” then I would say Go for It!
Also, if you want to learn how to have an extreme amount of patience, become an entrepreneur. You’ll learn it pretty quickly!
What's your favorite app, blog, and book? Why?
My favorite app is Pandora and I listen to the Christian Contemporary Radio station during my walks to get my head in the right place to face another day. I don’t have time to read blog’s but every morning at 5:30 am, I drink my coffee and read the Bible and Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline by Becky Bailey. My source of strength and comfort through this whole incredible journey is my faith in God.
What's your favorite business tool or resource? Why?
Google is amazing. I find the answer to every question there and there are so many questions when you’re starting a new business. I am so appreciative to all the people who have figured out how to do something well and are gracious enough to share that information with those of us who are just starting out. Also, strange but true, I use Shift + Command + 4 on my Mac computer daily for all sorts of things. It has been an enormous help to me!
Who is your business role model? Why?
The cast of Shark Tank are my business role models. I have watched that show since it aired and each of their humble beginnings have always inspired me. Since starting this whole journey with My First Workout®, their humble beginnings have truly taken on a whole different meaning. I see myself in so many of the contestants and relate with the Sharks on an entirely different level than before I had My First Workout®. I never thought in a million years I might actually have a chance to meet my role models and again, with great patience, only time will tell what 2019 has in store for My First Workout® and Shark Tank.
What do you have planned for the next six months?
Over the next six months, I will be working hard to build the My First Workout® brand and raise awareness on the importance of fitness as a lifestyle from the earliest age possible. There are many irons in the fire at the moment and I’m eagerly awaiting to see what 2019 has in store for those things in the works. I also have several other product lines in the development stage and will be working on getting those on the market as soon as possible.
How can our readers connect with you?