By Taylor Jones
As a nutrition lover myself (let’s be honest, I’m more of an equal-opportunity food lover), I was excited to talk to Laura Musser for the Women in Business feature this month. As summer is the annual time for beach bodies and eating less hearty foods, Laura is helping her clients keep their fitness and nutrition goals in a healthy, sustainable place. Laura’s business, Laura Musser Fitness, is unique in that she offers the accountability and support of at-home workouts, meaning there is no need for making time to go to the gym. This also means that it’s virtually impossible to use the excuse, “I would love to work out at home, but I have no motivation!” Personally, I’m guilty as charged for saying this many times. Keep reading to learn about Laura, how she started her business, and her best advice as a woman in business!
Women in Business Feature: Interview with Laura Musser of Laura Musser Fitness
Planful: Tell me about yourself, your background.
Laura Musser: I grew up in Indiana, and graduated in December 1995 from IUP with a degree in finance. After I graduated, I made the decision to apply and go to law school at Stetson University in St. Petersburg, Florida. Upon finishing the first semester, I wasn’t completely sure that I wanted to pursue being a lawyer, so I decided to join the family business and work with my dad at Carino Nurseries. For about 17 years, I got to work alongside my dad. Typically, as anyone who works/owns a small business, you wear many hats. I was helping customers, marketing, helping my dad with the business side of the nursery. In Fall of 2011,we had completed phasing out the nursery end of the business and sold of the Wholesale Cut Christmas Tree division, and my Dad finally got to retire. When he retired I also got to retire! [laughs] We still have land (30 farms on approximately 1000 acres), gas well and other business interests, so there are still a few things to do for this business.
I’ve always been an avid runner and I love exercising and healthy eating. Keeping that in mind, as well as that I like to make my own hours, be involved with the kids schools, and be a mom, when this opportunity came up to start [Laura Musser Fitness], I decided it was something I wanted to do. I had already started working as a Beachbody coach, but decided I could add services to this product to help my customers reach their fitness and health goals. It wasn’t something I had to do, and that helped it come about naturally.
P: Why did you decide to start your business?
LM: My mom had a heart attack and passed away when I was 25. Prior to and because of, I have always been very conscious of health, fitness, and nutrition.
I also realized that I could start providing the accountability and support for lifestyle changes that supplemented the Beachbody fitness programs and products to help my customers get the most of them.
P: What were your biggest challenges when starting your career? What about current challenges?
LM: A lot of being a Beachbody coach and Laura Musser Fitness is putting myself out there on social media, which is a challenge. When I started, I had an Instagram which I didn’t even use. I maybe posted on my Facebook once or twice a month. I had to get up to speed on that! I also have to get comfortable with sharing my personal self on social media.
Currently, my challenge is trying to find a balance between my work and family life. I want to be around for my kids. It’s doable, but time management is a challenge.
Aside from these obstacles, marketing myself for potential clients and coaches to find me is challenging. Differentiating myself from other people offering these services is a part of that, as well as making sure my content is reaching the people who would be interested in what I have to offer through my business.
P: What motivates you?
LM: Healthy living is something I’ve always had a passion for. I’m passionate for my family and healthy living, and shopping [laughs]. I have always loved talking about healthy living, and even before I started Laura Musser Fitness, people would ask me questions about how I eat and exercise. I could feel myself light up as I was having these discussions. Also, anything I can do to lift up other people really does make me happy. My satisfaction comes from that. Obviously the income is a good opportunity, but it’s not my main motivation.
P: What would you like people to know about your business?
LM: What I offer is online at-home fitness programs, virtual challenge groups and nutritional products and supplements. I am able to work with anyone, no matter where you live! You just have to be motivated, willing to complete 30 minute workouts, follow a nutrition plan, and participate in the challenge groups on Facebook. I offer to help with meal planning and customize work-out calendars for my clients, too. The cool thing about working out like this is that you have someone – me, as your Coach – to ask for help quickly. A traditional trainer won’t call you each week to hold you accountable for your at-home workout routine, but I do.
It is also affordable! At home fitness averages to about $0.33/day and a daily nutritional shake roughly $4/day, pretty much the price of a trip to Starbucks. This is a solution for people who say they aren’t motivated enough to work out at home, but it would be much easier to work out at home due to a busy schedule.
P: What are your best time management tips?
LM: My goal with this is to work in little pockets of time. I call it my Mom Pockets. I wake up early to work and work out before everyone in the house wakes up. I’ll stay up an hour after everyone goes to bed. Basically I search for little pocket of time when I can work throughout the day in order to achieve what I need to get done.
P: Is it challenging finding a work/life balance?
LM: For anybody who is working from home, it is difficult. It is challenging because the work is always in front of you. It is tempting to always be going back to it. It is nice to have that option, but it is hard to limit yourself. My goal now is to set timers for a specific task and move on to another one or family time at the end of that timer.
P: Best advice you’ve ever heard?
LM: My dad has always passed on the best advice! Any time you’re dealing with a person, try to treat them how you would want to be treated. I try to put myself in the customer’s shoes and see how they would feel about a specific situation, to ensure I’m treating them the way I would want to be treated.
P: What is your best advice for women in business, or business owners in general?
LM: To lead by example, support one another rather than compete against each other, and own being a mother. I get asked often why I am doing what I’m doing, or told I should just enjoy being a Mom. With proper time management you can get the best of both worlds and enjoy your family while getting to use the business side of your brain too!
Thank you for chatting with us Laura! If you’d like to learn more about Laura and the motivation she can provide you for a healthy lifestyle, check out her website here. You can also follow her on Instagram for a daily dose of inspiration and motivation here.
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