Heather Hudson is Co-Founder and COO of 9Round
Tell us about your business.
9Round is a specialized fitness gym that brings boxing and kickboxing fitness training moves to the average person in a nine-station circuit workout format. Everything is total-body, and the workouts deliver results in quick and convenient 30-minute sessions. Each station is different and offers challenging and fun workouts that change every day. There are no class times, and we have trainers always on-site. Our workouts cater to all different fitness levels – from beginners to hardcore athletes.
Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?
As a young child I grew up seeing my mom run her own house cleaning business for the single reason that it allowed her to make her own schedule so that she could be with me more. As I grew older I wanted something like that myself. It’s life changing to be in control of your time and how successful you are because what you put in is what you get out.
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
My husband (who is also my co-founder) for sure. He is an entrepreneur to the core. He is competitive and the most forward thinking person I know, and that pushes me to do things I didn’t know I could and keeps me from ever getting too ‘comfortable’.
What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
I’d say just making it this far! To have over 300 gyms in 8 countries is something I am extremely proud of.
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
I read and listen to authors a lot and Darren Hardy’s quote to learn to “master the mundane” rings so true. The things required daily to become successful are often not that sexy or exciting but they are highly essential and are the keys to success. We simply must buckle down and have the self-discipline to do those things with the end goal in mind.
What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business?
We have an incredible digital marketing program that targets our core demographic with great success, but actually word of mouth is our best advertisement. When a club is being run internally the right way, the clients will tell their friends. Friends trust their friends much more than any ad out there, so it’s the best way to grow. Our franchise sales are the same: owners doing an amazing job end up having members that fall in love with the brand first and want to own. When you have an owner who was a client first, you’ve really got something magical.
What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
You’re going to be overwhelmed and tired often. It’s okay to feel like that. It doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong. It just comes with the territory of being an entrepreneur.
Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you run your business?
I would say just reading in general. I am constantly reading books on various self-help subjects from business to specific aspects I am weaker in and want to grow in. I selectively subscribe to motivational emails as well and I have some great YouTube videos bookmarked that specifically speak to me and I’ll listen to them over and over again. I keep notes of the books I read and the 5-10 standout messages in it with the page numbers of that section of the book so that when I review my notes I can go back and easily re-read that section if I want to.
Do you have any new projects coming up? If so, please tell us about it.
We were recently ranked #190 on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 List. We also recently opened our 300th gym in the U.S.
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
Ha, exercise! Fitness isn’t just part of my job, it’s truly my passion. I live to work out. I always have my workout clothes with me and look for a chance to do it. I also love reading. When I really need to zone out, I’ll play Sim City Build It. There’s something so gratifying about keeping my Sims happy!! I’m saving now to buy them an airport.
What is Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year?
We want to open 200 new gyms this year. We are also excited to be moving our corporate office to a new building that will double our space and we can expand into in the years to come. We are busting at the seams in our current office – what I like to call a “quality problem.”
You want to write a book on ………………………….?
Fitness. I would want to show other women (especially moms) that you can have your body back after having children, which many people feel is a myth. I am in better shape now than before I had my two children. Anyone can do it as long as they don’t fall for the hype in the media that you can lose 10 pounds in 10 days (and keep it off without gaining 15 back.) The book will be brutally honest and a real labor of love.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Your mind is your greatest asset or liability. You need to take learning seriously and learn how to embrace growth. Change is inevitable but you must always, always ask yourself, “Am I growing?” That’s up to you. Most people go through most of their lives never actually growing and they leave the earth having not used their most valuable gifts to serve others. Grow as high as you can and then keep going. Never stop.
What’s the best way for the readers of WE Magazine for Women to connect with you?
9Round Website: www.9Round.com
9Round’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/9RoundOfficial
Personal Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/heather.l.hudson