If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, then you know that I am a regular at Beatbike which is an indoor cycling studio based in Tarzana. I’ve been a big fan of Beatbike since day one & part of the reason is that their instructors are really great! I’ve taken classes from several of the Beatbike staff but my favorite is instructor is Lisa. She plays great music that really lifts me up during class. I’ve always said that music can make or break an exercise class. With spinning, music is a HUGE part of what will motivate me to withstand the long hill climb.
The other thing that will inspire me or challenge me to keep going is the cycle instructor. Earlier this year, I came into Beatbike with a heavy heart, having had gone through a bad work experience the day before. During Lisa’s 45-minute cyle class, I listened to her words of wisdom & motivation. Her pep talk, in addition to sweating out the toxins, really helped me. Lisa is not only an indoor cycling instructor, but she is a personal trainer as well. I’ve taken her circuit class at Beatbike & she really kicked my butt! 🙂
I’m so thrilled to introduce to you the latest Real Mom of the SFV, Lisa Natale!
How/why did you begin your business?
Lisa: I started personal training in New York when I was 19. I was living there to pursue acting and made a living mainly waiting tables. One afternoon a gentleman at the gym I worked out at asked if I could show him a few exercises. He paid me with a cup of coffee. Personal Training as a career had never crossed my mind although I had a passion for fitness since I was 10. My mom and I woke up early for Jazzercise classes and I played sports. My love of lifting weights I owe to my older brother. One day when he was pumping iron with friends in our backyard he let me “jump in for a set.”
When my boys were born I was a full-time mom. When I got divorced I had to get back to making a living. It was important to me that my schedule was flexible enough that I could continue to drop off and pick up my boys from school.
This was 15 years ago. I have worked primarily for myself, making my own hours and if needed changing times around to suit the needs of my kids.
As a working mother, what is one tip or piece of advice that you would give to other female entrepreneurs?
Lisa: Always put your children first. I have let go of beloved clients and therefore income, due to the strain of parenting conflicts. At the end of the day I sleep better knowing I chose family first.
What do you like best about having a business in the San Fernando Valley?
Lisa: Traffic is kinder than over the hill where I worked for years. Life is just a bit slower paced in the Valley and that is what I need right now.
If there was one thing you wish you knew before you began your business, what would that be?
Lisa: I struggle to raise my hourly rates to keep pace with the market fearing I would lose clients. The fear was unfounded as I’ve never lost a client after raising my prices.
I really admire Lisa’s advice about putting your children first. I know that has motivated my job search AND choices over the last 9 years. It is not easy as I look at opportunities in other cities with longer commutes where I just know that would be the “perfect fit” for me.
Lisa’s last comment about billing rates really resonated with me. As someone who works in the creative/freelance industry, I know that you really have to dig deep in analyzing what your “worth” is as a business person & that is not easy for most women. I remember being at the Pearl xChange conference & during a panel a venture capitalist had made the comment that when men come in to pitch for their company, they tend to over-inflate their figures & projections whereas women tend to be more pragmatic about their monetary needs. We should all take a page out of Lisa’s handbook & not be shy about telling the world (i.e. our clients) what we are worth in terms of pay.
Disclosure: No monetary compensation was received for this post. The image shown in this post is used with permission. As always, my opinions are 100% my own.