Mallory Chapman, owner of Studio Revolution in Calgary, AB talks about involving passion in her decisions, building a successful career in the fitness industry and replacing fear with confidence. We’re listening…
You opened a fitness studio in the middle of the prairies that mimics a workout similar to surfing. We have to know, in a city without an ocean, how did you come up with this idea and why did you think it would be successful?
I grew up as a water baby spending 3-4 months at the beach in Saskatchewan in the summer (no Hawaii but still beautiful!) working at my parent’s small seasonal family run business. Every break I could afford from scooping ice cream or serving pie I would jump on the boat and go for a wakeboard, swim or surf. Shortly after I moved to Calgary in 2004 I had my first surf experience in Sayulita, Mexico and instantly fell in love with the sport. Despite the surf-induced exhaustion, I felt so strong after and loved the feeling of being on the ocean.
"Determination, fearlessness and a little too much optimism got me to where I am today."
Fast forward to 2014, my girlfriend showed me a video clip of the shark tank episode featuring SURFSET. I was intrigued and desperate to get the feeling of being back on a surfboard so I bought my board that day. I trained myself for a few months and some personal training clients and absolutely loved the results myself and clients were getting from this new surf stimulation device. Having been in the industry for 6 years at that point and always wanting to open my own space, I knew SURFSET would be the perfect addition to Calgary’s already amazing fitness scene.
Truthfully, part of me had a significant amount of optimism knowing that if I were to submerse myself fully into doing something I’m truly passionate about I couldn't fail, nor would I let myself.Determination, fearlessness and a little too much optimism got me to where I am today.
We’ve heard that it can be challenging to make a living working in the fitness industry, what is your take on this?
I’ve been in the industry both as a contractor and self employed and by no means is it easy. However, I can honestly say that not many of us are in the fitness business to make millions. I think if we can live a healthy, happy life doing what we love to do while inspiring others to do the same our job is done and that’s the pay off. Naturally, if you’re great at what you do word spreads and you can certainly make a healthy living. It’s not an easy start up but the pay off is worth more than money.
You speak about overcoming fear in your classes, why is this important to you?
I think we are often too limited by our fears, we can let them control our every day decisions and our capacity for greatness in life.
"I lived in fear of failure for years until I took the plunge and started living the life I wanted."
I accepted that the risk of failing is greater than the thought of never knowing what could have been or a lifetime of regret. I try to apply this in every way I can in my life and that translates directly to the board in our classes. To live adventurously and on the edge out of the norm is exciting and invigorating and I want our community to feel that!
Starting your own business is a wonderfully bold move. Have you always been a confident person?
I am a chick, we all have confidence issues but with a lot of hard work within I have become more confident in my self, my abilities and decisions. I’m sure a lot of women and men can relate to having a lack of confidence in some way but at the end of the day confidence is key in getting anywhere in life.
"I think part of [starting a business] is just being okay with whatever the outcome may be."
I started Revolution Fitness (predecessor of Studio Revolution Fitness) while I was working as a counselor in the Justice System back in 2008 and knew inspiring and motivating people in this capacity was my calling. I don’t know if confidence is the right word to use to describe the bold move of starting a studio, I think part of it is just being okay with whatever the outcome may be…. Acceptance might be the right word?
What would you say your key(s) to success is?
People, gratitude and perseverance.
I’ve surrounded myself with really amazing people and I truly wouldn’t be where I am if it weren’t for the unconditional moral support of my husband, family, friends and now SRF community. Although I am the sole owner of Studio Revolution, I operate as if my community and team are partners in the Studio making it the amazing place it is today.
"...I operate as if my community and team are partners in the Studio..."
I remind myself every day that I am so fortunate to be doing what I love to do in an amazingly positive environment and with gratitude I continue to push forward no matter how hard the waters are to navigate.
Lastly, perseverance. It’s written on the wall of my studio “when you feel like quitting, remember why you started”. That’s enough to bring you back to why you’re in this business in the first place.
What advice do you have for anyone looking to shift career gears, taking a leap to pursue a dream?
Find a mentor. Tell someone who inspires you about your dream and goal, set up regular meetings to connect and get coached! Life or business, any coach is invaluable in life.
Meet with successful and established people in your network to get their story on how they achieved success in their industry.
Make a pro’s and con’s list and work out financially if now is the right time and if this is what YOU really want.
Do your research, I mean really really research. The worst thing you can do is leap into something without knowing if your idea has a place in the market right now. Timing is everything. I waited 6 years before I committed to opening up my studio space but I never lost sight of the idea that the timing could be right one day even if timing wasn’t on my side right then and there.
Want to know more about Mallory and Studio Revolution?