On Owning A business, Staying Fit, & Life With A Newborn
Meet Jill. A familiar face in Calgary’s fitness scene, Jill Galarneau is in the business of creating a life she can’t wait to wake up and live. A new mama to a very handsome little boy, she works alongside her husband running their successful YYC bike shops, Cyclepath. Always smiling, she’s got us thinking that she’s got this whole new mom/business owner/fitness maven thing figured out and we wanted to know what her secrets to success are. Jill’s post is definitely one to read, it’s full of inspiration, doses of reality, and tactics you can put into action to run a business and stay fit like a #HEMMESFEMME #ladyboss.
You own a business with your husband that must be incredibly fun and challenging at times, what is your favorite part about owning your family business? And the scariest part?
I think my favorite thing about owning businesses together is the diversity in our jobs. We are constantly juggling several moving parts, which means every single day looks different. We get to wake up and design our days, prioritizing what the most important things are to focus on for those 24 hours! The scariest thing about owning businesses together is honestly ensuring that work is shut down at home at certain times throughout the days. Because we do this together it really does consume our lives and we both bring work home with us all the time. The list of things to do doesn’t end but we have to create space together to enjoy one another and ensure our conversations aren’t always work related.
Are there any tips for how you structure your day that make you more efficient?
For myself in order to be efficient at possible I always wrap up my workday knowing what I have to tackle tomorrow. When I leave my office at work I have the stuff that I need to work on the next day prepared so when I get to the office I am able to start working right away versus trying to get organized and figuring out what I need to do that day.
"I try really hard to start my day with some type of workout!"
If I get my workout done before work then it’s not on my mind all day and after work I can be at home with my family or out doing the dog park with my gang!
What’s the best business advice you ever received?
The best piece of advice was from my dad who has been a business owner his entire life. It is quite simple but extremely important, “always treat your managers and employees the way you want to be treated”. If your employees respect you they will work hard for you. If your employees feel valued and important there will be less turnover and an overall better workplace for everyone.
Having been at it for a few years now, what do you think it takes to launch a successful business? Any tips for anyone who is trying to do the same?
A business has many moving parts and what works for us in this specific business is ensuring you have people in the right roles managing the part of the business they are good at and giving them responsibility in their role. When you have good people in their roles, the day-to-day parts of the business are out of your hands and you can step back and observe the big picture. I also think when you are launching a business you need to focus on you! There is lot’s of competition out there, try not to worry about what everyone else is doing and stick to what you believe in, this will keep you on track versus constantly changing or trying to do what someone else has done.
If you could tell a person considering working with their significant other 3 things what would it be?
I have learned a lot from working with my husband, the first year and a half were actually quite difficult to figure this all out!
- Know your roles and what each of you is responsible for. This helps plan out your day because when you own your own businesses depending on what it is chances are that your day isn’t a structured 9-5 type of day. You are responsible for getting up every morning and organizing and tackling your day. If you know what you are responsible for you know what the expectations are every single day.
- Set measurable goals together! We do this monthly for our employees and ourselves. This allows us to track our progress constantly and our employees also have insight as to where they stand. In addition, it gives them ownership of their job, the freedom and support to execute their position to do what they need to in order to achieve their goals.
- You need to be okay with a life that isn’t structured. What I mean by this is for us no day is the same. We don’t wake up and go to the same spot everyday at the same time and come home at the same time. Some mornings he is upstairs working in the office and I’m sitting at the kitchen table making it my office and some days we are both at the same shop and other days we are kind of everywhere. This works for us. Finding family time together is different every week, it’s not always evenings and weekends and some weeks are better than others. As business owners work doesn’t ever really shut off but you look at your week and what you need to do and find times throughout it where work can be put aside for us to all enjoy one another!
How do you manage your time with family vs. work as busy working mama?
This has been a constant battle for me as a new mom who still needs to work! Honestly we have to work together and support one another in this. My business responsibilities are much different than my husband’s. In order for me to continue working I need help from him in ways I never have before. He finds time now in the midst of the workweek to watch our son giving me time to get to the shops for a few hours as needed. What I have discovered working is I am much more productive getting help from him or my mom where I can go to work and check in for a few hours with no distraction versus trying to work from home while he is napping. When I try to work from home all other home responsibilities also stare you right in the face and those 2 hours to work no longer exist.
Right now we try to find 1 day a week where I can go to work for 4-6 hours without my son and I hustle through my work and then I usually take another day where I go to work with Ford for smaller tasks or if I need to pick up or drop things off. When I started this working mom thing I was bringing all of my work home and trying to get through it during my days of being a new mom and it was exhausting! I felt too unorganized, my house was a mess and it felt like my list of things to do never ended. So right now separating the two is really important to me! Most importantly work is off my mind and I am just enjoy Ford and being a new mom!
Finding family time for us happens in a lot of different ways. Instead of rushing out the door first thing in the morning we take time together every morning. We have our morning coffee and toast together, watch the news and hang out with our little man! It’s the best part of the day :). Ever since our son has come into our lives there has definitely been the odd day where the 3 of us are making trips to work together, add in a quick lunch and we make a little day out of it together.
How does fitness play a role in your life now? What changed pre-kids to post-kids in terms of fitting your workouts in?
Fitness has always been a pretty big part of my life! I was fortunate enough to have a healthy, active pregnancy, which allowed me to get back into fitness shortly after Ford was born. It definitely looks a bit different now but I would say I feel the most content I have ever felt with myself in regards to my fitness. My priorities in a day have changed and of course I still stay very active pretty much everyday however it’s different than it once was. Running has always been my main sport and it took up a very big part of my life both mentally and physically. For as long as I can remember I was training for some type of running race so I set very high expectations on myself for both my training and my schedule.
That competitive edge is slightly gone right now and I am incredibly content with that ;). I definitely still love my runs but it’s more so to get outside for some fresh air with Ford in the chariot and our dog Porter running alongside! I try really hard to get Ford outside for some fresh air everyday, whether it is a run, walking stairs in his carrier, or a long afternoon stroll. I find it to be such a nice break in my day from work, feeding, and all of life’s other responsibilities that pile up! I am still finding time for about 2 classes a week on my own and that is always a spin or barre class. My husband usually helps me one morning during the weekdays so I can get to an early morning class and then one morning over the weekend I sneak away and he get’s Ford all to himself! Those 50 minutes are very special to me these days. I have noticed how much harder I work and for the first time in a very long time I feel like I can actually clear my mind and just show up to sweat! I used to get to classes every single day before I was pregnant and even during my pregnancy so now with limited workouts to myself during the week I never take them for granted and get every single second out of them :).
How would you describe your fitness philosophy?
I truly believe everything in moderation is key, including when it comes to both fitness and food. Coming from a competitive running background I have experienced being worn out, injured, and tired from doing the same thing every single day. You need variety in your workouts no matter what sport you train for and if you aren’t training for anything specific and just want results you need a variety of exercise in your routine. The same goes for food, I am the furthest thing from a calorie counter and I enjoy food way too much to stress myself out about what I’m eating.
"I believe you need to eat to nourish your body and don’t be too hard on yourself when it comes to food."
It’s common sense what is good for you and what isn’t and if you indulge every now and then it isn’t going to kill you! Wine nights and good food with my husband or a night with the girls is my absolute most favorite thing to do and that is also important for my mental health!
What is your go-to workout style?
I am a sucker for high-waisted pants and crop tops! Usually anything with some type of mesh detailing is a go-to for me and I really stick to neutrals. Black, white, and grey is what you’ll find me in 99% of the time.
Who or where do you derive fitness style inspiration from?
I probably spend most of my time on either Pinterest or Instagram for style inspiration. Between following fitness bloggers on Instagram and my favorite studios I always find inspiration from instructors or bloggers that influence my style.
Any quick fashion or beauty tips for busy women on the go that need to look pulled together and get out the door fast?
Oh man I love having fake eyelashes. Especially being a new mom you do everything at turbo speed and getting ready and out the door isn’t always easy so not having to put mascara on is a life saver ;) You will also find a fat curling iron, dry shampoo and a little back comb in my gym bag, with these 3 things I can get my hair done in probably 5-8 minutes!
What pieces are you currently coveting from HEMM?
I have my eye on a few things from Varley. The mesh crop tops are calling my name and almost everything they have right now is a color palette that’s speaking to me. I adore the marble tights from Nimble and the high-rise, high shine leggings from both Koral and Alo. I also frequently check out the Olympia page to tempt myself ;)
You can find Jill at one of their 2 Cyclepath locations, at a local SW spin or barre studio, hanging with her sister working on Little Citizens (another business venture she has a loving hand in) or cruising the dog park with her crew!