When I created Freshly Centered I wanted it to be a website for not just pilates, but for fitness, rehab, and promoting health & wellbeing with a fresh perspective. By this I mean offering a variety of content.
I’m so excited to share a guest blog piece from the amazing business woman & fitness inspiration Ina who I had the pleasure of working with a couple of years back when she asked me to join her Active Wear brand My Mantra Active. You can check out the videos I did for her here: 10 minute strong core pilates workout and 15 minute pilates legs workout.
All Ina’s social media handles are linked through the post & at the bottom; scroll down.
1. Tell us a little bit about your two businesses & what they do
A – Business no. 1 is New Horizon Escapes (the bread winner) which is an adventure and fitness escapes company. We run fitness escapes around the world in places like Thailand, Bali, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Kenya and Maldives. The 2nd one is an active and lifestyle wear brand called My Mantra Active and it sells active wear and bikinis made from recycled plastic bottle fabric
2. Where did the business ideas come from & how did you turn them into reality?
A – New Horizon Escapes came to us very very slowly. The idea came to us when we relocated to a small island in Thailand called Koh Tao. We wanted to discover a way to live on the road while exploring and staying fit. New Horizon is a mixture of travel, adventure and fitness and it’s all of our passions combined in one big beautiful business.
My Mantra Active also happened on the island. I totally believe in being bored and allowing things to come to you when you feel the most relaxed. The island life was really simple and boring at times, so other than reading, sunbathing and working 7 hrs a day in the gym, there wasn’t much else to do. The idea came to me after scrolling instagram endlessly and deciding I’d like to make a few leggings. The rest is history
3. How do you balance your online work, with the face-to-face aspects of your jobs?
I usually manage the brand from around the world and someone takes care of the products in the UK. During an escape week with New Horizon there’s barely any time to breath, let alone run a 2nd business. We also have a 1 year old who travels the world with us, so 2018 has been very challenging. Next year we are bringing away a nanny with us on the road and we will be working loads more hours while the little one is being taken care of a few hrs a day. Every little helps.
4. What is the biggest lesson you have learnt along this journey?
When you think things are bad, they’re about to get worse then get better eventually. In 3 years of business I’ve learned that no matter how bad I thought things were, there was always a way out. So I found this quote which i like, “Don’t sweat the small stuff”.
5. What tips would you give to someone starting up their own business that you wish you’d known at the start?
Definitely educate yourself a little more on finance and budgeting. Watch youtube videos so that you’re prepared for what’s to come. Also be prepared to want to throw in the towel at least once a month, because things are going to get tough
6. Your motivation to train regularly is inspiring! How do you find the motivation (and time!) to continue to train when you’re on the road?
To be honest, it’s all about priorities… I’ve been training regularly for so long that now I can’t imagine not training, progressing or trying to grow my bootie I think if you decide to stay active you should be committed to it 4-6 times a week no matter what. If 3 is all you can do for now, do that and soon you’ll love it so much that fitness will become a priority.
Commitment is key to any success. It’s not because someone is more passionate or has more time in their day. I have 2 businesses, a 1 year old and I travel all the time. I prioritise my health somewhere in the same line as my family. Yes it’s that important because I know the great benefits of feeling great and being healthy
7. Now that you have baby Malia, how do you juggle working, mum life, family time, training?
Ahhhh don’t even ask. It’s very very very challenging as any mama biz owner will know. Well now you’re one of them too I usually try and wake up at 5 am to do 2 hrs of work before Malia wakes up. Then at lunch I’ll also try to do a bit more work while she naps. My life partner Adam is also my business partner, so sometimes we split the work between us and one works while the other looks after Malia. As of 2019, this shouldn’t be an issue anymore as we will be investing in a travelling nanny. Super nervous but also super excited. Somewhere throughout the day, a workout will take place too and other times I just don’t manage to get to the gym, which is fine too. I think the worse thing to do is to stress about the things you can’t control.
8. What is a typical day like for you when you’re away working?
My most productive day of work is when I focus on work alone. For example when we travel I leave the hotel room to go and work from a cafe. Once there, I can focus 100% knowing there are no distractions around me. The hardest distraction is actually the sun, peeking through the windows and looking all inviting when I’m stuck indoors.
9. What else do you do to relax & switch off from work?
So I’ve recently started to take weekends off from any kind of work. I use these to recharge, stop thinking about work 24/7 and spend time with family and friends. I don’t believe in working until you’ve got chronic fatigue. I’m a workaholic at heart but the more I live the more I understand that creativity comes from peace and nothingness. So I have to force myself to just sit and do nothing or meditate from time to time. Which is very hard when you try to juggle so many things
10. What are your future plans?
Who knows haha. No future plans other than to kick butt at what we do in the moment. Right now the choices we made aren’t easy ones, but we make sure to have a lot of fun. In the future I see myself travelling a little less, having a house in the UK as well as Thailand, having a cool office where I can feel grounded and travel as and when I wish to I’m also working on a personal platform where I can share my daily thoughts and things I learn from business and travel every single day. So who knows what turns into the future?
11. Final thoughts/quote/beliefs?
I don’t know where I’m going from here but I promise it won’t be boring. This is a David Bowie quote and I agree with it so much. You don’t have to have it all figured out. We are very quick to worry about step 110 when we haven’t even taken step 1. Take one step at a time and don’t stress, the Universe has very interesting ways of giving us exactly what we need, but only when we are not in the way, which rarely happens. So, work hard, live a happy life, love and give and don’t worry the Universe has your back. Also, always dream wild, dream like you are 7 years old, and nothing out there can stop you.