Today we’d like to introduce you to Rachel Browning.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I wasn’t always interested in fitness or health…when I was younger I loved fast food and hated exercise. I was an overweight teenager, and I never felt good about myself. When I turned 18 and moved out, I changed everything and dropped over forty pounds. I felt much better, the problem was that it became an obsession…extreme diets, under-eating, and over-exercising. When I turned 21, it culminated in a severe back injury. It was awful, because not only was I in constant pain, but I also couldn’t workout. I turned to doctors for help, but they just told me that I needed to go on pain medication and go back to work. They also said I needed to quit the sports I loved, like rock-climbing and backpacking. I followed their advice, went back to my active job, and hurt myself even worse. Now I was couch-bound, and completely miserable.
My first visit to a chiropractor changed everything. As soon as I walked in, I saw him and a massage therapist and I told them my predicament. They jumped up and showed me more compassion I had seen in months. They offered me tea, took my heavy bag and gave me a chair and listened to everything I had to say. They told me I could definitely keep doing the things that I loved; I just needed to do the homework. I had never invested time in self-care; I wanted the end goal of looking a certain way. They helped me shift my goals, from pure weight-loss and body hatred to seeing that my love of climbing mountains and trekking the Andes were what I should focus on, and the rest would come naturally. They taught me I could help myself with their guidance. And instead of beating myself up, I needed to celebrate what it was that I could do.
I loved the process so much I decided I wanted to do the same thing. Most people think of fitness as a way to become skinny or obtain a six-pack. But I learned that people have all sorts of different goals, and I found a niche working with older clients and people with disabilities…because after they’re done with physical therapy, they usually don’t feel like they’re operating at their full potential. They may not want to do pull ups, but they want to carry heavy groceries up the stairs, or walk to their favorite café without a cane. I push them to where their “edge” is, which is totally different for every person. And I get to watch people get stronger, in whatever way that means for them. The most common goal I see is to get up and down from the floor without help. I still have clients who want to set a new PR in their dead-lift, and it’s exciting to watch each person accomplish whatever it is they set out to do.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Running a business is rarely a “smooth road,” especially at first. I had two main struggles: Everyone wants to feel talented at their craft, but how do you get there? I remember when I took my first yoga teacher training, and afterwards taught my first class. I remember fumbling over my words, having trouble describing the poses, and thinking to myself: “I suck at this. This is not a good class, and I feel sorry for the people paying for this.” After a while I realized that no one starts out instantly fantastic, and that you have to take the leap and know it takes practice to improve. Great teachers didn’t just leap out of bed one day, stand up in front of a hundred people and teach the perfect class. It takes times and devotion to get good at anything.
The second challenge was just finding consistent business. I’d always figured, if I’m good at something, people will find me and I’ll have clients! But that’s far from true. I had become a licensed massage therapist, a certified personal trainer, and took hundreds of hours of yoga training. What I ended up needing to educate myself on more than anything was business: finding clients, how to manage them, how advertise, manage money, and everything else it takes to run a business.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
I work with people to help them hit their fitness goals, and teach them to be healthier. This could mean working one-on-one with someone as their trainer, or with a group of people at a workshop or wellness retreat. I help businesses create a wellness programs for their employees, and I help other fitness professionals create fitness videos and programs.
What I’m known for is my educational approach to fitness. I don’t just take someone through a workout and leave. I teach them about body mechanics, anatomy, and why we’re doing certain things. I give everyone homework and try to help them become their own expert. I believe that if people become more and more aware of all their aches and pains and know the source, they know how to help themselves when they’re in pain. That way, they don’t need to rely solely on paying experts to feel better.
The thing that I’m also known for among my colleagues is my knowledge of business. I worked in upper management for years, and I take that knowledge into my own business. I’ve helped many trainers to go off on their own and create their own brand, instead of just working as an employee at a gym or yoga studio. I finally put it all down into a book so that I can reach more people.
What were you like growing up?
I was always a talkative and extroverted kid. I’ve always loved the outdoors, but I actually grew up hating sports. I was always the kid that was picked almost last, so I hated doing anything active in front of anyone. But I loved art, and used to draw and paint constantly. When I first moved to LA, I made a living painting murals and signs for businesses until I hurt myself. I’ve always been fiercely independent and outspoken; I couldn’t wait to be old enough to be on my own. And I’ve always had a need for adventure and new experiences, which fuels my love of adrenaline, travel, and adventure sports.
- Personal Training/Yoga: Price varies with frequency and fitness program
- Massage: $150
- Yoga Retreats: $850-$2000 depending on accommodations, check website for details
- Address: Beverly Hills/Culver City
- Website: www.RachelBrowningWellness.com
- Phone: 310-433-0643
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/rachelbrowningwellness/
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/EncompassingHealth/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/ncompasshealth
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/rachel-browning-wellness-los-angeles