Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health & fitness, but not sure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Brianne Hanson, CEO, and co-founder of Cheer District, from Penetanguishene ON, Canada.
Tell us all about your business...
Cheer District is a mobile app offering cheer-specific workouts backed by science, built to increase performance and reduce athletes' risk of injury! Cheer District is not just an app but a community. Along with the workouts, Cheer District also offers skill tracking, nutrition information, mental training advice, free stretching programs, accountability, and more! We do B2B and B2C sales. We work with the cheerleading gyms to become re-sellers of our program, integrating a new revenue stream for them, as well as any athlete from around the world can register for our training through the app store.
What's your background and motivation to grow as a solopreneur?
Cheerleading has been my passion since I was six years old. I was a cheerleader for 11 years in All-Star and continued through all four years of university, finishing my 4th year as Captain of the Wilfrid Laurier University Cheerleading Team. I experienced a lot of injuries as an athlete that held me back from my full potential, but most importantly, it has dramatically affected my body today. My boss, who is now my business partner, works in the sports science field and as a health care practitioner, Dr. Scott Christie. We had a mutual passion for finding a way to better prepare athletes' bodies for the sport and educate them on how to better train to increase performance and reduce the risk of injury. Every day that I go to work, I am passionate about the athletes I am helping, which keeps me going. The pandemic has been nothing short of complicated. As a youth sport, our industry has been significantly impacted worldwide, which has made these last 18 months harder than I would have ever expected as an entrepreneur. That said, each day, I get to continue to follow my passions and pivot to best support not only my business but to support the incredible athletes in this sport.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is who I have become and what I have learned along the way. I know, probably not the singular event you would expect as an answer; however, the growth I have experienced through the many small wins, losses, and learning experiences do not compare to any award or single success.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a solopreneur?
The hardest thing about being a business owner, especially a young female business owner, is never knowing the curve balls that might be thrown at you. In my four years as Co-Founder of Cheer District, I have experienced age and gender discrimination, as well as a global pandemic, completely shutting down my industry. Each time one of these events occurs (please let's hope no more global pandemics roll around in my time, ahhhh), I have to hold my composure. Instead of acting emotionally, I have to take steps and decisions in the best interest of the shareholders. I don't care what anyone says; it's almost impossible not to be emotional about something that you have put your heart and soul into, but it is essential and one of the hardest things to do when faced with adversity.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run or grow a small business today?
The top 3 tips are simple but so important:
- Get a mentor. Find someone who has experience where you don't, who has skills that you don't, who is compassionate about your journey but is not afraid to tell you when you are wrong. Most importantly, this person is there to guide you in the right direction, NOT do the work for you. You don't learn this way.
- Find the tools to organize your EVERYTHING (e.g., Google Drive, Google Cal, Asana, Monday.com, etc.). Sometimes entrepreneurship can feel a little bit like running around like a chicken with your head cut off. Getting ahead of anything feels almost impossible, but if you can have the systems in place to work FOR you instead of you working for them, it will change your experience and impact your success significantly!
- Batch work. We grew up in a society that told us multi-tasking was a skill we should all have. They were wrong. Multi-tasking is the path towards doing many things just ok, and it often takes longer. Build your calendar to batch work your tasks. Focus on one task at a time, get it done and off your list, then move on.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
In a world where you can be anything, do anything. Take the leap! Find your passion and follow it; it is never too late. There is an excellent network of people out there who are willing to help you and support you. Don't be afraid to reach out. You are worthy of happiness, and if a joy to you is painting your path and following your dreams of entrepreneurship, what are you waiting for?
I am launching a new consulting business in January 2022 to support new and existing entrepreneurs with the tools and guidance for operational and financial success! Be the first to know when we launch - follow me on Instagram @consultingby.b. You can also check out my podcast on Apple Podcasts, Becoming Entrepreneurs. A new season will also be launching in Jan 2022.
Where can people find you online?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share then email email@example.com, we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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