Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health & fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Carly Fleischer, Founder & Head Coach of Moxie Barbell, located in Sunnyvale, CA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Moxie Barbell is an online strength, nutrition, and health behavior change coaching platform. We create individualized training, nutrition, and habit plans based on each individual's unique lifestyle, goals, and circumstances. My goal as a coach is to help you strive towards the healthiest version of yourself and build habits that excite you, help you grow, and reach your goals. I work with clients at various stages of their fitness journey to help them prioritize their health and make fitness a sustainable part of their lives. Clients learn to leverage their individual strengths to build a healthy lifestyle that fits their unique needs and promotes consistency. Our goal is to help you discover how to make fitness a sustainable and enjoyable part of your life!

Tell us about yourself

I'm a strength and nutrition coach, dog mom, avid skier, amateur baker, and constantly evolving human. As a coach, I'm most passionate about helping people find the version of fitness that they're excited to incorporate into their lives. I spent years jumping between restrictive diets, cardio, and HIIT-focused workouts and struggled to make any sort of progress. Outside of the gym, I was jumping between corporate jobs that felt safe but left me miserable sitting behind a desk all day. I'm not a natural risk taker, so I kept trying to force myself into a "traditional" job because pursuing fitness was less stable and really scary. It's a privilege to wake up every day and finally love what I do because I spent a long time dreading work. Finding and falling in love with strength training literally changed my life. It transformed my relationship with movement, pushed me out of my comfort zone, and led me to this fulfilling and dynamic career as a coach, which I am beyond passionate about. I genuinely love building relationships with people and helping to make their lives healthier and more well-rounded.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is honestly just taking the plunge to build the business. I'm not a natural risk taker by any means. I've always done what I'm supposed to do. I went to a good university, got straight As, and landed a cushy job in finance. I spent 5 years jumping between different corporate jobs (all of which I hated) while I avoided the proposition of starting my own business because it felt too scary. Trusting myself and building the confidence to convince myself that I can do this has been the biggest source of pride for me so far. The fact that I get to wake up every day and do something that I love and know that it's because I made that happen is so empowering.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

The hardest thing about being a business owner is finding balance. When you work for someone else, it's easier to shut off at the end of the day because you can close the laptop, and that's it. When it's your business, it's hard not to keep going and spend all of your time focused on business growth. I care so much about Moxie Barbell and the clients that I work with, and as a result, I am so invested in its long-term success. This can sometimes make you feel like you can't take a break because if you do, that might be the reason why it's not successful. You wear a lot of different hats as a business owner. You're the idea generator, sales team, marketing expert, social media guru, bookkeeper, and so much more. Learning to balance all of these roles, prioritize tasks, and create work-life balance is really tricky! It's something I'm working on, but I definitely haven't nailed it yet!

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Be Scrappy: I'm not going to lie; starting a business is hard! When I first started, I thought, "Oh, I'll just train some clients online… how hard can that be?" When you're first getting started, there's so much to think about scalability, processes, software, client acquisition, etc., and it can feel really overwhelming. There will be a lot of hurdles, and you need to be confident in pushing through all of those things. Not everything will be optimal in the beginning. You might have to create workarounds for expensive software or engage in more time-consuming hands-on marketing strategies for lead generation. Get creative, work hard, and make it happen no matter the restraints.
  2. Set Boundaries: This has been the hardest part of starting the business for sure! I think about Moxie all of the time. I'm always coming up with new ideas or remembering things I need to share with clients or posting on Instagram. It's easy to end up working all the time, and you might even feel like you should. The reality is that you shouldn't because you'll burn out eventually, and you won't be in the best position to run the business. Create boundaries, carve out time for your relationships, and take time away from the business!
  3. Get Started: This one is super cliche, but if you're passionate about something, then you just need to take the plunge. If I had thought about all the hurdles or things that could have gone wrong, then I never would have started. I'm not saying I don't have a backup plan (I still work a day job while I scale the business), but I just get going because business growth takes time!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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