Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Chrissy Carroll, Owner of Snacking in Sneakers, located in Bolton, MA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm the owner and chief content creator at Snacking in Sneakers, a blog dedicated to providing fitness, nutrition, and recipe content with a focus on runners and triathletes. As an RD and run/tri coach, as well as a runner myself, I love bridging my personal and professional passions on the site. Our target audience is women who are - or are aspiring to be - active at any age, shape, or size. The blog is perfect for that woman who is training for her first or fortieth half marathon, who is interested in finding healthy recipes and fitness tips (but who still loves to eat her favorite chocolate chip cookies)!
Tell us about yourself
Early in my career, I taught nutrition education classes for youth and really enjoyed it - but I always felt the urge to branch out and do something on my own. After a fire ravaged my apartment complex and I lost everything I owned, I decided, "Life is short!" and started my own company. At the time, I was throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what stuck - 1-1 nutrition counseling, corporate wellness, gym consulting, blogging, etc.
Eventually, over the years, I figured out that I really loved blogging. There's something incredibly satisfying about doing keyword research for a post, writing it, and seeing it rank on page 1 of Google - especially when those posts help people. My favorite types of posts to write are free training plans (I'm up to about 40 plans, from 5K to Ironman!), as it helps make running and triathlon more accessible for beginners. It's always so gratifying to receive emails from people who used a training plan to do their first race and crossed that finish line. That's what keeps me motivated!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
A couple of years back, I won the award for Massachusetts Dietitian of the Year. As an unconventional RD (there are not many of us that are full-time bloggers!), that felt like a big highlight in my career.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
My biggest struggles are always time and avoiding squirrel syndrome (aka jumping from one idea to the next). I am an ideas person, so there are always tons of options floating around my brain about new revenue streams. There's only so much time in a week though, so I sometimes need to pare back and really hone in on what can be done in the time I actually have, with a particular focus on the most impactful revenue-generating activities.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don't give up (but know when to pivot). I've seen so many bloggers start a site only to give up after a year of working on it, which is such little time in the online business industry. It's important to know when you need to pivot and make changes, but I'm a firm believer that if you do anything long enough - you'll figure out how to make it work.
- Choose something that you're passionate about and that has market demand. I think people often gravitate towards one of these, but having both is a winning combo for making your days enjoyable and successful.
- "Wolves don't lose sleep to the opinions of sheep." Ever since I got my first few negative comments on social media, I've kept this pinned up in my office. There will always be people out there that express their own insecurities as negativity towards you and your business. It's important to ignore the trolls and stay focused on your goals and passion.
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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