Finding Balance with barre3

After turning my life upside down and deciding to launch Swell Foods, I also found myself joining a nearby workout studio, barre3. This workout and community ended up playing a huge role in my success as a first time entrepreneur by helping bring balance, energy, and a clear mind to my business and my life. Read below to learn more about barre3's role in my journey as a first-time entrepreneur.  

A little over a year ago, my life was completely out of balance. I was working too many hours and sleeping too few. I was hardly exercising, skipping meals, and drinking way too much caffeine because I felt it was essential for keeping my energy up. I was constantly stressed out and my body was wearing down. I knew I needed to change.

It was at this time that my husband and I decided to move to the beautiful beach town of Santa Barbara, where we felt like life would slow down a bit. I was committed to making some serious changes in my life after we made the move.

My first full day in Santa Barbara, I found Barre3. I came to B3 because I was simply looking for a barre studio, and it was close to my house. Little did I know at the time that I had just walked into so much more than that - a community that would ground and guide me throughout a chapter of major change in my life.

At the exact same time I was starting my B3 journey, I was starting another journey - launching my own line of healthy packaged snack foods (Swell Foods). My philosophy for the company - which I came up with before discovering B3 - was focused around eating whole, real foods, free of any added sugars or preservatives. Ironically, the philosophy on food my company is built around is aligned exactly with B3’s food philosophy. When I realized this, I started to think that perhaps I didn’t just stumble upon the studio my first day in Santa Barbara… but rather, the stars aligned to send me there.

I am so grateful to have found Barre3 as I embarked on my journey as an entrepreneur, and I credit it for helping guide me through the past year. Here are some of the major learnings I have from Barre3, and how they have helped me on my journey thus far.


It’s about progress, not perfection:

B3 has taught me not to strive for perfection. Focus on progress. If you miss a workout, that’s okay - there’s always tomorrow! If you need to take it easy in class - no problem. At least you are there!

Outside of B3, I set personal and professional goals for myself weekly. Sometimes I achieve them, sometimes I don’t. The old me would feel like a failure when I don’t achieve them. The “well, I already blew my diet this week, might as well eat whatever I want on the weekend” mindset. The new me acknowledges the progress I made and celebrates the wins, no matter how big or small. I acknowledge setbacks, but don’t let them hold me back from moving forward.

Be mindful and present:

One of the things that blew me away about B3 classes is the emphasis on mind / body connection. I don’t think I really ever understood what this meant until I started taking B3 classes. I never knew you could find so much resistance lifting a 1 pound weight (or no weight at all!). Or that you can completely intensify a move just by pushing your feet more firmly into the ground. If you haven’t experienced this, it might be hard to understand. But once you do - wow! Mind blown.

Barre3 has taught me to stay mindful even outside of the studio. To put down the screen as often as possible. Pay attention to the people and things around you. My days are often a whirlwind. Any day as a business owner is never predictable, and the list of To Dos never gets shorter. Today, I did customer deliveries, worked on my business plan, did a few sales calls, updated our website, started a financial model, processed employee paperwork, planned our next week of social media content, and had a networking event over lunch. It’s 5pm and I still haven’t put a dent in my to do list. The old me would grind away at the computer for the next 4 hours so I could cross more things off my list, skipping dinner and not setting foot outside. But, the new me will go home and take a walk with my dog. Without headphones, without my phone. Just taking some time to enjoy nature. This will ultimately allow me to be more fulfilled, focused, and productive.

It’s your journey. No one else’s:

Make it your own. A standard phrase within the B3 community. It’s not about looking like everyone else in class. It’s about finding the place that feels right for you. And only you know what that is.

When I was starting my journey as an entrepreneur, I often compared myself to other companies, and always felt discouraged. "How did that product get in so many stores?” “This company took a different approach than me, should I be doing that instead? ” "That founder has skills that I don’t have. Maybe I don’t have what it takes.” But I’ve switched my mindset over time. Although I love learning from others and am always seeking advice, I let this be a point of learning and not discouragement. Maybe what works for others will work for me, maybe it won’t. It’s my company, and I know more than anyone else what’s right for it. This mindset has allowed me to follow my own path without personal judgment. I do more celebrating, and less worrying.

Fast forward one year later and I finally feel like I have balance in my life. I typically get a good night’s sleep. I’m exercising regularly. I have more energy than ever - despite the fact that I ditched coffee entirely (thanks#B3AllIn challenge!). Although I am quite busy, my energy is calm. Of course, there still room for improvement. I have nights where I don’t get nearly enough sleep. Weeks with so much going on, I skip my workouts. On occasion, I drink a few more glasses of wine than I’d like to admit :). And I would be lying to say that I never get stressed out. But as B3 has taught me that, this is okay! Because it's about progress, not perfection, right?

Bryan FlynnComment