Leisa: Hello, I’m Leisa Holland Nelson and welcome to another edition of Women Mean Business, where we’re going to take you up close and personal with extraordinary women doing extraordinary things. My guest today is Ellen Latham, the founder of OrangeTheory Fitness; Ellen, welcome to Women Mean Business.
Ellen: Thank you so much, thrilled to be here.
Leisa: I’m so glad that you are here, you are so successful. You have 800 franchisees for OrangeTheory, imagine you have young Ellen Latham across the table; what advice would you give her to achieve the success that you’ve achieved.
Ellen: Well I was very fortunate to have a father that was just a huge influence in my life and he really taught me. There’s three things that I believe I would tell young Ellen that have really brought me where I am today and the first thing is definitely from my father. He was one that believed in that you should focus on what you have, not what you don’t have. And we didn’t come from much so it was something that we never knew we didn’t have much because my father always emphasized what we did have and it was glorious. So as you’re going through your life, your career, we’re all going to have moments. We’re all going to have stresses, we’re all going to have issues in our lives, but I think what allowed me to push through those – and that’s why I call the book Push – is number one I definitely sat in moments of distress and would focus on more Ellen what do you have instead of what do I not have.
The second thing is knowing how to relentlessly focus. We live in a very over-stimulated world today, there’s a lot going on; cell phones, Siri, Map Quest. There’s so much happening that it’s hard to stay very focused on something. When you want to accomplish something big you have to have what I call relentless focus. So what I learned about that when I was creating this workout is that you have to really eliminate distractions. So at this period of time that I was creating the workout I had a 9 year old son I was single parenting, I had my Pilates studio that I had and then the only other thing that I allowed my focus to go on was me focusing on creating an unbelievable workout with science behind it.
The other thing is we always have things stirring around in our head, language that makes us doubt ourselves. If we really have the potential to be what we were meant on this earth to be – I call it channels in my head; I have the I Can Channel, the Maybe Channel, the I Can’t Channel. And I think that you want to sit as much as possible in that belief in the potential of you to stay on the right channel up here.
A quick story, when I was first approached by the wife of my present partners asking me to call her husband to see if I’d like to franchise this workout, I told her no. I told her I know nothing about franchising, I don’t think I can do that, and she left. What if she hadn’t come back, which she did a week later, and say to me I really think you should talk to my husband. And in that moment I was on – luckily that day – the right channel of believing why not me? And the potential that we all have but sometimes we doubt. So focus on what you have, not what you don’t have; spend time doing that. Relentlessly focus by eliminating distractions so you can have a clear mind to really accomplish something in a certain timeline. And take a second and go up here and make sure you aren’t what’s coming out here saying no and I can’t and take a second to maybe believe in yourself enough up here.
Leisa: Thank you very much for sharing that advice with us. There you have it, extraordinary advice from and extraordinary woman. I’m Leisa Holland Nelson, President and Co-founder of ContentActive, Houston’s leading web and mobile technology company. You can find me at ContactActive.com or follow me on Twitter @LHNelson. We’ll be back again next week with another edition of Women Mean Business.
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