Knowing what l know now.. what would l change or would l do it again if l knew? The two most asked questions l get and the answers.. just as complex as the journey! You have an idea and all of a sudden that idea is evolving into a concept. You board the bullet train and there are no stops ahead. That is what the past 4 years have been like for me. A one way ticket to somewhere unknown, travelling so fast all you can do is fight like hell to stay on and hope that when you get there it was worth the ride. When you are in such unfamiliar territory your time is so consumed learning, driving, surviving but every now and then you have moments where you question how did this happen? How did l get here? Well here's a little insight into how....
THE VICIOUS CYCLE STORY
l moved to Sydney 6 years ago and made Bondi Beach my home. As a runner l was determined to use the coast for my training and avoid a big box gym, l was fed up with paying for long locked in memberships, being swiped in the reception mechanically without a hello or even eye contact sometimes, waiting in line for classes, getting on old, broken or run down bikes and machines, cycling to bad music, bad instructors and poor sound. The only indoor training l wanted to continue was spin. As a participant for over 10 years in the classes l loved the intensity and results achieved in the interval based training program and wanted to continue it. l started to look for stand alone spin studios on the internet and couldn't find one. In my research l came across many people looking for the same thing and couldn't understand why it hadn’t been done. Broadening my search l found multi stand alone studios all over the US and again, considering there is Yoga, Pilates and PT studios, l couldn't understand why no one here had developed a model for a spin studio.
At the time l was a buyer in the fashion industry. Not fulfilled in my job, a passion for the fitness industry, the skill to motivate and inspire people and a whole lot of excess energy and no where to direct it, l started to seriously consider developing a model for a studio. Having recently split from an 8 year relationship ( hence the move to Sydney) l had some properties l was selling and some capital to reinvest. At that point l was finding myself in a position where l needed to decide if l wanted to stay in a well paid unfulfilled job or take a risk with no fitness or cycling background and be the first in Sydney and pretty much the county to develop and open a stand alone spin studio based on what l considered to be the ultimate spin experience. Right at that point, l got made redundant. l knew what l had to do, so l went to school and studied fitness and l trained hard to be an instructor. l sold my properties, found a consultant in the US with multi stand alone spin studios, found an agent and a lease all within 4 months. Everything fell into place and 9 months from the day l was made redundant l opened Vicious Cycle.
The vision for the brand was always to create my own activewear and swim label under the Vicious umbrella. One of the many amazing things to come out of the studio so far are the people l have met and incredible friends l have made. Meeting Jo in the studio, seeing her love for the brand and hearing about her fashion experience and successful career in the industry on a lounge by the pool in our villa on a Vicious Cycle retreat in Bali, l knew she was the one to bring that vision to life. l could not have been blessed with a better partner to share this part of the journey with.
And so it begins, our first collection Vicious Body Black is launching now and a new part of the dream is being fulfilled. l stop and think at times am l really doing this again? I'm not sure l could do it any other way! The VC journey so far has been the classic entrepreneur story.. big idea, undercapitalised, highs, lows, successes and failures. Each experience defining the brand, sculpting the product and building the community. If l changed one thing would l be where l am now? The answer is no. l wouldn't change a thing.
It hasn't been easy. In fact it's been the single most hardest thing l will probably ever do in my life. It has completely changed me, changed how l see the world, see others and most importantly how l see myself.
So that answer.. if l knew before l went into it how hard it would be would l do it again?
Insight.. it's what you wait so long for as an entrepreneur but it's the one thing that would stop you doing it if you had it! l don't spend much time looking back.. only forward. When the road ahead looks so good why would l look any other way? l guess that's what keeps me on the train, l may not know where lm going, but l've learnt l don't need to, l just need to trust that if l can visualise it l can create it, and if you can't see the road ahead then maybe you need to consider changing the journey. My journey.. well it's only just begun. It's been one hell of a ride so far but l already know it's been totally worth it.