Kristin Ames and I graduated from Carson Graham Secondary together. One of my first memories of her is from grade 8 when she invited me to her birthday/slumber party. There were 5 of us: Kristin, Tracy Meredith, Judi Hector, Hanna Barber and I (Some of the girls’ last names have since changed but I am using their maiden names).
I don’t remember all the details of her birthday party but I do remember we had fun and the next day we swam in her swimming pool and her Mom made us brunch afterwards to eat on her patio.
It is with great pleasure that I introduce you all to my dear high school friend, Kristin Ames, Founder of Fit LIfe Coaching.
MY MISSION: To motivate and inspire Boss Babes in the making. To uplift, encourage, and promote male & female entrepreneurs and to share aspirations, goals and dreams with them, and you, my subscribers.
To provide and build a warm, loving, and supportive community of CREATORS. Creators of art, a business, or a NEW YOU …
M: What’s your story? Where were you born, where were you raised? What was your childhood, growing up years like?
K: I was born in Vancouver and grew up here in North Vancouver. I had a pretty typical childhood, played sports, was involved in music, lots of social activities. I’ve always liked to be busy and for as long as I can remember, I have had a pretty full plate.
My parents were both university professors, so there was a lot of pressure to excel academically. I can’t really say I regret it though, I learned how to set goals and work hard from a young age, a skill which has served me well over the years. We were always encouraged to set the bar high.
M: What did you want to do when you grew up?
K: My mom loves to tell the story that when I was 3, I said I wanted to be a ‘fruit cocktail’ waitress. I’ve never heard the end of that one.
I knew I wanted to be involved in business in some aspect, but I had envisioned working for a big company, not for myself. It was the 80s, the era of movies like “Working Girl” and “Baby Boom”, and corporate opportunities for women were on the rise. That world seemed glamorous to me.
M: Did you go to college or university? If so, what did you study?
K: I tried college and university, and I felt a business degree would set me up for the future. But quickly found the rigidity of the programs and having to take classes that I had no interest in just to satisfy degree requirements frustrating. When I was 21, I was offered an opportunity to article at an accounting firm by my old boss who I had worked for in high school.
At that time, you could work full-time and go to school at night to get your professional accounting designation. I didn’t even blink; I left university immediately and went to work for an accounting firm downtown.
All I did was work and study for the next 7 years, but I finished my CGA (now rolled into the CPA designation) and by that time I had enough work experience to get a really good job. I didn’t know then that I would end up on a very different career path!
M: When did you start your business? What was your inspiration?
K: A couple of years ago I sold my former business, Posy Floral Design, wanting a change of pace. I started to think about how I could still run my own business, but have the flexibility of being able to travel, take care of my family, and enjoy life a bit more.
Fitness has been a big part of my personal life for the last 15 years, and several years ago I developed an interest in sports nutrition. I had also been reading a lot about the online fitness industry and was intrigued with how seamlessly that business model seemed to fit with what I had been envisioning for my future.
I went back to school and got certified as a Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach and Health Coach, which rounded out the practical experience I already had.
I know so many women in their 40s and 50s who have put themselves last for years, working on careers and raising families, neglecting themselves along the way. They don’t know what to do so they do nothing, figuring it’s ‘too late’ to make a change.
Having been there myself at one point in my life, I know that all you need is the belief that you can change and the right people to support you.
This was my inspiration to create Fit Life Coaching; we create customized fitness and nutrition programs for women who want to get back in shape and feel confident again.
M: What do you love the most about being a Boss Babe?
K: I love the feeling of being completely in control of what happens, that the sky’s the limit. There is always something new to learn, some way to grow and get better. Sometimes I have trouble falling asleep at night because I just want it to be morning so I can get up and start going again … The feeling that each day is a blank slate, full of possibility. It’s a feeling you just can’t replicate working for someone else.
M: What would your advice be for Boss Babes in the making? If they are contemplating leaving a secure 9-5 job with benefits – what would you say to them? Should they take the leap?
K: Don’t feel that where you start is where you have to end up. It’s okay to want different things at different times in your life. People get stuck because they think they have to keep doing what they are already doing – but that’s crazy!
If you are so passionate about something that you can’t stop thinking about it and want to do it all day every day, then absolutely stop thinking about it and start doing it. Passion for what you do and hard work will get you through almost any obstacle.
M: Any last words? What’s our favourite positive/motivational quote or book?
K: There is a perplexing fear of losing and making mistakes in today’s world. We are taking competition away from our children as though it’s a bad thing. I don’t get it. Some of the biggest lessons I learned in life were through my failures and losses; if I hadn’t had those experiences I would never have learned about resilience. Don’t let the fear of failure stop you from taking chances.
Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow.” – Mary Tyler Moore