As some of you may know, my first job out of college was being a gymnastics instructor at a children's gym. At the time, Alex was my boss, serving as the Director of My Gym Children's Fitness Center Arvada. Just two short years later- she is now one of the youngest owners of My Gym Children's Fitness Center in America.
For those of you unfamiliar with is My Gym Children's Fitness Center, it is a franchised business which gives children (infants to age ten) a space to explore their imagination, build confidence and learn early gymnastic skills. Yes, even the infants! Each class is geared toward a specific age group, matching their abilities as they grow and learn. Doing flips, playing games and a plethora of other activities, My Gym is a favorite in the Arvada community! Aside from large group classes, My Gym also hosts "Preschool Prep" classes, holiday parties (their Halloween parties should not be missed), Parents Night Out and Birthday Parties.
Alex never knew she wanted to work with children. While in high school, working for Texas Roadhouse a friend working part time for My Gym suggested that Alex interview. If you know Alex, you will not be surprised when I tell you that she was hired on the spot. That was August of 2012. Excited by her newfound love of children Alex worked diligently and was named Director the following February of 2013. During this time she held the responsibility of developing staff, learning operations, responding to the always incoming calls and emails... becoming an expert on everything. Over the years, Alex pushed for change. She had a fiery passion for My Gym Arvada and where it could go. Not for her own sake, but for the sake of the business and for the community. She pushed for innovative marketing, better staff involvement and sincerely strove to make My Gym a second home for all of the children that came through her doors. Unfortunately, her vision did not always match that of the owners (a husband and wife duo). She struggled for some time understanding their differing leadership styles and growing into her own leadership role respectfully, all while going to university part time for business management. Despite the struggle, Alex remarked "I learned a lot from them and am thankful because it helped me grow".
In May of 2016 the owners decided to take a step back and offered ownership to Alex.
N: How did you feel when they offered you the business?
A: I felt free. I could do beyond what they allowed. But I was scared. I couldn't sleep.
The transition between owners was swift. In two short days Alex had to get insurance, change bills to her name, set up worker's compensations, contact banks regarding loans, read through and sign a contract and more. Being young while striving to be recognized for your business savvy can be especially hard. Often it is assumed that "millennials" (or anyone under the age of 30) are immature and unable to make thoughtful business decisions. Several banks thought so and denied her based on her age. The story ends well however, as Alex roped everything together and took ownership. When asked about how she felt about being an owner now, Alex paused and became emotional, stating "It is the best decision I've ever made in my life".
Since becoming owner, Alex is no longer going to school in order to devote her full attention to My Gym. She hopes to go back one day but for now, will be laser focused on nurturing and growing her Arvada location. I asked what her favorite part of being an owner is, to which she replied "EVERYTHING! I have always loved teaching classes...because I love the kids. They know me. I love the families. They can turn my bad days into better days."
I chose to interview Alex because she serves as an inspiration for me personally. So many feel pressured to go to college in order to pursue their dreams, as if it is impossible to "make it" without a degree. Alex has achieved so much simply through her drive, passion and relentless spirit. She is ambitious and pushes herself daily to be the best version of herself; if not for herself, for the kids. Not only that, at the young age of 23 she has proven many wrong on what a twenty-something is capable of. Much more than snap chatting and shopping. If you are an aspiring business professional, stick with the dream and "keep on truckin'" you never know what impact you will make and who is watching.