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Michelle Marie FitMichelle Diaz has worked in fitness for decades. But it wasn’t until the Fort Lauderdale, Florida-personal trainer was pregnant with her first child that she decided to branch out on her own. As Diaz navigated her own pregnancy journey and attempted to maintain some work-family-life balance, she was inspired to help other women who were struggling with the same issues. And so Michelle Marie Fit was born. Today the fitness entrepreneur has helped over 250,000 women and generated over $1 million in revenue. 

Diaz’s story, as told to The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project:

I have been a personal trainer for over 20 years. Early in my life, after being bed ridden recovering from a big surgery, I realized I didn’t want to trade time for money. I also realized that so many people needed my help that were not within my physical reach. So I started a blog and began to create workout programs and meal plans that people could use online. I did online consulting for a few years and began to grow my social media presence. I wanted to help as many people as possible and creating online programs helped me do that and it became my passion to help more and more people as I realized the impact I could have on so many women’s lives. As I was going through all the difficult and different stages of my life (recently married, pregnant, postpartum, busy mom) I wanted to help other women navigate through those stages with more ease.

As I mastered each phase, I created programs to teach other women how to do that as well. I quickly became very passionate about helping moms. Mothers are so selfless but so badly need to take care of themselves. My goal has become to encourage and challenge women to not give up on their hopes and dreams. To remind them that they deserve to live their best mom lives and that is achieved by practicing self-care. 

[Related: This ‘Infamous Mother’ Wants Everyone to Know That ‘Bad’ Moms Do Extraordinary Things]

I know myself just how hard it is to be a woman, and a mother, and a wife, and a business owner (or employee) and I know that other women struggle too but we need more women out there making a difference so my goal is to help more moms RISE UP.

My definition of success is having freedom, freedom to spend as much time as I want or need with my family. I feel my best when I have purpose and when I’m productive. So knowing that I’m impacting the lives of women and helping moms on a daily basis fills my success bucket. I do also have financial goals but mostly it’s about the freedom that those financial goals give me.

My biggest success to date is building a business while having children and raising a family. I felt like I was fighting against all odds. I was pregnant with my first when I really started focusing on building my online business. My husband and parents saw how tired, stressed and busy I was as I was beginning to build my family and they would tell me to just work at the gym and train my clients and come home.

But I was determined and on a mission. It was hard building and growing a business while being pregnant, nursing and raising kids – but I did it. I basically built my business in the early mornings before life began around 4am -7am and during the kids nap time. And it was worth it.

Since January of 2018, I have helped over 250,000 women and my business has generated almost 1.5 million dollars. I have been able to do that while having babies and raising two very busy active kids.

As I write this, I’m still in disbelief that I was able to build and grow this business to this caliber during the hardest years of my life.

[Related: Why These 6 Women Are Optimistic About Business in 2020 — And Beyond]

Being a mom requires a lot of time. I feel at my best when I am present and can enjoy my family but it’s hard with my business and feeling like I always have to be ‘on.’  Balancing it is hard especially since I love what I do and I love working. I have set parameters for myself to make sure I have time for myself in the early mornings, I read, pray, meditate and exercise before “life happens” lol, and I force myself to shut it off at a certain time so that I can spend time with my family. Hiring a team to help me has also been life changing in helping to not have to be on as much and I get to enjoy the fruits of my hard work even more.

My most important role model is the business coach, Julie Stoian. She has taught me so much, pushed me beyond my comfort zone and encouraged me throughout the way. The best investment I have made in myself and my business was to hire a business coach and join a high level mastermind, which she runs. I once heard in a podcast, that once you reach a certain level of income in your business, you should invest in a mastermind. It has paid off in dividends.

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