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Just Start

December 31, 2019

I recently grabbed lunch with my friend Allie Weingarten.

Allie and I met through a study abroad program for young leaders that I helped start. Since graduating college, she’s founded and grown a wildly successful business—True40 Studio. As we sat down to eat and catch up, I loved hearing how Allie, now a wife and mom, became a flourishing entrepreneur. 

Here’s her story, followed by some great advice for each of us to take into 2020.

Allie graduated from Auburn University and moved to New Orleans shortly after, newly married and eager to jump into her career. She had a degree in kinesiology and landed a job requiring her to test out wellness solutions. This allowed her to try out and gain certification to a diverse range of fitness approaches (think classes like crossfit, barre, yoga, pilates, etc.).

After their time in New Orleans, they moved back to the small town of Auburn, Alabama, and Allie was determined to open a franchise of one of her favorite exercise concepts. She expressed her desire to her dad and asked him how to get the money to pursue this venture. Her dad asked a wise question, “What do you like about this franchise?” She answered him, and then he asked in return, “If you started your own concept, what would you do differently?” She told him her idea of a perfect fitness studio. And he responded matter-of-factly: “Why don’t you just do that?”

For him, it was simple. If you think doing something different would be better, why not create your own?

After giving a laundry list of reasons why creating her own fitness studio was surely a bad idea, her dad encouraged her to do it anyway. 

A few weeks went by, and Allie still wasn’t sold on her ability to pull it off. So her dad showed up and said, “Let’s go look at places for your fitness studio.” As they looked, she found her dream space, prayed, and without even a name for her concept, signed a lease on a place.

Allie created True40 Studio, and it was embraced instantly by the community. So when her husband was assigned his clinical rotations in Birmingham, she decided to open a second location there. Now, she also has locations in Tuscaloosa and Atlanta—where she, her husband, and baby girl now reside.

Hearing her story inspired me. To be honest, it reminded me of my younger days, when I had the guts to take big risks and just do it. Was it naive? Probably. But it reminded me that if you have a dream, you should pursue it. If you have an idea, make it come to life. If you can make it better, start today. 

Allie and I hadn’t seen each other in almost ten years, and I fear the Kevin of today—that’s married, has a kid, and is a little more prone to stability—may not have the same “let’s just do it” attitude that he did back then. But the message that I wrote in 8 Essential Exchanges is still as pertinent today as it was then. We (that’s all of us) should still exchange stability to do something significant. We should still exchange the immediate for the ultimate.

So here’s my challenge to you this week: Make some essential exchanges in 2020. Be willing to give up short term comfort for long term growth.

Pack the Uhaul.
Send the application.
Make the call.
Start the Bible study.
Open the business.
Cultivate the new family tradition.
Teach the workout class.
Try the new diet.
Find the mentor.
Book the trip.

If you’ve been waiting for permission to respond to that feeling inside you, consider this post your letter of consent.

Just start.


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