In every interview, I always look for that “lucky penny” moment, also known as the moment when I discover a universal truth that each of us can relate to and apply in our own lives. I hope you find the lessons meant for you in this brief snapshot of another amazing woman entrepreneur.
Deb Fountain personally trained over 60 clients when she lived in Washington, DC. Her energy and positive attitude motivated her clients to reach their fitness goals. Soon, there was a waiting list. Deb quickly realized though that none wanted to leave. “I remember one client telling me she just needed me to take care of that part of her life.” Deb remembers them both laughing when she asked, “So then you are a lifer?” “Yup,” her client answered without hesitation, “I am a lifer!”
You can’t miss Deb. Not because she is a strong, muscular black woman with a timeless beauty that at first glance can be a little intimidating, but because her energy can fill a room and her dynamic presence draws people in. Deb lifts up those around her. She smiles from the inside out.
Twelve years ago, Deb and her husband Mike moved to West Hartford for his ESPN career with their three children. Deb began teaching spin and weight-lifting at Big Sky in Newington. Her classes filled quickly. People arrived early to claim their spot. After she gave birth to her fourth child, Deb continued to be a role-model, especially for moms. Many resonated with her “tell it like it is” attitude while still feeling her compassion and understanding of how difficult it is to juggle it all.
“I really believe in my heart that raising my kids is the most important job I will ever have.”
As her youngest child started his last year in elementary school, Deb thought it might finally be time to pursue her dream. When she was approached to open a fitness studio with other partners, she jumped at the chance. “As a mom who hadn’t been in the corporate work force for over a decade, I thought this was the answer. I thought I needed other people to create my dream. I have always listened to my inner voice though. After several months, I kept getting this uncomfortable feeling. I kept pushing it down. I thought it was fear, but it was actually my inner voice telling me that this was not right for me.” It didn’t go according to plan and Deb found herself without a studio to call home. “My dream never died though and honestly the experience only made me more determined. It was difficult at first because I always put my whole heart in everything I do, but now I am truly grateful for that experience. It gave me the motivation to go out on my own. It was the push I needed to claim my dream.” So Deb decided to open up the LIFER Studio, a Barre-Cycle-Yoga studio, on her own.
She believes the secret to success is to surround yourself with strong, positive people who are committed to a larger vision. “Each member of the LIFER team brings something authentic, something genuine to the space. It is a dynamic and diverse group who are committed to excellence.” From the quality classes to the new equipment to the team she has assembled, the LIFER studio is hard-core but warm and welcoming at the same time. She has even made the new studio a family affair by having her two older children take ownership of the social media. In fact, one of Deb’s daughters will receive college credit through her internship at the studio. “It is like our new baby. We each love it and nurture it the best way we know how.” Her daughters also encouraged Deb to create the LIFER logo, which uses the infinity symbol.
We all know there are certain things that are forever- the love we have for our children, our own internal compass and caring for our mind, body, and spirit. “Each of us will hit low points, as a LIFER we know we need to keep going. It’s more than fitness, it’s about knowing what you need in your life to be at your best. It’s understanding that if you mess up today that tomorrow is a new day to get back on track. If you are a LIFER, you know it’s forever.” Please visit, www.liferitswhatwedo.com