Each week, SHESAID features an inspiring woman who has been kind enough to share her story with our readers. She might be a leader in her chosen field, someone still on their own path striving to make a difference or simply someone with a remarkable story to tell. These women contribute their own knowledge, expertise and life lessons in order to truly inspire others.
Name and role:
Diana Williams, founder of Fernwood Fitness.
Tell us about your role? What is it? What do you do on a day-to-day basis?
Most of my day-to-day role involves ensuring that the company is headed in the right direction and following our vision to be the number one preference for women wanting to improve their health and fitness. Most of my day is spent in meetings with key team members who treat their roles with a professional ownership mentality.
How/when did you know this what you wanted to do as a career?
It was never a conscious decision of mine, but rather morphed into it as the business grew and became a national brand.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I am easily inspired by the fabulous stories from the many Fernwood members who achieve such fantastic results and want to share their story with me. It’s very rewarding to be involved in a business that has the power to change lives.
Did you have a mentor? Who/what helped you to get your career off the ground?
My mentor was the fear of failure. Nothing makes you try harder than the knowledge that if you don’t you will fail. Once I started the business and made myself accountable for what I wanted to achieve, then it was really only up to me and no one else, whether I was successful or not.
What were the stumbling blocks, initially getting started on your career path, and since then?
The biggest stumbling block was the limited cash flow needed to fund the business in the early days. Rapid growth was vital for our success but that brought with it the hazard of growing too quickly to manage the cash flow. There were some very anxious moments back then.
How did you overcome these?
I’ve always lived by the philosophy that 98% of things we worry about don’t ever happen. If you worry about something and you can’t do anything about it then it’s a total waste of energy. I would rather put my energy into finding solutions to problems rather than dwell on them.
What are your goals for the future?
The future is exciting for Fernwood, we’ve been in business for 25 years and are probably just as innovative and still an industry leader now, as we were when we first started back in 1989. Being innovative and embracing the fantastic advantages that technology brings us is very exciting for business today.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow the same path as you?
Make sure you do it for the right reasons. It’s not for gaining recognition, money or power, it’s because you really believe in what you are doing and the product you are selling. Have courage in your conviction and the self-belief that you can achieve whatever you want if you put in the hard yards and don’t compromise your values along the way.