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IAM1820 – Entrepreneur and Business Owner Redefines Healthy Within the Fitness Industry

Podcast Interview with Laurin Conlin

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”:

This episode of the I AM CEO Podcast features Laurin Conlin, an IFBB Bikini Pro and the owner of LoCoFit. With a mission to redefine “healthy” within the fitness industry, Laurin provides coaching for physique competitors and lifestyle transformation clients. She also co-hosts two podcasts, Redefine Healthy Radio and The UNglamorous Life.

During the episode, Laurin shares her journey and the inspiration behind her business. She emphasizes the importance of honesty, self-development, and being mindful of the opportunities one says “yes” and “no” to. Laurin's CEO hack is to know oneself and continue to develop through reading, audiobooks, and podcasts. She also defines being a CEO as taking one's mission and making it a reality. Additionally, Laurin recommends using Audible as a CEO hack.

Overall, this episode offers valuable insights from an entrepreneur who is passionate about redefining healthy within the fitness industry. Listeners can gain inspiration from Laurin's journey and practical advice on self-development and building a successful business.

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Transcription:

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Laurin Conlin Teaser 00:00

Understand how all this can fit into their life and really be part of it instead of being something that is, Oh, I'll do this nutrition thing maybe for a few months and then the other few months of the year I'm off.

I really want to make this a whole lifestyle for people and educating clients is really the biggest thing that I do.

Intro 00:15

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place, Gresham Harkless values your time, and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of.

This is the I am CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:41

Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I appreciate you listening to this episode. If you've been listening this year, you know that we've hit 1600 episodes at the beginning of this year. We're doing something a little bit different where we're repurposing our favorite episodes around certain categories, topics, or as I like to call them, business pillars that we think are going to be extremely impactful for CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business owners, just like you, what I like to call the CB nation architects who are looking to level up their organizations.

This month, we are focusing on CEO Hacks and CEO Nuggets. This is by far one of my favorite questions I asked on the show. In other words, I asked, what are the apps, books, and habits that make you more effective and efficient? Those were the CEO Hacks. Then I asked for a word of wisdom or a piece of advice or something that you might tell your younger business self if you were to hop into a time machine. Those were the CEO nuggets. That's what we'll focus on this month and some of the top ones that can instantly impact your business.

I love all the questions, but with every episode, I thought I would walk away with something I could look at and implement right there to save the precious resources, time and money. Or I would also learn about the advice, tips and tidbits or tools of the trade on how to level up our organization. So you'll hear some of these this month. So sit back and enjoy this special episode of the I AM CEO podcast.

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast, and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Laurin Conlin of LoCoFit. Laurin, it is awesome to have you on the show.

Laurin Conlin 02:16

Thank you for having me. I really appreciate it.

Gresham Harkless 02:19

No problem. I appreciate you. What I wanted to do was just read a little bit more about you and all the awesome things you've been able to accomplish so people can learn a little bit more about you.

Laurin Conlin is an IFBB bikini pro and holds her Master's in Exercise Science and is the owner of LoCoFit. The mission of her company and brand and all the brands she aligns herself with, is to redefine healthy within the fitness industry. LoCoFit provides coaching for her physique competitors and lifestyle transformation clients. Laurin also co-hosts two podcasts. Redefine Healthy Radio in the unglamorous life.

Laurin, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Laurin Conlin 02:56

Yes, I am.

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Gresham Harkless 02:56

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. The first question I had was just for you to tell us a little bit more about you and your business. What kind of led you to get started?

Laurin Conlin 03:03

So I've been in the fitness, bodybuilding realm since I was about 18. growing up, I was pretty active and then once I graduated high school, going to college I knew I wasn't going to do sports there, but I still wanted to do something. So I joined a gym because I really enjoyed weightlifting. I found like a group of bodybuilding meatheads to train with and then went to my first show and saw it and was like, wow, this is pretty cool. I want to do this. I entered my first show the following year not really knowing what I was doing, but had a really great time and knew that I wanted to switch my focus to that.

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So I took about two years off because at that point being 19 and trying to do at that point was figure, I just didn't have the look yet. So I took two years off and then pretty much just started competing continuously two years later, eventually earning my pro card in the bikini division after I switched. At that point in my undergrad, I had started coaching like very small amount of people, obviously one person at first. Then it was like two and then it was just a few, but I kept it really small. I didn't really think too much of it.

I knew I wanted to start my master's. So I started that and was getting kind of research on deck. That's when I actually turned pro in my first semester of my master's program. Afterward I had some coaches who I was friends with come up to me and really encouraged me to pursue this, more so like the coaching side of it. So I still kept it really small because I was focused primarily on school, but I just started gradually building the business from there. By the time I graduated, I had been doing this for about 3 years, very part-time, but now I had the systems in place to be a successful coach.

Gresham Harkless 04:37

Awesome, that's a phenomenal story and how you've been able to progress from just being interested in it and actually now having a business and actually coaching clients and everything like that. So I think that's pretty awesome to hear your progression and how you've been able to come to where you are now.

So I wanted to drill a little bit deeper to learn a little bit more about your business and how exactly you help and serve your clients.

Laurin Conlin 04:55

My business is a hundred percent online. I work with people mostly in the States, but in all other countries as well. It's basically just online nutrition training, coaching and there's of course, with that, a heavy emphasis on the psychological side of things. I'm definitely no psychologist by degree, but I work a lot with the kind of mental side of things because they all go hand in hand. So whether it's training programming or it's nutrition, coaching and helping them with it depends on the client really.

So if it's like a lifestyle client, that's going to be a lot different than a competitive physique athlete, like how intensive their diet is. But I would say that my main niche is very advanced, even if they are lifestyle clients. So these are people who may not be stepping on stage, but they're really taking things pretty seriously. But it's just the level of where we're going is just different. So for anybody who's not familiar, physique competitions are very extreme and the body fat levels and the amount of muscle that you have per division are pretty, which most people would consider extreme.

So a lifestyle client isn't going to necessarily get there, but I still take my lifestyle clients and their goals just as seriously. So everything's online. We have weekly check-ins. I have this document that I use and we go back and forth and answer questions and troubleshoot things with them and really just help them understand how all this can fit into their life and really be part of it, instead of being something that oh, I'll do this nutrition thing maybe for a few months, and then the other few months of the year I'm off. I really want to make this a whole lifestyle for people and educating clients is really the biggest thing that I do day to day.

Gresham Harkless 06:27

I love that and you talking more about how people can incorporate these changes or whatever it be, nutrition, but also psychological things and of course fitness exercises, how they can make like long-term changes to their entire lives.

Laurin Conlin 06:41

Oh, yeah, because it's different for an athlete, whether it's a performance fit athlete because I work with some powerlifters or physique athlete. That's very different because there are very distinct okay, off-season and competition periods and things are semi-concrete, right?

For them, it's making it a lifestyle, but it's making that on the more extreme end of their lifestyle. Whereas with the lifestyle clients, as I said, it can be a little bit more of, hey, let's take the next six months to a year to really focus on this and then you'll have the tools for the rest of your life to be able to like do this yourself.

Gresham Harkless 07:10

Awesome. Now I wanted to ask you more for what I call your secret sauce, which might be like your differentiator. What do you feel like makes you and your company unique?

Laurin Conlin 07:17

I'm extremely organized and conscientious and it has benefited me in so many ways with this business. So the thing with coaching is that there are really “no rules” you can really do things however you want. But I found out very quickly that if I did things a certain way, I was just going to crumble and I was not going to be successful. With a one on one kind of client basis, everything is based on the customer service, right? It's based on turnaround time, how organized you are, how timely you are. You have to set boundaries for yourself and for them and you just have to learn all those kinds of things.

I know a lot of coaches who are not organized. So, basically everything's like haphazard, like through the week. Like they don't know when people are going to be checking in. They might be doing things on the phone. They might be doing things on the computer. They might be doing some calls. I have a much more organized system of things. Okay, these are the days I do my updates. These are the days you send things in, right? These are the hours that I work. This is when I traveled.

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That is the only way that I've been able to maintain the workload that I have. I also know my limits. So a lot of people will just take on a bunch of clients when they don't have these systems really set in place. And then again, they fail and they're disorganized. They're late getting back to people and this, that, and the other. Word spread is really fast, especially now with social media, everybody's fitness industry is big, but it's still very small. So everyone's very connected. If you are not providing the best service for your clients, why would they work with you? There are hundreds of other coaches.

So what I really try to do is know my limits and set within a business that really has no structure at all and see what works for me. I really encourage anybody who's starting out to do that.

Gresham Harkless 08:50

Yeah. I think when you peel back kind of the onion, so to speak of any business, you'll see that it's made up of processes and systems.

So, what I wanted to do was switch gears a little bit, and you might have touched a little bit more on it already, but I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. This could be an app, it could be a book, or it could be something that you lean on or turn to that makes you more effective and efficient as a CEO.

Laurin Conlin 09:10

So I guess I could say a few things. One, a good hack would be just the organized, you have to know yourself if you're running a business or even if it's like a side thing, right? Like you have a regular job and then you're trying to do something else on the side, right? You have to understand how you operate and how you work, what times of day do you work best at, what kind of spaces, things like that? I found out very quickly what was working and what wasn't working. So I had to set that up because when you have your own business, you can set that up, right?

So at first, it was like, Oh gosh, should I do that? Are my clients going to be upset if I ask them to do X, Y, Z? But really people understand. So you have to know yourself, know how you work so you can actually be effective. I would say continually self-developing is of course a hack that I'm sure everybody who comes on this podcast talks about, but it really is important whether that's audio books, podcasting, reading, or whatever it is. Like again, that works for you taking time to do that. Even if it's just a few days a week, it's going to be really, really important.

Lastly, just be honest with yourself and whoever you're working with. Honesty is always the best policy and when in doubt, just be truthful because that is going to be so much better for you in the long run. So be truthful with yourself. Okay, hey, I can handle this. I can't handle that. How do I troubleshoot these issues? Be truthful with your clients or people that you're working with, or if you have employees, that's really important. There's being upfront and truthful. Not that a lot of people are not truthful, but it can be uncomfortable to put yourself in a situation, especially if you're managing other people. You don't want to maybe hurt their feelings or whatever, but being honest with yourself, with other people and your clients is going to be a really big key to success.

Gresham Harkless 10:44

Yeah, I definitely would echo that. Being honest, like you said, and definitely up front definitely goes a long way, especially if you're trying to have clear communication with somebody not being clear and distinct about what exactly is that you're saying can sometimes hurt you or that it can help you in the long run.

Laurin Conlin 10:59

Exactly. Then you start stressing yourself out over these like fake scenarios and you haven't even asked the person. I know I do that or I used to do that. I still do that. For my business at least, like a big thing was setting days and times for like people to send their updates and stuff and just being a little bit more organized with that. A lot of coaches do not do that. They just say, hey, just update me and then Monday you might get a ton. Thursday, you might get a ton. The rest of the week's kind of just all over the place, right? For me, that just didn't work. I didn't want not knowing the amount of work that I was going to have per day.

So basically I set it up at least for my major client interactions to be on certain days. I work at certain times that I'm actually highly functioning at because there are certain times a day that I don't function as well. Then I do other things that don't require me, be doing the updates. You have to be honest with yourself and then with everybody else.

Gresham Harkless 11:45

Yeah. Now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. This might be a golden pearl or piece of wisdom or golden nugget that you have for other entrepreneurs and business owners.

Laurin Conlin 11:54

I guess, this kind of echoes the honesty and truthfulness again, but you have to understand where your business is and where you want it to be. That helps you guide your decisions really through that lens. So for my business, primarily it's coaching, but then I have a lot of other things that I do, whether it's podcasts or speaking engagements or working with different companies for positions like that. I have to look at everything through the lens. Okay, does this help redefine healthy within the industry. Does this help my mission? Is this quality product? Are these things that I actually use? Things like that. You have to, again have everything come back to whether it's the mission statement or whether it's just what your brand stands for and represents.

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That means saying no to certain things if they don't feel right or they don't feel in line with that. You can always say no to something and then revisit it later. I think a lot of people see certain opportunities and then they get worried about saying no and then they're like, Oh, it's going to be gone forever if I don't take it. That is true for certain things, so I'm not saying don't act on things that you want to be a part of. But if you have an iffy feeling or if you haven't weighed out all the options and see if it's the best fit for you, then I wouldn't go for it. I would just really delve into okay, does this dis-align with my mission statement, with my brand, how I want to represent myself?

Your image is everything, no matter what your brand or company is, whether it's personally, or it's just like a whole face of a brand, what that represents. If somebody says this brand name, right? You always think of one or two things, right? You want that to be a positive thing for people. So be careful with what you say yes and also what you say no to within your business.

Gresham Harkless 13:32

I love that. So I think that's a phenomenal CEO nugget and I appreciate you for providing that. So, now I know that your mission is really big on redefining what healthy means within the fitness industry. So we have this podcast, hopefully, to redefine exactly what being a CEO means.

So I wanted to ask you specifically, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Laurin Conlin 13:50

So being a CEO really is taking whatever that mission is and making it a realization. So, you can do that in a variety of ways. It might be a product-based company, or it might be a service-based company, or it might just be a personal brand. It might be you I guess speaking and things like that would be within the personal brand. So whatever it is, whether it's services or products or personally, it really is just like what it is your brand and your mission statement, just like alive. How that goes out in the world is whatever you're trying to do and with whatever medium.

The cool thing about, the space right now, just in life and 2018 is that there are so many things that are rapidly changing. I have so many different opportunities. And so like right now people asking, Oh, what do you plan on doing in five years? With coaching and this and that. And it's hard to say because there's so much that is changing. I know that again, my mission of educating people through different mediums will always be the same, but it might look a little bit different. So just being a CEO is just your brand, your mission, just alive, like in the world and however you want to do it is the best way you want to package it up is how you should do it.

Gresham Harkless 15:00

Awesome. I truly appreciate you Lauren for taking some time out of your schedule. What I want to do is pass you the mic, so to speak to see if there's anything additional you want to let our readers and our listeners know and how best people can get ahold of you.

Laurin Conlin 15:11

Yeah. Again, thank you so much for having me on. I absolutely love connecting with people in different ways. So a big thing for me, like starting the podcast was, I recognized really early that coaching is very limited as far as how many people you can feasibly take on and, while you still want to have good work quality. So I knew that in order to expand, I needed to travel and speak more and travel and go to fitness events and do more podcasts and be on people's podcasts and like spread this mission.

If you want to follow along with what I'm doing it's just at Laurin Conlin. Spell it right and you will find me. My website is the same thing www.laurinconlin.com. We're all services and products and things are available. The two podcasts that I do co-host are one is Redefining Healthy Radio and the other is Unglamorous Life. So if you guys like podcasts and are interested, those are two more that you can add it.

Gresham Harkless 16:03

Awesome. We'll definitely have links to your website, your Instagram, social media, and also the two podcasts in the show notes just in case anybody wants to follow.

Thank you so much again, Laurin. I truly appreciate all the awesome things that you're doing.

Laurin Conlin 16:15

Yes. Thank you for having me on and hope you all have a great day.

Outro 16:18

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co. I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community.

Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts.

Subscribe and leave us a five-star rating. Grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

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Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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