Alexis Perkins is the founder and creative director of Chair One Fitness. She has always had a passion for fitness, television production, dancing, and public speaking. As a Magna Cum Laude graduate from Norfolk State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mass Communication/Broadcast Journalism, she went on to work at CBS Affiliate WTKR News Channel 3 and became co-producer and lead instructor for the 30-minute television program Fuzion Fitness and Body By Alexis.
Alexis made a huge impact in the fitness world teaching Zumba Fitness internationally and coordinating the LOVE Fest; which became the largest dance fitness event in Hampton Roads Virginia attracting people from all over the United States. She is also an AFAA certified Group Exercise Instructor, AFAA Certified Personal Trainer and has competed in OCB Natural Bodybuilding Competition and placed 3rd in Bikini.
StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Alexis to discuss her journey as an entrepreneur and here’s what went down:
When did your entrepreneurial flair first reveal itself?
I had just come off of a euro tour teaching fitness Master Classes. I was so pumped about the experience I dreaded going back to my 9-5 as a Project Manager at an advertising agency. I grabbed a notebook and wrote if I were to do fitness full time how I could make it work. I then put my notes away and returned to the ad agency. I would literally cry every day on my way there. Then days after returning to work I got fired. I drove home. Dropped to my knees and told God I trusted him. I then remembered my notes! I grabbed them, put them into action, and have been an entrepreneur ever since.
How did your life look like before being an entrepreneur?
I hated it. I was a single mom working my 9-5. My son was in before and after school care and I really wanted more time with him.
As an entrepreneur, what is it that motivates and drives you?
Freedom is what motivates me. The freedom to choose what I want to do. The freedom to take advantage of options to earn more than what most 9-5 jobs provide. The freedom to do what I want to do when I want to do it.
Adventurous – I always have ideas and the desire to try new things. As a result, I am constantly learning, doing things I have never done, and never know truly what to expect.
What were your top three motivations for starting your business?
1. I wanted to be a blessing in some way and I knew I could make a difference with Chair One Fitness.
2. To be an example to others. I never really had an example of how to work for yourself. My family was big on joining the military. When I chose a different path, I had no clue what to do. I feel like if I am successful, I can set the bar that anyone can become their own boss.
3. Motivated by the fear I was not living up to my full potential. Talent wasted is sad. I could not at least try to achieve something great.
What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful business?
Vision, Self-Discipline, and Tenacity.
What are the three biggest challenges you have faced growing the business and how did you overcome them?
1. Having to juggle all the roles until you scale. When you start your own business, you are not just the boss but also the customer service department, legal team, tech support, you are everything and must learn them all. I overcame this by seeking out mentors and asking for help.
2. Not enough hours in the day – I became very proactive in time management. I read books on how to be more proficient.
3. Scaling – as soon I hit one milestone, I would have to figure out how to get to the next. I listen to audible, joined entrepreneur groups, and kept trying. If one thing didn’t work I would fail fast and try something new.
Social Media marketing and word of mouth.
As you grew the business, what have been some of the most important leadership lessons you have learned?
I had to learn how to delegate a task. I had to learn that just because I am capable of handling something doesn’t mean that I should. I learned to stay in my strengths zone and delegate a task that I knew someone else could do better.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
What God has for you is for YOU! This removed the spirit of competition and comparison.
What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up their first business?
Start… stop overthinking and just START!