Growing up in Miami with four sisters and a career-focused mother who constantly watched what she ate, Sadie realized early on that there was a lot of pressure on looks. “There was this expectation for women to look a certain way, but for it to be effortless.” Feeling like she couldn’t turn to anyone about this stress, she began to document her calories and joined a gym by the age of 11 as a way to “control and purge.” It wasn’t until attending a Zumba class and experiencing the inclusive and fun space, that her mindset shifted, turning exercise into an opportunity for self-expression and community. She brought her skills and perspective to Brown, rented out a space, and hired a DJ who played whatever he wanted. Through this spontaneity, Sadie was able to get away from a script and connect with people, creating a space for 305 Fitness to rise.
A home for the ‘freaks of fitness’
Sadie’s success has been due to her authenticity and attention to detail at 305. Word of mouth has been one of her greatest marketing tactics. She believes that people can cut through the noise of social media and marketing, and what they’re truly looking for is someone genuine they can connect with.
Sadie and her team are living by 305’s values of accessibility and inclusivity through their new licensing program. She is expanding her fitness community by teaching women how to instruct, market, and launch their own business. In small towns across the US, people are craving a place to come together, and through her licensing program, Sadie is able to grow her team with people who care about her vision. She’s also able to provide a professional opportunity for women who may not have their own income stream. “I wanted women to pocket most of the money. The classes are about the instructor… I want to empower her, not the boss.”
When I know who I am, other people’s ideas of me don’t matter
As Sadie enters a new level of leadership in 2020, she wants to focus on not judging herself and realizing that when people judge her, it’s actually their projection onto her. “I can be well liked or I can push people beyond the limits they thought were possible.” While she still wants to maintain emotional intelligence and understanding, Sadie knows that she needs to hold herself and her team to a certain standard if they’re going to achieve their goals. “I’ve been criticized a lot… To be more approachable, available… being tough is hard.”
Leading by example, Sadie expects her team to be independent, collaborative, and resourceful, to live by 305’s core value of ownership. She trusts her employees a lot. “That’s how I’d want to be managed – Figure it out.” She’s learned to trust her gut and give constructive feedback from the beginning. “You never regret saying something too soon; you only regret saying something too late.” While this honesty can catch people off guard, the constant communication and early feedback can help her team grow beyond their expectations.
Battling group think
305 fitness recently closed its first official round of funding. This major step came after years of hustling and facing rejection. She’s realized that often times, people in power live in a bubble and are biased. “It felt like I was punching through just to ring the doorbell… The nos weren’t mean but they were cowardly.” Despite the sexism, bias, and negativity she faced in some of these interactions, with perseverance and belief in her product, she was able to succeed.
A tool that has helped Sadie in advocating for herself is the book Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg, which teaches effective communication through four key steps: observation, feeling, need, request.
Happiness is now
While Sadie is fueled by her vision, it seems that what people are missing the most is passion and purpose in their jobs. Sadie says, “There’s lots of pressure to live your passion.. some get to do it, some don’t… Either way, happiness is now.” While we would all love to have our dream jobs, Sadie reminds us that even she has days where she hates her job. “Discovering your passion and monetizing it is not an end all be all. If you like your job and it’s not your passion that’s okay. There’s always other opportunities to do the things you’re interested in outside of work