2017 WomenVenture Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained: Emerging Business Award
Connie Sheehan, owner of PUSH Fitness in St. Paul, is on a mission to get women, especially women of color, moving. A certified personal trainer, she offers group classes in spin, barre, tabata, and yoga, as well as individual training sessions. “Do anything. Just move!” says Connie. “I know there is a benefit to our bodies with movement. Movement makes you come alive.”
When you meet Connie, you might assume from her trim physique that she’s always been an athlete. Connie laughs at the notion. Growing up, she was not an active child. She didn’t play high school sports and hated gym. In fact, when it comes to fitness, she considers herself a late bloomer. She took her first workout class in her late 20’s, ran her first marathon in her 40’s, and now in her 50’s, has started her own fitness business.
Connie spent over 10 years teaching fitness classes at her local YMCA and often thought of opening up her own studio. But the fear of leaving a successful corporate career for the uncertainty of small business ownership kept holding her back. Then one day, her sister had a frank talk with her, telling her she needed to ‘do it or stop talking about it.’ It was the push Connie needed. She made a vow to do one thing every day that would move her towards opening her business. It was this commitment that ultimately led her to WomenVenture.
Knowing she needed additional guidance, Connie enrolled in WomenVenture’s intensive, 3-month long Small Business Essentials program. “It was absolutely perfect for where I was in my life,” says Connie. “I have a brand new business plan from that class. And I look at it fairly often. I use it as a tool and not a one-time thing.” Connie especially values the long-lasting relationships she made with other entrepreneurs in the class and the trainers who brought the materials to life by sharing their own business stories.
After completing the program in March of 2015, Connie did a soft launch of her business by offering summer fitness bootcamps in the park. On Thanksgiving of 2015, PUSH Fitness became a reality when she offered her first indoor class in a space leased from a boxing gym. Since that time, Connie has celebrated the first anniversary of her business and has moved into her own studio space. Of the impact her business has on others, Connie says, “I want people to figure out that you can actually enjoy movement. I want more people to know about it.”
Connie’s passion for her business and her determination to succeed are just two of the many reasons she is WomenVenture’s 2017 Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained Emerging Business Award winner.