Let’s get the basics out of the way. Who are you? Where are you from? Children? I am Gail McKenzie, ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, ISSA Certified Fitness Nutrition, Certified Breakthru Christian Life Coach, Yoga Instructor and CEO/Owner of Bodi By You, LLC. (www.BodiByYou.com and www.facebook.com/bodibyyou/) I reside in Mobile, AL, and am the mother of two adult sons, mimi to one beautiful granddaughter, and owned by one cat.
When and why was your business started? I began my business after a lay-off in 2008. At first I intended it to be my “just get by” income until I was called back to work. I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2004 (gluten intolerance). I now am choosing to live the vegetarian lifestyle, and am living life in my purpose and passion, fully intending to slide sideways into the finish line! My business was started in December 2008 to empower women to live healthier lives.
How did you launch your business and/or dream? I launched my business with 3 things: a pair of dumbbells from Goodwill, an unsuspecting client, and fearlessness.
What is your mission statement? My mission is to empower women to live healthier lives. Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” The more you know about living healthy, the better you can apply it.
What do you love about being a female entrepreneur? I was built for being an entrepreneur. Since I don’t know what it would be like to be a male one, I am going to say that I love everything about being a female entrepreneur.
How do you stay inspired? I am inspired when I see a struggler become a conqueror.
Why do you feel Inspired Women Succeed? When a person is merely interested in a particular thing, they will only do what is convenient for them. But when a person is fully committed, and is an Inspired Woman, she will do whatever it takes.
What are the biggest challenges you have overcome as a female entrepreneur? My biggest challenge has been not taking out a loan, and making growth decisions based on income earned.
What is your BIG DREAM for your business – what do you hope will happen? I would like to open up at least two more studios.
How do you incorporate your faith into your business? From the moment the idea was born, I presented myself as a faith-based trainer, using the spirit, mind, body connection – not so much in the guru universal way, but more along the God, Free Will, Temple sort of way.
What are your favorite biblical parallels and verses that encourage you? Why? My favorite scripture is Jeremiah 33:6. This verse says that good health brings about healing. I believe good health brings about spiritual, mental, and body healing.
How do you promote/market your business? Word of mouth and referrals are an absolute. I use all social media available, as well as advertise in a local paper that circulates in my community.
What is the biggest risk that you have taken in your business? The biggest risk I’ve taken in my business is opening up a studio with 10 other fitness centers in a 5 mile range!
What risk do you need to take now? Right now I need to hire an “experienced” assistant.
What media opportunities have you had? I’ve had the opportunity to be featured online at www.WOWNetworkAlliiance.com/wowblog
What one woman epitomizes (for you) a model of Christian entrepreneurial leadership? Why? Since I have joined NACWE, I admire so many women in our group. Each one being from so many different fields have influenced decisions I have made.
What 3 tips would you share with a friend setting out on her own entrepreneurial adventure? Three tips I’d share with that friend are to know your target market, to understand your own industry, and to not ever feel like you failed when something didn’t work. Learn from it and move on.
What resources and books would you recommend—the ones which have best helped you? I had plenty of industry books on how to start a business. I was also able to work with a business coach who gave me some ideas.
Tell us about your family and your support group? I am connected with a great team of other Christian women who always keep me and my business lifted up in prayer.
What else would you like to share with us? My heart is changed every time a client reaches a milestone or finishes a program. I cannot imagine any other life. I am honored and blessed by the opportunity to serve them and to allow God and the Holy Spirit to flow through me in such a way that someone leaves Bodi By You a different person than when they arrived.
Gail will be a guest on Diane’s Inspired Women Radio show on July 7, at 11 a.m. CST. Gail McKenzie is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, ISSA Certified Fitness Nutrition trainer, Certified Breakthru Christian Life Coach, Yoga Instructor and CEO/Owner of Bodi By You, LLC. Gail is also mother of two adult sons, mimi to one beautiful granddaughter, and owned by one cat. Diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2004 (Gluten intolerance) and choosing to live the vegetarian lifestyle, Gail is living life in her purpose and passion, fully intending to slide sideways into the finish line! You can find out more about Gail at www.BodiByYou.com and http://www.facebook/bodibyou/.