“Become a possibilitarian. No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see possibilities- always see them, for they’re always there.” -Norman Vincent Peale
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 75 percent of mothers with children under 18 are working full time. As life becomes busier, especially for moms who are raising families while juggling successful careers, prioritizing health and fitness can be a challenge. In an industry where people often recycle the same old ideas, one woman is taking a different approach. Meet Ash Robinson, CEO at FIT4MOM, who is taking a sustainable and holistic approach to women’s overall wellness and redefining fitness at one of the world’s largest wellness companies focused exclusively on mothers.
Through FIT4MOM, women receive access to healthy, supportive communities of women when they begin to prioritize their own self-care, of which fitness and nutrition play a significant role. Despite the continued growth of fit-tech, online programs and workouts on demand, FIT4MOM believes their key differentiator is its 1,800 local communities of moms who actually know and support each other in person.
With a passion to unlock the economic contribution of women in local communities worldwide through improving access to resources, Ash is making a major contribution to the wellness industry through FIT4MOM. In the last year alone, the sales at its franchise locations have increased over 45%. She has also successfully in implemented scalable technology, established a growth culture and generated extraordinarily high growth in the chain wide revenue in her two year tenure.
The Inspiring Journey of this Leading Entrepreneur
Ash first became a CEO at the young age of 26, when she successfully grew her early education company into a 60 unit brick-and-mortar franchise chain. She then sold that company to a public company where she became the COO for five years. In 2014, she started her own culture and leadership consulting firm, bon.fire, which helps CEOs and business owners navigate significant leadership transition, culture or market change. Through this work, she began a consulting project at FIT4MOM, which led her to become the CEO of this company, six months later.
On her role at the company, she said, “FIT4MOM exists at the intersection of my own passion and past experience— we create healthy, local communities of mothers nationwide through our fitness, nutrition and coaching programs using a franchise model.”
While going down the memory lane, Ash stated that she has seen the emergence of two key themes in her personal career — first one is creating communities, whether in classes for kids, peer groups for entrepreneurs, or fitness for moms— and to fulfill that she has helped create and manage a strong community at the forefront. The second theme is women’s leadership and entrepreneurship, where she had the great pleasure of working and coaching hundreds of women executives, business and franchise owners.
“Seeing the unique and powerful combination of women creating community and watching business achieve organic, exponential growth is what inspires me daily,” says Ash.
Changing the World for a Better Tomorrow
Early on at FIT4MOM, Ash chose to update and evolve the company’s brand image in a very significant way. “I believed this was a necessary change to reach our target market – the millennial mom,” said Ash. She has played an active role in changing and altering a brand image that was not only successful, but also deeply beloved and important to thousands of women nationwide, which was a big challenge internally.
Making a change is not at all easy, no matter how positive it could be. On this brand change, she was met with resistance from her own team, and even some of the company’s most successful franchisees. In the beginning, the road was bumpy, filled with ups and downs. Those who have invested deeply in growing the brand from the beginning started to feel that they could not see themselves in the new version. They felt that it was too risky as they already had a large customer base. But Ash made the change and it was successful. In only 18 months, the revenue of the company soared.
She now says, “Our team has really taken to our modern look and stronger voice and they’re living it everyday. FIT4MOM is a brand we are all proud to represent and grow.”
Ash talked about the major contributing factors behind her company’s success which included major investments made into the brand refresh, building an incredible team and culture of sales and revenue growth, deploying new technology from a learning management system, delivery of virtual training and courses and launching Workplace by Facebook, which connected its geographically dispersed team of employees, owners and instructors into a powerful and personalized online community.
About the Company Re-shaping the World
FIT4MOM is the nation’s leading company for pre- and post-natal health, wellness, and fitness programs for all stages of motherhood. Headquartered in San Diego, California, FIT4MOM has franchises throughout the US, reaching hundreds of thousands of mothers all over the nation. With FIT4MOM’s newest digital campaigns and products, FIT4MOM is continuing to expand to reach women, mothers, and families worldwide.
“FIT4MOM is more than a fitness franchise; we believe in building communities through connecting with local families, businesses, entrepreneurs, and neighborhoods,” says Ash.
What Keeps Ash Motivated To Go Through all the Challenges
Ash’s young and adorable kids, their tenacity to learn and resilience, their ever-expanding optimism, and their desire to help others, is what inspires her everyday to create a better world. Ash concludes the interview by saying, “Watching and learning from women at FIT4MOM as they juggle the demands of modern motherhood with career, all while positively impacting the lives of others is amazing… and all the inspiration I need to do my part!”