Diana Williams | Founder & Managing Director | Fernwood Fitness

An entrepreneurial spirit is innately nurtured and developed through continuous self-development along with simultaneous growth in the business. With calculated risks and a sprinkle of faith, most challenges can be addressed actively.  Putting yourself out there and believing in yourself is the key to understanding how the business can be moved forward with a zeal to achieve success. At first, some of the ideas may be flawed but surrounding yourself with people who are practical and resourceful can help in measuring risks and a well-thought plan along with its contingencies can help scale business to new heights.

Diana Williams, Founder and Managing Director of Fernwood Women’s Health Clubs believes in a similar notion and is leading a business, that provides a class-apart health and wellness experience to its esteemed members. The journey of Fernwood Fitness began thirty-one years ago in Bendigo, Central Victoria. One humble gym blossomed into an Australia-wide franchise business, exclusively for women.

She feels fortunate to lead a team of superstars who continuously work towards bringing her vision to life. “Together we pioneer new offerings to ensure our members always experience a holistic health, fitness and wellness experience,” says Diana.

Fernwood Fitness and its network of holistic women’s health clubs offer a wide range of fitness, well-being services, and programs. It includes strength training, HIIT training, personal training, yoga, reformer Pilates, group fitness, food coaching, meditation and wellness programs, and childcare services.

While facilitating new trends in fitness and health, Diana has been awarded many accolades and recognition over the years. A few include being inducted into the Fitness Industry Hall of Fame, the Australian Businesswomen’s Hall of Fame, The Franchising Hall of Fame and the Bendigo Business Hall of Fame. She has also been awarded the Australian National Telstra Business Woman of the Year, the National Franchising Woman of the Year, and BRW Top 10 fastest growing companies three years in a row.

Being recognized through awards is a fantastic way to catalog success and progression. For Diana, the main accomplishments are not the awards and accolades so much as hearing about women changing their lives for the better, in whichever they see fit, importantly through Fernwood.

Diana’s Dynamics

Diana works with highly talented and self-driven people. “They don’t need me to motivate them; they take ownership of their roles and are proud of their achievements,” shares Diana. Her role in the business is to ensure that the new enthusiastic and ambitious members of the team are welcomed graciously and that their growth and potential is fostered by a conducive workspace. A positive and thriving culture is paramount to getting the job done well.

According to her, one of the challenges of being an entrepreneur is taking the time to analyze and problem-solve new concepts. The entrepreneurial tendency is towards positivity and being risk-aware without seriously considering the idea of failure.

The fitness and wellness industry, much like most other industries, is constantly evolving and shifting to meet the ever-changing needs and demands of the consumer. “I have never been content with resting on my laurels,” states Diana. Innovation is key to being successful in business. Diana feels to be at the peak of growth in her business when she lets her creativity and ideas flow freely.

The thing that motivates me is seeing how far the business has come from its humble beginning and how much further it has to grow to reach its full potential,” states Diana. She derives happiness and can’t help but feel proud when she hears someone say, they own or attend a Fernwood facility. It’s a refreshing reminder that the business has grown, nurtured, and is making a positive impact in other people’s lives. It’s extremely rewarding and highly motivating to keep building the business.

Beyond 2020…

Moving forward to the future, Fernwood will continue to roll out new women’s wellness programs. Through the partnership with Deakin University’s Food & Mood Centre, Diana and her team have created a series of programs to help women to find balance and calm in this constantly chaotic world. The club’s Empower program, in particular, has been designed to equip women with the tools to reduce stress and burnout, boost confidence and self-care while increasing overall health and happiness.

“Ideas simply remain idle unless you have the ambition and support of a proficient and passionate team to support and nurture that dream until it reaches the finish line,” describes Diana. Being a successful entrepreneur also relies on knowing when to place an idea on the shelf. Like a good bottle of red wine, some ideas take time to reach their full potential and should only be uncorked at the opportune time.

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