Q&A with Sadie Kurzban: Confidence is the foundation of it all
Female empowerment is at the bright pink core of the mission of 305 Fitness, and self-confidence plays a BIG role in the ability for women to have successful careers. We turned to founder, HBIC and party starter Sadie K. to dive deeper into why self-confidence is such an important aspect of 305 and how it has helped fuel her success as an entrepreneur.
Let’s talk confidence. How have you stayed positive and forward thinking in the 7+ years since you started 305?
SK: Being an entrepreneur…it’s one of those things that only insane people do. It's a lonely journey.
Shit has hit the fan more than once. We've come close to running out of money. I've lost friends along the way. I've said things to people in less-than-kind ways.
To be a good entrepreneur I have to possess resilient, irrational self-belief. There is no amount of reasoning that tells me to keep going when I've run out of money, when customers aren't coming, and when there are competitors with endless funds. And yet...every time I have persisted, I've always been glad I did.
Why was incorporating self-confidence and empowerment into the mission of 305 so important to you?
SK: My mom was constantly anxious around food – "Salad, no dressing." I was ten — TEN! —the first time I skipped a meal on purpose. I watched my older sister nearly die from bulimia….Throughout middle school and high school, I was under-eating, I was over-exercising.
I started 305 as a way to teach myself to talk to myself with kindness. Here, we express joy and we shed layers of shame.
So many other fitness programs are about transforming yourself so that you can be accepted. At 305, we say: you don’t need to change. You are perfect, just as you are. We are dancing away the anxiety, the depression, the guilt. And we are saying, "You are enough!"
Interesting...how did you break the cycle of shame? How did you learn to focus less on external validation?
SK: I love Tara Brach's podcast. Highly recommend! She coined the RAIN technique, a tool I find extremely helpful in understanding my own inner voice.
R – Recognize your feeling (sadness, anger, anxiety, happiness, numbness)
A – Allow your feeling to be just as it is
I – Investigate the feeling
N – Nurture the feeling. Give it what it needs.
What are some words of wisdom for someone looking to start a business or take a big career jump?
SK: There is never a 'good time.'
When I started 305, I was 22. I worried constantly. I didn’t have experience accounting or marketing or managing people.
But, I had all the energy in the world. I had my ear to the ground (still do!). I created this inclusive, joyous culture from the heart. I didn't ever feel like there were rules that needed to be put in place, because I had never 'learned' to follow rules at a job. I knew I could figure anything out with the help of google, friends, and mentors.
There is never a good time. If you are reading this, simply get started. Your life is happening RIGHT NOW. The world needs the special gift that only YOU HAVE.
Building a business, you consistently interact with business professionals, often C-Suite executives. Have you found that your confidence has been misperceived, because you are a woman?
SK: I shoot right from the hip. I don't mince my words. I've seen people do everything from giggle to take great insult at me when I am approach a problem head-on.
I recently said something to a man, who’s about 20 years older than me. I used the f bomb and expressed that I was not happy with the way he was talking to me and what he was asking for. He responded aghast…He was like, huffing and puffing, and said "In my thirty years of experience as a _____, I've never had anybody talk to me so rudely." And I knew it wasn't true! I asked him “Are you sure you've never had anybody talk to you so rudely or you've never had a WOMAN talk to you so rudely?”
How can confidence help you during tough times?
SK: Most important rule for me has always been: don't waiver. Rethink? Yes. Pivot? Yes. Stay light on my feet, gather feedback and innovate constantly? Absolutely. But don't waiver. There is always a way. I know I can always figure it out, but I need to have that deep bedrock of optimism and confidence to be able to see solutions when it's easy to only see problems.