For many years the fitness industry has been dominated by male leaders at the top. It has been a “boys club.” But Mo Hagan is one of a few key influential female leaders worldwide who has challenged that culture, broken through, and continues inspiring and developing female entrepreneurs and leaders across the globe.
From starting out as a physical education teacher in Canada, to taking a chance on following her heart to pursue an unconventional path centered around her passions of teaching and traveling to spread the word of fitness, Mo has truly created the life she’s always dreamed of for herself. She has several powerful messages to share around why it’s so important to get clear and understand your WHY, see obstacles as opportunities to push through and grow, find a mentor and don’t try to go it alone, and why you can’t sit behind your desk… you’ve got to get out there and attend events to learn and grow.
In this interview you’ll learn:
1. How Mo started as a physical education teacher and created her own career path to follow her passion of teaching and traveling the globe in the fitness industry.
2. How she continued applying for a job for 6 months, eventually offered to work for free, and finally got a breakthrough to begin her career teaching fitness with Goodlife.
3. How she took a job with no security, terrible pay, no job description, and followed her heart to begin her journey working for David ‘Patch’ Patchell-Evans – one of the most powerful entrepreneurs in the fitness industry.
4. How she and Patch started the largest fitness education show in the world 26 years ago while establishing a vision and planning around the Patch’s kitchen table.
5. How the canfitpro certification program was started to build the workforce and talent needed to grow the entire fitness industry in Canada (and now it sits at 21,000+ strong).
6. How they’ve had to take steps backward to progress several steps forward in finding the people and building the team (and company) needed to deliver the quality needed to grow.
7. Why Mo is so passionate about developing and empowering women leaders in the fitness industry and how she’s launched and grown “Women Who Influence” the largest women’s leadership event in the world.
8. How to stand in your strength (and find your strength) by surrounding yourself with others to grow.
9. Why it’s so important to do the work required to get clear and understand your way.
10. The key to seeing obstacles as opportunities to push through and grow.
11. Why you should find a mentor and don’t try to go it alone.
12. Why you must never stop learning and must continue evolving to stay relevant and ahead with your career and business.
13. And much more…
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Sean Greeley: All right. Hello and welcome to the show. I’m pleased to be here today with a good friend of mine Mo Hagan. For those who don’t know Mo I want to tell you about her background. She’s a global fitness ambassador. She’s been recognized for her work in fitness for over three decades. She’s the Chief Operating Officer for canfitpro and is really been an integral part of the team over there since its inception as you’ll hear about a little more on this podcast today, and she’s been working in the industry since 1984. She’s won a ton of awards for the work she’s done across the globe for fitness including the IHRSA, Julie Main Woman Leader of the Year Award 2016, the Canadian Fitness Industry Leader of the Year Award 2019. She’s a member of the Board of Directors for Prescription Get Active Canada, and Women in Fitness Association. And really, most of all, Mo is a leader she dedicates her life to serving others, to leading leaders and developing fitness at the highest level. So we’ve got a ton to talk about. I’m very excited to have Mo here. Mo, thanks for being here with us.
Mo Hagan: Oh, I’m so happy to be with you, Sean. It’s just an honor.
Sean Greeley: Awesome. So tell me about your background. Tell us where you’re from? How you got into fitness? Where did this all start for you?
Mo Hagan: All right. Well, as cliche as it sounds, fitness started for me as a small child, because I learned about exercise through rehab. I was an accident prone kid, a want-to-be athlete. Not very good at sport, but I never quit trying out for teams and that’s when I was first introduced to training. It was my Phys Ed teacher that said to me, “One day, it doesn’t matter if you make the team Mo. What matters is that you learn how to become stronger, and you learn what it feels like to succeed personally. And if you do that, then you will. You’ve made your own team and that’s winning.” And I never forgot that my Phys Ed teacher was my first female role model. And all through school I dreamed about a career that did not exist. In fact, I was told to settle for less. I was told to pursue my strengths, which of course was physical movement. I love to exercise. It made me happy or as I would say it would give me that Mojo. And so I was told to either become a Phys Ed teacher or to become a marine biologist because I wanted to combine fitness with traveling the world and teaching. And I was told that my career that I dreamed in my head didn’t exist.
Mo Hagan: And then one day, and it was many years later, I realized that even though I didn’t know how, I actually created my own career path, and that’s, I guess I could say, some of it was timing in the industry. Fitness really was just starting, I learned everything about teaching from Jane Fonda, Kathy Smith, Karen Voight, Jack Lalanne, and of course, the infamous 20-Minute Workout. And those were all virtual teachers for me, and I just simply tried out, went and applied for a job to become a fitness instructor. And that was sort of the hybrid between two university degrees. I did go to university to become a physical health education teacher. But I still dreamed about teaching globally and teaching fitness and of course, it was a robotics back then. So that’s was seen as a hobby, not a real job. So again, the struggle of trying to find the vehicle for me to live what I wanted to do.
Mo Hagan: And then I stumbled onto GoodLife Fitness back then, in the 80s it was called Number One Nautilus and I kept applying for a job. Every Friday, I’d skip school in the afternoon, go down and apply for a job, and I was turned down for six months. So finally I decided I’m going to offer my services for free. So I said, “Don’t pay me, let me prove myself.” And I got into the group fitness schedule, and I can’t remember the timing, but it seemed like it was overnight. I was teaching five days a week, and I kept going back every year when I returned to school for physiotherapy. And that was my degree that I decided I’d pursue as a desire to give back because again, I was an accident prone kid, and I thought that being able to help others with exercise in a different way of helping them find their health again was where I was to go.
Mo Hagan: So as I graduated from physiotherapy school, I put myself through school teaching at GoodLife part-time, and I moonlit a lot on the weekends. David Patchell-Evans the founder and CEO of GoodLife, he kept romancing me professionally by offering me the opportunity to go to his clubs and train their group fitness instructors on weekends. So he would give me his convertible and say, “Go here, go there.” And I’d say, “Yes.” And eventually offered me a part-time job as a coordinator. And then after I graduated, he offered me a job a few years later, to leave my full time secure career to pursue a new position at GoodLife Fitness that did not exist. There was some clues here and everyone around me said, “You’d be crazy to take a job with no security, terrible pay. No job description.” I had to create it myself and one person said to me, “Follow your heart. Follow your instincts.” So I quit my job as a physiotherapist, although I never quit my license to practice, and I joined GoodLife Fitness as a director.
Mo Hagan: And that was 29 years ago, and I’ve never looked back, I moved up the company became a Vice President of Operations and basically built the group fitness department at GoodLife. Upon the way in 1993, we came up against an incredible vision that Patch had, but there was a lot of obstacles. He wanted to grow his company fast and furiously and he basically challenged me to find enough associates, especially group fitness instructors. And at that time as the industry experienced a very big shortcoming of instructors, and personal training was just starting, there was no such thing as a training to become a personal trainer. It was led by sort of the celebrities that called it that and unless you’re a celebrity, you are a trainer of a sports team. And that’s really how personal training started. So I was tasked with that assignment, and that’s the starting of canfitpro. And I grew up at both companies I started canfitpro. I think Sean you always love hearing my story of how Patch enticed once again.
Sean Greeley: Yeah, we got to pause here for a second just so, you had an unbelievable beginning coming into your journey, really creating your own career path and following your heart and this crazy entrepreneur named Patch who whatever is telling you is insane and this is a bad idea. But 29 years later, you’re still living your dream and making things happen, which is just beautiful. And I think such a message you’re ready to follow your heart and to follow your passions, and you know what you’ll figure it out. And I think that’s the hallmark of every entrepreneur and leader.You’re going into new territory that you’ve never been, and it’s okay to be in uncharted waters.
Sean Greeley: That’s where the good things happen and be comfortable with being uncomfortable in that space. So I love that message. But then we get to a huge turning point in the journey, and that’s what I know we’re going to get into now. Where really you’re sitting around a kitchen table with Patch who says, “Hey, let’s do something crazy. And you know, we can’t set everybody in Canada all across the world, but we can bring the whole world to Canada, to bring the best of the best to develop this thing called canfitpro and the show.” Which is celebrated now what year are we in 20?
Mo Hagan: 26 years we just celebrated.
Sean Greeley: Just 26th anniversary right? So and it is become today the world’s leading show for fitness education all happening at Toronto. Where we’ve been a part of it for many years. We love being there with you and your team. But this all started around somebody, Patch’s kitchen table, so just take us around, for those who don’t know this takes over the entire Convention Center in Toronto. It is massive, massive show. Everybody who’s anybody in the world of fitness is there every year, year over year. You guys do a phenomenal job and yeah, take us through the orchestra of how that first began.
Mo Hagan: All right. Love to the story is quite amazing, in fact, and it’s really great to know that it’s sometimes better not to know what you don’t know, so that you don’t actually stop yourself with fear of thinking I can’t do this. Because I had no idea what we’re doing I just said yes. And every time I had a bad day, I’d ask Patch, “Why are we doing this?” So let me tell you how this started. Patch came back from IHRSA one year it was in March, our weekly meetings took place at his home office, which was his house, and typically was around the kitchen table. And if it wasn’t there, it was in the gym. We always had meetings in the gym, he’d worked out, I take notes. And he said to me, as I was leaving that meeting that week, I was literally walking out the door and he said, “Oh, by the way, I forgot to tell you something.” This is always Patch’s way of enticing people to get excited.
Mo Hagan: He said, “I bought this conference, the rights to this conference called BodyLife and it’s a conference and it’s a magazine and it’s a trade show.” And I literally said to him, “And you’re telling me because.” And he said, “Because we’re going to do it here in Canada. This is how I see my vision for having enough instructors and personal trainers, the frontline leader to fulfill his need for GoodLife alone.” And he said it would help the whole country come better. He says, “And you’re going to run it and some guy from Germany is going to call you and he’s going to help you, you help him. This is how you get to travel Mo. You’ll go to his conference, he’ll come to yours and we’re going to do that in September.”
Mo Hagan: And I said, “September, which year?” And he said the same year. So I had my job cut out for me and I just said, “Yes.” I left and I waited for this guy to call me. And this guy is now my dear friend Darin Dieterich, who ran BodyLife Germany, which at the time, was the largest European education conference. So this fulfilled my purpose of being able to travel and teach globally. And this guy did call me and I thought that he was moving to Canada and he’s going to work with me and teach me everything. And basically, as he said, “Mo you already run conferences for GoodLife in a very small way. Just do that and make it 25 times bigger.” So I took that and then I did what I do best. I learned on the side of … I followed Patch to conferences, he took me there. That was the deal I’d work for him. He’d take me around the world and introduced me to all the leaders in the industry.
Mo Hagan: And I hung on to him, as if I was his little sister, or sometimes people thought I was his girlfriend, others his wife, and I just called all of, what I call FOPs, Friends of Patches. And we shared our vision, what we wanted to achieve and more importantly, our purpose. And his friends and my friends they all said, “I’d love to come to Canada.” So we leverage relationships and we leveraged connections with people in the community of London, Ontario, to help us get in the door at Convention centers, event planners, et cetera. We did hire some of the things that we know we were not able to do ourselves. But it was the relationships, the connections and the sheer intuition of what we knew we needed. And we figured what we would need, at GoodLife, the rest of the country needed as well.
Mo Hagan: Education, bringing people together to create a feeling of community, which eventually became our membership. And then it became year after year through struggle to be honest through failing and winning. And I have to say the first couple years it was a bit more failing than winning, but people got excited. And we put our only competitor that ran aerobics conference in their 12th year we put them out of business and that was only our second year in business and that was 1993 and within three years, we became big enough that we had to relocate to Toronto. When we relocated, we’re able to expand. We put more money behind it, we were able to then, because we reached this, not I wouldn’t say critical mass, but we became big enough to become noticed. That’s when we were able to reach out and once again, the people that believed in Patch and supported Patch’s company, supported Patch’s sister company, canfitpro. And I have to really give credit to the equipment companies, and the sponsors that would contribute money, time, equipment, manpower, presenters, and that’s how we were able to build the credibility of canfitpro quickly.
Mo Hagan: And then interesting enough, within three years, we created the biggest problem that came with our greatest opportunity. We all of a sudden had this great conference, but we didn’t have a way or reason for people to come back year after year. So that’s when we said, “We need to create a certification. We need to create certified fitness instructors, we needed to create the first certification for personal training. And then that way they’d require continuing education credits.” What we leveraged was the fact that Canadians love education. Canadians love international talent coming to them. We’re very loyal as a country to shape things within our country. I know that’s true of many other countries. So we brought international friends, people we never presented before, and the two just work so well together. And just we grew our two main certifications, which are very strong today and they remain at the foundation of our funnel, that is bringing people in to develop a career path. And then of course, we had to create a business plan around what started as a conference. And we have grown that to become a membership certification body, a community and of course, a funnel for people to become qualified, certified and well-educated fitness professionals today, which is 21000 strong.
Sean Greeley: Amazing. Yeah. And again, just to reinforce for those who don’t know, canfitpro is the largest provider of education in Canadian fitness industry, bar none. You guys have been doing this since 93. So we’re like you said now in year 26, that you’re growing, and the membership is tremendous. You bring together trainers, health club operators, industry suppliers, consumers, now the growing segments of boutiques and studios as well. Everybody really is there, and you bring everybody together, and it’s a huge melting pot of learning and growth and education, and fun and relationships that go on for years where everybody benefits so such an amazing story. So talk with us about I know there’s been a lot of things along the way. I’d love for you to share through that journey, what have been the biggest challenges that you’ve had to face? And how do you overcome them?
Mo Hagan: Great one. Our biggest challenge is the rate of growth of our membership, the rate of growth of people wanting to come into the industry through our certifications, and the speed at which we had to catch up to keep things relevant up-to-date, and in doing so finding the right people to join canfitpro, to get on-board with the vision. And so along the way we just we kept stumbling over our own success, in that we couldn’t keep up to the demand at times. So what we did as most companies who have that kind of success is that we did it and then figured out how. And we had to take steps backwards at times, through challenges that we faced and perhaps criticism we faced that a product wasn’t as complete or accurate as it should have been. Finding the right people to work with us and of course, aligning that with the value that they brought. Because the fitness industry is really matured at first, you could find a lot of people to work with you and you didn’t have to pay them a lot because they just were so passionate about wanting to serve the industry.
Mo Hagan: But now it’s aligning, they want to be paid well, they want to have a different type of culture of work and yet we’re just trying to keep up to the work. So that meant that we had to work through and make changes to leadership. We had to really stop ourselves to build culture, develop values for our business, develop a stronger business plan, become more mature and not just decide around the table. Okay? How much do we want to make? And how much are we going to be able to spend? And, okay, that’s the budget. We had to actually get really down and in-depth about what we could do and how to shape a really good strategic plan.
Mo Hagan: And of course, I guess the biggest thing in all that challenge was finding the right people to be on the right seats in our vehicle to move canfitpro forward. And it’s always comes down to the right people, that would be the biggest challenge that always weighs heavy on my heart. I’m a really good visionary of what we can do, but it’s about becoming and to become the business you want to be. You have to be stop and really slow down to make sure that the people that you bring on, have the same values, have the same commitment to the vision and be mature enough or have the right acumen to be able to fully participate, which means step up, speak up, not always agree, and together understand that we’re creating something together.
Sean Greeley: Awesome. And I think that is the hardest part for every company you get to a point and there’s more strategic planning. Now we got to go back and rethink this and as you said, take a step backwards to take two steps forward. I think that’s all part of the journey that everybody can relate to. But the people piece and building the bench, building leadership team is the thing that takes probably the most patients because you can make decisions quickly about systems or processes or strategy, but people require patience. Human beings require time and investment and it’s not like flipping a light switch. So talk about that working through the team evolutions. What has been some of the big lessons learned for you in building the leadership team around the vision you guys have had?
Mo Hagan: That’s a great question, and I’m sure that I’m still figuring some of that out. But I guess the biggest thing is developing a leadership style that’s inclusive, where your leaders, your managers have a role to contribute. Because I saw the evolution between being told what they were going to do and actually being asked what they can contribute. And that’s again, culture and having that sense of ownership versus the sense of a job. I show up, I do this, and this is my team, and I’m just going to work on my team and working in silos versus working collaboratively. So it was about developing leaders, and that takes time and patience as well. And the crucial conversations and coaching to be honest with leaders on where their strengths lie and how to build on their weaknesses, to build them too. And that’s where we’ve had to really take time out of the business to serve fitness professionals to actually invest in our business and investing in our leaders and investing in what they need. And helping them to see that by helping them their ability to contribute, and their success will be greater and therefore the business will be greater.
Mo Hagan: So it’s really about leadership and influence and that’s the part of the business that we really didn’t understand, that was as important as work. So working in the business, not just on the business, working inside with the people. So that’s always been, and we’re still working through that. We hire much differently today than we did before, we really take the time to look at strengths, and we hire for complementary strengths but then we also make it very clear in terms of expectations that they need to lead by example, so they need to be the leader they want their people to become. So there’s those layers of leadership and that’s something that again, when you grow quickly as a company, you don’t take time to focus on because everything seems to be fine or in fact, great. But then it does come to a point where to move further forward, that tipping point, you have to step back and look at your people and really invest in their leadership.
Sean Greeley: Yeah, well said and by the way, everybody’s working on as long as you’re around, and you have people, and you’re growing it’s forever, an ongoing conversation and area focus to develop. So everybody is just trying to figure it out for their team today, for the next season, for tomorrow. So it’s so relatable. So there’s been so many wonderful offshoots of the continued work and development you’ve done. I know one of the most important themes for you has really been creating opportunity and a voice for women in the fitness industry. And it’s why you’ve been recognized for so many of the work you’ve done around the world, in developing women leaders for fitness. And for those who don’t know, you run a special event every year as part of the show, and now you’re bringing it regionally as well this year, and it’s called Women Who Influence. And tell us about how did this start? And how did your passion for this engage? And tell us about Women Who Influence?
Mo Hagan: Thank you, I love to share this. So it’s a good 10 years ago, I started chatting with my female friends in the industry about wanting to give a bigger platform for women to be recognized for their contribution. Because if you looked at the demographic of leaders in the industry, typically the industry is led by men as CEOs, owners and operators and then the two I see second in command is a very strong female. And yet, when it comes to being recognized, they take the second seat. And that wasn’t the case for me working with Patch, because when I joined the company back in 91, on a full time basis, I’d been there for seven years before but everyone around the table, there’s actually three of us. They’re all women. And it was what I grew up for, because I didn’t understand until I started traveling abroad, that I was one of the very few women in the room at leadership events and business of meeting of the minds. I tag along with Patch, I said, and I’d be that token female along with a few others maybe.
Mo Hagan: And so I kept saying there’s something not right here. And I wanted to contribute as a show of gratitude, give other women the opportunity for the similar recognition for upward advancement. And I knew that in order for women to step up into leadership roles they needed to find their voice. And the way I felt that they could find their voice was hearing the voices and stories of other women who have succeeded. So I used Women Who Influence as a platform for bringing women together in a TED Talks style, a number of speakers 15 minutes each, and then bring people together in the room, women only at this time. And it became this event that has morphed into a day long event and in its sixth year, we’ve attracted over 300 women to this event. It’s the biggest one in the world today. And I have to say I’ll just step back and say, I would have started Women Who Influence at least three years sooner but I was told I couldn’t, it wouldn’t work, no, flat out you can’t do it. In fact, I was told if I was going to do it, I would have no support. I would have to fund it, market it myself and finally my girlfriend, one of my mentors said, “Mo stop talking about it and just do it.”
Mo Hagan: So I did that, I started it had no idea really how is going to make it work and then suddenly people started noticing. And now it is at one of our primary areas of focus that canfitpro. And we feel that it has done amazing things to open the doors for so many women. And it really is, I knew my vision was clear, to pave the path forward for other women, to give them a voice so they can step up and really stand in their strength or find their strength. And the secret to the success is finding other women who have a voice and want to share their story and bringing them together and just letting them share their story.
Mo Hagan: Storytelling has been at the root of the success of this, because within everyone’s story is a lesson, a struggle and a nugget of knowledge and a theme and that is what inspires the audience of women to find something within themselves that’s either the same, or gives them the spark to light their own flame. And I have to say the reasons it’s so successful today is the promotion that we’ve had from both men and women in the industry to say, “Yes, the timing is now.” And I guess the last thing to say is, this is a not just a recognition event, but this is women who are actively working in the industry to take it to the next level. So this is what makes it even more powerful is these are women that are out there leading by example today.
Sean Greeley: Amazing and I hear … actually had a interview with Sarah Cooperman who shared a lot of her journey and, which I know you’re very aware of as well with the glass ceiling that’s been present for so long in this industry. Similar story to her going to meetings the only woman in the room, right and you get to some level and it’s all guys, and then-
Mo Hagan: It was always Sarah and myself that was it.
Sean Greeley: Yeah. Exactly. You two have been-
Mo Hagan: And Lynn Breck.
Sean Greeley: Yep. And there needs to be more opportunities, there needs to be a voice. There’s so many incredible women who do lead powerfully and are creating more opportunities as a result. So the fact that you’re creating opportunities for women in the future, for female entrepreneurs and leaders to come in and grow and develop in this supportive environment is incredible. And talk about I know, we’ve had several top of NPE female entrepreneurs and clients who have come attended, and it is by far the event everybody talks about, if you are a woman who wants to be a leader in fitness, you need to be there from where you are in the world, get to Toronto for the show each year, in August. But this year you’re actually taking it regionally as well and you have a offshoot that’s coming up soon in Vancouver, and so tell us about what’s happening in Vancouver in November.
Mo Hagan: Well, we identified that we’re onto something and Patch himself, came back from FIBO Europe, where he attended the European summit and saw in the room all men, which he didn’t really notice before, but it was one of my dear friends, Emma Barry, who boldly took the stage as the only female within that event. For years, I don’t know if there had ever been a female speaking at that event, and she challenged the entire audience to say we need more women and more voices at the leadership table. And what she did was so powerful and I’ll tell you Sean, she actually recognized Patch in front of the whole delegation and said, “This guy gets it.” And Patch sat up, I watched this on Facebook Live, and he set up flocked his peacock feathers, and he felt so proud and he came home he goes, “Now, I get it. We got to make this big because there’s such a need.” But it’s almost like his eyes were open when he had to hear it through another voice.
Mo Hagan: And of course, if you know Emma Barry, she’s expressively bold, and she challenged the audience. And then she edified the need and that it’s working elsewhere and that Europe should get on board. And that’s when Patch said, “I know I have a unique selling position here, as a leader in this movement with women, not just in the fitness industry, but it’s needed here.” And that’s when he came home. He says, “Mo, I want this to be part of all our events.”
Mo Hagan: So we decided to launch in the West Coast, because we have a lot of influencers there. They’ve been asking for it and I’ve been piloting it with a women’s panel, as you know, because you’ve sponsored some of our women leadership panels at our events over the years with NPE and I’m always grateful for that. And so we’re bringing it to Vancouver as one of our pre-convention sessions on the Friday proceeding our event, so that’s in November on the 22nd I believe it’s the Friday. All that’s posted on our website with our Vancouver event. And then as we learn from that one we will be bringing it to the east and hopefully to Montreal as well. And then of course we’ll have our seventh annual event in Toronto on August the 13th next summer with our 2020 event.
Sean Greeley: Awesome, so everybody listen to this if you’re in Canada or Western Canada get to the Vancouver event sign up for the pre-con day at the end of November, as of this recording when this gets released, tell us the date again in November when this show is and when the pre-con is?
Mo Hagan: Yes, I will. I’m just going to triple check because I want to be sure I’m correct here. So the event for Women Who Influence Vancouver is the afternoon of the 22nd of November. It’s from 4:00 to 7:30 followed by a reception and then the 23rd-24th is canfitpro Vancouver and that is our main fitness convention there. Which you’ll be at?
Sean Greeley: Yes, yes. And just get yourself to canfitpro.com to get booked and get registered. If you haven’t been to Vancouver yet, it’s lovely. It’ll be worth the travel. It’s a beautiful part of the world. And you need to check it out. So fantastic. So tell us what else is happening. What’s the future look like for you the next year? You’ve just got promoted to, pretty much you’ve been at the heart of this thing in developing fitness in Canada, the movement globally for decades now. You got a new role, a big role of CEO of canfitpro along with the contributions you make in other areas, and what’s happening for 2020 and beyond for the work that you’re focused on ahead?
Mo Hagan: We’re really reinventing canfitpro from a member experience. We’re investing in both the front-end member experience through our website, or as we like to call it our member experience journey. And then we’re making a huge investment in a new CRM. So really managing the backend, which will really help us streamline our business so that we can really work smarter and more efficiently. But most importantly, so that we can make it easier and more frictionless for both our associates and our members to come to canfitpro experience it, receive what it is they want and also receive the steps in the journey that we’ve been wanting to provide. But we just haven’t been able to because of our systems. So that’s the big focus for 2020.
Mo Hagan: We launched some new values for our associates, so that we could bring to our associates a common purpose for why we do the work we do. We’ve launched some new internal systems to recognize our associates. And we’re also revamping our experience at conferences in a way that will open the doors for people who think well I don’t want to go to a fitness conference, but I really need to go and work on my mental wellness or leadership, or I’m an independent operator, I need help to understand how to run a small business, a boutique. So we’re really looking at giving a transformation or facelift to how we present ourselves or market or conferences.
Mo Hagan: I’d love to see them look like conferences within a conference versus one big brochure and then you have to sort of navigate through it to find what you need. So we’re looking at that as well. So we have a lots to do and through all that, work together as a really cohesive, collaborative team, which we spoke about in terms of my focus is really leading the leadership culture. And I spent half my week now in Toronto working at canfitpro, and then half my week back here in London, Ontario, where I live, where the home office of GoodLife is. So and then on the side, I have a couple projects here and there and of course, I’ll not stop traveling to conferences, but I’m picking and choosing them a lot more strategically to go where I need to learn what I can bring back to keep moving canfitpro forward.
Sean Greeley: Awesome. Yeah. And we’re excited. We’ve been obviously partners with canfitpro for several years now. We love getting together at the shows both the big show and the regional events. We’re excited to be there to partner and serve the Canadian fitness industry in helping fitness professionals and studio owners to grow and develop their skills and competency to be successful. To create something that can serve both themselves, their families, their communities, in a powerful way. So it’s been an awesome ride so far and I know we’re just beginning in the a lot of the fun we’re going to have in the years ahead.
Mo Hagan: Oh, yes, for sure. And I have to say, you’ve been a fabulous partner NPE has offered business acumen that’s designed in such a way that whether you’re just starting your business or you’ve started your business and you are struggling or that you just want to become smarter, so you can do what you love, in a bigger expression of that. And you’ve just got that system that I know from working through duplicatable systems that everybody can jump on at different stages, and work through that and 100% have success, of increasing success in their business. What you’ve done for the industry is we all are very grateful for and for those who don’t know about NPE and all of your training and programs and consulting, then listen, and learn and receive the tools you’ll get at the end of this podcast, and jump on board.
Sean Greeley: Awesome. Well, thanks for saying that and I’d like to just finish off with a few kind of words of wisdom. So if you could go back and talking to those early stage fitness professionals coming into their career path, trying to plot their way of what their career is going to look like. Or those who’ve just opened their own facility and are figuring out, how do I really make this thing work? You’ve been someone who’s figured it out along the way, right? You didn’t have the perfect blueprint, you didn’t have the plan. There wasn’t an NPE of the world to support your journey back when you started. So what advice would you have for those folks working through those early stages and finding their way?
Mo Hagan: Great, thank you. First of all, do the work to really understand and articulate your why, your purpose, because if you don’t know what that is, then you’ll get distracted amongst all the attractive opportunities, and you’ll get lost and that’s when your business will not grow if you are always sidetracked. So get clear with your why because that’s what gets you out of bed every day, passionate to push through the obstacles and the challenges and see them as opportunities. And I even said to the Vice President yesterday, at canfitpro, “This is fun.” And I caught myself saying there was a day where I didn’t think that part of the business was fun, but it’s fun, because I understand the why.
Mo Hagan: And then secondly, do not do this alone. Whether you can have a partner, a consultant, work with yourself NPE or find a mentor, join a mastermind group, join an association if you’re a female business operator, work with your female leaders or join WIFA, because the mentorship is invaluable. Your mentor will help you get your mind right and fast track you through some of the learning and obstacles. Thirdly, do not sit behind your desk and think you’re running your business. You got to get out there. You got to be at the events, budget them, plan them, bring your top performers with you, but be at the live events because yes, online learning is phenomenal. It’s the way of the future but you’ve got to be out there in the community. Because when you’re seen as role model, the leader, the success story in your community and you receive that acknowledgement by your peers, then your members will see you as the game in town.
Mo Hagan: So I think those are the really big pieces there. And never stop learning, you can never think you have enough knowledge under your belt. And the way that the industry is moving, you’ve got to be adding on something new on a pretty annual basis, to continue to evolve, to meet the needs of your business. Whether that’s business training, or whether you’re a trainer, and you add an area of expertise, because before you know it, you’ll be out of date, out of relevancy, and you’ll be left behind.
Sean Greeley: So important, I couldn’t have said it better. I mean, this is a time that the industry is growing rapidly, which is great for the industry, but it mean there’s more sophistication and more competition. And if you’re not investing in your personal development, you’re up-scaling every year it’s like the turnovers is fast. You can become relevant quick right now and I think all the more critical to be investing and continually focused on your learning development program as part of a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annual focus for you. How are you going to get better this year? And ask me for feedback on where you can improve, where you can grow, where you should go spend time, I think is so critical for everybody out there. Because oftentimes, we don’t see our own blind spots right if there is we’re missing and we need other people to help as you said mentor and point out that the opportunities for us to grow and improve.
Mo Hagan: Very true.
Sean Greeley: Awesome. Okay, so anything else you want to share before we wrap up today? Where can other people find about other projects or things you got going on? I know you have your own website mohagan.com. Check it out if you’re not on Mo’s newsletter. Go get on it.
Mo Hagan: Yeah, on mohagan.com, there’s some free resources there as well. I’ve published a couple of books in the last couple years co-authored with an amazing woman that is a brain transformation coach. And we’ve written the book, Think Yourself Successful. There’s some free downloads about that. We wrote, Think Yourself a Relationship Pro, it’s taking personality styles and making it really relevant to the business you’re in, the relationship you’re in, the business you want to be in and the relationship you want to be in. And there’s free tools with that as well. I offer some short, impactful coaching opportunities. And then of course, I guess that’s a good place to start, and then follow your mentor.
Mo Hagan: So, if you want to follow me I’m on Maureen Hagan on Facebook, I have a lot of friends like 5000, so you can follow my fan page Mohagan. I do most of my work there. Connect with me on LinkedIn, as Maureen Hagan and reach out, ask me questions. I love to talk to the industry. I love when people write me and say, “Hey, I’m from Wisconsin, and I heard about you through my friend, Sally. And I’d love to pick your brain about this.” And I love when people ask me that it’s a compliment, meaning that people are noticing what I’m doing, and I live what I do, pretty much live my legacy, and I work a lot because I love what I do. But I know that it’s the reinforcement of hearing feedback or getting challenged with questions is what spurs me on to keep looking for the answers. And it recharges my battery to connect with people. So let’s Connect.
Sean Greeley: Awesome. I want to encourage everybody get registered for an upcoming canfitpro event, find Mo introduce yourself, get connected. She is one of the most phenomenal people in the fitness industry bar none worldwide and I spent a lot of time around world in fitness. So, go meet Mo say hi and Mo thanks so much for being here.
Mo Hagan: My absolute pleasure. Thanks so much.