From childhood into my adult years, I experienced a lifelong struggle with obesity. However, I wasn’t ready to let go of my security blanket to life challenges.
After college, I became an accountant to help companies organize their finances. While I sorted through different paperwork and calculations, I found myself not being satisfied with my personal well-being, physically and emotionally. The turning point for my lifestyle change was the passing of my father, a man that looked completely healthy from the outside yet passed away from heart failure. After being diagnosed with elevated blood pressure, myself, I realized that I reached my most unhealthy weight and it was time to make a change.
Before long, I started my weight loss journey. I went to the store, purchased a juicer, and juiced for two weeks. After losing 25 pounds, I felt better than I had in a very long time. I wanted to prolong this feeling so I continued to work out; documenting the process as I went.
I started chronicling my workout journey through social media, using it as an accountability method to help keep me motivated. Immediately, people I didn’t even know started reaching out to me about their personal journeys and challenges with weight loss.
I was so happy to inspire others and I knew I always wanted to be a business owner, so I combined my passions and created my first company, Get Fit or Get Fat, a fitness apparel and online community, which motivates over 25,000 people to-date, collectively through social media platforms, to stay motivated to their fitness and health goal.
Here are three things I learned while starting my business and these tips will inspire you as you do what you love:
Find Your Purpose
If I didn’t start my weight loss journey, then I wouldn’t have discovered my true passion to help and inspire others on their health and fitness journey. Although I am a full-time senior accountant, I never lose sight of my startup because it was birthed from my mishaps and turned into an outreach platform to help others. My purpose to become more health conscious has encouraged others to do the same. Together we united to tackle a challenge we once thought would be impossible.
Connect With Others
Although Get Fit or Get Fat was not planned, it came at the perfect time when I needed support the most. The encouraging words of our community inspired me daily, and within a year, I lost 100 pounds! I felt extremely blessed to connect with them and wanted to return the favor. By providing motivation through healthy eating and workout tips via social media and the website, I helped others accomplish their weight loss goals. Later I created a fitness apparel line with my followers in mind; to give them the constant push they needed to achieve their dreams. This journey would not have been successful without the help and support of our community.
Balance Is Key for Success
At times, it is hard balancing between my entrepreneurial efforts and employee responsibilities because they are both demanding of my time. But they both satisfy my needs and desires. I have learned how important it is to set measurable goals that will help you balance a new startup while working full-time. As I focus my attention on daily professional duties, I also make time for family. I have a small daughter and fiance, so as my to-do-list gets longer with wedding planning I never forget my long-term goals.
This article has been edited and condensed.
After reaching 298 pounds, and loosing her father to heart failure, Iriel Franklin decided to start her weight loss journey to save her life. She started chronicling her journey online and created an online fitness community and small business, Get Fit or Get Fat, which has garnered over 22,000 followers on her Facebook and Instagram accounts. She now inspires and motivates women and men to continue their journey to a healthy lifestyle.