I recently had the opportunity to participate in a women in business panel featuring some of the most influential women business owners in Chicago. It was an inspiring day full of powerful messages and insights from women leaders.
I wanted to document this event and share some of things that came up. I would recommend any entrepreneur ask these questions to themselves to dig deep and explore future passions. As I answered these questions myself, so many things came to fruition and it helped me to unlock my capacity to live bigger.
I’m Kristen Brogan and I am the Chief Mindful Living Officer and professional speaker at my family’s health and performance company, On Target Living. Our team at On Target Living works with organizations to transform performance from the inside out through speaking engagements and retreat style trainings. We look at performance from the lens of human development versus talent development. We like to say we expand human capacity to optimize talent, enhance company culture and drive success.
Even though we sell multiple products like books, cookbooks, audio programs, exercise DVDs, and superfoods from our warehouse in Michigan, it’s our lifestyle message truly creates long term behavior change and internal motivation. We are constantly surrounded by external motivation (like fit bits, fancy fitness studios, healthy grab and go food), which is all helpful at keeping us "on target" but will eventually stop providing us with the same results. It’s our internal motivation from within that truly lights our fire and creates long term change. What is the why inside that keeps us going when life gets hard? That's the magic.
My Dad started his career as a personal trainer and competed in many body building competitions while I was growing up. Therefore, superfoods made up my diet and my twin brother, Matt and I practically lived at my Dad’s gym where I worked out for fun. We grew up eating oatmeal topped with flaxseeds, wheatgrass, and cod liver oil. This lifestyle was all I ever knew and as I got older I realized that I wanted to teach this way of life to individuals but in my own way based on my experiences. Right out of school I got my dream job working as a corporate retail dietitian for Meijer grocery stores and was able to take my message to a large audience. I knew at some point I would join forces with my Dad and the rest of my family at On Target Living and have now been there for 3 ½ years.
I do what I do because I want to give people results. There is way too much information out there when it comes to living your best self and I try to simplify the noise to show people that you can live healthy without making sacrifices. You truly can have your cake and eat it too!
You don’t have to know your end game or exactly what you want to do in life. Interests evolve and its experience that allows you to figure out your strengths, weaknesses, and greatest passions.
The lifestyle we teach at On Target Living is centered around resting, eating, and moving—these are the 3 pillars that build the foundation for optimal performance. Much of our job requires us to sell ourselves as speakers. When we started working with companies in the beginning we would tell them they we could teach their employees how to rest, eat, and move for better health. Companies didn’t care and didn’t always see the connection between good health and business success. Therefore, we lost many leads and business prospects. Over the years we have realized that marketing and the way we package our message is everything and most often we don’t even mention the word health even through that’s the foundation of our message.
Now we tell companies that we can expand human capacity for optimal performance. Organizations are people with purpose and people are the greatest asset to any organization. However, the greatest asset of their people is there health. It's important to talk the right lingo to the right people in the right way.
Because our team provides a number of services including motivational presentations, teaching yoga, sleep trainings, designing conference menus, etc we sometimes tell companies everything that we can do in one long sentence. We have found a long the way that this is too overwhelming for people to grasp and when you confuse, you lose. People want simple! They don’t want to work too hard to consume information. We are the leading authority in our space—and have be clear about communicating that with our customers.
I like to apply a mindfulness approach to my lifestyle and everyday life. I don’t want to do things like exercising or eating the right foods because I have to or because someone tells me to, I do it because I want to and because I like the way it makes me feel. I also eat foods that make me feel healthy and happy and actually taste good. I live healthy because it allows me to experience life in a positive way and do the things I love. Managing my energy is way more important than managing my time. More energy allows me to do more with the time that I have.
You workout and eat healthy because you love your body, not because you hate it.
While working with my family is amazing, there are also many struggles that come with working with your family. Family dynamics can be fun yet challenging. Overtime we have learned how to support each others strengths and fill in for each others weaknesses to be an unstoppable team. I like to say that my brother and I already have a pretty special twin superpower of being able to relate and understand each other. As a family we also have to be mindful of separating work and life to connect and grow.
• For those of you who have had mentors, explain to us the value of having a mentor. What’s one core message you received from your mentor(s)?
Mentors are amazing because they tell you what you need to hear not what you want to hear. My Dad is probably my biggest mentor and has always told me that if you lead with your passion, success with naturally follow. If your passion doesn’t make you money, it’s a hobby and you may need to find another passion.
My husband is my number one supporter and life advisor. We’ve been together for over 13 years and we are constantly trying to bring out the best in each other and grow together. I also recently hired a sales coach, Stacie who has totally changed my life and has pushed me to think and live bigger. Support systems are huge. No one gets ahead by themselves. Surround yourself with people who lift you hire and stay away from energy vampires. Research shows that you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.
As women, we have to celebrate and own our successes and know that any challenges we face can always be turned into opportunities. Health is your greatest ROI. It’s truly your competitive advantage.