When we were cleaning out cupboards this summer in preparation for a major home renovation we have undertaken, I found a set of notes I had written back in 1998. The notes outlined an idea for a pilates studio. It described a centre for movement education and mind-body wellness that provided excellence in fitness training, therapeutic modalities and athletic performance. I realized those notes describe what Retrofit Pilates has become today.
My dream came true.
I would like to say that the success of Retrofit Pilates was a result of detailed plans executed in a precise timeline and scheduled according to market research, analytic reports and specific metrics. But it wasn’t. I am an accidental entrepreneur and whatever business savvy I may posess came by way of learning from my mistakes and listening to people who were a lot smarter than me – plus an acquired but genuine interest in the business of running a business.
I believe much of the success of Retrofit Pilates came simply from having a vision and following it relentlessly – making all decisions based on the fulfillment of that vision. Every day I got up, showed up, and made decisions about where I wanted my business to go and what was the best way to get there and I surrounded myself with talented people who shared the vision.
The vision sometimes required modification and parts of it were abandoned altogether. There were unexpected benefits and unintended consequences. I made mistakes along the way and my learning curve was often steep.
The only difference between a dream and a vision is action – and a deadline. What makes a dream come true is setting goals and working toward them and then setting more goals and working toward them. What we don’t like we change. What we can’t change we accept.
I have been very fortunate to have run a successful business with a great team for 15 years. I have worked hard and have had many graceful moments where preparation met opportunity. Many people have helped me and they have shared in Retrofit’s success.
So every day we get the chance to open our doors, to keep building the vision and to keep figuring out ways to make it better.
Every day we get another chance to make the dream come true.