Name: Reena Vokoun, Founder
Business: Passion Fit
Location: Mountain View, CA
Reena Vokoun spent several years working in marketing, sales and business development for Fortune 500 companies such as Google, Yahoo, Reebok and GE before fully embracing her entrepreneurial dream. That’s when she boldly launch Passion Fit, a whole-person mindfulness and wellness company offering fitness classes, consulting and workshops.
Reena credits her Indian-American upbringing, her family life and her experiences both as a student and an employee as major influencers in her unique approach to Passion Fit. She’d witnessed her fellow students’ and colleagues’ struggles with being stressed out and overworked. She saw how a lack of work-life balance can negatively impact our mental, physical and emotional health. Today, Reena is motivated in business by her passion for educating others and helping them become healthier, more balanced individuals.
Hi Reena! Tell us how you started Passion Fit and about all the various components of your business.
I initially started Passion Fit as a YouTube channel offering health and fitness videos. I also blogged on topics such as fitness, nutrition, mindfulness, work-life balance and healthy lifestyles. Those channels helped me to build my brand and grow a strong following. Now, I've created signature fitness and dance classes that I offer locally in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as wellness workshops and one-on-one consulting. I am often hired to do speaking engagements for companies, non-profits, universities, schools and the media as well. Currently I’m in the process of designing an activewear line of apparel and accessories, and I’m preparing to write my first book, hopefully in 2019.
Wow! You sound busy! What have you learned as you’ve grown your business?
I've learned that you need to really understand the needs of your target audience and build content, services and products that meet their needs. It’s also important that you market and message to clients in a way that speaks to them and addresses the challenges they may be facing.
I’ve also learned that I love to create and build content, concepts, products and services from the ground up that help people live healthier and happier lives. I strive to be authentic and unique in everything I put out in the market. The creative process and opportunity to help others really fulfills me personally and professionally.
What has been most challenging or surprising about starting and running your own business?
There can be rejections, roadblocks and lots of uncertainty when starting and running your own business. You have to be resilient, believe in what you're doing, trust your instincts and keep going, even when times get tough. If something doesn't work, you have to think creatively to find new solutions, try different outlets and stay laser-focused on your end goals.
Tell us about your “mindset” as a self-employed person.
As an entrepreneur, I have a fluidity between my personal and professional life because, in many ways, my company and brand are extensions of myself. New ideas and creativity strike me at different moments, and I try to embrace them when they come. However, I also try to be present for my family and friends and enjoy taking time out of my day to focus on others and meet their needs. This is why I think it's really critical to have balance. We all need to take time away from work to focus on family, friends and self-care but also have the flexibility to take a call or address something work-related when needed.
How are you gearing up now for the busy holiday season ahead?
I'm planning out my marketing campaigns, promotions and events around the holidays. I'm also hoping to launch my online store and new activewear line in time for Black Friday and the rest of the holiday shopping season.
What do you hope to gain from attending QuickBooks Connect?
First of all, I'm honored to have been selected to have my business featured at the QuickBooks Connect conference! At QuickBooks Connect I hope to build greater awareness around my company, meet fellow entrepreneurs, attend some sessions and listen to key speakers to network, learn, grow, inspire and be inspired!
Now it’s your turn
QB Community members, how long did it take you to turn your idea into an official business? What steps did you take to make it happen?
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