Laura Moore, 35, lost her first business – a gym – to a devastating fire, but used the tragedy to start afresh as a life coach.
I bounced around a little trying to work out what I wanted to do after uni, and I did everything from customer service to photography. It was while I was doing a fitness certificate that Vision, a gym I was going to, offered me a sponsorship to stay in the country (I’m originally from England). Once I began working there as an instructor I had a really strange dream about one day owning my own gym. I was with that particular gym for three years before an opportunity came up in 2014 to buy a franchise and, remembering my dream, I ran with it.
I had to do an extensive fit-out to turn a former video store into my vision – no small undertaking when I also had to buy equipment and pay franchising fees, which in total left me with a bill of over $350,000. But within nine months, I’d built up a client base of 50 and employed a team of four. The dream was a success... until I got a call one day to say a fire had broken out at the Chinese noodle shop attached to the gym and to hurry on back. I arrived to find fire engines screaming past and the building utterly destroyed. I collapsed on the street with tears streaming down my face as I watched everything I’d worked so hard for fall down around me.
When I THINK back to HOW I got WHERE I am today, I will gladly ADMIT that I’m GRATEFUL that it happened.
Initially I went into fight mode, searching for insurance papers to deal with the logistics and taking my clients down to a nearby park for their classes, but, as the reality of the situation dawned on me, what little fight I had left began to wane. I discovered I wasn’t insured anywhere enough to recover what I put into the business, and it took seven months to negotiate my way out of the franchise. My body reacted accordingly – I wasn’t sleeping or getting my period, I started gaining weight and I was exhausted all the time. Eventually I took some time off to go to South Australia for a few weeks to relax and dive, but ideas for a new business began forming as soon as I left my mind free to wander.
Once I came back, I worked hard to restore my mind and body back to what it was. I visited a million different health practitioners, tried health supplements, took up yoga and meditation and I started to explore personal development. My ‘aha’ moment came when I realised everyone is experiencing what I was going through to various degrees, and that I could help others with my experience and life story.
My business, Uppy, a life-coaching business, launched last year and things are going well. I work from home and I assist my clients, who are all busy people, over the phone, or through Skype, and I feel like I’ve finally got the perfect work-life balance. When I think back to how I got where I am today, I will gladly admit that I’m grateful that it happened. Obviously it was traumatic when it all unfolded, but it pushed me in a new direction that’s perfect for me, and I’m loving every minute of it. >