Cheers to 3 Years of TRAINING2XL

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Wow, my little labour of love turns 3 today. It was three years ago that I was sitting across from my dear friend Sarah in our favourite cafe in Waterloo (Pure Kitchen & Juice Bar) frantically trying to find the right links to start the process. She helped keep me calm and walk me through the process of registering Training2XL as a legitimate business. I really had (& have) no idea what I’m doing when it comes to running a business, but the hardest part is just to start, right?

I’d like to think I was destined to become an entrepreneur after growing up with my mom who owns two of her own businesses. Both my parents set such a standard when it came to “work”. It never looked like “work”, it always looked like they truly enjoyed what they did each day, whether that was teaching history and coaching football (dad), or speaking in front of hundreds of people like it’s nothing (mom). They both made it very clear that you need to love what you do.

Even in my experience as a strength and conditioning coach, if there hasn’t been a distinct position for me, or an opportunity didn’t seem to be there, I’d simply just create it myself (aka how I created the Strength & Conditioning Program at WLU, but I’ll save that for another post). I always love the challenge of taking control and building something from scratch - it’s so satisfying to see the progression, knowing that you were the factor that made it happen.

I’ve learned a lot in the last 3 years about running a business, but more importantly about myself. I’ve always wanted to believe that I’m strong, ambitious, passionate and resilient, but I really didn’t realize the strength of those qualities until they were put to the test - in both business and life. This past year has been a game-changer for me and for Training2XL. As much as I loved my job as a collegiate strength coach, a part of me always wondered “what would happen if I went ALL IN on Training2XL? What could I create? Where could I take it?” After losing my dad just over a year ago, I truly learned the meaning of “life is short” and wanted to finally put my money where my mouth was a take the leap. If not now, when? What am I waiting for? I quickly learned that no time is perfect and I had to see what I was truly capable of.

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Although there is definitely an ebb and flow of being an entrepreneur - some days you’re on top of the world and others your talking to yourself asking “WHY THE FUCK DID IT THINK THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA?!” - it is 100% worth it. Worth every tear, every failure, every project, every dollar, every second. I love that I get to wear different hats, having a different schedule each day, having the flexibility to say 'no’ to things I don’t want to be apart of and ‘yes’ to things I’ve always wanted to try. I love that I’ve been in control of every single program, ebook, blog post, email, and detail of T2XL and I will continue to be behind every aspect.

I could talk all day about the adventure of being an entrepreneur because I really am grateful to be in the position I am today, however, don’t be fooled - building your own schedule is great and all but it comes with a lot of sacrifice, blood, sweat and tears. Being an entrepreneur is NOT for the faint of heart, it’s not for the scattered, the scared and the disorganized. You have to be ON TOP of your shit, because if you’re not, no one else is. But DAMN, it feels good because every success, every small win and every step forward is YOURS.

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Here are my Top 3 Takeaways from these last 3 years …

(1) Your support system is everything

I want to take a moment to say a special thank you to the people who have truly stuck by me through every up and every down. As much as I appreciate the support from my T2XL community, I wouldn’t have the guts to do it without people helping me up when I fall and giving me props when I have a small win. To my family (mom, dad, Dante, Vince, & crew), to my friends, and my boyfriend Ryan (the shit this guy puts up with from me …) - I am forever grateful.

(2) Create impact & leave a legacy

After seeing nearly 1000 people come through my dad’s visitation and funeral service, I truly learned what leaving a legacy means. My dad barely knew how to turn on his computer, let alone even know what the heck instagram was, and you know what? He didn’t need to. He impacted people through building authentic relationships with them, he held others to a high standard and help them live up to their true potential. He did that in-person, in REAL TIME. That’s the kind of impact I want to have on others. Influence doesn’t matter, it’s about impact.

“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others”

(3) You can’t pour from an empty cup

When you are the service your business provides, it’s incredibly important to take care of yourself. I am STILL learning this, still practicing and still reminding myself that it’s okay to step away from my work to enjoy some downtime. I write this as a reminder to myself as much as it is to share with all of you.

Well, I’ll end this ramble here because it’s safe to say I’m back on my blogging game and you’ll be hearing a lot more from me! Feel free to comment below with some topics you’d like to hear about.

Thanks for following along this journey, my homies - means more than you know!

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Alena Luciani