We had the good fortune of connecting with Jodi Stokes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jodi, how do you think about risk?
Taking risks, and they work out can lead to new capabilities you never saw before. If they don’t work out as imagined, lessons in growth and opportunity are inevitable. Either way, in the optimistic mind, its win/win. I speak from experience. In 2015, I opened a women’s preferred gym facility. Sole proprietor, investor, owner and CEO. Not only was the 2900 sq. ft. state-of-the-art full-service gym facility a niche’, but it was well received in the community for empowering and supporting women of all ages. I poured my heart, soul and recourses into the space, members and employees. However, after 4 short years, as the rent, upgrades in the property and bank interest rates continued to rise, I just could no longer keep it afloat. It broke my bank, my heart but not my soul. I knew that I had done well in the world for having a safe environment for women to workout, and build healthy relationships. It was a dream of mine. I accomplished amazing things and am forever grateful for the experience. It is because of the great risk that I took, that I am here today with a genuine love for what I do for a living and continue to make a difference in the Fitness Community. It wasn’t long after the gym had closed that I began my own business again. Jodi Stokes Fitness. I am one of the only Concierge Fitness Professionals who have a BS in Exercise Science, a Clinical Exercise Specialist and work at a medical concierge facility as their fitness expert. During the pandemic, I went into clients homes in PPE, or dropped off sanitized equipment to their home and later Zoomed or Face Timed them to make certain they stayed healthy and had some form of connection. While there were risks involved for my own health, I maintained little to no contact with anyone other then my clients to ensure everyone’s safety. I also had the blessing of publishing my first book last year – Water Exercise by Jodi Stokes on Amazon. Because of my innovation and creativeness in 2020, and more of a need for health and wellness, 2020 brought me back from the depths of 2018. Risk can lead to reward. You may not always see the silver lining when you are in survival mode. I always encourage entrepreneurs to have a plan B, an exit strategy and surround yourself with a tribe of people who support you. We are always learning and expanding in our fields of study, but make certain you are doing something you love, that helps make a difference in the world. With that, you can never go wrong and you will always find a way to land back on your feet.Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have been in the fitness industry for over 30 years. With a BS in Exercise Science from the U of A, I began my fitness venture at Canyon Ranch Resort and Spa and soon after that opened the Scottsdale Princess Resort as the Fitness Manager. After getting married and having two boys, I moved to Valencia, California. I was blessed with working with the Sports Club Company as a trainer, fitness instructor, and member service specialist. Then an amazing opportunity opened up for me at the Paseo Club. As the Fitness Director, I ran the group exercise, training, aquatic and youth programs, I was able to utilize all of my creative skills and began training programs for triathlons, running clubs and boot camps. Not only was this a dream job, but I was able to train others to do something they considered unfathomable such as running a 1/2 marathon or doing a triathlon for the first time. I lived in Valencia for 17 years, while overseeing all of these projects, I also started Jodi’s Backyard Bootcamp, which had five locations in the Santa Clarita Valley. I won the Elite Trainer and Business Woman of the year. I also joined a woman’s organization call Soroptimist International where I created and chaired the High-Heel-a-thon which went International and I received Senate and local Chamber of Commerce awards and recognition. With all of the focus on women and helping, it only seemed natural that I would come on to join Total Women Gym and Day Spa in Valencia. I worked for them for two years and loved the premise of this 48-year corporate entity, that I set out to return to Scottsdale to open the first franchise of the organization. I worked on the project for about six months and for several reasons ended up going my own direction opening my own gym Goddess Fit. AZ’s only Women’s Full-Service Gym. I was so blessed to own and operate my own gym for about 4 years and recently expanded to Jodi Stokes Fitness where I now go mobile and can work with my clients in the water. Nothing worth having is easy… but if you stay within the realms of your passion you WILL always be successful! So, go into everything with a positive attitude, fortitude and surround yourself with like-minded people. There have been many bumps in the road of my journey, but I have been able to come out feeling accomplished and successful because I always had a backup plan and I realized that what I just went through was a conduit to get me to my next successful venture. The best advice I can give other than the aforementioned is to write a business plan every year for at least the first five years. Add Financials, Goals, Marketing Plans and Budget. Stick to the plan as best you can and add creatively as you grow. Be current on trends and continue to learn within your craft. Network constantly whether with women’s groups or the community. Be service oriented, be fair and both compassionate with your employees, because if they are happy… so will your clients. As a boss, lead by example. Lastly, make sure that you are not working so hard INSIDE of your business that you are not working ON your business. I am a concierge fitness professional. Jodi Stokes Fitness is a mobile personal training operation with individually designed results-oriented program offerings. As an experienced Fitness Leader in the community, I have developed both professional and personal relationships to assist people in living healthy lives. I have perfected my craft for over 30 years and am able to train people in a wide variety of exercise techniques including: muscle building, balance, weight loss, stretching, barre, kickboxing, running, triathlon training, water exercise and am still learning new forms of training constantly. I go to my client’s homes or they come to mine. I also work with corporate entities to assist in a more productive workplace for owners and employees. I joined LifeScape Premier a medical concierge facility as their Fitness Expert in August of 2019. I have the opportunity to work with their Fit3D virtual simulator, which will measure BMI, Body Fat and more! I will then be able to provide an exercise program with their clients or mine, who have had a consult with a Nutritionist and their Physician. What sets me apart from others is the fact that I am mobile, experienced, accredited, creative, organized and fun! I make it easier for my clients to get a workout in, by showing up at their home or now virtually. During the pandemic I had to get very creative. I sometimes dropped off sanitized equipment at my client’s home to Zoom them later with their workout program. I also, wore PPE for both of our safety. My experience and accreditation’s give me a wide variety of offerings. I also have had the experience of working with Arthritics, Injury Prevention, Older Populations, and Athletes.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Oh boy the things I wish we all could do, but cannot during a pandemic. Luckily Arizona has beautiful weather and there are majestic hiking venues and outside activities of all sorts. I prefer to be active when people come to visit. I would take them golfing, to hang out by a pool, go on a fun picnic or enjoy a meal (with my son who is a chef) w/ my amazing family. Those options I feel would be best for everyone during these times.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
a grateful shoutout and thanks to my family, friends and clients who have continually supported and encouraged me during my journey. Without you, non of what I do would be possible!!
Facebook: Jodi Stokes Fitness
Youtube: Jodi Stokes Fitness
Other: @fitjodi TikTok