We had the good fortune of connecting with Sarah Lili Herrington and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sarah Lili, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I always had a vision in which I wanted to help move my community towards a more preventative healthcare model, utilizing everyday habits such as exercise, nutrition, and stress management. I wanted to help create a culture that thrived on locally sourced foods, habits that promoted longevity and sustainability, as well as higher respect for natural healing methods. After working in big box gyms for over three years, I was feeling very limited in the quality and quantity of service I could offer my clients – session times were short and I was constantly rushed in between training sessions. I didn’t feel as if the people paying for the service were receiving the full value of what I could offer. At larger corporate facilities, trainers are often stuck with a singular structure that they are expected to implement onto each client – even though every individual has a different set of needs. I was also limited on the amount of nutritional advice I could give, and had very little time to touch on subjects that directly affected my client’s performance; such as sleep, hormones, relationships, and work/life balance. I took the leap in 2017 and branched out on my own, and within a year my business grew to over 40 clients all over the country. I make sure to have an extra half hour scheduled around each in-person or video session to take care of any external factors that may be influencing a persons progress, including nutrition, mobility and soft tissue issues, or just to chat about any stressors they are facing.Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned through entrepreneurship is that it’s okay to keep trying new things; even if they don’t always work out. Certain partnerships, ideas, or ventures you take on will always have a risk of failure. It is said the most successful people are not afraid of this. It takes these mistakes to learn what does or does not work, and my failures have always led to a greater outcome in the end. I recently hear a quote that about sums that up from spiritual leader Teal Swan: “The majority of people are under immense pressure to have everything figured out all the time. But having everything figured out is a state of end-ness. You are here to expand, to evolve, and to progress.” You also have to have a strong sense of confidence as an entrepreneur. If you are pitching an idea, or in my case training services, to large, established corporation and you’re turned down, you can’t let that singular rejection keep you from a larger goal. There will always be another opportunity if you are confident enough in yourself and what you have to offer to continue fighting for it. My client’s value the fact that I ‘get it’, and that I don’t expect them to work with me forever; in fact I hope they do not have to! I aim to give them the knowledge and confidence to achieve their personal goals even if I am not by their side at every moment. I also understand a lot of the problems they experience in their daily lives and blocks they have to achieving their goals – because I’ve had to overcome them myself. I’m relatable, and my brand is relatable. My clients aren’t revolving their lives around their fitness goals; we develop those goals to fit their lives. I actually recently rebranded to reflect the nature of my work. Ancient alchemists aimed to make sense of impossible processes, to do impossible things, and discover true human potential. I aim to enhance my client’s personal processes, to help them do the things that they believe are impossible: to transform them from iron into gold and guide them to their fullest potential.If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This is fun because I actually do this a lot! I’m originally from Kalamazoo, Michigan, so often I have close friends come to town to escape the winter there. First thing we always do is just bask in the Phoenix sun for a day, and head to the pool at the Lifetime at Biltmore. I’ll usually take them for a hike the second day, either South Mountain or Camelback, followed by a quick lunch at Protein House, Arcadia. All of my friends and family wish they had a Protein House location back home! Since COVID, we’ve unfortunately had to cut out most gatherings and nightlife options. So if they’re staying for a week we will book a night or two up in Sedona for a refreshing get-away. We would go on a few hikes up there, get some spa services, and just take a break from reality in a healing place. When we get back to town, I would definitely take them for a workout at Self Made Training Facility, followed by dinner at my favorite restaurant in Downtown Phoenix – Canyon Cafe.Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I think I need to give a huge shout out to PT by Joe. Joe and his wife, Lisa, welcomed me with open arms when I started competing back in 2017. They believed in me from day one, even when I had very little confidence in myself. They go over and beyond for their athletes, and give us more support and opportunities to prepare for athletic competitions or photoshoots than I’ve seen from any other competitive team. The energy inside their facility and posing seminars is always incredibly supportive, anyone from seasoned veterans to beginners can feel comfortable going to them for advice. That is a hard dynamic to achieve and I praise them highly for it.
Steven Trudge Lyvisuals