Are you currently sitting in your corporate job wandering what it would be like to break free of the 9-5 and start running your own show? I know it can be so hard to take the leap and walk away. Lindy Sorenson did just that, and took steps to launch her own luxury fitness box brand Aktivaal. She left her corporate career and does her own thing, managing this growing start-up aimed at busy women like herself (and you, and me!).
I sat down with Lindy to chat all things freelance life, and to pick her brain on how the transition has been for her.
What exactly is Aktivaal?
Aktivaal is basically that new set of joggers or that new tank that you buy to help get you motivated to get fit. It’s a series of beautifully curated gift boxes full of all the fitness essentials you’ll need to get started in perhaps yoga, swimming or running. Aktivaal essentials range from beautiful rose gold swiss balls to forest green drink bottles to black and white yoga mats.
Aktivaal is something that can be used at home, in the park or down at your local beach. It's intention is to be used in the beautiful Australian outdoors.
What did you do before this new gig?
I used to work in the corporate world for a large accounting firm working on their Entrepreneur Of The Year program funnily enough. After meeting my husband and travelling Australia, we became engaged and I chose to become an outdoor fitness personal trainer.
Soon after I fell pregnant and became very ill with morning sickness. So I focused on raising my two daughters for the next 3 years. Whilst goal setting for the new year, I decided to focus on competing in triathlons but I had no idea how to train or what I needed. I am an absolutely hopeless swimmer! After searching around, I thought of how easy it would be if there was just a kit of fitness essentials that had everything you needed to get you started in a particular discipline. And that’s when Aktivaal was born.
Specifically, what steps did you take to get you through the transition of corporate jungle to freelance freedom?
I knew that I wasn’t able to personally sustain the long hours and the commute at the same time as raising a family. I had always entertained the idea of becoming a personal trainer but it felt like it was the right time to make the career change. So I completed a Personal Training course and became an outdoor fitness PT before I had my 2 daughters. It was then after having Sahara and Amaya that I decided I wanted to create a luxe fitness product that allowed everyone to enjoy working out and be inspired by our beautiful outdoors. So after pitching the idea to friends, family and the amazing Tess from SmackBang, I felt I was ready to take the leap into freelance freedom.
What do you love most about running your own show?
I actually love the sense of achievement I feel and the anticipation of the sense of achievement I may feel in a few years to come. It’s only now that I’m starting to realise exactly what I’ve started and how brave that it was at the time.
I love that I’m creating something that might give that woman that little spring in her step when she does her workout. That gives me goosebumps just thinking that I may have made someone feel good about themselves. As women have a tendency to put ourselves last (a constant battle of mine) and I want Aktivaal to be that permission to all those hard working ladies out there that now is your time and to embrace it.
What truths about working for yourself did you not realise until you started?
That it is a constant roller coaster and no one is there to pick you up on the down, only you can. At first, I questioned all of the big decisions as I was used to running the ideas past my colleagues and managers. But when you work for yourself, it can be isolating. That’s why I now have an amazing business coach who is a fantastic sounding board and inspiration to me. She keeps me accountable and on my toes, that’s for sure.
Talk us through the start-up process. Where did you begin?
I firstly started by pitching the idea to friends and family and stumbled across the amazing Tess from SmackBang. After meeting with her, she was really encouraging of the concept and we started straight away on registering the business, finding a business name and creating the Aktivaal brand. Once that was complete, I started creating the boxes and purchasing the products that were going to be used in the boxes while SmackBang worked on my incredible website. We launched 10 months later and are only 4 months in! Eeek.
Are there any apps or services that streamlined the process for you?
The best streamlined process along the way was definitely using Tradegecko. Tradgecko links up to my website, feeds back to an inventory database and also hooks up to Shippit. So when someone purchases one of my boxes, all of the contents are deducted from the inventory database which also feeds through to Shippit. It’s pure magic!
What elements of your business have you automated and why?
I automated the inventory process as in total there’s 40 different products and being a mum of 2, I knew that I probably wouldn’t be able to keep on top of this. It is a complex product so I needed a system that just chugged away in the background.
Where do you how your business to be in 5 years’ time?
In five years time I see Aktivaal branching out into many different facets. It’s all very exciting and plans have already begun. Lots of new exciting products to come! Anything can happen in 5 years. x
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