Our woman of the week is Salina Duggan, a health and fitness coach from Seattle, WA. Right from a young age, she strived hard to create her own identity. A brown girl raised by a white single mom, hustling is something she is very familiar with. Today, she has not only found herself and create a name, but is also doing something she is very passionate about. Her entrepreneurial journey will inspire you to hustle harder and begin your own adventure. Go on, give it a read
1. How was your childhood?
Most of my childhood was spent outdoors! I loved to play with my family and friends, and I was always involved in sports and different activities growing up, mainly thanks to my mom. I was raised by a strong single mother who insisted on me getting a good education, staying active, and completing regular chores in order to contribute to the household. I was, however, a brown girl who was raised by a white mother and in a predominantly white town, so my upbringing was not without challenges. As a child, I remember being extremely insecure and unsure of who I was and it took me a long time to establish my identity.
2. What did you aspire to be when you were little?
I aspired to be an Olympic gymnast and I also wanted to be a pilot.
3. Could you take us through your work, please give us a brief about it?
I am a health and fitness coach. I run my own business, Salina D. Fitness (SDF), where I work with clients in person and virtually (although I work almost exclusively virtually these days) to help them achieve their health/fitness goals. I also run an online virtual studio, called the SDF Virtual Studio, that offers a variety of live fitness classes and on-demand workouts, including spin, yoga, strength, and cardio classes.
4. What made you choose this line of work? Was there an incident that inspired it?
I have always been a very active person, engaging in many sports. My mom was a health and physical education teacher, and she always stressed the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle and I think that’s always stuck with me. After college, I had the opportunity to travel abroad, and during that time I observed how dramatically different the food, fitness, and lifestyle was outside of the US. That intrigued me to no end and it was this that ultimately drove me to go back to school to pursue a career in the health & science world.
5. What does your daily routine look like?
Almost every day (Mon-Fri) I wake up early for work. Coffee, breakfast, and some type of news (via tv or online) is my ideal way to start my day. I then get myself ready to teach either an online morning fitness class, or I’m starting with my private virtual clients (people love to get in their workouts early!). I will typically work early morning until lunchtime, then I’ll have my afternoons to prep/program, answer emails, and grab a bite. Then by 3 pm, I’m back working with clients/teaching classes until around 6 or 7 pm at night. The evenings consist of dinner with my husband, dog walks, and relaxation time! In bed by 10 pm 🙂
6. What do you think are your biggest achievements?
Starting my own business was a pretty big accomplishment for me! It seems so easy when you’re talking about it, but when you actually do it you realize how much work it requires. I put a lot of work, energy, and soul into my business (my husband would argue too much time!) but I’m pretty damn proud of what I’ve accomplished thus far. There’s something to be said about following your passion and seeing it through to completion. I didn’t let others define me, I found my own path and followed it.
7. Was is difficult in the beginning to follow your dreams?
Continuing to push through and move forward, even on the hard days (there are way more hard days than there are easy days!). Staying consistent with what I practice and what I preach, meaning I need to honor my body and my energy as I help to motivate others to do the same.
8. What was your hustle journey like?
I’ve been hustling since I was a kid. As the daughter of a single mom, I saw my mom hustle each and every day to make ends meet. It’s in my nature and it’s very much a part of who I am. I’ve had to always work for everything I’ve had. There were no other options. I worked 3 jobs in college, I have had countless internships (many unpaid). Especially when I made the switch from my BA to my MS. I had to “start over” in a sense which required me to start from the bottom and work my way up. But I have never been afraid to get my hands dirty! I have high expectations of myself and I understand that in order to make things happen I need to be the one putting in the work to make my dreams a reality.
9. What are some of the challenges you deal with even today? And, how do you overcome them?
I often deal with the fear of failure, or that I am not worthy or capable of achieving the level of success that I strive for. It can be a mental battle with yourself every day, especially when you are a one-woman show! You don’t always have the support of a “team” or coworkers, so you must rely on your own inner strength in order to push through those feelings. Of course, I have support from family and friends, but it can be an isolating experience running your own business. I honestly believe in the power of my own work because it’s what has kept me going all these years! Constantly working on building my strength physically and mentally has helped me persevere, even on the hardest of days.
10. With success also comes failure. So, tell us, how do you deal with failures? What keeps you going?
I think just like anything else in life (whether it’s a good experience or bad ones) you go through it, learn from it, then keep moving forward. Don’t let any single experience hold you back for too long. Even the good ones! I dealt with one of the lowest blows to my career right before starting my own business. The company I was working for went under and as a result, I got laid off for the very first time. It was a month before my wedding and I was devastated. I think low points pave the way for you to come back with a brand new perspective on EVERYTHING. I don’t know that I would have ever ventured off to start my own business if it weren’t for me getting laid off, so I don’t regret going through that difficult time because it’s what got me to where I am today!
11. Do you have a mantra or motto for life?
“Find your strong.” Find that stuff deep within you that you are made of. Learn what drives you to be the best version of yourself that you can be. It’s all about empowerment and it looks and feels different for everybody. Once you find your inner strength, it’s amazing how that strength manifests into all facets of your life (even with your fitness goals!).
12. Has the pandemic hindered your future plans? How are you dealing with it?
I’m operating 100% online with my virtual training and my virtual class platform. Although I had this objective to bring my business 100% online before the pandemic (for other reasons), I’m now understanding the value of my services and how offering these virtual services can help improve people’s health and overall wellbeing. Even during these stressful and uncertain times, we still need to move and we still need to get in our exercise! The great thing about taking my business online is that I can help cast a wider net and help more people, which I love.
13. What do you have in store for the future?
I plan to expand my operations to include a bigger and more diverse team of coaches offering virtual fitness classes and health services to a wider audience.
14. Do you have any advice for our readers?
I firmly believe that the collective is always more important than the individual, so remembering that we exist in a very diverse world is something that often reminds me to think about how I see the world might be very different compared to others. Inclusion & diversity matters, and as a business owner, community member, world citizen it’s important to remember that. Oh, and never stop learning!
15. If someone wishes to choose your line of work, what is the advice for them? How do they go about it?
Find some good mentors and a good support network who can help you on your journey. Surround yourself with folks who believe in you and want to see you succeed. No one gets anywhere without the help of others. Look for those who are smarter and more successful than you. You never want to be the smartest person in the room. Not, at least, if you want to improve and level up your game!
If you wish to get in touch with Salina, below are her social media handles;
Facebook – Salina Duggan
LinkedIn – Salina Duggan
Finally, taking Salina’s advice, let’s all make sure that we never stop learning. We hope you enjoyed the read. Let us know in the comments.
Bloomer Craze Women of the Week is an initiative taken to appreciate and celebrate inspiring women and girl bosses from all streams, across the globe! If you are or you know someone who fits the criteria, do not hesitate, just write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org