Empowering People
& Revitalizing the Community

A Moment with our EDTP Graduate- Meet Michelle D. Smith

Posted on 4/26/2019 by EDTP Coordinator in LAEDA News
image

Michelle D. Smith is the owner and operator of Fit-n-Fun4Kidz, LLC, which helps people to take care of their health and wellness. She is also a graduate of LAEDA’s Entrepreneurial Development Training Program. We had a chance to sit down with her to ask about her experience with entrepreneurship and LAEDA's training program.

(1) LAEDA: Entrepreneurship is a very challenging path to take with many different possible directions. What made you decide to become an entrepreneur?

 

Becoming an entrepreneur takes courage, risk and sacrifice. It means sacrificing time, energy, and resources and takes lots of commitment.

 

In 2008, I was employed at Millennium3Management, a very small marketing, advertising and PR firm. With just 5 employees, we conducted tasks such as preparing press releases and creating advertising ads for clients School District of Philadelphia, Maramount Food, City Government, Keystone Mercy and Independence Blue Cross.

 

It was a conversation between the CEO (A. Bruce Crawley) and myself about having exercise in school that prompt my interest in fitness. He said during our conversation, “in order to change the way schools conduct business, you must get inside the mind of the organization.”

 

The interest become stronger in 2010, when my father transitioned from this earth. My father was my motivator; he always encouraged me “to pursue my dreams and let nothing get in my way.” January 2011 is when my dream became my mission to start Fit-n-Fun4Kidz, LLC.

 

(2) LAEDA: Why did you choose your industry?

 

Health and Wellness is one of the most impacting industries in today’s job market. During my goal of becoming an entrepreneur, I took a part-time job working for Bayada Nurses to help me heal from the loss of my father. This consisted of assisting families with the care of their loved ones in order to give them the opportunity to work and rest. It was spending time with these clients helped me to really see the value of health and wellness.

 

My vision became more prevalent as I witnessed how the lack of exercise can weaken the entire mind and body. I wanted to change the way people see exercising, so I created a health and wellness program to motivate people to move. I took my 401K and my inheritance and started my own company. I wanted people to feel good about exercising and not feel like they went to a wrestling match.

 

(3) LAEDA: Tell me about your experience while attending EDTP. What have the major takeaways been from the program? Have you had any “Ah-ha!” moments? How did the program help you?

LAEDA was the key to making this vision successful. It was my brother-in-law introduced me to LAEDA from a Facebook invite. The 9-week program was designed to assist with business start-ups which I believed could help me strengthen my business. LAEDA was the key to connections and assembling the dynamics of my success.

President & CEO, Ray Lamboy, asked during orientation “What was the reason for you being at LAEDA?” What is going to hinder you from finishing?” In 2011, during that orientation, I knew that becoming an entrepreneur was my journey. Hearing Ray ask those questions was my “Ah-ha” moment.

 

My takeaways from the LAEDA program were the experience, trust, commitment, support, connections, pressure, and networking.

 

(4) LAEDA: Tell me about your journey on the road to business start-up. What have been some of the challenges, successes, failures, etc.?

 

Starting a business definitely take lots of time, energy, finances and plenty of sleepless nights. You have to sacrifice waking up early and going to bed late

 

It takes a great mind to commit to starting a business. You have to be willing to fail in order to succeed at having a profitable and reputable business. You have to be willing to set aside your own pride and admit that you need help.

 

Personality also goes a long-way in your business because people have to see the willingness. In addition, communicating with clients and meeting their needs since business is about the client and not your personal ego.

 

Since starting my business in 2012 the journey has been outstanding and rewarding. I’ve grown and prospered by meeting and training over 100+ clients.  I’ve built some outstanding relationships with these clients and others by keeping in contact.

 

One of the challenges was getting the client motivated to start but I’ve done that!

 

(5) LAEDA: Could you tell me a little about where your business is today?

 

Today, Fit-n-Fun4Kidz continues to make strides in helping clients feel important. Over the past seven years, I’ve obtained corporate fitness contracts, conducted fitness workshops for teachers in Princeton, NJ and, offered strength and condition to North Camden Little League and North Camden Mastery Charter School, and Cal Ripken. I have also been 2x Trainer and top sales person of the Month at Robert Wood Johnson. Most recently, I completed a basketball contract with Academy of Notre Dame de Namur, Villanova, PA. Other clients have remained committed to their wellness goals and continue to keep Fit-n-Fun4 as their provider.

 

Health and Wellness is an industry that you have to continue to enhance. Without a vision your business will perish and it can leave you empty. Today, I continue to make strides in becoming educated to the trends of health and wellness.

 

(6) LAEDA: Do you have any advice for future (or existing) entrepreneurs?

 

Be patient! Pace yourself and make sure you have the energy to invest “TIME.” Be willing to commit to your vision; be willing to fail and accept failure. Great success isn’t overnight, it’s a process and processes takes time. As an entrepreneur, it is not just believing in yourself in fact you need a successful team: “family, friends, investors, partners and mentors.” Most of all Meditation and Humility! Have fun learning as you grow!

 

Congratulations to Michelle D. Smith for completing EDTP and recommitting to her journey on the path of entrepreneurship. For more information, contact Michelle D. Smith via telephone at 1-(215) 906-1678, via email at michelle.smithkelly@gmail.com.

 

 

The Entrepreneurial Development Training Program (EDTP) is a free, nine-week business skills training course offered in Camden, NJ in the Winter Spring and Fall each year. Qualified entrepreneurs receive 72+ hours of training from industry professionals, business planning, and one year of technical assistance. Apply online at www.LAEDA.com.