GO TRIbal is such a unique concept. Can you tell us a bit about it?
At its heart is a community of like-minded women who share a passion for living an active lifestyle. A place where judgment about ability, age or background is suspended, so that others can Pay it Forward in the name of good health – of mind, body and spirit. The women who find GO TRIbal love to swim, cycle, run or do all three and do so with wild abandon and joy.
What inspired you personally to start GO TRIbal?
I was looking for a network or hub that served women who lived this active lifestyle. My friends had gifted me with their mentorship 8 years prior, and even as
I didn’t believe I could do something as crazy as a triathlon, they helped me see I could – and enjoy the impact it would have on my life beyond sport. I wanted to do that for other women. And I couldn’t find a network that allowed me to do that.
What kinds of trends are you seeing among women and endurance sports?
Women have single-handly influenced the growth of every category in the endurance sports sector; from running shoes, to apparel to race entries and even the explosive growth of new races. Even ‘un traditional’ or non-endemic brands are now putting on races to capture the women’s dollar when it comes to racing; i.e. Self and MORE magazine. And yet, the service providers, retailers and manufacturers are not understanding the psychology of women in making their purchasing decisions and so they are building brands and marketing strategies based on generalized, false assumptions. And in some cases, making grossly [disrespectful] assumptions about a woman’s buying power and her intelligence in making purchasing decisions.
GO TRIbal, created by an active woman, for active women, aims to change that phenomenon. And I believe all women really needed was a place to collect their voices, power and influence in order to do so. Each woman was already doing that by the time I came along! I just wanted to create a community that allowed them to see the power within THEMSELVES and give them the tools to change the planet for the better.
Being an endurance athlete and a business owner, what kinds of parallels do you see between them?
The stamina, fortitude, self-belief, and passion you need to remain consistent in your training or active lifestyle, are the same qualities required to start a business from scratch. If you can’t ride the roller coaster every day, or stomach the thought of 100 people telling you your idea sucks for ½ person once in a while telling you it’s an interesting one, then starting a company could be a difficult road. Just like endurance sports, you are constantly figuring out what didn’t work (ah, I should eat while on long bike rides!!) and fixing it so you get better the next time, starting a business requires you to be flexible, and constantly ready and willing to learn and change.
What do you wish you would have known before you got started in business?
More about web-based businesses and knowing the technology people behind their design and creation.
What piece of advice do you give other women who want to be in business for themselves?
Well, my first answer would be See Answer Above. (To endurance athlete and business owner comparison). But, I’ll add a wee bit more for good measure here. Excitement and the novelty of starting a business wears off in due time. Passion never does. It’s the only thing you run on (if you are not financed especially) in the dark days, and the thing that you are extra charged up on in the good days.
Humility and a willingness to learn from anyone, anywhere, at any time. Being arrogant about what you know, even if you are the “Guru” at it, will not only close doors, it will keep those opportunities closed forever.
And be willing to adapt what you thought your “killer idea” was for what your market says is the killer idea… aka, what THEY want. Listen, listen, listen. Don’t talk. Listen. Ask the right questions, and be open to the answers. You have to turn off that “I know the answer, but I’ll just ask so they feel heard” filter. People are smart, don’t underestimate any consumer’s intelligence.