My name is Ethel Baumberg and I’m the co-founder of FLYAROO Fitness, the first nationwide customizable preschool certification fitness program created for children ages 18 months to 6 years old. This is the story of how I arrived to where I am today, the lessons I learned along the way, the people who have inspired me, and how you can benefit from reading my story.
“The great aim of education is not knowledge but action”
I began my career as an undergraduate student studying psychology. I loved my studies, but couldn’t see myself in the counseling field. One of my favorite courses was Managerial Psychology, which eventually led me to pursue my dream of becoming an entrepreneur. That class introduced me to my professor who quickly became my adviser and career counselor. She encouraged me to apply for jobs I could enjoy and enroll in classes that matter.
Lesson 1: People come into your life with purpose. If you don’t have a mentor, find one. Mentors help with your professional and personal growth. Who do you admire?
“The greatest step is out the door”
I became a personal trainer when LA Fitness hired and fired me in 2009. I had two clients. One of those clients, Sally, was my biggest fan. She believed in me and supported me. Sally also wanted me to pursue my love of health and fitness without the strains of a corporate giant hanging over my head. That same year, I registered B Fit Lifestyle, a personal training company, built a website, and became a business owner.
Lesson 2: Believe in yourself. Networking creates opportunities . Which networks could be beneficial to your career?
“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step”
B Fit Lifestyle was my stepping stone to becoming the co-founder of FLYAROO Fitness. It was my foundation to building a company, managing a team of 15+ trainers, and acquiring the knowledge to pursue my ultimate goal – a global fitness empire.
We went from being an in-home personal training company to teaching outdoor boot camps. With the support of my clients, family, and friends, I achieved the goal of opening a group fitness studio.
By spring of 2012, I was interviewing fitness instructors. This is when I met Ashley, who became my business partner at FLYAROO Fitness. We originally met through an online site, and I hired her on the spot. Ashley was full of spunk, energy and life. Her talent and passion for choreography and dance was undeniable.
Summer of 2012 was the grand opening of B Fit Studio. The instructors who were there on our first day were also there on my last day – the day I closed the company in 2014.
Lesson 3: Throughout the two years of owning the space, I learned loving what you do is not enough – you have to be good at it. Do so by reading, learning and mentoring. What more can you do to be better at your job?
I made the choice to become well-versed in my craft by reading more and obtaining a masters in public health: health education.
Lesson 4: As a business owner, you have to believe in yourself. That’s the secret.
“Define your own success”
Success isn’t always hitting every goal on your “to do list”, it’s executing an idea. I wanted to build something that mattered and I did. I change people’s lives everyday. With FLYAROO Fitness, we [the program and instructors] teach that love and passion for exercise to a new generation.
Lesson 5: Do what you love and love what you do. What matters to you?
“Accept the challenges, so you may feel the exhilaration of victory”
The homework paid off, FLYAROO Fitness became a huge success. Ashley and I designed the program with a featured class format, choreography, playlists, key elements, and a learning manual. We hosted training workshops and began teaching the programs to preschools across the tri-state area. The best part? Our curriculum received glowing reviews. We then expanded the program to certify instructors in the FLYAROO Fitness curriculum.
Lesson 6: Know your mission and your goals. What’s your reason for starting a company?
“Big results require big ambitions”
This year, we debuted FLYAROO Fitness and our new online training program at the annual Fit Expo in Los Angeles.
FLYAROO Fitness was founded on the principle of inspiring others to add fitness to their lives. Our instructors are equipped to teach children how to have fun while exercising. Our vision is simple: empower children to be active and hire instructors who can share their love of fitness. We want kids to know that fitness is fun and exciting; it’s meant to be a part of our everyday lives. The best time to start learning healthy habits is at a young age. FLYAROO Fitness is not just an average sports, dance, or boot camp program. We’re all of the above. Certified instructors use their imagination to create themed 30-minute classes of dance, yoga, and more.
To date, through our licensed instructors, we have shared our program with more than 1,000 children across 50+ private and public schools, nursery schools, daycare centers, recreational and community centers and private gyms. We have licensed instructors across the country. I always knew that I wanted to be my own boss, an entrepreneur at heart.
Lesson 7: “Keep your dreams alive. Achieving greatness requires faith, confidence, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.”
Ethel Baumberg has an MPH in health education and behavioral sciences and is the business director and co-founder of FLYAROO Fitness, the first nationwide customizable preschool certification fitness program created for children ages 18 months to 6 years old.