Born and raised in St. Albert, Alberta, Meghan Schech calls herself the “nerdy theatre kid” who, throughout high school, made the half hour commute into Edmonton to attend the Victoria School of the Performing and Visual Arts. After a gap year, Meghan still wasn’t sure what she wanted to do for post-secondary education. With the money she saved for university, Meghan moved to San Francisco for four months to train full-time for aerial circus. Eventually Meghan attended NAIT for medical laboratory assisting which has led her to having, what she would explain as “the world’s most bizarre resume.”
A variety of different things that built up over the years led Meghan to starting her own business. One such factor was that there were no jobs that really caught her attention. “There was nothing I felt like I wanted to do for more than a few years,” she said. Although she felt like she always had great ideas on how to improve workplaces, she never had the authority to make those changes and her suggestions were often ignored. After working for a while in healthcare, she realized that it frustrated her to see how much of the population was sick with obesity-related conditions. This, combined with her experience training in aerial circus, inspired her to start a business that helped people stay healthy and try something new.
CircoFit is a small aerial arts studio located in Edmonton. CircoFit coaches adults for aerial skills, straps, rope and static trapeze, and prides itself on the company culture they’ve created. Quality coaching, proper technique and training for longevity are important when designing the curriculum, but Meghan has found that building a quality community has been the most important aspect of growing her business. “The CircoFit community is positive, encouraging and genuinely supportive of each other.”
Through all the experiences that led Meghan to starting her own business, being a very driven person has been her key to success. She believes this drive is rooted from having her mother pass away when she was only ten years old. “That sense of mortality has pushed me to say yes to any opportunity that I find exciting and has given me the courage to make big, scary life changes when necessary,” she shares. “The fear of regret has been a huge motivational factor for me throughout my life.”
Meghan received help from Futurpreneur Canada, a non-profit organization that helps young people between the ages of 18-39 start a business. The financial support she received through Futurpreneur was crucial for her business but more importantly, the mentorship she received with the business mentor she was paired with, Neall Alden, was incredibly beneficial. Neall runs a ski and snowboard company called Backside Tours and helped Meghan find her direction with branding and other aspects of starting a business which sent her in the right direction of getting CircoFit successfully off the ground.
In the next year Meghan plans to find and train two to four new coaches to assist with the demand of her classes. By bringing new staff on board, she will be able to take a step back from coaching and focus on the business side of running her own start-up. She also hopes to bring in guest coaches from across the country and around the world to offer new and exciting classes and workshops.
In terms of her biggest piece of advice for other aspiring entrepreneurs, Meghan shared the following: “First of all they should take a good, long hard look at themselves and evaluate if they should take the leap. I think that entrepreneurs need to be the type of people who are good at taking the first step, not people who say “some day,” and then never act on those goals.”
To learn more about CircoFit and the classes they offer, visit www.circofit.ca.
About Futurpreneur: Futurpreneur Canada has helped an estimated 10,000 enterprising young people launch more than 8,100 businesses across Canada since 1996. We’re the only national, non-profit organization that provides financing, mentoring and support tools that aspiring business owners aged 18-39 need to launch and grow successful Canadian businesses. Our internationally recognized mentoring program matches young entrepreneurs with a business expert from a network of almost 3,000 volunteer mentors. For more information, please visit www.futurpreneur.ca, like Futurpreneur on Facebook and follow @Futurpreneur on Twitter.
Lauren Marinigh, Social Media & Content Specialist, Futurpreneur Canada