Aug. 23, 2019
As a #ByWomenForWomen company, we love celebrating brands that are led by fellow female founders. Our new series, Founder Friday, is a chance to get to know some of these standout women, including our very own Heidi Zak!
Simone De La Rue founded Body By Simone in 2010 fueled by nothing more than a passion for helping others. Since she said “YES!” to life and jumped into her career nine years ago, Simone has built a family, an incredible business, and sculpted some killer abs along the way. She spends her time training her clients, growing her business even more, and bonding with her newborn son. Simone talks to us about what her busy days look like, what success means to her, her best piece of advice, and how important it is to build other women up.
Why did you start your company?
It was time for me to move on from performing. I had a successful career for over 18 years. I wanted to take the ego out of it and help others.
Tell us about yourself.
I am 44 years old, I was born in England, grew up in Australia and have lived in the States for 12 years. I started dancing at the age of 3 years old and have always had a passion for health and wellness. I love my job, my friends and my new family. My husband Mark and I are new parents to our 4 month old son Oscar.
What was one challenge you overcame during the early days of your company?
I did not have a business degree, or even a business plan, I just had pure love and passion for helping people. I learned on the job, some things worked, others did not, but I grew from these experiences. I was not afraid to get my hands dirty and work hard. When I started my first studio, I was the bookkeeper, manager, cleaner, trainer. I did it all.
Was there anyone who helped pave the way for your business or your path as an entrepreneur?
I have a few people who have given me great advice, I try to listen to everything and then make my own decision.
What are some of the ways entrepreneurs today can help raise and inspire the next generation of women entrepreneurs?
Do not operate from fear. Never make a decision based on fear of failure. You honestly have to go for it, take a risk. And follow your passion.
Why is it important for entrepreneurs to put time into helping the next generation of women founders?
I want to be there to help support, inspire and motivate the next generation. It’s important for women to lift each other up.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Energetic, passionate and nurturing.
What’s something most people might not assume about you at first glance?
My inner strength.
What quality do you love most about yourself?
My ability to disarm and make people feel comfortable.
When do you feel most beautiful and/or confident?
When I am being my authentic self, which is usually when I am in the zone teaching.
When and where are you happiest?
Dancing in my studio with a room full of women. And cuddling my family.
If you could give your younger self advice, what would you tell her?
Trust the process, you got this!
What’s the top song on your playlist right now?
Nothing breaks live a heart (Miley Cyrus, Mark Ronson, Don Diablo Remix)
What is your motto?
Say YES to life! then work out how you are going to do it afterward.
What are the advantages or benefits of being a founder that many people may not realize or know about?
No one is going to work as hard as you are to build your own business. There is such gratification in that, knowing that you built something that is making a difference in this world.
Why is it important to understand both the challenges and benefits of being a founder?
My name is on the door, I get all the accolades. I also put myself out there to be judged and critiqued. It’s a balancing act between the two.
Do you think founders should take time to reflect on the pros, even if they’re constantly putting out fires?
Yes, it is very important to practice gratitude on a daily basis. Take time to stop and smell the roses.
What did success mean to you when you first started your company? How has your definition of success changed since then?
Initially, success was just being able to pay the rent. Now success is seeing all the lives I have helped transform through health and wellness.
Thinking about your time as an entrepreneur, what do you believe is one of the most challenging hurdles women entrepreneurs have to overcome?
Women have to hold their own in a male-dominated world. In business, people assume I am a silly blonde girl, who was given a business. I have had to work hard every single day to overcome this stereotype.
Can you share what happened when you finally felt like you were on the other side of the struggle?
I don’t know if you are ever over the struggle. Life presents you with new challenges every single day. I believe you learn and then move onto the next.
Looking back, what would you have done differently?
Hmmm, I don’t believe in regrets, I think you are always exactly where you are supposed to be in life. Perhaps I could have been more present and enjoyed the journey rather than chasing the dream.
What does your morning routine look like?
Wake up, breastfeed my son, cup of english breakfast tea, and a home cooked breakfast from my husband. Then straight to the office. My day is divided between training clients and building the business.
What motivates you to keep going in the toughest of times?
My family, I want to be a great role model for my son. I want to show him that you have to work hard in life to achieve your dreams. There will always be ups and downs and challenges, but it is how you choose to deal with them. With grace and empathy.
What are your favorite ways to practice self-care?
Meditation, sleep, going for a walk and getting a massage. I give so much of my energy every day to my clients and staff and my family, I have to find time each day just to sit still in silence and let my thoughts settle.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
I have received some great advice over the years. I think the one I try and live by is “trust your instinct” I make most of my decisions about business based on my gut feeling. I think deep down we all know the answer, we don’t need others to tell us, we just have to learn to trust that.
What’s the most fulfilling part of your job?
I love working with women to help them feel empowered. There is nothing sexier than a woman who is strong and confident in her body. I love sharing the transformation with my clients, it’s so much more than a weight loss journey, its mental, spiritual and emotional.