Sharon Polsky is a proud owner of UNLEASHED Women’s Fitness in Long Beach, California.
She started her business 20 years ago with one goal, to make a profound difference in women’s lives. Sharon helps them every day take control of the lifestyle choices they make that affect their lives, including exercise, sleep, nutrition, and stress management.
Her hands-on approach helps women not only lose weight and keep it off, but she’s also an expert at reversing type 2 diabetes and menopausal weight gain.
In addition to exercise, she also uses technology like the LUMEN co2 device and the Evolt 360 body scanner to ensure her client’s success.
For more details, visit their website here.
Here we sit down with Sharon to know a bit more about her journey as an entrepreneur.
Q. What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
Sharon: My dad was my main inspiration to open my business 20 years ago. I had a corporate job and was working 80 hours a week.
Although I was very successful, I wasn’t passionate about what I was doing, and room for growth was challenging. At that time, I realized that if I worked 80 hours a week for myself there would be no glass ceiling.
With the support of my dad, who was a real estate developer, I opened my first studio. I started small, and now 20 years later have the amazing opportunity to help hundreds of people achieve their goals.
Q. How did you get started?
Sharon: I started in fitness when I was 16 years old, teaching aerobic classes, and I knew I loved it and then went on to work in fitness throughout college. After graduating, I started my corporate career but still dabbled in fitness.
It didn’t take long to realize that I was passionate about fitness and helping people. This led me to start my first venture, which was fitness vacations all over the world. Not long after, I started my first very small fitness studio, which has grown over the last 20 years.
Q. What was your biggest startup challenge? What steps did you take to overcome it? What did you learn?
Sharon: I didn’t really have startup challenges. Because I started small and grew over time, I was able to pivot and create a product that customers wanted and needed. Now boutique fitness is very popular, but back then, it wasn’t part of the industry that it is today.
So I just kept my head down, didn’t pay attention to what anybody else was doing, and created something people wanted and needed.
Over 20 years I have weathered 2 major recessions and Covid, which had my business closed for 15 months. Every time a major obstacle gets in my way of success I calmly wait and pivot. I never make any drastic changes because I don’t need to. Everything will work out in the end.
Q. What is the most memorable thing you’ve done since you started your business?
Sharon: I have had so many amazing opportunities over the past 20 years, but the most memorable was going to Bulgaria twice and being invited to create online fitness programming for UDAYA.com, an online streaming platform for yoga and fitness. I am so proud of the work I did for UDAYA and the programs I created.
Q. What is one book you recommend, and why?
Sharon: The most life-changing book I have ever read is Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker. I have read this book at least 5 times and include it in my required reading for clients.
This book single-handedly will have the most profound impact on your health of any book you can read. So, if you haven’t read it please pick it up. It will change your life like it has changed mine and so many others.
Q. What are your top 3 favorite online apps, tools or resources and what do you love about them?
My FatSecret – The BEST way to track your nutrition. Like my fitness pal but better.
LUMEN – Technology plus app which is a game changer for all of my clients.
Evolt Active – Integrated with Evolt 360 body scanners all over the world, this app will help you track your progress and doesn’t lie to you. It exposes your bad habits and rewards your good ones.
Q. In terms of legacy, what is the mark you’d like to leave on the world?
Sharon: The Standard American Diet is literally poisoning America. We have convinced our society that childhood obesity is acceptable, that type 2 diabetes is irreversible and menopausal weight gain is inevitable.
None of which is true. My legacy will be honesty. I will not tell clients what they want to hear but tell clients what they need to hear.
In life, we are either part of a problem or part of a solution and I am going to be part of the solution.
Q. In one sentence, what’s the best advice you’d give to someone just starting out on their entrepreneurial journey?
Sharon: I truly believe that 90% of people start businesses because they want to be their own boss, and this is the worst reason to go into business for yourself.
You have to work for great bosses and bad bosses to know how to be a great boss and how not to be a bad boss. Work in the real world before you start your own business. Yes you might have a great idea, but that is only 10% of being successful, you have to learn the other 90%, and books and the internet don’t teach you that, but experience does.
Get out there, work hard for someone else, and do it for years. Be a sponge and take in everything you can, both the good and the bad. Once you can thrive and be successful despite the bad guidance you are being given by a boss, then it is time to go out on your own.
How Exercise Can Affect Your Mental Health(Opens in a new browser tab)
To keep up to date with Sharon and her journey, connect with her on Facebook, and Instagram.
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