While I was in the midst of moving between Sydney and Melbourne last week, I had an article published over at Tiny Buddha: The Power of Kindness: Life-Changing Advice About Creating Happiness. As a fitness and health person passionate about self-improvement and development, it was such and honour for me to be on that site, so thanks Lori. It is, I have to honestly admit, one of my best and most vulnerable article I’ve ever written.
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Today’s post will be slightly different — I would like to take this opportunity to formally welcome my new readers and give an update to this site as we’re already into February and our New Year’s Resolutions are long gone and dusted. So here goes!
Pretty Awesome Fitness update
When I started this site in August 2013, I didn’t have any direction. I didn’t know where it’ll go or what to do with it. Heck, I didn’t even know whether I should post recipes or write more exercise plans or take selfies of my gluteus maximus. Now because I didn’t have any goal, I left the site on hold for two and a half months, while I was working as a travel agent.
As soon as I realised it wasn’t a right fit for me, I left the job and attended to this site — this time with a more solid plan and direction. On 20th November 2013, after coming back from a diving trip to Phuket, I only had 32 subscribers in my email list.
2 months and 3 weeks later (i.e. today!), I have almost 300 subscribers!
I know the number may seem small if you compare it with other massive self-development and fitness blogs but to me it is an amazing achievement. And it’s all thanks to all of you reading this!
Just over the past month, and also thanks to my other guest post on Dumb Little Man, I’ve had conversations with people from USA, Canada, Malaysia, Spain and France. Seriously, how awesome is that? I honestly believe that this is the best thing I’ve ever done compared to any paid job I’ve ever hold.
This site is building some really good momentum. Watch out world, The Pretty Awesomes (like y’know, The Incredibles!) is going to grow, grow and grow!
Apart from the fact that I had a more solid plan and direction, I started writing articles that resonated with my readers more. As much as I was a Personal Trainer, putting myself out there in your shoes is more important to me than anything else. Today, as I write any fitness articles, I always think back to how I felt when I was obese and unhealthy three years ago and I think of you. And this is probably one of the biggest reasons why it led me to where I am today.
That said, I have my shortcomings too, being new in this whole blogging and online industry so I will greatly appreciate it if there was anything at all that you would like to see in this site. Two minds are definitely better than one and 300 pretty awesome minds are definitely better than two. If you have ideas and such, please please please just shoot me an email. I would love to hear from you. (And I reply! To all of it!)
I’ve listed 4 major life changing lessons I’ve learned in this past 3 months of constant writing and connecting that has helped me grow this site. This can apply to anything in life, not just blogging, and I really think it should be the fundamental of our daily actions.
I don’t think anything else in this world has more value than being kind. If you haven’t already, go read my post in Lori’s site about kindness. If you’re really seriously that lazy, here’s an excerpt.
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“You might not know at this point in time if this is the right thing you’re doing. You might fail. You might be disappointed you left a good-paying job. But a good-paying job is nothing if you’re not happy.”
She continued, “Finish your duties here and step into the unknown world. You never know what you might discover. You should be out there seeing the world and helping people with your beautiful smile and kind soul.”
The tears I was vainly holding back started to roll down my cheeks.
“And if life hits you hard one day, remember you made the effort to pursue your dreams. You made memories. And you chased after what you loved the most. You will be okay.”
Her words hit me hard. I never knew I needed them until that moment. It was the most perfect timing in my life.
“That is all I can say to you. Like a seventy-five-year old knows any better!” she joked.
I wiped my tears and walked her out of the door. I wanted to hug her and just stay there in her arms, the arms of a stranger that I only knew for two hours, but I held myself back.
“And remember this—no matter what you do, be kind to others. That should be the fundamental base of all your actions.”
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If there is one thing I learned the most in life is that kindness should be central to our acts, purposes and doings and that is what I am striving for. We might not be able to change people’s lives all at the same time or please everyone in this whole world but even one person counts.
Remember that not everyone will like what you’re doing. There will always be haters around us — people who disproves and people who always tries hard to bring you down. But if your intentions are right and you’re doing it for the sake of kindness, you have the potential to make a difference in others.
That said, one of the paramounts of Pretty Awesome Fitness is to spread health and fitness through kindness and I believe that by doing so over the many months and years, I will get to where I want to be and we can build a pretty awesome community (pun intended!).
I want you to know this — I am no expert. I am just a normal girl, perhaps with bigger than usual dreams. I have a couple of fitness certifications. I’ve trained clients from various walks of life. But never once do I think I’m superior than any other personal trainers out there. In fact, if you know much about the fitness industry at all, you’ve probably heard of Mark Sisson, Alwyn Cosgrove and the other 100 influential fitness people in the world. I am just a small bird amongst all of them. And I know that I have a lot more to learn in health, fitness and self-improvement.
I’m a student of fitness AND life, and I like that.
Why? Because it reminds me that no one in this world is perfect, the world is a huge place of which there is A LOT to learn. Watch this video if you don’t believe me.
Once anyone feels like they’re superior than anybody else, that’s when the world starts to crumble and terrible lies starts to arise.
I take pride in being honest with what I write, and I will never write about anything I know you can’t do. I will continue to research each topic to the best of my ability and I make sure that consult someone who is better than me and open it up for discussion if I’m not one hundred percent sure of anything.
Like I said, I’m not an expert but I make sure I work my butt off to write articles that will inspire, motivate, inform and move you. If I don’t, I will make you some really nice cookies or homemade lemonade. (Little Aqilah here can’t bake, and my idea of lemonade is just a wedge of lemon in ice water, no sugar syrup, so I really think inspiring you to the best of my ability is the way to go.)
I’m not here to just help you lose weight, get fitter and put on muscle. Neither am I here to reprimand you if you’re having pizza at 11pm at night while watching Breaking Bad. I’m here to help you get more out of life and make it pretty awesome.
4. You. It’s all you.
For this amount of growth in a short amount of time. For giving me inspiration to write and help you live a great life. For saying hi to me and replying to my emails telling me about your fitness goals. And for reading this. My hard hats, kudos, deepest heartfelt thank you goes to you. With that, the only thing I can return is keep doing what I’m doing and hopefully you’ll gain something great out of this.
Pretty Awesome Fitness is my life… and Business
Before I get into this, I want to make it clear that no matter what happens, you can expect more free, well-researched, entertaining, informative articles about fitness, health and self-improvement for many years to come. That will not change no matter what.
If you don’t know already, Pretty Awesome Fitness is my full-time job. I run the site 24/7, connecting with readers, replying to emails, networking with experts, and helping people live a great life. I do not get a single cent out of this and I don’t plan to putting on advertisements on the site too. I would rather provide services that I know can help change people’s lives out of my own hard work than taking the easy route of placing advertisements every where. That’s just my personal belief.
That said, I am looking at expanding this business and here are the things I have in mind…
Personal Coaching. This has been my number one ultimate dream — to help coach others in health and fitness and hopefully bring in more happiness to my clients from all around the world. While working in a gym, I’ve always thought about how great it would be to be able to train people from all over the world without worrying about geographical boundaries.
Now if you think that this is another “Lose 20lbs in 3 months” crappy fitness program you see online, remember what I said earlier about honesty, kindness and inspiration. It’s Aqilah Norazman here and if there was any coaching I’m going to be doing, it will be awesome, worth it and incredibly unique. This will roll out pretty soon so if any of you wants to be trained by me, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I don’t bite. I just smile. :)
Re-writing my Free eBook. For those of you who has grabbed my free eBook, great! I wrote that in July last year before I even got this site up (and way before I knew what to do with my life!). I’m thinking of re-writing a complete whole new one, perhaps something along the lines of self-development, fitness and nutrition, in line with the purposes of this site. It will of course, still be free! So for those of you who hasn’t got my current eBook, make sure you download it by clicking on the prompt below while it lasts!
Giving back to charity. I’m also thinking of giving back a small percentage of my earnings from my coaching services that I’ll be rolling out soon to an international charity body. I’ve always wanted to do this and that way, my personal coaching clients will also be doing it for a great cause! If any of you have any charity in mind please do let me know in the comments below! Once I’ve got the coaching part going on, we can all choose which charity we want to give too! It’ll be fun!
PAF Message Board
Now here’s the surprise! I’ve had conversations from so many of you awesome people from all over the world and I think it’ll be great if all of you can meet with each other too. So here’s my question…
“Would you all like to join a Message Board?”
I haven’t got any ideas of what to call it yet and I’ve heard from crazy stories that forums and message boards is a good place for crazy lurkers, fight-picking and useless arguments so this is still in my thought process (any thoughts on this?).
But! If we can come up with certain rules and see this through, it’ll have monthly challenges (not only in terms of fitness but in food, happiness and even tips on how to dress up for that interview!), success stories, soon-to-be success stories and inspiration from PAF readers all around the world!
Now if your answer to the previous question is yes, I have another question for you…
“Would any of you like to be my beta-testers before it goes live to public?”
Fingers crossed I really hope this will go on and well!
Let’s face the future together
I can’t wait to see what 300 of us can bring in the future. Like I said, the number may seem small but I am very very excited.
Every email I get from readers who wants to change their lifestyle or who has lost weight inspires me. Every comment I get from random strangers makes me feel like I have the best job in the world.
The future may seem uncertain, but the present moment that is more important. We can do our best now to carve the best possible future.
Thank you for inspiring me to be a better person every day. Let me help you with yours too.
So… That’s my life. Answer the two questions I asked about the message board by leaving me a comment below. Send me an email if you’re interested to know more about Personal Coaching with me that can make your life fitter, healthier and happier. Or just say hi to everyone and be kind! Anything! I would love to hear from you! Just leave a comment below. :)
Have a great week ahead.