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Shelley Aniciete is a lawyer, fitness, nutrition, running coach & rescue dog mom living in Chicago. She’s been an avid runner and lifter for 25+ years and can make anyone who wants to be, an athlete. Her gift is pulling the inner athlete out of you and showing you that fitness & healthy living are so much more than diet and exercise: they’re a ‘cheat code’ to living a fuller, happier life. Shelley works with all her athletes virtually, so you can live anywhere & be a part of her world.
1. Tell us about your side hustle.
I am a fitness/nutrition and running coach. I create personalized programming for women already exercising but wanting better athlete and/or aesthetic results. I offer 1:1 coaching. I hope to provide group programming soon.
2. What inspired you to start your business?
Additionally, I’ve had fitness/nutrition/running coaches for about eight years, and they’ve changed my life in many ways.
I want other women to experience this.
3. How did you get your first client?
Posting on social media: specifically, Instagram and Facebook. This has changed a bit over the years because Instagram is pushing reels SO much. But, a few years ago, I posted a daily picture with thoughts/ lessons/beliefs about health/fitness. I also talked about my personal journey in fitness/nutrition over the years and how it’s evolved.
About once a month, I’d post something like:
“I’m looking for five women who want (X) results”
And I got my clients. That was very consistent. Over the years, I’ve changed the type of client I want to work with, and those posts didn’t really call them in.
Also, with the uptick in reels, I’ve had to evolve and learn how to make reels relaying my messaging. I have also done several IG/FB lives to discuss specific topics.
I built a big client base by consistently posting on FB/IG and in my IG stories. I have a high client retention rate, so I only solicit new clients when I’m ready. The rest of the time, my posts are just to establish who I am & what I believe in regarding health/fitness.
4. When can you work on your side hustle? How do you make time for it?
I work throughout the day during downtime at my full-time job, on the weekends, or after work. Whenever I can.
5. How has your side hustle impacted your personal and professional life?
It’s changed how I see myself. It’s given me the confidence that I can do more than my day job and that I don’t need permission to do more than one thing.
It’s activated parts of me that I felt I had put on the back burner as a leader and creative.
6. What challenges have you faced while working on your side hustle, and how have you overcome them?
Finding the energy to come home from my day job and work on the side hustle.
I’ve overcome this by scaling down my side hustle while regrouping and figuring out how to reshape it so it can grow while I continue my full-time job. As a result, I’ve become pickier about the clients I will take–and will not accept clients I do not think are ready to be coached.
7. Do you have any resources to recommend to someone looking to start a side hustle?
Hire a business coach or mentor to get started. I’ve found all of my coaches on Instagram. Some have been long-term coaching commitments, while others have been just a one-time Zoom call. I also listen to many podcasts about other people who have started businesses, which has reaffirmed: it takes time to grow one!
8. What advice would you give to someone considering a side hustle?
- Play the long game. Don’t try to grow a huge business immediately.
- Take risks and leaps, but it’s ok to grow slowly.
- Don’t worry about what other people think.
- Don’t compare yourself to other business owners. Do you.
- Start to see yourself as a business owner. You can’t grow a business until you believe that you are.
- Don’t listen to people telling you you can’t do it your way. Maybe you can, maybe you can’t, but trust your gut.
9. Is there anything else you’d like to share about your experience with your side hustle?
It’s more than just ‘growing a business’ and more about growing into someone who can hold a business in a way that feels good and is something you believe in. It’s about letting go of doing things perfectly and trusting that you can handle whatever happens. It’s about going with the flow and not being glued to expectations of how things should be.