“It’s okay that things take time, or if you fail a few times”, with Katie Austin, Founder of Austin Active
I had the pleasure of interviewing fitness influencer and designer, Katie Austin.
Katie is recognized by Seventeen Magazine as one of the top 10 fitness influencers. She is a certified fitness trainer, health coach, author, blogger, model and now designer. She has been featured on numerous television shows.
Daughter of fitness icon Denise Austin, health and exercise have always been a part of Katie’s life combined with the drive to spread her message of self-love and positive body image.
Thank you so much for joining us! Let’s show everyone you’re a normal human being. What are your hobbies, favorite places to visit, pet peeves? Tell us about YOU when you’re not at the office.
“My hobbies include finding new crime series shows on Netflix and going out with my friends!! I love going to big dinners with friends and family.
“Favorite place to visit is Palm Springs (easy getaway from L.A.) or anywhere with a tropical beach! My username in middle school was tropical beach. lol.
“Pet peeve: absolutely HATE when people are late. The ‘always late’ type of person irks me, and I will never understand it.”
Can you tell us something about you that few people know?
“I played lacrosse my whole life. It definitely taught me hard work and discipline. I ended up playing for USC’s first D1 team! Even got to play in the coliseum! I was also number one in the nation for assists my junior year of high school. People think I am very girly and tiny, but I LOVE sports and consider myself pretty athletic!”
Do you have any exciting projects going on right now?
“My latest project is the launch of my activewear line Austin Active. An activewear brand has always been a dream of mine, so it was not an overnight idea! I wanted to create a brand so unique that someone walking down the street would say ‘oh that’s Austin Active.’
“I was tired of the same old black leggings, and I ALWAYS wear bright and fun workout clothes, so I wanted to make my own. I actually started a clothing line in college too, but that’s a whole other story!”
Many people say success correlates with the people you meet in your life. Can you describe two that most impacted your success and why.
“Hmm. That’s hard, but I don’t know if it would be two people, rather than two GROUPS of people.
“The first, obviously, are my parents. My parents are freakin’ badasses in their industries and it’s always inspired me. My dad was a pro tennis player and turned top 10 sports agent in the world. And my mom, well, is the reason I do fitness today. She had her own show, Get Fit with Denise Austin for 26 years! Both of them motivate my sister and I to be the hard-working people we are today.
“For the second group: I’m not sure if this is something I should even be saying, but my so-called ‘haters’, haha. I was bullied in middle school, continuously get told I’ll be nothing like my mom, to stop trying, and that ‘all you do is Instagram for a living’. This has honestly motivated me to work so much damn harder. Again, I don’t know if it’s a good thing, but I love proving people wrong. Retaliate with silent success.”
Leaders always seem to find ways to overcome their weaknesses. Can you share one or two examples of how you work outside of your comfort zone to achieve success?
“There’s a whole other side of me that the fitness industry doesn’t really know! A passion of mine is hosting and sports broadcasting. I studied sports hosting at USC and was the anchor for two years on the sports show, and now co-host a show on Fox Sports West!
“I also did some reporting for NBA Summer league two weeks ago, and THIS is out of my comfort zone. Even though it’s a passion of mine, I’m still learning about it every day. It doesn’t come easy like fitness comes to me.
“I’m so happy I’m doing hosting gigs outside of fitness, too, because now when I’m thrown into hosting jobs that I’m not used to, I have found it a lot easier to be comfortable. I’ve learned so much about working with others and getting thrown into situations I’m not familiar with. It’s also taught me to be CONFIDENT when approaching people (I have to confidently approach players/coaches for interviews).”
The concept of mind over matter has been around for years. A contemporary description of this is having mental toughness. Can you give us an example (or two) of obstacles you’ve overcome by getting your mind in the right place (some might call this reframing the situation)?
“As I said in an earlier question, I was a lacrosse player at USC. But what I didn’t say about that was I was pretty unhappy. My sophomore year of college I felt so burnt out, knew what I wanted to do in life (not play lacrosse) and felt I needed to put my happiness over anything.
“I ended up auditioning for a sports hosting gig at the college network, getting it, and quitting lacrosse. Even though you might read this and be like — wait, ‘mental toughness and you quit?’ But, if you knew me at the time, quitting was actually so challenging. I battled with it for a while, because when you play a sport for so long, it becomes your WHOLE LIFE. And plus, I didn’t know I was going to be good at hosting or get into fitness at the time. I felt as if I was putting my (at the time LIFE) on the line.
“I knew I needed a change in my life, and so that was the start of pursuing my dreams. That TV hosting job opened so many doors for me. Sometimes you just have to rip off the band aid and go for it!”
What are your “3 Lessons I Learned from My Most Memorable Failure”
“The Austin Active activewear line I started in college was definitely a big failure to me (at the time). Lesson 1: know your timing. Make sure you’re at the right time in your life to start a business. It takes so much time and effort to build. This is huge because I was not ready AT ALL as a junior in college to take on a clothing line. I was wayyy in over my head.
“Lesson 2: be PATIENT. It’s okay that things take time, or if you fail a few times. I wanted success to come over night, and for people to just know about my clothing line right away!! With Austin Active, I know it’s going to take yearssss to become an established brand.
“Lesson 3: be careful with your funds. I wasted so much $$ out of my own savings to start my clothing line in college. And then with Austin Active, it basically took my whole savings. And, I still see ways I could be more frugal, but at the same time, you GOTTA spend money to make money.”
What unfiltered advice can you give aspiring stars regarding how to avoid common mis-fires in starting their career?
“You can 100% stay true to who you are. You don’t need to change for anyone. Don’t sell out because that gig will pay money or needs you to change your hair. You WILL get a second chance, just keep going.
“Also, 100 no’s mean nothing. I’ve been turned down sooo many times. I actually got a ‘no’ yesterday from a really great job, and truly it didn’t bother me because I know there’s a second chance coming.”
What is the best lesson you learned from your worst boss?
“Persistence. Going off the above question, definitely persistence. You have to keep trying! If you know what you’re doing is meant for you, then it will come to you if you put in the work. Also, success doesn’t come overnight, so keep working at it!”
What is one “efficiency hack” you use consistently in your life to keep your time and mind free to focus on your strengths and passions?
“One thing that gives me a mental break throughout the day is workout. Sounds cliche, because you’re like DUH, you’re a fitness chick, haha. But really. Not even a full workout; just a short, light walk helps give me energy and free my mind of everything I have going on. I always feel better mentally and physically.”
All actors or musicians have sleepless nights. We have a term we use with our clients called the “2 a.m. moment.” It’s when you’re wide awake and thinking not-so-positive thoughts about your business choices and future. Can you describe a 2 a.m. moment (or moments) you’ve had and how you overcame the challenges?
“Ahhh. To be honest, I don’t have THAT many not-so-positive thoughts. I really believe in myself. And, I mean that.
“I know what I’m doing is meant for my life. BUT! The sleepless nights are five nights a week for me, haha. It’s a blessing and a curse. I’m a GO-GO-GO type of girl, and it’s so hard for me to relax. Late night is when I come up with ALL my new ideas. I actually will wake up in the middle of the night to write down notes. I still need some advice on how to chill out!! I’m always thinking about my next move.”
Nobody likes to fail, and we sure don’t like to admit we failed. Can you describe a moment when you confided your most closely-held business issues/problems to someone close to you, and how the conversation(s) helped you work through the issue?
“When I spent a lot of my own $$ for my failed clothing line and failed app (all in college, and never even released them!), I was super sad. I thought that was IT. I said, ‘ok, I can’t succeed, soooo I guess that’s a wrap!’
“But, my dad is so logical. He’s said, ‘Katie, you’re 21. You have so much time ahead of you. Every person makes mistakes in their industry.’ My dad is so reasonable. And, suchhhh a smart businessman. I didn’t make a penny the first six months or so when I got out of college, either. And that takes a toll on your ego! All your friends have jobs, and you’re still figuring it out.
“I struggled with the question of ‘will this work? Can I make a career out of a dream of mine?’ My parents believe in me so much, and them having my back really helped me get through that.
“So, my advice, is surround yourself with people who GENUINELY believe in you and want you to succeed.”
What’s on the drawing board for your next venture?
“Touring! Would love to tour around the country and the world to hold big fun fitness events. I also would love to get a hosting spot on a TV show. Working on my own show is definitely in the five-year plan.”
What did we miss? Feel free to share any other thoughts or advice on overcoming failure, initiatives you’re currently supporting, any other relevant information you would like to share with the readers.
“To sum it up, the three P’s: passion, persistence, patience. You gotta have these three attributes. Passionate most importantly, because your HEART will show through your business, whatever it is. People will be able to tell that whatever you have created, you created it with love.”
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
Instagram @katieaustin and Austin Active @austinactive
KatieAustin.TV for over 80 in home workouts, and daily exercises, and the Katie Austin app.
Activewear at Austinactive.com
You can subscribe to my Youtube
This was really awesome! Thank you so much for joining us!