Gráinne O'Driscoll

Pop Quiz, Monday with Gráinne O’Driscoll

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The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
My name is Gráinne O’Driscoll – yep it’s Irish, my first name is pronounced ‘Gronya.’

Gráinne O'Driscoll
Photo credit: Gráinne O’Driscoll

What is your job role?
I am head of core engagement at ‘Gra For Fitness’

Tell us about your company?
‘Grá,’ short for ‘Gráinne’ is what my pals call me, but it’s also the Irish / gaelic for ‘love,’ so in Ireland if someone says you have a ‘grá’ for something it means you have a passion for it. My company provides Pilates, yoga, boot camps, workshops and retreats for the corporate sector, also public classes and tailored private sessions.

What do you love most about your job?
The people of course! What’s particularly rewarding is when someone shares with you that your classes/sessions have made a difference to them, whether it’s eased their back pain or their stress or their posture has improved or when I see people making friends in class or work colleagues laughing together…ok I’m getting sappy now.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I love my work. I’ve started meditating for ten minutes every morning, and I look forward to that — also coffee.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
Well, it’s just me, so I get my inspiration through my fellow teachers, home practice, friends, books, classes, online tutorials, workshops, podcast and sometimes just taking a walk and leaving my phone at home.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Oh, the fun never stops.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Well, the big challenge is precisely the fact that I work alone so it can feel quite isolated with no one who’s directly involved in strategising with or bouncing ideas off. Saying ‘no’ can be a challenge. I hate saying no to potential business, but there’s only so much you can do.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
I received the excellent advice from an entrepreneur when I was starting that with every adversity comes an opportunity. I’ve had a few setbacks but I’ve learned to take a step back and ask myself why did that happen and what’s the opportunity that’s going to come out of this adversity? It always works. When I was starting part of my business was running retreats in Italy in partnership with a friend who owned a villa there. The business got off to a great start, but the earthquake in August 2016 damaged the house so badly that all retreats had to be cancelled. Tragically, many people lost their lives, their homes, their livelihoods so our retreat business being put on hold indefinitely was small potatoes, by comparison. However it was disappointing as we had put a tremendous amount of work into it, but for me, I realised this was an opportunity for me to give 100% of my energy to my home-based business and it undoubtedly benefitted from that.
Don’t ever get complacent about your clients, no matter how long they’ve been with you.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
In the fitness industry, it’s important to look after yourself physically as well. Make time to rest and to learn and practice yourself. There’s only so much you can do.

Respect your peers and encourage community and support within your industry.

Don’t be so hard on yourself.

If you’re asked to get involved in projects, make sure it’s worth your while. It sounds like a really obvious thing to say but is it benefitting you and your business and enhancing your reputation or is it just using up your energy and expertise for somebody else’s gain.

Listen to your gut.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

Perfectly Imperfect: The Art and Soul of Yoga Practice

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