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Christina Rondeau, Rondeau's KickBoxing

  • Parent Category: Member Spotlight
  • Published on Monday, 26 September 2011 18:22
  • Written by Michelle Gonzalez
  • Hits: 1185

I first met Christina at Chuck Norris "ultimate fight challenge" at Mohegan Sun in 2006! I would never have stepped foot in casino except for a group of us who took the bus to see the show...she was the only female-to-female kick boxer challenge.  Needless, to say after watching repeated blows to the face and back of the legs, I wondered how does she do this?  

Christina is a business owner, with 5 kickboxing gyms, a series of DVD self-defense routines, 2 kids, a following of "pink" fighters, and an amazing chutzpah to live life fully--she is focused on taking time out from the business at least every month--and on quality of work and family.  I caught up with Christina on a moms-with-kids ski trip and asked how does she lead in her own terms, stay sane and fit, and keep the business growing?

What prompted you to start your own studio?
As I was teaching karate I realized all the females keep quitting at a certain level. I did my research and
developed a program that would keep their attention and have them coming back for more. My classes
grew and grew and kept growing so I decided it was time to move to my own place and not work out
of the karate school anymore.
Now with growth in mind, 5 studios, how did you design your business to operate beyond you?
The most important part of my studios is that the licensee or manager is one of my head trainers.  The basic principle is to get them in at ground level:  I train them first as a trainer, then if their passion is to buy a license I train them in all the necessary business skills to run the studio.
What keeps you up at night?
What doesn't? I work around the clock to keep it all going.
I don't get to come home from work at any certain time and just "leave it at the office." My cell phone is my office, my car, my home, my living room and even on vacations .... I have to be "on" all the time to make it all successful.
There is always a question or a customer wanting information. I don't mind, though. I encourage the questions and I am happy to have a customer want information. This helps me to nip issues in the bud, delegate, and to keep solid quality control. Then I can relax to go skiing with the kids or take that trip to Napa Valley.  Being connected all the time means self-control--I answer or delegate when I know it will lessen follow up work.

What is next for Christina Rondeau, the woman?
I want to continue to license facilities to my trainers and I want to promote and market more of my books and DVD's.
What words of advice do you give women aiming to grow a business?
You have to trust your gut and surround yourself with the people who believe in you.
It's one thing to have someone play devil advocate with you when you ask their opinion but it is another to have people that are negative and tell you "you can't" do something. Stay focused and take baby steps each day towards your goal.  For example, I had a situation where an employee became a friend.  However, we had to lay down the boundaries because I noticed her work was taking a back seat and frankly the friendship was leaking too much.  I had to confront her, because quality was an issue (as well as my personal time!).  Ultimately, she was insulted, but we both decided she had to leave the studio if she couldn't get the work done well. I had to trust my instincts on what mattered in both the work and friendship.

Wildcard—what else do you  want to say about how this work matters to you?
It's my passion. I am passionate about it. This business is my life and it's not just about fitness for me it's about teaching people how to use their bodies as a weapon--both in terms of defense and when called upon offense.  I believe everyone should learn how to use their body as a effectively and learn common sense safety.

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