Her Gym for Introverts Paved the Way for Her Career in Coaching

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A coach doesn’t just have to be an instructor or trainer. Tess Ball realized the role could be interpreted in many ways, so she turned her coaching skills into a successful enterprise. Today, the Girl Scout alum is a movement coach, a business coach, and the founder of her own organization, The Small Business Incubator.

“After over a decade as a designer in corporate advertising agencies, I became a full-time yoga teacher and movement coach,” Ball tells CircleAround. Ball opened her own gym called Fitness for Introverts, which specializes in coaching, training, and exercise programs catering to those who are intimidated or sensitive to otherwise typical public-gym and fitness-center scenarios. Because, let's be real, walking into a gym with loud music, bright lights, and people yelling at you isn't for everyone.

"Because, let’s be real, walking into a gym with loud music, bright lights, and people yelling at you isn’t for everyone."

Ball tailors her business strategy to meet clients where they’re at — an approach that helped her gain insight into how to run a small business.

“Because of the success of my gym, a lot of other small business owners were curious,” she tells CircleAround. “I found myself answering a lot of questions and going on a lot of coffee dates. After several years resisting the idea, I finally realized that my love of coaching in the gym and my experience in marketing made business coaching a natural fit.”

Along with one-on-one business coaching, Ball also runs The Small Business Incubator to help people get started on their dream career paths as soon as possible. “I firmly believe in the power of collaboration,” she explains. “I partner with industry lawyers, CPAs, coaches, and marketing pros to give new(ish) business owners the holistic education they need to thrive. It’s so fun learning and growing together.” 

Ball spends most of her time creating new business partnerships, planning events, creating content for her businesses, and helping others create business opportunities that align with their goals. By deepening her relationships within the existing community, she is becoming more visible as a leader, which she hopes will encourage her clients to lead with the same fearlessness she has grown to embrace.

Owning and operating two similar-but-different coaching companies does come with its challenges. “Ideas I spent years diligently working on have failed,” she admits. “People don’t always resonate with my work. As someone who’s nervous about letting down my community, pressing forward through that is hard.” She adds, "If I can remind myself that it’s all a big experiment, I can usually regain the stroke pretty well."

"Finding the way through hard times is always the biggest reward."

According to Ball, having more than one passion has been a huge benefit in business. “When you look at your varying interests, try to see the common thread. For me, it's making really complicated things, like bodies and business, less scary.”

“The excitement for me is in the little things,” she tells CircleAround. “I can be found dancing, cheering, and getting a little rowdy when my clients have moments of clarity, achieve things they once thought were impossible, or hit their goals.”

This post is part of a month-long January CircleAround series in which we asked writers to explore the topic "New Year, New You." After an extremely challenging year like no other, if you had to reinvent yourself in one specific way in 2021 based on what you learned in the pandemic, what would you do? Think of it as a New Year’s resolution on steroids. To see all the posts in the series, visit here. And if you'd like to contribute to the series, send us your thoughts to info@circlearound.com or post on our "2021 Vibes Wall."

Tags: Fitness, Career

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Written By

Katka Lapelosová

Katka is a writer from New York City, currently living in Belgrade, Serbia. See Full Bio

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