Featured

It’s the start of a new adventure…

Thanks for joining me!

cor60478vicpea002

There are many ways you could have ended up here and I am grateful for every single one of you reading this now.

A few months ago I decided to step out of my comfort zone and dive into the unknown – in my case that is the digital world. I’m learning new things, trying new things, falling, failing and getting back up again.

I am Vikki Lou. I love fitness in many forms, I prefer animals to people and ideally I spend my spare time in the kitchen creating calorie laden delights for those inevitable cheat days, and that’s what this blog is going to be about!

My goal here is to openly and honestly share my new journey with you. I hope to inspire, support and encourage others on their own journeys, wherever they may lead.

If you’d like to follow and support me on my journey then please follow any or all of the links below. Hope to see you soon!

https://www.instagram.com/vikkiloulife/

https://www.facebook.com/vikkiloufitness/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUu8WaTZq8eqtoQ5UHc6Ctg

logo 2

 

Advertisements

Capturing and Captivating

Success, like anything else is built step by step. Some steps can feel a little harder than others.

As far as my YouTube channel is concerned I have content, it’s mediocre in my view but that’s all part of the process and I am learning from it. With each video I get a little feedback on what works, what doesn’t and what to try next. The formula for captivating content isn’t quite foolproof, there’s a lot of trial and error involved.

My struggle is gaining an audience, the right audience.

My niche is Aerial Circus and it’s a tough market to promote. Most forums are either very specialized or are completely inactive, blog posts are few and far between let alone dedicated sites. I’m currently searching through all the Facebook groups (most of which are private and do not allow such promotions) trying to find a ticket in.

The myriad of advice that I’ve either received or researched has been conflicting to say the least.

‘Post every day’

‘Don’t post too much’

‘Be honest’

‘Embellish a little’

‘Be yourself’

‘Create who you want to become’

Sound familiar to anyone?

It’s a tough road to travel especially when self-promotion is taboo and often rejected. Of course, the more research I do the more ads pop up promising me the ‘secrets’ of increasing my followers, but let’s travel just one road at a time.

The question I’m asking myself right now is ‘Am I being impatient or am I failing?’ How can I even tell?

There’s nobody within my social circle that is able to help me with this dilemma so I’m relying on absolute strangers whose marketing tactics appealed to me and convinced me to part with hard earned cash. Yikes! I sound like a mug!

 

gold cup
Photo by Chitokan on Pexels.com

Nevertheless, no risk no reward, right?

Want to see what Aerial Circus is all about?

10409023_10203406159167317_4328272953323614662_n

You can follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the.average.aerialist/

or subscribe to my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUu8WaTZq8eqtoQ5UHc6Ctg

You can follow me…but I’m lost too!

It’s been a few weeks since my last post. My original aim was to try and post once a week but I’m realizing that perhaps that was a little ambitious.

I’ve been overwhelmed and distracted by my intentions. I was exhausted with my daily life before I joined Jumpcut Viral Academy, it was out of frustration and desperation that I took on the mammoth challenge of building a business in tandem.

Most recently, my set task was to write out my life goals. Where did I see myself in 10 years time? 5 years? 1 year? The idea is to work backwards to figure out what you need to be doing today to get where you want to be.

In all honesty, I struggled with this task. My answers felt so generic and empty.

I want to own my own house.

I want to travel.

I want to…….

Actually, I was pretty stuck after that.

When I look around my social circle I see so much happiness, success, people with clear direction and a life to be proud of. And then I wonder ‘Why the hell are they friends with me?’

As time has passed I have lost connection with these people and I’m drifting away. I don’t feel worthy of them anymore.

I knew I was alone but I didn’t know I was so lost. I think I’m so scared of being left behind that I’ve wandered off just for the sake of moving, just not necessarily forward.

What do I do now?

mountains nature arrow guide
Photo by Jens Johnsson on Pexels.com

 

 

Getting Organised

img_5783

Ah, such a simple concept, yet something so many fail at on a daily basis.

Since starting my online business on top of my full time job, getting myself organised has been a key factor. It’s paramount that I make the most out of the little free time that I have while still maintaining a balanced life.

When I started out with Jumpcut Viral Academy one of the first things they assigned (not recommended, I had to do this) was to read two books.

‘The Hard Thing About Hard Things’ by Ben Horowitz

For me, all this book did was confirm that even top CEOs can screw up. It’s only midly comforting.

‘The One Thing’ by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

img_5784

My saviour! I would recommend this book to ANYONE. It totally changed my way of thinking and more importantly my way of doing.

Before I read this I was very unfocused. I knew that I had to make time to build my business but when the weekends came I always thought ‘it’s ok, I’ve got all day, I’ll do it later.’ Of course, as I’m sure you’ll relate, ‘later’ came and went and I got nothing done. It was very discouraging.

After reading this book I discovered ‘Time Blocking’. The practice of making appointments with yourself to get your most important work done. It’s worked wonders for me. By setting aside specific time for specific tasks I have become so much more efficient! It’s liberating. Instead of worrying that I’m going to inadvertently spend all my spare time chained to my laptop I’ve managed to, well….manage!

I’ve also learned to cut myself some slack when I miss an ‘appointment’ or don’t spend as much time as intended doing my most important work, it’s not worth the stress.

Anyone who really knows me knows that I have a very linear way of thinking. If there is a rule, I stick to it, I don’t deviate. This isn’t always a good quality because it means I’m particularly hard on myself when I ‘fail’. But when the rule is ‘It’s ok to fail’ then I relax.

Before now I’ve never been told it’s ok to fail. In truth, failure is just a part of learning and succeeding. I wish they had told me this in school.

Another thing I do to stay organised is to write everything down. I live by lists and diaries and calendars. In my world, if it’s not written down, it doesn’t happen. This is another reason time blocking has been so effective for me, especially when it’s in front of my face on the calendar.

Got any tips? Tell me!

How do you stay organised?

Little Changes

10346446_10154232834240386_2756865042147889733_n

On all my feeds on every platform I see ads and promotions for how to grow your online business. They all tell their story of what they achieved and how they achieved it but I find it’s always a little too polished. Even when highlighting the mistakes and failures they appear brief and insignificant because in hindsight they often are.

In this blog my goal is to share the good, the bad, the ups and the downs as they happen to give you the truest sense of what it takes and how it feels to build up a business from nothing.

It’s a world of little changes, small victories and insignificant failures.

My second video received over 200 views in 2 days. It’s not earth shattering but it feels like a start, it’s 200 more views than I would have got without pushing promotion. My Instagram follower count is creeping up a little slower than I’d like so I’m going to change tactics.

‘Vikki Lou’ is too vague and ‘women’s fitness’ is too broad. Aerial circus is my real passion, it’s what I do on a daily basis and it’s a goldmine for content. I’ve deleted my Facebook page and created a new group under my new brand.

From now on (at least until I change my mind again) I will post under the brand ‘The Average Aerialist’. I want it to be the hub for all non-pro aerialists and wannabes, a demographic which has not even glimpsed its peak yet.

Something else I have learnt is that this journey is not as one way as I originally thought. It’s not all about me. I have to really, I mean really, connect with people, something I struggle with. This is the toughest step for me.

My entire life I have been burdened with a crippling fear of rejection and I often see my failed attempts at connecting as just that. So, when I’ve been tasked to communicate with people be it online or in my content, I hesitate.

What if it doesn’t work?

What if I’m mocked, criticized or ignored?

It’s a terrifying concept.

Business minded people will advise you to shut off the emotional side of yourself, after all, it’s just business. But when your business is your passion that’s difficult to do. When you put your heart and soul into something and someone dismisses it, it can be heart breaking.

So how does one get over it? Here’s my theory.

Look for the positives. It’s a simple concept and I’ll let you know if it works but that’s what I’m going to try to do.

Here are the positives so far:

I have a following. Small though it might be, I do have a following.

I have views.

I have subscribers.

These things may be small but they are they and there’s nothing stopping me from building them up little by little.

If you’d like to support me in my journey then please like, comment, follow, subscribe and all that jazz on here or any of the following platforms. If you’re on a similar journey then I’d love to hear from you. Let’s connect!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2242192836038949/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUu8WaTZq8eqtoQ5UHc6Ctg

https://www.instagram.com/the.average.aerialist/

 

 

 

Building a Business Betwixt the Busyness

 

man and woman sitting in front of black table
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Time. The one thing that is equal among us all and yet we use it, spend it, waste it in a variety of ways.

There is a saying that goes ‘If you want something done, ask a busy person’. The theory being that the person is busy because they are getting things done.

I’m pretty busy these days. I scurry around houses scrubbing and scrabbling all day long then hop in the car and drive for an hour to train and teach aerial circus for a few more hours before I finally get home to cook dinner and crash into bed. Each day is much the same and it’s exhausting. I’ve got no problem with working hard but it’s slightly depressing putting so much energy into something you don’t love. I’m sure many of you can relate.

I had to find a way to increase my worth and also feed my passion. The holy grail of employment! I found Jumpcut Viral Academy and launched myself into the world of online influencers. I knew this wasn’t going to be a get rich quick deal, I knew there would be extra work involved but I’m not sure I knew exactly what I was letting myself in for.

Now, nearly every spare minute is spent conjuring up ideas, creating content, filming, editing, networking, posting, writing blogs……you get the picture. Even when I’m at work I’m constantly checking my phone to see the progress. It’s all about building the business.

Right now, it’s pretty overwhelming and as the self doubt creeps in I wonder if I can do it and if it will all be worth it. I can’t answer that right now, it’s too soon to tell, but I’m still trying.

My followers across each platform are slowly increasing and I’m getting a little better at video editing with each session. Ideas are constantly popping into my head, I have to write them down instantly for fear I might lose a really good one. So far, so good.

I know I won’t get anywhere without hard work and maybe the hardest parts are yet to come (yikes!) but as long as I can keep moving forward, even just inch by inch then maybe I can drag myself out of this tireless tedium.

photography of a woman sitting on the chair listening to music
Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

 

The A – Z of Aerial Circus

10409023_10203406159167317_4328272953323614662_n

They say ‘Write about what you know’. I think the same applies to creating video content. My goal is to create a community based around women’s fitness so I figured the best place to start is the place I got my inspiration; the circus.

Firstly, let’s go way back to the beginning.

About 20 years ago, on the cusp of my teens, I started dance lessons. I loved to dance but was rather impatient when it came to practice and training, I wanted to be good, not learn to be good. I had ability and some talent but after my teen years came and went and responsible adulthood set in, dance became something I used to do. I may have had the ambition but I lacked the drive it took to really take it anywhere, I was also intimidated by the competitive aspect.

Fast forward to my late twenties. I was searching for a hobby that would make me social again. For a long time I had been avoiding such a thing but the time had come that I wanted to make a change. I didn’t want just any old class I wanted a real activity that I could do almost anywhere so I chose rock climbing. There was a centre near me that had an indoor wall and the wider area that I lived in had an ample choice of outdoor destinations. I took an introductory course and started making new friends straight away.

After a few months a new bouldering centre opened up so my friends and I decided to give it a go. It was a hit and became our new regular spot. This new centre offered more than just bouldering, there were other activities too. Martial arts, Crossfit, Parkour and…… Aerial Circus. My heart fluttered slightly. Aerial Circus took dance to new heights and I was more than curious so I tried a class and was hooked. It was a beautiful, challenging and rewarding sport that surrounded me with kindred spirits instead of competitors. Before long circus took over climbing and within a year I was an assistant instructor, my dance training had given me an edge.

10636167_10202499429619645_6485939772098803099_n

Today I teach 7 classes a week as well as private parties and standalone workshops. Not only did it reignite my passion for dance and performing but it opened up a whole new social circle that I affectionately call my ‘Circus Girls’. Each one of us has a different story that makes us unique. It was this diversity that sparked my idea for Vikki Lou Fitness and I couldn’t wait for them all to be a part of it, and they were more than happy to oblige.

Creating The A-Z of Aerial Circus is about more than just an arbitrary list. It represents something that brings women (and a few men too) from all different walks of life together. It represents the strong bonds that were built inside the studio walls. It represents a story we all now share.

Now I’d like to share it with you. Enjoy.

 

 

Are You Happy Fit?

When it comes to health and fitness we tend to think of things that can be measured. Calorie intake, weight loss, muscle mass, bpm, weights lifted etc. When I asked people, specifically women, what their main reason for exercise was I had an overwhelming response in favour of mental and emotional health. Everyone has a different goal and for a vast number of people it’s not all about achieving washboard abs or lifting 100kgs, it’s about something far more complex and, more often than not, something that can be challenging to achieve.

There’s a word or phrase for EVERYTHING these days and if there isn’t one then it’s speedily rectified. For the phrases and terms that haven’t made it to Oxford Dictionary and the like, they remain open to interpretation.

While building my brand and deciding what I wanted it to represent I came across the term ‘Happy Fit’. When I typed the # into Instagram the photos were mainly of particularly buff men and women, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, it wasn’t what I expected to see.

My own interpretation of ‘Happy Fit’ is feeling good in your own body regardless of preconceived ideas of what a perfect body should look like. You can still be fit and healthy by your own standards without having to reach for someone else’s goal.

To look at me you probably wouldn’t describe me as strong. You’d probably say I was ‘petite’, ‘small’, ‘dainty’ or any other similar adjective, you wouldn’t be wrong. You’d then be quite surprised by what I can do on an aerial hoop. I’m strong but my muscles are not well defined, my strength has come from learning form and technique, something that I’m quite proud to have achieved.

portrait-vikkipeat-poolephotography--9005

Photo credit: Poole Photography

Yep, that’s me. I’ve never really liked photos of myself, I’m my own worst critic (aren’t we all) but since going from newbie aerialist to aerial instructor and seeing other students on their aerial journey I now see things in a different light.

I no longer see chunky thighs, untoned arms and a pale complexion. I see a woman who has worked her little arse off to perform difficult moves and lengthy routines. I see a woman who has toughened up to a point where her skin no longer shows the bruises. I see a woman who has helped others achieve their aerial goals.

I see Happy Fit.

What’s your Happy Fit?