Whitney Jones – Focus on the Work, Not the Outcome (314)

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Whitney Jones is a two-time Ms. Fitness Olympia, the owner of Pro Physiques, the largest personal training gym in the state of Arizona, as well as four other fitness-related businesses. She is a personal trainer, fitness routine choreographer, and contest prep coach to athletes who compete across the country at NPC & IFBB-sanctioned events. Whitney is skilled in Weight Loss and Contest Prep Coaching, Nutritional Counseling, Marketing, Fitness Apparel Design, and Event Show Promotion.

Whitney graduated Cum Laude from Arizona State University. She is the single mother of two teenage boys.

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Podcast with Whitney Jones. Focus on the Work, Not the Outcome.


people, knew, olympia, sport, routine, business, fitness, thought, gym, athlete, growing, whitney, year, honestly, dance, stage, youngest, love, compete, skills


Whitney Jones, Mike Malatesta

Mike Malatesta  00:04

Hey, everybody. Welcome back to the show. And I’m so excited to have Whitney Jones with me today. Whitney, welcome to the “How’d It Happen” podcast.

Whitney Jones  00:17

Thanks so much, happy to be here and excited for a fun little discussion, conversation and party that we’re about to have.

Mike Malatesta  00:25

Yeah, so I, I found you — I “found” you when I heard you on Steve Sims, the Art of Making Things Happen podcast, and it has sort of become my thing now, like now that I’m up to almost 300 episodes, well, you’ll be over 300, I’ve kind of become very picky about who I try to engage with. And you know, I listened to you on there, you went to Genius Network and you spoke at Genius Network with Joe Polish, and I’m in another group with him and you just really kind of caught my attention. And then when I looked you up and stuff, I thought, oh, boy, it would be great to try to connect with her. So that’s how that came about. And thank you for responding to me and agreeing to be on the show. So let me tell you a little bit about Whitney. So you’ll get as excited as I am today. So I love the way she starts her bio. She says I am a single mom to two incredible boys ages 13 and 16. Is that still correct? 13 and 16?

Whitney Jones  01:33

Yes, actually my youngest is about to turn 14 though. So just

Mike Malatesta  01:37

okay. Okay. She’s also the owner of Pro Physiques, the largest personal training gym in the state of Arizona. She’s a personal trainer, contest prep coach and fitness core choreographer to athletes around the world who compete at MPC, which is the National Physique Committee, and IFBB, which is the International Federation of Body Builders, correct? So in addition to her Pro Physics business, she also has four additional companies. We’ll go into those a little bit later, because I’m interested in how sort of maybe one grew off of another, just kind of assuming maybe that’s how that went. And she has a weekly show called Femme Flex Friday, which is produced by Wings of Strength, and it’s focused on women in the fitness area, fitness industry. So that means that women who are running gyms and that kind of thing, or women who are athletes. What’s the target?

Whitney Jones  02:40

It’s kind of a wide range, anyone that really has any association to fitness. So it could be somebody who is an athlete, currently competing, retired athlete, they could own a gym, it could be somebody who is in any genre of fitness or dance, a boxer, anything. You name it, we have a wide variety of people on the show.

Mike Malatesta  03:03

Okay, casting a wide net there then. So, Whitney is currently ranked number one in the world, and enthusiastically holds the prestigious title of three-time Miss Fitness Olympia. The Olympia is comparable to the Super Bowl or the World Series in her sport, which is saying something. And now the three-time champion is here. Congratulations, by the way, that’s amazing. But I love what you followed it up with, which is what she is most proud of is, which is that she is the first-ever mother to hold an Olympia title. And what you didn’t say in there is you also got started in this much later than I think most of your competitors do as well. So there’s a great story in there about reinvention or transformation or something that hopefully will we will tease out. So anyway, with Whitney, you’re gonna find out what she is. She is an incredible woman and I start every show with the same simple question. And that is, how did happen for you?

Whitney Jones  04:15

Gosh, to summarize it, I would say through sheer tenacity and a fearless mentality. I mean, that just kind of sums it up. But in reality, not being afraid of risk, not being afraid of change, taking every setback as a challenge to make it the most epic comeback, and literally enjoying the journey every step of the way, even the bad days, trying to find the gold in it.

Mike Malatesta  04:42

And how do you do that? I mean, people are listening, I’m sure, and they’re saying that doesn’t sound possible. So why don’t you answer that and then I might get a little more granular with it if you don’t mind.

Whitney Jones  04:58

Sure. I mean, honestly It goes back to the mindset. I’ve learned through so many experiences in my career as an athlete, as well as in business, as well as in my personal life, you have to just be able to flip your mind whenever you’re going through bad times, having a rough day, struggling with a major issue in your life, there’s always a positive spin on it. And it allows you to get out of victim mentality from the pity-party, so many people, especially with what’s going on right now, with all the craziness in the world, you can get stuck there. But I always had this drive, I never wanted to have this mediocre life. And I realized that I have control over that. So being able to show gratitude every day, being able to find the gold in the horrible days and go, Okay, that was disastrous, or that did not go exactly as planned, or this is going to be a huge thing that I’m gonna have to overcome. You’ve got to find the good in it, because it gives you something to hang on to versus dwelling in the negative. So being able to switch your mind to the positive mindset is honestly what has helped propel me to live a greater life, live a happier life and achieve things that I back in probably 20 years ago, never would have thought possible. But it’s just not allowing yourself to, to play the victim.

Mike Malatesta  06:22

And do you have a process that you use for that? Because I consider myself a very optimistic person and a positive person. And sometimes things happen that I just can’t flip the switch on it immediately. I think I’m pretty good at switching it quickly. But I’m wondering what do you do to level up when you’re feeling defeated, or deflated, or whatever the right word might be?

Whitney Jones  07:00

Yes, actually. I have a clothing line called Fearless. And the whole aspect of that company came out of me trying to find a methodology or process to stay on this path that I wanted to have positivity. So whenever it is something that’s just crazy, bad day, bad situation, I try to take a step back. And it’s way easier to do it. If you can block out the noise, if you can have even five minutes to yourself, and sit down and think okay, what is it that I’m really afraid of, you know, whether it’s a bad situation, thinking of the worst-case scenario when you truly face it head on and go, Okay, how bad could this be? What are all the things that could possibly go wrong, or that could become worse out of the situation? And once you identify all that, it’s almost like for me, it kind of calms me down because it’s never as bad as it seems. But when you live in that fearful mentality, it, it can paralyze you, where you just can’t break out of it. You can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. But you’re not thinking through the process, you have to force yourself to go, oh, my gosh, this happened? How bad is it going to be and even if it’s catastrophic, you’ve got to be able to let your mind go through the process of realizing that could happen, knowing it potentially is going to be the outcome. But when you can prepare your mind for it, it’s a lot easier to handle, and then almost guarantee it’s never going to be as bad as we visualized it to be.

Mike Malatesta  08:35

I’ve heard people saying that up to 90% of what you worry about never happens,

Whitney Jones  08:50

right? I’m a firm believer in that I work with so many client brands, I’m the sounding board for so many people because they’re like, gosh, you seem so happy. It’s just, it’s a process that you have to work through it. But so many people are so scared of the unknown. And they’re just allowing themselves to worry about stuff that is so insignificant or so out of the park, left field, you’re like, that’s what you’re worried about, right? Allowing people to talk through it sometimes helps them realize how ridiculous it is. And it brings them back to center.

Mike Malatesta  09:28

And tell me about your parents. Did they did they instill this in you initially? Or was this something that, you know, where did it come where? Where can you trace it to? I guess?

Whitney Jones  09:40

Well, so I would say I was very fortunate to have an amazing family growing up. My mom and dad were married and my mom unfortunately passed about 10 years ago, but I still have my dad and I had two older brothers, so I was the youngest and, honestly, a lot of my fearless mentality was because I had two older brothers that I was constantly trying to keep up with. And they helped kind of teach me, you know, you can’t sit there and play poor me, no one cares, no one’s going to give you sympathy. And then my parents also, I love it, you know, growing up, I used to just knock my head against the wall thinking, gosh, they just don’t care, they would never allow a pity party, my mom would call me out in a heartbeat. She was amazing. Because she would listen, she would allow me to voice my concerns my feelings. And then she’d say, Okay, I understand and then basically flip it and say, so what are you going to do about it, because you’re not going to sit here and have a pity party for yourself. And it was, I mean, it was powerful, I now implement those same tactics. But it’s just a matter of knowing that I was in a safe environment that I was loved, I was able to, like, express freely. We didn’t grow up with a lot. And I think that honestly helped too, because we had to entertain ourselves with the most simplest things in life. We had to lean on each other to for support and entertainment and encouragement. And it just helped kind of shape who I was in regards to knowing I want to achieve amazing things in life. And I can do it, but I gotta try. And I gotta have a strategy. And, and I can’t expect others to help me if I want something. I need to go after it myself. So a lot of that absolutely. was instilled in my upbringing, for sure.

Mike Malatesta  11:33

And were you also working at a young age?

Whitney Jones  11:35

Yeah, I think too, because again, like my family did not, we didn’t have a lot of money. One thing I think, is the greatest trick. Growing up was my dad used to always say, we are so rich. And honestly, I remember and this may sound ridiculous. I thought we were rich up until my freshman year in high school because I we never compared I didn’t realize like, we weren’t poor living on the streets by any means. But we were pretty below average from everyone in my friends, group, neighborhood, family, friends. But he always said, you know, we are so rich, we have everything we need. We have a house, we have the love, we have a family, we have our health. And I think that was the coolest thing ever. But then when you put that monetary value on it, we never had that. But we were just raised to work. So even growing up as an elementary school kid, both my brothers and I, we all started businesses, we were little entrepreneurs at a very young age, because if we wanted to go to certain pay with our friends and get a snack, our parents were not giving us money for that. It wasn’t like that. So you needed to get money. And it wasn’t from an allowance. My parents didn’t do an allowance, you had to make money from some other sources. So we did car washing businesses, my brother had a lawn mowing service. My other brother was doing door to door sales with anything and everything you could find. But yeah, we all had, we were literally many entrepreneurs. And now we all own our own businesses, too, as grown adults.

Mike Malatesta  13:13

What are your brothers up to?

Whitney Jones  13:15

So my, my middle brother, he’s actually he’s a fire fighter. He’s a captain of a fire department. And then he owns a pool company, where he designs and builds pools and then owns the pool cleaning company. And then my other brother is in telecommunications, so he works with all the like T Mobile AT and T all the cell phone companies building towers, doing land acquisition and stuff like that.

Mike Malatesta  13:41

Okay, thanks for indulging me with that. I should have I think I should have at the beginning asked you to describe Miss fitness, Olympia, because, you know, I mentioned those acronyms. And one of them was in an International Federation of bodybuilding. And I know I’ve heard I’ve heard you talk about this before. And what you do is, you know, it’s not it’s not what people traditionally think of as body building. And I just don’t want to confuse people. So maybe you can just, you know, to explain the distinction between the two and what you what you’re a champion at.

Whitney Jones  14:20

Sure. And yeah, it’s great because it’s, it’s kind of generalized, it is in the umbrella of bodybuilding. So, when people think Arnold Schwarzenegger, great athlete, I mean, he. So what he won is like Olympia. So that’s the type Title I was going after. However, there’s multiple divisions in our sport. I’m in the fitness division. And what that means is we don’t get on stage we don’t flex we don’t do any of the stuff that people think is traditional bodybuilding. Yes, we have to be in shape. They judge our physique but my my division for fitness, we actually have to do a two minute choreographed routine, and that’s where the bulk of our scoring comes in. And so that includes gymnastics, doing backflips, tumbling passes strength moves where you’re seeing those flying push ups plyo push ups where you’re like five feet off the ground. You have to incorporate dance. And then you get to be creative and do whatever you want. So one of my things that I implement and I’m kind of known for as breakdancing, believe it or not, yeah, so I am clewd. Breakdancing and all of my themed type routines, we wear costumes. So that’s the Division I compete in. Like I said, we still have to be in shape, like physically fit. But my division is judged more on actual choreographed routine where other divisions are judged on, you know, when they flex how their body looks. And so that’s where the differentiate differentiation is.

Mike Malatesta  15:47

Okay. Well, thanks for doing that I. And we’ll get we’ll get way more into this. But I want to go back again, to your growing up to your two brothers, you’re sort of trying to compete with them. You’re doing all kinds of sports, you’re working, earning money, what were you thinking? Or what’s the earliest that you can recall you thinking about your future with me like what you wanted to do?

Whitney Jones  16:13

Honestly, I always wanted to own my own business. And I’m very active, I’m always kind of moving. I grew up trying to play any and every sport that my parents would allow me to. So I knew sitting behind a desk, and just typing on the computer all day was never going to fulfill me. Now, sometimes you gotta take steps to get to where you want to be. But I always knew I wanted to do something where I got to be the leader of my own company, but I wanted to do something that I was super passionate about. And growing up, I kept thinking, I need to figure it out. Now, you know, I remember in junior high been like, what am I going to do when I grew up? What kind of business do I want to start because I need to start planning now. high school, college, I graduated college and was still like, I don’t have that idea yet for my own business. So I tried to stop putting pressure on figuring it out and just decided it’s going to come to me when it’s going to come to me. And sure enough, it did. But you know, i In the meantime, I thought I want to explore different industries, different jobs. And I did I was doing stuff in the mortgage industry, I worked for a major ad agency. Then I got into the fitness environment. So I had experienced in several completely different industries. And I found little, like, pieces of gold and all of them. What did I like about it? What didn’t I like? And then I had an opportunity to partner up and open up a gym. And I thought, oh, my gosh, it was the first time I really had that spark. You know, a lot of people would say you want to say you want to start your own business, why don’t you open up a I remember there was this girl who pitched me and said, let’s open up a purse company, like, you know, handbags. And I’m like, I had got zero reactions from that. But I you know, it was weird. I remember still to this day, having that idea come to me about opening up a gym and I went home that night, and wrote out a 38 page business plan by the next morning was up all night. And it was like, Oh my gosh, this is it. Like I knew that was the way to go. I was so excited about it. It was almost like I had these ideas in my head. I’ve never written a business plan ever in my life. In college, we did mediocre little exercises, but it was like Alright, let’s do this. And that’s kind of what started my entrepreneurial path that wasn’t you know, washing cars went to school.

Mike Malatesta  18:41

The so let’s talk about the path there because you you mentioned you know that you weren’t what were the sports you played by the way and in high school and college.

Whitney Jones  18:51

So in high school and college, I did track cheerleading and dance and diving. And then when I got into college, that’s where I had an opportunity to run track in college and I passed on it which I am like, oh, I still regret that because that would have been fun. But I did I went to ASU and I actually was on their dance team. And that was great but in college it was tough because I had to work multiple jobs to pay for college and a lot of the sports teams some they don’t even allow you to have a job and then others your your schedule with practice and games didn’t allow you to have a job so I only did in college only to dance for two years I did chair at a community college my first year but that was it. You know I had to financially be able to get through college so I just did a lot of stuff on the side because like I said I love to always be active but I wish I would have still done tracking College.

Mike Malatesta  19:52

Okay. And but and just sort of tangent here had to did you watch the show cheer or have you watch that show or something,

Whitney Jones  20:03

and talk about it all the time. I have never seen it.

Mike Malatesta  20:06

Okay, I wanted to get I wanted to see how real life it was because it’s also Community College. I believe we’re on vacation somewhere in my, my wife and daughter started watching this show. And I you know, it’s like all those shows, they kind of suck you into all the drama of the stories, right? But it’s it was very intense to the training. And as I recall, I was, you know, you trained like the whole year for one event, sort of like your two minutes at this fitness, Olympia, like you trained for that? And if that’s it, yeah, when are you doing?

Whitney Jones  20:43

That’s how it was? Yeah, growing up, even in high school. I was on the cheer squad, my high school and same thing, you practice your round for the one state championship. But that’s what it’s great because it kind of, um, now I knew what I was getting into. When I got into this sport of fitness and trying to win Olympia, it’s like, yeah, months and months and months for ya got one shot.

Mike Malatesta  21:05

Good. So it’s amazing because I I’ve never played I always played team sports, you know, football, baseball, where we have lots of kids, you know, you’ve had lots of lots of opportunity to sort of prove yourself get better get beat up, whatever. But just boy that it’s just like all that effort in just two minutes, or however many minutes you have. And that’s it. That’s your whole season.

Whitney Jones  21:27

And even, I was used to at least being on stage with a group of people, you know, and then when I got into this sport, it’s just me, I’m out there. Solo on stage. So if I miss a backpack, and I land on my face, you can’t really hide that it’s

Mike Malatesta  21:46

well, you know, you can hide a broken leg. You can hide anything. Yeah. What about your boys? What are they into first? Are they into sports?

Whitney Jones  21:56

Yes, they are. So my oldest who’s 16. In high school, he plays he played baseball. But then you got to pick season. So he’s now he did that the first year. And now he’s doing track in the fall, or I’m sorry, in the spring, and then he plays football in the fall. And that’s very competitive here. So it’s kind of a year round thing. And then my youngest does baseball and football. Okay.

Mike Malatesta  22:21

Yeah. Nice. So you well, at least you have a lot of games to go to, then they’re not just practicing for the whole Yeah.

Whitney Jones  22:27

Every weekend. It’s something during the week, it’s carpool mom, everything. So Oh, yeah. But I love it.

Mike Malatesta  22:35

So you said, you know, as you were growing up, you didn’t think that’s sitting behind a computer would be the thing for you. And yet, you know, your first sort of foray into a career, you worked for a mortgage company and an advertising agency, which seems to me to probably be a lot of computer work. And you did that for some time, as I understand it before this, you know, idea for the gym, whatever sort of came to fruition? What, and a lot of people, I feel like there’s a lot of people, you tell me if you agree with or disagree that, you know, they have these dreams, like you did, I don’t want to work behind a computer, I want to do something, I don’t know what but I’m going to take a job because I need money, and I’m going to get skills and relationships off of this. And then they stay there. Yeah, you know, this sort of dream starts to erode. Or just keep being pushed out further and further. What was it? Like, I believe a lot and convergence, right? So if I have a desire for something, and I don’t know how to make it happen, I need to take keep taking little steps towards it, even though I’m not sure if they’re the right steps. Because if I do that, I’m going to put myself in the company or the position or the time or the place or whatever, where it finally comes to me. What was your journey like that? I mean, you know, you had thinking, what’s your friend you said to the friend was the first one was there? Was there someone else who influenced you on the gym?

Whitney Jones  24:11

I do. It was honestly what influenced me on the gym was I was pregnant with my second child and was on bedrest for three and a half months. Oh, okay. One like way on bedrest. It was horrible. But that forced me to go. Okay, so I have a lot of time to think. What could I do if I could do anything in the world? And I was still happy at that time in my job at the ad agency, but I wasn’t totally happy. And so that allowed me to say take a risk and try something new. But to also kind of answer your question, the way you’re right after I graduated college, it’s like, Well, I gotta pay bills. So I need a job. And so I got one but one thing I always tried to pay attention to was each year truly gauging my level of happiness. If my level of happiness in that current job was not going up, even if it just went up slightly, then I knew, it’s only going to get worse once it started dipping. I knew, Okay, this is the time to make a change. So obviously, I was younger, I had not had kids yet. But it was like, this is the time to try things to take heavier risks, because, you know, I wasn’t stuck in a certain location, if I wanted to totally try a different industry, it’s okay. But I tried to always pay attention to where is that stress and the level of happiness. And if it started, you know, taking me down, it was time to, to make a switch. I always knew whatever I’m doing, if it’s not getting better and better each year, I need to find another outlet, I need to find another career path, or I need to change my current situation so that it does go up. And so once in both jobs working with mortgage company and working at the ad agency, as soon as it started dipping, it was like, Okay, what am I going to do? What’s my next move? Think about it, don’t just do a knee jerk reaction. Because once you can feel it dipping, that’s where you need to start the wheel spinning to go make a change now, otherwise, you will be stuck. And I’ve seen that with so many people growing up. And even like a lot of my parents, friends who just work so unhappy in their career. Well, hitting the lottery was not a likelihood probably that was ever gonna happen for me. So I just knew I wanted to be able to enjoy what I did. And I love to help people I knew ultimately, whatever I ended up doing for the long term would be having a positive impact on someone’s life, in whatever industry that was. So that’s kind of the the things that really helped guide me to go is it is now the time to make a shift is now the time to make a change. And like I said, I always still had in the back of my head, I want to own my own company. But I needed to wait until I really got that spark in that fire before I put all my eggs in one basket to go that direction.

Mike Malatesta  27:02

Okay, and you were around how old when you did this when you finally made that decision to open

Whitney Jones  27:07

up my business? I was 31.

Mike Malatesta  27:11

Okay, 31. So you get three, three and a half months of bed rest to think about your happiness factor and what else you might want to do you write your business plan in one one day. And then what how do you? How do you get it off the ground? And I’m asking not I’m asking because people I think it’s kind of a mystery to people sometimes about how businesses actually get started. But then I’m also asking because gyms are, you know, most gyms are like dime a dozen, right? They get started and they say day, they don’t go, right where you know. So how did you? How’d you get started?

Whitney Jones  27:50

Well, I knew after bedrest after I was fortunate enough to have a healthy baby. And I was you I know, it was like light at the end of the tunnel, right? But I knew if I wanted to go in this direction, and that was I didn’t have the idea to open up my business yet. But I knew I wanted to do something different. And prior to the pregnancy, I was working at the ad agency, I was coming home, and just training people for fun out of my house just out of pure joy. And as a hobby. Not told me, why don’t I try to do this. So after I had Jate, my second, I literally quit my job and went and got a job as a personal trainer at the local gym making minimum wage, which was the craziest thing, because that was a massive pay cut. But I thought this is I’m excited about it. I wanted to do it. And honestly, in my heart, I knew I was so excited about the change and to try this as a complete career shift. And again, still snowing. I’m still young enough, I’m not like set in my 50s were making a major career change at that time is a lot scarier. I thought just do it. I left the doors open at the ad agency by things didn’t work out. So I went in and just said let’s do this. Then I kind of got the idea pretty quickly. I’m like, this would be fun to own my own, but didn’t didn’t really jump on that thought yet. I was in for about six months and then an opportunity with a business partner came to me and I thought absolutely now’s the time to do it. But I still wanted some more research time to go okay, this is a new industry. I need to do my due diligence, kind of figure out what I wanted. I was working at a big box gym. So it was totally different from what I was going to do because it was just going to be a small private personal training gym. But I learned enough about watching the business structure. Also my experience in mortgage industry as well as the ad agency gave me such good insight on just truly business and General, how to manage teams, you know, morale, good things I like things I definitely never wanted to do as an owner of a company. So I took all that in. And then honestly, it was a matter of going, okay. At some point in time, if I’m going to do this, I wrote the business plan in my business plan. Part of that was, how quickly do we get the set up. And so I gave myself eight months. And we ended up opening up the gym in nine. So what happened was, I ended up quitting my current job, because to truly do it, right. You can’t, I couldn’t be half in half out, not on that line. You know, if I said, Oh, I’m gonna open it up in two years, maybe so. But it was a horrible time in the economy at that moment, to open up a gym. But through my process of writing that business plan, I found a way that I felt was safe, where I wasn’t putting everything I owned into it, where I was risking it all. And just starting on small and then scaling it knowing I want to grow strategically, but not getting too in over my head. And then it was a matter of, alright, let’s just pull the trigger. And it was absolutely scary to go, oh, my gosh, I’m, I’m going to jump in, I’m leaving everything. I’ve never owned a business. It’s an industry I’m not completely familiar with. But for me, jumping all in is the only way I know how to succeed, because then it’s a matter of, I won’t fail. I know in my heart, I won’t fail. So if I’m half in half out, that gives me the option to fail. If I’m all in, I gotta work, I gotta grind. I know my work ethic. And so that was for me, I had to quit the job and go, alright, this is gonna happen. And it did open up the gym in nine months. And it has grown sense and of course, allowed me the opportunity to open up other businesses all within the fitness world. But it’s been an amazing experience. But without really diving in headfirst and being all in, it would have never had the success that it did. Because you’ve got to have that element of being scared a bit to make you work, work work.

Mike Malatesta  32:18

You got to be fearless enough to get over your fear.

Whitney Jones  32:22

Absolutely. You got to face it head on all those little things that were scaring me. You think about it and go, Okay, well, I can avoid that. If I do XYZ, that’s not going to happen. So it’s just truly identifying what is the scariest thing, I’m gonna open up my business, no one’s going to come through the door? Well, if you have a correct marketing strategy, people are going to come to the door. The other thing oh my gosh, what if I invest all this money and you know, do a build out of a gym? Invest in all the equipment? And then I can’t pay my trainers? Well, you need to have some financing, go get alone, do your research. So there was always an answer. But you’ve got to truly identify worst case scenario.

Mike Malatesta  33:03

Yeah, I definitely believe that, especially at, you know, at startup level, you, you if you’re not 100% committed to the business, you use the word option to fail, I would use the word excuse to fail, you’re giving yourself an excuse to have to fail. So when did you know how long did it take before you knew this is? I mean, I know you knew it was going to work. But when did the evidence start to two? How long did it take for the evidence to start to validate that belief?

Whitney Jones  33:36

Well, we were lucky our first year we hit the five year goal.

Mike Malatesta  33:40

Okay, that’s nice. That’s pretty where to start. Oh, okay.

Whitney Jones  33:44

And it was and honestly, there was so many people kind of in my ear about oh, my gosh, you guys should do this. Because we did well. Now, I wouldn’t say it was like exploded because the five year strategy was realistic. But I also was a little more cautious. I thought, okay, obviously, we got to revise our five year strategy now because we already hit it. But I knew being in the ad agency and working with a lot of companies and startup, I would see people grow too aggressively and not strategically. And so we’ve set our sights, you know, redid five year strategy going, Okay, we want to accomplish XYZ we want to, you know, expand the business, have more square footage, hire more trainers, so it just really kind of just changed it. Now again, that’s not to say there were not major curveballs thrown in the way of course that’s business that’s life. But you know, it was always just kind of staying on point having your plan in place, knowing are we hitting it are we you know, being like amazing and totally over achieving our goals are we fallen short, and just constantly kind of paying attention to where we’re at, based on reaching our quarterly goals, annual goals, five year goals.

Mike Malatesta  34:59

And when you You, if I have my math right around this, around the time you were doing this, you were also or shortly thereafter is when you started to get interested in this fitness, Olympia, is that correct?

Whitney Jones  35:15

Yeah. Honestly, it was I had opened the business and I thought, Oh, this would be fun, fun challenge to compete, and never had the idea to like, try to turn pro and become a pro athlete and compete on the big stages. It was honestly a hobby, just, you know, you got to take care of yourself, you need to have your own personal goals. And since I owned a gym and was in the fitness world, I thought, well, let’s make a goal that has something to do with fitness. And it just kind of I did it. I did a show and loved it loved the creativity of it loved having that outlet to, you know, do stuff besides just go to the gym and workout. Yeah, I can do that. But this type training, you know, coming up with crazy breakdancing skills and working on, you know, backflips and cool tumbling passes and looking on the internet and finding ridiculous skills and be like, I wonder if I could do that. Is that hard or not? I love the challenge. I love the creativity of it. And I was fortunate enough that I did really well, pretty quickly, I turned pro within the first year, which is really a rare thing in our sport. And I just continued to roll with it. Again, not having expectations. But honestly, I think that’s why I did so well. Because I was just loving the journey. I didn’t care about the outcome. I wasn’t worried about winning the show. I wasn’t so focused on I got to be a pro athlete. When I won. I was like, Oh, that what does that do me? I’m a pro athlete. What does that mean? So I was just focused on enjoying the journey, having fun, enjoying show day where you get to go out and surprise everyone with this routine you put together and step off stage and go, Oh my gosh, I screwed that up and that up, and I need to work on XYZ. But as a pro athlete, that’s why I truly can look back and go I did well and did well fast because I was not focused on the outcome. It’s a subjective sport, you’re sitting in front of a judging panel, it’s not like running a race and track where there is a finish line. And whoever crosses the finish line first wins. It’s absolutely subjective. It’s like who liked my routine better, and my music or my costume or my skills, everyone has a different opinion. So I was never worried about what the judges thought they weren’t going to give me the validation of Did I win? I knew I win if I did the work that I needed to to prepare? Did I do my routine while on stage and show up in the best physical condition that I could? And did I step off stage go on? Nailed it. That’s how I determined if I won, or if I lost, not how I placed in the show.

Mike Malatesta  38:00

And was there? Was there also was there some other influence a person you knew that was doing it or something? Or was this something that was had been on your radar anyway? And you sort of were like, well, I’ve got my gym now I’ve got you know, this could be good for business as well as good for, for me for a challenge. What were you what what influences if any, were there for you?

Whitney Jones  38:22

Truthfully, I knew nothing about the sport when I’d seen seven magazines, but I didn’t know there was criteria in creating a fitness routine. Like there’s mandatory moves. I knew none of that. What really motivated me to get on stage early on, was I had someone tell me you would be horrible in this sport, you will never do well. And I was like, Oh yeah, I’m gonna prove you wrong, because I love a challenge. And that honestly, it was what lit my fire to go. I’m gonna do this now just so I can be like, oh, yeah, I told you I could step on stage. Not necessarily that I would win or do well, but like, you could never do that. Oh, yeah, I can. So that’s truly what fueled me, to be honest.

Mike Malatesta  39:08

That was that was that person, someone whose opinion mattered to you?

Whitney Jones  39:12

It was it’s actually at the time it was my business partner that he was more into the sport. And some of these athletes he was still new at it. But you know, it was just that choice like I you know, I was doing marathons triathlon, like endurance type events. He’s like, this is not a sport for you like stepping on stage and these things, but he didn’t know about the fitness division really either. He coached athletes and other divisions Figure Bikini, so he’s like, I don’t know how to coach you. So I think it was more of a thing like oh, you can’t do it because I don’t know how to help you. And for me, I was like, Okay, I’m gonna figure this out.

Mike Malatesta  39:54

So, we’re gonna get more into this but if you if you’re listening and you want to check this out right away Let’s see what she’s talking about, you can just go to YouTube and you can put in her name Whitney Jones, whi T n EY, Jones 2021, or any year 2019 2018. And she’ll come up and you’ll see what these these routines that that she’s talking about. But but that’s like the product. But I want to talk a little bit more about what goes into creating that product. So it’s a very unique because it’s it’s extreme athleticism, but there’s also there’s a brand up there, too. It’s not like, Hey, I’m just playing my sport, you have a whole personality sort of going on with this as well. And I’m wondering how long I mean, you had the dance, and you had the chair and you had exposure, you know, younger, you know, as you were coming up into these things, but how long did it take you Whitney to really feel like you had the right combination to become a champion?

Whitney Jones  41:02

Well, to be honest, so yes, I did have a dance. Do you know when I was older, but even growing up, I had zero gymnastics experience was not in debt. Like I didn’t do dance in elementary school, junior high or anything like that. I got into this sport. And I was not like everyone else. I started a lot older. I was 3032. When I started in the sport. Most of the girls I’m competing against at the pro level are early 20s. So I’m way late in the game

Mike Malatesta  41:35

are most retired by 32. Do they continue?

Whitney Jones  41:39

Already? They’re usually retired. Mm hmm. Yeah. Cuz then they start having family families. Yeah, right already had my kids like this was not on my radar. And they all I would say 90% of the women in my division are all gymnasts and have been like level 10, which is the highest you can be on level 10. gymnasts have been doing it since they were three or four. So I knew I was not like everyone else. And again, I’m not a I can dance and dance fair issue. But it’s not like I, again, went through club dance competitions my whole life, like I’m more of an amateur at everything. So in a way, it helped me because if you have a gymnastics background, if you have a dance background, you tend to stay in that realm. And you don’t really try to learn anything else. Well, I was not great at anything. Yeah, I didn’t have gymnastics, my dance was mediocre. My strength moves. You know, I was doing an endurance events for the last five years, that so it’s like I had this muscle that’s needed to do handstand push ups and plyometric push ups were jumping off the ground. So I was mediocre at everything. But I love the challenge of it. And I don’t like not being the best, you know, I just want to be able to be competitive and in the mix. So I worked and worked and worked. And then I started realizing, me working year round versus some of the athletes I was competing against who kind of take a break. And then, you know, three to four months out from there showed they start working, and they just continue to bring the same skills every year, they don’t learn anything more. Well, I had such a massive learning curve, that I was constantly learning new things and bringing new skills. And then I thought breakdancing looks so fun. I mean, it’s so hard. But again, I liked that, that helped give me a different look. And when I started putting date breakdancing elements into my routine, it helped me stand out because again, no one else was doing it. So then I really kind of went in that direction to say, I don’t want to be like everyone else. I want to stand out on my own my routines, you know, again, I didn’t have the gymnastics experience. I I wasn’t like everyone else. So my routines really looked different. Then you gotta throw in. Again, because I don’t have this training. I had almost every Olympia, I had a broken bone that I competed with, because I was trying to such crazy outlandish skills, and you have injuries and was like, oh, I want to do this skill. Well, I don’t know if I can do it. There’s only one way to find out. So unfortunately, our category our fitness division, there’s a lot of injuries with it. But I will say it’s one of the greatest things because it forced me to think out of the box. I mean, my first Olympia I was in a cast I had a broken arm. So you can’t do a lot of the strength skills and handstands when you’re in a cast. But I qualified for Olympia, I gotta show up and do something. So again, you figure out what can I do for two minutes that doesn’t really require two very strong arms. And so I started coming up with unconventional skills trips. The choreography because I needed to fill two minutes. And so a lot of the stuff that I brought to the stage was so unlike what everyone else was bringing, that it helped me. And then unfortunately, you know, I had more injuries through the years. But it wasn’t until about 2018 2018 was when I won my first World Championship title. What happened there was the year prior actually broke my neck. And it was, I mean, it was a bad, bad, bad injury of all the bones I’ve broken and all the surgeries I’ve had, which is a plenty. That was, it was very bad, very hard. But it i My goal was to get back on stage because it was such a bad injury. Everyone said it was career ending, I was not going to settle for that I knew I wasn’t done yet. And there was just no, no one had come back as a pro athlete from that type of injury, and even been mediocre. So my goal was just just come back and show up to give well hope that if you ever break your neck, hopefully no one listening, hopefully yourself included, never has to break their neck, it’s pretty bad. But I had surgery, I got my movement on my arm back, I have a 12 piece metal cage in my neck. They used to put it back together. And like I said, I just needed to provide hope for anyone that had gone through this type injury that you can get back to your regular life. When I was going through the whole process, I was on all these forums and blogs. And it was just like Doomsday, and I thought no one is giving any hope to me. So I thought I’ve got to be that person, I almost felt like it was my duty. So it flipped my mindset of going, You know what, this is an opportunity to just show up and come back into the sport to the best of my ability, whatever that is, right. But I just worked and and again had to think out of the box trying to compete after an injury like that. And I showed up nine months after my neck surgery and ended up winning, which I had never won a show that that was the first World Championship title and I wanted, which I was gonna go in, totally happy to place last. But it was just a different mindset. And that’s where I really tapped into the power of your mind, in what you can achieve. Not allowing any doubts to creep in your head, not allowing any of the negative voices that you hear blocking out all the noise. And that’s when I realized, whoa, okay, I’m onto something that nobody else is tapping into. And that was extremely powerful.

Mike Malatesta  47:47

I hadn’t heard about the neck. That’s that’s an amazing story. I Well, I’m glad that it worked out for you in that. And I know, right. Oh my gosh, that’s yeah, that’s a tough one. And to come back and win afterward, it had to be so amazingly gratifying, like, oh my gosh, and surprising. Maybe too, right? Oh, gosh, I

Whitney Jones  48:10

said I was just so happy to get on stage at that show and be able to perform. Yeah. And you know, I was ready, I knew I was going to get up there. And I was going to be able to complete my routine. But again, never expected to win. Never because I was bringing a routine that was so unlike anything I had ever done before.

Mike Malatesta  48:30

So now, this is this is even more amazing. Because, you know, I know what happened prior to 2021. And I’ve watched the video a couple of times knowing what was happening. And it’s like a magician. I can’t see how there’s no, there’s nothing that I can pick up that that indicates what you were going through during that one. So why don’t you tell us about that it becomes a lot easier to understand now that you’ve described the broken neck thing, but my gosh. So just before 2021 Will you have something else happened to you?

Whitney Jones  49:13

Yeah, so before the Olympia competition again, it’s like the Super Bowl or the World Series. So if you’re qualified to go to Olympia you go out a week early you do all this press and media and meet and greet with fans. So I was in Florida for the competition the week prior. And you know, a few days out you do your last run through of your routine and then try to you know, rest of your body spreche for show day. So I was practicing and had a mishap in my routine. And again, it’s like you’re not going full out. But it was a room that I had never practiced in and the walls like when I’m flipping I get nervous with proximity and it was a smaller area and I got too close to the wall when I was doing a one of my crazy backwards slips. And out of the side of my eye, I thought I was going to hit the wall. So I pulled out of my backflip early, long story short, came down. And this is on a conference room floor. So there’s no padding, there’s no Max, nothing ended up landing on my knee. And I thought, oh, man, I just busted up my knee. I’ve torn my ACL, my MCL, I’ve had knee surgeries, my knee swelled up instantly. Long story short, it ended up not being the knee, I had actually broken my leg. And I knew it was bad. I knew something was wrong, whether it was torn ACL, broken leg, whatever. But I was there, the competition was, I think three days away at that point. And I knew I wasn’t pulling out. So I said, I’m not going to the doctor till I get home, we’ll figure out whatever’s wrong is still going to be wrong. When I fly back home to Arizona, I’m doing this competition. And so we worked on the swelling, I had to hide my limp from everyone. And I had to revise my routine in my head, because I knew with certain there wouldn’t be certain skills I could do. So I had to change my routine and never have an opportunity to practice it until I stepped onstage live to perform it. And I know it’s great to hear that you said you couldn’t tell. I absolutely can tell because the the routine that I ended up doing on stage was not the routine I’d practiced for months. It was not what I had even practiced the week prior, it was way better. What I had was way better. But I had to water it down. Knowing that I couldn’t use I mean, I couldn’t do a lot with the left leg. And then I had to hide the fact that I had an injury, you know, so I’m glad that you couldn’t. But the thing was I you worked so hard, just like when you set from that, that show the TV show cheers. You work so hard for that one moment, one moment. And again, even if I showed up, and I just could only do a mediocre routine, I had to try. I never wanted to think back and go, What if I would have done it? What could have happened? I had to try. And I had to just bring my best. It’s like I never want to agree to do something and and pull out unless I absolutely can’t. So I didn’t know what to expect. And I thought I’m going to go in about two minutes. There’s a lot you can trick your brain to do in two minutes. And you know, it’s like just get through, just get through. You focus on the next movement, the next facial the energy, and you got to block out the noise and the pain. I mean, granted, when the routine was done, and I stepped off stage, I was dying. I mean, the pain was at an all time high and easy. But it’s like, you know, you got to I had to try, I had to try. And I ended up winning. And people didn’t know until after the fact that I had a broken leg. Because I didn’t tell anyone obviously for probably two weeks.

Mike Malatesta  53:06

Well, like I said earlier, just cool. Whitney Whitney Jones 2021. And you tell me if you think she says I tricked my mind? Well, you checked my mind too, because that that yeah, it was just it’s amazing. And and as an audience member and of course, I’m not a judge. But as an audience member, I certainly couldn’t tell that the routine was changed to accommodate this thing, because I couldn’t even tell that there was an accommodation was just amazing and says so much about the power of your I don’t know if it’s your mind, or if it’s your mind and your body or if it’s just something that you’ve been given that most people don’t have. But whatever it is, the combination of them was is clearly shows that you’ve got some exceptionalism to you, and I’m so happy to know that you’re not only challenging it all the time, but that you’re sharing it with so many other people as well. So what

Whitney Jones  54:10

say you don’t always do as I do? Do si se Yeah, my answer like, oh my gosh, you know, I broke my foot. I should compete. I’m like, Listen. Yeah, trying to encourage people to be that crazy, but under certain circumstances, obviously, I knew what I was capable of. And I just wanted to give it my all not saying oh, I’m gonna go out and I’m gonna compete with a broken leg. That wasn’t the goal. I wanted to just show up.

Mike Malatesta  54:39

Yeah, well, you finished with a broken arm and a cast before.

Whitney Jones  54:43

Exactly. For me, at least I’m consistent. Yeah.

Mike Malatesta  54:46

Do you have a coach for this?

Whitney Jones  54:50

You don’t I don’t I have my business partner still kind of does my diet here and there, but for the most part, I I know what to do. So Oh, it’s great to have that second eye for him to go, hey, you know, let’s, if anything, he says I need to eat more as I get closer to show because you know, the thought is, oh, you’ve got to get in shape. And it’s not always that way. So it’s just nice to have a third eye sometimes, or I’m sorry, it’s a second or third eye. And then when it comes to routine stuff, I’ve worked with a few people over the years to kind of give me some guidance ideas. But since I wasn’t formally trained as a gymnast, or a dancer or anything, anytime I’ve worked with someone to help me, I take a total step back, I learn, I learned visually, I watched someone do a backflip, for example. And then I watched it enough times over and over, then I start visualizing myself doing the backflip. And then there’s going to be a certain point, I’m like, art today’s the day, I’m going to try and I have friends who can spot me and help me now to do certain skills. But if you break down how to do a backflip, it’ll take me a year and then I probably can’t even do a standard backflip that I’ve been able to do you know, from day one. So I’ve found that it almost derailed me as an athlete, it was making me be less capable. When I had to break it down. That’s not the way my brain works. You show me a skill. Don’t tell me how to do it. Let my brain figure out how to do it because I do everything. A little bit different. Like if you break it down as a gymnastics judge on how I do my skills, compared to everyone else that’s on that stage. It’s totally different. But it’s I still land it and it’s not based on we’re not judged on technicality. Yeah, we’re judged on did you land your flip or not? How you got around and the flair you put into it? Oh, well, so yeah, I, I am a different type of athlete, I learned differently.

Mike Malatesta  56:56

And as I recall you in your diet, you you’re okay with some donuts here and there, and you’re

Whitney Jones  57:06

gonna have to have a lot of freedom, but it’s consistent. I’ve never streamed dieting, you know, when I got into this sport. And yes, as I get closer to show my calories actually go up, whereas most people your calories go down.

Mike Malatesta  57:22

So what so you’ve got four or five businesses now you’ve got three time champion, are you going for a Fourth? Fourth champion?

Whitney Jones  57:30

That’s the plan. So this year for 2022? It’s in December. So still, you know, we’re in summer right now. So definitely still plenty of time to even put together the ideas and stuff. So right now, it’s focusing on my businesses, focusing on clients focusing on my boys. And just you know, the great thing about being in the position of being a champ is there’s a lot of fun opportunities that are thrown my way and I’m just enjoying it. I’m loving, fun stuff, like being on this podcast, you know, again, it’s opened up so many just been opportunities to meet new people to work on various projects and try a bunch of new things. So I’m enjoying the ride. Most definitely.

Mike Malatesta  58:15

Well, I will have all of your contact information, your social handles everything in the in the shownotes, of course, but is there one place that you would want to direct people to reach out to you? I think I found you on Instagram and getting connected with you there. Yeah,

Whitney Jones  58:30

Instagram is probably the easiest Instagram or my website. So my website is fit wit Jones. So fit W H I T jones.com. And then my Instagram is Whitney Jones underscore IFBB pro. And either way, you know, those are the two most frequently accessed options in order to reach me see the services and kind of Of course, even with Instagram, you get to know my personality for you pretty quickly.

Mike Malatesta  59:00

Okay. Well, I’ve like I said, I have all that in the shownotes Whitney, it’s been a, it’s been an amazing experience to get to know you a little bit. Thank you for making time to be on the podcast and share your story and congratulations on your success and not just in the fitness world as an athlete, but as a business owner and entrepreneur, and a mom, and probably a lot of other things that we didn’t get to,

Whitney Jones  59:23

hey, it’s just enjoying the life that we live in, of course showing gratitude for being able to you know, work if that’s what you want to call it. I’m very fortunate to love what I do and and to have these fun opportunities. I appreciate the opportunity to speak with you

Mike Malatesta

Mike Malatesta

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