UCSD - Literature + Writing
While we know fitness is important, we also know it all too often falls victim to a busy schedule. It’s a difficult balance that Callie Miller experienced firsthand, skipping her beloved workouts for weeks (even months) because of her hectic work schedule in the tech world. Realizing that many shared her struggle for balance, Callie was thrilled to join a company that utilized the convenience of technology to make good health easily accessible to all — no matter the pre-existing time constraints.
As CEO and founding team member of FitnessGlo, an online community built around on-demand classes tailored to accommodate any fitness level and schedule, Callie is dedicated to helping women feel stronger and healthier by streamlining exercise and turning “maybe I’ll start tomorrow” into “the time is now.”
For Callie, “It's an honor to be a woman working on behalf of other women so we can feel good in the bodies we have now and build a healthier future for ourselves.”
You are amazing just as you are and your hard work will pay off.
What inspired you to pursue a startup merging fitness and tech?
I’ve always worked in the digital space and I’ve always been an athlete. Yet over the past several years, my work schedule became so crazy and so full of travel that I started skipping workouts for weeks and months. Every time I would get back to an exercise routine, I’d feel alternately guilty for missing it for so long and amazed at how much better I felt once I started moving and releasing stress. As I began to share this often-repeated cycle with other women, I realized we are all doing our best to find this balance; to maintain our health and wellbeing at the same time we’re trying to achieve great things in other aspects of our lives. FitnessGlo is, in some part, an answer to that. It is a way to workout easily no matter how busy you are, but it's also a community of like-minded women who share the same challenges and are doing their best to make it all happen.
Can you tell us more about FitnessGlo and its mission to empower women to feel good in the bodies they have now?
We’ve been so bombarded with images of how we “should” look that women can feel defeated before they even begin or be somehow embarrassed by their strength. FitnessGlo is a community that's about moving and feeling good and making time, even in your busy schedule, to exercise and find balance -- no matter where you are in your fitness journey.
It's so easy to put off working out for a time when we feel better about our bodies or a time when work is less hectic, but the right time to begin is now, wherever you are. Our classes range from 10 minute workouts to 45 minute classes across all levels. There's something for every body and schedule.
What does your job involve on a daily basis, and what types of responsibilities do you have in your position?
A little bit of everything. Yesterday, I spent time meeting with our dev team to brainstorm the latest site features, then had a call about new types of fitness classes with all of our instructors, then met with the marketing team about New Year partnerships and ended with a design meeting for new creative we'll launch next year. Other days, it’s accounting spreadsheets, legal contract reviews and answering customer emails/messages. And, of course, a workout has to fit in there somewhere!
What is your favorite part of your job?
It's an honor to be a woman working on behalf of other women so we can feel good in the bodies we have right now and build a healthier future for ourselves. I've met so many incredible women who want to accomplish so much in this life -- whether in their own families, their own communities or on the world’s stage. I want them to be healthy and strong to live out every one of their dreams. To be part of that … I get chills thinking about it. It's such an honor.
What challenges keep you awake at night?
How to be sure women never, ever feel insecure or judged or not enough when they're on our site taking classes. How to create classes that help us feel confident and strong and beautiful. How to create features that will make fitness an easy, enjoyable part of our busy lives. How to answer every question and every concern in the timeliest manner. How to create a community that truly empowers women, not just pays lip service to it. And how to fit in that workout!
Is work/life balance ever a problem with you? If so, what is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?
Absolutely! FitnessGlo exists because I have a work/life balance problem. Aside from using FitnessGlo every day, my one tip for creating balance is to laugh. It sounds simple, but you’d be amazed at how many days you can sit, tight-lipped at your computer, so focused on the task at hand. It makes such a difference to lighten up, laugh and get some perspective. My dogs are also very good at making me realize I don’t need to take it all so seriously. They certainly find time for fun and are a great example to the rest of us. They are little Buddhas.
Was there ever a moment in your career where you’ve thought, “I made it!” What was it?
Never. I don’t know that I will ever feel I’ve “made it” because as I continue to learn and meet new people, I find other things I want to accomplish: things, ideas and dreams that were never on my radar before.
What are some of the rules you live by?
I lost a lot of people early in my life, so I try very hard to live each day like I might be hit by a bus at the end of it. If this was my last day here, am I happy with how I lived it? Some days, that answer is no. So even if it’s 11:55 p.m., I try to squeeze in a few moments of joy. Rub my dog’s belly, read something beautiful, take a moment to be thankful, dance around for five minutes like a crazy person. Sounds cheesy, but it works.
I’m also a real stickler for excellence. I don’t believe in doing something halfway or just good enough. I expect that of my team and of myself. I want to do work we're all proud of; work that reflects our truest, best effort. This often means I take on less projects, but it’s been a great rule for me to live by because I’m fully invested in whatever I commit to.
The trick is balancing this intensity with the laughter I mentioned before.
What qualities does one need to possess to be successful in your line of work?
An ability to generate a lot of great ideas, keep them organized (Evernote is my life-saver for this!) and to hold them all in your head at one time and not lose the thread. An ability to effectively communicate those ideas to those best able to execute them and bring them to life. A great marketing mind, strong project management skills, an ability to negotiate deals and a willingness to listen and learn from anyone and everyone, no matter what role they're in or how you work together.
What one piece of advice do you wish you could tell a 21-year-old version of yourself?
You are amazing just as you are and your hard work will pay off. And don’t wait until you're older to laugh and smile more!
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Healthier. Stronger. Laughing more.