Dora Greenwall, BSBA ’23, was inspired by Sadie Kurzban, the founder of 305 Fitness, and wrote this for the Olin Blog.
Sadie Kurzban created a company by envisioning a world she wants to live in, not the one she sees now. Every decision she makes is authentic and reflects her own moral values. And, that starting point animates and makes real her vision. There is a way to build a successful business on your own terms.
The takeaway from my interview is that Kurzban approaches her business with true leadership and a consistent sense of justice. Her advice for women in business follows that vision.
“We never do anything great when we are chasing after other people’s identity,” Kurzban said. Throughout entire conversation, I saw a woman who believes in herself and in her business as an extension of that personality.
She did not wait for somebody to help her create 305; nor for the network she needed to create this business. She says that there is no right time to start a business. It is always the wrong time—but do it anyway.
I asked how she had the courage to continue when things weren’t going the way they were supposed to. I wanted to know how she continued to believe in herself.
Kurzban flipped this question on its head: “The other question is: What does it benefit us to not trust ourselves or believe in ourselves?” She taught me that to make it in business there is no option but to believe in yourself.
Sadie and I then went on to speak about COVID-19. She explained that she shut her locations down early because it was the right thing to do. She wanted other boutique firms to follow suit.
She behaved ethically—as you would expect. She spoke about how most businesses look toward other businesses to see what steps to take. She wanted to set the correct example.
It seems that most of Sadie’s actions show direct care toward people rather than money. She told me money is not everything.
“I started the business not to make the maximum amount of money, but because I cared about people’s health, I wanted to inspire people,” she said.
This is what she does everyday day and in every dance class. She created a community in a time where even close connections feel distant. She lives her life empowering others to embrace who they are and celebrate our differences.
Kurzban taught me that it is OK to dance like nobody’s watching, and, more than this, celebrate the dance. Celebrate being able to think differently, look differently, and most of all believe in yourself always. There is no reason not to!