After dealing with the stress of a hectic full-time job whilst parenting, and experiencing workplace bullying, Emily Stock decided to put the wellbeing of her and her family at the forefront. Here she talks about starting up her own business, EMpowered, offering Pop Pilates and PHIIT workouts to empower and improve confidence.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
As a mother of three young children, wife to my wonderful husband and both of us working full time, life was hectic. I had recently started a new early childhood teaching job and unfortunately over the year, lost all my confidence due to workplace bullying. I was taking a lot of my work stress home and it was beginning to affect our family. My oldest daughter (then only 7 years old) was reflecting how I was feeling and was struggling socially at school. My husband and I were drifting apart. Eventually my husband and I could see that something had to give and we were not prepared for it to be our family. We made the decision that I would resign from my job to focus on my own mental health as well as my family’s wellbeing. I still remember that day vividly and the feeling of relief and the weight of the world being lifted from my shoulders.
We decided I would take 6 months off and focus on mine and the family’s recovery. Exercise kept my mind busy and helped me focus on small achievements, like finishing a workout. I stumbled across Cassey Ho’s YouTube site Blogilates and I was hooked! I learnt to stop comparing myself to other people – how strong, flexible or fast they were compared to me – and to focus on my own fitness journey. By doing this I was able to face my insecurities and build not just physical strength but mental strength too. I found moving my body helped me process the pain and shame I felt from the bulling over the past year. Six months later I took the leap and decided to do my training to become a certified Pop Pilates instructor.
I know there are many more people out there that are struggling to find their confidence, who perhaps too have been bullied or are fighting depression or feelings of anxiety. Moving my body helped me heal which then led to our family healing. I hope that my story will inspire others who might be feeling lost, overwhelmed or alone, that you are not and there is a place for everyone in the EMpowered Tribe. I want to help people move their bodies in safe and effective ways, fall in love with how it makes them feel and mostly fall in love with themselves again. My goal is to create a community of like-minded people, where they can turn to one another for support and inspiration: a community where they see how powerful, strong and brave they really are.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
I was terrified to start this new path but turned to some friends and I asked them to be a part of my exam video. They happily supported me and allowed me to practise teaching class after class with them. After gaining my Pop Pilates certificate I tentatively put my hand up when my daughter’s dance school announced they were looking for a Pilates instructor. I started teaching once a week in the evenings and after 6 months we decided to convert our garage into a small studio and teach from home. This allowed me to be home more but also increase the number of classes I could offer and times that suited my clients.
A year later, I decided to take my business online to reach a wider audience. The EMpower Me online program has been running for less than a year and continues to grow every day.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
The biggest breakthrough for me with my business was “burning the boats to take the island” as Tony Robbins puts it so well.
I needed to let go of my past and not allow it to define me and prevent me from moving forward. For the past 15 years I had been in the early childhood industry and became an expert in that industry. I was extremely passionate about children and working with children as well as teachers. I loved what I did. When I chose to take some time away from this industry and focus on my own wellbeing,