By Natalie Dale

For many years, Natalie Dale fought against herself. She gripped onto her past so tightly and wouldn’t allow herself to move forward. She felt she wouldn’t amount to anything. She felt powerless. It was the darkest point of her life.

She knew she had a choice. So she got up and chose to do things differently. She learned how to forgive herself for past mistakes, let go, and fight for herself—not against herself.

She combined her skillsets as a personal trainer and gym instructor with her Kendo training and the anatomical knowledge she gained as an assistant-in-nursing. Blade Active was born. She found that the simple act of performing warrior moves gives her strength and empowered her body and mind. She felt worthy, strong, powerful, and capable of making the right choices.

Today, Natalie is sharing Blade Active and seeing a revolution of women who are awakening their warrior within and living their lives courageously and unapologetically. Today, we welcome warrior Natalie to The After Six Club’s Ambitious Tribe.


 

Movement has always been my therapy and escape. It has helped me both physically and mentally. My business, Blade Active, was established in 2016. It’s a unique and undervalued part of exercise that I want to share.

Blade Active is a piece of fitness equipment with attitude. Our goal is to make fitness fun for people, especially women. We want to make fitness empowering and engaging for both mind and body.

Blade Active offers a complete training system. It’s the ultimate training tool for busy women. The exercise routines can be done in the ease and comfort of your own home. Blade Active is the next generation in fitness with a patented blade, weight-locking system, and extendable handles that give you the power to change your workout.
Perfect for in-home cardio, resistance, and weight training, this multi-purpose training tool is low impact, easy, and fun to use. Plus, it delivers amazing results.

Where is your business located?
Out of our home. I have a small office located downstairs in the living room. We are upgrading at the moment as the eldest child has moved out. Soon, we might have a new room upstairs with a view! I have also been involved with a co-working space in Mackay, Split Spaces.

What do you believe makes your business stand out?
It’s uniqueness. The routines are exhilarating while being effective. We let women own their own version of strong, brave, and healthy. Blade Active is more than meets the eye. To help you get the most out of your new secret weapon, we have created training programs to suit all levels. We have workouts with hot music tracks you’ll love and ongoing dedicated support in our online community.

Is it always necessary to be passionate about what your business is about in order for it to succeed?
Yes! As I am a solopreneur (solo entrepreneur), I have to self-motivate, which is really hard especially working from home at times. There are definitely many times I have asked myself why I am doing this. I could have a lovely job that gives me certainty but that’s when you just remember how much you believe in it and that you have to follow it through to the end.

Even though there are still a lot of times when I am fearful of failing and scared to be laughed at, there are more times when I know with all my soul that what I have and what I am doing is amazing and can help change lives. And that’s what we all want to do really.

How did you obtain capital? Were there investors?
We have five investors. I have bootstrapped over $100,000 so far ourselves. Our investors came on board in the early stages and simply were passionate about our idea as well. I did have a pitch and a plan to show them.

How did you build your customer base? What form of marketing has been most effective for you so far?
Through social media channels mainly.

How do you generate new ideas for your business’ growth?
As a woman, and everyone I think, we have too many “good ideas”, haha. The hard part is staying on the path and making sure decisions are adding real value.

How do you deal with major mishaps? What would you say is one of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
Gosh, there had been so many and it’s really tough. The biggest mistake would be spending too much time and resources on what I thought was best and the best model instead of testing, researching, and validating.

What skills do you believe are necessary in handling a business?
The basics like organizing and the ability to do many of the tasks in the early stages. But more importantly, it is your emotional ability to keep things in perspective and not letting the load affect you mentally.

Was there ever a time you felt afraid that this might not work? How did you manage this fear?
Yes, and I am still afraid. After a crowdfunding campaign that did not reach its target, I had to pause, reflect, and pivot our path. I will admit that this event made my fear of failure even more profound and it did make it harder to drive through and move forward again.

Describe a typical day for you.
I have a broken ankle at the moment, which has certainly changed my typical day-to-day activities but prior to this, it looks like this: I wake up at 5:00 A.M. to work out until about 6:00 A.M. Then I make the kids’ lunches and get ready to leave for class or work. I listen to audiobooks during the drive. After attending some classes, I drive home, have dinner, then crash.

What is your greatest fear?
Not having the guts to follow it through.

What sacrifices have you had to make to get here?
We have invested our own money into the business. This means no holiday for the family for quite a few years now. It also means holding off on unnecessary purchases. The stress I take on board sometimes can also affect the family and all of my relationships.

What can you consider is your greatest success?
As women, you know, I don’t think we stop enough or at all to celebrate or acknowledge our achievements. I am guilty of this. It always feels that I haven’t done enough. So, I make it a point to remember these things when I’m fearful. I think my greatest success is going after my dream, taking the bold step of running with an idea, and believing in it and your passion. I have created or invented a whole new fitness product that is pretty bloody cool, I reckon.

What would you say is the secret to success?
Don’t give up. I truly believe this is what it comes down to. Not stopping when you’re exhausted, not getting paid, or tired of hitting another speedbump.

What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Self-management. I like being responsible for my own business and day. It’s empowering.

What motivates you? Who has been your greatest inspiration?
My family. My man and the kids. They are my biggest supporters and fans.

Where do you see yourself and your business in 10 years?
I see Blade Active as a global company sharing fun and empowering fitness. I see an app and some technological fun bits into the product. I also see my girls running the company so I can build my zoo.

Do you consider yourself an ambitious person?
Yes, I think so. I think you have an itch, especially when it’s your passion. You can’t let it go. You can’t be satisfied until you finish your dream. It’s the purpose.

Do you think being ambitious helps you in business?
Absolutely. You need a lot of self-belief so ambition is necessary.

What piece of advice can you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
I think it would be to get help and support straight away. Join a local co-working space or an entrepreneurs group. Start being involved in the ecosystem, learning from others who are already doing it.

Get yourself a business coach! It is really important. You have to be self-motivated and driven so a coach will help you stay on track and accountable for your dreams and goals. Be prepared to make mistakes, a lot of them. Be kind to yourself and take it step by step. Never give up. And start self-development now. It’s a big part of it.

Edits: Kath C. Eustaquio-Derla  |  Image and Video Credit: Natalie Dale

About Natalie

Natalie Dale is an experienced personal trainer with a demonstrated history of working in the health wellness and fitness industry. She is skilled in customer service, wellness coaching, fitness training, nutrition, and management. She graduated from the Australian Institute of Personal Trainers.

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