Laurie Alfano is the Creator and Founder of Noga Movement, the Original Yoga without the BS. Known in the fitness industry as The Authority of Barre workouts for over 15 years, Laurie worked as the Director of Education for a worldwide fitness franchise. A Master Teacher Trainer and Instructor who has certified thousands of instructors worldwide and now has revolutionized the fitness field with her new programs. Laurie disrupts the genre by offering boutique fitness-style training at affordable prices and ensuring her students know how to be successful.
Tell us about your childhood and where you grew up?
I grew up on Long Island in New York and am the oldest of 3 sisters. I started dance classes at age 3 and my love of music and movement only grew from there. I was a very active child and also very happy, finding silver linings in all I did. New York is an incredible place to grow up especially for culture and resources so I stayed put to go to college at CW Post. I majored in Dance and Broadcast Journalism and even met my husband.
How did you get started as an entrepreneur?
My father was an entrepreneur and that spirit always lingered in my sisters and me. Most people in the fitness industry are their own bosses, so after getting certified in Pilates I started my own private home-based business as a stay-at-home mom. As my children started school full time I was able to spend more time in the fitness community, taking workshops and classes to hone my skills. It was at a training that I met an instructor who recruited me to work at a Pilates Studio, and at that studio where I connected with an ambitious founder who was starting her own company- I joined the startup as Director of Education creating programming and certifying instructors. After 15 years of working in corporate fitness, I started to feel limited and restricted and for a creator, I knew it was time to move on. Starting my own business was not the intention- I started out in fitness part-time, but bringing all the knowledge and experience I had with me made the leap feel just right and the timing could not have been more perfect. Plus, hundreds of my instructors/students over the years were “interested” in yoga, but not in the 200-hour certifications, spirituality per se, or the “woo”. Maybe I’m the one the planted the seed, but NOGA Movement was born.
What is one business lesson you would tell a startup founder?
Learn to do everything yourself! Not that you have to do everything 24/7, but as a founder, you work fast with have a lot of ideas and sometimes you just want that thing fixed on your website yesterday. By not knowing how all aspects of your company work, you end up having to rely or depend on others and their timing, vacation, sick days, payments, etc. Having knowledge and being willing to jump in also helps to build a team of people around you who are just as ambitious and determined as you are to make the company a success. Like in that movie where they said, “If you build it they will come”- You build your business and grow from there, because if you rely on someone else to build it, you may end up getting left behind.