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Executive Voice

The Mindset Around Running a 7 Figure Business in a Male-Dominated Industry

Alisha Pennington, Owner of a 7 Figure Staffing Agency for Athletic Trainers

We’ve seen women come a long way in history, but there’s still much left to go. I consider myself fortunate because I get to help others, and that’s something I feel deeply passionate about. Growing up, I was intrigued by healthcare services because my mom worked in a hospital, but I always knew I didn’t want to work in a sterile environment. I also loved sports. My mom was an avid Miami Dolphins fan and my brother was a Chicago Bulls fan. We attended baseball games in the spring, and I was a gymnast. My entire childhood involved sports year-round. However, when I was younger, I didn’t know sports medicine or athletic training was a career field. Once I went to college, I learned about these programs, and I immediately knew that’s what I needed to do. I remember thinking to myself, “how come no one told me about this?”. I ventured into this field because it was a merriment of the work I felt called to do— serve others. It included a lifestyle that I wanted, which was working outdoors with an athletic population. Sounds perfect, right?


However, in my career, I’ve had people doubt me, question my knowledge and my intentions simply because I’m a woman. I realized quickly that this wasn’t for the light-hearted, and I was determined to prove myself. I now know that despite the blatant gender bias and sexism in almost every industry, it’s still possible today to really thrive as a woman in a man’s world.

Pivot with Purpose 

I learned from all of the hard times. Being adaptable in difficult markets and going where opportunity followed is what helped me persevere. The first time I was questioned or felt that someone had doubts about me, it was hard, and the second time it was still hard. Resilience isn’t something everyone has, and it takes time to build. Eventually, it turned into a “been there, done that” situation. I was able to pick myself up, and every time it got a little easier. I was able to withstand adversity and push harder each time because I was confident in myself, my skills, and my intentions.

We Can Do Hard Things 

It’s fascinating and inspiring to see how the mind and body work together to push through even the toughest of situations. When you have self confidence, it’s easier to be yourself around others and for others to be themselves around you. One thing that’s helped me during tough times is not taking criticism or rejection personally. To truly traverse a man’s world and to reach 7 figures in business, having emotional stability is crucial. Reactivity is not rewarded in this world. 

Remembering Your Why

Staying true to myself was vitally important to me. I’m a caring person, and I ultimately went into this field to help others. If I felt any judgment, I always knew what my goal was. My mindset was that the people I love, and the people who love me, know me. They know how hard I work. They know how much I care, and they believe in me. Knowing this, I felt truly unstoppable, and if I believed all of the people who doubted me, I wouldn’t be where I am now. 

Today, I’m your go-to, high-level consultant for people seeking to own or scale a business. I’m a certified athletic trainer who doesn’t practice clinically, but educates and mentors. I own my athletic training staffing agency, ATvantage, where I provide professionals with the opportunity to work in capacities they never thought possible, much like I’ve been able to. I have a true calling for helping others, and I successfully turned that passion into my dream business.  

For more resources and information, be sure to visit my Instagram here or my website. For more female entrepreneur stories and inspiration, please visit them here.

Hannah Nieves is a luxury marketing and brand consultant and agency owner from New York. As the former Director of Marketing for a national home interiors brand, she now teaches entrepreneurs, brands and executives how to create profitable businesses through marketing, branding and PR.

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