Lyn Lindbergh traded in a 20-year corporate career to follow her life-long dream of opening her own business: what was to become Couch to Active. Frustrated by cultural norms in the fitness industry, Lyn wanted to find a way to address how difficult it can be to live an active lifestyle. She said her life depended on solving this problem, as a single mom working full-time with a long commute.
“At the same time I came up with the idea for Couch to Active. The corporation I was working for announced that they were laying off our entire department,” says Lyn. “It was like the universe was saying, o.k. Lyn, this is what we’re going to do now.”
After collecting different fitness certifications over the course of a decade, she realized “the issue isn’t another fitness pill, program or potion. The issue is getting off the couch, and how we conquer getting that active lifestyle, and staying motivated when life is so crazy.”
Since founding the company in December 2016, the “Bad Couch Guru” as Lyn calls herself, has grown Couch to Active from a virtual group fitness program, to a podcast and now an award-winning book
“There is so much marketing out there to reach for the bikini body that does not fit most of us – no pun intended. All of my clients right now have some kind of health issue, some of them really significant; so, we redefine that success is honoring what your body can do today. If that means you have to sleep, that means you have to sleep,” she advises. “And on the days that you can do something, do what your body can do.”
Lyn’s podcast is a great entry point to learn more about her philosophy. Many clients start listening to the Couch to Active podcast, then buy the Couch to Active book and finally sign up for coaching or join her “Cactive” Club. It’s a marketing funnel that not only pays dividends, but meets patrons where they are at: helping them jumpstart an active lifestyle alongside a community of people with the same goals.
“With the group sessions, the folks really like meeting people from around the country. As we talk about barriers to exercise someone in Pennsylvania will say, ‘It’s freezing’ and someone in Florida will say, ‘Well it’s too hot here,’” recalls Lyn. “My favorite thing, and the whole reason I do this, is the impact on people’s lives. It’s seeing people liberated from the boxes and stereotypes in fitness and seeing them really take ownership of their own exercise.”
Lyn is an entrepreneur to the core. She has great advice to those aspiring to follow their small business dreams: “Entrepreneurs have 10,000 ideas because that’s how we think. Executing on one or two of those ideas is sometimes hard for us to do because we keep thinking of 12 more ideas – so my biggest successes have come when I’ve slowed down, focused, decided what I’m going to do and then see it through to completion. For every one thing I have said yes to, I had to say no to 100 other things. We can get ourselves caught and overwhelmed, and a lot of times it’s our own doing.”
Part of seeing Couch to Active through was seeking services from the Director of the Washington Women’s Business Center, Susan Perreault
“I’m good at building products. I’m good at taking risks, but I don’t have an MBA. I don’t have the background of all the business stuff you need to do. What Susan does is she really helps me see the business side of Couch to Active,” says Lyn. “I really trust her to make sure that I’m doing the business side of my business right.”
Meet Lyn at Celebrating Dreams on May 30th! She attended last year and says, “It’s a great vibe to be around a bunch of other women entrepreneurs because they get it. Being an entrepreneur and being a woman entrepreneur or small business owner is unique. Regardless of the business you’re in, those connections are just great. Last year I made some connections who I’m still in touch with today.”
To follow the Couch to Active journey, visit www.couchtoactive.com or follow them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @couchtoactive
For more information about Celebrating Dreams and to purchase tickets, visit businessimpactnw.org/dreams.
About the author
Megan V. Torgerson
Megan is the founder of the storytelling initiative, Reframing Rural. She is an MFA candidate at Seattle University and holds a BA in English with an emphasis in creative writing from the University of Montana. Megan grew up on a farm and ranch in Montana and is inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit of rural communities.