The MNTSTUDIO Team’s Advice for Career Transformations

MNTSTUDIO is much more than a pilates studio; it’s motto of “Move, Nourish, and Transform” rightfully represents this beautiful haven. The studio itself is carefully designed, the workouts are thoughtful yet HARD, and the team is so inspiring. I can’t wait to share my interviews with three women who have helped me tremendously in my professional journey!

I discovered MNTSTUDIO at a very crucial time in my life last year. Actually, they found me which is even crazier to think about how life works at times. Last June, Elaine Hayes the founder of MNTSTUDIO invited me to their grand-opening after a recent rebrand.

I was at a point where I was feeling unfulfilled with my career and I could not be more grateful to have met the team at MNTSTUDIO to assist me through this pivotal moment in my life.

Molly, the in-house health coach at MNTSTUDIO, offered to give me advice on health coaching without batting an eyelash. Elaine, the founder, was more than happy to walk me through the first steps of running your own business (she’s also a Cal grad – go Bears!) after our first meeting. And Hande has become such a caring and supportive friend through this journey of creating my own path!

Let’s hear what these ladies have to say about confidence and their careers!

Meet the Team at MNT

Elaine Hayes, Owner and Founder of MNTSTUDIO

Elaine graduated from UC Berkeley, worked in corporate finance for a year and then enrolled in law school before realizing she was destined to do more. A few years later (with a lot of hard work) she’s opened a Pilates studio everyone is talking about in San Francisco!

What does confidence mean to you?

To me, the definition of confidence is the ability to trust yourself. That means trusting that your idea or your vision is going to matter someday. This is super important, especially when starting a business as sometimes people don’t understand what you’re doing when it’s unconventional or out of the norm.

Eight years ago when I started telling family members and friends that I was going to drop out of law school to pursue Pilates and open a studio someday, 99% of people told me I was crazy and shouldn’t do it. Many others said I would never make any money teaching Pilates, that it was a fad, that I would never be able to open a studio because the market was too competitive…the list went on. But it was that trust in myself and in my vision that allowed me to tune out the noise and focus on working my butt off to achieve my vision.


What did you fear the most when you chose your new career path?

I was worried about disappointing the people around me, about being judged for dropping out of law school, I was afraid I would never make any money doing what I loved, or that I would end up being a “loser” by not following a conventional career path.

What has big one of the biggest lessons from your journey?

I think what helped me the most was realizing that it’s ok to be afraid and to have doubts. No one, not even the people you admire the most, is doubt or fear-free. The key is to learn to become comfortable with being scared or doubtful and sitting with it. Anything worth achieving is hard work, otherwise, everyone would do it. This doesn’t mean you should recklessly jump at every idea that pops into your head without thinking it through. I’m a big believer in planning, and most importantly, finding your “why”.

Pursuing a new career path or starting a business takes a lot of energy and grit, so you need to define your “why” so that when things get tough, you can go back to that and remind yourself of why you’re doing what you’re doing.

My “why” is this: When I discovered Pilates, for the first time in my life I enjoyed exercise. It gave me confidence, it made me feel strong, it made me happy. I want to share that gift with as many people as possible, and through MNT that’s exactly what I do every single day.

Molly Alliman, Health Coach at MNTSTUDIO

Molly worked in corporate banking for 13 years underwriting and structuring debt for technology companies before she decided to say leave it behind to become a full-time health coach.

How did confidence help you pursue your new career as a health coach?

Knowing that I was good at what I did in my corporate career gave me the confidence to pursue my new career in wellness. If I was good at banking, imagine the possibilities doing something that I love!

What was your biggest fear in the transition?

My biggest fear was not being able to get clients or make any money. Every time I have a new client commit to one of my programs I am still so surprised!

What advice do you have for someone looking to carve a new path?

1. Do what you love and the money will come.
2. Being afraid is the strongest thing telling you to DO IT.
3. Conditions are never perfect. “Someday” is the killer of all dreams. Stop saying “eventually,” just do it and correct your course along the way.

Hande Demirel, Pilates Instructor at MNTSTUDIO

Hande moved across the world (from Turkey!) to attend grad school in San Francisco in Education & Lingustics until she realized that her heart belonged to Pilates! She extensively studied Pilates under multiple schools before becoming a certified Pilates instructor late last year!

How was your confidence tested with your new career path?

Before starting this new career path, I thought I was a very confident person. I grew up an A student and always did/achieved what was expected of me. Becoming an instructor was so out of my comfort zone. It meant a new identity, new values and finding myself in a completely unfamiliar field and community. I had to build my confidence from zero with baby steps. I’m still working on it every single day.

What was your biggest fear?

Failure. To be seen as not good enough. Feeling of “I don’t belong here.” I kept saying to myself “I will never be good enough, or he/she is so much better than me – why would I even try… what if I completely fail and then all of my time/energy is wasted for nothing?”. I walked around with this cloud of negative scenarios for months, they still come back at times, but less often.

Do you have any advice for someone who would like to create their own passion into a career?

Work on your mindset/perspective more than anything. Believe in yourself. If you don’t believe and empower yourself, it doesn’t matter if you are the most knowledgeable/competent person in the world. Work on your mental and physical health as much as working on your new goals and skills you need to learn. In my opinion, one needs to be calm, joyful and confident to be the best at whatever they’re doing.

If you are looking for more inspirational interviews check out this interview with influencer/model Sruthi Jayadevan!

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