22-Year-Old Gym Owner Nicole Steffens Shares Her Morning Routine and Other Life Lessons
In this series called Member Showcase, we publish interviews with members of The Oracles. This interview is with 22-year-old Nicole Steffens, the owner of three PLC health clubs. It was condensed by The Oracles.
What was a defining moment early in your life?
Nicole Steffens: When I was 15 years old, I was sitting at the kitchen table, agonizing over which school subjects to choose. The decision seemed pivotal in determining my future. At that moment, my mum gave me one of the best pieces of advice: “Choose the subjects you love, so you end up with a job you love, so you live happily.”
That led me to choose fitness instead of science, and I couldn’t have imagined the domino effect that ensued. I opened my first gym at 17, and now at 22 years old, I have three.
What are you more skilled at than most people in the world?
Nicole Steffens: I’m not the most skilled at anything, but I’m great at leveraging the skills and resources of others. I am a master at relentlessly asking questions until I find solutions. I find the people who have the answers and have done the thing — and I model them with my own personality and flair.
How did your business get started?
Nicole Steffens: I was working at a commercial gym and running boot camps on a local track. Winter was approaching, and I knew I would lose all my clients because of the cold if I didn’t take it indoors. I always wanted to own a gym, but I thought it would take at least four years — not six months after school.
I decided to find my own place. I found a business partner, the money, and the right space. I did a full fit-out and all the marketing. Within four weeks, I opened my own gym. It was all a huge learning curve. I knew nothing about profit and loss or taxes or running a business. All I had was vision and energy.
What did you learn from your favorite mentor?
Nicole Steffens: I’ve been in Kerwin Rae’s K2 Elite Mastermind for the past 13 months. The biggest thing I’ve learned is the “emotional pendulum swing” — how to use breath and perspective to stay neutral in highly stressful or challenging situations.
This has helped me most in tough conversations with team members, when going through hard times with business, or generally when things go wrong. I used to be highly emotional and reactive rather than proactive. Now I have a long-term perspective and am much more emotionally mature and resilient, thanks to Kerwin’s principles.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Nicole Steffens: If I could give my younger self any advice, it would be to pay for coaching and mentors earlier. Join Kerwin Rae’s mastermind from the start. Pay for a mindset coach in high school. Go see Tony Robbins sooner.
Don’t be scarce about money when it comes to investing in these things. They are priceless resources that will lead to astronomical personal and business growth.
How do you define great leadership?
Nicole Steffens: Great leadership is about having an inspiring and purposeful vision that attracts and energizes others to achieve something great together. It’s about having a vision that speaks to others and their sense of purpose. Then you work together to achieve your highest personal potential in pursuit of that vision.
Sometimes this means having tough conversations that need to happen and letting people go who aren’t aligned with your purpose. Culture is everything and it starts with you.
How do you identify a good business partner?
Nicole Steffens: I have a few incredible business partners, and we hold each other accountable to achieve our greatest potential as a team. We’ve always added value to each other first before going into business together.
It’s imperative that you complement each others’ strengths and weaknesses and that your work ethic and visions align. It’s also important that your partner is consistent, like-minded, emotionally resilient, hardworking, and someone you can speak openly and honestly with. You must both be willing to invest equal time and do whatever it takes to achieve your vision.
What’s your daily routine for success?
Nicole Steffens: My morning routine is pivotal to the success of my day. I get straight out of bed when my alarm goes off at 4 a.m. because I know that if I press snooze, it derails my day. I take a cold shower, inspired by Wim Hof. I listen to Conor McGregor, David Goggins, or Tony Robbins while I get dressed. Then I make myself an omelet and grab my pre-prepped meals for the day.
My goals are posted on my wall. Next are my goal visualizations, where I see my goals as already complete and feel the emotion of those accomplishments. Then while I drive to the gym, I listen to an audiobook.
At night, I write down 10 things I’m grateful for, my biggest win, and my biggest lesson of the day. I follow that with a 20-minute meditation, then it’s straight to sleep around 10 p.m.
What are you working on right now?
Nicole Steffens: I’m working on building the Premium Lifestyle Club (PLC) gym owner internship. I’m recruiting and developing high-quality personal trainers inside our PLCs to then invest with them and help them open their own gyms. My goal is to invest with 100 personal trainers to open 100 PLCs by 2029.
I’m also starting to develop my own brand with helpful content in the form of my podcast, speaking events, social media videos, online courses, and an upcoming book. My goal is to inspire 1 million people to follow their dreams by 2029.
What do you want to be known for, or what do you want your legacy to be?
Nicole Steffens: I want to be remembered as the girl who inspired others to follow their dreams and create a life of freedom they are proud of. I want to create a mindset shift that echoes through generations.