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My Rebound: Heart and armor

Kendra Bylsma photo for blog post Heart and armor
Posted at 11:59 PM, Jun 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-26 14:57:23-04

Editor's note: Kendra is blogging about being a mom trying to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic at My Rebound by FOX 17. She is married with four kids: a 1-year-old daughter, 2-year-old son, 5-year-old son, 10-year-old daughter and 16-year-old bonus son. She is also the owner and lead fitness coach of Allegro Coaching in Grand Rapids, which she founded in 2009. She lives in Tallmadge Township.

West Michigan is a community rich in entrepreneurs and small businesses. We are the backbone of this community.

MY REBOUND: SEE ALL OF KENDRA'S POSTS

Yet, owning a small business is not for the faint of heart. You go from becoming the resident expert to taking on marketing, sales, finances, customer service, legal, product development, hiring, firing and the list goes on.

Growing a small business requires finding the right team members to complement your talents and provide the same level of care and service to customers.

And keeping a small business afloat takes lots of creativity, sacrifice and grit. You never really stop working, and when things get tight, you are the first to suffer and the last to get paid.

I’ve been a small business owner for 12 years now. In the past week, I’ve been lied to, no-showed on and questioned as a leader. I had to fire someone for their lack of integrity and that is still the hardest task for me to step up to. Dealing with employees is hard because, well, we’re human, and we’re all far from perfect.

Years ago, my business mentor and friend taught me the hard lesson of heart and armor. In business, you must have tough skin but still have a servant heart.

Over the years, I have had many great teammates at Allegro Coaching. Like, the best of the best. Some came brand new to their careers, and we worked hard to love on them, mentor them and help them build confidence (and finances). Others came in, wanting to switch careers and do fitness full-time.

MY REBOUND: SEE MORE BLOG POSTS

I've had my heart broken many times along the way when coaches decide to leave, whether on good terms or bad terms. Partly because we are such a close-knit fitness team, and we become friends. And partly because I have poured so much of my heart and time into them.

I started Allegro to transform lives through fitness. I feel we have done that with thousands of lives over the years. But that also means transforming the lives of my teammates who come and go. And I know we have done an exceptional job with that too.

Armor doesn't mean getting cold-hearted and bitter. It just means as leaders, we need to move on and move forward. Love hard but then protect your house and protect your business.