This issue we meet with the co-founder of LAR Enterprise and co-owner of EnVie Fitness
Liberty Bernal got her first taste for business when she, with her parents, brought the first Curves for Women franchise to California when she was just 18 years old. She later went on to launch the franchise Liberty Fitness before the family sold it to a private equity group. Liberty and her husband, Ryan Bernal, are the founders of LAR Enterprise, a business that works behind the scenes, advising founders, CEOs and entrepreneurs about where to go next with their businesses.
How would you describe your current role at LAR Enterprise?
LB: I get to wear so many hats as the co-founder of an agency that specializes in strategies and solutions for businesses to create significant change, results, and success. Think special forces for business! In some cases, I get to take on a more public role, such as with the franchise Baby Boot Camp, where I am the COO and currently working on some huge exciting transitions with the founders.
What excites you most about working in the world of franchising?
LB: I am most excited about mentoring and guiding others in the world of franchising. I have been fortunate enough to literally grow up in the industry and for the last 22 years have learned the hard way, through trial and error, what to do and what not to do. I’m still learning every day and can pass that experience and knowledge on.
“I do believe that women with successful careers feel major pressure and I speak with other women about this almost daily, especially mothers”
Why the focus on women’s fitness?
LB: Because next to franchising, women’s fitness is my passion. Since high school, I have worked in the fitness industry alongside franchising. It is so rewarding and uplifting to change lives. Baby Boot Camp and EnVie Fitness both focus on women but Baby Boot Camp is geared specifically towards mothers. Both brands tailor their experience for women based on women’s emotions, the love for community and acceptance and decades of experience.
What are some of the most unexpected challenges when franchising a business?
LB: The human factor! This is the most unexpected challenge of any kind of business that deals with people. In franchising, it is particularly difficult because a franchisor’s primary customer is someone who wants to be an entrepreneur and run their own business but at the same time wants support, guidance and systems. It’s always a balance of how to best support franchisees and what to expect from a franchise system. It sounds easier than it is.
How do you balance time with family and work?
LB: I have to admit that I have faced complete meltdown mode trying to balance it all but it can be done. It takes having the right mindset, support from those closest to you, open and honest communication, boundaries for yourself and others, organization and losing the need to say yes to everything. I can write a whole book about this – and I am – but it boils down to those things the most. I do believe that women with successful careers feel major pressure and I speak with other women about this almost daily, especially mothers.
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