I’m so excited to re-introduce you to Dr. Kaitlin Haider of Fit PT in Hudson, WI.
In this episode we get into the story of Fit PT. How it came to be, the journey of finding her purpose and passion along with creating a community of clients that are her favorite people. Dr. Kaitlin also shares what visibility strategy has been best for her in her boutique fitness studio.
Dr. Kaitlin and her fabulous practice Your Fit PT is part of the 4th edition of Healthy in the Valley.
Healthy in the Valley is a FREE digital resource for the entire St. Croix Valley.
In each publication, you’ll find the areas best & leading business owners who are passionate about health and wellness. Helping and serving you live your best life in mind, body and soul.
So if you’re local to the St. Croix Valley in Hudson WI - I invite you to grab your FREE copy by going to www.healthyinthevalley.com
Did you love today’s podcast? 🙌
Take a screenshot and share it to your IG stories. Tag me @themsmelissarose OR let me know what you think. DM me or Dr. Kaitlin.
Leave us a rating and review on Apple Podcast!
- Take a screenshot and share it to your IG stories. Tag me @themsmelissarose OR let me know what you think. DM me or Dr. Kaitlin
- Leave us a rating and review on Apple Podcast!
Connect on Facebook
What is Brick and Mortar Visibility - For Studio Owners?
Hey there Studio Owner - You’ve put your blood, sweat and tears into creating brick and mortar business that serves your clients well and impacts the community you love. You’re my hero. And I’m pretty sure we could sit down and talk like besties do cuz I get it. I’ve had my studio business for many years, a hand full of kids and a few passion projects that I love - like this one.
Hey there, I’m Melissa Rose - your business coach for the studio owners who wants more stellar clients coming in their door, more bank in their bank account and more time to hang out- and be completely present - with those they love most.
I love guiding other studio owners who are also living life and on the edge. Going for their dreams and creating a legacy through their kickass business.
In this podcast we’re going to share the nitty gritty of running a successful studio business. Sharing stories, talking strategy and learning practical tips that leave you inspired, empowered and equipped to create your epic life. Every. Single. Day.
So If you’re a dance studio, yoga studio, pilates studio, or fitness boutique studio - you’re in the right place. Add some kiddos, and maybe a partner in the mix - And I call you a Rebel Woman.
Ready to dive in?
Let’s get real.
Melissa: Hey there, Studio owner! You've put your blood, sweat, and tears into creating a Brick and Mortar business that serves your clients and impacts the community you love. You are my hero and I'm pretty sure we could sit down and talk like besties do because I get it. I've had my studio business for over twelve years, a handful for kids, and a few passion projects that I love. Like this one. Hey There, I'm Melissa Rose, your visibility coach for the studio owner who wants more stellar clients coming through their doors, more bank in their bank account, and more time to hang out and be completely present with those they love most. In this podcast, we're going to share the nitty-gritty of running a successful studio business, sharing stories, talking strategy, and learning practical tips that leave you inspired, empowered, and equipped to create your epic life every single day. So if you're a dance studio, yoga studio, Pilates studio, or a fitness boutique studio, you are in the right place. Add some kiddos into the mix and maybe a life partner and I call you a rebel woman ready to dive in. Let's get real!
Melissa: Hey there, rebel women! How are you? Melissa here, and I am super excited that you're here listening. Thanks so much for tuning in. For those of you that are brand new, a special welcome to you.
Melissa: We are launching in to October and I wanted to highlight somebody who is part of 'Healthy in the Valley'. 'Healthy in the Valley' is a spoke to my business that I added a year ago. I have talked about it here on the podcast and we've had guests before. So today's episode is dedicated to 'Healthy in the Valley' which is an exclusive group of business owners who enrich, enhance and empower our community through health and wellness in mind, body, and soul.
Melissa: If you are local to the Saint Croix valley, I invite you to grab your own copy of 'Healthy in the Valley' filled with exclusive offers from the area's best serving in health and wellness in mind, body, and soul.
Melissa: If you're a local business that would like to be considered for the next edition of 'Healthy in the Valley', you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add you to our list so that you are first to know when we are accepting new memberships.
Melissa: And if you like what you hear today, I invite you to follow the Brick and Mortar Visibility Podcast. That way you are the first to know when a new podcast is dropped. I come in every week and sometimes I put in some bonus episodes. Also, if you haven't, please consider writing an honest rating and review. This is a great way for me to know what you like and it helps others learn about the show as well.
Melissa: So, in today's podcast we are featuring a local business with 'Healthy in the Valley' and today's podcast is with Dr Kaitlin Haider of 'Your Fit PT'. Now, for those of you that have been around for a while, she is not new to the podcast. She used to be a coaching client of mine and she has done exceptional work growing her practice and her business.
Melissa: She is just crushing it and I'm excited for you all to hear her story and how it all started. So we're going to dive a little bit deeper in that. I am going to link her show that she was on previously as well as all the information that she talked about here in this episode. So please take a look at the show notes and go visit her. If you're local, stop in for a pop-up class or connect with her if you are needing and wanting to know more about her services.
Melissa: But she is going to share her story, why she started? and how she grew her practice in her niche, and why she picked that niche. And then at the end, she's going to share the visibility strategy that has worked best for her in getting new people in the door and retaining and keeping stellar clients. So, without further ado, I hope you enjoy this lovely podcast with the beautiful and talented, and brilliant Dr Kaitlin Haider.
Melissa: So, Dr Katlin Haider, thank you so much for being on the Brick and Mortar Visibility Podcast. You're here again. Welcome back!
Kaitlin: Thank you, Ms Melissa! I am so happy to be here and I always love being on your show. Thanks for having me back.
Melissa: I love that you call me Ms Melissa. I love it!
Kaitlin: I do. I can't help it. I just have to.
Melissa: That's hysterical. I love it. Today we're going to talk genuinely, not just marketing stuff, although that will come up at the end. But I do want to talk about your business. Because you have grown in the past few years, you are definitely the only option in town. When people think of physical therapy, your business comes to mind. So let's talk a little bit about where it all began. How did this start? Kaitlin!
Kaitlin: Thank you for saying that first of all Melissa cause that means the world to me to hear that. It's been crazy that we're coming up on our 3rd year anniversary of Fit PT being in Hudson and we've got kind of a unique start story. The founding of Fit PT is really fun and so I'll maybe speak to that a little bit. My mom and I actually co-own Fit PT together, which is really fun. She also is a physical therapist who lives and works in the La Crosse area. So we have a little bit of distance between us, but we both share this love and passion for helping people in their health and specifically for women in wellness.
Kaitlin: And so, back in 2015, my mom had been working in a large hospital-based system as a physical therapist for 25 years, and she had some really great experiences over that course of time. However, in the last five years of her practice started to see some things of concern, some of which were revolving around the amount of documentation that was expected of her as a provider from insurance standpoints and from the hospital standpoint. It just became very demanding and took away from her true work as a 'Practitioner'. There also were a lot of issues with insurance choosing to cover or not cover practices and services, and so she felt like she had to be very limited and picky and choosy in how she treated her patients based of their insurance, which just didn't really feel right. And then the third main reason that she decided to leave that practice and start Fit PT was because, the hospital-based system in itself was just really pushing patients down her throat, seeing more patients in less time.
Kaitlin: So, at that time, in 2015, especially in the La Crosse, Wisconsin area, it really was not common to have, like a wellness-based, cash-based physical therapy practice. But she was at the standstill where she's like, I really know how to do good physical therapy care. I know what I can provide people, and I can't do it here, and there really isn't another option.
Kaitlin: So, she left at age 55 and just said, you know, 'I'm not ready to retire and give this up, but I'm going to do something different'. And I was so proud of her for doing that and was totally a cheerleader for her. And so she started Fit PT at that time as a wellness-based, cash-based physical therapy center in La Crosse. And at that time, I was still finishing physical therapy school, and so I was kind of her cheerleader and supporter and got to watch her really learn how to not only provide the physical therapy that she wanted to but also learn to be a business owner. She taught me a lot. And when I graduated from PT school with my doctorate in 2016, I joined in, as her business partner.
Melissa: Yeah! Can we just talk about that? Just, like, pause right there. Okay, what's your mom's name again?
Melissa: So, Diane. I am so impressed by that. Because I'm going to be 46 this year. You can look and go, 'Oh, I don't have time, or it's too late, or whatever'. And the fact that she just chose at 55, which is still super young, but just to go for it and do that and then to have you as her daughter, her biggest cheerleader, which is so fun. Because as a mother with three young ladies. It would be lovely if they wanted to come and join the business. I don't ever plan that. I don't put pressure on them. But in my heart, I would love that. So how lucky for your mom and you to have that awesome relationship to do that, So awesome.
Kaitlin: Yeah. I mean, I was incredibly proud of her, and it wasn't without 'Fear and Tears' and a big leap of faith that she did it. But she saw how happy she was in starting something new and creating something of her own, and she saw the value in what she could truly provide people in her community. And I was so inspired by that. And so, as soon as I graduated and I was licensed, I'm like, I got to jump into this. This is great. Now a little unique piece of this is that I didn't move back to La Crosse after I graduated. I didn't start with her at that time. I felt that I needed to spread my wings and get some mentorship and grow on my own in my own practice. And so I moved to the St. Paul area, started at a separate practice, but still was a business owner and helped my mom with kind of the behind-the-scenes piece of being the business owner of Fit PT.
Kaitlin: Fast forward three and a half years into my career, I became burnt out. I saw some of the very similar experiences that were poured on my mom and experienced at the end of her practice in a hospital-based system, and I didn't want anything to do with it. And again, was faced with the same kind of problem where there's really nothing else in my area that is similar. And so I took a huge leap of faith. I kind of quit my job on a whim, put in my two weeks' notice, and left. And at the time I had Fit PT, right? I was already a part of the business. But there wasn't that practice in Hudson. And I had a really good friend, Edie Brennan at Solo Yoga, who offered up her space to me to put up a pop-up massage treatment table and bring in a little cart of exercise bands and dry needles, and I could treat patients in her space during the day.
Kaitlin: And I didn't even believe at that time that Fit PT was going to develop into anything. I just knew that I had patients or clients and friends that needed help, and I had lots of free time because I quit my job and I wanted to help them and just kind of do it as a side hustle really is what it was for me at first, and then it just honestly flourished. It just grew into this big word-of-mouth overflow, and more people wanted to see me from the gym. And I outgrew that space within like, two months and needed to find my own commercial space. So, in December of 2019 is when I moved into my first Brick and Mortar space in downtown Hudson and really dedicated my time and my career to Fit PT.
Melissa: December 2019?
Kaitlin: Yes. Right before the pandemic. Conveniently.
Melissa: Yes, Yes!
Kaitlin: But we're still here. Very grateful for that!
Melissa: Yes, you are! You are still here, and you are crushing it. So, now you have grown this practice and business, but your niche, talk about your niche, and what you specialize in.
Kaitlin: Yeah, our niche is really in women's health, and physical therapy, and that's a big umbrella. So, our biggest category of healthcare that we help women in is pelvic health. So, a lot of prenatal, postnatal care, any pelvic pain or weakness issues, bladder retraining, we do all of that. And then we also specialize in the fitness world. So, really helping women stay active in fitness and exercise and running and all those good things. So, we do a lot with healing fitness injuries, preventing fitness injuries, and kind of underneath both of those categories. I love to work on core and pelvic floor strengthening. So those are big reasons that people seek us out.
Melissa: Can you tell a little bit about your story with gymnastics and growing up like back then? Because we always think of pelvic floor issues as women being mamas. But let's talk a little bit about Miss Kaitlin.
Kaitlin: Yes, totally! And Melissa knows my back story. She's coming up for it.
Melissa: Fascinating. I think it's fascinating.
Kaitlin: I think also helpful for other women who come into my office that maybe are in this similar experience to understand that they're not alone. Because a lot of women who haven't had babies that are having pelvic floor issues think they're kind of alone on this and something's wrong and they're crazy, but they're not.
Kaitlin: When I was a kiddo, I was super active. And as a gymnast and a runner, particularly, I every once in a while would have some leakage. Bladder leakage, I should clarify. And I never really told anyone about it. But every once in a while, after a run or after a tumbling pass or a landing on the beam, I would just leak. And I would need to change my clothes. So I'd always just bring a spare change of clothes in my bag. And just again, it was embarrassing, I didn't know it wasn't normal and I just never talked about it.
Kaitlin: Well, fast forward to me being 25 years old and already a physical therapist. Still didn't know it wasn't normal until I dove into the pelvic health sector and I started working with other practitioners in pelvic health who really talked about how we all have a pelvic floor. It doesn't matter 'what age you are, it doesn't matter what gender you are', we all have one. And that the pelvic floor is meant to support your bowel, bladder, and sexual functions.
Kaitlin: Well, my pelvic floor, which I did not know at the time, was super, super, super tight, and almost overly dominant and strong. As a gymnast, there are a lot of cues to like squeeze your legs together, and stick that landing. And so I had overdeveloped those muscles in my pelvis area. And when I went to go support and contract them, they were already too tight and they had nowhere else to go. And so my bladder would be left lacking support and I would leak.
Kaitlin: And so it's not just women who have had babies or who are pregnant, who I see in my office space. It's really women of all ages. We don't treat kiddos in our practice, but there are even pelvic floor therapists that help with kiddos who are bed-wetting or having accidents when they laugh. And so I'm just really trying to educate our whole community that 'these are things that are very solvable'. That's the other positive news. And so, as a PT, I started to learn about this and think, "Huh, I got to learn more. This is interesting". And so I've been able to even help myself as an adult, retrain my bladder and my pelvic floor and really assist with some of those issues that have been going on for really my whole life.
Melissa: I just find that so fascinating. Because, OK, I'm just envisioning a gymnast. A Gymnast, they're strong. You wouldn't think strong equals weak bladder control. That doesn't go together.
Melissa: Like in my mind. So, I'm just thinking of my dancers and if they're really, especially, really into it. And then if they're going through something like that. Of course, you don't know what's not normal, because you're not necessarily talking about that or at an age when you feel comfortable with talking about it, it's very interesting and fascinating.
Kaitlin: Yeah. We make assumptions that muscles are either strong or weak, right? That's very black and white. That's very simplistic. It makes sense to us. But the way that I approach a patient, who comes into my office who is struggling with bladder control or pelvic floor dysfunction is we actually have to do quite a bit of investigating to figure out why they're leaking. Because there are different reasons that someone could leak. It truly could be that their pelvic floor is weak and kind of stretched out or lengthened in some way. And sure, like, pelvic floor strengthening and core strengthening will absolutely help them, and I help them create programs for that. But many women who come through my door have said, I've tried the 'Kegels', I've tried the 'do-it-yourself-at-home exercises' I read about online, and they're still not working. What's wrong with me? And there's more than one reason that someone could be leaking. And so we really, as a therapist, have to evaluate what are they doing.
Is it a coordination issue?
Is it a timing issue?
Is it a tightness issue?
Is it a mix of those things?
And that's where we create custom care for people in their healing.
Melissa: What is it when my kids call me on it? Mom, every time we leave, you always have to go to the bathroom.
Kaitlin: Just in case peeing!
Kaitlin: Just in case peeing!
Melissa: But then you said me, you kind of said it's become a pattern now where I have to go, like, I can hold it forever, but as soon as I walk into the studio, I have to go to the bathroom.
Melissa: Yeah! And just the mental pattern of that how we've created this pattern. And it genuinely is so interesting to me because I'm super guilty of it. My studio, you guys is a two-second drive. It's a mile away, but I will go to the bathroom before I go to go, and then I'll get into the studio and have to go again. And I'm like, I just went, like 10 minutes ago. But it's just a psychological thing, and you called me on that. You're like and you challenge me to kind of break from that habit. But it's just interesting to me. There are so many layers, and I didn't just want to talk about this, but I find it very fascinating.
Kaitlin: Oh, yeah! I'll talk about this all day, Melissa. All day long, yeah! And I think it's important for people to know, and whether it's you now as yourself or your daughters or your neighbour down the street who's got a kiddo struggling, or it's your dancers, I mean, whoever it is, it's like, just spread the news. Let people know that there is help out there for these conditions because I certainly didn't learn until I was 25 or 26.
Melissa: Yeah, very interesting. Okay, so how can people work with you? What is your process for people to connect with you? You have a lot of different ways that people can get inside your door, so talk a little bit about that for us.
Kaitlin: Yeah, I mean, we try our best to offer a variety of ways to connect with us. We're really big on social media. That includes Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook. Put a lot of free content out there. We have a blog that we update with health, wellness, and fitness tips, and we also encourage people to reach out to us. So you can contact us via phone or email, which are on our website @ yourfitpt.com. And we also have free discovery calls. So, I have some patients who are like, I've heard about you and I've looked at your website, but I'm still not sure, Am I the right fit? Can you help me? Because I've tried PT before, or maybe I've never tried PT, and I'm nervous about it. They want to speak to their providers specifically, and so we do offer free 20 minutes discovery calls for those individuals who want to make sure that they're in the right place.
Melissa: Talking about your pop-up classes. Do you have classes as well?
Kaitlin: Yes, we do. Since the day that I opened Fit PT in Hudson, we've had people asking, when are you going to do group classes? And it's been such a loaded, exciting question because I love 'Fitness' and I love 'Teaching Group Fitness'. But we decided, rather than doing weekly classes that are a huge commitment for clients and for staff, we do pop-up, fun events. So each month we have anywhere between three to six different events that are sometimes educational and sometimes just movement based, like Pilates and Yoga or strengthening, that you can just, the community can sign up and come and participate. And it's been really fun because we've had a lot of outside people that are not clients of ours yet or maybe are just learning about us that come and bring their friends and it's been a blast. So I teach them and then also I have a staff of fitness instructors that teach some classes too.
Melissa: Well, make sure to like that up in the show notes because that's a great way to get inside and see her studio, see her space. It's just beautiful. And of course, meet Dr Kaitlin as well.
Melissa: Dr Kaitlin Haider, I want to just talk about Visibility because this is a Visibility podcast. We talk marketing and all the things, business and all those things. But what has been for you personally? I know I could speak for you, but I want you to answer. What do you think has been your best way to get people to know about your work and what you do?
Kaitlin: For me, I love people and I love getting in front of people. So, I think 'the events and the workshops have been the biggest thing' that has helped us grow as quickly as we have. And I know that from the data, right? Melissa you've taught me to keep track and any time I go and I teach a workshop or a class or something. I always have one or two or three people come up to me afterwards and ask a question or tell me about your practice or, hey, I've got this random knee thing going on and I can't run right now, so can you help me? I think that just I love connecting with people and I think you can build rapport so well by that face-to-face connection. We live in such a virtual world right now, which is amazing. I've definitely learned a lot since COVID to take advantage of those elements too. But I just love getting in front of people and I would say my team is very similar when we have workshops and events, that has been the best return on investment for us in getting new clients through our door.
Melissa: Yes, I would agree. Kaitlin does an outstanding presentation. So, if you're local, reach out if you are interested in collaborating with her. But she just does a great presentation, her demeanour, as you can tell, probably by listening, is just very open and she's lovely with people and that's why she has just grown her practice so well and so, so big. And I'm so proud of you. So proud of you. So we will put connections to everything here in the show notes, but is there anything else that you would like to say to our people? Otherwise, I'm going to ask you some fun random questions, I think.
Kaitlin: Yes, actually I do. So we talked a lot about my specific practice as a physical therapist and we talked a little bit about the fitness world, but we also are offering a new service at Fit PT that I am super jazzed about, and that is holistic health coaching. And a lot of people said 'oh, cool, you have a health coach'. That's great. What does that mean? How can they help me? The reason I'm so jazzed about this is because a lot of people are struggling with their health at this time. It's just become evident over the last two to three years that people are not well. And I think especially as busy women, we struggle to take care of ourselves and we put everybody else first.
Kaitlin: And there are lots of elements of health. We can talk about mental health, we can talk about physical health, we can talk about 'internal organ, body health, gut health, all the things'. And I have a lot of women who, for example, come into my door who are struggling with their physical body health. And they're seeking me out to help heal from an injury or strengthen their pelvic floor, you name it, and I help them.
Kaitlin: I give them a full evaluation, customized care, and I give them exercises and homework, and that's good and great, but unless they actually follow through with what I'm giving them, doesn't really matter, right? It's not going to help them. And so I hear this a lot in my office, that clients are reaching out. They're working with a Chiropractor, they're working with an Acupuncturist, they're working with their MD, they're working with the PT, but they still feel like crap.
Kaitlin: And so what a holistic health coach does is really sits down with you and help take all of these elements that you're struggling with and actually put them into action, right? You can have all the information, but unless you do something with it and create a plan and execute it, it doesn't matter, it's just information floating around in your head. And so our health coaches are a new element of service, and they have been totally enhancing our care because those patients who are struggling to put the pieces together and be compliant now have more resources and more support from them.
Kaitlin: So I just want to put that little plug out there that whether it's through Fit PT or other elements of health coaching, I think it's very undervalued and people don't quite recognize how a health coach could help them. And so I just encourage your listeners, whether you are a business owner who is very busy and lacks taking care of yourself or someone just listening in maybe worth considering.
Melissa: Awesome. Yes. Super excited about that element in your business. Very cool.
Melissa: One last question I like to ask people, and sometimes I forget about it, but what's saving you now? This could be anything. For me right now, What's saving me is CELSIUS. I drink a CELSIUS, which is like, loaded with vitamins and stuff, and Sophia, my daughter, got me started on it. And so when I have a long teaching day, that's what's saving me. Another thing that's saving me right now is, I'm trying to focus on fun because I'm not very good at fun. So my fun right now, y'all, because I'm working a lot, is I'm just reading a non-business book.
Kaitlin: Good for you.
Melissa: I know, I know! So that is saving me and it's so fun. I'm always reading Business, Leadership, and Spiritual, but just something that just lets my mind go and go into neverlands. And so that's saving me right now. So what's saving you?
Kaitlin: Number one thing that is saving me right now is my Faith. Because we are going through so much at Fit PT and growth, it's amazing things. We're growing our team, we're growing our practice. We have overflowing amounts of clients knocking on our door, which is great. But it's the growing pains, right, making the decisions of what to do next. And it's all felt really big and it's all happening at the same time. And there have been days where I have just left the office and had no idea which direction, 'do I go right, or do I go left?'
Kaitlin: And so I've just been really learning to be patient and quiet in the chaos and pray and kind of just let the lord lead me in what direction I should go. Because I'm a planner, I love to plan everything out and know the end result and make executed decisions. And some of these things in business, you can't know it all. So I'm just trying to be patient and have faith.
Melissa: Well, thanks for that beautiful, deep answer. That's a beautiful answer because we all can relate to that because that is so true. We can have that plan. We want that plan. We want to know what the right next step is. I'm choreographing the High School Musical and somebody asked me about 'my plan or what's your process?' And I kind of laughed. I'm like, well, You have the score, And then you have the soundtrack, And then listen, And you write down the measures, And you write down the counts, And you write down the steps, Or you kind of have a vision of the steps, And where you're going. And then you go to rehearsal, And you put it out to them, And then you just say, forget it. You kind of scrapping it, And we're going to go all over. So you go in with a plan and then you throw it all up to god And let it be.
Melissa: So, I'm so proud of you. So proud of you and all your work. Thank you so much for being on the Brick and Mortar Visibility podcast. Everybody, I will put her information in the show notes. Please check her out if you are local and maybe go visit a pop-up class or two and connect with Dr Kaitlin Haider and her team. Thank you so much and we will see you here same time, same place next week. Peace. Bye-Bye!
Melissa: Oh, my gosh, you're still here. You are such a rebel woman. I have to meet you. Come on over to the Rebel Women Tribe on Facebook created for Brick and Mortar Business owners just like you. In this group, we empower, encourage, and support each other. And every week I come in and share with you a tip, tool or strategy that I'm learning in my Brick and Mortar Business to help you and yours. And you guys, this is the real stuff, the nitty-gritty in real-time of what's going on. So come on over to the Rebel Women Tribe on Facebook. I can't wait to meet you.