Richard GiorlaBusiness doesn’t have to be boring! Too often, people who think of starting a business might have the expectation that business is all about numbers, negotiations, transactions, legalistic minutiae, and other details that are, well, “unexciting.” The truth is, starting a business is all about passion.And no one exemplifies that passion better than my dear friend and fitness mentor, Richard Giorla, owner and creator of Cardio Barre®, LLC.

Richard Giorla has taken his 25 years of professional background as a dancer and choreographer and used it to create Southern California’s hottest fitness experience. Cardio Barre® is a one-of-a-kind fitness regimen that combines aerobics, ballet and weight training, helping students get a “dancer’s body” and achieve dramatic results to their physique, strength and cardiovascular health. Participants can often expect to lose 5% body fat in only 8 weeks.

Many celebrities have trained with Richard Giorla’s Cardio Barre® program, including Neve Campbell, Lucy Lawless, Laura Leighton and Dakota Fanning.

I’m a HUGE fan of Richard’s Cardio Barre® classes – I take his advanced classes at his Studio City location at least three times a week, in addition to, private classes with one of his tenured instructors 2 times per week.  Cardio Barre®  has been a “life-changing” experience for me and I’ve truly become addicted in the sense that if I miss a class, I feel cheated and discombobulated for the remainder of that day .

With an artistic background as a professional dancer and choreographer in New York City, it’s no surprise that Richard Giorla puts passion and creativity at the center of his business strategy.

“I believe that in life, you need to love what you do,” said Richard. “I’ve been fortunate to find a business model that I’m passionate about, and I encourage other would-be entrepreneurs to do the same.”

Cardio Barre® is more than a fitness program; the classes are designed with the perspective of a broader approach to human health and wellness.

“Fundamentally, I believe that the basis for an outstanding life is mental and physical well being,” said Richard Giorla. “I started this business because I wanted to offer this workout and lifestyle to make people happier. It’s not enough to transform our bodies; we can also transform our lives and improve our everyday attitudes. Ultimately, there’s no quick fix to achieve a healthy lifestyle, it must become a way of life. Cardio Barre is a way of life and the class is a motivational experience that will push you beyond your own expectations.”

After starting his first Cardio Barre studio in Studio City, California in 2001, Richard has gradually grown his business by selling franchises for other locations. There are now 7 Cardio Barre locations in California, with more on the way. Since this fitness program has gone from “Hollywood’s best-kept secret” to a new, emerging fitness and lifestyle trend, watch for it to hit the mainstream in a major way sometime soon.

Richard says that the things he loves most about running his own business include the freedom and autonomy.

“All the failures and successes are of my own creation,” he said. “Besides the financial rewards, the most rewarding times are when I can learn and grow from my success and failures, and also enjoy the satisfaction of hearing the life changing stories of our clients.”

Richard used CorpNet to incorporate his business as an LLC, and he chose this business structure so that he would have the ability to issue employees equity and shares if needed. “I feel that equity sharing is an important part of employee compensation,” said Richard. “When employees are vested in the company, that is a way to ensure that they will put their best foot forward, and enables the company to reward them as the company grows.” As part of the process of setting up a new franchise, Richard recommends that his franchisees use to incorporate their businesses. Recently, I wrote about Richard and his franchisees on the CorpNet blog in an article about how franchisees can get a head start by incorporating online.

Asked what advice he would offer to other entrepreneurs, Richard says that hard work, good hiring decisions, continuous education and role modeling are keys to success.

“To succeed as an entrepreneur you must educate yourself in all aspects of your business,” said Richard. “One of the best ways to learn is to model your activities after someone who is already successful in your field. Find a mentor you can go to for guidance and advice. Hiring the best staff is incredibly important, especially in a service-oriented business like Cardio Barre. We conduct thorough background checks and references, extensive interviews and a trial period for new hires – and I also rely a great deal on my own intuition. I’m constantly looking to find the unique sort of people who want to help support the magnificence of Cardio Barre.”