With Multi-Unit Franchise Partner and NASCAR Reporter Wendy Egert
Wendy started her Burn journey seven years ago as many do, as a member, before becoming a franchise partner. Her professional career has been with NASCAR and she just celebrated her 20-year mark with the company. Wendy started in NASCAR because her dad is a retired NASCAR driver, and moved to North Carolina from Chicago when she was in high school. She went down the media route from the advice of her mentors and started her broadcasting career at the ripe age of 21. Wendy worked her way up from production, to broadcasting for NASCAR, and in 2004 became the first female pit road reporter and the youngest in the history of NASCAR to go on air and broadcast a race.
Wendy has had the opportunity to be the first in a lot of areas in the industry and has broken a lot of barriers and glass ceilings in her field by being her authentic self. She absorbed a lot of information from her family history with NASCAR and translated that into her passion and really formed a real relationship with the NASCAR fan base.
When she walked in the door at Burn Boot Camp for the first time, her goal was to focus on herself. In true Wendy fashion, she accomplished that and so much more. She became a Certified Personal Trainer as a passion project while still traveling and doing her broadcasting, and is now building her empire with Burn Boot Camp as a multi-unit owner.
How did Burn transform your life as a member?
“I was a tired overweight mom, I was working crazy hours, running all over the place, traveling 40,000 air miles a year, I worked every weekend. I lived in my house for 3 nights a week, only long enough to do laundry, cook meals for my kids, and leave town again. My husband works in the industry as well and we got used to living out of a bus. When our son turned 3, I decided to scale back from the NASCAR industry and focus on myself and my journey with Burn Boot Camp. It was a mindset shift. It changed my priorities in life and what I wanted to accomplish. I was living an awesome, fun life and doing REALLY cool things – but was I doing anything to make my life better or improve my health? No.”
With all of the lanes that you’re in, what motivates you to do things, and do them well? What wakes you up every day?
“I’m very intentional with my actions and I’m very motivated to get the most I can out of this life. I have gone through a lot of heartaches in this life and a lot of doors have been slammed in my face. I am very passionate and whole-hearted about things. I thrive off of my passion, off the energy from others. I love providing for my family (my son is now 10), and being able to watch him be shaped by the Burn Boot Camp model has been so cool for me and my husband. That is motivation in and of itself. I know people are watching me – my NASCAR family, and my Burn family – those people keep me motivated. I’ve been known to sleep vertically on the plane and wake up and drive straight to Burn Boot Camp Concord. It’s fun to get my day started that way and get it over with!”
Let’s talk about leadership. In the NASCAR space, as a Burn member and owner, what helps you become a better leader for those around you?
“I don’t usually follow the status quo. I go against the grain and push the envelope. I work inside the grey area of rule books. I do that because I feel like I can get more out of my day and more out of life if I do that. My husband on the other hand is a rule follower, and I think we balance each other quite well. You have to find what works for you in order to get the most out of your day. I’m not organized, I’m not a list maker. I just go, and I do, do, do. Organization is just one area where I enlist the help of others. As a leader, I think you have to rely on others’ strengths where you are weak. Let people do their jobs, and what they’re good at. My goal as a leader is to find what everyone’s strengths are and play off of those. That’s where we thrive as a team. I don’t micromanage.”
What does your work-life balance look like?
“You have to mesh everything together. I’ve heard Devan (Kline) say this too. You have to blend professional and personal life. Our son was 3 weeks old when we took him to work with Mommy. Caleb (now 10) lived on our bus. We had really long production hours in television, and we had a great support system around us. We had a Mom on the road with us who is a NASCAR wife and Burn Boot Camp member and she stepped up and helped us immensely.”
What have you learned about yourself as an entrepreneur during the last 18 months of hard times through the pandemic?
“When things get put in my way, I have a way of getting around them. I’ve had people believe in me and people that don’t believe in me. I knew if we just stayed true to ourselves we could come out on top together as a team. Right when we closed our doors, I pushed our team to go live that evening and offer a virtual workout. We were one of the first Burn locations to offer a live virtual workout. Our head trainer believed in me, and we made mistakes along the way, but we made a plan, I led our team and we made things happen together. Our community kept us together. They are the reason we stayed afloat. We weren’t leaving them and they weren’t leaving us. The bond we have with our members has grown so much tighter over the last year and a half.”
What have you had to overcome as a female entrepreneur? Are there any additional roadblocks you’ve had to overcome because you are a female?
“There was not even women’s clothing available when I started. It had never been done before. I had to wear men’s uniforms. That was the very start of it 21 years ago. My Mom was the tire changer on my Dad’s pit crew team. He had an all-female team. My Mom paved the way to show me that I can do anything I want to, in any industry, whether male-dominated or not. Because my Mom has been such an awesome role model, it let me go into a male-dominated environment and give me the confidence to say ‘I belong here.”
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