A Conversation With Nicole Pekerman, Founder & CEO of Paid Workout Corp. An Innovative Fitness Motivation App & Leader in Wellness Gaming.
Q: So, Nicole, tell me why do you feel it’s important for women to have a voice in the health and wellness sector?
NP: It’s important for women to have voice in every sector but particularly in the health and wellness sector because women we have the biggest opportunity to impact how women’s unique needs, perspectives, priorities, and necessities are shaped. We have the power to drive a positive narrative across all facets of health and wellness from body image to mental health and everything in between.
Q: Can you tell us more about your business and how it helps women to achieve their fitness goals?
NP: Yes, Paid Workout is a fitness motivation app that creates personalized challenges to help people create healthy habits. The app is based on both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Paid workout puts women in personalized challenge groups where they set realistic, process-oriented goals that they can achieve. This breeds success thereby helping women becoming more and more motivated to create habitual healthy habits of getting more activity, more movement and more endorphins. People can win cold hard cash as they compete in these challenges if they are in the top three. Seeing women enjoy these challenges and transform their health and wellness habits is the most rewarding part of my job!
Q: Do you feel that the pandemic impacted women and their health, and if so, how?
NP: Absolutely. The pandemic perpetuated stress, mental health impact and fear for our safety and the safety of loved ones for everyone. Beyond those factors, women faced some unique challenges. These include the increased burden of caregiving and housework more so than their male counterparts, more women lost their jobs* or left their careers and women sacrificed self-care, Women focused less on health and fitness, worked out less, meditated less, walked less, even their eating habits became worse. As a result, lbs crept on, exhaustions set in, mental health and self-esteem suffered dramatically while women kept so many balls up in the air juggling all their old and new priorities and mandates.
Q: What words of motivation would you share with women who are looking to recover in a healthy way from the pandemic?
NP: Fill your cup first so that it overflows, then, you can serve others from your saucer!
Put YOU first and never feel bad about it. Prioritize sleep, movement, nutrition, learning and connection. Anything that makes you feel complete. Even 10 minutes of movement or a dance party during dinner can change everything! Do the work to find what drives you, find your whys (plural) and live every moment with them in mind.
Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience?
NP: Be Authentic! I’ve worked in environments that stifled my authenticity and therefore my creativity as a marketer, my productivity, and my overall happiness.
Being true to yourself in every facet will help you achieve all of your goals. If the culture won’t allow for it, leave, and find a place where YOU, every aspect of YOU, is welcomed and appreciated. That’s not to say we shouldn’t be open to growth and feedback and working on ourselves but staying true to who you are is critical to success.
Q: Which woman inspires you and why?
NP: Robin Arzon inspires me! She is an incredible woman who lives authentically. She has broken barriers in the fitness industry and paved the way for us. She’s a woman who sets goals and goes after them and encourages her wolf pack to do the same. She’s a T1D warrior - I see her achieving all her dreams without letting anything get in her way – that is incredible for someone who faces daily challenges that come with T1D. My son was diagnosed 5 months ago with Type 1 Diabetes, and I told him that she is one of my heroes. If she can do all the incredibly challenges things she does mentally and physically, he can too! She’s an Athlete, Author, VP, Mom, Daughter, Wife, She is multi-faceted, complex, powerful and she is a HUGE inspiration. Love you @Robinnyc
Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today?
NP: I believe many of the challenges women face are rooted in unconscious bias or the implicit association or attitude about the female gender that can influence behavior.
Women often even have their own implicit associations about “doing it all” or what being feminine is or what defines a “successful woman”.
As a working mom of two amazing children, navigating career while amplifying motherhood has been extremely challenging. I’ve often felt like I needed to sacrifice one over the other. There were many lunches I didn’t prepare and drop offs I didn’t make, and I felt the guilt. While we’ve started to “lean in” and evolve, we aren’t in a great place. Clearly, we’ve seen this unconscious bias cause women to take a back seat to their partners and walk away from their careers during the pandemic to take on the maternal/homemaker role.
We continue to see fewer women in C-suite roles, we continue to face pay inequality, sexism in the workplace and discrimination. The key for me is women supporting each other. We need to support, mentor, and champion each other. While there may be fewer women in positions of power, we are getting up there and we need to take action. Leading, teaching and empowering the next generation to disrupt the unconscious bias and create new biases of equality, comradery and taking the seat at the table and owning it!!!
Q: Can you tell us how you manage your work life balance?
NP: I use the 4 P’s- Prioritization, planning, patience, and perseverance. We cannot do it all, 100% of the time. But, we can plan to do what matters, when it matters. I prioritize need to do vs. nice to do and choose critical things for me and for my family (including daily workouts for me – they keep me sane and make me a better human).
I rely on my digital calendar, but I also plan my weeks in a daily planner on paper- very old school. But there’s something magical about checking things off your list.
There are days where I run out of steam of course and that’s where patience and perseverance play a lead role. I have many moments where it’s easy to procrastinate or lose my temper but I literally breath deep and persevere. I tell myself once I’m done it will be 100% worth it. We often try to rush through things but with patience (with myself and others) the outcomes are far more superior.
Finally, I’m so lucky to have a great support system especially my husband. He is incredible and we are partners helping each other consistently, recognizing when there’s a need and stepping up for each other!!
One final thought – give yourself grace. YOU DESERVE IT.
Q: How can people reach you?
NP: Feel free to reach me personally @nicolepekerman on Instagram or www.paidworkout.com or @paidworkout in insta for the app
Five Things About Nicole Pekerman
1. What’s your favorite app on your phone?
You mean besides Paid Workout? I love Canva, I create many of our own social media creative and it’s so simple and easy and I do it all on the go!
2. What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time?
Workout, Dance and spend quality time with my kids
3. What was the last book you really got into?
Drive by Dan Pink. A great read about motivating people to achieve their goals.
4. What’s the most amazing adventures have you’ve ever been on?
The adventure of entrepreneurship and motherhood. Both have the highest highs and lowest lows, but the satisfaction, love and gratification are immeasurable. I call my business my third child! It’s a wild ride but I’m here for it.
5. Among your friends, what are you best known for?
Empathy, Kindness, Highest Heels and Always the last one on the dance floor.