As Paige Hathaway was trying to build a name for herself in fitness, she saw the power and reach that social media had. She knew that it was a way she could reach others and could be a powerful tool to inspire other people by simply sharing who she was and her own fitness journey. She has truly been touched and humbled by people’s reaction to her social media and the career she has in the fitness industry.
Paige is overwhelmed by people’s positive responses to her pictures and posts. In a matter of one year, she went from having a few hundred followers to over half a million on Instagram. Her experiences over the last few years have allowed her to find out what really matters in life. She loves competing, modeling and working with major brands. However what she has found most fulfilling is helping other people achieve their fitness goals.
Her purpose is to help others see having a fit lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to completely give up things you love, change your entire life or achieve one certain look. Paige wants to motivate others to be healthy, fit and confident by being an example of someone who makes her health a priority while still living a fun balanced life.
Here’s our full interview with Paige!
1. Paige, thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. While we normally ask folks about their background we already know you’re from a small town in Minnesota, felt somewhat out of shape in 2011, and began to take physical fitness after talking with a trainer about your goals. You mention that you went out of your “comfort zone” for one of the first times. What was that comfort zone for you and how’d you break out of it?
- That comfort zone to me was called complacency. Like most people especially living in a small town, I grew to be complacent with a job, what I did in spare time and how I saw my future. I broke out of that comfort zone by making a choice to do something completely different and out of my comfort zone. That choice was to compete in a bikini competition and that one choice completely changed my life forever.
2. What was the experience of entering your first bikini competition like?
- As funny as it may sound, I would recommend everyone do a bikini competition. At least just one in your life no matter your age. Competing taught me a very valuable thing.. It taught me mind over matter. It made me push past my excuses and it forced me dig deep within myself. All of these things happened during competition prep, which is the beginning stages of preparing for a bikini competition. While on stage you are then brought face to face with a fear most people have and thats being on stage in front of a bunch of people doing a choreographed routine. As it couldn’t get any worse, you’re also sweating from the nerves, bright lights and you only have the tiniest bikini to cover up your seemingly bad spray tanned body. As you’re next up in line, you start to pray that you aren’t too nervous that you mess up your whole routine and make a complete fool of yourself. The crazy part is after you’re done. a rush comes through your body. You realize that all of the hard work and nerves paid off and it all becomes worth it. I left the stage that day forever changed.
3. You placed 2nd at the Ronnie Coleman Classic, the biggest NPC statewide competition in the United States which, as you said, resulted in more exposure than you’d ever received. What kind of opportunities came after that show. And why didn’t you get 1st place?!?!?! You look amazing.
- Well I hate to be the bare of bad news but even like politics, competition life is political. Ive learned that through the many years of being in this industry. Competing is and isn’t what got me where I am today. Yes, competing made me switch my mental head space to be more determined and hard working. It gave me a passion and a sense of purpose that I had never had before, but I sucked at competing. I didn’t succeed in competing and that is not what propelled me into being “Paige Hathaway.” I propelled “Paige Hathaway” by never giving up.
4. Tell us about the beginnings of trying to build a name for yourself in social media. What were your biggest challenges?
- I think the biggest challenge was honestly “being made fun of” when I use to take selfies and videos in the gym. This was like 5 years ago when gym selfies weren’t really a thing yet so you could only imagine the looks I got when I started all of this.
5. You mention that social media helped you a great deal in your current career. How so? What do you think your key to success has been on Instagram, where you are approaching 4 million followers?
- Social media is a crazy thing isn’t it? I mean look right now, you are reading my interview on a social media platform. A platform that people go to receive information. You can reach SO many people through social media. Social media is a key component to a lot of influencers, businesses and other things. I think one of the keys things to growing my Instagram like it has is to my ability to connect with people through my words and my passion. There are SO many good looking fit guys and girls online. If you want to stand out you need to be more than just a good looking fit person. You need to be relatable, you need to have a passion for something bigger than yourself and you need to be consistent.
6. What advice would you give to those trying to become “Instagram Famous? and earning a living at it?
- This topic always make a giggle a bit. Its crazy to me that now days people really strive to be this. When I first started posting on social media, I wasn’t striving to be famous and I honestly still pinch myself that this is my life. What I don’t understand with this whole Instagram famous craze is, what do you get out of it if you don’t have a brand built around you? Sure you have millions of followers (is this a popularity contest? Are we in high school?) and granted companies might approach you for a paid marketing gig but what type of longevity are you sustaining? See most people don’t think about long term effect, they think about the right here right now. What are you going to do lets say when you get older and you can’t do paid posts anymore or if Instagram goes away…? Platforms tend to go away after time, like as Myspace for example. Building a purposeful brand around your image is way more important than being Instagram famous. Its way more valuable and you have a better chance of longevity to earn a living from it.
7. What do you think are your biggest accomplishments both career wise and in your personal life?
- Honestly, my greatest accomplishments are the success stories I’ve received from thousands of people who have changed their life because of me. I have helped better change and transform people that I have never met before. THAT’S POWER and that’s my greatest accomplishment.
8. What is the hardest lesson you’ve learned about being an entrepreneur with her own brand
- Its a lot of work. More work that I ever thought was even possible. I commend all the entrepreneurs out there. GOOD FOR YOU! The hardest lesson Ive personally had to learn is how to be more balanced with running multiple businesses and having a personal life. Its definitely the one thing I still struggle with because when you have your own business I swear there is ALWAYS something that can be done. Ive gotten better at this but moving into the new year, Im gonna practice balance even more.
9. This question is completely unrelated to anything but we have to ask. So you’re beautiful and have millions of followers. You must get millions of crazy comments and requests. Are there any memorable ones in particular that are work safe that you can share with us?
- Haha, Yes. Ive actually have someone ask me if they could buy my smelliest stinkiest tennis shoes.
10. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now ?
- In 5 years Ill almost be 35. Hopefully Ill have prince charming come put a ring on it haha. While cupid is doing his work, my 5 year plan is to have built my brand and my name to stand on its own two feet without me bring the centerfold.