We had the good fortune of connecting with Leila Leilani and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Leila, one of the most rewarding things about getting to know so many entrepreneurs and creatives is seeing first-hand how many of them are focused on so much more than just financial results. So many of the folks we connect with are focused on having a positive social impact on their community or the world at large. Can you talk to us about how you are helping the community?
I am a firm believer in the idea that all of us were put on this earth for a particular purpose. My purpose is to empower and instill confidence in people and in turn, help them become the best versions of themselves. Something as small as being in the fitness industry….getting people to “work out” essentially is the building block for daily confidence. The discipline, the pushing your body to a new limit, the self control, the pure enjoyment from working out. These principles…simply put, give people confidence and makes them feel good about themselves. This seed of confidence is what allows these people to go into the world functioning as healthier humans both physically and mentally. We all have lofty aspirations to change the world, but I believe that that starts with getting the everyday person confident about who they are and then, sending them into the world to make their communities better with their gifts.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
What sets me apart from others? I guess you’d have to ask people who have met me before and remembered me! No , but I think what sets me apart from others is this focus I have on embracing being different. Growing up and into adulthood, Ive been this tall tomboy with long hair and a mixed ethnic background with a raspy voice to go along with it. I realized a long time ago that embracing instead of fighting against all the things that make me different will really set me apart from all the people in the fitness industry. I’ve worked hard to distinguish myself by creating this environment where people feel safe and confident to “come just as you are”, to me. Im gonna love on you and accept you at any point in your journey and I think that makes working with me that much more desirable. The fitness industry of LA is so oversaturated with trainers that are both attractive and knowledgable that you really need to make people feel a genuine connection in order to really stand out. Im most proud of the connections and experiences I’ve had over the years because of this new career. Training has enabled me to connect with people from all walks of life and walk along side them in their success story. Nothing makes my day more fulfilled than when one of my clients can fit into her favorite dress, or throw a new punch harder and faster or when a family is bonding over training together. The on paper success is great but nothing nothing nothing beats the feeling of knowing you are making lasting connections with people and fulfilling your calling in this life. My professional story is definitely a story of destiny. I actually intended on being an entertainment/sports attorney and was in law school studying my way through the paces. One particular day, I was studying (as I always was) and one of my friends had sent me an invite to a Nike Womens Event in DTLA. An hour before the event, I planned on cancelling and staying in to study but a good friend of mine (a proponent of destiny unbeknownst to her) told me that I needed to take a break and go work out at the Nike Event. Fast forward to the day after the event and I was taking a a gifted free class at Prevail Boxing and within two weeks working there part time for a free membership (since income was known existent as a full time student). I quickly realized that teaching ignited an old flame in me from my childhood/teen years of martial arts and boxing. From there, it was as if destiny transported to all the right places at the right time. I was able to teach at legendary gym Box n Burn and then, given the opportunity of a lifetime to be a founding trainer at Rumble Los Angeles. Being at Rumble really gave me a platform to take off on an even larger scale but for the first time in my life, I couldn’t have one foot devoted to becoming a lawyer and another in being a boxing trainer. The bar exam demanded full focus and the traveling and preparation for Rumble demanded full attention. The pivotal moment of my life came when I had to choose one path or the other and choose it fully and wholeheartedly. I think choosing boxing was probably the biggest challenge I faced because I had to learn how to silence the voices, opinions, and expectations of others and have the bravery to choose what I truly wanted to do with my life. But once I chose to walk in my truth opportunities came pouring in. The biggest thing I would want the world to know about what Ive learned along the way is that living a life doing what you love to do and chasing your passion will always make the world around you better. What I mean by that is, the sooner you wake up and chase your passion the sooner you will be a happier person and the sooner that happiness will pour over into all you do and all those you interact with daily. Life is too short and too precious to live it according to how others think you should be living it. so go chase your actual dreams and let them see you baby! shine with that confidence that radiates when you pursue the things that actually set your heart on fire.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Hahaha I love it, a friend visiting is always a good excuse to go out and have a good time and throw caution and money to the wind. I would probably take my bestie to all the places that they see on tv. or I guess, nowadays, Instagram. The scene on Robertson/La Cienaga, the little vintage haunts on Melrose, the streetwear scene on Fairfax, the Grove etc. And a delicious drink at the speakeasy, The Roger Room. maybe dinner at Cavatina Restaurant at The Sunset Marquis. From then, Id want to shy away from the city and take them to Paradise Cove in Malibu to enjoy the beach and watch the sunset (maybe dinner at Geoffreys). I grew up going to my grandparents house in Paradise cove and spending a lot of my summers there, so there is always a particular affinity for the idyllic Malibu. The rest of the week would be spent chasing food trucks, looking at art in downtown LA and Silver lake, and going to the valley (818 baby!) for some nitty gritty workouts together at some mom and pop owned gyms. The list can go on but basically eat, drink, laugh and sweat would be the theme of the week 🙂
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
To my heart (Mom, Dad, Malia, Nakoa, Baba), to my Steadfast love Shelby, to my friends, clients who have become family, coworkers who push me to be my best self, and every person who has supported my journey. Thank you! I love you! You make this life worth living and enrich every part of it.
Stephanie Trapp, Alex Paz