We had the good fortune of connecting with Samm Haden and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Samm, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I grew up observing my mom and dad work in two completely different worlds. My dad worked for a major corporation as a VP and my mom ran, owned and operated three restaurants with her family. Both of my parents worked incredibly hard and were very good at what they did but I was always more drawn to the passion and commitment my mom had for her own business. It made more sense to me that you have a dream and a business of your own and you work as hard as your can every day to make it the best it can be. I struggled with the idea that I was supposed to carry out that same level of grit and determination for someone else’s dream.
Now when I got into the fitness industry, I actually loved working for and with other passionate fitness professionals. I have worked for 5 different gyms over the past five years and feel I have grown as a trainer and an entrepreneur from every one of those experiences. Each gym has given me the space to explore running my own business as I practiced the process of sourcing, pitching and maintaining clients. Once the pandemic hit and all of gyms shut down, I realized it was time to step out on my own. I was ready to start my own business. This past year has taught me that nobody will push me to work harder then me, that I have the best clients in the world and that all that passion I saw in my mom for her own business existed so beautifully inside of me as well.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I own an online based fitness business called The Haden Way. I run 30 day online fitness challenges as well as host an online subscription based workout library. During the pandemic, I was missing my fitness community and created The Haden Way as a way to connect with people all over the world. I have found such a beautiful community in the process who motivates and holds each other accountable in the pursuit of living the happiest and healthiest life possible. Prior to launching The Haden Way, I had never taught an online fitness class, recorded and edited video content, navigated website glitches, etc. – there have been endless challenging but I have felt excited and motivated to tackle each challenge along the way.
I truly feel The Haden Way has found success because of two main things – 1. My endless belief that fitness should be fun and playful. That we should laugh in every workout and find joy in the ability to take care of ourselves. 2. The amazing community of hardworking and loving individuals who make The Haden Way a reality day after day.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Wow this is a tough question! I have lived all over Los Angeles so I feel drawn to a couple different neighborhoods but most recently I have lived in Santa Monica/Venice so we will stay in that area. First, I would want to take them for my favorite breakfast at Flake for Acai Bowls, Breakfast Sandwiches and Iced Coffee and then we would hit the Santa Monica Steps for a little outdoor workout. We would around walk Abbott Kinney or Montana so they can see some of my favorite businesses to pop in and out of and ultimately end up at the beach. If we are down for a little drive, I would love to head down to Manhattan Beach or we can just pop down to the beach near home in Santa Monica. I would love to grab a drink at Big Deans near the board walk and then an outdoor dinner at True Foods near the promenade.
My perfect Los Angeles Day.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have to give my amazing Mother, Stacy Manolakas, a shout out here. I have been learning about the passion and hard work that it takes to be an entrepreneur since I was 5 years old observing her at work. I truly remember watching her when I was just a child waiting tables, cooking on the line, managing customer complaints, motivating general managers, worshiping her employees, setting up her website – never realizing how unique it was and how much I was learning in the process.
Emil J. Photography