Vanessa Ast Biller: Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur

Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur left the corporate world in 2008 to pursue an industry at which she was firmly passionate and naturally talented, launching Vastfit to offer a no-nonsense and result-based approach to fitness training…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your business in a nutshell.
Vastfit is a no-nonsense and result-based approach to fitness training. In the past I have been a highly competitive athlete, and held an eight-year career in international finance. I appreciate that time is precious and do not go about wasting my clients’ time. My workouts are minimalist and effective, and can be performed anywhere.

Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration?
Disillusioned by the corporate world in 2008, I left my role as Vice President in Equities at Morgan Stanley in London, England and decided to pursue an industry at which I was firmly passionate and naturally talented. Anyone who knows me knows that I am naturally athletic. Life is short; let’s keep it simple.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part, apart from keeping fantastically fit, is making a little difference to the peoples’ lives I touch every day. My clients walk away from our time together feeling energized, clear-headed and uplifted. This is an extremely pleasing highlight for me. The biggest challenge is keeping the workout fresh and ever-changing. Fitness followers are fickle, and a workout, in my opinion, needs to stay cutting-edge always.

Where do you see your business going in 5 years?
Great question. I’d love to take over the world one day, but for now I’m very contented managing my own clients in the free time I have away from being a Mum to 20-month old daughter, Béa. Near-term, I would love to continue the fitness writing I’ve been doing recently, and to grow the pre/postnatal component of Vastfit.

What does success look like to you?
Success is having a purpose in life. Purpose brings fulfillment. Fulfillment to me brings happiness, so happiness is synonymous with success. Still following?! I decided a long time ago that happiness and inspiration were highly correlated, so inspiration must be the secret to success, right? ‘Always be inspired’, I used to urge myself. But what I have wised up to over the years is that inspiration will not park itself on the doorstep, damnit. We have to hunt it down and find it. Every day I am in the pursuit of inspiration. Music, the study of the human body, and love of family and friends are three of my favourite muses, not in that order.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
The day my Get Sexy outdoor fitness program just took off! My marketing efforts were minimal but the campaign was catchy and the workout fun and effective. I developed the most fantastic following of young, bright, professional females, many of whom I continue to work with today. I was thrilled and touched by this beyond belief.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
1) Chip away, chip away, chip away, and don’t give up. 2) Throw enough against the wall and something will eventually stick. 3) It’s business, not personal 🙂

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I have volunteered for the CAMH (Center for Addiction and Mental Health)) and helped to design and coach the fitness curriculum for their high school students. It was a humbling experience to work with this vulnerable and impressionable group of teens. I campaign to remove the taboo from mental illness. 1 in 3 of us suffer from anxiety, depression, or panic attacks at some point in our lives, yet the topic remains largely taboo and misunderstood.

What is Notable to you?
The furious pace at which life moves today in this era of technology is bloody notable.

Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
My iPhone inspires me daily.

How do you keep active, energetic, and vibrant?
Staying hydrated, regulated sleep patterns, and a touch of tequila every now and then.