Amanda Russell: Founder, FitStrongandSexy + Marketing & Brand Strategist | Award Winning YouTube Fitness Influencer | UCLA Professor

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Amanda Russell is the founder & Chief Editor of Fit Strong & Sexy, a Youtube Award-Winning Fitness program & healthy living website. She is also a Professor of Marketing at UCLA, where she created the first ever course on Influencer Marketing and currently co-authoring The Influencer Code. Amanda is driven to help other entrepreneurs and influencers better brand, grow and monetize.

What do I do best?

I think most people don’t know the opportunities that are truly out there, and that they CAN actually go after wild dreams and conquer them – most of us fail before we even identify the opportunity, let alone try for it.

Helping people identify those dreams and opportunities and create an action plan to achieve them is what I live for, I thrive on, it’s my higher purpose. Seeing people transform in the way I do is truly incredible.  Even what may seem like just ‘physical aesthetics’, always becomes so much more and has a positive trickling effect on every aspect of their lives.

When we realize that there is strength in community, and we pool our strengths and resources, we can achieve exponentially more. And it is when we work with others to help them achieve their goal, we RISE up. (and life becomes ay more fun)!

What makes me the best version of myself?

Relentless stubborn confidence and commitment in going after what I want, no matter what that is. When I make the decision to do something I know that I will always find a way. Will many people find me too aggressive or direct in the process? YES! And I definitely am, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What are my aspirations?

To help others see that COLLABORATION is the key to success. We don’t do anything alone. Even those of us who claim to be ‘self made’ cannot take sole credit. We don’t exist in this world alone. I wish everyone would see the value in working with others to help them achieve their goals. Nothing irritates and angers me more than when someone thinks they are too busy, important or superior to help someone else.

My Biggest Success?

I developed the first ever curriculum for my biggest passion, Influencer Marketing in the Business Program at UCLA and am now teaching it.

It’s really just a fancy way of saying ‘collaboration’ – see the theme that keeps coming up in my answers? ;-)

My Most Challenging Moment?

I suffered a terrible, almost unheard of stress fracture in my femur and I was told I would never run again and possibly always walk with a limp.In one week I went from being a record holding, Nike sponsored Olympic-bound athlete, to being an immobile 20 year old who, in one week lost, not only my ability to run for the rest of my life, but I lost career, my income, my sponsors, my us visa, my Olympic dream and what felt like a lifetime of work. It felt like a death, and a part of me really did die that week, but had that not happened, I would not be here today.

Before it is all about me. Who really cares if you win a race or break a record? You don’t touch anyone else. Now my entire life is dedicated to working with and helping others rise up!

You see, failure on the scale that I did, stripped me of any ego, ultimately setting me free to understand true passion and the perseverance it takes to find it, even when the path is not clear or conventional.

My Motto?

Not exactly a motto, but my personal philosophy:

If you don't have to struggle to win, to succeed, to be great, then can you even call it greatness? It's the struggle and all that is necessary to overcome the seeming impossibilities that humans find awe-inspiring. If it comes easy, it isn't worth praise.

Keep in mind the difference between failing to be great and failing to even attempt to be great. You learn a lot from trying your very best and then realizing your very best isn't good enough — yet. You learn absolutely nothing, however, from never giving yourself a chance to fail. Not until it's too late.

My Favorite People/Role Models?

My dad – he has this eternal optimism no matter what happens, I’ve seen him show the greatest humility in times when he could have gloated and I’ve seen him stand tall when the seemingly worst had happened, time and again.  He thrives on embracing all the little things in life and finding pleasure in the every day, and every action. He taught me to look at struggle and setback as an opportunity to try again try differently. He also has an innate compassion for people and the ability to connect and uplift and find the best in someone and make them see it.

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

Paris, Aspen, Florence, Capri……oh and Malibu is not too shabby

My Favorite Products/Objects?

My macbook air, it’s all I need, I can work from anywhere because of it, and I do!

My Current Passions?

There’s nothing like good wine and friends! Anytime you have that combo, it’s a guaranteed good time