The Bismarck/Mandan Young Professionals Network was pleased to welcome Anne Mahlum, founder of the nonprofit organization Back on my Feet and the studio solidcore, as the latest YP Roundtable speaker. The group met at the Bismarck State College National Energy Center of Excellence on Tuesday, November 21st.
Anne Mahlum grew up in Bismarck and had a very happy childhood. When she was 16, her life drastically changed. Through a series of family revelations and issues, Anne’s negative emotions built up. She turned to running because it made her feel powerful and in control of her life. Over the next several years, Anne double majored in college and then moved to Washington, D.C. to complete her Master’s degree. At the age of 26, she found herself in Philadelphia, searching for her purpose and passion. She found it through the Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission, which she passed each morning on her daily run. Anne started a running group at the shelter, which began with 9 men in July 2007. Each runner signed an agreement acknowledging that:
- They would show up on time, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6:00 a.m. for their run, and that
- They would treat their teammates with dignity, respect and encouragement.
Anne felt drawn to these individuals and, through running, they all found a common purpose. She sought to teach society that these individuals were not defined by their homelessness, that they wanted the same things that we all do – to feel appreciated, recognized, loved and cared for. Anne’s running group has now turned into a life changing program affecting over 6,000 individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Back on My Feet seeks to revolutionize the way our society approaches homelessness. Their unique running-based model demonstrates that if you first restore confidence, strength and self-esteem, individuals are better equipped to tackle the road ahead and move towards jobs, homes and new lives.
Anne stepped down as CEO of Back on My Feet, and in 2013 founded solidcore, a high-intensity, low-impact workout. Solidcore has grown to 29 studio locations, and the goal is for 50 by the end of next year. Many of us complain that we “don’t have the time” to do certain things, when in reality, we just aren’t making it a priority. Anne recommended that if you want to make a resolution, you need to set aside an exact time. For example, rather than saying “I’m going to read more”, decide “I’m going to start each day at 6:00 a.m. by reading my book”.
Q&A with Anne
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs?
- “Know what you’re good at and know where your talents lie, and when to outsource the rest. Surround yourself with mentors and smart/intellectual people.”
What books do you recommend?
- “I am currently reading The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer. I would highly recommend How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. “
If you could go back in time, what would you say to 25 year old Anne?
- “Don’t be so hard on yourself.”
Thanks to Anne for sharing her incredible story with the YP Network!