Shanna Missett Nelson, President of Jazzercise on Building a Fitness Business to Last

Shanna Missett Nelson’s childhood was probably a little different than the average kid.

“I grew up just thinking that every mom put on a leotard and tights several times a day and ran out the door to teach a bunch of women who really adored them exercise,” she said of her mom Judi Sheppard Missett, founder of Jazzercise.

And if you heard the recent episode of How I Built This with Guy Raz (one of our favorite podcasts besides #WeGotGoals, obviously) featuring Judi Sheppard Missett, you heard a story of her teaching at a local rec center and collecting cash for classes. Holding onto the dough? Missett Nelson, who joked that she spent her childhood as an accountant for her mom’s budding Jazzercise business.

I wanted to invite Missett Nelson back on the podcast (we talked to her the first time in March of 2019) when we received a question from community member Amy Gumbs. Gumbs is busy building an online training business. And the kicker? She wants that business to stand the test of time.

That’s what Jazzercise has done so well: adapt. They’re still here because they’re not the fitness company you know from the ’80s. We know that they’re really good at changing over time, but how did they do during the pandemic?

Missett Nelson, President at Jazzercise, talked us through the big and small things the company did to keep the global fitness community moving, including taking a financial loss to offer every Jazzercise member across the globe access to Jazzercise OnDemand at the start of the pandemic.

You’ll also hear some excellent leadership advice, big goals that Jazzercise has for the future of its memberships, and real talk on navigating the needs of franchisees as a franchisor.


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About Jeana Anderson Cohen

Jeana Anderson Cohen is the founder and CEO of a premiere wellness media destination that creates content and community to help womxn live better lives and achieve their goals. Before founding health-focused companies Jeana earned a degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison - and fresh out of college she worked on the '08 Obama campaign in Michigan. From there, she created and executed social media strategies for brands. aSweatLife fuses her experience in building community and her passion for wellness. You can find Jeana leading the team at aSweatLife, trying to join a book club, and walking her dog Maverick.