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Balancing authenticity and professionalism: How Florin built his offline brand

Updated: May 1

Florin built an amazing spin community, keeping his passion, professionalism and, most importantly, authenticity despite all the challenges coming his way.

He shares his learnings, path to success, and how his identity has influenced his brand - born in Romania and trying many different jobs, Florin is a glass-half-full kind of person, learning something at each step of the way.

'What's a memorable moment from your brand-building journey?'

Towards the beginning of my spin-instrocture career, I was teaching a class in Holborn. I didn't have music and the mic didn't work. No music, no mic. I had to take my phone and go around the class holding my phone up and telling people what they had to do. Everyone was shocked but I killed it. It just shows you don't need all the fancy technology.

I can teach a class off the bike with a mic on, with only my phone. I nearly started singing. You know, I'm singing sometimes in my classes. I say 'guys, I'm singing to you. Come on, let's push harder.' And it was the same with this.

I was going around the class with my phone in my hand, telling them 'guys: push ups, presses, push backs'. It was a technical issue and I pray it will not happen again. But for me as an instructor, it's tough when this type of thing happens because you have to be inventive - really think on your feet.

That's how life is - sometimes it puts you in a situation you don't expect. And if you don't know how to react, if you are just book-smart, if you're really stuck in your ways; if you’re taken out of your field you'll be lost. What am I doing? What am I doing?

You have to be flexible. Once, Spotify didn't work. Guess what? YouTube. I didn't know what track comes next. I said, guys, I don't know what track it will be, but I'm listening to the beat. I'm giving you the beat and we go.

You know, inside nobody knew, but outside I was like... Yeah. Everything is okay. You have to, when you are a leader. When you want to be a leader, you have to be a leader. Even in the worst moments, you have to be a leader.

Because people catch vulnerability. And then they will not follow you. The people want somebody strong.

'What’s one thing you wish you had known when you started your journey?'

I suffer too much when people say they don't like me, they don't like my work. I take it very personally.

Even now it hurts me, but not as bad as it used to. Before I used to cry, my whole day was ruined. Now I don't let those things affect me that much. It affects me, I can't be a hypocrite and say 'everything is fine'. No, nobody gets bad feedback and is happy about it. Not really. You will get it, but I learned how to not let it ruin my whole day. For example, you come to me one day and say, Florin, you know, this class was bullshit. I don't like it. Before I would be like 'oh no, Petra said that'; I would be upset the whole day. But not anymore.

When another hundred people around me tell me that was amazing, I still remember the bad feedback, which is not good. I'm working on it.

I've heard big celebrities say that even if thousands and millions of people like them and just one person doesn't, they still keep in mind that one bad opinion. Everyone loves you, but you remember the bad things - they stick out.

And I think I have to work on that.

So don't take things too personally - but it's hard. I think this is one of the hardest things. Especially as a customer service provider.

'A brand, business or person you admire and why?'

I like Ellen Degeneres and Wanda Sykes.

You know what I like? I like people who had a bad experience and turned it around. For example, you remember Ellen Degeneres - when she came out that she's lesbian. They threw her out of the business and then she went through a lot of shit, a very bad life. And then she came back stronger.

That shows that she's a phoenix, you know, that shows how strong she is. So it's kind of like when life gives you lemons - make lemonade.

When somebody kicks you out, makes you feel ashamed because of who you are, which is bad, it's not for the service you provide - it is for who you are, which doesn't influence anything. I don't care about who you sleep with and what you do, as long as you provide me with good service.

She didn't give up. She came back even stronger. And look who she is now. She's one of the biggest celebrities and she helps so many people. She helped millions of people, families, sick people, and animals with money. She loves animals a lot.

And I think that's why I like her - she's in line with nearly all my values.

'Your favourite quote or mantra that keeps you motivated?'

We are too poor to spend money on cheap stuff.

That's what I'm doing in life. And it can apply to everything - it's not just buying things. It's about you, the values. It's quality over quantity.



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