Businesswoman Of The Month – Linda Thomas of Pure Results Bootcamp
After more than 10 years in business and marketing, fitness fanatic Linda moved home from LA earlier this year to join forces with her sister, RTÉ presenter Kathryn Thomas – and it’s been a meaningful experience so far.
What was your first job and how much were you paid?
Ha! Well, my very first job was at the age of 10 helping my grandmother in the garden, I loved it! My grandparents lived next door to us when we were growing up and my grandmother was an incredible woman who taught me a lot. But I guess my real first job was at the age of 16! I worked and managed a clothing store in my home town of Carlow; it was a great starting point and stepping stone into the working world.
How did you find yourself working at Google in California?
I always wanted to work in the US and fell in love with California and LA when I visited years ago. I loved the energy of LA and the lifestyle too. I started out here in Google Dublin with a vision of one day moving to America. I worked hard, networked and looked at the opportunities to transfer to California, and after 18 months I made it happen. It was an incredible work and life experience. To date it’s one of my biggest achievements. Google was an incredible place to work, I learned so much and really enjoyed my five years there.
Does the way Americans work and do business differ significantly from Ireland?
Yes, definitely! Americans are very direct and to the point and they like to get the job done, they always like to have a purpose for a meeting and next steps. It pushes you to challenge yourself and think bigger. The Irish way of doing business is more relaxed and a lot of it is about who you know and relationships.
What made you return to Ireland?
I’d been in the US three years and I started to miss home, family and friends and probably a slower pace of life. I travelled a lot for work with Google and after three years that started to take its toll a bit. I’d achieved quite a lot and got my Green Card, so I felt like the time was right for a change. Myself and Kathryn always wanted to work together and I thought the idea of Pure Results – which she founded – was great. I could see big potential and thought that I could bring a lot of what I’d learned over the past five to ten years, especially from my time at Google, to a start-up like this.
What’s the most important lesson you have learnt so far in your career?
To take risks and believe in yourself. Taking risks makes you grow. My biggest risk ended being my biggest gain and achievements! I had the courage to take the plunge and move to the US at the age of 31 because I knew it would be an incredible experience. I’m not sure if many women at that age would have taken the plunge! I also think it’s really important to change things up every two years to keep yourself challenged and engaged, be it joining a new team, new network, or getting a new mentor or outlet; it keeps things fresh for you.
Why do you think the fitness and bootcamp market has exploded in recent years?
I believe that Ireland is always about five years behind the US in trends and business ideas. A lot of the best business ideas here usually come from something people have seen over there. I think Ireland is now riding the wave of wellness and the wellness industry is growing at 200%. Since moving home in March, I’ve seen such a change from three years ago, everyone is out running and taking care of themselves way more. People are now way more clued in on health and fitness.
In a competitive fitness market, how does Pure Results stand out?
Well, firstly there is nothing like what we offer in the Irish market. We’re an all-inclusive fitness and wellness retreat that goes beyond what people imagine. The programme is about fitness training but also education on nutrition, cooking demos and then, in the evenings, we do a number of wellness seminars such as life-coaching. Our team of experts are incredible and it’s rewarding to watch clients leave with their like-new versions of themselves, full of self-belief and with the kick-start that they need either in their training or overall well-being. The feedback we’ve had has been amazing.
Have you had a mentor over the years?
I’ve had a number of mentors over my career, many of which have been incredible women. Kathryn has been a great mentor and inspiration to me, she’s an unbelievable work ethic and I’m so proud of all she’s achieved in her career. I’ve also had some great mentors in Google through the Women’s Network I was involved in over the years, and I learned a lot from them.
What motivates you?
I’d say a combination of things – being creative, being passionate, seeing the impact you can make on people and a business. With Pure Results, I love the feeling of being involved in something that’s really meaningful, that is doing some good and changing people’s lives, especially coming from the corporate industry where it’s all about driving dollars.
Who are your business role models?
I have many! Kathryn, of course, and I also really admire some of the incredible female leaders in Google, such as Irish VP Lorraine Twohill and all she’s done with the marketing of the Google brand. Also, my old boss Margaret Jeffers, founder of Good Food Ireland, for all her hard work on putting Ireland on the map as a food destination.
Are you able to maintain a work/life balance?
Yes, I would say most definitely – I think the California way of life really rubbed off on me! I’d like to think I’m super productive and pretty organised. I start work early and finish up at a reasonable time so I can work out, catch up with friends or attend an event. I function way better in the morning and am much fresher. I think it’s important not to be a busy fool and really think about what’s the most effective way to use your time and what’s the impact. I guess that’s what I learned in Google and in the US instead of running around in circles.