How Surviving Cancer Made This Entrepreneur A Better Leader

Amy Jordan left her career in entertainment to pursue her passion for pilates. With zero collateral to her name, she paid for the reformers on a credit card and by the time she opened her second studio in 2009, she had only $217 left in her bank account. Those two studios grew to thousands of clients and dozens of employees within a year. However, Jordan realized that a traditional reformer was missing essential elements such as the Wunda Chair, jump board and ballet bar and the studios lacked the floor space for all of those apparatuses. Jordan knew she had to find her own solution for a reformer that did it all. 

“I knew I wanted to create a swiss army knife from a Pilates machine. I first sketched the original design of the patented WundaFormer in 2010 while on a plane. I spent all of  2011 prototyping, testing, and refining the WundaFormer and the following year we opened our flagship WundaBar Pilates studio in Studio City, CA with the first set of WundaFormers,” explained Jordan. “For the first time ever, the WundaFormer combines the Reformer, Wunda Chair, Ballet Bar and Jump Board into one incredible, patented machine. Our devotees leave class dripping in sweat and shaking from the inside out, every time! WundaBar Pilates is the exclusive home of the WundaFormer. In 2013, I was granted a Utility Patent for the WundaFormer by the US Patent + Trademark Office. My patent includes 16 patent claims which is cool because only 5% of all Utility patents in the US are granted to women.”

Fast forward to 2020, Jordan had built a multimillion-dollar business with over 10 WundaBar studios. Serendipitously, Jordan had launched their digital platform, WundaBar On Demand, on March 12, 2020,  a week before all studios were forced to close. Jordan had spent two years developing the on-demand streaming to cater to WundaLovers across the globe. “We leveraged our streaming library to support our clients with movement while they were locked indoors. We also used this opportunity to connect with clients via our live-streaming classes taught by our amazing educators from both coasts. The best part about teaching live was that it gave me the opportunity to interact with so many clients I wasn’t seeing in person regularly and build a new type of community online,” she shared. “ We have subscribers nationwide – and globally too with WundaLovers in Europe, South America, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and more. Getting messages and seeing them online with us brings me great joy to share movement and healing even when we couldn’t do it in the studio. I still teach Live classes from my living room because the connection to dozens of locations at once and building that community is too good to stop.”

But it wasn’t until June of 2020, that Jordan’s life completely changed when she was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cervical cancer. Jordan had felt “off” but assigned that to the stress of her businesses being forced to close, losing social connection and homeschooling two small children. But in fact she had been suffering from cancer. While surviving the pandemic and cancer seems unrecoverable, Jordan was able to find the positives of that time and it made her a better entrepreneur and leader. 

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“Entrepreneurship requires laser beam focus and hard work. Battling cancer requires laser beam focus and hard work. Leadership requires grace to fall down, reset and keep going. It also requires optimism, drive and reliance on trusted people around you. Battling cancer requires the same,” she shared. “I’m often asked, “how on earth did you survive cancer, homeschooling, and your businesses being shut down at the same time?” I don’t know that I can say for sure but skills like focus, optimism, and grace were critical. The tribe around me was essential. And as hideous of a journey as it was, it’s given me an incredible gift of perspective. Everything now goes through a filter in my mind – is this worthy of me? of my time? of my energy? Does this help others? heal others? bring joy? If it doesn’t pass those questions I simply set it aside and focus on what brings help, healing and joy. I’m profoundly grateful to be cancer-free and will not squander the gift of life I am enjoying with my beautiful children and this incredible work I get to do.”

That gift of perspective has led Jordan to tap into the Wunda community even more as she continues to expand into more studio locations and digital streaming workouts. Wunda will also be launching WundaCore an at-home or in-studio prop to help engage the core even more in the Summer of 2022.

The Tycoon Herald