Betts Fit Co-Founder and COO, Danielle Rees
As a Co-Founder of multiple women owned companies, did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
I grew up in Silicon Valley as the daughter of a tech entrepreneur and a Pan Am flight attendant. When I was in high school Pan Am went bankrupt and my dad sold his startup to the company that had acquired Enron. After the Enron scandal I believed that corporations were evil and pursued a career in the nonprofit sector. At Planned Parenthood and Girls on the Run I led programs supporting girls and women for 15 years before co-founding my first company, Coalition Snow.
What lessons have you learned in sports and how have they helped you achieve your professional goals?
🏔️ Mountain biking and skiing has prepared me to be an entrepreneur- to trust my intuition, to choose partners I trust, and embrace uncertainty in pursuit of my goals and dreams.
What was the gift you received from your most significant challenge as an athlete?
🏐 As a varsity athlete on the water polo team at Stanford, I learned to persist through injury and illness and to recognize the signs of burnout. I experienced the grief of loss when doing what you love no longer brings you joy. The gift is listening when the universe is telling you it is time to move on.
What did you learn about yourself when you’ve faced your fears or embraced self doubt?
😟 When I'm scared at the top of a steep and technical line I take a few breaths to ground myself. I thank fear for showing up to protect me instead of shoving her away. I have learned to trust myself. On the days I have the confidence to crush it, I go for it. When I’m not feeling it, I don’t beat myself up for walking a line on my bike or side slipping on my skis.
What do you do to ground yourself? Describe your daily practices.
🌲Nature and physical activity ground me- when I am fully present in my body and focused on my breath. In addition to getting out in the mountains, I practice yoga, pilates, and have a daily meditation practice.
Who inspires you? What do you admire most about your role models?
⚽ I’m inspired by the US women’s national soccer team and their fight for pay equity. I admire Rapinoe and the founders of Sweat cosmetics as female athletes turned entrepreneurs.
Follow Danielle @daniellearees on Instagram