The Discernable Interviews

Business Innovation Series Episode 1 - Pia Therese

1 Hour 28 Minutes

Today we are going to the gym. My guest Pia Therese is a small business owner in Melbourne, Australia who risked it all and opened a fitness studio called MFW Fitness. Under what is now likely the world’s longest and most severe lockdown, small businesses like MFW have been smashed. And this is despite plenty of evidence that small businesses are not only willing but are capable of opening up in a COVID-Safe way.

Take for example gyms, where we are now learning that they were never a source of COVID transmission, and in fact are better equipped than the government to conduct deep contact tracing because of their detailed and close relationship with their members. This is to say nothing of the fact that COVID-19 is a disease of immunity, like all coronaviruses are, and yet we have seen no messaging from authorities on living a healthy life that encourages a robust immune system.

But It’s not just our bodies we are told to hide inside from this virus, daily messaging from our Premier downplays the incredible and growing mental health harms that result from lockdown rules that increasingly appear arbitrary and not based in science.

I’m hoping this conversation with Pia will give us an insight into what’s really happening with small businesses in Melbourne, and open up a broader conversation on what we all struggle with but don’t admit to anyone – mental health, social media, and the evolving definition of community.

Show Notes:

2:32 -Pia loves control

3:41 – Pia’s fitness journey

6:14 – Managing addiction

8:08 – Losing weight and exercise is uncomfortable

9:02 – Pia’s video on mental health

10:50 – Why we need to exercise

13:30 – Vulnerability and not comparing

15:20 – Women’s only gyms

16:35 – The journey of MFW Fitness

19:05 – Starting a business at the beginning of COVID-19.

23:00 – Commercial landlords in Melbourne during COVID-19

26:38 – Small businesses left behind

27:50 – Dividing society into ‘essential’ and ‘non-essential’

31:40 – Refusing to give up on her business

34:00 – Pia’s mental health realisations

38:22 – How we can unite the Victorian community

42:30 – Protests at the Queen Victoria Markets

45:48 – Puppies

48:50 – Stop exaggerating fears

52:00 – Melbournians love Melbourne

53:50 – Being a leader – staying positive

55:40 – Pia’s voice and managing social media

1:04:50 – Pia’s message of empathy

1:06:50 – Behind the scenes – extra discussion

1:11:15 – New TV Show – Pia interviews Matt

1:13:30 – Who Pia follows for news updates

1:15:45 – Getting Pia’s advice on content creation

1:19:30 – Pia gets angry about the media covering for the government

1:21:30 – Crazy diets – carnivore

1:23:00 – Finding what works for your body

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