For nearly a decade, [solidcore] has become one of the nation’s leading boutique fitness studios with 100 locations.

In April 2021, the company’s founder, Anne Mahlum, promoted Bryan Myers to CEO, according to a press release.

It was a full-circle moment since the 35-year-old started as a client and transitioned into becoming [solidcore]’s president and CEO within just a few years.

While Myers’ promotion was a big win, he came in at a time when the company was facing trials and tribulations. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the fitness industry was taking a hit at the time.

Myers had to lay off 98% of staff as well as take a 70% pay cut, he shared with AfroTech. Although the tough time had him debating throwing in the towel, showing up for his team and community is what pushed him onward.

“There were days during the pandemic as we navigated mask mandates, capacity restrictions, closings, reopenings that I wanted to give up truthfully, but there was that responsibility to that teammate who was looking to you and saying, ‘Hey, Bryan, I really want to come back to this company. I really want to be able to take care of my family,'” Myers told us during an episode of our social-first series “AfroTech Transparency.”

The CEO continued, “That responsibility, that sense of purpose is actually what drove me to wake up every morning and continue to trudge on and take every hit to get up that tenth time after getting knocked down nine times before. And, ultimately it’s what allowed us to get through really difficult times.”

While [solidcore] is thriving on the business end, it’s also striving to promote inclusivity in the fitness landscape.

“As we think about diversity, equity, and inclusion at [solidcore], it really is with the idea of how do we continue to make fitness and this workout accessible to as many people as possible? Knowing that when individuals walk into a new workout class, what they want to see and experience is a community that looks, feels and represents who they are as individuals.”

“We want to make sure that when someone walks in, they feel that sense of hominess, connection, and identity that makes them feel comfortable and allows them to stay and ultimately get the amazing results that come with doing this workout consistently,” he added.

While running things as a CEO, he is still adamant on taking [solidcore] classes himself and coaching a few. Business aside, Myers ensures he keeps his authenticity at the core of what he does.

I don’t try to live a different life at work than I do at home,” he said. “You can go on my Instagram and you can see me lip syncing to Beyoncé. You can see me doing [solidcore] moves in wigs because that’s who I am. And my authenticity allows me to show up fully as myself, which brings all of the best parts of me to work.”

He continued, “It makes me a better, more adaptable, relatable leader but importantly, it also opens up a creative part of my mind that allows me to bring my best problem-solving to the table and lead a really successful company. When my team sees me being my authentic self, I hope that it inspires them to be theirs and lets them know that there are no limits on what you can be or who you can be even while living an authentic life.”