Founder and CEO Taylor Ellis Morrison has created an online support system

Photo by Nastasia Mora

In our monthly profile series Meet the Trailblazers, Fitbit seeks to increase diversity in the world of wellness and fitness by featuring the voices of POC trailblazers leading these industries—industries that have long disrespected voices like theirs.

This month, we’re highlighting the incredible work of Taylor Ellis Morrison, founder and CEO of Inner Workout, an online platform that provides resources to help its users restore self-care in a way that doesn’t encourage burnout. We are excited to share our inspiring conversation with him.

Taylor Ellis Morrison is no stranger to burnout. In fact, it was her own experience with burnout that led her to decide to invest more time in the meaningful practice of self-care—which eventually became her life’s work. With a wealth of experience in organizational culture and strategy for both startups and large companies, in addition to being a speaker and facilitator at Fortune 500 companies (including Google), Taylor then found himself moving toward a new kind of entrepreneur.

He always valued personal development. “Learning and growing is second nature to me,” she says. “And, as they say, any power overused can be a weakness. That was certainly the case with me.” She was working full-time, running a side hustle, and planning her wedding in addition to just trying to enjoy her 20s. Not surprisingly, Taylor was constantly battling burnout. She knew her approach to self-care wasn’t serving her.

That’s when the idea for Inner Workout came to her—on a yoga mat, no less. After that happened, she went on to attend a yoga teacher training program, which helped inspire her to create Inner Workout as, in Taylor’s own words, a “self-care support system.” In its current iteration, the system helps people “create a personal approach to self-care and personal development that doesn’t burn them out,” he adds. Read on to learn more about Taylor’s work.

In addition, Inner Workout Tech Care offers self-assessment profiles, a monthly membership, and even a card deck that offers prompts and affirmations for those looking to integrate more self-care into their daily lives.

FITBIT: What attracted you to this job? Can you share more about the evolution of Inner Workout and its self-care support system today?

TEM: The company began with high hopes of becoming the Zumba of self-care, with a proprietary practice that blends movement, breathing, journaling and meditation. However, the pandemic changed our plans. Almost overnight, people needed self-care more than ever, and we realized that an indoor workout routine wasn’t the best way to meet the needs of the moment.

So we launched the Take Care Assessment just weeks before the pandemic to help people measure their well-being across five dimensions and offer personalized self-care practices based on the results. The Take Care assessment is actually the basis of my book, also called Inner Workout, which the Chronicle will publish next year. Today, we are committed to creating opportunities for self-care actually Make it happen – instead of pushing it to the bottom of your to-do list.

We do this through free offerings, such as our Self-Care Sunday newsletter and Inner Warmup podcast, both of which feature reflective prompts. We do this through products like Group Chat, our monthly community membership that features live monthly events as well as an online community. One such event is Inner Coworking, a space to do that self-care thing you want to do. And we conduct skill-building workshops and courses for individuals and organizations.

FITBIT: With so much on your plate, how do you prioritize self-care in your life?

TEM: I am constantly checking in with myself to see what I need in the moment. Sometimes you have to walk by the lake. Other times that sit with an emotion I’ve ignored. By making self-care a conversation instead of a chore, I can infuse my day with care.

FITBIT: Is there a fitness or self-care trend you’re excited to see become more popular?

TEM: I loved seeing people talk about their “Stupid Walk for Stupid Mental Health” and/or their “Hot Girl Walk”. Getting outside can make a difference to your state of mind. I appreciate how the focus is on feeling good instead of moving your body so you look a certain way.

FITBIT: What changes are you currently seeing in the industry that give you hope?

TEM: I see people becoming more inquisitive about the relationship between consumerism and wellness in their own lives. There’s certainly nothing wrong with buying self-care products. I definitely have my favorite! However, I think people are aware that making a purchase doesn’t automatically mean you’ll feel more cared for in your everyday life- despite what companies may try to tell you!

FITBIT: Why, in your view, is it so important for the BIPOC community to have communities like yours to be included in?

TEM: For a long time, the image associated with being good didn’t include people who looked like me. I wanted to create a company where people could see themselves, where they didn’t feel like they needed to be someone else to participate.

FITBIT: Is there anything else you want to share?

TEM: One of the things you can do to develop a more meaningful relationship to self-care is to ask yourself, “What is the best thing I can do for myself right now?” And then do exactly that.

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