March is Women’s History Month and we recently celebrated National Women’s Day in the United States. The Daily Guide has talked to a few local women leaders to learn about what makes them successful. Alfreda Montgomery Dupont is one of those leaders.
“Take the ordinary, add a little extra of you, and make it extraordinary,” Dupont said.
Alfreda Montgomery Dupont has served on the Waynesville City Council, has volunteered in the community and now runs her own business.
Dupont shared with the Daily Guide her journey to own her business and her views on what it takes to become a successful leader.
“Being a successful leader means initially being a successful team member. Once you’ve mastered that then strive to be a leader and don’t forget what it feels like to be a team player. Never stop learning or looking for opportunities to learn and grow. Always, look for someone better than you to help make you better.”
Dupont started taking group fitness classes back in the 90’s and said she fell in love with the sport. She continued to take classes wherever they were stationed.
After arriving at Fort Leonard Wood, she began taking classes on post and according to Dupont “grew a desire to become a Fitness Instructor. “
She reached that goal in 2003.
Dupont told the Daily Guide, “I continued teaching and learning new fitness programs until I realized I wanted to start a fitness center where I could pass down my knowledge to other instructors and watch them grow. I feel I have come full circle where I once was the student, then the instructor, and now a business owner with the ability to provide others the same opportunity.”
Owning her own fitness business was “an inner desire that was just a glimmer in my heart. Seeing other successful female business owners like Johna Walker helped ignite that fire in me and allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and reach for the stars.”
Dupont added, that her husband and sons were thrilled with the idea and have given her an enormous amount of support and encouragement.
Dupont told the Daily Guide a difficult challenge in being a woman in a leadership role is often, because you are a woman, you are not expected to have business savvy.
“As women we often have to prove ourselves over and over. That is just one more thing that keeps me striving for success.”
Dupont attributes her success to the men and women who’ve worked hard and helped to develop their skills to become a good instructors.
She told the Daily Guide that “without them on my team the business would be over. My heroes are those who walk in that gym and leave it all on the floor and then come back for more.”
Nothing is more rewarding for Dupont than stepping in front of a class and watching people push past their comfort zone to reach their fitness goal.
Dupont has accomplished much. Her advice to young girls and women is:
First, keep dreaming until it’s a reality!
Second, when you’re following your dreams and you reach an impasse, don't quit, find a detour and keep moving forward.
Lastly, age “ain’t” nothing but a number.
Dupont’s future plans include developing instructors, who will become the center of the business and draw students from all over Pulaski County, and helping people (through her fitness business) to become aware of the importance of living a healthy life which includes proper eating and exercising.
She told the Daily Guide that “the business is growing beyond my expectations and I believe in the coming year we’re going to explode in the Waynesville/St. Robert/Fort Leonard Wood Community.”
Alfreda Montgomery Dupont has “Taken the ordinary, added a little extra of herself” and made her fitness business extraordinary.