How did you get into the industry?
After finishing my career as a biology teacher, I decided to take a break and travel the world. I ended up in New Zealand where I began helping a friend with his diet and fitness blogs back in 2008. Given my professional interest in science and my personal interest in fitness and health, it was a perfect fit and this has allowed me to be able to redirect my love for education by being able to teach people how to live their healthiest lives.
Any emerging industry trends?
I’ve seen, written about, and even tried many dieting methods over the years and I’ve seen a lot of trends come and go. The new trend I’ve seen recently and began focusing my energies on is eating in a way that’s free from restrictive eating. People are tired of feeling guilty for enjoying a piece of cake or being obsessed with not eating carbs. They want something that allows them to enjoy all foods but in a way that will still allow them to reach their diet and fitness goals. This is in a nutshell the concept of Flexible Dieting. Yes, eating healthily is important but a cupcake or some bacon isn’t going to hurt your health or fitness goals if the food is eaten in moderation and in relation to the energy your body requires on a given day.
Any industry opportunities or challenges?
The biggest challenge with a flexible way of eating is trying to overcome the negative connotation some dieticians and health zealots have expressed with the concept. They somehow believe that flexible dieting allows people to live off of Pop Tarts and Twinkies and disregards the micro-nutrition of food. While flexible dieters are only required to track carbs, fats, and proteins, there is a large amount of emphasis on making sure 85% of one’s diet is composed of micronutrient-dense, whole foods and adequate fiber. You can have a piece of cake and still be healthy but flexible dieting doesn’t advocate eating nothing but cake as some have been lead to believe.
Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?
My personal inspiration for publishing books and internet content about flexible dieting is the freedom that this method of eating has brought me personally. I have been on my share of dieting bandwagons over the years such as avoiding all sugar, eating low carb, and even being vegetarian. But, I still was unable to reach my diet and fitness goals despite “clean eating”. Years ago I discovered flexible dieting and it set me free from restrictive eating and I was finally able to reach my diet and fitness goals. This inspired me to write about the concept in order to help other people who were trapped in restrictive eating patterns and feeling frustrated about eating clean but not getting results.
What's next for the Business in the near future?
At Healthy Eater we are constantly developing new products and free resources to help people eat healthily but in a nonrestrictive way. I’m currently working on a macro meal book that will help people more easily be able to plan out their daily eating by offering over 100 quick meal options with easy to follow recipes.
Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?
One of the most successful aspects of our business has been offering personal coaching along with our Flexible Dieting Solution program. Some people are much more successful when they have personal guidance and accountability when starting a new method of eating. I enjoy being an active part of a person’s journey with our program. Beyond that, we are always assessing the needs of people visiting our website and then trying to make sure those needs are being met in the best way possible. We try to keep things visitor focused instead of just trying to make more money.
Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)
I think the most difficult moment of our business was when after over a year of writing a lot of articles and developing resources we still weren’t getting many visitors. We had to make a decision to persevere or to give up. Luckily, we made the right decision and persevered through what was a time that was a lot of work without much in return. We learned that success doesn’t usually happen overnight but it’s a long process of making good decisions, being patient, and not giving up.
Ideal experience for a customer/client?
I think that our clients benefit most from the personal help they receive. When a person emails or asks for help, we respond to them in a timely manner and do our best to address their concerns until they are satisfied. People are more than just a sales goal or a number. Instead they are seen as someone we are helping to live their most healthy life possible and this is considered a huge responsibility on our part.
How do you motivate others?
I think it’s foremost important to recognize and compliment the great things everyone on the team is doing. Acknowledging one’s hard work is a big motivator. We all want to feel valued and that what we are doing is recognized and appreciated. The same goes for our clients as well. We always encourage by pointing out what they are doing well opposed to just telling them how to improve.
Career advice to those in your industry?
I think the best advice that I can give others is to always let helping others be your primary motivation. As soon as the primary focus shifts to “making money” or “making a name for yourself” your business won’t survive. People want to be valued and if your customers feel like they are just a number, it won’t take long for you to start having fewer customers. Success happens after being diligent in helping your clients succeed.