My family has always been big into health and fitness for which I am forever thankful. Parents play such an important role in the health and wellness of their kids by setting a good example. After finishing my masters in kinesiology, and working as a personal trainer, I started working in cardiac and pulmonary rehabs as a clinical exercise physiologist. Once I learned that doctors, nurse practitioners, and PA’s could prescribe exercise (not physical therapy) for people suffering from chronic diseases (high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, depression.. etc) payed through insurance and medicare, something just went off in my brain. Doctors and especially Endocrenologist dealing with type 2 diabetes are lecturing their patients all day on exercise and trying to get them to do it. Almost none do sadly. That lecture becomes waisted time for them when they are already crunched for time. I desire to help as many people as possible truly discover the wonders that exercise can bring to their life. I wanted to make that problem go away for them, so that they can simply prescribe exercise. Money and effort goes into drug reps calling Dr’s and reminding them to prescribe X medication because of its benefits with X population, yet no one for the most part is doing that for exercise, despite its panacea of effects. So I decided to give it a try.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
Getting physicians to refer into the program was the hardest initial part. It took bringing lunch to over 16 doctors before I got one of them to finally send a patient. I overcame it by simply being persistent, and learning to accept rejection and keep moving with lots of energy.
What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?
I’m currently reading the Body by Bill Bryson its pretty good. I would recommend “100 tricks to appear smart in meetings” by Sarah Cooper. It is small but it is genuinely hilarious and insightful at the same time.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?
How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
In my case everyone has been incredibly supportive. At the beginning, after about the 13th lunch when no doctors had sent any patients, I did have some people tell me to consider quitting or joining another industry, but it was polite and not very contentious. I think I handled it pretty well and wouldn’t really change too much if I could.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
Trust. In order to get business I have to convince those doctors to trust me completely.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
It is better to stay amicable than to win an argument. Winning arguments feels truly incredible, but the end result can be alienating that person on the other side of the argument from your network. It is always better to have a bigger network than a smaller one.
What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?
Develop some charisma on the phone during your cold calling.
Also do not be afraid to use some comedy material here and there to get people to laugh with your work.
If you can get people to laugh a little bit they can open doors for you at times.