Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with David Tao, co-founder and CEO of BarBend, located in New York, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I co-founded BarBend.com, the world's leading and largest independent strength sports and strength training media company. We create content for millions of monthly readers at all experience levels: From hardcore, competitive strength athletes in sports like powerlifting and weightlifting to folks just looking to make strength training a part of a healthy lifestyle!
We're very much "strength nerds" for strength nerds. Our team is passionate about this content, and many of our employees — like myself — have backgrounds in strength training and wellness research. It's easier to create content when you're actually passionate about it! We joke that we write articles and make videos we'd want to see — meaning we're consumers of our own content!
Tell us about yourself
After college, I wrote for several publications, including Fortune.com, Forbes, Slate, and other great outlets. I then transitioned to content in the health & wellness space, and at one point, I also co-owned a gym. I've been passionate about lifting and exercise for a long time. I realized there wasn't a place for someone like me to get great, consistent content online. When I had the opportunity to start something new, I realized it was time to meld my passion with my career.
My best motivator? The many, many messages we get from folks all over the world who have been following us for years! Some have even expressed our company was an important part of making healthier lifestyle changes or inspiring them to try something completely new. There are more of those folks we want to reach!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Definitely — with a stellar team and amazing co-founders, I might add — building BarBend from nothing to where it is today. We're the largest independent company in our space. We've also begun acquiring other properties in the space (like BreakingMuscle.com) to bring under the BarBend banner. Starting from scratch is just about the scariest thing anyone can do. Now we're a real business with a growing team, dozens of contributors around the globe, and much more growth on the horizon.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
You're always on call! This is especially true in content production. News can break at any hour of the day, on any day. Something technical can go awry. You're the last line of defense, which takes some getting used to!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Find a community you're a member of and passionate about. The riches are in the niches!
- Don't be afraid to tackle something others are also addressing. Ask how you can do it differently, better, or in a more accessible manner. It doesn't have to be a brand new idea!
- As soon as you can, surround yourself with specialists.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.