Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Stavros Mastrogiannis, owner of Live Your Way Thin, located in Danbury, CT, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is all about sustainable weight loss. We work with people who are tired of losing weight only the gain it back, and people who want to lose weight and get in shape but hate watching their diet and exercising.
Tell us about yourself
I have been in the weight loss field for over 29 years, and I specialize in sustainable weight loss. I teach people who are struggling with their weight because they don’t want to give up their favorite foods or spend all their free time in the gym how to lose weight for life, stress-free. The fact is, losing weight and improving your health is a lot easier than most fitness professionals make it.
For one thing, I am not your typical fitness professional. I know there are thousands of weight loss experts out there with all different opinions on weight loss and health. So, what makes my opinion any better than theirs?
Early in my fitness career, I realized I was part of a failing industry. Failing, not because they were not making money, they were making plenty of money. In 1992 the year I got into the weight loss field, in American alone, we spent $30 billion on weight-loss products and services, and our weight as a nation went up that year. Today we are spending over $65 billion per year on weight-loss products and services. Our weight is continuing to go up, and our health is continuing to deteriorate. That is why I call it a failing industry because it does not deliver what it is supposed to be delivering, weight loss and better health.
I don’t think the industry is failing because fitness professionals don’t care. Yes, they are plenty of fitness professionals who are only in it for the money, but most fitness professionals they care, and they want to help. Unfortunately, they have not been able to make any difference because of the way they were taught to approach weight loss and health by their formal education.
The fact that fitness professionals need to realize is that not everything they learned in school about weight loss and health is correct.
So, the big question is, how was I able to come up with a sustainable solution to the weight problem, whereas all my fellow fitness professionals failed? I did get a lot of the same education as other fitness professionals.
You see, most fitness professional today got their education on fitness, health, and nutrition from college, university, and/or professional certification courses. Nothing wrong with formal education obviously, I got plenty myself. The problem with too much formal education is that sometimes it puts your thinking in a box. In other words, it limits your ability to think with an open mind. If what you were taught was not 100% accurate, like in the case of fitness and health, you will have a very hard time finding the answer that you are looking for.
The reason I was able to come up with a sustainable solution to the weight problem is that I was able to think with an open mind. What gave me the ability to think outside the box was my upbringing. You see, unlike most other fitness professionals who just study health and fitness, I lived it first hand. I was raised on a Greek island, where I was submerged in a very healthy culture. When I lived there, thin was the norm. People in the 90s lived productive lives free from most of the diseases that most older adults suffer and die from in the western world today. When I lived in Greece, I thought cancer was a rare disease because never mind, I did not know anyone who had it. I didn’t even know of anyone who knew anyone who had cancer.
My upbringing caused me to question many of the things I learned in school about proper nutrition and health because they contradicted the way we lived and ate in Greece, and that kept my mind open to other possibilities. The one thing I realized early on is that just because something is taught in a University or a college, or because the person who said it had a Ph.D., it does not necessarily make it right.
So basically, my upbringing caused me to question many of the things I learned in school and gave me the ability to think outside the box, which led me to the sustainable weight loss solution I teach to my clients today.
Another thing I want you to know about me, which helped me better understand people who want to lose weight and improve their health, but don’t particularly love fitness, is that I am not a fitness nut. I didn’t get into the fitness industry because I loved fitness and exercising. The reason I got into the fitness industry is because I hated exercising, and I loved my junk food, but the fitness professionals and all the fitness books I read to try to get in shape were no help. I felt that they did not understand people like me who don’t love to exercise and don’t love to count calories or watch everything they eat.
Realizing that most people were like me, I saw a real need for a fitness professional who truly understands real people who don’t live to exercise or diet, but they want to exercise and eat right so they can live a long and healthy life.
Today, although I still don’t love exercising, it’s a habitual behavior that I do without much thought. I don’t spend any time thinking about my diet either because I have made healthy eating a habitual behavior. It’s like my fitness program is on autopilot, and today, I teach my clients how to put their fitness and weight loss program on autopilot through the services I offer at my facility and my online services.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
The creation of my Live Your Way Thin System. An unconventional approach to weight loss that helps people lose weight for life by reconnecting them to 5 ancient habits that most modern societies have forgotten. When it comes to sustainable weight loss, I don't think there is another weight loss approach out there that is more effective.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Having to focus on ten things at once. Running the business and try to help my clients achieve their fitness goals.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Make sure there is a need out there for what you are selling and answer this questions: "Why would somebody come to you instead of somebody else that is selling whatever you are selling?"
- Have a written plan of how you want your business to run.
- Most importantly, have a marketing plan. How are you planning to get the word out? (I did not have a marking plan when I first opened my personal training business. I thought I opened my doors, and people would come. I had to learn the hard way. Don't make the same mistake I made.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
The reason most weight loss programs fail to help people lose weight and keep it off is because they only give people half of the solution. You see, to lose weight and keep it off, it is not enough to know what healthy behaviors you need to engage in to lose weight and improve your health. That is only half of the solution. The other half is knowing how to apply those healthy behaviors into your life without burning yourself out. That is the half that most weight loss and fitness programs are missing, and that is why most people are not able to maintain the results.
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 email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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