It’s a new year, which means it’s time to make new promises to ourselves. We’ll promise to wake up early to get to the gym. We’ll promise to make peace with quinoa. We’ll be diligent—for a while. And then, many of us will start to slip. Why? Well, because we’d rather sleep than work out. And because cheese is so much better than quinoa.
What if a fitness program could not only change your body, but also your mental patterns, attitudes, and behaviors? Fitlandia promises to do just that. Founder Christa King tells us more.
What was the spark that inspired the birth of your concept?
From a very personal perspective, I had struggled with my weight my entire life. Through the process of transitioning out of my corporate career and becoming a certified hypnotherapist, I started to understand that the core problem with the diet industry is that we aren’t addressing the mind first. I then started a nutritional therapy program and had my aha! moment when I realized I could end the concept of dieting as we know it by bringing the mind, nutrition, and exercise together on one platform.
A change of lifestyle shouldn’t require deprivation. Right now, 108 million people are on a diet in the U.S., and only one-third of them are projected to reach and maintain their goal. That’s a depressing statistic, but from an entrepreneurial standpoint, that’s really exciting because there’s an opportunity to affect so many lives.
How do you differentiate from your competition?
I’m targeting Weight Watchers as my top competitor. They have the greatest piece of the pie in the diet industry. While they are beginning to grow their online platform, Fitlandia is 100 percent online. But the key differentiator is the mind shift as our focus. Not only are we bringing in a core community connection piece, we’re enabling people to access their subconscious minds to help them make thought pattern shifts. When you do everything on a conscious level, you are like a salmon swimming upstream to reach its goal. But when you can access your subconscious mind, it’s akin to getting a salmon to reach its goal by turning around and swimming with the current, making change much easier than in previous attempts.
What’s the best thing about being an entrepreneur?
I don’t do well with the corporate politics. I’m too honest for that. The best thing is that I get to be my authentic self.
What has been the biggest surprise in your entrepreneurial experience to date?
How many mistakes I need to make to get one thing to work. I have probably burned through $3,000 in marketing support that got me nowhere. I’ve learned that even if you’re weak in an area, like marketing, you better figure out enough to vet people, both for their level of expertise and how well their expertise can serve your own unique brand. Referrals aren’t enough. Test with small projects then work your way up together for larger ones.
As an entrepreneur, what keeps you up at night?
I am excited for a Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Technology Officer to come on as co-founders. Something many entrepreneurs struggle with is finding the right founding team. I’m super ambitious on my own, but I know how much further (and faster) this could go if I had my team to count on.
What is the best entrepreneurial advice you have received (and from whom)?
One of my main takeaways from your What’s Your Wilson Summit, which saves me every time I get frustrated or throw my hands up in the air, is to ask yourself, why are you doing this? Always remind yourself of your mission and purpose.
Also, there are practical things you can do when you start going into panic mode. I’m part of a group of entrepreneurs that meets weekly, and we often get overwhelmed because we all have 100 things to do that were due yesterday. I taught them the exercise of putting your hands behind your head and taking deep belly breaths. What that does is release serotonin up into your brain. It instantly relieves anxiety and stress.
Imagine your venture becomes wildly successful. What does that look like?
Fitlandia would be the go-to fitness brand that everyone would know. Just like Nike, Weight Watchers, Under Armor, FitBit—we’d be a household brand. The hub of fitness.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
As a child I used to play “boss” with my cousins. Guess who was boss? When I look back on that, I realize I knew I needed to be captain of my own ship—it just took me 22 years of maturing to be able to embrace that. And enough confidence—the confidence you need to become an entrepreneur is insane. I’m 43, and I came from a generation of staying with a stable company for a long time and climbing the ladder. Though the universe has forced me into a lot of challenging situations in the last five years, those challenges made me realize this is what I’m meant to be doing.
What’s on the horizon?
I’m so excited for launch on January 12th! In the meantime, the site is up and running. I’d love for folks to check it out at fitlandiafitness.com.