When most people think of Geoff Jowett, bulging muscles and breakfast television appearances come to mind. But there’s also an extremely successful businessman hiding behind those biceps.
The champion bodybuilder started his first business in 1999 as a 23-year-old. Vision Personal Training soon became an Australian success story and Jowett’s profile as a personal trainer and fitness advocate exploded. In 2008 he embarked on a new challenge, founding Bodytrim. The weight management program now rakes in $35 million annually and has a staff of 90 people.
We spoke to the fittest entrepreneur in Australia about his crusade to promote good health and future business plans.
You’ve created several successful businesses. What gave you the entrepreneurial bug?
I love creating. That’s what brings me to life. According to the Wealth Dynamics profiling model I am a “creator” – that’s what brings me to life and when I feel I am in flow. If I am not working on something new I have a tendency to get bored. I guess this makes me a natural entrepreneur. I love creating new businesses and products that benefit people and help them be their best.
I had a love for training so I wanted to give that to others through the creation of vision Personal Training. Then, a few years later, I developed a love and passion for helping people lose weight, so I created BodyTrim.
I love creating things where I get a feeling of contribution, that I am making a difference in the world. I really do like creating things that help people be their best. Taking an idea and turning it into a reality gives me great joy. I get a real buzz out of helping people be their best. That’s why I created Vision and that’s why I created BodyTrim. When I am helping others through what I create, that’s when I am most happy.
What inspired you to start BodyTrim?
Realising that strenuous exercise and gym workouts was not the answer for weight loss. After 10 years as a PT I learnt that was not the best way to help people lose weight so I wanted to create a system to show them how, without strenuous exercise that everyone could afford.
I felt I had knowledge that I had to share that would help millions of people lose weight. That’s why I created BodyTrim
What kind of growth is the business enjoying?
For the first few years we doubled each year in size. Now it is a more steady and stable growth curve as BodyTrim foods begin to grow in Coles and Woolworths. That is a big part of our business now – protein snacks like protein bars and cookies.
There are several weight loss products on the market. What sets BodyTrim apart?
BodyTrim is an educational system that equips people with knowledge. That’s why it has had such massive success – because people are given the tools. In the BodyTrim kit they get 6 DVDs and 2 CDs and a reference guide with over 200 recipes. In other words, all the knowledge they need to lose weight – what to eat, when to eat it and why. That’s what BodyTrim teaches them and why over 300,000 Aussies have turned to BodyTrim now.
What’s the most challenging thing about the weight loss industry?
A lot of people want a quick fix. They ring up wanting a pill or a shake and that’s not the way to lose weight.
So the challenge is educating them enough in my ads that they need BodyTrim and that they need to learn what to eat and why. Because I know that if I can get BodyTrim into a persons hands it can change their life and the lives of those around them.
How do you respond to certain critics who think products like BodyTrim prey on vulnerability of desperate people?
BodyTrim is an education program, it is not a pill or potion. I created BodyTrim based on what I eat and what I had learn over 10+ years as a trainer. It is the best weight loss system on the market – BodyTrim changes lives for real, that’s what I would say!
What’s the best and worst business decision you’ve ever made?
Following my dreams and passion and creating BodyTrim – it has helped so many people, but it was also the hardest time of my life.
Walking away from a successful business to start again was very, very hard. I don’t look at things as worst decisions. I really try to take a lesson out of all the things I do to grow and become better. There is a lesson in everything if you look for it. If you put things in “worst decision” buckets I think you can get really negative really fast.
Are there any entrepreneurs you look up to?
My mate Steve Taylor who created mobile messenger and took to the USA. He saw an opportunity and he took it. He’s a very smart guy who I respect. Plus, anyone who is still in business and passionate about what they do I respect. Business is tough and you need to be resilient.
I love meeting people who have created successful companies – regardless of the industry. Im always keen for a coffee and to hear their stories. I love hearing what they did and how, and what makes them tick. Anyone who is brave enough to chase their dreams I respect.
What advice would you offer to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Be resilient! Ride the winners but be resilient enough to stick out the hard times – and there will be quite a few of those too! Find your passion and what brings you to life!! And go do it. One life one chance! Make it count!
How important is staying fit for the average person person?
Critical to optimal performance and health. You think better, make better decisions and have more energy. To be your best you must look after your health.
What’s next for you?
Being a creator type person it is a question I ask myself often. Right now – working on launching BodyTrim in North America. I always wanted to launch Bodytrim in the USA – and we are getting close – so the my “whats next” goal is looking set to launch in 2013. Game on!