Ryan Gleason and Alex Davis are a husband-wife duo dedicated to wellness and lifestyle coaching for couples. After eight years working as corporate engineers internationally, Ryan and Alex left their high-powered jobs to tackle their true passion — leading couples to engineer their best lives together through science and research. The synergy of their engineering minds and seven years of health coaching experience produced Ryan and Alex Duo Life. For more information, visit www.ryanandalex.com.
Where did the idea for Ryan and Alex Duo Life come from?
The idea for our company, Ryan and Alex Duo Life, sprang out of a single question that we were asked time and time again, “How do I get my spouse to work out with me?”
We realized that there was an unmet need in the wellness market to focus on couples. Reaching health goals is challenging enough, but if your partner isn’t on the same page with you, the hurdles can become insurmountable. Therefore, when we left our engineering jobs to pursue wellness full-time, we decided to create a wellness company centered around the unique situations of couples.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
As digital nomads and full-time travelers, we maintain flexibility in our schedule. Generally, though, we wake up without alarms and start our day with personal reading and a coffee. At 9 AM, we exercise at home with resistance bands. By 10 AM, we are sitting at our desks to start the workday.
Our days are filled with a combination of client support, managing our programs, creating new fitness and nutrition challenges, writing our newsletter and articles, and optimizing our online courses. Like a typical start-up, we often work late into the evening, but do our best to unplug before 10 PM.
Ever the engineers, before each workweek on Sunday night, we discuss our week’s goals and track our progress in a comprehensive Evernote shared file. These are all reviewed, big-picture, monthly.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Many of our ideas for our programs and articles start as questions from our clients. These questions range from, “Can I lose weight while drinking alcohol?” to, “Will I lose muscle mass from intermittent fasting?”
As engineers, we dive into the research studies and use ourselves as guinea pigs to test theories before sharing our findings with our community. Understanding the data and science behind health allows us to bring ideas to life optimally.
What’s one trend that excites you?
While typically, we’re not fans of trends in wellness (since they often lead to unscientific, fad diets), we’re excited for more people investing in wearable tracking devices.
Despite studies showing that a wearable such as a FitBit won’t necessarily make you work out more, knowledge is power. Utilize data such as daily steps taken or calories burned to create realistic goals and benchmarks of progress.
In the future, we look forward to more accurate sleep trackers on these wearable devices as well.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
As engineers, keeping track of our data in every aspect has not only kept us productive but, more importantly, makes our work more effective. We maintain comprehensive task lists, statistics, and maps of our business. We also utilize A/B testing and DOE (design of experiments), where we can to make sure that our content and messages most efficiently and effectively support our community.
What advice would you give your younger self?
We would tell our younger selves that you can find success in unconventional ways. Stay true to yourselves and give yourselves a chance, because you never know what could happen.
When we left our corporate jobs, we were giving up security and comfort to embark on the unknown but haven’t regretted a moment. A conventional lifestyle is always available. It’s an unconventional life that is harder to find but most fulfilling.
It might not happen in a year, or even two, but stay the course and create checkpoints for progress to make sure that your business is scaling.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
It’s not hard to quit your job and move abroad. While a bit scary, the steps are simple. You just have to take them!
It’s also possible to travel with a family and kids of any age. Don’t let that deter you.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Ask for opinions and ask for help. Even when starting on your own, you likely have people in your network with experience in areas like business management or marketing. Utilize your network, ask for opinions, and you’ll undoubtedly learn more than if you hadn’t. Make sure that your contacts tell you the truth and will critique you, instead of just cheering you on.
Never be scared or ashamed to ask for help. There’s no stupid question when it comes to growing a business.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Commit to reoccurring deadlines for the components of your business that truly matter. We commit to this with a weekly newsletter and daily posting to our private online community.
As a new business, many areas will need your attention, from building a website to maintaining your social media. Some of these actions move the needle more than others. Therefore, as a fail-safe method to make sure you’re always doing the right things and building up your community, commit to daily, weekly, or monthly actions and stick to them.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Before Ryan and Alex Duo Life, Ryan had a prior health coaching business and clients. We were worried about rebranding as a company focused on serving couples, and if our single clients would no longer want to work with us. On the other hand, we had seen so many marketing videos saying that we needed to define our client “avatar.”
In the end, we decided to move forward with our company’s rebrand to maintain true to our focus. While some on our social media following left, we didn’t lose our main clients and were able to strengthen our message.
To gain more traction with our new brand, we ran Facebook ads but decided that the quality of “friends” we were getting was no match for organic growth from our content.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
New software programs that add text to videos with expanded free-versions for YouTube and Instagram.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Our Instant Pot has genuinely improved our quality of life. We travel full-time but like to settle in a new country for 3-months before moving on. Therefore, we have the opportunity to bring more baggage with us than not. Since we never know what our rental’s kitchen will look like, our Instant Pot acts like our all-in-one kitchen.
We’re such big fans of our Instant Pot that we’ve partnered with a professional chef to write a cookbook for elevated, date night dinners in an Instant Pot, coming late 2020.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
We organize our to-do list tasks in Evernote, which connects across all of our devices. Also, we keep all of our website page maps in Google Sheets in shared files. Finally, we depend upon 1Password to keep our digital passwords safeguarded while accessible on all devices. There’s a lot of comforts knowing that much of our content is saved on sites hosted online, in case our computers and backups crash.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
We recommend Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones by James Clear. While we’ve been fans of James Clear’s newsletter for years, we find his quick stories and simple science compelling and impactful while working on our work and personal habits.
What is your favorite quote?
“I’ve always believed that memories have to burn a little to make an enduring place in your heart.” – Lawrence Wright in his novel, God Save Texas
You’ve got to have some skin in the game and put yourself on the line. This is how we run our business, and honestly, how we travel and live our lives. Chaos and challenge often bring new opportunities for you to surprise yourself.
- Diligently keep track of your data to add clarity to your direction, optimize your opportunities, and keep your work efficient and effective.
- Utilize your network, ask for opinions, and you’ll undoubtedly learn more than if you hadn’t. Never be scared or ashamed to ask for help. There’s no stupid question when it comes to growing a business.
- Commit to reoccurring deadlines that you can’t miss when it comes to the components of your business that truly matter most.
- You’ve got to have some skin in the game and put yourself on the line. Chaos and challenge often bring new opportunities for you to surprise yourself.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.