You win or you learn, you never lose.
Growing up in a family of doctors, Jeffrey Lee always wanted to help improve the lives and health of the people around him. In 2019, he founded FitTrack, a health technology company that allows users to track and measure their health easily and accurately. Now his health technology brand is one of the fastest-growing companies in Canada. The growth savvy brand’s revenue is on track to reach $25 million in its first fiscal year and is expected to hit $120 million by the end of 2020, with the help of the business incubator Cubert.
FitTrack started with the idea that the kind of health information people normally could only access by investing money and time with a doctor should actually be readily available in their own homes. Turns out, the idea had been done, but not particularly well. The products that were already available on the market were very inaccurate. FitTrack’s team went through many rounds of research and development until they developed a prototype that was able to provide health data with as close of accuracy as a medical device in a hospital, and one that could be offered at a reasonable price. Once they settled on the design, they decided to test the MVP of the product via paid social channels. In the first month of their operations, they sold 20,000 units and did 2 million dollars in sales. They had a huge backlog of orders. They underestimated themselves and ended up with major supply chain problems. So they got involved with Cubert, a brand incubator that helped them scale their operations. It was a huge turning point for FitTrack, one that helped them understand the value of partnerships.
The number one problem FitTrack solves is the inaccuracy of health tracking and measurement technologies found in other products. They offer accurate, accessible, and easy to understand health data. FitTrack’s mission is to build an ecosystem to support the well-being and the health of its users. Their goal is to help people consistently maintain an ongoing, positive and healthy relationship with their bodies.
Jeff’s vision is to not just sell a weight scale that helps their customers lose weight, but also provide customers with an ecosystem that supports their on-going health journey by allowing them to measure and track the metrics that matter most. While FitTrack might not have invented the smart scale, they did create dramatic innovations in order to give more value to their customers. FitTrack provides better accuracy, more information than the vast majority of smart scales, and is much more affordable.
Where did the idea for FitTrack come from?
The idea came to me after I started a training program to gain weight. The only way to get an accurate understanding of my weight (% from muscle or % from fat) was through an x-ray scan in the hospital (a DEXA scan). After I got those first results, I saw the importance of understanding different body composition metrics and going beyond just the number on the traditional scale. And I wanted to share that with as many people as possible.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
There’s a “hack” I use to help me hit the ground running every morning: I always write a to-do list the night before. Time is the most valuable asset in the world, and this helps me save a few hours every morning for more creative work. After some meditation, I’ll get started on my list.
Everything I do throughout the day falls into one of four quadrants: Do, Decide, Delegate, Delete. Depending on the level of urgency or importance of a task, I plan my day accordingly and start chipping away by 8 am. I usually end my day around 10 pm and create the to-do-list for the next day all over again. Then I walk my dog while listening to a podcast and end my night by reading a chapter of a book.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Innovation and bringing ideas to life is the most important part of our business. To make that happen, we create a workplace environment that stimulates and promotes innovative thinking and makes sure our team has the tools that they need to make that happen. A big part of that is encouraging the kind of collaboration that helps everyone learn from each other while giving them the safety net they need to feel safe making mistakes. No idea is ever executed perfectly on the first try, so I guess we bring ideas to life through trial and error, mixed with hard work and perseverance.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I’m so excited about how health-conscious everyone is becoming. We know more about the food on our plates than we ever have before, but we also know more about ourselves and our bodies than we were ever able to before. From DNA testing to smart scales, people are more empowered to make healthy decisions today than at any point in history.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I always create my daily to-do list the night before. That way I have some extra time and get a head start on the following morning to do more creative work.
What advice would you give your younger self?
You win or you learn, you never lose.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Gaining weight can be just as difficult as losing weight. A lot of people roll their eyes when I say that, but FitTrack really began because I was having a hard time gaining weight in a healthy way. Loading up on carbs and eating a lot of sugar can bulk some people up, sure, but if you want to increase your size while maintaining health than it’s just like if you wanted to lose weight without compromising your health. As many people know, that can actually be quite difficult. At the end of the day, I found that the only way I could gain and sustain weight in a healthy way was by tracking my body composition data to see exactly how my nutrition and training affected my body.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Setting goals and writing them down. Properly articulated goals clearly set out your intentions and desires, and shape the things you really want to achieve. By setting a clear goal, it gives you a direction and destination. Which in turn, provides a higher chance of accomplishing that goal.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Leveraging global talent. With the world getting smaller every day, we are no longer limited to hiring talent from our home city. We can now work with the best experts in their respective fields from around the world, and we’re able to grow much faster.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
My first failure came in one of my earlier businesses: Jeffrey Sawyer Watches. We didn’t know what we were doing at that time and we didn’t have a strong team in place to run the business. I remember it being so bad, we were under $200k. It almost put me on the streets. I spend my last $10,000 on hiring a mentor. It didn’t take long for me after that to turn everything around. The biggest takeaway here is to surround yourself with smart people. Whether it be a mentor or a team that has skills you don’t. You must also be receptive to learning from others.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A washing machine that washes clothes, dries them, and folds them all in one go!
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best $100 I recently spent was on a small collection of biographies of other entrepreneurs. I’m a big believer that reading allows you to “borrow” the brain of other people by letting you see through their eyes. Being exposed to different experiences, and seeing reality in new perspectives can rewire your neural pathways and expand your mind. Books are one of the easiest ways to learn from the successes and failures of other individuals.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I have my own daily board in Trello that keeps me productive. It’s organized into four different categories based on how important they are and how urgent the task is. I’m able to plan my day a lot better and get more done by prioritizing what needs to be done myself and what can be delegated based on the importance and the urgency of the task.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“Think Rich and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill
My biggest takeaway from that book is that you are able to shape your own reality with just your thoughts. Every single thing that we see today began as a thought in someone’s mind. To be able to bring those thoughts to life, we also need to be willing to put ourselves in a position where we will do whatever it takes to achieve it. Hill gives the example of Henry Ford and the V12 engine. Ford had it in his mind to create a V12 engine, but at that time all the greatest industrialists and engineers said it was impossible. However, Ford was so determined and he was so dedicated that, eventually, he achieved that goal. What was once impossible is now a reality and it all started in Henry Ford’s mind. FitTrack is like my V12 engine. It took rounds and rounds of prototypes before we had a product that was as accurate as we wanted it to be. Then, when it all almost came crashing down, we had to be willing to explore every option to keep the momentum going.
What is your favorite quote?
“When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.” – Elon Musk
- Everything which is tangible began as a thought. -Thoughts are powerful things that can shape reality IF you have the willpower to make them happen.
- People are more than their weight. Cultivate a positive relationship with your body and you’ll know true happiness in your lifetime.
- There’s never been so much information about our individual health available to us than there is today, use that information wisely.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.