As the man behind iTunes' #1 rated health and fitness podcast in the UK, as well as running a supplements business and a nutrition education and coaching company, Ben Coomber is a busy man. He talks to The Industry Leaders about his journey from obesity to a healthy lifestyle and his hopes for a more regulated industry.
How did you end up sitting where you are today?
So I'm a performance nutritionist (BSc, CISSN), educator, speaker and writer. I first got into the fitness industry because I was obese, suffered from IBS, ADHD, asthma, and eczema, and my journey to becoming fit and healthy was a profound one. It inspired me to move into the fitness industry and inspire others.
What kind of work does your role involve?
I have the UK's #1 rated health and fitness podcast on iTunes 'Ben Coomber Radio' with regular Q&A's and expert interviews. I run The BTN Academy, which is an online nutrition education and coaching company where I educate trainers in the art and science of nutrition. I also own Awesome Supplements, a BS-free brand offering clarity in the confusing world of supplements - all with an AWESOME taste promise.
I employ nine members of staff, so I'm also a manager. Running the businesses keep me very busy, as I'm heading up the brand, it's innovation, and I have a big role in our marketing.
What gets you excited about your industry?
Being able to help people become the most awesome version of themselves. Finding ways to bring the same old messages to people, but in an interesting and innovative way. I also like that it is a high-growth industry and full of opportunity.
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?
It was from my mum: "Follow your passions, that's all you can do, and it will fuel you".
What, or who inspires you?
Arnold Schwarzenegger. He sculpted his body, never gave up, did what he wanted when he wanted and made a career from his body in multiple disciplines. Then he became a movie star and went into politics! He just set no limits or boundaries, which is truly inspiring. His autobiography is class, by the way.
How do you keep up to speed with what's happening in your industry?
By reading a few key industry emails and magazines, having my team keep their finger on the pulse of what's being said on social media, and just keeping my intuition tuned into what the vibe is. If you listen, you'll see all you need to.
What was the most challenging project or situation you've overcome?
I tackle any problem head-on, always have since I left school. So many people get held back by others; with what they think they can't achieve - screw all that! I am a master of my own destiny, so I get my head down and know that anything really can be done.
I think the hardest thing for me was the weight loss. It wasn't simple, and there were many knock backs, but luckily, it was just a case of education. My mindset was there to achieve it; I simply no longer wanted to be the fat guy. I was following the wrong and advice and info, then when I kept searching for better answers, I struck gold, lost 5.5 stone in 6 months, and now the rest is history, here we are today.
Second to that would be nearly facing bankruptcy in 2017 and having to fight my way back and push on to the next level. That was a seriously tough year!
You finish work today and step outside the office to find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?
Buy a plot of land and spend a year building my dream home. Invest around 6 million in assets, so I was financially free. Give some to my family, so they age comfortably, and invest the rest in fun, purpose-driven businesses to have a big impact on the world. Oh, maybe I'd buy a really fast car too - I'm a bit of a petrol head!
How do you switch off after a day at work?
I love to read, walk my dog with my daughter Ivy in the great outdoors, watch a film, grab a beer with friends, go on a long bike ride, lift some weights, or eat a big roast dinner!
If you had one wish for the future of your industry, what would it be?
To regulate who can and can't give nutrition advice - there are too many influencers out there giving bad, damaging advice.
What book or podcast should everyone know about?
Can I say mine? Ben Coomber Radio.
How should people connect with you?
Easy peasy, I'm 'Ben Coomber' ALL over the internet (thank god for no-one as cool with the same name, eh?). I've probably produced enough free content and knowledge to keep someone busy for a good year, so get stuck in people:
https://link.chtbl.com/lmgJEtgi - Ben Coomber Radio Podcast
@bencoomber - Twitter & Instagram
Ben Coomber - Facebook
Bencoomber.com - Website
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