Olubanke Claude-Wilcox is a certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant as well as a certified Personal Trainer. She’s the CEO of Fit and Well Limited- a company that helps people get FIT AND WELL.
What problem does your company solve?
We solve a myriad of problems in the health and beauty industry. In today’s world everyone is incredibly busy. We all work longer hours and our jobs are more sedentary. Our children also spend longer hours in school and are loaded with more and more assignments. Pressure is mounting both on the parents and children in every household. At the same time more and more people are moving into the cities creating pressure on our roads as there is increased traffic and we also live in smaller spaces than before due to the population explosion in small spaces.
What is the result of all this?
We end up buying more processed food rather than cooking it at home. We end up moving less and exercising less due to work pressures and quite frankly there is nowhere to do any exercise because there is not enough space for children (or even adults) to play outside. Traffic also does not help matters. In the end we spend most of our days sitting down, eating badly and stressed out. Statistics show that one in five Nigerians is hypertensive. Our bad eating habits, lack of exercise and stressed out lifestyles has led to rise in non-communicable diseases like high blood pressure, Type II Diabetes, heart disease, cancers, obesity and the like.
Where does your company come in to salvage the situation?
At Fit and Well, we aim to show you that there is a better way. We can help prevent these lifestyle diseases, we can help you manage them and even reverse them in some cases. We do this by teaching healthy eating habits, how to exercise despite your busy lifestyle and smaller space available and generally how to manage stress in your life better.
We provide products and services to help with these as well including meal plans, exercise plans, lipotropic shots, appetite suppressants, fitness videos, etc. In addition we provide nutrition and lifestyle coaching so people do not feel alone on their journey to better health and wellness as having support is a major problem when it comes to compliance.
All these services contribute to the health, wellness and overall beauty of our clients as they feel healthier, stronger, more confident – attributes that help them succeed in every area of their lives.
How did you start your business?
The idea of my business started over 10 years ago as a stay-at-home mom breastfeeding my second child. I found that I was just putting on weight and even my husband and other family members had started threatening me and holding interventions! I, too, did not feel confident wearing certain clothes and I found that I was always tired especially since I also had another toddler to look after. I needed a weight loss solution that was effective and sustainable and that would give me energy. I knew that exercise and eating healthily were the main keys to this, so that is how the journey started. I had a natural thirst for knowledge in this area and I started researching on exercise and healthy eating and I also enrolled in a gym near my house. Once I started getting results, people noticed and started asking me how I did it. I started giving people advice. I also saw that there was a gap in the market for knowledgeable and qualified weight loss specialists. That is when I decided to get certified and start my own company.
What would you say are the top three attributes needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Passion, Skill, Perseverance.
How do you deal with setbacks and challenges?
I do not see “set-backs” as failures but as opportunities to learn and change how I do things.
How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
I do not usually give up. I may hold on for a while and wait for a more favourable time but I do not usually give up.
How many hours do you work a day on average?
As an entrepreneur, one is always working. I go to the office but even when I come back home I may still be working on my laptop. I may also be doing research and further educational courses. A good amount of time is also spent liaising with clients online, which can occur at all hours of the day! I honestly cannot give a definite number of hours.
What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
For me long-term success lies in reinvention. Continuing to find new and better ways to do things can help with long-term success, in my opinion.
What motivates you?
The fact that what I do involves a lot of teaching is a great motivator for me as a lot of people either know the things to do to live a healthy life but have a hard time implementing them or people are implementing the wrong things based on wrong information. Seeing people change their lives through simple things like changing their lifestyles is awesome. I see people who have struggled with weight issues all their lives and through simple changes they keep the weight off. It is really quite fulfilling and I am grateful to God for that.
What is your greatest challenge, and how do you manage it?
Time management is a challenge. As a female entrepreneur, a mother, an employer of labour, etc, there are so many things one is managing at the same time and it can be a challenge managing one’s time with all these challenges. For instance, right now is a very busy time with a lot going on – the school year is starting and you are sorting out the children at school, meetings and issues at school, people are just coming back from holiday and want to lose the weight they gained, talk less of other commitments at work and at home.
The way I manage this is by trying my best to write everything down. When there are so many things going on it is easy to forget some things. I make daily to-do lists and I try my best to achieve most of them each day.
How did you decide on the location for your business?
The location of your business is best when it is close to your customer base. Your customer base can be either close to where your customers live or close to where they work. If the location of your business can also be close to your home then you have a double whammy. Thankfully, I live and work close to my main customer base.
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