From the time I was little, I had these grand delusions of being a company CEO – running my own business. Often, I would have these grand ideas, but when it came to monetizing it, things would break down. For example, I have this awesome pen that does X, Y, and Z – but when you crank out the numbers and the pen is $536 you realize it’s dumb and move on to your next idea.
In an earlier blog, I wrote about how I essentially “invented” satellite radio. In fairness, some MIT engineers were probably developing it for 5 years prior to me coming to the scene in 1998 pitching an idea. The big moment I had with that was when the owner of the patent research company mentioned I needed a prototype. For my invention to work, I needed a friggin satellite and working radio to connect to it. So – I’m an ideas guy. I LOVE ideas. But they usually die a slow death there because actually getting it to execute at times…well…not so much. So in my head I’m some trillionaire invent, in reality I’m a schmuck with $7 in his savings account.
But this idea keeps coming back. And while it appears I’m now 42 and “too old for this shit” to start a business from the ground up and walk away from my lucrative job that literally pays all of the bills….I figured this idea I will share out for the world for some Harvard MBA graduate to make money off of.
The business name….NuU (or New You, or New U – you get the idea)
Concept: Total transformation of yourself, utilizing a 5 pronged approach. These 5 prongs are
- Consultation (GOALS) – understand where you are. Get metrics. Weight, height, bloodwork, BMI, everything measurable. Ask about diet. Ask about stress. Activity. Really spend 2-4 hours with someone to understand where they are and where they want to get to. THIS is the core of the program.
- Diet (FOOD) – you would meet with a dietician to go over what you eat, where your problems are, and what to change. Optional here would be food prep classes, cooking classes, classes on food storage/handling, classes on nutrition. One big thing I feel is not getting enough attention is essentially how sugar is the devil. Not carbs, per se, but sugar. This may be the main reason the united states is in the shit storm with obesity/heart disease/cancer/diabetes. Those of you from outside the US probably know this, but for us here, it’s the culture we were all raised in and don’t think anything of it. Anyhow – this is where we want to fix the gut flora which can help with the below…
- Stress (LIFE) – This would be run by a psychologist/therapist. Many people need someone to talk to. They need a means of sorting through life stress. They need conversations with humans. This can also be a weight watchers type of group chat. It can also be where activities are brought into a person’s life to work with stress. Hobbies, movies, interests. Where the crossfit community works with team building and weight watchers has their binding community – this part would have individual counseling and group chat/activities.
- Physical (EXERCISE) – I am a member of a kick ass JCC which has a gym, pool, community center feel. I would have a gym similar to this, but what I would also have would be a small café/restaurant with it. How many people come to the gym right from work? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a limited menu with healthy foods for your carb/protein needs? How many people might want a nice recovery shake right away afterwards and perhaps chat with the cutie from the treadmill earlier? My gym would have a ridiculously healthy food service area. I want busy people with LONG commutes to come here for breakfast/lunch/dinner.
- Accountability (RESPONSIBILITY) – I don’t know how much of my life I was basically told I could blame my problems on the failures of others. It’s a sickness. If nothing is ever your fault, and it’s always someone else’s fault, I must be some sort of victim. I was 372 pounds not because I smoked a pack of cigarettes and ate a pizza every day, it MUST be because someone made me feel bad that day. When you live under the auspice that you are not in control, you therefore never are able to OWN the recovery process. YOU must be accountable for your choices, actions. This may also spill over into clients seeking out career counseling, education counseling, etc. I believe when many people want to take control of their lives, the inevitable question can then be – how can I make my life better as a whole? I believe this area would be some sort of life counselor, life coach, motivational speaker. Tony Robbins, if you will.
The 4 items of FOOD, LIFE, STRESS, RESPONSIBILITY all center around a unique goal for the person. So, with 3,000 clients in a given county, you may have a variety of different group classes.
What is of interest here is in the US, obesity is a HUGE problem. But so is anxiety and depression. What many people outside the US don’t realize is our culture of competition does breed greatness. But we also have less time off than any industrialized nation. We are to work 40 hours per week, but in order to get good jobs, many of us drive in our cars over an hour each way. To “get ahead”, the 40 hour work week is a joke, as you are expected to not only work those 40 hours, but maybe another 5-15 to cover for other people or to “go the extra mile” for that 3% raise next year. Additionally, our culture also tells you that you need new cars, big and expensive houses or else you are a failure. So – there are a LOT of people who are overstressed in this country, have anxiety, depression, fatigue.
The county I live in, York County, PA looks like an amusement park on Friday nights at 6PM. The line out the door at every chain restaurant is sickening. The feeding begins. In my county, there is no money. All of the good manufacturing jobs went away 20 years ago. We are left with a population with little money, highly obese, financially stressed, and massive health expenses coming in the form of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc.
How to monetize??
The concept above cannot be paid for by people. There’s literally too much to account for, unless you want to charge people $600 per month who may only make $1200-$2000 per month take home. The solution here…..is insurance companies. But I have zero clue on how to deal with this. Medical billing. Sounds fun.
The concept is this. Over the course of 1-2 years (let’s just say 2 years), my company above could take a person who is in their 30’s or 40’s and have them:
- Drop 100 pounds
- Correct diabetes and eliminate all signs of diabetes
- Reduce their stress, anxiety, and depression
- Improve activity
- Improve overall health of client
- Educate client on nutrition, mental health, obesity, etc.
The cost for this, per year, could be perhaps $7,000-$12,000. If this was approved for a county like York County, it could save the county hundreds of millions of dollars as well over the long haul. Think about the regional impact for a county:
- Overall obesity rates significantly drop
- More usage of parks increases physical activity of population
- Improved nutrition/culinary skills would increase dollars spent at grocery stores and mom/pop restaurants and decrease money spent at chain restaurants
- Improve tax base by less people being on disability, more people being healthy to work, and upward mobility with constituents.
- Improve utilization of education resources which could then also improve the tax base while reducing medical costs of the entire community
So – this business might have to start as a non-profit and be built with grant money from a county/state. It would need:
- A big ass gym capable of serving healthy food and a staff.
- Licensed psychologists
- Corporate program creation, management, research, accounting, HR, and other back office needs
- Life coaches
So – what started off as a cool gym idea for me then went sideways into essentially having one of these centers for each county in the country. These centers might be huge, but would be able to service about 5,000 people. Multiple centers might be needed in higher population counties.
This program, overall, over 10-20 years, could then contribute to fixing a lot of the problems we have in this country now with healthcare costs, disability, welfare, obesity, cancer, etc.
Our “big solution” turns out that it needs to be coordinated by each person, one by one, at the community level.
The costs for this are relatively high per person – but I want you to consider this.
If this program costs $24,000 for 2 years….the alternative is:
- Gastric bypass $25,000-$40,000
- Early diabetes treatments – insulin, surgeries, blood treatment. Perhaps over $1 million per person
- Early cancer problems – perhaps over $1 million per person
- Too many people on disability for obesity related diseases – $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
- Too many people taking medications for conditions that would not exist with this program – $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
- Lower tax base through a less fit nation $$$$$$$$$$
So, if each county maybe let 10,000 people on this program, and it was paid for either through a combination of insurance/grants, then the cost for this per year would be $120,000,000. That looks staggering. However, that’s 10,000 people. If those 10,000 people would NOT go into this program, its possible that the costs to not treat them could be…
FIFTY TO ONE HUNDRED TIMES GREATER.
That, my friends, is a return on investment. And that is how it’s sold to the government and insurance companies. But I also don’t have the 2 years to put in the research, crunch the numbers, etc…because I have a job.
There you go everyone. If any of you DO launch this…please let me know. I want to claim I invented this like the satellite radio 🙂