Matt Shade, Fit Living
‘We automate and optimize sales & marketing to help startups to midsize companies intelligently grow. This is typically focused on implementing and connecting lead tracking, CRM, email automation and social media automation as well as building reports, dashboards and staff training”.
When and how did the initial idea of creating your own company come about?
I have always been active. Always a member of a gym. I have a personal training background, I lifted weights, I always ate well and considered myself very fit and in shape. Until one day when I climbed a flight of stairs and found myself out of breath at the top, I realize that fitness was much more than I had thought.
We started in 2009 as a personal training company. Everything was powered off the trademark and philosophy of fitness with a goal. So, set a goal to achieve and the byproducts of the journey to the goal and achieving the goal include better physical and psychological health. Once you set a goal you surround yourself with the lifestyle and form friendship with others who share the same lifestyle. This flourished into a group and then sport specific training.
We started out as a group for moms, dads and working professionals training for races ranging from 5K’s to Iron Mans. Three years ago we branched into corporate wellness which has been very successful.
What was the most important thing you have learned?
You have to stay relevant and keep up with the times. If we had not gone mobile we would be dinosaurs by now.
Tell us why you particularly wanted to get involved with and pitch to the Venture Club.
I really wanted the opportunity to pitch. It presents a very challenging and environment that every entrepreneur needs to experience. 60 seconds is a short amount of time. We made it to the final round of the Innovation Showcase and won the Stage Two community award which was great exposure for us.
The experience of having the booth and being able to network was also very beneficial. The whole experience helped us to dial in our pitches based on the audience, you have to quickly be able to tailor your story based on who is listening.
What has surprised you the most about your entrepreneurial journey?
The challenge of keeping priorities in life. I would work 48 hours in a day, but I can’t so I need to prioritize. It has always been faith, family, friends and fun. It helps to keep my energy up, and it brings stability to the highs and lows. Helps energy.
What was the most significant piece of feedback or advice you received from the Venture Club?
Keep those closest around you as close as possible, do not underestimate what they can bring to the table. Leverage personal contacts and create this small core, don’t try and grow overnight. Then leverage your community, which will in turn grow with you.
What advice would you give to others who are considering pitching to the Venture Club?
Take advantage of the opportunity, there is so much to learn ad so many who are very willing to help.
Be very prepared for the one minute pitch, however many times you think it will take you to perfect it, multiply that by 5. You have to execute it perfectly.
You are so passionate about your venture, and you want to talk about every single aspect of it, but you have to focus on the key points and get them hooked as quickly as possible.