Digital Bootcamp Asia Podcast

Why Value Creation is the Foundation of Business: Building a Fitness Community is the Key with Alex Garcia, Founder of Wellness Republic

August 14, 2020 Natasha Fang Season 1 Episode 6
Digital Bootcamp Asia Podcast
Why Value Creation is the Foundation of Business: Building a Fitness Community is the Key with Alex Garcia, Founder of Wellness Republic
Chapters
Digital Bootcamp Asia Podcast
Why Value Creation is the Foundation of Business: Building a Fitness Community is the Key with Alex Garcia, Founder of Wellness Republic
Aug 14, 2020 Season 1 Episode 6
Natasha Fang

Alex Garcia has over a decade of experience in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition Science. He's a former Economist and MBA graduate and he holds a Master's degree in Nutrition & DieteticS and Coaching & Sports Psychology. He's a Certified Nutrition Coach, Weight Loss Management Specialist, ACE Certified Trainer, Certified Sleep Science Coach, and Founder of Afit And Wellness Republic.

Contact Alex Garcia on LinkedIn.

This show is powered by Digital Bootcamp Asia, sponsored by Tolmao Group. Natasha Fang is the Founder and CEO of Tolmao Group, a leading integrated marketing agency headquartered in Shanghai City, China. Recognized for original content, persuasive digital marketing strategies, interactive website designs, and influential event marketing campaigns, she has worked with a variety of clients. Connect with Natasha Fang on LinkedIn.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DigitalBootcampAsia
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/dbasia
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/digitalbootcampasia
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DB_Asia

Show Notes Transcript

Alex Garcia has over a decade of experience in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition Science. He's a former Economist and MBA graduate and he holds a Master's degree in Nutrition & DieteticS and Coaching & Sports Psychology. He's a Certified Nutrition Coach, Weight Loss Management Specialist, ACE Certified Trainer, Certified Sleep Science Coach, and Founder of Afit And Wellness Republic.

Contact Alex Garcia on LinkedIn.

This show is powered by Digital Bootcamp Asia, sponsored by Tolmao Group. Natasha Fang is the Founder and CEO of Tolmao Group, a leading integrated marketing agency headquartered in Shanghai City, China. Recognized for original content, persuasive digital marketing strategies, interactive website designs, and influential event marketing campaigns, she has worked with a variety of clients. Connect with Natasha Fang on LinkedIn.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DigitalBootcampAsia
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/dbasia
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/digitalbootcampasia
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DB_Asia

Natasha Fang :

You're listening to Digital Bootcamp Asia Podcast, where entrepreneurs and business owners share their real-life stories and lessons learned on how to start, grow, and excel in their business in the digital era. This show is brought to you by Tolmao Group, an integrated marketing agency. I'm your host Natasha Fang. Alex Garcia has over a decade of experience in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition Science. He's a former Economist and MBA graduate and he holds a Master's degree in Nutrition & DieteticS and Coaching & Sports Psychology. He's a Certified Nutrition Coach, Weight Loss Management Specialist, ACE Certified Trainer, Certified Sleep Science Coach, and Founder of Afit And Wellness Republic. Alex, welcome to the show.

Alex Garcia :

Hello Nata, thank you very much for inviting me.

Natasha Fang :

Thank you for joining us today. Please introduce yourself a little bit and tell us where you're calling from.

Alex Garcia :

Well, I'm originally from Spain. My name is Alex Garcia. I'm an MBA graduate. I studied Economics in CEU Cardenal Herrera University. In 2012, sorry, I decided to go to China to do an exchange program in in Shanghai, with my business school and in 2014. After two years working in the corporate world, I decided to come to China because I was working for a corporate world in Spain for six years. I decided to well follow my passion for fitness and wellness and start a little business studio that became some something more than that, like a real community. And this is Well this is where I am right now. Yeah

Natasha Fang :

cool so what were the challenges you're facing starting the fitness center in Shanghai?

Alex Garcia :

Well, a new country is never easy. I think that no matter where you are in the world, there's always difficulties and uncertain challenges like the legal part is something that obviously is something I recommend to anyone to first time just check that what is the legal part, how you can make things legally because this is clarity and peace of mind that's doing the things right obviously from the beginning. And then what is our new country so it has its certain rules, regulations, and also, China is a special country because it has their own apps for basically everything. Usually everything that is international is valid like Facebook, Instagram, etc, etc. So it has like, it's own infrastructure of apps and and its own life regarding regarding this right so you need to adapt Chinese culture also is is small it's a different culture like in Spain we have one every country has its its its own culture so you really need to adapt to understand their their needs and Well besides that this is a new country I believe is like any other all of the countries I believe that have their challenges but mostly I would say the legal part understanding the legal part on them. Just I believe that once you have a good product and people need it and and is good. Then naturally and organically, it will it will grow.

Natasha Fang :

sounds awesome. And did the COVID-19 impact your business?

Alex Garcia :

well obviously I think COVID impact the whole world. Well I think I'm pretty sure about this. For some businesses like Amazon and online related was like Amazing for them. But for the rest of the world is been a big challenge for my Fitness Studio in Shanghai obviously was a big impact that really were forced to close for a little bit more than one month, one month and a half. Thanks God the government offered a lot of support, also the landlords. And this was something that saved probably a lot of businesses and this is something that I would like to acknowledge this from the Chinese government and our I'm particularly also our landlord that they were super supportive of the regulations regarding that otherwise, I think there's 80% of the businesses would have closed because well, rents in Shanghai are not specifically particularly cheap. So obviously, one or two months close without income is basically dead for probably 80 90% of the companies especially if they are small, I would say just almost hundred percent. So I need to do acknowledge that I'm also thankful to have had the support not just from them but also from my clients we kept doing during this time something online to keep engage our community, we're not really earning any money, not income, but it still is important to keep engaging, engage your, your your community. And that was a big challenge. But at the end when you have, you know, you have loyal clients and your product is, you know, they value your product and you have loyal clients. At the end you just keep going and things at some point and stabilise some days what we are getting getting at now.

Natasha Fang :

Wow, so having the offline community and because the fitness center was forced to close because of the COVID in China, and what did you do to maintain the community online?

Alex Garcia :

At the beginning was something just with our own clients, right keeping some small fitness challenges for them to do at home keeping keeping in touch with them because at the end, this was not about at some point what we have is a lifestyle brand for us and I created this company, not to a lot of people start businesses always want to become millionaire. Well, that was not always a business is meant to make money otherwise, it's an NGO or a charity organization. And this is something that most entrepreneurs don't have in mind. I want to follow my passion is it is super nice. And I understand that but how you're gonna make money because you need to make money to pay your rent, and you need to make money to pay for food and you need to make money to survive. This is something that some entrepreneuers they have an amazing idea but they don't really know if they follow their passion. They don't really know how to make money and some others is the other spectrum is, Oh, I just want to make money. I don't care. What I have to do is well, for me was a mix of both I didn't think too much about the money is okay. Really Love this I think I can make a living with this and I really can help people and helping people to be healthier and live longer makes me happy. And and this is what I did. So so basically what we did is to keep this in mind so once you have some value. It's easy to know what is your direction, right because if you don't have values is just driving a car but you don't know where you're going well I have clear my values and my clients know what our values so we can deliver in the same at the same time for good or for bad. I was I couldn't go back out of China while Covid hit I was on holidays. I was taking one month off actually after six years almost with no holidays. I just took ideas beside me my colleagues and before Chinese New Year between Christmas and Chinese New Year is really low season for us. So we talked together is I told them, they offer me actually Alex we know that you've been working super hard with basically Almost no holidays like working seven days a week 12 hours a day 12/14 hours a day so I think right now it's gonna be low season everything is going okay so it will be a good moment for you if you want to to take like leave and you can just recharge and staff so obviously I accepted because was really good. And then after two weeks being I'm currently in the Philippines and and after two weeks everything just started going crazy right so then I stayed I could then go back flights cancel and so on and then we know the story a lot of people then China close borders something that was necessary to do a lot of countries they did and and there was that didn't they are suffering now. So I think it was a good measure today. I don't really complain about this because this is about health and survival. So I think was was good to do. I'm absolutely not complaining about that. Only those who have done it fairly broadly. So yeah. So being here in the Philippines obviously I can still support my students and hi and I have an amazing partner Larissa there so this is also want to acknowledge all the job on my team there what they are doing to give this to the alive with also obviously our support them from the distance but still we have a good team of trainers as well. So the students been alive for it's been open since 2014. So at the end is just keeping it alive is not the same as it started in our business right so he's just about keep going with the job we've been doing. And for me personally on my journey well I was back around March I realized that this was gonna take a while and was not going to be one or two months. So we usually besides report in my studio wanted to do something else. And I realized that not now the world has been a few years. I'm not really an online person. Personally we can say that I was born in 1981 so until I was 20 something I didn't have a cell phone or Facebook Didn't you know what I mean? So for me this online thing is kind of a new world for me and I'm really confident on on the offline world like meeting people and but you know, I had I had no brilliant problem to create my offline studio was just said and done. But to create something online for me is a challenge so I'm not there's something and I like challenges so it's good. So basically, to make the long story short, what I decided to do is okay, how can I create something that he can he can make me I can keep helping people to become healthier this is this is my main value. This is what makes me happy. This is my passion. And how can I make it from the place I am and I mean, remote island in the Philippines so there's almost no one here there's not even a touristic place. I came here because of that because was quite chill and I didn't want I just need to rest right? How can I help my clients that maybe they're in the same situation as me, or there's new people, there's a lot of people now, people are starting to go a little bit more out of out of home but we've been confined for a long time in a lockdown. So at the end I took all these values and put it in a in a new company that I create is an online company called Wellness Republic. And basically what I did is take the values from my company in China, which is my studio today, which is Afit and try to do something that not only is gonna help my current clients in Afit, but also new clients and also can complement perfectly my offline studio so I can offer through this new company which is wellness republic, extra services to my clients in terms of coaching it has gotten so like one of the reasons I came here as well is because I wanted to finish two master's degrees that I started a long time ago. One in nutrition and dietetics and the other one in coaching in on Sports psychology and I finished them both. So since this year, I'm not just a formal economist graduate. I also have this two master's degree, one in nutrition and dietetics. And another one in coaching, and sports psychology. So this is something that I can give extra support to my community, in my offline community in in Shanghai. And for my studio for Afit. And also I can grow an online community that where I can help people not just in China or in Shanghai, whatever studio is, but all around the world. And it's something that doesn't that helps everyone I including my offline studio in Shanghai so it's basically I always think that a win win strategy is the way to go both in life and in business. And when you do something, I always try to think of how this can benefit overall, everyone because it only benefits clients. What would happen is the studio or the business is not going to be sustainable because it's going to close. And if you only think about the business at the end, your clients are not going to be happy. So everything I believe in life and in business is about a healthy balance. And this is what I was, what I was trying to achieve, and also a person that I'm, I need to admit that I'm a little bit or quite actually a workaholic. And that's actually a reality. And this exists then. The fact is, I love what I do, right? So when you know what I do, I read actually about nutrition in my spare time. This is what I do. This is why I'm doing what I'm doing because for me, it's not really work. So when something is not really worked for you tend to over work because you don't feel it's work but at the end is actually work. So this is something that is played you know what I mean? Right? So, I think this is something entrepreneurs needs to need to take care because I tend to overwork and having time for you to recover to rest is super important. So yeah, so this is what I am Now and I will be here probably for the rest of the year as it seems. And everything is growing and I'm quite happy personally because I believe when life puts you in a challenge to run a vertical situation there's always a way to make the best out of fear you can always cry and complain and stuff okay? It's not bad to do that, I think is one of the complaining part is not necessary to complain too much, but it's okay to cry. You know, I am surprised although I mean, I don't cry Well, I do cry is not bad. But at some point, you need to stop crying. And you need to start finding solutions because there's always a solution. And you just need to find it and start working on it. And this is what I did and I'm quite happy. I cannot complain on the place I am and, and also having that team that supports my my, my is not only my studio, obviously, but I have a partner so the studio in Shanghai this was this is also an I'm quite grateful for that.

Natasha Fang :

I really enjoy your story. And it's interesting to see that we're able to create the platform and able to you know, have a chance to interview you when you are in a remote island in Philippines. It's good to hear that there's a dog barking behind you while we're doing the podcast. I think

Alex Garcia :

it is I mean I'm in the Philippines so we don't have to hide that and yeah, there's some dogs around I told you this is a remote island there's not nothing really big in this island is super super quiet. Most of the people that were here they have less so there's just some locals and and that's also this is basically a nature and and and that's also you may hear some birds and stuff. So this is what I am some people I have to say Nata that some people in this situation will kill themselves because There's literally nothing to do here. Like literally nothing. There is no bars no clubs. No, no nothing. There's just one. Well, I would I was at a supermarket is like a little local market. That's all we have here is our super local Island. Nice actually we're basically in lockdown. So we need to go out with a mask and we cannot really go out on a date we need to be at home. And there's a few you're not no one can come to the island actually. And the salon is basically as most of the Philippines for most of us in the Philippines they leave most of the most of it is for is from the tourism. And there is no tourists that they truly no one can come to the island. So this is also a challenge and I'm talking about this I would like to mention something that I also created because I'm a person that as I mentioned I like to help people is not just for my own interests or to make money because I'm happy to. I saw the COVID happen. I started a charity program as well for call food for Philippines. So for clients that we are getting online, we are donating 20 meals for the clients so to support local people because there's people really are suffering here as I mentioned, this island survives because of the of tourists and he's been basically no tourits for like five months and he's not nothing coming for this year. So his people are really having a hard time here and there's a lot of families a lot of children and this is something that I'm trying to support and everything we do there we just donate hundred percent of the money regarding food for Philippine so this is something that we are putting some time and some energy and obviously all the money that we get for from there is yes to donate we have we were able to raise money for around was Many meals were like, we're still able to support a primary school with more than four more than 100 children. So I'm super happy about that this was when my offline is to do with Afit. And I kept this with wellness public as well. So this is something still on food for Philippines. And this is something that is important for me also, I know I'm not gonna save the world. And that's impossible. I don't think no one can say that. But no one can do that. But I believe that if you can just help a little bit in the people around you, you don't need to help the whole world. But even you help 10 or 20 people, and these 20 people have another 20 people that will would be a much better place on this what I'm trying to do here, because things go they have the means and I work quite hard and I have a lot of contacts. So getting some money to go here and help local people. This is something that makes me quite happy because it makes me feel good and I can help people here .

Natasha Fang :

sounds amazing. Yeah, like I really love your passion, your persistence, also able to focus on delivering the value to your community, whether it's online, whether it's offline, instead of just thinking about making money. I think it's what that keeps you going also doing what you love and love what you do. So yeah, especially, I'm so happy to hear that you're able to find the balance. In a way thanks to the Covid you're able to slow down, rethink and re also reestablish your online channel and you're able to maintain your business thanks to your partner in Shanghai so you can do like a different projects when you're not physically in China. So that's also a learning process. Yeah. So what's your goal for the upcoming months for your business?

Alex Garcia :

Well, For my businesses basically right now what I'm what I'm working literally like almost now, today, actually I will and this past week and the following week, what we're what I'm working on right now is to grow the online community. Because it's not about doing exercise. You know, people think that having a healthy lifestyle requires a lot of time and actually my approach is something that is really down to naturally you're hearing birds. So it's about health actually health is super simple. is super simple and requires really a limited amount of time for a simple when I tell people, that seems all 2020 I've just done two workouts I haven't worked on more than two times more than 30 minutes, and my daily workouts are somewhere like somewhere from two to 10 minutes people don't believe me, Alice, I cannot believe that you had the body that you have. And you give your six pack. I'm telling you Better than I I compare pictures of myself when I was 20 I'm almost 40 next year will be 40 and he's like Alex is not possible is like, Listen is not amount is not about how much you do is about knowing what you do to do it in the right amount, put in the right intensity, and then let your body rest. We live in a world that we've been taught that the harder the better and no pain, no gain and all this stuff that honestly, if you think about it, it just, it just makes no sense. You're we're just literally killing ourselves with overwork with a stress like all this is just going against our nature. And yes, a little bit of a stress is good and it pushes that faster and better and to be better, but too much is like Like I said before, balance is the key. So also so this is something especially entrepreneurs being an entrepreneur like basically all my life besides two years one from 2012 to 2004 But I was working for an international law firm. Besides that in Shanghai, besides that, you know, we tend to overwork and if you like what you do even more. So the future basically for me not to go back to the question is basically to keep growing the online community supporting our offline support in my online studio as well and to make it grow as well. Because what we do is really, really the framework are there people are doing because what I'm saying is, workout less is like, unless you have a well, you're a fitness trainer right as well. So how you're telling me to work or less, it's just Yes, because I want it to be consistent. Do you think you're gonna keep up two hours of workout a day, every day for the rest of your life? The answer is no. And if you say yes, you're lying to yourself, and even if you do, it's even worse because you are literally killing yourself. That's not good for you're working. I'll interrupted this for people listening, working out every day for two hours intensively that's not healthy that ages you and causes the sickness. And this causes a lot of health problems. The body doesn't need more than 10 or 20 minutes of intense exercise actually when it is 10 minutes or even five minutes aside to a day, that's all the body needs, then obviously you need to have an active lifestyle is proven as well, that if you are sedentary and you go to the gym, your health, your overall health is gonna be almost the same. And this is science is going to be almost the same as a person that doesn't go to the gym and is also sedentary. It sounds crazy, but this is real. So it's about movement is having a

Alex Garcia:

an active lifestyle, and this is what we promote. From our online program. Our offline program and I'm a working professional. And this is my clients are all working professionals over the 30s some over 40 and this is the kind of people busy people I don't want People on I have all the time on the wall I want to go and kill myself two hours in the gym, okay, you are not my kind of client. This is not what I want. This is not my this is not my goal and this is actually not doing health. So up to you. So this is my future to try to keep spreading the world on what the science says is not because Alex says so is the science, say so. And these were interesting for people to realize, don't kill yourself, have time for friends, have time for your family, have time to take care of yourself. Do not stop killing yourself working non stop, stop killing yourself working out non stop like crazy. At the end what's the deal? You know, what is good your achievement. You look at what you're doing or whatever the results you're getting. If you don't have the results you have and you've been doing this for long enough, just rethink it. Because you could keep going, nothing is gonna change. You're gonna have the same results. And this is basically the definition of insanity. Keep doing the same thing expecting different results, right? So this is That's, that's that's what I'm trying to do help people to understand that which is not this. It took me actually a long time to understand even myself and this is a constant and consistent work nada that we all as humans we need to do to keep growing. Right,

Natasha Fang :

Thank you so much, Alex for joining us today the show. So, could you tell our listeners how they can reach you online?

Alex Garcia :

Yeah, they can. They will be able to find me easily on LinkedIn. If they go to Alex Garcia, they can find me through Alex Garcia MBA or Alex Garcia Afit, they will probably find me or Alex Garcia Shanghai. And then if they are in China, listeners in China, they will be able to find me my WeChat IDs AlexSpain, like I said sounds, if you have which will be super easy to find me as well. Yeah online. My online wellness company is called Wellness Republic. So you'll find me as well there.

Natasha Fang:

Yeah. Sounds awesome. Thank you so much.

Natasha Fang :

Thank you for listening to the Digital Bootcamp Asia. Until next time!