In the beginning, they always say “Start With Why.” Why are you doing this? Why are you different? Why will you succeed when others fail?
The question of why has always haunted me, but rather than fear my “why,” it’s rather been the antonym of “why not.” I have this fear of looking back on life in 20 or 30 years time and regretting the chance not taken or the missed opportunity. Strangely enough, I am also the kind of person that calculates risk and makes an educated decision on whether to jump or not. Typically, these two conflicting opinions are at loggerheads with one another, with the fear of “why not” pressing against the uncertainty of preferring to leap into the unknown.
I always have this quote on loop mode in the back of my mind: “Risk is the fee paid to not live an ordinary life.”
Ultimately the ability to pick a winner is based on my personal why, and that is to help people, but I was only able to get there through being challenged. I was posed the question in Autumn 2018 when meeting with an influential family friend who viewed the very first WELD financial model & business plan. He bought into both and completely understood the direction of the business based on the pitch deck but said he needed more… what else was there to the story. I sat there trying to understand what he was looking for, surely everything he needed was splayed out in the pages & spreadsheets I had just meticulously presented to him. I removed myself from the situation and tried to understand it from his perspective, here’s a 30 year white male who’s pitching him another future success story. This was not his first rodeo. He sat back and said “Brad, what is your reason for being, what is your why?”
The answer came out automatically, “I’m doing this because I want to help people.” After I was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2011, 4 surgeries in 3 months, and what felt like being in a whirlwind of information, I came out of the end of the tunnel. I survived, and I had to believe I survived for a reason. From signing a will, to saying goodbye to my parents and family to then waking up, and I mean really waking up, my whole purpose in life had shifted. People began contacting me regarding their recent diagnoses and wanted to hear my approach, what I ate, what I drank, how I exercised and what my physical and mental state was. It was in those moments of sharing my experience and advice that I felt like I had found something, I had found purpose. I was acknowledging a primal need in the pit of my stomach to help people. I was able to help in a situation where it felt like their world was caving in. I wanted to give people hope in an otherwise hopeless situation, to offer them first hand advice from someone who’s come from somewhere similar.
I realised, through these conversations and through a lifetime of illness, that I had cancer for a reason, and through surviving and helping people I was able to fill a gap in someones heart and my heart that no amount of money in the world could fill.
I’m tired of seeing people get exploited in their journey to living a healthy life, and I’m hoping we can change the industry and completely change the model, a model that hasn’t changed in 40+ years. I’m tired of seeing health professionals be exploited, whether its through ridiculous ground rent charges, or through fixed contracts, I believe that WELD puts the power back in their control. It also allows small studio and gym owners to become more accessible which provides the health professionals with more choice. These two factors ultimately leads to lower and fairer customer fares. I know a platform like this doesnt exist and I know that something like this will HELP people. I’ve been that person who feels betrayed by their own body and it takes a hell of a lot to get your body back on sides. Its incredibly hard to get it to a place where you’re comfortable with yourself and the WELD platform does this, this is a platform for everyone and it truly helps people”.
He shifted in his seat and a smile widened on his face, I had not only answered his questions but I seemingly answered a lot of the questions I had stirring around in the pit of my stomach.
I left that meeting knowing that it was a turning point for me. I wake up every morning knowing that that day might lead to something that changes someone’s life, and thats the most rewarding feeling of all. WELD has been created with the sole intention of helping people, whether its the health professional, small studio owner or the WELD user, its developed for and around these incredible people with the sole intention of helping them get access to the best health professionals and locations, which helps them lead a healthy and active life.
I had found my Why.
P.S: www.bradsbrainteaser.blogspot.com is the blog I wrote when I was first diagnosed with brain cancer, it helped me come to terms with what I was going through but has also served as a reminder to my future self to not get preoccupied with the silly things.