People are becoming more and more fascinated about health and fitness, which is a great time for entrepreneurs who are also fitness enthusiasts to venture on. This is where former athlete Devon Lévesque found a place for his passion and purpose to fit in. His business “Don’t Be A Pig” is such a hit to health buffs. He shares how “Don’t Be A Pig” is such a standout, assuring everyone the sense of hospitality of the trainers as well as their in-depth understanding of what has to be worked on. Devon has also been in the food industry which gave him another niche in the business. He prepares a variety of special meals at a very reasonable cost that is appropriate to the kind of wellness that the client wants. He shares his story about how he came up with all these and how it’s far more extra special than other fitness centers.
We have Devon Lévesque. Devon is Founder and CEO of Don’t Be A Pig wellness company serving New York City, Brooklyn, Jersey City, Hoboken and Bergen County areas. Devon is a personal trainer that focuses on specific body weight movements tailored specifically to your own body type. He takes training to the next level and has several different coaches on his team to help fit all your personal fitness and nutrition needs. He also has an amazing story on how he got to where he is at now. He is always posting new workouts and fitness programs on Instagram, so feel free to check him out and give him a follow after this episode. Please welcome, Devon Lévesque.
Listen To The Episode Here: Don’t Be a Pig with Devon Lévesque
Don’t Be a Pig with Devon Lévesque
Devon, where are you from originally?
I was born in Idaho and I lived there until I was maybe four or five. My father was a building developer. There was a big boom in Idaho so we went out. We built out there, then came back to New Hampshire where he’s from, and my mom’s from New England as well. We moved out here and he continued his shop here.
What was life like growing up in New Hampshire?
I grew up on about 46 acres and pretty large house. My dad was about go big or go home. I actually grew up with about a 2,000 square foot gym in my house. He was pretty into wellness and health and vitamins and what to take and eating healthy.
It rubbed on you?
Yeah. It just fell on me. I’ve been working out since I was a kid, so that was cool. My mom was into it as well. I grew up in New Hampshire in about 46 acres and a pretty big house. I have four sisters. I was not really allowed to play video games.
Why is that?
I started playing Grand Theft Auto when I was really young and I played it a couple times. I made the decision I was like, “I don’t want to play this.” I felt weird going around killing people. I was like, “I probably shouldn’t play this.” It was like my mental state was just like, “This is weird.” That was the first and last game I played.
You spent all your time outside after that?
All outside, we’re a big believer in having fun outside and activities. Four-wheeling, snowmobiling in New Hampshire. I was on the trampoline constantly. I got into skateboarding and went through that whole phase, and snowboarding. Instead of gym class during the winter, our middle school would take us to the mountains. I grew up snowboarding my whole life. The trampoline and mountain biking and everything.
You’re always doing flips and all this crazy stuff. You were doing that at a young age?
Yeah, for sure. We also had about seven horses more for just pleasure and stuff. I was riding horses, flipping. My boys would come over and we just figure out what nonsense to get into outside.
When did sports come into play?
The first sport I played was baseball around maybe six years old. I didn’t really know what I was doing obviously. Then that kicked off and I became pretty good at baseball and pitching and shortstop. Then once I got older, I moved to center and left field throughout high school. That was the first sport I played. Then I played football, basketball and baseball from maybe eight years old all the way until I was eighteen. I would play three seasons every year.
What did you want? Did you want to pursue any of those after high school?
Basketball was my favorite sport to play for sure. Baseball was cool because it gave me a little downtime and it wasn’t as hardcore, but it was a good vibe. I liked it. The people that surround you in the baseball setting are super cool. That was good. Then football, you get pumped during the summer, it’s warm. Then by the end, I’m sick of football. Actually going into the military academy, I didn’t know if I was going to totally pursue sports after high school. One thing led to another and I think I bloomed at a later age. Towards when I was maybe seventeen or eighteen, I actually repeated my junior year and I became decently well and love others at sports. I was just excelling faster, so it came upon me that college was reaching out and scholarships. I ended up winning a national championship my senior year for football, which is really cool. Then baseball broke the batting school record. I had 689 out of high school. That was really good.
What was life like at the military academy? Do you think that did some good for you?
Yeah, I didn’t really want to go to the military academy per se, but I got sent there. I think it’s one of the best things that happened to me. I wasn’t like a totally bad kid, but it was definitely to get my mind right. I was definitely distracted in New Hampshire, not with drugs or anything, I just didn’t know where I wanted to go with it.
You’re a high energy person just naturally. I think if you got too many things in front of you, it could be a little distracting. That probably helps you focus that.
That was really good. It just shows you structure and attention to detail and when to talk and when not to talk. You’re surrounded by a bunch of guys for two years nonstop, except for summer months. You learn different personalities and culture because it wasn’t just Americans that were there, there were people from Russia, China, Japan, every state you can imagine, Mexico. It was kids from all over the world that were sent to the school to somewhat the same reason. I would say about a third of the kids were there for bad behavior. A third of the kids that were there for sports and a third were just these rich little kids. Their parents didn’t want to deal with them. The tuition there was $60,000 a year. It wasn’t a cheap school to go definitely.
What happened after the military academy? You go to college after that?
Yeah. I received some offers from different schools. No school would really let me play one or the other sport. I decided to go Division II and I went to Long Island University on a scholarship.
Football. The coach was like, “You can play baseball a couple of years down the line,” but they didn’t want to start me off at playing both. I started just playing football. Actually our mutual friend, Smitty, is the one that picked me up for my official visit. It was a really good first impression of the school. We ran around, weight training desks. I throw a back flip here and there. They’re like, “Cool.” Then they called me the next day and go, “You’re in.” I liked it and I was thinking New York, I didn’t really want to go back to New Hampshire. Especially at the military academy like Philadelphia, it’s not my favorite city, but I saw the city a little bit.
EM 93 | Health And Wellness Health And Wellness: Never discount yourself. Know your value.
It’s not the middle of nowhere. It could have definitely been worse.
I was like, “Long Island University, it’s close to city.” I actually didn’t even go to New York City that much when I was in Long Island when I stayed around there. You understand more of the city life than I would have knew in New Hampshire. It was a good choice.
How did your football career go over there?
It went pretty well. I’ve always had somewhat of a tough time understanding playbook. I don’t want to like say video games help, but I feel that people that played like Madden growing up, understand the formations much easier because they’re looking at it. I was like, “I’m just going to be an athlete and go in and just do my thing.” I never understood the formations and why we’re doing this. I was more like, “I’m just going to cover this kid.”
You’re going to sprint around a good opening and catch the ball.
I played quarter there. They taught you a little technique, but at the end of the day, I think it’s all about athletic ability. It took me to college, so I just did my thing. I was at a military academy before, so getting surrounded by a bunch of bars and nightclubs in that scene, I was curious, I’ve got to check it out. Girls were somewhat in the picture, but for the most part you’re surrounded by guys in the military academy. I started going out a little bit. I was doing well starting and then we had this big game coming up and I actually went out the night before the game. I didn’t really drink too much. I just went out to the city to this party and everyone is like, “Don’t go,” and I was like, “I’m going.” I ended up going, I was just not following the rules. I go in and someone definitely told on me and brought me up to his office like, “What’s going on?” I was like, “Nothing.” He’s like, “You’re suspended for four games. You’ve got to get out of the facility and we will talk tomorrow.”
It wasn’t actually that bad. He gets it, so I went back. I think that was freshman year. Then sophomore year, I had a decent year. Then junior year is when I saw what was going on in the whole sports world. I say that because I see so many people go to college and they have no clue what they want to do. I’m on the side promoting at these nightclubs, bartending, pretty much helping them run it and making pretty decent money. I would make the money then I would take everyone out, “Dinner’s on me. Drinks are on me.” In a sense I’m like, “Why?”I have it figured out to the most part as I thought I wasn’t going to get caught up in the whole, you play football in college and you assistant coach after that. I just didn’t want to do that. I saw people do that and it wasn’t the lifestyle I wanted. I didn’t take football too seriously after that. I continue to work-out, stay healthy. Football was like, “I don’t know if that’s the lifestyle for me.” One thing led to another and the coach and the athletic director basically gave me an ultimatum, “Either you stop and you refocus all your energy into football or we’re going to take your scholarship away.” I was just like, “Peace.” I left. At that point, I had no clue on what I was going to do. I was like, “I’ll figure it out. I don’t care.”
Does that mean you have to leave the school because the scholarship was no longer? Or you just have to pay?
Yeah. I had a full scholarship. The tuition at Long Island University was $50,000. In my head I’m like my mom definitely wasn’t going to help. I just gave up the scholarship. My family is going to be like, “We’re not going to help you out now.” At that point I was like, “What school can I go to that’s not going to be totally a financial burden but can still help my career somewhat if I want to still pursue school?” I was searching around and I actually went to Hoboken, New Jersey. This is such a fun little town. It’s a fun town especially at the age of 20, 21. I went out there once and I was looking at colleges around there.
That’s what you wanted to get into too because you were promoted for the nightclubs. That’s where it’s at.
I went there and I was like, “This is fun.”
You probably felt free too for the first time in a long time.
It was a burden when I stopped playing for Long Island University. It was definitely a burden off my chest like, “Now what?” It was also like, “Now what?” I went to Montclair State, I went to Chain. That was another close college. It wasn’t my vibe. Then I went to Montclair and I was like, “This is a nice town.”The coach was super cool. He had a really good past history with winning. He had connections to the NFL if I ever wanted to pursue that. I know he has guys there regardless if it’s Division III or not. I go and I work out with the team and I started playing with them. There’s something between Division I, Division II, Division III, I’ve done all the workouts. In Division III, people are just slower, not as strong and definitely not as driven. I just noticed it right off the bat at our first workout when we’re doing bench. Normally even at Long IslandUniversity, you’re going hard until you physically can’t lift the weight anymore. These guys five reps and go, “I don’t want to do it anymore.”Their mentality was just different. I want to say that’s the difference between Division III, II and I is your mental drive to how far you actually want to go with this.
Anything in life really.
That’s what I saw in that. At that point, I didn’t take it too seriously. I was still looking for the next option and be a bartender at the WHotel in Hoboken. This guy, Darren, was like, “I’m not going to make you a bartender. Actually, we want to take you under my wing and show you the business side and you’re going to be a manager.” I was like, “Okay.”This is definitely the nicest hotel in Hoboken, definitely one of the top nightclubs in New Jersey in general. I just landed a really cool position. At that point I’m like, “I’m a nightclub manager. I’m going to be a restauranteur.”That’s my vision, that’s where I’m going. Then school just faded away. I was like, “I’m not going into some Greek class to learn this or psychology or whatever class. It’s not worth it for me right now. It’s wasting my time. I’m not learning anything. I’m not making money doing this. Instead, I’m actually just getting myself in debt. It’s not something that’s working for me.”
Eventually I played one season at Montclair. I didn’t take it too seriously. I was at a point where I wouldn’t even take the bus to the game. I would just drive myself to the game. Everyone would be sleeping over at a hotel and I would just show up the next day at the game. I was still performing, but it’s not a good look. I probably shouldn’t have done that. It was what I knew. Then I just didn’t return the next season to school or football. Then I went all in. I was like, “This is it.” I saw what Darren was doing. He was expanding. The group we were with, those guys are expanding. I’m like, “This is the industry I want to get in. I love it.” The only problem is you’re drinking every night. You’re out late. I would get to work maybe 7:00, start opening the nightclub and then we’re there until 4:00 AM, 5:00 AM making sure they’re cleaning up properly. Make sure the bartenders are counting their tips, bar backs, busboys, making sure everything’s clean and whatnot. It was cool and I didn’t think of health at that point. I was still working out.No matter what through this whole thing, I’m still going to the gym and working out. I’ve never been overweight. I don’t think I could get overweight if I tried. That’s always in the back of my mind and it never came to me to ever make that a career.
EM 93 | Health And Wellness Health And Wellness: A lot of these trainers want to become a personal trainer, which is cool, but they’ve never touched a weight or played a sport in their entire life.
I was approached by a man in the hotel saying, “Do you want to partner at the restaurant with me?”He had a restaurant over Jersey City. I said, “This could be a cool opportunity.”After you’re a general manager, the next step is to definitely become a partner. I didn’t know if I saw my next step at this venue to be a partner or the restaurant. It just happened. I was like, “I’m going to take a leap again and see if I can help execute this next restaurant.” I’m not going to name the name of it, but I ended up doing that.I come to find out this partner was just a scheme ball. He didn’t have the right vision of a restaurant.
Did you get a gut feeling about that when you first met him?
Not only I have a gut feeling, but everyone in the town, in the industry said, “Don’t work with this guy.” I’m like, “It’s different. I’m going to do it. I’m going to prove everyone wrong.” Whenever something’s too good to be true, it’s too good to be true. I went through that, but I’m really glad I failed at that when I was young. I signed the partnership agreement when I was 23. I was like, “I’m a partner at a restaurant. I’m 23 years old, look what I’ve done. Cool.” It’s not all fun and games. It just wasn’t good. I learned so much of what not to do and what to do and the burden you have when you’re a partner financially. At the same time, things can come down on you more. I ended up taking away the partnership after a year and I left completely.
I’m back to square one. I’ve just been taking leaps. It’s cool though because it’s back to square one, “Try this, try this. It’s not working, I don’t like this. It’s not Fun, not making money.” I just keep trying. I’m glad I did it at a really young age. It’s definitely not the last time I’m going to leap and fail. I’ve got a lot of leaps and a lot of the fails out in an early age. Most people would be mid 30s, 40s, 50s when they take a leap to start a restaurant and then they’re flopped, their family, mortgage, they lose everything. I had nothing. I have my girlfriend which is she’s great. That’s a lot. It wasn’t like a financial obligation.
You didn’t have any kids or anything.
Take a leap super young, which I’m glad I did.
You’ve got to keep doing it. You’ve got to keep trying and if it fails, just fail forward, just keep going.
The cool thing I learned out of all this is networking connections and your reputation. If you don’t have a good reputation then you’re done. Regardless of if I fail or not, my reputation has stayed the same. I never received, “I don’t think the reputation of this kid doesn’t know what he’s doing. This kid is an asshole. This kid doesn’t have drive. This kid doesn’t work hard.” I don’t screw people over. I’ve always been honest and been moral. I pay people on time. I don’t care what the circumstance is, you’re getting paid. I always put you guys first and make sure you guys are happy. Reputation was absolutely every time for sure.
I took a month or two off and I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I’m at an apartment and I’m paying a good chunk and I’m not doing anything. No income is coming in. I’m like, “Now what?” I talked to this guy and he’s like, “What do you want to do? What are you good at? You’re at the gym everyday.” I was like, “That’s not going to make me anything.” He was like, “No, you should try it out.” I’ve always been like an entrepreneur. I don’t like saying I am but it just fell upon me. I’ve always figured it out. I don’t think I would ever go into space and be like, “I’m going to work for this gym.” I couldn’t physically do it. I don’t see four bosses over my head saying, “You have to train like this. You have to do it like this. You have to talk to people like this.” I know how to do that so I said to myself, “I’m never going to work for the gym.” I took on this one client. He was the CIO of Bed Bath & Beyond. He was the top ten guys at Bed Bath & Beyond, at the time. We still train him now, but I started training him and that was awesome. I had a bunch of buddies in the NFL and I started training them.
Are you even thinking that as a business yet or you’re just doing it?
I’m just doing this to make some money and be happy. It was awesome. I’m training people ten hours a week and making a good chunk of change but only train ten hours a week. I’m like, “This is great.” I’m also helping people. The results are coming and I’m like, “This is addicting.” Make sure you’re eating healthy, make sure to do 200 sit-ups before you take a shower tonight. It’s in tune to people. Taking them out for drinks is good. That guy, Bobby at Bed Bath & Beyond, I started training him, NFL players and there was another person in the building. Then I met Barry Sternlicht, who I started training. He was my third or fourth client and I met this other guy named Arthur.
Is this a lot of word of mouth?
People saw my Instagram. People heard I was training. People knew I was a former athlete. A lot of people knew my backstory in regards to being around fitness my whole life. I’ve done it. It came very naturally to me. Barry Sternlicht was one of the first and I come to find out that he’s the CEO and Founder of Starwood Capital. They manage over $100 billion in real estate. They’re huge.
A lot of people do personal training and they’re barely scraping by and it’s almost like a chore to them. Here you are attracting high-quality clients. You’re loving what you’re doing. How do you think you attracted these people and had so much fun with it?
I wasn’t begging people to train with me. I was doing what I naturally do. I’m posting what I wanted. In the last few years, I have been on Instagram or in email blasts or wherever, “It’s only $99 per session.” I never discounted myself. I knew my worth. I knew my value. I knew that I was bringing value, not only physically to the client. I knew how to work their body and I knew how to help them burn calories. I saw what vision they want to look like and I know how to help with that and also mentally. It’s not just helping them physically but it’s also mentally. They have an hour out of their day to come to work out with you and they want to forget about everything else in life. I helped them do that and I knew I could do that to people. I never dropped my value. I knew I was helping them out in that sense. It’s almost a therapy session. What separates me and my business, Don’t Be A Pig and our trainers compared to other trainers is the sense of hospitality and the sense of understanding your clients in a more in-depth way. We’re training them in a little different way and not so generic.
Talk about that because you do a completely different work. When people think personal training, they’re thinking of standing in the mirror and doing a curl and all weights and stuff like that. You don’t do that.
We go back to square one, growing up around fitness my whole life. My grandfather was a professional bodybuilder. My mother competed in physique. My mother and father are both professional wrestlers. I’ve learned ways to work out from the ages of five until now that no one has seen. You can’t learn it in a book. You can’t go to school and get a certificate to learn this. If 10,000 hours makes you perfect, it’s way more than that and that’s what separates me as well. A lot of these trainers come in and like, “I want to become a personal trainer.” It’s cool but they’ve never touched a weight or played a sport in their entire life. They go get a certificate and it doesn’t do them justice. You can give a biology lesson during your workout, but if you don’t understand the body and how it moves and the way it’s supposed to move and the mechanics, then you’re only going to get so far. Athlete first, learn later. You’re going to learn in the field. It goes back to learning in school or learning physically in a hedge fund and learning how to trade. You’re going to learn way more in a hedge fund when you’re there and learning how to trade than you are in a classroom learning numbers.
You trained professional athletes all the way down to stay-at-home moms. The spectrum that you’re training on is all over the place. How does it work when somebody comes to you? Do they give you an initial goal and then you try to tailor it to them?
There are a couple of different ways. In regards to the females, I learned it the hard way to never asked for their weight. I never weighed the females coming in. I asked them if they want to tighten up in their clothes, if they want to get more flexible, if they want to try new maneuvers or whatever it is. That’s for the females. Most of the guys come to me and like, “I want to look like you.” I’m like, “This is how we’re going to do it.” I put them on my training and on a program. Everyone is completely different. Everyone’s genetic build is made up differently. I might not have to work as hard as a guy with genetics differently. In the same sense, it’s the way that you’re giving them the workouts and inspiring them to do the workouts. It’s all the same for the most part. It’s just pushing. Some people have to push a little harder.
Your post and videos of you doing flips and all these crazy workouts on Instagram, can somebody that’s not athletic come to you and still get trained?
I would say only 10% of my clients are former athletes or professional athletes. The rest are people that just want to be in shape. My style of training is a little different. Yes, I have a hit component. You know how intense the interval training. Yes, I have strength and conditioning. We’re doing a little bit of weights and body movement. I’ve taken movements that I’ve learned throughout my whole life and the ones I see and try out and test and use those with my clients. My initial mindset behind training all goes back to myelin. It goes back to developing myelin. The reason that Brazil is so good at soccer is because they play with wooden balls on a sand court and it’s from this book I read. It inspired me to train a certain way. I look at movements and ways of in-depth training. I’m taking you out of your natural environment and depending on who you are and how far you’ve come to fitness, I’ll give you hard challenges to do and different movements that you’ve never had. I believe that if you do a more in-depth training, you’re going to get faster results and better results and it’s going to stick in your brain longer.
If you’re trying to hold your feet up and I’m pushing down but you’re doing a bench press, I see you’re going to get better results, not only in your core and chest when you’re doing a bench press. You’re more in-depth. It’s different. It’s challenging you than a regular bench press. It might not be for everyone. It’s not everyone’s method, but I’ve seen it work for me and people trying new things. Not everyone wants to do the natural leg press, the squats, lunges and the curls. That’s old news. It’s all natural body movements. Understand how the body works in an athletic position and an athletic setting. You’re walking on this street and you’re almost getting hit by a taxi. How are you going to move to save yourself? That’s my sense of training. It’s not so much like, “Let me curl as much as I can and squat as much as I can.”
When did this become a business for you?
Four months in. It was quick. It was zero clients. Maybe it was five to ten sessions a week to 20 to 30 within four months.
Within four months you’re like, “I got something here.”
“I got something here. I don’t care when you want to train. I’m going to train and I’m going to get you in shape.” That was my mentality. If it’s at 4:00 AM or 10:00 PM, I’ll do a twelve-hour day. I don’t care. I’ve done fifteen to sixteen sessions any day before so I don’t care. It’s just back to back, set my water, have an apple and I’m at it. It’s like a football game. You eat some pasta the day before. I’m ready. What separates our company from others is the drive that all the trainers have. I know when I sense a trainer who wants to come in here and make a little money and train five people a day. If he is driven and he wants to come in here and do fifteen-hour days, he doesn’t care. I’ll drive up to Central Park, I’ll go down to Financial District, I’ll shoot over to Hoboken, I’ll shoot it over to Jersey City. Those guys are my gold. Those guys are the guys you have to keep in the company because they’re willing to go that extra mile. You can’t teach that.
You’re embodying it too. It’s not like you’re telling all of them to go everywhere and you’re chilling. You’re still in that mindset.
I’ve got to work harder than everyone. If he’s doing nine sessions, I’ll do twelve sessions. If he’s doing twelve, I’m doing thirteen. I always want to be one step ahead. Maybe it’s a competitive edge in me, but I like it. It’s fun being driven and doing different things.
You did something ingenious where your other company ties into exactly what you do. You’re training these people and it’s like, “Do you need some nutrition in your life to help you maintain what you’re trying to go for? How did the Don’t Be A Pig start?
We’ve had the training business for last year. The trainers are on board running around house to house, city to city throughout New York, Hoboken and Jersey City. It’s not cheap to train with us. What we did was we offered you a meal as well per session. I would be taking my bag around, taking my van and then I have ten meals in a bag and I’d give one to each customer throughout the day or I’d have a location where I’d shoot back. If it’s my boy in New York, I’d hold them at his fridge or I’ll hold it at my fridge and make sure I always have nice fresh meals for them. What I was coming to find out in these meals is I would see bad food or I didn’t agree with it or the branding wasn’t on point with what I thought. I was like, “I’ve been in the food industry. I can do this.” That’s why I put together the Don’t Be A Pig meals. We launched the actual food portion of it and we ran into so many struggles. It was to a point where I’m like, “I’m not doing this anymore.”
What were some of the speed bumps you hit?
Food going in and not being able to keep it cold to the customer. It was cool though because I was able to test it with a high-volume clientele already. I bought a van, we bought the LLC and we own the copyright or whatever to it. We set everything up. I’m a big believer in systems in place. I was going into Don’t Be A Pig meal and I’m not going to be in the kitchen. The last time I was in the kitchen personally was when I signed the lease for it. It’s not that I don’t care, but it’s not my expertise. We place it there where I can check in and test meals when they get delivered to my house as if I’m an actual customer. We can make adjustments depending on that. The hurdles ran into not being cold enough. The food didn’t come out right. There are too many ingredients to deal with. Our food cost was out the roof.
Did you get people with food allergies and all of that?
EM 93 | Health And Wellness Health And Wellness: You got to be ready for an opportunity rather than not be ready when the opportunity comes.
The website wasn’t working, glitches, food photos and everything you can imagine. The systems were tough to put in place but now they’re in place.
How did you manage it?
We got to a point where I said, “We’re shutting it down.” I shut it down for two weeks and I said, “We need to figure this food out.” From square one, from someone puts the order in and to square 100 until they physically have it in their mouth. From the time they purchase it until they take a bite of the food in their mouth, they need to be like, “That’s good food.” We do every step and the biggest problem was the food and how many ingredients we had. We had 100 to 150 ingredients in twelve meals. I’m like, “That’s Food Cost 101. We need to reuse.” We can have iceberg lettuce, kale and spinach. We’re going to use it across the board for all the meals. It can’t be brown rice, black rice and white rice. It’s the same rice across the board. It’s meal prep. People aren’t going to a gourmet restaurant. If they want to go to a gourmet, they will go to Del Frisco’s Double Eagle. They want to eat healthily. They need a low calorie, most likely. If they want high calorie, they eat more than meals. We did that and it was a drastic change.
We ran into issues with the sauces. How many ingredients did you get into a sauce? We don’t even think about containers. How are we going to label? We had to have the nutrition and ton of stuff. We’ve gone through maybe fifteen different food containers. Ones were leaking, ones would smell. We wanted to go eco-friendly at first and just use these wheat containers. We can’t do that with food delivery because they break apart in the bags on delivery. They don’t hold up properly. We had to go back to plastic, which is all good. The plastics are made out of corn.
How important is it to have an established team around you to help you with all this stuff? Do you have people at Don’t Be A Pig that helps you and guide you through all this nonsense almost?
You can only grow if you hire people better. That’s why one of the first trainers we hired was Martin and he’s one of the best boxing coaches ever and he’s still with us. He’s rocking out and he’s been with me since the beginning. I wanted to get into boxing and like, “I’m going to be a boxing trainer.” When I started doing it, I’m like, “Why am I doing this when we can use an actual specialty?” He’s not doing strength and conditioning or the style of training I’m doing. You have to find your expertise. We have John who’s in the kitchen. He’s a genius with food, recipes, food cost and everything. He’s handling that. We have our office manager who’s unbelievable with numbers and being on top of it, whether it’s 4:00 AM or 10:00 PM, she’s answering stuff. We have our graphic designer. It’s cool to talk about a graphic designer. Do you want a graphic designer who is like, “I want to be creative and I want to be a graphic designer?” Do you want one who physically hangs out with a bunch of artsy people? She lives around it and she looks at brands like, “Make sure it’s on the brand to this.” I can’t teach someone that. No one can teach someone if they physically love to do design. Putting people in place that are good at what they do is super key. Systems in place are key.
That has elevated into an entire wellness company now. You are not only doing in the meal preps, what else are you doing?
We put systems in place. You’ve got to be ready for an opportunity rather than not ready for an opportunity. If someone approaches you and they’re like, “I want you to do this.” You’re like, “I don’t know if I can do that.” If someone approached me like, “I wanted this.” There’s no problem. I’d rather spend the money early on and be like, “My system was in place for the world.” If the world wants to train with us right now, we’re ready for that. The system is in place. We are doing a couple of residential buildings in Jersey, New York, but then we just partnered with one hotel which is cool. We’re going to be doing their wellness program and we’re offering one-on-one training to them. It’s a turnkey operation. It’s tough for a company to do that. If you look at all the things I’ve gone through to build this, there’s no company out there or a hotel or whatever that’s going to be able to turnkey, “Here’s wellness. We can do it ourselves.” You have to outsource it. We got that covered for them and we’re about to rock out. We’re going to do a hard launch in March 2019.
Where can people find you online and all the Don’t Be A Pig stuff?
At the end of every show, I would like to ask, what is one piece of advice that resonated with you over the years that you would like to give the audience? It could be anything.
Don’t make excuses.
Thank you so much for coming on and I’d love to have you back on anytime.
Thanks for picking my brain. It went by fast but that was good.