Lori Kennedy: Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur

Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is Lori Kennedy, who has set a goal of helping 1 million Canadians both physically and emotionally by 2022 through her business, WOW! Weight Loss. What advice does she have for other young professionals? Find out in today’s profile…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your business in a nutshell.
WOW! Weight Loss is Canada’s premiere whole foods-based weight loss system that focuses on education and the promotion of health through lifestyle change in conjunction with consuming whole foods. WOW! nutrition and weight loss programs are personalized and based on the clients’ age, weight, height, body fat %, weight loss goals and exercise commitment. Each plan also includes strategic foods to support the body based on the symptoms the client reveals. WOW! accredited nutrition professionals always facilitate weight loss and are overseen by a registered dietitian (and covered under most health insurance plans).

Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration?
The irony is that it became a business by accident. I started WOW! Weight Loss because at the time I was a personal trainer and many of my clients were not seeing any results from their 2-3 times per week workouts. I realized the importance at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition where I had personally experienced the healing power of food and I felt compelled to share this knowledge with my clients. 

In addition to weight loss, my clients experienced other health symptoms like acid reflux, digestive system distress, headaches/migraines, fatigue, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, etc. There were no other whole foods-based weight loss programs available across Canada that don’t rely on shakes or supplements that support the clients’ health symptoms while helping them to lose weight and improve their body composition.

WOW! became very successful very quickly. I knew that colleagues were having a hard time making a stable living as a nutritionist so I packaged WOW! and created the WOW! Professional Licensee Opportunity where other credentialed nutrition professionals could license the program and business model and use it within their own practices.

Licensing WOW! would help me achieve my vision of improving the lives of 1 million Canadians both physically and emotionally by 2022. 

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part of what I do on a daily basis is write blog posts and emails to my email list that inspire them and teach them. I love getting the thank you emails from them. Being an entrepreneur is very lonely, especially in some smaller, more remote provinces and cities. Being part of a network really helps the spirit. The most challenging part is staying focused. There is so much information out there, so much to learn and to teach, that it’s hard to stick to my vision and only provide the content and tools that will help me grow my business.

Where do you see your business going in 5 years?
300 WOW! licensees across Canada each having 20 to 30 weight loss clients per month. I want to integrate the WOW! program into 100 medical doctors offices across the country and have them refer their patients to WOW! certified practitioners. I want to be the holistic version of Weight Watchers!

What does success look like to you?
Being able to drop and pick up my kids from school almost every day and not have to put them into daycare because I need to work. To be able to work on my own terms from anywhere in the world. To know that I have documented proof of changing 1 million Canadian lives both physically and emotionally by 2022. To be able to offer a holistic model of nutrition and health to ANYONE who wants it.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
The most memorable milestone has been a goal I set in March 2012 to be a speaker at The Fitness Business Summit. I was asked to speak this year in front of almost 500 fitness and wellness professionals because of the action I’ve taken in my business and the dedication I have to move my business forward regardless of the circumstances.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Walk through the fear that you aren’t good enough, smart enough or know enough. Take imperfect action daily. Schedule 90 minutes of focused work time per day and fiercely guard your time. Fail forward fast.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
60 Minute Kids Club. It’s important to me because they are teaching children to have a good relationship with food through a digital platform, which includes a mind/body/spirit connection.

What is Notable to you?
It’s an inspiration. Like I said, being an entrepreneur is lonely, and seeing other successful young people helps to motivate and keep more going. It’s a source of creativity for me. I like to see what other people are doing.

How do you keep active, energetic, and vibrant?
I have two young children (two and four) so I play a lot. I have tea parties, dance and sing, which is the best thing after a long day. I work out with my personal trainer three times per week and do karaoke whenever I can to release some energy.