Founder – The Healthy Place
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Tim: My guest today is Tim O’Brien, the founder of The Healthy Place, an e-commerce store for healthy products. They also have for brick and mortar locations, one in Madison, Wisconsin, one in Fitchburg, Wisconsin, one in Middleton, Wisconsin, and one in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. Tim’s passion is health and wellness, and he has spent the last decade sharing his passion with the world on a personal side. He is married to Becky and together they have three children. In this conversation with Tim, I expressed how much health and wellness is important to myself and how convoluted the marketplace is and very difficult to trust who you buy from and which products you buy. I was excited to have Tim on the show so that I could learn more about the difference in what the healthy place offers over buying products at other places like GNC, Walgreens, the vitamin shop and obviously Amazon.com. So sit back and listen to the education that we get from Tim on how to buy better and healthier products in the health and wellness space.
Joe: Hey, Tim, welcome to the show.
Tim: Hey, hey, how you doing, buddy?
Joe: I’m doing great, man, happy, what is it? Wednesday, I lost track, I just got
Joe: Back into
Tim: Hump hump day of the week, man, and
Tim: I’m doing this to say thank you for giving me a chance to be on your show. Man, this is cool.
Joe: Yeah, no, that’s my pleasure, as as I mentioned before, we actually started this that I have, you know, I know that literally health is everything. Like you can have everything in the world that you ever, ever wanted. And without your health, it’s just, you know, it’s it’s unfortunate because I know people go through things that had nothing to do with them not being healthy. They just got delivered a bad hand,
Joe: You know, so that’s a different story. But those of us
Joe: That can make sure we stay healthy, there are things that we can do. But before we get into all of that, and as a lot of my listeners for the podcast and the viewers of a YouTube channel, now, I’d like to get the back story because a lot of the people who listen to the show are my hope is that these entrepreneurial spirits that are trying to figure out what they want to do are there in the midst of doing it. And they they need ideas from people that are being successful doing it. So I would like to go back as far as you’re willing to go back to allow myself and the viewers to understand how you got into what you’re doing today. What
Tim: I love
Tim: To share that. Yeah.
Joe: Yeah, like what triggered the fact that you’re now in this world of, you know,
Joe: The health world
Joe: Yeah, yeah. So I’d love to hear that and then we’ll get in,
Tim: I’d love to. It’s
Tim: A cool story, I kind of like telling it because it’s just cool to see how things can work together to sort of bring you to the place that you’re at. And it’s sort of confirmation in some different ways. So I love to share it, man. I’d be happy to do so when my when I was like five or six years old, my mom fought through thyroid cancer. And I remember her like going through the chemo radiation and losing the hair, like seeing her at the hospital. I have four siblings, so just a lot of fear in the home, worried about mom. And then I remember this time where she came home and she was sort of like excited and sort of like filled with a little bit of hope because she had gone into this health food store in a little town called Muskego, Wisconsin, just this tiny little town that had a health food store. And she talked to this guy named John for like an hour and a half. And John shared with her all these natural alternatives that had some good science and some good reason to believe that it could help her in her process recovery, treatment of the thyroid cancer. And so she would like go in there like once a week, whether it was a refill for some supplements or whether it was some more education, because there was a lot of literature that this guy handed out as well, like books that he gave her.
Tim: And I would go with her. And through this whole process, she she was benefited quite a bit from these natural alternatives that helped her and her recovery process. So I remember hearing about that as a little guy. And through that process, she got a job as a manager at this health food store. And she was there all the time, 40, 50 hours a week kind of thing. And us kids were home schooled. So we would go with mom often sitting in this back room of this health food store, doing our math problems, doing our schoolwork. And I watched over the years these testimonies produced of people coming in with chronic pain, depression, sleep issues, other folks that battled cancer, that my mom held their hand through the process, educating them. And so that was like my whole upbringing. And it really got into my DNA that there is natural alternatives out there that work and the general population just doesn’t know about them, because the way our medical system set up pharmaceutical medications, you know, we have some of the best doctors in the world. And, you know, you go to them, you get a prescription, you don’t
Tim: Get a natural alternative recommendation. So I got a bit passionate about that in my late teen years. So I got a job at a GNC franchise and worked for the owner who invited me to move out to Madison, Wisconsin, to manage some of his GNC stores after a little while. So I was like, man, OK, my boss thinks I’m good at this. I really enjoy helping people, encouraging people. I just happen to like like people in general. So it was it was sort of a fit. Like I got this passion for this natural alternative thing. I feel like I’m helping people. I’m impacting the world. I want to make a difference. And I was managing these GNC franchises in Madison, Wisconsin. Well, there was a corporate takeover, dude, in twenty seven where everybody lost their jobs, like corporate took over these six franchises that my boss owned. And it was like, OMG, like, what am I going to do now? And so I determined, you know, hey, I want to do something. And that’s natural alternative space. I have always been sort of passionate about business in general. I had like three paper routes when I was 11 and I hired my sisters for a quarter a day. I was making bank
Tim: And I was so I tried a network marketing business for a little while that was suppliments and that was brutal. Multi-level marketing can be really hard. And I was like, OK, I don’t want to go that route. Maybe I should open my own health food store. And at that time I had just met dating, married Becky, my wife. So we’re prayerfully like thinking through this. Should we do this, put the house on the line, open up our own health food store and risk everything. And we decided to take the plunge. So our first brick and mortar store, 2010, was in a town called Fitchburg, Wisconsin, which is right outside of Madison, Wisconsin. And then twenty fifteen, it was store number two in the Madison area and then twenty nineteen with stores three and four. So that was going well. We then moved towards ecommerce where like, hey, if we’re making an impact and a difference here locally, which is really exciting, we really enjoy it together. We work as a team like let’s let’s hit the nation. That sounds fun. And so we started to see a little bit of success there, especially ones covid hit of last year because our in-store traffic took a hit. So our pivot as a company, like a lot of smart companies, was, let’s focus on e-commerce. And so that really helped us talk about a blessing in disguise, really helped
Joe: Mm hmm.
Tim: Us figure out the e-commerce space a little bit. So really exciting. In December, January of this last year, we got our little warehouse. So now we have a warehouse in Madison and we’re shipping packages out all over the United States. And that’s the story. And the mission is about impacting, empowering and educating as many people as we can to just like, learn, grow and create a lifelong foundation of health and wellness. It’s like a fanning a flame. You know, somebody already just has a little spark. You know, they’re putting the cigarette out outside my store, throwing the McDonald’s bag in the trash and like, I need something for my chronic pain all the way up to the health enthusiasts. And no matter what, to me, it’s so encouraging to just fan the flame of someone’s health and wellness. Because you said it earlier, life is a gift and people need to remember that.
Joe: Yeah, and so have you always, based on the background of sitting in that store with your mother and seeing what the proper nutrition and supplements and things like that did for her? Did you always pretty much lead a healthy lifestyle?
Tim: Funny is
Joe: Tell me you’re a fast food junkie.
Tim: No, I wasn’t. Yeah, I was, and I always felt very bad if I was going through that fast food line, but my diet really didn’t really take a huge impact until I married Becky. So for whatever reason, I would I knew a lot about supplements, really passionate about natural alternatives. But I was I was not the guy who is eating ultra clean, raw, organic, clean. I was like, OK, I’m going to eat a basic diet cleaner than most know what kind of excuses that. And then I’d lean on supplements for nutrition. And so when I met Vecchi, this is two thousand eight, she’s like, wow, this doesn’t even make sense. Like you can’t go eat at pizza, frozen pizza, you know, and then go take your supplements. And so she really convicted me. And it’s been a pretty cool team because that’s always been her passion is very clean eating. And she didn’t understand or know about the supplement natural alternative thing. And my passion has always been for my mom’s story of natural alternatives and supplements can change a life. And so then getting married and working together as a team to educate Madison and our social media platforms and on YouTube, it’s like there has to be a marriage between nutritional deficiencies, making sure we don’t have them eating well, eating clean exercise. So we should work together. And I’ve improved since meeting, Becky.
Joe: Wow, so are you actually telling me that she was already before you guys even met, she was interested in this sort of thing or she was she was
Joe: A healthy, clean eating person.
Tim: Yes, she was
Tim: A health enthusiast, yeah, I mean, just health, and that’s part of what drew me to her is like, man, this girl’s got discipline, like extreme self-control. For me, that’s been an area of struggle, just like in general, like discipline waking up early. I’m the guy that would, before I met Becky, like stay up till one and then sleep till nine till I had to quit, get to work. And, you know, he’s like, man, we got some work to do. But, yeah, she sure inspired me and a few of those areas.
Joe: Ok, so without prying too deeply then, because now you’re really piqued, my interest is the fact that you guys are lying so well. How did you meet?
Tim: Yeah, so we there was like a young adults meeting through it, through church called Metro Believers Church in Madison, Wisconsin, you know, I’m a Christian, she’s a Christian, and in my early twenties, it was like, hey, I really enjoyed finding people like minded. And I think in the back of my mind, I’m like, I’m searching for a life, you know? So I would go to a couple of these different churches, young adult ministry meetings, whatever, 20 something groups. And we just started hanging out. So it was like a group of like six or seven of us. And I was about six months in. I pulled her aside one day after church and said, I still laugh at what I said. I said, Hey, Becky, I’ve taken a shining to you and I’d like to continue on to marriage. And she’s like, oh my gosh. Like, OK, I’m kind of like you, too. It was weird way to ask, but OK.
Joe: It’s also that’s
Joe: Old school,
Tim: I don’t do it right. Oh, yeah.
Joe: But also
Joe: All right, cool, well, that’s that’s great. So how did you change or why did you change the name from Apple Wellness to the healthy place?
Tim: Yeah, really good question, you know, Apple Wellness was a good name, you know, in the sense of like Apple a day keeps the doctor away and we just had too many people thinking we are the Mac Apple store. So I literally get calls, at least weekly,
Joe: That’s so subtle.
Tim: At least I know, and then I’d see my employee across the way and he’d be talking to somebody and he’d be like, well, try turning the phone off and then turn it back on, you know?
Joe: Oh, my
Tim: Especially after he got the e commerce thing going, I started, Becky, as the graphic designer and kind of branding expert within our company for a long time. She’s like the Apple word’s taken. That’s just gone. And I should have consulted with her a little bit more before we chose the name.
Joe: Uh huh.
Tim: And so she’s always kind of wanted it changed. But then I found out that Apple, the company, has an Apple wellness program
Tim: For employees
Tim: Like it’s trademarked. I mean, so I figured it was just a matter of time before I end up getting some sort of litigation letter from
Joe: Yeah, well, OK, that’s interesting.
Joe: So you stole one of my questions, but it was perfect because it was actually in line with what you were talking about. But I want to go back to it because
Joe: It’s important, again, for like the entrepreneurs that are listening to this and what we just went through with covid, you talked about shifting. They’re not shifting, but literally adding to what you’ve already established. Right. So you were
Joe: You were a retail store, people walking in foot traffic. That’s what you counted on to make a living. Right. So when covid hit, obviously, everyone stayed home. So there goes all the foot traffic. So did you already have the e commerce portion of this set up before this happened when you said it was a blessing in disguise? Were you already ready to go the moment like that?
Joe: You know,
Joe: The doors.
Tim: Yes and no, I
Tim: Mean, it’s like we had the website, we had the ability to set up ship products out. We had maybe three hundred out of the four thousand products that we have in our stores on the site. So we were ready in certain ways and then not ready for a lot of things. And we had no idea on the digital side of marketing, Google ads, Facebook ads, SEO optimization, email marketing. We hadn’t done text messaging. We hadn’t done very much of that, very basic and each one of those areas. So it was all of a sudden like pedal to the metal once March hit, where it was like, OK, we have some of these basic fundamentals. And I always tell a business owner like you, if you don’t already, you have to have a website like I mean, covid showed us all that pretty quick, like
Tim: Have to have a website and you can get free ones are very inexpensive. Wick’s dotcom. I’ll tell business owners, like even if you’re not a photographer, don’t don’t try to be don’t don’t get some real basic a white posterboard. Put the product right over it. Just take a picture by a window. Don’t don’t try to get real clever with it because Vecchi tells me that it can end up looking really bad if
Joe: Mm hmm.
Tim: You’re trying to do so. Basic things like get a website, get a social media, you know, ask your grandkid if you don’t know how to set one up sort of thing. So we had all the basics, but then for us it was like, OK. Let’s get live chat on our website, because we are one of our difference makers, is consultations
Tim: With we change lives because we ask questions and we figure out the best products and forms and brands for their specific issues, problems. So let’s get a live chat on our website so we can have those conversations. Let’s get free shipping. Let’s make it really easy. Even if we lose money on maybe one out of five orders, let’s just like make it easy, reduce friction in any way that we can. Let’s get on Google ads and Facebook ads. So we hired a digital agency for that and it’s pretty cool. A year later, we had 30 percent overnight of our foot traffic was just gone once we were able to stay open, thankfully. But that 30 percent in one year’s time, we were able to build that on our e-commerce platforms. We were able to replace what was lost. So I’m still head spinning, so thankful for my team able to bring that together because it’s quite the operation and it takes a lot of work.
Joe: Yeah, did you did you keep the stores open themselves or did you?
Tim: We did
Joe: You did OK.
Joe: Was it.
Tim: Scrambling in the beginning of if we could be classified as essential or not, and my belief is that the immune system is something that can really be strengthened. I’m more passionate about terrain versus the germs so we can strengthen our terrain, strengthen our immune systems, both defense and offense. I mean, there’s incredible science behind simple nutrients like sand, mucus from elderberry. The University of Sydney showing the prevention which with elderberry prevention of viruses entering the cell. I mean, it’s some pretty cool science. So at the beginning of the covid thing, it was like, OK, I’m not going to tell anybody I can cure or prevent
Joe: Mm hmm.
Tim: Whatever, but I’m sure as heck going to yell it from the rooftop that you can strengthen your immune system and a strong immune system. Strong health is the best defense against any disease, virus, sickness anywhere. So I got pretty passionate about that a year ago.
Joe: Cool. Yeah, that’s great. So I’m normally pretty good at not bouncing around, but in this case, I want to go back to when you decided to do this. You know, obviously when when someone gets released from a corporate environment and they’re like, oh, my gosh, I don’t have control over my own destiny because these people
Joe: Just literally rip the rug out from underneath me, which is another thing that a lot of entrepreneurs know because this is how they got to where they are there that happen to them. Like I’m not letting someone else dictate how my life is going to turn out. Right. So
Joe: But what’s really crazy is I don’t know if it if in Wisconsin or the places where you have these stores, obviously we know that you already brought it up at GNC is a big brand around the country. There’s also where we are. There’s the vitamin store. Right. Are the stuff that one of those
Joe: Is a vitamin
Joe: So there’s a lot of these places. So it’s almost like you saying you and Becky going, oh, yeah, we’re going to create the next pizza delivery like pizza
Tim: There’s already
Tim: 10 right around
Tim: The corner,
Tim: So let’s see number 11, yeah.
Joe: Right. It’s we’re going to be the next Pizza Hut or Papa John’s or whatever. It’s just like that that industry
Joe: That’s it takes a lot
Joe: Of guts.
Tim: So competitive.
Joe: Yeah. So when you thought about it, as all entrepreneurs, do, we always come up with these ideas and then we sometimes will kill our own ideas without our spouse or partner or someone will say they’ll be the sensible one and say
Joe: Right. But then you have all these outside influences of of friends and things. And, you know, at any moment, if you would have said, hey, we’re thinking of opening up a vitamin supplement, healthy sort of
Joe: That people would look at you. But what about all of these major brands? So tell me about how you got over the hump to make to pull the trigger.
Tim: Yeah, do that’s such a good question and, you know, to identify and I had some friends who opened a coffee shop, you know, and a year later, you know, the coffee shops not doing so well is unfortunate with covid timing and everything. And it’s like the supplement thing where you, like, hear this and you’re like, oh, I don’t know, you know, I wish him well, but I don’t know if that’s going to work because it’s just like there’s a hundred of them, you know.
Tim: So I think for me what happened was I worked for GNC for, I don’t know, five years. And you start to see good stuff. You start to see bad stuff, you start to see their model. They were purchased by China a while back. So, OK, it’s all sourced from China. Forms of nutrients are in their synthetic forms or not so absorbable forms. And you start to learn like, OK, a better product would help this person more than this form of curcumin that’s not absorbing into their system from China or wherever, you know, so you start to see where you could make a difference and you sort of start to see your difference makers. So in the supplement world, there’s two veins of supplement stores. There’s the type of stores that are all about muscle gain and weight loss, you know, weight loss, thermogenic high caffeine, ephedra, and then trim and tracks Hydroxycut. And a lot of that isn’t super healthy for
Tim: People to be taking steroids or pro hormones, you know, not super healthy. So that’s like one vein of supplement stores. And then there’s another vein of supplement stores that just they sourced from China. They use synthetic nutrients. It’s a little bit more about margin and profit than it is about quality and making a difference. And so that is something I realized pretty early on. And there’s not too many supplement health food stores that have a lot of knowledge where you walk in. And there’s not just like a high schooler selling the huge jug of protein because it gets a two dollar commission on it, you know.
Joe: Yes, I do know.
Tim: Yeah, yeah. And there’s just not a lot of those out there. So then all of a sudden starting to dream about, you know, originating from my mom’s story where somebody really helped her out, where I can really make a difference, because if I open my own stores or store at the time, I can bring in some of the best brands in the world. And pretty quick, in any industry, you find out, good, better, best. And I want to be in that best category. And all of a sudden you’re working with some of the best brands in the world and you have the knowledge to be a to guide somebody with Crohn’s disease. Let’s just
Joe: Mm hmm.
Tim: Talk over asthma on natural alternatives that really work. And if you impact them, if you help them, if you change their life a little bit for the better, now they’re going to keep coming back forever. And they tell everybody they know because there’s such a vacuum, such a desperate need in this day and age for knowledgeable resources in the natural alternative space. We have a ton of medical, we have a ton of pharmaceutical drugs. We just don’t have information coming to the general public on natural alternatives that work. And I get to be that resource in Madison, Wisconsin. So I think that’s why we have done well in our brick and mortar stores. And I think that’s probably why our attention is higher for our e-commerce is because of that customer service, that knowledgeable resource, that going the extra mile to impact their lives. And I’ll give you an example. A lady might hit our live chat from California and say, hey, I’m looking for a V12. Can you give me a recommendation? And then we might ask the question like, absolutely. Here’s a couple of options. Do you mind if I ask while you’re while you’re taking V12? Oh, my doctor said because I have really low energy, I have nerve pain and my mental clarity and focus, I get like foggy brain all the time. So then all of a sudden we say, awesome, OK, I’m actually going to encourage the method in form of V12 because it absorbs much better than this sign form that I first sent you, because I really want you to feel the difference. And since you’re feeling fatigued, a little brain fog, I’d love for you to consider this adrenal boost product that has adapted genic herbs in there, like Atul Gawande wrote Rodeo Mocca because ninety two percent of fatigue is related to your adrenal glands. So then you recommend that product. They get it. And this lady two months later goes, Oh my gosh, my energy is a little better, my focus is better, my stress is reduced, which I didn’t even bring up. But that adrenal product helps with stress, too, I guess.
Joe: Mm hmm.
Tim: Then all of a sudden they’re leaving a review like, wow, that wellness consultant, Ryan, he’s one of our our wellness consultants. He really helped me out. And so it’s a very different sort of dynamic than a typical GNC store, health food store, vitamin shop type experience. They’re
Tim: All great stores. I mean, I love Natural. Anywhere you can get them. So that was like our difference maker and that’s why I thought I could make a go out of it.
Joe: Ok, cool. I have so much to ask you now, because you keep opening up like Kansas. So. So before again, I, I want this stuff to be helpful for the entrepreneur. And then then we’re going to help the consumers that listen to this. So how when you decided on doing this and said, OK, and let’s pull the trigger, how did you figure out the place where you’re going to open up store number one, that you do all that extensive,
Joe: You know,
Tim: Good question, yes.
Joe: Traffic, you know, what’s going to pop up around us? What
Tim: You know,
Joe: Is, you
Tim: Find a good broker, a real estate broker that can find you spaces. So I had a guy named Kent in Madison, Wisconsin, and he you don’t have to pay these guys. You know, it’s the landlord that pays them.
Tim: And so as a young entrepreneur about to, like, risk everything you had, that was really important for me to know. Like, I I still am shocked by that. Like, you can just call one of these guys, try to find a reputable one, find somebody that trusts that can make a good referral. And they do all this scouting for you. They send you all the reports and you don’t pay a penny. You know, I am a bottom line at the end or something, but you don’t pay a penny for this. They get paid from the landlord. So he was bringing me idea after idea after idea. And he had been in the industry for a long time. So he knew the city really, really well. And he was able to guide me through, hey, this has a really strong anchor. The anchor in Fitchburg was
Tim: It was a super, super target. So I was like, oh, learning about anchors are important,
Tim: Really important. So I tell you, if you’re listening, like, look for some strong anchors, because that’s really going to help you for traffic.
Joe: And just for the listeners and the people that don’t like it, like when they talk about like a small strip mall or a plaza or something like that or even in a in a mall small, an anchor is an anchor store. That is when they go in, there’s a really good chance they’re not going away like they are a big thing like Target or Wal-Mart
Joe: Or Nordstrom or whatever. So I just wanted to clear that up because I didn’t know at one point. But I know when you’re looking at retail space like that, you want to be surrounded by an anchor store that has been around forever and is not going away.
Tim: Yes, and just to further drive that point home, we have for brick and mortar stores and the one that’s doing like the worst is the one that doesn’t have a strong anchor by it. So just get one with a strong anchor and then look at price points and definitely negotiate. So we had that broker that was able to help us out. He was able to negotiate tenant improvement. Our big deal when you’re opening a store, because you you could use money towards the build out and you can ask landlords for that. So if, again, if you have a good broker and you tell them your story, what you’re trying to build out, a lot of times you can get a number of things paid for by the landlord because they’re about to ask you to sign a five year lease.
Joe: Mm hmm. OK. So at this point, the four locations that you have, you are in a lease situation
Tim: Yes, all for you
Tim: And I’ve
Tim: Looked into purchasing.
Joe: Ok, so there is yeah, that’s my question. It’s like when do you pull the trigger on saying, OK, I want to actually start to own some of these buildings are these spaces. And that’s a huge job. That’s that’s really put your
Joe: Neck out. Right.
Tim: So in all four, I looked at them and each one has a different story, the first one I looked into though, at the Fitchburg location, the buildings were not for sale. So I was like, all this is so cool. So I looked into it and it was seven million dollars for these two buildings because it’s in a strong anchor, high traffic area. So it is difficult to buy the spot by the strong anchor
Tim: Because it really it would have been risking I couldn’t I couldn’t do it. But then the idea next idea is like, well, maybe I should move locations now that my name is established, if I can buy a strip mall down the way or something like that. So that
Tim: Idea is in the back of my head. But then you move away from the strong anchors. That’s
Tim: Been called me back.
Joe: Right, cool. See, that was perfect because that was like all of the things that you have to consider and
Joe: It’s yeah, that’s a tough decision, man. That’s a lot of money.
Tim: It is,
Tim: Dude, I
Tim: Know and I have a buddy who owns a dentistry office and he
Tim: Was able to purchase his location and it’s awesome. He’s about to pay it off after ten years. And I’m super excited. So
Tim: It is depends on the situation.
Joe: Yeah, OK, so now let’s get into what I consider in the world that you’re in and I’m a huge fan of natural like I is, it’s a there’s a difference between naturopathic or is. Right. Is that pronounced correctly? Is that they say it
Joe: Or homoeopathic.
Tim: Homoeopathy yupp homoeopathy
Joe: Right. OK.
Tim: And integrative medicine is kind of like medical and naturopathy together.
Joe: Yep, yep, so Joel and my life partner went through a battle of breast cancer where she had some lymph nodes and luckily, you know,
Joe: Through through chemo and radiation, she came out on the other side and everything’s great. But
Joe: The big thing that she also had was she had a naturopathic doctor
Joe: That went that came from the cancer world. So the advantages is that he understood the treatment that was happening with the normal medicine and he knew what to give her to not take away from what she was doing with the chemo and radiation, but at the same time helped to keep her system built up and not offset any of that. So there was a perfect marriage between the two. And
Joe: I swear to this day, I feel like that was the reason that she was
Joe: Fairly, fairly normal through the process, like we were doing 90 X and she was in the middle
Joe: Of chemo
Joe: And radiation.
Joe: Yeah, it was ridiculous. So
Tim: Dude, that’s
Joe: I’m a big fan of the naturopathic side of things and natural remedies and all of that. So
Tim: Not the.
Joe: So that’s why this was a cool episode for me, because it’s hard to talk with somebody that is in this niche that you’re in without it being the big stores. And so my first question, because I got so many of them
Joe: First question and the first
Joe: Is how do you become with all of the misinformation that’s out
Joe: In the world? Right. And this is what confuses all of us as consumers. You go to Amazon and you say, I need a B vitamin of
Joe: Some B supplement.
Joe: And the habit is you you click on the five star rating, things that you want. You think that’s going to be the best because people are taking their time to read it, which
Joe: I think there’s enough
Tim: Did he.
Joe: In the world that says that’s not necessarily true.
Joe: And then you literally are just like throwing darts at a dartboard with
Joe: A blindfold
Tim: Know that,
Joe: On. So.
Tim: I know.
Joe: So how do you get through all the misinformation that you feel so confident enough that when you when you suggest something to a client that you haven’t been taken advantage of by the misinformation, like
Joe: How do you get through
Joe: All of that stuff?
Tim: A great question and even the reviews, if a company markets really well and they’re incredible at marketing, they can get a billion, five star reviews and they can be like synthetic sourced from China, not NSF certification. So over the years, you start to be able to read between the lines and you start to be able to say, hey, this is B.S. over here. This is marketing. Only not met with quality. And like any industry, you start to learn the good, better and best. So there’s a few things. So first and foremost, I think everybody needs somebody on their team. Like your wife has that naturopathic doctor now as a resource that she can probably shoot an email to or make an appointment with and ask these questions. I think everybody needs somebody on their team because most people have a medical doctor and beyond that and they might have a pharmacist. Right. And they’re good to have on your team, but we need somebody with. Expertise, knowledge, history in the supplement space, because even a naturopathic doctor, they know way more than I do about the human body, about maybe. Yeah, just just how to treat maybe disease.
Tim: Right. When you’re in the supplement space, there is you get to deal with hundreds and hundreds of brands. And over the decades, which I think 18 years now, you start to find out what brands are good and trustworthy and which ones aren’t because the FDA doesn’t regulate all the supplements. So you can say whatever you want on the label about me, your romantic drink here, but you can say whatever you want and. FDA isn’t going to necessarily nail you if you’re lying, if your label is making false label claims and this happens, there was a clinic in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where not real clinical, but where they took products from a number of stores, GNC, Walgreens, Wal-Mart and Target. They took supplements from those four stores and then they had them tested at Chavannes and it was Chavannes Labs. And all four of them had discrepancies with what the label said and what was actually in the capsule. And one product was an Asia product, which is good for the immune system. And it had zero percent echinacea in there and a little bit of garlic like
Tim: The H
Tim: Now? Yeah. So that exactly what you said. It’s shooting in the dark. Is it marketing that’s producing these reviews? Is it quality? Is it going to help me? Is it a waste of my money? Am I being sold. Right. So there’s all those questions and the privilege that I’m so thankful for is just being submersed in the supplement world long enough. You learn a couple of things. So sourcing is vital. Where is it coming from? There is vitamin C that you can get our China, that there’s some concerns there with chemicals, heavy metals, arsenic, or you can get vitamin C from Scallan, which happens to have a really rich ascorbic acid form of vitamin C clean, great place to source it from. So where a product is sourced from is really important. Number two is does the brand have NSF certification? So NZDF C, GMP grade facilities that they work with, which they’re paying money to NSF to a third party test and ensure that they’re having all of these practices that are healthy for supplements, they’re sourcing their cleanliness. Has it been tested? Is it clean? Those questions? And NSF doesn’t care about the company. They care about the reputation. So there sure as heck going to just that’s a good certification is trusted in the supplement world to ensure that what’s on the label is actually in the product.
Tim: So sourcing No. One, NSF, GMP certification, number two and number three, which all of these take some sort of expertise or having somebody on your your team. You know, that’s why I say to have somebody on your team first. But number three is the forms of nutrients. So E 12, which I gave the example earlier, Psion Kabalan and B 12 is synthetic. So your body has to convert it and you lose a lot of the content in that conversion versus a methyl form B 12, which is the natural form that your body absorbs really, really well. So four items, number one and two, saucing and NSF, you can have a very clean form of sign Kabalan and B 12 source, very clean. You could have NSF facility ensuring that you have that 50 micrograms of cyanide Kabalan B 12 in the B complex. But then it would take some expertise to know, like, OK, that’s fine, that’s good. But we would prefer a methyl form would be 12 because it absorbs so much better
Tim: And every single nutrient. This blows my mind because every single nutrient has good, better, best. You know, whether you’re talking about vitamin C, ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbic calcium ascorbic B 12, which I’m talking about the six paroxetine hydrochloride versus toxified phosphate turmeric. You can get the the turmeric that colors your Indian curry orange and you can take that capsule and it’s good for you. It just doesn’t do very much for inflammation unless you extract the curcumin out and then even that doesn’t have a good absorption rate. So blending it with the turmeric, essential oils and the sunflower lecithin launch the absorption where it’s literally absorbing two hundred to five hundred times better than the turmeric Indian spice that you started with. And that’s the form of ninety five. That’s the form that Baylor University of Texas is using to literally treat cancer and chronic pain with incredible results. I mean, the cancer story is very cool. Inflammation is the root of the root system of cancer.
Joe: Mm, huh.
Tim: So that’s an example where it’s like oh man form so saucing, NZDF, GMP, great facility forms of nutrients. Those are the big three that you want to look at to know quality. Right. So that’s what I always tell somebody, find somebody that you can trust. So for you guys, it might be your your doctor that your wife worked with for in Madison, Wisconsin. A lot of people trust the healthy place to help guide them, know we don’t do commission so that we can just recommend what’s best so
Tim: People can use that live chat feature on our website to just ask those questions. But find a health food store maybe that is trustworthy in your home town, that you do meet a job like my mom met John
Joe: Mm hmm.
Tim: Or find a store like mine that you can connect with and you can go to when health strikes, health problems strike because everybody has some conditions, some problem, something, even if it’s something as simple as fatigue, you know. Ninety two percent of fatigue is related to your adrenal glands. You can strengthen your adrenal glands and you can have more vibrant energy every day. And people just don’t know that. So they keep reaching for the coffee or the soda or the caffeine pills, what have you. So get somebody on your team that you can trust.
Joe: So go. So you said at one point in this conversation that do you have over 4000
Tim: Products, yeah.
Joe: Excuse now, right? OK, so let’s just take that as an example. It’s a full time job for someone like you to be the
Joe: Of your of the healthy place. You have to be the gatekeeper to say, yes, this comes into our door and gets put on ourselves or in our e-commerce store or
Joe: No, this doesn’t meet the criteria. So to me, it feels like it’s continuing education and literally a full time job for whoever that person. Let’s just say it’s you at the moment that
Joe: Is the person that says yay or nay on these products. So it’s just mind boggling what is out there and what you have to do to sort of educate yourself to to say, yes, this makes the cut, not only doesn’t make the cut, but it’s in a product. It’s not a product and not a C product, you
Joe: Know what I mean?
Tim: Absolutely right. And it’s like reading a book, though, you don’t want to minimize what I do, it’s like it’s not hard for you to read English, you know, after you’ve learned it. But if you’re learning a new language, it looks like totally confusing. Overwhelming can take me forever to learn this language. And it might take some years to learn it. Once you have that language mastered, it’s just like reading a book, you know,
Tim: You just check the boxes, right. OK, where is the source from NSF? GMP, what’s the forms of these nutrients? Because you start to learn and then you have experts that you follow. A lot of people smarter than me that I follow. Dr. X, Dr. While, Dr. Whitaker, Dr. Northrup. And you start Terry Lambrew and you start to follow these gurus in the southern industry that have been there for 40 years, that know so much more than you. And you’re reading their literature, listening to their podcasts. They’re the symposiums around the planet that are going on for this breakthrough, that breakthrough. You get the subscriptions right to the. So I just tell everyone, get plugged in at least where you’re getting encouraged on a regular basis to own your health, build your terrane strength in your health and all the ways that you can inspire yourself on a regular basis and then get somebody on your team that you can trust to help guide you in the space, because it is a new language, right?
Joe: It’s nuts, it’s just it’s so frustrating. Did a three month vegan plan
Joe: I’m not vegan, but I loved it like it was good for me. But I
Joe: Actually I actually, in the process, lost a lot of muscle mass because I was also going always going to the gym. But all of a sudden I started to shrink both,
Joe: So, yes, I’m like, I’m doing all this hard work. And it’s just I needed to get on a B 12 vitamin of something. And it’s funny because I don’t even know what I’m taking, but it’s something that I got from Amazon and
Tim: I can do it. I’ve been assigned to general
Joe: I’m sure.
Tim: Check that
Joe: I’m going
Tim: The program.
Joe: To look when yeah. When we’re done, I’m going to look and then I’m going to and then I’m going to say I need a direct line to Tim in
Joe: So have you ever thought of franchises?
Tim: I have, I
Joe: And I’m
Joe: Just interested you don’t have to you don’t have to
Joe: Say to.
Tim: I’m so I am very interested and I have been kicking that ball around in my head for a long time because we are we specialize in education, right. So you got to find ways to duplicate yourself in a franchise. And so we created a three month curriculum that our wellness consultants have to go through. They have to pass quizzes and tests and they have to get certifications from this company, this company and MKB certification, all the enzyme certifications to understand the industry, know what questions to ask customers and how to make recommendations. So that’s one of the hardest things that we’ve done that would make it more easy to duplicate the knowledge side of our company and our brand. And as I’ve talked to people who have created franchises, the the legal side to it is one hurdle and then enforcing them to actually maintain your model as representing the healthy place. What we have created is the two big unknowns for me as far as difficulty. So then the choice came, should we just keep adding brick and mortars in our own territory? Right, right. In the Madison area and then put all of our energy and focus into our brands that we’ve created and our website because there’s infinite you can do in the business world and you kind
Tim: Have to choose.
Tim: So we decided to park the franchise idea for now and really go after lively vitamin CO. This is one of the brands that have been borne out of our brick and mortar stores. So now we’re selling that to other health food stores around the country. And the number two is build find your healthy place dotcom, because just like Amazon is a freakin mammoth, there’s so much opportunity to impact and power and educate everything that I’m passionate about on that website. So currently with four kids, we are chilling on the franchise idea. But I think it’s brilliant because there’s not there’s not the option out there, which is why it keeps coming back to me
Tim: There’s not that many health food stores out there that really care. Soulsby for sales. You know, as one of my
Tim: I really
Joe: Love that, by the way, I love that.
Tim: Thank you. Thank you. There is a time I was praying and it was like not I it going to make my friggin mortgage. When I first opened the store, I was praying to God for sales and I was like, God to declare bankruptcy here is brutal. And it was like an arrow is like, do you care about their soul as much as you care about the sales?
Tim: And it was kind of striking. So, yeah, there’s not that many stores out there that really care about the human that have knowledge to help guide them and a model that works to help people, you know. So it’s still an idea that keeps coming back to me. So
Tim: We’ll see.
Joe: Yeah, well, good luck if it happens, I’m sure it’ll be great.
Tim: Thank you. You see one popping up next door, you’ll know where to get your V12.
Joe: There you go. So you hit upon this a moment ago with the whole franchising thing of how to actually create this template and create a strict thing where where the people that are talking to your customers are very educated and they’re giving the right information and asking the right questions. So how have you done that with the people that are at your current stores and how have you done that with the people that are on the other end of the chat? When somebody files in to ask these questions,
Tim: Yeah, so.
Joe: How do you get something like when is somebody OK? You’re ready to take a call, you’re ready to be on the chat, you’re ready to to advise a customer in the store, like, what’s that process?
Joe: And you don’t
Joe: Have to go too deep. I just
Joe: I’m sure somebody is going to say, like, hey, Tim, super educated on this. So every time I talk, like I just said, you know what I call him on the chat, I want him, you
Joe: Know. So
Joe: How to how do you duplicate Tim so that everyone that’s coming in on the chat or walking in the store says this is just a clone of Tim like he may. He’s already run them through the ringer, you know?
Tim: Yeah, that’s so the three month curriculum that we created is our pride and joy. I’m so thankful for that. It was brutal to create. So I created one hundred videos, having a five minute conversation where I’m explaining different parts of the world and explaining brands and what to look for and how to explain it. And then we’ll go through they’ll have to pass quizzes and tests based on each module. So there’s nine different modules to this curriculum. They have to go through trainings with specific companies. They have to do a number of roleplaying activities with our managers where they pretend to be the customer
Tim: Coming in, hey, I’m looking for some CBDs. What do you got? And so they get tested there and they have to get these certifications from each of these brands, so they have to pass it. So there’s one guy who got to the end and he is like, OK, dude, we got to rewind because you’re not retaining this stuff. So either you did the last minute cramming for this quiz the night before. And like I didn’t I did that in high school.
Tim: And then you don’t retain it, right.
Tim: So do you really care about this or not? So he had to start over. He had to go through it again. So it’s a team. We have a leadership team of five. And so we have these nine modules, the quizzes, the tests. They have to pass them. They have to do the role playing. And then the leadership team of five will say, OK, this person’s ready or they’re really not ready. And there’s still a couple of parts of our team where we’re like, OK, where they can be a wellness consultant in the store, but we don’t think they’re ready to be on live chat. So then we’ll wait maybe six months until they have a little bit more experience, because where our team learns the most is from the customers coming in asking the questions and they don’t know the answers of how to treat colitis
Tim: Whatever. So then they have to go find out to get back to that customer and then they learn something. So right now, I’m proud to say our live chat feature on our website, if you go to find your other place, dotcom lower, right. You get that little live chat bubble, the seven different consultants that you might run into over there are, I wouldn’t say clones of Tim because I think they’re smarter than me, but they are really well equipped and able to match, kind of hit the mark of where they need to be. And they all know and are passionate enough about helping people to not. One of the first things that I’ll tell them is, dude, never bullshit.
Joe: Yeah, yeah.
Tim: That’s a real thing. And I came from a I won’t say anything negative where it’s just more about getting the sale, about getting that commission. And and that’s part of why we don’t do commissions. So it’s a fun process for intense.
Joe: Well, that’s great, man. Yeah, so I want to respect your time. We’re down to the wire. I want to make sure I didn’t miss anything that you want to talk about. So you have four stores in Wisconsin.
Tim: Wisconsin, the.
Joe: Ok, and you have the website
Tim: Find your healthy place, Dotcom.
Joe: Buying your healthy place, Dotcom. Anything else that I missed that is important that we talk about?
Tim: You know, dude, I mean, as I was thinking about this program and your followers, like what your mission is, you’re trying to encourage entrepreneurs, trying to encourage people to be thankful for life. You don’t
Tim: To treat life like the gift it is, you
Tim: Know? So I did want to offer your followers a coupon code. If they don’t have you know, if you have a health food store in your own home town, that’s great sport. Those guys, if you have somebody on your team, that’s awesome. That’s my main passion. And if you need a resource that you can trust, if you go to find your healthy place dotcom and you get something type in coupon code, Castelo, and that’ll give 30 percent off the full price on anything on our whole website, we have thousands of products. So anything from V12 to something more intense. And regardless if you buy something or not, use that live chat feature to ask questions. You know, I’ve had people call my cell phone bill. Hey, Jim, you know, I’m in Wholefoods right now and I’m looking at three different multivitamins. Like which one do you think I should get? You know, and I get to tell them and it’s fun and you can share the love. And so use that live chat feature as a resource, because more than ever, dude, we need natural alternatives. We need some education we at least need to know about, like Joel and your
Tim: Life partner. Dude,
Tim: What if she didn’t have that naturopathic doctor that gave her some natural supplements through one of the most intensive crisis’s that she ever faced in her life? Like, you know, in your gut that that helped her in a dramatic way because you watched her do P ninety three, the cancer experience.
Tim: I mean, that’s a miracle, dude. And it took somebody reaching out and it took a resource being willing to respond to create that miracle, you know. And so that’s what I want for people.
Joe: Yeah, it’s I can’t stress it enough that
Joe: What I saw before my very eyes every single
Joe: Day and it would and then I see people that are going through cancer of some type and they’re only being treated,
Joe: You know,
Tim: A medical doctor, yeah.
Joe: And they’re their body is just being crushed.
Joe: And there’s and there’s nothing, no nothing helping to offset the chemicals and all of the harshness
Joe: Of that treatment. And so.
Tim: Right, and let me say, you know, you saw it with somebody you loved very much, I saw it with my mom when I was five or six. And since then, I’m getting goosebumps. I have seen it for thousands of people through the last 11 years that the healthy place has been a company, thousands of people, not always cancer, but but we’re talking depression, chronic pain, Crohn’s disease, asthma, like people suffering like megacorp. There’s so much suffering going on
Joe: Mm hmm.
Tim: In the world and there is natural alternatives that people literally don’t know about. They have nobody in their world telling them. So they just listen to whatever mainstream media or their medical doctor
Tim: Or their pharmacist. And there’s a lot of good people with good intent in those areas. It’s just there’s not the voice of natural alternatives. So we need to know about this stuff. We’ve got to get the word out.
Joe: Yeah, it’s great, man, I love what you’re doing, and this
Joe: Was exciting for me and and I think I actually have your personal email, so I’m just going
Joe: To I’m
Joe: Going to go I’m going to go ten. I need
Joe: Energy, Tim. I think I think I have inflammation. And I’m going
Joe: To be like.
Tim: I know you should, and if anyone’s listening to and they because sometimes, you know, they just have a trust factor or whatever, Tim at Find Your Healthy Place Dotcom. I am happy to take emails. This what I get to do all day, dude, and it’s just fun. It’s so rewarding. You just get to point people in the right direction and help them out. So I love it.
Joe: I wish you all the luck in the world, this is a
Tim: Thank you.
Joe: This is a great thing that you’re doing. It’s nice to have somebody who is, like you said, it’s it’s Soulsby before sales. It’s a great it’s a great way to do it. And I think
Joe: You’ll be
Joe: Rewarded continually be rewarded for doing
Joe: It that
Joe: Way. I’ll put everything in the show notes. Thank you for the coupon for the listeners
Joe: And I’ll make sure I have all the correct links. So find your healthy place. Dotcom is the website. The company’s name is the Healthy Place for locations in Madison, Wisconsin. You eventually might franchise someday,
Tim: And people on Facebook, you know,
Tim: The healthy people on Facebook, my wife’s a genius as far as really caring for our community there. So you’ll find a lot of good content and Instagram as well. So thank you, dear. This
Joe: Tim, thanks so much, man, I really appreciate your time today and thanks for all the insight and I really do wish you the best of luck.
Tim: Any time, brother, and wish the same to you.
Joe: Thank you, Matt.
Tim: I hope you enjoyed this episode, and I want to thank you for listening to my podcast. I know you have many options to listen to various podcasts, and I’m honored that you chose to listen to mine. I would love it if you were to rate my podcast Five Stars and write a nice review. It really helps to bring up the rankings of the podcast. Other listeners, once again, thank you so much for listening to the Joe Costello show. I appreciate you very much.