May 29, 2023
min read

7 Lessons from 5 Successful Startups and 1 Failure

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If anyone knows how to convey value in a wellness business, it’s Didi Hoffman.

In fact, Didi prefers to think differently.

Maybe it’s because he’s witnessed first hand how some startups crash into the ground. Maybe it’s because he’s shepherded five businesses to success. That’s why we interviewed Didi on the Making It Real Podcast. He knows how to make a startup work in the wellness space: for customers, for owners, and for long-term growth.

Seven Lessons From 36 Years in the Health and Wellness Space

Didi “ripped up the dance floor” on our podcast, so to speak.

He came prepared with seven things to remember when you’re building a wellness business. (If you want to be successful, that is.)

  • Focus on the problem, not the solution.

Especially in the health and wellness space, we’re always focused on the solution. “That’s what we’re always fixated on, because we have our different modalities and that’s what we’re trying to push because that’s what we love, but it’s the completely wrong approach,” says Didi.

He encourages us to think like “the technical guys.”

“They focus entirely on the problem and not on the solution.” Not sure what this means? Read #2 and it might click.

  • You’re solution is not your product. Your business model is.

“That was sort of an ‘aha Eureka’ moment for us, when we started focusing on the problem, and not the solution.”

In a word, your business is here BECAUSE of the problem.

It’s how you create, deliver, and capture value.

  • Focus on a specific person.

This does not mean “niche down,” Didi assures us.

Consider where your passion lies. Next, think of your passion in terms of people, not solutions.

“If you're a dietitian, don't just think about what you’d like to help people with, let's say diabetes, think of who that person is you would like to help with diabetes.”

But how do you get to know these people you’re about to serve?

Get on the phone. “Start talking to customers,” Didi says.

In fact, there’s a second type of person you should get on the phone with…

  • Get a mentor or a coach

“You need mentors. It's very important. We find that a lot of health coaches...don't take their own medicine.”

“If you're dietician, get a fitness trainer or whatever, you need to apply the model and know how the model works from both sides.”

  • Think in terms of “jobs to be done”, that is, the things your client needs to get done.

Get realistic.

"’Jobs to be done’ is the problem that our client or our customer has. We will build our solution to fulfill those ‘jobs to be done’. It helps us formulate how the solution will best look and how we can best help the client.”

It’s also a great way entrepreneurs can prevent from going insane.

  • Likes and follows on social media mean nothing.

“We all want a million followers. Forget about them. Find that 100 people that you can serve very well and it will just blow in from there. We've seen it with a lot of our students ... most of them don't even get to a 100 fans, they get to 30 or 42 fans that really support them, love what they're doing, support them in every way that they do and from there, it just blows and it builds out.”

  • Collaborate and curate.

You’re a professional. You know what you’re talking about.

Make it easier for people to find the right information out there by curating it and putting your own voice, or spin, on it.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel and spend hours creating your own content.

“My wife for instance, is in the art world. The most highly valid experts are the art curators, because they've got the expertise to know which are to put on display. If you are an expert, you will know.”

“For example, I can go on Meal Garden, search for four recipes to fit a certain target market and I will know instantly which of those recipes will work and which won't, and that's part of my expertise.”


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