Today we’d like to introduce you to Brett Maloley.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’ve been in the health and wellness industry my entire professional career. After exiting from two companies, which I started, in the Commercial Fitness Equipment space, I knew that I wanted to stay in the industry that I was so passionate about, but I also knew that I wanted to learn more about technology; I ended up joining a small, publicly, traded nutritional supplement distribution platform, as a consultant and later became the CEO. In May of 2015, we took that company private and my co-founder, Alex Karsos, and I started Ladder; close to 2 and a half years later we know we still have a tremendous amount of work to do, but we couldn’t be happier with how things are progressing.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Over the past decade I’ve started close to a dozen companies, a non-profit charity and been the CEO of a public company… each has had a different set of challenges, none have been easy. Ultimately, I believe that being a successful entrepreneur has everything to do with managing your own psyche and being able to not only manage the process but love it.
Ladder – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Ladder is a health and wellness coaching platform that exists to drive efficiencies into the existing continuum of coaching, ultimately working towards delivering a more effective solution for coaches and individuals who need to want to be coached.
We believe that health and wellness coaching, specifically personal training, is one of the most effective ways for people to find Happiness through Health and Wellness and who doesn’t want to be happy! We also know that for most people, traditional personal training simply doesn’t make sense. It’s too expensive. It’s too time-consuming. It’s hard to find the right trainer.
Furthermore, we believe that the entire personal training model is broken and has likely been somewhat broken since the beginning… If you think about it, the economics just don’t make sense. With the understanding that Personal Trainers are giving roughly half of what they make, back to the gym, plus they have to compensate for the fact that they have, on average, roughly 4 hours of unused time each day; the barrier of entry to the consumer is simply too high.
Combine the lack of alignment in value with (1) the fact that most of the good trainers are already booked at the times when most people could work with them and (2) the fact that zero motivation, accountability, encouragement and coaching takes places during the >98% of the time when you’re not actually working with the trainer, in person and the result is a fundamentally flawed model that makes it virtually impossible for the average person to get the benefits of working with a trainer or coach! (visual of the current model being broken)
So… about 2 years ago, we set out to change that and Ladder was born. A platform that connects people with Health and Wellness Professionals, via digital coaching. The first step in our process of Fixing Fitness. The initial solution, moving towards the world we envision:
“ Our goal is certainly not to replace in-person training, that is the last thing we want. What we do want to do, however, is create an ecosystem, where instead of 10% of gym members, working with a coach 5.2 times per month. All people work with a coach, gym members and non-gym members alike; but potentially less frequently in-person. Where the ongoing digital relationship, becomes the backbone and we’re inserting, in-person engagements when and if they’re needed.
We believe, as a culture, we will go from people paying for fitness, to people getting fitness for free, to a place where people actually get paid to exercise! “
We believe that the only way we can create the world we envision is by giving more to the health and wellness professionals, the hundreds of thousands of individuals who dedicate their lives to improving the lives of others: we want to make their jobs easier and put them in a position to help more people. There is nothing that technology can build that will be more effective than a passionate, empathetic and engaged coach. We exist to make those human assets accessible to all people, in a seamless, effective and valuable way.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
To me, success is making a lasting impact on a society… When it’s all said and done, I want people to say “this (in our case the health and happiness of society) is so much better now, so much better than it used to be.” And Ladder was one of the major catalysts in driving that change.
To me, it’s not a billion dollars or a billion dollar company, I believe those things will come; but the actual marker is changing the world and leaving a positive and impactful imprint on our culture, society and ultimately our world.