For this executive spotlight, Club Solutions sat down with Blake Beltram, the co-founder of MINDBODY, to talk about his experiences in the fitness industry.
I was with someone in the mid-1990’s who started one of the early boutique spinning studios in Los Angeles, and I quickly found myself swept up in the positive energy of the place. I would take classes and help out just to be around the energy at the studio. Then, as a computer consultant, I was hired by a Pilates studio to help them “computerize” their operation, and that led to creating HardBody SoftWare — I know, you can laugh — which I installed at the spinning studio. This ultimately led to me co-founding MINDBODY, a calling that has forever bonded me to the fitness industry.
My biggest challenge has been keeping myself consistent, engaged and disciplined, which for me, boils down to keeping myself mentally healthy. By nature, I’m the creative, artistic type — after all, I was a theater major at UCLA. Like a lot of creatives, I have found myself performing very highly in streaks, and that can be a challenge in the business world. How did I overcome it? Truthfully, it’s a bit like laundry — it’s never actually done, rather it’s an ongoing discipline. I overcome it, oddly enough, by availing myself of the services of our amazing customers. Yoga, spinning, acupuncture and climbing, as well as running, hiking and a meditation practice are life-changing for me. Health and fitness is my medicine.
I believe the core of our success is directly related to being an authentically heart-centered company. It started from a love and passion for the industry and our customers, and that energy remains in place today in the heart of every team member at MINDBODY. This is an extremely talented team that is made up of dedicated individuals who believe they make the world a better place through their work and actions. That can’t be bought, and it can’t be beat. Rick Stollmeyer, our co-founder and CEO, is another key to our success. He’s that one-in-a-billion combination of heart, head, vision and passion, and where the company is today is a testament to that.
We’ve been listening and responding to the wellness industry for 20 years now, and that head start translates into unparalleled depth in terms of our product offerings — it’s amazing how much power and control we now deliver to a boutique wellness business owner on Day 1. And they no longer have to do it alone — MINDBODY One gives owners and managers a peer-to-peer community hub for them to connect with and support each other. We also differentiate in that we serve three major business verticals: fitness, beauty and wellness. This breadth enables us to create a global, two-sided marketplace, where millions of consumers connect directly to tens of thousands of businesses to find, book and pay for wellness services. We have effectively built the premiere wellness marketplace, and the MINDBODY app is the best example of where you can see this in action.
We are in a growth mindset. In the future, I hope to see MINDBODY become a household name, synonymous with how one connects to the world of fitness, beauty and wellness, both on your device and in your browser. I also believe we have an opportunity to lead what we call the Wellness Revolution, which is the basis of my new podcast, Wellness Revolutionaries. For me, this is about stoking a true social movement — a renaissance if you will — where our collective health and happiness are finally given top priority, not just in terms of personal responsibility, but also in terms of workplace wellness and even legislative action.