We continue to find ways to motivate people and provide the support they need to get healthy. We’ve made a tremendous impact on hundreds of thousands of lives. That’s what entrepreneurship is all about.
In 2003, David Meine’s foster dad, Tom, weighed over 435 pounds. He had to use a truck stop scale to weigh himself, estimating that he had lost and gained over 1,000 pounds in his lifetime. Nothing had helped him lose weight and keep it off. Meine and his wife happened to have the means to do something, so they consulted with industry experts and formulators to put together a fitness plan that included supplements, smoothies, and mental training to assist with weight loss. Meine recruited his foster dad and fourteen other subjects to participate in a study to test the plan. On average, participants lost 20 pounds in the first two months. Tom lost 100 pounds the first year, and 150 pounds in 18 months. “We improved his life and transformed him,” Meine says. Meine wanted to help others transform their lives, so he used his entrepreneurial expertise to create IdealShape.
In his 35 years in business, Meine has started 17 companies. “[Ideal Shape] has been the most rewarding because we change people’s’ lives. I’ve taken everything I’ve learned and used it to help people get healthy,” Meine says. “Our passion is to transform and improve lives.” That passion led Meine to create the IdealShake, IdealBar, and IdealBoost, with hunger-blocking and energy-boosting ingredients. Meine also wrote four books, produced a CD series, and created the IdealPlan, a full weight loss plan with recipes, meal plans, and online challenges.
Nearly 400,000 customers use IdealShape products, and the company has experienced 300% growth this year. While most companies in the industry experience a product return rate of 15–18%, IdealShape has only a 1% return rate. “We make delicious products that are convenient to use and proven to work,” Meine says, explaining why customers are so satisfied. While the company initially struggled to find customers online, after some concentrated marketing efforts, the site rose in Google ranks to reach the first page of a search for meal replacement shakes. The company now processes $5,000,000 a month, money Meine says can help them help so many other people.
“We continue to find ways to motivate people and provide the support they need to get healthy,” Meine says. “We’ve made a tremendous impact on hundreds of thousands of lives. That’s what entrepreneurship is all about.”
Meine is an EY Entrepreneur of the Year finalist. He and the other finalists will be recognized and the 2016 winners will be announced at the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards Gala Saturday, June 4, at the Grand America Hotel. If you’re interested in attending, you can purchase tickets here.