This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Cavan Klinsky. Cavan is the co-founder of Healthie. Healthie is a practice and client management software for nutrition and wellness professionals. The platform gives providers the tools they need to succeed in coaching and care, allows them to build closer relationships with clients, and helps contribute to a society with better healthcare outcomes.
Here’s what I love about Cavan. He is a self-taught programmer who went to college, met his business partner, took action, and created a software and a company that now services thousands of health and wellness professionals in over 25 countries – and he’s still in college!
There’s a lot we can learn from this young entrepreneur who is wise beyond his years.
Cavan got interested in health and wellness when he was early in High School when he was running on a treadmill and started to have trouble. He felt tired, dizzy, and almost passed out. When he saw a doctor, they told him he was born with a congenital heart defect. He ended up having to have heart surgery, being the in ICU, and for several months was not allowed to do any real physical activity.
It was during this time that he got into coding and built his first webapp. He also began ti immerse himself in health studies and getting himself back to where could do sports and activity. He ended up wrestling during the rest of time at school and winning a NYC championship. He also started a freelance web development business at the same time. He then went to college at University of Pennsylvania that is where he met his co-founder and came up with the idea for Healthie.
They launched and got their first client in just a few weeks.
What has been the most important thing that you have learned so far about success on your journey?
- The most important thing Cavan has learned about success is to learn about failure, learn from it, and understand it.
- The ability to keep trying and iterating and with each new pass at a product or solution, you get closer to succeeding.
Most important thing you’ve learned about yourself?
- How to be persistent
- Doing the smaller, incremental changes over and over again and persisting through them is where you get your biggest breakthroughs.
Is the trait of persistence natural or can it be learned?
- Everyone has the ability to be persistent.
- But, it’s hard for people to be persistent in things they are not interested in or passionate about.
What should people know about Millennials in business?
- The general view is wrong and stereotypical
- Millennials are very driven and competitive
- They may do things differently, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t striving and driven to succeed.
- But, Millennials are not particularly patient.
- They have grown up in an instant age.
- This is good because they want to move faster and find ways to be more efficient.
- Finding leverage is more abundant that ever with the technologies and capabilities that exist today and Millennials are well equipped to be problem solvers in this area.
What has helped you the most in building Healthie?
- Asking how things can be done in a different way?
- Expecting improvements vs. accepting what is already there
- A culture of constant improvement
- Being conscious to the little things – the small tweaks here or there make a big difference.
What have you learned about how to build a successful company?
- Get out of the gate. Get a product out there and start getting feedback to improve.
- Hiring. Finding people smarter than you in every other discipline. Have a goal to put yourself out of a job. Hire up.
- Listen, take in feedback from clients, and learn what they really want/need. Then actually do it.
What have you learned about leadership and how have you grown as a leader?
- Hire well and be open to their ideas. Take them in and execute on them.
- Hire “good” people. People that are good and that are good for the team and not just good a job.
- Be transparent with your team
- Separate business decisions from personal decisions
Tip on creating a good hiring process?
- Do interviews with multiple people in person and include those in which the candidate may work with or alongside.
- Look for aptitude skills – how do they think on their feet? How do they interact? Body language?
- For startups or fast growing companies – scrappiness, resourceful, and self-starters are critical.
At the 28 min mark, Cavan talks about productivity Hacks he has used to balance being a full time college student and building Healthie.
The future of medical care?
- 60% of Americans are overweight or obese
- This costs not only the people, but is very taxing on the whole system
- The big shift we will see if the shift to preventative care
- Technology will play a huge role in this because it now able to monitor and help people manage their health – not just getting it from a doctor once or twice a year.
- The biggest challenge is behavioral change and using technology to be able to do this.
At the 37 min mark, Cavan talks about why wearables are so interesting to him and why they will change how we manage our lives.
Best Quote: “There are no shortcuts or silver bullets. Constantly improving in all areas of your business and life is the only way.”
Cavan's Misfit 3:
- Show up. Put yourself out there. Engage.
- There are no shortcuts or silver bullets. Constantly improving in all areas of your business and life is the only way.
- Listen to your advisers, investors, mentors, etc. but make sure you are keeping your own independent thought. Keep your head when all men doubt you, but make allowance for their doubting too. (from IF by Rudyard Kipling)