Founder of Welltodo, Australian-born Lauren Armes has created a global industry network platform for innovative brands, entrepreneurs and investors in the wellness market. What started as a passion project, eventually turned into a profitable 6-figure business that branched out into events. We caught up with Armes, who is also a business mentor and success coach, to talk all things wellness, entrepreneurship and business advice
HOW DID YOU START WELLTODO?
I moved to the UK almost 6 years ago now. When I first arrived I was pursuing a corporate career in marketing and business development but felt unfulfilled. It was when I noticed that wellness was a fast growing market, making a rapid impact on the UK consumer, that I decided to start writing about it – and so Welltodo was born.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO LAUNCH WELLTODO? WHAT KIND OF GAP DID YOU SEE IN THE MARKET?
In exploring my personal passion, something you often do when thinking about ‘starting a business’…I realised that I was fascinated by the intersection of wellness and entrepreneurship. I had worked in a lot of different industries and felt that wellness as an industry lacked a hub for insights, market trends, and events designed for leaders and professionals to get together and learn/connect.
WELLTODO WAS LAUNCHED TO HELP PEOPLE BUILD BUSINESSES AND CAREERS IN WELLNESS. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE WAYS YOU ARE HELPING THEM?
With an initial focus on helping entrepreneurs to launch a product or service in the wellness space, we launched a number of events where attendees would have access to successful founders. This evolved into our Welltodo Summit, which happens each year in London – and incorporates keynotes, panel discussions and round tables for investors, founders and anyone interested in the growth of the industry – to get together and connect in a meaningful way. Our website is full of great content, market and industry reports, and we offer consultancy services for brands.
THE WELLNESS INDUSTRY IS NOW A US$4.2 TRILLION MARKET. WHERE DO YOU THINK WELLNESS IS HEADING?
Technology is having a considerable impact. It’s allowing brands to become more personalized in the way they deliver wellness products and services. Generally, there is a growing population of empowered consumers who want to discover more meaningful ways to prevent illness – be that through travel, skincare, food and drink, fitness or something else. The industry is now slowing down, but innovation is going to be key in order to stand out.
See also: Top 10 Wellness Retreats in the World
MEDITATION, REIKI, ETC. HAVE GONE MAINSTREAM. DO YOU THINK THE CURRENT MOVEMENT IS WATERING DOWN WELLNESS EVEN THOUGH IT HAS OPENED IT UP TO A WIDER MARKET?
Personally, I don’t feel that way. As long as industries are properly regulated then I think there is space for everybody to play in the wellness space. That doesn’t negate the need for credibility and authenticity in the delivery of products and services, but the more people who discover the empowering nature of wellbeing and preventative health, the better.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE OF WELLNESS TRAVEL LOOK LIKE?
We want to feel good when we travel. With more measurable approaches to wellbeing, our smart watches will tell us more about the impact of travel and the importance of preventing stress. I think this means we’ll continue to seek out more meaningful, spiritually-enlightening ways of traveling, and experiences that make us feel good, rather than leaving us exhausted by the time we get home. I think there is room for innovation though – especially when it comes to the airport and in-flight experience.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE WELLNESS?
A measured, conscious approach to living my best and longest life!
HOW DO YOU IMPROVE/MAINTAIN YOUR OWN WELLBEING?
In many ways – some more consistently than others. I go through phases of really focusing on my mental health in the form of meditation, journaling and reflecting. I also embrace seasons of more vigorous fitness activity and eating really well. But life is cyclical and we can’t expect perfection of ourselves…the stress of needing to be ‘well’ all the time can sometimes do more harm than good. So I take a measured approach, and do the best I can, whilst running a thriving, fast-growing business.
DO YOU HAVE A FITNESS ROUTINE?
Right now I’m committed to yoga 1-2 times per week, and 2-3 HIIT/resistance classes. I also have a tennis lesson once a week. I’m not perfect, but I do know I feel better when I commit to exercising…but it’s all about convenience for me. If it’s going to chew up most of my morning or take me an hour to get there, it’s not going to happen.
DO YOU MEDITATE?
Yes, but not consistently.
WHAT’S THE BIGGEST WELLNESS MYTH?
That you need to be perfectly balanced.
YOU ALSO CONSULT AND COACH PEOPLE. WHAT IS THE NUMBER ONE ADVICE YOU GIVE THEM?
Done is better than perfect. It’s about getting your product or service out there and allowing your customers to provide feedback, for you to learn, and ultimately to get out of your own way and put your work out into the world!
WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WERE EVER GIVEN?
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS WITH WELLTODO? WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON?
We have an exciting new careers platform launching in the next few weeks. We are also growing our events, expanding our content, and discovering new ways to reach people with our online courses and coaching services.
WHO INSPIRES YOU?
I’m inspired by the understated success story…the person who gives back and is striving to have an impact and create value, not be a celebrity.
WHAT’S YOUR SECRET TO SUCCESS?
It’s not a secret…success is a direct result of having a clear vision, persistence, and a willingness to bounce back and try again…despite challenges and failures.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
Being brave enough to go for my dreams, building an incredible team, and never settling for a life that felt ordinary.