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Soda Inc.

Wintec House, Level 2 

Cnr of Anglesea & Nisbet Streets

Hamilton

New Zealand

+64 7 974 9111

Soda Inc. is proud to introduce one of our newest Soda LIFT incubation clients: Beyond Your Belly.

March 7, 2019

 

 

Beyond Your Belly is made up of dynamic duo Michael Briggs and Tony Brunton, it’s a program designed for men by men, to improve physical and mental health.

 

The pair meet with their new Australian-based mentor, Samuel Junghenn, for the first-time last week to talk about their startup business. Samuel is a serial entrepreneur with a burning passion for online marketing.

 

While they were here we managed to ask them a few questions and snap a photo of the trio laughing at one of Tony’s one liners – check out what they had to say below.

 

Michael:

 

What got you into your line of work and how did you end up where you are?

 

The line of work I have always been in is writing. I started out as a journalist and then I sold part of my soul for a career in corporate communications, but it has always been because I love telling stories.

 

I ended up in senior communications management and did less writing and more administration, so I eventually left to became a personal trainer and have been seeking a way of combining my love of writing and helping people get healthier ever since - thus Beyond Your Belly was born.

 

Now I don't just get to write stories, I help change other people's life stories.

 

What are you looking forward to getting out of this process with Soda and each other as mentor or startup?

 

I want to learn as much about all aspects of creating a successful online business as I can from our mentor Samuel Junghenn. Understanding the most effective methods of reaching our market and help with product development will allow us to get established in Australasia and then the rest of the world.

 

I have a goal of helping a million men lose weight so I know we need a man of Samuel's calibre to do that.

 

I'm also really looking forward to working with the amazing team at Soda and taking full advantage of the networking opportunities on offer.

 

Finally, I can't wait for my business partner Tony and I to get really clear on our roles and where we are going with the business so we can both use our unbridled energy and enthusiasm to maximum effect. 

 

Tell me something not everyone knows about you? (funny, inspiring, uplifting etc)

 

I'm a prolific writer. I've written a fictional novel (as yet unpublished) and have 6 more on the go - both fiction and non-fiction - and I have written hundreds of poems.

 

I love martial arts and have been training since I was 12, and for three and half years I worked a fly-in fly-out job overseas that I am not allowed to talk about in any detail under contract.

 

 

Now could someone get me a Martini, shaken not stirred...

 

Tony:

 

What got you into your line of work and how did you end up where you are?

 

I studied at Otago Uni and finished my degree in Hamilton at the sports science centre in 2002. I then got a job as a trainer at Club Aqua Waterworld and then became manager for a few years.

 

I then went on to manage the Wintec gym in G block which is now the computer hub. 

 

I was informed a Wintec development was coming so I brought the gym gear and went looking for a place to put it. I walked into Body FX and asked the owner if he wanted to sell and with no hesitation he said yes. I renamed it First Place Fitness and watched it grow. I brought my business partner out in 2013. Then in 2016 Healthy Inspirations closed in Hamilton so I got on the phone with the franchise owner and brought the program and renamed it Weight Loss Waikato. So far, that programme has been responsible for the loss of 1.4 tonne of fat.

 

I am always looking for opportunities or ways to improve.
 

What are you looking forward to getting out of this process with Soda and each other as mentor or startup?

 

Finding effective strategies to connect to our target audience via different online streams and watching the business systematically grow and help as many people as possible.

 

Tell me something not everyone knows about you? (funny, inspiring, uplifting etc)

 

I was brought up in the bush until I was 6, I used a car battery and tape deck to listen to car and animal noises, I had a hollowed out tree for a bath and a pot with holes drilled in it for a shower. I lived off the land while dad was a commercial meat hunter.

I’ve written a joke book but it just can’t be published.

 

I get a huge buzz seeing people do well and have a real passion for the health and fitness industry.

 

 

Samuel:

 

What got you into your line of work and how did you end up where you are?


I have always been involved in business because my parents were always self-employed. After owning and growing a number of different ventures and seeing the power of the internet when it first came to Australia, business growth using the internet to grow businesses was a natural fit.

 

When I started learning about online marketing I hadn't had any income for a year after selling my previous businesses and I had spent all the proceeds on seminars and mentors. Having no income or capital left I put myself in a situation where I couldn't fail. I started taking on clients with the base knowledge I had and they would ask if I could do other online marketing services which I didn't have a track record in.

 

The answer was always "yes" and I would commit to getting the client the result they were after, this forced me to learn quickly to ensure I could deliver. Many times working over 16 hours a day, 7 days a week in the early days, this helped propel my career rapidly.

What are you looking forward to getting out of this process with the guys at Beyond You Belly?

 

I love seeing businesses grow to blossom like flowers and more so watching the growth of the founders as they go on the entrepreneurial journey of self-discovery and expression. Watching the transformation of both is very satisfying. I'm always interested in the ways others do business and there is always another dimension of business to learn, so it will be good to work alongside Soda in growing Beyond Your Belly.


Tell me something not everyone knows about you? (funny, inspiring, uplifting etc)

 

I'm a bit of a nerd. Hang on most people know that. 

 

Most people don't know that I didn't do very well at school and I was a slow learner. I'm still a slow reader and writer, but I have turned this into a superpower where when I don't know how to do something I voraciously devour information to give me an advantage.

 

I listen to at least 1 audio book a week and have trained myself to process most books on 2x speed while being able to type notes and think about them. The same goes for YouTube videos. 

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