CEO Stories

Lost and Founded - Jonathan Fong

Jonathan Fong, co-founder of Journey Fitness, believes that the path of an athlete is very similar to that of a founder.

Author: DBS BusinessClass, Administrator of DBS

Jonathan Fong, Co-founder of Journey Fitness Company

Jonathan Fong is passionate about making a difference in the way people get fit and lead a healthier lifestyle. The Co-founder of Journey Fitness Company was once a sports scientist, endurance coach and elite athlete and these days integrates his experiences from his past to create coaching platforms to help more people get active. Believing that the path of an athlete is very similar to that of a founder, Fong remains ardently passionate about what he does – despite having gone through many trials and tribulations over the past 7 years – and constantly forges ahead to his next milestone. Besides hitting the gym regularly to let off steam, Fong also occasionally DJs at music festivals till the wee hours of the morning – he says it’s one of the few things that keeps him sane.

 

People say you are “Jonathan Fong, Co-founder of Journey Fitness Company”. Who do you say you are?

I think of myself as someone that is passionate about making a difference in the way people get fit and lead a healthier lifestyle. As a co-founder of Journey Fitness Company, I made use of my experiences as a sports scientist, endurance coach and elite athlete to create various products and services to help others optimize their time spent getting fit and staying healthy.

 

Best moment in your start up life. It was so good you wanted to fly Business Class somewhere with someone, and pop open the most expensive bottle of champagne there.

Being in business for 7 years now, we have gone through lots of trials and tribulations. There were several moments were worthy of celebrating. Most recently, the launch of our coaching platform (Journey Fitness Coach) comes to mind - but having built this business from the ground up we choose not to rest on our laurels and forge ahead towards the next milestone.

 

What secret did you hide from your co-founder or partner or parent for the longest time? Why?

There are no secrets to hide. If there are, there is probably a high chance the partnership won’t last. Trust in each other is critical in making a business work, especially since we rely on playing to our strengths and managing our weaknesses. From the very beginning it has taken so much time, effort and patience from everyone involved - co-founder, partner and parents - to pursue this passion and to make this dream a reality.

 

What’s the most eccentric thing about you? If VCs found out, they won’t have signed the term sheet then. But hell with that now.

I DJ for fun so perhaps spinning at music festivals till the wee hours of the morning occasionally. I wouldn’t consider that a deal breaker though because it’s a great stress release for me.

 

Have you ever cried? Or what was the lowest, crappiest moment in your start-up life? You wanted to give up everything. You wanted to kill someone. (During your start up career of course) Tell us more!

Running a startup is an emotional rollercoaster and there have been many hard times where I’ve questioned what I was doing. Fortunately, my background as an elite athlete helped me cope, because the ride you take, as an athlete is very similar to that of a founder - you invest lots of time up front in hope it will pay off down the road.

 

What are you up to today? What gets you up in the morning?

As I mentioned earlier, we have just launched Journey Fitness Coach so our efforts are now focused on marketing and continuing to improve the user experience. I oversee the logic and back end processes that allow Coach to autonomously help users optimize their current training. By spending more time researching content and analyzing data, I personally strive to make the profiling and training engine better every day. The Coach training system is much like a living organism, it evolves over time as we learn more about the human body and adapt to the needs of our users.

Besides that we’ve established a community of like-minded individuals invested in helping each other grow through the concept of shared learning. By connecting our users online and on the ground, anyone who wants to improve can do it effectively and with the support of others.

 

How do you keep yourself physically and mentally fit for start-up life?

As an ex-elite athlete, being active has always been part and parcel for me. So heading out and getting some training done maintains balance in my life. It’s the one thing that keeps me sane.

 

Offer a life hack (or two) to a young founder.

Always remain passionate about what you do. It’s what drives the heart and soul of your business so always strive to cultivate that passion and you’ll be a lot closer to success.

 

Movie or song that best describes you.

I’m a Trance DJ so that genre of music probably best describes me. It makes me feel good and gets me pumped up any time in the day.

 

Favourite quote.

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift. - Steve Prefontaine

 

Who and what inspires you?

Being able to empower the members of Team Journey Fitness and seeing them transform makes the work I do so worthwhile.

 

Tell me about yourself in 2030.

15 years from now, I hope to still be out and about, advocating the Journey Fitness principles that center around leading a fit and healthy lifestyle.

 

Published Date: 11 June 2015

 

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