Book Review of The Wellness Revolution
Book Review of The Wellness Revolution. Why Wellness Is the Next Big Thing? In the twentieth century, our lives were revolutionized by things like the automobile, airline travel, personal computer, and family planning. In those cases, initial discoveries led to the birth of empires and unprecedented individual wealth for those entrepreneurs and investors who got in first. The next big thing of the twenty-first century has begun, and it promises to similarly revolutionize our lives and offer opportunities for tremendous wealth-building over the next 10 years.
This book is not about a fad or a trend it’s about a new and infinite need infusing itself into the way we eat, exercise, sleep, work, save, age, and almost every other aspect of our lives.
This next big thing is the wellness revolution.
The desire for wellness already pervades our decisions, from which toothpaste and shampoo we use in the morning to what we eat throughout the day to the type of bedding and cosmetics, we use at night. We demand more safety from our products; we want more prevention from them, too. And yet we are only at the beginning of the public consciousness of this growing need because most people still aren’t aware of how simple choices affect their wellness, and many wellness products and services aren’t yet widely available in the marketplace. This book explains the emerging wellness industry, to arm you with the information that you need to profit from it, both financially and personally.
The opportunity to make an incredible fortune by doing incredible good in the greatest industry on earth wellness.
The Next Millionaires Wellness Entrepreneurs
If you are an entrepreneur or are considering becoming one in wellness, there has never been a better time in history to own your own business. When I was growing up in the 1950s, millionaires were fictional characters in television shows like The Millionaire or comic strips like Little Orphan Annie. Nobody actually knew or saw a millionaire.
Even on The Millionaire the “millionaire” John Beresford Tipton never appeared on camera.
I remember asking my dad to go out to dinner and hearing his reply: “What do you think we are, millionaires?” But by 1991, the amazing U.S. economy had produced 3.6 million U.S. households that had a net worth of $1 million or more. Then, in just the next 10 years, the number of millionaire households doubled to 7.2 million. It took the U.S. economy 215 years to create the first 3.6 million millionaire households, and then just 10 years to create 3.6 million more.
The 1990s were the beginning of a period that will be known one day as The Democratization of Wealth,
not just in the United States, but in every nation from China to Europe. As you will see in this book, because of fundamental changes in the world economy, in technology, and new legislation favoring the individual over the organization, we are just beginning a period of democratization of wealth that would make Karl Marx stand up and cheer. But even Marx couldn’t have fathomed what is happening today—for we are not taking from the rich and giving to the poor, we are creating new wealth in which everyone who chooses to can share.
Millionaires are the fastest-growing minority in the United States and the developed world today.
And as you will see throughout this book, as people become millionaires, or just increase their wealth on the way to becoming one, the most important thing they desire with their newfound wealth is wellness. The more people increase their wealth, the greater proportion of their income they spend on wellness.
Is It Nature, or Nurture?—It’s Neither
One of the most fascinating parts of my research is discovering who is becoming a millionaire today—becoming a millionaire seems to have less correlation each year with your race, religion, country of origin, or even your parents or your education. If you have read this far, you have already made your choice the choice to either become one of or help create more of, the next 10 million millionaire households that will be created in the next 10 years.
There are many paths to success you can choose.
I hope that you will choose a business or career in the emerging wellness industry. As you will soon see, starting or building a wellness business creates the perfect storm of opportunity to make a lot of money and to do incredible good.
What Are Some of the New Wellness Trends Highlighted in The New Wellness Revolution?
As expected in a revised edition written by an economist, the numbers and projections have been updated. But there is more to this revised edition than just updated forecasts. Here are a few of the new trends in wellness:
1. The wellness revolution began in the United States but is growing even faster internationally.
The Wellness Revolution, published in 2002, was focused solely on the U.S. domestic market, where the modern wellness movement began. Yet this book has been published in 12 languages, and unit sales overseas, particularly in Asia, have exceeded sales in the United States. While the modern wellness industry may have begun in the United States, like so many other new products and industries originally made in America, it is now growing even faster outside the United States. The New Wellness Revolution is written for people around the world.
2. Wellness today is primarily a grass-roots movement driven by individual entrepreneurs and small businesses.
In 2002, I wrote mostly about the larger $100 million wellness companies, since that is how I originally became acquainted with the wellness industry. Yet the majority of wellness sales, then and today, are made collectively by individual entrepreneurs, direct selling professionals, chiropractors, osteopaths, other health professionals, and small businesses. This is because becoming a wellness customer requires a paradigm shift on the part of the consumer, and direct
person-to-person contact is the best way, and sometimes the only way, to make this paradigm shift in a person’s thinking take place.
The New Wellness Revolution explains why the majority of opportunities in wellness still await the individual entrepreneur or health professional,
And how new management techniques and forms of business organization (like direct selling and franchising) can allow such individuals even better technology than if they were part of a large corporation. This will continue for at least another decade until wellness is a mature industry and the majority of wellness consumers are not new to wellness.
3. Some large sickness-oriented food companies have switched sides and joined the wellness revolution.
The New Wellness Revolution explains how this turnaround in thinking about Dean Foods and other large food companies is only the beginning, and how this phenomenon is increasing rather than decreasing wellness opportunities for everyone, particularly wellness entrepreneurs. As explained in Chapter 2, once a consumer has his or her first wellness experience (like drinking soymilk), he or she typically becomes a voracious consumer of more and more wellness products and services.
4. Retailers and restaurants, formerly known for only sickness industry products, have similarly switched sides and joined the wellness revolution.
In 2002, most wellness food retail sales were through designated wellness outlets like health food stores and wellness restaurants. While the number and sales of these wellness outlets have increased, the majority of wellness food sales are shifting to traditional retail food and restaurant outlets. In 2005, McDonald’s began selling a fruit and walnut salad, and overnight it became the country’s largest food-service consumer of apples, requiring an estimated 54 million pounds of apples per year.
and now this worst offender (e.g., “Super Size Me”) is poised to become a major wellness contributor. In the 1970s, McDonald’s become the first major employer to embrace hiring and training inner-city youth, after many in America had given up on them. In the 1980s, McDonald’s re-engineered its operations to be able to hire senior citizens in selected markets through innovations such as flexible hours and large-button cash registers. This slumbering giant, which feeds more than 46 million people every day, has been awakened to wellness.
5. This switching sides phenomenon is generally not taking place among sickness-industry (e.g., traditional medical) providers.
Unlike the $1.3 trillion food industry, the $2 trillion medical industry has not embraced wellness and shows few signs of doing so. While there are exceptions, for the most part, U.S. hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and health professional organizations are either ignoring wellness or fighting it whenever it crosses into their territory. The traditional medical or sickness industry is fighting a losing battle. Like the railroads at the beginning of the 20th century, which saw their industry as trains versus transportation (and subsequently lost out to trucks and automobiles), the sickness industry is poised to lose out to wellness.
6. Thousands of new wellness products and services have come to market, some of which I predicted back in 2002, but, frankly, many of which I didn’t expect to occur until at least 2012.
In 2002, I expected that in about 10 years DNA- and other scientifically-based tests for targeted nutritional supplementation would become universal, adding legitimacy to the then-$80 billion vitamin business. But I far underestimated how fast legitimacy would come to the wellness diagnostic industry. In 2004, a DNA-based swab kit to identify vitamin deficiencies became available for $10 per test.
In 2005, a $10 million, room-sized,
fingertip-reading light scanner that reads antioxidant levels was redesigned into a book-sized unit and made widely available for less than the cost of a laptop computer—already 10 million people have had their antioxidant levels measured with this portable device. Moreover, as also explained in Chapter 10, another new development, stem cell research, holds great promise for wellness. Although scientists still don’t know exactly how stem cells work, medical professionals are using them to rebuild damaged organs and to slow down the aging process.
The New Wellness Revolution explains how these and many other new products are legitimizing the wellness industry by applying medical testing techniques and pharmaceutical-grade manufacturing standards to wellness products and services.
7. In the United States, from 2004 to 2007, enormous changes occurred in health insurance that now allows employees
And individuals to invest in their own wellness, and to keep what they don’t spend on sickness today for their future wellness (or retirement) tomorrow.
In 2002, I correctly forecast that Congress would have to make Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) universally available for all Americans—but I didn’t expect it to happen so quickly, nor did I expect that my work would play a role in helping convince Congress to take action.
The New Wellness Revolution explains how and why three million
Americans have already opened HSAs, and how more than 11 million Americans are now covered by employer-provided Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs). HSAs and HRAs allow employees a 100 percent income tax deduction for many of their wellness expenditures and they allow people to keep for their future wellness tomorrow what they don’t spend on sickness today.
8. In 2005, the cost of providing U.S. employees sickness industry health benefits exceeded profits for the Fortune 500 largest corporations,
And stockholders worldwide are questioning whether to continue funding many once-viable corporations, like General Motors. While everyone has talked about the rising cost of employer sickness-industry expenses for decades, 2005 was the watershed year—the year in which rising sickness-industry expenses went beyond just reducing profits to actually threatening the very existence of major U.S. employers. Employers en masse have realized that the only long-term solution to rising sickness-industry expenses is wellness programs that increase fitness and prevent the disease from occurring in the first place.
The Opportunity for local Wellness Entrepreneurs to provide workplace programs
The New Wellness Revolution explains the enormous opportunity for local wellness entrepreneurs to provide workplace wellness programs in their own communities, starting with weight loss and smoking cessation programs for employers powered by HRAs.
9. Despite the growth of the wellness industry from $200 billion to $500 billion in just five years,
And the resulting millions of new wellness industry consumers, the untapped market for wellness has actually increased in size. In the United States alone, the number of overweight adults increased from 61 to 65 percent during the past five years, and childhood obesity grew 10 percent, from 27 to 30 percent of children. When I began writing about obesity and overweightness in 1996, I never thought this epidemic would be even larger more than ten years later. Although millions of new consumers every day embrace wellness, millions more remain outside the reach of the current wellness industry and become more overweight, malnourished, exercise less, and/or continue to smoke.
Sickness v/s Wellness
Sickness industry products and services are provided reactively to people with existing diseases, ranging from a common cold to existing cancerous tumors. These products and services seek to either treat the symptoms of a disease or eliminate the disease.
Wellness industry products and services are provided proactively to healthy people (those without an existing disease) to make them feel even healthier and look better, to slow the effects of aging, and/or to prevent diseases from developing in the first place.
The New Wellness Revolution explains how the population of every the developed nation continues to divide itself into two opposing socioeconomic groups—those who are fit and healthy and take care of their wellness, and those who don’t. This terrible phenomenon has catastrophic economic and social consequences.
The contractual sickness-industry obligations to solely former employees now threatens the viability of many U.S. school systems and the ability of local and national governments to provide basic human services. In the United States alone, this unfunded local and state government obligation to provide unlimited sickness care to former employees now exceeds $1 trillion, and the resulting scandal will make the $300 billion S&L scandal of the 1980s pale by comparison. The scandal may even be worse in Europe and other developed nations.
10. I’ve joined the wellness revolution as an entrepreneur.
In 1999, I founded a company to spread wellness by reforming health insurance. This company became part of Steve Case’s Revolution Health Group in 2005, and today supplies wellness-oriented health benefits to millions of people through their employers or Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Club stores. In 2006, I founded a similar company focused on distributing similar wellness-oriented health benefits through wellness entrepreneurs and financial services professionals. This new company, Zane Benefits LLC (www.zanebenefits.com), is already making a difference on hundreds of college campuses and with thousands of entrepreneurs and employers, by getting consumers better, safer, and cheaper wellness-oriented health insurance.
Action Plan for Entrepreneurs and Wellness/Health Professionals
At the end of each chapter, you will find a section called Action Plan for Entrepreneurs and Wellness/Health Professionals. This is meant for new entrepreneurs or for people currently employed who are contemplating striking out on their own. I do not want to imply that my suggested Action Plan is the only one you should follow. My objective is to illustrate how great an opportunity there is in wellness, and to stimulate your mind to apply your own background, education,
and life experiences to become an entrepreneur in the wellness industry.
Paul Zane Pilzer
Park City, Utah
The Wellness Revolution Is about More than Just Making Money
In the rest of this book, we will examine the increasing size of the wellness industry and the thousands of fortunes that will be created through wellness.
As you read ahead and start to think about your place in this emerging industry, keep in mind that there is something even more important than your personal economic reward your impact on the world in which we live.
We live in halcyon days that have far surpassed the wildest dreams of our forebears, who fought so hard and lost so much to create what we have today. Yet due to our plague of obesity and ill health, we begin this millennium with more human unhappiness than at any time in our history.
Fully 65 percent of Americans are trapped within their own prison of being malnourished and overweight,
And almost half of those, about 30 percent, are clinically obese overweight to a point where they are hopeless and have no idea where to turn for help. These Americans are malnourished to the point that they live with constant headaches, body pain, stomach distress, heartburn, fatigue, arthritis, and hundreds of other ailments that contemporary medicine wrongly tells them to accept as symptoms of advancing age.
Medical companies sell consumers billions of dollars worth of products (e.g., aspirin, laxatives) that treat only their symptoms while ignoring their cause.
A similar situation exists in Western Europe, Taiwan, and most other developed nations, and it is emerging in China as chronic fatigue syndrome. However, this is about to change, thanks to the wellness revolution. Never before in history has a business opportunity had the potential to have such an incredibly positive impact on the lives of its customers.