BizTimes Bubbler Executive of the Week: Lauren Trotnow

Lauren Trotnow, Presidential Director (based in Milwaukee) of Visalus Sciences    
Company address: 340 E. Big Beaver Rd., Suite 400, Troy, MI 48083
Website: or    
Industry: Health and fitness
Family: 6-year-old son, Brenton

What is ViSalus Sciences?  
“Also known as the Project 10 Challenge, we are the No. 1 Health and Fitness Challenge in the marketplace today. We have more documented before and after transformations than any other company in existence, and we are just getting started. With $1.8 billion in sales in just under five years since we launched Project 10, our mission is impact as many lives as we can by challenging the world to lose 10 pounds or put on 10 pounds of lean muscle through our meal replacement platform. Every time someone successfully completes our challenge, a child in need is sponsored through a local hospital or nonprofit. Obesity-related illnesses claim more than 7,600 lives on a DAILY basis. That is two times the amount of souls we lost on Sept. 11th. Our entire mission is to collectively reverse the trend of obesity on a global scale.”    

What inspired you to become an entrepreneur with the company?
“I have always believed that the only security you have in this world is the security that you create for yourself and by your own effort. We are in a new economy, one that is shifting drastically and one that no longer offers the traditional loyalty or longevity that you once saw in corporate America. The only way I believe you can ensure your future, and your family’s future, is to take control over your life circumstances and not use them as an excuse, but rather as a reason, to design your life and your financial success. Looking for a way to be in an independent role, I have always had a passion for health and fitness and was searching for a way to serve a vast amount of people to create a large impact. I took note of Visalus and their exceptional growth, as well as understood their mission to not only reverse the trend of obesity but serve children in need in the process. I could not think of a more honorable way to earn an income than to help people gain control of their health and get in the best shape of their lives by accepting the Project 10 Challenge. We hold the record for creating the most before and after documented transformations, more than any other company out there, obviously giving all those people a newfound confidence which naturally carries over to increased success in all areas. As a bonus, we also offer individuals an opportunity to improve their finances on a full-time, spare-time or part-time basis, should they choose, by helping us on our mission and spreading the word about our cause. To date, we have put over 18,000 people in paid for BMW’s, created over 800 six-figure income earners and 50 millionaires for doing just that.”  

What was the smartest thing ViSalus Sciences did in the past year?  
“Visalus is led by three incredibly innovative and cutting edge founders who have literally disrupted and redefined the entire direct sales industry from day one. As further testament to their commitment and loyalty to their independent sales promoters, it was just announced that they will be putting 6 percent of their equity (we are a $1.8 billion company) into qualifying independent promoters’ hands, making them owners of Visalus along with the founders. This has created an incomparable culture of partnership that is second to none and that will create legacy income for countless families and for generations to come.”  

What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?  
“Project 10 is growing at such a rapid rate both in the U.S. and internationally (we are now in 11 countries), I can see it being necessary for us to keep careful watch and ensuring we hire enough manpower to keep up with the demand for our products. However, this has never served to be an issue for us in the past, all throughout going from $32 million in sales to $1.8 billion in just about five short years. I trust we have a strong handle on it and am excited to see the next five years and beyond unfold as we continue to be the leader in providing healthy fast food to the marketplace.”

How does ViSalus Sciences stay ahead of competitors in the health and wellness marketplace?  
“Visalus and Project 10 have literally innovated challenge marketing and have made it a mainstream. We have taken a global issue, obesity, and created a fun, simple solution which offers a way to help people get healthy, do it for a good cause, enter a drawing to win $1,000 every time they lose 10 pounds of fat or put on 10 pounds of lean muscle (we give away $10,000 weekly) and do it for free, should they choose. People save money on their grocery expense while getting in the best physical shape of their lives. Further, our method of marketing has been replicated throughout every turn. We also have the strongest viral presence on Facebook, more than any other company, which keeps our cause and our mission in the public eye.”  

Do you have a business mantra?  
“‘Do today what others will not so you may have tomorrow what others cannot.’ It is a constant reminder to myself that staying consistent and doing the small, necessary things daily and without fail will compound to returns beyond my wildest dreams. While the majority may choose immediate gratification and distractions over discipline, I remind myself to stay the course. Obviously, I still enjoy life and the good things it has to offer with those who are important to me. However, instead of pursuing having the ‘time of my life’ in the short term and in the here and now through distractions, I choose to design my future so that I can one day have the time of my life for the rest of my life.”

From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?  
“Our co-founder and absolute industry leader, Nick Sarnicola. Nick started in the direct sales industry when he was just 17 years old and has literally gone from nothing to creating a fortune and generational wealth for himself and his family. He has already earned well over $10 million with our compensation structure in the past five years. Nick is one of the most persistent, focused and disciplined individuals I have had the privilege of knowing and working with. Not only are he and his wife sought after speakers, trainers and entrepreneurs, but he is also a husband, father and one of the most generous and loyal individuals I have ever met. Being in his presence and learning how he thinks, manages challenges and persists through any circumstance raises my expectations of myself by realizing what is possible through his example. Nick is near the same age as me and done all of this in the same time frame I have been around…seems I have some work to do.”

What was the best advice you ever received?  
“Treat average like a terminal disease. That is just how I view average, as a death sentence to your potential. I literally despise mediocrity and all that it stands for as I believe it robs so many of what they can achieve in this world. Sadly, I believe that most people really do live a life of quiet desperation, not living up to what they can accomplish by doing ‘just enough’ to get by. We all have greatness within us, a calling that once stirred who we are at our core. We get conditioned as we get older to be ‘responsible’ and do the safe thing, which sadly translates into settling for the elusive ‘security’ or just ‘enough.’ In all that I do, I give my all. I stretch, grow…succeed, fail, learn, begin again, succeed, fail…over and over again. That, to me, is living.”

What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you in your career?  
“When I was in college I worked for Jerry Springer. Obviously, it was not my most glamorous role. That is probably enough said on that one and funny in and of itself. I am never sure whether to laugh or cry over that experience.”
What do you like to do in your free time?
“Obviously, I have an extreme passion for fitness and working out, so I spend quite a bit of time being physically active and enjoying the benefits that affords me. I also treasure every moment I get to share with my little boy, Brenton, no matter what activity we are engaged in. I also am an avid believer in personal growth and development; I try to read at least one new book a month. My inner circle and close personal relationships are the most valuable asset I could have. Nurturing those connections and spending time with those who both enrich me and who I can enrich in return continually fill me with light and laughter.”

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