Travis Zipper is a functional diagnostic practitioner, health coach, and entrepreneur in the medical industry. Travis helps his clients uncover their underlying health issues, and achieve their health goals in ways that don’t revolve around taking pharmaceuticals. Travis began his coaching career by co-founded the Nutritional Coaching Institute (NCI) and later branched off to create Wellfitz Mentorship. He continues to coach clients with difficult health challenges at NCI through a program that teaches entry-level health coaching. Travis also provides instruction for clients through Wellfitz Mentorship which is a more advanced health coaching program providing one-on-one mentorship to clients. Travis is currently working on earning his doctorate in clinical nutrition through the Maryland University of Integrative Health.
What do you love most about the industry you are in?
I love the fact that for the most part people are trying to do some good and help people learn how to live better, more optimized lives. I like the interaction of working with other people who have like-minded goals of paying it forward and wanting to help other people.
What would you tell others looking to get into your industry?
You have to learn through trial by fire. You have to just get out there and do it. There is nothing that will replace actual experience in working with people and helping them live healthier lives. You can’t be afraid to do that. You can’t have paralysis by analysis, thinking I have to take this course, I have to learn this, or I have to have these skills before you do it. You only need to know a little bit more than the client to be able to help them.
You should work with someone who has already been there and done that. You will shorten the learning curve tremendously and you will learn what has already worked, and more importantly what hasn’t worked. You don’t have to waste any time. But with that, there usually comes an investment. You have to be willing to invest in yourself and your future.
The health coaches that are in my Wellfitz Mentorship program know they always have someone there to answer their questions with regards to their clients. They have access to protocols and plans so they can help clients right off the bat. In the first month of the program, most people will say it has made a huge difference in their confidence and their ability to go out and work with clients. I encourage all of the coaches to implement everything they are learning on themselves as well, so they get a really good feel for what they are asking their clients to do.
What keeps you motivated?
I try to live a life of surrounding myself with positive and successful people. I use that as my motivation. I am always learning from other people in other realms.
How has your company grown from its early days to now?
I have been a part of growing the Nutritional Coaching Institute (NCI), along with my co-founder because we saw the lack of programs to teach people how to become nutrition and health coaches. What we saw out there was a cookie-cutter approach that did not show people how to apply much more than the basics. We have now certified more than 5,000 people and have several more courses available to clients.
I created the Wellfitz Mentorship to create another option for people that wanted more training beyond the certifications available from NCI but who did not necessarily want to get a master’s degree or go to medical school to become health practitioners or doctors. I am working with my second group of students in the program, but groups have been filled just by word of mouth. I am confident it will continue to do well.
How do you maintain a work-life balance?
I enjoy what I do so I don’t feel like there is a sway in the negative direction. I spend about nine hours a day building courses, writing, or helping other people. I feel like I have a good balance there because I enjoy my work so much.
What traits do you possess that make you a successful leader?
I am not afraid to put in the necessary work. I have always considered myself to be a grinder. I am always willing to first try things on myself and put myself through the fire. I would not expect anyone to do anything that I would not do first. I am able to teach and articulate things in a way that is motivating and gets the point across without overcomplicating what might be considered difficult concepts.
What has been the hardest obstacle you’ve overcome?
The hardest obstacle I’ve overcome has been deciding how to do things on my own without the help of others. I had to overcome a fear of doing something on my own without a safety blanket or a worry about whether I would fail. At a certain point, I needed to diversify and make sure I did not have all my financial eggs in one basket. That required taking the plunge and diverting a lot of my hours towards fixing that problem.
What is one thing you would change in your industry today if you could?
I still feel there are a lot of people in this industry that are taking money from well-intentioned customers and not providing true value. For example, a lot of people are automating their programs that teach other people by putting it online. They can reach more people, but they are no longer working with people in one on one settings. I think that takes away from the value that you offer when you no longer have that interaction.
Where do you see you and your company in 5 years?
In five years, I hope that Nutritional Coaching Institute is certifying 5,000+ people per year. I hope that I will have two fully filled mentorships groups through Wellfitz. I hope to be looked at as an authority in the health coaching space and that people will read my content and it will be helping other coaches go out and make a difference in people’s lives.
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