Preface of The New Wellness Revolution
1. The Revolution Continues
What's New in
The New Wellness Revolution
Following the publication of The Wellness Revolution, I was called the "economist turned wellness guru" by The New York Times. I received an honorary doctorate for the role played by the book in helping Congress pass Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and other healthcare financial reforms—reforms that now allow wellness-oriented consumers to save money on their health insurance and finance their wellness. And my book was published in 12 languages and became the focal point for an international wellness community—thousands of people contacted me to share their wellness experiences and/or to tell me about new business opportunities in this exciting, soon-to-be $1 trillion industry.
As a restless writer and economist, I've always preferred to move on to new frontiers after each book or project. But in this case, my publisher and editor convinced me to write this revised edition, because so much has happened in wellness in the past five years. Some of these events happened as I predicted, and some I missed back in 2002.
The first edition of The Wellness Revolution foresaw the meteoric rise of wellness from $200 billion in 2002 to $500 billion today, and that Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), which began in South Africa and were spreading worldwide, would soon become universally allowed for U.S. citizens. However, I missed how quickly governments around the world would embrace wellness food standards, and I miscalculated the voluntary conversion of many sickness and food industry providers (including, to some extent, McDonald's and Wal-Mart,) to wellness and healthy food offerings. I also missed the extent to which the bifurcation of the United States and the other developed nations would continue into wellness "haves" and "have-nots." While millions of people embraced wellness during the past five years, millions more turned the opposite direction—the percentage of overweight Americans alone rose from 61 to 65 percent and the increase in diet-related diseases like Type 2 diabetes now make the United States look medically like a third world nation.
These trends have kept us on track to meet or exceed my original $1 trillion prediction for the wellness industry, and have greatly accelerated the need and opportunity for more wellness entrepreneurs.
Sir Isaac Newton said, "If I have seen further than others it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." Since I began tracking the wellness industry back in 1996, my giants have been the wellness revolutionaries I first began profiling in The Wellness Revolution—men and women pioneers in wellness who had already made a major difference by 2002. People like:
Frank Yanowitz, the wellness cardiologist who created a business specializing in preventing heart disease versus just treating it;
Jill Kinney, the personal trainer who built a $100 million fitness club business that delivers exercise at the workplace; and
Steve Demos, the "soy wonder" who founded SILK soymilk and assembled the first billion-dollar national wellness brand.
Their stories, along with an update on where they are today, are in The New Wellness Revolution.
But, equally significant, since 2002 I have become aware of hundreds more wellness revolutionaries—people who have also made a difference in the wellness industry, and in doing so, have greatly enriched our world. Some of these wellness revolutionaries include:
Peter and Kathie Davis, cofounders of IDEA and ACE, who organized 20,000 fitness professionals into a cohesive international force that brought professionalism, standards, and accreditation to the fitness industry;
Information pioneers like Tod Cooperman and Joe Mercola, who built enormous web-based businesses by simply supplying wellness information to tens of millions of consumers worldwide;
Chiropractors like Fabrizio Mancini and Bob Hoffman who, along with other leaders in this 100-year-old international profession, are returning the chiropractic industry back to its wellness origins;
Entrepreneurs like Patrick Gentempo, who are using the franchise and distribution methods of fast food companies to build national wellness franchise businesses;
Medical doctors who are trying to put themselves out of business, like Russ Reiss, a heart surgeon who seeks to eliminate the need for heart surgery through stem cell research; and
Nonprofit professionals like Geoff Tabin, who has taken the most popular operation in the world, a $3,500 antiaging cataract surgery, and made it available to millions of people in the third world by using technology to reduce the price to $20 per surgery. As the wellness revolution enters its next stage, similar opportunities to make wellness affordable to the masses, just as Henry Ford did with the automobile, are appearing in all parts of the wellness industry.
Since 2002, the list of wellness revolutionaries, my "giants," has expanded one hundred-fold. As I stand on their collective shoulders I am able to see clearer into our wellness future. I wish I had room to tell you all of their stories, and I apologize to the many whose stories did not survive the editing process into this final book.
These wellness revolutionaries are the true heroes of the wellness revolution. Whether you are an experienced wellness professional looking to grow your business, or you are reading this book in search of a new business opportunity, their stories will provide you the inspiration and the information you need to capitalize on the great opportunity ahead:
The opportunity to make an incredible fortune by doing incredible good in the greatest industry on earth—wellness.
Next Section: The Next Millionaires-- Wellness Entrepreneurs