Breakthrough Nutrition Founder Emanuel Morales shared with MetroHartford Alliance Content Manager Nan Price about how he discovered entrepreneurship and embraced his passion for making healthy life decisions and helping others.
NAN PRICE: Have you always been entrepreneurial?
EMANUEL MORALES: For a long time, I didn’t even know what that meant—and I didn’t know it was possible for me. I watched my parents work their 9 to 5 jobs so I assumed my life would be pretty much the same.
NAN: How did your thinking change?
EMANUEL: It began through a connection I made with a fitness coach and Herbalife distributor who I met when I was working at Subway. He became my mentor and helped me lose more than 50 lbs., which helped me gain a new perspective on life.
My mentor told me I had to invest more in myself and invest more in books. He also encouraged me to think about where I wanted to be in life. He pointed out that people were following along on my weight-loss journey and he thought I could help them, too. I remember him telling me: If you’re not working for yourself, you’re helping somebody else’s dreams come true and your dreams are going to be on the back burner.
So, I started reading some personal development books and thinking of creating a business where I could motivate people and help them develop a healthier lifestyle. I knew there was a need for something like that in the Hispanic community.
I became a Herbalife nutrition distributor because I was passionate about helping others. I also started doing workout groups outdoors in Hartford at Colt Park, Goodwin Park, and Bushnell Park. The more people who became involved, the more inspired I became to motivate them and help them transform their live. So, I was “coaching” and retailing through my family and friends in my community and I kept earning and saving.
NAN: How did your business concept evolve?
EMANUEL: I had saved enough, and I wanted to have a physical space. I found this location on New Britain Avenue in Hartford and I did a soft opening December 9, 2019. The goal was to create a space that was a community hub. People can come in for tea and shakes, stay and lounge with their laptops, and consult with me to address their health goals.
NAN: You’re very newly opened, what do you need to move your business forward?
EMANUEL: Exposure. That’s why I reached out to Innovation Destination Hartford. I know you can help connect me with local resources.
I’m also working on getting the community involved and being more involved in the community. It’s important for me to network, connect people, and create a community around me.
NAN: In terms of building your community, do you plan to form collaborations with other local businesses?
EMANUEL: Definitely. Getting the community involved means getting more businesses involved and showing people that there are resources out there. Some of my clients have their own practices and we can cross-promote each other.
I’m very passionate about motivating the Hispanic community and showing them there are choices and there can be more to life than just working a 9 to 5 job. You can have your own business and do it the right way. I want to be that bridge for other people—showing them if I did it, you can too.
NAN: What other startup challenges have you faced?
EMANUEL: When I first started, people told me: It’s the wrong time to do it. You can’t open a business in Hartford. I told them: This is Hartford. Hartford has a chance. You just have to believe in Hartford enough to make change. And, against all odds and everyone telling me I wasn’t going to be successful. I know I am successful because it’s up to me; it’s not up to them.
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