Jared B Foley of Gallet Dreyer & Berkey On The 5 Things You Need To Create A Highly Successful Career In The Health and Wellness Industry
An Interview With Luke Kervin
Know the rules of the road. In any business, especially as an entrepreneur, there are laws and restrictions that have to be followed for your business to succeed. For example, fitness influencers who promote products are subject to a number of FTC rules governing advertising. In addition, influencers can be subject to lawsuits under state law relating to false or deceptive advertising. It pays to ensure that you are familiar with the rules, and have counsel to walk you through it.
The global health and wellness market is worth more than 1.5 trillion dollars. So many people are looking to improve their physical, mental, and emotional wellness. At the same time, so many people are needed to help provide these services. What does it take to create a highly successful career in the health and wellness industry?
In this interview series called “5 Things You Need To Create A Highly Successful Career In The Health and Wellness Industry” we are talking to health and wellness professionals who can share insights and stories from their experiences.
In this particular interview, we had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Jared Foley.
Jared Foley is a partner at Gallet Dreyer & Berkey, LLP with a practice that focuses on commercial litigation and soft intellectual property. Jared Foley also competes in National Physique Committee (“NPC”) men’s physique competitions. He has been practicing law for 14 years and went to Dartmouth College and Columbia Law School.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you grew up?
Absolutely. I grew up in South Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania outside of Philadelphia. I come from a big family with 11 brothers and sisters. After high school I went to Dartmouth College, and then to Columbia Law School. While I was committed to succeeding in academics, health and fitness were always an important part of my life. I started weightlifting when I was 13, and participated in sports, such as track and field. Since then, I have competed in powerlifting, and in men’s physique competitions.
Was there a particular person or event that inspired you to live a wellness-focused lifestyle? Can you tell us about your main motivation to go all in?
This may sound cliché, but I think I was first inspired by action heroes in 1980s movies, like Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. I was also inspired by my older brothers, who were both excellent athletes. My oldest brother played football and was part of a powerlifting team in college. My next oldest brother was also into weightlifting and basketball. From a young age I knew that wellness would always be a part of my lifestyle. In college, I received a training certification from Dartmouth and taught gym classes. Later, I would compete in powerlifting, and then men’s physique. I was motivated by the sheer enjoyment of pushing myself physically to be better and stronger than I was yesterday. For me, it’s really that simple.
Most people with a wellbeing centered lifestyle have a “go-to” activity, exercise, beverage, or food that is part of their routine. What is yours and can you tell us how it helps you?
My go-to activity is weightlifting, of course. Though I also do steady-state cardio as a regular part of my routine. I don’t really have a go-to exercise. My go-to exercise is whatever exercise happens to be working for me on that given day. But I try not fetishize any particular exercises. No one exercise is essential. I have always tried to be attentive to how my body is feeling on a given day — especially when I feel aches and pains that may signal that I need to back off from a particular movement. For example, on a leg day, I may not feel up to loading back and doing back squats. Instead, I may attack my quads by substituting walking lunges, hack squat, or front squats. There’s more than one way to train a muscle.
To live a wellness-focused life is one thing, but how did it become your career? How did it all start?
At the outset, I chose to go to law school because I wanted to help clients solve real-world problems. I wanted to stand up for clients who are frequently ill-equipped to represent themselves. And I enjoy the cerebral challenge that comes with bringing the law to bear on a set of facts.
Early on in my career, I realized that there is a huge intersection between the law and the wellness industry. For example, friends who are trainers have approached me with legal issues related to contracts with promoters. My firm has also represented fitness centers — which have had their own challenges during the pandemic — and a host of legal issues arise when fitness professionals, particularly influencers, endorse products, such as nutraceuticals, online. But many people aren’t aware of the legal pitfalls.
Can you share a story about the biggest challenges you faced when you were first starting? How did you resolve that? What are the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
One of the biggest challenges for me has been maintaining my commitment to health and fitness while working in a demanding field. Frequently, I get the question, “Where do you find the time?” The answer, for me, is simple: I make the time. Each and every day, everyone makes a choice as to whether they will prioritize their health, or something else. People will make the choice to watch television, or go out for drinks, or take a nap rather than go to the gym. Or they will make the choice to order takeout rather than cooking something that is healthy (and there are a wealth of affordable and healthy food options). I almost always choose the gym, or the healthy food option. During college and law school, and throughout my legal career, it has been extremely rare that I was unable to carve out time to workout. If people really give thought to the choices they make every single day about how to spend their time, I am sure that most of us can find 45 minutes a day to devote to fitness.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
With my work, my goals is to provide individuals in the fitness industry, whether they be influencers or competitors, with the tools to monetize their passion. It can be a very difficult industry to succeed in. My goals is to help individuals navigate the legal pitfalls that come with promoting products, promoting themselves, and using their image as a source of income.
You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?
The most important character trait that has shaped and defined my career is discipline This is a trait that has crossover benefits to any fitness regimen. Another is being detail-oriented. Clients want me to sweat the details so that they won’t have to. Finally, reliability. Essentially this means keeping your word and doing exactly what you said you would do. This trait goes a long way, not just in business, but in life.
OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. Let’s begin with a basic definition of terms so that all of us are on the same page. Wellness is an incredibly broad topic. How would you define the term “Wellness”? Can you explain what you mean?
To me, “wellness” includes all of the considerations that go into being physically healthy. This includes maintaining a healthy and balanced diet and physical activity such as weightlifting, biking, or yoga, and I’m sure other elements I haven’t even considered.
As an expert, this might be intuitive to you, but it will be instructive to expressly articulate this. Can you please share a few reasons with our readers about why focusing on our wellness should be a priority in our lives?
I believe that everything that I have achieved in my life has been as a result of lessons learned in pursuing physical fitness. This includes learning how to push yourself (really push yourself — past the point of failure) to achieve a goal. This includes acquiring the mental toughness to face a challenge, not succeed, and then come back the next day to try again. It also includes controlling anxiety, which I believe is necessary for peak performance. And the discipline to stick with a long term program. Making wellness a priority can also be a great outlet for stress in an otherwise demanding profession. You’ll feel better, and be able to be your best self in everyday activities.
Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things You Need To Create A Highly Successful Career In The Health and Wellness Industry”? If you can, please share a story or an example for each.
1. Passion — Find an area that you are passionate about. People can tell when you are passionate about your work and will gravitate toward you for that reason.
2. Know the rules of the road. In any business, especially as an entrepreneur, there are laws and restrictions that have to be followed for your business to succeed. For example, fitness influencers who promote products are subject to a number of FTC rules governing advertising. In addition, influencers can be subject to lawsuits under state law relating to false or deceptive advertising. It pays to ensure that you are familiar with the rules, and have counsel to walk you through it.
3. Have a game plan — If you are entering an influencer or endorsement agreement, or signing up with a promoter or agent, be sure to have a written agreement that clearly sets forth your rights, that clearly spells out your obligations and how you will get compensated, and consequences for a violation of the terms. Often, in the excitement of entering into a new, lucrative business arrangement, parties will gloss over crucial contractual terms, or just assume that they have certain rights that aren’t spelled out. Be sure to seek assistance preparing and reviewing these agreements. And make sure you have an attorney review the payment structure and royalty provisions, if the payment is royalty based.
4. Do your homework — Be sure to do due diligence on the companies, individuals, and brands you are working with. You are creating a collaboration, and when you enter into a relationship with a company you want to be sure that they will meet their obligations to you, and that they are trustworthy.
Keep in mind that you are being contacted because you are a brand. Make sure you’re partnering with a company that has the same values as you do and that you are proud to be associated with.
But remember that even if a company looks great on paper, it’s important to seek professional advice to protect your personal or company brand.
5. Don’t fly solo — When in doubt, don’t do this yourself. Contact counsel.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would promote the most wellness to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
Everyday millions of people head to the gym, and hours are wasted because people don’t know how to put together an effective program, or they spend their time doing unhelpful or dangerous exercises. I’d start a movement to educate people when they’re first starting their fitness journey in the gym. I could have avoided many setback and injuries if I had spoken to an expert before jumping into a routine and I think starting a movement that encourages people to work with a personal trainer for the first month would give them the foundation for a lifetime of better health and wellbeing.
We are blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.
I would be interested in having lunch with Jake Wood, who is the owner of the Olympia LLC brand. I think it’s inspiring how he took his love and passion for bodybuilding and went on to acquire one of the most iconic brands in bodybuilding.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
Find my firm Gallet, Dreyer & Berkey, LLP on our website www.gdblaw.com. You can also follow me personally at https://www.linkedin.com/in/jaredfoley/— I look forward to connecting!
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success and good health!