Our Core Purpose here at Beachbody is pretty straight-forward: Help people achieve their goals and enjoy healthy, fulfilling lives.
Simple, but profound. It’s the foundation for everything we do. But it means nothing if it’s just a string of words thrown together. If we don’t believe in it, then we’re doing something wrong. That’s why we make it a point to ensure we are doing our best to provide everyone – from our customers and Coaches to our employees – with the opportunity to achieve their goals and enjoy healthy, fulfilling lives. As evidence that we do walk the talk, I’d like to tell you about Beachbody’s former Chief Information Officer, Steve Winshel.
Steve’s an interesting guy. For starters, he sleeps 3-4 hours per night. He accrued six years worth of paid time off and has only used one day for a medical procedure- and that’s only because his Doctor wouldn’t do the surgery on a Saturday. He has two children (prodigies in their own right) whom he puts before everything else, yet still managed to go above and beyond in his duties with Beachbody, typically putting in 18-hour days and working 7-days a week. Oh, and here’s the kicker, he wrote thriller novels in his spare time.
“I’m lazy like everyone else,” he says. (He might use a different dictionary than everyone else.)
Steve always told himself he would start writing when he retired. Then a few years ago, he realized his hyperactive brain would probably never let him retire. Around that same time, he was on a flight from LAX to JFK and after some intense self-evaluation, he came up with a new, and quite complex, approach to his literary pursuits: “Shut up and write.”
He started writing on that flight and about three months later had finished his first novel. A search for a literary agent ensued and shortly thereafter, he signed with a top agency in New York. Shockingly, Steve decided to scratch his first novel and write another one. That one got sent out, but was rejected across the board. The feedback was encouraging, however.
He wrote another novel and despite not being picked up, the feedback was once again overwhelmingly positive. After two more attempts, his agent came to him and asked if he wanted to explore the growing world of digital publishing to help build an audience that would help get his next novel accepted by print publishers. He accepted and his first book, Murder in Mind, a psychological thriller was published digitally and is available for purchase. He has since released four digital books, all of which can be purchased on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and a dozen other sites – as well as borrowed from digital libraries. I asked him what it’s like to be a published author and he responds, “I’m not. Digital doesn’t count.”
For now, Steve is continuing to write and is waiting for a digital release that gets so widely consumed, a publishing house will have no other choice but to print the damn thing. What does this have to do with Beachbody? Well, this is where the story comes full circle.
Steve is a self-proclaimed nomad when it comes to employment. In other words, he gets bored easily and moves on. “My average time with a company is 18-24 months,” he says. (I’m glad he didn’t tell me that in the interview.) Well, 2012 marked six years for Steve and Beachbody. “I look for three things in a job,” he told me. “Have challenges that are extremely difficult, work in a respectful environment, and be fairly compensated. The first one is usually the one that dies out quickly.”
I like to think Beachbody has created an environment where people – including Steve – can be themselves and not only be happy, but thrive. I didn’t go to Steve and say, “Hey, what are you doing? Let’s get cracking on those novels.” There’s something else at play here, he’ll tell you:
“Beachbody is a place where you naturally do the things that are best for you. You work very hard in the company because everyone cares about the mission and wants to do their best to see it through, and you just assume that you are going to do other things in your life that benefit you and help you achieve your goals. I don’t have to read the Core Values or even know the Core Values because they live and breathe throughout the company all the time. It’s just the nature of this place and to me that’s much more important.”
Well put. He’s got a way with words this guy. Maybe he should be a writer… oh.. wait…
We are grateful to Steve for everything he helped us accomplish during his tenure and we wish him well in the next chapter of his adventure.
Oh, you may be wondering why he left? So he could spend more time on airplanes writing novels!