Hero of the Week - Heikki Mägi: “Leadership is about inspiring the people around you.”

Heikki is an entrepreneur, coach, trainer, active health blogger, and a hobby chef. He’s a co-founder and CEO of Fitlap. The company has webpages called Fitlap.co.uk and Fitlap.ee, which are promoting a healthy lifestyle by creating personal nutrition plans for people. They believe that every person out there deserves to live a full and healthy life and that nutrition is the major player in that game. They focus on using the power of algorithms to fine-tune people's nutrition according to every individual´s needs and goals. Also, they just came out with a new book that has tons of healthy recipes to try out!


Fitlap also made it to the SPARK Demo’s Wall of Fame – an honor board for startups from Tartu, Estonia.

What obstacles are you still working through?

I wouldn't call them even obstacles, but chances to become better. Currently, I am working through things that are related to the fact that my company is growing. And during that process, some of the things that used to work, are not working anymore.


What do you think about mentors? Do you have any?

I actually do believe in mentoring. I loved a book called “Trillion Dollar Coach”, which talked about a football coach, who was mentoring the biggest names in the startup world (Steve Jobs and the founders of Google). So even the great and legendary leaders have had mentors. To be able to talk to somebody, ask for an honest opinion or advice, is amazing.


Currently, I am participating in the .Cocoon program, which does just that – mentors you to become a better person and a leader. My personal mentor is Rein Lemberpuu, the founder of the .Cocoon program.


What are the questions to ask yourself to find out what you want to do in life?

Hmmm, a tough one, but I have two questions to ask:

●       If your life would have no limits or restrictions what would you choose to do?

●       What are you passionate about?


How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favorite failure” of yours?

I think the story about how I ended up in the field of nutrition in the first place. A decade ago I used to be in the business of the real estate. But at that time the economy in Estonia was experiencing really hard times and so did my business. My business actually went bankrupt and I had to look for something new.


As I had a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tartu in physiotherapy and loved a healthy lifestyle, I was drawn into the world of health and nutrition. And the rest is history.


This was the failure, that was probably the hardest, but also the “favorite”.


In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?

I think there have been many. The latest would sound like “don't react, but act”. I have been always quite temperamental, so the fact that I am much more “slower” in reacting, has definitely been an improvement.


What have been the biggest challenges and lessons learned for you as an entrepreneur?

I think the lesson of never giving up. One might argue, but success is more about hard and consistent work, rather than luck.


Tell me something you are learning right now.

Currently, I am learning how to become a better person and a better leader. I do that by, first of all, figuring out myself. What gets me out of bed every morning? What inspires me? Only then I can inspire the people around me, at home and work.


I do believe that leadership is about inspiring the people around you. And at the end of the day surrounding yourself with people, who believe what you believe, who share your values and the "why".


What is Fitlap doing in 20 years?

In 20 years I see the future where Fitlap has been able to make healthy nutrition and lifestyle so easy and convenient, that people wouldn't use excuses like “I don't have the time”, “I can't afford it” or “It is way too complicated” for not doing it. Everybody would do it and they would love it.


Hero of the Week is a column focused on inspirational entrepreneurial people around us – their journeys, success stories and lessons learned from failures; goals, inspiration and everything in between. Get inspired and be the Hero of your own life!

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