Kevin Gelfand is the President of Shake Smart. Kevin Gelfand is a thought leader, influencer, and risk taker, and provides the vision and energy that has inspired the creation of Shake Smart. Kevin Gelfand joins other leading CEOs and Founders taking part in our Leader Roundtable Interview Series. The DotCom Magazine editorial team has awarded Shake Smart as an Impact Company of 2019, and we are delighted to have Kevin join us for our Leader Round Table Interview. The Shake Smart story is very interesting, and we are very excited to not only interview Kevin about his very successful business and entrepreneurial spirit, but also put Kevin through our popular speed round as well.
Kevin, thank so much for taking the time out of your busy day for this interview, and answering some questions about leadership, your vision, and your Shake Smart.
1. Can you describe what the “elevator pitch” for Shake Smart is?
Shake Smart specializes in freshly blended protein shakes and healthy on-the-go foods. We open locations inside Recreation Centers or Student Unions on college campuses across the country. We have forged a new segment of the blended drink industry which we call functional nutrition.
2. Many of our readers are just starting to build a company. What advice can you give CEO’s just starting out regarding keeping a company moving forward, and please tell us the key to your company’s success?
Dream big, push hard. Grit is the strongest skillset you can ever have. Be ambitious, be creative, but also be adaptable. The world is changing so fast around you and you must continually enhance and grow or you will be left behind. This has been the guiding principles that have made Shake Smart successful. We have a team who embodies these values and characteristics.
3. For other entrepreneurs seeking to build a business as successful as Shake Smart, what advice can you give them when times get a little challenging?
You can only control what you can control. There is no reason to dwell on things that are out of your hands. Everything works out for a reason in the end whether it is a learning lesson or a blessing in disguise.
4. How important is the commitment to client satisfaction at Shake Smart, and how do you make sure your customers will become raving fans of your company?
We follow the philosophy of “the customer is always right”…even if they aren’t. We will always try and make it right for each and every customer and take pride in that.
5. What is the one overriding belief that Shake Smart has about what it is doing?
Protein is essential for proper nutrition (from a product standpoint). From a growth standpoint, we have to always, always be enhancing.
6. In today’s fast changing business environment, what do you do to keep up with the changes? What do you read to stay abreast of things?
We are big on innovation. Our core exec team has dedicated time each week to work on enhancement projects. It is very easy to get stuck in the day to day so allocating time specifically for evolution is important. We focus on both technology/operational enhancements, as well as product innovation.
7. What is your “Why”? Why do you get up in the morning, and how do you keep yourself at peak performance to lead Shake Smart?
I love our team and our partners. We truly have created a family with our stakeholders and being passionate about what we are delivering (healthy
convenience to students) makes everything we do have purpose behind it.
8. Can you recommend a book that has had an influence in your career? How did it influence you?
Yes! How To Win Friends and Influence People. Amazing book. Truly teaches you how to be the best leader and person you can possibly be. Leadership is everything in the end. You can’t achieve success on your end so having a team behind you that believes in you is a necessity.
9. In one sentence, can you tell us what the most important thing about being a leader is?
Great tie-in haha. There are many different leadership styles, but I would say for me: Genuinely caring about the people you are leading will lead to a reciprocated respect and desire to never want to let you down.
10. In one sentence, can you give some advice to fellow entrepreneurs wishing to build a company as exciting as Shake Smart?
Grit is the most important quality anyone can have, never quit and always push forward.
Kevin, we would like to have some fun and do our famous “First Reaction” round with you! We will ask you ten more questions that we want you to answer in just one to three words only.
Here you go!
1. In three words or less, What makes a successful CEO?
Grit, passion, creativity.
2. Describe Shake Smart in one word?
Functional-nutrition…I hyphened that to get me two words :-).
3.Describe Shake Smart customers in one word?
4. What one attribute do you look for when hiring an employee for Shake Smart?
5. What is the one word you want your customers to say about Shake Smart?
6. In three words or less, describe your Shake Smart?
Healthy eating convenient.
7. In three words or less, describe what it takes to be successful?
Never giving up.
8. In three words or less, describe your first year in business at Shake Smart?
A complete blur.
9. In three words or less, describe how running a successful company has changed you?
10. What is the one word that you believe has the most power in the English Language?
Yes (never take no for an answer).
Kevin Gelfand, thank you so much for sitting down with us at our DotCom Magazine Impact Player Round Table. We very much appreciate the time you spent helping others to learn more about your company and what it takes to be a leader. We we wish you, your family, and of course Shake Smart, nothing but the best. Thanks again!
The Kevin Gelfand Roundtable Interview brought to you by DotCom Magazine.