“I have long wanted to create a Random Acts of Kindness movement and I actually own the domain randomkindnessfoundation.org. One that would harness the power of video and social media to be viewed and spread by as many people as possible. Besides the proven health benefits for being kind and sharing love it seems desperately needed in a world where hate gets so much of the spotlight.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing author and wellness entrepreneur Gregg Roberts. Gregg has owned and operated numerous business in and around NYC including the award winning Blue Velvet Boxing Club, and has appeared on numerous media outlets including NBC, CNN, and E.
Thank you so much for joining us! What is your “backstory”?
I grew up in VT and Boston. Much of my identity still comes from my wild days running around the streets of a very different Boston. Went to college on the west coast and lived in London for a couple of years. My health and wellness journey began after high school when I worked for a large LA health club. Eventually landed in NYC where along with a partner I opened an upscale boxing club and a real estate company in midtown Manhattan. After close to 10 years in the city, moved with my growing family at the time to CT where I have lived ever since.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?
Unfortunately, one of the funniest I recall is in the bathroom humor category and probably falls into a had-to-have-been-there story, but here goes –we used to have a uniquely shaped office space on E 48th st in Manhattan. Skinny little elevator building nestled on a crowded block. Directly across from my private office, which had a floor to ceiling glass wall that faced the hallway, were 2 bathrooms with sliding doors. Everyone knew that the bathroom to the right had a lock that didn’t work well so it was rarely used except to use the mirror or wash hands.
One day I am on the phone and see our lovely, but shy receptionist from Senegal slide open the door to the bathroom on the right and lo and behold all I see is a pair of very hairy white legs and a newspaper coming down in an attempt to cover up. At the same time these knees came together and moved to the far side of the bathroom ever so daintily. The guy on the pot was a character from Texas who was this lovable goof and probably the only one who would have used the broken bathroom on the right.
Our shocked and mortified receptionist looked like she was about to faint and literally ran down the hallway to the elevator and down to the street to try and ease the embarrassment.
The image of it all literally had me bent over with uncontrollable laugher and I remember literally calling people to relay the story to and having difficulty getting thru the story I was laughing so hard.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
We are putting together some exiting stuff around the book launch and a new webinar as well as preparing to lead a high octane workshop in Manhattan in September for 50–60 senior executives at a simulated golf range on 5th av in Midtown alongside one of the nation’s most acclaimed life coaches (Lauren Zander — Handel Group).
Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?
I tend to be most inspired by those who display great courage to stand up for their beliefs in the face of strong adversity. People like MLK, Mandela, and Ben Bradlee/Kay Graham (publishing the pentagon papers) who risked everything personally for a greater good.
Which literature do you draw inspiration from? Why?
I tend to draw inspiration from biographies. People who have beat the odds, displayed courage under fire, attained some measure of success, yet never forgot their past and are altruistic by nature.
How do you think your writing makes an impact in the world?
I would like to think that my writing makes an impact because there is a dire need for us to take better control of our health in today’s world. More importantly I strive to impart the importance of embracing ‘imperfection’ on our own person journeys to better health & wellbeing. If everyone can begin to live a healthier life even if in small ways, there is most often a positive outcome to be enjoyed. The ripple effect of these benefits extend beyond one’s general health to energy levels, relationships, as well as financial rewards.
What advice would you give to someone considering becoming an author like you?
Before starting the book (which took me FOREVER to actually begin) I was always searching for the best tools to help me write. I attended countless courses and webinars. The best advice I received which I would pass along is to just sit down and write. Doesn’t matter in the beginning even what it looks like. Just get the words down on the paper. The editing process comes later. Develop a consistent routine whether daily or weekly when you can commit to actually doing the work. Whether you write 5 words or 5 pages, it is all good.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I have long wanted to create a Random Acts of Kindness movement and I actually own the domain randomkindnessfoundation.org. One that would harness the power of video and social media to be viewed and spread by as many people as possible.
Besides the proven health benefits for being kind and sharing love it seems desperately needed in a world where hate gets so much of the spotlight.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
1) Be humble and listen. I tended to falsely believe I had more answers than I actually did.
2) Be a specialist instead of a generalist. Early in my career I thought I could do everything, rather than focus one thing and really be the best at.
3) Work-life balance is crucial to getting the most out of life. For many years I lived the Manhattan career rat race existence at the expense of some of the most important things in life.
4) The importance of maintaining a spiritual walk. Explore, discover, and practice. Our vast universe and beyond offers much more than can meet the eye.
5) Work smart over hard. I used to practice the reverse.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. :-).
Jack Ma of Alibaba. His customer centric approach and ability to achieve what he and his team have within the context of an authoritarian regime is nothing short of astounding to me. Despite his great success, he seems to genuinely care for his employees and be a bona fide humanitarian.
Originally published at medium.com