Tips From The Top: One On One With Jorden Gold

I spoke to Jorden Gold, co-founder of Stretch Zone, about his journey and best advice

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Adam: Thanks again for taking the time to share your story and your advice. First things first, though, I am sure readers would love to learn more about you. What is something about you that would surprise people?

Jorden: Many may be unaware that I was fortunate enough in my career to work side-by-side with professional NBA and NFL teams, certifying their trainers in the Stretch Zone Method. Privately, I’ve also worked with many sports celebrities, including a U.S. Open Champion, NFL’s Most Valuable Player and IBF Light Heavy Weight Champion of the World. Intense training competitions and record-breaking performances expose athletes’ body to strains and stresses exceeding its inherent adaptive capabilities. An athlete unable to adhere to a proper stretching program slowly develops into an involuntary machine. Being pushed to perform their best for months during season, players need to incorporate stretching and recovery techniques into their everyday lives. With a background in exercise science and years of experience in the wellness industry, I helped many players stay on top of their game and prevent future injuries.

Adam: How did you get here? What experiences, failures, setbacks or challenges have been most instrumental to your growth? 

Jorden: My passion for the health and wellness industry began more than 20 years ago. In 1999, my grandfather lost much of his mobility due to diabetes and his struggles to complete simple tasks we do on a daily basis motivated me to apply my background and do what I could to help him walk again. After consistently applying an assisted stretching method I had been studying and developing, my grandfather was able to leave behind his wheelchair and eventually dance at a family wedding. Recognizing the impact I had on my grandfather’s life meant more than I could put into words and it opened my eyes to the fact that my grandfather couldn’t be the only one dealing with this type of mobility issue. This was a turning point in my career.

I also believe that obtaining a U.S. patent and leading the stretching industry as the only nationally accredited brand with patented equipment was instrumental to not only the business I’ve built, but also for my personal development. After years of research, case studies and perseverance, it’s was a true honor for me.

Adam: What is your best advice on building, growing and scaling a business?

Jorden: Turning a passion or an idea into a successful business is one of the hardest things entrepreneurs are challenged with. Establishing a scalable business model, nailing down messaging and building a passionate team that wants the business to thrive as much as you do doesn’t happen overnight. However, there is one thing that remains constant at all stages of owning a business – and that is training. While some prefer to rush past training and get their employees in front of customers as fast as possible, I see training as the perfect opportunity to ensure the team understands company values, goals and how their roles play a key part in our success. In order to ensure the business is meeting our expectations and customer’s needs, everyone must be fully trained and capable to do their job. Training also allows your current employees to continue to grow professionally and expand their knowledge and skillsets.   

Adam: What should everyone understand about stretching? What are the best practices everyone should follow?

Jorden: While many health and wellness trends come and go, stretching has endured as a reliable recovery method for many. Stretching is a go-to for those looking to alleviate stress and increase mobility, range-of-motion and muscle function. Whether you’re active or sedentary, research shows that stretching is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and can help keep you feeling young – which is a feeling many strive for nowadays. However, despite our best efforts, most people stretch incorrectly and therefore don’t get the benefits they’re looking for. 

What many people also don’t realize is that you technically can’t stretch a muscle. Muscles are not very elastic, and a stretched muscle is a pull or a strain. Muscle length does not change when you stretch a muscle. Rather, muscles slide open and close like an extension ladder, so their actual length remains the same. The limiting factor to achieving full range of motion is not the length or elasticity of muscles but the nervous control of their tension via the stretch reflex. (a physical self-defense mechanism of your nervous system that protects you from over stretching). The (hyper-sensitivity) of the stretch reflex determines how far a muscle can extend. 

For those active individuals wanting to maximize their workouts, dynamic stretching is the way to go. Dynamic stretching prepares the muscles by mimicking the movements that will be required of them helping to improve overall power and sports performance. Dynamic stretching is much more functional and activity/sport-specific (usually 10 to 12 repetitions for each dynamic stretch is held for just a 1-2 seconds).  While static stretching relaxes the body, dynamic stretching prepares the body for motion or competition. 

Adam: What are your best tips related to health and wellness?

Jorden: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle isn’t a one and done kind of thing. It requires making certain practices – like stretching – a part of your everyday routine. If implementing a new routine is hard for you or you don’t feel as motivated to do so, try making it fun or doing it together with friends or family. Adding a little competition can also encourage you to stick with it and before you know it, this new routine centered on keeping your body active and moving will become second nature.

Adam: In your experience, what are the defining qualities of an effective leader? How can leaders and aspiring leaders take their leadership skills to the next level? 

Jorden: If there’s one thing I’ve always believed in it’s being transparent and addressing with my team any type of issue or setback that comes with creating a sustainable business. Hiding the problem or keeping your partners out of the loop is only going to hinder your business from growing and eventually, succeeding. This also allows for open communication and for everyone involved in the decision-making process to feel that they too can come with any outstanding problem they need the team’s help on. That’s how you take your skills and business to the next level.

Adam: What are your three best tips applicable to entrepreneurs, executives and civic leaders?

  1. Trust your instincts. I can’t tell you how many times someone tried to talk me out of following my instincts. If you have strong feelings about an idea, give it some thought and look into why that is so – no matter what others say. 
  2. Acknowledge your weaknesses and recognize that you don’t have to be an expert at everything. Find and hire people who can fill in the skillset you’re missing.
  3. Build a team that won’t always agree with you. You won’t see a business thrive if everyone agrees with each other on everything and doesn’t challenge their team to think differently.  

Adam: What is the single best piece of advice you have ever received? 

Jorden: Focus on your strengths and use that to realize your dreams. A successful entrepreneur will take his strength and build a business around it. 

What is one thing everyone should be doing to pay it forward? 

Jorden: Using your experience to mentor those around you is an easy and valuable way to pay it forward. Most of us can think of someone who took time out of their busy schedules to tell us a story about how they overcame a setback in their career or gave us advice on our next business venture. Investing time to teach others what you’ve learned is rewarding in more ways than you can imagine. 

Adam: What are your hobbies and how have they shaped you? 

Jorden: When I’m not in the office or traveling for work, I really enjoy filling up my time with different activities that allow for creativity – like painting and sculping. Not only is it relaxing and relieves any stress from the day’s work, but also opens the door to new ideas and viewpoints that I may have otherwise not come across. 

Adam: Is there anything else you would like to share?

Jorden: On rare occasions when I feel down from the day-to-day grind, I like to visit a Stretch Zone store. I’ll start by sitting across the street and observing how our customers look before and after visiting our stores. It’s a great feeling to see the enthusiasm on their faces after our team has helped them stretch. I’ll also go in and listen to customer stories. Many of them will go in depth on how we’ve been able to help improve their health and overall lifestyle. This never fails to remind me of my purpose.

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