Hey hey hey!
December is finally here and with that comes time for reflection and goal setting for the new year and the upcoming decade. First off, I’d like to thank all of those that have supported ESN in any way at all. Whether it be those that have received counselling from our Nutrition team, those that have enrolled in the ESN learning center or simply those that have consumed our content over the past 5 years. The support that you’ve shown has been overwhelming! I never would have thought that when I conceived and started ESN 5 years ago that it would grow to this, a nationwide company with multiple partners that has received recognition and praise from multiple communities.
When I started ESN 5 years ago it was because I thought my training and education was lacking and that there was a better way to look at nutrition, physical activity and health. One that went far beyond my training as a Dietitian and a Personal Trainer. Before I started ESN, I pitched the concept multiple times and people thought I was crazy. They thought it was too ambitious and that it was impossible. Thankfully my stubbornness allowed me to have a Thanos moment and say “Fine, I’ll do it myself.” I love being the underdog and to take risks. All that negative energy just fueled my fire and the flames grew bigger and bigger to what ESN is today.
ESN was founded on looking at things from a different perspective, to innovate by combining things together, finding patterns and translating all the complex science into simple to follow guidelines. To approach nutrition and health the same way GPS works in your car. To guide and instruct the driver, to re-route without judgement when things stray off course and to focus on the journey, not the end destination.
Originally ESN was for athletes, those looking to push their limits and barriers because comfort is the enemy of growth. We have done just that. A small independently company that was working with professional athletes, celebrities and Elite Olympic level athletes. Today, we celebrate as we have multiple ESN athletes going for Olympic Trials and many that will make the Canadian Olympic team for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics as well as multiple professional athletes across the country.
While ESN was originally designed for athletes, our approach to nutrition soon became recognized by multiple communities and then our partners started coming. We started getting exclusive contracts to staff and train Dietitians to work in workplace settings that Dietitians traditionally weren’t recognized in. To this day, one of my greatest accomplishments is the fact that I created over 20 jobs for Dietitians in less than 3 years of business.
Once ESN grew and we got our team together I started to make mistakes. These mistakes were, and still are, on me. My issue was that I was so focused on my client base and their successes that I failed to recognize the managerial shift in my position. My constant need to grow and help my own clients succeed, trying to help a whole Dietitian team grow their businesses, being the first Canadian Dietitian to co-create, write and host a Nationwide TV show, launching a podcast and trying to manage my own health, mental health and athletic goals left me spread far too thin. I would have burnout episodes lasting months. My depression would render me incapable of the most basic things. I neglected my own self care, health as well as my family and loved ones. This cost me friendships, relationships and would put a strain on my family. The worst burn out was this year, where my burnout episode coupled together with a massive depressive episode lasted 3-4 months. This caused me to drop the ball on multiple things, most notably the development of the Level 3 ESN Learning Center Sports Nutrition Certificate Course. For all this I offer my sincerest apologies. To those that registered, this will be addressed in a separate email. I finally realized this year, with A LOT of help, that I was my own worst enemy.
In this recognizing this very sobering fact I have stepped back to refocus on building my own health, mental health and physical health back up. It also allowed me to knock my own ego down to absolute zero and rebuild, but this time with sustainability as the primary goal.
One of the hardest things for an entrepreneur to do is step back because we have done it our way for such a long time and we if we are still standing after 1-2 years (which is a huge success milestone for entrepreneurs) then it’s hard to let others in. After this most recent burnout episode, I realized the stupidity of my actions. I have surrounded myself with some of the best Dietitians and professionals in the industry but I didn’t utilize their potential and thus have not only come close to destroying myself and everything I’ve built but I have let them and those that look up to ESN down. This is on me, and I offer my sincerest apologies.
Now having learned this lesson, I am proud to say that I now recognize what is truly needed of me and have developed plans to save me from myself. With that being said, I will be stepping back from certain roles at ESN to make myself more effective. I am happy to announce that I will finally be handing the reigns over to our wonderful and AMAZING Vice-President, Catherine. We have spent the last few months discussing what this would consist of with these discussions happening regularly so that she can better execute OUR vision.
In light of this there are other things that we at ESN will be doing very differently in the upcoming decade. This is just a quick list of what those things are:
I want to thank you all for reading this long post and standing by ESN while we get our house in order. We are more dedicated than ever to innovate and meet the needs of our collective changing landscape that our modern-day environments challenge us with. I am happy to say that I have taken the much needed time to get things sorted on a personal level and I am me again, possibly better (hopefully). The next decade is going to be big so we welcome you to join us on this journey of health.
Peace and Love,
Ben Sit, RD, Sports Dietitian
President of Evolved Sport and Nutrition
Complete Lifestyle Management