It requires luck, a readiness to take small risks, and a lack of bashfulness. It is, after all, common knowledge that Hans was widely regarded as a jovial personality.
When visiting the "Thurneralm" in 1996, the landlord of the hut recommended a book. Fair enough, but this particular Hans didn't really need knowledge found in books. However, this topic was also close to the heart of Eva, his wife. The situation required tact. The topic in question was nutrition and the new health boom. The latter is commonly known as "wellness" today. The next day, Hans was in Zell am See and soon found himself standing idly in front of a book store. The book recommendation from earlier suddenly started conjuring up images in his mind. So he wandered in and asked: "Do you stock 'Fit for Life', the latest bestseller?" Hans recalls a well-read woman telling him that the book is in stock and pointing him in the right direction. The copies of the book were stacked up high. Hans started wondering whether this book was really this popular. Did so many people want to buy - and read - this book? Hans simply couldn't believe it. Today we know that this book changed many aspects of Hans and Eva's life forever. "It was the first book I literally devoured. I still find that quite unbeliebable", he recalls. The topic was right on point at the time. However, the couple didn't have the funds to finance one of the wellness temples that were considered a sign of the times in the 1990s. They needed to put their thinking caps on and come up with a creative business idea. In 1997, they started with a "Fit for Life" tent in the garden. It was able to withstand bad weather conditions due to a hastily laid wooden floor. However, they still lacked the "software". The aim was to promote weight loss through nutrition and exercise, food combining, crudités, active awakening, and physical activity in general. Initially, Hans wanted to undergo training to hone his skills. "We didn't have time. I was at the reception desk, worked in the service department, helped out in the kitchen, and did all sorts of other jobs that cropped up", Hans remembers. The inevitable happened...
The first bookings had arrived; the first guests arrived. The couple felt a bit out of their depth. Most importantly, they lacked a programme. The first arrivals were a bit of a shock. Weight loss? All the guests were as thin as rakes. Then the first question: "When does the active awakening programme start tomorrow", guest Herbert asked. "We are very intrigued", he added. "If he knew how tense we were. I honestly had no real plan." So the guest was told that the "Fit for Life" coach is ill and that tomorrow's class cannot go ahead. An emergency justifies a lot. Guest Herbert conducted similar classes back home and agreed to run the lesson. What a stroke of luck that was! Hans attended the class himself to observe and learn. Naturally, his own "Fit for Life" coach wasn't capable of conducting a class all week. "Thank you, Herbert", Hans reiterates. Is learning from your guests the business model of the future? Hans invited more knowledgeable guests and soon became an expert. "With a spot of luck and a lack of bashfulness we managed to get 'Fit for Life' on track", Hans laughs.
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