Name: Romy Antoine
Profession: Corporate Wellness Specialist / Millennial Engagement Expert / CEO of One Stop Wellness Inc.
One Word That Describes You: Resilient
What does being one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction mean to you?
I am honored to make this list because it gives me more courage to know that my work is leaving an impact and being recognized. Black men usually don’t get featured in the media for their accomplishments so this was humbling and is extra motivation to never give up. I’ve been reading the magazine for many years and remember looking at the profiles of men who made this list. I always said, I’ll make it in here one day. This really let me know that anything is possible if you set your mind to it and work hard to reach your goals.
What are some examples of how you turned struggle into success?
The corporate wellness industry is dominated by huge corporations who have been in business for decades. In the beginning, nobody knew who I was and it was almost impossible to get a meeting with any company. I remember meeting someone who told me as a minority-owned company in this industry, I’d have to work twice as hard to even get noticed. I would email and call hundreds of companies but get no response or if I did they told me that they needed a vendor who’s more established. I had to figure out how to differentiate myself from everyone else so I began to write LinkedIn articles and blogs about the downsides of the industry and how to improve the employee experience. I made my posts funny, engaging, yet factual.
Industry leaders began liking and sharing my posts and one night, I was tagged in an article on a major blog that stated I represent the future generation of leaders in the wellness space. The next few days I was getting messages and requests from so many companies who wanted to learn about my services. I was getting booked to speak at different conferences and events. I noticed that I’m usually one of the only men of color and one of the youngest people there. I quickly began branding myself as a millennial engagement expert. Now companies reach out to me for millennial consulting or to discuss how my wellness program can help them with their millennial employees. I’ve been blessed to be featured on Top Corporate Wellness Program lists and have been meeting with some Fortune 500 companies.
What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?
In all relationships, I like people to be direct with me. I want to know the truth, exactly how you feel or what you mean. Your true friends aren’t just the ones who love everything you do, but the ones who have the courage to give you constructive criticism. I’d rather getting my feelings hurt so I at least know what I need to change than think everything is fine.
What are some immediate projects you are working on?
Besides continuing to build my two companies: One Stop Wellness and RippedNFit, I am finishing my first book: The Ultimate Guide to Engaging Millennials: Proven Strategies to Attract and Retain Your Top Talent. I plan to launch it in the next month.
What is the best advice you ever received?
When I started my business I used to work with any clients who came to me and deal with clients who were a pain because I thought I had to. My business coach told me to define my ideal client and only work with those type of people/companies. She told me, ” When you try to cater to everyone, you cater to no one.”
What is some advice you have for other men who want to make a difference?
Don’t ever let your age or lack of experience keep you from pursuing your passion. Just get started! Embrace your uniqueness in your personal branding, keep learning, and your success will speak for itself.
How do you prep for an important business meeting and/or event?
I spend weeks and sometimes even months doing my homework. I first research the company or group I’m meeting with—I’ll learn about their team, culture, and values to so that I know exactly how to connect with them. I want them to know that I am fully invested in them and will do what it takes to earn their business. Then I create a story to take them on a journey from where to are to where they want to be. After this, I will practice my presentation until it becomes second nature to me. Finally I make sure to take care of myself and that means working out, eating healthy, and sleeping enough so I have the energy and mental acuity to leave the meeting or event successful.
As a busy Modern Man, how do you unwind on vacation? Share a story about your best vacation.
Honestly, I have not taken a real vacation in the last four years. My favorite vacation was to San Juan, Puerto Rico. I loved the culture, food, and activities. My favorite part was a late-night kayaking tour in absolute darkness to a lagoon with glowing water. The water was glowing because of the bioluminescent fish and other organisms. This was really cool because I read about this in my biology courses and could actually see it and feel it in real life.
If you could travel and stay anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
My dream destination is Australia. It seems like a great place to go, and I’m attracted to the active healthy lifestyle there.
What is your “Extraordinary Impact?”
Through my work in the wellness space, especially as a fitness and nutrition coach, I am able to directly impact clients all over the world. I believe that I am not only helping clients reach their fitness goals, I connect with them on a deeper level to help make them better people. Last year, while on a business trip in Orlando, I bumped into a former client in a restaurant. Since I do the majority of my coaching online, I never met her in person. She burst into tears and gave me a hug and started telling the waiter and all her friends how she’s so happy to meet me in person and how I helped change her life. I coach my clients to develop a winning mindset and use health as a vehicle to help them unlock their potential and live out their true passion.
Anything else you’d like to say?
Thank you for this opportunity and allowing me to share my story. I am blessed to be part of this list of extraordinary, driven, men who all share the common goal of making an impact.
It’s our normal to be extraordinary. Follow @BEModernMan and join the conversation using #BEModernMan.
Come celebrate the BE Modern Man 100 Men of Distinction at the first-ever Black Men XCEL Summit, Aug. 30 – Sept. 3, at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.