I’m here with another State of the Spark Address. There’s so much to talk about at the start of 2010. The big news is that we just found out that our new book, The Spark, has been named a national best seller! Can I get a big WooHoo?
But before I talk about The Spark, we’re so excited that SparkPeople.com recently became the most active weight-loss and fitness website in America – and one of the largest overall in the entire world! This is all thanks to our great members who keep using the site to reach one goal at a time and then Spread the Spark to their friends and family members. It’s also thanks to the incredible team we have here at SparkPeople. I see our team working hard every day to keep improving the site. We have many new improvements under way, including some that will be the first of their kind.
Of course, the major news now is the launch of our new book, The Spark! Thanks so much to everyone who has bought and read The Spark. We’re so excited that the book has finally launched after about 15 months of very hard work by many people (including many weekends by me, so I owe my wife and sons a vacation soon!). The reaction from members has been amazing, and it directly led to the book becoming a national best seller the first week of its release. This is very difficult for a first-time author. I wish I could personally thank every member who has bought a copy (or multiple copies). Here is a link to the official press release about these and other milestones we've reached, if you are interested.
Even better than being a best seller, I’ve been most excited about the incredible reviews members have given the book. I’ve heard many make comments like, “Wow, this book helps me finally really understand what SparkPeople is all about.” Others share new goals they’ve set as a result of reading The Spark. Today one of my favorite members – she started bed-ridden at 460 pounds and is now down to 350 pounds and uses a walker she named “Freedom” – told me her new goal after reading The Spark is eventually to become a dietitian to help other people with their weight loss goals. Another member featured in The Spark lost 150 pounds and now wants to help kids stay healthy as a nutrition teacher; I met Brandy and her husband in New York City the day before she went on the "Today" show to share her story, which was also featured in PEOPLE magazine.
I honestly believe that the best step any SparkPeople member can take to increase your chances of reaching amazing goals in life is to read The Spark.
This past week, I travelled to New York City and made a quick stop in Washington, D.C., to launch the book. I did 22 interviews – 19 of which took place during a 3-hour media marathon. It’s still amazing to think that I used to have such extreme anxiety and now I’m fairly comfortable talking on TV (some great media training helped with that). It was so much fun. My favorite interview was with a major magazine where I told the entire story of SparkPeople for an hour. I hope that they will do a story about us! When I’m talking to people in the media, I always try to represent the excitement going on in our community at SparkPeople. As hard as I try, I know I can never match that excitement – but I’ll keep trying!
Now it’s time to get back to work helping people reach goals. Until next time, have fun reaching your goals!
Chris “SparkGuy” Downie