Brian Clement was no stranger to packaged foods and even obesity as he grew up in New York, where, like so many other urban areas, fast food was part of the culture. After learning about the health benefits offered by a vegan and whole food plant-based diet, Brian decided to jump-in head first and fully immerse himself in the lifestyle. It paid off as he lost well over 100lbs and regained his health, happiness, and discovered his life’s purpose.
Brian continued with his passion for this healthy lifestyle, educating himself the various benefits of a vegan diet. Brian even received degrees in both biochemistry and nutrition. He then discovered Ann Wigmore and the original Hippocrates Health Institute based in Boston. It was Ann who saw Brian’s unique abilities to effectively communicate and educate this lifestyle to others, coupled with his unbounded desire and passion to help others heal and start living their best life. She then sent him as an Ambassador to Europe to both continue to learn and spread the nuances of the vegan movement.
When Brian Clement returned stateside he opened up a new chapter of the Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida and has been the Director of the Institute since 1987. Under his leadership and tutelage, the Hippocrates Health Institute has grown beyond even Ann Wigmore’s visions as a true pinnacle in health education and allowing others to apply those lessons and heal themselves and reverse chronic diseases.
Brian Clement’s Hippocrates Health Institute is a fully immersive environment unique amongst the world as it not only incorporates a raw vegan diet but is a culmination of his continued research and education into the modalities that heal. As a result, Hippocrates offers health education programs that are constantly improving with the growing availability of resources, organic gourmet meals, green juice, and the latest healing technologies gleaned from around the world. A stay at Hippocrates is quite aptly described by their signature program as a complete “life transformation” and one that everyone should experience at least once! Although many guest return year after year and are even part of the HHI Ambassador network and join the growing movement worldwide on health education and its associated health benefits.
Other quick accolades to mention of Brian Clement is that he was one of the founding members of the Organization of Holistic Health, addressed the UN at Geneva. Developed health centers in Europe, and lectured at several distinguished universities around the world, including Harvard and Exeter.
How did you get started in this business? What inspired you to start this business?
I was first inspired to seek natural healing because of my own personal health and weight struggles. I knew that I, and the world, desperately needed a new and unique approach to health and wellness. People are suffering needlessly and it’s been an honor developing the only facility on the planet that acts to successfully empower people to heal themselves. Hippocrates Health Institute is not just a complete one-stop shop for all things health-related but we are a great model of how healthcare education should be.
How do you make money?
Hippocrates is a non-profit educational organization. We redistribute the profits by offering free education through videos and magazines. We also offer scholarships for people in need and reinvest in improving our facilities.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
As mentioned above, our business model and concept is not designed to seek direct profit, and instead we find our success in helping people address and take responsibility for their own health. It all started with very small, grass-roots company founded by Ann Wigmore in Boston. We then we moved down to Florida, and in honor of our history and tradition, have named our campuses central building (Wigmore Hall) after Ann. Over the years, we have continued to build upon this foundation, finally crafting the world-renowned facility that we now proudly stand by.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
I so deeply believe in the work that I do and I feel beyond blessed to be able to share this life-changing information with the world. I honestly never doubted that what we did and continue to do is the right thing, but of course, like any entrepreneur, I was concerned about garnering enough attendance and worried about the growth of the institute. What personally carried us through the more painful parts of the growth phase was always believing in the immense benefits of what we do, along with the cultivation of a very special community of alumni. This community of loving, loyal and returning guests has greatly helped us to expand and grow.
How did you get your first customer?
Our visitors are not customers, they are our guests! I fondly remember our first Florida guest, Amos Weisman, who came to stay with us the very first month we were open. He was a great man from Israel and was suffering with stage 4 liver cancer. He was referred to us by one of our alumni from Boston who had told him he needed to come to Hippocrates Health Institute.
The very first group of guests that went through our program was small, but I’ll never forget them. The institute was so different then, we certainly didn’t have the setup we do now! We barely had enough help, with a very small staff so the guests were an immediate part of our community. Some were even helping us with work and food preparation around the center! It was a beautiful bonding experience.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
Word of mouth is definitely our number one marketing strategy. We have an extensive alumni program, and it has been our experience that happy people and guests make successful businesses.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
Trust in the future, work hard, and stay the path. We are changing people’s lives. Second would be to take care of the planet. Earth is suffering, and we are causing so much unnecessary harm to nature, our fellow living beings, our food supply and our natural resources. We need to work together to protect our home and create a more sustainable tomorrow.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
Most people have day jobs that they go to each day. I don’t consider my work a job. For me, this is my calling, my passion. This passion is fueled and nourished daily as I watch people from all over the world heal and reclaim their lives. Because I love this so much, I can put everything I have into it.
Every Friday we have a graduation, and dozens of people come together to share their thoughts, learnings and experiences about our program with each other. This is definitely not a job for me and I know our success is simply the results that our teachings produce, the shocking transformations, physically, emotionally and spiritually that happen every day that we are open to the world.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Watching so many incredible people be able to consistently recover and heal themselves. Watching the absolute human potential in live stream. I ran into a woman the other day who hugged me and told me we saved her life at HHI. You just can’t buy that.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
We are the model for alternative healthcare education and currently offer the very best health transformational programs available. We are growing all the time and continuously evolving, adding more health and healing modalities each year to truly enhance our offerings and guest experience. We do this with respect to the planet by making sustainable choices that alleviate the burden on planet Earth.
There is a growing trend in veganism, and chronic illness has never been more epidemic. The plant-based movement is powerful and we are glad to be the leaders in alternative healthcare transformations and education. You have the power to heal yourself you just have to know how.
What business books have inspired you?
Many books have inspired me throughout my life – too many to count. I am a voracious reader and am constantly looking to acquire knowledge that provides benefit to Hippocrates Health Institute. I can tell you that a recent book that I highly recommend – suggested to me by my son who while attending medical school came across it and thought it was a must read and have to admit I completely agree is – “The Originals” by Adam Grant. This book is an excellent summation and analysis on organizational behavior in companies and has already provided benefit in its applications to the Institute and from these lessons learned formed new best practices.
What is a recent purchase you have made that helped with your business?
We are continually adding healing modalities to HHI and more recently brought in QRS (Quantum Resonance Systems). We offer this as well as many more technologies all aimed to provide our guests with both knowledge of their existence and alternative means to complement and assist in their healing.