Who are you?
Harlan Kilstein: I hold a doctorate in education, but I left teaching to become a businessman and marketing expert. I’ve struggled with weight my entire life. A few years ago a doctor diagnosed me with metabolic syndrome, or Syndrome X, and told me I would never be able to lose weight. In my search to get better, I discovered the keto diet and it turned my life around. As a result, I founded the Facebook group and lifestyle site Completely Keto and the Speed Keto program to help other people lose weight and regain their health.
What are you more skilled at than most people in the world?
Harlan Kilstein: My superhero talent is making things simple for others. Keto can be a very complex diet which calls for you to calculate your macros: the amount of carbohydrates, protein, and fat you take in each day. Some people feel as if they need a Ph.D. in math to figure it out! The Speed Keto program I developed eliminates the calculations and makes the diet less daunting.
What excites you the most about your business right now?
Harlan Kilstein: That’s easy: The fact that we are changing people’s lives for the better. We have clients who have lost upward of 80 pounds doing the program. People have gone off their diabetes medication, stunned their doctors, and impressed their friends and family. For example, a woman just posted on Facebook how good it felt when she put on a smaller pair of jeans and her son noticed she had lost weight. We hear dozens and dozens of stories like this every day from around the world.
What did you learn from your favorite mentor?
Harlan Kilstein: I’m actually writing a book about my favorite mentor tentatively called “The Wizard of San Juan Island.” He was a therapist named Dave Dobson. I spent years traveling out to his home on San Juan Island off the coast of Washington state to study with him. One of the things he taught me was how to help people make changes they would otherwise think are impossible.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Harlan Kilstein: Go for it. Go for it. Go for it. You can do much more than you ever possibly believed. You can change the lives of thousands of people.
How do you define great leadership?
Harlan Kilstein: Great leadership is inspiring people to perform at their own best. Good leaders don’t think they know more than everybody else. They listen to their team members and give individuals the ability to grow.
How do you evaluate a good business partner or deal?
Harlan Kilstein: I would do a lot of research and find out what the person’s ultimate goals are. If somebody wanted to buy my business, for instance, but I could tell that their ultimate goal was about making money, I wouldn’t engage with them because, for me, it’s about helping people.
How do you prevent burnout?
Harlan Kilstein: My secret weapon against burnout is meditation. It has taught me patience and when to say, “You know what? I spent way too much time on the computer today. It’s time to power down and just focus on life.”
What are you working on right now?
Harlan Kilstein: After a lot of research and testing, we are releasing a line of keto nutrition bars called Completely Keto. They’re absolutely delicious and I predict they’ll sell out as soon as they go on sale. We’re also about to launch keto shakes and bread, so it’s going to be a busy next few months.
What are two things on your bucket list?
Harlan Kilstein: Number one is to go salmon fishing in Alaska. That has been on my bucket list for a long time. Number two would be to have a vacation home where my family and I can get away, turn off the computers, and just chill. I have four children, four stepchildren, and four grandchildren, so we would need a pretty big place. Somewhere near a lake or the ocean would be ideal because the water is so calming.