Meet The Innovators: Erin Webster of Lose It!
Meet The Innovators is a series of interviews with inspiring people across the Innovation Economy - and how they got to where they are.
Erin Webster is the head of marketing at Boston-based weight loss company Lose It! I first worked with Erin a few years ago while she was at MC10, a Boston VC-backed wearable sensor tech company, and have always been inspired by her attitude and mindset as I’ve gotten to know her better through mentoring and coaching. Here’s her story:
What are you doing now? Tell us a bit about your day job and other pursuits / side hustles.
“For most of the week, I’m working at Lose It! with a team of marketers and designers to grow our weight loss brand. In the early mornings I can be found on the stage at CTown Cycling or Exhale Battery Wharf energizing a room of riders with intervals, hills and sprints.”
Fun fact about you that would surprise people to learn?
“You don’t want me on your trivia team when pop-culture categories are pulled. I was raised in a household that did not spend any time watching TV, and I really struggle with keeping up with pop culture trends.“
What led you down the path that you’re on now? How did you get to where you are?
“When looking at colleges, I was interested in a major that got me into a health-related field but didn’t require me to wear scrubs to work (thank you, 18-year old brain). A degree in biomedical marketing coupled with three industry-related internships led me to get my MBA to broaden my business knowledge. At each stage of my journey I’ve spent a lot of time and energy in learning from other people, and have found so much encouragement from mentors. I would not be where I am today without their help, and I continue to put effort into intentionally building a professional network. This also means mentoring and helping younger professionals find their path which is a passion that I'm really enjoying exploring and building.”
What was your career plan when you started out? (How often) have you had to change your career path?
“I originally looked at sales and marketing jobs at large established companies, but quickly realized that these roles would restrict the impact I’d be able to have in the organization. Instead I joined MC10, a small venture-backed hardware company in the B2B digital health space because I could learn from and contribute to every area of the business. Two years ago I made the switch to the B2C mobile app industry where the marketing mix and sales process is totally different. Here I’m learning how to analyze and measure the impact our marketing activities have on top level company goals. So far throughout my career, the changes I’ve made have felt more like lane shifts than actual changes to the path I’m on.”
How do you deal with change? Is it something that has been a constant for you?
“When confronted with a change, my first instinct is to think about ways we can adapt. Even if a change feels like a wall instead of a speed bump, I get energized with finding a way to build a door. One of the big downsides to this is that I don’t always see a balanced view of a change; I’m working on building a healthy amount of skepticism so I can be aware of the negative implications a change might have.”
“In my world there’s a solution to every problem, and a silver lining to every cloud. I don’t take it personally if I’m bad at something; I just see it as a place to improve.”
What are your Superpowers?
“Positive attitude, humility, energy and adaptability.
In my world there’s a solution to every problem, and a silver lining to every cloud. I don’t take it personally if I’m bad at something; I just see it as a place to improve. I’m pretty aware of the things I need or want to improve and am usually genuinely excited about getting better in those areas. One of the things that has made me successful at Lose It! is that from day one I was open to figuring out how to make marketing work at that company. I knew the strategies that worked at MC10 might not be right for the consumer weight loss industry, and being able to adapt to this new market has been a huge advantage.
I know my energy can be a little much at times (riders in my 6am spin classes know this too well), but most of the time it’s a strength. I’ve always been that runner in a road race cheering on the person next to me who seems to be about to give up. I do the best work when I’m able to focus on something and give it the full power of my energy.”
How / When did you discover them? How do you work to develop them?
“These things have always been a part of me, and I’ve recognized them as strengths at different points. I’ve received feedback along my journey that my positive attitude was a strength and something I should lean into. Lose It! is a company that really values humility and a desire to learn, and I’ve enjoyed developing those even further here. I’ve never been the smartest person in the room and the energy that I have is what drives me to work hard to succeed.“
Are you able to use your Superpowers in your career?
“Big time. Different days bring out different levels of each, but I feel the best when I can see that these superpowers are making an impact on my team, company and students.“
What superpower(s) do you wish you had?
“I wish I was more comfortable with breaking rules and making a decision that not everyone agrees with.“
What is your Kryptonite? How do you manage it?
“I’m always booking up my time in advance. As counterintuitive as it seems, I’ve found that setting aside dedicated weekend or after-work time to be spontaneous helps me feel secure in knowing I’ve got something intentional on the books. It’s not perfect, but I’m getting better!”
What keeps you up at night?
“Overthinking big decisions I’ve made or problems I haven’t been able to solve.“
What gets you going in the morning / everyday?
“My morning workout. Whether I’m heading into the studio to fire up a class or doing my own thing, nothing gets me going more than a morning sweat. That energy keeps going at Lose It! in large part because I’m able to see the positive impact we’re having on our users’ lives every day.“
Who inspires you most in work + life?
“For both work and life inspiration I look to my mom. She has been able to successfully balance growing a career, raising a family, and keeping a strong relationship with my dad all while remaining physically and mentally healthy. Most recently, the company she spent 15 years with was acquired, and within four months of being out of a job she started a business that allowed her to get back to her passion. Talk about managing a change!”
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
“I work at balancing my ‘work self’ (Lose It!, teaching spinning and growing my professional network), and my ‘relationship self’ (relationships with my fiancé, friends and family) with my own health and wellbeing. I feel like I’ve got a pretty good handle on it right now and that feels good.”
What are your life + career goals right now? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
“I’ve found a lot of energy in being able to ‘do well by doing good’ here at Lose It! and I see myself continuing to look for companies and opportunities where that impact can grow. Right now I’m focused on learning how to be a really good Marketing Director and eventually a VP of Marketing.”
THE LIGHTNING ROUND
Hero(es) in real life?
“My heroes tend to change as I enter different phases of my life. Right now Tina Fey is high on my list because she’s real about her faults and comfortable at being the boss.”
Companies / brands you admire the most?
“JetBlue does a great job at bringing their mission to every brand interaction- their brand is all about enjoying the journey and I feel that with everything they do. I’ve been really impressed with Charity:Water since I first heard about them back in 2014. Their brand is one of the most action-inspiring I’ve ever seen, and every time I see something of theirs I’m inspired all over again.”
Companies / brands you’d love to get your hands on?
“ClassPass, Outdoor Voices, TheSkimm, Ellevest, the list goes on!”
Blogs, websites, podcasts, books, shows, etc…that you go to for inspiration?
“How I Built This with Guy Raz, CMO Moves, Work Life with Adam Grant, Without Fail & Seth Godin’s blog.”
Title of your biography?
“Listen, Ask, Then Talk”