COURTESY OF IZZY AND TONY: FITTL IS GREAT FITNESS AND COMFORTABLE TOO!
Izzy Holder and Tony Adams met in business school in France after working in investment banking in London for many years. Self-described fitness fanatics, the two became friends while training for a Spartan Race with 60 of their business school classmates. As they trained, they bonded over their frustrations of staying fit during the COVID-19 pandemic. True to their nature, they formed FITTLE to solve the problem.
Izzy has 6+ years’ experience in investment at Temasek & investment banking/M&A at Gleacher Shacklock. She received a Masters in Genetics of Human Disease from UCL and an MBA from INSEAD.
Tony has 6+ years in corporate strategy and fundraising advisory at finnCap Group. He received an MBA from INSEAD and was the Co-President of INSEAD Health & Fitness Club.
1 – IF YOU COULD TWEET ONLY ONE PIECE OF ADVICE ON CAREERS, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
We both believe that our careers were somewhat following a pre-determined path until we serendipitously met and founded FITTLE. However, we don’t regret that early arch of our careers. So, I think our advice might be something like “Following the tried and tested early career path from university to competitive corporate graduate program is a good default. Along the way learn everything you can. It may not be your calling or true purpose, but it will likely equip you with all the skills and contacts you need to eventually tread your own unique path.”
2 – WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO WORK WITH DRS SCHUSTER & OXLEY ON A CAREER CAROL?
The book project is a great concept and one we were keen to be involved in. Advice for Gen Z on careers in a deeper sense is a big gap. We were happy to be involved and share our own experiences.
It was also great to spend some time Helmut & David and reflect on why we are doing what we are doing. It’s not a natural thing to find time for. We get so caught up in the organized chaos of running the business that discussions about the role work plays in our lives are very rare.
3 – DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE BOOK WHICH HAS HELPED YOU IN YOUR CAREER OR PERSONAL FULFILLMENT?
Tony – I am a bit of a sucker for self-development books and podcasts and the ones that have had the greatest impact are ones that offer easily implementable changes. I often find myself referring back to “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey which is a great resource for holding yourself accountable to your high-level mission statement for life and the values, best practices and habits to keep you on track.
Izzy – A bit of a cliché I’m afraid but I loved Atomic Habits. The idea of just improving 1% each day is so much more manageable yet transformational over time. It really hammers in how important commitment is (and to not be disheartened when it takes time to see results). I found the lessons and good habit building helpful across all facets of my life – in my career, in FITTLE, in exercise and personal development.
4 – WHO DO YOU FIND THE MOST INSPIRING PUBLIC FIGURE?
Tony – I imagine he is better known to UK readers (for now), but Simon Rogerson, CEO of Octopus Group, has been a big personal inspiration to me. Octopus is a group of businesses that operate in sectors ripe for disruption such as energy, finance and property with the aim of making business more transparent and friendly to consumers. I attended a talk Simon gave when I was 21 about his entrepreneurial journey as an introvert and his belief that businesspeople should be “nicer” – he has been a personal mentor to me ever since.
Izzy - I’ve always admired Will Ahmed, Founder of Whoop. In particular his pursuit of the contrarian view, it takes a lot to go against the rest of the crowd, and perseverance through multiple iterations, cycles and models. Many important lessons learnt from him as a founder too like not linking your identity to your business (particularly its failures).
5 – HOW DO YOU UNWIND AND RELAX?
Tony – I try to squeeze as many walks into my day as I can. A longer one before walk always sets me up well for the day but even a 10-minute walk after lunch helps to clear my head. I also think taking the time to cook each evening is precious thinking time away from my phone. It goes without saying but some form of vigorous exercise most days is a non-negotiable and helps me to manage stress levels.
Izzy – Exercise has always been my escape and favourite way to unwind. Most days this includes some form of strength or cardio workout and a walk. I find that I’m naturally distracted and it’s a great way to just focus on the moment and escape the day’s thoughts for a bit!
BONUS QUESTION 6 – IF YOU WERE GRANTED ONE PROFESSIONAL WISH…HOW WOULD YOU USE IT?
Tony – I don’t see much downside in wishing for a better memory. The ability to remember advice from people wiser and more knowledgeable throughout your career, the ability to avoid making mistakes twice, to recall information more quickly and accurately. It wouldn’t guarantee ‘success’ but it would certainly improve your chances while making use of your innate talents.
Izzy – A look into the future (or to not worry about it)! A number of successful founders have given me the same advice – stop worrying about the outcome and remember to enjoy the journey. Whilst I totally agree on enjoying the journey and the day to day, it would be a whole lot easier knowing that some of the lows will be followed by highs!