Do you wish you were able to keep your New Year’s resolution throughout the year? Jessica Lynch ’13, MS’13, MBA’18 encountered what she calls a “wish epidemic” while studying for her third Babson College degree: an MBA.
“I noticed that everyone I talked to woke up each day with good intentions, but life would get in the way,” says Lynch. She heard constantly, “I wish I had more time to go to the gym” or “I wish I had meal prepped.”
Enter: Wishroute. Founded by Lynch, Wishroute is a text message-based accountability service that helps users build healthy exercise and eating habits. And it’s moving out of beta and onto the market just in time for your 2020 New Year’s resolutions.
The Key? Accountability
Here’s how it works: Real people on the Wishroute team check in daily for accountability and encourage users to make healthy choices. The team is always on the other side with non-judgmental support and encouragement. When users follow through on their goals, the team sends surprise gifts in the mail.
It’s not your typical “log all your calories and steps” weight loss service. Wishroute is tech-enabled but human-powered; there are real people on the other end who care about what you accomplished and want to help you succeed. That’s the whole point, says Lynch, and what most of the services on the market are missing, she says, “You can’t be accountable to a robot.”
Wishroute offers two “routes”: exercise and healthy eating. Within each route are focus areas; healthy eating, for example, may start with a focus on meal preparation, then move to reducing sugar and then healthy snacking. Everyone’s route is different because, as Lynch says, everyone’s path to wellness is different. “There are many ways to be successful,” she says. “Small choices matter, and daily, mindful decisions add up to big improvements. We help people focus on one habit improvement at a time so change is achievable and sustainable.”
Lynch didn’t start her own business right away. She earned her undergraduate degree and went on to work at PwC in forensic services before starting a consulting company, Brightness Consulting.
But launching a startup had been her dream since childhood. Couple that dream with her passion for health and wellness—and throw in her Babson education—and she felt compelled to start Wishroute.
The MBA program at Babson helped motivate her to launch, and it has helped her accelerate the venture, too. Lynch spent a summer in the Summer Venture Program turning her idea for Wishroute into a bonafide business. There she connected with Ralph Haddad ’20, whom she later partnered with to refine the Wishroute brand. Lynch remains connected to Babson Adjunct Lecturer Randall Ussery and Debi Kleiman, executive director of the Blank Center; both have been critical mentors, advisors, and motivators. She even has some investments from members of the Babson community.
Paying It Forward
As she continues to build the business, Lynch says she wakes up every day with a passion and drive to make real change in people’s lives. “With every bone of my body, I just know I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.”
When she’s not working on Wishroute, Lynch spends her days mentoring other entrepreneurs on her specialty: pushing past mental or physical blocks.
“I think I’m really good at helping people get unstuck, whether in business or in health,” says Lynch. “Challenging people’s mentality, I feel really fulfilled when I give someone the tools to help themselves.”
That motivation and support is what users can find in Wishroute. Those interested in signing up for the service can do so on the website, or join the waitlist, when the service moves out of beta in January 2020. And when it comes to resolutions, says Lynch, it doesn’t matter when you start. What matters is that you’ve started.
“You don’t need to start January 1, January 2. Any Monday, every new morning, is a way to get up and start something different,” says Lynch. “Start today. Do something for yourself, even if it’s a 10-minute walk at lunch, five squats, push-ups and jumping jacks when you get home. Or stick with one piece of chocolate instead of the whole bar. Any healthier choice is a choice worth making.”
This story was originally published in December 2018.
Posted in Entrepreneurship of All Kinds