Interview with Dai Manuel AKA The Moose is Loose – Fitness, Lifestyle, Social Media and Blogging

Dai Manuel, also known as The Moose is Loose is just a digital thought leader and coach trying to inspire, motivate and educate others to live healthier, more active lifestyles. He models his work with the basis of the 5 pillars: Family, Finances, Fitness, Fun, Faith. He is also a dad, husband, Fitness Town COO, Motivational speaker, Blogger, CrossFit athlete, coach and leader of the #YVRDads support group for fathers. daimanuel

With over 50k followers on Twitter, a solid presence on various social media platforms, he builds a community around his personal brand using social media and blogging.

IntelligentHQ :   Can you tell us about you, your education and career?

Dai Manuel :  Well this is a loaded question.  As my signature byline says: “Dai Manuel is just a guy trying to inspire, motivate and educate others to live healthier, more active lifestyles.  He’s also a dad, a husband, a fitness professional, Fitness Town COO, avid blogger, motivational speaker and leader of the #YVRDads support group for fathers”… however that’s a mouthful!  I prefer to just say “I’m just a dude that’s passionate about helping people improve their lives.”  I went to school for sciences originally thinking that I might be a veterinarian one day, but after the first year I changed to the arts, majoring in Philosophy and English Literature.

While going to UBC I was leading spin classes, personal training and teaching kickboxing and Tae Kwon do classes… I happened upon a part-time position at a local fitness equipment retailer and after 9 months realized the income potential and committed myself to full time… well the rest as they say is history.  15 years later I’m the COO and operating partner for one of Canada’s largest specialty fitness equipment retailers – Fitness Town.

IntelligentHQ You are a dad, husband, Fitness Town COO, Motivational speaker, Blogger, CrossFit athlete and coach, can you tell us about it?

Dai Manuel : As per my Twitter description, “I’m a dad, husband, Fitness Town COO, Motivational speaker, Blogger, CrossFit athlete and coach”… I believe in constant measurable improvement.  My entire life to date has been a journey down many paths, not without its obstacles and growth opportunities, and I realized a long time ago that to improve one needs several things: a positive mindset, great mentors, and a “can-do” attitude.  Due to this core belief system I challenge myself with many new opportunities and have a tendency to say “yes” first and then figure out the “how” afterwards.  Carpe diem!

IntelligentHQ : How do you multitask so much different and demanding roles?

Dai Manuel :  I don’t believe in time management, but rather managing commitments.  I look at my life as a continuous journey and my path undefined.  There’s opportunities everywhere and as long as I’m open to them, they seem to present themselves at many junctures as I travel the path less travelled.  Prioritizing tasks and creating action plans and lists work well for me and of course leveraging technology to assist me stay on task is crucial.

IntelligentHQ : As a Motivational speaker, blogger and athlete how of you cope with the present challenges with the emergence of digital and social media platforms and its effects?

Dai Manuel : As a Motivational speaker, blogger and athlete I cope with the present challenges with the emergence of digital and social media platforms and its effects just as any other person should – be open to it and learn it as they present themselves.  There’s many new social media platforms coming to the market daily, but choosing where to hang one’s proverbial hat can be challenging.  I know what works for me and I tend to focus my time where my audiences are – this includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, my blog and of course Linked-in.

If you aren’t involved and in the know about social media and the how to leverage for your own branding, then it’s just a matter of time before you will be overrun by your competition.  I always strive to be known as the “go to” guy in my industry and leveraging the social media platforms that I do allows me that opportunity.

IntelligentHQ :  How is the innovation big data, digital and social media streams changing sports, health, fitness and lifestyle?

Dai Manuel :  Sports, fitness, health, wellness and lifestyle are at the forefront for many people today.  It isn’t isolated in small pockets or populations, but rather are global topics that touch everyone.  Realizing that social media, technology i.e. Apps, and online networks are affording people the opportunities to connect with experts, real life participants and professionals within these sectors anytime and anywhere.  Today I can connect with a personal trainer in Australia, a strength coach in San Francisco and a yogi in Vancouver just with a couple clicks, tweets and posts via my iPhone.  The world is huge, but technology has made everything within reach.  I ask you though, are you reaching out to your audiences?

IntelligentHQ :  Can you tell us about

Dai Manuel : is a personal blog that I started back in 2008.  Its focus is simple: “ The Moose is Loose is a blog about health, fitness and How to live a “fun”ctionally fit life… and the occasional philosophical rambling”.  I started the blog as a way to document my own training, share health and wellness info, and address the 100’s of questions I’d receive through my day-to-day operations of Fitness Town and my involvement in the various social media channels that I participate within.  It has grown considerably over the years and is now a well trafficked resource for many things health/lifestyle based.  Need a little motivation?  Chances are that I have a post or two that can help with that 😉

IntelligentHQ : You have a commitment to provide inspiration, education, equipment and training – specifically supporting families. How do you intend to do that using your website, blog and social media in general?

Dai Manuel : I use my website(s), blog(s) and social media platforms to provide inspiration, education, equipment options and training – focusing on the family unit. I’m an aggregator of content and love to share great information I find (curate) as well as create fresh new content all focusing on one thing – helping people achieve optimal health and wellness through living a healthy, active lifestyle. All the social media channels, including my blog allow me to connect with many people and share the information that I know will help them with achieving this end goal.

IntelligentHQ :  You work using the concept of The 5 Pillars. Can you explain it?

Dai Manuel :  The 5 pillars are my foundation for pretty much everything I do. Imagine the foundation of your life as a house – you have a roof over your head and it is supported by 4 pillars (walls). My 4 walls are Family, Fitness, Faith and Finances, supporting a roof which encompasses all parts of my life “FUN”. If future endeavors and opportunities don’t fall under the 4 pillars, especially if I can’t have “fun” doing it, then I forgo as an opportunity.

Keep in mind, when I reference Faith, I’m not referring to denominational religious beliefs. I’m referring to your “why” and your core fundamental beliefs about why you do what you do… the passion that drives you and every decision you make. If the opportunities don’t align with your vision, passion and beliefs (your faith), then personally I’d choose to pass on it. Make sense?

IntelligentHQ :  How do you keep the quality control of the content you write and have in your blog?

Dai Manuel :  As for my blog and quality control measures, that’s easy… I’m the controller. I get the final say on all content shared, posted, tweeted, or emailed out via my newsletter. I create/curate/share all the content personally and decide what I share, when I share it and how I share it.

IntelligentHQ :  You are both an author, entrepreneur, founder, athlete and fitness coacher expert how do you manage the borders between these different areas?

Dai Manuel : I believe that all aspects of my life, in particular the fact that I’m a dad, husband, writer/blogger, entrepreneur, founder, athlete and fitness coach, overlap to make the person that I am. Not any one thing is a defining trait, but rather all overlap to make me who I am. There’s no borders separating each of these aspects, rather they all make up one finite thing which is me, Dai Manuel.

IntelligentHQ :  How do you see your work as a coacher in a world obsessed with fast deliveries and accelerated short attention span focus?

Dai Manuel :  As a coach, business owner, motivator of people, I stay focused and on task with my mission. I realize that people have short attention spans and today a click of the “back button” or “x” on the browser takes milliseconds to execute. As quickly as people find you, follow you, like you, they can turn on a dime and block you forever. I don’t focus on that however. I let it be what it is. I look at it the same way I look at health and fitness – it isn’t a short term thing. You can’t take a magic pill and be fit overnight. It is a process of small daily activities/choices which ultimately will impact your long term health. It is a lifestyle. If someone is only interested in the short term or unsustainable solutions/information, then I’m not the person to provide them with that. They aren’t my audience.

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IntelligentHQ :  You use video, social media, Twitter and other digital technologies to promote your work. How do you cope the balance between all the different parts of your work?

Dai Manuel :  I believe in all social media channels and mediums – be it video, pictures, or blog posts, articles or the like – it doesn’t matter, they all work at doing one thing – helping people get healthier, happier and more active. It’s not so much as a balance between them all that I focus on, but rather I ask myself “what’s the best way to communicate ‘this’ message to my audience?” Based on the answer, that’s the path I take in promoting the info.

IntelligentHQ :  How do you see the emergence of social analytics and big data in the fitness and education worlds?

Dai Manuel : Social analytics are huge if you are a brand that wants to connect with those with influence and credibility. But above all else, an engagement is paramount. Are you market relevant? Does your audience care about what you have to share? If they don’t, and interaction is nil, then you will have to rethink your form of communication. It might not be what you’re saying, but “how” you are saying it. In the fitness/health/education landscape, influences are rare. There’s a lot of noise and confusing/conflicting info, with social analytics and big data, we can hopefully start to see the trees through the forest.

IntelligentHQ :  How you think performance-tracking tools and personal tracking data systems are changing sports and fitness in general?

Dai Manuel :  With the introduction of tracking apps and motivational programs, there’s a ton of good things in the health/fitness industry. Some of the tools are great for holding oneself accountable to goals set. However, I still feel that a big piece that is missing is the group/community piece. There still is a need for online/offline balance. At the end of the day an app can’t make you exercise or workout or stop eating the foods you know you shouldn’t be eating. It comes down to personal choice and where we spend our time in real life, which not connected to the WWW.

IntelligentHQ :  Business and society are going through some disruptive times. How do you see the big picture of families and education being transformed into a time of fast accelerated tech and digital redesign?

Dai Manuel :  Information is traveling at the speed of light now. New information is emerging daily, some of which are conflicting with information posted previously, which ultimately creates mass confusion for those that are looking for the most current, up-to-date and accurate info. Sifting through this misinformation is difficult at the best of times. Families, education and fitness in general need to recognize who the true authorities are and learn to rely on these sources first before going to any site that Google happens to take you.

IntelligentHQ : What is the main advice you give to families, sports people, and other people wanting to stay motivated to eat healthy and improve their lives?

Dai Manuel :  When asked “What advice do I give to families, sports people, and people in general who are wanting to stay motivated to eat healthy and improve their lives?” My answer is candid. “Eat less, move more, and repeat daily”… that’s it. Go one day at a time, and eventually a healthy, active lifestyle is achieved. Don’t get hung up on the everyday things that you do. Incorporate smart decisions and good habits and the rest will fall into place. If you are out to dinner and feel like dessert, then order it.

Don’t stress about it. Live life smartly and remember that a life of balance is ideal. Ask yourself one question: “when I retire, how do I want to live my life?” Are you doing the daily habits required for you live the healthiest, happiest and most fulfilling life possible? If the answer is anything but a big, huge YES, then you need to rethink your daily habits now.

IntelligentHQ : What is the main advice you give to entrepreneurs, bloggers and others startups or wannabes in what regards fitness and coaching?

Dai Manuel : When I’m asked for fitness and coaching advice from entrepreneurs, bloggers and other startups, my answers are pretty standard. I tend to ask what their vision, dream and goals are for their enterprise/blog/business and then I ask what game plan are they running right now to achieve that vision. Based on the answers I can usually offer one or two tidbits of advice. Most recently when dealing with these mindsets I always ask if they’ve read the following 2 books: Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk and Start with Why by Simon Sinek. If they say, “no”, my answer is, go read those and call me back. 😉

Follow Dai at, and on Twitter @daimanuel

Image credit via Photobucket/freedigitalphotos