Interview with Laurent Hage – Founder & Owner Of Active Station

by | Apr 15, 2021 | Treadmill Desks

Q – Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.

Our goal is to promote a healthier workspace and our approach is to provide users the opportunity to use a practical and durable treadmill desk in order to accomplish this goal. We chose the treadmill desk because it is the only healthy activity one can undertake without losing work time. We ship nationwide from our manufacturing facility is in Hopkins, MN.

Q – Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).

I’m an engineer by education which affords me the required analytical thinking and problem-solving abilities. I have led a colorful career where I learned a lot. I’ve worked as a consultant on one end and as part of some of the largest corporations on the other.

Q – What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?

In a conversation with a friend who’s been supporting the fitness equipment industry for over 30 years, we discussed the potential health benefits of treadmill desks and the market need for better product. That’s when we started designing and testing until we came up with our current Active Station design. Even after production, we tested the product for a year to better understand customer needs and preferences. This allowed us the know how to advise our customers on the most efficient implementation practices to maximize success.

Q – What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

  1. Be prepared to learn ALL aspects of your new business.
  2. Know that it’s never a one-person adventure. Be prepared to include others in order to grow and succeed. 3- It’s not about how great you believe your product is; it’s how wide you can spread the word about how great it is before you run out of funds.

Q – What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

  1. Able to dive in the deep end without seeing the bottom.
  2. Have a attitude of using fear and anxiety to focus forward and keep moving.
  3. Secure the necessary funds and skills from the start; don’t wait until needed.

Q – How many hours do you work a day on average?

As many as it takes. It can vary from 20 to 80. Flexibility is very important.

Q – To what do you most attribute your success?

Long term success comes from a strong focus on quality and excellent customer service and staying true to the mission.

Q – How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?

Tried multiple marketing strategies and learned the hard way that not every strategy works as planned. On the B2B side, learned that a personal touch point is necessary for success while on the B2C side, it’s more about seamlessly providing the relevant information to potential customers.

Q – Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?

Self-financed, which allowed me the flexibility to stay focused on the mission without outside pressures but came with the pressure of limited resources that slows progress.

Q – What is the best way to achieve long-term success?

Stay true to the mission regardless of success/size. Treat every customer as you treated your first.

Q – Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?

Grow the business in size and offering while remaining in contact with customers to make sure we always provide the excellent service that is our “raison d’etre”.

Q – Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?

Without naming names, I admire companies where employees feel like shareholders and customers are very loyal.

Q – How important have good employees been to your success?

We believe that employees should be empowered to do the right thing and therefor, should be the right cultural fit.

Q – How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?

A good entrepreneur has the drive to keep moving forward but also knows when to quit, if that time comes. I tend to stick with my project until the end, one way or another.

Q – What motivates you?

The ability to satisfy customers and the control to make a difference.

Q – What are your ideals?

Honesty and integrity

Q – How do you generate new ideas?

Love networking and talking to different people. The engineer in me want to solve their problems; that’s where ideas come from.

Q – How do you define success?

Moving in the direction of my dream(s).

Q – How do you build a successful customer base?

One customer at a time.

Q – What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

Learning something new and different every day.

Q – What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

Creating a product that brought smiles to customers’ faces.

Q – What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?

Being an entrepreneur is a way of thinking that can be applied as an employee as well (in most cases). As an employee of large corporations, my mantra was that I do my job as if I own the company and spending from my own money.

Q – What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?

As noted, honesty and integrity come first. This only allows like-minded team members where conversations are frank and cordial.

Q – In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.

Like I never left school. Learning never stops.

Q – If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?

We learn from our mistakes so it’s natural to want to rectify such mistakes (so one can make new ones) if we start over. Personally, I would follow the same path but make less of my mistakes now that I know better.

Q – How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?

Gave me more flexibility to maintain a great family life.

Q – What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?

Losing my drive to make a positive difference. I try to stay engaged on multiple fronts and stay connected.

Q – How did you decide on the location for your business?


Q – Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?

No, it’s very complicated. It includes a dash of luck, a pinch of good timing and a whole lot of trial and error. Starting with good quality ingredients is a must.

Q – What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?

All my big mistakes involve missing out and not doing something when I should have. They’re much bigger than doing something wrong (in my case).

Q – How can you prevent mistakes or do damage control?

Experience and preparation are the best tools to mitigate mistakes and being open minded and ready to absorb a mistake without stopping progress minimize damage.

Q – What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?

Building things, mainly home improvements

Q – What makes you happy?

Seeing people in my orbit happy.

Q – What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?


Q – If you were conducting this interview, what question would you ask?

What difference did you make in someone’s life?

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