Health blog I Quit Sugar has become a massive phenomenon here in Australia and is beloved by many, but today the movement's founder Sarah Wilson, has announced that she will be shutting up the website for good.
In a lengthy post on her personal website, Sarah opened up about how the business began and how she believes that it has made enough of an impact that it's now okay to shut up shop.
"As many of you know, the IQS journey started at a time in my life that had given me cause to re-evaluate what mattered in life. From this place I decided to (re)build my life according to certain values. These values went on to steer the IQS message as well as the business.
"The big commitment I made to myself back then was to not get caught up in the cycle. (It’s actually a very old commitment, or, perhaps, core value, which has guided me in making other, similarly big decisions in the past. Seven years ago, however, I revisited it.)
"This meant doing things differently. It meant not taking on advertising. It meant starting small and growing at the same pace as the community was able to manage the messaging, and at a pace at which I could feel (dare I say it) authentic. It meant sticking to seemingly non-commercial principles.
"It meant “giving first”, aiming only to educate…and then seeing where it would all go. I did this for two years before feeling I could legitimately charge for my product. When I did, you guys supported me and enabled me.
"Recently I’ve realised that to remain true to my original commitment, I must pivot course. Seven years into a movement, five years into a business, I feel my work in the realm is done. I set out to educate the world about the truth of our eating habits and to find a technique that could shift things in a meaningful way.
"I felt I was a good person to do it – I had journalism skills and experience and a platform. And I was cool with copping the flak. I loved I was able to build the damn thing organically, conversing the whole way with the community. It was a 'gentle and kind experiment'.
"But success is a funny thing. It requires feeding. It requires growth. Which sees you become caught up in the cycle eventually, sometimes without realising. To be able to take the IQS.com business where it had to go next, I had to scale. Many in my position get excited about this.
"It’s where most businesses have to go when you get to a certain size and level of organic success. But the particularities of the IQS business, and of my value system, just don’t sit well with such a path."
She explained that she wanted all of her followers to know that there's no scandal to accompany her decision, it was simply a choice she made on her own.
"I’m going to be really honest here because I hope this decision I’ve made might invite a different conversation around the traps.
"One that goes beyond lazily and unkindly speculating that the business was failing (it certainly wasn’t and out of full respect for IQS’s general manager and the talented and loyal-to-a-fault staff I will defend this suggestion forcibly), or that the founder was mentally unfit (oh, yes, the suggestion has been made before, to which I say, surely we know the statistics and history of high-functioning anxious types running the bulk of the most successful businesses in the world by now?).
"Once we arrived at the point where “scale” – growing the existing structure exponentially – was required, I realised the motivator now was money.
"My motivator had not been money previously, a freedom that enabled me to make bold decisions that at times startled peers and the industry, but ultimately, and ironically, saw my message and product spread further.
"So I decided a little over 12 months ago that it was time for me to go. I’m an educator, a communicator. Not a money-spinner. It was best for everyone and for the message."
Sarah started the I Quit Sugar movement after trying a sugar-free diet to accompany a column she was writing.
She instantly felt better and soon, released a book about her experience that unexpectedly created an empire.
The website will remain running for the time being as Sarah explained she wanted to be completely transparent with her fans and not tie up loose ends under the radar.
You can read the full statement on her website here.
It's the end of a sugar-free era!