In this episode we have Lisa Bilyeu on. She's the co-founder of Quest Nutrition, a billion dollar nutrition company, and a co-founder of Impact Theory, a company that helps empower businesses with their ability to effect change. But more than that, Lisa has the power of words and inspiration. In this episode, she explains how to break down her barriers specifically the fear of failure and she gives insights on how to look deep and tactics on how to overcome times when you just want to hide under your sheets. Because trust me we all had those days!
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Quest Nutrition. Lisa and husband Tom Bilyeu have been married for 15 years now. She and her husband started a company called Quest Nutrition and grew that business from $0 to a billion dollars in 5 years. She mentions that the company is a reflection of them as a couple and an individual – thinking about your body and how the body would impact your life.
Quest was doing great and they both realized that there are people who couldn’t get on board with eating healthy and over time, they realized that there’s such a strong connection between the body and the mind. That there are some people who would still be severely overweight even if they had all the success with Quest Nutrition.
Then it came down to the mind – not until you’re ready to take care of the mind, the body won’t be taken care of.
So they started to show within Quest Nutrition, where they have a studio built called Inside Quest, which was about how to better the minds, how to have a growth mindset, and how to achieve anything that you set your mind to - whether it’s losing weight, getting healthy, or business, or being the best mother - just really working on the mind and empowering people to let them know that they really can achieve anything.
Impact Theory. Inside Quest started to go really well. For the couple, like anything, you have multiple passions where you put your energy and time into. They feel very strongly in putting a spin on the show. They wanted to do its own entity and really focus on the mind which is now what Impact Theory is. They’ve been running it still and enjoying what they’re doing.
Growth Mindset. Lisa grew up seeing her mother struggle with her health issues – from anorexia to binge eating to getting overweight. Personally, she never had these struggles, she just love being in the gym so she never had to overcome what she saw from her mother.
They’ve had so much success in Quest Nutrition, and she gives her mom all the products she could have wanted. Lisa even went to offer her a private chef so she does not need to think about preparing her own food; however her mother didn’t want to. For the longest time, Lisa didn’t understand since her mother wanted to lose weight but she’s not acting on it and does not even want the resources to help her out.
Lisa then talks about Oprah, one of the most powerful woman in the world, where she could have the best trainers, gym, dietician, nutritionist, chef, etc. and still she struggles with her weight. Then Lisa pointed out that the only thing left is the mind. Each individual has their own story and it comes down to self-esteem, what are the triggers, why do people turn to food as a crutch sometimes and really dig in deep.
Until you’re willing to put your mind to dig deep, and unravel the things that you may not want to unravel in your past, all of that does come from a growth mindset. Until you’re ready for growth mindset, you’re not going to be able to make changes in your life whether it would be with your body, or whether it would be with your job, etc.
All of these things that you may want to change, she does not think you necessarily can without adopting a growth mindset, without working on the mind every single day.
The show was incredible as you would see amazing athletes and entrepreneurs and others who have done incredible things and they all have the same story. The story is they have to overcome something – they hit brick walls along the way, they had haters, they had people that didn’t believe in them. It doesn’t really matter what you’re in, a businessman, basketball player, entrepreneur, etc., they all have the same pattern. It was fascinating for Lisa to see that everybody has this story that she can relate to. The only difference between her and them is that, they don’t let it stop them. They use the negativity as a tool to be driven to push past it.
So for Lisa, the show was a great tool for her to see these incredible people have the same issues that she’s had. She finds that very empowering and very inspiring.
Success Stories. Quest nutrition is to help those who needs to lose weight or want to lose weight. People love food, it’s in our life no matter what. One thing is, you can’t change people’s behavior, you can’t persuade everybody. Lisa even mentioned that no matter what you say, chicken and broccoli is not going to taste better than ice cream (laughter). There’s a small set of people that are willing to make the sacrifice to eat chicken and broccoli every day, but for the majority we gravitate towards food that taste good. So then the question is, “How do you leverage that?”
Leveraging it means taking food that is amazingly tasty and it happens to be good for you - now you don’t have to persuade people. So that is the mentality behind the product itself to help people lose weight and help them in their journey.
One of the craziest that she never expected is that, It started opening doors to people who are diabetic and couldn’t eat sweet food and now they could but wouldn’t spike their insulin.
They also are able to help out to the anorexic and bulimic community. They’ve got many letters from people. She remembers this one person who’s almost dying and tried the Quest Bar. It became like the “gateway” food to getting her back to health. In her mind she can tell herself “it is healthy so I can eat it, but it tasted amazing”. So the company helped the anorexic community which is another thing that they never expected upon starting the company.
The people and how it affected their lives was amazing. For Lisa it was so heartwarming and touching. So moving onto Impact Theory, she still have to have the same impact to the people. She still has to feel like she was making a difference.
The transformation between Quest and Impact Theory has been very evident and seeing these was such a blessing and very satisfactory for Lisa.
Lisa. Lisa used to be a housewife. When she met her husband, he had a very large ambition and he really wanted to be successful in the entrepreneur world. So they had to talk, and Lisa offered to be his support system. She would be willing to do everything other than the actual business where her husband would be focusing on. She would take care of all the bills, the household, and all the things that comes with running a family and running a house while her husband does what he needs to in the business.
Going from this setup to the business world is very different for Lisa. There’s so much she didn’t know – she had to learn how to use computers, how to print orders – especially that when they started Quest Nutrition it was literally them making the product by hand in their kitchen. So within that 5 years, there was massive growth that she had to do personally and massive growth with her knowledge.
Fear and Failure. Looking back, she mentions that fear is such a big thing in people’s lives. She had no idea before on how to print an order or build a set, etc. There was a lot of pressure that there was no time to think. The company was growing so quickly that it didn’t give her time to let fear settle in and paralyze her. Looking back, she thinks that’s where a lot of people are getting stuck.
People have these dreams, ambitions, goals and fear seeps in – “What if I fail?”; “What if I don’t do a good job?”; “What if, now that I’m telling everybody I’m going to do this, what if I fall smack on my face?”; “ How am I going to tell people that I didn’t achieve it?”. All these stuff is literally there to protect you, which Lisa understands, but at the same time it holds you back.
In everything that Lisa does, she still faces fear. No matter how much experience she’s got over these years as well as what she’s achieved she cannot quiet the fear.
So whenever she faces fear, she would go on “Okay, you’re gonna feel the fear. This is actually great because it means that I’m about to step into an avenue that I don’t know. And look how exciting it could be, coz’ look at all the cool stuff I can learn”
Everything for Lisa is about perspective and the lens you look through. So if she’s looking into the lens of “Oh my god, this fear’s gonna paralyze me, all the things are gonna go wrong”, she’s not going to take a step because she’s going to fear that things are going to go wrong. If she changes though her perspective and the lens she looks through says, “Okay, you fear this. What happened last time you feared something? Look how much you learned, how much you grew. Look how powerful you got. The strength and confidence you built in yourself, all came from this moment of fear.”
Looking at the positive drives her forward and pushes her through.
So fear is a really big thing…and failure.
Everybody is scared to fail. People let that stop them from taking that first step.
Lisa mentions that everyone is absolutely going to fail. That she says is the most comforting and reassuring statement she’s ever heard, “Yes! You are gonna fail, but so what?!”. If you can learn from that failure, now you’re just giving yourself an extra tool, you’ve just become more powerful. Failing and not learning doesn’t serve you, but if you can fail and learn from it, you’ve just gained more power.
A Mindset of “How do we make this the best thing possible?”. They were just small then. They just hired a couple of people, just enough that they can afford to run the production line. That first few weeks they were training, they were running the line, she and her husband doesn’t need to be there so they could work more on the back end – shipping, marketing, etc.
Back then $5,000 was a make or break in the bank. Each batch of product of each line that they were running, each flavor, costs about $5,000. That was everything. If something went wrong it could be catastrophic.
One day, they were sitting and one of the guys approached them and was ghostly white and told her and her husband that they’ve messed up a batch. They were making the peanut butter bar and they put in the wrong flavor, the berry flavor. The production line people apologized for messing up production as they need to stop the whole batch and they need to trash it. It’s $5,000 down the drain.
Lisa’s husband went on like, “How do you take the worst thing that’s ever happened to you and make it the best thing that could happen?”. So going back to the perspective and lens that you’re looking through, instead of freaking out “Oh my god we lost $5,000”, husband Tom went on “Okay, how do we benefit from this?”.
They walked in the production line and he tried the bars. So it was a mix of a bar and a flavoring of another one. He started eating and went on, “Huh! This starts to taste like peanut butter and jelly”. They all tried it and they agreed with Tom. So they went on to think of how not to lose $5,000 and take advantage of the mistake. They talked about wrapping it and calling it a prototype, do an announcement saying it’s an addition. They were talking about 500 boxes, so they went on for: limited edition, prototype, want people’s feedback, limited time only. They put the announcement on their website and it sold out within an hour. People were so excited about the new prototype, excited to be the first ones to try it.
The bar was a smash, within a month they went on to 4 productions of the peanut butter and jelly.
With one simple flip of a mindset on saying, “How can we make things the best thing possible?” ended them up with one of the best bars at that time. It was selling out every other product.
Back Then. It was not really too hectic producing the bars. It was very basic - they were making the bars and wrapping it and just sending it out for free. They did that for months, send it to those they knew who would understand the product.
It wasn’t intense not until Lisa started working full time for the company and it started doing well. That was a struggle for her as she was used to a certain lifestyle – she loves working out and she takes care of the household which was to her own schedule. The second that changed she has to ask herself how to juggle everything. The first year with Quest she was learning a lot as no one in the company knew how to do shipping, they can’t afford to hire somebody, so she was literally reading, researching, figuring out computers on how to do things. She tried to do everything.
She pride herself on being good at execution. Because of her pride and her self-esteem as well as her identity being wrapped into being someone who could achieve everything she puts her mind into, it started to be very taxing. She didn’t realize it until she hit a breaking point. She started feeling guilty since she wasn’t taking care of her husband the way she would have wanted to.
They’re very open in their relationship. They talk about what they are looking for from each other and a part of it is that Tom wants to be nurtured. She is trying to be the best business partner for him, as he needed someone to learn the technology part, and at the same time they have discussed that she was going to be the nurturer. In trying to do everything, she crumbled. She has to have the honest conversation with her husband and say that she can’t do everything and talk about what has to give.
That is so important in letting go what your identity used to be and allowing yourself to change and as you grow older, as your life changes, your experiences changes, you need to adjust, otherwise you’re either going to be stuck in the past and you’re never going to change or you’re going to crumble because the pressure you just can’t handle because you’re trying to juggle everything. Sitting down with her husband, having the honest conversation about what needs to change for her to function at the best of her ability and what is she enjoying.
She is a spreadsheet and a list kind of girl, so she lays out everything – everything she does on a daily basis, what makes her happy, what she feels are necessary for the end goal of the company and other things. Having a clear conversation with her husband as to whose responsibility is which, allowed her to go, and be on that forward facing path.
She feels that a lot of people are getting stuck and they’re too afraid to walk or have the honest conversation and they end up treading water for years and years because they’re not quite sure on what to do or they drive themselves nuts because they try to do everything. She’s been there and she personally didn’t see it work out.
How do you start?
Even if you fall flat on your face, you’re going to learn from it.
The steps of doing a list and thinking of how to execute is important. She chose the life of being an entrepreneur so in those moments she feels guilty not being able to do something for her husband and it stings, she reminds herself, “Okay, I’ve chosen this life”, it’s the right decision, and reassuring herself on the decisions she’s made is very important. She reminds herself why she made those choices as it’s very easy to succumb yourself to emotions, to guilt and let it paralyze you. She reminds herself that she chose this life and it allows her to take control and ownership of how she’s feeling which is very powerful.
Understanding that it’s never going to be perfect. If you make a move and it didn’t work out, learn from it and move quickly past it.
If someone is out there trying to make changes and they don’t have the guts to move forward, they have to give themselves a reminder that “yeah, it might fail and what?”.
Lisa always analyze the worst case scenario and since doing it she’s never been paralyzed by something. She doesn’t want to live in fear of the future. She doesn’t want to live in the fear of “what ifs”.
If you love what you do and it brings you happiness, why would you change that for something that could potentially happen in the future?
Tactics. It all comes down to tactics. It’s very difficult to put tactics when it comes to emotions especially for a woman. Sometimes she feels something so deeply in her heart that her husband just passes it on as business.
Putting tactics is very strategic which she finds to be the biggest thing in her life. She doesn’t battle whether she would fail or not, she just accept that she will.
Things that made her crumble in the past, she now embraces it. Once you’ve embraced it, you still have to overcome it. You still need to put the tactics in place that can allow you, when you fail, how are you going to make sure that you don’t get emotional about it and don’t let it crumble you.
First thing Lisa tells herself when something goes wrong, “I chose this life”, “I get what I focus on”. If she’s got a problem and seeing it as a negative, negativity is going to breathe inside her, it’s going to come out in everything that she does. So instead of focusing on the negative, she focuses on the positive. The tactics makes her frame her mindset and when you feel energized or empowered, act on it since the problem won’t last.
Motivation isn’t enough. You can surround yourself with people who talks with motivation and are really encouraging. When you’re alone and you have that negative voice in your head, no matter what motivation you hear, what do you do to not succumb to the negativity? So it’s putting these tactics.
What works for you? For Lisa she uses music. She mentions it’s so empowering. She puts on hard core rap music, she goes to the gym and lift something heavy. She put tactics in place to affect her own brain chemistry that could pull her out of any negativity and hesitations that she may have in her life.
You have to be able and willing to open yourself up and be honest with yourself of what do you like when you’re down, when you think negatively and what are the things that could help break you out and try it.
Anytime you’re trying something new think of it as your day 1 in a gym. It’s never going to be perfect, it may be terrible, you’re going to lift the most pathetic weight, but if you are consistent and if you pay attention and if you were thinking about the strategy and the minute details. Eventually in time, it’s going to come naturally to you.
That’s what Lisa has been doing. She was a very different person 10 years ago, and has spent the last 10 years training her mind, putting in tactics, not listening to the negative voice to then get confident enough to try and execute on things.
Like she’s always said, she tries but she doesn’t always achieve it and she’s fine with that – that’s what helps her get there.
How to learn more about Lisa