Better By Nature Podcast: Will Nitze – Daily Struggles, Career Opportunity
Myles: Welcome back to The Better By Nature Podcast, where we are talking to folks who have solved and overcome adversity with natural remedies.
We’re joined today by Will Nitze. He’s the founder and CEO of IQ Bar. Certainly will let you get into IQ Bar and some of the stuff you guys got going on and obviously the story behind that company and your passion project.
But sir, would you like to introduce yourself a little bit?
Will: Yeah, yeah, sir. Like that. Strong. Sure. My name’s Will Nitze. I’m the founder and CEO of IQ Bar. Started it outta my apartment fiveish years ago, coming up on five years ago. And we’re in about 8,000 locations. Pretty big on Amazon and our website, which is eatiqbar.com.
Yeah, happy to start wherever you’d like.
Myles: Cool, man. Well, so as I understand it, the story that you’ve put out there behind the company on your website is that you were a student at Harvard, correct? Will: Yes.
Myles: And you were just struggling with different issues, not feeling right, not feeling up to par. I mean, what were some of the things that you were struggling with that led you to try to solve these problems?
Will: Yeah, I mean, I just felt bad physically and mentally on a daily basis. I graduated in 2014 and then I went right into this software gig where I was selling and marketing software and it was kind of an internal consulting role and I was just working super long hours and I was also new and it was my first job.
I was trying to prove myself and rapidly acquire new skills and all that. I just started feeling terrible on a daily basis. Part of it was like, you know, the work thing working a lot, but also the usual suspects of sleep, exercise, etc. But nutrition was really the big thing I found.
I had a standard American diet. I ate a ton of carbs and that took me down a rabbit hole where I just became obsessed with nutrition because I started changing my own diet and then seeing the benefits of that. Then that got me more and more down that rabbit hole of how does the food you eat impact the way you think today?
And even like, how does what you eat over decades of time impact how your brain works when you’re 60 or whatever. So I read a couple [books], one book that really changed everything for me was Grain Brain by David Perlmutter, Dr. David Perlmutter. That one just blew my mind. And then, yeah, I read everything by Gary Taubes. I read Dave Asprey, the Bulletproof Coffee Guys stuff.
I mean, I would read anything that centered on or, or covered the intersection of nutrition and cognition, I consumed. That was the genesis of my interest in the field.
Myles: The spark to the fire for sure. So you took in a lot of information. What was it that you actually experienced that was like, wait, this is working?
I can’t tell you how many people I hear are doing this diet, that diet, trying this thing, that thing. And most of them are not sustainable. Most of them are probably not even working.
What was it and how long did it take? Was this something that took like weeks and months before you actually noticed a difference or was this something you changed and felt the changes quickly?
Will: Honestly, so there’s two things that can make you feel better. Stopping eating bad things is one, and then eating good things is another. I think the stopping eating bad things has a bigger, more emphatic impact. The eating good things is super impactful as well, but I mean, the impact’s immediate too.
Like if you just don’t eat pizza or a sub or whatever for lunch, then that impact is immediate. Your blood sugar doesn’t spike. Your insulin production doesn’t skyrocket. You’re not lethargic.
It’s super immediate. Right? Then over time too, you lose weight, if that’s a goal of your. A whole host of other good things happen.
So pretty darn quick, but yeah, you asked what specifically it was, I mean, it was really fairly basic. It was cutting out bread, pasta, rice for the most part, things like that.
Although I never got super intense about it. I’ve actually never done, like, fully done keto. I’ve really stuck more to just general low carb, low sugar, because I don’t like to get too militant about diet, right?
I find that there’s a diminishing return where it’s like you get less healthy psychologically because you’re just… I don’t wanna spend two hours a day thinking about journaling about my diet. You know what I mean?
Just cutting that stuff out was huge. And then, you know, eating higher fat stuff the classics, like avocado. I was eating a lot of protein. High fiber vegetables.
Get your carbs from vegetables. Try to have them be high fiber that’s it. Nothing crazy. But the reason why I was interested in starting a ready to eat solution is I was so damn busy. May sound weird, it may not, but I don’t like cooking.
I’m not a foodie, I don’t enjoy cooking. I view food as a tool and nutrition as a tool. Like you put it in your body and you get something out. Like how do you put in the best? You put in things that you get that generate the best out result. And how do you do it fast?
The convenience factor is key. And so those variables are why I was interested in creating a more complete and a more convenient solution.
Myles: Nice. Yeah and I think that there’s a ton of people who can relate to that. I mean, personally I can. It was actually around 2014 that I was working in Chicago and feeling similar, right?
I was going through trying so many different things and I never really considered diet as a big part of that figure. Kind of like, you figured like, man, it’s just fuel. Like whatever.
As long as I’m burning it, it’s fine. This isn’t a problem. But then, you know, like nootropics, just different foods and things like that were things that I started trying and getting into just desperate to find something that could really propel me through the day.
I’m sure a lot of people have experience leaning on Adderall or stuff like that or something similar. I know I went through a period where I had a prescription of Adderall. So, yeah that’s what was really intriguing to me about your story, is it seems like you overcame this challenge that a lot of people probably are dealing with right now with a very simple solution.
And most people think that it’s not that simple, right? Like most people think that, man, I gotta change my entire life to feel better. Right? Or to take a step forward.
So what was it for you that was like, look, I fixed this problem for me. I need to take a step forward and start helping other people fix this problem with IQ Bar?
Will: There was a lot of things, there was a confluence of many variables. So like, one was, I was just interested in the brain and psychology and neuroscience and I just inherently loved that topic.
Then there was the personal experience, like I talked about, I personally experienced how changing in diet helped with cognition.
And then, you know, a third variable is I love business. Like I love startups. And… my early career coincided with a time when startups were very cool. Like they weren’t always cool, and then they got really cool. Not to say like CPG startups, like it was always tech-leaning, the cool factor.
But nevertheless, startups period got just cool. And it became less like risky or crazy for someone to start a business out of their apartment or whatever. Then the last variable would be I had a job and I couldn’t see myself doing it for 40, 50 years.
So I was like, okay, this isn’t it. That just makes it a lot easier to do your own thing if you’re like, I don’t really love this, and now I know. I tell people like, don’t start a company right outta school.
You need the juxtaposition of working for someone. What is it like to have a boss? What is it like to work really long hours? What is it like to work in an organization, right? With management and upper management? Like all of that’s valuable. I think never experiencing that is, in my opinion, a mistake.
I’m glad I did it, but I’d rather do what I’m doing now. So having that juxtaposition is key. So all of those things sort of together aggregated into like, okay, I wanna start this thing. And the last variable is, can I do it? Like, can I own it? Tip to tail. From make it like formulating the product, like actually create the product myself.
Right? The guy makes the product, not outsourcing that like I come up with it and make it and figure out how to manufacture it all the way through to like sales and marketing, right. Can I do all of it or at least heavily touch all of it. And with a product like this, I could.
Whereas I’d had other ideas that was like a website or an app or whatever, and I was like, oh, damn, I’m gonna have to go hire team of developers and how do I know if they’re doing a good job or not?
And how do I know if I’m get screwed or not? And I couldn’t own it. So, I’m way more interested in things I can wrap my head around every single step of the process.
Myles: That makes sense. I felt similar about Life Leaf Remedies, you know, and I, again, back in the day when I was in 2014, 2015 I felt the same way.
It’s like, ‘man, I got this job, but I don’t think I can do this forever’. I got into the cannabis and CBD realm and, it was the same thing. It’s like, man I can’t develop anything, but we can make these products, we can definitely get ’em out to people, we know that they’re working.
So yeah, I can totally empathize with that and relate. So what has that journey been like for you, man? I mean, obviously solving your problem is a huge thing personally, and overcoming that starting IQ bar, starting a business is no small task.
I mean, when we talk about on this podcast overcoming adversity and I’m in it. I’m a year into to starting my business and it’s adversity every single day.
So what was that journey like for you?
Will: The same thing. I mean, granted, people will take different sides of this argument. Some people say starting a business in a recession or a really crappy macro environment is the best time to start a business. Some people say the opposite, so I don’t really know or care, like just start it.
Don’t try and time it just whatever, it is what it is. But when I started it, yeah, same deal. It’s every day is a grind and you are putting out fires from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed. And that just is what it is. And by the way, that doesn’t get better. Doesn’t go away. It’s like my favorite quote of all time.
This guy Greg LeMond, who is a cyclist, US cyclist, won the Tour de France and he said,”It never gets easier, you just go faster.” Never gets easier, you just go faster. So you just go faster. So, the constant is difficulty. You just happen to get better. And therefore that allows you to go faster.
You’ll always push yourself to that level of difficult. So, problems you deal with early is like, I need to make a logo. I need to make a website. I need to make an Amazon presence. I need basic packaging design, I need yada, yada, yada, yada.
And then what I deal with now is like, We’re launching into Costco, what’s the like pallet configuration and like, how do we not screw this up?
And then how do we expand it? You’re always a novice. You’re always a novice until you aren’t. But like, I certainly haven’t reached the point where you aren’t so..
Myles: Yeah, I don’t know that I expect that that’s coming anytime soon for me either. You look at a guy like Elon Musk, he’s a novice again. He just took over a social media platform, which he’s never done before.
That’s a really cool point, man. You’re always a novice. I think that that’s something that could maybe turn people off. People maybe feel like they need to be the master before they can start a business.
How do you handle that every day, man? I mean, is there something that you do to prepare yourself for, you know, daily battle?
Will: No, like muscle memory, just. You do it long enough and your body adapts. Your body and mind adapts. Everyone has their own habits, right? Like exercise, you have to exercise. If you don’t, you’re gonna go crazy.
So I go for runs, like try to run every day. I don’t, I’m not successful at it, but most days I’ll go for like a five mile run and that’s key.
Like, get a good night’s sleep, have a good diet. Like all those things, the obvious stuff, I do. But no, nothing special. I mean, it’s just, it’s sort of like just build the resiliency via doing it long enough. Like if you can just keep doing it, your body gets more adept at withstanding the endurance piece.
And you can sprint for, hell, some people sprint for 10 years, you know? I’m on year five, you know, we’re on closing up year five, right?
So, yeah the body and mind is pretty damn resilient if you put the right things in it and you treat it okay. One thing I don’t know how people do is like, have kids, people who have kids and do it. Woo!
Do you have kids?
Will: Yeah. I don’t know how people like you do it. I don’t know how people like you do it.
Myles: Oh, I mean, it doesn’t sound too different from what you do. I mean, it’s, you wake up and take on whatever the day’s got for you. I’ll tell you, the change in working culture to accepting remote work has definitely helped.
You know, one thing for me that was a very big motivating factor in starting my own business, was not wanting to be in an office for 12 hours a day. Now that doesn’t mean I’m not working 12 hours a day. I’m basically working 24 hours a day.
But it’s those in between moments where before you might go down the hall and, and talk to somebody and, you know, pick their brain, ‘Hey, what are we doing for this?’…’How do we do that?’
Where now I look over and I see my nine month old crawling through my office, picking something up, you know, making a goofy noise or something. And it’s motivating, man. It’s some fuel, I’ll tell you that much.
I think leaving your kids every day, you have no question what you’re working for, right? But out of sight outta mind is a thing. So it’s not easy. It’s definitely not easy, man, I’ll tell you that much.
Will: And having the right partner is just massively important.
Myles: Very big deal. Yeah, absolutely. And there are examples of both sides of that, right?
Of people who do have the right partner and are able to be supported and get through it. And others who don’t and won’t make it. I mean, I think I’ve seen… countless people saying that having the right partner is a superpower. I don’t know if you’re married, do you have kids?
Will: I’m married. No kids. But.. I work with my wife. How about that?
Myles: Oh, cool.
Will: Yeah. So, and that can be either the best move ever, or the worst move ever. Right. So it’s been the best move ever for us though, I think. I think she thinks [so] too, you gotta check in every once in a while.
If you have like vectors of your life where it’s like, professional, relationships, social, etc. You for better or worse streamline that. You combine the professional and the personal. Is that always healthy?
No, but it’s also not healthy to lead an entrepreneurial life and then be working all day and then you never see your spouse and then you get home and you’re like, you don’t really want to talk about the day cause you’re so exhausted, but they wanna [talk], that’s not healthy either.
So, I think it’s a really good setup if you can swing it. The other thing too is both parties have to be good, you know, it’s awkward if they’re not. If one person isn’t, then it’s like, it’s weird, it’s nepotistic or whatever.
Or you know, how do you give feedback? Like, all that’s weird. But if both partners are good. Hell yeah. I don’t have to give feedback like that. We’re so in-tune and that’s how it is with us. So again, can be really, really good. Or probably could suck.
Myles: Could be a recipe for a disaster for sure. I think that’s not hard to see at least, but maybe not a blanket prescription for those out there with entrepreneurial ambitions to include your significant other, but could be.
My wife, she’s a photographer. She does all of our photography for the company and has helped with some creative stuff. So yeah, we’ve got a little bit of a, probably a lesser involvement than you do. But where we are involved, it works really well.
So, man, you are five years into your entrepreneurial journey here with, with IQ Bar. Has there ever been a point where your back is against the wall and you’re just like, ‘how am I going to, how am I gonna move forward here’? Like, how do I not quit right now?
Will: Yeah, I mean, many countless times. Not countless times, but a lot. There’s one like crazy anecdote that I’ll tell, which is like, it’s a good story, so I’ll tell it. Yeah, this was early on. We were producing for CVS, so we got this massive order for a couple hundred thousand bars.
And our biggest production date before that was like 30,000 bars. We were like, ‘holy crap. Can we even do this?’ Do we even have enough money to buy the ingredients to make this? And then they weren’t gonna pay us for six months. Excuse me, they were gonna pay 50% in 30 days, the other 50% in six months.
Luckily, our margin on it was over 50%. So we would be effectively break even on the first payment and then the profit would come in six months, but still absurd payment terms.
Anyway, so we’re like, ‘okay, how the hell are we gonna do this?’ And the co-packer we were at couldn’t do it. So we… had, I think it was like four months or five months. They told us they put in the PO four or five months before we had to deliver on it.
So in that period we had to find a new co-packer, get through all the docs, get all the ingredients to them, and figure everything out. And we did. And so month of, we’re making these bars, right? We take the whole team to the co-packer, like small team. It’s like four of us.
And production begins at an absurdly early hour. It was like 5:00 AM or something. So it’s pitch black. We’re driving in my Nissan to the place. It’s like bumping tunes. We’re all fired up. We get there. We watch the bars mix and then slab, and then it’s sliced and go into the flow wrapper, which gets a wrap on it.
And everything looks awesome, like high-fiving each other. We’re taking videos of it. It was like a glorious moment. And then the guy comes up to me, he taps me on the shoulder. He is like, ‘Hey, hey Will we got a problem… the wrappers aren’t sealing it.’ Oh no… this was a make or break for the company, right?
‘Yeah. The wrappers aren’t sealing.’ And I was like, ‘okay… can you make them seal?’
Yeah. And the, the wrapper, the sales rep for the wrapper company just so happened to be there, because he thought it was gonna be this epic moment too, he was high-fiving.
And then I was like…’look man, the wrappers aren’t sealing’. And then we were like, increase the pressure, do this, do that. And nothing worked. So we’re just like, we’re like, ‘okay, just stop. Stop!’ Because all the product’s gonna be ruined, right? Because it’s not sealing, yada yada.
So that was like one of those moments, you’re like, ‘whoa, it all might just come crashing down. It all might fall apart in front of our eyes here’. So yeah, I think part of you wants to just like crumble and then the other part’s like, like snap into action mode. And then I was like, ‘alright, I need like five packaging suppliers’.
Give me all their numbers. Just call all of them. And we’re like, ‘Hey, I need this. I need it in a week. Can you do it?’ ‘No’. Cool. Hang on. Call the next person. I need it. Can you do it in a week? No.
Finally, someone’s like, ‘yeah, maybe. Maybe. Send me the designs’ this, that. Anyway, we get someone to make the wrappers and get ’em there a week later.
A week later we rerun and wrappers seal and get it all out the door. It costs money. We had to throw away a bunch of product. It was very painful.
But that’s probably the moment where it was like, you know, it was one moment, one thing happened. There’s a bunch of other moments that are like, like it might be a period of time where it’s just super painful and it’s more protracted.
That was one where it was like one day right here. It could all fall apart in front of our eyes.
Myles: Well, as someone who’s been involved in finding co-packers and manufacturers and stuff, finding a co-packer for that in four to five months was no small task. I’ve been on projects where we were trying to find a new co-packer for something for over 18 months and the folks we kept going to just couldn’t get it right.
Being able to do that in four to five months is wild. So to have you get to that point and then like, oh no, this might fall apart. Wow. I can imagine the anxiety .
Will: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah… Not to beat my own chest or whatever, but I think you can, some people will fall apart at that moment.
Myles: Yeah. I’m sure some have.
Will: Yeah. But then you do it, like I said, it’s the muscle memory thing. Like that happens then next bad thing happens. It’s not as bad as that. And you’re like, ‘well, I got past that’. You know, and you deal with enough fires, and fires become oddly like commonplace.
You’re like, ‘oh, what’s another fire?’ You know? So you kind of become numb to them in a good way. You just treat them like any other problem. And… you almost expect it, and if you do expect it, then it’s not the worst thing when it happens. Right?
Myles: Yeah. I can totally relate with that, man. I’ll sit here and say I hope that doesn’t ever happen to me, but I don’t know that that’s a reality.
Will: I’m sure you have some manufacturing horror stories of your own.
Myles: Well, most of mine come from experience prior to Life Leaf, you know. And so the brand that I was working on before this, I was a VP of Ops and we were trying to take on a lot and it was, still CBD, hemp.
We did get into CVS, so I was kinda laughing along with what you were talking about with their terms, because that was something that we dealt with as well. And it was just a very big eye opener because I think that most people from the outside in, getting into a store like that, that’s the win, right?
That’s the perceived win. It’s like, ‘oh man, you’re in cvs, you’re in Costco’. And most people don’t realize, that’s actually when the challenge begins. Now the hard part starts because now you not only have to go through hell in some cases, like you’re talking about there, to get the product produced and delivered.
But then you have to sell through, and that’s not cheap or necessarily easy. Getting the right placements, all that kind of stuff. That’s really one of the big reasons why with Life Leaf, we decided to be a direct-to-consumer brand.
Definitely not an easy thing either. Much slower, I’d say as far as growth goes. But I do feel like we’re building a foundation that’s a little bit more sustainable and solid than what we had done in the past with B2B growth.
So what have you experienced with that? Is your company primarily b2b?
Will: No. So Amazon’s our biggest part of our business. Then retail brick and mortar, and then our website. So yeah, we were on Amazon for, I guess you can’t do Amazon, right? Cause it’s cbd?
Myles: I can, and we did for a little bit.
The problem with that is we have to call ourselves a hemp product, which, you know, it’s CBD derived from hemp, so that’s accurate. But everybody who’s not a CBD product but calling themselves a hemp product, we all look the same, even though they’re not.
So there’s other products out there… I guess a consumer tip for the listeners.
If you’re on Amazon and you’re looking for a CBD product, you’re gonna find a whole bunch of colorful products that look like their label was designed by word art, and they’re gonna say they’ve got hundreds of thousands of milligrams in this product. And that’s not CBD. They can make you think it is, but it’s not.
It’s hemp seed oil. So hemp seed oil is not the same as hemp oil or CBD oil. So yeah, that’s the reason we’ve actually not really gone deep into the Amazon channel yet.
Hopefully Amazon opens up a path for legitimate CBD brands to be on there. But there is a way, you know, we’re listed on there and there’s other CBD brands on there.
It’s just very, very difficult to stand apart from the non-legitimate products and brands that are out there. And that’s probably a problem for a lot of people in a lot of ways.
I mean, what is the competition like for IQ Bar? What has that been like for you?
Will: I mean, it’s very competitive, but you are immune to a lot of the DTC woes of late, you know, the iOS stuff.
Not entirely immune, but just it’s a lot better. Amazon is a walled garden of its own data. Amazon has always, from the early days, been our biggest channel. And we really rode the keto wave early on and then just established a presence and it’s stayed pretty big.
But honestly like for us being omni-channel is pretty important and we set very aggressive growth goals for ourselves. We try to double every year, which is insane.
Especially if you don’t… it’s insane without a ton of money, you know? It’s more insane. So you’re like, okay, we need to be efficient and double. I mean, how are you going to do that?
You can’t really do that, in my opinion, if you’re not going omni-channel, and really once you get into like the later stages, you want to get to 25 to 30 million bucks, let’s say, from 13 million. You need brick and mortar like you just do.
How else are you gonna turn on 10, 12, $13 million? Like you need Costco or Sam’s or BJ’s or some combo, you know, Whole Foods, HEB, Publix, etc.
I guess technically there are other ways, you could do international or whatnot, but that is in my opinion, the right way for us. But that’s because we set these crazy goals that it’s not necessarily, and certainly not for everyone, the best move to do that.
You know, we’re just… trying to grow really quickly. I mean, part of it is, the goal is to exit the business at some point. And the huge determinant of the value of the business is how fast we’re growing. So, you kind of have to grow like 75% plus to be high growth, quote unquote. And then that puts you in a different tier of value.
Myles: So then how, in a highly, highly competitive field there, how has IQBAR been able to differentiate from some of the other competitors?
Will: There’s like the ostensible way we’re different, and then what’s actually more what makes us different, like in reality, in terms of consumer purchasing practices. The ostensible one is just like IQ brain, good for your brain, brain nutrients in the product. That is a unique angle, hadn’t really been done in bars.
But what we learned over time is our ability to thread the dietary needle across keto, plant protein, vegan more broadly, and then just like clean label. So sort of paleo-friendly would be another way of putting that last one – is what allows us to win.
And I would say actually a really big variable too is cost. People always poo-poo the cost thing or they’re like, ‘make a premium product and people will pay a premium price’. That’s a myth.
Yeah, that’s a myth. In bars at least. People will not pay more than X for a bar. I guess some will, but you will never scale massively. Right? You need to be able to hit a certain price point if you wanna sell at Walmart, at Costco, at fill-in-the-blank. And you’re kidding yourself if you think you don’t.
So so much of the nuance is in how do I make this great thing that hits the right unit economics such that I can sell for X on-shelf. So many people don’t pay enough attention to that, in my opinion.
Myles: I’d say that’s accurate, and I’m a numbers guy, so getting into the COGS and the margins and all that kind of stuff was kind of natural for me.
But, in having conversations with other folks in CPG, just in general, it definitely gets downplayed. It’s almost like the chores that you don’t want to do, but that’s your key.
And you say pricing. But it’s more than pricing, right? It’s margin. Cause even if you have a good price, if it’s not profitable, it’s not sustainable. You’re gonna lose eventually. Right?
Will: Well, that’s inherent to it. You have to hit that price and be profitable, like build in whatever, 50 plus percent.
Myles: Yeah. Because if you’re going to sell and invest in all that product for CVS, and basically scale up to a volume that you’ve never been at before, cash flow becomes a big problem there.
Because like you said, you gotta have…
Will: Well that’s a whole other thing, right? There’s unit economics and then there’s cash flow. Totally separate challenge. I mean, they’re related, but totally separate. You can have a great margin and terrible cash flow. So yeah, we’ve had to deal with that too.
And if you’re not raising these big venture rounds, you are going to have cash flow problems. So, You’re gonna have to get really smart about how to solve that. And there’s a lot of smart posting about this of, you know, using certain credit cards and we use this one service called AMPLA, or have used them.
That’s been useful. You need some way to smooth out your cash flow. You’re gonna make stuff, you’re gonna get billed for it, and then you’re not gonna get your cash conversion cycle, aka people paying you for that stuff will not hit sooner than your bill is due.
What do you do about it? Some people will just raise money, right? They’ll raise dilutive capital. And that of course is the most expensive way to do it. You know, equity is always the most expensive. There’s not that many good alternatives in many cases. You can’t get a line of credit.
No bank will give you that. Because you need two profitable tax returns to get a line of credit from, let’s say, bank of America. No startup on Earth has that. Right? I mean, some do, but for all intents and purposes, none do. So you’re gonna have to turn to like, kind of weird, super high interest options.
So it is tough. I mean, there’s no obvious answer.
Myles: Yeah, no doubt, man. I’m living it right now. So again, kind of drawing back to some of the themes of the podcast, we talk about natural remedies a lot. Now, obviously IQBar is your baby, right?
This is the thing that, like, it solved your problems personally. And then you’ve been able to get this out there for a lot of people. You mentioned running as well. I mean, what other natural remedies would you say you incorporate into your daily routine? Or not necessarily daily, just your routine at all?
Will: I mean, it’s kind of that, it’s like sleep, exercise, nutrition. I don’t meditate. I don’t journal. Writing stuff like on LinkedIn or otherwise, I enjoy. That to me is sort of meditative or journaling, but I don’t do those things explicitly.
I know some people do and that has benefits for them. For me, it really is those things and then staying busy. I think for me, I hate not being busy. I psychologically am in a not great spot if I just have an idle mind.
What’s that saying? ‘The idle mind is the devil’s workshop’. As long as I stay busy, I’m actually psychologically in a better place, not worse place.
Some people are like, ‘oh, I’m so busy’. ‘I’m stressed’. That’s psychologically bad. For me it’s like I’m so busy and even I’m somewhat stressed and I’m psychologically in a good place. Right? So maybe I’m different than other folks in that respect. I don’t know. But that just is what it is for me.
Myles: Yeah, that might be what makes you an entrepreneur.
Will: Yeah. But I also think that’s teachable. Or like you can teach your body to be like that. I don’t know that I was always like that, but I’ve adapted to become like that.
Myles: Is that something you think happened as a result of becoming an entrepreneur?
Will: Yeah, probably. Yeah.
Myles: See, the one thing that I’m very fascinated by, and I can’t say I put a lot of thought into it, but it’s something I think about here and there as examples come up. There’s so many people out there that I think would make great entrepreneurs and they just won’t, they won’t make the jump.
So for you, was there like a jump-off moment? Where it’s like, ‘look, alright I gotta start this company. I’m just gonna do it’.
Or, what were the set of circumstances that came together that made sense for you, or motivated you, or inspired you, whatever it was that took you beyond that threshold that most people can’t get beyond? They need that security of the salary or the benefits or whatever.
Will: I don’t know. That was not hard for me. The decision to do it actually wasn’t hard. Okay. Maybe that sounds weird. Again, I don’t have kids. I wasn’t married. I was like 25 and I was like, okay… people frame it as this big risky move as far as I could tell it was eminently not risky.
What’s the risk? You forgo a couple years of shitty salary. Your salary’s gonna be the lowest it ever is in your career, the earlier on you are anyway. So yeah, the salary slash financial opportunity cost is not high. Relatively speaking.
You need to figure out a way to survive. For me, I just had to line all that up and then I was able to do it. So I lived in my friend’s parents’ basement for free. Which was weird, right? I didn’t even know these people, great people. Forever thankful to them. I didn’t know them before I did that.
And then I’d do weird odd jobs. I also walked into my boss’s office one day and I was like, ‘look, we both know I’m not super passionate about what I’m doing. We both know I wanna do my own thing’. I kind of had discussions like that with him before.
‘Like, what if you cut my salary in half and then you cut my hours in half? And would you be open to that? Then I’ll help you find a new person and train them up. We both know I’m proficient at my job’. What I had done is kind of hard to replace. And there was like these learning curve and so what do you think about that?
And he’s like, gimme a day. And then he came back a day later. He is like, okay. So I was making half a salary, which was just enough to survive. Pay the bills.
And here’s the killer part about it. I was working probably 60, 65 hour weeks. Like long weeks. But then when I cut it in half, technically that was on like a 40 hour a week basis, then I and effect, I was cutting it by like two thirds.
And so I was just working 20 hours a week. That’s nothing. You can work a full-time job on top of that. So effectively I could survive off that I was living for free and then I could effectively work this full-time job starting the company. And once I had lined all that up, it was like, ‘why not?’
You’d be stupid to not do this. Like what even is the risk? Let’s play it out. What’s the worst that could happen? You fail and then get a promotion because everyone’s more impressed that you tried to start this thing. Yeah, that’s the worst case. Pretty good case.
I guess the thing maybe a lot of people worry about is not so much that, but the embarrassment factor of like that I try to do this thing and fell on my face. Now I look like an idiot. That maybe that’s a bigger impediment, but for whatever reason, that was never much of a thing for me. I don’t know why.
Myles: That’s interesting you say that, man, because, not that it was that simple for me, but the reason I was able to decide to start Life Leaf is because we’re living with my wife’s grandmother who has dementia.
So we’re taking care of her to keep her out of a nursing home. But we don’t have a rent payment, or a mortgage payment. So that’s huge. Such a big deal. And for me it was kind of the same thing. It was like, well, I know this product, I know this industry. I’ve got this opportunity with minimal bills.
Why would I not? It would almost be irresponsible not to. This is what it felt like. So maybe that’s what it takes. Maybe for someone to become an entrepreneur, they need that set of circumstances that just can’t be denied.
Will: Yeah. This is why I’m so impressed by people who… because I, again, I didn’t even think it was that brave quote unquote.
What’s actually brave is certain people who are like, ‘I’m making 300 grand a year. I’m making 400 grand a year. I’m gonna like ditch my swanky Manhattan condo or apartment or whatever. I’m gonna forego that big salary. I’m gonna like, maybe break up with my girlfriend who is into that lifestyle and not willing to adapt’.
Like that whole set up… and someone who is still like, ‘yep, I’m gonna do it’. That’s badass. That’s a leap of faith. That’s like your opportunity cost is very, very real there. Yeah. So people who do that, I’m like, ‘whoa, that’s, that’s impressive’. What I did not, not risky in my opinion.
Myles: Well I think it’s cool that you see it that way.
Because so many people would disagree with you, just on the failure alone. Not the opportunity cost, but, I think a lot of people are intimidated just by the possibility of failure. Like you said, the embarrassment, ‘oh, I tried this, it didn’t work’. It’s neat that you didn’t even see those things, and makes sense why you’ve been able to be resilient and successful.
I heard this [story] one time that made a lot of sense to me, and has actually helped me with my mentality, as far as approaching fear and intimidation. A professional snow skier or somebody who can go up and ski down a double black diamond or something like that.
Those people are darting down that mountain and they are not thinking about every tree that they could hit. All they’re doing is following the open path, right? If they were thinking about every tree that they could hit, they’re eventually gonna hit one of those trees and it’s not gonna end well.
So I was just like, ‘man, that is such a great perspective’, and it seems like that’s what you have.
You know, you’re going down this double black and dodging trees, and you’re like, ‘well, they’re there. But I didn’t see that as a risk to hit that tree’. That’s neat, man. I think that that’s probably unique and special.
Will: But what are the trees if you stay in that job? They don’t look like trees, but they’re trees.
You know, sort of languishing around for a couple years, not getting promoted, not generating new skills, not learning rapidly, not being passionate about something. That’s a tree, in my opinion. People just don’t paint that as a tree. They’re like, oh, that’s life. You know? No, that’s a tree.
And you hit it. You hit it face on. So I view those as trees. So it’s just swapping. It’s not as if entrepreneurship has more trees. It’s just different. It’s more obvious trees or, apparent trees.
Myles: Yeah. That’s a good point. I love that. I love that you’ve got that perspective and you’ve been able to do what you’ve been able to do.
So I’m looking here at the IQ bars and your different products that you have on your website. What was the first one? What was the product, the formula – if you even have the original up there – that sparked everything?
Will: We started with three SKUs. We started with… they were like totally different. We’ve iterated so many times, it’s insane. I think it was cacao, almond, sea salt, blueberry, walnut nut and macha chi, hazelnut.
Myles: There’s a lot going on there.
Will: Yeah. Then it was very Whole Foods-y or artisan, and then you learn, you’re like, ‘oh, cacao almond sea salt’.
‘No one knows what cacao… call it Chocolate sea salt’. You just pick up on stuff and you’re really idealistic in the beginning and you learn over time where to innovate and where to not try to innovate. Those were the first three and then we just sort of iterated on top.
And how do we create variety packs? That was a major unlock for us was the power of variety packs. Variety packs outsell single flavor SKUs by a lot. So how do you craft really good assortments is another big one. The product man, that never ends the product evolution.
Especially through covid times, supply chain constraints, it’s like you better have redundancy. You better be able to swap in ingredients that don’t change your labels. At the outset I thought that would end, and it never does. After a while, I’ve accepted that it never does.
Myles: Yeah. Well, and like you said, you learn so much. I can relate to that as well. In this industry there was a specific topical SKU that we were working with, with our previous brand and we were trying to do exactly what you just described, which was switch out ingredients without having to change the label.
And that was actually one of the biggest reasons why another co-packer was not able to reproduce what we had originally come up with. It was really frustrating, man, because it was a big co-packer.
And I’m sitting here going, ‘you guys are making all this product for these big time brands and you’re gonna tell me that I brought in a formula that you can’t make?’ That doesn’t make sense to me because I’ve got a guy over here who’s in a much smaller lab who is making it and he’s doing a darn good job.
But it’s amazing how some of those even… I guess it’s hard to explain, right? But you, you’ve got some ingredients that are the same ingredient technically, but one’s more generic than the other. And it depends on who makes it and what it is.
They can make all the difference. It can be technically called the same thing, but because somebody else made it or because it was, whatever the variable is, it doesn’t work.
Will: Yeah, one cacao powder is wildly different than another. Might have the same nutritionals, one’s from the Netherlands, the other is from the Congo or whatever. Wild, wild difference. Same words on the label.
Myles: Yeah. Those are the snakes in the grass, if you will. That are just kind of out there. They’re not necessarily problems that are easy to see, or things that are easy to plan around. But when you have to deal with them, you have to deal with them.
So, as you’ve gone through your product evolutions, you’ve mentioned a lot of iteration. I see you guys have beverage mixes now. What caused you to go off and to venture outside of the bars themselves?
Will: Well, I always viewed IQBAR, which will become a new parent company, as a brain and body nutrition company. Bars just happen to be a form factor. And the form factor we started at.
But it’s just really a vessel to deliver certain nutrition. That’s it. Could have been a cookie, could have been a couple other things, but it’s just [a] big market, good delivery mechanism, shelf stable, unit economics work, yada, yada, yada. Cool. Let’s do it via bar.
But there are other occasions, that whole principle of brain and body nutrition and thinking well, and having an active body with a lot of energy every day, day-in and day-out, that applies to other occasions throughout the day.
So one of them is hydration, right? Hydrating impacts the way you think, it impacts the way you body can move and how you feel. Your psychology. That’s another occasion that still falls within that umbrella. So I’m interested in hitting different occasions throughout the day and helping people address that occasion.
That’s one piece. Then… there’s a whole checklist that has to cover off on too. Which is like, is it big market? Do the unit economics work? Can we create a differentiated product in this category? Is it coherent with our other product line? Can we make it dietarily coherent? In other words, like the bar is Keto, Vegan, and clean label.
Can we make a hydration product that’s Keto, Vegan, and clean label? Check, check, check, check, check, check, check. Cool. Let’s pursue this. Let’s do it.
But yeah… we’re interested in coffee too. It’s a different occasion. There’s like satiation, aka bars, hydration mix, and then caffeination, and then that’ll be like IQ Joe.
That’s a different occasion, right? Highly relevant to your brain. Caffeine is a nootropic. We all know this, right? Virtually everyone drinks coffee in the morning, myself included. So that’s another thing. You can apply the same principle across different [occasions]… Now the risk of course is losing focus.
You don’t wanna do all that, and then lose focus. Our ACV or our penetration in the market for ours is still super low, all things considered. So you can make the argument, well just push that to the nth degree.
And I actually think there’s a way to do it and platformize yourself such that you minimally degrade focus and round out your brand more and are able to upsell different things to the same consumer.
There’s a Venn diagram, right? There’s people that like bars, and coffee. And then there’s some people that only like bars. There’s some people that only like coffee. Same with hydration. You want to get those people around their perimeters too, if you can. So it’s upselling and expanding, touching new consumers.
But I don’t know that there’s like a absolute right answer, right? Some people have done that platformization well. Many other people have done the dead on focus one form factor thing well. I think it just depends on you and your brand.
Myles: Yeah, no doubt man. And I definitely relate with how you described that.
And we’re trying to accomplish a lot of that with Life Leaf in different ways, right? Being well rounded from a sleep gummy to a skin repair topical, right? So… there is a risk of going and spreading yourself too thin, getting into areas that you don’t know very well.
I think that once you get going with something like with IQ Bar, it’s almost impossible to hold yourself back, isn’t it? I mean, it is like, ‘dang, what can we do to make this thing better?’
Will: Yeah, there is that too, which is novelty is fun, right? Fun for you. And it’s fun for consumers.
So, that is a real factor. Whether or not what the business implications are for that, that just is a factor we, as entrepreneurs, you like creating new stuff and then if you like create one thing and then you’re just like, ‘oh, I’m gonna spend the next 10 years just selling that thing to new doors or whatever’.
That kind of sucks, in my opinion. So yes, you do that, but it’s kind of cool to like, it’s almost like mini side projects in tandem with that, which are new product lines.
Myles: Yeah. So you mentioned IQBAR, you guys have some big plans then if you’re gonna evolve into these different categories and did you say you’re gonna have a parent company?
Will: Just like we will become IQ co probably. Or something like that. Under that will be IQ Bar, IQ Joe, IQ this, IQ that. Which it’s kinda like Life Aid. You know that company that has a Fit Aid, Immunity Aid?
There’s a bunch of brands that do that convention and so yeah. How you do that tastefully… you know what’s actually another good example? Theragun, you know Theragun’s a product.
Now it’s Therabody. So then it’s like Theragun, Therabody. It allows them to go into their categories. What does most people recognize? Theragun. It’s the number one product, but it gives them license to expand.
Myles: Absolutely. That was, again, one of the things with Life Leaf that we were considering as well.
That’s why we’re not Life Leaf CBD. You know, we want to get into other cannabinoids, other natural ingredients that can be helpful and that can be remedies. Eventually I think that that’s where you do go if you’re an entrepreneur, you get into it, you get down the rabbit hole.
Now after, for example, after my career started out with commercial real estate sales and then went into lending product management, and then went into marketing and then went into operations. Now, I’m so far down this path here with Life Leaf that it’s like, I can’t even entertain the idea of something else right now.
Because there’s too much meat on this bone, right? There’s too much, there’s too much left to do. There’s too much left to explore. There’s too much left, too many stones left…
Will: Infinite. Infinite.
Myles: Yeah. Really is. It really is. And it’s funny because I think a lot of people assume, ‘oh, well that’s been done so I can’t do it’.
I’m like, ‘have you heard of Liquid Death?’ They’re reselling, they’re selling water, right? There’s still new brands coming out that are selling water. As long as people are able to do that, you can pretty much sell anything as long as you can figure out a unique way to do it.
So as you’ve gone, you mentioned you’re five years here into your journey with IQBAR and it sounds like you’ve got plenty of ambitions for where you guys, you know, what’s on the horizon for you, what are your biggest challenges right now?
Not necessarily as a company, but for you specifically.
Will: Team management is always one. I think that’s the toughest actually aspect of all of entrepreneurship is how do you find great people, and like motivate them? How do they feel ownership over the company in some approximation of the ownership you feel over the company? But that’s always challenge.
I mean, that challenge will never go away. That’s always one. That’s one I think a lot about. Cash, raising cash is just a reality of what we do and we’re super efficient and even us, we’re closing around right now, which will be huge for us.
I think the time constraint thing is good and bad. We have these revenue goals we want to hit. And in order for us to hit those, we have to do a lot in a really compressed amount of time. And so that’s a challenge, that’s a stressful thing. Meaning like, we have to get XYZ retailer and this many doors, by this date, or we’re not gonna do it.
And it’s like some of that’s outside of your control and some of it’s in your control. That’s the thing about brick and mortar. It’s so chunky. Like the revenue. It comes in these like big chunks and it’s very different than of course, than online where it’s like, ‘okay, you can have like this linear growth’.
So that’s challenging. Forecasting that out and making sure we have a clear line of sight to hit the goals that we want to hit. Staying hungry. Managing your own psychology. It’s always a challenge, but I don’t know candidly, that one’s never been [a challenge].
You go through periods where you’re like, ‘damn, this is hard and I’m semi-burnt-out or even fully burnt-out’ and then you get back on the horse and, [it] never lasts. If you can just keep going it kind of fizzles out and you’re back at it. But I can’t say that’s not challenging. Can’t say that’s not a gut punch from time to time. So, yeah those are some of them.
Myles: So for a newer entrepreneur like myself, I can’t say younger because I think I’m a couple years older than you, but what is it? How do you get yourself back up on the horse? You’re fully burnt out, man. You’re in this, you’re in just the gauntlet, right? Thing after thing, after thing has gone wrong, which I can totally relate with right now.
How is it that you pick yourself back up on that horse and you don’t quit? I kind of asked that question before, but I want to ask that again. Because you mentioned that just specifically in the same breath as these other challenges, which people management, time management, motivation management, money management, all of that is a beast and it doesn’t go away.
So what gets you back up on that horse?
Will: Man, I think it’s a variety of things. I think one thing I like to do, which is certainly not, I didn’t invent this concept, but put pressure on yourself by way of public declaration. Or at least declaration to… make people aware of your goals.
Almost tee yourself up to be motivated by not wanting to be embarrassed. It’s kinda like declaring on Facebook or whatever, ‘I’m gonna lose 50 pounds’. Like, that’s pretty embarrassing if you don’t, you just told everyone you would. So put yourself in that, put your own back against the wall.
Yeah. And that actually gets better results outta yourself. So it’s kind of like masochistic in a way, but it’s a fact.
Myles: That’s true though. I agree with that. And I’ve done that before, right? I’ve actually gone on Instagram and on my story and set a goal like, ‘Hey guys, I’m gonna run this distance in this period of time’, and then I log all my runs and then fall short.
And it’s not fun, man. Because whether other people are paying attention to that or not, you perceive that they are. You’ve placed that pressure squarely on yourself as if they are, so that’s cool that you said that. I think that some people would maybe lean away from that.
Will: Right. I think it depends on what, like if you’re old enough, I’m 31, um, excuse me, 32, just turned 32. This month I turned 32. You have enough data points where you know what variables get the best out of you. And some of them might surprise you. Like some of them might not be all that savory.
Like things that you’re proud of or things you want to talk about. Whatever it is. A certain number of variables net out. Those in produce the most out. And you can like look at that and be like, okay. I remember my first job, I had a really tough boss and in the moment I was like, ‘damn, this guy’s really tough’.
I was almost resentful about it at points and then I’ll look back on it and I’m like, ‘whoa, that guy got the most he could have gotten out of me’. That was highly effective. Whether I liked it or not, he got the most out of me. So then there’s like a bunch of other conversations.
It was like, is that the right way to do it? I don’t know. And I don’t really care. The point is he got the most outta me. So yeah. It’s like what everyone should just look at themselves. I think it’s different for each person and okay, what variables got the most out of me? And do that.
So for me it’s what I described earlier, put your own back against the wall. I do other weird stuff too. I’ll visualize the future, you know? What are you working towards, like in very, very specific terms. Literally what do you like? Picture it really vividly and specifically, and then you’re like, that for me, for whatever reason, is more motivating than more like, vague goals.
Like, ‘oh, I want to have a nice house or a nice car, or be able to not look at prices on a restaurant menu’ or whatever it is. Get really specific. Like, ‘no, I want to go to, I want this house and this town and I want to go to this specific restaurant. I wanna get this filet mignon there cause I really like that’ and you know what I mean?
For whatever reason, getting ultra specific there of like daydreaming… So I’ll daydream lot when I run. That’s like my daydreaming [time] and then you get done from the run and boom you’re ready to go.
Myles: Yep. I’m with you. I went for a run last night. I did about four miles at midnight.
If you’ve not done a night run, I highly recommend it.
Will: Oh dude, I night run all the fricking time.
Myles: Yeah, right on man. Right on. And it is kind of counterintuitive almost. I think people think like, ‘man, like I’m already tired and ready to go to bed at midnight. Like, I don’t wanna go make myself more tired’.
It’s like, no, but that’s not it. It’s not that. You get out there, it is the meditation and, and your blood is pumping. The oxygen is pumping and that creates the thoughts in your head that are productive and starting to think like, ‘what if I do this or how do I do that?’ And you naturally problem-solve in that place, or at least I do.
It’s so hard. It really is hard to…
Will: Even if you don’t problem solve, you become happier. Even if it’s stupid and you never, even if the idea you come up with is dumb and you never ultimately do it, you coming up with that idea in that moment makes you happier. You’re like,’yeah, that’s a good idea’.
And then you’re like, ‘hell yeah’. And then it motivates you to do a bunch of other stuff and then you never actually do that idea that while you’re running, it doesn’t matter. It elevated your psychology so that you could keep pushing.
Myles: Absolutely. It fired those ideas. It fired just thoughts in your head in general.
I love to hear that man, and that might be a good place for us to kind of wind it up, wrap, bring everything full circle. Because natural remedies is something that I’m super passionate about.
It’s not just CBD. CBD is something that I definitely call a natural remedy, but it is things like going out for a run, you know, even when you don’t want to, I think that that’s sometimes the most important time to do it.
Just being able to fuel your life with these things and not need to rely on ‘man, I’m gonna have a beer when I get home’, or, ‘man, I gotta take an Adderall to get going to work’. Or, ‘I’ve had a bad day, so I’m gonna go get myself a big sub sandwich for lunch’.
These things are so easy to fall back on and just to take that instant gratification of when it may seem less desirable to go for a midnight run, but man, is it so much more productive and uplifting.
You know, I don’t want it to just sound like, ‘oh, I’ve accomplished something, so that’s why I’m uplifted’. It really is just the fact that you’ve gone out and you’ve pumped your body up, right? And created these healthy natural chemicals inside your body. It’s hard to explain. I guess the best way to do it is start running, stop, see how you feel, and then pick it up again.
I’ve done that a couple of times where I’ll take just a couple of months off. I won’t run, not intentionally. But I’ll catch myself like, ‘man, I haven’t run in a while. I need to get back out there’. And when I do, it’s instant, instantly feel that same return.
So, we’ve talked a lot about the natural remedies that you created with IQBAR and some of the stuff that you do.
Is there anything, like any thoughts or anything that you’d like to just leave people with?
Will: No, not really. I’ve kind of just brain dumped all my secrets and tricks. Just the cliched stuff… I think if we look back at our conversation, the thing I think people still don’t get the most is that that risk thing.
Which is reprice your perception of risk, you almost certainly are miscalculating risk in your own life, and it’s almost certainly holding you back from doing certain things that when you are 70 years old, you will have wished you would’ve done. And you can just not generate that regret by simply repricing risk, which is, by the way, just a totally rational move anyway.
You should reprice it even regardless of that, because you should accurately price things in your life. So I think if I could harp more on any one thing, it would be actually objectively do an appraisal of… where true risk lies and adjust accordingly.
Myles: I love it, man. I love it. Reprice your risk. I’ve never heard somebody say that. I’m gonna borrow that if applicable. Well, Will, man, it’s been really, really good talking to you. I’ve really enjoyed this conversation and learning about just your journey with IQBAR and what led to that, what it’s been like so far.
It’s super motivating for someone like me who’s definitely in a similar situation to where you were now four years ago. But hopefully inspiring and motivating to some other folks out there that’ll be watching and listening to this. I know you do a great job on LinkedIn of talking to folks and that’s how we connected.
Hopefully this will propel that even further, right? That’s ultimately what the passion for natural remedies is all about, it’s spreading that wealth, so to speak, and helping others achieve what they’re trying to achieve, feel better today.
That’s why that’s our, our slogan and what we go by is there’s a lot of things people are trying to accomplish. And what you were trying to accomplish with IQ Bar, you wanted to feel better doing the things that you had to do every day.
And so, I hope that folks have listened to this and, and taken some of those things from you to help them feel better today. I really hope you guys will go try IQ Bar. It’s EATIQBAR.com. Is there anything specifically you’d like to plug with your company or any other shout outs you wanna give?
Will: No, no. Follow me on LinkedIn for random musings. Philosophical musings. Yeah. IQbar.com. Just IQBAR on Amazon. Store locator on our website. Yeah, that’s it.
Myles: Cool. Well, thank you so much, sir. I really gratefully appreciate your time. And hopefully we’ll get to chat again, man. This was…
Will: Yeah, we should do, we should do it again.
You should chop this up and just throw just nuggets out on social media. I’m like, ‘the clock one 17, like , someone gonna make it to an hour and still be like, engaged’. Like maybe, hopefully.
Myles: 10%. About 10%. Actually make it all the way through. Maybe a little less than that. Yeah, we’ll chop it up. We’ll make sure we get a few easily consumed snippets out there so that the value doesn’t get lost on the length.
Will: I like longform though, by the way.
I prefer it. I’ll listen to entire three hour podcasts.
Myles: I will too. I love just taking in a good conversation. That’s a natural remedy in my opinion, just listening to a good conversation or, or taking part in a good conversation. So again, that’s why I’m grateful for your time today, man.
And I know that we’re both, running, as fast as we can and hoping not to lose our head in the process of it. So when I get the chance to sit down like this and have a longer form conversation with someone like yourself, it really is a treat. So I really appreciate it, man.
And like I said, let’s make it happen again. Alright, man. Well, thank you all for listening to The Better By Nature podcast. I really hope that you guys will tune into the next one. Subscribe, like, all the fun stuff for social media. It doesn’t cost you anything. Help us gain some awareness and some following.
And definitely go follow Will. He’s got some excellent LinkedIn content. Love it, motivating and sometimes just entertaining. Appreciate you guys and, and y’all feel better today.