My mission: Make people healthier so that they can make the world healthier.
That mission started to form on Saturday, July 15th at 4:30pm PDT. I was at WDS 2017, in the third row, watching Scott Harrison deliver a perfect talk about his non-profit, charity: water.
Everyone was moved by the change that Scott was making in the world, and by his story. I was, too. But what stood out to me more than the change itself was how moved everyone in the crowd was by that change. By how inspired everyone was.
Scott got a lot donations from that talk. And he raised a lot of awareness. But that's not what I was thinking about when I left Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. And that's not what I couldn't get out of my head for weeks thereafter.
Instead my thought was the following: Holy crap. Scott just moved 100+ people to tears. What if just one of these people goes on to do their own amazing work in the world because of Scott's talk? And then just one more at his next talk, and one more at the talk after that? Never mind the water for a second. Think about the impact that that would have on the world.
I decided two things that day.
- I want to make the world a better place. I want to think bigger, and bigger again, and have a massive impact.
- My project must have the Scott Harrison effect. Lots of other people want to make the world a better place, too. Whatever project I work on should help them along on that journey.
Unfortunately the exact project didn’t jump out at me right away. I spent at least an hour every day ideating, and came up with tons of business ideas, but none that would be as impactful as I promised myself to be.
I was starting to lose hope.
Then, five months later, Nepal happened. I had just sold my previous company, and for the first time since college I had complete freedom, so I decided to get away. I went hiking in the Everest region for a month and left my computer at home. I wasn’t doing any work. I wasn’t even thinking about work. Naturally, that’s when it hit me. 17,000' in the air.
What’s my biggest skillset? Web design and development. And what’s the non-tech thing that I nerd out the most about? Health. Mainly diet and fitness, but also areas like sleep, drugs, meditation, etc.
In hindsight I’m a little shocked that it took so long, but it was clear as day after that little epiphany that I should be combining my web skillset with my knowledge and passion for health.
And so it was decreed. I shall help people become healthier. That is its own benefit, and also has a strong Scott Harrison effect: healthy people make bigger change.
I'm a creative guy. It took me 28 years to embrace that. For the first 28 years of my life I was a slave to my left brain. I clung to logic, rationality, and objectivity no matter the situation. Not because there was no emotion and creativity underneath, but because I thought I had to choose. I was raised in an environment that worshipped left-brain dominance, and I was trying to fit in.
Now I'm 30. And now I realize two important things. First, I love my right brain. Second, there's no rule saying I can't use and appreciate both sides of my noggin.