I had a very open and passionate conversation with Tom Bilyeu today. He is the Co-founder and President of Quest Nutrition, a company that endeavors to transform the entire food industry by creating foods that taste as good as they are good for you. In 2014, it was named the #2 fastest-growing private company in America by Inc.com. Tom also hosts the weekly thought leadership talk show Inside Quest.
Surprisingly, Tom says that he was not a born entrepreneur – he was actually inspired by The Matrix to challenge his construct of reality and change his mindset. “The Matrix really gave me the framework with which to begin thinking about my life … I think that our mindset is the real-world equivalent of The Matrix.” To get out of the matrix, you have to change the way you think. “You have to stop allowing yourself to believe things about yourself, even if they’re true, that don’t move you forward.”
Changing your mindset is a battle. For Tom, the process of becoming an entrepreneur was really the process of controlling his mindset and realizing it is possible to take control of destiny – not only realizing he didn’t have to be an employee, but also realizing that financial independence was achievable. “Your mind is everything, and the narrative that you tell yourself about yourself is the most important thing in your life. If you don’t take time to construct and repeat a narrative that is empowering, you are doing yourself a disservice.”
Tom’s Morpheus(es), or mentors, are the authors of books. He has a deep sense of gratitude for people who take the time to put their wisdom down in a book so that others can learn easy what they learned hard. “It’s a great tradition to write down that knowledge so that it can be passed on.”
On Tom’s site, it says that companies only have a chance at greatness when driven by a mission. He also says that the mission of Quest was born out of misery. When Tom first started working with his current partners, they were working to get rich. After a lot of success, Tom was miserable. He left to embark on a life of purpose and lasting fulfillment. However, his partners agreed, and fought to keep Tom on board. They came up with a new mantra:
- Work on something that brings value to people
- Believe in what they’re working towards
- Work towards something they want to fight for, even if they’re falling
The mission of Quest Nutrition is simple, but big: to put an end to metabolic disease. That’s what makes Quest more than just a food company. It’s a company that won’t stop innovating until global nutrition has been freed from the stranglehold of junk food. This is not a knock on money, but saying that money can come in the service of providing value to others and in service of a greater mission. “It’s about becoming something, rather than having something.”
When you’re solving a real problem, people are going to pay for that value, and what you’re doing is going to matter. Our world is so interconnected that companies can be punished for either having a mission or not having a mission, and your community cares about what you’re trying to do. “All of a sudden you live in this world where people can learn the truth of why your company exists, beyond your products.”
Tom demonstrates that Quest Nutrition makes decisions based on their mission and community, and people think they’re out of their mind for making some of those decisions. Recently, they switched to a different fiber source that costs a lot more than their pervious source, without changing the cost of their product. It nearly cut their profitability in half. However, the scientific community was questioning whether their previous fiber source was, in fact, a source of fiber at all, and the new fiber is much more metabolically beneficial. “If it’s really going to take us 25 years to end metabolic disease, we have to be relevant that long, we have to be trusted that long.”
The Quest Belief System goes beyond core values to draw the map of how Tom evolved from financial instability to confident business leader. “In all of that, I realized there are some real truths here that anyone can apply to their life to, in my language, ‘escape The Matrix.’” Highlights of the 25 bullet points in the Quest Belief System include:
- Personal growth is the highest priority of all Team Quest members
- Mistakes are a great teacher to those who are willing to admit that they’ve made one
- Build your self esteem around identifying the right answer and pursuing it faster than anyone else
- Take the red pill
Tom and his business partners at Quest Nutrition are doing some truly impressive things. Tom’s passion to end metabolic disease comes through loud and clear in this interview. We should all follow his lead, and work towards solving real problems.
SOME QUESTIONS I ASK:
- What is the story of Quest Nutrition, and what is it’s mission?
- What steps can entrepreneurs take to ensure their product or service passes the “soul test?”
- How does Quest Nutrition you use their community and mission to make decisions?
- Can Tom tell us how they developed the Quest Belief System?
- What does Tom think has stirred up this renewed interest in self-awareness and mindfulness?
IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:
- How the narrative you construct about yourself influences your success
- How the Quest Belief System can shape the way you think about yourself
- Why businesses that solve real problems often find success
- Why every business decision needs to reflect your mission statement and your community
- Plus much more…
DON’T STOP HERE…