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Speaker 1 (00:00:00):
Welcome to the Dr. Gundry Podcast, the weekly podcast where Dr. G gives you the tools you need to boost your health and live your healthiest life.

Dr. Gundry (00:00:14):
Welcome to the Dr. Gundry Podcast. Now here’s an exciting question. What impact do you want to have on the world? Well, for me, it’s spreading the word about the importance of health and nutrition, and helping as many people as I can live happier longer lives. And my guest today says that no matter what your dreams are, you have the power to see them through. He’s been named as one of the most influential entrepreneurs of the 21st century, and he created a fortune of more than $400 million by embracing his role as a student of life. He’s Tom Bilyeu, the co-founder of Quest Nutrition and now Impact Theory, an interview show that explores the mindsets of the world’s highest achievers. Through his content and public speaking, Tom’s mission is to inspire people around the world to unlock their potential and pursue greatness. And after a quick break, Tom is going to help you write your next chapter.
In a bit Tom and I will reveal the secrets to developing your passion, pursuing your purpose and making your mark on the world. We’ll also explain why your relationships with loved ones are your most valuable assets and how to invest in them today for a happier more fulfilling life. So, don’t go away. This is an episode you don’t want to miss. We’ll be right back. My wife Penny and I always make sure to stay active. As a couple we decided to make a New Year’s resolution together to really build muscle. Many of the pre-workout supplements on the market give terrible side effects such as cramps or diarrhea that can hinder your workout which is why we haven’t used them. But with CON-CRET the number one stimulant free pre-workout supplement, I’ve experienced none of these side effects and I’ve already seen a difference in my endurance and strength. This creatine supplement is perfect for any new years fitness goal you have.
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Tom Bilyeu (00:04:38):
It’s great to be here. Thanks for having me.

Dr. Gundry (00:04:40):
All right, you’ve got such an interesting path and I hope you can talk us through some of this. You actually attended Film School here in Los Angeles. How did you go from wanting to direct movies to wanting to start your own business in nutrition?

Tom Bilyeu (00:05:00):
Yeah, that really is quite the story. So, I graduated from Film School I thought I would get the three picture deal, I did not. And I was really lost, frustrated, scared that I was never going to be able to make my dreams come true. And making a very long story short, I ended up meeting two very successful entrepreneurs who explained to me the truth of the fact that I was coming to the world with my hand out. And if I wanted to control the art, I had to control the resources. And so, I decided to join them on their entrepreneurial journey to build a business so that I could generate enough money that I could build my own studio. I thought it would take 18 months, it took 15 years, but it actually did work. And so, here we are now finally making good on that promise. And it really was the fateful collision of the three different personalities that we ended up building a nutrition company.
We started in security software, and I had really burnt out chasing money. And I wanted to, since by that point I realized that I was trying to raise this money so I could go build my own studio but I might not ever make it. And so, since the only thing I could guarantee myself was the struggle, I wanted to make sure that I was struggling at something that I would love even in failure. And so, I went in and quit the security software company but my partners ended up saying they felt the same. They wanted to do something different. They wanted to add value to people’s lives. And all of the things I was saying look, for me to enjoy the struggle I have to be pursuing my passion, adding value to people’s lives, building community, being myself. These were all the things that I was really fanatical about. And they felt the same.
And so they said, all right, rather than us parting ways, why don’t we look at building something else together that would be all of those things. And the punchline of course is that that ends up being Quest Nutrition. And it was something I could attach to emotionally because I grew up in a morbidly obese family. And one of my partners was really gifted at the food science part. And the other was extraordinary at the manufacturing. And so, me as the people person, the sales, marketing, all of that the community building, it just ended up working out really well. And so, I was building a studio inside of Quest, we were making all of our own content before that was a real thing. So it ended up being really advantageous that I had this weird background in filmmaking. But I was really just showing up every day fighting for my mom and my sister.
And the fact that that worked and became a big business then allowed me to transition out and actually do the studio which was the idea from the beginning. But honestly, when we were building Quest, I was just really focused on that. I wanted to bring my love of storytelling into it. But I knew that the success couldn’t be guaranteed. And so, it’s a really powerful lesson to find a way to struggle well because that’s the only guaranteed part.

Dr. Gundry (00:08:07):
Yeah, I couldn’t have phrase that better. But how do you meet an entrepreneur? Now, looking back were you born an entrepreneur or do you become one? Or can you create being an entrepreneur?

Tom Bilyeu (00:08:31):
Yeah, so I think that there are some people that probably have more of the innate. So if we all have a set of skills, let’s say there’s whatever 50 different attributes that any human can have some sort of mix of. I’m sure there is a mix that is just really going to work well for an entrepreneur. Whatever that mix is, I don’t think that was my natural mix, I really have had to learn to be an entrepreneur. So for me, everything I do, I do by process, and that’s been really transformational for me is to find what I call the physics of progress, to figure out how you grow and scale something. So, I don’t feel like I’m a born entrepreneur but I do feel like anybody can get 100 times better at anything. And so my life there’s a great quote which is “You can’t make a racehorse out of a pig, but you can make a really fast pig.”
And so, that’s really what my life is the answer to, is what does a fast pig look like? What does it look like to 100X your abilities in an area? And look, I leveraged my strengths wherever I can to areas that I get natural disproportionate response from like speaking. I’ve certainly leaned into those areas. But in the other areas that I’m not just naturally inclined, I’ve just put an inhuman amount of effort into it.

Dr. Gundry (00:09:47):
All right. Let’s get back to Quest and health, was it because you came from a morbidly obese family that health fascinated you or were you just twinkies and doughnuts and M&M’s was normal food? I mean, how did that evolve?

Tom Bilyeu (00:10:08):
So I ended up getting married. And I realized that I was eating less than I’d ever eaten in my life and I was getting heavier. And I didn’t want to be one of those people that was like well, I’m married now so I can just let myself go. That certainly didn’t speak to me. And even when I was a little kid in a morbidly obese family as the kid that was kind of chubby. Because by today’s standards I definitely was not obese by any stretch of the imagination. But in college where I ended up losing a lot of weight, I met this girl that I knew in high school and she hadn’t seen me for years. And she was like, “Oh, my God, I used to think of you as the chubby kid.” And it was like the sixth sense where I played back my whole life. Like, wait, I was a chubby kid. So, that was very eye opening. But I used to walk around like sucking in my gut because it would push my shirt out and was definitely conscious of that I did not like being seen without my shirt on.
But through all of that, getting married, realizing that whoa, I’m now sliding towards what so many of my family have struggled with which is like really getting heavy. What do I do? And that made me start looking at nutrition. And to give you an idea of where I started, I used to have a tub of licorice that I would keep next to my computer so that if I was working on something and I needed a quick snack I could just have a licorice. And I remember saying, well, I can basically eat as much of this as I want because it’s fat free. And a friend of mine was like, “I’m pretty sure that if you eat sugar and don’t burn it that it becomes fat.” And I was like, “That doesn’t make sense.” Like there’s no logic to that. I was like you eat fat of course, you will get fat but if you don’t then you’re not going to. And so, that was where I started.
But now I’m getting into business with these two entrepreneurs and they happen to know a lot about diet. And so, they were bodybuilders and they were really trying to get yoked. And so, it just started rubbing off. Like I had somebody that I could ask questions to, and I had started working out before I met them but there was so much conflicting advice that I didn’t really get any momentum. But by being able to ask just these two guys, what do I eat? How do I lift? And then that you can really start making some gains then, and so the gym and focusing on my diet transformed my physique which then gives you this belief of whoa, this is all malleable.

Dr. Gundry (00:12:39):
All right, so they are entrepreneurs and so nutrition was kind of their interest. And so, where did the idea, okay, this is where we’re going to make our mark and starting a business in health food particularly when you did wasn’t exactly a great idea I don’t think. So why did you still decide to go for it?

Tom Bilyeu (00:13:08):
It really came back to that question of if you start asking yourself, okay, I know that the success is not guaranteed. So, rather than asking the question what would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail? Because not only do I know that failure is a possibility it’s the most likely option. So a better question would be, what would I do and love every day even if I were failing? And so shifting our focus to that given the three personalities, nutrition was like the no brainer answer. All of us had a really intimate tie to it. By that point I had gained 60 pounds and lost it and had six pack abs. And it was like, by going on my own health journey, by seeing my family struggle with it, by having these two business partners that loved that area. And we all felt collectively that together we could create something that nobody else had created. And then just the business savvy of recognizing that food is a tremendous business to be in.
And when you’re focused on adding value, you want something where it’s high touch, you want people coming back into your ecosystem so that you can give them this ongoing experience. And so when they are eating the product, you know that they are going to need to come back. And that really spoke to my personality of just making sure that each of these engagements is positive that they feel uplifted. And I thought that we could really build something using Kevin Kelly’s idea of 1000 True Fans. And instead of trying to sell things, we would just try to really build an ecosystem that took care of people and gave them this community. And because we did that early, I mean, we started conceptualizing of the company in 2009, we launched in 2010. This is very early, you didn’t even have the word social media back then. But we understood that the community building aspect of what we now call social media was going to be this really important thing.
And because it spoke so much to my personality, we just leaned into it. Created our own content, tried to lift people up, did what we called Mirror marketing. So we were showing them back to them. So they were submitting recipes and we would highlight it for them, transformations, weight loss, all that like highlighting them, showing the cool things that they were doing. And so, that just created this incredible snowball.

Dr. Gundry (00:15:25):
So I was a big fan of your products and Quest bars still are in my books. And I know you no longer, Quest is not you anymore. So do you think, okay, you have a great tasting bar but there’s lots of great tasting bars. Do you think it was this interaction that made you stand out? In other words, okay, it’s a great bar but there’s lots of great bars, what made the difference with Quest?

Tom Bilyeu (00:16:07):
Well, a big part of it was that there were a lot of bars that tasted good but they had a ton of sugar. And there were a lot of bars that didn’t have sugar but they didn’t taste good. We really were that zero to one moment of a bar that tasted like it had sugar but didn’t. And that was the key breakthrough. And what that really came down to was manufacturing. And so, we had to solve this manufacturing challenge because we took our bar to a bunch of different manufacturers and they all said it couldn’t be made. But if we added a little bit of high fructose corn syrup it would give it the playability that it needed to run to the machine. And we realized because we kept asking, why has nobody made this bar before? And we realized that it’s a manufacturing challenge. And that, look, there might be some sinisterness to how the food industry goes. But honestly, there’s probably a lot more just realities to be faced.
You subsidize corn and now that makes that form of sugar cheaper, and there were other like world events going on that played into it. And then on top of that now that you’ve got this material, you start making equipment that runs with that material because you can just assume that it’s going to be in it. So you’ve got decades of the commercially available equipment being made assuming you’re going to produce using high fructose corn syrup, when you strip that out, the equipment won’t work. And so now, all of our would be competitors when they hit that same roadblock, the answer was well, add a little bit of high fructose corn syrup. And we didn’t. And we said, we’re going to have to make our own equipment. And it was a way bigger undertaking. But by doing that and combining that with the timing of social media and creating all of our own content and understanding community building, it just exploded.

Dr. Gundry (00:17:55):
So, Quest Nutrition proved to be extremely successful for you. And so successful you could have bought an island and retired probably. So why didn’t you first of all? Why start Impact Theory and all the spin off shows?

Tom Bilyeu (00:18:15):
That’s one simple reason, at the end of the day all that matters in life is how you feel about yourself when you are by yourself. And humans are wired for meaning and purpose. And without meaning and purpose you are never going to be fulfilled. And without a sense of fulfillment, life is very displeasurable, it really gives you a sense of dis-ease. And so, not being thoughtful about making sure you’re following what I call the fulfillment formula which is that you’re working really hard to gain a set of skills that matter to you, that allow you to serve not only yourself but other people. And when you do that the fight is worth it and you have vitality in your life. And when you don’t, you feel aimless. And so, retiring to an island might have been fun for a while, but it certainly wouldn’t fill a lifetime. And I’m still young and really believe in the mission of Impact Theory which is look, intelligence is evenly distributed but mindset is not.
And because it’s not you get people where today certainly in America and I think most of the developing world, your zip code is the number one predictor of your future success more than your IQ. Which that to me is just crazy. And so, I started really asking, is there something that I could do given my desire, my skill set, my passions, is there something I could do to meaningfully contribute to that? And so, the reason Impact Theory is called Impact Theory is this is my theory on how to impact people at scale. To build a studio not unlike Disney, that tells one kind of story over and over and over from 1000 different angles, and with the goal of trying to give people an empowering mindset through entertainment.
And then we have two sides of the company. So we get people in at the top of the funnel with the entertainment. And then we funnel them over to the more prescriptive content where like you and I have talked about how to eat for a better life which I think is hugely important for cognition and mental health and all kinds of things.

Dr. Gundry (00:20:19):
Now, so one of your spin off shows is Health Theory. And I know you interviewed some of the world’s top health experts and thank you very much for having me on a few times. Now, have you learned practices based on those shows that you put into effect? And if so, care to share a couple with our listeners.

Tom Bilyeu (00:20:48):
Yeah, I mean, I’m constantly learning from all the different shows that we do. So whether it’s somebody like David Goggins who just inspires me to be better, to go harder. His ideas around the cookie jar, many, many things to take away from all the extraordinary people on that side. And then certainly on the health side for sure. I mean, there have been all kinds of things that I’ve experimented with in my diet, from pecans, I know you will recognize. I was getting just ruined by pecans, I never would have guessed. But because of the show, it was like, alright, if you’re feeling brain fog, because I did not think it was my diet. Had I not been doing the show. I was like, I just know even though I don’t feel like I’m eating anything bad, like they weren’t even roasted almonds for God’s sake or pecans. So I was like, it can’t be my diet but I know it has to be my diet.
And so, given the exposure I’ve had these amazing minds over the show, Health Theory in particular, it’s given me an ungodly number of things to try. So, removing pecans from my diet was utterly transformational ways I can’t even begin to explain. I’ve tried going higher vegetable, I’ve tried going lower vegetable. I’ve tried adding nitrates, removing nitrates. The number of experiments that I’ve run based on things that I encounter on the show is really pretty incredible from continuous glucose monitoring. Recently, the idea of uric acid I’m going to start testing my uric acid. There’s just so many things you can do to optimize. And so, it’s really helped me one, my wife had tremendous microbiome problems, largely solve that problem.
In fact, I created Health Theory specifically to get experts on the show so I could ask about the microbiome to help my wife, it’s transformed her life. I mean, I could literally do just the whole show going through all the different things that people have given me to try that are intriguing, but I’m constantly refining what I eat and how I live and sleep and all that.

Dr. Gundry (00:22:55):
Well, okay, so you like to experiment and you like to be an in of one like I do. And so, when you try these things, let’s just say okay, I’m going to do a lot more vegetables, and then I’m going to do a lot less vegetables. Do you personally notice that you can tell a difference when you’re on a lot of vegetables or not a lot of vegetables? And is it good, bad, yummy? Give me a play by play.

Tom Bilyeu (00:23:31):
Yeah. So, if you’re really paying attention you usually can feel the changes. If you’re not paying attention like in the period where I was eating all the pecans, it was really busy. They were just a quick, easy thing. I had created a mental framework in my life that they were fine. And so I didn’t, it took me way too long to notice that I had just a tremendous amount of brain fog. So, when I’m running a specific experiment, I’m really paying attention yes, I can notice the difference. So, I found that when I went for 80% of my calories from plants, I did not feel as good. And certainly my bowel movements were not what I would hope for. And I am perfectly willing to accept that I just did not run that experiment well, but because it’s so easy for me to go back to my eggs, beef, pork, diet fish. And I feel fantastic and my bowel movements are exactly what I hoped for and I just feel awesome.
That’s where I always retreat to. At some point it would be fun to do something in a more sophisticated way to see if there’s something to either full vegetarian or vegan. And I’ll be interested as I do more of the uric acid testing, which seems to be linked to all cause mortality in a pretty profound way. They are testing for it now in a lot of places for COVID because if you have high uric acid and COVID, the outcomes are much more dire. So there’s something interesting there. So as I look at that if I find that my diet being high in meat is causing an elevated level in uric acid, then that would really prompt me to start experimenting and see if I can drive it down in the other direction.

Dr. Gundry (00:25:22):
Yeah, and most people aren’t aware that at least in my practice the number one driver of high uric acid is fruit consumption and-

Tom Bilyeu (00:25:35):
Yeah, I was surprised by that.

Dr. Gundry (00:25:37):
And the second is fermented fruit like wine or beer, fermented grains, and then third is meat. But fish and shellfish are, particularly shellfish are the big drivers in the meat category. But you’re right I think it’s something and I agree with David Palmer who’s got a new book coming out called Drop [crosstalk 00:26:03].

Tom Bilyeu (00:26:03):
It’s exactly who got me researching this.

Dr. Gundry (00:26:06):
And he got into it because of fructose is converted into uric acid as a detoxification of fructose. And I see a lot of fruit eaters that when we take really limit their fruit their uric acid plummets.

Tom Bilyeu (00:26:26):
That’s so interesting. I’ve always wondered sort of what the final verdict is, people lump fruits and vegetables together so easily it just feels like everybody sort of considers them the same. Because I wear a continuous glucose monitor a lot and fruit spikes my glucose, so I’ve always been like, I’m not so sure. You can get away or I can get away with some berries. But fruit is like candy as far as my glucose response. So, I’ve always been a little like I don’t know, I know there’s fiber. So yeah, it’ll be very interesting to see where that all settles out.

Dr. Gundry (00:27:03):
Yeah. Give fruit the boot is all I can say and then I’ll get lots of letters coming in. But, no, you’re right. And even one of the things we forget is that we long ago we’re only exposed to fruit once a year seasonally in the summer and early fall, and even great apes. My research was in great apes years ago. Great apes only gained weight during fruit season and-

Tom Bilyeu (00:27:33):
That’s so interesting.

Dr. Gundry (00:27:33):
Yeah, I mean, we were designed to convert fruit into fat as a survival mechanism and no one could have ever imagined that we could have fruit 365 days a year.

Tom Bilyeu (00:27:50):
And concentrate it down to juice.

Dr. Gundry (00:27:53):
And yeah, it’s just like no one could have ever foreseen this. We weren’t designed for it. Oh, well.

Tom Bilyeu (00:28:01):
You know what’s crazy? So I was talking to Perlmutter and I’ve grown up in the modern era where you can get fruit year round. And so, I didn’t know when fruit season was, literally like four days ago. And so, he was talking about fruit makes you fat exactly what you’re just saying. And that’s what the design was to you encounter fructose that triggers all these things to store fat. And he’s got some interesting ideas about it also making you sort of run hot that’s me using my own words, but to elevate your blood sugar levels. And I was like, but wait, why would you do because I think a fruit is like spring summer. And he was like, no, no, it’s late summer, early fall. And I was like, whoa, interesting. I literally had no idea. So, it just goes to show like how the sort of perturbations of the natural rhythms of things that modern practices have allowed us to do, it’s really fascinating.

Dr. Gundry (00:28:58):
Plus, we’ve hybridized and genetically engineered most of our fruits for sugar content. I mean, when I was growing up in the 50s and 60s, blueberries were these little bitty bitter things that you had to put a half a cup of sugar on to make them edible which was great. But now these organic blueberries are the size of grapes. And you go, oh, I can eat handfuls of these things they are so sweet. And so our fruit is not fruit anymore. I mean, they’ve been engineered for sugar. And you and I live in Southern California. And we know that we can go over here to Oxnard and get strawberries in January. And it’s like, well, wait a minute, strawberries don’t grow in January. Well, guess what? We’ve engineered them to do that and you’re not supposed to.

Tom Bilyeu (00:29:56):
Fascinating. Do you eat seasonally like that?

Dr. Gundry (00:30:00):
Yeah. For instance, I have some blackberry bushes in our yard. And they will bear fruit for about six weeks. And that’s when I eat blackberries. So, I don’t eat blackberries year round, that wouldn’t have existed even 50 years ago. There were no 747’s bringing blackberries from Chile in December. There weren’t. So we’re not designed for this. So, we should always eat in the rhythms I think.

Tom Bilyeu (00:30:35):
Well, that is something I have never tried. I’ve never given any thought to where I should be at in the cycle. So, that is-

Dr. Gundry (00:30:44):
The other really cool thing because I want to get on to more important things is if you watch modern hunter gatherers, their eating habits changed dramatically during a wet or a dry season. And their microbiome changes dramatically from season to season. And I think that’s probably in the next frontier. First of all, Americans have the worst microbiome in the world. We’re just, our microbiome has been wasted by all of our antibiotics and roundup and don’t get me started. But these guys have a diverse microbiome. But it’s so diverse but it changes with the seasons. And maybe we should be purposely changing our microbiome with the seasons to produce a more healthy human otherwise. Yeah, so anyway.

Tom Bilyeu (00:31:44):
It’s a very interesting question,

Dr. Gundry (00:31:46):
Relationships. All we’ve been doing is our relationship with food. But what I want to get to is, you said that above all else including your physique and your business you prioritize your marriage. And I know we’ve talked off camera about this I can’t agree more. What have you learned about the importance of relationships? Particularly in your marriage to your journey to success? If one of your goals for 2022 is to explore, expand your knowledge and sharpen your mind, I’ve got just the resolution for you, take more time in the new year to read. That’s right. There’s no such thing as too much reading, which is why I make time for it just about every day. And with Scribd it’s easy. Scribd gives you access to the world’s most fascinating library right at your fingertips. It’s like Netflix for books. Just log into the app and start exploring. You can easily switch between titles, genres and formats to make finding your next book a breeze, or you can check out the automated suggestions which are picked just for you based on your interest and past favorites.
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Tom Bilyeu (00:39:20):
I mean, there’s nothing that’s ever brought me more joy so I prioritize it for a reason. If I’m right, that all that matters is how you think about yourself when you are by yourself which you get to feeling good by running this fulfillment formula and working really hard to get this set of skills that allow you to serve not only yourself but other people. It’s like this is really a game of neurochemistry. This is a game of joy. It’s a game of fulfillment and love and connection. And once I realized okay, wait, if this is a game of neurochemistry, this is about how I feel, what gives me sustainable, enduring not happiness because happiness is way too transitory, but fulfillment. And I realize that those loving connections with other people are always going to have the highest amplitude, they are going to sustain the longest. But they also take a tremendous amount of time, energy and focus to make sure that they stay healthy especially a romantic relationship.
And so thankfully that was something that I learned very early on, I met my wife when I was 24, got married when we were 26. So we’ve been together for a very long time at this point. And look, business has had amazing moments, it’s had hard moments, but nothing compares. Like even with all my success, nothing compares to knowing that you’ve got that connection with somebody that you’re sharing your life. But to share your life well, you have to do a lot of things. And so, we’ve really tried to focus on communicating well, staying connected, making sure that as love evolves that we evolve with it, that we’re growing together. There’s a lot of important things that we have done to make sure that the relationship thrives. But in doing that, the joy is too cheap of a word. But that gets you close, what that brings to our lives is extraordinary.

Dr. Gundry (00:41:19):
Can you talk a little bit about what hardship has done for your relationship? I think some people say, “Oh, wow, you’re successful. It’s been great.” Of course, you have a great relationship because you can go buy an island in Fiji. But I think it’s probably more important to maybe focus on the hardships of for instance, building a business because there are really bad times in building any business.

Tom Bilyeu (00:41:53):
No doubt. And in those times. So one, I think that hard times break most people. And hard times are where my wife and I fall back on process for lack of a better word, where we just know that there are certain things you need to do to stay connected, to communicate, to listen to each other, to be there for each other, to support each other, to be kind, to offer grace. And that really is like there’s no sort of magic answer, every hardship is its own unique and of one. And so, what we’ve developed is a set of tools and skills around communication, around hearing each other out, around how we respond to challenges and difficulties so that we’re not closing down or distancing ourselves from each other that we share openly what we’re going through and really feeling like we can problem solve together. That’s a huge part of it.

Dr. Gundry (00:42:59):
Are you allowed to go to bed mad?

Tom Bilyeu (00:43:02):
Yeah, I wouldn’t be too worried about that. So, sometimes space is exactly what you need. And the reason that we’re not afraid to go to bed mad is because we know that we’re going to come back to the table and process through it. And so, when you know that the other person isn’t going to abandon you, they are not shutting down, they will come back. But sometimes, not only sometimes, every time, a little bit of space is going to help you reset. And so, if we’re in the middle of an argument my wife is very good at this I’m not. If we’re in the middle of an argument and she realizes, okay, this isn’t going anywhere fruitful, she’ll just call a timeout and we’ll go our separate ways. I’m much more interested in like I want to solve this problem right now. But I’ve learned that that’s a really powerful tool. So when she calls it and says, “Hey, we need to take a break”.
Sometimes it’s 20 minutes, sometimes it’s an hour, sometimes we might not bring it up till the next day. But because we are so confident that the other person is still in love, that we’re interested in working this out, that we will come back to the table. And we’re never cruel to each other or anything like that. So, all of that credibility that we’ve earned over the years comes to our aid in arguments. So yeah, we’re not at all afraid to go to bed mad because we know we’re going to wake up almost certainly less upset and definitely more able to articulate why we’re upset.

Dr. Gundry (00:44:31):
That’s a good segue because you say that one of the keys to a successful relationship is to ask meaningful but risky questions. Can you elaborate on that?

Tom Bilyeu (00:44:45):
Yeah, I mean, the key is to actually get to your core values. And so, the discovery process of your significant other is one of the greatest thrill rides of my life. And the fact that you’re always both changing, you get to revisit some of these topics and there’s something very fun for me anyway of being surprised. Like something that you didn’t realize that oh, my gosh, like, as my wife became an entrepreneur, that she was thinking about that, that that was something that she wanted, that she wanted to step into that. I was like, whoa, I did not see that coming. And so, those moments if you’re not taking the time to confront because it was surprising and difficult. So those moments you have to be able to talk through to when you see the opportunity to just make the argument go away but you know that you’re ignoring something, to not to lean in to ask the hard question to keep probing to keep going.
I’ve said to my wife, the number of times where I could have ended an argument six hours earlier but it would have been worse for our relationship, because the other person gives you like that conciliatory Olive Branch. But we’ve learned that you can’t take it unless we really have gotten to the core value that’s caused the argument, and then to figure out where we are on that core value. And so, there’s a difference between base assumptions and core values. Sometimes you’ll have a disagreement because it’s a base assumption. Like, I believe that the world operates in this way, I think going out to dinner is likely that one of us will get sick. And so, I don’t want to go out to dinner. And the other person’s core belief is or base assumption is that if we don’t go take this special time, get out of the house and bond, then we’re not going to reconnect in a way that we need.
Now, if we don’t say that and it’s just, “Hey, do you want to go out to dinner? No, I don’t”. And the person who believes we need to go out to dinner for us to bond hears I don’t want to bond. And the person who believes, hey, this is a high risk, it’s like you don’t care about us getting sick? What’s going on? And so what we learned is you have to actually say those things out loud. Here is my base assumption, what’s your base assumption? The other one is values, like what is important. So my wife and I to this day we have one core value that we just have not been able to come to terms with and that is, I believe that efficiency is one of the highest values that every human being should aspire to. And my wife’s value is tidiness. Now, those two things come into direct conflict. Now, when things aren’t tidy it gives her anxiety. For me when things are inefficient they give me anxiety.
And so now, whenever those two things collide, we just recognize that we have rules in place for how we deal with that. But most people don’t take the time to figure out, one, that there are basic assumptions and core values. And then two, what are they and how do we rank order them. But if you do those hard questions and you keep pushing you can actually start defining those terms.

Dr. Gundry (00:47:54):
So that’s why you and your wife host another spin off show called Relationship Theory. So, which episode of Relationship Theory would you recommend for everyone married or not?

Tom Bilyeu (00:48:10):
Wow, I don’t have a single episode that I would call out because everybody is going to be struggling with their own thing. So, I will take the cheeky answer and say go to YouTube and subscribe to the Relationship Theory channel and watch them all, that will provide the most benefit.

Dr. Gundry (00:48:29):
All right, good answer. I am going to take your responses about tidiness back to my wife. My wife is the tidy person of the family. And I actually think she really enjoys secretly making the bed and having it look nice. On the other hand, I literally could care less. And I kind of like a messed up bed and if it was like that all week I really wouldn’t care. But I think secretly she wants me to make the bed because she’s tidy. But I think she likes to make the bed so it works out just fine.

Tom Bilyeu (00:49:14):
Yeah, Lisa and I had that argument many times because she was like, “No, I don’t enjoy doing it, but when it isn’t that way I feel uneasy.” So yeah, the never ending argument.

Dr. Gundry (00:49:24):
All right, as long as there’s purpose in life, I think that’s what we’re all saying, right? All right, I want to switch gears before we wrap up. You’re a student of life and I certainly am as well. Would you define what that means for you?

Tom Bilyeu (00:49:42):
Yeah, to me I’m trying to understand the way the world actually works and I find that a lot of people struggle because they are dealing with the world the way they wish it were and not the way that it actually is. And so, basically, using the scientific method of having a hypothesis, running a test, checking your results, trying to figure out exactly how does all of this work, that works in my marriage, it works in my business, I think that’s really important. And then I’m just trying to turn as much of my potential into actual usable skill set as possible. And so, you look there’s a finite amount of times there’s only so many things that I’m going to be able to get good at. But of the things that matter in my life I’m trying to get good at a lot of them.

Dr. Gundry (00:50:23):
You read a lot of books, I read a lot of books. You have a top three or even a top one that like everybody ought to read or is been most impactful for you and that accelerate you.

Tom Bilyeu (00:50:41):
The most important book in the English language is Mindset by Carol Dweck. I think it’s just absolutely critical. The next one I would say is Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. Those two, I have a whole list on my website if you search for Tom Billy’s reading list, but those two are gravitational in their impact on people that read them.

Dr. Gundry (00:51:04):
Yeah, good point. All right, what do you tell people who feel they’ve already made it that they should keep working?

Tom Bilyeu (00:51:15):
I don’t think anybody should do anything other than focus on fulfillment, and doing fulfillment in a way that is joyful. And that’s just because if you don’t, you will start to feel unease. And this is how very wealthy, very successful people end up feeling lost or frustrated or hopeless because money doesn’t solve the real conundrum of life which is that neuro chemistry around how you feel about yourself. And so, because we are the product of evolution and a social creature, it’s like you’ve got to find a way to contribute to the group otherwise, you will just feel profoundly uneasy.

Dr. Gundry (00:51:56):
Yeah, good point. I take care of a number of wealthy individuals who have retired and I really see them really enter a death spiral. And I’ve counseled a number of them, you got to go do something. And because I can actually watch their numbers and their blood work deteriorate. And sometimes it’s that that goes, this is what you giving up on purpose I guess is done to you. And I can see it, here you are. And we’ve actually recently had a guy kind of turned his life around in six months after that literal encounter so.

Tom Bilyeu (00:52:49):
Wow, I’m not surprised. But that’s amazing to hear that it shows up like that.

Dr. Gundry (00:52:55):
All right, a lot of people during COVID, the never ending story are choosing new goals or pursuing new goals right now. Any advice on spotting brilliant opportunities?

Tom Bilyeu (00:53:13):
I think the key rather than chasing opportunities is to figure out what it is that you would do everyday and love even if you were failing. And most people don’t know what that is. And that’s one of the number one questions I get asked is that. Like how do I go and make something of my life when I don’t know what I want to do? And so, getting that kind of clarity around what it is that gives you more energy than it takes? What is it that as you engage with it, it becomes more compelling not less. That’s like the real set of questions for people is to walk down that path to find something that they are prepared to commit to and go down the path of gaining mastery. Because to really live a life of passion, you must have something that you are trying to really be extraordinary at that doesn’t just serve you, but it serves other people.
I could be playing the guitar, it could be building a business, it could be being a parent, but there’s something that you love, that the more you work at it, the more feedback you get from the world that they want that, they value that, they are grateful for you contributing that thing. That matters a lot when you start talking about that fulfillment thing of like, I’m working really hard for a set of skills that matter not only to me but to other people. That’s the fulfillment loop but it’s all about doing that in the service is something that you are deeply passionate about.

Dr. Gundry (00:54:36):
How often in this day and age is a side hustle, the start of what you really should be doing? Have you seen that?

Tom Bilyeu (00:54:47):
That’s very interesting. And I think that Web 3 is going to make this a bigger and bigger and bigger thing as people are going to be able to get involved in all kinds of ecosystems that people could not have imagined even 10 years ago. So yeah, I think side hustles are going to become huge. I think that cryptocurrency is ushering in a level of understanding around investment principles to an entire group of people that otherwise wouldn’t have gotten into it. So watching that unfold and watching how that changes the dynamics of the way that people work is going to be utterly fascinating.

Dr. Gundry (00:55:23):
All right, so what’s next for you? I can’t keep up with you. What’s next?

Tom Bilyeu (00:55:30):
Well, we made a big pivot about nine months ago to go into NFT’s and Web 3. And so, that has just a massive amount of my time and attention right now of how we take what we’ve been doing, what we’ve been successful at, and put it into this new framework that I think this whole new generation is going to want from the companies that they engage with. It is not an easy undertaking. And so, figuring that out has just a massive amount of my time and energy. But it is an absolute thrill ride, I can feel the world is changing in real time at blinding speed and I think people ignore this one at their own peril.

Dr. Gundry (00:56:06):
For those who aren’t hip. What’s an NFT?

Tom Bilyeu (00:56:12):
So NFT stands for non-fungible token. And it’s basically taking a digital good and making it scarce. So you take an image is one of the ways and you inject basically matrix code into that image. So even if somebody else were to right click and save that image, I as the creator of that image can tell which one is real and which one is not. And I can give benefits to the one that has the real one. And the number of things that that opens up is absolutely insane.

Dr. Gundry (00:56:46):
Yeah, we’re looking into that for one of our new companies. And yeah, it’s fascinating. Luckily I knew what NFT was, but I wanted to make sure all our viewers do.

Tom Bilyeu (00:57:02):
Yeah, and I highly encourage them to look that up, look up web 3. Very, very important. Just do due diligence. All I’m saying at this point is do the research. Because this is a tectonic shift that is going to play out in the world. And it’s playing out very rapidly. And I think there are going to be huge consequences to businesses, to the way that people think about their finances, to the way that your kids interact with the world. I mean, this is just a really big deal. I think this is bigger than social media. It’s at least as big as the internet. Yeah, it’s massive.

Dr. Gundry (00:57:39):
Oh, and you heard it here first folks. And when Tom speaks I listen. So alright, Tom, it’s great to see you again. Hope to see you soon. Where can people find you as if they don’t know but where can we find you?

Tom Bilyeu (00:57:55):
At Tom Bilyeu on all socials. YouTube is where all of my shows are. Twitter is where you’d want to go for the web 3 NFT stuff. Instagram for like that motivation mindset. And then anything business LinkedIn.

Dr. Gundry (00:58:10):
All right, very good, and take care and I’ll send you an NFT of mine. No, I won’t.

Tom Bilyeu (00:58:20):
Amazing, but thank you for having me on.

Dr. Gundry (00:58:23):
Pleasure. Take care. All right, it’s time for our audience question. This question comes from Paul on YouTube. Dr. Gundry, not to digress but as an avid fan of yours for three plus years now I’ve never heard you talk about that subject hemorrhoids. I am having problems with the external type I believe. Preparation H and Practo San only seem to inflame it more. Please, any insights? Well, we’ve never actually ever talked about hemorrhoids on this show. And those of you may know that to be a heart surgeon you have to be a general surgeon first. And sometimes general surgeons are called upon to take hemorrhoids into consideration and take them out. There are certain people for quite frankly the best option for hemorrhoids that will not subside is to have now a ligation of those hemorrhoids which is a really easy outpatient procedure. Having said that, many, many people that I’ve seen complaining of hemorrhoids, or when we put them on a much more higher soluble fiber diet, and a much higher olive oil consumption, remarkably get a lot of relief from that.
The other tricks that are worth trying is to get either liquid coconut oil or olive oil or borage oil, and just apply that topically several times a day. And if you have to put a little roll up of toilet paper there just to keep it in place, give that a try and see how you do. It’s a very common problem I can assure you from my general surgeon days. And a lot of times they will resolve with these tricks. But great question. All right, review of the week. Hey, everybody, it’s Dr. Gundry here and I’ve got some very exciting news. Right now you can sign up for Dr. Gundry’s newsletter. As a subscriber you’ll get updates about new episodes of the Dr. Gundry Podcast where we talk about all things health. Trust me, you won’t want to miss out. I’ll also keep you in the loop of all the things I’m up to from news to events to special appearances. So don’t wait, visit www.drgundry.com to sign up.
This week we have a review question combo from Mark Decker on YouTube. Dr. G. I’ve been following the plant paradox/longevity paradox plan for seven months, I have lost over 70 pounds and feel like a younger version of myself. Thank you for the work you do. My question is about eye floaters. Will autophagy eventually clear the floaters out of the eye fluid? Well, I’ll give you my personal experience. Probably not. I’ve had floaters, I’m near sighted and as we get older if you’re lucky, the inner goo of your eye will pull away from your retina but not pull your retina off. And when that happens there’s little bits of bleeding that’s where the floaters come from. Most of the time, the floaters do become less with the passage of time. But I’ve still got a couple in my right eye that I visit from time to time. They are not dangerous. There are ways to use lasers to dissolve them some more if they are a real problem.
But I’m not aware that any for instance, fasting methods, encouraging autophagy is going to make a big difference. But you probably got them because your vitreous humor are separated off your retina a few times and it’s okay. Getting your retina separated is quite another thing. All right, that’s it for today. Thank you very much Mark for telling me how you lost 70 pounds. Having done that myself I know how great that feels. And thank you for telling me it happened for you. Because I’m Dr. Gundry and I’m always looking out for you. We’ll see you next week. Thanks for joining me on this episode of The Dr. Gundry Podcast. Before you go, I just wanted to remind you that you can find the show on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts. And if you want to watch each episode of The Dr. Gundry Podcast, you can always find me on YouTube at youtube.com/Dr. Gundry because I’m Dr. Gundry and I’m always looking out for you.