Episode #259: Shane Heath, MUD\WTR, “I Had Everything In My Head Already…I Felt Like I Was Just As Much Of A Customer Of My Own Product As Any Prospective Customer”

Episode #259: Shane Heath, MUD\WTR, “I Had Everything In My Head Already…I Felt Like I Was Just As Much Of A Customer Of My Own Product As Any Prospective Customer”

 

 

 

 

 

Guest: Shane Heath is the founder and CEO of MUD\WTR, a startup that launched a coffee alternative consisting of organic ingredients lauded by cultures old and young for their health and performance benefits.

Date Recorded: 9/17/2020

Run-Time: 1:00:19

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Summary: In episode 259, we welcome our guest, Shane Heath, founder and CEO of MUD\WTR. In today’s episode, we’re diving into building a brand around needing something more out of coffee and the morning ritual.

Shane takes us through his relationship with coffee, why it no longer served him, and what he did to improve on the cup of joe many of us have built into our daily routine. From launch, it was only 6 months before the company hit 6 figures in monthly revenue. We hear about the evolution from filling orders from his kitchen and delivering them to the post office on his lunch break, to quitting his job, raising money, and scaling the business.

As we wind down, we discuss how the company was positioned for the current COVID environment as a modern D-to-C brand.

All this and more in episode 259 with MUD\WTR’s Shane Heath. 

Links from the Episode:

  • 0:40 – Sponsor: Ten Spot
  • 1:30 – Intro
  • 2:44 – Welcome to our guest, Shane Heath
  • 7:52 – Shane’s origin story and inspiration for MUD\WTR
  • 14:17 – Surf scene in Venice
  • 16:22 – Coffee/tea culture in India
  • 23:23 – How the food portion is regulated
  • 24:16 – The first three months of business
  • 26:03 – The moment MUD\WTR went from a small experiment to a full-fledged business
  • 28:49 – Experience raising money
  • 30:45 – Scaling the business after the investments were made
  • 36:23 – Changing the brand offering
  • 39:35 – How 2020 has impacted the business
  • 43:00 – Content creation as part of MUD\WTR’s growth strategy
  • 44:16 – Trends with Benefits
  • 45:06 – Company culture
  • 49:57 – Subscriber count
  • 50:46 – The future for MUD\WTR
  • 54:36 – Most memorable moment for the business and mental health of entrepreneurs
  • 59:07 – Learn more: mudwtr.com Promo Code: Meb for $10 off, @drinkmudwtr (Instagram), Trends With Benefits

 

Transcript of Episode 259:

Welcome Message: Welcome to the “Meb Faber Show,” where the focus is on helping you grow and preserve your wealth. Join us as we discuss the craft of investing and uncover new and profitable ideas, all to help you grow wealthier and wiser. Better investing starts here.

Disclaimer: Meb Faber is the Co-founder and Chief Investment Officer at Cambria Investment Management. Due to industry regulations, he will not discuss any of Cambria’s funds on this podcast. All opinions expressed by podcast participants are solely their own opinions and do not reflect the opinion of Cambria Investment Management or its affiliates. For more information, visit cambriainvestments.com.

Meb: Hello, friends. Grab a cup of coffee. Actually, grab a cup of MUD. We got a great show for you today. Our guest is Founder and CEO of MUD\WTR, start-up offering a coffee alternative consisting of organic ingredients, lauded by culture’s old and young for their health and performance benefits. Today’s episode, we’re diving into building a brand around needing something more out of coffee and the morning ritual. Our guest takes us through his relationship with coffee, why it no longer served him and what he did to improve on that cup of Joe, many of us is built into our daily routine. From launch, it was only six months before the company hit six figures in monthly revenue. We hear about the evolution from filling orders from his kitchen and delivering to the post office on his lunch break to quitting his job, raising money, and scaling the biz. As we wind down, we discuss how the company was positioned for the current COVID environment as a modern DTC brand. As a special offer for listeners to the podcast, MUD\WTR is offering 10 bucks off. Visit mudwtr.com. That’s M-U-D-W-T-R, and use the code MEB. Again, mudwtr.com, code MEB for 10 bucks. I’m also a drinker. Please enjoy this episode with MUD\WTR’s Shane Heath.

Meb: Shane, welcome to the show.

Shane: Thanks for having me, man. Happy to be here.

Meb: You got a cup of MUD. I got a cup of MUD, which we’ll get into in a minute. You’re local, you know, it’s 2020. So we’re as far as the bird flies, probably a few miles from each other.

Shane: Remote neighbours.

Meb: Yeah. I wanna start with a random question and then we’ll dig into MUD, but was looking through your website, your personal site and said on your to-do list is a surf trip to El Salvador. Is that happened pre-COVID or is that still in the works?

Shane: It did happen. It happened pre-COVID and it wasn’t just a surf trip. It was a team trip.

Meb: Oh, wow. Let’s hear about it.

Shane: So we brought the whole team down to an area of coastline in El Salvador called El Tunco or El Zonte. It was a little bit of a self-serving trip. I really wanted to go on a surf trip. And most of the people on my team don’t surf, but they were excited about it. I grew up in Santa Cruz and I’m a little like spoiled in that sense, like surfing in Los Angeles is not that exciting for me. When I’m thinking about doing team trips, we have a remote team. So we’re always trying to do fun things when we do meet up, I’m like, “I wanna go surf and I can take people surfing,” but it turns out El Zonte and El Salvador isn’t the best spot for beginners. The beaches are all rocky and it’s amazing waves, but like it’s a little extreme. And so, yeah, I think I traumatized a couple of employees on the trip.

Meb: When did you guys go? Is this recent?

Shane: We went in November last year.

Meb: What’s the vibe down there? We had gone a few years ago. I’m an extremely average surfer. I grew up in Colorado, mostly and a little North Carolina. So more of a skier, but we had gone down years ago and El Salvador, as far as central America goes, was still a little dicey, a little rough at times. What’s the sentiment now?

Shane: You just have to keep your wits about it and be careful. We were staying in a smaller little village beach town, no problems at all. I think it does have a reputation, which is probably good for any traveller tourists coming through just to like be alert. Don’t be an idiot. Don’t go get drunk and walk around at night with your wallet hanging out. But yeah, we had no problems. We stayed at amazing hotel. It was great. Like no complaints. It was a very raw experience. I really liked doing those types of things with the team. Not like checking into an all-inclusive in like Cabo, but going somewhere where we get to see a little bit of culture, get out of our comfort zone. So, yeah, man, it was awesome. And we recently, we were supposed to go pre-COVID, during COVID, actually, like March 15th, we had a trip planned to Costa Rica, Santa Teresa, which is a place that I went on a solo trip to like last year around this time. But yeah, we had to shut that down and we postponed the trip, but we just got back from Yellowstone as a team.

Meb: When were you there? We may have crossed paths. When things went sideways in LA, we packed up the car, wife, and 3-year-old child. Left it open-ended because 3-year-old child in the equation, wasn’t quite sure how he was gonna do in these long drives. But I had family in Colorado and then he did wonderfully. So we said, “Let’s just keep going.” So we went up to Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and back. When would you guys have been there?

Shane: We were there August 18th.

Meb: Yeah. About the same time. Probably passed each other on the trail somewhere.

Shane: It’s so beautiful then. It’s great.

Meb: Yeah. What’d you guys get into?

Shane: We flew in. We went to rodeo. First rodeo, got the team.

Meb: To go in Cody? Where’d you go?

Shane: It was in West Yellowstone. So we stayed at a place called Under Canvass in West Yellowstone. These like amazing glamping setups. We all got dressed up. We thought we were going to this like huge stadium rodeo. None of us… We shouldn’t have been wearing what…we were wearing like cowboy hats and the whole like deal and then we got to this rodeo and it’s like a small-time, 200-person just like legit cowboy rodeo. I felt so out of place, so uncomfortable, but it was dope, man. It was fun to watch. It’s crazy.

Meb: Did they do mutton busting? Do you know what that is?

Shane: Oh, I don’t know. I mean, it was the bronco.

Meb: No. They’d take like the little and they’ll put like kids. And what I mean they’re like, like 3-year-olds and put helmets on them and let them.

Shane: Yeah. They did do that.

Meb: That’s the best.

Shane: That was the best event. Yeah. It was mainly a bronc riding. And they did some like barrel racing and then they did that. Yeah. The kids all ran out there. This one kid who was a little stud just smoked it. It was cool. But, yeah. Then we did some white-water rafting. We did some horseback riding. We went to this grizzly and wolf rehabilitation centre. I got to see some grizzlies up close, but behind a fence. And we went and drove around the park one day. Did some cold plunges in the creek, did some meditations with the team. It was good, man. It was awesome.

Meb: Yeah. The West is certainly a little easier to social distance in Wyoming and Montana. All right, listeners, I promise we’ll actually start talking about business today, but for the people watching on YouTube, the photo in my background is actually from this trip. This is in the flat tops wilderness in Colorado. We did a little four-day or three-day…I can’t even remember at this point, horseback trip with our family. Marvin Lake, if you wanna find it on a map, listeners. All right. So let’s go back. Origin story, Santa Cruz, you know, my wife is a banana slug and we’ll get into MUD\WTR, but my favourite, arguably my favourite coffee roaster because I came to you guys through probably a pretty traditional way people find you is I think a Santa Cruz-based roaster, Verve?

Shane: Oh, man. That was the spot. I worked many a time at various coffee on MUD\WTR.

Meb: Yeah. Verve, if you’re listening I’m sorry, but you have a couple spots in LA that I frequent a bit. All right. So where should we start, the origin stories? Should it be Goa, India? Should it be San Diego? Where do you wanna begin? What was the original inspiration?

Shane: It goes way back, but we can start with college days, I guess. I was studying design and art in college, but in my early years in college was surfing, having fun. I went to San Diego State. I knew that I wanted to be in the creative field. My dad was a builder, built every home that I lived in. So he was an architect too. So I just saw like the creative process from day one and just really loved and respected it, even maybe more unconsciously than consciously at that time, his skillset of being able to have a vision, put it onto paper, and then actually building it into the physical realm. And so when I was in school, I started to love just being multifaceted in my design skills and not needing to like necessarily rely on a developer or something to get something done. So I was a multimedia major, which allowed me to study a variety of different things under the design realm.

So I studied front-end coding, spent a lot of time in design. I loved the design probably the most, but learned how to code, learn some interactive design, some like Pixar-style modelling, and even like electronic music video production, really full-spectrum and did an internship at an advertising agency and I loved that, to just got really into like the marketing side. And when graduating college, I had the opportunity to co-found a tech company from day one with no experience. I got to no right to like even dive into that space. But a friend who I had done an internship with, he started a non-profit while I was in school and I helped him with the branding and packaging, what he was working on. And we really worked well together. And when he was getting his MBA, I think he just graduated from his MBA and I just graduated from my undergrad and he was like, “I’m starting this company. I got a little bit of money from an ex-Facebook engineer.” And it was like an action sports video network and we were both like loved surf, skate, snow, all that and we’re like, “This is awesome.” No business model other than like build it, get a bunch of people on it, then monetize later, but like old school, Silicon Valley model. I think we had a lot of naiveté that allowed us to just explore that and didn’t need a ton of money at that time. I ended up moving up to Truckee with my girlfriend and was paying $300 a month in rent. Just had it cheap.

Meb: What year vintage would this have been?

Shane: This was in 2012. We brought on an amazing CTO. I don’t know how we convinced him to join us, but he’s now leading the development team at Amazon, some department up there, but learned a lot from him. He taught me a lot about front-end coding and I was doing the design and we were all…you know, it was three of us only and we’re wearing tons of hats, just learning the ins and outs of business. We ended up getting like Nike as an advertising partner. That’s kind of the one thing that happened that was like kind of cool, but there was really no trajectory outside of that. But we did work on that for two years. Throughout that at the latter end, we ran out of funds and I worked on various other smaller projects just to make ends meet, was doing website projects for various people, packaging, branding, just getting wet with every aspect of design in start-up space. After that company wound down, I moved to Silicon Valley and joined a couple of tech companies there. So this was like 2013, ’14.

And during that time I was making actually some nice money, finally. Not nothing crazy, but I was like a senior designer, getting to work on a lot and was training jujitsu outside of work, training CrossFit climbing, just… I’ve always been really active, but at this time in my life, I loved just diving in and just exploring my physical capacity. Growing up in Santa Cruz, I was also really conscious of my diet and how my diet related to my creativity and also my output, like in the outside of the office, like in the physical performance realm. That said, I was drinking tons of coffee. Like I thought in that world, it’s hustle culture, like sleeping you’re dead. Coffee’s gonna allow you to do more, do it faster. So I never really thought of it as something that… I always thought of it as something that was a performance enhancement, I guess, you could say, like it was at the office, everyone was doing it.

But I think being in the creative realm, specifically when I was going home and like painting after work, I was hyper-aware of my mental state because I’m constantly, essentially looking at a blank sheet of paper in my mind, like there’s no like point A point B, it’s a lot more nuanced and I’m incentivized to be creative, not necessarily incentivized to like move bricks quickly. And so I started to notice that caffeine, which I’ve learned later, mainly it’s a sympathetic response in your mind, it can stimulate your prefrontal cortex, which is your like logical rationing, reasoning side of your mind, which isn’t really beneficial to creativity. It isn’t necessarily beneficial to like intuition and these types of feelings, which now in my life are really important to me. But back then, like sometimes I’m stuck, or I’m stressed, or I’m anxious, and I was trying to figure out what it was and my sleep was starting to deteriorate, feeling a lot more anxiety throughout the day.

And so I started to play with my caffeine intake, which was tough because I loved that morning ritual. And I love rituals just in general. I’m a very like habitual person and I like building those things and having triggers that allow me to jump right into flow state. So I started to explore different teas, different products, different ways of even making coffee that could help with the caffeine jitters. Luckily, around that time, I got invited to do an artist in residency program in Goa, India. So it was like a six-month residency. I basically get to go out there, free place to stay, art studio and have an art show. And so I took a leave of absence from work. I actually never went back to that job, moved to India, and was just living in this amazing kind of like art residency right on the beach in Goa, getting to surf, eat amazing, healthy food, and paint all the time.

Meb: Quick interjection, what’s the surf scene like in India?

Shane: It’s funny. It’s like going and surfing like out in front of Venice all the time or something like that. Like it’s nothing but like warm water. This place where I was staying it’s called Vaayu. And it was started by [Inaudible 00:13:41] India who went to school in San Diego State and ended up going to like Burning Man and Lightning in a Bottle. And he happened to move to San Diego and became a professional kite surfer. So started to fall in love with the ocean and then started to go to these kind of transformative music festivals and saw how… These transformative music festivals, one of the underlying principles is kind of like respect for nature and like leave no trace and they’re really big on recycling, and composting, and all these things. And he just saw a tie end that India needs so much, which is influencing culture, especially youth culture to make like love and respect for the planet cool. Like over there you’re peeing, and you’re throwing trash, pooping in the ocean because there’s no relationship. Over here, we surf and we’re on the beach all the time and we’re active and outside. And it’s a little different, and obviously, we could do a lot better ourselves, but that’s why these transformative music festivals exist. And so what he did was he went back home after college and created this centre, which is like a hotel resort, but they have surf lessons, kite surfing lessons, paddleboards, and then they have artists and musicians come and they’re trying to really build this awareness around these things amongst youth culture. So they have like a Prana Cafe, which is like this organic cafe with amazing food. And then they’re recycling, composting, just kind of like teaching people over there, teaching and influencing people to have a relationship with nature, which is beautiful.

Meb: But the surf break’s pretty decent? Actually, it’s some decent breaks?

Shane: Eh. Very like whatever beach break, small. I think during typhoon season, it’s really good, but it’s just like raining the whole time, everybody kind of leaves. That said, I can tell you about a surf trip maybe a little later that I did go on after Goa in a spot in India that was just like unreal.

Meb: All right. Well, let’s go back to tea. We’ll catch that later. Sorry.

Shane: So, yeah, I started… I was in India, their coffee culture is replaced. Like chai culture is their coffee culture. It’s on every corner, everybody’s drinking chai, not coffee. And I started drinking chai. I loved chai going into that and I grew more fonder of it after that just because it’s so culturally ingrained. But I think what was even more influential aspect of that was not just like what they’re drinking, but it’s like what they’re eating, what they’re dressing, how they’re speaking, what they think about, what they care about. Just getting, for the first time, it was my first time really out of North America, aware of just how different people live. And coming home from that trip, it was really empowering for me to take inventory of my life and like what I was doing in my life because I really wanted to do, it because it was internally important and, you know, it was empowering or what I was doing just because it was like culturally prescribed to me by my parents, by my teachers, by my friends.

A lot of times those things can be great, but I think it is important to like take an inventory and be like, “Am I doing this for myself or am I doing this just kind of blindly?” And coffee for me was an obvious one. Like from the get-go, you know, I was already kind of exploring that before India. When I came home, it was just kinda like, I was just drinking this because everyone’s doing it. This is not helping me specifically like me. I had no intentions of a business. It was just not helping me. And so got back, moved to LA. I started another tech company. It was called Cavalry. It was a B2B SaaS company. And we were doing personalized emails on-demand, like at scale. So we had a team of writers, we got an interface. They would populate based on who you’re reaching out to with like icebreaker and a template.

And so we would work with larger companies who would have like an email list of like 5,000 people they wanted to reach out to. And instead of just doing like an email blast with some mail merge personalization, they could have each email be personalized to the recipient. So the whole idea was higher response rates and all that. And at that time, working remote, I was at my house. I was exploring this chai tea that I found that had really low caffeine. So it was a masala chai blend with a little bit of black tea in it, and then just started to play around with different ingredients that had a benefit profile that matched my lifestyle because I viewed this, like, I’m gonna drink this every day. I have a mug with water and I can put whatever I want into it. Like, why not make it benefit, not just like my energy levels, but what if it could benefit like my physical performance, or my inflammation, or my mood, or like my diet, or appetite, all these things? I was like, “This is just a vessel for so much more.” And I have a pretty tolerant flavour palette like I was just like, “If it benefits me, I can like whatever.”

So I was dumping the cacao for mood, and obviously cacao, I think, really helps the flavour and that allows you to kind of add in a bunch of different ingredients that maybe are less flavour tolerance. So I was like, lion’s mane for cognitive function, focus, cordyceps or physical performance, Chaga and reishi for immunity, turmeric for information. And I was doing intermittent fasting. So I added some cinnamon, which I found helped me curb my sugar cravings. And so in the end, I was just like every morning waking up, pouring in all these ingredients. And I’d go on about my day, go and work at cafes, going to jujitsu and friends. I was bringing us to festivals and stuff. Like this was in 2015, ’16, there was zero business idea here. Like I’d never spent time in the kitchen. Like I was never cooking. I was like, work, eat, sleep, play, paint. Didn’t have time to cook. But that’s it. I would bring this around and friends were like, “What the fuck is that?” And I’m like, “It’s mud.” Because it just looked sludgy and I had these… I actually was drinking chunks of Chaga, which is like the traditional way of drinking Chaga floating in all those ingredients. So it looked crazy and it was kind of a conversation starter for a lot of people. But people’s initial reaction was like, “This is just like another one of Shane’s like weird little explorations.”

I’ll kind of like fast forward a little bit. So that’s like 2016 and I was just bringing that around for maybe two years. While working on this company, I was working remotely. We ended up having to…we’re actually still in the process of potentially getting that company kind of acquired in a way, but it was just tough to make the unit economics work on a personalized email when you’re competing with essentially free on a male marriage. We still needed to develop some like machine learning aspect. So I ended up joining a tech company here in Venice called the Flex Company, which is funny because it’s actually a feminine hygiene company. They make like a tampon alternative, which is wild. And I was leading the design team there redesigned their packaging, their website, but spent a lot of time on the subscription side and they had a pretty healthy subscription business. It was my first time working in subscription e-commerce and I sort of fell in love with that membership feel.

So that’s 2017. In 2018, I was working in this office environment full of coffee drinkers and people like every day were coming up to me and like talking about how they’re trying to give up their afternoon cup or give it up for lent…or like quit coffee altogether. And I was just like, this is so interesting because everybody’s drinking this stuff, like 8 out of 10 Americans drink coffee, maybe 9, but I’m like how many people have some similar sentiments that I used to have around it where they’re like, “I don’t know if that’s the best thing for me, but I continue to drink it. And even though it kind of like, maybe I should be doing something else.”

Meb: Everyone? Everyone.

Shane: Yeah. And like maybe they don’t even know it yet or maybe they kind of are seeing it, but there’s no other options. And so in May of 2018, it was just like this undeniable urge for me to jump back in into the start-up space, but just do it on my own. And it was for the first time I felt like I had this skillset to really launch the business without the need of a developer, without the need of somebody on operations or like… I’d never been CEO at that time and I was like, “I can do this.” And grabbed my laptop, like no joke over a weekend. And it was like May 10th, something like that. And Saturday morning had like everything in my head already. Like I designed the brand, designed a little package label, ordered it on Vista Print, went on a Squarespace and coded like this custom Squarespace theme. We’re just like having fun, but it was coming like free-flowing. Like I didn’t have to answer to anybody. I didn’t have reports. Like it was just quick, like quick and getting it out there and just really designing it for myself. Like I felt like I was still just as much of a customer of my own product as any perspective customers that I was going for. So there was no like business model, is this a good market? Like what colours should I have? It was literally all intuition and it felt amazing. It felt, for the first time in business, like it does when I’m painting like an art project. And ordered a bunch of ingredients on Amazon and put up an Instagram post that said, “We’re not mad at coffee. We’re just disappointed, so we made something better,” and orders started coming in.

Meb: And how does this work with food? Is this something you can literally just start like chucking stuff together and selling it? Is there any sort of like, not FDA, but…

Shane: Yeah. So the FDA regulates supplements in a different way than it does food. And I’m not like a spokesperson for it, like I’m also ask for forgiveness later kind of approach. And I was like, “I’m gonna get it up there. Like if people start buying it, I’ll figure out a way to legitimize it.” But at that time, I mean, I didn’t have any nutrition facts stand on. I was making it in my kitchen and shifted into a commercial kitchen and all that. And it was just like jumping off the cliff and building the plane on the way down kind of a thing. Like just figuring it out as I went. But yeah, I mean, if I was making a supplement, you’d really need to make sure you have all that dialled up right away. But I was just moving fast. And so yeah, getting orders coming in and just figuring out as I went.

Meb: And if I recall, like it was a pretty quick response in the first like three months. I feel like most people who did this, if you got 10 orders, you’d be super stoked and excited, but this wasn’t that. Like it was a pretty quick first three months of actual orders coming in.

Shane: Totally. Yeah. So it was quick. And I didn’t tell my friends besides Paul who was a previous co-founder and brought him on as COO and he’s a co-founder of MUD\WTR. I like just told him, but I didn’t tell any of my friends that I was launching it. And I just wanted to like see organically like what would happen? Like I took a very like lean start-up approach. Like I was just putting it out there, I was reaching out to every customer who bought it, like emailing them, trying to get in touch, figuring things out, looking for signs of product-market fit. But there is something about the approach of drawing the line in the sand around coffee on Instagram that just seemed to resonate more than I ever would have imagined. I posted this video and it was just like a spinning, rotating 10 with the powder in it. I boosted it on Facebook just to see what would happen and we were getting like a $6 cack on it. I had everything mapped out. I was monitoring. From day one, I had a spreadsheet and I was had ton of different KPIs that I was just looking at week, over week, over week. I was just like immersed in this. Like it was insane. And I knew just based on my own personal financial situation, like I didn’t have a ton of savings. I was, at that time, probably in a little bit of debt. I knew I wanted to raise money and being in the start-up space, I knew to raise money, I really needed to paint like a beautiful picture, a beautiful story. So it was like once I start, I’m beating those numbers every single month. And what’s that growth curve gonna look like. Like I’m not gonna give any investor, any friction when they’re looking at the business as far as like traction.

Meb: And what was the moment when it went from sort of being a kitchen, you know, formulation, hey, this is an experiment to being, “Oh, wait, this can be a real company?” I imagine it was actually pretty early.

Shane: Pretty early. So we had a couple of just random celebrities or like influencer-type people start to get the product and post about it. Like Kelly Slater, had a couple maybe smaller names, but like authors with amazing followings. And so within six months, we were doing six figures in monthly revenue. And it was nuts. I mean, I was working full-time still. I’d come home after work and I’d jump in the kitchen and I’d fill these buckets up with mud and set those aside, wake up the next morning and I would have 10 different friends of mine and their friends who are sort of on-call and they would come by in the morning. I’d go to work and then come home on my lunch break and in that time they would have put the MUD\WTR in the jars, put the jars in the boxes, put a label on it, and they’d fill up these trash bags, and I’d fill up my car with the trash bags, drive it to the post office, go back to work, and then do it all over again.

And so that’s kind of how we got to that six-month mark. We’re just like, by any means necessary, just figuring it out. And then at that six-month mark, I was at this like inflection point where we were growing at a clip where I constantly needed to like, if I wanted to continue the trajectory, it was like you needed to put more money down on the next month’s inventory and advertising and all of that. And I didn’t really have that money. So I needed to work essentially. I needed to continue working, but I didn’t the time to actually get the stuff done that I needed to do to continue the business. So it was at this point where I was like, “I could quit my job, but then I might not have the money to continue to grow and I might have to shut down the business or I can shut down the business because I can’t fulfil orders.”

And that’s when Paul DeJoe, who’s amazing human and we co-founded Cavalry together, the previous company, and he was sort of like advising me through the early stages of MUD\WTR. And I remember this phone call where I like walked out on the beach in Venice and I was just like almost in tears because I was just overwhelmed with like stress. Like I just had so much going on and he’s in a similar financial situation to me, but he had some money though. Yeah. It was like saving up to buy a house and he’s like, “Dude, these testimonials, what we’re doing, the growth it’s too special. I’m gonna write you a check for 25K. You’re not gonna say anything about it and you’re gonna quit your job tomorrow and we’re gonna do this. If you’re not, then I’m not helping you anymore.” And it was just like, I couldn’t even answer him. I didn’t know what to do. And we hung up and he texted me, “Check your bank account.” And I told my CEO the next day and transitioned out of that position and we went off and raised just over $1.1 million from VCs in SF, New York, LA monthly.

Meb: What was that experience like? Was it something that immediately resonated? Was it a slog? How was the pitch discussions? I imagine this was your first time going through it. Was it what you expected?

Shane: Yeah. It was my first time going through it, at least as like the CEO. I’d been through it at previous companies. And so I knew to expect like the worst kind of, like I knew it could be a lot. I probably had 100 meetings over the course of like 60 days, but we did a lot of things right on like our growth trajectory. And we had like previous connections through the start-up world. We had one specific angel. His name’s Zach Coleus who had played a huge role in that whole initial funding round… I met with him early on and he loved what we were doing. He loved the product more. He wasn’t an investor in the CPG space. And so we needed a couple of proof points. And so I ended up meeting with a bunch of CPG investors. So they got like cross-knowledged and he got enough confidence to run like an amazing Angeles syndicate. And when he was in, then everybody was in. So, yeah, it was just kind of like finding the right couple people. The lead dominoes, it seemed, really helped, but you do have to have a ton of meetings. And even once the yeses come in, it’s still like takes a while to get everything dialled in and perfect and it takes a lot out of you.

Meb: Yeah. I went back and read Zach’s original memo and it was funny because it was like, “This isn’t something I normally invest in and it’s a little out of my wheelhouse.” But on the private investing side, we talk a lot about on this podcast, you know, I’m a quant at heart, but on the private side, the old school Peter Lynch method of investing is finding a product or service that you love and investing in it. And that was the case for me. You know, I mean, I was a consumer and said, “Wow. This is great.” Plus all the business stuff lined up. But Zach’s an easy convincer. All right. So you got a little bit of cash, what’s next? Is it scaling up? Is it kind of buttoning down, starting to outsource the production, moving it out of your kitchen, walk us forward? What was it like?

Shane: Yeah. I mean, at that point we were in a commercial kitchen, but still like I was mixing the product. It was just insane. So we knew we wanted to find a co-packer or somebody who can make the product for us at scale. I was still buying up most of the ingredients on Amazon because like we needed the ingredients so fast. We got Prime next day, free shipping. When you’re shipping hundreds of pounds in like cacao, even if you go to…like if you’re kind of small and you go to like a supplier and you think you’re getting a decent price on like a price per gram, when you factor in the shipping and everything, it was just insane. And so I was still doing that. We moved into an office though. So we had a commercial kitchen, we had an office. So we were doing all the fulfilment in our office. We were doing the mixing in the commercial kitchen and we just started the hunt for a co-packer and fulfilment centre.

The types of ingredients we are working with, well, two things, the types of ingredients we were working with and then the packaging format of having that tin, it’s a little tricky on the co-packer side. The co-packers wanna just go in the bag. They wanna like easy, they can put it on their machines. With the tin, it required a little bit of manual work with like a seal and whatnot. So it took us a while to find a co-packer that was open to that. And then once we found some that were open to that, took us a while to find some that had like the consciousness around the ingredients that we were working with. Some didn’t understand the differences, the variants in cacao, or they just didn’t speak our language and it was a huge concern. But we were always thinking that we were like one to two months out from having a co-packer.

One thing and reflection was we never fully invested in like our own manufacturing process because of that. Like we were always like, “Just get through it. We got another month or so.” Like I’m working till 4:00 in the morning at the kitchen covered in dust and it ended up being closer to 9 months, 10 months from that point where we were still doing our own fulfilment. But in that time, I was able to hire a outsource development team. I learned how to run Facebook ads, which is a huge win. So we brought on a marketing agency just because I was doing all the creative, obviously, like I was doing a lot of the design and up until that point I was running all of our ads but really had no experience doing so. And maybe that was beneficial in a sense because we were doing things that people weren’t necessarily doing. Like we were running copy that was really long and kind of like founder story-style, like it wasn’t just like this really clean bite size. And I think anytime you can present something in a way that has some aesthetic beauty where you’re like, “I wanna look at that,” but then there’s also a component of like friction where you’re like, “But what?” Like it causes pause. It really helps to stand out. I think that’s one thing that we were doing it right at the time. That said, I was like, “I’m sure somebody could do this better.” And so I brought on an agency and they worked with us for like three months and it just didn’t work and it didn’t work for reasons I wasn’t even sure about at the time.

I just wasn’t well versed enough in Facebook ads that I felt like there was a huge liability because it’s a huge part of our initial business and our growth in Facebook, Google, all these channels. Like if you can’t speak the language and you hire somebody to do it, it’s gonna be really difficult to really manage them and to understand what’s going on. So we ended up letting them go and I just spent a month just learning the ins and outs of performance marketing on Facebook and Google and got it to a point where we were doing really well and scaled that up over the next year. And right when we raised that round where like doing low six figures and then fast forward a year from there, we pivoted our website to really serve the membership model and we began acquiring thousands of new subscribers every month at that time, which was amazing and grew it to maybe around 8,000, 5,000 to 8,000 subscribers around this time last year. And we were at that time not profitable. We invested a lot in manufacturing, a lot in advertising, and we hired the small customer support team and we ended up going out and raising another like the proper seed round. So last year it was just over $3 million. And from there we hired a CTO, head of product. We hired a VP of operations, and then we hired two in-house customer support agents and a marketing coordinator.

Meb: It’s interesting about the marketing side because it’s always fascinating from a behavioural standpoint. I’m convinced in my head that I’ve never clicked on a Google ad in my entire life, but I’ve probably bought now 20 things off Instagram in the past year because of the targeting. But I’ll tell you a funny story. I have a buddy who runs a company that does over $100 million in revenue in sort of investment research and the way that they do some of their marketing is extremely long copy. And I remember sitting down with him and chatting over a beer or something. To me, I’m obviously not the target demo, but I’m like, “Man, this is ridiculous. Who reads this? This is so long.” And he says, “The buyers do, Meb.” And so I said, “It’s funny because they spend enough time figuring out that in a certain,” you know, approach that massively high conversions on these really long pieces that in my mind I would never read, but plenty of people do. Anyway, you make such a good point on all the ads. Like unless you do some of the work of at least learning the syntax and diction of how that world works, it’s hard to even know why something is working or not and at least you can kind of speak her language. All right. So we’re fall of 2019. Before we jump into 2020, which feels like a whole decade already, how much at this point? Is the formulation changed at all? I don’t see any chunks in my coffee anymore. Has that been an evolution like WD-40-style or is it always just the one you set up and people loved it and you’re no point in mucking around with it?

Shane: Yeah. It’s definitely something we’re exploring. We’ve never wanted to use any binders or like suspension additives that said cacao isn’t inherently water-soluble, neither is cinnamon and our mushrooms as well. They typically have like a little bit of suspension. And so at the end, it gets a little muddy at the bottom. And some people don’t care, some people do care, for sure. We’re still trying to figure out where we stand on it as well. We are exploring using some different extracts, like a turmeric root extract or a blend of extracts for the mushrooms just to get solubility down a bit. I don’t mind being like raw. Like I think it’s how I wanted it to be from the beginning, like I didn’t want to add a sweetener to the product. Even though a lot of people might want it sweet, it’s like I wanted it to be real and I didn’t want it to, I guess, stray from my own personal integrity around it in order to appease the masses.

Meb: And do you guys think about adding additional products at any point? I know there’s a creamer involved. You got a frother as well.

Shane: Yeah. So the way we’re looking at that is we’re obviously trying to create a new category around coffee alternatives that have more functional benefits than like grandma’s teabag. And this is like our hero product right now. But around the hero product, we’re learning about what our customers add to it. So the creamer was inspired by that. We found out that around 40% to 50% of customers were adding some sort of milk or creamer to their MUD\WTR in similar way that a coffee drinker would. Some people like it black, some people like it with the little something. So we developed that and then similarly around 20% and 30% of people add a sweetener of some sort. So we’re developing a sweetener right now that’s a blend of coconut, sugar, and lucuma, which is a fruit that has really low glycaemic index sugar content but it has like a really nice…I think it pairs really well, like the type of sweetness to MUD\WTR.

And so basically like we wanna own the mug, like figuring out what people would want to add to it and build vertically around this current hero and then start to develop more horizontal expansions where we do have a macho blends right now, like I’m actually drinking a little bit of it. Right now it’s formulated. And so it’s similar to MUD\WTR and that it has all four mushrooms. It has a little bit of turmeric, a little bit of ginger. So it’s like MUD\WTR’s version of a matcha, ceremonial-grade matcha. It’s amazing if you need like a little extra lift.

Meb: Well, if you need a taster, let me know. I’ve always struggled with matcha. It’s super popular. I mean, right down the road from you at Abbott Kinney, I think there’s multiple matcha shops or bars, whatever you would call them. But anyway, and anything’s better than the absolutely foul chai that Starbucks serves. My God.

Shane: The syrup. Yeah.

Meb: Oh, gosh. It’s so sweet. Okay. So 2020 rolls around, you guys are crank in. Tell me how this year has been. It’s been a lot of companies it’s been tough, it’s been great for others, in between. What’s this year look like for you guys?

Shane: Yeah. It’s obviously been a wild ride. I think we are sort of anti-fragile in a sense and like built to survive this sort of thing or thrive, even. Our whole team is remote. It’s been remote since day one. So as far as like workflows go, processes, it’s very little change on that end. We didn’t have to make any adjustments on our internal operations. On the business side, 99% of our business is online direct-to-consumer through our website. We do have some smaller retail partners. We are launching and we’re gonna be an Erewhon, actually, probably by the time this podcast airs in LA. But we’ve been very focused on direct-to-consumer and very, just sort of defensive on the retail side. So that’s been beneficial obviously, right? Like we weren’t relying on wholesale orders. It’s all just been like if we think a cafe’s cool and they’d reach out to us, we’ll accommodate.

So, yeah. Going into like full lockdown, we were pretty well-positioned for that. And I think that what most saw that if people still wanna buy your product in that period of time, you’re in a good spot because there’s less people advertising and there’s more people online shopping. So it was actually an amazing time for our business. That said, we didn’t know that. We didn’t know that at the beginning. We didn’t know it was gonna be like that, which ended up being beneficial for us as well because I started thinking about, “Well, what if it’s not the case? Like looking forward, what happens if things shut down? What happens if the economy shuts down? What happens if orders go to zero?” So I started to focus a lot on content and it really kick-started a lot of initiatives that I was dreaming about since starting the company that had just never been prioritized quite yet just because things are going well in other areas, I guess you could say.

So some of the things we started doing at the beginning of COVID was we started leading a weekly breathwork class on our Instagram live. So maybe backtrack, I’ve been really into consciousness work, whether it’s plant medicine work, through to meditation, and more recently, breathwork. And breathwork is a variety of things. Like most people will say that they’ve done some form of breathwork like in a yoga class or whatnot, but this breathwork specifically is sort of a derivative off of, I guess, originally what’s called Tummo and now there’s different formats. Would you like Whim Hoff is one sort of branch of that and then there’s like holotropic breathwork, but it’s like this three-stage, pretty intense breathing where you’re getting these full inhales and exhales and doing it for long periods of time? And so I started doing that right at the beginning of starting MUD\WTR. It was like a way to manage stress because the way I look at it, when you’re a business…well, I look at my personal health, like maybe in the same way as like the professional athlete would. And I think that’s how it should be done just because we’re putting a lot of taxation on their minds and we want to be creative. That’s how we win. And so for me to be creative, like I really need to manage my sleep. I’m good about like shutting down the computer at a certain hour and like walking away and just allowing my mind to recover. And then I do a lot of things like meditation, journaling, and now breathwork. And so breathwork allows me to quickly get like a consciousness shift and from there it kind of enhances my meditations.

Meb: How often do you guys do that on Instagram? Is that consistent or is it in a minute?

Shane: Yeah. So we’ve done it every Friday at noon on our Instagram lives since early March.

Me: The whole culture of the company is one of not just the product, but a mind-set of health as well. Does the actual content creation, have you found that’s been, you know, community building, has it been that it introduces a lot new consumers to the brand? Is it a little bit of both?

Shane: Yeah. It’s definitely both. Not all of our attendees are MUD\WTR are customers even. So I’m on the breathwork classes. It’s me and we have like a breathwork coach facilitator. And so I’m kind of like the student that they can watch and like see me mess up or whatever, and feel better about whatever they’re doing. But I do like an intro at the beginning and I explain that really MUD\WTR, at score, like we were trying to bring about a better morning ritual. Like, of course, a product or like a drink could be a part of that, but it’s also like the tools, and the habits, and the routines that we do in those mornings. And so we’re trying to bring about some of those ideas to you. And so breathwork is one of those options. And then on the other part of content where you launched, I call it a content arm.

It’s like a blog right now, but I really want it to be a lot bigger, but it’s called Trends with Benefits and we have written video. And we have our own podcasts even now. So we launched all these things and we send out a weekly newsletter that is not self-serving in that we don’t really publish a lot of content that we create. We publish content that we just think is amazing. So we share podcasts that we’re listening to, articles that we’re reading documentaries, or watching and events we’re hosting, so like breathwork. And yeah, it’s been an amazing community-building tool for us. Yeah. We get feedback all the time. We just recently brought on a community manager because it’s been growing so much. And so, yeah, without the…what could happen with something like COVID, we wouldn’t have built that side of our business probably at that time and probably not with that conservative an effort. So it’s been amazing and it’s still growing. Like we still have a ton of things that we’re working on now with that.

Meb: Good. It’s gonna be fun to watch. Talk to me a little bit about, you know, this is like two California LA guys rapping, but the culture of your shop, like any shop is certainly made in the image of the people there, including the founder and CEO. You guys have some sort of approaches. I don’t know if you still do, what is it? No internet Wednesdays. You also have some involvement with some charity organizations. We’d love to hear about both or kind of what makes the MUD\WTR story a little bit unique.

Shane: Well, that goes saying at the beginning, like at its core, when I started MUD\WTR I was just taking like an inventory of my life and letting go of what I didn’t think was resonating and taking in what I wanted and maybe designing new things that I needed. And when I was starting the company, I took a very similar approach. I was looking at previous companies I worked at and taking in things that I liked, but then looking at what we’re building here is like a complete blank canvas and trying different things that maybe were exploratory. And so some of the interesting things that we do, it’s a tricky thing too, because I have a lot of weird practices that I do and I don’t wanna be like prescribing things to people or like some guru-type person. So it’s a delicate thing to like deliver it in a way that’s accessible and really just letting people choose their own adventure, in a sense. So really what I try to do is just open up about what I do and like why I do it and give them resources if they wanna explore further.

That said, we do a breathwork meditation before every Monday call. So we have like a Monday all hands. And I always noticed that previous company is like just jumping into these meetings, that they involve the whole company. Like it’s an expensive meeting. Like everybody’s there, everybody should be engaged, but rarely were we at previous companies. And I think part of that is creating like a divide from your day prior to the meeting and then the meeting itself. And I think some companies maybe do like an icebreaker-type thing or whatever. But the more I’m learning about meditation and breathwork is that you can alter your mental state and into a state that is advantageous for whatever you’re working on. So maybe you want to be more alert and more like sympathetic and ready to fight, but then maybe you wanna be more creative too.

And so going into this meeting, we do a 10-minute guided meditation to kind of guide the team through with the whole intention of bringing about that state of mind that is conducive to creativity and problem-solving and also like attention, right? Like separating from the day, bringing into that present moment and hopefully making that meeting more valuable for everyone. So that’s one thing. Yeah. Like you were saying, on Wednesdays for about a year and eight months now, I’ve been doing no food on Wednesdays. So it’s like a 24-hour fast. For a while, I was doing no food, no phone, no meetings, but the no meetings part, it’s just like impossible, man. Like it’s so hard. So I do do some meetings. I generally try to stay away from my phone, but I have been doing the no food thing. And it’s really cool to have like some sort of hard ritual like that that breaks up your week. I found that it really brings about gratitude to my access to food. It brings out gratitude to eating in general and it’s just like a nice discipline test.

And then on Fridays, we do a gratitude call where we all go around and talk about things we’re grateful for. We’re constantly sharing different content around psychedelics, mental health. We’ve been donating to MAPS, which is the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies since day one. If you haven’t heard about them, they’re doing amazing work really with MDMA therapy right now. So they’re doing like therapeutic…they’re creating therapeutic models for using these different compounds, FDA fast track, I think primarily in MDMA and psilocybin, but they really paved the way for a lot of other companies to start doing it using other compounds. So it’s like really one of the most important movements that I can think of just because as a society, if our mental health is in disarray, it’s like, that’s just where it starts. Just leads to a cascade of bad decisions. And I think if we can really solve the root cause or I think solving the root cause is really solving that issue. And they’ve shown a lot of promise there.

Meb: Yeah. MAP was in the news recently and it’s astonishing how quick the stigma, the walls are just crumbling around these areas of, you know, psychedelics. And I think it’s becoming obvious to a lot of people, the struggles of the modern world with technology and certainly social. It’s becoming apparent to everyone, the challenges, you know, and mental health being something that people really need to pay attention to as not just an afterthought, but a priority as well. I would love to keep you here for another two hours, but we’ll just have to have you back. A few more questions before we start to wind down. First, you guys have had quite a run. I think last I heard you’re up over like 40,000 subscribers. Is that right?

Shane: Yeah. So we’re right around 45,000 subscribers. In the subscription model, you can choose to get it every month, 2 months, 3 months and you can get like 30 or 90 servings in those cadences.

Meb: Yeah. Listeners, check it out. I’m not full MUD yet. I’m balanced between mud and coffee, but there’s the days I wake up and my 3-year-old’s smashing me with a stuffed animal where I’m on the coffee day and there’s other days which end up being much more pleasant where it’s just like a beautiful, wonderful morning that’s kind of eases into it with my MUD\WTR. But I’m not fully committed yet. I’m getting there. But, listeners, check it out. As you look to the horizon, you know, you’ve built this community, you’re at a scale, it’s accelerating to where things are. On the finance VC side, you’ve found the product-market fit, on the culture and the community, you have something that people love. What’s the future look like for you guys as you look out to the rest of the 2020, 2021? What are you thinking about? What are you excited about? All that good stuff.

Shane: I’m excited about a lot, obviously, but short-term, we’re developing a coffee detox program. So it could be the thing that can really help you out just to get right over the ledge. So it’s specific, it’s like a 45 to 60-day program with collateral and even other products that are gonna be incorporated to help you manage your energy and kind of rethink your relationship to caffeine, which might mean that you still drink coffee here and there, but it’s like you have a conscious control over it. Looking further out, we’re really excited about launching new products. I mean, I’ve been like holding the reigns…holding back on that. I’ve just seen too many times companies expand too quickly on their product assortment and you start to delude your marketing message. And I think that we still have lot of runway with our current product, but I have five new products formulated here in the office that I’m playing with. I’ll give you a little sneak peek.

I talked about the matcha. And we have a golden milk, which is like a turmeric caffeine-free latte with all the mushrooms in it and then a decaffeinated mud. So once you’re at that next level, like MUD\WTR has 14 milligrams of caffeine today, which is one-seventh of a cup of coffee. We do have a chai Rooibos version. So Rooibos, just swapping for the black tea, making it completely caffeine-free. And then probably most excited about looking at this evening blend. So when I think about like the best morning ritual, it really starts the night before. Like how are you resting? How are you recovering? A lot of times when you’re reliant on caffeine, you’re just playing catch up, really. Like you’re waking up feeling tired because you didn’t rest and recover.

So the ultimate morning ritual is really like you drink an evening, drink, have an amazing sleep, you wake up, have something that really helps with mood and focus, but it’s not a reliant drug-like dependency. So on the product side, really excited there. And then on the content side, I just feel like we’re still just right at the beginning. Every day and like developing my vision around what we look like years from now on the marketing end and it all stems from our positioning as being a coffee alternative and looking at the other thing, like the complementary pieces do a coffee ritual, which is like when you look at it, there’s like the morning paper and like the reading. And so when I look at our content strategy, it’s very similar. It’s just rethinking every aspect of that ritual, right?

So we already have the coffee, the drink replaced, we’re developing the creamer, the sweetener lines. And then it’s around content. Like how do we rethink the paper? It doesn’t have to be physical, but we’re coming out with content that’s not, self-promoting in a direct way. We’re coming out with amazing stories, just about psychedelic experiences. I’m doing an art project where I’m interviewing homeless people and that’s gonna be in our content series, really looking at our content arm as like a media channel in the same way that Red Bull did in a similar way that maybe Goop does. And positioning it as like a content arm, we have a team of advocates that we’re building that span from professional athletes and like the surf skate snow world through to just amazing expressionist dancers, through to artists, authors entrepreneurs, even, and is building a team of amazing individuals who are, of course, exceptional at what they do, but more importantly, do it in their own way. Operating outside the confines of like the Cookie Cutter and featuring them and kind of like letting that community internally sort of start to just blossom into what our content vision is in the future. So…

Meb: I love it. As we wind down two more quick ones. Over this pretty exciting last couple years, what’s been the most memorable moment? Anything come to mind, good, bad, in between?

Shane: Memorable moments for me, remembering going into the commercial kitchen was just insane. Like I’ve been driving a van for the past couple of years, mainly from my art career. And luckily I had that thing, but I would drive to the commercial kitchen at like 11:00 p.m. at night packed full of like hundreds of pounds of powders and go in there till the early morning. And the commercial kitchen people like did not like us because it’s like this fine powder that’s in the air so much so that we started bringing in…we would build a tent, like a camping tent inside the commercial kitchen to like contain all the powder, like the dust and bring in this like commercial mixer into the tent. And it’s just like a tedious process where you’re making like 40 units per two minutes cycle and you’re just sitting around covered in dust and I’m just like listening to podcasts.

And I just remember like constantly reflecting on like, remember this moment because I had people kind of telling me this, like remember these like hard times because you’re gonna miss them. And like it was dark times and hard times, but like such good times too. And me and Paul, my co-founder would go in there and we would just be like dreading it, but laughing at the same time. And it’s just those like hurdles that you jumped that just really, I don’t know. It just like, it makes you feel confident in the future in a way once you get through it. And so I just love reflecting on those days. Just insane.

Meb: Well, it’s, you know, the agony and ecstasy of an entrepreneur, but also just the journey of it. And you had a great quote in one of your interviews where you said something along the lines of being successful and the challenges of celebrating the wins and losses equally. And I think you said, “I’m still a white belt at that.” And we actually talk a lot about that with investing because people, when investing, when things going right, and they’re making money and they’re thinking about vacations and the next house they’re gonna buy and popping bottles at the club, you know, they get so excited on the flip side. This year is a perfect example when things going south and everyone’s losing money, it use a different part of the brain and trying to find a balance is one of the biggest challenges. It’s hard, really hard to do, but, you know, being able to at least experience both of those, particularly, in investing as entrepreneurship is part of what’s gets you to the finish line, otherwise, it becomes impossible.

Shane: Totally. And I think as like in the start-up space, it’s almost the inverse of maybe the investors where there’s a lot of energy, and attention, and conscious thought around the failures and like things going bad and it’s really hard to celebrate anything really because like Paul and I were reflecting the other day just like growth-wise and it was just like, when you plan ahead and you hit your numbers, it’s not exciting and you’re just thinking about next month. And then you like reflect like the last six months and you’re like, “Whoa, that was insane.” But like when you’re in the moment, if you don’t take that time to reflect, like when I was seeing that quote, it’s like I’m much more on the negative side. Like I’m always critical and that could lead to burnout.

And so like Paul and I are always checking ourselves on like go and dance for a little bit in your kitchen or whatever, just do something just to like symbolize accomplishment here and there, dealing with imposter syndrome and all these things. It’s just so common in the entrepreneurship space and there’s more coming out about like entrepreneurs and struggling with depression, and anxiety, and even suicide. So it’s really important to drive that home of like finding rituals and practices and awareness around small micro successes and just looking for balance like 50-50, or close to it where you’re like, definitely be critical on yourself, definitely focus on things that need to change to be better, but also make sure to celebrate.

Meb: I love it. Shane, last question. Where’s the next offsite. You got it in the works? Where are you guys gonna go?

Shane: My co-founder planned this one. We’re going to Arizona. Nothing too crazy, but his friend runs this retreat out there. It’s like an off the grid retreat. It actually is gonna be really fun. We’re gonna go on a bunch of ventures. But yeah, I’m still trying to get the team to Costa Rica. So as soon as that becomes doable we’re going there, Santa Teresa.

Meb: I’m gonna hit you up some itineraries. The farthest we’ve gone, I think is like… I mean, we used to travel a ton, but as a team, because we’re spread out over, I think the farthest we’ve gone is Tearania, which, listeners, it’s like a local spot just to grab dinner on the cliff. Still beautiful. Shane, where do people go? They wanna find out where they can buy some awesome, delicious MUD chai. Where do they go? And then also they wanna follow along with some of you all’s content, where y’all are up to? Where are the best spots?

Shane: Yeah. So if you wanna get some awesome, delicious MUD\WTR, you can go do mudwtr.com. It’s mudwtr.com. We like to post a lot of good content on our Instagram. It’s Drink MUDWTR, same spelling. And then if you’re looking for more, you can go to our blog it’s Trends with Benefits, but you can just go to our website, go to our menu, Trends with Benefits. We have articles written about nutrition, lifestyle, our ingredients, founder story stuff, but even psychedelics. So good stuff there.

Meb: Awesome. Shane, thanks so much for joining us today.

Shane: Thanks, man. It’s a pleasure.

Meb: Podcast listeners, we’ll post show notes to today’s conversation at mebfaber.com/podcasts. If you love the show, if you hate it, shoot us feedback@themebfabershow.com. We love to read the reviews. Please review us on iTunes. Subscribe to the show anywhere good podcasts are found. My current favourite is Breaker. Thanks for listening, friends, and good investing.