532. Next-Level Nootropics: Boost Cognition, Reduce Stress & Sleep Better

Jeff Boyd

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

In today's conversation with Jeff Boyd, Co-Founder of MTE, we explore his path to creating a unique wellness supplement that offers an alternative to caffeine, focusing on sustained energy, mood balance, and restorative sleep – without the side effects.

Jeff Boyd is the founder and chairman of MTE. Prior to that, he served as the president and co-owner of Luggage Free, where he managed day-to-day global operations, which expanded to include an operational footprint in over 100 countries before the company was acquired by a strategic partner in 2019.

With a background in finance, Jeff brings a data-driven approach to guiding business development, consumer behavior, and digital marketing initiatives. He has a degree in Finance from the University of North Texas. In his free time, Jeff is a notorious oenophile and cyclist. If he's not on the bike or in the cellar, he enjoys traveling the world with his wife and two children.

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

If you’re in the market for an alternative to excessive caffeine but still need a boost in your day-to-day routine, you’ll enjoy today’s conversation with an incredible guest, Jeff Boyd. He’s the Co-Founder of MTE – a daily wellness companion for feel-good energy, mood, motivation, focus, and stress resilience that won’t make you jittery or impact your sleep.

In this episode, Jeff dives into the specifics of MTE, highlighting the key ingredients and doses that differentiate it from the plethora of energy drinks in the market. Jeff's journey is one that resonates deeply with me. After selling his last business, Jeff was driven by a vision to craft a product that blends health and wellbeing with clean, sustainable energy – something needed in our fast-paced world.

What sets MTE apart is its unique blend of nootropics, offering better focus and energy than caffeine, minus the jitters or crash, all while balancing mood and promoting restorative sleep. It's a homegrown product, built with integrity and a clear understanding of what we truly need. If you want to try MTE yourself, visit getmte.com/luke to automatically get 20% off your first order.

Beyond the product itself, Jeff shares his journey as an entrepreneur, offering invaluable insights into the process of bringing an innovative idea to life – discussing the challenges and triumphs of creating a product that disrupts the traditional energy drink market.

Jeff's perspective is a refreshing take on what it means to create a product that genuinely serves our wellbeing. His story is a testament to innovation, dedication, and the entrepreneurial spirit, providing inspiration and practical advice for anyone looking to make their mark.

(00:00:09) Disrupting the Energy Drink Industry with MTE

(00:18:22) Unboxing the Skillset of a Successful Entrepreneur

  • Finding a trustworthy manufacturing partner 
  • How Jeff knew he was built to be an entrepreneur
  • Addressing the fear of failure and what it’s like being an entrepreneur
  • The benefit of having family members who are entrepreneurial 
  • Angel Farms Retreat in Hawaii
  • The downside to being risk averse
  • Benefits to building risk tolerance 

(00:43:29) MTE Production: Taste Testing & Sourcing Unique Ingredients

  • Creating a product with solid efficacy that tastes good
  • The process of productive taste testing 
  • Special ingredients to MTE’s sustainable energy
  • Hacks for traveling with supplements or biohacking devices

(00:54:30) Exploring Better-for-You Alternatives to Caffeine & Effective Dosing

  • Alternatives to caffeine that are better for you
  • Avoiding post-energy drink anxiety
  • How we metabolize caffeine differently over time
  • Using MTE with coffee
  • The superpower of saffron
  • Focusing on effective dosing to move the needle vs. marketing ploys
  • Why green tea products don’t make you jittery

(01:14:57) Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs & New MTE Product Preview

  • Words of wisdom for aspiring entrepreneurs 
  • Creating a disruptive product in the energy drink industry
  • What to expect from future MTE products launching soon
  • Growing with constructive feedback and positive testimonials
  • Check out Rondel Jewelry and The Laundress

[00:00:01] Luke: So we were talking about CBD. Speaking of an oversaturated market, I think I've probably tried, I don't know, God, probably 20 CBD products or something like that. And I'm sure most of them are decent. I've only really been able to "feel" one. It's a brand called Element Health.

[00:00:23] There's some other good ones I have in my cupboard and I use them and I'm sure they're working, but it's hard to come out with something in a market where there's a lot of similar products and have something that really gets people's attention. So my friend, Khalil, he's like, you got to trade this CBD product. I'm like, dude, another CBD?

[00:00:46] Jeff: Okay.

[00:00:46] Luke: He's like, no, trust me. Just do it. So he introduced me to this guy, Adam. He was on the show. We'll put that in the show notes. And yeah, he sent me some of their gummies, and I was like, holy shit. If I take one late at night, it makes me go to bed.

[00:00:59] Jeff: Really?

[00:01:00] Luke: Yeah. And if I take it during the day, I'm almost too relaxed to crush it.

[00:01:06] Jeff: What's the name of it again?

[00:01:07] Luke: Element Health.

[00:01:08] Jeff: Like element the--

[00:01:10] Luke: Like the four elements.

[00:01:12] Jeff: Yeah. Okay. So element.

[00:01:13] Luke: Yeah, I'll give you some. I have some of these gummies downstairs.

[00:01:16] Jeff: Amazing. Okay.

[00:01:17] Luke: But yeah, so anyway, just speaking of how it is to come to market with a product when everyone else is trying to do the same thing. So we'll be talking about your MTE for those watching on the video, more than energy, and want to find out how you arrived at that. So let's start out with- it's funny because I know very little about you.

[00:01:38] Jeff: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

[00:01:39] Luke: You haven't been on 10,000 podcasts like many of my guests, so I learn their favorite childhood cartoon by the time they come on and everything. But you're a new person me. So give me a bit of your background before you started getting into wellness as a business.

[00:01:58] Jeff: So I've always been into wellness casually for myself. I remember even being in high school and coming home and saying, mom and dad, don't want to eat the school lunch anymore. Can't eat another Turkey sandwich. I want to go to the store and start eating leaner meat.

[00:02:18] That was sort of the beginning of it for me, was we were getting up at five in the morning to go out before school. It became very important to me early, and that carried on through school and college, and then I moved to DC to get into finance. Moved from there to New York. Became a entrepreneur in a shipping company. Did that for almost two decades.

[00:02:44] Luke: What were you shipping?

[00:02:45] Jeff: We do personal effects, so ironically, anything other than ocean. So it was all air, over land, and the personal effects were usually luggage, skis, golf clubs. We'd pick it up at your house before your trip, and it'd be there waiting for you when you got there.

[00:03:00] Luke: Really.

[00:03:01] Jeff: Yeah, we started--

[00:03:03] Luke: Because I'm interested in this. Can you hold the thought on the rest of the story. So I'm assuming that would be someone who's relatively well off, that's flying somewhere and just doesn't want to deal with carrying all their crap.

[00:03:16] Jeff: Correct. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

[00:03:18] Luke: That's amazing. That sounds like a great business.

[00:03:19] Jeff: That was amazing. Yeah. It was a post 9/11 play because the airport changed obviously immediately.

[00:03:27] Luke: My dream when I travel is always, and I think I've done this once in my life. I'm just going to take a carry on. I'm only going for a couple days, and then next thing you know, I pack up all my supplements and all my shit, and I got three suitcases.

[00:03:42] Jeff: And it's like James Bond never had like seven rollers. That's the image. It's just a duffle, you just roll with it care free.

[00:03:51] Luke: The aluminum briefcase handcuffed to your wrist.

[00:03:54] Jeff: That's right. Exactly. So that's what this did. And what was cool is it was very service oriented. So a lot of times it would be sent ahead, and then we'd coordinate with the hotel, and they would unpack it, steam it for you, hang it in the closet. There was no limit to the amount of service. And we started in New York City, and I remember it was my second or third day there, and we were doing Tri-State at that point, just Jersey, New York, Connecticut.

[00:04:23] And we're obviously working very hard to get the phones to ring and get this business off the ground. And the first call we got, one of my guys who answered the phone, he answered a bunch of questions. He was like, no, I'm sorry, we don't service North Carolina, and hung up.

[00:04:40] And I was like, wait, what happened? And he was like, ah, it was North Carolina. We're just Tri-State. And I'm like, from now on, never say no. Anybody calls, we service it. We'll figure it out. And so by virtue of that, we quickly grew to over a 100 countries of service just by-- if somebody called and was like, do you serve Italy? You bet we do. We're the Italian specialists. And then we'd hang up and be like, oh shit.

[00:05:07] Luke: And then you figure it out.

[00:05:08] Jeff: Got to figure this out.

[00:05:09] Luke: So funny.

[00:05:11] Jeff: Yeah, so it grew over time. And then obviously we expanded our offerings too, where it was corporate relocations, a lot of cruise partners, different hotel partners, but yeah, that was the genesis of it, was personal effects. So that's what we sent all over the world, and bikes, you name it. So it was really cool.

[00:05:33] And everybody that used our service basically lived your dream. They would just carry their briefcase or their bag of supplements, and we would ship the rest. So I did that for a long time, sold the business in 2019, just before COVID. We clearly didn't know that was on the horizon.

[00:05:53] Luke: Good timing.

[00:05:55] Jeff: Yeah, I sure that was dumb luck.

[00:05:58] Luke: I bet whoever bought it was thinking bad timing.

[00:06:02] Jeff: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm sure it's the opposite conversation. They've since rebounded. I know that, but just like everybody, early 2020 wasn't great. I'm now free agent, free to do anything I want. And I knew all along, I always had this undercurrent of health and wellness. It was always important to me.

[00:06:27] It was always a discussion I loved with my friends, or experts, or anybody I could find. I always tried to learn and amalgamate all the knowledge I could and bring it into my own life and share it with my family, and on it went. So I'm looking at post-sale, an opportunity to do anything I want. I felt like after I graduated college where it's like, I have a degree now.

[00:06:51] I can go do anything I want, but I don't want to screw this up. I could pick the right lane, and that's how I felt there. One of the things that I knew was I want to do something that I was passionate about. And it was always health and wellness, helping people be well, helping people be the best version of themselves.

[00:07:10] Because for me, like we were talking earlier about just how your mood can change based on whether or not it's sunny, having the sunlight, for me it's I like being around people that are happy and fulfilled. They're easier to get along with. They're kinder, nicer. It's a better world.

[00:07:28] And I believe largely that can start with your physical wellbeing and feeling good. Nobody's the life of the party if they have the flu or not feeling good physically. That was the beginning of the thought process and started thinking, well, you know what, why don't we put a team together and create something that can help people do all these things and be well.

[00:07:55] So then we started defining, what's that mean? What is being well? You could just see the beginnings of this. It all started with energy for me, but not in a way we've seen for the past 30 years, which is just a siloed, we're going to hammer you over the head with a bunch of caffeine, and you're going to have energy for four or six hours, whether or not you want it.

[00:08:20] And then anything else that comes with it, just tough shit. This is more of like you have energy because we wanted to provide energy because we wanted people to have the opportunity to say yes to things that they wouldn't otherwise do like go to that party they wouldn't otherwise go to, or go to the dinner, or cook for the family as opposed to ordering in, you name it.

[00:08:45] It's endless. But it was less of the energy drink and more of just energy as a component of wellness. That was the mentality. But then we started thinking, well, what good is that if you still have brain fog? You can't do anything with it. Or you are anxious and you're in a shitty mood, or you are overly stressed. You can't sleep at night. You have insomnia. Can we sort of help all of those things and provide energy at the same time? So that was the genesis of how MTE-- MTE is an acronym for More Than Energy. We initially thought more than just energy that quickly trademark lawyers are like, that ain't happening.

[00:09:34] Luke: The lawyers, man.

[00:09:36] Jeff: They always get you.

[00:09:38] Luke: Always spoil the plans.

[00:09:40] Jeff: Always. And then I had a lot of people were like, that's three words. You know, everybody can remember three words or three letters. It's all in threes.

[00:09:49] Luke: Propaganda always uses three, build back better, six feet apart, wear a mask. We've heard a lot of the three words slogans over the past few years.

[00:09:59] Jeff: There's got to be something to it.

[00:10:01] Luke: There is. I saw some probably a TikTok, like all the great conspiracies that are short and easy to digest, but I saw something about that. In propaganda there's some rationale behind the three-word statements. There's something about it that sticks with humans.

[00:10:19] Jeff: Makes sense. And I think it's also rhythmic. It's bing, bing, bing, or  just bing, bing.

[00:10:24] Luke: It's not but a bing, but a boom.

[00:10:26] Jeff: Right. Well, that's good too.

[00:10:29] Luke: So tell me this, because I always find it interesting when people have a different path into what we could just broadly call wellness health. Most health fanatics that I meet my personal life or people that I have on the show had Lyme disease, or their mom had cancer. They have some up against the wall awakening where there's a crisis of some sort, and then they really get committed to doing all the things. Did you have anything like that in your past or was it just something, as you said, when you were a kid, you gravitated toward just intuitively?

[00:11:07] Jeff: The latter.

[00:11:08] Luke: Really?

[00:11:09] Jeff: Yeah.

[00:11:09] Luke: That's so rare.

[00:11:10] Jeff: Yeah. Thank God. We came at this from a place of we want to meet you wherever you are, whether you're recovering from Lyme disease, or you've just lost 200 pounds, whatever. We'll meet you wherever you are. But we came at it from a point of taking where you are and elevating it as opposed to a fix. It certainly can be, but as an example, I've never used energy drinks. I just did a video yesterday. I had the first drink of the Celsius in my life.

[00:11:44] Luke: What is that?

[00:11:45] Jeff: It's like a energy drink.

[00:11:46] Luke: Like Monster

[00:11:47] Jeff: They did a billion dollars a year in sale or something insane.

[00:11:52] Luke: Did you feel like you were on crack?

[00:11:54] Jeff: I didn't drink the whole thing. I'm scared of it.

[00:11:58] Luke: That's the thing with most, I mean, not so much in the health space, but I find, I don't know, if you go to a gas station, if anything says the word energy on it, it's a hard pass because I know on the other side of that is like a shit ton of anxiety.

[00:12:12] I think that's what's cool about MTE, like I was telling you. And again, not just saying this because you're sitting here, but I'll experiment with different things people send me. Your team sent me some stuff, and I was like, ah, cool. Just read the ingredients. It's like, this is interesting, and we can talk about some of those.

[00:12:26] But one of the tests I like to do is wake up in the morning, I always just have a glass of water first thing. Maybe take some systemic enzymes too on an empty stomach, and then I'll experiment with something akin to energy first thing to see what the impact is and if it sets me over the red line of not feeling relaxed.

[00:12:48] I guess that's what a flow state is, where you're focused and you have mental sharpness, but you're also relaxed. I think that's the alpha brainwave state that most people find to be the most effective way to have a good day. So I've been doing that for the past few days in preparation for an interview, and just first thing, empty stomach, one scoop of that.

[00:13:12] And I don't feel any anxiety at all, but there definitely is a lift, which is interesting. And that's very rare because most things that give you energy is like, even if I do it, it's like I know I'm going to pay the price, but I'm just depleted.

[00:13:30] Jeff: That's the thing.

[00:13:31] Luke: I'm willing to take the hit. So anyway, let's go back to what I find interesting about this because I have ideas for products and shit all the time. And then it never moves past idea because I don't know how you set out to do that. So you get the idea like, hey, there's going to be a gap in the market here. You got some coin from your exit, from your very cool idea of move your luggage company. What's the first step? Do you hire a formulator? I'm so curious how you actually bring something to fruition beyond ideation.

[00:14:12] Jeff: I don't know that we did it right or not. I don't know what the normal path is. We were actually told throughout the process we were abnormal. To skip ahead a little bit, we ultimately worked with an Ayurvedic formula, one of the master Ayurvedic formulas in the world who moonlighted on this for us.

[00:14:31] And he was like, this is awesome. You guys came to me and said, this is what we want to do. This is how we want to accomplish it. Can you help us talk through ingredients and walk in synergies and how different things will work with the other things. And so your point of having some smooth energy but feeling calm, how can we achieve that?

[00:14:58] He said every formula he's ever worked on started with, all right, who's the target audience, and then what's our price point? And then how are we going to market it?

[00:15:08] Luke: Margins.

[00:15:09] Jeff: Okay, now there's three ingredients in the world that I can use in order to fulfill all of these prerequisites where we were like, look, we'll figure that out. For us, it starts with the product. And we were very particular about-- just what you said earlier, put a smile on my face because that's exactly what we wanted to do.

[00:15:32] Excessive caffeine is you pay the price at some point, whether it's immediately you get jittered. Everybody metabolizes it differently. That's one thing that a lot of people don't recognize. So some people can take a cup of coffee and go take a nap.

[00:15:46] And then some people can have the same amount of caffeine and be sweating and have heart palpitations, same amount of caffeine. Why is that? Because it's a different way we metabolize it. But the price is usually paid some way somehow, whether it's adrenal fatigue or something more immediate where you're getting heart palpitations.

[00:16:07] Most people fall in the normalcy, if you will, which is you get a little bit of a spike of cortisol, a little bit of the epinephrine spike, and on it goes where it's not extreme, but you're paying the price a little bit, maybe you're not sleeping as well, and then this cycle begins to sneak up on you. So anyway, to answer your question-- I'm off on a tangent. You said you were going to go on tangents.

[00:16:33] Luke: That's good. I could call this show The Tangent podcast.

[00:16:37] Jeff: Yeah, yeah.

[00:16:38] Luke: I think there is Chris Ryan, a guy I interviewed. He has the podcast-- I don't know if he's still doing it-- Tangentally Speaking, I think it's called.

[00:16:47] Jeff: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

[00:16:47] Luke: Yeah. Great guy, brilliant guy. He wrote the book Sex at Dawn, which probably the demise of many relationships over the years. People thought, oh, we're supposed to be polyamorous. Give it a shot. Doesn't work out so well usually. Yeah. But I like to just have organic conversations, so feel free to meander wherever you want.

[00:17:08] Jeff: Okay, cool. There's stopping me now.

[00:17:13] Luke: Nice.

[00:17:13] Jeff: So anyway, to answer your question, we went to him to begin, because he has done this for a very big corporation, and said, this is our idea. What do we do? He armed us with a ton of knowledge, a ton of conversations, and then we felt really good about the formula and its efficacy, and what it could achieve, and how it was going to achieve it, and its longevity.

[00:17:41] And the most important thing for us was it's something we could take every day ourselves. We're not a nameless, faceless company. I built this for me and my friends and my family, and on it goes, this is not. That's why it tastes a little natural.

[00:18:00] There's no sucralose. All these things are very important to me. Wherever you fall on the fake sugar spectrum of it's fine or it could ruin your life, for me is a non-starter. So that's why we don't carry it.

[00:18:15] So once we established that, we were told, find a good manufacturing partner, because the supplement business is the Wild West. It is insane. I felt like some of these manufacturers would make you meth if you wanted them to. Not really, but it was a little loose. So we found a really reputable manufacturer, all American-based, Utah, Dallas. We make this powder in Phoenix.

[00:18:47] Great guys, really above board. And they were extremely helpful in not just taking an order, but being our partner and recognizing, okay, you're ground up here. Let's get you with our compliance team. Let's put you with our science team. Even though you've come to the table with the formula, let's talk about how we're going to flavor it, or what flavor do you want it to be.

[00:19:11] Because we initially came to them with the adaptogens, nootropics, and a couple of superfoods that are in there. We didn't know anything about flavor. It was like, we want this to be chocolate or cherry, or what do we want to do? So they were very helpful in that and helpful in helping us talk about packaging.

[00:19:33] It's like, all right, great. You want 13 adaptogens and nootropic, superfoods. Now what? You want to do powder? You want to do a drink? Because you can do anything. You get lost in all the options. So they were very helpful. And once you've come up with the concept and you found a manufacturer, a good manufacturer, I think was really important.

[00:19:57] We're off to the races, and we learned where to get our bags from, as an example, our stick packs or the travel packs called stick packs in the industry, where to get those made, because they're different than your manufacturer. They only do the powder.

[00:20:14] And then where do you get your raws from? What kind of quality control do you want from those? And I think a really good manufacturing partner is key to-- at least it's been for us. I don't know what we'd be doing without a good manufacturing partner, but I think it was aided by the fact that I've been an entrepreneur for many, many years.

[00:20:38] So a lot of it was just find a problem, solve a problem, and then next, as opposed to, I've never done this before, and then letting that be the dead end. Where it was more of like, I've never done this before. This is awesome. We're going to figure it out. And it's worked out so far.

[00:20:57] Luke: I think that's a characteristic that entrepreneurs have in terms of risk aversion. I think a certain type of person that's just wired to work for someone else. And I think many times those people look at entrepreneurs and they go, oh man, they're so lucky. It's like they built this thing, and I'm over here helping someone else build a thing.

[00:21:24] But it's a totally different venture to actually do the thing where all of the risks are on you. You could have formulated something that tastes like shit and nobody wants it, or it doesn't work like you hoped it would. And there goes all the money and time that you put into it. It's something I've observed just with different people I know.

[00:21:45] And some of them will try an entrepreneur path for a while and then go, I can't take the pressure. I can't take the risks and then go back and find their place being in a supportive role of someone else who enjoys or is willing to take the risks.

[00:21:59] Because there is a certain, I don't know, it's a certain type of person that doesn't mind making mistakes, doesn't mind losing, doesn't mind failing because they don't view it as failing. They look at it like, oh cool. That was brutal, but I just learned something that's going to get me to the next step. What do you think it is about you that wired you to be an entrepreneur versus somebody sitting behind a desk helping someone else build their vision?

[00:22:29] Jeff: Oh man. I read a book the other day. One of the takeaways is it said an entrepreneur isn't really a title. It's a state of mind. And I think I've always had that, and I feel like I got that in a weird way. My dad's company had offices, and then all of a sudden they started working from home.

[00:22:53] And so I would hear him working, and one of his gripes was people just not taking responsibility, or it was like, figure it out type of mentality. There's no excuses good enough, if he had a mantra. He never says that. I'm putting words into his mouth, but it was like, no excuse is good enough type of thing. Just get it done.

[00:23:16] I also learned that from sports. I remember I played football, and I'd have a lineman would come off the field and say it was, I was getting held, and the coach was like, well, don't let him hold you. Instead of like having an excuse, it was like, there's no excuse. They scored a touchdown whether or not you think you were getting held.

[00:23:37] So it was a state of mind. My first job, I worked at register at Arby's, and I didn't look at it as like, I'm in this shitty job, slinging roast beef sandwiches. It was more of like, I'm going to be the best at what I'm doing right here.

[00:23:57] I can control my little business here, which is this register and this customer service, anybody who steps in front of me. And even though I didn't consciously have that thought, looking back on it, I realized I did. And I think that just grew. My job in DC, I mentioned, when I moved to DC, I was in a big company, and I learned a ton.

[00:24:17] I thought there was great value in learning processes and learning teamwork, and on it goes. And I had an amazing boss, and even my boss and his boss, they were great. I find them early mentor in learning. My boss's boss, I remember I stayed in the office. I worked till midnight or something crazy working on this report.

[00:24:42] And the next day he came in and was like, is this your best work? And I was like, yeah, this is my best work. And he is like, no, it's not. Try again. It was very helpful to learn that standard and be pushed beyond what you think is possible. But I always had that mindset of I want to just bootstrap myself and be responsible for my own luck, if you will.

[00:25:04] And I love it. You talked about fear failure a little bit, or the safety of a little bit more structured environment. Ton of merit to that. I totally get it. I just love it. And I love, as a microcosm example, would just be doing a sales call.

[00:25:30] If you go get the sale, it's a rush that's tough to replicate because it's something which you've created it. You've told the story. You've created the narrative. You've got everything, all the process, everything that you've done. Everything about this brand didn't exist.

[00:25:49] We created everything. The color scheme we initially started, it was blue. When we got the sketches back, I was like, blue doesn't feel natural at all. Nothing really in nature is blue, aside from the sky and blueberries. Just doesn't scream natural and good for you to me. And I have an orange tree in the back, and I've always been struck by how oranges are green until the very last minute.

[00:26:15] And all the leaves are bright green, obviously. And I just went out to pick an orange as I was contemplating this, and I was like, that's nature. That's beautiful. Or the contrast. And they make themselves bright orange so they can be eaten and ensure their reproduction. So that's why we're orange and green. So just knowing all that, but then knowing you're going to have some failure, but it's a learning opportunity.

[00:26:40] I went to a store the other day and we talked to them, and they chose not to carry MTE, and I said, okay, no problem. This is an opportunity for me to learn. What can we do better? And it turned out it had nothing to do with us, had to do with them. They're shrinking the wellness section and yada yada, yada, going in a different direction as a store. But other times in past lives, and I'm sure in the future it will happen, you get to learn. If you have 100 people tell you no, and 30 of them give you the same reason, that's obviously an opportunity to fix and get better, so the next 30 people are going to tell you yes, because you fixed it.

[00:27:29] So that's an entrepreneurial mindset for me, I think. Problem solving, looking at things as an opportunity as opposed to-- my friend tells a story all the time where he is like, you can't be in a boat and look over and say there's a hole in your side of the boat. Fix it.

[00:27:47] Luke: That's funny.

[00:27:48] Jeff: I feel like that's what it's like to be an entrepreneur. It's like you're all in it together.

[00:27:52] Luke: Well that makes a lot of sense, I think, to me, because there's higher risk when it's your thing, and you're ultimately responsible for either the success of the venture or the failure as the founder, creator, whatever. But you also get to savor the reward of the successes in a different way.

[00:28:17] Like you're describing, hey, I had this idea. We had an idea for what we wanted to achieve, and then the colors from the orange tree, and all this, it's like when something does hit, there's so much more satisfaction in it, at least for me, than if someone else has an idea, manifest a creative idea into the world and to market, and then I'm assisting them in achieving their vision. I don't have the risk, but I also don't have the same level of reward if it's not my baby. It's like you can be a great babysitter, but you're never going to be as good of a babysitter as you would be a parent.

[00:28:54] Jeff: Right, right.

[00:28:55] Luke: There's less risk and less reward. It's a scale.

[00:28:59] Jeff: Yeah. That's good. I like that. I've never heard that before.

[00:29:02] Luke: It just came to me. Thanks, God, for the great idea. But yeah, I love teasing apart these things because I guess I just like knowing what makes people tick. And looking too at, you mentioned your dad being kind of a self-made guy, running his own thing, and I have noticed a trend too in my family line and friends of mine.

[00:29:28] Most of my friends are entrepreneurs of some sort too. It seems to be more common that someone has no choice but to take the entrepreneurial route if one or more of their parents did that too. Like my dad, I don't even know if he's ever had a job. Just created stuff. And both my brothers are the same way. I think early in life, like you, working at Arby's, we had jobs, and just like, this is not happening.

[00:29:58] Jeff: Right, right, right, right.

[00:29:58] Luke: I cannot have a job. I just go into the same place every day at the same time with the same people doing something someone else tells me to do. The safety and security, and the certainty of that is not enough of a payoff to make up for the monotony.

[00:30:17] Jeff: Sure. I get that.

[00:30:18] Luke: When I look at my family, that's just how we're-- there's something in the DNA, I guess, is what I'm trying to say.

[00:30:27] Jeff: It's interesting. Yeah, my brother has a coffee farm in Hawaii.

[00:30:32] Luke: Cool.

[00:30:33] Jeff: Yeah. Super cool. When I was in New York, we were grinding, working 30 hours a day. You know what I mean? Just out of control. And my brother's just in Hawaii on his farm, just living the dream. And I was like, man, who is winning right now?

[00:30:49] Luke: Right. That sounds pretty good to me right now actually.

[00:30:53] Jeff: Totally.

[00:30:54] Luke: What island is he on?

[00:30:55] Jeff: He's on the Big Island.

[00:30:56] Luke: Oh okay, cool. On the Kona side?

[00:30:58] Jeff: Mm-hmm. Captain Cook. So not right by Kona, but I think it's 45 minutes.

[00:31:07] Luke: That's such a cool island. I went there once for about two weeks. God, it was probably over 20 years ago. I went to a colonic retreat there.

[00:31:18] Jeff: Really?

[00:31:18] Luke: Yeah, yeah. Called Angel Farms. I think it's still there. It was one of the first trips I ever took by myself. I'd always go with homies or a girlfriend or something, and it was a little, I don't know, a healing trip. So I went on my own and rented a little beater car and just during the day, we'd go do our sessions, and then you could just drive around and be back the next morning.

[00:31:39] So I just explored that whole island, and it was so interesting in that it, I think has, if I'm not mistaken, every climate in the world on one island. So it's like you go to the Kona side, it's very arid and desert-like, and then there's another spot's very jungle. And another one's eucalyptus, looks like Australia or something. It's like you just drive around and you're in every possible climate.

[00:32:07] Jeff: And snow.

[00:32:08] Luke: Yeah. Snow, you can drive up to the peak where that observatory is. And yeah, it's a really, really cool place. I've always wanted to go spend more time there.

[00:32:18] Jeff: I'm embarrassed to admit I've never been to see him. I've been to Hawaii.

[00:32:26] Luke: I can't believe your kids haven't bugged you, let's go [Inaudible].

[00:32:29] Jeff: They have for sure. For sure.

[00:32:31] Luke: I can't believe you haven't caved under the pressure of kids knowing there's a relative with a farm in Hawaii.

[00:32:36] Jeff: No, when I say I'm embarrassed to admit, that's not hyperbole. I truly am embarrassed we haven't gone, but we're going to. I think the plan is actually to go this year. So everybody's super stoked. Yeah, I've been to Kauai and Oahu, which is great. I loved it, but I'm really excited to go to see him, obviously my brother.

[00:33:00] And the other thing is this guy, I'll call him and be like, hey, man, we're going to have a barbecue this weekend. He's like, yeah, all right. Yeah, I'll fly in for it. He'll fly in from Hawaii for the weekend. So he will show up. Well, I can't wait to go see what he's doing, return the favor. But yeah, he's been out there. Again, I think that's the theme. We're off tangent. He's an entrepreneur in that way.

[00:33:29] I don't know what that says about the lineage, but I think it's a certain mindset. And I like it. I was thinking as you were talking about, I think it was 2008 when the market crashed and all hell was breaking loose. And I just remember we had to lay off half our staff.

[00:33:51] We lost half our sales basically overnight, most of the country. It's pretty significant for at that time. And I just remember thinking, man, this sucks obviously, but I'm so happy I'm able to steer the ship through this instead of being reliant upon someone else and nervous as to whether or not I was going to be one of those people that gets let go.

[00:34:17] The wellbeing of the business, what type of foundation is the business has been built on, on it goes. So I was in a more micro sense of being in control when things go good or bad. Maybe at the root of this, I'm just a control freak.

[00:34:43] Luke: I relate to that. Well, it's more risk, but more reward. I think it depends on your value system. And over the past four years, just watching the split in society and that polarity of there's this type of person and that type of person, and people have had to choose sides, something I've observed in a similar way is there seems to be a type of person that-- and maybe this actually does kind of bleed over into the risk aversion element of entrepreneurship where you're willing to lose everything to have that freedom. You have one class of person that values truth over comfort.

[00:35:36] And so willing to do inner work, willing to face things about the human experience that are really uncomfortable and painful because there's some dark shit out there. And then you have people that really value certainty, and safety, and security, and those are the people that put their horse race blinders on and just don't want to look at anything uncomfortable in the world or in their personal life.

[00:36:00] And I used to be being a person who errs more on the side of, give me the truth, no matter how bad it hurts. I was judgmental on the people that are more in the sheepish follower type of mindset. And I don't like being judgmental because who am I to judge anyone?

[00:36:20] And then I started to see that I think it's really innate that some people tend to value that certainty and security more, and they can't really help it that they're wired that way. Just as someone who places a really high value on truth and freedom, they didn't choose to be that way. You're just born that way.

[00:36:42] Or maybe some of it's nurture, some of it's nature, but whatever the case is, by the time you're an adult, it seems most people are wired predominantly one way or another. Not that we're all not unique, obviously.

[00:36:53] Jeff: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[00:36:54] Luke: But it's helped me understand myself and go, wow. Okay, well just because I happen to be instilled with this kind of value system doesn't make me better than the person who just wants to follow orders and listen to their TV and keep me safe no matter what, even if it means surrendering my freedom.

[00:37:11] Jeff: Yeah, sure.

[00:37:12] Luke: Because I'm, how could you give up your freedom and encourage the rest of us to do so? You idiot. And it's like, no, they don't care about freedom. They care about feeling safe and secure, and you can't really fault them for that. I guess you can fault them if they're like in Nazi Germany, many people turning in their neighbors and infringing on other people's rights in a really massive way because they felt scared.

[00:37:38] So there is a line, I think, at some point where you're harming other people as a result of your need to feel safe. And we definitely saw that in the past four years. But I think just some things are just inherently wired into us.

[00:37:53] Jeff: I think that's really interesting. And I don't disagree at all. I think about just very simple examples, just preventative medicine, like going to the doctor. It can be uncomfortable to find out that you have a problem.

[00:38:12] It's like, I feel fine. I don't need to go. And I don't need to poke the bear, but to going and learning, look, if you do have a problem, nuclear example, would you rather find cancer in stage one or stage four? That's very uncomfortable thinking about that in any capacity, but you're better off. And obviously, that's a really nuclear example in that sense.

[00:38:41] But yeah, it's an interesting mindset. I think it does come back to mindset, though, because there's no training. I go speak at some schools sometimes to entrepreneurial programs or classes, and I always talk about, it's a mindset. I don't think you can go get a degree and then all of a sudden just declare yourself an entrepreneur.

[00:39:06] I'm sure you can work into it. You can work at anything to become something. So maybe somebody can will their way into it, but at some point, you have to have some of those inherent properties present, I think.

[00:39:22] Luke: Yeah. Yeah, you do. So take me back to-- again, I love just learning how things work. And also for the benefit of anyone listening that has an idea for something, whether it's wellness related or not, I find it just interesting the different steps along the way.

[00:39:40] So going back to the manufacturing process and all that, you thought, okay, there's a need here in the market because there's a need that you had. You want a product, for example, that'll give you energy without giving you the jitters and maybe also be anti-anxiety at the same time is giving you energy, which is a cool idea.

[00:40:02] And then you start working with formulators and discovering these nootropics, and Ayurvedic herbs, and adaptogens, and things like that. What I'm always curious about is how to create a product that has solid efficacy that you actually notice and can derive benefits from, but doesn't taste like shit.

[00:40:26] Because a lot of the things that really move the needle in terms of just different substances in the world, these alkaloids and things tend to be really bitter and crappy tasting. And so I always find it interesting, like, how did someone arrive at something that has either a neutral taste or even a pleasant taste?

[00:40:41] I think your stuff tastes great. I don't even notice it. I'm not like, ooh, this is hard to get down. Whereas some of the stuff that I take, a normal person would never ever drink it. My wife won't touch most of the drinks I make because they're so disgusting. But I'm not doing it for taste, I'm just doing it for effect. So how do you get the effect and not sacrifice taste where no one's going to buy your stuff?

[00:41:04] Jeff: I think that's the marriage. You're clearly not ever going to be able to please everybody. The example I always think of is for people that don't like chocolate ice cream. There are things that--

[00:41:21] Luke: Psychos.

[00:41:24] Jeff: Exactly. But they're out there.

[00:41:26] Luke: Yeah. No, I get it.

[00:41:29] Jeff: That's the thing. So we started toying with it. We were talking earlier. We started with a shot. It was a liquid. And when any of these alkaloids sit in water, they're raw and exposed. And it was very, very bitter, very bitter. And I'm like you. I'll drink anything in the name of pursuing wellness and bettering myself.

[00:41:58] But I quickly learned that most people are not like that, the general. And I felt like there's an opportunity to make this much better without compromising any of the ideals and beliefs we have, hence the move to powder. So we're able to wrap the really bitter parts of this, the alkaloids from green tea that are extremely bitter.

[00:42:21] We're able to wrap those in lipids to help protect the taste buds from the really, really bitter part. My wife likes to say you taste the nootropics and the goodness of the powder. We didn't add sucralose, so there's not 50 grams of sugar, nothing like that that would make it taste like candy, which is weird.

[00:42:49] We used to say gas station energy drinks taste like candy. And now you see some brands that are literally partnered with candy to flavor it, and we're like, oh my God.

[00:42:59] Luke: It's like liquid Skittles.

[00:43:01] Jeff: Yeah.

[00:43:02] Luke: It's like melted Skittles.

[00:43:04] Jeff: Correct. Or starburst. They've truly done partnerships. So that's what we're up against, but obviously totally different products. But that was important to us. We wanted the most amount of people to take it. So part of that was staying true to our ideals. We formulated, I don't know, we must have tried 50 different just flavors in terms of--

[00:43:33] Luke: Wow. How do you clear the palette? Because I've had new brands emerge, and they send me some of their samples, when they're starting out, and, hey, taste this. What do you think? And it's like, I feel like I can't really tell if I would taste them in the same day. You know what I mean?

[00:43:54] If they send me 30 samples, it would take me 30 days. Like I was saying, wake up first thing in the morning with a fresh palate, and then try it and see what it actually tastes like, versus-- it's like if you-- I don't know if I've ever gone wine tasting. I used to do a lot of wine chugging, but just put it this way. I opened my wine bottles with a screwdriver and a hammer. You know what I mean?

[00:44:16] Jeff: Oh my God.

[00:44:17] Luke: Never had a corkscrew thing. Anyway, it's a whole other story. But when people go wine tasting, I believe they'll take a sip of sparkling water in between or something like that to clear your palate. So how do you even like go through that many iterations and determine what something tastes like? Do you have to take breaks?

[00:44:37] Jeff: So the short answer is you had it right. You do one a day, or you do it over the course of many hours to break it up. What I learned particularly our palate, the bitterness, you grow a tolerance to it.

[00:44:54] So if you're tasting something that has a bitter undertone and you're doing it with repetition throughout the course of the day, by the end of the day, and when I say end of the day, it could just be a couple hour session in the lab or early morning session, everything will taste great because your body has grown that tolerance in that short amount of time. So like, this tastes great. There's no bitterness at all.

[00:45:20] We'll come in tomorrow and just sign off in this one. Will be all good. Then you come in tomorrow, and you're like, where's the stuff we tried yesterday? They're like, that is the stuff you tried yesterday.

[00:45:31] Luke: Oh, right.

[00:45:32] Jeff: So it's a weird thing. You grow a tolerance to bitterness that ebbs and flows same day, but also over time. So it got to the point where we're doing one a day. That's how we did it at the end. We'd have them lined up, and so it slows the process down, obviously.

[00:45:52] Luke: Did you have to get a hotel down the street from the lab and just wait it out until you got the right taste?

[00:45:57] Jeff: We did that and then, luckily, initially, one of the labs was in Dallas, so I used to go stay with my parents. It was cool excuse to go see them. And then we started doing it over FedEx. They would FedEx me a week's worth.

[00:46:11] Luke: Oh, okay. Oh, so then you could just do it at home and try one a day.

[00:46:17] Jeff: Yeah.

[00:46:18] Luke: Not acclimate to the bitter.

[00:46:20] Jeff: Right. And we go to the lab, and they kind of have an idea of, okay, this is what's important to you. This is what our non-starters, you guys want it fruit forward in flavor as opposed to chocolate, on it goes. And then we're able to just do it. But yeah, it took a lot of time.

[00:46:38] Luke: I bet. And then tell me more about the lipid encapsulation so that your taste buds aren't getting hit with that bitter. Does that do anything for absorption of those nutrients like a liposomal encapsulation would do, or is it only for taste?

[00:46:56] Jeff: No, it's both. That's an ambient benefit. It was done purely for taste, but you get it just by virtue of the way it's constructed. You get all the benefit of it once you've ingested it, but it's for two ingredients that we use, the theacrine and the dynamine. Everything else is nowhere near that bitterness. If you take theacrine or dynamine raw, it is like shockingly bitter.

[00:47:27] Luke: It's hardcore.

[00:47:28] Jeff: It's hardcore. Yeah.

[00:47:29] Luke: Tell me about those two because when it comes to this class of product, you often see the same things, spirulina or whatever, maca, these adaptogenic herbs and things, which are all great, and they work, that's why people use them. But you guys had some things in here that I was like, what even is that? And those were two of them.

[00:47:51] Jeff. Yeah, yeah. Okay.

[00:47:53] Luke: I like when I'm surprised because I'm like, oh cool, there's something I haven't heard of. Let me learn.

[00:47:57] Jeff: Well, you're not alone. You look down there, saffron and ashwagandha, and all the usual suspects that everybody knows, theacrine and dynamine are the secret sauce to this in terms of the energy. Because when you have excessive caffeine, it's very difficult to support stress response, better sleep at night, even a calmer mood, because excessive caffeine is given a headwind, all of that.

[00:48:21] It's spiking your cortisol, which has effect on-- that's obvious. There's stress response, mood raising, blood pressure stimulant, on it goes, can contribute to insomnia. So we were like, we need to do something different than excessive caffeine. There's a reason why that's all you see in the market.

[00:48:47] Or you have something that's a different product that can support better sleep at night. The energy, there's a product here. Mood, there's another product. You get some GABA. All these things were just disjointed and fragmented. And it was like, to your point, I was going through the airport like Frankensteining my health with 100 different products in its own bag.

[00:49:11] Luke: Spend a lot of time with TSA.

[00:49:16] Jeff: 100%.

[00:49:17] Luke: Yeah. It's like a 50-50 coin flip, whether they're going to stop you versus your average person never gets stopped. You know what I mean? Every time we go through one of those things, I'm just like, oh, here comes the pat down.

[00:49:29] Jeff: Well, I start getting nervous. You get the pat down every 10 times, and then you go through a couple, and they're like, yeah, go ahead. You're like, you sure, dude? Everybody else is caught. They're like what are you looking at over there?

[00:49:41] Luke: My hack for that is I tell them, if they're like, what is this thing? If it's a technology, which I'll travel with all kinds of weird biohacking stuff, I go, oh, that's a medical device.

[00:49:52] And they're like, oh, okay. And if it's like supplements and stuff, I'll be like, oh, that's medication. Then it speeds up. They still stopped your bag, and you got to wait at the little station for them to do the dynamite detection or whatever.

[00:50:06] Jeff: Right, right, right.

[00:50:07] Luke: But they tend to showed up pretty fast. If you just say it's a medical device, it's medication, then I don't know, there must be some code that makes them not, I don't know, be as likely to hassle you.

[00:50:21] Jeff: That's a winning tip.

[00:50:22] Luke: But anyway it's something you need to carry on.

[00:50:22] Jeff: All right. So we knew what we wanted to do, and so our-- actually, I have to give credit to you our Ayurvedic formulator. We said, you should check out these alkaloids. Come from a green tea leaf. They have all the benefits of caffeine. And in fact, when you look at the clinical studies, there's a little bit of a faster onset and longer duration than caffeine, but without many of the side effects associated with caffeine.

[00:50:49] We're like, dude, are you serious? This is exactly what we need. And he was like, well, the pitfall is caffeine is basically tasteless. This has a little bitter. Can you live with that? And we're like, yeah. For us, that was the genesis of what we wanted to do. There are thousands of products with a ton of caffeine in them.

[00:51:16] And some of them better than others. To our conversation earlier that's like, here's another new vitamin C product. It's like, we can't do that. Everybody's done that every which way. We wanted to do something different and special. And so that being the foundation of, okay, we can support your energy, but you're not getting all the pitfalls that come with caffeine, no brainer.

[00:51:38]  And so that's those two products, and it's fascinating. They come from green tea leaves in the way. The plants move, because most plants create caffeine as a pesticide, to ensure its survival. Coffee and the coffee cherry, and then they have the bean, caffeine, and green tea leaves, anything that has caffeine, but they don't need to produce the caffeine year round.

[00:52:10] Oftentimes, once they've ensured their survival, it takes a lot of energy for these to create caffeine. So they, if you will, I'm getting super layman's terms here, but the walk back to production, and that's where you get this theacrine, dynamine. They're nature identical of like a walked back caffeine from a green tea leaf.

[00:52:33] It can be found in a few things, cocoa plants, I think even grapefruit, some of them-- in trace amounts. These are obviously much like melatonin and some others. They're made nature identical because it's so tough to find in nature. And that was the foundation of what we do.

[00:52:52] And it's been amazing because you get-- and then it's mechanism of how it works is a little bit different too. It's more of a reward system energy, and it helps increase your dopamine so you feel a motivational, calm energy, which is what you alluded to.

[00:53:10] Totally different than anything in the market. I was talking to somebody the other day at dinner. They had never taken anything like this, and they're like, well, is it-- they were a little nervous about it. I could just sense it. and I was like, look, this is not like the I took the on switch and now when does this end? It's not that journey. It's very subtle.

[00:53:31] I've had some people tell me as they've reordered, they've written us in and said, we love the fact that we don't even really know we've took it until it wears off. And then we're like, oh man, I was having a great day. I was dialed in. I felt great. I was in a good mood. And then I realized it's just drifted away. As opposed to a tidal wave of stimulant just hammer you with it and then fall off a cliff, which is very rigid and very abrupt. We were like, we want to be the opposite of that.

[00:54:06] Luke: If you're someone that's prone to anxiety, which I would say I would be more prone to anxiety than depression on the ends of that scale, but also like to feel motivated and energized, it's a real gamble with stuff that is stimulating because of what you just described. It's like, oh, I'm feeling really good, feeling I'm crushing.

[00:54:29] I'm getting stuff done. And then it's like, when it wears off, then the cascade that comes after the anxiety that has been induced is a depressed feeling, because the waveform is so sharp.

[00:54:44] Jeff: That's right.

[00:54:44] Luke: And I think that's the sweet spot many of us are trying to find, is a more gentle wave of energy and relaxation, which is really hard to do. But that's interesting about the plants. I find it just nature is so fascinating, how these plants have these defense mechanisms, like plants that have nicotine are the same way, tobacco and whatnot. And then the oxalates, raspberries, and kale, and spinach, and things. It's like they have their own built-in insecticide and then we eat them, and it causes us problems if we eat enough of it.

[00:55:24] And the same could be said for something like caffeine, if you're sensitive to it. Another weird thing I want to mention, you were talking about how different people have different rates of metabolism for caffeine. That's definitely true in my observation, and of course there's science to support that.

[00:55:42] But something that's interesting too is that it seems as though an individual's ability to metabolize caffeine also changes over time. Caffeine didn't bother me at all. I could drink a coffee at 5 o'clock, 6 o'clock, sleep great. I don't know if it's because I'm older or what is happening, but some days I'll have a coffee and I'll think that I'll be fine, and then I'm not.

[00:56:11] Jeff: Really?

[00:56:12] Luke: Yeah. I get sweaty. It doesn't agree with me. Today I had one because I was hella tired. Yesterday I broke my toe, as I was telling you earlier, so I'm just having a weird moment. And so my wife made a coffee today, and I was like, all right, let me really think about this.

[00:56:27] Because I knew we were having this conversation. I didn't want to be psychotic. And I'm like, no, I think I'm tired enough today that a coffee will just be base-line. And that's what it's been. I feel fine. I don't feel anxious or anything. But for example, if I came out of the gate this morning with a great night's sleep and had a lot of natural energy and then have a coffee, I would probably be bombed.

[00:56:51] Jeff: Yeah. That's what it's all about. It's a stimulant hammer whether or not you need it. There's no movement to homeostasis, or it's not adaptogenic where it's like, we'll move you up or down depending on where you-- we'll meet you where you're at, and then softly take you to where you want to go hopefully. This is like, I mean just what you articulated. The only problem with your story is you should have been in the MTE, not the--

[00:57:19] Luke: Well, I did have one this morning. I had an MTE this morning, and then I think because I was so in a sleep deficit that I was like, I don't think this is going to be enough. So I hammered a coffee on top of it. Today I got lucky. I played the slot machine, and I'm like, oh, feel good.

[00:57:39] Jeff: It's funny, a lot of people get backed up where they're like, I love coffee. And I'm like, so do I. It can. People want a quick coffee? This can absolutely replace it, but you can also use it in conjunction with it because of the way we subtly-- I like your example because we've always used that like, soft rolling. We don't like the sharp of anything.

[00:58:06] So soft rolling feel good, and then all the adaptogens and everything else to help keep it smooth, if you will. So they can play nice together, or it can just be a full blown replacement.

[00:58:21] Luke: Well, the word adaptogens, I think is the key. Because as you described, certain substances can modulate your energy. Like in Ayurveda or Chinese medicine, the herbs that have stood the test of time are those that can be taken every day and have cumulative effects. It's not a sudden thing that knocks you on your ass because it's so relaxing or makes you too hyper.

[00:58:48] Those are the things that have their uses but aren't really designed by nature to do every day. Tell me about saffron because you were like, oh, that's one you see around. I've heard the word, but I don't know that I've ever seen that used in any product before I found you guys. What does that do?

[00:59:08] Jeff: Yeah, so saffron is the superpower of this thing. I love saffron. Sounds like we're parallel paths in the sense that saffron for me was what I put in my paella and that was sort of the end of it. And everybody's like, ah, super expensive.

[00:59:27] But I didn't know that all the properties of concentrated saffron is unbelievable for mood and sleep. So we use the world's most studied saffron from Spain. It's a patented extraction process. It's amazing. And they've done all these clinical studies on it at 28 milligrams that where they have the placebo at a lower milligram.

[00:59:54] I can't remember if it's 16 or 22, and then 28. And you can see it clearly have a little bit of a placebo effect. Then the higher dose is mid-range, and then the 28 milligrams is the greatest effect across all of these studies for lowering anger and confusion, increasing vigor, just all these things related to mood. It just blew me away when I saw it. And then I was like, we need that, and we need it in 28 milligrams. 100%.

[01:00:24] None of this we'll just put saffron in. How much does it cost? It was like, we're putting 28 milligrams in and we'll figure it out later. And then they did sleep studies on it too, real sleep studies, double-blind, controlled, randomized, the whole thing, healthy adults where they're getting faster onset REM, waking up less restfulness, waking up more rested.

[01:00:58] And again, 28 milligrams, and I believe this is over 30 days of use, to your point. You don't just take one day of MTE and all of a sudden you're sleeping like a baby and in a great mood. That's the beauty of it. You do feel a little on the promotion of energy and some of the things we do during the day, because that was one of the things we were really adamant about, is not having something where it's like, hey, just take it for six years, and you feel good.

[01:01:29] Call us in six years. We wanted there to be some immediate effect, but also accumulation and long term. Saffron really leads the charge on that because of its way it really supports mood and sleep support. So it's an incredible product. We love it. One of the things we're really proud of at this is, I didn't know any of this till I entrepreneured myself into the field, is it's the wild West, as I'd mentioned earlier.

[01:02:01] Some people could put saffron in their product and just say, saffron, yeah, it's great for mood, but knowing behind the scenes it's very expensive, so they'll put like a milligram in and hide it in a blend.

[01:02:17] So you're not getting any of its efficacy. You might as well not even put it in there. It's clearly a marketing ploy, but to my comments earlier, I built this first for me. So if there's not 28 milligrams of saffron in here, I'm cheating myself, and then everybody else who's taking it.

[01:02:32] I don't know. I talk about saffron all day. I love it. It's an incredible product. And all of the clinicals that come from it, it's amazing. And it's by far the most expensive product in there too.

[01:02:50] Luke: Well, you raise a good point with a lot of products in the supplement, especially the powders, is I'll look at the ingredient deck, and there's 75 ingredients, but the dose is a teaspoon. I'm no math genius, but I'm thinking what's the clinical effective dose of said thing, maca, ashwagandha, whatever?

[01:03:17] I'm like, there's no way there's enough of that in a single serving to mean anything. So I'm always thinking, why don't you knock it back to 13 ingredients or whatever and give me the amount that's actually going to move the needle? And no offense, I'm sure people are doing their best, and I always give brands the benefit of the doubt, but that to me is always a little suspect.

[01:03:39] I think I started noticing that with some of the green powders back in the day, going back 20 years. The health food store would've like two or three of those green powder products, and then it trended, and then you have companies coming out with a little jar with those 75 ingredients, and you're like, you can't be getting really what you're looking for if you try to put so many in.

[01:04:02] And maybe some of them just don't know any better and some of them are probably like, ooh, this is the hot thing. Let's put chlorella in there because it's trending right now. And we'll just put a little bit so we can add it to the ingredient deck but not enough of it where it actually does anything.

[01:04:17] Jeff: I think there's a lot of that. Yeah. I don't know. I'm with you. I try to give everybody the benefit of the doubt, assume good intent, but I think there's some people twisting their mustaches in the corner too. You know what I mean? So yeah, it's interesting.

[01:04:35] Another thing that was important to us is while there's clearly a need for it, and this is not a disparagement of the industry at all in the least, but we didn't want to create a product where we're replacing what you could get in a proper diet, like multivitamins and things like that.

[01:04:53] I've always fascinated with the origin of multivitamins came from the war, and people were malnourished and couldn't eat properly, so they're in trenches, war. So the multivitamin was born of that, and now, many years later, I think as a society, we have the opposite problem.

[01:05:16] We're too fed. We eat too much. The last thing we need is a multivitamin, right? Theoretically, what we really need to do is, with all those meals-- I was just talking to a friend of mine on the way here, and he was like, yeah, I'm trying to eat right, but I get a little hungry and I run to the first place that's serving food.

[01:05:34] I'm going to drop dead if I don't eat every four hours. And that's how we are. I'm a little hungry. I got to eat right now. So for me, a multivitamin or a greens powder that's effectively a multivitamin where they'll just soup it up and throw some gut health and things like that in there, they have their place.

[01:05:58] They're like, I get it. But we didn't want to do that. We wanted something that was like, no one is going out and finding alkaloids and green tea leaves and eating concentrated saffron and ashwagandha and all the things that we put in here. That's not a deficit in your diet. This is a true supplement. We're meeting you where you are and elevating you. That was the plan.

[01:06:24] Luke: Yeah. Makes sense. Tell me about the l-theanine and GABA.

[01:06:31] Jeff: Yeah. So I love both of those. I always felt like, to your anxiety point, focus, anxiety, calm mood, we wanted to try to support that and having energy. Going back to the origin where we had energy, we looked at products that gave you energy, but then a good friend of mine was-- I can't believe he did this. I'm embarrassed to tell a story, but he took one of those energy shots that was his daily supplement.

[01:07:10] He would take a vitamin, one of these energy shots, and I'm like, dude, what are you doing? Get some sleep or change your lifestyle. This stuff is not good for you. And he was like, I know. It doesn't even work. I still have brain fog. I'm more anxious than ever. And I'm like, dude, cause effect here. Back off that stuff, and you'll be fine.

[01:07:32] That the light bulb went off. And I remember, I always think back to that conversation where it was like, we want this to make people feel calm and good also. And so theanine obviously is-- I love l-theanine. One of the neat things about it is it's why you don't get jitters from green tea.

[01:07:51] Green tea has caffeine oftentimes as much as coffee, but there's no l-theanine in coffee, of course, as we've discussed. Whereas tea, a lot of people find it calming, even caffeinated tea, that's the l-theanine.

[01:08:06] So I love that. And then GABA, I find, works really well with l-theanine, and the two, the way they work give a calming effect that was very important to me. I love that. I'm a little high strong, so adding that in there. And we think it's like a perfect compliment, and along with saffron, ashwagandha, and some others, it contributes to the mood for me, because if you're wired or anxious, to me, that that is like the opposite of a happy go lucky mood. Right?

[01:08:44] Luke: Yeah.

[01:08:45] Jeff: And this is meant to do just that, not be wired, be happy, go lucky, be in a good mood. So that's why we put those two in there, and we love them.

[01:09:01] Luke: Awesome. If someone's listening and they have the entrepreneurial bug and they think, man, I have a great idea for some type of product in the wellness space, what would be a couple words of caution, things to look out for based on, I don't want to say mistakes, but learning experiences-- soften it up-- that you've had on the journey. And I ask this because you're someone who came from a totally different industry and is just like, hey, I'm going to try this thing, which is pretty daring considering.

[01:09:40] Jeff: Yeah. It's been really fun. It's getting to the point where it's like, I like it so much. I need to dial it back and maintain balance in my life. I love working on this and growing the brand and spreading the word. Some of the pitfalls, I really think it's just the industry at large.

[01:10:02] I think you have to find good partners, well-meaning partners, people that will do it the right way. There's a lot of people cutting a lot of corners. There's a lot of great products out there too. So it's tough. We didn't learn that lesson. We just got that advice early. And you could see which way the wind's blowing too, I think.

[01:10:29] Sometimes when it's too good to be true-- my manufacturer make this at one price, somebody else will make it for half that price, just didn't really pass the smell test. And then you don't have to dig that deep to figure out why.

[01:10:42] So things like that I think were really important to us. But that speaks to our ethos of really this is a homegrown product that we built for us. That's important. The other thing that we've learned that I think is interesting is just in terms of telling the story as you create a product that's disruptive. We consider this a disruptor to the energy drink market or a new product where we marry the intersection of wellness and energy depending on the narrative.

[01:11:22] Because you have to educate people. Because a lot of times people need to be able to see themselves using it and understand. They look at this, and they're like, MTE, that means nothing to them. Of course, I've never heard of it. So we talked about the threes, but this is not like AT&T.

[01:11:39] We just started. People are like, MTE, what is that? Means nothing to them. So then you're like, well, it's adaptogens and nootropics. Okay. What does that mean? So really being able in a position to educate in a succinct way that has validation and trust and meaning to people, which sounds very easy, just rolls off the tongue here as I sit here with you. But doing it in a meaningful way at scale has to be very thoughtful. Otherwise, it can get away from you very quickly.

[01:12:16] Luke: Where do you see you and your company going next? What's the big dream? Or are you just focused on doing one thing and doing it well?

[01:12:26] Jeff: Probably that. We're coming out with a second skew in a couple of months. That's pineapple, mango. And we're going to use all the same ingredients for the wellness part, but this will be with paraxanthine, which I know you know well.

[01:12:47] Luke: Love it. It's the good part of caffeine.

[01:12:52] Jeff: Yeah, that's right. Whereas this is, again, I'm in layman's terms here. So all the biochemists out there, don't start writing in and yelling at me, but this is where the theacrine and dynamine are the plants metabolizing caffeine. Again, not a perfect analogy. And paraxanthine is truly humans metabolizing caffeine.

[01:13:18] It's a downstream metabolite of caffeine. I know you know that. It's Sean on here, and it's his baby. So that's next for us. We're going to do that. And the reason we're doing that is it's a little bit smoother. We're going to call that every day. This will become what is known as MTE performance.

[01:13:40] And then with a paraxanthine will be MTE every day, a little bit more smoother, different flavor. And then I think that maybe down the road we would think about doing a liquid, but we want to stay true to this formula. We think this formula can change millions of people's lives in a good way, make them better, more productive, happier, more fulfilled, you name it. I think all that's a product of feeling good.

[01:14:10] And we really want to spread the word and educate people. And we see it. We're seeing unbelievable testimonials that we get from people that are just truly changing people's lives from just being a little bit better at their job to-- one guy wasn't able to golf due to a cognitive disability. It saps your energy. And he hasn't golfed in five years. He took MTE for, I guess he was on his second month or so, and he wrote us to tell us he was on the way to the golf course for the first time in five years.

[01:14:47] Luke: That's cool.

[01:14:48] Jeff: Yeah, it was just super cool, right?

[01:14:50] Luke: Yeah. Yeah, it is. I love getting those messages from people. Because when you're in the grind and you're in the dark days that are inherent to any venture and you think, why am I doing this, then you get one of those messages. I get them all the time from people hearing someone like you on the show.

[01:15:08] Oh my God, I tried MTE because I heard Jeff talk about it, or whatever it is. And then it's like, okay, cool. I'm going to do another podcast this week then because it's reaching people. Without that feedback, I don't know. You don't really know if you're hitting the mark or not.

[01:15:25] Jeff: Totally.

[01:15:25]  Luke: So I love that, getting reviews on the podcast and things like that. I think people don't realize how helpful that is to help give a founder direction, getting that feedback. Or even sometimes constructive criticism. You go, ooh, shit, missing the mark there. Thank God someone told me.

[01:15:46] Jeff: Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, totally. But as a society, we're usually good on the constructive criticism. You know what I mean? It's like that's readily available, but we're all guilty of it. We're like, whatever it is, I do it all the time.

[01:16:02] I'll leave a restaurant and be like, man, that was like, service was unbelievable. What a pleasure that restaurant was. I don't run home to write a review. You just like, oh, it was amazing. But I think the emotion of anger, frustration, whatever leads people to action. They're like, I got to do something.

[01:16:24] Luke: Gets them on Yelp writing a 10-paragraph diatribe.

[01:16:26] Jeff: Exactly right.

[01:16:27] Luke: Why this place sucked in every minute detail.

[01:16:29] Jeff: Right. Exactly. It's like the old adage we're supposed to-- you're angry. Write an email. Don't hit send. Just go to bed and chill out. But nobody does that on Yelp, of course. Yeah, you're right. Constructive criticism obviously helps us grow out.

[01:16:50] And we talked about that earlier. And you can see it through some of your friends and people who don't want to-- they just want to give you tailwind, and then you're like, dude, I need to hear it from you, or else I'm never going to learn but getting the positive feedback too.

[01:17:07] Because sometimes you're not sure. You don't know all signs are pointed, things are good, but then you hear you've changed this guy's life in a way, and you're like, oh my God. It was even more meaningful than we could have ever imagined, which now you're like, I'm never going to stop. You're just so excited, and that's really rewarding.

[01:17:33] Luke: Awesome, man. All right, well, I forgot to mention this earlier, but if you guys want to check out the show notes for anything we've talked about, go to lukestorey.com/boyd. And for those of you that want to try MTE, you can go here. Get mte.com/luke, and it looks like if you just click the order button, you automatically get 20% off your first order.

[01:17:55] Jeff: That's right.

[01:17:56] Luke: Thank you for that, and thank you for making it easy. Sometimes all these links and codes, I'm like, how do people even follow this? Because I can't even keep track. But everything that we talked about will be in the show notes at lukestorey.com/boyd, including the link to MTE. So last question for you here, my friend. Who have been three teachers or teachings that have influenced your life that you'd like to share with us.

[01:18:18] Jeff: Three teachings or teachers. Well, I think the first one is my dad, we talked about earlier, and just learning, I don't know, he's going to get a kick out of this. He's probably doesn't even know I took this away from it. It's not like he was running around the house saying, no excuse is good enough.

[01:18:36] But that was my interpretation of it. I always thought that was pretty valuable. My first boss in DC who I talked about also earlier, I found that his communication skills and his ability to stay organized and on task and focus was just overwhelming and overwhelming to the good.

[01:19:02] It was just something that rather than getting philosophical teachings and things like that, I'm going into like practical real world, real life. And the third one-- hmm, that's a good question. For the third one, I would say my wife. She's also an entrepreneur, and I've learned a lot from her, watching her grow her brand and just balance life, friendship.

[01:19:37] Because I find, I'm sure like you and everybody else, you get out what you put in. And that's true of everything, from your relationship with your parents, your relationship with your siblings, your friends, your work, on it goes, your health, your wellness, to seeing her apply that balance and really understanding it's just as important to be a good daughter as it is a good mom, and on it goes, and it's been a big lesson for me.

[01:20:07] Luke: That's funny that you said that because when you were saying the first two, I swear to God, I was having the thought, I wonder if he's going to say his wife, because you mentioned earlier that you're married. And so I'm glad you did. If she ever hears this, boy, no. What's your wife's company? What does she do? Let's give her a plug.

[01:20:25] Jeff: Well, she sold it in 2019 too. She started The Laundress. You can look it up. But she sold it to Unilever, and now she's doing a jewelry company called Rondel, R-O-N-D-E-L. It's inspired by her grandma's Charm Collection.

[01:20:46] Luke: Oh, cool.

[01:20:46] Jeff: It's very cool. Yeah. So they have really cool stuff. So you can look that up too. It's rondeljewelry.com. Keep it in the family. Plug that.

[01:20:54] Luke: We'll put it in the show notes too. That's funny, you guys both exited a company in the same year.

[01:20:58] Jeff: Same year. Yeah, same year. And then both of us were like, all right, well, we don't have to be here anymore in terms of work. Let's go chase the sun, move to Miami.

[01:21:10] Luke: Cool.

[01:21:11] Jeff: Yeah, yeah.

[01:21:12] Luke: Were either or both of you tempted to just go blow all the money you made selling those companies and not reserve any to build something new.

[01:21:21] Jeff: Yeah. It's always a struggle.

[01:21:23] Luke: Because I sold a company last year, and it wasn't a life-changing amount of money, so I didn't have that kind of temptation where, oh, cool, let's go buy a jet or something. But the money was gone real quick, put it that way.

[01:21:39] Jeff: It's pretty shocking.

[01:21:42] Luke: Quickly burned a hole in my pocket.

[01:21:44] Jeff: Yeah, yeah.

[01:21:45] Luke: And I already had a thing going that I don't really need capital to do what I do at this current iteration of my career. But I bet there are some people out there that exit companies and don't really think about the future, and they're just like, cool, let's live large. And then that runs out and they go, oh, shit, what am I going to do now?

[01:22:01] Jeff: Yeah, sure. That happens for sure. Or they do think about the future, but then they bust a couple of times. You see it all. That was always in the back of my mind. It was like, look, we had some success. Now I'm going to start this and starting back over.

[01:22:23] So that was one of the things I really wanted to do, is when I started this, started it ground up. There's no assistance and big offices and all the trappings that go with the successful business as you get bigger and bigger. We're like square one. We do it ourselves.

[01:22:44] I send all the emails. If you go to the website and you happen to be watching this, you'll see my ugly mug even on our model from sometimes, to the detriment of the brand too.

[01:22:57] Luke: You are the product model too.

[01:22:59] Jeff: Yeah. So we went to ground and started, and we're building back up, which is thrilling.

[01:23:06] Luke: Well, that's smart. You see a lot of startups in different industries and, yeah, they rent the big office, hire a bunch of people, hire a CEO for a bunch of money, etc. And then if it flies and they're able to scale, they have the infrastructure. But sometimes I observe people put a lot of capital and energy into the foundation and then it doesn't fly. That kind of sucks. Or it scales faster than they're able to keep up with.

[01:23:34] Jeff: Oh yeah. But that's rare.

[01:23:33] Luke: It's probably rare. More them, probably Peter. I remember years ago I was speaking-- and then we'll wrap it up, I promise. But you were talking about 2008, and it's funny because I started a business. It was called School of Style.

[01:23:49] It was a fashion school, the one that I exited last year, and I started it in November, 2008, which was right in the middle of that recession. But I never watched the news or anything, so I had no idea it was a recession. I'm like, I'm going to start my own company.

[01:24:05] Jeff: Oh, cool.

[01:24:06] Luke: And I think I got lucky but also never was able to scale it to where an exit was super meaningful. But sometimes ignorance can really help your success because you're not afraid of failing. If someone would've told me, dude, we're in the middle of a major recession right now, I might've hit the brakes a little bit on it, but I was excited, full steam ahead, because I literally just didn't know any better.

[01:24:35] Jeff: You were zigging when everybody else was zagging.

[01:24:37] Luke: Apparently so.

[01:24:35] Jeff: I love that. Yeah, I'm sure everybody was like, what in the hell is Luke doing?

[01:24:43] Luke: Yeah, bad timing, but maybe the best timing because fewer people were putting their fishing line in the water at that moment.

[01:24:51] Jeff: Right. Sounds like it worked out.

[01:24:54] Luke: It did. It did. Yeah.

[01:24:55] Jeff: Congrats.

[01:24:55] Luke. Thanks bro. Well, congrats to you. Thanks for creating something innovative and cool that works and is part of my routine now. I love talking to the faces and names and minds and hearts behind things because so many of the products out there are just faceless.

[01:25:012] And I might enjoy them and use them and order them online or grab them at the health food store, and I have no idea where it came from, how it came to be. And it's always fun to see someone, especially in the early stages of the journey and I get to watch them grow.

[01:25:26] There's been so many brands over the years, and they come out, and I'm like, this shit is going to hit. And usually, I got to say, I have pretty good intuition on that. So I'm excited to see you, excited to see your success and see you move to Texas soon, and hopefully I'll see more of you, man.

[01:25:41] Jeff: Thank you. Likewise.

[01:25:42] Luke: Yeah. Thanks for coming by.


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