On Mitochondrial Health, Entrepreneurship, and Personal Development — Q&A with Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield is an Ironman triathlete, human performance consultant, speaker and author of 13 books, including the New York Times Bestseller “Beyond Training.” Ben is also the host of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast and CEO of a leading supplement company, Kion. Ben works with individuals from all over the globe for both body and brain performance, and specializes in anti-aging, biohacking, and achieving an ideal combination of performance, health and longevity.

 
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Q

As one of the world's leading authorities on health and wellness, what are some of the most consistent things you find yourself recommending?

A

Most commonly, it’s things that enhance the health of the mitochondria. When it comes to mitochondrial health, we’re speaking specifically about elements that affect light and biophotonic signaling within the human body. I tend to recommend anything in the realm of infrared and red-light signaling, such as photobiomodulation panels or headsets. In addition, I recommend anything related to taking advantage of pulse electromagnetic fields (PEMF), such earthing, grounding, and certain footwear, mats and devices that allow one to enhance the mitochondria in this way. I also recommend anything that includes elements of cold and heat, such as devices that one can wear for cold thermogenesis, cold tubs, cold baths, cold showers, along with saunas, infrared saunas and heat exposure. Finally, good clean water! I find myself recommending water filtration systems, structured water, hydrogen-rich water, and even deuterium-depleted water along with high intake of minerals.

In summary, the big ones are light, grounding, earthing, heat, cold, good water and minerals, because they have such a profound influence on the mitochondria, which is so important for the human body.

Q

You wear so many hats in your daily life. Can you offer any words of wisdom for other entrepreneurs?

A

Pay attention to the work of folks like Cal Newport, such as his book Deep Work. Not only should you find your passion and your purpose, and be able to define that in one succinct clear statement, but once you find it, you need to cut yourself off from distractions such as social media. Instead, every single day, find at least 4 hours—and a maximum of 6—to engage yourself in that extremely deep and meaningful work, with no distractions. So you are spending time creating rather than consuming. Viewing yourself as a creator rather than a consumer, and as someone who has a distinct purpose in life and is able to create deep work, is going to take you really far in life from an entrepreneurial standpoint.

Q

What’s a risk that you’ve taken and you didn’t regret?

A

That’s a tough one, but I would say that one risk that I took recently was to branch out from being a “solo-preneur,” an author and speaker, and to start a nutritional supplements company, Kion. This was 2 years ago, and—despite being a path raw with unexpected twists and turns—it’s wound up being a complete joy to build a company, a culture, and a team of amazing people around me who can help me to deliver incredible formulations and wonderful scientifically proven compounds to people that I know are going to change a lot of lives. It’s risky to start a business like that, but I’m very glad that I did.

Q

Is there a particular person that influenced you in your career or personal development? What qualities did you admire in them?

A

Frankly, I’ve never had a mentor or one single person that I look up to. However, I do read a book a day. I am a voracious reader, and as a result, my mentor is my own personal library—chock full of books by great thinkers like Theodore Roosevelt, Charlie Munger, Jesus Christ and a whole host of folks who I consider to be wonderful philosophers, educators, thinkers, doers, and achievers. My library truly has influenced me the most in terms of my career and my personal development.

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