53: Aaron Houghton on a $150 Million+ Exit, The Dark Sides of Entrepreneurship, and Keeping Founders Mentally Healthy

Aaron Houghton on a $150 Million+ Exit, The Dark Sides of Entrepreneurship, and Keeping Founders Mentally Healthy

Welcome to episode 53 of Optimal Health For Busy Entrepreneurs.

We have Aaron Houghton, serial entrepreneur and the founder of ‘The Founders First System’. Being an entrepreneur is oftentimes glorified, and the dark sides are rarely discussed. Entrepreneurs are 2x more likely to have depression, 3x more likely for substance abuse problems, 6x more likely for ADHD, and 11x more likely for bipolar disorders.

In this episode, Aaron is dropping wisdom from being an entrepreneur since the age of 17. You’re going to learn some life habits that will build resilience as you build your company along with a discussion on the importance of your non-work identity.


Listen to the episode here:


In today’s episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why Aaron’s business exit of over $150 million didn’t deliver “happiness”
  • Aaron’s wake up moment and panic attack that changed everything
  • Aaron’s backstory and where his entrepreneurial itch began
  • Founders First System’s origin
  • The importance of your non-work identity
  • Why entrepreneurs struggle to connect health and business with each other
  • The short term beneficial entrepreneurial habits that become long term detriments
  • Using metrics to track your mental health
  • How to achieve sustained peak performance
  • Advice to entrepreneurs during these weird and highly uncertain times (or any other times of uncertainty)
  • Aaron’s mental health and fitness routine
  • And much more

Resources featured in this episode:

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49: John Sonmez on Retiring at 33, Becoming a Multi-Millionaire, and Getting a Bulldog Mindset

John Sonmez on Retiring at 33, Becoming a Multi-Millionaire, and Getting a Bulldog Mindset

Welcome to episode 49 of Optimal Health For Busy Entrepreneurs.

We have John Sonmez, founder of Bulldog Mindset stopping by for a fascinating discussion on breaking free of self-imposed limitations, escaping the dreaded land of the middle, retiring at 33, and the unexpected turns that came after that.

Many entrepreneurs (and those looking to become entrepreneurs) most often have the dream scenario on repeat in their head: six-pack abs, dating the hottest models, building a multi-million dollar business, traveling the world in luxury, and in general, living life on your terms. Is this possible?

Absolutely. But not without putting in the work. Specifically adopting a bulldog mindset as John has done. John shared gem after gem in this episode, and opened some new ways of thinking in terms of how we go about our “goals.” Becoming superhuman starts in our mind and this episode will put you on the fast track.

Listen to the episode here:


In today’s episode, you’ll learn:

  • John’s origin story and his wake up call
  • 2 quotes that summarize John’s philosophy toward life
  • How to escape mediocrity when things aren’t so good, but yet, aren’t so bad
  • John’s transformation from a shy and nerdy programmer who wears a size 46 to someone with a world-class body
  • How John retiring at 33 wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be (this will surprise some)
  • The major mistake that most people make when setting goals
  • John’s advice on finding your purpose
  • How applications in software development can make you a better entrepreneur, and take control of your fitness
  • What led John to start Bulldog Mindset
  • The traits of John’s most successful clients
  • Why John doesn’t like the traditional way that goals are set, and what’s a better solution
  • Why you need to do things that you hate
  • Plus much more

Resources featured in this episode:

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48: Crowd Cow CEO & Co-Founder Joe Heitzeberg on Taking the Mystery Out of Your Meat and Redefining an Industry

Crowd Cow CEO & Co-Founder Joe Heitzeberg on Taking the Mystery Out of Your Meat and Redefining an Industry

Welcome to episode 48 of Optimal Health For Busy Entrepreneurs.

We have Joe Heitzeberg, CEO and co-founder of Crowd Cow, stopping by for a fascinating discussion about the meat commodity industry and leading a company.

Crowd Cow is a company offering the most comprehensive assortment of local, sustainable, and premium meat and seafood direct from the producer, delivered to your door. Meat, and in general, the food we eat is something we take for granted. However, there’s a large ecosystem of people (and the environment) that’s being affected—and not to mention our health. In today’s episode, we go over this along with a slew of other topics surrounding this area of focus.

Prior to Crowd Cow, Joe was the co-founder and President of Madrona Venture Labs, a startup incubator, and was the co-founder and CEO of MediaPiston (acquired by UpWork in 2012, IPO in 2018) and Snapvine (acquired by WhitePages in 2008). Joe graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Computer Science and has an MBA from MIT.

Listen to the episode here:


In today’s episode, you’ll learn:

  • Joe’s origin story
  • Why meat isn’t just about your health—there’s a much bigger picture
  • Where the quality of your meat is from
  • What they aren’t telling you about the wild-caught vs. farm-raised salmon discussion
  • How to determine if your farm-raised salmon is ok
  • The problem with the commodity meat system
  • Initial hurdles to changing our relationship with the standard meat and food system
  • Initial difficulties with starting Crowd Cow
  • How Crowd Cow uniquely packages and sends their food
  • How they offset greenhouse gases
  • Advice for entrepreneurs during challenging times
  • How Joe and Crowd Cow have adapted to the changing times
  • The decision process for bringing on different cuts and meats (this is transferable to your business)
  • How Joe maintains his well-being
  • What’s Joe’s definition of success
  • Plus much more

Resources featured in this episode:

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