Authority Magazine

Authority Magazine

By Authority Magazine Feb 5, 2021 | 8 min read

Enjoy the little things. When I was younger, I thought that I couldn’t enjoy anything until I was “successful.” Wrong. If we are continually working for something in the distant future, we can’t enjoy the present. There’s a reason the saying “stop and smell the roses” was such a hit! You will never be happy if you don’t enjoy the journey. That unhappiness will quickly overcome you mentally and physically, if not unchecked. Choose happiness!

Often when we refer to wellness, we assume that we are talking about physical wellbeing. But one can be physically very healthy but still be unwell, emotionally or mentally. What are the steps we can take to cultivate optimal wellness in all areas of our life; to develop Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing?

As a part of our series about “How We Can Do To Cultivate Our Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Alex Valley.

Having previously co-founded one of the leading CBD beverage companies in the US, Alex has the category knowledge and expertise to penetrate the CBD market for a second time. Alex has personal connections to over 500 social influencers in the health and wellness space — some with millions of followers. He is also a certified nutritionist and personal trainer.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

Thanks for having me! I grew up in a small town in North Dakota (Go, Hazen!). When I say small, I mean my high school graduating class was 32 people. Growing up with the same group of friends throughout high school really taught me the value of relationships, and I will never take that for granted. I was always interested in business, which led me to starting a car dealership at the age of 14 and a fiber optics-based business after that. I have always been intrigued by the unknown and excited to learn.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.

Both my paternal and maternal grandpas inspired me. My Grandpa Bob, a farmer, prided himself on working hard (and I mean very hard) every day of the week except Sunday. My Grandpa Duane was a successful entrepreneur (before retiring), and I was able to see how fruitful entrepreneurship can be — in more ways than just monetary.

I was always lucky to be surrounded by unique people I could draw inspiration from. My amazing Step Father was always ideating a new business and taught me to dream big, my Dad was always pushing me to work hard, and my mother was always pushing me to do what I loved. That’s a dangerously good team to have to raise you!

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

I have been blessed to have truly amazing people in my life. Relationships are everything — professionally, but also emotionally and mentally. Everybody needs people to push them, support them, love them, or simply just somebody to vent to!

My mentor, Richard, has been monumental in helping me realize how important it is to dream big, work hard, love what you do, and take (calculated) risks. It’s imperative to have aspirational friends like him who encourage you, support you, and push you to be your best self (Thanks, Rich!).

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

When UNITY had $0 in the bank, we took a healthy bet on a new product. To no fault of our own — , we lost. We chose a supplier based on cost, not accolades, and ended up spending roughly $20,000 to learn the lesson that “you get what you pay for.” I’d rather pay a premium for a service, ingredient, distributor, employee, etc., to ensure quality. You get what you pay for!

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss changed everything for me, mainly how I work. Maximize efficiency, minimize the tasks that don’t add value. Many people work to hit an arbitrary number of hours per week, but very few focus on efficiency in those hours. Though I work 80 hour weeks most often, I am careful with what I spend my time on. I should give kudos to The Compound Effect and The Lean Startup, as well. Anybody looking to better themselves should read these three books.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

“If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough” — Muhammad Ali. Each person can do more and be more, period. Never stop setting the bar higher for yourself!

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

UNITY! I’m big on health, mental, and physical. I created a company to embody that. We make vegan protein bars and beverages with CBD, adaptogens, and other super healthy ingredients to help you look good, feel good, and unwind!

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. In this interview series we’d like to discuss cultivating wellness habits in four areas of our lives, Mental wellness, Physical wellness, Emotional wellness, & Spiritual wellness. Let’s dive deeper into these together. Based on your research or experience, can you share with our readers three good habits that can lead to optimum mental wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

Routine, exercise, and an outlet/passion project have been instrumental in my mental health, primarily through the past three years of 2020! Routine is great because it gives me order in an otherwise chaotic line of business. Setting a routine for your morning, workday, and night is absolutely essential. Working out for me has been my outlet since I was 14. It’s your time to focus on yourself and forget about the daily stressors life throws at you. Also — endorphins! Finding an outlet/a passion project is a great way to reward yourself for doing the other day-to-day things that may be a bit less enjoyable for you to do. It allows you to take a break whenever needed and work on something totally different.

Do you have a specific type of meditation practice or Yoga practice that you have found helpful? We’d love to hear about it.

It’s not meditation, per se, but every morning I listen to a podcast while preparing for the day and walking my dog. It’s my way of being informed daily without having to be “on” or chime in. My favorites lately have been Group Chat, The Founder Hour, and Pivot.

Thank you for that. Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum physical wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

Routine. I can’t say this enough. It might be hard to get started, but it takes about 27 days to make a new habit. By having a set routine, I can get the most out of my days and go to bed feeling accomplished.

Eat Well. Obvious. You don’t get abs by wishing for them. You also don’t get them by doing sit-ups every day while eating poorly. Think about what you are putting into your body…and why.

Enjoy the little things. When I was younger, I thought that I couldn’t enjoy anything until I was “successful.” Wrong. If we are continually working for something in the distant future, we can’t enjoy the present. There’s a reason the saying “stop and smell the roses” was such a hit! You will never be happy if you don’t enjoy the journey. That unhappiness will quickly overcome you mentally and physically, if not unchecked. Choose happiness!

Do you have any particular thoughts about healthy eating? We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?

Eating “healthy” is different for every person. It’s not one size fits all! Just because something works for a friend or a family member does not mean you will have the same results. I don’t enjoy cooking, so I find healthy, nutritious foods that don’t require much preparation (i.e., salads or meal prepping in advance). By removing the stress out of healthy eating, it’s much more enjoyable and simplifies the process. It also becomes a routine. Step back and assess what you like or dislike about healthy eating and see if it’s something that you have the power to change. More often than not, it’s you and your mind stopping you rather than the food.

Do you have any particular thoughts about the power of smiling to improve emotional wellness? We’d love to hear it.

As my girlfriend says, “one smile makes two.” You never know what a person is going through, so sharing a little bit of happiness by way of a smile goes a long way.

Finally, can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum emotional wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

Mental, physical, and emotional health all work in unity. That is why I started my company — to champion all of them and show people they work together. Routine, eating well, exercise, and passion are all essential.

Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

A movement championing mental and emotional health the same way we champion physical health in society would be great. It’s harder to see because abs show up much better on Instagram than your mental state does.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them :-)

I don’t really get star struck — we’re all just humans making it up as we go. For me, it’s always fascinating to speak to any other entrepreneurs and CEOs and hearing their stories. That’s why I like podcasts like The Founder Hour and How I Built This. I will say it would be great to listen to Jeff Bezos detail how he stays organized on the many, many billion-dollar projects he has going on at any given moment. How he keeps it together and organized is fascinating to me.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Follow us on all socials @unitywellnessco! The support would mean the world to me.

Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.

Thank you!

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