Podcast Ep. 19: Nick Symmonds, 2-time Olympic Runner and CEO of RunGum

Our latest episode of The Momentous Podcast features Nick Symmonds. Nick is a former professional runner turned entrepreneur. He is a 6-time American Champion, 2-time Olympian, and a world silver medalist in the 800m. Nick is now the CEO and Co-founder of RunGum, an energy gum company based in Oregon. He is also a passionate fly fisherman, mountaineer, and YouTuber.

In this episode, our CEO Matt Wan and Nick discuss things like Nick’s collegiate running days, building a professional running career, founding a direct to consumer brand, expanding a business to brick and mortar retail, and channeling a lot of his marketing efforts to YouTube.

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Show Notes:

3:30 – Going Retail “We were predominantly a direct-to-consumer company, and then Target called.”

8:30 – RunGum “It was a product built out of necessity… fortunately I had that biochem degree to fall back on and I said, ‘I know I can get these stimulants sublingually, through the lining of my gums, if I can just find a good way to deliver it.”

17:20 – College Beginnings “I knew I was going to need [Sam Lapray’s] mentorship. So I called him ‘my mentor’ for a long time, then I called him my best friend’ for a long time, and now I call him ‘my business partner’, but he really is all three in one.”

 27:00 – Weighing Your Options “If you’re an entrepreneur and you’re going to put everything on hold to start a business, you know that there’s basically two ways this is going to go: it’s going to be wildly successful and you’re going to get acquired or have an IPO and you’ll be super rich, which you hope happens. But there’s also a very real possibility you’re going to go bankrupt and lose everything and it’ll be a huge embarrassment and you’ll lose people’s money. You have to come to terms with the catastrophic scenario.”

36:00 – How to Ask for Help “We have internal batteries and that battery runs down… sometimes you need a day break.”

 48:00 – The Oregon Project “You have to be introspective, identify what makes you tick, and what personality you’re going to need [out of a coach].”

 57:00 – Youtube “If you love something, it’s really not hard to be successful at that thing… it’s not hard to work hard at it.” 

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