If you’re unfamiliar with our 2022 Founders Series, you can read all about it HERE. We’re highlighting five founders and their respective brands to talk about values, entrepreneurship and the role of mental health.
Jeff Byers is building tools to amplify the human body by way of his company Momentous. He and his team are on a mission to help individuals live longer and healthier lives by giving them the knowledge and products to make it happen. As a former NFL lineman, Jeff is no stranger to human performance and optimization. He's also no stranger to taking the lessons learned in sport and applying them to business and to life. How has Jeff balanced building a brand to help others while also ensuring he's making the time to support himself? Here is his story.
Where did the idea for Momentous come from?
JB: The business came out of a biotech where we had a unique patented, clinically validated technology to deliver products across the skin barrier, and one of our flagship products– PR Lotion– came from that; but what we saw was that we were doing so many unique things at the pinnacle of performance, that we had the ability to create a leading high performance brand. So the vision really came from: how do we bring the technologies, the knowledge, the products, and the access from the absolute elite performer down to the consumer and share the same approach and process, but also the best-in-class products and technology? Given my background as a pro athlete, I know those products and technologies don't make it into the consumer market in a truly meaningful way. We wanted to change that and provide that access to everyone.
What’s the “why” behind Momentous?
JB: Overall we are incredibly passionate about expanding what is possible for humans. What you see at the elite level is a consistency to an approach that has really meaningful impacts on health, wellness, and performance, and we believe we can share a lot of our knowledge and access to really help people live longer, healthier and give them knowledge & products to be able to do so.
Can you recall one of the biggest hurdles you experienced while founding/creating/growing Momentous?
JB: Resiliency is absolutely critical to everything you do. You’re going to get bent, stretched, tweaked, punched in the face– all the time. What you have to remember is that resiliency is what makes or the lack of resiliency is what breaks. Lean on those that you can count on during the difficult times.
What’s the best piece of business advice you ever received?
JB: Always surround yourself with smarter and better people, and never be afraid to ask questions. It’s a bit cliche but it’s so true: you have to find people that think differently than you do, but also have the ability to challenge your thought process and have that openness and dialogue.
What’s the biggest piece of advice you’d give to a founder or young entrepreneur?
JB: As a former NFL player, I tend to take lessons that I learned in the game and apply them to business. One that I always think about is the following: The ball always gets snapped. In sports, you don’t have a choice on when things are going to happen. You’re always going to have to be ready to go and you have to make a decision. Sometimes you’ll lose a game, sometimes you will win– but every single time, the ball will get snapped. How you react and respond in those moments will determine your next step. It’s one of the most important lessons I’ve learned and it’s like that in business as well.
Entrepreneurship is often highlighted in a way that may skew what it looks like in reality. What are some of the hardest aspects of being a business owner?
JB: What people see in early stage, venture backed companies is portrayed in about 1% of what actually happens. They’re very hard, you get challenged weekly–if not daily– and many of these fail. There’s also a huge obligation to the team, investors, and to the people, and in reality that’s a really hard thing. There’s 50,100, or 150 stakeholders in the business across investors, board members, and employees, and you have a deep sense of responsibility to those people.
How do you prioritize your mental health (now vs. maybe when you started)?
JB: A big part of my mental health is actually my physical health and my family. Those are the two most important things that I think about. A lot of people call it “balance” but I call it “boundaries.” There’s very little balance in most people’s lives, but you need to have boundaries, and I think that’s a really important aspect. Exercise and training has always been a huge part of my life– as a former pro athlete– but also in who I am now. It’s a way that I can clear my head and have random streams of thought while working out and have outside time. To me, mental health is absolutely critical. I also cannot forget my family and friends. To have this community to talk to and be open and engaged with is incredibly important.
What are some things you’ve implemented or done to ensure positive mental health among your employees?
JB: We’ve always tried to be very open about the ride that we’re on and what it requires. We create dialogues and forums so that people can share what they want and need. We’ve really, always– better at some times than others– bring in our experts and advisors, and we have a “Live Momentous” perks plan where you can invest into your Be Momentous of living a high performance, optimized lifestyle– which mental health is definitely a part of.
How would you say your mental health has impacted running a company?
JB: It’s incredibly important. Resiliency is all about mental health and the ability to grind. And without a positive mindset, a growth mindset, and the ability to open up, what we’re asked to do is very difficult.
Do you have any tips or insight into how budding entrepreneurs can maintain their mental health while starting a business?
JB: Find what works for you and create boundaries, and always have a group of people to talk to that you can trust. Always have a growth mindset. Nobody has the answers and no one should have the answers, so always be willing to help.