Tom Bilyeu talks about his dreams growing up, being broke, meeting his wife, embracing the growth mindset, Quest Nutrition, Impact Theory, the importance of skills, and vision for the future.
Tom Bilyeu (@tombilyeu) is the co-founder of Quest Nutrition, a billion-dollar brand and the co-founder and host of Impact Theory. His mission is to drive the creation and acceleration of mission-based businesses. Personally, Tom is motivated to give people a 360-degree improvement encompassing both the mind and the body through Impact Theory, a best-in-class entertainment and educational content company. The Impact Theory show is where Tom interviews inspiring people from around the world to learn their secrets to success.
Here are the takeaways of the conversation drafted concisely in this Valuetainment Tom Bilyeu Podcast Notes.
- While at school, Tom Bilyeu wanted to be a comedian and performed stand up comedy for the students. After watching Mitch Hedberg perform at the Laugh Factory Comedy Club in Las Vegas, he recognized that it will take a lot of time and effort to get to the level of an elite comedian.
- Tom was interested in films and played with a camcorder his father used to bring home. His father made a comment that he was good behind the camera and that stuck to him. He wanted to become a director.
- Though Tom showed promising signs of being a good director at film school, he messed up his thesis film which brought down his hopes.
- At the lowest point in his life, he was broke and used to sell video games and insurance door-to-door.
- Tom met his future wife, Lisa Bilyeu, and says that she played a big role in his transformation into someone who took accountability for his life.
- Lisa’s father refused Tom Bilyeu to marry his daughter because he was worried about how he could take care of her.
- Tom Bilyeu joined as a copywriter in the company of his future business partners Ron Pena and Mike Osborn.
- He always wanted to be rich and have 6-pack abs. His future partners who were intellectual and physically fit were the ideal people to team up with to realize his dreams.
- Tom moved up the ranks and reached the position of Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) through sheer will and hard work.
- He decided to quit the company after 8 and a half years of hard work and after getting a reality check from his wife that he was damaging their marriage.
- Tom wanted to do something that he loved and that added value to people’s lives. He teamed up with Ron Pena and Mike Osborn to create Quest Nutrition.
- Quest Nutrition leveraged the power of Social Media and grew a spectacular 57,000% in its first 3 years in manufacturing.
- Inside Quest was started in 2014 and Tom Bilyeu spun it into Impact Theory in 2016.
- Tom Bilyeu credits ‘The Matrix’ movie for helping him the most in his personal development journey.
- Tom is a big fan of Batman and even to this day tries to read Batman comics every week.
- After exiting from Quest Nutrition, Tom Bilyeu says that he could have bought an island and retired without having to work another day. But, he wanted to have an impact on the world and pull people out of the matrix by giving them an empowering mindset which has led to his work at Impact Theory.
- Tom isn’t planning on having kids anytime soon. He focuses his undivided attention on his vision with Impact Theory.
- Tom Bilyeu says that AI and Robotics will disrupt the economy in the coming years. This will be the theme of his comic book, Neon Future.
- Investing in skills will yield the highest return. The baseline skill Tom wants people to develop is emotional resilience.
- Tom Bilyeu has a 70-year-plan on making a huge impact on people’s lives with Impact Theory and plans to emulate the success of Disney.
Tom Bilyeu Quotes
- “If you’re focused in the beginning of your career with monetizing your current skill set you will never get where you want to go because money only spends once unless you’re really good at investing, which most young people are not. Whereas, skills monetize again and again and again and again.”
- “Doing hard shit that you don’t want to do and doing it anyway, that’s exactly how you gain self-worth. You can’t just tell someone to feel worthy.”
- “No one is responsible for the difficulties in your life but you.”
Tom’s Early Life
Tom Bilyeu wanted to be a comedian when he was in school. He used to perform stand up comedy for students at his school. This turned into a passion for making films when he started playing with a camcorder his father brought home which eventually led him to film school.
- Tom Bilyeu wanted to be a comedian while at school and most of his comedies were self-deprecating ones.
- His father brought home a camcorder that Tom started to engage with and realized that he wanted to be a director.
- Tom Bilyeu went to film school where he showed early signs of promise as a director. However, he failed miserably in his thesis film that brought down his hopes.
- He taught at the New York Film Academy after graduating from film school and also dabbled with selling video games and insurance from door to door.
Meeting his Future Wife
Tom Bilyeu met his future wife, Lisa, and stayed with her in London in her parent’s house for a year. Lisa’s father refused to give his daughter’s hand in marriage because he was concerned about how Tom could take care of her.
- Tom Bilyeu credits his wife, Lisa Bilyeu for playing a major role in his transformation into someone who took accountability for his life.
- Lisa’s father was born in Cyprus and had worked his way up to become an entrepreneur and was unsure of Tom Bilyeu and whether he could take care of his daughter.
Working up the Ladder
Tom Bilyeu met his future business partners, Ron Pena and Mike Osborn, and joined as a copywriter in their technology company. For 8 and a half years he worked hard and climbed up the ladder to reach the position of Chief Marketing Officer.
- Tom Bilyeu started as a copywriter in the technology company of Ron Pena and Mike Osborn.
- Tom always wanted to be rich and have 6-pack abs and associating with Ron and Mike who seemed like the ideal business partners to get him to his goals seemed rational.
- He accumulated a lot of skills during his time working with Ron Pena and Mike Osborn. He was always upbeat and ready to do anything.
- The years of hard work saw Tom rise up the ranks to become the Chief Marketing Officer with a 10% share in the company.
At the 6 and a half year mark of his journey climbing up the ladders, his wife told him that his work obsession was damaging their marriage. He decided that he needed to do something else and told Ron Pena and Mike Osborn about planning to quit. They heard him talk about doing something that even though will not have an immediate ROI will add value to people’s lives. They decided to team up together for this new mission.
- Tom Bilyeu had worked his way up in the company and decided to quit to do something else.
- Ron Pena and Mike Osborn heard Tom out and decided to join forces for a new venture in the food business.
- They started Quest Nutrition with a focus on revolutionizing the food industry by adding value to people’s lives.
- Social Media was a big driver for Quest Nutrition as the company grew by 57,000% in the first 3 years in manufacturing.
- Tom Bilyeu, Ron Pena, and Mike Osborn had an equal share in the company.
- Tom Bilyeu was the President and oversaw Marketing and Sales while Mike Osborn was the Chief Operations Officer.
- The trio did not get caught up with their roles and had a transparent way of working to ensure that the company was successful.
Tom Bilyeu left Quest Nutrition in 2016 to start Impact Theory with a mission to pull people out of the matrix by giving them an empowering mindset.
- Tom Bilyeu could have bought an island and retired without working another day in life after leaving Quest Nutrition but he chose to make an impact on the world.
- He shares a 50-50 percentage in the company with his wife, Lisa Bilyeu, who is the co-founder.
- Tom Bilyeu plans on emulating the success of Disney with Impact Theory and has a 70-year plan to realize his vision.
- Impact Theory is bringing out the ‘Neon Future’ comic series with its theme around Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.
Inspiration, Kids, and Thoughts on Future
Tom Bilyeu credits ‘The Matrix’ movie for providing him with the inspiration he needed during his lowly years. He doesn’t plan on having kids anytime soon and wants people to toughen up to face the future.
- The Matrix had a big impact on the personal development of Tom Bilyeu.
- Tom loves Batman and thinks the reason why people love Batman is that he doesn’t have any superpowers. He tries to read Batman comics every week.
- Tom Bilyeu doesn’t plan on having kids anytime soon. He plans on devoting his time and energy to realizing his vision for Impact Theory.
- He wants people to toughen up and gain their self-worth.
- He thinks that the Universal Basic Income (UBI) could make people not put their best foot forward. But, in case, if proven with data that UBI empowered people, he will happily support it.
Skills and Taking Criticism
- Tom Bilyeu says that investing in skills will yield the highest return.
- He says that the baseline skill everyone needs to work on is emotional resilience.
- He personally processes criticisms based on the truth. If the criticism is correct, he will think about it and try to fix himself. But if it is not, he doesn’t care about it and moves on.
- After re-aligning himself, he reminds himself of his goal and repeats to himself that he can do anything he sets his mind to on a long enough timeline.
- Tom Bilyeu also looks for an already laid out path to follow. If he finds one, he will be happy to take away the lessons to incorporate in his journey.