As of August, of this year, Bare Performance Nutrition has been in business for 10 years!

From our humble beginnings in the small college apartment of our Founder and CEO Nick Bare, to the birth and evolution of Go One More® and the millions of supporters, community members, and loyal customers of today - a lot has taken place in the past decade.

Out of these experiences, Nick shares 10 core insights that have been learned in the work of growing BPN.

Whether you’re a business owner and entrepreneur, the leader of a team or family, or simply want to learn and apply tried and true perspectives to your life, the lessons that follow are for you!

#1. Doubt is Only Dangerous IF You Doubt Yourself

You are the only person that needs to believe.  

If we are confident in our ability to overcome any obstacles that stand in our way, this belief ensures that we won’t quit until the battle is won.

But when we allow doubt and insecurity to consume us, we quickly begin to lose hope.

This is not to say that you won’t feel fear. Fear and anxiety are normal emotions tied to the pursuit of great things. But at your core, you should always believe in your abilities.

More than ever before, we compare ourselves to others, judging their skills and achievements against our own.

Comparison is the root of self-doubt. Realize that your journey is unique. Your process is unfolding at a necessary rate; and one that allows for you to gain important experience, acquire knowledge, and progress into a greater version of yourself.

Believe in yourself. Block out any outside noise and control what yours is to control. Doubt will never be dangerous to you, so long as you don’t doubt yourself.

#2. Paralysis by Analysis

Too many people lose before the battle has even begun. They overthink and overanalyze, never settling on a decision. They believe that there is too much more to consider before they can act.

They are paralyzed by the unknown, and as such, they never learn or discover anything. The only way that we grow is through the taking of steps forward.

In a book that we've recently read at BPN, No Rules Rules, written by the Founder of Netflix, it is said that ‘you lose your job for not placing enough bets; but losing on a bet isn’t how you get fired'.

You will never know everything. There’s only so much that you can do to prepare. At the end of the day, you must act.

Place the bet. Make the decision. Learn the hard lessons and gain the valuable experiences. You will never regret doing the work, but you will always wonder what could’ve been, had you done more.

#3. Become a Swiss Army Pocket Knife

For the majority of BPN’s first decade in business (2012-2022), there were few employees, fleeting resources, and little understanding of what it took to grow and scale a business.

The only way to overcome these challenges was to learn as much information and gain as much experience as possible.

Consider the qualities of a Swiss Army Pocket Knife. It’s the epitome of a multi-use tool, with things like a screwdriver, scissors, can opener, and multiple sizes of blades, all in one handy item.

As a bootstrapped business, like BPN, working as a Swiss Army Pocket Knife was an essential skill.

It’s necessary to be able to function as multiple departments in one person. From customer service to fulfillment and operations, marketing, design, finances, and a multitude of other administrative responsibilities; one person can (and in some situations, must) be able to serve in each of these roles, simultaneously.

For everyone, we can gain important knowledge and skills by prioritizing acquisition and application. The more well-rounded you can be as a professional, the more that you will stand out from the rest.

#4. Know When NOT to be a Swiss Army Pocket Knife

As a growing company, however, there is a time and place to begin hiring and delegating responsibility.

While there is no common blueprint for when to begin this process, there will be a time when you are holding yourself and your business back by trying to assume all responsibilities on your own.

Rather than continue being a multi-use tool for your company, you can begin assigning tasks to experts in their fields. People who excel at a specific skill set and can perform at a high-level within their area of genius.

The BPN belief is that you will go fast alone, but you can go much farther together. And with great team members, we’ve found that productivity and performance is multiplied.

In your journey, never short sight the importance of a strong team, and the fulfillment that comes from going far together to achieve great things.

#5. Establish A North Star & Fight to Maintain the Trajectory

Without an established vision, there is no direction.

A quote that guides this thought is when there’s no vision the people will perish. This belief places the idea of a North Star at the forefront of the business.

An effective vision answers questions such as:

  • Where are we headed?
  • What does the path forward look like?
  • Who are we?

When a leader answers these questions for their team, it allows each member to understand their responsibilities within the context of the organizations most important goals. Because of this, every action can be extremely intentional.

Once the North Star is established, every member of the organization must work to maintain the trajectory, and fight to hold the standard.

It’s even more important to say your vision loud and clear as the team grows, and departments expand. If you fail to steer the ship, it will be left afloat in open water.

Build around a clear vision and go deep on specific goals. It’s more effective to go deep on fewer things, than shallow on many. You should be able to point your team to the horizon, allowing them to work towards the destination.

#6. Educate Yourself on Cashflow & Financial Stability  

As a new business owner, it’s easy to buy into false beliefs of best practices for the financial health of your business.

For a product-based business, purchasing inventory and managing the cost of goods will quickly consume cash. In the early stages of BPN, we would pay 100% of all inventory cost upfront, meaning that in some situations, the business would invest money into goods that couldn’t be sold for months.

As a business scales, the practices that got you here will no longer get you there. This is especially true with finances. And when you buy into the false notion that the health of your business is dependent on the amount of money sitting in your bank account, you quickly come to realize that things can change on a dime.

It’s essential to learn from others, so that you don’t make preventable mistakes. Recruit a mentor, invest in an advisor, and when the time is right, hire a financial team.

BPN got lucky, in that we made it through tough times. The hard reality is that many potentially great, impactful businesses fail, because of poorly managed finances.

Stop surviving off hope and a wish and begin planning for a future of financial success.

#7. Hire Slow, Fire Fast

Recently, Ben Francis - CEO of Gym Shark, visited the BPN HQ, and advised us on the idea that a business is built off three things:

  1. Product – Is your product good and sellable?
  2. Brand – Is there a message and mission to your brand? Do people resonate with the story?
  3. People – Do you have good people? Can your team help build the business and brand?

A business is a team, and the essential aspect of any successful team is that its people are managed effectively. This system begins with the hiring process. The choice of who does and doesn’t join the team is crucial, because if you hire the wrong people, your business will go stale, or worse, regress.

Hire based off character and culture, as well as skills and experience.

If someone is a character-fit, but lacks the necessary skills to do the job, then the hire risks the quality of your businesses work. Similarly, if the candidate has a wealth of experience, but doesn’t fit your company’s unique culture, they may put the environment of your business in jeopardy.

Every member of a team should be expected to contribute through their area of genius, and at a minimum, carry the weight of their responsibilities. These responsibilities should be communicated by you, as the leader, through realistic, feasible, and achievable expectations.

Establishing and reinforcing these expectations for your team members ensures that you have done your due diligence in committing to the person and laid the foundation for their commitment to the mission and vision of your company.

#8. Trust BUT Verify

Many of these lessons come from systems used in the military.

One key concept that carries over from military to business is the idea that as a leader, you should trust people to do their job the right way; but that trust should be supported by a process of verification.

Through verification, you are ensuring accountability for each member of the team and holding each position to the company’s specific standards. This allows each employee to feel their worth and importance to the team’s collective mission – producing a greater quality of work.

Trust without verification is a strictly a matter of hope; and hope alone is a dangerous place to live. Verify that the work is not only getting done, but also being produced to standard.

#9. Lead with Context & NOT Control

Control is exhausting, for the leader and team members alike.

In environments with too much control, creativity is limited, motivation is drained, and culture is diminished. With context, however, you can empower your team through clarity and feelings of ownership.

Context can be effectively provided to your team through:

  1. Task
  2. Condition
  3. Standard
  4. Timeline

These guidelines provide context, rather than control. They hand ownership over to the person performing the task, allowing them to operate within parameters to achieve the desired outcome.

When this concept is applied effectively, you will find that your team is functioning at a higher-level of motivation and output, leading to a more meaningful brand impact.

#10. Growth is a Choice

You must force growth; it will never willingly present itself to you.

Within the growth process, there are growing pains. Moments of challenge, resistance, and discomfort. These pains force many people to quit before they’ve even truly begun.

Those who welcome growing pains as a necessary step in the journey, and continue to overcome this discomfort, will ultimately benefit through an outcome of growth and development.

Choose growth by walking towards challenge. Identify the hard right and choose it, every single time.

These are just a few of the many lessons learned through BPN’s first decade in business.

Because of these lessons learned, our company is making a meaningful impact on our community, providing a full line of tested, trusted, and true supplements, and continuing to Go One More®!

From Nick Bare and all of us at BPN, we thank you for your endless support, and look forward to our next decade together!