Photo Credit: Provided by Nick Bare
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“I’m going to make 1,000,000 dollars this primary 12 months,” Nick Bare, founding father of Bare Performance Nutrition (BPN) told his father back in 2012. “And he said, ‘Nick, if it was that easy, everyone would do it.’ And people words still ring very true, because that first 12 months in revenue, we did $20,000…we missed the mark significantly — I used to be humbled very early on.”
Bare began BPN out of his college apartment in Pennsylvania using a handful of core ingredients: a pinch of a military loan, a scoop of trial and error, a splash of free help from friends and a sprinkle of not having any idea of what he was doing.
“(It was) ignorance of what it was actually going to take to construct an organization of the scale that I wanted to construct and in addition blind to how hard it was going to be,” Bare recalls.
The nutrition student would buy raw ingredients in bulk, measure them on a food scale that only weighed in one-gram increments, scoop the mixtures into baggies and sell them out of his dorm room for $5 a pop (obviously not alarming). Because the blends caught on, Bare enlisted a friend to construct their website at no cost, one other to design the labels, and he himself dieted all the way down to take marketing photos.
Following stagnant growth of sales from 2012-2016, Bare decided to make the leap, get out of the US Army and go all in on his entrepreneurial enterprise in 2017, which turned out to repay — literally.
“We did seven figures in revenue. But, it was the toughest 12 months of my entire life since it was three of us: me, my brother, and our friend Joe, who’s still within the business — he’s our Director of Operations. And we were getting our ass kicked because we didn’t know easy methods to manage inventory. We didn’t know easy methods to manage money flow. We had no line of credit, we had no loans. We had nothing,” Bare said. “There have been many, many nights where we had little or no money left within the checking account and rent was due the next week. So it was an excellent 12 months. It was a pivotal 12 months for the brand, however it was one of the stressful years of my life.”
Nevertheless, as anyone who’s built something great knows, there’s a specific magic in those difficult growing-pain seasons.
“The one technique to describe it’s each day waking up felt like Christmas while you’re ten years old, since you’re so excited for that day and what you’re going to experience, and there’s no blueprint for what you’re about to do — you’re just figuring it out as you go. It was so exciting.”
Company culture and keeping that Christmas-morning-like spirit is an important part to BPN’s success to this point, which is a really intentional a part of their ethos.
“I won’t hire someone to hitch the team in the event that they don’t consider in BPN and our mission. We’ve got this scale out of ten that we use for values at BPN based off of our hiring, and if you happen to’re not a twelve out of ten in your belief in our organization and our mission and what we’re doing, you simply won’t fit here. In case you don’t have that bootstrapped-feel and that just hungry, humble attitude, it doesn’t matter how smart you might be or what experience you bring, you continue to won’t fit,” Bare explained.
“We include (potential candidates) in a few of our meetings, our cadences, and in the event that they don’t have this look on their face of like ‘Wow, what you guys are doing here is awesome’, — if you happen to don’t have that from the start, you’re probably never going to have it. I’m not saying what we’ve got here is that this castle, it’s not by any means, but you possibly can feel the energy while you’re talking to everyone. You possibly can feel how passionate they’re about their job and the way powerful going more is within the mission that we’re pursuing…and if someone doesn’t visually experience that doesn’t click, I don’t think it ever will.”
Bare went on to share that hiring folks who’re smarter than he’s is significant, and having an ego that stops you from doing so can hold the organization back.
“And, what I actually have found is once I’ve hired individuals who have different experiences than me, who bring a latest perspective to the table, who might need done larger, greater, tougher things than me, they assist elevate all of us on this business.”
Fast-forward to 2023, and BPN is an esteemed nutrition brand for hybrid athletes, with products available on their website and emerging into the retail space, first in the corporate’s home-state of Texas in HEB stores and Vitamin Shoppe. Historically known for the slogan “Go One More”, the complement line is pivoting to a latest message for the brand new 12 months, alongside Bare stepping down as CEO.
Earlier this month, BPN made the announcement that Kat Thomas would tackle the role of Chief Operating Officer, following intentional efforts to separate Bare from being the only identity of the road.
“I feel the brand is at some extent now where it definitely could survive in scale and thrive without me. A couple of years ago, it probably wasn’t that. This 12 months, we’ve done some these past two years, we’ve made some key steps and initiatives to actually start separating me from the brand. To not remove me, but I desired to make it so BPN could stand by itself.”
Bare has moved to a position focused on marketing and content, where he feels he can add essentially the most value for the upward trajectory of the corporate. Over time, he’s grow to be less tied to the ‘CEO’ title, and more appreciative of his role as ‘founder’, “because you possibly can’t take that founder title away, especially when it’s a bootstrapped business.”
Historically known for the “Go One More” slogan, tattoo’d by lots of, if not hundreds, of fans around the globe, the corporate is launching a sub-campaign “Prove Yourself Right” this 12 months, expecting an identical strong resonance. “Go One More,” trademarked in 2018, applies far more vastly than in sport.
“It may very well be your fitness, it may very well be your work, the business you’re constructing, being a parent or a spouse” when you need to stop, when you need to quit, when it gets really hard and obstacles show up because they may, it’s not stopping when that obstacle is there. It’s pushing past and giving just a little bit more effort. And that small amount of effort you place in compounds over time, because consistency compounds,” Bare said.
“Prove Yourself Right” is inspired by the notion that doubting yourself is dangerous, and committing to goals from a more positive perspective may be ultimately strongest.
After training for his first sub-three-hour marathon in 2020, documenting the journey online and receiving a number of public criticism, the founder wrote “You f****ing can’t” on his arm to assist motivate him.
“I missed that marathon by 24 minutes, which in marathon time is just not a small miss — that may be a huge miss. After which the 12 months after that, I put within the work required to run a sub-three (race) and really do a correct training block. I did it, but I believed myself through that whole process,” he said. “There’s power in the assumption in yourself so long as you place within the work. I can’t just toe the road of a marathon and say, ‘I’m going to run a sub-two-hour marathon because I feel in myself; you may have to pair the work with the assumption. Optimism or attempting to prove others flawed or right, like that only can take you up to now if you happen to haven’t put within the work to get there.”
For more concerning the company’s inception, plans for the longer term and more, try the complete interview with Nick Bare as a component of our Coffee Break Conversations series here. These weekly interviews with industry experts are only available to our RX subscribers, and you possibly can join here for just $1 if you happen to aren’t already subscribed.
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