Joel Runyon is a blogger, author, athlete, endurance runner, businessman, and speaker. He is the owner of IMPOSSIBLE ®, a company comprised of a few online-based businesses such as IMPOSSIBLE X, a strategic online marketing consultancy, IMPOSSIBLE HQ, a series of online publishing, and IMPOSSIBLE.org, the company’s philanthropic arm focused on giving back. Moreover, Runyon also works at DrinkLMNT as an advisor to startups.
What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?
That no one knows what they’re doing and everyone is making it up as they go along. I think people get this really rigid idea in their head that some people have it all figured out, but if you meet enough people you realize everyone is just sort of ad-libbing.
Gives you a lot more room to experiment, play and find out what you really want to do.
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
Do what you love.
What you love is not necessarily what people will pay for.
A lot of people get disillusioned when they hear that advice and then give up. But just because you love something doesn’t mean that it’s valuable to other people.
For example, I like being healthy, but in order to be useful, I needed to build a paleo guide and a meal planning app to help people stick with it. What I love and what will make you a living aren’t always the same thing.
Another example – our impossible site is inspiring to many people but detailing and demonstrating dozens of exercises on our Impossible Fitness site is more explicitly helpful.
Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?
At one point in 2014, I launched a worldwide ultra-marathon project and then immediately 1) busted my ankle on race #1 2) got prescribed 6 months of physical therapy rehab 3) got sued by a billionaire in quick succession.
It sucked. Probably one of the most expensive + physically difficult things I’ve ever done.
But, I came out the other side – I built a mobility exercise app to help people rehab their broken bodies – because it was a problem I kept running into. I resolved the lawsuit and have helped dozens of entrepreneurs in similar situations. And, I finished the races and we ended up raising nearly $300k for students around the world at Impossible.org.
If you take the hard things in your life, lean on them and turn them into something bigger – you can often turn them into positive turning points.
What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?
What is your morning routine?
I am not the guy to ask about morning routines :).
What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?
Keeping a calendar and living by it. I’m strict about doing what’s on my calendar and not missing a slot. However, I’ve also become religious about not letting things get on my calendar that I don’t want to do.
This combination of discipline to do the things that are on my calendar and the discipline to not schedule things I don’t enjoy has helped a lot.
What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?
One of them is called workstation popcorn – it’s where I bounce from work location to work location while having a set specific # of tasks to complete at each. The other is setting blocks of time within which I have to accomplish something. This helps with Parkinson’s law and keeps small tasks from turning into sprawling ones.
What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller – It takes the macro look at your life and asks the question “if your life was a movie, would it be one worth watching?”
It completely changed the way that I look at how I go about the things that I do and start doing the things that I always wanted to do.
Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?