Tim O’Brien is the founder and owner of The Healthy Place, an e-commerce store for healthy products. They also have 4 brick and mortar stores for the company as well. He is also the founder of LivelyVitaminCo and WildTheory.
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?
I grew up in Mukwonago WI. A small town with maybe like 4-6,000 people. I was the second born which tends to insight some humility because “the older sibling is the boss” 🙂 My mom battled through cancer when I was four or five. Much of her recovery was through natural alternatives and through that she got a job at a health food store. I watched my mom help a lot of people as I spent a decent amount of time at the store with mom watching these cool health testimonies unfold. My parents fought a lot growing up. Lots of yelling and financial stress. This led to their eventual divorce when I was ten years old. I took that pretty hard.
Kinda cool though how some of that stuff impacted my life. My mom’s fight with cancer is what introduced me to the world of nutrition, natural alternatives, and giving my life to helping others in their health. The parents’ divorce gave me a passion for a healthy family myself(I have three kids). Growing up poor gave me a passion to build wealth by simultaneously making the world a better place. I always like to encourage people that all the hardships in your life can be used for the good if you are willing to learn from them and encourage others through your story.
What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?
That life is a gift. I was very angry earlier in my life. It was sort of my response to my parents always fighting and their divorce. A lack of care for people, life, school, my work ethics, and so on was like a dark cloud over my life. After a powerful experience I had, I woke up. I call it my “great awakening” life became rich. The air I breathe. The love for myself and others I feel drove me to “do great things” with my life. Now I am thankful for each day and each opportunity I have to impact someone or something for good!!
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
I think the idea out there that we all should just go through life eating whatever we want and waiting for health problems to arise. Once those health problems arise, getting medicated instead of looking at the root of the problem. That’s kinda what is encouraged through our medical system today. Drugs, drugs, and more drugs. I think it’s important to get someone on your team that knows and understands supplements both for daily general use and for when those health problems arise. There is a natural alternative to everything. The amount of surgeries that are not needed, the amount of antibiotics handed out that are not necessary, and the volume of drugs that people do not need to take are all tragic. People just don’t know the truth. They don’t know that there are other options.
That’s literally what my staff of Certified Wellness Consultants do, is to point people towards the natural alternatives. Check out our Live Chat for your questions or find someone that can be on your team in this area.
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?
My teen years were pretty rough. Lots of anger towards the world. Didn’t value my life, school, those around me very much. I really didn’t like myself. Not really popular in school. I am short and small as a person. Lots of insecurities and rejection throughout grade school and high school. My response to rejection was to reject the world.
I found all sorts of destructive ways to “get back” at the world. Destroying property. Stealing from businesses. Nearly failing high school. Drugs. Risking my life doing stupid things for attention. I remember one time riding on top of a buddy’s car, laying down on top of it holding onto either side then telling him to drive fast. He said we hit 90mph. I just didn’t care what happened to my life or anyone else’s.
When I was eighteen years old I had a powerful encounter. I saw my life, like a stringed puppet, being controlled by darkness. I repented of throwing my life away and gave my life to God. I told him that I wanted to do whatever he wanted me to do on this earth.
The hate, anger, and darkness in my heart were lifted. I was free from the darkness that had been controlling me! Filled with new life, I began pursuing what was good, what was right, what was glorifying to God.
I learned a ton through that experience. I learned that the enemy wants to use the hardships in your life to destroy you. God on the other hand wants to use the hardships in your life to make you stronger, trust Him more, and be used for the greater good!
What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?
The belief that everyone has gold inside of them. No matter their looks, their net worth, their talents, their ability to “fit in”. There is incredible value in each human and I really like people a lot. I think that has helped me. Since I have that core belief about people, I listen to people when they have ideas, thoughts, or recommendations. Each conversation I have, I have a focus on finding the gold in what they are saying. That approach has helped me a ton in business. My customers, my staff, my business relationships, friends have all played a huge part in building my company because I take what they say seriously considering their thoughts.
What is your morning routine?
I wake up at 4:30 am each morning. I spend the first 15-30 minutes with the Lord. Reading the Bible, praying, and asking the Lord to guide my day and that it would bring Him Glory
5 am-7 am work on emails and projects
7 am-8 am Read my kids a Bible story teaching them something about life, pray together for the day, make and have breakfast with them, clean up the kitchen for Becki so she is not left with a mess for the day
8 am-5:30 pm Work with my managers, connect with our agencies making sure they are moving the ship forward, connecting with staff, and overall problem solving
5:30-6:00 pm dinner together as a family.
6:00 pm-8:30 playing with the kids and putting them to sleep
8:30 pm-10 pm Spend some quality time with Becki then go to sleep
What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?
I would say spending the first part of each day with the Lord. I heard a story once about captains of ships that would sail across the Atlantic before sophisticated navigation tools were invented. Every night, the captain would realign his direction with the stars. If the captain was off just a little bit, it would make him more and more off as he sailed and he could literally end up on the wrong continent!
I view each morning as a reset. Resigning up to wholehearted devotion to my purpose on this earth. It’s great because it’s the time I ask honest questions like, “Where is there greed in my life” or “Where am I being selfish and self-seeking?”
That time in the morning has kept me on the road that I want to be on.
What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?
People don’t realize how much time is wasted with things like “taking a lunch” or “chit-chatting”. These are two areas that I prep for. I love to be approachable but people know that I only have a minute to chit-chat. I tell my team that I have infinite time if you need support or encouragement but not to chit-chat. The second thing I do every day is to bring my lunch in a Tupperware. Eating while I work through the day. We only have eighty years on this earth, people matter, and I want to make an impact!!
What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?
Driven by Eternity by John Bevere. This book was so powerful to me because it highlights that we all have “70/80 years on planet earth” The things we do in this life matter and can have eternal impacts. This book helped develop one of my main life missions! Which is to impact, empower, and educate as many people as possible!
Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?
“Just do the right thing and the rest will take care of itself” Terry Lamerond
Terry is my hero in the nutraceutical space. He has built two mammoth supplement companies and has helped my industry probably more than any other over the last fifty years. He has been a mentor to me and I will always remember one of the best pieces of advice he passed on to me.