We had the good fortune of connecting with Josh Brown and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Josh, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I think about “risk” or being willing to “take risks” as a prerequisite to success in both our lives and our careers. We must take calculated risks based on what we believe our most noble aim is for our life/career, as that will lead to our best life possible (in other words, for our lives/careers, we should set out to do what we believe our highest possible good is as individuals or what you believe will make for a better world). That means you must interpret what your most noble aim is for your life/career path. The answer is different for everyone and no one else can determine the answer for you. This will no doubt be a difficult and painful process (as is everything else worthwhile and meaningful), but you must ask yourself – “do you really have anything better to do?” and if you don’t – why would you do anything else? Taking risks is difficult for everyone but life in general is inevitably difficult and painful at times – you might as well “choose your pain” so that you have something meaningful to help sustain you through those difficult times that you will undoubtedly encounter. I determined my most noble aim was to help as many people as possible live the healthiest, most meaningful, and best version of their life possible – that led me to start Cryo Nation in 2014. My path to start Cryo Nation was not a “straight-shot” and it has not been easy since then. In fact, the most difficult years in my life (by far) have come since opening Cryo Nation but those have also been the best and most rewarding years of my life (by far). The first step in that lifelong process of eventually opening Cryo Nation was to first determine what I was passionate about and what motivated and moved me into taking massive action. Over time, I realized I was passionate about health and wellness. However, even once I realized that passion, I had no idea how to apply that passion to my life/career – that is where taking a series of calculated risks came into play. It is rare if not impossible to “just know” exactly what you want to do in life and your career. The only way to figure out what you want is by running a series of experiments/risks and also have a willingness to fail and continue to try experiment after experiment, risk after risk, as if you are a mad scientist. Each of these experiments have an inherent cost associated with them (time, energy, money, etc.) and thus they also have inherent risk associated with them as you do not know what the outcome is going to be. Some experiments will be successful, most will be failures. However, they are all worthwhile experiments/risks if it brings you closer and more in alignment with your ultimate successful life/career path. Ideally, starting off, the risks you take should be more frequent and smaller in nature – you do not want to “put all your eggs in one basket” early on when you are still unsure of your path as that is too risky. By taking more frequent and smaller risks initially, you can conduct a higher amount of experiments and more quickly gain knowledge and momentum that will help guide you towards your ultimate life/career path, while at the same time not exposing yourself to too much risk. If the experiment ends up failing, it should not cost you much (as the risk was small) and you simultaneously benefit from the knowledge you learned from it and be able to apply that knowledge to future experiments/risks. If the experiment/risk is successful, you double down on your success as now you have evidence that you are progressing on the right path and you have more confidence and a greater chance of success in related future experiments based on the knowledge and success of your previous successful experiment/risk. As you continue to progress on your path, you will become more formidable and capable of taking on bigger risks and challenges that propel you further towards your ultimate life/career path and living your best life possible. This concept is like playing poker in which there are multiple rounds of betting. In the early rounds of betting, the stakes are generally less expensive (less risky) and you don’t know how your “hand” will turn out yet as all the cards have still not been revealed at this stage of the game. You do not want to go “all-in” at this stage as there is too much unknown and too much risk involved. As you progress to the later rounds, the stakes increase (more risk) as the cards are revealed but so does your knowledge as your “hand” goes from unknown to known. My strategy for both life and poker is the same in this regard – be willing to participate in a bunch of “cheap” hands/experiments and take a lot of small risks early on in life as you don’t know how each one will play out. Be alert, pay attention, and be quick to move away from the failed hands/experiments/risks early on before you have invested too much of your time, money, and energy. For the hands/experiments/risks that show promise (based off previous success), continue to invest more in those endeavors and take greater calculated risks as you progress further down your life/career path. Continue to be patient, disciplined, and have great self-awareness and before you know it, you will be able and ready to go “all-in” on your life/career path and living your best life possible. Cryo Nation has now been open for the better part of a decade and we have been highly successful in our mission of helping as many people as possible live their healthiest, most meaningful, and best version of their life possible. Even during these crazy Covid-19 times, we are still taking risks, opening new locations when many other businesses in our industry are contracting or going out of business. I would be lying if I did not say there are times of apprehension and butterflies in my stomach from taking some of these risks – in the past, I would do anything to avoid those feelings. Now, I embrace and seek out those feelings, as I realize the butterflies in the pit of my stomach mean I’m taking the epic calculated risks that I need to take and those butterflies come with the territory and simply let me know that I am in the process of doing something epic and am on the right path. Sure, there will be plenty of pain and suffering involved and I could fail miserably. There will still be many challenging days ahead and difficult moments but whenever I am in one of those moments, I just ask myself, “do I really have anything better to do?” …
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There have been many family, friends and mentors that helped me along the way. To name a few: My family and my parents in particular gave me a great starting foundation to work with. My business partner, Sarah Anderson, who has helped elevate Cryo Nation to another level with her unique skillset. Kaan Dikolcay, who has turned into another foundational pillar of the business, especially helping with the IT/marketing side of things. My main business mentor, Drew Wilson, former CEO of Rockin’ Jump Trampoline Park, has also been instrumental in helping me turn the vision for Cryo Nation to have multiple locations/franchisees, into a reality. There have been countless others along the way as well – I could not have done this alone…