"I've always believed in pushing boundaries and trying new things. I think that's the spirit that's driving this whole thing and it's just really exciting to be a part of it."

Ryan Duey

Unlock your next-level physical and mental potential as Ryan Duey and I explore the nexus of technology and health. From the resilience of wearable tech like WHOOP to the latest in sleep optimization, we share our personal trials and triumphs. Ryan, co-founder of Plunge, reveals how harnessing the elements can lead to profound benefits for the nervous system and overall health.

This episode showcases the power of transformation, highlighting the convergence of passion, innovation, and the pursuit of excellence. Ryan delves into the fascinating story behind the brand and how he went from living out of his RV to running a company now valued over $20 MILLION!

Follow Ryan @ryanduey

Follow Plunge @plunge

Follow Chase @chase_chewning


In this episode, Ryan discusses...

  • Technology enhances health tracking and recovery, as seen with devices like WHOOP and Apple Watch

  • Cold water plunging can significantly benefit the nervous system and overall mental health

  • Embracing discomfort, like cold plunging, cultivates resilience and personal growth

  • Customer feedback is vital for product improvement and business evolution

  • Core company values should be deeply integrated into culture and hiring processes

  • Overcoming leadership challenges is key to scaling a successful business

  • Democratization of health tech aims to make recovery modalities accessible to more people

  • Personal dedication and precision are essential for crafting a fulfilling life


Episode resources:

EFR 767: The Plunge Story - Cold Exposure Benefits and Building a Multi-Million Dollar Company From Rock Bottom with Ryan Duey

Unlock your next-level physical and mental potential as Ryan Duey and I explore the nexus of technology and health. From the resilience of wearable tech like WHOOP to the latest in sleep optimization, we share our personal trials and triumphs. Ryan, co-founder of Plunge, reveals how harnessing the elements can lead to profound benefits for the nervous system and overall health.

This episode showcases the power of transformation, highlighting the convergence of passion, innovation, and the pursuit of excellence. Ryan delves into the fascinating story behind the brand and how he went from living out of his RV to running a company now valued over $20 MILLION!

Follow Ryan @ryanduey

Follow Plunge @plunge

Follow Chase @chase_chewning


In this episode, Ryan discusses...

  • Technology enhances health tracking and recovery, as seen with devices like WHOOP and Apple Watch

  • Cold water plunging can significantly benefit the nervous system and overall mental health

  • Embracing discomfort, like cold plunging, cultivates resilience and personal growth

  • Customer feedback is vital for product improvement and business evolution

  • Core company values should be deeply integrated into culture and hiring processes

  • Overcoming leadership challenges is key to scaling a successful business

  • Democratization of health tech aims to make recovery modalities accessible to more people

  • Personal dedication and precision are essential for crafting a fulfilling life


Episode resources:


0:10:33 - Speaker 1 Well, cool, I'm ready to roll, I'll set All right. So I've got the guy here who's responsible for everybody's most annoying Instagram reels TikToks, like we get it. You chose adversity. You got cold today. I got to ask man, can we cold plunge without it becoming our new personality trait?

0:10:59 - Speaker 2 Short answer no, it is. I mean, you can't beat it. You get into cold water for two minutes. You come out like tell me you don't feel like a superhero, like every single time I do I've been doing it for years and I come out and I still want to yell to the world like just fucking great.

0:11:17 - Speaker 1 Like share it with the world for damn sure, totally, totally. I heard you say in a recent interview that you and the team are currently in the process of going from good to great, and this concept is kind of top of mind for me right now. It's a great book, by the way. Good to great I forget the author, but from kind of the business perspective and development, I know you're a very curious person, a very hungry person, a very how we make it better kind of thing, but you guys have something that's very good. How do you go from good to great? What does that look like at plunge?

0:11:45 - Speaker 2 I mean it's across the board. I could go in everything that we do, whether it's just focusing on the product, like we have our product, it's good. How do we make it great? Like, how do we make it? You know all the things. Like we get feedback. We have probably more customer feedback than any company. On cold plunching I want a quieter unit. I wanted to get cold faster. I wanted to stay cold more. I wanted to have this feature with app accessibility. Okay, cool. How do we take that? Make that great? And I go marketing department. How are we? What's our story? What's our messaging? It's good. How do we make it great? Like it's just a level up, going from a company that started in a garage to, you know, bringing on more experienced people, more talented people. We all get more experience and being like okay, if we're not improving and getting better, then you know we're not doing what we. That's not what we're out to do.

We want to be what great is and that's that's kind of an endless journey. You know, it's like the infinite game.

0:12:36 - Speaker 1 Yeah exactly.

0:12:37 - Speaker 2 It's more of the conversation of just like being able to reflect on ourselves and I mean I look at like how we manufacture the product and how we're just sourcing the product and our supply chain, like all like deep into it. Like you know, we have our structure. It's worked, it's been good. How do we become great? What are the great companies out there? How do we go mirror them and then up level ourselves?

0:12:59 - Speaker 1 That's kind of what you guys offer. You know You're offering a way for people to go from good to great as well. Totally, man.

0:13:06 - Speaker 2 Yeah, I hadn't even really. I mean, we, I think about like a plunge and how it like changes someone's life, but yeah, it's literally. That's the game that's going on coast on that tagline. Where's me good to great, we're taking it.

0:13:17 - Speaker 1 I really just gone from warm to cold, but but it's ninja good to great right Totally. You know, all this came about in a very uncertain time and these are kind of the stories I love to share on the show, because this is what living a life ever for it is all about. You hit a wall, or the wall was brought to you, like a lot of us you know happened during COVID. We couldn't go to a lot of places, lockdowns, things were shut down, reopen, shut down. There was a lot of Uncertainty in the world and for a lot of small business owners that was very uncertain.

And you were running these float tanks at the time, which I could argue, I think a lot of people would argue, are very medically necessary, very contributory to, to health. But the government said no and in that time, you know, I think, when a lot of people maybe would have asked why me? Or gone down a rabbit hole of Not turning it into something good, you did how? How did you do that? What was that mindset? What was that shift like for you from they just told me to stop my life's work to I got to do something else.

0:14:22 - Speaker 2 Ups and downs. I mean I for sure had days where it was kind of why me and in that, but yeah, the government. So Mike, my co-founder and I we both own brick-and-mortar float tank businesses that's what we had done. We'd become friends through that, weren't business partners, but became friends through that, both in Northern California. And COVID hits, we shut, we have, we have shut them down.

He had just happened to be moving to Sacramento, which was kind of a total coincidence. He had moved up like April. It was already set in stone. He moved up April from the Bay Area. So he arrives and I remember he Was very adamant with me of like I'm coming out the other side better than this right now, like, and he put his flag down and it resonated with me and I was like he vocalized it and it was like no, this is, this is happening.

I'm with this guy exactly. It was my personal, like I had gone. There was a very unique time for me personally, had my partner who were together now, but we broke up at that time. The business was shut down. I All my income dried up because of that. So I Sold all my stuff and moved into an RV. So wow, so that was like. That all happened within about two and a half months, three months and you know Mike was. He was sitting here of like we were both into coal plunging and he was like there's no, I'm gonna, I'm gonna build a coal plunge, I'm gonna build a coal plunge. He's an engineer at heart. That's what he does. He built a float tank back before he started reboot.

0:15:45 - Speaker 1 So he started this is what like right around 2020, early 2020 this is so.

0:15:48 - Speaker 2 This is April, in May of 2020. Okay, so he starts you guys got to work quick.

Yeah, so everything shuts down, Everyone's at home. I'm kind of going through what I just had mentioned to you, so focusing on that with my life a bit, trying to get the business back open to. You know, capital floats. At the time, it was like, how do we get this back open? Yeah, getting ready for that, all the PPP and all the financial. You know, as that was where my focus was, he starts working on this plunge product and creating one. God, there's got to be one that's a better price point and looks better. That was kind of the goal. He starts doing it and then he actually approaches me. This was probably summer of 2020. Hey, do you want to? What? Do you think? You want to start a business? You want to go into business together, and I actually said no to start and yeah, it was I.

So I he was doing this in his garage and I walk in and I see the product and I think he was showing me a he, this is a prototype, this is super beta product. I was thinking he's showing me the product, he's the product guy and I'm not.

0:16:51 - Speaker 1 What is it?

0:16:53 - Speaker 2 Exactly dude, I'm not putting my name behind this and he was like cool, and so he kind of steps back. And I was like on it and I was like I got some other things. My personal life, that this isn't the opera. This isn't my best moment to go launch company Four weeks it wasn't a long time. He brings me back hey, what do you think? And it like made drastic improvements and I was like this is incredible. And I it's like let me think about this. And I think week or two later was like let's do it, I'm all in. And so we launched. I remember we turned. We turned the website on in September of 2020. We made a little shop Shopify plugin. We made a commitment to say we'll sell 20 of these. We had our email list from our brick and mortar capital floats and reboot. We're like these seem like crossover customers. Let's just email them and say, hey, this is what we've been doing over the pandemic. Who wants to buy one? We'll hand deliver to your house. They were all in northern california.

0:17:45 - Speaker 1 Mike had a van.

0:17:46 - Speaker 2 So that was our plan to get. How do we get our first 20 customers? We'll get our first 20 customers. We'll go shake their hand, we'll set this up at their house, we'll learn about the products. So by doing that, we had built trust with all these people. They trusted us for our business. Sure, yeah, we were able to launch the product super quick for a very low cost or a very like low investment from our end. And if there were issues, we had trust with these people and they knew we were going to make it right. So we didn't have to deal with shipping because we were hand delivering the unit all local all local, from san francisco to sacramento, and so that was our first.

You know, that was the plan, and then the. The other big win of how this kind of really took off was at the time you got to think back to, like you know, august, september of 2020. Cold plunging was very niche at this time. You know, there's the wim Hof world. If you're really into health and wellness.

You were into this so the term cold plunge, if you looked at google right, google trends at the time, the term ice bath was like 10x higher than cold plunging, like that term. But our net court, we were like we use the vernacular cold plunge, like I'm gonna call cold plunge, I am cold plunging. So we bought the cold plungecom the domain for 10 bucks, no shit. And cold was available.

Oh yeah, cold plungecom Was redirecting to this random sauna company and they weren't even using it. They weren't even selling cold plunges. And so we were like this is a wasteland, like no one is using this term. So we bought the cold plungecom, so we're selling to our first 20 customers, we're in the garage within our first month, we're first page ranking on google and that huge turn. So we, we, you know, there is always like a bit of luck and fate that kind of hits it. So we hit this market moment where that started to accelerate. We, I remember, we're in the garage building it. Him and I, we're the ones building these units. People are calling all over the country hey, I've been looking for a year. I didn't even know you guys existed. They thought we were much larger company than we were. So at this point we're starting to take orders and so that was like a big accelerant and that was, you know, and that was with no spend, that was with no all organic all organic.

That's amazing. Then the next phase was Aubrey Marcus was in his chest freezer and we just it was a comment. We were like hey, let's upgrade, can we upgrade you? He's like are you serious, dms us? He's like hey, fly out to austin.

0:20:02 - Speaker 1 Yeah, and that was our first unit we ever shipped was to his house, aubrey.

0:20:05 - Speaker 2 Yeah damn. And so you know that was and that kind of got us into this, like the social media world that you talk about, of like we just really valued every relationship and took care of anyone that anyone introduced us to and over delivered into what we kind of were we're given out or providing or connecting with everyone. So that was, that was kind of the first six month playbook Of kind of going from zero to wherever we went why Cole plunge as a business model?

0:20:32 - Speaker 1 It sounds like you guys were in the similar realm. You know recovery, wellness in the Float tank space. But what was it about this that you saw as a viable next option? Like, people want this. It could be a successful business. Like how did you, how did you know that, how did you see that?

0:20:52 - Speaker 2 No incredible foresight here. It was more of Like I'll speak for myself on this. It's like Like for me it was. I was super into it, I loved it. Everything that I've ever started has always been from just like sheer passion, like I love this, like I used to work in places To start yeah, it's like I got into soccer.

I used to work in professional soccer on the business side, but I just loved soccer. So I was like this is what I want. To work in float tanks. I started floating. I was like how I love this, how it's always been like. This balance of selfishness would like Be in like self lists you know it's like yeah.

I've selflessly want to share this because this has changed my life selfishly. There's a great opportunity here. This is interesting. It's going to connect me with more interesting people, like that's kind of always been the playbook, so I'll remark is this DMing you back?

I think you got something, totally that's and that was the one where I think we the product market fit was bigger than we anticipated. So, yes, I thought my group of friends were all in love with this. I knew what this did for you Like short windows of time, you get this ROI and you know how you're feeling coming out after. I didn't. I didn't expect it to be taken up this quickly by this amount of people. That's what's been like such a Cool part from a business end, but also just humanity. I was like I didn't know there were this many people out there. They were willing to like first spend this kind of money to do something this uncomfortable to better themselves, which I thought has just been Like super cool and exciting to see.

0:22:20 - Speaker 1 Well, I don't think a lot of people really knew that that's what they wanted until they began to see Literally everybody on social media doing it. Yes, I, it didn't come up as a thing for me until I think, like, maybe like early or summer 2022, it just seemed to be the new thing, that it was the new biohack. It was the new thing. It was the new, yeah, the new thing that everybody was doing to kind of like, create content. But also, hey, if you want to be successful, do this. Hey, if you want to figure out how to overcome adversity, do this. Hey, if you want to increase these biomarkers, do this. It was like the new hack for all the human optimization space. People.

0:22:55 - Speaker 2 Yeah, it exactly, it was this. It's a cool way to show, like you said, you're doing something hard yeah it was different. Yeah, and you know there's something the tub, the look of it, it was just it took, kind of took the world by storm. The rubber ducky.

0:23:09 - Speaker 1 Yeah, exactly.

0:23:10 - Speaker 2 Good call.

0:23:13 - Speaker 1 Which fun fact for the listeners. I didn't know this about the duck, that you guys include it now, because it used to be part of just the finalization production process right, you would just throw it in, hit this duck, float cool, drain it. Get it out of here.

0:23:26 - Speaker 2 It was literally my general manager at Capital Floats. She came over to our first small warehouse we had and she gave me a gift. She just wanted to see it. Her partner worked there, so she gave me the duck and we just we needed it and so I had this duck and then we had to find a way to be like okay, when does a tub, when does a tub finished? So we'd fill it up and go through quality control.

0:23:48 - Speaker 1 Yeah.

0:23:49 - Speaker 2 And we're not doing a ton of tubs at this time. So it's like, oh, we have this duck. If the duck's in here and it's floating, then you know it's done. And so we just started using the duck and then it became like this cult figure Became a thing yeah, and we had. That duck has been in the you know LeBron James videos, like you know Jake Paul, like the most impressions of this random duck just floating around.

0:24:16 - Speaker 1 Anytime I post that mine, I'm like look here me and my drunk duck again, because like it inevitably just turns upside down. So apparently if you plunge too long, you get inebriated.

0:24:25 - Speaker 2 That's, we've just stuck with the duck that we might have upgraded. I don't know. Actually, the new ones going out might be floating out but they would just turn upside down.

0:24:34 - Speaker 1 But you know what's the ultimate point here with this, aside from the business aspect, what is the ultimate goal? What problem are you solving? What solution are you giving people for investing money but also consciously choosing to do something very difficult and unpleasant Like how is this going to serve us?

0:24:54 - Speaker 2 There's a couple of pieces here. I think first and foremost you just like at the tip without getting into, like physiology, biologically, what it's happening to you.

0:25:07 - Speaker 1 Just insert a human lab episode.

0:25:08 - Speaker 2 For all that, yeah, so first, like I'm always clear, like I'm not the scientist guy and I'm like very big and like not promote people, I push people. A lot of our partners are better at that than I am, so I don't ever try and fake that. But the what you're getting in, I mean you're coming out and you're feeling incredible. That's just like if you do it, that's undeniable. That's what just let's start there Can we just acknowledge that. You come out, you feel incredible and that's a huge win.

The next piece to this is I liken it to we go to the gym for our body and our muscles. Go to the gym to tear down your muscles and they grow back stronger. That's a process that we go through. This is kind of the gym for your nervous system. You're getting in, it's a stressor on the system. It's you know, it's what the point of it is. Your, your adrenaline's coming in. You're getting this fight or flight reaction and that's good. That's, that's the signal that we want. And then you get in there and you actually learn how to control and regulate and calm yourself down in that and that usually happens a minute, in 90 seconds, in.

We, those that do it, like you understand there's a moment that you kind of you settle in and you know what. What are the downstream impacts of that? That's pretty large. You know. We see a ton of people just for the nervous system, what that does to form hormonal dynamics, to autoimmune issues that are coming up to just knowing how to regulate yourself in a stressful environment, and that's it's really rare. When you think about it, like to be able to control a fight or flight scenario. Most of the time we don't get to be in control of that. That's someone cutting us off in an unexpected moment. That's someone yelling at us at some moment. You know we don't and you just you have a reaction where this you can actually prepare and be like I know I'm getting into something and I'm going to lose my breath and my brain is going to say get out of here, yeah.

0:26:58 - Speaker 1 Walking up to it, it's saying don't do this. All the things every single time. I do it every morning. It doesn't change. Walking up to the plunge man. It's crazy and you?

0:27:06 - Speaker 2 just get used to it and it you recognize it. You see it for what it is. That's not going anywhere. So I think that is one of the most powerful aspects to it. And then we just see, like the biggest one we do see is this mental health conversation. People that are doing it. Like I said, I feel better, I'm happier, I'm a better father, I'm more connected to my child, like those are. That's what's showing up. I feel more, I have more drive to go after something you know, and that's what dopamine does.

Dopamine creates focus. Dopamine creates determination, Like that's. That's how it shows up.

0:27:44 - Speaker 1 So how many of us are losing dopamine now?

0:27:45 - Speaker 2 just you know doing this all the time, as addicted as anyone on this thing.

0:27:51 - Speaker 1 So here's a way to kind of replenish that.

0:27:53 - Speaker 2 It's exactly, it's a, it's a counter to that and you know, what's incredible is like a two to three minute time. There's very few things in ROI to do from this and it's really. Yeah, you have to do the hard thing, but I'm not. It's not even asking us to, like, do intense breathwork or go for a run. It's just get in and breathe and surrender for two to three minutes and you get out and you just it does it all for you.

0:28:19 - Speaker 1 It reminds me of this shout out to homie Greg Anderson this other amazing podcast endless endeavor.

0:28:24 - Speaker 2 I met Greg. Greg at yeah, believe I met Greg.

0:28:29 - Speaker 1 Probably gonna be like a first form event or he was big in jujitsu as well. Okay, yeah, I love he has this phrase of micro, micro dose adversity and I really feel like it doesn't get much better than getting cold for a minute, two minutes for the cascading benefits and the longevity of the benefits, than than that. It's all about micro dosing adversity.

0:28:51 - Speaker 2 Would you?

0:28:52 - Speaker 1 say that that's kind of what we're really getting through here with plunging.

0:28:55 - Speaker 2 Yeah, I think it's a great tool for that. It's not the end all to be all, but it's absolutely one of the big ones I think in this world of you know, as the world gets, the world gets more comfortable, like we are creating comfort, and I love that.

I want a nice, warm home, I want a comfortable bed, I want these things. But that's we have a natural gravitation towards comfort and there's a counterbalance to that. That's how we've evolved. That's we need some level, like you said, to build this resilience Right, and I think you know sauna, cold plunging, working out, breathwork, like these are just tools that we're understanding are like oh, this is a way to counterbalance, to live these life's of comfort that we all desire and that we all want.

0:29:35 - Speaker 1 Yeah, how has this kind of called you out? In a way you know, shifting from one business to another, and especially the way that it has been so well received. I'm sure it's got to be a lot more demanding than maybe what you're doing in the beginning of COVID. What have you seen of yourself by having to grow with this company and grow with this movement?

0:29:55 - Speaker 2 really, I think a lot of you know I'd say peaks and valleys, peaks and valleys, everything's like accelerated right now into like my growth curve, and so you have never built a company of this size this quickly.

0:30:12 - Speaker 1 This quickly.

0:30:13 - Speaker 2 Yeah, and have you know, we have a team of 160, 170 people. Wow, that's happened in three years. We tripled this year, you know, in the last like nine months. So there's a. I don't have that experience, so I'm learning on the fly and thankfully I have a co-founder and a co CEO. We actually run the company that way and that's been, I think, one of our greatest kind of hacks into how we, how we do it. I think a lot of imposter syndrome and accepting that, like you know, I get in situations like I've never been here. I don't know what this conversation, I don't. I don't even know what this terminology means. Oh man.

0:30:51 - Speaker 1 Yeah, and you know it's like who invited me in this room Exactly?

0:30:55 - Speaker 2 And I'm I'm kind of supposed to be the centerpiece of this conversation, like I'm driving this combo and I don't. So it's a lot of that's either like okay, just figure it out, or own up to it and get vulnerable and be transparent and ask questions and say I don't know. And the hack for me has been like we've thankfully the company's grown and we just hire really good people, so I get to kind of I get to learn from all these people that have done it 20, 30 years experience to come in. I'm like, okay, now I just get to observe you and accelerate my learning a lot quicker.

0:31:29 - Speaker 1 What does the hiring process look like for plunge? Do you guys, do you, conduct the whole interview in a plunge and whoever makes it to the end like you know makes the cut Like. What does it look like you know for for this type of product, but also for such a fast growing company. You know the phrase comes to mind quick to fire, slow to hire. What is kind of your philosophy and looking at bringing people on that are going to have to contribute to the growth of such a fast growing company.

0:31:57 - Speaker 2 Yeah, I think I've been. We've been quick to hire due to like what we've had to have.

0:32:03 - Speaker 1 We demand, like we need to fill this position.

0:32:04 - Speaker 2 We need to fill this role where, like you know the growth yeah, we have to we're already behind. Like we have to find the right person. What has helped accelerate to find the right people? First, we have a product that's very positively impactful, Like it attracts a certain type of person, people that are like I want to crazy person, yeah, crazy, like I get what this is about.

I get what's going like. If you're attracted to that, there's already saying something about you. We did a really big deep dive and distillation into like our core values and mission and vision. We actually brought in a specialist and it took us about six months. Leadership was all in on it and we created like what we felt and got a team buy in. You know really from Mike and I down, but like who are we? What is this? And that's like been. That's involved in every interview. It's been involved in every review. All of leadership's reviewed on this and on these core values. So that's been great from like an interviewing process and then for every final interview we bring them in and they caught sauna and plunge.

0:33:07 - Speaker 1 Really, you do, we do.

0:33:09 - Speaker 2 And so it's the fine, I love that. It's been, you know, and we. It's really more of like not if you're some, just can handle it so well. It's like are you just willing to do that, cause it's uncomfortable? I get it. You show up, you're going to get in a bathing suit with your potential employer and is HR person for all of this.

0:33:30 - Speaker 1 What's that? Does HR have to be present for all this? Our VP of HR went through this process.

0:33:35 - Speaker 2 Yeah, we're very mindful into. You know male, female, like who's involved in that interview process, what that's like. The room was blocked out. It's not some like we're upfront about it and it's been a hit. You know people get excited on it. You also see, not only just to go through that experience, but some people like all like we just hired our senior VP of manufacturing and supply chain guy incredible experience ran of all Mattels, asia, us manufacturing. So you know, just just started.

0:34:11 - Speaker 1 Nice track record yeah.

0:34:12 - Speaker 2 Huge, huge hire for us. He, he doesn't cold plunge. You know he's like he's into hiking, but it's like he's just into the company he's like.

0:34:21 - Speaker 1 I see the opportunity here On board with you guys.

0:34:24 - Speaker 2 Yeah, exactly. And so he comes up to cold plunge and it's like it's a nerve wracking experience for him. You know, it's like man, I've never done this Like I'm going to get in, can I do that Like? And I love to see just the willingness to be like, yeah, you're going to do it and we got you and we're just going to breathe with you, and then we go get in the sauna and everyone's feeling lit and we're in the sauna.

And then the conversation gets a way better. Then we get deeper, to the core of like what's our mission, like where are we going, and usually at that point it's very clear we're all in, they're all in or it's not you know, and there's still questions, and usually if there's still questions after that, we're clear that it's probably not the best fit for all parties, and so it's been that's been. We started to put that into play about about a year ago.

0:35:11 - Speaker 1 I like that, yeah, I like that so far in your journey with plunge again, with just the incredible success and growth that you guys have had. Can you think about give us one area in which you know you're on the right path, like I know I am meant to be serving this mission, this is the right product, like I'm the guy. And what is one other area where you feel like you have the most room to navigate in your entrepreneur journey? Great questions, because I still feel like you know, coming up this December, I think, will be seven years, six, seven years for me of doing my own thing and I feel like in so many ways like, oh yeah, of course, it could only be me In so many. So in other ways, like I have no idea what the hell I'm doing.

0:35:59 - Speaker 2 Yeah, I think that's kind of my reaction to that. It's like I think for me it's first off personally, like do I still wake up excited to work on what we're working on? Passion, passion, like is that that's not present, regardless, if I'm should be like, I'm just out, you know, like that's that's how I operate, that's just who I am. Yeah, so that's present, that's still there. I'm excited in what we're building, what we're solving, what's to come in the next 20, 12 to 24 months.

And then next it's like does do I genuinely feel that my team wants to show up to work and work on the mission that we're working on, and that feels very present. So I outside, like it's great to want, like we are transforming the way that I think people view their health and cold being this brand new modality. That's like becoming more accessible, whether it's through gyms or we launch new products. That's all there. I think I'm very focused on like our team and our building and like making sure that all energy is harmonious and we're bought into what we're doing, and then all of that other stuff, just that will come and we'll we'll be bigger than what we can even imagine we can be.

0:37:14 - Speaker 1 How many team members do you have now? You said like almost 200? About 160, 170. Okay, yeah, so being at the helm of a ship manning 160 some people in three years is some incredible growth. But I think it's maybe where some entrepreneurs, some business minded people, might be terrified to get to Like I signed up, I had this idea, I signed up to do this thing because I'm excited about it and it's working. How did I end up now being responsible for a couple hundred people? How do you navigate that? And what maybe has been the biggest obstacle you've had to overcome? Or imposter syndrome you've had to navigate, or just you know how do you call yourself up higher for your team?

0:38:01 - Speaker 2 Yeah, the number of the employees that that, like, that just feels like an honor, like. I show up to our office. You know HQ and it's like man all these people are working on like it doesn't get lost to me, like it's incredible, that's amazing.

You know, I think the other piece has been, like I said, hiring good people. Like I don't manage 160 people. I manage five to six people and you know, and I'm probably really connecting to 10 to 15 people within the org. Then my job is like, okay, who are the 10 to 15 people? They are, are you having an impact? Like that's where my mind goes, like cool, I'm working with these. And then my job is like how do those 10 to 15 people feel? If they feel inspired, if they feel like they're being called to creative pursuits, they're good people management. Like then, the 160, I'm not very I don't get overly worked up over, so yeah, but it's also been like that has been a scaling, like I've had a lot of learnings into, like I'm sure like how we scaled it and how it's been, what has worked, what hasn't worked.

0:39:10 - Speaker 1 Can you give us an example maybe the biggest one that didn't work, if you can talk about it, and how did you navigate that problem?

0:39:19 - Speaker 2 I think it's like one small one, but it's it's um, and it wasn't like a code red thing, but it just gives an example. It's like we scaled up, we brought in, we did a brand, like a brand refresh. Okay, We've always been plunge. We are now launching the sauna. We wanted a new logo and new color scheme. Like that all happened beginning of the year. It's great and really happy with how it turned out.

We brought in, you know, our creative director and a lot of, like high level individuals to help implement this. So we're really starting to build out our marketing department. A bunch of awesome people come in and there was like a we start doing new things on the webpage and Mike and I are looking at each other. It's like this isn't, this, isn't what feels, resonates with us, like this doesn't feel what plunges Like we had. And so there was a process of even though we had done the brand distillation, we had the brand book, we had we have meetings on this, yeah, and we thought everyone you know a lot the early team had been not far from the garage from us. They got kind of like who this company was, the pure ethos.

Every new person that came in, the further away they were, I mean we had two thirds of the team are in this current facility we were in, which is a much bigger, beautiful facility they didn't have. They just wasn't anything on them. They just didn't have the connection to, like the very beginning.

0:40:48 - Speaker 1 You're talking actual proximity, like they were physically further away.

0:40:52 - Speaker 2 They weren't, so they joined the company in the last six months, okay, and the company is. I'm still remembering this company that we're in the garage or very early, the scrappiness and what we were doing and who we were about and they that was more of a viewpoint they had, and so I just assumed the team would feel that I knew what we were about. And then you start to see the gaps into what I think overall they they culturally understood what we are about, the ethos, but there were still gaps into like. You go to the webpage and we're like that's not the feel, that's not how our product we want it to be represented, and so it's just conversations like that into making sure what I think someone's coming into and what my memory and connection to the company is that.

How do I do better job of making them really understand what we're about? And I don't have that perfect answer yet. We're actually going through that process now of like. I think liquid deaths is obviously there at the forefront of this. You know they. You know what liquid death is when you see it and it's we could probably speak out loud of like. You know they're, they create whiplash, they are like this, like they're punk.

0:42:02 - Speaker 1 You know they are anti. They made water metal, exactly yeah.

0:42:06 - Speaker 2 You know these statements that are like truly who they are and I think that's our goal from plunge and making the world know that. But that starts in our own building. If there's a gap into like what someone thought maybe it was, so scaling that out, how does everyone really understand? What it means to be to work at plunge, who we are as plunge.

0:42:27 - Speaker 1 So how do you feel those gaps in leadership? How do you feel those gaps and what I was kind of hearing you just describe, missing the mark of passing back, passing down the mission driven values?

0:42:42 - Speaker 2 So the question is what? Where am I missing that? Where have I?

0:42:46 - Speaker 1 when you notice, like, like okay, these people, like they're a little bit further away from the mission by proximity or just newness to the company. I'm making an assumption here but you know, as a leader, as one of the you know co-founders here, you've got to be addressing that. You know how, how are you recognizing that it's a gap in them understanding the mission and how are you effectively passing that back?

0:43:07 - Speaker 2 Yeah, I think it's, providing I have to get more clear and actually understand what I'm saying. And to me it always comes down to clarity, into, like we have the words written out what our company's about you know. It's word here to build resilience, like that's at the core. But what does that mean?

0:43:22 - Speaker 1 Like that, you know it's going to be different for everybody, exactly, and like let's get into like more specific examples.

0:43:26 - Speaker 2 So providing like better clarity, one of our core values is like being courageously direct.

So it's, it is like that being very like, when that's the moment, let's call it out, let's go get in a room, let's get honest with each other, let's take feedback. You know it's this, there's nothing personal here and so I think that's been a bit of my edge into. Sometimes I'll let things go at 80% and be like that's, that's fine, keep moving, like it helps for speed. But there's times when it's like when the brand really matters or certain things that truly matter, like not just letting it be 80% and getting in front of it and being very direct with the team. So I think, from a leadership standpoint, that's like where I've Mike is really good at that, like that's kind of his core, like you know, he really leads us in that way, and so that's been worked for me to be very much straight up and like say what needs to be said.

0:44:21 - Speaker 1 Kind of a little spin off question here. You kind of been hitting on it, but I don't want to say this what have you experienced? This or how would you navigate this scenario where you've got somebody on your team, in your company, that what they're there to do technically, on paper they're crushing it Like they're the expert, they're the guy, they're the girl, they're doing the thing, but that connection like you have as a founder is just not there and I know it's going to be very difficult for somebody who is not the founder of a company to have that same level of passion and investment and commitment to a varying degree when you have somebody in your company that is efficient at what they do technically but maybe it's like the heart component. Have you experienced that? How do you address it? How would you even feel like that's worth bringing up, like don't rock the boat, kind of thing?

I don't want to pull this out of like the supply chain here.

0:45:18 - Speaker 2 Always per person. Yeah, we have had experiences like that I'm trying to think of like one. You know some specific examples into how?

0:45:27 - Speaker 1 we? A stupid reference comes to mind. One of them might help you out. You've seen the movie Office Space. Okay, you know, like you know Brian, over there, brian has 37 pieces of flair. You know you have. Yes, you're meeting the quota, jen, you know you've got the right amount of flair, but I would love to see a little more. You know meeting the quota, but just know Brian.

0:45:48 - Speaker 2 So how we, how we handle those I mean we, we just get real direct Like when someone's like, it's so first it's either I try and like if I'm not equipped to really culturally is like, above all, important things for us. Like we we have reviews on culture. We have like it is a company we call them rocks and it is like a company rock Like are we meeting this level of you know where our cultural fit is? People wanting to work here like cross the board, we do the amongst our five values, like where people are, so people are reviewed exactly on that and where they're coming up short. So we have systems in place that there's a consistent cadence, that someone it shouldn't be out of the blue, it shouldn't just come up out Okay.

We have structures, that the conversation happens. Yeah, I think it's also understood like people are very different, like some people. What I mean by that is some people are really, you know, crush one part of their job and they struggle in the other, and that's just. I think that's the case for all of us. So it's it's really just seeing, accepting what they're good at, what they're not good at it's not, and then taking it piece by piece.

0:47:07 - Speaker 1 I don't have the greatest answer here, but I'm hearing you, you have answers. You have a. Oh, I broke the, broke the camera. Okay, how many you shoot a day to usually two, four weeks. So I do every Tuesday, wednesday.

0:47:32 - Speaker 2 I'm in here usually usually yeah.

0:47:35 - Speaker 1 So I'm getting at least three to four, at least three, usually four a week. Yeah, I do two episodes a week go live. So try to just like keep that cadence to keep everything ahead, usually like a four to six week ahead window at all times. Got it?

0:47:48 - Speaker 2 Yeah, makes it easy to just compartmentalize my days, like Tuesday, Wednesday.

0:47:53 - Speaker 1 I just think podcast chase, yeah, yeah.

0:48:02 - Speaker 2 Back on the oh.

0:48:06 - Speaker 1 what I'm hearing in there is that you all have. You have systems in place, you have protocols and you're reminding the team all along the way, from start, from hiring to being on the team. You know, hey, here's the job, but here's the mission, here's the heart, here are the values. And should anything from values to the technical aspect go sideways, we're all in the same same page from the beginning, correct?

0:48:31 - Speaker 2 And you know it's also there's also it's also recognizing like so the company's grown so quick. The learning curve for people hasn't kept up with the growth of the company, which is totally normal.

0:48:42 - Speaker 1 Right, yeah, that's difficult to do with, kind of the especially a company on you guys being so well received.

0:48:47 - Speaker 2 And so it's been. A lot of that has been starts off as frustration or like something's not happening and it's recognizing, like it's not even on them anymore, like this is on us, bringing in someone that can mentor them or has the experience that you know and it's the same. A call out for myself is I don't have this experience. I haven't been at a company of this size, let alone leading a company of this size. So, you know, I think that's recognizing, like when it's like there's opportunity for growth here and we can solve this, or it's just like this is beyond where any of us in this room are and that's when we go higher, and that's when we bring in someone that is solving a problem that we are banging our heads against the wall and they can come in and kind of move mountains, besides cold plunging, besides the cold shower, besides cold water.

0:49:36 - Speaker 1 What's one thing that you do daily to micro dose adversity, like we're saying earlier. What's one thing you do to level up every day.

0:49:44 - Speaker 2 I sweat every day Like that. It's just like a hack for my body, like you're working out, I work out, I sauna like you know, right now my thing is I work out first thing in the morning, like I have built a system with trainers and like it's just what I do, I get up and wire Also doesn't happen, kind of thing.

Yeah, it's just what I've hacked for myself that I don't get into work. I don't, I don't have to, even since I have someone like coaching me. I don't even think like, I just get in and move my body.

0:50:17 - Speaker 1 You're like hey, if I could just show up, I can do the thing. I can do the thing.

0:50:20 - Speaker 2 I can sweat, they take me to my edge. So that's, that's my season right now, you know. And then the daily is thankfully that, like the job itself right now, is kind of my micro adversity, like I'm it's the season that I'm in.

It's the roller coaster and it's I go in and I feel like it's like an adrenaline, like nine am hits, Like my days usually blocked until nine. I strap in at nine and it's kind of like here we go, Like my day, you know meetings all day or whatever calendar is booked out, and then you know five, six o'clock hits and I kind of come back out of it and so it's more of like okay, that's what my life is right now and I love it, and it's not going to be forever. It's what is happening right now. And then, outside of that, like okay, how am I like regulating myself? How am I like actually calming down? Like getting my workout in first thing, so that's done, and then the rest is like okay, you've had your day of adrenaline and kind of this adversity that's been showing up. What are you doing to kind of wind down and stay calm and then get ready to do it again?

0:51:33 - Speaker 1 I've got this quote I heard on another show you're on, I think it was Danny Miranda, and I loved it. Now I can't find it. One second guys. Oh, actually let me scratch it. I'm gonna go back a second, kind of go a different route. In many ways, taking care of ourselves can be a very free and easy thing to do. But when we look at these advanced recovery modalities we'll say of IR, sauna, sauna, cold plunge, drip therapy. You know so many exclusive clubs and things popping up now. It's, I think, able to serve a lot of people. But let's be honest, there is barrier to entry in terms of accessibility, cost. Sometimes you got to be invited to these things, you know. So how can something exist that's, objectively, can serve the masses, but there is still that kind of wedge now being presented to some people to access that.

0:52:41 - Speaker 2 Yeah, I think, how are you?

0:52:42 - Speaker 1 navigating that. I think there's a question, yeah.

0:52:44 - Speaker 2 Yeah, I think the. I mean what's the like? The thing that's at the on an echelon is the tub itself. You know it's like cold water. Let's just take cold plunging. It's just water, it's cold water. Most of us have access to some water, like before I had the cold plunge I was. I had a river that I would go get in the river.

0:53:13 - Speaker 1 And it doesn't get much more free than that it was it worked.

0:53:16 - Speaker 2 It was great. There was a commercial facility that I was able to get a pretty cheap membership to and I would go cold plunge there. That was kind of how I went between it. So there are ways to do it. I think you know there is a premium on you buy a plunge tub, you know, and you're buying. What you're buying at that point is you're actually buying convenience, like you're buying to not have ice, you're buying to have it on demand and clean for you, and you walk out your back door and it's there and that is a luxury. You know that isn't not everyone can afford that. Totally get that.

And what's cool is we're just kind of taking normal elements heating, cooling, like you can find places to do this, you know, I think it's really just how much you like, what is your priority in life and making that, you know, making that a habit, making that consistent in your life I mean, from a company standpoint, our goal is to. You know, we want to have cold plunges at all different price points, all different styles. That's what we're solving, that's what we're setting out to do. You know we just launched our newest premium one. That's like our premium product, but that that's just the beginning and we will. You know. We want to hit different avenues of people at different spots. First, whether you're on your own personal financial level and I get it it's like five K. Even if you have the money, it's like I've never really done this. I spend in five K out of the gate. How do I, how do I try this?

0:54:46 - Speaker 1 So creating avenues that people can feel really good about their purchase before they make that purchase, or even probably shifting the perspective or the mindset of this is a cost versus an investment.

0:54:56 - Speaker 2 That's the that's the best part of our product is like, once people buy it, it's like I never hear about the money situation. It's, it's one of those and I'm, I'm I can relate to that like health and wellness stuff Like I don't ever think twice on those type of expenditures. You know, I'll buy a pair of shoes or clothes or something like that, and sometimes I'm like I don't know why.

I got this, but majority of things that are like from a true health pursuit. I've really never second guessed and so, yeah, I think making it part of it's just like teaching the world, like what, that these tools are actually out there and not just from a cold plunge but other ways to make them, that you can get access to these. You know, our big thing, what I'm excited on for us is we are getting. We have a now a really legit commercial unit coming out, and so that's a big focus in our company of going after and getting these products into like every gym in America and getting this out. So it's like that is an entry point for a lot of people that haven't had access.

0:56:03 - Speaker 1 You're already paying. Yeah, you're 40, 60. For your membership, you can get access to this now.

0:56:07 - Speaker 2 You can start cold plunging and then you can start to make better, educated decisions on. Do I actually want to bring this into my life?

0:56:14 - Speaker 1 spend a little more and have this at my house.

0:56:16 - Speaker 2 So that's a route that I see of this becoming way more accessible for people. That hasn't really happened. You know, it feels like it's all the rage and we feel like it's everywhere, but in reality like maybe you more so, but I would assume not a lot of people in your network actually have a cold plunge.

0:56:36 - Speaker 1 No, I would say a lot no, and you're probably at the upper tier. This is my world. Yeah, exactly yeah, like you are living this.

0:56:43 - Speaker 2 So it's like I think I can name a few, but I wouldn't say a lot, so I get excited with, like, I go walk the floor. You know, at least one night a week where I go out, it's all dark and I go read the names that are on the plunges and what I like to do is, you know, I see John from Arkansas getting his unit, yeah, and it's like oh, my God like this is going to this neighborhood, that there's no cold plunge and this whole neighborhood, wow.

And John now is going to have his friends over and this is going to be their Sunday activity.

0:57:12 - Speaker 1 There's the big vision, that's the that is the shit that just lights me up.

0:57:16 - Speaker 2 Where it's, it's the ripple, like you know, and then now that's going to be his family's activity, this new thing Someone else is going to start, and then it's always this like unknown person that starts to cold plunge and they resonate right like that and they're like it changed my life. And then they get the cold plunge and then it's like that's a true, like ripple that you know of impact and change.

0:57:36 - Speaker 1 Well, I can tell you guys this you are doing a lot more deliveries. Because when they delivered mine, the FedEx guy was like man, it's like the fourth one today. I was like, really, he's like yeah, they're like crazy popular right now. Yeah, he was like from Santa Monica to over what's Hollywood and he was like, yeah, you're my fourth or fifth one today. Fedex makes a lot of money.

0:57:55 - Speaker 2 I bet, man I bet.

0:57:58 - Speaker 1 You know, ryan, kind of get into a closer man. I love this conversation, kind of keeping it around. We didn't really dive into the science of cold plunching, you know I'll save that for another episode, but honestly, thank you for sharing all your vulnerability around the story. You know being a leader and like the origin of it and how you're navigating that, but still fulfilling your own vision and purpose. And you know, I think it's another.

It's an important thing to note that and I've heard you say this in another podcast when asked about all the health benefits, you seem to kind of just go, man guys, I just I feel good. You know I feel good and I love that, and even someone like myself that I went to college, I went to grad school, got all these certifications, I did this job. I keep a lot of my content around being able to provide the scientific backup for it. But look, ultimately, people, at the end of the day, do you really need to know about all that stuff or just go? Hey, I'm a dude, this is how I approach it. I feel better Like can that just be enough? Totally, can that just be enough?

0:59:01 - Speaker 2 And that's for me it's. It's always like, as I've gotten into this journey, it's like I've gone, you know, a lot of interviews. I want the science and so I can go pair it the science. It actually feels inauthentic, though, because I'm kind of just reading from a doc Like my more message is like I have a happy life and this is one of the core things that I do and I attribute this to that.

That's my body of work and that's like what. So that's authentic to me. I could give you. Go check out Dr Andrew Huberman, dr Susanna Soyberg, dr Rhonda Patrick, louisa Nicola, like these people out there that are studying this more. Go get on their webpage. Go to Wim Hof's webpage. He has all the studies, like that is the spot if you're looking for it. There's so much good info out there If that's the angle you're looking for.

0:59:49 - Speaker 1 I think, ultimately, people, we get very real about the questions we're asking. Do we really need to know the science? Maybe for some reason, but ultimately what we're really trying to get at is like, how are you? You seem happy, you seem healthy. You're doing all these things, the science aside, like you know, this is one of the many things I do to contribute to my physical, mental, resiliency, and I think that's what most people are after. We just get bogged down in the details in the journey. Well, all these things definitely help propel us forward in life. You're definitely gonna move forward out of that cold water very damn fast. But that's what we're about here at EverFord Radio is what are the things that we can do, we can maintain, we can do more of, do less of, to move us forward in one or all areas of life? When you hear those two words, Ryan EverFord, what does that mean to you? How do you think you live a life? Everford?

1:00:37 - Speaker 2 Just keep getting up and keep going. I mean I always, it's as simple as that, like no matter how hard it gets, it's like life's gonna move on, like things keep going. It's not, it's gonna go on without you.

Yeah, it's gonna go on without me and not to diminish all of the issues and challenges like we face in some or more. It's also never as big as like I don't wanna say we. I'll speak for myself, like as I think it is, and so that's very comforting to me, and so that's just like. What other choice do you have to take the next step? So yeah, everford, just one step at a time, keep going, don't overthink it, and we have all the tools to keep moving.

1:01:17 - Speaker 1 What other choice do we have? I love it. Yeah, it reminds me of this phrase from Seneca, I think, big stoic philosophy fan guy. And we suffer far more in imagination than in reality, except when you're in a cold plunge, then your reality and your imagination are kind of the same suffer level, but at least you're choosing the same page.

1:01:36 - Speaker 2 The imagination and the cold plunge. Like not many other thoughts come into me when I'm in the cold plunge.

1:01:40 - Speaker 1 That's very true. It's just for me, it's just breath.

1:01:43 - Speaker 2 Breath like just hyper presence. Yeah, very true, very true?

1:01:48 - Speaker 1 Well, ryan, you know love what you guys are doing in a plunge. I've been loving mine. Where can people go to learn more about you? Know you what you guys are doing with plunge? I knew you got some new products coming out. Of course, I've everything listed in the show notes for everybody, but where can they go to learn more?

1:02:00 - Speaker 2 Plungecom is everything about plunge and find us on the socials. If you type in plunge or cold plunge, we'll show up.