In this episode of the Agents of Innovation Podcast, Dave’s guest is John Burns, CEO of TB12.

TB12 is a wellness company founded by NFL legend Tom Brady, and his longtime trainer, Alex Guerrero, to make the principles that have helped Tom perform at his best and live pain-free available to everyone. As Tom leads Tampa Bay into his record 10th Super Bowl at age 43, it is safe to say that the TB12 Method works. John explains how the TB12 Method’s holistic philosophy isn’t just one thing – it’s everything, including nutrition, hydration, supplements, conditioning, mindset, and lifestyle. John joined TB12 in 2018 after a successful career in venture capital, leading investments in consumer brands Spartan Race, Yasso, Unreal, Oath Craft Pizza, EverybodyFights, Grillo’s Pickles, Petsmart and B&W Audio, and shares his learnings for building and motivating teams, identifying independent thinkers, and his personal approach to entrepreneurship, focus and “ruthless prioritization”.

Podcast Highlights

1:50 – What is TB12?: “TB12 is a wellness company, founded on all the principles that Tom Brady and his good friend, and our co-founder Alex Guerrero have developed together to keep Tom healthy, performing at his best, and pain-free over the past 15 years of their relationship. And our business is based on that lifestyle and what many people know of as the TB12 Method.”

8:42 – TB12 in healthcare services and fitness: “Our vision for TB12 is to become a world leader in helping people perform their best and live pain-free. And we are at a unique intersection between healthcare services and fitness.”

13:27 – Tom Brady is never without a water bottle: “How you hydrate is incredibly important. I’ve never seen Tom in person without a water bottle and I don’t know anyone who has actually.”

“He drinks a lot of water, no secret. And he was carrying around a big water bottle for some time. And we said you know what? I’ve got, you know, a water bottle here…this is a 30-ounce water bottle. It wasn’t enough. So we went bigger and we introduced The Big Tom.”

20:34 Ruthless Prioritization: “We use the phrase ruthless prioritization around here quite often now. I think as a result of that, I think it will take some time for, you know, you as the consumer to see that manifest itself in our business, but you’re going to see us doing fewer things, but the things we do, we’re going to be much deeper and much better. “

21:03 – Tom Brady’s personality is embedded in TB12: “There are certain personality traits he has, which I think are embedded in our business philosophy as well and I think, you know, that pursuit of excellence is one.”

22:50 – Recruiting exceptional people: “I have found over and over again in my career and we certainly live this now at TB12 and one of the hardest things for entrepreneurs and CEOs to do when they’re up to their eyeballs and work is to actually invest the outsized time, energy, and effort into recruiting team members. It’s very time consuming recruiting people, but if you want to identify the thing which will provide the greatest value longer-term, it’s exceptional people.”

37:30 – Channeling stress: “At the end of the day, I try to channel stress into action and problem-solving. Like I am just the type of person I’ve realized over time that likes to be moving forward and doing things. So the more stressed I get, the more I actually am able to focus.”

51:16 – Entrepreneurs need a sense of urgency: “I have never found a situation where being less urgent is better than being more urgent. And I think the best entrepreneurs are urgent. The challenge for some of them is that it sways so far that it’s like the hair on fire all the time where there’s no governor between urgent and important, but I do think an overwhelming sense of urgency matters.”