We had the good fortune of connecting with Douglas Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Douglas, how do you think about risk?
Risk is a necessity of life. I view risk as a trade off and has a ratio, the more risk the more reward, low risk, small reward. So if you take bigger risks, you’re going to end up with a bigger reward than most would obtain, the key to it is finding that proper balance of that ratio. I’ve learned over the last 20-25 years that proper planning, research and calculated judgement, mitigates a good portion of a high risk scenario, which in turn leads to higher rewards. Doing your homework in life before just jumping in, gives you a better chance of success and not failure. I like to climb mountains and there’s a fair amount of risk in the process of doing so, but I’ll aways do my homework before a large climb with previous trip reports, keeping in the best physical shape as possible and planning/executing the climb in the best light. The reward in the end is the same if you just wing-it or actually systematically plan out for success. The same holds true in anything we do in life.

What should our readers know about your business?
It all started with an idea to allow end users/customers the ability to make their own protein powders at any percentage rate, flavor, sweetened and packaged anyway they want. I was a huge proponent of protein powder in the late 90s, but always disliked the fact that many of the ingredients I wanted in a protein powder, also had ingredients I didn’t want and I wanted to change this. True Protein (now True Nutrition) was our first endeavour we launched, we literally “stole from Peter to pay Paul”, we worked with web developers, told them we needed terms, talked to vendors/manufacturers of protein powders and asked for terms, less than minimum order amounts, the whole deal. We essentially grinded people to help us convey this idea/dream we had. Long story short, our idea worked, we launched and within 2 months we were profitable and had enough cash flow to grow and expand. This company spawned many other companies within the dietary supplement and health food space. To our contract manufacturing company, Primarch Manufacturing, to other brands like Paleo Pro and The Lab Supplements. The process wasn’t easy, but we had nothing to lose really, so we did what we had to do, we were hungry. We always kept our eye on the prize of what we personally wanted though up until this day, which was a high quality and no filler product that was appropriately priced to the public.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I moved from Pennsylvania back in 2000 to California and I always tell people, I drove out and forgot to go home. California, at least for me, has so much to do outside, which is a fundamental for my life and being happy. From the mountains to the ocean to everything in between. San Diego, is where I call home now in Encinitas. Interesting enough, when most of my East Coast friends come to visit, the itinerary is simple, essentially they just want to be in the relaxed SoCal environment, maybe try a bit of surfing and hike around the endless amount of mountains/trails we have in the vicinity. Restaurants, at least how East Coast people see it, aren’t the best compared to back “home” so it’s usually activities and being outside what is important for them. I’m an adventurer at heart, so I guess what we do depends really on the friend/family that is visiting. From going wine tasting, hitting up a day trip to Mexico or hanging off the side of a rock with some of the unbelievable rock climbing out here.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I think first and foremost my parents where the biggest support in allowing this weird kid to continue to think outside of the box and do what I needed to do for myself. I guess I’ve always gone a bit against the grain with everything, never took an answer as 100%, always asked questions and always had an insatiable attitude towards anything where I could learn or see the other side. I think after graduating college and working many different jobs and succeeding at them, I always knew it wasn’t my dream I was conveying, I was accomplishing someone else’s. I needed to do my own thing and when I finally showed my business plan that took me over a year to write, I showed it to my parents. Although apprehensive, they supported me to jump right in, they didn’t help me financially per se’, I had to figure that out on my own, but they provided that needed support to give me the so needed view point that I’m going to do my own thing and figure it out. I also have to say my business partner of now of 17 years has figured out what I’m good at, what I excel at and what’s not my strong points and helps provide an environment for me to succeed. We’ve had our ups and downs like any relationship, but now it’s just second nature of what we need personally and career wise.

Website: www.truenutrition.com www.paleopro.com www.primarchmfg.com www.thelabsupplements.com
Instagram: @thedougsmith @truenutrition @thelabsupplements @paleopro
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/douglas-smith-7a66a527/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dougsmithtncom/

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.