Keith Norris, Co-Founder of Paleo f(x), joins for a thoughtful conversation on psychedelics, what it’s like to confront and overcome fear, and what it’s like to be in business with your significant other.
Keith Norris, Co-Founder of Paleo f(x), joins for a thoughtful conversation on psychedelics, what it's like to confront and overcome fear, and what it’s like to be in business with your significant other.
Keith Norris is one of those few lucky souls who has been able to completely transition out of corporate America and dive headlong into his passion for bettering lives by teaching the art and science of physical culture. He not only “walks the walk” on a day-to-day basis, but his economic well-being hinges on his precepts of “proper exercise, stellar diet and lifestyle, and intelligent “hacks” and supplementation” forming the bedrock foundation for a long, healthy and prosperous life.
Keith, together with partner Mark Alexander, have molded Austin-based Efficient Exercise into one of the most highly regarded fitness venues in the nation. Keith’s mix of intelligent and highly effective exercise programming, coupled with Mark’s business savvy and proprietary equipment genius have made Efficient Exercise the preeminent wellness authority.
The very essence of Paleo f(x)™ is rooted in the idea of putting theory to practice; an idea that Keith is heavily invested in, having been blogging about these issues since early 2007. And his “30-thousand-foot view” for the Paleo f(x)™ enterprise serves as the movement’s guiding, north star.
And with a belief that intelligent “hacks” can help bridge the gap between our elegant evolutionary programming and sub-par environmental surroundings, Keith is continually ferreting out and backing the most promising of technological enhancements. As a founding partner of ID Life, Keith is helping to usher-in 21st century, optimal supplement dosing.
It might be said that Keith lives by the credo written by the Greek poet and soldier, Archilochus, over 2,600 years ago – “We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training”. And his vision for Paleo f(x)™ is that of a battle-tested warrior, preserving the right of everyone to fully, actively and enthusiastically engage in the human experience.
[4:41] Keith's love of the barbell
[15:21] Behind the curtains of the pharmaceutical industry
[20:37] What it's like to lose your nest egg, the 2008 Crash
[32:53] Starting Paleo FX
[53:27] Launching a successful business with your significant other
[1:05:58] Psychedelics and plant medicine
[1:22:20] Resolving male identity issues
[1:35:58] Paleo FX 2020
The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet by Robb Wolf
Return on Integrity: The New Definition of ROI
True Hallucinations by Terence McKenna
Food of the Gods by Terence McKenna
Whitney Miller From Miss America to Becoming A BJJ Black Belt
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Boomer Anderson 0:06
Welcome to decoding superhuman. This show is a deep dive into obsessions with health performance, and how to elevate the human experience. I explore the latest tools, science and technology with experts in various fields of human optimization. This is your host, Boomer Anderson. Enjoy the journey.
Alright superhumans, we are back with another episode of the decoding superhuman podcast and today is an absolute treat in so many unexpected ways. But before I go into who my guest is today, and what he is all about, let’s give a shout out to you guys, the listener. This one goes out to silver sorcerer who give us a five star review on iTunes and as always Have you guys I really, really appreciate it. It does help and frankly puts a frickin smile on my face. Boomer is a natural Interviewer And it makes these podcasts such a joy to listen to. Each one I’ve listened to is giving me something to learn and build on what I already knew. Occasionally I find I don’t fully agree with the interviewee and find that that is okay. Indeed it is. Just another way of looking at things. Great work Boomer and congratulations on going well beyond 100. Well, silver sorcerer, thank you so much for the rating and thank you to all of you guys. Head on over to iTunes and leave a five star rating. But let’s move on to my guest today. All right, so you know when you have a conversation with somebody that could just go on for hours, perhaps days but due to things like a calendar, they get cut short. That is what happened with today’s guest My guest today really needs no introduction if you’re familiar with the Paleo world, Keith Norris is the co founder of Paleo FX, and a longtime advocate participant, user of the weight room. You can just look at the guy and see, but Keith and I get into many topics. So I want to just let you guys enjoy the show. Everything from changing careers, losing a nest egg, psychedelics, working with your partner, and so much more. The show notes for this one are decodingsuperhuman.com/paleofx, and enjoy this amazing conversation with Keith Morris. If you happen like Austin, Texas, happened in like July, and then perhaps like July in Austin, Texas, why don’t you come to paleo FX. It’s a gathering of all things ancestral nutrition, paleo and just a lot of great people. The vendor village is one of my favorites. It’s a great place to Not only network with other people in the health optimization space, but also just to try out the latest and greatest gadgets, bars, protein powders, ketone powders, whatever you want. And so if you want to really join Paleo FX, head on over to the show notes for this episode decodingsuperhuman.com/paleoFX, and I will put whatever discounts I can possibly give you guys on those tickets in the show notes. So please head on over there now or after you listen to this episode because it is amazing. And I hope to see you guys in Austin.
Mr. Norris, this is an absolute pleasure. Welcome to the show. Boomer Thanks for having me, brother. Well after thank god Dosha Maksimov for connecting us among other people because I know we have some mutual connections. in Austin with Dr. Dan Stickler, and Micro Hamilton as well,
Keith Norris 4:05
right all great people love dosha love Dan and love Micro. They’re all fantastic people and lucky enough that I get to run in the circles of fantastic people. Sometimes I wake up and pinch myself. I’m like, Damn, what did I What did I do to deserve this? Yeah, we’re gonna
Boomer Anderson 4:20
get into we’re gonna try and figure that out today, actually. So, Keith, Look, you’ve got a long history in business in so many other things. But when I see you in person, I’m like, well, holy shit, that guy is he works out. And I have to go back to the early days of what got you into exercise?
Keith Norris 4:41
Yeah, so I grew up not far from Austin, actually, San Antonio, Texas. And if anybody’s familiar with the the lay of the land here, San Antonio and the outskirts of San Antonio is roughly 90 miles south of Austin. But it might as well be another universe. I mean, it is It is an especially so when I grew up it was blue collar. I mean, it was through and through blue collar it was it was labor. It was very intense people. I look back on it now it was totally scarcity mindset, right? I mean it to be to be true. I mean, anyone at that time who would have the whoo idea of abundance mindset would just get crushed. I mean, it wasn’t that atmosphere so that’s one of the big changes I’ve that I’m trying to evolve into because I live in a different atmosphere now and I do live in an abundant atmosphere so that’s one of the things that I’m working on to try to reprogram the subconscious mind of Keith Norris it’s that still in his central nervous system thinks that he lives in a in a scarcity mindset. So there’s that whole piece but but growing up, I was always a I was a fidgety kid, man. I mean, if you were to look back on it, I would have been the classic add kid. I went to a school with a sound like I’m frickin ancient, and maybe I am. But I went to a school that had no air conditioning in South Texas, right? And so the windows were always open during the spring that could be on the free route. Pretty, pretty frickin but I mean, we didn’t know any better, right? I mean, you just and I was a kid who sat in class and was constantly fidgeting and looking looking outside and just wanted to get outside and lucky luck. Luckily enough, I had, you know, teachers at that time, who had the ability to go, Hey, get up and get outside and go freakin swing on the monkey bars or do whatever and come back in once you get this energy Burn, burn off. So so I was always a a movement oriented kid. I just felt alive when I was moving. A very, very long convoluted story cut relatively short. I followed an older friend of mine who was a pretty good track and field athlete. When Skye was about five years older than I was, but he was kind of my mentor at the time. And, you know, lucky enough, he kind of took me under his wing and, you know, let me follow him around. Anyway, I ended up in an AAU track and field practice. He was an au athlete. And at that time, was the was the feeder pipeline for the Junior Olympics and then Junior Olympics to the Olympic Training Center. So they had this kind of like, basketball is now in the US. So anyway, I was out at this practice, and I’m just kind of like running, you know, outside but along with the with the older kids. In the end, the coach out there was like, Who is this kid? And he came up to me and he said, Who’s, whose track club are you with? And I was like, I’m not anybody’s track club. I’m just out here running. And he said, Well, you’re on the track club now. So anyway, so that that started me off. I was a natural sprinter. And I did very very well and sprint events up until the time I got to be about 1314 years old I started to mature you know, testosterone started to kick in and I became more of a thicker kid. And and I began to get run down in the sprints in the in the fight always had a great start but I began to run get getting run down at the later stages of sprint around 102 hundred meters for my best. And the track coach at that time, much to his it hurt me at the time. But this guy had a vision he said, Look, you You are not going to be a natural sprinter. You said you were maturing into this bigger kid. He said you need to concentrate on football. He said your football fast. And I would like you to put all of your efforts into football from here on out and sprint in the offseason. Yes because you fast but transition into football. So I did it. south south Texas football South Texas Friday Night Lights man I’m telling you it is it is the truth. Now I had played football since the time I was a little kid but I really loved sprinting. But on that advice, I went fully into football. Long story short lived the Friday Night Lights thing in South Texas did all the you know did all the things that got recruited back in the 80s when recruiting was the Wild Wild West. And it was I’ve got some stories, man I need to write some. I need to write some stories. The Autobiography
Boomer Anderson 9:33
of ours here. Yeah.
Keith Norris 9:36
It was the wild wild west of recruiting at that time just made right but wound up with a football scholarship played football, did very, very well had access to some of the best coaches ever. But was always that kid who had to train to play with the best right I had decent physical abilities, but I had to train to be on the on In the field, and I had to be smart, and I had to watch a lot of film, I had to do all of the other things, which led me to become very, very into a sports training, what is the training that I can do to milk the most out of my system? And be what is the psychological side of this? Why are certain coaches able to worm into my head in and pull every last bit of performance out of me? Well, while others don’t seem to have that, so from a very young age, I had two of those things going on. And it was, I was very interested in that. I wound up at that, excuse me, I wound up at that time, suffering a career ending injury. I had a devastating knee injury, kind of a freak accident on the field, but you know, shit happensby the ACL or something. It’s ACL and MC l at the same time. It was a train wreck. Yeah, it was. It was just the bizarre set of circumstances. And set that up. kind of lost my total identity at that time because every I was a no plan before you’re a game guy. I mean, I was all eggs in that basket. My entire identity was wrapped up in being a football player, everything I was not the guy. And I played with guys who being a football player was a character they played. Right. And they were they were decent student athletes. And they had another plan for after they were going to play. I was not that guy. It was not a character I was playing. That was my identity. So I kind of went through a soul searching period, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to play anymore. It a lot of things happened at that time. I was a young father and had to provide. So I went into the next best thing that I thought at that time to stay in the boys club. And that was go into the military. And so I spent spent nine years in the military in the Navy had a young family at this time, uh, but was still very, very interested in, in training, psychology, all of those other things. It you know it had it been another time I would have come out and gone into coaching. I wasn’t necessarily interested in the X’s and O’s of football, although I love the game. But my my true love was in the training and the psychology. But in that time, no one made any money doing that.
Boomer Anderson 12:34
Yeah, I think conditioning coaches would starve to death that don’t have guys like Trevor Milad and some other people that just wasn’t really big names.
Keith Norris 12:44
Yeah. And Boyd eppley at the time at Nebraska was kind of one of the first that made that a position that actually made money, but that, you know that that was another decade or so before you Before I came along, so anyway, so that so that was my start. And then it transitioned into Well, how can I train my fellow service members? And how can I train myself because I still loved it. I still, even though I wasn’t competitive anymore, I still loved the feeling of having a body that was fine tuned and ready to rock and roll in a moment’s notice. Yeah, and that’s it. I’ve still maintain that. I mean, I still love that. If 55 years old. I’m still like, when people tell me Damn, dude, you’re in frickin rockin shape for 55 I’m like, I don’t want to hear 55 tell me I’m in rocking shape for any age. That’s what that’s what I shoot for. So yeah, so that’s it. That’s it in a nutshell. That’s how I got into training.
Boomer Anderson 13:45
And do you still have a coach when you do this? Are you coaching yourself? I
Keith Norris 13:50
you know, as Dan john says, a coach who has who has himself are coaches a fool and I I kind of I like that idea. I don’t have a single coach per se. But I am constantly picking the brains of everyone around me who I think knows something on Yeah, instantly constantly picking their brains. Yeah,
Boomer Anderson 14:13
I think he just deciphered why I started a podcast in the first place was to be able to have like the constant access to, to coaches.
Keith Norris 14:22
Yeah. Like, you know, Andy Galpin, Mike T. Nelson, that great and I’m lucky enough that I guess I can text them, right. And get answers and we can have a discussion and so so yeah, not one single coach who I’m with but coaches, mentors who I can do, I can ask, and really, I mean, that’s the Paleo FX story. You spread that umbrella out, you know, just all aspects of health and wellness. I can I can call Rob Wolf and say, Hey, man, what do you think about this? I can call Shawn will say what do you think about this? And that’s really, that was really the impetus for paleo effects. I guess. new people. And I am not a rocket scientist. Again. I’m like, I’m a blue collar kid from South Texas man. I just know people and I’m not afraid to ask.
Boomer Anderson 15:11
Before we go into the Paleo FX story, I think there’s a bridge missing here, which is the point where I believe you own some gems. Right?
Keith Norris 15:21
so this is how that came about. So I came out of the Navy after nine years in the Navy, again, young family how to provide for a young family had a contact, who was in the human resources department of the farm, at that time, a massive pharmaceutical company. And she was insistent that I come in and interview she said, your your job skills, what you’ve acquired in the Navy would fit perfect for this position in the pharmaceutical industry at that time, this is around 1993 ish 92 I didn’t know any better. I mean, I thought the pharmaceutical industry existed to help humanity. I know I didn’t know what I didn’t know. And I thought, this is freaking fantastic. I can be in a I can be in a business one wreck and continue my education. Number two, I can actually help humanity. And number three, let’s face it, I can make frickin bank. Yeah. So I went down and interviewed I was all in. I eventually rose up through the ranks to a position where I was essentially a liaison between the FDA in the US and the pharmaceutical manufacturer. So I kind of my my degree is in political science. I a little bit of a lobbyist. It sounds like but yeah, and I and I had the opportunity to go to jag school to law school while I was in the military. And friends who I had gone to college with who had since gone to law school, and we’re now practicing, we’re like, dude, you need to think twice about that frickin move. There. They were like, It’s not what you think it is. And it is not. It’s not. And they laid out to me what it was. And they’re like, cool if you want to do it, but here’s the reality of, of working in law. This is the reality of it.
Boomer Anderson 17:26
And I would love to talk a little bit about the reality of working in law, but also there’s a jump here that you made, and I want to know, I’m assuming there’s a cathartic moment. What was that moment
Keith Norris 17:38
where you Sorry, right? There we go. Right. very cathartic moment. So you know, as I rose to the ranks of the pharmaceutical industry, I got to peek behind the screen of how r&d money is, is being partitioned. I got to see the inner workings of the pharmaceutical industry itself. And it was very disheartening, and it’s Look, let’s face it, I, I am not a, I am a realist businesses exist to make profit. That’s what they exist, that is their livelihood is to make profit. So I’m a realist in that sense, but I the way I saw a profit being made the types of drugs that were that the r&d money was being funneled into. It was very, very disheartening. Right. And I knew that a lot of these diseases and in towards towards the end of my pharmaceutical career, I worked for a pharmaceutical company whose mainstay was all things diabetes. We think that all the insulin, the injectables, the delivery systems, everything that had to do with diabetes, I happened to be in a meeting with executives. This was 2005 six somewhere in that neighborhood. And they were discussing the hockey stick rise of diabetes in the US and worldwide. And there was a feeling of getting this in that meeting. That’s a little and I and it and it was in it just and I think that was the I was already teetering on. You know, there was a lot of things going through my mind and my wife, Michelle, who was was not in the pharmaceutical industry, but she was. Essentially she worked with the Starbucks Corporation building new Starbucks, and we were both at that point where we were like, Alright, and Michelle comes from the same part of Texas that I do. And again, blue collar background, all of this and in the eyes of where we came from, and in our own minds, we had made it I mean, we were living the American Dream big cars in massive house kids in the best schools you could imagine. We were financially set and we were we were empty inside. And so at this time, we’re trying to we’re trying to figure out okay, what what’s the next step? What are we going to do? This obviously is not the We have made it and yet we’re unhappy. So what what’s missing here? Go to that meeting. Listen to that. And I’m like, this is just not it man. This disease that we’re talking about is manageable with a person’s lifestyle with what they eat with how they exercise that you know what they expose them selves to all the epigenetic factors. It doesn’t have to be a pharmaceutically moderated condition. It doesn’t have to be this way. Yet the pharmaceutical industry obviously, that’s the last thing they want to put out, of course, but so that was that it was a soul search moment.
So we decided to get out.
We were at that time to heavily heavily heavily invested in real estate. That was our that was our bank. That’s where all of our investments went. And 2008 hit. So we’re making our plans to exit out. We look at our you know, real estate portfolio and we start with making a plan to get out so all of our fucking money is assumed to lead says was tied up, which was booming at that time taking off then the financial crisis of 2008 hit in real estate tank and with it, everything we had tanked everything we couldn’t get out from under it. And so we went from living the American dream to teetering on bankruptcy. I mean, we were very close to being bankrupt.
Boomer Anderson 21:33
Can I ask you some more properties? I’m assuming there’s there’s a bit of leverage here. So for people falling along and imagining there’s some leverage and that’s why everything kind of when the music stopped, it kind of came crashing a little bit
Keith Norris 21:45
fast. Yeah. For you know, for your listeners, just you know, I won’t go into the what all went into the 2008 financial crisis,
Boomer Anderson 21:52
but we don’t have to. There’s a lot of finance models, okay. But,
Keith Norris 21:56
but yeah, that was everything. We had everything. We had real listed all of our all of our fucking money was tied up in real estate because that was a safe bet at the time, of course. And at that time is we’re trying to backpedal out of this. We’re still like we are we are bailing. We don’t know what we’re bailing to but we’re bailing to something other than Miss. Our daughter who was away at college at the time she was 22 was a week before her college graduation. We lived in North Carolina at the time she was going to school in Georgia. We came home to the news that she had died in an auto accident. Jesus that evening. And this was this was May of 2009. And we were so now we’re financially near bankruptcy. You know, we’ve lost the daughter and in an auto accident, and we’re so now we’re emotionally bankrupt as well. It’s just a it is one of the worst times that Michelle and I have ever lived through. It was absolutely horrible. But we persevered. We we said, you know, it will do. Britney was her name. It will do Brittany. No justice, no honor for us to keep doing what we’re doing because we’re miserable. would she want us to be miserable? No, she would want us to move forward in the light of all this. So we we backed up, we took stock of where we were, we took stock of our skills, whatever marketable skills we had, and what were we going to do on our own in an entrepreneurial way? What What were we going to do? Well, my skills were in strength and conditioning and psychology. She was a chef. So we came up with a plan. We knew we wanted to come to Austin, Texas, because at that time, and it still is that was a place where things were happening.
Boomer Anderson 23:49
Yeah. Remind me again, we’re in North Carolina, where you
Keith Norris 23:53
know, we’re so we’re in Greenville, North Carolina, which is, ish. 16 miles. East of Raleigh. Okay, so it’s coastal North Carolina.
And that’s where that’s where we lived at that time.
So we packed up what we had left. We took it on the chin, financially packed everything we had in a in a trailer and headed to Austin. And we got here. I tell people we got here like, like the clampetts man. I mean it was serious. It was seriously rough for a while. And we just bootstrapped our way up from there man, she she opened a catering business, healthy eating, paleo catering business, which if anyone has been in the catering business man, it is tough. ruthless, it is ruthless. It’s long hours in the kitchen. It’s long hours at events. It’s just a grind. And and I partnered with a guy who was here in Austin, Texas at the time. And he had a gym concept that we kind of, you know, we were 80%, in agreement with the gym concept. And I thought, I’ll give it in he thought is, well, we’ll give it six months together and a partnership, see if we can make this work. And if not, we’ll go our separate ways and take our own concept. It’s enroll at wound up that that concept worked. And not only did it work, but it frickin took off. And we were off and running. So I own gems, Michelle owned the catering business and, and we started to build back up from nothing, really. And we just scrapped our way out of it. Yeah.
Boomer Anderson 25:41
It’s an incredible story. And thank you for sharing that. That’s incredible how you guys did that. Now, there’s one more transition here that I think we have to cover. And I would love to just kind of look at when you’re evaluating these transitions because going from the pharmaceutical industry into something That you’re a little bit more passionate about. That one seemed a little bit more clear but now you’re It sounds like you’re going from the gym, which was doing very well right to paleo FX. And when you explain if you don’t mind, I’d love to understand just sort of what was the thinking any sort of checklists, you’re running through your head as to how you’re going to make that work.
Keith Norris 26:26
Right. Well, let me back up and say that I am a self taught business person.
Boomer Anderson 26:33
I love that
Keith Norris 26:34
it really I mean, I, you want to talk about the school of hard knocks in business. It was totally that for me. And for Michelle as well. I in let me back up and say when I went to college, initially, I was not a good student. I went to play football. be totally honest. I was not a good student in high school. I was totally disengaged. Had it not been for football and a scholarship to go to school, I would have gone and worked in the oil fields. I would have even gone to West Texas or I would have gone offshore because that’s where all my that’s what all my friends were doing any male of my age at that time. If if they wanted to make money and they were not scared of work, that’s what they did. Yeah. So that’s what I would have done had it not been for football sending me to school. I got to school, again, very disengaged, thought I had no place there had no idea what I wanted to study, because there was no studies strength and conditioning. There was no study psychology as it pertains to performance. You know, it wasn’t there. So I was very disengaged. I happened to run into a couple of professors that really brought it out of me and really taught me what education is. And at that point, I flowered and I thought, wow, okay, I’d like to Like this education thing, cool. Um, so there’s that but I took Exactly. And so two stories with this number one I went to my freshman orientation had no again no clue very full of myself this total total jock. had no idea what I wanted to do. I had a friend who was a who was a business major. And he’s like, dude, yet, it’s a requirement, you have to go to an orientation, just come with me to the business orientation and check it off, you’re checking off your list and be done with it. So I went when I was at that orientation, sitting in the backstory, you know, board and whatever, just just trying to get my time checked off. A girl stood up, and the thing was, you know, people were going around introducing themselves Hey, white, what what are you here to study? What are you going to do? This girl stood up number one, she was beautiful caught my attention. And she as she’s going through her talk, she mentioned and I can’t remember what it was that she wanted to do, but I remember she used the term entrepreneur, like she’s the first female entrepreneur to whatever, whatever, whatever. And I thought to myself, didn’t say it to anybody. I thought what the fuck is an entrepreneur? I I had no idea I didn’t know that existed. And when I finally figured out what it was, it seemed like an alien class of people to me. I’m like, really people like, start businesses, and I don’t know what I thought at the time. I don’t know. I didn’t think much. But it seemed like an alien class. I was like, how did they do that? They just start a business and in and make money. What the hell and it totally blew my mind at that time, which is crazy to me now. Anyway, after after that, I and at that time, the the college system for athletes where I went A school would kind of pick your classes for you. Because they wanted you to remain eligible to step on the field. Right? So they kind of they would pick a couple of classes maybe and kind of but they remember the
Boomer Anderson 30:13
football players and getting right best schedules. So they used to call it like rocks for jocks or something like that. I remember that.
Keith Norris 30:22
Totally. And I was totally in that camp right? Totally. I hate I hate to say that. No, but I was totally that guy. I was I got anyway, I ended up in a in an accounting 101 class. I had no clue. Anyway, I walk in debits and credits baby. First Class first class I walked into I sat down I’m like, okay, what’s this gonna be about? About 15 minutes in I was like, I don’t know what this is. But fuck this. I got up and left. And I dropped the class immediately in the coaching staff went for buzzer and I was like, no way no way. Put me in dance put me in what another p equal whatever, but not that. Yeah, that was my exposure to business that is the only business class I have ever had.
Boomer Anderson 31:15
So there has to be some books, teachers, any sort of mentors along the way. So I really like
Keith Norris 31:21
your lens. So after I kind of came to my senses, and as I matured, and especially during my Navy career, I really started to I mean, I read voraciously. I read everything I could get my hands on any opportunity, you know, is since masterminds have come into vogue in the last 15 years or so. I have been to numerous masterminds so it has been a self education going forward, but my natural instincts are still not in business, which is why being partnered with my significant other Michelle has been growing Because she has great business acumen, she gets it. If I have any superpower whatsoever if I have any, it is it I am a great networker. I know people, I connect dots of people who can do business together. Not that I could in any way, shape or form, run that business. But I’m an ideas person. Now, right? I’m like, that idea would fit great with that idea. You people need to meet each other and see what comes of it. I’m a great matchmaker in that sense, and I love people. I love people. I love their stories. And so that’s really the only superpower I have in that way. And so between me and Michelle, who does have some really, really good business jobs and business sense we make a we make a formidable team.
Boomer Anderson 32:53
I want to go into that team in a second. But on the switchover to paleo FX How did that come about? Because another mutual friend Holly, le talion, I believe is there a certain
Keith Norris 33:06
Oh, yeah. Oh, Polly. Yeah.
Boomer Anderson 33:08
Yeah. So she was telling me about a dinner that she had with you right before you guys announced the first conference. And you guys are like, yeah, we’re gonna bring in some people. Take us through that because it sounds like an interesting idea. And I imagine like being there at the time, if I was sitting in Holly seat, I’d be like, Okay, you guys are either a little crazier. Brilliant. Yeah. What, what,
Keith Norris 33:34
how did that go? I would opt for more on the crazy side than brilliant.
Boomer Anderson 33:38
You know, sometimes it’s better to be crazy
Keith Norris 33:42
and lucky, which is what we also were the idea for paleo FX just hit at the right time. And you know, people ask, people ask us many, many times, how did you know that? That was the right time. How did you know that this mix would work and that the truthful answer is we get the man we had no idea. It was It was luck. It was, you know, we had the right idea at the right time. And if there was anything that I would accredit to us, it’s that we actually put it into action. We didn’t just think about it, we actually rolled the dice and, and see where it went. And so, in saying that right before paleo FX started, and that proposition was kind of dicey. We had zero idea if the same was going to make any money if it was going to be a money hole. We had no idea none whatsoever. But we were pretty much inoculated against fears of bankruptcy by this time. And we’re just like, Yeah, whatever. We have been through the wringer whatever bankruptcy doesn’t even, whatever. So there’s that. So we have that resilience that we had built in that capacity. Michelle and I were going to masterminds we were going to different conferences, because that’s what we like to do. I mean, we Like to be around like minded people and entrepreneurial type people and we are voracious readers, voracious learners. Anyway, we were at a, at a conference, ancestral ancestral health conference.
Boomer Anderson 35:16
this symposium, right?
Keith Norris 35:18
Yeah. Yep. So they had their inaugural event in 2011. At in Los Angeles at UCLA. We went to that conference, I spoke at that conference. And after it was all done, and that conference was very unique because it was the first time that many people in this paleo sphere had come together to meet each meet each other this first time I met Rob wolf in person whose first time I met Chris kresser. In person, all of these people had online relationships with him but hadn’t met them in person until then. Anyway, went to that conference. Great conference, very academic. Yeah, very, very, which is what they do. That’s it. thing. But being entrepreneurs, Michelle and I were sitting on the runway on the tarmac at LAX, getting ready to fly back to Austin. And we’re kind of debriefing from the, from the event and we thought that was an awesome event. And we were thinking of ideas to give Brett and his team are ideas for improvement. Now, this is what this is what we think you ought to do to improve the event because they asked for it. They asked us to do that. So we’re sitting there and we’re discussing that we would like to see more rubber meets the road type stuff, okay, you have all this theory, academic theory, but how is this going to trickle down to the to the even the educated lay person? What are they going to do with this? Having gyms, Michelle having your catering business, the people that we interacted with on the daily wanted to know that what they were doing was backed by legitimate science that it made sense but they weren’t wanting to know exactly what to do, what do I eat for breakfast? How do I exercise? You know how to all of those things. They wanted the practical side of it, not the elephant, they didn’t have time to filter through all that stuff. Our clients were doctors and lawyers and entrepreneurs, and all these people were, you know, working 70 hours a week, they don’t have time to geek out. That’s why they hired us. And so we thought, Well, what would a conference look like there was, you know, brought down a notch. If we distilled this if we had the speakers and coach the speakers to distill the science down to down to actionable points that that the educated layperson could get, that would be kind of cool. And we had some other ideas. And so we were sitting there discussing this, and we thought, they’re never going to do this. That’s not their thing. You know, the thing is to be academic, and good on it. We need that. And we thought, well, who else can do who else is doing this, that we can give this idea to you and we went through our Rolodex in our minds. We’re like, nobody Then we thought, well, he’s gonna do it other than us. And so by the time we got back to Austin, we had a quote unquote business plan on the back of Southwest Airlines napkin. Later, I wish I still had that napkin because it was just rough ideas and sketches. And by the time we got back to Austin, Austin, we had a quote unquote business plan. That’s Keith Norris type of business plan.
And that was summer of 2011. And by spring 2012, we had the first event. It started off the idea was to have a mastermind 150 200 people at max, we were going to have it at one of our gyms here in Austin. We were going to have a, you know, a handful of speakers come in maybe five, six, and it was it’s going to be more of a mastermind type idea. As soon as the word got out, that we were doing this. We brought Robert In First, you called Robin said, Hey, Rob this idea we got, we have to have a main liner on board to even because we’re gonna have to bootstrap this up. We got to sell tickets forward to be able to pay for the event kind of told him roughly what we were looking at. and Rob was like, yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever he’s like, I don’t know what you guys are trying to cook up but if I can hang out in Austin with you guys for a week, then whatever, sign me up as the
Boomer Anderson 39:24
perfect guy to destroy message into. Yeah, Rob’s how I originally got into paleo, right back in the day. Right.
Keith Norris 39:31
And he was in he was the if we were looking at someone who could do it, Rob could do it. Yeah, is it and many people who don’t know Rob well don’t know just how frickin smart that dude is. Yeah, biochemist. I mean, he is wickedly smart and he can talk science to anybody. But his main reason for being is to get the word out so he will adjust his conversation. According to who needs it. If it’s a, if it’s the very, very basics, he’s right there, if it means let’s talk science and biochemistry, he’s right there. So he was, he was kind of the North Star of the speaker we were looking for, and how we how we wanted to present this information. It’s so Rob came in, we had Rob, we had a venue that we thought would work. But we quickly and I mean very quickly surpassed the hundred and 50 people we were able to hold. And we had to go looking for another venue. Thank goodness University of Texas at a venue for us that we could use. And we were off and running 700 people the first event
a financial disaster.
A financial disaster, I can’t even begin to tell you how wregget it was. So again, teetering on bankruptcy again, we thought, Well, we’ve got two choices. We can roll the dice and do a year or two because it was Say, functional success. It was a popular success. People loved it. It was just the financial disaster. And we thought, okay, if we can turn the dials and kind of figure out what an event looks like, from the financial side of things, let’s give this another go or roll the dice. And we’ll have a year or two to see if we can get out of the hole from year one. That was really the only reason your two took off, is we were in a, we were in a financial position, and we were crazy enough to roll the dice again.
Boomer Anderson 41:32
So that position when people are faced with it, and I just want to dial in on that, when people are faced with it, let’s and I, you know, statistics may be made up here, but most people would turn the other way and say like, Hey, we’re not gonna roll the dice, right? Is it just this unbridled confidence that you have in yourself, or is it what what sort of factors went into the decision to take that step? All right, so these guys are going to be exhibiting at paleo Fx 2020. And the CEO Juraj Kocar has been on the show before. At the time of this broadcast, you guys may or may not have the access to the Juraj episode, but I encourage you to stay tuned, because there are just certain things in life that I cannot explain. Namely, right now, precious metals and precious stones, aside from a few commodities trades in my life, I haven’t really gone down that wormhole yet. But there is something about the Somavedic that just is enticing. it interests me. It seems to just make my life better. And so I have the medic green ultra, which I’ve plugged in in my office, and whenever I walk into my office now, I feel just a lighter sense of being, I feel more energetic, I better focus and I’m just able to get more done the GS DFU which I find extremely helpful. I’ve spoken to a number of programmers who have felt the same way and it is just a subtle change but sometimes subtle changes make all the difference. If you want to check out the Somavedic yourself, it’s at somavedic.com and you can use the code BOOMER which will give you 10% off enjoy the rest of my conversation with Keith Norris.
Keith Norris 43:28
You know, and I can I can go away whoo Here
Boomer Anderson 43:33
we are, we’re gonna go as well as you want to.
Keith Norris 43:37
If I if I would have had business advice from in we did have business advice from people that told this. Do not do a year to do not do it. It is too risky. You guys are going to go under if you go under you’re going to have to start completely from scratch again, do you? And we took all that advice in And, you know, Boomer, I don’t know, there was a vibe at that event that we felt that both of us both Michelle and I knew we we had, we were on something, no matter what the financial side of it said, we knew that we were on to something. And we followed that gut instinct, even though logically it made zero sense to do so. We could not we could not cook numbers in any way to make logical sense to do it. There was just no way.
Boomer Anderson 44:36
I mean, I don’t need to go through with you here because, yeah, in that feeling of paleo effects, right. And I’ve been I’m going again this year, there’s that element of community. And right whenever you get that community together, there’s like when you and I met up in January, it’s like, just so nice to be around the crowd. And you’re like, holy shit, I wish this was my life all the time. Right? And that is kind of the the feeling that I get at paleo FX.
Keith Norris 45:04
Right. And it’s and I can’t, it was a gut instinct in both of us that this will work. People want this. It’s going to be honest to figure it, figure it out financially and make smart financial decisions to, you know, to keep it rolling. But people want this it was the ultimate AB test, I guess.
Boomer Anderson 45:25
It would have been there was no real big.
Keith Norris 45:29
Well being be would be for bankruptcy. No. But But we knew we had something and I can’t define how we knew it that we had no metric by which to know that other than our internal gut feeling that we have something and we went with it. And again, luck was on our side. Right idea right time. We surrounded ourselves with the best people possible. Both from the tribe the attendee side, both with the speaker side I think of all of the variables that were involved in that first event, that AV director who we brought in on a recommendation, who we worked to death, and so, so underpaid this guy, I mean, and he was willing to work with us because he believed in the idea. He felt the vibe on the floor, and he’s like, I’m willing to work with you, man, if you want to. If you want to do this again, let’s freakin do this. And he’s been our AV director since day one. And truthfully, we still have not paid him what he’s worth on the open market still, is he’s listening right now you can quote you. I’m telling Michael Cuttino out of out of Colorado. If anybody wants to work with him. I’m telling you, we could not afford his base rate but he believes in the movement. He believes in us. He believes in the passion and the message and all of that. And to a person we still have not paid a speaker to come in and speak
Boomer Anderson 47:00
Keith Norris 47:01
They come because they believe in the movement. And they want to be in that atmosphere in that vibe. Yeah. And then, I mean, Rob, still, Rob, if you’re listening has still never sent in a travel voucher or like Rob, we will pay for your hotel will pay for your airfare. Send us something to pay you by and he’s like, forget it. I just he doesn’t want you to know they sleeping on like the couch next door. But that is the type of person that comes to paleo effects. I mean, they’re there for the tribe. And so that was what we knew in our gut. We’re like we, you know, it’s going to be on us to make this thing work in a financial sense. We’ve got to figure this out so we can continue to roll. And we’ve done very well at doing that. And you know, I don’t want to go into the business of events, but they are producing any kind of event is a crapshoot, man. It is tough. It is risky. It is a Promoting is all of those things. And there’s really no model to model. I mean, you can’t. And most events like ours are lost leads for another product they have on the back end. And up until two years ago, we didn’t have a product on the back end, we had to make the event profitable. And in fact, people who know event two would ask us in the early days, while this is a great event, what’s your What’s this? You know, it’s essentially for most companies a marketing expense. What is this marketing expense? funding on the back end? And we’re like, nothing. We don’t have anything and they would be like, What? How are you doing? How are you pulling this off? Yeah, I don’t know it. And I think Boomer the the big thing is that the both of us went into this not classically educated In business, because if we had been we would have, we would have never done it. I’m convinced of that we would have never done it because it does not make business sense at all. Zero. But it is, but it but it makes gut sense. It’s great. And so that’s, that’s why it flowered. And just by way of comparison, so 700 people at the first event in 2012 last year, we had a little over 8000
Boomer Anderson 49:27
you read my mind, because that was gonna be my next.
Keith Norris 49:30
So that’s those. That’s the growth trajectory that first year we had 12 vendors on the floor two of which actually paid us anything. The other 10 were just like just come set up a booth so it doesn’t look empty displays
240 last year. Wow.
Boomer Anderson 49:48
I love the vendor village is amazing.
Keith Norris 49:52
And I’ll speak to the vendor village just for a second not to go off on a tangent but every vendor out there has jumped through so many hoops. As far as what the ingredient if it’s a food ingredient, there are 75 banned ingredients that they cannot have. I don’t care how big your check is how much you want to write, you’re not coming on the floor. And that the same one of them is gluten.
One of them is going to absolutely but that Curtis financially in the business minded people who were in good faith, trying to give us advice, we’re going you are freaking crazy. You are turning away checks. You’re turning these people want to write you a check. And we’re like, if this thing’s gonna take off, we can’t have that on our floor. We have to be a representative. We have to be the flagship representative of this movement and of this tribe or we are nothing. So so if we flounder financially early, so be it, but we can’t sell out in that way. We have to be the flagship of this movement so it’s worked out in the long run, but it it in the short term man it hurt. there’s a
Boomer Anderson 51:07
there’s a Harvard professor who wrote a book on or not a book a paper on the value of integrity and he actually put a calculation to it and I think this is a good demonstration of that. It’s just it’s he called it the return on integrity so ROI and in different price and it seems like paleo FX is very much demonstratable or an example of that ROI concept
Keith Norris 51:31
right and and i i will tell you it
so in the early the first three years, man, we were robbing from the gyms we were robbing it was Peter pay Paul. That’s how we that’s how we kept it rolling. And there were there were times we were within two weeks ago and we cannot get you know, we can’t forfeit our other businesses to keep this afloat. But I mean it was touching go It was touching go for For years until we finally turned a corner to a plate paleo effects was starting to hold its own and and put on its big boy pants and it kind of be its own entity but we’re still trying to unravel from that. I mean we still have in our accountant is just like so crazy with us he’s like you’ve got to completely untangle the Norris entity out of paleo effects. You’ve got it and we get it but it’s I mean, it’s a slow go. It’s, you know, when you when you look at how much paleo FX owes Bank of Norris, it’s like we can’t stroke that segues. Right now this is going to have to be a payback period. But yeah, it was we put everything into that event. Everything heart soul, money, sleepless nights. stress on our relationship, like you cannot even believe the stress on a relationship that we went through during that time. But yeah, but it’s all worth it. When you look back at it when we step on that floor at paleo FX when it opens the doors, I can’t tell you the sense of pride that we feel and not not slapping ourselves on the back. But the pride in this movement, the pride in the attendees, and the pride in feeling that vibe on the floor at paleo effects. It’s all makes it all worth it isn’t
Boomer Anderson 53:27
Yeah, amazing? So the intercompany loan to bank of Norris is aside but what I want to talk about now is Michelle, because what you two have is special in the sense that I’ve been looking at it from the outside in my car. How do they make that work? I would love to hear just more like how you guys met before we go into the business side of things.
Keith Norris 53:54
Yeah, it’s funny how we met we actually met in high school. Wow. And we Did not date in high school. In fact, Michelle set me up with with some of the best girlfriends I ever
she was she was an excellent wing man.
But we always had this attraction but we never dated right. And we kind of ran in the same circles and cliques in high school and we were just really, really good friends and I looking back on it now we didn’t date because we were such good friends. Yeah, right. And that mindset back then was if you want to ruin a friendship, the first way to do that is to date so. So there was that? And to be quite honest, again, she was a hell of a wing man. So I didn’t want to ruin that.
So yeah, so we met in high school.
I was a year older than the shell. I went off to college did my thing kind of eat when I left town, I left town. I mean, I was you know, I was that kid that anywhere but here. You know that whole growing up mindset. You just want to get out as me too. Right? So when I cut ties I cut ties and bam I went off to school and then from school to the military and I would keep up with Michelle every now and again. And this is the old days where it was like handwritten letters and shit you know just that could be really romantic
suit yeah and but it was all it was very always very topical. It was always you know, just friends Hey, what’s up? You know? Hey, I’m in freakin Italy right now in the military. What’s up with you? You know, and we kept up both of us. You know, married other people went off had kids elsewhere with other people. And as the universe’s want to do both of us were going through divorces. And we had a she she was because this is what she does. She is was heading up the class reunion thing at our high school and this is early days of the internet. So Oh, she’s using this classmates calm. thing to try to reach out to everybody who’s scattered far and wide. You know, she reached out to me we finally got in contact. And and we just started talking, of course, you know, Hey, how’s it going, Oh, everything’s beautiful. It’s lovely and yada yada yada you know that and then talk, talk, talk talk, you get down to the actual
Boomer Anderson 56:22
Keith Norris 56:23
right? Actually, everything’s not beautiful. Actually, I’m going through this shit Actually, I’m, you know, in in severe turmoil, because of all of them. She’s got her stuff going on. I’ve got my stuff going on. And we kept in contact through that. And then she was living in San Antonio at the time I was in North Carolina. And we just thought, would this work? So you know, we’re, now we’re both separated and doing our own things. And we’re like, you know what this works. You have the opportunity to travel at that time, that company she worked with, she could pretty much live anywhere and you Do her your gig from wherever. So she did that. And that’s, you know, that was it was 9899 ish, somewhere around in there. And yeah, and then we dated for a while and got married and been running strong ever since. I will not say it’s been an easy ride both of us, man we and to go woo again. We laugh at each other. We’re like, man, we signed up for a humdinger. I don’t know what we thought when we were floating around in the ether and thought, yeah, we want some of that. But yeah, it’s been a it’s been a hell of a ride, man. We have we have been through. I mean, we have been top of the world together and we have been in the gutter together. And it’s been an awesome ride and I wouldn’t do it with anybody else with her. I mean, it’s been. It’s been beautiful. through all of that.
Boomer Anderson 57:55
Oh, so the idea of working with your partner To me is in some ways I can see how work in some ways I’m like, oh, wow, I like this may just drop an atom bomb on the relationship. Right, right. And so how how do you guys make that work? Because from the outside, it’s just like you guys are clearly love each other there’s always a sign of affection when you’re around each other. And you have this business and it’s like, there’s obviously some turmoil that we don’t see. But how do you make it work? What’s the secret?
Keith Norris 58:32
Yeah. So you know, it’s interesting, you bring this up, because so whenever we, whenever we’re at masterminds whenever we asked to talk about masterminds, or any of that on podcasts that we’ve done together. Initially, we thought, okay, we’re going to be in a mastermind or on a podcast and we’re going to get fielded business questions, you know, how did you build paleo effects? How did you do you know, on the business side, we never get asked that. We always get asked, How in the hell do you guys run a business together? They’re not kill each other, and you make it work and it’s over and over and over and over again. And I think it’s one of those things where you when you live something, and I’m not gonna say it’s easy because it’s not but you just expect that everybody can do it. And it’s it’s not the case that So to answer your, your point number one, both of us are very good at disagreeing with each other honorably. Right, and we, we do disagree, not on everything, but you get to passionate people, and we are If nothing else, like passionate about paleo effects, you’re not going to agree on everything. Right? So there’s so there’s that we can have a discussion we can disagree honorably, without hurting each other and move on. So there’s that aspect. It’s super important aspect. Number two, we divide and conquer Michelle, like I said, is much more business oriented. I try to stay out of that way. I am much more marketing connections 30,000 foot vision, that kind of thing. I stay in my lane. Is there overlap? There’s obviously overlap. But if it’s a business decision, although I will consult with her and give her what I think she makes that decision, and I’m good with it. If it’s a if it’s a, I call it the navigational question, marketing question. She has input, I listen to it, but at the end of the day, she’s like, that’s your arena. Boom, runway. If you look at our relationship as it pertains to paleo effects, I would be like the navigator on a ship. She would be the captain. Gotcha. And that’s and that’s how we roll. Now. That was not easy for me as a male in this society. To say she’s the captain. I that took a lot of time. internal work a lot. And Mike, you know, I would like to say that I that I saw that early and I decided I decided Yes, that’s the way it should be. I did not. I went through many years of imposter syndrome. I went through many years of why the hell am I doing this? My contributions don’t matter all of the loud you know, low is me. Just just for the longest period of time, just the fact of seeing Michele Norris CEO, paleo effects. I couldn’t handle it. Yeah, I mean, and that’s just being from a total male perspective that was hard for me to take. But I did a lot of work on that and I you know, we can get into plant mental medicine, psychedelics,
Boomer Anderson 1:01:49
I don’t worry we’re getting
Keith Norris 1:01:51
but but I dove deep in explored that and explored why why would that upset me? You know, why would that Except I had to come to terms with what I am good at, and be and be solid in that and be able to express to her that. Yeah, there was a period of time when seeing Michele Norris CEO made me resent you. And we can have those open discussions now because our relationship is so tight. And she gets it. You know, she’s like, I get it. It’s tough to be a man in this society. And your wife is the CEO of the company that you’re involved. That’s tough. I get it, you know, and so she gets it, I get it. And we work together that way. And I can tell you honestly, if our skill sets reflect, she would be totally fine with Keith Norris CEO and she would run with it. So it’s totally about skill sets. It’s totally about what we’re good at. So there is that but you know, that did not come easy. It took lots of communication. It took lots of soul searching on both, both of our parts. It, you know, the communication thing, the ability to disagree honorably, and all of those things. And those are those are skills, right? They’re not generally things that are intuitive. Those are skills that you have to work on. And you have to work on it both individually and as a partnership and as a team.
Boomer Anderson 1:03:20
So conversation around the Norris household. I think there’s this idea of work life balance, which I’ve been known to call a little bit of a myth, a conversation around the noise household. How does it mainly focus around paleo effects? Or are there times I guess, let me rephrase the the question another way. Do you guys shut off from that? Or is it consistently a part of the conversation and if you shut off how
Keith Norris 1:03:50
there are periods where we can shut off but it’s not like every day at six, we pull the plug? Yes. It doesn’t work that way. There are some days, some weeks Even especially now in the run up to paleo effects that it dominates our life and our conversation 24 seven, that’s just the way that’s just the way it is. Now we do try to take breaks, even in the run up to paleo effects to check out for a day to check out for a weekend. And that helps but I, I think that we have come to this balance. And a work life balance for us isn’t like I say pulling the plug at 6pm every night I just it’s not practical, it doesn’t work. But we take moments in a day where we can back off and be just us. We can take hours and on a weekend hours in a day to back off and be just us. And it’s a it’s more of a flow than it is a a it’s more of a flow than it is a on off thing.
Boomer Anderson 1:04:57
And I always prefer the term work life integration Because if you enjoy what you’re doing doesn’t necessarily matter.
Keith Norris 1:05:03
Right? Right. And you know we both have side projects that we do every day are completely alone. Right I you know, for one thing I take, I take like two hours a day and I work out some form or fashion. Today it’s going to be bike riding and Sprint’s tomorrow we’ll be in the gym, it’s just the mix. Michelle could take or leave working out. Sometimes she does. Sometimes she doesn’t. But she has other things. She likes massage, she likes to go out with the ladies and have coffee she she does other things totally on her own. So I think that’s very important too, that you have hobbies or things that you do that are totally on your own. Yes, but also hobbies and things that you do together outside of work. For one of our hobbies, outside of work is consciousness exploration.
Boomer Anderson 1:05:58
Let’s do you mind if we go into that One. Absolutely. So the term plant medicine has been floated. You’ve said early on, you said something about CNS scarcity mindset. And I want to bring that back to the forefront because plant medicine is something that I’ve only started recently exploring. And we’re talking past eight months ish. And I would love to hear just kind of how you initially got into it. And, you know, what methodologies Have you used to explore? Maybe we’ll start there and then I’ll continue to pepper. Yes, questions.
Keith Norris 1:06:37
Right. Well, what methodologies have we expired? Jump on that one first. So
I Alaska watch Yuma high dose psilocybin
mixtures of those medicines, MDMA. I’m pretty sure ketamine will be on the mix here pretty soon because We’re lucky enough to live in Austin, I have access to the owner partner kins alumina clinic. Roughly those are the those are the big players roughly.
How did we get involved in it?
Boomer Anderson 1:07:15
I guess what point is this is for me it was through a mentor who suggested like, Hey, you may want to try this. It was mainly around the concept of ego, and dissolution of the ego. But I would love to hear just sort of everybody has their own story.
Keith Norris 1:07:32
Right. So I have since the early days of Terence McKenna have been a huge Terence McKenna fan. Yeah. So in Dennis McKenna, as well, who’s who has spoken at paleo effects, by the way, which is which he was there. I remember that one, right. So it’s always been a big fan always been.
Let me just back up to my early days. I was
Let me just say I’m not a stranger to psychedelics in the, in the party set so yeah, but I, but I always knew although I although I didn’t have access to the right people I always knew that there was more to these substances than just the party scene. Right and I don’t know how I knew that I just kind of intuitively felt that there could be so much more that could be done with these substances other than just Hey, let’s have a good time and party and you know, which is cool i i i get that same to totally get them I’m a burner. Get that seemed really good. That seemed to be a big fan of Terence McKenna and like really, especially his book food of the gods. I think I was like, just totally. Number one turned on by the prospect of and theory of the stone date theory, right that this hockey stick rise in intelligence and creativity maybe came about by the ingestion of mushrooms, right? That’s sparked that creativity in the human mind. versus just the you know, it’s a theory. But it seems to make a lot of sense if you’ve been in those states you can go Oh, yeah, I, I can see that. Yeah, that might have been a catalyst for for human consciousness, explosion, explosion of that and creativity. So flash forward to the time where I own the gyms here in Austin. At that time, I was training, Whitney Miller, who was at that time, Aubrey Marcus, his girlfriend’s significant other here in Austin, Texas. Very interesting story in her own right she was Miss USA 2012 I think it was kind of a tomboy girl very, very athletic and only did the beauty queen thing because it was another competition and she’s like, I could do That I can you know, that’s the way she is. I can do that I can do that. And indeed she did. She entered kicked ass one. But then she was on her Miss USA tour and having to play the beauty queen, day after day after day after day and she was like, This isn’t me. Yeah, you know, people saw her in that role as beauty queen and she’s like, really? I’m not I’m kind of a tomboy from Corpus Christi, Texas. This isn’t my you know that that’s a role I played. It’s not me. But people put her in that box as a beauty queen and that really affected her. Right it really it really got to her and so when she was done with that year, she said I am reinventing myself completely and totally. And you know, she started wrestling BJJ then she got into female MMA fighting at that time. So there was that in in that background. I was doing some for strength and conditioning, training and She if anyone knows Whitney or knew her then and she still is super frickin driven type A personality going to get it done I mean she can flip like a switch from being you know, happy go lucky to I’m going to rip your head off like right now
which is great for an athlete
she kind of came across to especially other females as being very aggressive very just domineering, you know all of those things. And so anyway, there’s that there’s a there’s a background at that she came to me one day and this in a Iosco had started to come on my radar and I was starting to do heavy heavy reading. Everything I could get my hands on, it was super interesting substance. I wanted to know everything I could about it. And it just so happened that she came to me and she said, Hey, I’m going to be I’m going to be checking out for about six weeks and going down to Peru. And I’m going to, you know, just check out take some time. I’m off and I’m going to do a few retreats while I’m down there. And I was like, oh, freakin awesome. Cool. All right, see you when you get back. So she leaves goes to Peru for six weeks comes back and the person who appeared before me when she came back was totally an utterly changed. I mean, just her whole vibe, her whole presence. Everything about her was different. She just kind of glowed in a different way. But still had that competitive edge. It just came from a different place. Yeah, right. So she wasn’t just all Kumbaya, um, you know, I mean, she could still turn it on. She still did what she had to do. She was still an excellent fighter. She still worked out like a theme. It just came from a different place. And I thought, wow, I could read 10,000 books on Iowa and its effects but I, I see it. I mean, I see and we had some discussions about Got it. Anyway, she. But I told her as Whitney, I can’t, I’ve got a business run. I can’t check out for six weeks like you, kudos to you for being able to do that. But I can’t do that. And she said, Well, I know a guy. And he’s an accomplished shaman. And I can put you in touch, and you guys can figure it out, but you won’t have to go. You won’t have to go to Peru. I won’t tell you where this took place because it’s very well, I see. I read between the lines. Yeah, but
I said, awesome. Yes, please put me in touch. But anyway, she put me in touch and
couple months later, I was sitting in my first retreat. And it blew my frickin mind it totally just I and let me say again, that I am no stranger to high doses of substances, but this was on another level. On the other level, and
Boomer Anderson 1:14:02
I think that that brings up a very good point, right? Because like you when I was in my 20s, I was in my 20s, when I was trying these substances and going out to like the nightclubs in various parts of Asia, very different experience, right set and setting and all of a sudden, your intention is different for one, right, and you have somebody guiding you along the way. And it’s like that that actually can be life changing.
Keith Norris 1:14:27
Right? It’s a totally different experience. It’s, yeah, it’s not even the same experience. totally different. And, yeah, like you say, having a guide is paramount being in the right atmosphere is paramount. Because you just cannot go deep enough to do the work you need to do if you’re in a setting where you feel uncomfortable, or there’s any kind of distrust involved. You just can’t do it. You can’t go deep enough to be able to let loose to explore those corners of your car. sness that you will be shown and some of it is beautiful and some of it is agonizing and horrible. But you just can’t do the proper exploration and unless you completely trust the group you’re with and the guide you’re with, and it’s very important on the, on the output side of that to do very, very deep and detailed integration following. Yeah, it’s not like taking your car to get your brakes fixed and then pull out everything’s hunky dory and you’re ready to rock and roll. It just doesn’t work that way. Lots of integration with people who, who both no integration and a guide is is paramount. And this particular shaman had all of that and she knew it, which is why she recommended that we go to him.
Boomer Anderson 1:15:50
So this is something that suffice to say, but both you and I probably have done this more than once and myself, not iOS But other but it compounds right like it’s not one of these things where you go in a for instance you hear Ibogaine and with heroin addicts and being very effective right but it’s not like Ibogaine and heroin and people stop it like the next day this actually compounds in terms of what you get out of it where I mind just going down the wormhole a little bit about some of the things that you’ve got out of this because I think that’s very important for people to hear
Keith Norris 1:16:28
right although I have seen people stop addictions in one ceremony Viola yeah so it does happen it’s about as prevalent is with Ibogaine You’re right, but it does happen and that’s part of the integration part. You know, addictions do have a physical component yes but primarily they are psychological addictions and we could talk about Vietnam vets in heroin addiction back in the 60s. I mean, right? So, and I won’t go down that rabbit hole. But if your listeners want to look at that you can just google Vietnam and heroin addiction and what happened to those soldiers when they returned to the US? It’s super interesting story. But so there is there is physical addiction. Yes, but it is trumped by environment. We’ll just put it that way.
I’m sorry, what was? What was your question? Yeah,
Boomer Anderson 1:17:26
no worries, I can totally get lost in this one. So for those listening, we’ve talked a little bit about scarcity mindset, as well as different things that we anchor to as males with identity, if you don’t mind going into some of the benefits that you’ve got from like, various psychedelics that would be really helpful for people.
Keith Norris 1:17:49
Right. So I will just kind of stick to Iosco right now. So I’ve done that over 70 Plus, iOS QA ceremonies. It’s been a deaf kind of last year. It’s been many, many men. And when I look back over the years of this trajectory, my first few ceremonies were, if my ego or my consciousness were a pinata, it was like, Iowa was a Louisville Slugger to that. And it just exploded. My ego my consciousness into 10 bazillion little shards. And you can imagine each one of those shards was an issue, some kind of an issue that was that was hamstringing me. So the first I don’t know 20 something 30 ceremonies that I did were like, okay, I would wrestle with this issue in this ceremony and then I’d switch over to this issue and wrestle with that and it was all like this. When I look back now, it was all kind of peeling back onion. Yeah peel, peel back the onion, peel back the onion, peel back the onion, peel back the onion, to where now when I’m in ceremonies, whether it be iOS QA, whether it be psilocybin, whether it be MDMA, combinations of iOS guns, psilocybin, which is called Ma, which is a fabulous combination, it’s Ma, Ma. Watch Yuma, all of these substances I have gotten down to this route of what, what is my North Star is an intimate what what is the North Star of my consciousness in that North Star revolves around freedom. That is everything for me hinges on freedom, anything that hampers my freedom. I try to push away or I resent and it’s coming to that knowledge and what are my other northstars My other northstars are love and truth in community. So freedom, love, truth and community are my northstars Wow. And when I when I think about that, and when I think about when I am fully alive, it is being in a tribe of my own choosing people that I love in the pursuit of truth, whether that’s inner truth or outer truth. Now, that’s what makes me feel alive. And everything else, everything else in my life or my relationships or my business situations, everything if they can align with that than I am holding. If they don’t align with that, I’ve got to shut it and get rid of it. So all of this in that sounds like really, really easy. And I came to you know, it just came to that realization, but it was not without some really, really, really deep work. work, and I couldn’t I couldn’t have just leapfrog to that conclusion. I had to take care of all of those outer layers of the onion for that to even be able to appear. Jimmy. Yeah, I had to fix all those other. You know, I’m like anybody else man, I’ve got I’ve got issues too. I’ve got mommy issues. I’ve got, you know, programming issues from my youth. I’ve got dad guide issues. And I dealt with all of those issues. And I’ve, you know, I’ve worked through them, I’ve forgiven people. I’ve asked for forgiveness for those who I have heard that, you know, all of that stuff, all of that. All of that deep work. None of which, by the way, I don’t believe I could have ever done any other way. I don’t, I don’t believe I could have meditated to that point. I don’t believe it would have just hit me over the head and said, You for me. Anyway, it had to come with the assistance of psychedelics and plant medicine. That was For me, I’m not saying this for everybody. But for me, that opened the door for me to be able to explore these things. Can it be done through meditation and other means? Absolutely. I take a little longer. I may take a little longer, but you know that, but it can it? Yes. Would it have for me? I don’t think so. You know, and
Boomer Anderson 1:22:20
along my exploration of this, you know, and I’ve only been exploring these for eight months, and I think I like a lot of people had a very strong hesitation to get into these. But, you know, just a few ceremonies that I’ve been through, or journeys, if you will, have been each one individually, life changing. And this has been with a guide, this is not something where I’m going out and blowing my brains out. Right. It’s with a guide, and, you know, I had a lot of those issues around external validation and, of course, childhood issues that we don’t necessarily need to go into right here. Right, right. But in particularly the the male identity one, let’s go into that one is a sort of a final spot on psychedelics. Right is that come up and how did you resolve that?
Keith Norris 1:23:12
Yeah, so one of the one of the issues that was revealed to me so so I’ll paint a picture for you. So I in this was 18 months ago, maybe I was in a deep psilocybin experience and in that experience, I found myself just a wash and sensuality and feminine bliss. I can’t put it any other way. It was, it wasn’t one particular female It was like all of femininity, it’s kind of it’s putting putting these experiences in the English language or any language is tough anyway, but it is. So and it was beyond orgasmic. It was just a wash in this feminine energy, sensuality. And I abruptly snapped out of it. And it was it was like waking from a dream that you’re like, Why the fuck did I wake up? Let me go back to sleep and try to get right back. And so that that’s kind of the space. I was like, Why? Why did I bring myself out of that? You know, what are you crazy? Go back, go back to whatever that was. And I’m having this kind of internal conversation. Of course, I’m deep in a psilocybin experience. And then I and then I in it, the thought went through my mind. White, why did you come out of that? What was it? What was it internally that prompted you to snap yourself out of that? And I journeyed on that for a while and I thought, Okay, let me go back. Let me check in with my body. How did that feel? What What was it that brought me out of that experience? It was so frickin beautiful beyond exploration and the thought came to me Trust Yeah. And I thought just trust the hell is that all about? I do I just trust the feminine do I just trust sensuality? And so, for the next 18 months that was kind of a kind of the theme for the the journeys that I went on and I The more I The more I journeyed on it, the more I thought about it, I was brought up again very blue collar atmosphere. And the only way out of that existence was eyes on the prize total type A personality total the total masculine charge. And the the idea that if you show any vulnerability whatsoever, any any weak underbelly, I also kickbox when I was younger, too, so you see, you see the eyes start to swell up. What do you go for you just frickin attack the enemy you start to see See these weak underbellies? So vulnerability is not to be shown under any circumstance or you will get crushed and being raised by a, you know, a mom and a dad to it. My parents were together but my mom was a primary influence in my young life and she raised a son not to get crushed in this environment. Well, how do you do that? How do you best do that? Well, you race, you raise a son to be a tough be not vulnerable, and you withhold love until that child produces. Right so I had this whole complex tied up about I do not deserve love, or I do not deserve abundance and unless I perform, right, and so you can take that idea, and you can craft a frickin amazing athlete out of that idea. You can create an amazing soldier out of the idea, you can create an amazing Corporate warrior out of that idea. And you can dance for create a good entrepreneur with that energy and that idea.
And it’s exhausting. And you will train wreck if you continue to do that. And just and I think for me, that was a wake up call that you’re operating in this energy. You’re at the top of your game right now using this energy and it’s not going to last, you’re going to crumble eventually, unless you get this figured out. And you have a choice. You can either maintain this energy, it’s almost like being a carpenter, and just being a frickin wizard at all of your all of the tools you have at your disposal, and then saying, I’m going to walk away from my carpentry grain. I’m at the top and I’m going to step into something I don’t know. What is that? Something I don’t know. It’s something in the in the subconscious is something you don’t know is chaos. Chaos is represented by femininity and sensuality. I mean, There’s a lot of tie back here. And so so yeah, so it’s, I mean, these ideas and concepts are so very, very deep in our subconscious. And so I know that I need to change energies in order to, number one continue to be healthy, but to continue doing what I want to do, which is seek truth
with my friends and family of choice, and be free, the only way I can do that is to leave those tools behind and step into something else. And I don’t really know what that something else is. And it’s scary, right? And it’s so it’s all of it. So all of that I’m dealing with right now, but I could never have gotten there without that initial ceremony that just shattered my ego and consciousness into bits and I had to go back and chase and start peeling back the onion. When you look back at the trajectory of plant medicine work, it is frickin amazing. And that’s anybody I mean, I have my own story and my own trajectory. But if you talk to anybody who has done this work over a period of time, they all have amazing stories of the trajectory. And if you think that the plants don’t have intelligence, again, I could go very, very whoo here, but I mean, there’s a master plan.
Boomer Anderson 1:29:21
Yeah, it feels like that. And theoretical physics is, is doing a very good job of trying to prove that too.
Keith Norris 1:29:28
Right. super interesting.
Boomer Anderson 1:29:30
So Keith, I think that’s a very beautiful place to leave off. And perhaps we’re gonna have another conversation here. I want to transition into the final questions, if you will, just sort of rapid fire. But this has been amazing. It’s such I told you I wanted your time for 60 minutes and you’ve given me almost 90 so I apologize for taking so much. So, book which has most impacted your way of life. thinking,
Keith Norris 1:30:01
wow, I am such a voracious reader.
Well, I already mentioned through to the gods that was a that was a huge book.
Wow. All of the
all of the texts that are in the Bible, the Bhagavad Gita all of that, I mean read without a religious lens. Yeah. Right. So the so you can read it with a religious lens, or you can read it. More of a, like I read the Bible with Through an Eastern thought lens. If that makes any sense, right? I don’t make sense. Right? I have no religious leanings per se. I’m spiritual. Yes. Which I which I know is a freaking catchword or when you know spiritual AF, but I’m very spiritual, not religious. So I read all of these books through an Eastern limbs. And I think you know, after that all else is commentary, man. I mean, all the all the knowledge in the world resides in you which is which is one thing that I truly believe in the true path is remembering. It’s not learning, it’s remembering and I’ve tried that message so many times in ceremony. It’s like it’s not out there, man. It’s in you. You just have to remember remember, remember? So yeah, so there’s but I mean, there’s a plethora of books I could just run down a list. I also love fiction to which you know, I Cormac McCarthy is one of my favorite all time authors. So I do read a lot of fiction because I think that illuminates reality in a way that that that nonfiction Can’t I mean, it’s strange how that works, but it but it really does. So yeah, there’s just off the top of my head, but god I’ve got libraries of books that I think are fantastic. Yeah,
Boomer Anderson 1:31:58
we can we can save that. for another time, right? What’s your top trick for enhancing your focus?
Keith Norris 1:32:05
For me, it’s movement. If I don’t move, I’m not focused. And that’s, that’s really it. I mean, it sounds cliche and easy. Probably the second trick would be sleep if I if I get adequate sleep. And if I move on the daily, I am laser focused. Yeah.
Boomer Anderson 1:32:26
Yeah. What excites you about the health world at this moment?
Keith Norris 1:32:31
You know, what excites me most is the fact that
from all of the people we have speak at paleo FX.
All of those people have aleni, but not a dogma.
Right. So if so, if I look at Mark Hyman, or if I look at Rob Wolf, they have a leaning and that leaning has changed over time, as they’ve grown as they’ve learned more information as it comes into them. I assess that new information. They change course. And they are not at all bashful about saying yesterday, I believed this. But today I believe this. And I think that is the mark of a super truth seeking intelligent individual that you don’t have to hold to your guns because you believe something 20 years ago, yeah. And you are confident enough in yourself to say, Hey, I was wrong. Two years ago, I was wrong. Now, I believe differently. And here’s why.
Boomer Anderson 1:33:31
It’s not two years from now, it may change again,
Keith Norris 1:33:34
two years, and now it may change again. Yeah. And I live my my own life that way. You know, I I live by the dictum that, that I, we are all blinded by our biases, and we can’t help it. I mean, that’s part of the human condition. So if you just accept that you’re blinded by your own biases, what are you gonna do about that? And I think the only way that to combat that is to question your own assumptions. Daily. And I do that daily, I still ask myself is, do I believe that the Paleo Diet is the best diet to eat just for instance? You know, I think about it and I ruminate on it. And, and I would have no problem, which is why the Paleo effects umbrella. So why that’s why it includes, you know, just on the diet side of things, carnivore diet, Mediterranean keto and keto and all of these variants. Because it really we don’t know. Yeah, we don’t know. I mean, we have, we can best guests. I know what I feel like internally when I eat a certain diet consistently. I know that but I don’t know everything. For instance, I recently within the last six months or so, shifted from what would be considered more of a traditional paleo diet that was agnostic on saturated fat, and I shifted because of some genetic work that I did with Dr. Dan Stigler. Yeah. That, that showed that I had an AP oh three, four, which predisposes me to early onset cognitive decline, which is enhanced by my years spent playing football and kickboxing. I did myself absolutely zero favors in that regard. So I have to dial in my diet to work the Mediterranean keto diet, right, if you would have told me that five years ago and I said, Yeah, you’re freaking crazy. Saturated fat hurts nobody. And I, I believe different now. I believe it, it hurts a
Boomer Anderson 1:35:36
quarter of the population. Right?
Keith Norris 1:35:38
Right. That some most people tolerate it. Well, except for over the irony. Me. And, and oh, the irony. Michelle has the same who has the same wheel. So it’s just very, very interesting. So I have changed for us on that.
Boomer Anderson 1:35:58
Yeah. So Keith, where People First tell us about this year’s event because everyone listening is gonna want to go and get tickets and then also where can people find out more about you?
Keith Norris 1:36:08
Right so the easiest places www paleo FX calm you can find out all the information on the event there. This year’s event will be April 24 through the 26 in beautiful austin texas if you haven’t been to Austin in the spring yourself a favor and coming to Austin spring make preparations to leave in July and August sick it’s hot it’s out here. But yeah, we have a we have a very vibrant digital nomad community that comes through Austin every spring and it just kind of I love it the spring because they all settle here and they all leave this summer which is makes it a little bit lonelier, but I get it super hot here. So anyway, April 24, through the 26th here in Austin, Texas. We remember we talked about giving you a link that you can drop in the show notes. If you’re looking for tickets. So we’ll do that. And, yeah, make a make a week of it. Because I mean, the after parties here are incredible. And this is this is a lively community, man. We are not monks by any means. healthy individuals love to express that in play in party. Exactly.
Boomer Anderson 1:37:24
I’ll be there for sure. And I’m looking forward to, you know, all the time spent with you and Michelle, but also the community. It’s, it’s one of my favorite things look forward to every year. So I’m looking forward to it later on in April. But, Keith, this has been an absolute pleasure. I love dive into topics with you, and we can continue on for hours. So thank you so much.
Keith Norris 1:37:45
Absolutely. Yeah. If you ever want to discuss again, we can go. We can deep focus on any one of those rabbit holes.
Boomer Anderson 1:37:51
No, there’s there’s a few that I want to go down. All right. Thank you, Keith. I really appreciate it. Absolutely. All right. superhumans listening have an epic day. Did you guys enjoy that episode with Keith Norris? Hell, I could have gone on with the guy for hours and I’m sure I will at some point in the future, perhaps in Austin this year to paleo FX. We enjoy topics around psychedelics what it’s like to confront fear and then overcome fear and what I really appreciate his keys thoughtfulness on each question, he’s extremely well read and so you’re gonna want to check out the show notes for this one, which are at decodingsuperhumancom/paleoFX. I enjoyed this conversation and if you did to share it out on social medias wherever you happen to be tagged myself @decodingsuperhuman and Keith Norris @theory2practice, and we’d love to hear from you guys. Again, the show notes along with the discounts to paleo FX are at, decodingsuperhuman.com/paleofx thank you all superhumans. I appreciate you have an epic day and choose how
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