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Your Discomfort is Your Compass

This article was published in the Winter 2020 issue

by Brody King, Franchise Owner, Restore

Anytime I am asked to contribute to something like this, my imposter syndrome gets the best of me and I’m tempted to decline. I’m hopeful that my thoughts can be helpful to some readers, and it’s with that intention that I’m approaching my topic.

Several years ago, I left my cushy, high paying tech job, in the heart of Silicon Slopes abruptly and without a plan. I had the entrepreneurial itch but didn’t have a clue as to what I wanted to build, or where I would come up with the financial resources required to start something from scratch. My personality has always been “all in'' and I knew that if I didn’t burn the proverbial ships, I may never get the chance to build a business. A big part of the impetus for me to take the leap into entrepreneurship was a book I had recently read “The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying”, a study from those who were on their deathbeds on how to best live a life full of pursuing your potential. My main takeaway from that book was that Wayne Gretzky was profound when he said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” It seemed to me that when you get to the end of this life, it’s rare that you regret things you did do, but more often regrets came from risks you DIDN’T take. That notion really propelled me into taking informed risks in life.

During the transition from gainful employment into starting my own thing, I got some really BAD advice from many who were just not really in the advice-giving business. Leaving a high paying job without a plan is about as vulnerable of a position as it gets, and you learn a lot about your tribe and about yourself during that time of transition. There’s nothing reasonable or pragmatic about it and the risk profile is something that many in my immediate circle just couldn’t wrap their heads around. I was being very unreasonable, they said. My response and war cry was this quote from George Bernard Shaw, “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” So, I continued being unreasonable and glad I did.

While I’m not an expert on the topic, I am a student of the principle I chose to write on today, which is “Your discomfort is your compass.” This notion has benefited me more than any other I can think of during the emotional whiplash that is being an entrepreneur.

While evaluating my next move in building a company, I visited some friends from business school in Austin, Texas. During my stay in summer of 2017, I discovered the wellness concept, Restore. As an Ironman athlete, I have always bought into the idea that you can only train as hard as you can recover. Restore offers many recovery modalities like IV drips, whole body cryotherapy, and infrared saunas - after my initial visit in Austin, I was so sure that I wanted to bring this concept to Utah. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Weeks after the visit, Restore was still on my mind and stirring my heart, so I decided it was worth the risk.

Restore has been life changing for me - we offer health and wellness modalities that have historically been reserved for the rich and famous. We make them available and affordable to the masses and we are making an impact in our community in a big way. Many of our customers report that without Restore, they would not be able to live the lifestyle they desire because of inflammation/pain or autoimmune related health issues. One of our customers in Draper dealt with Lyme disease for over 20 years. After 40 sessions of hyperbaric treatment (which was much cheaper than at the hospital), she’s off her meds and living her best life. We really deliver on our promise of restoring our customers bodies so they can do more of whatever it is they love to do.

While the punchline is yet to come, I have had some serious wins in the last three years running this business in Utah. Since October 2017, I have opened five stores with an additional eight units currently under development. I’m proud to have delivered above-expectation IRR to early investors who took a chance early on. Inside of a global pandemic in 2020, I was able to secure a private equity round of growth financing of several million dollars and build a plan to take down 30 additional Restore locations in Utah, Colorado, Oregon and Washington. I’m proud of the successes so far, but “Yesterday’s homerun doesn’t win today’s game.” (Babe Ruth) This has taught me to focus on growth above everything else.

It hasn’t all been rainbows and butterflies. There have been some major moments of discomfort that I’ve had to lean into running this business and overcoming the obstacles associated with getting to this point. But, your discomfort is your compass. In the last several years in particular, I have found that many things can keep you up at night as a business owner if you don’t deal with them head on. Trusting your instinct is so powerful, and the pain you put yourself through by avoiding the discomfort is much worse than choosing to lean into the discomfort and use it as your compass throughout the day.

I’ll share some top moments of discomfort in hopes that they could inspire others to lean into the discomfort and know that growth is on the other side.

-Early on, my house was used as collateral to get the capital needed to start Restore, and the idea that I could lose my house if the business failed was scary.

-Asking close friends and family to believe in me- even when a few said they thought this was a bad idea.

-Appraising the poor performance of an employee. It’s not easy, but the loss of productivity across the board that is inevitable is also avoidable if you lean into the discomfort.

-Trusting your instincts, especially when you feel something isn’t right. A business partner in my first store turned out to be a very dishonest person, and although severing that tie and losing a lot of money was a very uncomfortable process, it was necessary to make progress.


I’m grateful for my team at Restore and the opportunity to build a business in the great state of Utah. We embody being crazy enough to believe Margaret Mead when she said, “Never doubt that a small group of committed, disciplined people can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”


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Your Discomfort is Your Compass
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