There comes a time in all our own personal adventures that marks a pivotal moment, a turning point, a fork in the road.
Recently, I’ve spent a lot of time standing at that fork and contemplating what the future looks like for me, and I’ve realised that it’s my time to take a different path.
In the next few weeks, I will be finishing up my day to day involvement with PBCo. and officially handing over the reins to the rest of our fantastic team to continue the pursuit of our vision.
Even though I won’t be involved in the daily operations of PBCo., I will still be closely following the progress of the company and cheering it on from the sidelines.
It’s been an incredibly difficult decision to make, and not one I have rushed into nor taken lightly. There’s a great deal of sadness, a great deal of almost every emotion for that matter, leaving a company you co-founded almost a decade ago…
But right alongside that sadness is a huge amount of pride of what we’ve created together and gratitude to everyone who has made PBCo. into what it is today.
That gratitude goes first to our early adopters, all those years ago who believed in the product as much as we did, loved it, reviewed it, told their friends about it and continued to buy it for many years to come.
It goes out to all of our customers and advocates over the years – not only for buying the products and supporting our vision, but for the honest feedback you’ve given us on our products, the service, the packaging, and all aspects of our business. It is you guys that have helped shaped what PBCo. is today.
It goes to our amazing suppliers who we’ve worked with over the years to source the very best quality ingredients. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many of you in person and even spending the day travelling around beautiful parts of the country such as Renmark SA, Brocklesby NSW, meeting the farmers themselves, and gaining a greater understanding of the work that goes into creating such fantastic ingredients.
I’m grateful for the work our fantastic distributors and retailers have put in over the years to help get the products into the hands of our customers and ensure they’re always available for when our customers need them.
Lastly, but certainly not least, I’m grateful to the entire PBCo. team, both past and present, and my two business partners, Aaron Wallace (CEO) and Anna Hopkins (MD), for the hard work and dedication you’ve all put in to spreading our message and helping to bring our products to people all around Australia, New Zealand and the United States.
It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with each and every one of you.
I’m exceptionally proud of what we’ve created.
Not a week goes by where Jo, our amazing Community Manager, doesn’t share a story from a PBCo. customer whose life has been changed by our products.
If you’ve ever worked in retail or sales, you’ll know it’s so much easier to sell something you believe in and use yourself, than something you don’t.
I’m a believer.
And I’m a customer myself – I eat PBCo. products almost every single day, sometimes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
I’ve experienced first hand the amazing transformation that comes from living a lower carb lifestyle. The abundance of energy, the mental clarity, the lack of feeling bloated and lethargic after eating. It’s an inescapable truth that this way of eating can help millions of people to live fitter, healthier and ultimately happier lives.
I still remember clearly a customer from right back at the start who sent us a Facebook message after buying some Protein Bread online. She wrote (not verbatim):
“Love Love Love it. Thank you so much. This is the first sandwich I’ve eaten in 15 years and I don’t feel bloated. I’m so happy to have found this product. I feel fantastic. Thank you.”Early The Protein Bread Co. Customer
It’s customers and feedback like this that made it so easy to jump out of bed every day to help grow The Protein Bread Company (as it was called at that stage), so we could help even more people feel fantastic.
I know these experiences and revelations from our community are going to continue and even increase with frequency as PBCo. spreads out even wider and more and more people get to experience for themselves, the power of eating healthy low carb, but still delicious foods.
Some of my favourite memories
when we first set up our online shop, back when we only had Protein Bread Mix and Protein Pancake Mix. Every-time we’d get an order, I’d excitedly text Anna “Yay, we just got another order”. The texts were short-lived as it quickly went from excitement to “oh shit, how do we keep up?”.
our first Fitness Expo we exhibited in, in Sydney. It was the first time I’d been face to face with a large group of customers and witnessed for myself the joy in their eyes as they realised they can eat bread and pancakes again. No more missing out. No more living off tuna salads and boiled eggs.
receiving an email from Scott, a single father of two young children who was so incredibly thankful to us because he was able to use the products to teach his children how to bake and cook for themselves, at the same time as teaching them healthy eating habits. – That one still brings a tear to my eye.
How did I know it was time for a change?
As the saying goes: When you know, you know.
When you feel it in your gut, but your mind tries to rationalise and disregard those feelings – that’s when you know.
I’d been experiencing feelings for a few months that maybe it was time for me to be doing something different, but those feelings were always temporary, lasting just a few minutes, or a few hours, before receding or, more accurately, being rationalised away as just short term self-doubt.
Over time the feelings became stronger and they lasted longer. Even then, I would try and rationalise them away as I just didn’t want it to be true. I wanted to want to see it through, to be involved in the next chapter of the company’s growth and beyond…
However, I soon realised that those feelings couldn’t be suppressed and they were starting to be externalised… I found myself getting frustrated more easily. I found myself not jumping out of bed each morning as excited as I once was.
The positive energy and enthusiasm you bring into your environment helps to build others up; whether that’s going out with friends, catching up with family, or in a work environment. And on the flip side, negative energy, or even just a lack of positive energy will bring people down.
I realised that on many days I wasn’t bringing positive energy to the office, and when that’s the case, it doesn’t matter whether you’re an employee, a manager, or a co-founder – when the passion has gone, it’s time for a new adventure.
If you’re feeling in a similar situation, some books that have really helped me to learn more about myself, and helped during this transition period, are:
- Choose Your Stories (Change Your Life) – John Sautelle
- Immunity to Change – Robert Keegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey
- Buddhism without Beliefs – Stephen Batchelor
- The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle
What’s next for me?
I don’t have anything locked in just yet. I’ve had many ideas for different things over the past 10 years, so, for now, it’s a process of investigation and seeing what sparks my curiosity 🙂
I’m really excited for my next adventure and despite not knowing exactly what that looks like yet, I’m very keen to explore and grow and develop both myself, and some big ideas which like PBCo., will help to make the world a better place.
Again, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Co-founder of PBCo.
- An avid barefoot trail runner, explorer, creator, and keen learner. I'm incredibly humbled by everyone who's helped The Protein Bread Co. to grow to where it is today – actively supporting our mission to help 5M Australians and 20M people globally to live fitter, healthier and happier lives. You can reach out to me via Twitter or Instagram @thelowcarbgiant, Facebook @lukehopkins, or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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