Going All In: How Foods Industry Entrepreneur Has Formulated Success In Business And In Life
Brain Littlefield's thoughtful formulations have led to incredible industry-disrupting products in the nutritional supplements and functional foods industry
By all measures, Brian Littlefield has achieved incredible success as an entrepreneur: first as owner and co-founder of Origin Labs, and now as an innovative chief product officer with JOCKO FUEL. His thoughtful formulations have led to incredible industry-disrupting products in the nutritional supplements and functional foods industry, with a mission to help people of all fitness levels achieve healthier and happier lives.
What does it take to become an authority on bold new approaches in his field? As Littlefield explains, his path was not always linear but with hard work, perseverance, and commitment, he has written his own authentic success story.
After moving back to his home state of Maine from Ohio, Littlefield joined forces with his friend and now business partner, Pete Roberts to assist with the growth of Origin USA, an all-American clothing manufacturer. Littlefield rapidly expanded to more than 100 retail accounts throughout the US and grew the staff from seven employees to more than 40 in just over one year, all while becoming the company's first chief operating officer. Simultaneously, Littlefield and Roberts partnered to found a new division of the company, Origin Labs, which would later become JOCKO FUEL.
Like a true scientist, Littlefield built a winning formula through his formal business education and deep understanding of nutraceuticals. As the brand took on its new identity, Littlefield and US Navy Seal Jocko Willink partnered to formulate the next round of innovative products. There, Littlefield's role transitioned from operations and growth to more time in a lab coat: taking calculated risks to bring new products to market.
Today, Littlefield has the freedom to do what he loves best: create and innovate in a way that has raised the bar in the industry, empowering consumers to choose new, healthier alternatives to traditional marketplace standards.
"In the early years, I had all of the entrepreneurial experiences: everything from doing the books to hand delivering packages to the post office, as head of operations with a team of less than 10 I got an intimate understanding of every aspect of the business – which is beautiful," says Littlefield. "I was able to learn the business inside and out."
"We have come a long way since then, and now we have nearly 50 products that I developed from scratch and that we launched," explains Littlefield. "It has been fun, we had a lot of early wins and we learned so much in those early days from every step of the process."
The path was not without its share of losses, too. Because most of his business knowledge–and all of his product development knowledge–has been self-taught or learned through trials and research, Littlefield refers to setbacks as "tuition payments". It is a positive way of looking at obstacles that he has encountered along the way, seeing mistakes not as failures but as learning opportunities outside of traditional textbooks.
"I earned a degree in business and hit the ground running when I opened my supplement store, and I learned a lot of lessons starting from the bottom," Littlefield says. "On the formulation side, product development and product manufacturing have all been experiential knowledge. I'm a nerd so it really comes down to countless hours of personal research."
Littlefield and JOCKO FUEL have accomplished many significant goals since their inception, growing not only as a nutritional supplement company but as thought leaders for consumers seeking life-improving products. Reaching new audiences through social media, podcasts, and YouTube, they have built an impressive following and a strong community along the way.
Littlefield is quick to point out that any entrepreneur can achieve similar outcomes if they are truly willing to put in the work.
"If you have a good idea, you can't be afraid to take a risk," Littlefield says. "Most entrepreneurs don't find success by dipping their toes in the water. They have to dive in headfirst. You have to go all in."
Littlefield is no stranger to taking calculated risks as a way to reach his dreams. In the initial months of Origin Labs, the company needed to raise capital quickly. Confident that he could realize his vision of growing a world-class supplement brand, Littlefield went to the bank and took out a mortgage on his home, which had already been paid off. It was an incredible risk but a decision that Littlefield would make again without hesitation.
"People were telling me I was crazy, but it's one of those things where you have to see what they cannot and you either make excuses or you can make it happen," Littlefield says. "There will always be opportunities, whether you raise capital from friends and family, take out a mortgage on your house, sell that dream car you saved up 15 years to purchase – whatever it takes to give you financial freedom or the freedom you want to be a business owner or entrepreneur, you have to make those sacrifices. You have to bet on yourself because no one else will."
As an entrepreneur, business owner, and product developer, Brian Littlefield has built his reputation on innovation and thoughtful achievement. And recently he has taken on a new role that inspires him like no other: a father. His daughter motivates him to continue to reach for new heights."My career has been very lucrative, fulfilling, and personally rewarding," Littlefield says. "Most importantly it has awarded me the opportunity to give her the head start I never had. That alone makes it all worth it."