The Proof

Courtney Reum, Founder at M13

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Courtney Reum is the Co-Founder of M13, a brand development and venture capital fund with a distinct focus on the nexus of consumer products, tech, and media. Through M13, Courtney has invested in 100+ companies including Lyft, Snap, Pinterest, Ring, SpaceX, Hyperloop, Blue Bottle Coffee, Bonobos, Daily Harvest, FabFitFun, Rothys, Thrive Market, and Tonal. Prior to M13, Courtney and his brother Carter co-founded the spirits company VEEV, which was acquired by Luxco in 2016. In addition, Courtney co-authored a national bestseller, Shortcut Your Startup.

Courtney has been named to Goldman Sachs’ 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs list and was chosen alongside his brother as the Executives in Residence by the City of Los Angeles. Courtney began his career in investment banking for Goldman Sachs’ Consumer Products, Retail, and Media Group and holds a B.A. from Columbia University.

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On the first hour of his morning. I endeavor to do that thing where I don’t look at my phone for the first 30 - 60 minutes after I wake up, but to be clear, it’s a goal. It’s not necessarily the current state of affairs. I try to be good about either doing 30 minutes of ‘me time’ or running through the inbox, making sure nothing has blown up or needs immediate attention, and then revert back to my morning rituals.  

I have a ton of ‘particular things’ - as my girlfriend Sofia calls them - that I would love to do, but rarely get to all of them. I view them as an ‘a la carte’ menu based on my timing and mood that morning. Some of these include: meditating (either with the Muse 2 headband or Headspace/Calm), Tony Robbins’ morning priming, talking out loud to my hero and late father Bob Reum, Master Stephen Co’s tai chi-esque breathing exercises, standing on my Bulletproof acupressure mat or vibrating plate while I get a download of the day’s news, hanging upside down on my inversion device, or Wim Hoff breathing in my cold tub.

The list goes on and on, but you get the gist, right? I’m also a firm believer in making your bed to start the day with a sense of discipline and accomplishment. You won’t regret it when you come home at 11 pm exhausted. Finally, I make a concoction of supplements to get the day flowing. Lately, I’ve been into Momentous (which I think might be the cleanest protein powder on the market) within 30 - 60 minutes of rising, some powdered greens, and Dr. Gundry’s line of products.

On hustle and reputation. As far as investment decisions go, we’ve gotten pretty far on a combination of information asymmetry (as someone once told me, “the future is here but not evenly distributed”) and knowing where consumer behavior is headed over the next decade before most others. At M13, it’s important that we don’t lose what has gotten us here whilst systematizing our protocols through IC’s (Investment Committees) and processes (funnel of how we filter ideas and decide when to proceed with deeper diligence).

In terms of how we get into new deals and top-tier companies, I don’t have too many secrets, but I think it’s a combination of hustle and reputation. Most times I try to find a founder in common or one that the company we’re courting would like to meet and say, “Hey, why don’t I introduce you to the founder of X company and you can ask them directly about us.” There is nothing more powerful than a successful company telling another founder the value that M13 has added to them and how it could benefit their company.

On his life’s motto. “Never stop being curious.” Progress = Happiness, which I borrowed from one of my favorite people, Tony Robbins, who also gave us a front cover quote for our book Shortcut Your Startup. There is so much to do in this life. I never understand people who say that they are bored.

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On the mindset that changed his life. As corny as it sounds, changing my mindset from one of scarcity to abundance. Since childhood, I’ve always been fiercely competitive in everything (sports, school, and even who I was dating) and it’s served me well, for the most part. My mindset was always, “If I win, that means someone else loses.” However, between some personal tragedies over the last few years, especially the loss of my father, I’ve had a chance to re-evaluate both what I want from life and where it’s going.

The world is more open-sourced and transparent than ever. Thus, collaboration and partnerships are growing. 99.9% of things (relationships, market dynamics, etc) are not ‘winner take all’ and so I now always look for the ‘win-win’ in everything I do. It might seem small but it’s had a profound shift in my mindset.

On the future of wellness. Hyper-personalized self-care and spending on oneself is only going to continue to go through the roof. People are now starting to believe - and rightfully so - that they can live to be 120 years old. That in and of itself will be a feat, but it will be all about quality over quantity. Most people are starting to realize that 60 is the new 50, 40 is the new 30, and so forth.

In terms of specific trends, it’s hard to ignore CBD at the moment, as well as adaptogens or anything that helps improve cognitive function. As an example of the latter, we just made an investment in a company called Mud/wtr that is the tea alternative to Bulletproof coffee with powerful mushrooms (aka adaptogens and cognitive benefits).

On his sleep routine. Similar to my morning routine, there are a bunch of things that I could do, but I try to keep the ‘a la carte’ menu much shorter and hopefully be cruising into bed with a less active mind. I used to always work right before bed. When I did, I would wear anti-light blocking glasses so that the rays from my computer wouldn’t keep me up (they really worked). Now I try to set a time, usually around 9 or 10 pm, and just say I won’t check my computer or emails after that. I also enjoy going into my infrared sauna because it really relaxes me.

Occasionally, we play these sound healing bowls or these amazing wind chimes that I swear are like a siren song and make me start to nod off instantly. Lastly, I try to remind myself of 3 things I’m grateful for, and sometimes take an all-natural liquid sleep drink called reBloom if I still feel too alert. I swear I didn’t do any of this New Age stuff until the last few years. I find that the harder I push and burn the candle, the more I need something to barbell it out and balance me, and have really found joy in tinkering with my routines.

Courtney Reum, Co-Founder at M13