Peter Rahal is the CEO & Co-Founder at RXBAR, a natural protein bar company known for its minimalist, sleek packaging. By 2016, the company was doing over $36 million in sales, and a year later, the founders sold RXBAR to Kellogg’s for $600 million. Peter never raised external financing to fuel the company’s growth, bootstrapping his way up until the acquisition.
On the first hour of his day. I wake up and have a glass of water, then go straight to the shower. I’ve been experimenting with a lot of skincare products as well. I’m currently trying out a good eye serum. Then I head to the office and have a straight black coffee. If I’m hungry I’ll eat an RXBAR, but usually, I don’t eat anything. Then I spend my time thinking, reflecting and writing down the most important items and tasks that I need to prioritize. To be honest, Monday is very different, it's when I design the rest of my week. In business, I’ve found that if you focus on 52 weeks and block and tackle one at a time, you start to get really productive.
On finding balance. All I do is work because I enjoy it. I generally don’t have a work-life balance. In my free time, I try to meditate and spend time with people I care about. For me, balance is an aspect of what’s important, what motivates someone, and what makes someone happy. I love business, it makes me happy. It’s just fun, I don’t need to fucking go on vacation. I’m an entrepreneur, not a corporate employee.
On his mission statement. “Pursue wisdom.” The thing that makes me happy is learning. I want to understand what life’s about by learning from people, from doing, and from experiences. If I think about what I like to do, at the end of the day I’m trying to pursue wisdom. I love to learn and try to understand the truths of the world we live in.
On social media. I removed Facebook, that’s really it. Instagram’s way worse, but it’s kind of become your online profile and identity, so it’s too important to remove it. With Facebook, you have this impulsive and unconscious itch to check it, which leads to mindless scrolling. I found that if you look at really successful and happy people, the common thread is that they really don’t care what others think. They’re focused on what they want to accomplish. I’m really good at this, I generally don't care what people think of what I’m doing and I want to continue that.
On his CrossFit roots. I still do CrossFit, but just don’t work out like I used to. I just had more time when I was first starting RXBAR. I need to do more, no question, but I still follow the principles and methodology of CrossFit: high intensity, constant variation, and functional movements. Right now I work out between zero and three times a week.
On his sleep ritual. I do my standard ritual: clean, wash up, put lotion on, and wear my mouth guard. Then I put my phone away and set my alarm. I use a real alarm clock, not my phone. There’s nothing worse than just staring at your phone when you wake up and getting lost.
Then I read for 30 to 60 minutes every night, always nonfiction, which follows the theme of pursuing knowledge. I make sure to read every night, it’s important to me that I protect that habit. I’ll read 5 books at a time, jumping from book to book. My current rotation is The Creative Curve, Antifragile, and Atomic Habits.
— Peter Rahal, CEO & Co-Founder at RXBAR