How a Food Industry Entrepreneur Prepared for Success in Business and Life

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By all measures, Brian Littlefield has achieved incredible success as an entrepreneur: first as the owner and co-founder of Origin Labs, and now as Chief Product Officer of Innovation with Jocko Fuel. With a mission to help people of all fitness levels live healthier and happier lives, his thoughtful formulas have resulted in incredible industry-disrupting products in the nutritional supplements and functional foods industry.



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What does it take to become an authority on bold new approaches in his field? As Littlefield explains, his path wasn’t always straightforward, but through hard work, perseverance and determination, he wrote his own true success story.

After returning to his home state of Maine from Ohio, Littlefield teamed up with friend and now business partner Pete Roberts to help grow Origin USA, an all-American clothing manufacturer. Littlefield quickly expanded to more than 100 retail accounts across the U.S. and grew his staff from seven employees to more than 40 within a year, all while becoming the company’s first chief operating officer. At the same time, Littlefield and Roberts created 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 nutritional ingredients. As the brand takes on its new identity, Littlefield and US Navy SEAL Jocko Willink have teamed up to shape the next round of innovative products. There, Littlefield’s role shifted from operations and development to more of a lab coat: taking calculated risks to bring new products to market.

Today, Littlefield is free to do what he loves: creating and innovating in a way that raises the bar in the industry, allowing consumers to choose new and healthier alternatives to traditional marketplace standards.

“In the early years I had all the entrepreneurial experiences: from doing the books to delivering packages to the post office, being the head of less than 10 teams, I got a deep understanding of every aspect of the business. That’s beautiful,” says Littlefield. “I was able to learn the business inside and out.”

“We’ve come a long way since then, and now have about 50 products that we’ve developed and launched from scratch,” Littlefield explained. “It’s been a lot of fun, we’ve had a lot of early wins and we’ve learned a lot from every step of the process in those early days.”

The road was not without loss. Littlefield refers to obstacles as “the tuition fee” because most of his business knowledge—and all of his product development knowledge—has been self-taught or learned through experimentation and research. He sees mistakes not as failures, but as opportunities to learn outside of traditional textbooks, and looks at the obstacles on his way in a positive light.

“I got a degree in business and I hit the ground running when I opened an extra store, and I learned a lot of lessons from the bottom up,” Littlefield said. “On the design side, product development and product manufacturing is all hands-on knowledge. I’m a nerd so it really comes down to countless hours of personal research.”

Littlefield and JokoFuel have achieved many important goals since their inception, growing not only as a nutritional supplement company, but as thought leaders for consumers looking for life-enhancing products. Reaching new audiences through social media, podcasts and YouTube, they’ve built an impressive following and a strong community along the way.

Littlefield is quick to point out that any entrepreneur can produce similar results if they are truly willing to put in the work.

“If you have a good idea, you can’t be afraid to take risks,” Littlefield said. “Most entrepreneurs don’t find success by dipping their toes in the water. They have to dive in. You have to go all in.”

Littlefield is no stranger to taking calculated risks as a way to achieve his dreams. The company had to raise capital quickly during the initial months of the startup labs. Confident that he could realize his vision of growing a world-class supplement brand, Littlefield went to the bank and took out a loan on the house, which was already paid off. It was an incredible risk, but a decision Littlefield would not hesitate to make again.

“People tell me I’m crazy, but it’s one of those things where you have to see what you can’t do and you make excuses or make it happen,” Littlefield said. Whether you raise capital from friends and family, take out a mortgage on your home, sell the car you’ve been saving for 15 years to buy that dream car – there are always opportunities to give yourself financial freedom or the freedom you want. Being a business owner or entrepreneur, you have to make sacrifices. You have to bet on yourself because no one else does.

As an entrepreneur, business owner, and product developer, Brian Littlefield has built his reputation on innovation and intentional success. And recently he took on a new role that inspires him: father. He inspires his daughter to continue reaching new heights.

“My work has been very profitable, fulfilling and personally rewarding,” says Littlefield. “Most importantly, it gave me the opportunity to give her the first start I didn’t have. That alone makes it all worth it.”

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