On a farm in the countryside is the last place you would think of to find entrepreneur and business coach Joel Primus. Having made a fortune from the Naked Underwear clothing brand—which he started from the comforts of his own dining table—the successful businessman is now in the process of stripping away his attachments and looking inward to know his true self.
Under all the fancy suits and business trips, the pains of growing a company from scratch take a tremendous toll on one’s physical and mental health, and for Naked Underwear to become what it is today, Joel went through stress and fatigue that resulted in his hospitalization, and nearly ended his marriage as well hurting his relationship with his daughter.
Despite the joy of growing the company from scratch, Joel says that his journey with Naked caused a lot of anxiety and depression. This contributed to his new mindset of stepping back and realigning with his internal foundations.
“For the last few years,” Joel says, “Naked, at the end of the day, broke me. I was very anxious and depressed at the end of it. So I had to do a lot of inner work to kind of get the foundation back in a place where I could springboard into whatever was next. I haven’t figured it all out, but that’s why we’re out here, we’re, we’re looking for ways to lessen what we do, and do it better.”
Joel describes that his current path for growth isn’t about acquiring more but rather stepping back and letting go.
Though he is still chasing success and still not straying far from the business field, he is now being more cautious and is encouraging people not to divide themselves between work and life.
“I reconcile this constant drive to be successful and this inner desire for peace,” he says, “the spiritual Joel and the entrepreneurial feel very dualistic, and but [in truth they’re] two manifestations, within one whole relationship. They’re not separated, and when we will feel the happiest in how we live our lives is when those two things actually form into one and we don’t feel like we’re Jekyll and Hyde all the time.”
He advises that when they reach this sinking feeling of anxiety and depression because of their work, they should reexamine and know “the whys behind the what”
“We’re most self-destructive when we’re operating without knowing why we’re operating that way,” he says, “if we can understand our why’s for a lot of the things we do, it doesn’t mean we stop doing it, but we’re operating from a much clearer space.”
Joel values this inner reconciliation of himself and is encouraging people to not just find the middle ground but to truly be happy with everything that they put their effort in.
“It’s about holistically, living our lives in a way that makes us feel fulfilled and enjoying what we do—not always looking for the next, and the collateral damage that comes with that.”
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Joel is giving away a copy of his book Getting Naked: The Bare Necessities of Entrepreneurship and StartUps, and his 21 Day Personal Transformation online course where he takes you through a series of videos and worksheets for 21 sessions.