A Day in the Life of Bryan Tayefeh
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Bryan Tayefeh may be best known for being a leader in RNA therapeutics at Ionis Pharmaceuticals, but his story is more than just that of lab work. At his core, the man is a go-getter who takes immense pride in making partnerships that advance more than just his career. His primary goal is to find the technology that will help cure those who need it most. So what exactly does a typical day look like for him? We’ll look at the larger trends that drive his productive life and what all entrepreneurs can learn from his example.
A Little Background Before you learn more about a typical day for Bryan, it helps to know where he comes from. This man has long had immense respect for disciplined hard work. At the University of Colorado, Bryan studied the organic synthesis of natural products. It was this research that motivated him to launch a personal training side business called Tayefeh Fitness. The goal of this business was to inject more science into the fitness industry. When new fads debut in fitness at seemingly all hours of the day, Tayefeh set out to incorporate proven principles into his custom plans. He also wanted to enlighten clients about what fitness really means, crushing many of the myths that have confused and often derailed people from meeting their goals.
His Approach Bryan’s background is in science, and he’s learned to apply these logical models to nearly every decision he makes. Before he even starts his day, he’s already mapped out what he’s planning to do. This might have been done the night before or first thing in the morning, but he schedules everything out and then sends the calendar to his wife. Everything he does takes planning and preparing before executing his actions. While this might sound exhausting, it’s become as habitual as breathing to him by now. Unsurprisingly, he recommends this kind of rigorous approach to anyone who wants to get more done throughout the day. But taking this approach to his day also doesn’t have to mean giving up creativity or flexibility. He works hard to organize his life and set up a solid framework, but he’s also used to the twists and turns that life can throw at all of us. His strategy is not to avoid these inevitable hiccups, but to work through them and then get back to the task at hand.
Shifting His Focus As with all of us, Bryan saw a lot of disruption to his daily life when the pandemic hit. As the father of twin boys who are still toddlers, he’s had to manage his normal parental responsibilities all while keeping his family safe. He also had to quickly shift his business online, taking Zoom calls with clients and making plans online. He had to adjust how he ran his side business too. Before the pandemic, he might have spent a couple of hours with a client before heading into the office. Now, he’s had to find at-home versions of his exercises just to ensure that his own personal fitness goals don’t slide off track.
A Regular Day Bryan’s days are spent giving his all to whatever task he happens to take on. This means that he has to work hard not to overcommit, so he can guarantee the kind of high-quality product that he expects from himself. He devotes time to his physical fitness every day, often doing some sort of cardio exercise at night. He might make custom plans for his clients, ensuring that he limits the number of people he works with so as not to overextend himself. “I attribute my productivity to the boundaries I’ve set. I work hard, but I’m always aware of my personal limits.” As with all go-getters, it’s taken some trial and error to balance his efforts so he doesn’t compromise what he has to offer. In some cases, the options are relatively straightforward. In others, he has to employ more innovative plotting to get to the answer. For instance, he might need to plot out the course of customer feedback to understand more about what the strengths and weaknesses really are in the company. So whether he’s concentrating on one of his 3-year-old twins or a high-profile client, Bryan’s there to be present and do what he can. He also ensures that he gets some time to work on things that are just for him. During the pandemic, we’ve all seen just how important it is to put ourselves first in order to be of service to others.
What Makes His Work Day Satisfying At the end of the day, what Bryan cares about is health. He promotes wellness from every angle, whether it’s physical or mental. “Physical health is as important to me as mental well-being.” He’s most satisfied when he helps people reach their goals though. No matter where a client is starting their journey and what it will take to get them in shape, it’s the process of dealing with hurdles and overcoming them on the way to the final destination that he finds so enjoyable. True happiness lies in seeing incremental progress and Bryan has found this to be the most rewarding part of working with clients. He does not promote short-term fixes but rather long-term changes. Only when people truly adjust their lifestyles can they start to reap the rewards. Luckily, Bryan takes a real-world approach to getting people in shape. Rather than relying on traditional advice or well-worn bromides, he delves into what’s really holding a person back and gives them practical ways to combat everything from the excuses to the insecurities.
What Being an Entrepreneur Means For Bryan Tayefeh, his success isn’t measured in his title or salary. Like so many successful entrepreneurs, it’s diligence and focus needed to achieve your dreams. When he reads books about business, he gravitates towards those that promote working a lot — like 16-hours-a-day a lot! But instead of turning your life into one big round of being on-the-clock, the key is to make work your passion and derive joy from the larger accomplishments. So while he may not be happy every second of every day, he can be satisfied with what he’s done because he gave it his all. There’s also the issue of timing. It may take a few years for an entrepreneur to get off the ground. But Bryan believes that a professional is virtually guaranteed to make it if both love what they do and they do it as often as possible. Real entrepreneurship is by no means glamorous, and even over-the-night success stories are rarely as instantaneous as they may seem. Finally, it means asking for help when you need it. For his fitness business, Tayefeh had no problems asking for help. He hired people to design his logo, get his website off the ground, and design his app.
Ideas That Count Tayefeh’s ideas are driven by the world around him. When friends started asking him about his fitness routine, he realized that he had a tremendous opportunity to educate people like himself — hard-working people who were juggling demanding personal and professional lives. Considering Tayefeh was just as busy as they were (if not more so), their excuse of having no time simply didn’t hold up as they watched Bryan transform his body. He had a solid grasp on not just the principles behind the exercises but also how to eat the foods that would best support his development, and he realized that he could impart his own passion by training clients on a more regimented basis. When Tayefeh first gets an idea, he considers it a work-in-progress only. This gives him the creative space to change it based on both his instincts and the needs of the people around him. It also stops him from getting too attached to an idea that might not pan out. He encourages dreaming big, but without having overblown expectations in the beginning. Use market research and data to help develop the idea and weight them against the time and financial resources that you can devote to it.
Off-Time Tayefeh is an avid traveler and adventurer, and you can find him conquering the waves and slopes when he’s not at work. Whether he’s on a surfboard or a snowboard, Tayefeh is off getting the most from the wonders of the world in the company of his family. He’s also taken up underwater photography and freediving, giving him more life experiences to further fuel his passions.
Learning from Bryan Tayefeh “Life is busy, but we only get one chance to live out our dreams. With balance, anything is possible.” His key takeaways are to go after what you want with everything you have and to accept the ups and downs that will inevitably come. It’s a philosophy that he’s managed to incorporate into his everyday life, and he encourages everyone to do the same.
Follow Bryan on Twitter @BryanTayefeh