Paul Underhill, Creator of Rumble Nutrition

Paul Underhill is the creator and co-founder of Victoria-based Rumble Nutrition, makers of the popular Rumble Supershake. As an avid cyclist, kiteboarder, outdoor enthusiast and lung-transplant recipient, Paul is also a passionate advocate for organ donor registration and an enthusiastic proponent of healthy living.

How is Rumble coping right now, and how is your team feeling about how it will all play out?
The Rumble team is doing quite well, with our GM James McQueen leading the group from his home office and holding daily virtual ‘stand up’ meetings that keep morale high. Part of this includes a personal check-in along with brainstorming on how we can help contribute.

We feel this situation will ultimately deepen our sense of community and social responsibility, and prove to be a positive impact as the challenge brings us all closer together.

How has the crisis affected your business, and how do you anticipate it will continue to affect it?
We’ve seen a significant increase in demand for Rumble, especially in orders from our website, and anticipate that it may remain higher than normal as customers focus on nutrient-dense foods and healthy choices.

What advice are you giving yourself and your team for riding this out?
Overall, to be kind to each other and ourselves. I remind myself to limit news intake and increase focus on the daily health activities. At the same time, it’s important to allow feelings to arise and be acknowledged without being suppressed, and cut ourselves some slack if we aren’t as productive as we might hope to be. It’s OK to use distraction to help quell anxiety, and there may be nothing better to help ride this out than going for a ride.

What is the opportunity in the challenge for you and your business?
The opportunity in the challenge is to introduce Rumble to those who’ve never heard of it. With athletic events cancelled or postponed, we are providing Rumble at deep discounts to frontline healthcare workers, and are also supporting the less fortunate in our community with donated product.

I remain deeply grateful to healthcare workers who were instrumental in looking after me prior to and after my life-saving double-lung transplant, so this opportunity to give back is tremendously satisfying on a personal level.

What advice have you applied or are you applying from previous experiences coping through crises?
My previous health challenges have taught me the value of meditation, qigong and making sure I get some time outside each day (keeping my distance of course!). However, I’m far from perfect, and occasionally get caught up in a whirlwind of over-thinking. At these times, I draw upon coping techniques I was taught when I experienced anxiety from not being able to breathe properly — essentially just pausing to pay attention to my immediate environment and present moment rather than the ‘what ifs’ of the future.

What are your resources right now? Do you have a mentor supporting you, peer group, books you read?
My resources right now include a weekly Google Hangout session with a group of close friends, virtual group meditation three days a week, and especially my wife.

From a business perspective, I’m lucky to have Rasool Rayani (one of our ownership group) as a mentor who inspires me with his dedication to community support and health advocacy.

What advice do you have for others experiencing this alongside you?
My advice to others is that we need to look for the positive while not suppressing or denying the challenging aspects of the situation. It all comes back to kindness, and looking after ourselves will allow us to look out for others!