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Brand Builder

Episode 18 | How RUNA Built a Modern Brand on Ancient Shamanic Principles, with RUNA CEO Tyler Gage

By January 29th, 2018

Episode 18 | How RUNA Built a Modern Brand on Ancient Shamanic Principles

with RUNA founder and CEO Tyler Gage

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Want to be more confident in your decision making, build a better team, and realize your potential, both as a business leader and as a human being? Well, this episode makes a strong case that you should cancel that professional coaching session and head straight for the Amazon rainforest.

We’re joined this week by Tyler Gage, the founder and CEO of RUNA and the author of Fully Alive: Using the Lessons of the Amazon to Live Your Mission in Business & Life.

RUNA is an Amazonian beverage company that creates livelihoods for indigenous farmers in Ecuador. Their brand of tea bags and bottled beverages are made from guayusa tea, a native Amazonian tree leaf with more caffeine and double the antioxidants of any tea.

One of the most fascinating things about Tyler is that he’s been able to connect two worlds that, on the surface, appear to have nothing in common – Shamanic principles from the indigenous peoples of the Amazon region and our modern world of high growth startup brands.

Tyler’s story is a fascinating one, and in this conversation he demonstrates how the lessons of the Amazon have helped him build an incredible brand and become a more fully realized version of himself.


  • What can the indigenous peoples of the Amazon rainforest teach us about business? A lot more than you probably think. Tyler shares the Shamanic principles he’s applied growing RUNA.
  • What’s the most important skill for on the fly decision making? Tyler tells us what it is and how to hone it.
  • Finally, Tyler tells us why getting lost is sometimes the key to finding your path – in business, and in life.

Jump to:

  • The RUNA origin story, which involves a depressed collegiate athlete, Shamans, and a rare leaf found deep in the Amazon rainforest. 4:45
  • The power of intuition, and how you can hone it to make better decisions at your business. 11:45
  • How short term goals can help early stage brands find their footing. 12:34
  • How to build a better team, and how to build a board of advisors. 19:03
  • Why being lost in life is actually a privilege. 28:36


Have an idea for the show? Drop us a line!

Brand Builder is a co-production of SnackNation and ForceBrands.

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