When Peter Rahal started RxBar with a childhood friend in 2012, they worked out of his mom's kitchen in a Chicago suburb, designed packaging on PowerPoint, and sold the food bars to local CrossFit gyms. Back then, what they were doing "was not cool," recalls Rahal in an extensive interview with Medium. "Like, you’re going home and making a bar for your gym?" Fast-forward to today: Rahal, 33, sold RxBar to Kellogg for $600 million in 2017, changing his life in an instant. He lives in a Miami Beach mansion when he's not at his longtime Chicago apartment; he owns both a Ferrari 488 and a Vespa. But after little more than a year of continuing to run his company under Kellogg, Rahal stepped down as CEO when he realized he simply wasn't performing as well, or thriving as he once had, when there wasn't as much at risk.
While developing and building RxBar, "I was, like, flying out of bed every morning," he recalls. "I want to find that again." His friends joke that even when on vacation, he has to work instead of relaxing. He spends much of his time now advising entrepreneurs and investing in startups, but he says he has a lot of "anxiety on figuring out the next thing I want to do"—because, though RxBar did "[help] people eat better," he now wants to have an impact on something even bigger, like climate change, religion, or education. And he wants to, once again, create something that is a risk for him, putting him at stake to lose. "Humans’ natural tendency is to remove pain, and we’ve come to a point where we’ve done it so well I find myself seeking uncomfortability," he says. "The question is if you want to grow." The full Medium piece is worth a read. (Read more Longform stories.)