PP 096: Hacking Your Biology with Arvin Khamseh

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Episode Transcription

KIM: Welcome back to another episode of Positive Productivity. This is your host Kim Sutton, and today I’m thrilled to have guest Arvin Khamseh, I got that right? Right Arvin?

ARVIN KHAMSEH: Yes! He got it right.

KIM: He’s the founder of Arvin Khamseh LFC. And when I asked him what he did, he said: “I help entrepreneurs hack their biology, and build a business out of it.” How fabulous Does that sound. Arvin, it’s so great to have you here.

ARVIN KHAMSEH: Thank you so much. So thrilled, to be part of this with you as well.

KIM: Oh thank you so much. So, I want to hear more and I’m sure the listeners want to hear more as well about hacking their biology and building a business out of it, can you explain that to us.

ARVIN KHAMSEH: Yes, sure absolutely. So hacking biology it’s a new term. First of all, it’s just essentially means – altering your life functions, so life functions meaning sleeping, exercising, and eating. So you want to alter those, see you improve productivity, improve performance, you improve your quality of sleep, through just the energy, your energy levels. You want to feel more energetic and as a result of all, you know, I guess improving sleep, improving your energy level, is improving your health, you also improve your performance, and productivity too. So these are all connected together. So that’s why I guess encompassing word for it just hacking biology.

KIM: Oh, that’s huge, so could you pick each of those apart for us and maybe give one area in each, one point in each of those areas, that the listeners can possibly do better on. Because I’m sure there’s a lot of common themes that you see with your clients.

ARVIN KHAMSEH: Yeah, absolutely. So let’s say, let’s talk about sleep. Sleep is super important. In fact I had a call with a client this morning about this whole thing of you know sleep, and how effective it is for us as business owners and entrepreneurs. We want to be productive. We have a lot to do. We have – once we realized that. “OK, so what are some things we would want to do, to prioritize everything we have.” And we also want to take care of our health. And sleeping is one of the most important thing for just improving our emotional mastery and also productivity. So to give a little bit more – I guess, give a more concrete example. Biohacking in just specifically for sleeping is there certain things you can do on a daily basis, to hack your sleep essentially. And so I give you an example. Say, you can set a temperature of your room – your bedroom so that your metabolism is going to function at a peak – at his peak performance. So that’s what you want during the night. And so then by the time that you wake up you feel more rested. And there is a specific temperature that you put. And then lets say, what else I can share with you here that maybe our audience could just try out, I’m trying to think ,  yes, the other thing is you want to sleep with a 90 minute cycles. You want to have – you want to make sure that they say if it’s six hours or seven hours and 30 minutes. And again to figure out exactly what it is for you. Cause, some people think they can sleep for five hours, they can sleep for 10 hours and that’s the maximum or that’s their optimum. Then, there are also ways to figure it out. So essentially there are certain things you can do, just for sleeping to be able to just wake up and feel so much more rested, as opposed to thinking: “Oh my god, I was like, you know, I feel like I got hit by a truck last night” it’s just thinking: “OK, are you starting your day and you’re feeling super energetic, because you have such a good night of sleep” does that answer your question?

KIM: Oh that totally makes sense. So make sure when you’re thinking about when you have to get up that you’re planning in 90 minute-

ARVIN KHAMSEH: -90 minutes cycle. So yes. So the amount of hours that you get for sleeping you want it to be in cycles of 90 minutes. So, if it’s six hours that would be just a couple of cycles of 90 minutes right. And if it’s, lets say, seven hours and a half, then it would be a little bit more. So you would get more cycles of 90 minutes.

KIM: Right. Totally make sense. What about eating?

ARVIN KHAMSEH: Yes, so eating, you want- so for my clients. I mean, you know, health. So here’s the thing. Health is a very important thing for obviously, is important for everyone, and entrepreneurs, business owners they value their health. They know that that’s the only body they get, and they have a lot of other things going on.

They’re not bodybuilders. They’re not going for competition in dieting, in all these different diets coming up every, so often, it doesn’t seem to work really well. Like I had a client who was eating six times a day and that’s crazy to me, that’s me thinking this client had to – and she was a business owner and eating six times a day, it was just so time consuming, she was starving all day. And so what I would say was – “Dieting is that there’s a specific routine you can have around, around dieting, where you become you start burning fat and you become a fat burning machine. And at that point you feel satiated all the time during the day” And I can tell you more about that if you can get more specific about things people can do. I don’t think I can do it all in one like couple of minutes, but at the same time, I think there are some things that I can do today to kind of shift toward that a little bit more.

And so by becoming a fat burning machine, you feel satiated all day. Your brain starts using key tones, as opposed to glucose and your brain performance improves. And so these are things that you can do. I guess these are the premises behind changing your diet routine, so that you get the best outcome out of it, which is you know, becoming fat burning, as opposed to the carbohydrates burning machine.

KIM: Yeah. I’d love to hear more about that.

ARVIN KHAMSEH: Yes, so let’s say, so what we do with the client is to figure out. OK, first of all, there are lot of research studies done right now and show how we thought about fat in the past is not so accurate anymore, and we still, you know we still see all these food in our local supermarket that’s just labeled as fat free 99% fat free. And then they add on instead they add on a lot of carbs and maybe for some people it is OK, maybe but that average lifestyle maybe that that works out for someone who wants to be performing on higher level, wants to be a top performer, someone who wants – who runs that business and they want to be on top of their game all the time. They want to move away from that. They want to let their body function on fat, as opposed to just carbohydrates.

And again this is not a specific diet of just saying: “Oh, just eat that! or just eat the other thing” it’s more of a holistic view of what works for each clients. And then we’ll figure out how we can incorporate these routines, into the routine that they already have.

KIM: Wow. OK. Yeah. And I know some of us are in like marathon sprints of how long we can stay in our chairs and it’s whatever we can fit into our mouths while sitting here. I’m so guilty of that.

ARVIN KHAMSEH: Yes. And that’s the great thing about this routine, is that you don’t have to eat as often, you feel satiated, and say I since this morning it’s like it’s 11:30 a.m. Pacific time right now. I woke up, and I had my first meal and I can’t go on until about 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. without feeling starving or just feeling satiated feeling super energetic all the way to 3:00 p.m. and then, if I wanted to eat again then I will. And so that’s the performance that we want to have as opposed to just being like: “OK, it’s just been an hour and I need to snack again, in two hours let me go eat something else. And what am I going to eat? How can I make this healthy meal? That’s not you know bad for me while I’m juggling all these other business ideas in my head.” So that’s the premise behind this.

KIM: So, I have to confess my husband is awesome. He knows what my favorite snacks are, and he will often come home with a bag. Way too big of gummy bears for me. So, I’m really trying to get out of that. Our local grocery has just remodeled and they have a brand new bulk food section, so we can get all types of food out of the bins. I’ve honestly never bitten in whole foods, but I think they have it and for those listeners who have Wegmans, Arvin, I think I said you’re from upstate New York. Yes?

ARVIN KHAMSEH: I used to live there. I’m really with the Wegmans.

KIM: OK. Yeah. So I’m from Rochester so what would you recommend that people have on standby just in case really do feel the need to snack, like what would be something awesome to keep them going. That would be healthy and low carb, and I’ve heard a lot about nuts. But what would you recommend?

ARVIN KHAMSEH: Yeah, that’s a good point. I would say it really depends on the person obviously, what they like. At the same time if it was just say just one thing that everyone can do it’s a – if heard about the bulletproof coffee and doesn’t have to be the coffee. You can you can do tea and it doesn’t even have to be tea, you can do that caffeine free, if you don’t like caffeine and I certainly do not suggest anyone trying caffeine or starting caffeine, if you don’t have it already and just have. So what you do essentially is, I would put it of, you know, I guess I should share the recipe I have. I just have so, if it’s either a tea or coffee or neither one, can just add hot water and then you put it in some dark chocolate, and you put some coconut oils, and then I would say, you know, if you’re starting just one spoon and then also butter. You want to have a bit of butter there, and then you can play with that, play with that with – see what recipe works for you. And there are so many if you YouTube it, YouTube there’s so many and-

KIM: butter into your coffee?

ARVIN KHAMSEH: Yeah, I know that’s – that was the reaction I got a lot first time they –

KIM: How much butter are you talking about?

ARVIN KHAMSEH: Yeah. I mean once you get to that point of becoming fat burning machine then you can put a lot more. And fewer is just starting and then just maybe just a little bit, maybe teaspoon and half you can go as much as you want later.

KIM: That’s sounds so crazy to me, I just can’t imagine and I’ve actually done quite the shift this year, I’ve gone from quite literally three or four cups of coffee and a couple of sodas a day. I know that’s completely ridiculous. Down to one or two cups of coffee a week and practically no soda.

ARVIN KHAMSEH: That’s awesome.

KIM: Yes, there was a huge, like three or four day wave of massive headaches but it’s been completely worth it. And I’m sleeping so much better now and I can get through the day without coffee. And my husband is actually going on the coffee journey although he’s not off soda. So, now we might make a pot of coffee on Sunday. But chances are most of that pot is still there on Monday. And it just needs to be washed before it gets disgusting you know. But yeah I’m not sure that I’m ready to go on the bulletproof coffee with chocolate and butter. That just wow. That just completely blows my mind. See the me, that sounds like a way to get off coffee really fast.

ARVIN KHAMSEH: Yes. And I would say even with, I think it’s a good segment for you know to say, if you do choose to have that as your snack or you know whatever. I mean like for me snacking, I snack either on something really like, you know I just get maybe avocado or something just had something that has a lot of fat essentially.

KIM: -but good fat.

ARVIN KHAMSEH: Yeah. And if this was new to you to hear this, what I should already. It’s going to be also kind of surprising to hear once you do become fat burning machine, then good fat and bad fat, and if going into a one group of course it’s always better to have good fat as opposed to just having any fat. And there’s some fat that you don’t want to have. So, I guess, maybe let me just get clear on this. So, this saturated fat was the fat that used to – we used to think that they are just going to increase our cholesterol and specifically our LDL. And now there are studies that we have found that actually that has nothing to do with cardiovascular diseases. And there are other measures for figuring out the cardiovascular diseases and whether there is a risk for it, and maybe I can give you the link, maybe you can share with the audience as well.

KIM: Oh yeah I’ll put it in the show.

ARVIN KHAMSEH: Yeah, yeah, and so that would be something helpful. And then the other thing is, so that would be the fat that you’re talking about. And the other thing is almost all the clients I work with, we going off caffeine we want this high energy without the caffeine.

So, you feel that you don’t need the caffeine anymore and that’s the thing, I think that’s the beauty of it to be able to. And this is not just with diet or other things you can do, lets say breath scaling. And I can share more about that if that was something.

KIM: Yeah. What was that breath scaling?

ARVIN KHAMSEH: Yeah. Yeah. Breath scaling so, it’s a little bit difficult to just demonstrate that on, you know just the audio only. And I wonder if maybe I can just also make a quick video about that.

KIM: Oh definitely it will be. Anything that you share will be in the show not but listeners, I have a feeling that this could sound a little bit strange in just a moment.

ARVIN KHAMSEH: Yes yes. And so I think I have a video I can share with you as well on there. And it’s essentially something that it’s a I would say it’s a customized version of something that Tony Robbins do, on his morning routines, and it’s essentially, lets say you breathing in a couple of times, and I’m trying to think how I can describe it better than just showing you the video, so you’re breathing like breathing all in and a couple of times, and you do it in a rows, you do six or seven times and then you breathe out a couple times in a row. And so you have your lungs oxygenated completely. So this is your lungs and since were talking about your brain as well, so your lungs and brain getting. So I guess if I were to describe it in a one sentence – it’s about oxygenation. So you want to oxygenate your body in a manner that, I think is best described by just watching that video, and you do that for about about a minute. You feel that difference. And these things that you can do instead of just having like two or three different cups of caffeine, because caffeine it’s great but then you get a crash after that. Don’t want to have that.

KIM: No, I got to be totally honest. So right now I’m, I’ve got two things running through my head. Number one I’m a mom of five. So like in the back of my head I’m thinking Lamaze is with the shhh, shhh, shhh. You know what those are like really shallow breaths and then the other thing that’s going through my head is Brendon Burchard teaching audience members like for High Performance Academy, about the deep belly breathing in really getting the air pass just your chest and down into your belly and making sure that it’s flowing through all your organs. But I guess we’ll really have to watch that video .  So again listeners, click through to the show notes and you’ll be able to find out all of these great resources that Arvin is talking about there.

So, how – and know this is not closing up this episode by any means but how are your clients finding you, and what are they coming to you for?

ARVIN KHAMSEH: I have clients from different industries from real estate, tech industry, I have a couple of people in healthcare and so different industries and people. These are people who either just, you know tried out so many different routines for their health and fitness and they just haven’t gotten results or they can just do those and also run their business. They have to do either one. And I think by coming to me, they want to have both, they want to have both. And they also want to get results from health and fitness, while just having this other busy life, if its to work and fix their business and not going into the route of just, lets say eating six times a day or not going into a route of just getting all these weird supplements and just say: “OK, that’s how I’m going to take my health to the next level.”

So when I have some methods, some biohacking tools that we can talk to make a customizable to each client, to be able to just say: “Hey, this month, these are the things we’re going to work on. And so that you can take your health to the next level, if it’s brain performance, if it’s energy level but is lacking for you whatever is holding you back. And then also you should be able to fit it in, in your busy schedule.” As a mom maybe, if you were talking that you’re a mom or as an entrepreneur or both of those I think they’re busy.

KIM: Oh yes, very so, I know that you’ve mentioned humor a lot. Quite in especially in the pre-show form that I have all guests fill out. And I was wondering how humor, how you see humor helping in hack biology for clients and for entrepreneurs?

ARVIN KHAMSEH: Interesting. That’s a very interesting question. So, as a hobby I do improvise, I do comedy improvisation and I think there are actually a couple of podcasts that I’ve found that they talk about this .  There – I’ve been to a couple of seminars, people talk about – this is a new thing on how comedy and improvisation, they can be implemented into business. There are, I’m pretty sure there is a speaker on this specific topic and I can again share that with you on one side. Google it for you, that I think improv can be implemented in whatever business do you have. And what a life style that you have, and being able to just say: “Hey, you know you talked about – we had this conversation that you were saying – OK they’re not failures, we think of them as learning experiences.” I think the ability for us to just say: “Hey, I’m going to see this life, this business as a game and just really have fun with it.” I think that’s a skill that everyone can develop and it’s just such a valuable skill to be able to have that resiliency and emotional mastery where you just say: “This is what happened in my business.” And not necessarily just, you know it’s not about not taking responsibility or think it’s about taking responsibility and then laughing it out, and then moving on and of course correcting, pivoting whatever that’s necessary.

KIM: Oh, I bet. I’ve definitely had those moments that I didn’t necessarily laugh about at the time but I am definitely laughing about now. Listeners, if you haven’t listened yet to Episode three, I strongly encourage you to go listen to one of my most embarrassing and hilarious business moments ever, and that’s all I will say about it. So what is one of those moments that you’ve had in your business would you mind sharing.

ARVIN KHAMSEH: Yeah I mean definitely, definitely ,   I’m trying to think what specific one I can share with you, I would say so, there was a time – I do speaking engagements and I remember I had the story, it’s about a story me and Starbucks and I did a social experiment Starbucks and I think it’s a real story and I shared with the people and I shared it with my clients and this was a developmental stage of my business and also development stage of this speech too.

And I shared it with them. I shared with one of my clients and I thought, you know it’s just such a – cause with all this speakers that spoken with they all said this is such a great thing to talk about. And we, you know we looked over the speech and story and everything I said: “You know, this is good timing to be able to just share with people that I know.” And so anyways just of it is that, I shared with a client of mine and it just didn’t like it and he thought that it’s not professional and it took me a week to really get over the fact that: “OK, so I just shared that with someone who has been a client for some time.” And do you know the comments that he was making it was like: “This is not professional. This is. This is..” He was so disappointed that my story wasn’t a good story and or the premise behind this story and then I was losing that client, I was almost losing that client just because of that little speech that I shared with him and obviously I wasn’t ready so, I was just you know kind of the baby of my sobs during that speech and I almost lost that client. And every time I was talking with him I would go through this comfortable feeling of so much discomfort just thinking: “Man, I can’t believe this just happened, this is happening right. I just showed you that video and, I’m going through all this.” And then, you know I just took my time and I thought: “You know what, it was just funny. This is funny. This is hilarious” Like this is, I thought about like I started laughing and just be like: “OK, this was it. I’m an idiot like this. This is not a good thing to do. Like I can’t just share things at developmental stages with people who are not initiated, or what who – don’t know who are not speakers and just expect them to see – see the values in it.”

And I think it was definitely a learning experience and for me to just shift that, say from discomfort, from worrying, to just say: “Oh my God, this was such a – such a bad idea.” And just like laughing about it to just say: “This was such a bad idea, to share with my client” and this thing in a different level, different perspective. I think that helped me. And of course I’m I’m laughing at it and I’m just saying it. You know a lot of comfort, right now at that time. It was one of the most uncomfortable thing, because I could not believe like that little thing was actually costing me a lot of money and a client.

KIM: I do have to ask though, because I know that there’s a line between you know stories and inappropriate stories. And maybe to the point of like locker room talk, but when it’s not crossing that line, do you think there’s a point when maybe clients who don’t appreciate your stories or your humor just really aren’t your ideal client? Maybe you’re not supposed to work together?

ARVIN KHAMSEH: Yeah, that’s such a good point. I’ve had that conversation with a lot of people who had their businesses ,  have some multi-million dollar businesses and they’ve been around for years. And I asked them same thing. Do you share every opinion that you have on everything because there’s got to be someone in your client, so that just doesn’t agree? And how do you go about doing that? I think, I want to say not looking a business I would say, is the ideal that you want to just say: “Yes, just share exactly what you stand for, and to make sure that you, and let that be the – that be the tools for filtering out and just really getting clear on what kind of clients you get excited to work with. Not just to work with, because you want to get excited that’s that’s the whole point of a business.”

And so I agree. I agree with that point of view, is that you’re just making. And I also can see how some other people say: “OK, well there may not be at that level, to be able to hear what you think.” So maybe by. You don’t have to share with them and confuse them. And that in your partnership with them, in your business with them and then maybe share or share your values and opinions on a different context, different context with people who you – maybe your friends or family members. And that way you can still have that, you can still share what you stand for, what share your opinions are. And then with your clients maybe you want to draw that line.

KIM: Absolutely and I know that for some of my clients or for many of my clients were in a very friendly relationship if not truly friends. And when we ask: “How how was your weekend on Monday?” You know we really mean how was your weekend? What did you do? But then there’s others who are who will ask: “How was your weekend?” and really all I care to know is – good. Now let’s get to the point of the meeting. Right? So, and with my personality, I am so much more about the people who really do want to hear and I want to hear how their weekend was chill. I don’t like small talk. If you’re only asking me how my weekend was, and want to hear good then I hate to say it. Just don’t ask. Right. Let’s just get to work and then I’m very open about being a mom and in also in many in many cases about my religious faith too, but I’m also very open.

So, I’m not going to jump down anybody’s rope, or I’m not sure if that’s the expression I was looking for about my spiritual background or my political background. But there definitely has to be some type of realization, I think in every entrepreneur squishiness journey, that there are ideal clients and there are none ideal clients. And at some point you have the right to eliminate the clients who aren’t making you perform at your highest. Because just like your sleep ,  and your food and every other part of hacking your own biology or your clients can also perform your or affect your performance.

ARVIN KHAMSEH: Yeah. And I think, you know it’s just going off that, I think you by sharing exactly what you believe, and giving, sharing your presence and thoughts and feelings. I think that comes across as an authentic behavior and people recognize that, people love it. You know people connect more, as opposed to just having that really cold. And those relationships were just about, just about work. And yeah, I think it’s a skill to be able to find that line and say: “Hey, this is the line.” And I want to make sure I recognize that every time I have that conversation and also just say: “Hey, how far can I go with just figuring out, who are the clients that appreciate me also. And I want to invest in them, invest my time, energy and my business into them.” So I get that as well.

KIM: Absolutely. So Arvin, what is a tool or software that helps you live positively in your life, in business and also maybe a separate tool that helps you live a productive life in business?

ARVIN KHAMSEH: So first of all most positively?

KIM: yes!

ARVIN KHAMSEH: I would say, because I have a couple of different things I do and depends on the situation, I know which one to go to and in fact I think that’s a great thing to have just that template of what to go to, when those times comes. Those are maybe negative times come, and you want to shift focus.

And I would say my best tool is really what I showed early on to just finding an opportunity and making a game out of it, gamifying the situation for me. That’s the most effective tool that I have to go through anything and just say: Hey, I’m going to take myself off, I’m going to support myself, I’m very self reliant. And how can I have fun? How can I have fun? How can I gamify situation, that would channel my focus to something way more positive?”

And then as for productivity, I think the best thing I’ve found for productivity is meditation and I don’t think there is anything else for me that can top that. And there are so many different things you know there’s TM meditation and there are so many different, you talk about Brendon Burchard. He has his own release..

KIM: Yeah, the release meditation, we’ll put that in show notes as well.

ARVIN KHAMSEH: Yeah, and so there are so many different things and I think meditation by far, I’ve found the most the best tool. And you don’t need anything for it. You don’t need any app. You don’t need – and there are apps as well but you don’t need anything. You just need to do it, at anywhere, anytime and just do it.

KIM: You don’t even need a quiet space.


KIM: I had to sit down in the middle of the living room floor with three screaming little kids running around me and just breathe. And try to be still for a moment so, I could take on my children again..

ARVIN KHAMSEH: yeah, that’s awesome, I love that.

KIM: This has been an incredible talk and I’m going to have to look up the bulletproof coffee just because I’m curious amongst everything else, that you’ll be sharing and we’ll be going in the show. Thank you so much for joining me today and for all the insights you have given the listeners tonight.

ARVIN KHAMSEH: Absolutely. Thank you. Thank you for having me.

KIM: Oh you’re very welcome. Where can listeners find you and connect with you?

ARVIN KHAMSEH: You can find me on my web site ArvinKhamseh.com. And also I’m on Facebook as well. I do Facebook lives, on a daily basis. They can tune in. And there’s a there’s a link on my website as well, that they can subscribe so that they can tune in to the Facebook live as well.

KIM: Great, for those of you who cannot, at the current moment get over to the show notes can Khamseh is K H A M S E H. So ArvinKhamseh.com but this will all be in the show notes. I think it’s going to be one of the fullest show notes ever. Thank you so much Arvin. And I mean that really, genuinely, this is going to be a value packed show notes. So thank you so much.

ARVIN KHAMSEH: Absolutely.

KIM: And thank you again for joining us.

ARVIN KHAMSEH: Thank you for having me. Thank you. It’s been fun talking with you, connected with the audience.

KIM: Yes it definitely has. Listeners thank you so much for being here for another episode of Positive Productivity. If you enjoyed what you heard and you’d like to share, please do so and make sure to like and subscribe in iTunes and in Stitchers and until that next episode here’s to a Positively Productive day.