The New Way to Vision Board and Pursuing Your Passion
The New Way to Vision Board and Pursuing Your Passion

“The way that we do our mornings is a huge determinant of the way that we do our lives, and it’s not difficult to shift ourselves into a place where we are actually the one in the driving seat of our day.”

- Patrick Drake

Elizabeth welcomes Patrick Drake, a former attorney who left his legal career to pursue his passion for food full-time. In their chat, Patrick talks about landing a job in renowned chef Heston Blumenthal's kitchen after a chance meeting, co-creating the meal kit delivery service HelloFresh in the UK, and picking up the pieces to create a fresh start after losing almost everything to a fire in California. He now runs the functional coffee company Autonomy Foods, which provides a delicious solution to traditional coffee creamers and matcha. Patrick also gives great tips on overcoming fear through visualization and breaking down big goals into smaller, more actionable steps.

    Elizabeth Stein 00:00
    Hi, everyone. I'm Elizabeth Stein, founder, and CEO of Purely Elizabeth. And this is Live Purely with Elizabeth, featuring candid conversations about how to thrive on your wellness journey.

    This week's guest is Patrick Drake, founder of AUTONOMY. Patrick has had an unconventional journey from the corridors of Goldman Sachs to the kitchens of Michelin-starred restaurants. Soon after starting his career as an attorney, he started moonlighting in the UK at the best restaurants and eventually quit his legal career to pursue food full-time. He went on to host a TV show for National Geographic Channel, co-founded HelloFresh in the UK, and is now the founder of the functional coffee and moto brand AUTONOMY. In this episode, Patrick details his inspiring career journey from his vision to becoming a TV chef, getting a call to shoot his first TV pilot, then landing in the kitchen of renowned British chef Heston Blumenthal and eventually starting HelloFresh in the UK. We talked about the strategies for overcoming the fear that he used to achieve ambitious goals and cultivate a growth-oriented mindset. We also explore the power of visualization and they use vision boards which we both enjoy, and the importance of taking risks and seizing opportunities. This was such an inspiring conversation. Keep listening to learn more. And if you want to try the AUTONOMY products, use code PURELY15 for 15% off sitewide at Enjoy.

    Patrick, welcome to the podcast. It's such a pleasure to meet you. It's so nice that you’re a local Boulder resident and I can't wait to hear your story.

    Patrick Drake 02:52
    Yeah, I'm so happy to be here. So excited for this.

    Elizabeth Stein 02:54
    So let's start with your journey. You've certainly had an amazing journey from starting off as an attorney to now starting your company AUTONOMY. That takes us back to the beginning. Tell us all about your entrepreneurial experience.

    Patrick Drake 03:15
    Yeah, my journey has been a real ride, as you say, I started off as an attorney when I was an aircraft finance attorney in Tokyo at one point. And I just went into it for all of the wrong reasons. I remember coming out of university.

    Elizabeth Stein 03:28
    Where did you grow up first of all?

    Patrick Drake 03:30
    I grew up in the UK. So I went to university in I went to university in a place called Exeter and then I went to law school at Oxford. And they came out of that. And we had been fed on a steady diet of Ally McBeal and L. A. Law. So I had all of these ideas in my head about how glamorous it was to be a lawyer. And I was like, well, that's the career for me. I mean, I want some of that. So of course, I arrived on day one and realized, oh, no, this is nothing like I thought. There's no karaoke bar in the basement. This is no fun at all. And so I just started to every day hatch escape plans with my colleagues, and we would have breakfast, lunch, and dinner in our building. So we had a lot of time to fantasize about how he would escape. But of course, it was one of those things where the more you talk about it, the less likely you are to actually do anything about it. It was just verbal escapism. It was just a holiday for the mind in between drafting contracts. So we never really did anything and then one day hit upon the idea that I'd love to work in food for the rest of my life. And because it was such a crazy idea, I didn't tell a soul and I didn't tell a soul because I knew that I could see that the more talks about things, the less likely I was to do something about it. And actually, later in life that bore itself out in some science that I read that when you talk about an idea, it actually triggers that part of your brain, which believes that you've actually done the thing already. It drains your motivation. So I kind of inherently knew that at the time. But I think more than that, I realized that if I told anybody what I really wanted to do, which was to be a chef, and more specifically to be a TV chef, they would just think I was completely crazy. And then I'd have a double challenge, which was like, it would be hard enough for a lawyer to become a chef in the first place. But to do that, whilst people also, as I would have imagined judging me for that decision, and thinking I was completely crazy, would make it so hard. So when I decided that's what I wanted to do, I didn't tell a single person.

    Elizabeth Stein 05:58
    What made you decide you wanted to get into food? Have you had any experience with that or just love to eat?

    Patrick Drake 06:05
    Yeah, I mean, that was the first thing I loved to eat. I was a chubby little kid. And I loved my food, love my mom's shepherd's pie. I remember when I was a little kid, I saw my grandma, it was one of my first memories in life. But certainly, my first memory of food was my grandma putting rice, vanilla, sugar, and milk into this dish. And she put it into this magical contraption that she called an oven. And she left it in there for 14 minutes. And we're all kind of waiting around and like what is happening in there. And then she pulls out and it's this bubbling cauldron of creamy vanilla, delicious rice pudding joy. I was like, oh my goodness, like I'm hooked. There is some kind of magic going on here. And I want to know what's going on behind the curtain. So I think that was when I first started thinking about actually cooking. And I was always cooking at home for my family. And I was just obsessed with watching cooking shows at university. I mean, what else do you do at university? You watch cooking shows and sit around drinking cups of tea all day. That's what I did. And a bit of studying on the side, but a lot of daytime television. And honestly, I learned an incredible amount. And I was a big fan of Jamie Oliver. And I just thought wow, that just looks like a lot of fun. That looks like a lot more fun than drafting contracts. That was pretty much the extent of it. There was no professional training there at all. Like I once washed dishes in a restaurant. And that was about as close as I got to a restaurant kitchen. And even there, I actually got fired after two weeks because the owner of the restaurant, she said to me, and I was 14 at the time. She said, “Patrick, when somebody washes dishes for me, I need them to shine and you don't shine.” I just remember leaving. I was crying. It was the most terrible thing. So my entry into the world of professional kitchens was a pretty choppy one. I was at my law firm, really miserable. One day one of my friends in Los Angeles called me and she works for KTLA, the news channel, and, I said, “Hey, listen, I've got this idea for a cooking show.” And I told her about it. But it wasn't as if I actually believed anything would come of it. And then a week later, she called me up and she said, “You're not going to believe what's happened. But the people at the network loved your idea. I think we should film a pilot and you could play the role of the chef.” I'm like, yeah, why not? Let's do this. A complete naïve, I wouldn't even say naive optimism, it was just naive delusion that you do this thing. Because I've never been in front of a camera in my life. So I booked a flight to Los Angeles. I had 10 weeks to prepare. And I just started doing everything out loud. So if I'm washing dishes at home, I'm saying the reason why I'm putting soap suds on the dish is because it will rue the grease. And if I'm shaving, I'm narrating my shaving out. My roommate thinks I've gone completely bananas. Because I haven't even told him. So I'm doing that for 10 weeks. I get on a flight. The night before we shoot this pilot, everything suddenly becomes extremely real. Like the gravity of the situation of what I'm about to do. And I just remember I can't do this. I'm not prepared for this. And then my friend said to me, you are going to do this. We're committed. And I remember being there the next day. And I was in front of this whole room of people, a studio, with lights and cameras and sound and makeup and hair and all these things, it was so overwhelming. And I just remember looking at those people and thinking, wow, all of you should be here. You all deserve to be here, you've worked to be here. I am the only person who really doesn't deserve to be here. I feel like a total imposter. And it was that realization that you can't just decide overnight that you want to be this thing, you have to earn it. So of course, when the director looked at me, and he said, “Action,” I just completely froze. And my heart was pounding out of my chest, and I could barely get a word out. And then he says, “Cut”, I can see the sweat patches under his arms, we need to change his T-shirt. And I'm just thinking, oh, no, this is just terrible. And we got through that day. And I'm kind of warmed up to the task. And we shot a pilot, and it was like, okay, it clearly wasn't my best work, because it was my first work. And so I got back to the UK. And a week passed, a month passed and nothing came of it. And it just kind of dawned on me, okay, this is not going to happen. And then it was that choice point. Okay, either this is just a nice story that I get to tell one day to my grandkids, or I'm going to actually go after this, I'm going to make this my life's mission. And so that's what I did. I said right now I'm gonna go for it.

    Elizabeth Stein 11:49
    Oh, that's incredible, so much to unpack in that thing. First of all, you could in that moment, is this a story for my grandkids? Or do I go after that so many of us are, are caught at that exact space and caught in that fear? And that sort of fear regret. Am I going to regret this more? Just push through the fear? So what tips do you have that really helped you to push through that fear that you can share with our audience? And when they're sitting at that exact moment in their life?

    Patrick Drake 12:22
    Yeah, I think the thing that can be really overwhelming is when you think of the big vision. So you're thinking about step 10. And you're looking at that and you're thinking, oh, my goodness, I have zero clue how I'm ever going to get to step 10. Am I ever going to open the doors to get there? And the fact is, you don't need to know how to get to step 10. Because you only need to know how to get from step one to step two. And then from steps two to three, each step will just gradually unfold and unlock new levels in the game. So for me, the grand vision was, and I wrote it down on top of a piece of paper. By this day, I'll be living in Los Angeles, I'll have my own television show. And I will be working in food for the rest of my life. Now, of course, to look at that, and leave it like that, how would I possibly achieve that, I had to have a plan. And so underneath it, I wrote the steps that I would need to take to give me even just a shot at the top goal, if I was lucky enough or fortunate enough, let's say that that opportunity would arise. And the steps underneath while the top goal is something that at that moment you is very intangible that you don't quite know how to get a grip on it. The steps underneath that you write are steps that are achievable. And the only gatekeepers to doing them are yourself, your own motivation, your own bravery, your own willingness to just step forward into the challenge. And so my steps were baby steps. Learn from anybody who'll teach me. So go to work in restaurants for free, and start a YouTube channel. That was 2007 YouTube had just started. So I had this little five-megapixel Canon camera, which I just saw yesterday, actually. Put up on a tripod in my kitchen, turn it on, and just get in front of it and start pretending to be a TV chef, study cookbooks. Yeah, all of these little steps, and the only thing that would stop me from doing them was whether it was me. And that's that that's the point. That's probably the most difficult part because then you have to step into that. And so for me, it would be I'd be in one of my favorite restaurants and I would say, “Hey, I just thought was such an incredible meal. Do you mind if I talk to the head chef?” And then I just want to compliment them. And of course, what head chef doesn't want to be complimented? And so they would come out. It's very unusual for someone to even ask them to come out and just say, you know how in awe I am of their food and would they consider letting me come in for a day and help them out in the kitchen? Well, pretty soon I was still a lawyer. But I would leave my desk at lunchtime and pretend I was going for a sandwich to all of my lawyer colleagues. And I would go up to the 30th floor of our building, to the fine dining kitchen where we would cook lunch for our biggest clients like banks, and what have you. And I would go in and I'd help the chefs. And then I would leave at the end of lunchtime, and go back to my desk, because if I just had a sandwich, just went to practice. And then in the evenings, I'd get in a taxi across London, change out of my pinstripes into chef's whites, at work in kitchens for free in the evenings. And then on the weekends, I was working in a basement kitchen of a Spanish restaurant called Brindisa, which was one of the best Spanish restaurants in London. And I was weighing out Croquettas, and pulling pin bones out of seabass in a windowless basement kitchen on a Saturday in the middle of summer, while my Blackberry, because it was at the time, would be pinging. And my friends saying, hey we're down the park, we're playing football, we're having a barbecue, we're having some beers. Where are you? And I'm in this basement kitchen thinking, what am I doing? Like, I am nowhere near closer to this ridiculous goal I have of being a TV chef. I'm in a basement kitchen while all my friends are having fun. What am I doing? And I think again, that's one of the hard points because that's one of the points that anyone will hit where they have this big dream. But it's just not quite happening. And I think that's one of the choice points, where you keep going.

    Elizabeth Stein 17:15
    Yeah, I love that. I think it's all about those small steps. I can very much relate to this story. I wrote down on a piece of paper, “Become a nationally known granola brand.” And I too, had no idea it was such a lofty dream. And I, by no means, knew anything about the food space, I had gone to a triathlon people liked the product that I had, and I didn't know what to do with it. So it was all about taking each of those really small steps to not be so overwhelming. And so I think that's such a great tip. One of the things that I think about, though, of how to even get to that first step, or that second step is your mindset. And for me, I felt like I had just gotten to this nutrition school, everything was just in the flow, and I was feeling so confident, so growth mindset oriented. And so how do you think about mindset and how that played a part for you and continues to play a part for you in your journey?

    Patrick Drake 18:25
    Yeah, it's not something. I mean, obviously, this story, I've told it a number of times, but it's so nice to be able to talk about a part of it, which I have never really talked about, which is how I get to that point in with the mindset. And for me, I don't talk about it often because I sometimes feel like a little bit like it's a little bit cheesy, but the first book that came across my path was The Secret.

    Elizabeth Stein 18:52
    Love that. Oh my god, it scared me chills.

    Patrick Drake 18:54
    And actually, it was my friend in LA, the same one who… I mean, she really is a dream weaver.

    Elizabeth Stein 19:04
    And where is this friend today?

    Patrick Drake 19:06
    She's still in LA. She's still an anchor at KTLA. And she said to me, before we'd even had this conversation around a TV show, she was saying if you heard about a secret, and I said, “No. What secret?” She said, “The secret?” I said, “What secret?” She said, “Secret. It's a book.” “Oh, no, I haven't heard of it.” And so I went and bought the book. And it just blew my mind. Because quite honestly, I spent a lot of my time complaining, a lot of my time using negative words, words like should, could, would, I think I might, I mean, okay, basically, I'm not. And so I read the secret and realized, wow, there's so much power in the words that we use. The words that we use shape our reality. And so almost overnight. I shifted my vocabulary to eliminate negative words eliminate should, would, could might. And it was a, it was a very, it was a very visible shift to the people that I was around because I went from that person to a person who if asked a question or making a statement, I would either say, I'm going to, or I wouldn't say anything at all, I would never say I might, or I think I will. It’d be, I'm going to do this. And people are like, oh. That's very direct and confident. I'm like, yeah. That was one of the biggest shifts for me. And also visualization. I mean, I'm looking right now, over the computer, in the corner of the room, I see my vision board. And again, it's not something that you don't think of these titans of industry, having vision boards, and it's not like titans of industry at least traditionally, let's say. They don't talk about vision boards, they talk about business plans, and all these things, which sound really quite hardcore and technical, and might require some kind of education to do. Well yeah, there's a place for that, of course, but there is a huge place for creating a very visual, and tangible vision of the life that you want. And that's another thing that I invest my time into, is having that I see every day, and now the technology is so much cooler because back in the day, I would cut pictures out of magazines. I put them on my vision board. Well, nowadays, I searched for the image on Google, and then I put it into Canva. And then I superimposed my product into the image. So now I have AUTONOMY superimposed into hotel rooms into first-class air and into interviews and I even have it superimposed onto the news desk, that KTLA news, which two weeks ago, I did. And half the things on my vision board, as I look at it now, they've all either happened, or they're happening. And it's and people could just dismiss that and say, oh, Hocus Pocus. But you can't dismiss it, because we don't know really what's going on behind the curtain. And I think there's so much to be said, for aligning our vision and our energy, with the things that we want. And there's this incredible power to that.

    Elizabeth Stein 22:57
    I could not agree with the more I had a vision board from day one of starting my brand as well. And I continue to do a new vision board every year, I don't know if you do it yearly. Or do you constantly just update it?

    Patrick Drake 23:11
    I actually think I'm due for a little update now. So it's gonna be it's probably going to be more like every few months, I'll just add a couple of photos, maybe take a couple down, maybe just get a bigger vision board.

    Elizabeth Stein 23:23
    I gotta get your tip on using Canva to superimpose. I love that.

    Patrick Drake 23:28
    Yeah. And it's so easy. Honestly, I you can you can learn how to do it within five minutes of watching a YouTube tutorial. And to that point, the world is so different now. And all of the knowledge that we need, it's out there. There was this time when there was this time when there are these gatekeepers who had the knowledge and those gatekeepers would often say that you actually know you need a certificate in order to be able to do this thing to go down this career path. And it's simply not true. Of course, the people that went to college to get the certificate to have you know that to be able to give you this advice, or what have you, of course, that that narrative is important for them because they paid a lot of money for that certificate, so they want you to work with them. But I've just found in my own life that so many of the things can be learned online, even in the formulation process for me. I just thought well surely I can't just launch a food product. I mean, you need to be an expert to do that. Ultimately, I formulated 90% of it myself and I did go to the formulator at the end to ask for their advice on do they think I've done it the right way. Because I just needed that little bit of reassurance that goes like, am I right? Surely I can't do this. But then when I spent time with them, I looked at what they were doing, I was like, oh, you're doing the same thing as I was doing. So I think people should take heart in that, as well as all the information they need to do whatever it is they want to do, is out there.

    Elizabeth Stein 25:17
    Yeah. And that anything is possible, because it's really the barrier to entry, and so many things have really been locked down. So the lofty dreams aren't quite as lofty.

    Patrick Drake 23:30
    Right. Now you've got these huge companies that are kind of supporting you like Shopify, Meta, or whoever it might be, these companies now can fill the roles that ago, you would have had to have entire teams, but now you can do it from behind your computer. And again, all that information is out there. And a lot of it's for free as well.

    Elizabeth Stein 25:56
    So going back to your journey, and you get the secret, you're in this great mind and you're moving along, what then happens in this journey, and where does HelloFresh come into play?

    Patrick Drake 26:12
    So I was doing all of the cooking in the different kitchens. And I realized that if I want to take this really seriously, then I have to take away the safety net. Because having that wage coming in every month, was just too comfortable. It really kept the cooking as a hobby, and it didn't put enough fire underneath me. So I realized I was gonna have to resign.

    Elizabeth Stein 26:39
    Were you nervous at that point, or you were feeling like this…?

    Patrick Drake 26:45
    I think once I come to make decisions, I'll have I'll have done a lot of thinking about it. But once this decision is made, I'm fully set on it., and I remember feeling really confident like this is my destiny, I'm going to do this and I went to the senior partner's office. Bear in mind, that these are serious people. I mean, this is the biggest law firm in the world. These are serious, intelligent people. And they've been on this career path their entire lives to reach the pinnacle. And so just before I walk into his office, I send him an email from my Blackberry. And the contents of that email, commit me to my course of action. I cannot turn back now. I walk into his office and sit down. And I say, “Hey, I'm a little bit of a preamble. But basically, I've decided I'm going to resign.” He said, “Well, Patrick, I'm not surprised. Didn't feel like your heart was completely in it. What are you thinking of doing? Are you thinking of going to another law firm or maybe going in-house to a bank?” And I said, “Well, actually, Lee, I just sent you a link to this thing called YouTube. This is what I want to do.” So he turns around quizzically and clicks on the link. And then up pops the title sequence to the pilot cooking show that I had done months previously in LA. And the title sequence, which is still online is kind of ridiculous. In one scene I'm flipping something in a frying pan, and in the next scene, I’m running topless down a beach in Santa Monica. This rock soundtrack in the background is completely ridiculous. And his eyes go wide. Then he kind of squints. And then he looks at me. “You want to do what?” And I said, “I want to be in a TV show.” “What? Why?” he just couldn't he was speechless. He couldn't compute. But I was saying like, no one would ever dream of doing this thing. And he said, “Do you have any reason to believe this is something you can do?” And I said, only that I want to and I guess that's enough for me. And then you know after that meeting, he sent that link to his secretary who then shared it with another secretary. And then it just did the whole did the rounds through the entire secretarial pool which is like the central nervous system of the of our building of 1000s of lawyers. That's where the communication flows from. By the next day, hundreds of people in my building had seen this pilot. After that, it was just awkward. I was like oh God, it’s really good to go. And so I did and I just plunged myself into cooking in more restaurants. At one point, one of my probably more daring moments was, at the time, the best chef in the world Heston Blumenthal, he's like this mad professor of molecular gastronomy. And he had what was considered at the time, the best restaurant in the world, The Fat Duck. He was going to be picking up the award for Chef of the Year at the GQ Awards. So I managed to get myself into the GQ Awards. And my intention was, as it is when I go to things like this, I'm like, there is one person in this room who I want to meet. And I know what I'm going to say to them, and no one I'm going to ask of them. And it's my job just to find that moment in that room to have that conversation, make that connection with them. And so I got myself in there. He had just won the award. Everyone wanted to talk to him. It was impossible to find that moment, but I was just kind of waiting. And it's awkward. When you're waiting. Yeah. You're lurking. But I found that moment, I jumped in front of him. And I said, “Oh, my goodness, Heston. I can't believe you're here, because I just wrote an article about you.” Well, that got him on the hook. I knew it would. Because he's obviously thinking, well, what do you mean, you can't believe I'm here? I'm Heston. Like, who are you? And why are you writing about me? And it was true in that I had written a blog post about him a couple of days previously. It's like an article of sorts. It's like aspiring to be an article. And I said, “Yeah, I did. And I wrote about how much I admire the way that you've changed the perception of British cuisine abroad.” The Absolute Truth, like he's a hero of mine. And so I gave him my 30-second elevator pitch. At the end of it, I looked him straight in the eye, and I said, “Heston if I could peel potatoes in your kitchen, it'd be the greatest honor of my life.”
    And he obviously just thought, you poor guy, I'm going to make that dream come true. And so he said, “This is my email address. Send me an email and let's see what we can do. And I thought, come on, Surely not. By emailed him, obviously, the moment that I got home. A week later, his assistant wrote back to me and said, Patrick Heston's organized everything for you. Come to the Fat Duck on a day of your choosing. You'll spend the morning in the laboratory, the lab, as we call it, where we're developing new recipes, but all of our different restaurants and cookbooks. And then in the afternoon, you'll spend the afternoon in the service kitchen, where one of the 48 chefs there are 48 chefs for 42 diners. Were they one of those 48 chefs, when they're cooking the 15 courses on the tasting menu, they will make an extra portion of it. And then they'll take you outside where you can sit down and eat it with them and they will talk you through how they made it. It was an absolute dream. A couple of weeks later, I turn up at The Fat Duck and I go through this whole experience. In the laboratory, it was like being in Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, honestly. One of the rooms is called the Chocolate Room. And it actually has a gun that you normally use for spraying paint on walls except they got it filled with chocolate sauce. They use it to spray all of the chocolate, the Black Forest Gateaux, and the BFGs. At the end of the day, we're cleaning the kitchen down. And the chef's turnarounds me and they say, “Patrick, it's been really nice having you here. But we're all wondering, how are you here? Like, why are you here? How did you get in here?” And I said, “What do you mean? Isn't this normal? Don't people come to visit you and hang out in the kitchen for the afternoon?” They're like, “No. Everything that we do here is the complete secret. That's why you had to sign an NDA before you came in. We're just wondering what you said to him.” And honestly, I think it wasn't what I said to him, it was just the energy with which I came at it which was standing in front of a person saying, hey, I'm risking everything to go after my dream. And you could help me on my journey, on that hero's journey and actually, you helping me would be as easy as clicking your fingers. But for me, it would change the course of my whole life. Would you do that for me? And it's hard for someone to say no to that. It's hard for me to say no to that when people ask me with that energy. That's the way the world should be like we're all helping each other out. And that when you see a person in front of you, who's willing to give it all, you just want to help them. And I think that's what it was with me and him. I guess what I'm saying there. And the takeaway from it is that for anybody who has a dream, there might be someone who can help unlock that dream for you. And for that person, it might simply be as easy as clicking their fingers. Take the risk, step in, find that person, and find a way to contact them you can do it through direct messaging people on Instagram these days, and oftentimes, they'll get back to you. And just ask them the question or just begin a conversation, because you never know that there's a chance they'll say, yes.

    Elizabeth Stein 36:38
    Absolutely. Had you done a visualization of that conversation prior to meeting him?

    Patrick Drake 36:42
    No, I didn't. I just remember throwing myself into it. In fact, I almost went in the opposite direction. Actually, when I was there, it was such a nerve-wracking moment. Rather than think about it at all, I just started walking towards him before my brain could tell me no. I pretty much made a point of being in front of him before I could talk myself out of it so I couldn't. And I think that's another thing. It might even be intimidating to think, oh, well, it's okay for you, Patrick, or for whoever else to go and do that maybe you're really extroverted. And you find that thing really easy. Well, for me, it'd be absolutely terrifying. Well, let me tell you, I'm definitely an introvert at heart. And to do those things requires a lot of energy for me. I'll do them. And I'll do them really well. And people will think, oh, wow he's an extrovert, but wow, I'm not. To overcome that, I think sometimes you just have to put yourself in a position, as I did with that email from my Blackberry, where you actually set the wheels in motion, such that that voice in your head that says, don't do it, don't do it, this is terrible, this is so scary, that voice doesn't have a choice anymore, you kind of override it.

    Elizabeth Stein 38:19
    I love that tip. Especially I'm an introvert too. So it's great to hear that. And I think so many people can probably relate. Also, I think it's such a good feeling. While it might be so difficult at the moment, there's nothing better than working through those hard times and giving yourself the confidence to say like, okay, I just did this hard thing, I can surely do this next hard thing. And so it really starts to build on itself.

    Patrick Drake 38:53
    Yeah, I always have this thing in my mind, but nothing beats fear, like practice. And I really put that into motion. And when it came to a point in my life where I had a lot of public speaking because again, I could do public speaking. And you would think, to look at me that I was doing a pretty decent job. But my knees would be shaking while doing it and out took everything in me to control my voice so that my voice didn't break. And I realized, wow, I've got to get over this, I can't. And so I just was like nothing beats practice, just do again. I just signed up for as many public speaking gigs as I could. To anyone, any audience had listened to me, just so that eventually I would one day remember just standing there thinking I don't feel nervous anymore. You mentioned how fresh we'll go to kind of fast forward a little bit. I was doing all of those things and quite frankly, I got to 2011, I had left my job in 2008. And I was beginning to think this was never going to happen for me. I don't know where the opportunity is going to come from. And then the opportunity came seemingly out of the ether. In the same month, which is November 2011, I got two emails, and the first email was from a girl whom I had never met before. And, the title of the email was, “Do you want to be in a TV show?” or something like that. And by this point, I kind of had grown a thick skin around being offered my dream on a platter. So it's a little bit wary when I opened the email and read, you don't know me when I don't know you. But I think that you're a dreamer. And I'm a dreamer. She said, “I left my life in Australia years ago, to live in Italy, to learn the language, to experience the culture. And I actually am working with a TV production company to do a pilot TV show about my favorite places in Italy, the food in Italy, and the culture here, and it's kind of like secret Italy.” And she said, “I just saw a video of you cooking risotto on YouTube. And I think that you could be my co-host and share. What do you think?” So I said, “Okay, let's have a call. So I had a call with her that afternoon.” And she said, “Everything I said is true. The only catch is that the casting is tomorrow morning in Rome.” And I just said I'll see you there. I immediately booked my flight to Rome, because I knew, I know that this is the way it works. This is how it happens in the movie. All of the preparation, the Saturday afternoons in the basement kitchen, pulling the bones out of the fish, it all leads to this moment now where the opportunity comes. And you drop everything and you say this is it. This is my moment. And so that's what was going through my mind, I didn't even hesitate. And so I flew to Rome the next morning, I did the casting, I passed the casting and I got the part for the pilot. About a couple of months later, we shot the pilot, and the pilot got picked up by the National Geographic Channel. And then we ended up filming a 13-episode TV show for National Geographic, which then got syndicated to Discovery and ended up airing in 67 countries. And it was the most wild, amazing adventure of my life until that point. But it didn't just stop there because that was the email I got in November 2011. Well, the second email was from a friend who said, Hey, I know these guys who want to start a food company. And they're incredible with business. But they're not really that deep into the food side of things like food development and what have you. You should talk to them. While I went along I met these guys in London. And they were talking to me about this concept where they would send ingredients in a paper bag, portioned out with some recipes. And people that were able to actually cook the recipe a moment was like getting me like cooked by numbers. And as soon as I heard the idea, it was almost like everything in my life came together in one thing. I love branding. I love storytelling. I love community building. I love food, of course. I also had this background in law, I did a lot of focus on how to communicate things clearly so that people couldn't get things wrong. All of that suddenly kind of like came together. And it just lit my mind up. And I said this is incredible. You could do this, and you could do this and the recipe cards could look like this. And you could have events and you could build community this way. I got so excited about it. On the way home, they called me. It was about 14 minutes later, they said to me, “Would you come and do this with us?” And this is the thing I've never ever said on a podcast. I was on my bottom dollar, like my bottom pound. I was staring down and thinking of moving back in with my parents. I was with my mom. I didn't know, you know if any of these wild dreams ever gonna come to fruition? So of course my answer to them was, “Well, I couldn't possibly. I'm so busy. I'm doing so many things right now I just don't know if I can.” And they're like, “Oh, no, but we'd really love you to work on this with us. Then we kind of like hashed out the terms of it based on this ridiculous fiction. And of course, I was in. And then literally a month later, we were packing 10 paper bags of groceries in my living room in East London, with a clip art logo that we had printed at the print shop around the corner from my house with little dark chocolate truffles that we put into the bags with a long handwritten note, but there were any 10 bags. So we managed it. I was wrapping bits of parmesan in like surround wrap with this little miniature clipart logo that I was sticking. It was so janky and basic. And we hand delivered them to the only people who had even heard of this ridiculous idea, our parents, an offering. And that was the beginning of HelloFresh. And so that was HelloFresh in the UK, we actually started HelloFresh in five different countries at the same time. Our two global founders are still very much driving HelloFresh for they're still based in Germany. But in the UK, we were off to the race. And you could find me running around Waterloo station dressed as a carrot, handing out smaller carrots with discount cards attached to the carrot to get people to buy this thing that they'd never heard of that they didn't even understand why they would need it because, well, they already went grocery shopping. And they already had that figured out. So why do I need this? So the whole of the first two years, to be honest, was this education process of teaching people why they even needed this in their lives. So now when I look at what I'm doing, and I think, oh, I should be further along, I should have more customers or any of that kind of stuff. I think back to those times. And I realized it took us nine months to get our first 100 HelloFresh customers. It doesn't happen overnight. You don't get to skip steps. But to put the work in as you know, you got to be there literally spooning it into people's mouths. Now HelloFresh delivers a billion meals a year in, I think 17 countries. I've left HelloFresh now, I left about eight, nine years after we started it so that I could come out to America and start a new chapter and start a new company. But wow, it was amazing. It was the accomplishment of everything that I'd ever wanted, which is a lot around just being able to teach people about something that I loved and to be able to say, hey, this thing which might seem complicated to you, cooking nutritious food, it really isn't. Let me just let me show you and to be able to do that in the way that we did by actually giving people everything that they needed, was just a dream.

    Elizabeth Stein 48:56
    Yeah, sounds like quite the culmination. So you go from that, and you come to America and you start with this new chapter. And where was the vision for starting autonomy?

    Patrick Drake 49:08
    So it was during COVID We were living in Mexico. Basically, we moved to America, I met my girlfriend in London, who's now my wife, and who's now pregnant and we're gonna have a baby in August which is awesome. But we decided let's just pack everything up and we're gonna go to America and we remember we sold about 80% of our furniture and possessions and what have you. We just took the 20% of things that we love the most and that was the most special sauce. We shipped it all out in America, we found a house in LA. And then Friday the 13th of March, 2020, a week before the lockdowns, I feel like we've got all of our stuff set up. And we've got one nice thing. And we all have we got three months' worth of food. We were the ones that were going to Costco with gas masks on our faces, looking really weird. So when it's when we like, had all of our setups like, we're going to see this COVID thing through, we're going to be so productive, we're going to be fine. And then we went out for a hike. We got to the top of this mountain about miles as the crow flies from our house. And when we got to the top of it very much, this is Friday, the 13th of March, this guy says, wow, look, over there in the distance. Can you see that plume of smoke, there's a house on fire. Well, I looked, and of course, it was our house. And I could already from a mile away, see the flames coming out. So we had to run back down that mountain. It was like we'd hiked quite a long way up. So it was a long way back down to run, especially with all of that adrenaline thinking. And we got back to our house and it was too late. So ironically, we shipped 20% of things that we love the most. And they were just incinerated in front of our eyes. We had nothing. And it was kind of funny because moving to America and moving from that HelloFresh chapter of my life was already quite a big thing because I moved from that. Whereas in the, in the mix of all of what we were doing and in London in this like frenetic dynamic environment what have you, and suddenly to go from that to Topanga where nobody even really knew anything about HelloFresh or they certainly didn't know anything about my role in it and what have you. It was a very strange feeling for me. It's like because I went from being in this position where I'm like, people are like needing things from me and asking me questions, and I'm like doing stuff. And suddenly, I'm not. And I was having a bit of an identity crisis, like, who am I when you take away what I do for a living? But then also the universe or whatever you want to call, it also took away all of my possessions too, just kind of like laid me completely bare. I was like a complete, blank slate. And even at that moment, I did a video for my ongoing little YouTube channel at the time. I was standing in the rubble two days later. And I said I know that this is happening for a reason because nobody wants to see Season Two of a Netflix series if, at the end of season one, the main character sits back on their sofa, clicks on Netflix, and just has this cushy life. Like, no one wants to see Season Two to that. I can see that the universe is setting me up here. For my next chapter. It's saying you're not done yet. You've got more to do. And so that's the kind of attitude I took into it. So anyway, I didn't know what that next chapter was going to be. But I was making this coffee for myself every morning. I think it's the equivalent of your blueberry muffins at the triathlon. It's this thing that you're just making all the time for yourself because you love it. And because it's sitting right underneath your nose, you don't even realize it's actually a good thing. It's just this is what I do. But of course, my friends, as your friends, I'm sure. They're like, no way. This should be a thing like Patrick's coffee is great. We don't want to have to come over every morning to your house to have it either. We should be or have it in our own homes, this should be what you're working on. That's when I threw myself into AUTONOMY. And I'll say that it wasn't it wasn't like a straight line to that decision-making process. I was always working on other things working on people's projects. And, and the thing that I realized is that the way I've thought about it in the past is that it's like climbing a mountain. You climb this mountain and you get to the summit. And you look around you and you take in the view and it's so beautiful and you feel accomplished. And then it's time to come down the mountain. So you come down the mountain, you get to base camp. And there are all these people at base camp and they're really excited because they're about to go and summit their mountain too. And they say to you, well, hey, you've just climbed your mountain too? Do you want to help us climb our mountain too? Because you've got this experience. And we'd love to have you along for the ride and you're like yeah, great you're doing a great thing here and I don't have anything else to do. So I'll help you climb your mountain, and then you get halfway up their mountain. And if you're lucky, you get halfway. And you look around, you're like, oh, wait, I don't want to be climbing this mountain. Like, this is your mountain. I need to be thinking about what my own one is. And I was kind of going through that process. But then I realized, this is the thing that I want to be working on. It really just came out of just scratching my own itch, which was that in the mornings, I would wake up and if I was having my coffee with oat milk, or almond milk, which oftentimes in the majority of times, I would say, have a lot of added sugar, and they have fillers and seed oils and what have you, ingredients, which to me in my system would make me feel foggy. And they weren't good for my digestion. And then a few hours later, I think, oh, I need another coffee because I feel really tired. And I realized that it was not the coffee so much as it was the things that I was adding to the coffee. And so I started making my own creamer. And I'd add almond and cashew and vanilla functional mushrooms like Reishi and Lion's Mane, quadriceps, Chaga, l theanine, like all of these, all of these ingredients, I've put them into my blender, and add wisdom with my black coffee. And I'd have this delicious, creamy latte, but it had no added sugar. It had all of these things that are helping my brain function properly. Then the most important thing because this is the thing. I'm all about health, but I will not compromise on flavor and experience. It got to be number one. People come for the flavor, but they'll stay for the way it makes them feel, I believe. And so what I was doing. And then and then it's the same my friend said this should be a product. And so that's when I started making it. So now we have the superfood creamer, which you add to your black coffee. We have a cream that actually has the coffee in it already. So you just squeezed some of it into hot water. And you've got a superfood latte instantly just brought that up. And then my wife said, “Well, you can't not have matcha.” And I'm like, “Really?” And she said, “No, no, really.” so actually making the matcha was the hardest because my wife Angel was the chief tasting officer, the CTO and I was like every time I would go to her with a version of it and I would say what do you think? And she’d say no, this is not the one. I think we eventually got to version 37 and it's matcha with macadamia and cashew. And so we made that. And now ironically, it seems to be behind the most popular product because now they have a permanent AUTONOMY matcha station in the Google headquarters in LA, Alo yoga headquarters.

    Elizabeth Stein 58:10
    I just saw it in the Alo Yoga headquarters.

    Patrick Drake 58:12
    Did you? Oh, amazing.

    Elizabeth Stein 58:15
    It looks amazing. I'm heading to Google actually in a couple of weeks, so I'll check it out there.

    Patrick Drake 58:25
    Oh, perfect. Then we were on KTLA and that seems to really resonate, and Melissa as well, she's she loves the matcha. And bless her she's mentioned it in her social media. It just makes a huge difference having people support it. So, we're still young as a company, I'm still doing everything. Last week, I was on the operations team this week on the marketing team, if my phone rings on customer service.

    Elizabeth Stein 58:55
    That's how you have to build it step by step. Well, you've had such an incredible journey. Thank you so much for sharing and so many pieces of wisdom before we leave, I could get to a whole other session about your wellness routine, and all of that, but I would love to hear as you think about all of the things that you do for your mind, for your body. What's that one non-negotiable, that really helps you to thrive on your journey and to feel your best?

    Patrick Drake 59:26
    Do you know what? It's the reason why I named the company autonomy is because it's my most closely held value, the feeling of sovereignty over my energy over my time just saying that I'm the one who's in the driving seat of my day. So quite honestly, the biggest game changer for me, the non-negotiable is time to myself in the morning, intentional time before my day starts where I get up, I do 20 minutes of stretching, and I do maybe some breath work. But no big deal. Like literally it could be like a couple of minutes of just going through a breathing practice. And then it's literally dialing at that moment when I have my coffee in the morning, I have a spot in my house where I love to sit, and I make my coffee so that it's the perfect temperature. And everything about it. I've like really like thought thought it through. It's like it is a ritual for me. And it's like, what, what music Am I listening to? What view am I looking at? Or what am I reading and just making sure that for that first 30 to 40 minutes of my day? But that it's all about things that really make me feel like it's about me, and like taking time to myself. And then from that place of sovereignty and empowerment and inspiration and optimism, I can go into my day. Versus the other version, which could be waking up immediately looking at email, rushing out of the house, grabbing a to-go cup of coffee from somewhere with some kind of sugary almond milk, guzzling it in rush hour traffic, that's a daily reality for a lot of people, I just say that. The way that we do our mornings, obviously, is a huge determinant of the way that we do our lives. And it's not difficult to shift ourselves into a place where we're actually the ones in the driving seat of our day.

    Elizabeth Stein 1:01:35
    I love that, that completely resonates with how I live my mornings and shoot my day. Love it. Patrick, thank you so much for being here. In closing, where can everybody find you?

    Patrick Drake 1:01:50
    Yeah, so you can find all of the adventures @autonomyfoods is our Instagram and our YouTube. And so at the moment, I'm doing a lot of founder update videos where I'm just kind of showing people behind the curtain what it's like to start a new company. All the highs and the lows and you can find us at some autonomy is where you can find the products.

    Elizabeth Stein 1:02:19
    Amazing. Thanks so much, Patrick.

    Patrick Drake 1:02:22
    Thank you so much. It's so good to meet you.

    Elizabeth Stein 1:02:24
    Thanks so much for joining me on Live Purely with Elizabeth. I hope you feel inspired to thrive on your wellness journey. If you enjoyed today's episode, don't forget to rate, subscribe, and review. You can follow us on Instagram @purely_elizabeth to catch up on all the latest. See you next Wednesday on the podcast.

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