I know some people rush off to the doctor’s office at the first sign of the sniffles, but I was raised by a woman who did a full 180 from her 1950s antibiotic-packed upbringing. My mom pretty much never goes to the doctor herself and she made it clear to us at a very young age we usually just needed rest, water, and good food to defeat whatever illness was invading our bodies.
That’s the approach I’ve taken into adult life, so my interest was piqued when I heard about Barton Publishing, an online-based company that focuses on natural remedies for all kinds of illnesses. I decided to have a chat with founder Joe Barton to see what kind of advice I could dig up for you guys, both on the business and health front.
Joe has years of experience in business and in the natural health industry, so keep reading for some valuable insight.
What’s the story behind Barton Publishing? I heard something about an apple cure…
When I was 3 years old, my dad had ulcer surgery that went badly. The doctors made a mistake that led to him having extreme bile reflux for 10 years. He suffered miserably and tried everything from medications to an electric bed. Nothing worked until he ate an apple before bed and slept through the night.
This remedy worked like magic, and my parents wanted someone to make an apple medicine to help others who were suffering. After getting a rejection letter saying, “We can’t make a drug out of an apple,” we hoped we could tell others about it on our own.
Twenty years later, I launched www.RefluxRemedy.com, and we’ve told millions about the “apple cure” since 2004. We’ve also published over 75 other natural remedy reports on various illnesses, all listed at BartonPublishing and HomeCuresThatWork. It’s my life’s work, inspired by a near-death experience with my dad. We feel blessed that we’ve been able to help so many people around the world.
What were some obstacles you faced when you were trying to get Barton off the ground? How did you overcome them?
My biggest obstacle was a lack of knowledge about selling online. The more I studied Internet marketing, the more I was able to apply what I’d learned to my websites and meet with success. I constantly educated myself by reading about other successful entrepreneurs, like Bryan Winters from Push Button Publishing and John Reese from Income.com. The information they shared about their products was revolutionary to me and my business.
How many people did you start the company with and how many do you have working with you now?
I started the company on my own in 2004, working from a very small office — which was actually a closet, without windows — in our basement.
Over the past four years, I’ve built a team of 10 core people who run our day-to-day operations in various areas. We have a split tester, a webmaster, an assistant, an editor, a joint venture manager/email manager, a creative director, a copywriter, an operations manager/media buyer, a quality assurance manager, and a web designer. We have medical experts who write for us, and we also outsource some positions, like bookkeeping, accounts payable, tax accounting, customer support call management, article writing, SEO and reputation assisting, shipping and fulfillment, and statistical assisting.
In total, we have around 30 people working with us now.
How do you balance work life and family life?
I’m very protective of family time. My wife and I have a busy household with four boys, ages 8 to 14, plus an occasional foster child or friend staying with us. I try to never miss supper with my family, and almost every night, it seems I’m cheering on one of my sons at a game or helping at practice.
I attend church twice a week with my family, and I try to teach them about the Bible when the opportunity presents itself. I take my wife out on dates about once every other month, though I wish it were more often (this is a busy time of life!). I also take a week out of my summer to volunteer at a kids’ camp in the Black Hills. Plus, we’re building a pool in our backyard to encourage more family time together.
I realize that my kids are growing up fast, and I don’t want to miss a minute of their youth. Before we know it, they’ll be gone — that’s why I’m so diligent about spending as much time with my family as I can.
When I’m older, I know I won’t have any regrets for being so active with my kids. They are my most important legacy, and I want to be sure I invest in them as much as possible. It is my responsibility, as their father, to guide them, and I take that very seriously. It has been a huge blessing to watch my boys grow into fine young men, leaders in their schools and community.
I see that religion is a big part of your life. Do you think you can integrate God and business or are they kept completely separate in your mind?
What some call “religion,” I like to call a personal and growing relationship with my Creator and Lord, Jesus Christ. I look at business as an expression of who God created me to be. He put unique talents and abilities inside me, and my job is to use those gifts to improve what I am given responsibility for.
In business, I consider God to be my CEO. I am ultimately responsible to Him for what I do with my life and talents. Just like you cannot separate yourself from your business, I cannot separate God from myself or my business. Because I believe God lives inside me through the Holy Spirit, He is a part of everything I do. I am thankful for the life lessons I’ve learned through my business, and I praise God for the blessings that have resulted from my work.
What’s the best cure for the common cold?
Drink a lot of water, eat homemade chicken soup, megadose with Vitamin C, get a lot of rest (10 hours of sleep per day or more), and avoid stress. To prevent the common cold, you’ll want to boost your immune system by getting 20 minutes of sunlight every day — and, in the winter, supplement with Vitamin D3, at least 5,000 IU per day. I also recommend regular exercise, healthy, nutrient-rich eating, avoiding bad foods with simple carbs or trans fat, and a good multivitamin. My favorites are Life Extension’s Mix Capsules.
What’s the biggest piece of health advice you have for our stressed-out, overly-busy startup entrepreneur readers?
Protect your energy levels by eating healthy food. Avoid crappy food, because it will mess up your body and you’ll be functioning at less-than-optimal levels. Try to get eight hours of sleep. End your day with prayer or meditation so you’re not lying awake, thinking about business all night long. Drink a lot of water, which removes toxins that build up from stress. Exercise for 30 minutes a day. Take 5-minute breaks every hour, walking around and stretching. Start your day off with a big glass of water and some protein, like eggs or a low-carb protein shake, and eat healthy snacks throughout the day.
What’s the biggest piece of business advice?
Invest in yourself. Learn from others who have been where you want to go, and have done what you want to do. Align yourself with other entrepreneurs. Never be afraid to ask questions, or ask for help or advice. Most entrepreneurs love to help others succeed. Hire a business coach, a life coach, and a fitness coach.
Read good books about business. My favorite business books from the past several years are “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits” by Verne Harnish, “The E-Myth Revisited” by Michael E. Gerber, and, for newer entrepreneurs, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert T. Kiyosaki. Also, read books about copywriting and marketing, because those skills can make or break your business.
How do you end your day?
On weekdays, I’m usually ending my day by going through emails or projects that I wasn’t able to get to earlier in the day. Right now, I’m writing this at 12:30 a.m.! I’m hoping to get to bed soon, but I usually end my day by saying a prayer as I doze off to sleep.
What keeps you up at night?
Thankfully, I hardly ever have trouble falling asleep at night. I give my all during the day, and I know I can worry about tomorrow’s issues in the morning. On the rare occasion I can’t sleep, it’s because I’m thinking of a new marketing idea or business breakthrough I had earlier in the day.
When do your best ideas come to you?
Sometimes, ideas come in the shower; other times, during a car ride, and yet other times, as I’m in my “war room,” which is my office in our basement (this one has windows!) I also get ideas when I have conversations with my business coach or my team members, or when I’m studying other people’s work.
Do you think there is a place for conventional medicine alongside holistic medicine or do you believe that holistic medicine is the only way to go? Why?
Yes, I do believe there is a place for conventional medicine alongside holistic. My mother is currently battling stage IV breast cancer, which has spread to some other spots in her body. They are using some oral chemo medications, which have helped stop the cancer from spreading. She is also using several natural remedies that she’s learned about from a biochemist in San Diego. He has successfully “cured” his own colorectal cancer, as well as many other cancers of people who have come to him for alternative remedies.
We have worked together with mainstream doctors, as well as alternative practitioners, to give us the best of both worlds. There are a few prescribed drugs that work well, such as antibiotics, in some cases.
We work with Dr. Scott Saunders from the Integrative Medicine Center of Santa Barbara, and he has educated me about the benefits of using medications in some situations — though, overall, it’s preferable to find natural remedies to keep our bodies as close to nature as possible. Our bodies are amazing, and they have the power to self-heal when put in the right environment.
And where can our readers find you?
I’m also on LinkedIn, and I’d love to connect with you if you have Internet marketing or business skills and are interested in making this world a better place. Send me a message, leave comments on our blog posts, like us on Facebook, or buy a product from our website. We’ll treat you right, and we’ll consider you family. God bless.
Joe Barton | Barton Publishing