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“I’d like to start a movement to change the way chronic pain is understood and treated” With Author Brendon Lundberg

I hope to do that with this book; to change the way chronic pain is understood and treated, to ease suffering and to help shift society to…


I hope to do that with this book; to change the way chronic pain is understood and treated, to ease suffering and to help shift society to a higher level of engagement, ownership, empowerment in whatever they’re dealing with. Pain is the perfect subject because it is both literal and metaphoric. It is entirely human. If people can find relief from the case I make and the business we’re building that would be tremendous. And if they move beyond just analgesia and into a higher level of joy, connection, productivity, then maybe the world can be a bit better for all of us.


I had the pleasure of interviewing Brendon Lundberg, about his book Radiant Relief, A Case For A Better Solution To Chronic Pain. His vision for changing the way, the 100 million person, $600billion a year problem of chronic pain is understood and treated is ambitious as well as inspirational. Radiant Relief is about a novel approach, creative thinking and disruptive innovation, which has the potential to help millions of people have a better quality of life, and to shift society in a profound way. His is a compelling story for anyone to read and understand, not just those directly affected by chronic pain.

Thank you so much for joining us! What is your “backstory”?

My backstory is pretty ordinary. I am just a normal guy that has the privilege and opportunity, and felt called to try to do something impactful by addressing the global pain problem in safer, more effective way. I have a business background, which has been spent mostly in healthcare, across a variety of clinical environments. That professional experience, coupled with my personal and family trials, struggles and and experiences combine to prepared me to see the need, to recognize opportunity, and to have the courage to build something no one else had.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?

Oh man, I mean, anyone who has ever built a business knows that it is a complete rollercoaster of emotions, momentum, progress and learning. Aside from probably being a parent, there is nothing that demands more, challenges more or rewards more than building a business. I feel like this is what I am meant to do and have wanted to forever, but it is process of learning, of self realization and self actualization, of evolution that only happens by doing it. I am sure I am not the only entrepreneur who has said, “who do I think I am?” or felt like an imposter, or felt the critical weight of someone else opinions. I have learned to love it and there is nothing I would rather do that build a company, but it is definitely a mindset game before it is tactical or strategic one.

I do remember many years ago, in my early 20s, I had an idea for a business completely unrelated to what we do at Radiant, in fact in was in the hospitality industry. Somehow, I got a sit down meeting with the GM of the Ritz Carlton in Scottsdale AZ, where I lived at the time, to pitch him on this idea. He patiently and politely listened to my ideas, which culminated in me asking for a $40million dollar investment by Marriott to this unprove and probably totally stupid idea. He could have been such a jerk, but miraculously wasn’t and instead somehow, gently told me I was way out of my league with that idea and approach.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

Well, our whole business and clinical premise is super exciting to me. I love everything about reinventing a care model to address an epidemic problem like chronic pain. We’re doing it in a completely novel and innovative way, on new science that most don’t really know (including most medical professionals) and against the industry old guard of big pharma and device companies, to build an elegant, thoughtful and effective solution to the enormous problem of chronic pain. I think we have unique opportunity to shift society; to not only ease a lot of suffering, but to genuinely create a paradigm shift about how we think of health and how we look at healthcare and life itself. I couldn’t’ be more excited really.


Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?

Many: innovators, creators, leaders who make the world a better place. People who live passionately and without apology in pursuit of their dreams. People who work to advance society forward in innovative and disruptive ways, and also people who just work hard to take care of their families, humble, ordinary people.

Which literature do you draw inspiration from? Why?

I grew up in a fairly religious home, so probably most from stories of good vs. evil, the little person, ordinary person made great because the circumstances required it of them — that “David vs. Goliath” archetypal narrative. I wasn’t a big reader personally as a kid, but I came from a family of storytellers, academics, and bibliophiles. Somehow, through osmosis, an appreciation and value of literature and literary themes translated to me, which I really didn’t earn on my own. I have also really been drawn to creativity, to art and architecture for as long as I can remember. And I grew up a product of the DIY ethos of punk rock and indie rock that also informs me in a profound way even to this day.

How do you think your writing makes an impact in the world?

I hope that Radiant Relief, A Case For A Better Solution To Chronic Pain will make a profound impact on the world. At the end of the day it’s business book, a thesis on a different type of healthcare solution. But I hope it resonates in way that disrupts the status quo. I have also been honored that many people have messaged me and told me that they couldn’t put it down. They’re probably just being nice. But I tried to make it my personal story of struggle, and so if there is an element which compels the reader forward, I suspect that it’s as much that I tired to be vulnerable and honest about my own journey as it is the actual “case for a better solution to chronic pain”. Pain is very human. So I tried to make the book more human than academic for example.


What advice would you give to someone considering becoming an author like you?

Well, not sure even now that I consider myself “an author”. But I would say go for it. Put pen to paper, create, express, challenge. Believe in yourself and be okay with it being messy. Go to the conflict or create the conflict, and have fun no matter what you’re writing about.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I hope to do that with this book; to change the way chronic pain is understood and treated, to ease suffering and to help shift society to a higher level of engagement, ownership, empowerment in whatever they’re dealing with. Pain is the perfect subject because it is both literal and metaphoric. It is entirely human. If people can find relief from the case I make and the business we’re building that would be tremendous. And if they move beyond just analgesia and into a higher level of joy, connection, productivity, then maybe the world can be a bit better for all of us.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Believe in yourself — look, if you have an idea that you want to advance, advance it. Do it in the language, the medium, the modality, the color and flair that is true to you. Don’t worry about trying to be someone else. No matter what, you will feel like an impostor when you step into new places and put yourself out there. If you feel called to something or inspired by something, as I have about my work, go for it! Get comfortable with the uncomfortable, but it is only in that process that it is proven and becomes real. So believe in yourself, even if no one else does yet. Eventually they will too!
  2. Live fully expressed now — for much of my life I allowed myself to delay gratification, to delay happiness until some future milestone — “I can be happy, when…” No, be happy now. Express joy, express love, express creativity, express all the emotions you ever want to have now. Some future success won’t bring it. It comes from within, so live joyously now regardless of the outcomes in the future. It makes the reward immediate because you feel joy in the present not in some future which you can’t really control.
  3. Honor the struggle — I have a bracelet that my friend and mentor, Brendon Burchard gave which says this — it’s one of his signature phrases. I wear it most days to remind me that sometimes it is a struggle to move forward in the pursuit of something else, but it is through that struggle that we grow, learn, improve. So don’t avoid struggle, honor that that you’re in the game, learning, growing and improving each day.
  4. Start and keep going — As an entrepreneur this is probably single most important factor. There is no perfect time, perfect scenario, especially if you’re building something new. You could spend a lifetime planning, waiting, thinking, analyzing, and never doing. Start, fail, learn, keep going, there is always another level, so as long as you in pursuit of that, it is a continual process of starting, failing, learning and improving. So start and keep going.
  5. Be grateful — Man, every day I am hit with how lucky I am. How fortunate I get to do what I get to do to help people get their lives back, to know and interact with beautiful people, to learn new things. I am so grateful of the experiences I have had that have led me to this spot, both good and bad. I don’t know what the meaning of life is, or why there is injustice on earth, or what comes after this time we have here, but I am so grateful to go through it and grateful to connect with others who share that same gratitude and curiosity for just being alive. So if you don’t feel grateful, try to shift your thinking around it. Spend time every day thinking on, writing down and feeling the feelings of gratitude for whatever you have. It will make that feeling grow and it will change everything.


Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

Wow, well, many people. What a blast it would be sit down for a bite and chat with anyone who has been a passionate and accomplished innovator, creator in their space. I love food and I love people, so that is too hard to narrow down. That said, I’m pretty Donald Glover and I would be fast friends. Tell him to call me.

Originally published at medium.com

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