Business Lessons from the Amazon Jungle with Tyler Gage


It’s an honor to interview such a wide array of people and I love it when past guests connect me with other amazingly successful entrepreneurs. I was recently introduced to today’s guest, Tyler Gage and am blown away by his journey.

Northern Californian-raised, at age 19 Tyler began studying native plants and languages with indigenous elders in the Amazon rainforest. Not long after, he witnessed these people tearing down trees in order to send their children to school. Taken aback by this, soon after set out to find a more sustainable way for people of the Amazon to provide for their families without sacrificing their ecosystem.

Tune in to hear all about the company Tyler founded to do just that and the parallels he’s discovered between the Amazon and running a business/being an entrepreneur. He also touches on what it means to be a “fair trade and/or B-Corp. This is such an eye-opening and enlightening conversation – and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it!

Question Highlights:
• What’s one of your favorite books?
• What’s one of your superpowers?
• What’s the last thing that kept you up at night?
• Who is someone who’s changed your life?
• How did you end up living with an indigenous tribe in the Amazon?
• What are some of the parallels between surviving in the Amazon rainforest and start-ups and being an entrepreneur?
• Have you built time into your day to put toward your subconscious practice?
• When you saw people cutting down trees and tearing down their ecosystems to send their children to school, how did that shift you?
• What does it mean to see your dream become tangible?
• What does it mean to be fair trade?
• What is a B-Corp?
• Twenty years from now, how do you want your children to view money?

Tyler’s Thoughts…

“We earn our humanity through the way we live.”

“What energy am I willing to put out there to make money?”

“If you’re in a position to contribute more than someone else – contribute.”

Tyler is an entrepreneur, author and speaker who uses wisdom from the Amazon and start-up success to bring innovation and inspiration to growing organizations.
Since the age of 19, Tyler has been studying native plants and languages with indigenous elders in the Amazon rainforest. After graduating from Brown University, Tyler turned down a Fulbright grant to start RUNA, a social enterprise that makes clean energy drinks with guayusa, a rare Amazonian leaf, and improves livelihoods for thousands of indigenous farming families in Ecuador. With the help of investors like Channing Tatum and Leonardo DiCaprio, Runa has become a thriving, multimillion-dollar company and was acquired by VitaCoco in June of 2018.
Tyler currently serves as a Managing Director for Terrafertil, the largest natural foods in Latin America, and has worked as the Chief Development Officer for the company. Terrafertil acquired Essential Living Foods in the US in 2017 and then Nestlé acquired all of Terrafertil in 2018.

Tyler also serves on the Advisory Council for Entrepreneurship at Brown University and advises, invests in and supports other start-ups. He lives in Bellingham, Washington with his wife Michelle and enjoys playing soccer, riding his unicycle and practicing yoga.

You’re Going To Hear About:

  • How to use both clinical and intuitive tools
  • How metaphors and dreams are a valid way of communicating in the jungle
  • How Tyler uses dreams and movement to figure out or shed light on problems
  • Creating sustainable jobs
  • The meaning of “Runa”
  • Tyler’s struggle with perfection
  • What fair trade means
  • The definition of a B-Corp
  • How Tyler feels about money – before and after this venture’s success
  • And so much more…

Resources Mentioned:

For more stories and tips on becoming unapologetically wealthy, follow me @Chriswharder on Instagram and check out