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The Yerba Mate Factor

If you don’t know me by now my name is ICJ or Justin Woodward for long . I am an entrepreneur who started  our game company a few years back with the mission of building my team and business while creating opportunities that benefit my industry along the way. We have been through ups and downs, using different techniques for game development,  participated in a company incubator and relocated to different offices a few times. There  has never been a sense of certainty while forging a start up.
During our journey my health and quality of life has taken a few hits. We have worked on staying healthy which is a challenge when you work ridankulous hours and often don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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While experimenting with different ways to stay fresh and energized during double digit hour work days I would indulge in the usual coffee, energy drinks and do my best to exercise regularly. One day a friend who was working in the same incubator space brought me a tall can of this new elixir that I never heard of called Yerba Mate. I didn’t know what it was but remember always seeing him gallivanting around the office sipping hot brewed mate out of a Gourd  with a metallic straw looking device (Bombilla). In my ignorance I would tease him about drinking out of his “coconut”. I did not know the significance until I took a sip from the can he delivered. After a few minutes I felt clarity and an uplifting sense of focus. It was as if momentum washed over my brain and I just started getting things done. It was an intense yet satisfying feeling. After that day I began purchasing  Guayaki on a daily basis and my friend and I would take turns buying cases.  I was done with energy drinks that made me feel like garbo(garbage) soon afterwards.

When I started to drink mate I didn’t realize that Guayaki had a larger mission than just supplying an organic refreshment to the masses.  Their mission was in plain site slapped on the can.  After reading and further research, I found out that they were actually saving the forests where the organic Yerba Mate was harvested. Each sale went into the restoration of the South American Atlantic rain forests as well as create jobs for the local people with an interesting business model that they call Market-Driven-Restoration. Once I found out about this I became more of an advocate.

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Living the life of an independent game developer for the past 5 years and having worked with and talked to a variety of game developers I began to realize that we need to take more care of our bodies through sleep, eating healthy

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and finding healthy sources of energy. I believe that the future of the tech industry and game development will be conscientious of what we are putting into our body and start sharing knowledge about health while grinding on our dreams, this will help with productivity as well as making the process enjoyable. Guayaki is one of those companies that will become integrated within the culture and bring on some of this positive change.

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