Always think about how you can improve the lives of your employees, if you have them. The more you do for your most valuable assets, the more your business will thrive. For example, can you give them a better work schedule or give bonuses as a thank you for growing revenue? Knowing what is important to each person in your business will help you make these decisions.
As a part of our series about business leaders who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kylen Ribeiro.
Kylen Ribeiro is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at Lightbody, the premier supplement company for Digital Wellness and today’s modern lifestyles. Using the latest research and knowledge from her team’s relationships with doctors, physicians, researchers, biologists, scientists, and formulators, she created the world’s only supplements designed to support and optimize the body’s overall health and cellular resiliency. Lightbody is the only supplement company that addresses health issues caused by the overuse of digital devices and other toxins.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?
I grew up in a cozy suburb of Raleigh, North Carolina. When I was three years old my childhood friend joined a swim team and I couldn’t resist jumping in too! Little did I know that this early exposure to swimming would ignite a lifelong passion for competition and maintaining optimal health. Through my passion, training, and dedication, I became a Division 1 collegiate swimmer at Florida State University.
After earning my Masters in Business Administration, I began my career as an executive at the renowned international grocery retailer, ALDI. For more than a decade, I delved into every aspect of store operations, from humble tasks like scrubbing toilets to managing hundreds of employees. It was through this experience that I honed my leadership skills. I continued my passion for health and fitness during this time and became a registered Yoga instructor.
As I entered the next phase of my career, I was inspired to make a meaningful impact in the wellness sphere, especially after reevaluating my life in the midst of having my first child. I joined DefenderShield, a startup in St. Petersburg, Florida, whose mission is to help people reduce their exposure to digital signals that come from all devices like cell phones, tablets, and laptops. In this rapidly emerging market, I was positioned as a thought leader, and helped the company set the bar for pioneering the Digital Wellness industry.
While the company was successful in protecting people from electromagnetic fields (EMFs), I became increasingly aware of the need to bolster the body’s internal cellular resilience. Realizing that the supplement industry lacked a solution, I linked up with business partners, experts, scientists, and formulators to create something new. Drawing on the latest research, we developed Lightbody’s innovative formulations, designed to support the body’s natural resilience to the challenges posed by toxins and overuse of digital devices.
Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?
When it comes to Digital Wellness, we’re talking about shaking things up and challenging the way we typically approach technology for future generations. It’s about finding a healthy and balanced relationship with our devices and taking charge of our well-being in the digital world. With everyone hyper-connected and reliant on technology, Digital Wellness is the next health frontier. My team and I have dedicated our work to tackling the downside of too much screen time, information overload, and constant connectivity. We are the only supplement dedicated to addressing these problems.
Everyone on the planet today is exposed to digital devices, EMFs, and toxins, which are all detrimental to health. However, children, due to their size and proximity to their devices, are affected even more by technology exposure through electromagnetic frequencies, blue light, and media content being consumed. They are at risk due to their developing nervous systems, social abilities, and longer lifetime exposure to ever present technology from birth.
Digital Wellness flips the script on our society’s long-held attitude towards technology: that it makes everything easier, faster, and altogether better. My company is committed to education about how to be intentional and how to engage with our digital devices in a healthy way. This mindset opens up exciting opportunities for ideas and products like Lightbody to help manage health in a holistic way.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
During the early days of our business, we found ourselves overwhelmed with orders during the holiday season. We were still a small team, and it was all hands on deck. It was a sight to behold as we were transformed into a makeshift assembly line, clumsily trying to tape packages and slap on labels. Despite our best efforts, chaos ensued as we mixed up addresses, attached wrong labels, and even managed to include some unexpected surprises in the packages. We eventually got our act together, but those holiday shipping mishaps became legendary tales that still make us laugh whenever we reminisce about those early days!
The lesson I learned is the importance of adaptability and maintaining a sense of humor when faced with unexpected challenges. In the early stages of a business, it goes without saying that you must wear multiple hats and tackle tasks outside of your comfort zone. Embrace the inevitable mistakes and mishaps along the journey as valuable learning opportunities. Sometimes you’ll encounter situations that you have to laugh through to keep from crying!
We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?
At the age of 14, my club swim team welcomed a new coach named Ron Turner and this marked a crucial turning point in my swimming journey. The timing was particularly significant as it coincided with the start of high school, when college recruiters frequently visited our school. I was already an above average swimmer when Ron became my coach, but he pushed me to the next level by increasing the hours I spent in the pool, while also requiring additional dry land and weight training. He encouraged me to consider how every aspect of my life outside the pool impacted my performance, including sleep and nutrition. Ron recognized my potential and pushed me beyond my perceived limits. Thanks to his guidance, I had the privilege of exploring various scholarship opportunities at Division I schools ultimately choosing Florida State University. There I became a team captain, made lifelong friends, and met my husband, who was also a swimmer.
At my first real job as a retail executive, Dave Rinaldo was my direct leader. He not only held me accountable, but also genuinely cared about me and everyone else that worked for him. When he visited the stores, he made it a point to chat with everyone that was working to get to know them on a personal level. He always remembered details about our lives because he truly cared about us as individuals, not just about how well we performed for the business. His leadership style created an environment where I wasn’t afraid to stumble and learn from my mistakes, all while setting the bar high for excellence. He took the time to understand what motivated me and tapped into those factors to help me reach my professional goals.
The most impactful mentor in my life has to be my current business partner, co-founder of DefenderShield and Chairman of Lightbody’s Board of Directors, Daniel DeBaun. It all started when I crossed paths with his son, Ryan DeBaun, a DefenderShield co-founder, during our Yoga Teacher Training program. As soon as I learned about their business, I felt an undeniable excitement and burning desire to be part of the startup journey. Dan and Ryan gave me the opportunity of a lifetime when they brought me on board. As we grew the company, I established Lightbody as another business venture. Dan’s wealth of experience and wisdom, empathy towards others, uncanny business intuition, and calculated risk-taking have become valuable lessons in entrepreneurship for me.
In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?
I have two kids, so I can assure you that disruptive isn’t always a positive adjective for me! However, there are many times in which disruption within an industry can be positive. For example, the way we think about our health as a society needs major disruption. In my opinion, the Western medical industry treats symptoms and does not focus on getting people well by discovering the source of their problem or supporting their bodies in the healing process. We should take cues from healthier societies which prescribe less pharmaceuticals and use Eastern medicine with natural, centuries-old remedies to promote regeneration within our bodies. For example, little known but truly disruptive research by Dr. Robert Navieaux explores Cell Danger Response (CDR), the protective mechanisms triggered by cells in response to various threats (physical, chemical, or biological), aiming to understand and harness the potential for therapeutic treatments in disease and injury. By using specific interventions, including targeted supplements, roadblocks to healing are removed and the body can become well again.
While disrupting any industry can have far-reaching negative consequences, I believe that in the long run, the positive outcomes can outweigh the initial challenges. For instance, although there may be short term job losses and economic ripple effects, embracing new ways of doing things can lead to societal progress.
Can you please share 5 ideas one needs to shake up their industry? If you can, please share a story or an example for each.
- Embrace emerging technologies in a mindful way. There are many exciting new technologies to try, such as artificial intelligence (AI). Using new tech as a tool can be great, but make sure to always stay in the driver’s seat. Just like the relationship between health and technology, relying solely on it may have downsides. By being conscious of how we incorporate technology into our creative processes, we can ensure that it serves as a valuable tool rather than overshadowing our own unique vision and decision-making. For instance, while many businesses now have the capability to fully automate customer service, maintaining a personal touch might be the key to fostering long-term customer loyalty.
- Invest your time in optimizing high-growth platforms. For example, if you sell products, focus on e-commerce before brick and mortar.
- Address environmental sustainability. From small to large impacts, every business can do something to improve its impact on the environment. Attainable things every business can do are monitoring energy usage, implementing waste reduction and recycling programs, and supporting local and sustainable suppliers. At the end of the day, businesses and governments are where the real sustainability impacts are made.
- Increase your level of connection with people. Technology, while improving our lives immensely, reduces our face-to-face interactions and can cause other negative impacts to the mind and body. Whether it be having an in-office work environment, or events for your clients or staff, make sure you’re regularly connecting in person with your business partners, friends, and family as often as possible.
- Always think about how you can improve the lives of your employees, if you have them. The more you do for your most valuable assets, the more your business will thrive. For example, can you give them a better work schedule or give bonuses as a thank you for growing revenue? Knowing what is important to each person in your business will help you make these decisions.
We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?
Get ready for a revolution in the way we approach our health and wellbeing, because Digital Wellness is about to shake things up!
With technology infiltrating nearly every aspect of our lives, it’s time to pause and reflect on how it’s impacting us now and for the long term. Just think about it: After hours of screen time, how do you feel? Are your eyes dry and strained? Do you suffer from headaches? Is your precious sleep disrupted by too much screen exposure? Sometimes, when everything else is in check, we overlook the impact of our tech habits.
I’m especially passionate about empowering the next generation with the necessary knowledge and tools to navigate technology safely and responsibly. It’s crucial to me that we equip kids to make good choices to protect their well-being when it comes to screen time. By providing them with the right guidance, we can ensure that they develop healthy and balanced relationships with technology, enabling them to thrive in our increasingly connected world.
Lightbody has some pretty exciting things on the horizon. We are looking at the newest research surrounding novel ingredients for making even more bioavailable formulations to help the body’s cellular resilience. Equally as important is our commitment to embracing more sustainable practices, and one of the key areas we are focusing on is regenerative agriculture. Regenerative agriculture is an approach that goes beyond sustainability, aiming to restore and enhance the health of the soil, biodiversity, and ecosystem as a whole. By utilizing ingredients grown using regenerative practices, such as cover cropping, crop rotation, and regenerative grazing, we aim to not only reduce our environmental footprint but also contribute to the long term health and resilience of our planet for generations to come.
Do you have a book, podcast, or talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us? Can you explain why it was so resonant with you?
The most impactful book I’ve read is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. This book opened my mind to what can happen if you embrace the unknown, follow your intuition, and stay attuned to the subtle signs the universe sends your way. The Alchemist also emphasizes the power of perseverance and resilience in the face of obstacles. The message is to stay determined and to view setbacks as opportunities for growth and soul-searching, while always keeping your eye on your goals and your purpose. The book touches upon the interconnectedness of individuals and the universe, exploring the idea that everything is connected. These timeless concepts resonate deeply with me, as they hold true in every aspect throughout life’s journey.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life” — Confucius, a Chinese philosopher
I haven’t always felt this way. There have definitely been times in my life when I felt stagnant and uninspired. Through trial and error, I have come to realize that my true calling lies in making a positive impact on people’s health and well-being, a purpose that is closely intertwined with being the best mother I can be to my two sons. Although both my careers as a business owner and a mother come with their challenges, I wake up each morning excited for what the day will bring.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire 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’m on a mission to inspire a Digital Wellness movement where people of all ages recognize the vital role it plays in overall health and happiness, including precious young ones. Just like eating well, getting quality sleep, and moving our bodies is important, Digital Wellness deserves our attention. We must ask this for ourselves and our children: Is our tech helping or hurting our mental, social, and physical well-being? It’s time to be mindful of our screen time, the content we consume, and how we feel during and after being glued to a screen.
Sure, many of us need to be in front of screens for education or work, but we have the power to counteract the negative effects. Let’s explore the right supplements to optimize and promote cellular resilience, adopt rejuvenating practices for our bodies and eyes, and make a habit of taking breaks. We can reclaim control over our digital experiences and ensure they contribute positively to our lives and our chidlrens’ lives for generations to come.
How can our readers follow you online?
This was truly meaningful! Thank you so much for your time and for sharing your expertise!
Female Disruptors: How Kylen Ribeiro Of Lightbody Has Shaken Up the Legal and Energy Industries was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.