Jason Forrest of the Forrest Performance Group defines “running toward the roar” as those moments in life when you face your greatest challenges “to realize what was crucial in your courage and fatal in your fear.” His Run Toward the Roar series in FWinc. magazine features entrepreneurs who have overcome obstacles and inspire others by using their challenges as a catalyst for growth and change. Jason interviewed Sunny Vanderbeck, managing partner of Satori Capital, on the topic of conscious capitalism for the July 2016 issue.

Profit is what you create, not what you take.

In college, Sunny Vanderbeck was a world away from the disciplined Army Ranger he would become. He was 20 pounds overweight, smoking two packs of cigarettes a day, and just plain unhappy. It was time for something completely different. He quit school, enlisted in the U.S. Army, and served as a Ranger for four years. As Sunny describes it, “Apparently, I jumped in the very, very deep end of the pool.”

Sunny’s low-key description of what was anything but a low-key experience feels like the essence of who he is: refreshingly understated, seemingly unflappable, quietly confident. And, courtesy of the Army, persistent. He says the experience taught him that “the difference between a good outcome and an extraordinary outcome is that moment when you want to quit, and you just don’t quit.” I think of such moments as “run toward the roar” opportunities. They are the times when we feel we have the most to lose, but actually have the most to gain. The idea comes from big male lions—whose role is to provoke fear with their intimidating teeth and deafening roars. What the hunted don’t know is that the real danger lies with the smaller, quieter lionesses. In the animal kingdom, the lion’s roar sends prey scattering away from the startling noise—right into the path of the waiting lionesses, the true hunters. If gazelles knew to run toward the frightening sound, they would have a better chance of survival. The roar doesn’t represent the real danger.

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