Joel Runyon is an athlete and entrepreneur. He founded IMPOSSIBLE – a company dedicated to helping people push their limits and do impossible things.
His work began with the Impossible HQ Blog. He has since expanded and organized several projects under the Impossible brand. This includes the non-profit and charity Impossible.org and the Impossible Fitness brand.
He is currently based in Austin.
The Impossible Brand
Joel runs most of his projects under the Impossible brand. Impossible is a lifestyle performance company dedicated to helping people push their limits and do impossible things
You can learn more about how his businesses are related at How Impossible Fits Together.
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Joel started the blog in 2010 as a way to challenge himself to do something impossible. He has since travelled to over 45 countries, started multiple businesses and became the youngest person to run an Ultra Marathon on all 7 continents. He wrote more about the journey at Why I Started My Blog.
He was aware of the importance of building a business beyond your blog from the beginning, sharing his thoughts at I’ll Never Make A Dime From This Blog.
You can visit his blog at ImpossibleHQ.
He has written posts about the lessons learned along the journey:
- 6 Things I’ve Learned In 6 Months of Blogging
- 12 Months Later: 12 People I Need To Thank 12 people that influenced Joel in the first year of his business.
- 7 Years
- 8 Years of IMPOSSIBLE
- On 9 Years of Blogging
Impossible Fitness is the umbrella for Joel’s digital fitness products.
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Impossible Abs is an information product designed to help people burn fat, lose weight, and get six-pack abs. He released the first version in September 2012. Part of the launch included a blog post where he answered 30 questions via video. In November, he launched the second version of the course.
Joel launched the Impossible t-shirts in October 2011. He shared the behind-the-scenes details of the product at How To Launch Your Own T-Shirt Line For Your Website.
Check it out at Impossible.co
Impossible X helps startups scale their business through the use of SEO, SEM and content marketing strategy.
He doesn’t post about his client work. However, in 2014, he shared how Impossible X tripled the organic traffic of a Chicago-area TechStars company in just over six months.
In 2014, he shut down all client relationships that didn’t have a 5k minimum due to the toll the workload was having on his health.
Impossible.org is a site for all of the philanthropic initiatives at Impossible.
He launched the website in July 2016.
777 was an endurance, adventure and philanthropic initiative by Joel Runyon & IMPOSSIBLE to run 7 ultra marathons on 7 continents to raise money & awareness to build 7 schools with Pencils of Promise and provide opportunities to those for whom a basic education can be impossible.
You can also check out the posts in the 777 category on Impossible HQ.
Impossible: The Manifesto
Joel wrote the manifesto in 2011. The manifesto is ‘a challenge to push your limits, live a life worth writing about and do the impossible’.
Blogs to Book
In 2012, Joel decided to experiment with publishing on Amazon. He took some of his popular blog posts and turned them into ebooks. They are currently available for $.99 as Amazon doesn’t allow permanent free distribution.
He mentioned the project in this announcement post.
Do The Impossible Slideshare
In 2012, Joel created a popular Slideshare based around the concept of ‘Doing the Impossible.’ It would have required very little work in the research stages; just curating the relevant quotes. This strategy is something that could potentially apply to any niche.
He wrote about his experiences via this Problogger post: Attract 100,000 Pageviews in 1 Month Using Slideshare.
Ultimate Meal Plans
Ultimate Meal Plans started as a paleo resource website. Joel mentioned paleo in the footer section of a fitness program he sold. That brief mention led to so many emails that he bought a domain and listed all the questions on the one page. In 2012, he created the Ultimate Paleo Guide. Within a year, he had over 200 articles.
Various pages began to rank well on Google, and it became one of the leading online resources about Paleo.
He released two Paleo related apps: paleo food list app and a paleo recipe app. The recipe app was developed in response to audience demand from fans of the food list app. Joel decided to create a separate app instead of trying to include everything in the one app. He wrote more about this at 10 Things I Learned Bootstrapping My First 4 Apps To 6 Figures.
You can learn more about how he built and developed this business at On Starting A Meal Planning Business & Growing To Thousands Of Customers. Joel shared how
- Paleo Meal Plans started as a service there they offered personalized plans from a nutritionist
- it was easy to onboard customers from the website email list but was challenging to grow from there
- developing a community helped Ultimate Meal Plans stand out.
MoveWell was a side project and offshoot of IMPOSSIBLE. Initially, he sold subscriptions to those who were interested in his IMPOSSIBLE and Paleo/Keto related businesses.
The project started out selling individual routines. That wasn’t making much money, so they switched to a subscription-based service.
In October 2019, he launched an online version of the app.
You can check it out at Move Well App.
Cold Shower Therapy
Cold Shower Therapy is the 30-day challenge to push your limits and practise being uncomfortable. Track your showers, pump yourself up and visualize your streaks as you practice getting comfortable with the uncomfortable.
In 2013, he did a TEDx talk about the technique. Within 18 months, the talk had been viewed over 100,000 times on YouTube.
In October 2013, he launched an app based on the challenge.
Start A Blog
Start A Blog began as a comprehensive guide on Impossible HQ. In 2017, he started offering to set up blogs for free in return for the affiliate commission.
He launched it on Product Hunt in May 2020. It was #4 product of the day.
Check it out at StartABlog.com.
Lessons Learned + Strategies.
Lessons from Launching 4 Products in 4 Weeks During Quarantine This post is fascinating because Joel explores how two of the products launched started as much smaller projects.
First Start a Blog, Then Build A Business, Then An Empire Post at Sumo.com
- How Focusing on Email Marketing Helped Grow My Business at Indie Hackers
- The Value of Being Interesting and Persistent with Joel Runyon of Impossible at Indie Hackers
- How Bloggers Earn a Living: Joel Runyon at Convert Kit
- From Living in His Parents’ Basement to Doing the Impossible at Joker Mag
- On Starting A Meal Planning Business & Growing To Thousands Of Customers at Starter Story
- Joel Runyon of Impossible HQ at Entrepreneur On Fire