Joe Ellis

Age: 59

Hometown: Marion, VA

Occupation: Entrepreneur

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Joe Ellis started a software company with $400 and sold it for several million, which he put toward revitalizing his hometown in the mountains of southwestern Virginia. When he’s not working on the PBS show he started, Song of the Mountains, you’ll find him in the CrossFit gym.

My formal education is a B.S. in chemistry, B.S. in biology, B.S. in mathematics, and a minor in physics. I still consider myself to be a scientist in terms of my reading and thinking. After college there was some concern about leukemia — I didn’t ultimately get it — but I got interested at the age of 23 in my health, and I’ve always been interested, not so much in the fads, but in the actual science.

When I came across the research on NAD+ I found it quite compelling and interesting, so I read some of the publications by your founder, Leonard Guarente.I thought it was scientifically sound and it made sense to me — so I bought Basis. I don’t see Basis as a typical supplement. I’m not just replacing a chemical I’m not getting in my diet. I’m sending a signal to produce more of this naturally-occurring molecule in a chain or linkage that affects other parts of my cell structure — and I think that’s a different approach.

Each person has to define his own quality of life. As a successful entrepreneur, people say, “You can retire early.” Well, what’s your definition of retiring? Not having to do anything or go to work? Well, that would be a boring existence. It’s about influencing your outcome, deciding what you do and how you do it. It’s the same for your body: try to influence the outcome.

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