Full transcript of interview below:
Gary Collins: Hi, this is Gary Collins, the creator of www.thesimplelifenow.com, and I’m here with Cain Credicott of “Paleo Magazine.” He actually created “Paleo Magazine.” I thought it would be a good interview to do, so thanks a lot for coming on today, Cain.
Cain Credicott: Thanks for having me. Looking forward to it.
Gary: I know you’ve probably told this story a million times, but for my followers, how did you exactly get into Paleo?
Cain: I got diagnosed with celiac disease in 2008, I believe, along with some other random food allergies. My wife and I did the typical thing ‑‑ we went gluten‑free ‑‑ tried gluten‑free vegan, tried all those different things to try and heal myself, and it didn’t work. I found my energy level went to crap. My body‑fat percentage went way up. I felt a little better, obviously by taking out gluten. I had more good days than I was having bad, but it just wasn’t at 100 percent.
At the time, we were doing a bakery that did gluten‑free vegan stuff, and I found myself not eating the products that we were producing. That was a tough thing, because I was in charge of selling those things, so I all of a sudden didn’t believe in the products we were selling anymore.
About the same time I started not eating our products, my wife realized that she didn’t like the bakery business, because she was just churning out products she didn’t believe in? She really liked the creative aspect of it, but she didn’t like pumping out 30,000 English muffins a day kind of thing.
I approached her, because I had gone online, stumbled on this thing called the Paleo Diet in early 2000. Back then information about Paleo wasn’t as easy to find. To find Paleo Diet stuff even a few years ago, you had to Google “Paleo” specifically, you couldn’t just Google “real food” or “local food” or anything like today.
After doing my research I started implementing the Paleo Diet principles and starting feeling much better very quickly. The Paleo Diet itself didn’t help me 100 percent. The Paleo Diet gets me to about 80 percent there. The rest of it is sleep, stress, exercise, those kind of things. I need those other components or I’m not at 100 percent, by any stretch, and that’s something I just recently found out probably within the last year or so.
Gary: That’s funny, because I went through the same kind of pattern. When I first started looking, it was very hard to find not only the information, but in a way to where I could understand it, get it, and be able to apply it. I think that’s the great part about the movement that’s changed is it’s very accessible now, and you have many different authors and people to use, to your preference, because everyone’s different.
Gary: I went through the same thing, the struggles of trying to figure out what in the heck, where am I going? I did the diet first, and like you, type‑A, stressed‑out, slept horribly pretty much my entire life. I was a lifelong insomniac, stayed up till one, two in the morning all the time, working, sleep till five, six, pop up, go through and just run myself into the ground. So I totally get that.
Was that the natural progression, going from the Paleo Diet and having the recovery and regaining your health into “Paleo Magazine,” or how did that come about?
Cain: Once I stumbled onto the Paleo stuff, it was one of those things, where I got really frustrated when I first went gluten‑free, because you would read things online about, “Oh, I went gluten‑free at 7:00 this morning, and now it’s noon and I feel like a new person.” It had been like 6 months, 12 months for me, and I wasn’t getting that, so I’m thinking, “Great. What else is wrong?” or “I’m not doing it right?” Was getting really frustrated.
When I stumbled onto Paleo it made me feel so much better very quickly. I almost had that “do it at seven, feel better by the afternoon.” It was amazed at the drastic change in such a short period of tim.
Around this time we were done with the bakery, so I thought, OK, this could be the next thing that we do, getting this information out to people.
The original thing that I thought of was like everyone else, right? “I’m going to do a blog. I’m going to do a website. I’m going to do whatever.” After thinking about it for a little bit I felt like, OK, people have this dialed in already with the sites, and I’m just going to be another site, there’s going to be a bunch of white noise, and who’s going to find me?
I didn’t feel like I could help people that way, so my vision was having a product that would be sitting on the shelf, like we talked about earlier at Safeway. Somebody checking out with their big cart full of boxed crap, would see my Paleo Magazine, maybe find it interesting, and pick it up.
I want it to be that gateway and get in front of their faces. At the time, like I said, if you didn’t know to look for Paleo specifically, you weren’t going to find it, so I wanted to make it easier for people to find.
The magazine, is a result of it working really well for me and then me wanting to get the information out there to other people, like the other online Paleo businesses, but in a different way.
Gary: Since then, a lot more magazines have popped up.
Cain: Paleo magazines?
Cain: Digital only, yes. We are still the only print. We have that digital space as well, and it’s funny when we started, we had a bunch of people that were like, “What are you an idiot? Why would you do print, this is the digital age, it’s the 21st century dude come on, this is the age of the iPad.”
That worried me for a little bit, because I’m thinking, “Maybe they’re right.” I don’t particularly like reading a whole hell of a lot of stuff on my iPad, I use my iPad mainly to watch movies and play games right?
I don’t use it for a lot of reading, I just don’t like the blue screen. I’m big anti‑blue screen right now, especially at night when I actually have time to read.
I was hoping that other people would like print as well, and thankfully that turned out to be correct. The vast majority of the readership we have is in print, as opposed to our digital. We have a digital version online and an app, but the vast majority of our viewership is from the print side.
I decided to start the magazine, like the last week of March. April 1st, I started selling subscriptions to a non‑existent magazine and our first issue went out in May. Since then it’s grown a tremendous amount, but I don’t think it would have grown, or taken up like that if we were digital.
Gary: There’s the genius in your plan, because you’re like me. I’m the same way, I don’t like reading stuff on my computer, I don’t like reading stuff on my phone. I don’t even own an iPad, because I just don’t get it. I just don’t need it, I have a laptop. I’m one of those people that I want to hold it. I like physical books, I have a couple e‑download books and I went and bought hard copies of them, because it drove me nuts trying to read them on my computer. I don’t care what anyone says, hard copy is never completely going away, period. I just can’t see it.
Cain: I agree with you 100 percent. I’ve gone through those periods especially at the beginning where it’s like, “Man are we going to get replaced by digital versions in the same genre?” I’ve had too many people that want paper, so I don’t see the digital version taking over anytime soon.
Whether it’s because they don’t have access to the Internet, they don’t have the money for an iPad, they don’t want blue light in their face, they don’t like the strain of the screen, or they want to curl up with a cup of tea and an actual physical magazine, or a book, or whatever.
Whatever the reason, there’s no way that digital is going to overtake print, at least in our lifetimes, I’m convinced.
Gary: It’s just like the apps for working out, and people with their New Year’s resolutions, they think they’re going to get their apps and iPad out and they’re going to get in shape. I go, “You know, it sounds great, but as someone who trains people and has worked out for almost his entire life, it doesn’t work.”
It can help get you started, but you need that interpersonal relationship and I think that’s what a magazine, or book does too. It gives you something to tangibly hold, it makes you feel a piece of the magazine actually. You feel more involved.
When it’s digital, it’s just digital and actually I find myself not paying attention to what I read as much in digital format as I do with hard copy. Very strange, I’m sure there’s some psychologist whose analyzed that somewhere but…
Cain: It’s funny too, because I hate paper, just in general. I scan everything, I hate keeping files, I hate physical paper as in clutter. When it comes to books, magazines, and that kind of medium, I love it. It’s just very weird to me sometimes how much I can hate the clutter part.
If you said, “Hey, here’s something to read and it’s on the iPad” or other digital reader, I wouldn’t be interested. If you give me something that I can hold, I love it. There’s a disconnect somewhere in there.
Gary: That’s like when I sent my first batch of books out, I would send hard copies. People would ask for the digital and I always cringe because I’m like, “They’re never going to read that.”
Gary: There’s no way. They’re just not and usually they wouldn’t. It just seems to me I get digital books, people send them to me all the time, and I’m like, “Yeah, I’ll get to that.” It keeps getting put off and put off.
If they send me a hardcopy book and I have to look at the thing all the time, the guilt factor kicks in. I go, “Oh, I’m supposed to read that book. It’s sitting there right in front of me.”
With that being said, what are your future plans for the magazine now that it’s growing so much?
Cain: Right now, we’re really trying to [laughs] keep up right now. We’ve been fortunate in that we’ve more than doubled our circulation in the last year. We’ve gone from about 17,000 copies first issue of 2013 to over 40,000 for the first issue of 2014. That’s a huge jump.
It’s funny, I thought in the beginning, if I put together a magazine in my in‑design stuff, what difference does it make if I then print one or I then print 100,000? There’s no difference, right? It’s no more work to do that, but it is. There’s a lot more to it. There’s a lot more expense. There’s a lot more everything. We’re really trying to keep up with distribution now.
Every issue we’re moving into more stores. With our upcoming April‑May issue, we’re going to be in some Kroger stores. We’re going to be in Costco stores pretty soon.
Costco is, putting us in 20 stores as a test run. During that test run, we need to sell as many as possible. We’ll be putting that out on Facebook and other social media. If everything goes well with the test, then they put us into all their stores.
Gary: Oh yeah?
Cain: The stuff that I’m most excited about is different from the magazine altogether. It’s more for moving the movement forward as a whole. I’m jazzed about it. We have some really big name Paleo people involved with it. There’s not one name on there that anyone who knows anything about the Paleo community will not know who these people are.
I’m excited that these people are getting on-board. Hopefully, it will be ready in about six months.
We’ve got everything from continuing on making the magazine better. We’re constantly looking at adding more content and making the design layout better, all the way to increasing distribution to super‑secret stuff that we’ll get more info out on soon.
Gary: You’ve been adding some really good writers, I’ve noticed. There is this guy named Gary Collins, I saw in the new issue.
Gary: Who is that guy? I have to give the disclaimer that I actually now write for the magazine. I want people to know though, we’ve been planning this interview now for quite a while before even I started writing. I want people to understand this is not some quid pro quo kind of thing.
Cain: Yeah, you could write only if you get me on for an interview.
Gary: Yeah, exactly. It was a hostage negotiations thing.
Gary: No, I have noticed. I’ve obviously subscribed to it for over a year now. I was buying it one‑by‑one as it came out. I’ve seen the genesis of the magazine and seen how it’s changed. I’ve seen other magazines, the digital ones obviously out there. This is, by far, the best one out there. That’s why I would even approach you to write for it. I’ve been approached to write for the other ones. I may have kicked one an article and I’m like, “No.”
Cain: I appreciate that. Regardless, we have a bigger reach than any of the other ones, period. Whether it’s digital, print, or whatever, we get in front of way more people than any of the others.
The funny this is when we started it was me and a buddy. No experience with a magazine. Now that we are two and‑a‑half years later, it’s painfully obvious to me that those first issues we didn’t know what the hell we were doing.
Cain: He had graphic design experience but he didn’t have magazine layout experience. I had neither, so he was helping me. Then after he helped with the first two issues and then I ended up doing it all.
Maybe the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, those issues I laid out. It’s painfully obvious that I had no idea what I was doing, so the first issue of 2013 we now have a designer that helps. It’s been awesome because her layouts and the things that she does every issue it gets better and better.
I can look at current issues and be really proud of what we’re putting out. I cringe if anybody orders a hardcopy of the first issue. I hate looking at them now because they’re just not up to the standards that I have at this point.
Gary: That’s for anyone who goes through this business. My first consumer book that I published, I published something before that that was more for personal trainers and practitioners. Trust me. I have an old copy of that book. Oh God, I want to burn it.
Gary: Where I’m lucky, they can’t order that book anymore. It’s gone.
Gary: It’s off.
Cain: You know what? I’m this close to just making those earlier editions digital only, so then I don’t have to worry about it anymore.
Gary: Hey, that’s a good idea you know. You know what, though? I think people understand and I think they appreciate it, especially someone like me.
When you start something from nothing and scratch that’s the journey. That’s the great part about it. You’ve got to learn along the way. That’s part of the Paleo community too and the paleo community. We’re all learning along the way. We’re getting it and we’re getting better and better at it.
Cain: I like watching smaller companies, mom and pop companies, which is what we are. I enjoy watching those companies go from just starting out and then watching as they grow and everything.
Maybe I need to look at it a little bit differently, because I personally like that kind of stuff. Seeing the very first one and then seeing the 10th edition kind of a thing is really exciting. Especially if it’s a company that I think is really doing good things, it just makes you feel good that things are improving and they’re doing so much better and stuff.
Gary: Well, yeah, and that’s why I wanted to make sure to interview you, too. That was part of it, is to show people that there’s people out there who have started from nothing. I think the magazine, to me, is phenomenal. Today the magazine is top‑notch. I would put it against any magazine out there, far as layout, content. Advertising I wouldn’t, because you only use good advertisers. Other magazines put anyone who will pay them money…
Cain: [laughs] Right.
Gary: …for any prescription drug. There’s a magazine I get, I actually did analysis on it. There was something like I want to say, 25 drug‑company advertisements, in a health magazine.
Cain: We let people know that, too. I turn down advertisers all the time. From a business perspective, it’s painful, because obviously you want to have as much money coming in as you can or you don’t have a business, but I just refuse to put in things that they don’t cut it.
The good thing about that, though, is there’s one company in particular, they wanted to put a product in, I said no. That was maybe six, eight months ago, and during the last six or eight months, I talk to them on occasion. As they are developing new products and trying to put new things together, they will reach out and say, “Hey, what does the paleo community think about this? What if we did this? What if we did that?”
It’s actually kind of cool, because here’s a product that could be really cool but it just wasn’t up to par, and now they’re using us to gauge where they’re at and piece together something that maybe we will put in eventually. It’s neat to have those. Sometimes it works out where you can tell they’re trying to do the right thing, they just don’t know, and so we can help guide them. The ones that are just trying to put something in, and then we say no and then they don’t care, well, we wouldn’t have wanted them in there anyway.
We definitely say no to a fair amount of advertisers.
Gary: That’s, again, what makes the movement different, to a certain extent. With any movement, you have some people who don’t follow all the rules. That’s what I like about it is everyone understands that we’re all trying to just help people and give them the best products possible.
I really appreciate that, and I know you got to take another call here, someone who’s very much more important than me.
Cain: [laughs] Right. Yeah. That’s just my poor planning skills. That’s all that is.
Gary: Hey, I have the same planning skills.
Gary: Trust me. I was scrambling to get ready for this because I was late, so I’m there with you.
Gary: We’ll have some other interviews, and we can talk about numerous topics, and I look forward to seeing the progression of the magazine and all the articles and where it’s going.
Gary: All right, man.
Cain: I appreciate it.
Gary: All right. We’ll talk soon.
Cain: All right…
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