Sean Dollinger of PlantX: 5 Lifestyle Tweaks That Can Dramatically Improve Your Wellbeing

Reward yourself. I mix work and play often, but it’s important to take the time to appreciate the play side. Experiences are fantastic when you’re working really really hard day in and day out and want to take care of yourself. If you have somewhere that you want to get to, reward yourself for the hard work you put in.

a part of my series about “5 Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sean Dollinger.

Sean Dollinger is an entrepreneur, advisor, and investor with more than 20 years of success in e-commerce. He has a keen ability to take an idea from conception to successful execution. Sean’s successful ventures include real estate, fashion, telecommunication devices, and cannabis. Today he is focusing on his passion project as the founder of PlantX, the one-stop-shop for all things plant-based and the digital face of the plant-based community.”

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the story about how you first got involved in fitness and wellness?

en years ago, I was not living the healthiest life. Before the age of 30, I was going to the emergency room with terrible anxiety and all of these different health problems. I always kind of wanted to live a healthier lifestyle, but had no idea how to do it. So I started with baby steps, shifting my diet a little bit and starting to be more active. It’s been this gradual desire to make a change that has worked for me and gotten me to where I am now.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

I probably took more than 200 flights for business travel in 2019. But between all of the travel and work, I was still able to fit in that one hour of sweat time per day, whether it’s on the Peloton, a hike or a walk. One time, due to jet lag, I woke up at 4:00 AM in Australia and decided to go do a hike — I think from Bondi to Bonsai — first thing in the morning, watching the sun come up. It was the highlight of my trip and made me realize how important it is to maintain my exercise and diet even when I’m traveling.

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?

Thinking back to a time when I was so hungry for business, a client of mine in Montreal called and asked me to drive him and his family to the airport. I thought it was a great idea, but I only had a two-door car at the time. Getting her and her mother into the backseat of the car, with all of the luggage and everything, we were barely able to make it to the airport and almost missed their flight. In hindsight, even though I wanted to take on as much as possible, I should have managed the opportunities better. Now, I understand the importance of having a team behind you to execute daily operations so you can delegate and continue to focus on the bigger picture goals of expanding your business.

Can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fitness and wellness field? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?

I’ve had many successful businesses over the years, but I’ve never felt like I really gave back. Yes, sure, you can make donations or start a charity, but most of the time you only impact a few people’s lives that way. With the launch of PlantX, I feel that we’ll be able to teach health and wellness to the masses. I’m not an expert in health and wellness, but I take the time to understand what has a positive impact on the body. The whole idea of PlantX is to bring like-minded individuals such as teachers, nutritionists, chefs, and plant-based experts into one community to help everyone around the world. We want to help everyone live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Growing up, my grandfather was always extremely successful, hardworking, and taught me a ton. I always said that I wanted to be like him and be involved in the public markets.Looking back 30 years ago, his lessons made me a harder worker and helped me get to where I am today. For me, a mentor is someone who helps you move forward, not just someone who reassures you that what you’re doing is fine. The hard lessons shaped me and for that I’ll always be grateful.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, exercise more, and get better sleep etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the 3 main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?

First of all, people have this idea that they can’t get “full” from plant-based feeding. That is a complete myth. I used to be one of those massive eaters who loved steak — loved everything — and didn’t think I would ever give any of it up. Today, living on a plant-based diet, I feel satisfied — if not more satisfied — by eating these incredible types of foods coming out of the pipeline while people explore plant-based living.

Next, people just don’t know how to do it. They’re not educated on what plant-based eating really is. Maybe they think it’s just pasta? Who knows? Their minds aren’t exposed to all of the opportunities out there. When they educate themselves and really know all of the options, they can be so much further ahead and be more open to embracing a plant-based diet.

And lastly, people are very habitual. They grow up with a certain lifestyle and it’s a lot easier to stay in that lifestyle. Making changes is difficult. That’s why I believe it’s so important to break those barriers, whether it be through education, application, or accessibility. It can change someone’s whole life if they give health and wellness a shot, little by little.

Can you please share your “5 Non-Intuitive Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”? (Please share a story or an example for each, and feel free to share ideas for mental, emotional and physical health.)

Go sweat. I think every single day someone should try to find that time for themselves to go sweat. Whether that’s a run, a walk, a bike — anything of that nature — I think it’s really important for your well-being to do that. With everything that I’m working on, I still make that time for myself and it’s changed everything. When my mood is improved and my energy increases, I feel like I can do anything.

Listen to your body. I think it’s really important to eat a few well-balanced meals throughout the day. Some people say three, some people say five, some people fast all day then eat at night, but I think it’s very important that you listen to yourself and listen to your body and figure out what works for you. The same rule applies for sleep. Nobody really knows exactly how many hours of sleep an individual needs each night. So again, just listen to your body and don’t get too crazy about how much time you need to sleep.

Work and play. I think having work mixed into your everyday life is important. It gets the mind activated and keeps it moving. Some people are just 9–5 people, which is great, but for me, it’s important that I have work always going so it keeps creative ideas flowing. I have seen people who have such fantastic minds, and they’re 80 or 85 years old, and then they retire or are forced to retire and immediately you start to see a drastic change in them. I believe that being active and using your brain keeps you healthy.

Reward yourself. I mix work and play often, but it’s important to take the time to appreciate the play side. Experiences are fantastic when you’re working really really hard day in and day out and want to take care of yourself. If you have somewhere that you want to get to, reward yourself for the hard work you put in.

Remember to recharge. People get anxious when they see emails rolling in. One thing that I’ve realized is that, no matter how stressed you get, the work will still be there and it goes away really quickly once you’re into it. So, I think people need to just take a breath and say, “Hey, I’ve decided to take this hour for myself on the bike. I understand emails are going to come in. I understand people are going to need me, but those problems, those issues, those good things are still going to be there when I’m done taking this hour for myself.” Take the time and enjoy it, and you’ll come back nice and recharged.

As an expert, this might be obvious to you, but I think it would be instructive to articulate this for the public. Aside from weight loss, what are 3 benefits of daily exercise? Can you explain?

For me, one benefit is just a clearer mind. Going out there and doing that one hour or even half-hour of biking really allows me to clear my mind to get new ideas.

I always find it better to get your workout done in the morning, it just wakes you up. You always have to remember that the hardest part of any workout is just getting on it. Once you’re doing it, you’re going to do it. There’s no doubt about it. I’ve never gotten on a bike and two minutes in thought, “To hell with this.” I strongly recommend starting your day with it.

I’m a big believer in energy and taking care of yourself. Just put positive energy out there into the world. I find when I go out and do my workout, my whole day is just better.

For someone who is looking to add exercise to their daily routine, which 3 exercises would you recommend that are absolutely critical?

First, I feel it’s very important to have a connection with some kind of instructor because it’s very hard to motivate yourself everyday. There are so many options these days — even on your phone. For me, I absolutely love Peloton and I have my instructors that I love there.

Enjoy the outdoors, no matter where you are in the world. There’s something about walking through trees, walking along the water, or walking on mountains. Just find something that makes you feel at ease. You don’t need to workout intensely everyday, but I do believe you should do something everyday. Even if it’s a nice stroll for an hour, I would definitely recommend that as a part of your routine.

Stretching. Even though I was never much of a believer in the whole stretching concept in my earlier years, I think it’s something that should be embraced. What I find difficult is finding more time to do it each day. I have my hour of fitness, but finding that extra twenty minutes to stretch is hard. So, if you have the patience to do it, I recommend adding some type of stretch like yoga or meditation to your routine.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?

I’m embarrassed to admit that I haven’t read a book in about 25 years. When it comes to business and the way I live my life, it has all been based on experiences. I spend less time reading the words of others and more time diving into opportunities to figure them out for myself. I’ve learned so much from getting my hands dirty, expanding my knowledge of the world, and most importantly, trial and error.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start 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. 🙂

PlantX was the idea that I moved forward with to hopefully get a whole movement going around plant-based living. In the past I’ve run successful businesses, but never had a natural impact and that’s what we’re looking to do. It’s the ripple effect: by helping one person, it begins to spread positivity — hopefully — throughout the world.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

Life is a marathon, not a sprint. A perfect example is that I’ve launched some websites and then Google decides that its policies need to change, and then all of a sudden we’re back to square one and need to rebuild it, approaching it from a different angle. There are always little things like that happen when you’re building a business and I think it’s important to keep sticking with it. We’re all in it for the long game and thinking bigger picture makes a massive difference in your outlook in both business and daily life.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

I’d say Jessica Alba. I’ve always believed in building e-commerce companies around specialty items; I believe in that personal attachment that you don’t get from companies like Amazon. Jessica started The Honest Company to build a community around healthy and clean products. I’d love to talk with her about thinking outside of the box and how she scaled up the business to the level that they’ve reached. I also think she might like our plant-based movement!