A LIFE OF PASSIONS:
FORM FOLLOWS PHILOSOPHY:
Second, his experience working one-on-one with patients led to the company’s direct sales model. He knew personal conversations were the best way to explain the benefits of preventive health. Dr. Shaklee said, “We’ll teach some and they’ll teach others to teach others to teach others.” So the Shaklee men did, talking to people up and down California, using a Plymouth station wagon as their distribution center. They talked, people listened and told others. Even without formal “salespeople” the message spread. The father-and-sons team created a grassroots movement hundreds of thousands strong and a company that today is worth $500 million.
Dr. Shaklee’s innovations didn’t end with nutrition. He practiced “Living in Harmony with Nature®” in home care, inventing a biodegradable cleaner decades before environmental safety was a concern. He pioneered new discoveries in nutrition that went mainstream years later. He wouldn’t have thought much about contemporary labels like eco-chic, organic or self-actualization, but he was a pioneer in all of them. Fifty years later, his company has led hundreds of thousands to better, healthier lives—and helped all of us live in a better world.
Forrest was born November 1884 and diagnosed with tuberculosis. This boy was thought too weak to survive to adulthood. He vowed to live life to the fullest. From a young age, he accepted nature as his physician. He lived in harmony with nature and believed, “She has never let me down. When nature speaks, I listen.” His family moved to the country in hopes that the clean air and fresh food would prolong Forrest’s life. He was too sickly to help with the farm chores so he spent much of his time watching and contemplating nature. He read, studied, and developed an insight about life. “We too, have an instinct like the migrating birds, telling us what to do. Sometimes forcing us to do things we don’t want to do. But if we listen to nature, we would get along a lot better in this world.”
He studied the bible and verbalized biblical phrases “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” As a child growing up at the turn of the century, his home life was a great foundation of who he was to become. He knew the names of all the spices and herbs his mother used. They used a lot of them. He said “Nature can give you everything you want as long as you read the signs.” His mother was very grateful to know her grandmother’s recipes for using herbs and spices. She believed the medicinal qualities from these plants kept her family healthy and said so.
Forrest was open to all experiences and became a boxer, wrestler, horseman, and ball player. His father encouraged this young man’s physical abilities and his mother encouraged his inquisitive nature. Forrest later became very interested in politics and studied the public speakers of his day. The Chautauqua Circuit came to town. This was when people met in a community area and speakers talked about the issues of the day. This was a way to educate and inspire people in rural towns. The lectures were informative and entertaining. Young Forrest was especially in awe with William Jennings Bryan. Forrest admired his charisma, speaking ability, and his courage to speak his mind so openly. Forest learned more from Bryan, about public speaking, than anyone else.
Mcfadden owner of the McFadden Institute of Physical Culture influence him as well. Forrest learned that health could be maintained with proper diet and lots of exercise. After working for McFadden, Forrest didn’t agree with some of the institute’s business practices. He referred to the bible again and vowed to live and do business by the Golden Rule. Forrest said in an interview regarding working with McFadden “He left an impression upon my life that has been very beneficial. Feed the inner part of this body and it will respond to the demand for strength and ability.”
Because of his eagerness to learn, Forrest Shaklee was invited in to the home of Dr. Clarence Lenly. Forrest also believed feeding the inner part of his soul was very important. He witnessed some of the great thinkers in action, debating intellectual subjects. Clarence Darrell was a renowned attorney and Albert Hubbard was a world famous philosopher. Shaklee found Hubbard to be a wonderful man, deep thinker, and a fair critic. “Think it out Shak, think it out,” Hubbard would say.
Another influence in Shaklee’s life was a professor, B.J. Palmer, while studying at The Palmer School in Davenport, Iowa. Palmer called nature the life force and that vitality comes from the innate strengths within us. Forrest became interested in Chiropractic after a general practitioner misdiagnosed his abdominal pain as appendicitis. Forrest got a 2nd opinion after the doctor said he would need immediate surgery. The Chiropractor cured him without surgery so Forrest wanted to learn more. Forrest debated Palmer over the belief that Chiropractic cures everything, although it is important part of healing many problems. Shaklee also noticed that many of Palmer’s patients were overfed and/or undernourished.
Dr. Shaklee decided to open a medical service clinic in Rockwell City. He convinced a banker to give him a loan even though he didn’t have collateral. Dr Shaklee said he had mental collateral. He will hit the bulls eye! He will achieve what he sets out to achieve! “Blessed is the straight thinker for he will hit the bulls eye.” He got the money and later wrote a book, Thoughtsmanship” He said, “This is a method used to direct the life force because what you think you look, what you think you do, and what you think you are.”He consoled his patients to do the same and to maintain a positive attitude. He said, “The mind is like a wheel barrow. It goes where you push it. You should be wary of those who try to push your mind around. Be careful of negative thinking, it upsets the body balance. Positive thought bring happiness and contentment. Your thoughts can help you get what you go after.”
Dr. Shaklee said, “If you give of yourself, without question, help comes from the most unexpected places.”
His research started with finding a way to get all the values of a square meal in one tablet. He created vitalized minerals. His sons worked by his side.
In those days people were unaware of the dangers of the X-ray machines. Dr. Shaklee used these on a regular basis and developed radiation poisoning. He was told he would lose his arm and die later. He didn’t accept this and pursued another way. It took 3 years and he survived with his arm intact.
Another blow was his laboratory burned down. His research of a lifetime; everything was gone. Again, he relied on his mind. Everything he needed was in his mind to rebuild or recreate his research. This time, though he build a house trailer type vehicle that made the news. He also developed the rubber formula used for the tires. After moving his family to Florida, he encountered Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Harvey Firestone. Dr. Shaklee would say about them, If those three men, the brains of our industrial world, could forget their minor troubles of business and act and play together like 3 kids, I should let down for a while, and not take too much strain. My advice to everybody, don’t take yourself so seriously.” This attitude helped him get through losing his wife in a car accident (his boys were about 7 and 12 years old), and the stock market crash.
Dr. Shaklee moved to California and he and his sons, Forrest Jr. and Lee, made a business plan based on the “Thoughtmanship”. All products he developed are “In harmony with Nature”. Instead of selling Shaklee, they said, let us share the dream of Thoughtmanship and anyone can take this dream and make it their own. One of the first, most successful, and longest running MLM companies was born.
Dr. Shaklee started building this business in 1956 at the age of 62 when most people are retiring. He remarried in 1957.
What credentials did he collect along the way?
He earned a Doctor of Divinity. He received his Doctor of Chiropractic from Palmer School of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa in 1915 and later received a Philosopher of Chiropractic degree (1932) and a doctor of Naturopathy diploma (1933). In 1937 he was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award by Standard Chiropractic College in San Jose, CA. In 1968 Dr. Shaklee received the Special Recognition Award from the California Secretary of State.
After years of struggle and financial and personal tragedies Dr. Shaklee persevered until his death on December 15, 1985. He overcame three life threatening health conditions, the untimely death of his 1st wife, a fire, the stock market crash, and many other challenges. After all of this, he found success as a renowned philosopher, scientist, and businessman. He left a legacy to his sons and created a business now 51 years old, that has helped and still helping, so many people.
Dr. Shaklee said, “Your future will be exactly what you think to make it.” and “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
“Age is not a question of years.