German Garcia-Fresco, PhD – Founder & President, Xtreme Park Adventures

Photograph by Daniela Blason

Dr. German Garcia-Fresco is the director of the Adaptive Neuroscience Research Institute (ANRI) and the chief scientific officer of Aretanium. He is also the author of the book Train Your Brain For Success. He obtained his PhD in molecular neurobiology at the University of North Carolina. He has received numerous awards including the President’s Award for excellence in genetics and biochemistry. His research has led to advances in the field of neurobiology, contributing to mechanisms involved in neurodegenerative diseases. His research has been featured in top scientific journals as well as the New York Times and several news channels around the world. German is also a certified nutritionist and brain health coach. He has a passion for learning and has been trained and perfected in areas of neuromarketing, persuasion, and cognitive decision making.

Asides from his scientific interests, he is an avid speaker and a successful entrepreneur. He has opened and successfully operates a variety of different multi-million dollar companies, including his most recent venture developing brain health products for consumers. Over the last few years, he has been focused on the behavioral aspects of brain functioning specifically decision-making, emotional control, and creative enhancement. He is currently trying to develop techniques to increase neuronal performance and developing educational brain programs for children and adults. Dr. Fresco has been featured in several popular channels like MSNBC, Inc. 5000, and most recently, Forbes Magazine.

How did the concept for Xtreme Park Adventures come about?
I was an avid paintball player. I really liked playing and competing and it got to the point where I wanted my own place to play paintball so I rented a piece of land and started a paintball field to play with friends. Then, it just turned into a multi-million dollar amusement park! But it basically started as a passion.

How was the first year in business?
My first year I didn’t really care. My first month in business I made $350, but the second month I made $5,000. It was a very easy year to be honest, and lots of fun.

What was your marketing strategy?
I didn’t really have one at the time since I wanted to do it for fun. You can say word of mouth at that time.

How fast did the company grow during the first few years?
Well, pretty fast to be honest. It went from $350 the first month to $83,000 that first year. Then, on our second year, we made about $200,000 and just kept really scaling every year for the last 10 years. We have grown around 1,500% in first 8 years.

How do you define success?
Good question. I believe success is in the eye of the beholder. I believe everyone defines success differently. Some people believe making a million dollars is success, others getting a degree, and others like my mom define success based on the success of her children! So, there is no right or wrong answer, and I also believe it can change over time. As long as you feel you are getting there, and you feel you are being successful, then you are.

What is the key to success?
I will give you ONE key to success which most people wont give you: having a proper-working brain. This is why I wrote the book, Train Your Brain For Success. You can never be successful if you do not take control of your brain. The decisions you make on a daily basis dictate your success and that is dictated by your best friend: your brain.

What is the greatest lesson you’ve ever learned?
Many lessons, really, like do not be too naive because life is not as easy as a YouTube video selling you success makes it sound. If it was, then we would all be rich and famous, and again, back to the brain, I’ve learned that without proper care of your brain you can’t get anywhere.

What are some quotes that you live by?
None really. I am not a quote type guy. except perhaps “Never never never give up.”

What are some of your favorite books?
Too many. I own hundreds of books, and read all the time, but to mention a few: Think and Grow Rich (a classic), Brain Rules, Mindset, and my book of course!

Tell me about one of the toughest days you’ve had as an entrepreneur.
I guess the toughest part is that it never stops. The second thing for me is that acquiring customers/leads is the single most difficult thing. Harder than getting funding, starting a company, running it, etc. Getting the people is not as easy as it sounds and it can drain your bank account trying to get them.

When faced with adversity, what pushes you to keep moving forward?
Never never never give up. I am pretty positive and I am pretty good at realizing when to quit on a dead project. I do not get discouraged. I own several companies in different areas and it keeps me relaxed knowing that it is almost impossible for all to fail at the same time.

What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs?
READ READ READ from verified sources. Learning is a key factor in success and decision-making. Don’t get too frustrated. Most people fail so you are bound to fail. Just keep trying. Eventually, time is in your favor.