Written by Jennifer Lawhead
When you first meet Justin Foster, expect to be challenged intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. It doesn’t matter if you’re the Lyft driver shuttling him to the airport, the friendly Southwest flight attendant or the CEO he’s traveling across the country to meet. Justin’s magic comes from one-to-one conversations when he bypasses the all-too-standard small talk and cuts straight to the soul.
However, if you ask him, all he is doing is putting his gifts and talents into practice in the most impactful way possible.
“My mission is to reflect back to everyone I meet their value,” Justin says. This mission is largely fueled by his root belief: WHEN YOU SHOW SOMEONE THEIR SOUL, YOU SET THEM FREE.
In order for Justin to be a mirror for clients, strangers and everyone in between, he had to discover his own soul through overcoming hardships, struggles and self-doubt.
As a child, Justin’s sharp wit and high I.Q. made him a challenge for just about every schoolteacher he encountered. At home on the ranch, he learned to be a survivor while overcoming a tumultuous family life, financial struggles and the lack of a role model (other than his granddad, Justin’s middle namesake). Married to Lynna at a young age, and later becoming a young father to two Logan and Caden, transformed Justin from a survivalist into a warrior. He spent his twenties and thirties straining, wrangling, grinding, making ends meet and ultimately providing for his family, being the father figure role model he always wished for himself.
Justin’s rare mix of street and book smarts paid the bills. As a naturally born leader with an innate talent of understanding others, Justin easily gravitated toward sales positions where he thrived in telling others what he knew they wanted to hear. Realizing he could use his influence for so much more, Justin began brand strategy work but in a way no one else was doing it. He wanted to start with the leader’s beliefs and heart, and use their soul and spirit as the foundational point for branding.
A few years into his brand strategist work, Justin was forced to look inward at himself when his mentor and good friend, Ron Price, sat him down in a Courtyard Marriott lobby and explained how Justin needed to discover his own self-worth. The conversation was a tipping point to a decade of steady transformation: from solo-preneuer to partnership, from loyal church-goer to free spirit, from mental breakdown to stronger-than-before, and from not loving enough to loving more than ever.
Today, Justin is the co-founder of Root + River, which believes every great brand is a spiritual experience. Together with his business partner Emily Soccorsy, Root + River has become the rebel child of the branding world, helping Fortune 500 leaders, defiantly driven marketers, small business owners and everyone in between, practice a new modern way of branding. Justin is most comfortable on a stage, where he commands a room with his pithy wisdom, wisecrack jokes and no-fluff style to challenge everyone to look inward. The course of history can be changed, he says, with a single well-delivered speech.
When he’s not co-leading Root + River or keynoting, Justin is an artist. His creativity manifests in many forms, including writing and sharing his signature #musings, mentoring, songwriting, blogging on Medium and LinkedIn and any other medium that allows him to share his heart unapologetically and freely with the world.
About.Me page: https://about.me/fosterthinking