Elbert, more affectionately known simply as “LB” is an accomplished Ambulatory Care Pharmacist, husband and world traveler – not necessarily in that order.
Though totally committed to his “day job,” LB is equally committed to his love of animals and his need to share his passion with everyone who will listen. He is the proud parent of a blue tongue skink, crested gecko, scorpion, and two rats but he also has made friends with hundreds of animals all over the world from Australia to Thailand. He has encountered all types of animals, but his favorite experience involved caring for rehabilitating sea turtles during his honeymoon in French Polynesia!
You're a trained pharmacist by trade, so what inspired you to live the wildlife? Was it an experience as a child?
Great question! The short answer is Steve Irwin, The Crocodile Hunter! I was in elementary school and my parents promised me cable TV if I hit a home run in my next baseball game. So, that’s what I did! After getting cable, I came across Animal Planet, and subsequently The Crocodile Hunter. From the very first episode I was hooked, not only on the show, but on the natural world, wildlife, and his enthusiasm for animals! That passion has never left me since!
Making the decision to change direction in life and pursue your passion can be pretty daunting for most people. When you decided you wanted to pursue your dreams, what was the first step you took?
There were a few steps I had to take simultaneously. When I decided to start this journey in January 2018 I was just married a month prior. My actions and choices were no longer exclusively my own. So I needed my wife’s input and help to devise a sustainable plan. We had several great conversations that gave me the confidence to, well, “go for it!” I also knew I needed to get my name out there and that Instagram was an invaluable tool to do so. Therefore, I started a page, posted consistently, and slowly but surely am building a following. And finally, I set some first year goals. For example, I needed a logo and I wanted to start a YouTube channel.
To be sure, entrepreneurial success requires a lot of time, dedication and flexibility to deal with the bumps in the road. Since you've started this process what has been your biggest challenge? Another awesome question! Balance. I’m still practicing full time as a pharmacist, married, and heavily involved in Church, all while pursuing my passion. It’s a lot to juggle at times haha! But, in anything I do, my faith and my family come first. I view life through this lense. So I try to plan as much as possible for LB the Adventurer on our schedule ahead of time. If any unplanned opportunities arise, it just takes some communication, compromise, and rearrangement and things seem to work out just fine!
Jumping out there for yourself and planning ahead sets a person up for some big wins. Tell us a little bit about your biggest accomplishment.
I’ve always wanted to be a wildlife television host and to share my passion with a large audience! I got a taste of that recently when I was able to share some reptiles LIVE on a local morning show called “Good Day Sacramento” for National Reptile Awareness Day! I’ve actually been on the show a few times before for pharmacy related events. But, this was the first time I shared animals with such a large audience. It was an awesome learning experience! Television is very spontaneous and fast pace. Additionally, the animals can be very unpredictable. In fact, during one of the segments a python pooped on me! It definitely forces you to think on your toes and adapt very quickly. I’m still super pumped from the experience!
There are a lot of folks in the world who want to start living life according to what they're passionate about, just like you. What are a few tips for them that you've learned along your own journey?
I’ve learned many, many things in just this first year but I’ll highlight a few. First, consistency is powerful, especially when it comes to social media. I do my best to post almost daily and engage with my followers. This is fun for me, but also keeps people invested in my vision. Secondly, networking! I’ve met and seen so many people doing amazing things with wildlife. Networking has helped me to borrow animals for presentation, expose my content to a broader audience, and opened up the door for me to be on TV. And finally, always having a goal to shoot for. Goals keep me focused and have allowed me to achieve things beyond what I was aiming to do!
So I know you have to keep some things under wraps for your fans, but what are a few plans you have for future goals?
I hope to do some more television appearances in the near future. I also have some cool collaborations in the works for my YouTube channel! The animal enthusiast world is big and there are a lot of people doing some amazing work in it!
After folks get done reading this interview, you'll have gained plenty of new fans who are interested in hearing about the things you're doing out and about in the world. How can they keep up with your latest updates?
For the most up to date content, you can follow me on Instagram (@lbtheadventuer) and Facebook (Elbert aka LB The Adventurer). I also have several videos on YouTube and post new content every few weeks! My channel name is just LB The Adventurer. I look forward to sharing my passion with everyone!