This week, I was lucky enough to connect with a huge role model of mine, and total badass hustler, Nathan Chan from Foundr Magazine. I’ve been listening to his killer podcast for over a year, and I honestly thought of him as pretty untouchable. Maybe I subconsciously thought my message wouldn’t make it all the way to Australia.

It turns out Nathan is just as awesome as he seems.

He is very friendly, candid and responsive, and also has an accent that I’m sure makes a lot of ladie’s hearts melt. Nathan was gracious enough to give me an exclusive sneak peek at his highly-anticipated book, and I get goosebumps just writing about it.

It’s some of the most raw, unfiltered knowledge I’ve ever heard, and it’s delivered straight from the entrepreneurs and leaders I look up to most, like Sir Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington and and Gary Vaynerchuk.

So please enjoy my [profound] take-away thoughts after reading Foundr’s new coffee book.

Nathan Chan of Foundr

I Want You to Ask Yourself Something

Let your mind produce a natural response.

“Does listening to the guidance and insights of my role models ever get stale or boring?”

No, right?

No matter how many successful people share their insights, there always seems to be more to learn.

Personally, I never get bored of it, regardless the topic of discussion. One day I’m listening to an interview with Arianna Huffington about sleep. Another day, Arnold Schwarzenegger is telling me what it’s like to be an immigrant laying tile floors in the 80s.

But, almost every single time, there’s an “Aha!” moment for me.

I always find myself frantically tapping pause or running to my whiteboard to scribble down some snippet, whether it’s a new marketing tactic or a gripping quote.

The last one I wrote down?

“Put fear behind you, not in front of you” by John Assaraf.

It’s not that I didn’t already hold a similar belief. I may have heard this notion three times in the past.

But my mind—and I think many others—depend on outside affirmation. I already knew fear shouldn’t be an obstacle. But now and then, it’s nice to have someone else wrap it up eloquently, and gift it to me as a reminder.

These reminders, or affirmative statements are cues. Our brain works off cues. By the way, if you’re interested in this concept, I’d recommend The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg.

Cues are Catalysts for Habits

I look to podcasts like Foundr, the Tim Ferriss Show and Revisionist History for much more than the specific information they discuss. I listen for cues.

These thought leaders offer reminders to practice behaviors and habits I want to embody.

We need our role models to affirm our beliefs on a regular basis, and reinforce our behaviors, to help spur action on a continual basis.

That’s the greatest value of these informational tools. They’re something you can just pick up, read and highlight, or tap “play” on, and begin taking notes.

So What About Books?

Foundr Book 1

Call me a nerd, but I still buy physical books. In fact, I have about 50 on my bookshelf right now. I committed to reading 60 min/day (usually first thing in the morning) during November. Meanwhile, the book itself may change week to week.

I love the feel of the book and the ability to highlight along the way. I carry that book around with me all throughout the day so I never forget my commitment.

A Book of Principles, Insights and Tactics: My Sneak Peek at The Foundr Coffee Table Book

FYI: I haven’t had a chance to read the whole thing yet. It’s much-anticipated release is slated for 11/16. You can preorder it here.

  • Extremely fresh: I’ve never heard many of the interviewees’ quotables prior to this.
  • Candid: It’s written with candor, ala, “Founders… They’re creating something new that’s never been done before.” Who else does that? It’s not accountants or clerks in a store.
  • Epic contributors: Nathan does an excellent job teasing out unmistakeably-honest advice from the likes of Sir Richard Branson, Gary Vee, Robert Herjavec, Steve Blank, and more.
  • It’s relatable: It’s not just lofty ‘strategy’ stuff. Nathan is a founder, and he’s transparent, which makes it more personalized to me.
  • It’s beautiful: and very readable. They did an excellent job using visual hierarchy and layer design to make it both beautiful and easy to glance at. It has its own fun factor.
  • Friendly reminders throughout: It has little reminders throughout that help us stay inspired, practical and aggressive.

I can’t wait to hold the print version in my two paws. 

With every piece of content we digest, we should aim to take away one finding/insight that helps you understand a new concept or an existing concept with a new perspective.

arianna-huffingtonsmall

My Favorite Snippets

  • “Few people ever stop to think, ‘How did I get where I am? Why am I doing what I’m doing?’ Businesses regularly take stock, but most people fail to… I advocate people take time out. Stop. Think strategically about where you are heading and ask yourself, ‘Is that where I want to be going?'” – Matthew Michalewicz.
  • “Every three years, I like to say, the tech space eats its own young. That’s what happened to us.” – Robert Herjavec.

I’ve been listening to Foundr podcast for about a year, and regularly re-listen to episodes. So, if the rest of the book is anything like the snippet I saw, and the podcast, it’s going to be very, very popular.

Potential Areas for Improvement?

  • It could use a table of contents (this may already be in the pipeline)
  • A timeline of Foundr’s lifetime and key milestones that led up to creating this book. It would be fun to see the hard work behind the scenes. I think that often gets overlooked (in my opinion).

I’m not sure Nathan is okay with releasing the book preview openly, but if you’re interested in seeing more, just let me know and I’ll do my best! Otherwise, head here.

 Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.

Jonathan Maxim
Jonathan Maxim is an app designer, digital marketer and thought leader in the fitness and technology realms. After leaving his job at a Fortune 50 company, he merged his management experience with his passion for technology and innovation to create Apps that encourage fitness and wellness. Educated at San Diego State University first in Graphic Design and User Interface, he went on to gain his Masters of Business from SDSU as well. Currently he serves as founder and CEO of Vea Fitness, an app that rewards you for working out with monetary incentives.