Nathan Chan – The Founder Mindset
By Mary Maxey
October 24, 2019
In today’s episode, our guest is Nathan Chan. He is the CEO of Foundr magazine and is on a mission to create one of the largest brands that support and fuel entrepreneurs worldwide. He also loves to connect with leading entrepreneurs. He also loves to connect with leading entrepreneurs. He believes life is too short to do the work you have today. We will unravel how he made a shift happen and how we can learn from his journey.
[2:48] Why should I listen to you?
I love this question. I think I have unique experiences about what it takes to build and grow successful businesses because, for the past eight years, I have been fortunate to meet people who create life-changing products and services that shake the world. That is something I do not take for granted. The fact that I have been able to speak with millionaires and multimillionaires is enough reason for you to want to hear from me.
[4:38] Do you mind sharing how you entered this space?
I have been on many journeys. I did a lot of deep work on myself beforehand, especially personal development and growth. I read many books about masculinity, and I discovered that I needed to find my life purpose and what I am passionate about. I went back to university and studied marketing. I did some work, but I didn’t find it fulfilling. After completing my studies, I was unable to get a job. I started a magazine at one point, taking it with me to every job interview.
[9:05] What was the thing that you were most curious about?
I traveled around the world, and I dreaded going back. I dreaded going back so much; that was where I knew something had to change. I didn’t realize I wanted to start a business. Then I found this thing, I found love with it, and I realized that this is what I am meant to do, and that is the case for curiosity. For me, it is just about finding and doing what you love.
[10:39] Why are so many people living a 9 to 5 role?
I was reading an interesting statistic that states that 50% of people in North America have a side hustle, which is a sign. I think the internet has changed the game and you can create things. You can develop products and services that help somebody and also work again. The internet has enabled us to have a voice, build a community, and so on. More than ever, the internet is giving us the ability to be able to change careers if we want to, and that doesn’t mean starting a business. You can create a company with no experience whatsoever, and you can change your life with it.
[13:48] What are some things you experienced that people don’t know?
In the first year of starting, the magazine wasn’t called Foundr. It was called something else, and we were sued by one of the biggest companies in the United States. That was tough, and I can never forget one of my building mentors in those early days. My mentor asked me what I was worried about and what was the worst thing that could ever happen. It was tough at the beginning. I started to build the brand, which entails the products, great design, and ambassadors. I found out that having successful business owners share their stories in the magazines made the brand credible. That is why we have been able to interview more successful founders over time.
[19:46] What is the progress and stage of the brand right now?
I started the business with 2000-3000 USD Dollars, and even in the first 12 months, I used the power of Upwork to work with contractors to fulfill various aspects such as the design. I used to get my mum and dad to help me in their capacities for the magazines. I had a copywriter on Upwork too. I reached out to people who would like to feature in the magazine, write articles, and so on. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I continued. For the team, it happened from gaining more leverage from the content. One interview may be a podcast, blog post, article, or content. We are currently looking to build big brands and relaunch membership products. We started as a small business but have grown into an online educational company.
[25:10] What are you launching, and who is it for?
As I was developing the magazine, I read a blog post about how I grew Foundr’s Instagram followers from 0 to 10,000 in two weeks. That post went viral. People started to ask me if I could do consultations for them, which I didn’t. I just want to build something that helps a lot of people out scale. I did a course on Instagram, and the results people got were terrific. We have been able to pull together a community and launch several studies. We will be launching founder plus, which is full membership access. You get access to the former courses and one new course per month. It is ideal for a business that needs a team, knowledge, and growth. [34:08] As you look at the next stage, are there some things that you as a person must grow into before this business can take place?
Yes, I agree. Foundr wouldn’t have been where it is today if not for the people around me. I have an incredible team, and I am forever grateful to work with them daily. I think people build businesses, and one big area that I need to grow in for me is developing into a great leader. I naturally want to do many things and am moving into the CEO’s role. That is why we want to add leadership into the courses too. I must learn to be a leader, hold people accountable, and delegate things. I think I am good one-on-one, but I am not that good in group settings. This is an area in which I am working hard to grow.
[38:00] What are some of the most recent things you’ve had to adapt to?
There is one blessing in the curse of the CEO. If you ask someone to do something, they will take it seriously because of my influence. I’m learning not just the product but the product experience. We are trying to build world-class expertise.
[48:30] What promise did God make to the world when he created you?
I would say that I would be a person that cares about others and lives life to the fullest.
[8:38-8:40] Passion is triggered by curiosity.
[50:17-50:23] Whatever problem you have is being solved by somebody else, and it’s your job to find that person and learn from him.
How to connect with Nathan Chan.