Founder Owner on Burnout, Recovery, Priorities

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Founder Owner on Burnout, Recovery, Priorities
16 Oct 2021
8 min read


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Nathan Chan possessed everything. His firm, Foundr, mixes media and entrepreneurship training, and it has been a huge success for him. He has a lot of contacts with world-famous business people. There was a burnout at the time. #ThinkWithNiche

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To my astonishment, he told me that he had burnt out early this year for the first time in his career. It did not sit well with us. Anxiety was all-encompassing. I was having a bad day. As it turned out, I'd just exhausted myself." After becoming a dedicated company owner, he altered his goals and mindset. He informed me about his experiences, aspirations, and more during our recent conversation, and I learnt a lot from him. The entire audio interview is included below. This transcript has been edited for length and clarity. In reality, you are the Foundr's inventor, according to Eric Bandholz. Nathan Chan Yes. We want to make entrepreneurial education more accessible to everybody. It is accomplished in two ways. In addition, there is a comprehensive online course on how to start and grow your own business. The instructors are persons who have gone through the process themselves. You may learn more about us by visiting our website or following us on social media to stay up to speed on what we're up to. It's a platform that, in the future, we believe will help tens of millions of entrepreneurs. When we first started in 2013, we had a print magazine. Currently, only digital versions are available.

The online school and everything else we're doing on there was born two years into the journey. We provide premium material for a charge in addition to free stuff. Bandholz: You've interviewed Richard Branson and other well-known personalities. When and how do you get your hands on them? Ray Dalio, the founder of a hedge fund, recently visited us, Chan. Joe Gebbia, the creator of Airbnb, was present. It is critical to interview people who are short on time. We're attempting to determine what they've learnt and experienced. How did I get Richard Branson's backing when I launched Foundr four months ago? It all started with the release of a magazine. It's an effective tool for conveying a message while also creating authority and brand awareness. Many people who want to build their brand write a book. When it comes to authority, a magazine takes things to the next level. It's unusual to see 12 front covers in a year.

There is a limited supply of precious materials. In the end, it all comes down to finding people who want to receive press. When Gary V releases a book, he wants people to notice it. Bandholz: Do you do in-person interviews? My preference is to see videos in person, even if they are on YouTube. In any case, an in-person interview outperforms a Zoom video in terms of retention. When you meet someone in person, you have a greater influence. Then there are the numbers. I'm the one who hosts the interviews. I am currently based in Melbourne, Australia. Before Covid and I travelled back and forth every three to four months, we had an office in New York. However, it is proving difficult. However, following Covid, it will be all about face-to-face interviews. Bandholz: You have a lot on your plate as a busy man. We've been trying to set up a time for this conversation for months. I'm indeed quite busy right now. I'm working hard to improve my intensity. This year was the first time I'd ever felt burned out. Nothing went as planned.

You might label it depression, but that isn't always the case. Anxiety was all-encompassing. I was having a bad day. I realised I had drained myself. I didn't take any vacation time. I made some modifications in an attempt to improve things. I scaled up my self-care regimen. To begin, you should obtain more sleep. It took around three months to recover. Before this week, I was in a good mood. My nighttime awakenings have resumed. It is unhealthy to be preoccupied with work all of the time. It is, however, not from this podcast. What a great time! Talk about your recovery. Chan: I started feeling burned out in February. I did ten things to become well. After a while, I began going to bed earlier and sleeping for eight hours every night. It's something I'm still doing today. When I get up in the morning, I spend 10 minutes meditating.

Then I started having massages more frequently and visiting my therapist on a more regular basis. As a result, I started getting acupuncture, using Chinese medications, and using float tanks. I was able to relax and wind down at this period since I wasn't worried about work. I also spent more time with my friends and family than I had previously. Last but not least, I paused frequently. Instead of sitting in this chair for 10 or 12 hours straight, I take regular breaks. For example, while I'm outside, I'll go for a stroll. After performing those ten things, it took me around three months to feel better than ever. In recent months, my development has stalled. I'm a big rower. So there you have it. It does, however, necessitate that I rise at 4:45 a.m. For many businesses, it appears that striking a balance is the most difficult challenge. A magazine's cover features an entrepreneur. They are, however, still married. What is their degree of stress? How are things going for them? Furthermore, it has never been revealed. We only have one life. We might as well take it all in and enjoy ourselves.

Chan: I agree. Winning, doing more, and being more can quickly become obsessions. Lamborghinis, on the other hand, do not pique my curiosity. Making a difference, having fun, and assisting people are all essential to me. Purchasing the next big thing isn't even the objective. The design is my favourite aspect of the project. It's a voracious appetite. We were making approximately $3 million in sales when Beardbrand was in its third year. It's not like we were robbing the firm. We were under a lot of pressure to do well because of our growth-at-all-costs strategy. However, the company had reached a standstill. Then we took a step back. We discovered a $3 million company with a high-profit margin. As a consequence, we were able to travel while still providing for our families. 'What are we up to?' we inquired. Why aren't we having a good time? To put it another way, "we did it!" Chan: Yes. It's similar to the diminishing returns of a cost. There is always room for advancement. We can continue as a consequence of these considerations. In an interview with Reddit co-founder Steve Huffman. I complimented you on having one of the most popular websites on the planet. Is there ever a cap? "I've made it!" they exclaim.

He observed that there is never enough. There is always more work to be done. That's what Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia told me once. It's easy to lose sight of what's vital at times. Our health always comes first. The physical well-being of a person is critical. My enthusiasm for Foundr's work is contagious. My life has gotten so much more joyful since then. You might, however, overdo it. Bandholz: You're now bringing in some high-level leadership, which is a departure from the norm. Describe how to find and employ exceptional talent. Chan: You must consider where you are on your journey. You can't afford to recruit seasoned executives if you're just getting started. In any event, they are not the type of people you want in your organisation. At that stage, you'll need all-rounders and maybe even young people to assist with coaching.

However, teams — customer service, marketing, operations, and product development, to mention a few – will be formed shortly. A strong leader who has done it before is required. Founder employs over 55 people across many teams. Four or five senior executives should lead each team. A lot of layers aren't required. We'd like to hire a chief revenue officer, for example. Our advertising head will have a media buyer as one of his or her direct reports.

The first stage is to have a clear vision of what success looks like. When we meet with potential prospects, our first inquiry is, "Can this individual execute the plan?" These are not the people we require. They are in the top 1% in terms of talent. We will have no choice except to recruit them from an established firm. We pay a recruiter a percentage of the salary to accomplish this. Essentially, it is the outcome of a wise hiring decision. "Bandholz: How can fans and supporters contact you?" Chan: Take a look at Please let us know how we can help. You may find me on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, among other places.