#030: Growing a multi-million dollar business from nothing - Nathan Chan from Foundr

By Jordan Michaelides
September 06, 2017

Nathan Chan 1

Image:  Nathan Chan

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Nathan Chan ( @nathanhchan ) is the CEO & Publisher of Foundr Magazine. Nathan is the ultimate poster boy for learning how to bootstrap and grind in the business world, going from no experience, and a passion for marketing, to running a multi-million dollar business in no small feat.


When I first created my LinkedIn account, Nathan added me not too long afterwards, and that was my first introduction to Foundr. I didn’t pay attention at first, and sort of breezed through what he was doing with the magazine. But when I noticed that he was not only alive and kicking, but flourishing across social media two years later, I sat up and had a read of his content.


Nathan’s secret weapon, one that he probably didn’t even realise he had, was that he simply focused on one marketing channel at a time, and perfected it. First it was the App Store, then it was podcasting, soon came Instagram, and in future, what ever channel fits his goals.


What I find valuable about Nathan’s journey, is that he reminds me of myself. I never had amazing grades in high school, but I was incredibly passionate about learning and improving as an individual - something that was allowed to flourish in real life. Nathan had similar frustrations in wanting to be a world class marketer, but no one would give him the opportunity, and so he created his own. It’s always nice finding people similar to yourself, who have the tenacity and effort to give it a go.


What I want you to learn from this talk is not that big names like Arianna Huffington and Richard Branson are the keys to success of your business - but sharp focus and refinement of one project at a time. You, like many entrepreneurs (myself included) are scatter gunning your efforts. Nathan is the exemplar of the point that you don’t require insane amounts of funding for every type of business, you just need hard and smart work, with absolute focus.


This is an incredibly inspiring interview with a wide array of stories that I’m sure you’ll enjoy. In particular I think you’ll enjoy our points on:


  • The history of Foundr Magazine

  • Meeting Arianna Huffington and Jo Horgan

  • How the podcast added further value to his product

  • Going from a publisher to an educator

  • Good design lending itself to great branding

  • Outsourcing talent and finding staff

  • Invaluable support from his old boss

  • The flywheel in his business

  • What would he do in our position at Neuralle?

  • What he’s most proud of


Enjoy the episode, 
Jordan & Lauren





Show notes

  • The history of Foundr Magazine {08:20}

  • On meeting Arianna Huffington and Jo Horgan {10:03}

  • Lessons learnt from his parents and mentors {17:10}

  • How he manages the downside of a podcast {21:51}

  • How the podcast added further value to his product {26:55}

  • Going from a publisher to an educator {35:12}

  • Good design lending itself to great branding {42:07}

  • Outsourcing talent and finding staff {49:14}

  • Invaluable support from his old boss {54:23}

  • The flywheel in his business {01:01:55}

  • What would he do in our position at Neuralle? {01:04:42}

  • Morning rituals or habits {01:13:40}

  • Day-to-day schedules {01:14:39}

  • Go-to TV series’ {01:15:53}

  • What he’s most proud of {01:17:22}

  • If he could have a billboard anywhere {01:19:51}

  • A book he’d gift someone {01:20:45}

  • If he were to do a TED talk {01:21:48}

  • Who or what he thinks of with the word ‘success’ {01:23:31}

  • Foundr’s latest {01:24:15}


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