Introduce your business and tell us your story: What got you started?

What got us started? This is a bit of a funny story as it was born out of the need for me to get a job! At uni I did a Degree in Information Systems, then went on to get a Marketing Degree. It seemed like a good idea at the time however it was insanely hard to find a job. Everyone wanted to see industry experience.

I decided I needed to try something new while I got my foot in the door. I found some software that helped you create digital magazines and launched shortly after. On day 1, we got two subscribers. A total of $5.50. This doesn’t sound like much, but it meant people were keen to spend their cold hard cash on the magazine. This is the first step to knowing you’re onto something!

Since this time, Foundr Magazine has grown to be one of the largest digital resources for self-made entrepreneurs, boasting a community of over 250,000 subscribers and over 1 million podcast listeners from over 170 countries around the world. A key part of this offering has been our Online Courses for Entrepreneurs.

What’s been incredible about this journey is I’ve been able to meet with some of the most brilliant business leaders and authors in the world. Some of my favourites include Sir Richard Branson, Tony Robbins, Tim Ferris, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Arianna Huffington.

What made you decide to explore OKR?

We’ve gone through a huge amount of growth over recent years and I’ve been incredibly proud of what my team has achieved. Talking to entrepreneurs we all hit the same problem. The scale of the business becomes the thing that slows it down and causes distraction.

In the early days, we’re all hustling and moving towards the same goals, but eventually, priorities become blurry and everyone is pulling in different directions. A really common way these businesses got over this hurdle was by using OKR. In particular, Reid Hoffman told me about their use at Linkedin. Insanely powerful stuff for focus, alignment and empowerment!

All this coupled with a heap of interest from everyone in the team meant we had to give it a crack!

What was your experience like with our OKR Quickstart?

Having heard so much about it, I knew it would be easier to find someone to help us on the journey. We didn’t want to second guess everything. We spoke to a few people, and the team at OKR Quickstart were real standouts. As in, there was no comparison. This is clearly their entire focus which means the OKR Quickstart program has a clear structure and change management framework to make OKR a success.

We’re a fun-loving and energetic bunch and it was amazing to have a partner who could match this level of energy. All of the Bootcamp sessions and OKR Workshops were a load of fun and kept the team super engaged. 

If you’re looking to embed OKR or you’re doing OKR and not getting the value you’d expect, you’d be silly to work with anyone else. This is an investment that drives more value than you can imagine. For us, it’s resulted in countless successful launches and happy customers.

In the end, I think we’re doing OKR better than the other founders who initially told me about the framework! Just don't tell them that!

What advice would you give to executives looking to embed OKR?

Involve the teams as much as possible. As Tim always says, OKR is a team sport. Understand their priorities throughout the quarter and share the draft OKR company with them early. This gives you plenty of time to refine it and let them align with it.

Finally, one other lesson we had was how hard it is to prioritise one OKR, but also the insane value such focus brings. If you’re embarking on this journey, Tim will encourage you to focus on one OKR or two at most. Following this advice will do you wonders!

Nathan Chan

CEO of Foundr 

Achieve the incredible.

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