Doing Business with Your Heart, Not Your Head
With Mike Gardon
Mike Gardon was a hardworking type-A professional trader and entrepreneur. But he found real fulfillment when he stopped making decisions with his head and began making them with his heart.
Now, he’s joining us for a frank conversation on the power of teaching our kids entrepreneurship, the importance of work-life balance, and how to live a life you’re proud of.
Mike Gardon is the founder of multiple successful businesses, an investor, a Digital Media Executive, and most importantly – a husband and father. He is currently the CEO of Rejoin Media, a holding company for digital brands and businesses. He is also the Executive Editor and Host of the acclaimed Careercloud Radio podcast. Mike is an advocate for remote work and intentional work-life integration. He runs his teams remotely from the beautiful (and affordable!) Midwest, where he resides with his wife and three young boys.
You can read Mike’s writing and media mentions on investing, startups, life and work across the internet on these sites: The Simple Dollar, Reviews.com, The Huffington Post, Forbes, Business Insider, Yahoo News, GoBankingRates, Ask Men, Cosmopolitan, Discover Financial, The Penny Hoarder and Good Financial Cents.
Design your dream life
Things seemed like they were progressing in Mike’s life. He was a young futures trader in Chicago taking risks and learning a lot. But he describes his time in trading as mediocre – because his heart wasn’t in it.
When he read The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin, he had a powerful realization that sometimes you have to take steps backward in order to propel yourself forward. Abandoning his expectations for a linear career path, Mike quit his trading job the very next day and got his MBA, beginning a career in content marketing. He eventually founded ReJoin Media to grow digital brands in a conscious and thoughtful way. He also hosts the Careercloud podcast, created to help listeners design the dream life and career of their choosing.
Early in his career Mike looked around him and didn’t feel aligned with the expectations of corporate America. Rigid and unforgiving, these positions often demanded a workaholic attitude and a neglect of the day-to-day activities of family life. He decided to envision a life he could be proud of and tailor his career to fit his personal goals. More and more entrepreneurs are choosing their career steps to complement an integration with work and life – and this trend is not going anywhere! Mike Gardon built multiple successful businesses around the importance of being present for his wife and his three sons.
The best ideas are inspired
In addition to his work in digital marketing and investing, Mike Gardon also founded Quotebook, a keepsake journal created out of a desire to preserve his own family’s memories.
Early in his marriage to his wife Stephanie, Mike realized the importance of showing up. Stephanie attended Medical School and did her Residency while Mike’s career was taking off – leaving them exhausted and disconnected. They were collapsed on the couch after a long day when Stephanie blurted out something funny about the cheese balls they were snacking on. After Mike rushed to write it down, he conceived of the idea to write down the moments that matter.
Now parents of three young boys, Mike and Dr. Stephanie Gardon write down the hilarious things their sons say, reading them aloud at bedtime. It helps them bond over the humor of everyday life. The boys even learn the power of entrepreneurship through helping Mike fulfill orders for Quotebook – mastering lessons about money, marketing, customer service and follow-through. The Gardons also donate part of the proceeds of Quotebook to fight the opioid crisis, giving opportunities for essential and life-saving services to those who need them.
The Quotebook journal is tailor-made to help other families remain close even when life gets rushed. When discussing Quotebook, Mike Gardon reminds us that the best business ideas connect us to our humanity!
Everything Mike does, he does with heart. After listening to this episode, you’ll be inspired to design a life you’re proud of!
“I’m big on figuring out what type of life you want, and then figuring out how to build that.”
“I say ‘work life’, instead of ‘career’, because I think our work and our lives are really integrated.”
“I had to find what I didn’t want, and build a company that gave us flexibility and ease to be parents, husbands and wives, instead of our goal being to grow-grow-grow all the time.”
“I always have this battle between being aspirational and shooting for the moon, and finding balance. At the end of the day, what our people are after is flexibility and opportunity. If I can provide that, I’m pretty happy!”
“I’ve stopped being hyper-rational and thinking about the numbers. This doesn’t come naturally to me; I’ve worked with a coach on it. As I’ve led with the feeling, it’s led me in a good direction.”
“Quotebook was born out of something deeply personal. Before my wife and I were married, I was trading and she was in medical school. We came home and we were so tired. We could just collapse on the couch and inevitably someone would say something funny. Now, we read these funny things and get transported back to that moment. Now we have kids, three young boys, and they say funny things. We even read from it at bedtime.”
“I used Quotebook to teach my kids about entrepreneurship. You have to risk something, talk to people, get feedback and understand how people will use it. It’s been this cool mentorship path with my kids.”
“The funny moments are what we look back on and remember.”
“I don’t want [my kids] to think about how to be a success. I want them to think about, ‘how can I enjoy my life?’”
“Big decisions like what to do with your life – I don’t think you can just think your way through that.”
Links mentioned in this episode:
Visit Mike Gardon’s personal website at https://www.michaelgardon.com
Listen to Mike as he hosts the Careercloud radio podcast on their website: https://www.careercloud.com/careercloud-radio
Contact ReJoin Media at https://www.rejoinmedia.com/
Learn more about the Quotebook journal on the website: https://quotebookjournal.com/
Connect with Mike Gardon on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelgardon/
Connect with The Business of You
Visit the Business of You on the web
Like The brandiD on Facebook
Follow The brandiD on LinkedIn
Join us on Instagram
Learn more about Branding on The brandiD Blog
Ready to uncover your personal brand?
Subscribe to get a FREE copy of “Build Your Brand: The Distinctive Guide to Soul-Based Marketing”
"*" indicates required fields