Aubrey Marcus | An Optimized Life (Episode 665)

Aubrey Marcus (@AubreyMarcus) is a multisport athlete, founder and CEO of holistic health and fitness powerhouse Onnit, and author of the upcoming Own the Day, Own Your Life: Optimized Practices for Waking, Working, Learning, Eating, Training, Playing, Sleeping, and Sex.

The Cheat Sheet:

  • How do you find someone who’s a good fit for your company or team?
  • What should be expected of a new recruit at entry level, and what can he or she learn on the job?
  • Why should you always strive to hire people who are better than you?
  • Dealing with patent trolls, haters, and other predators.
  • Why ROI isn’t always the obvious bottom line.
  • And so much more…


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Onnit founder and CEO Aubrey Marcus joins us to talk about the decisions large and small that go into running a multimillion dollar company — from hiring people who work well together as a team to dealing with haters to operating with integrity to understanding that ROI isn’t always what it appears at first glance.

Also be on the lookout for Aubrey’s upcoming book Own the Day, Own Your Life: Optimized Practices for Waking, Working, Learning, Eating, Training, Playing, Sleeping, and Sex. Listen, learn, and enjoy!

Please Scroll down for Full Show Notes and Featured Resources!

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More About This Show

When he founded holistic health company Onnit in 2007, Aubrey Marcus had no way of knowing it would take off to become a multimillion dollar business. In truth, he really went into it creating a product for himself. As an athlete whose family was in the industry, he grew up understanding the benefit of dietary supplements on performance; he also understood how their use could be improved.

“I wanted something really simple,” says Aubrey. “Instead of 10 bottles of something for the brain, I wanted one bottle that encompassed everything. So I really felt like there was a need and I was going to be the number one customer. And I think that’s a good place to start, rather than looking out and saying, ‘I think I could build this widget. I would never use it but I think it would be good.'”

Being personally invested in the success of the product itself for his own use, it was easier to ignore the naysayers who considered the supplement business oversaturated at this point in the game. As luck would have it, he wasn’t the only one interested in supplements better than what the market was currently delivering.

Now seven years later, Aubrey has learned more about the business than just the supplemental side of things. He takes pride in knowing something about every aspect of what goes on at his company — with an attitude of personal responsibility not unlike Jocko Willink’s concept of extreme ownership.

“You can’t shrug responsibility as a leader,” says Aubrey. “What happened in customer service? Okay, it’s my fault. And that’s what your team will respect you for and what the people will respect you for is because, ultimately you do take that responsibility, just like you take the credit.”

Listen to this episode of The Art of Charm in its entirety to learn more about how Aubrey hires people he thinks will be a good fit for his team, what’s expected of a new recruit at entry level versus what they can learn on the job, how a good CEO grooms someone to eventually replace him or her, how Aubrey dealt with an Internet security breach transparently and publicly rather than trying to sweep it under the rug, the pros and cons of running a health-related business under the scrutiny of ambulance-chasing lawyers who constantly root for the company’s failure, what we gain by learning to take negative criticism in stride, ideas that seem amazing at first pass but don’t quite work out, how to get honest feedback and discourage people on your team from becoming “yes” men, the benefits of symbolic logic, keeping company turnover rates low with the power of recognition, why ROI isn’t always the bottom line, and lots more.


If you enjoyed this session with Aubrey Marcus, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at Twitter:

Click here to thank Aubrey Marcus at Twitter!

Click here to let Jordan know about your number one takeaway from this episode!

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Jordan Harbinger - author of 952 posts on The Art of Charm

Jordan Harbinger has spent several years abroad in Europe and the developing world, including South America, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East, and speaks several languages. He has also worked for various governments and NGOs overseas, traveled through war zones, and been kidnapped -- twice. He’ll tell you the only reason he’s still alive and kicking is because of his ability to talk his way into (and out of) just about any type of situation. Here at The Art of Charm, Jordan shares that experience, and the system borne as a result, with students and clients.


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