IAM1617 – Startup Founder and a #1 Best-selling Author Speaks on Living Life on Cloud Nine

Podcast Interview with Jordan Gross

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”: One of the reasons I started the podcast was to have people that had contributed before on the blog to be featured on the podcast. Very similar to what Jordan did with his book and followed the idea that “success leaves clues,” we are working on too. Also, Jordan had an ambitious goal of being on 90 podcasts in 90 days and our podcast was a part of that.

Check out premium content in the CBNation Library at http://cbnation.co/library and pick up our eBook to hear some of the best lessons at http://cbnation.co/shop.

Previous Episode: https://iamceo.co/2019/09/02/iam385-startup-founder-and-a-1-best-selling-author-speaks-on-living-life-on-cloud-nine/


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Jordan Gross Teaser 0:00

In the meantime is create a coaching platform around it where I'm helping people uncover and really clear their own skies as to how they can navigate through the clouds and create certainty in their life's purpose, their sense of meaning and what makes them most fulfilled. In addition to that, I've been doing a lot of speaking, a lot of podcasting and ultimately just following my own Cloud9 Journey every single day, which is based on my interpretation of the person who I know I can become just living according to that.

Intro 0:32

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups and CEOs without listening to a long long long interview? If so you've come to the right place Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is I am CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:59

Hello, hello, hello this is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I Jordan Gross of Journey to Cloud Nine. Jordan it's awesome to have you on the show.

Jordan Gross 1:10

Hey what's up Gresham. Thank you so much for having me on I've been super excited for this one as we connected first about a little over a year ago on one of your blogs. So this is nice to to finally get back in touch and add some value to maybe a new audience, maybe the same one but do it in a podcast form which is always fun.

Gresham Harkless 1:30

Yeah absolutely that's the beauty of all this technology. We had the opportunity to feature you on the blog which is always very much so appreciated and then get the opportunity to hear you over the Airways as well too which is impressive as well.

Jordan Gross 1:43


Gresham Harkless 1:43

To kick everything off I wanted to read a little bit more about Jordan so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. Jordan is a Northwestern and Kellogg School of Management graduate, a two-time startup founder, a tedx speaker and a number one best-selling author. His upcoming book, The Journey to Cloud9 provides a new approach to the personal development world by using fictional storytelling to reveal some of life's most meaningful principles. Jordan has been asking hundreds of people around the world how they live their lives on cloud nine and he cannot wait to share this with you all. Jordan are you ready to speak to the I am CEO community?

Jordan Gross 2:19

I am more than ready. Let's do this.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 2:23

Let's do it. So to kick everything off I wanted to hear a little bit more about your background or what I call your CEO story or what led you to get started.

Jordan Gross 2:30

Yeah absolutely. So my background actually came from the opposite of a CEO. On paper I was always very much playing it safe, playing it by the book and that led me to going to college and studying economics and probably going down the finance or consulting route because I interned in those areas. I did a pretty good job of realizing that wasn't for me and then there I was my junior year college trying to figure out the big internship, what was next and I actually did something a little bit different where I decided to take on my own project for the first time and I started an Alzheimer's awareness group in honor of my grandfather's passing from Alzheimer's. So it's like it was a student-run organization where we raised funds for Alzheimer's and it was my first taste of growing something and building something from the ground up. After that I ended up my senior year not really knowing what I wanted to do next but I wanted to keep building this organization that I started and I ended up getting a master's in management studies. While I was doing that, it was called they forget we remember Alzheimer's awareness group, I was also getting heavily involved with the Chicago startup scene. I went to school in Chicago and essentially I had been helping some food delivery service companies and these companies were very small. I saw how this small team was so inspirational to me and I decided to start my own company so I was really step number two and then that actually led me down going back to more normalcy and going into a position in the corporate restaurant management world. I did that for a little bit but four months into that I said you know what this is not for me, this is not who I'm supposed to be, not what I'm supposed to be doing and that's when I quit and said let me think about the experiences I've loved and valued. It was that experience as the head of the Alzheimer's organization, it was starting my own startup company so I said I need to grow something from the ground up I need to add value to other people and I ultimately need to do some work where I am building and growing relationships, so that's when I quit. I started my first role, CEO of my first company, I wrote my first book and ultimately it's been the journey to Cloud Nine ever since then, of me really understanding who I am as a person, where I want to go and then helping other people along that same path.

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Gresham Harkless 5:10

Yeah absolutely. That's the beautiful thing, I love hearing about stories and how you have progressed into starting journey to Cloud Nine, just because I think a lot of times people think it just happens but the evolution of you and being able to tap into that first entrepreneurial venture, wanting to recapture that same excitement I imagine took you here sounds like.

Jordan Gross 5:31

That's right. That's absolutely right, yeah. I really had to do some internal evaluating and say well what experiences were the ones that were the most rewarding for me and it was always those entrepreneurial Ventures. Yeah.

Gresham Harkless 5:44

Yeah it's funny I've had a very similar route where I look back at some of the times I did when I was younger and I said that I want to kind of capture that same excitement if I can in this adult world so to speak. So I appreciate you for sharing that with us. I wanted to drill down a little bit deeper, hear a little bit more about Journey to Cloud9. Can you tell us about your books?

Jordan Gross 6:08

Yeah absolutely. The journey to Cloud9 came from a pretty chance encounter in an Uber where I was riding in New York City and I saw a boat in the river called Cloud9. I asked the Uber driver what Cloud9 meant to him and he started telling me these great stories about when his children were born and the day he got married and this childhood memory he had. The more I heard his stories the more I thought wow I feel like there are Cloud9 stories that really encapsulate who we are and the people that we want to be, and they really span our entire lives. I started asking more people and I picked up on common themes, patterns, commonalities and all of that research allowed me to understand that I had to share this with other people. The first book that I wrote was a self-help book and some of the pushback that I got was that self-help is too authoritative and we don't want to be told what to do, so I decided to make this journey to Cloud Nine book where I was uncovering these principles that I had discovered. I made it a fiction book, so this book The Journey to Cloud9 is a fictional representation of somebody's Cloud9 life and how you could live it so that book will probably not be out until January or February of 2020. What I've done in the meantime is create a coaching platform around it where I'm helping people uncover and really clear their own skies as to how they can navigate through the clouds and create certainty in their life's purpose, their sense of meaning and what makes them most fulfilled. In addition to that I've been doing a lot of speaking, a lot of podcasting and ultimately just following my own Cloud9 Journey every single day which is based on my interpretation of the person who I know I can become just living according to that.

Gresham Harkless 8:03

Nice. I definitely appreciate that and I was actually going to ask you that, so I'm glad you actually brought that up because I was going to mention that especially with storytelling, I feel like people can take in a lot more lessons especially adults sometimes. We hear things as a story rather than being told to do X ,Y and Z but you hear that a nice story we're listening, we're doing the same thing but we're just taking it in a different way it's kind of easier for people to kind of take things in so I appreciate it.

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Jordan Gross 8:30

Yeah and that's a great way to say it and I never want to tell anybody what to do. I think the greatest uncovering are when we are given advise or we are given recommendations and then we Implement for ourselves and we evaluate for ourselves whether or not that's going to be beneficial in our own lives. That's what I really wanted to do for people, is I wanted to give an opportunity to be interpretive, to be introspective, to be self-aware, uncover some key insights and then Implement into your own own life and and see how it goes because that's really what I did.

Gresham Harkless 9:06

Yeah absolutely. That sounds just like you touched on being in the back seat of that Uber driver and getting that different perspective. not only did you do it that way but you also had a different path and like you said your journey to Cloud9 might be different than somebody else's but understanding that and those tools that you're writing in the book is really phenomenal.

Jordan Gross 9:26

That's exactly right yeah, yeah.

Gresham Harkless 9:28

Nice and so now I wanted to ask you for what I call your secret sauce and this could be for you or your organization, but what do you feel kind of sets you a part of makes you unique.

Jordan Gross 9:37

Oh I think we hit on it for sure. I always I consider this secret sauce question as being top of mind right. It's kind of like in my case, what kind of guy do you want to be. Are you Jordan Gross and you are X guy or you're Gresham and you're a Y guy, right? What is that phrase before a guy and for me I think it could be twofold. It's the cloud nine guy where I'm helping people live their Cloud9 lives or it could be the fictional personal development guy where it just provides this unique spin to my own unique take on principles that you know they may be already out there, there may be books about them but the way that I set myself apart and stand out become top of mind is by presenting it in this storytelling type of way.

Gresham Harkless 10:30

Yeah I think that's definitely a great example of secret sauce just because a lot of times and correct me if I'm wrong because I know you've talked with so many people, that sometimes you can find it hard to be able to articulate how you found your cloud nine, but to be able to do that and then to also be able to help others through that is definitely something that's a gift.

Jordan Gross 11:02

I heard that and I appreciate that because I think if we don't we don't explore, if we don't practice with our creative minds as much as possible then we're really doing ourselves a disservice.

Gresham Harkless 11:15

Absolutely. I wanted to switch gears a little bit and I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. This might be an app, a book, or a habit that you have or even something from your book that you wanted to mention but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Jordan Gross 11:31

Yeah. I consider this my way to control chaos as a CEO, as an entrepreneur and what I mean by that is when I first went on my own and had all the freedom in the world I was saying yes to everything, everyone and I ended up spreading myself way too thin. I needed to figure out a system where I controlled my own entrepreneurial chaos and what I did was I considered a time in my life when I feel like I was at peak performance while juggling a lot of things and what I've done is, I've now structured my day based off of like I'm back in high school. I have a number of different 40-minute periods where I work on different things and I work in Sprint. It's like 40 minutes I can focus on LinkedIn, and 40 minutes I can focus on Outreach, and 40 minutes on podcasting and go from there so that I don't ever get bored, so that I'm not fully frustrated by one thing and so that really I know that this is how I was my best in the past. This is how I want to act now.

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Gresham Harkless 12:40

Nice. Well, now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. This is a word of wisdom or a piece of advice or if you can hop into a time machine what would you tell your younger business self?

Jordan Gross 12:51

I would say to always fear the what if more than the actual what. What I mean by that is every single decision I make especially now, I just consider what would I regret more looking back and saying why didn't you do that or actually doing the thing and sort of rolling with the punches as they go.

Gresham Harkless 13:11

Nice. It's always harder to deal at the end of the day with the regrets of things that we should have done rather than things we actually did. Jordan I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question it's right in line with what you asked the Uber driver, but we're asking about what does it mean to be a CEO. We're hoping to have different quote and quote CEOs on this show so Jordan what does being a CEO mean to you?

Jordan Gross 13:34

Yeah so being a CEO to me means freedom. It means the freedom to take my style, to take my company, to take the people who I work with and the people who I consider clients of mine. I really consider being a CEO the ultimate level of choice and decision making. For me every single decision I make just like I said to you it's about the freedom to choose based on the path that's most aligned with my intuition and my heart rather than what other people want me to do.

Gresham Harkless 14:09

Absolutely and that's one of the most ultimate examples of freedom as well. I definitely would echo that and I appreciate you for sharing that definition and I appreciate your time even more Jordan and all the awesome things that you're doing. What I wanted to do was pass you the mic so to speak just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and listeners know and then of course how best they can get a hold of you and get a copy of your book.

Jordan Gross 14:32

Yeah so the last thing I'll leave everybody with is a thought and I like to just leave this at the end and not explain it but rather like I said before allow people to interpret what this quote means to them. For me it's just the most phone chilling goosebumps worthy quote that I think there is out there. I'll leave everybody with this last thing and it's that somebody once told me the definition of hell and that on my last day on this Earth the person who I became will meet the person who I could have become and those two people are complete strangers but somebody also once told me the definition of Heaven and it's kind of my last day on this Earth the person who I became will meet the person who I could have become and those two people are identical to us, so for me that's everything. I would love to hear what that means to all you guys and yeah you can feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn. My website is journeytocloud9.com. It's all spelled out journey to cloudnine.com and you can get more information about everything that we were talking about today.

Gresham Harkless 15:42

Awesome. Well thank you so much again, I appreciate you for that closing statement which is definitely powerful and I appreciate you even more for writing the book and doing all the awesome things. We will have all those links and information in the show notes as well but Jordan thanks so much again and I hope you have a great rest of the day.

Outro 15:58

Thank you for listening to the I am CEO Podcast, tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co. I am CEO is not just a phrase, It's a community be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on Apple podcast, Spotify, Google podcast and everywhere you listen to podcasts. Subscribe and leave us a five-star rating. This has been the I am CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless Jr. Thank you for listening.


Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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