At 23, Nolan Garrett founded a thriving company and began living the life he always dreamed of. After several years, it seemed he’d reached “success,” arriving astoundingly quicker than most entrepreneurs. But something wasn’t right—and he wasn’t the only one who knew it.

Vision. Culture. Accountability. These three elements are the intangible requirements for an enduring business. But for those young entrepreneurs or executives—like Nolan was—who have the ideas but lack the experience, ensuring their company’s success and their own means acquiring leadership strategies they’ve never learned before.

In F*ck Me Running (a Business)!, Nolan shares the lessons readers need to build an unshakable business. He knows the mistakes they’ll make because he’s made them all himself. Now, after more than a decade, Nolan leads a multimillion-dollar business with fifty team members committed to common goals. Nolan shows how to communicate a company’s underlying values, cultivate a culture with strong partnerships, and rely less on technical prowess and more on the leader within. I recently caught up with Nolan to learn more about the moment that inspired him to write the book and his favorite idea he shares with readers.

Published with permission from the author.

What happened that made you decide to write the book? What was the exact moment when you realized these ideas needed to get out there?

I decided to write the book at the beginning of 2020, pre-pandemic. I was now the sole owner of my business, having learned many of the lessons I talk about in the book, and realized that if I’d had access to the experience I’d gained many years ago, the business wouldn’t be facing a massive transformational initiative to reinvent itself. Shortly after I began the book, the COVID pandemic hit and the importance of focus on culture and staff skyrocketed to #1.

Intrinium held together throughout the pandemic better than most, which I chalk up to having a strong culture that allowed us to move to remote work without losing who we are.

What’s your favorite specific, actionable idea in the book?

Get a coach. Any number of the ideas in the book are actionable, but a coach will ensure your long-term development as a leader (and a human being!). No other suggestions or ideas I cover in the book will give as great of a long-term, ongoing reward as a solid relationship with a coach who helps you be accountable to yourself and your team.

Published with permission from the author.

What’s a story of how you’ve applied this lesson in your own life? What has this lesson done for you?

When I realized the mistakes I’d made with leaders in key positions of the business, I hired a coach to help me work directly on Intrinium’s culture. The coach helped us establish clear lines of accountability as well as solidify our culture components throughout the entire team.

Ultimately, the biggest benefit of having a coach is the self-awareness checkpoint that person can provide—the answers to “I am not crazy, right?” which aren’t always responded to with a, “no.” I found that having a coach provided a high-quality sounding board, allowing me to separate any emotion I had from what was best for the business, and ensure I took a measured, temperate approach to the changes I needed to make at Intrinium.