Jason Feifer: Going Viral, First-Time Parenting, Multitasking, and Public Speaking

Jason Feifer (@heyfeifer) is Editor-In-Chief of Entrepreneur magazine, and host of not one, but two podcasts—Pessimists Archive, about the history of unfounded fears of innovation, and Problem Solvers, about how entrepreneurs solve unexpected problems in their business.

They are both excellent podcasts, and Pessimists Archive is one of the most meticulously produced shows out there; after listening to just one episode of this show, you’ll find it hard to believe Jason has time to do anything else, let alone run a national media brand.

Of course, that’s not all Jason does. In addition to Entrepreneur and the podcasts, Jason is the creative mind behind viral sites such as Crossing.usHeat Fan SoundsBad NBA Songs, and Selfies at Funerals.

He also just co-wrote a novel with his wife, titled Mr. Nice Guy, which will come out in October from St. Martin’s Press.

Prior to Entrepreneur, Jason has been an editor at Fast Company, Men’s Health, Maxim, and Boston, and has written for New York, ESPN, Slate, GQ, The New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, and others.

To kick off this wide-ranging interview, we start with the topic of parenting. I ask Jason about how he knew he was ready to become a father. As expected, Jason answers the question perfectly, even throwing in a couple of tips for new parents.

From there, we talk about a skill every new parent (as well as the rest of us) could benefit from picking up—juggling numerous projects at the same time. Jason is a master multitasker. He explains how he finds the energy to keep so many different plates spinning at once, as well as the apps he uses to increase productivity and stay organized.

There’s a great part in this interview where Jason talks about knowing your worth and getting what you deserve. Part of that is laying out all of your skills and making sure you’re fully activating them to further your brand or business.

Jason recently grew his personal business to include speaking engagements, and one of my favorite tips in this interview comes when Jason explains how he is able to nail a speech without memorizing a single line.

Of course, there is a ton of advice for newly minted entrepreneurs, like how to know when your new business or product is ready to take to market. Here, Jason talks about putting yourself to the test before you put your business to the test.

And no Feifer interview would be complete without talking about selfies. Jason is widely regarded, by media around the world including The New York Times, as the international authority on selfies. He tells the story of how a simple Tumblr page became an overnight viral sensation, and how he parlayed that opportunity into a whirlwind of media attention.

In that same vein, we cover strategies for growing your audience, as well as what to do with that megaphone once you get it, to maximize your resources for the greatest return.

One thing is for sure: There is a lot of return to be gained from this conversation, should you choose to invest your time in it.

Also, today’s episode is a special one, for me personally. Not only is Jason one of the people who encouraged me to create this podcast, this conversation is the first interview I recorded for the show.

And there’s evidence of that.

As it turns out, microphones—at least the kind that I use—have a front and a back. And if you speak into the back, instead of the front, your voice sounds distant.

Fortunately, Jason sounds great, because it was in fact my mic that was flipped the wrong way around—at least, that’s what I suspect happened.

Thankfully, this show is about the guests—not me. And few people out there can impart as much practical knowledge, and in as accessible and relatable a manner, as Jason Feifer.

I hope you will find this conversation as informative and inspiring as I did. And if you do, please subscribe on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcher, and RSS (ratings and reviews are appreciated, too!).

This episode is brought to you by Altra.

Altra makes shoes that allow you to run the way you were born to.

Altra’s founders noticed something—that the design of most running shoes was hurting runners more than helping them: In traditional running shoes, elevated heels promote a high-impact landing; and narrow, pointy toe boxes squeeze the toes out of their natural position—increasing risk of bunions, hammertoes, and plantar fasciitis.

So, a couple of years ago, Altra founder Golden Harper began melting off outsoles and removing the excess heel elevation from his traditional running shoes. It was ugly, but it worked! The term ” Zero Drop” was coined to describe the level cushioning and perfect weight balance from heel to forefoot.

Today, every Altra running shoe features a fully cushioned Zero Drop platform that places the heel and forefoot at the same distance from the ground. This natural balance aligns the feet, back, and body posture for less impact. It also strengthens the Achilles and lower calf muscles that have been weakened over a lifetime of running on elevated heels.

In addition to Zero Drop, Altra’s Footshape toe box allows the toes to relax and spread out naturally, while allowing the big toe to remain in a straight position. This enhances stability and creates a powerful toe-off to maximize running performance.

I was introduced to Altra a couple of years ago, and their running shoes have since become a sort of secret weapon for me. I break them out for especially punishing runs, and when it’s time to go off-road, their trail shoes are the only ones i’ll wear. The Lone Peak is my personal favorite.

This spring, Altra wants you to #EmbraceTheSpace and get fired up for taking your runs outside with their lineup of fast and light road shoes. One model to check out, for sure, is the Altra Duo, which features 31mm cushioning beneath both the forefoot and the heel, and weighs in at a crazy-light 7.5 ounces.

If you’re interested in checking out the Altra Duo, you can head to fleetfeetsports.com. They’ll be available there through March.

Altra is also committed to helping runners avoid injury by teaching efficient, low-impact running technique. Golden, (who, by the way, ran a world-record 2:45 marathon when he was 12 years old), taught me everything I know about running with proper form. By focusing on four core pillars, we totally overhauled my running form and noticeably improved my performance and efficiency.

In case you’re curious, since you’re here because of a podcast dedicated to self improvement, those four pillars were:

  • Establishing a forward-momentum posture
  • Utilizing a proper arm swing
  • Cultivating low-impact landings
  • And maintaining a high cadence

You can find more information on those, which I encourage you to check out if you’re a runner, along with all kinds of advice and tips for proper running form, as well as, of course, information on all of Altra’s products, at altrarunning.com.

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