358: Max Lugavere | Becoming a NY Times Best Selling Author with No Previous Following

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By Travis Chappell. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Max Lugavere is a filmmaker, health & science journalist, and NY Times bestselling author of Genius Foods. He appears regularly on TV shows like Dr. Oz, Rachael Ray, and the Today Show. In this episode of Build Your Network, you will find out how Max started from nothing and became a bestselling author, and how he ended up in the health and wellness space.

Episode Highlights:

  • Max was born and raised in Manhattan, and was fortunate enough to be exposed to quite a few different things so he was able to find his passion.
  • Both of Max’s parents grew up rather poor as the children of Jewish immigrants, who started a successful business in the Garment District, so those entrepreneurial characteristics were instilled in him from a young age.
  • He started college as a pre-med student but ended up double majoring in film and psychology.
  • He was highly intelligent and always curious, but struggled with executive function and the skills necessary to be a highly successful student.
  • Max focused on documentary filmmaking and worked with journalists who are now household names.
  • He was always casually researching health and fitness from a young age for his own interest and curiosity, so it became something that people knew to approach him about it with questions.
  • Through his own research, he was getting a highly scientific perspective on health issues like ketogenic diets and other things that were really cutting-edge at the time.
  • When his mom fell ill with a form of dementia, Max decided he wanted to find out what could be done with diet and health to help his mother.
  • People often don’t find motivation about their health until something catastrophic happens, at which point it’s almost too late, but things Max has done are reproducible steps you can take now.
  • His book proposal was rejected by three of the four publishers he pitched to, and was only able to dedicate his time to writing by dramatically cutting his expenses and living a lean life for the year he dedicated to write.
  • His publishers were confident that he was the right storyteller for this content and took a chance on him, but Max knew that publishers are playing a numbers game and there’s no guarantee of a successful book.
  • Max did no fancy marketing, he only used basic social media and leveraged contacts in his network.
  • He knew this book was a once in a lifetime opportunity and was dedicated to investing in it, which for him meant things like hiring a PR firm to help manage incoming requests.
  • Within a week, the book hit #4 on Amazon.
  • After he changed up his Instagram approach, he launched his podcast, The Genius Life, in order to continue having conversations with his followers.
  • Success requires you to foster your relationships, which requires networking.
  • Saying that you don’t like networking is an excuse; networking and building friendships are not two separate activities, they are the same.
  • The Random Round

3 Key Points:

  1. You can take the thing you’re naturally curious about and cultivate it into a business.
  2. Taking advantage of once-in-a-lifetime opportunities may come with sacrifices too.
  3. Networking and building friendships are the same activity.

Tweetable Quotes:

  • “I knew that I had to invest energy into Instagram. And when it came to figuring out what strategy was going to work, I basically tried everything. I was not afraid to experiment and to fail and to have a post now and then that had no engagement.” –Max Lugavere
  • “People aren’t willing to suck at something. They’re afraid of the embarrassment or other people’s judgement, but ultimately you have to come to terms with the fact that you are going to suck, and it’s okay. Just keep doing it and you’ll get better.” –Travis Chappell
  • “Life is a collaboration. One of the best things about life is meeting people and then making cool shit with them.” –Max... For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

384 episodes