Chris George is the co-founder and chairman of Subscription Trade Association (SUBTA), an organization catered to providing resources and tools to the ever-growing subscription based community. Chris is a serial entrepreneur who has successfully launched and managed seven businesses and sold two. As one of the creators of the wildly popular and recently acquired Gentleman’s Box, a high-end subscription box for men, Chris has spoken to aspiring entrepreneurs and established industry professionals at events like Digital Summit, SubSummit and several academic institutions. His strong business acumen and understanding of the role of marketing and branding solidifies him as a burgeoning force in the realm of entrepreneurs. Chris also hosts a video series, No Excuses with Chris G., which has featured reputable guests such as Gary Vaynerchuk (VaynerMedia), Ryan Hogan (Hunt A Killer) and Victor Cho (Evite). As a multi-year conference host to the world’s largest subscription event, he’s led impactful conversations with leaders like Michael Broukim (FabFitFun), Brian Lee (The Honest Company) and Katia Beauchamp (Birchbox). Propelled by the notion that you can always give back, Chris regularly supports emerging brands by investing in and mentoring individuals and companies that lead with purpose over profit.
Where did the idea for come from?
I have been building brands for the last 15 years, and I wanted my next company to be one that could legitimately help people at scale. With that mentality and my admiration for a quality hoodie, I decided to create a few with the word “Certified” across the front for my ever-growing collection. After posting on social, I got a ton of feedback from people looking to buy them. I knew words like verified and certified resonated with many people, especially the Gen Z/Millennials, so I launched Get Certified. To make this be my dream, I added an element that each hoodie sold would provide 100 meals for people in need—our grand goal is to provide 100 million meals.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
7:15 am – My alarm goes off and I immediately take my two beloved huskies for a 30-minute walk. It’s my favorite way to start my day.
8:00 am – I get to my computer and answer my first round of emails.
8:40 am – I leave for the office and record my daily Instagram/TikTok inspirational video where I coach my followers to search for meaning and purpose in everything they do.
9:00 am-4:30 pm – I spend most of my day in meetings with my team brainstorming ideas for my companies, drafting new content, and organizing launch details for my new brand, which is going live very soon!
5:00 pm-5:30 pm – I feed my huskies their dinner and take them for another 20-minute walk as I wind down from my long, busy day. Much like how I do on my morning walks, I am tuned into a favorite podcast, whichever one from my list has a new episode out at that time.
6:30 pm-11:00 pm – I spend time with my friends and family. I find it very important to make time for the community and people around me, whether that is my family or my treasured hockey team. After quality time with my people is over, I tap back into work for a little while before bed in case anything needs my final attention. If I’m in a certain creative frame of mind, I’ll dedicate energy to in-depth re
How do you bring ideas to life?
If I’m excited about a new idea, I do my research, identify if I have all the resources to make it happen, and put a plan in place. Given my background in launching seven companies and being a voice encouraging young entrepreneurs, I know it may seem odd to say I’m not a big business plan guy. Instead, I value the overall execution. Therefore, I’m skilled at identifying the resources needed to complete the goal at hand and move forward aggressively with actionable execution to make it become a reality.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Business models that include subscription components, and even more so if it includes a “give back” factor are really intriguing to me as an entrepreneur. The majority of my success comes from launching business models that thrive on subscription-services and recurring purchase options, and I believe this is the future of basic business practices.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I strongly believe my ability to always be optimistic and see positivity in every situation is one habit that serves my productivity as an entrepreneur.
This mentality is also one I carry into my leadership and speaking career. I have had the pleasure of heading up conversations with prominent subscription-service industry leaders such as Michael Broukim with FabFitFun, Brian Lee, The Honest Company, and Katia Beauchamp with BirchBox. I believe this frame of mind is a catapulting force and one of the main reasons for where I am today.
What advice would you give your younger self?
The advice I would give my younger entrepreneur self is not to try too many things at once and that FOMO (fear of missing out) is more a distraction than a motivator. The overall lesson being, hone in on what you are good at and do not make chasing money the end game.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
That I wouldn’t give up either of my huskies for anything!
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
As an entrepreneur, I live by having a strict calendar. It guides me every single day and keeps me accountable to clients, employees and my social community. I believe time management is critical to success. As an entrepreneur; the chairman of a major subscription company, SUBTA; host of the No Excuses with Chris G podcast; an opinion leader and speaker in the entrepreneurship space; and founder of my new brand, Get Certified, I juggle a million things all day long. The way I choose to manage my time is crucial to my success. I have to be okay with saying “no,” if needed, and I have to be confident in setting boundaries, personally and professionally.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I waited too long to start creating content and getting more involved on social media. In my opinion, excellent and consistent content is key. To offset this mistake, I’ve dedicated more time to creating and putting out content regularly to make up for the lost time.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
It is critical to understand where the attention of your target audience is going. I have utilized this strategy for every brand that I have built and it’s the best way to recognize your growth opportunities. Once you identify the places where your audience spends time, you need to double down on the marketing in that area.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Streaming-service subscription service bundles. Someone should build a platform that bundles all streaming services together: Netflix, HBOMax, Peacock, Disney+, etc. The idea is that the company would work a bulk deal with all the services and then sell a bundled package to the consumers. You just watch, it will happen at some point.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I was recently getting a haircut from a new barber because my regular barber was out of town. She mentioned to me that she had two canceled appointments that day. I gave her a $100 tip. I did that for two reasons: the first reason being that I wanted to make up the difference for her having had two cancelations that day, and two because it made me feel good. The way I see it, giving is the most selfish thing you can do.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
One piece of software or web service I use throughout my workday that I believe helps me stay productive is my Google calendar — without it, my day would be a mess. The software is user-friendly, branches across all my devices and is shareable to other team members.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
One book I recommend the IdeaMensch community reads is “Greenlights” by Matthew McConaughey. What I appreciated most from his memoir was his reflection of various events in his life. From growing up in Texas to adventures that sprouted from experiencing other cultures and living life in the limelight in Hollywood, his approach to his life, as a result, inspired me to dive deeper into how my values guide my daily routine.
What is your favorite quote?
My favorite quote and truth I often find myself going back to is a quote by Confucius that says, “We have two lives, and the second begins when we realize we only have one.”
- How giving back is self-care
- Subscription-based services are changing modern-day entrepreneurship and business practices
- Consistent social media content is key to audience engagement and success
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.