Jonathan Fields – Author of ‘Career Renegade’

Lawyer turned serial-entrepreneur, author, blogger and marketing catalyst, Jonathan Fields’ last book, “Career Renegade” (Broadway/Random House 2009), was named a Top 5 Summer Read by MSNBC’s Your Money and a Top 10 Small Biz Book by Small Business Trends. His next book, “Beyond Creation,” on the mindset that fuels or sabotages the creative processes of entrepreneurs and artists, is due out in 2011 from Portfolio/Penguin.

Ranked as one of the top business and marketing bloggers in the world (AdAge Power 150), Fields writes about entrepreneurship, innovation, storytelling, creativity and marketing at and also contributes to, and a number of other top-100 blogs. He’s been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, FastCompany, Entrepreneur, USA Today, People, CNBC, The Today Show, FoxBusiness, CBS Radio and hundreds of magazines, radio shows and websites that don’t impress his daughter all that much. And, BusinessWeek named him one of the 20 people entrepreneurs you need to follow on twitter (@jonathanfields).

Fields also speaks regularly and consults on all the above topics. When not writing, speaking or building something, you can usually find him dancing around his living room with his wife and daughter.

What are you working on right now?

Being a present, involved dad, husband and friend. Writing my next book — “Beyond Creation: How to Stake Your Claim To Genius Without Losing Your Mind” (due out from Portfolio in fall 2011). Building my tribes. Developing a number of new business concepts and ventures to be launched later this year and throughout 2011. Serving a small coterie of marketing clients. Working with my hands more.

3 trends that excite you?

Mobile tech. Creativity reclaiming cred as a key business driver. People re-examining what really matters beyond a paycheck.

How do you bring ideas to life?

In “Do More Faster,” Matt Mullenweg said, “If you’re not embarrassed when you ship your first version, you waited too long.” There are no secrets to bringing ideas to life. Just get out of your head and take action in the tangible world. Commit to a single action that moves an idea forward in a material, measurable way every day.

What inspires you?

Watching my daughter build something from nothing out the corner of my eye. People who lead with kindness. My wife, in the way she helps strangers without request. Anyone who’s willing to rise to the challenge of building a life around passion, meaning, impact, art or entrepreneurship. The capacity of humanity to serve and rebound.

What is one mistake you’ve made, and what did you learn from it?

Orange juice after toothpaste. Seriously bad move. In business, trying to scale before the model was proven and the right people were in place. Just don’t do it.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Build a health club based only around high-engagement activities that inspire joy and co-creation of group movement experiences and eliminate everything that is repetition-based or does not intrinsically require novelty and intense bursts of attention.

What is one book and one tool that helps you bring ideas to life?

Randy Komisar’s “The Monk And The Riddle.” WordPress. Moleskine.

Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?

Paul Graham of ycombinator/

What are you building?

Still figuring it out, but the quest is being led by impact, legacy, meaning, passion and joy.

Who’s your hero?

My daughter and wife. They just plain rule.


Watch my recent TEDx talk — Turning Fear Into Fuel:
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