Over the years, Boise, Idaho-based EOS Certified Implementer® Nathen Fox has worked in nine startups, learning how to foster team energy to build up a company. During that time, Nathen found he preferred seeing the results of his efforts immediately in small startups. The time it took to realize efforts within multi-billion-dollar companies lessened their impact for him. But to appreciate seeing those results, he had to experience both sides.
Nathen began his career as a CPA. It didn’t take long before he knew he wouldn’t be fulfilled doing this work for the next 40 years. So, when one of the firm’s clients offered him a job at their startup, he jumped at the opportunity. Nathen found he enjoyed seeing how his efforts helped the business. He also found himself rising fairly quickly to #2 in the company overseeing operations.
“I had no idea what I was getting into,” he said. “It was the ‘80s and I didn’t even know what a startup was! I was only two years out of school as a business student, but this was real-world stuff.”
Working ridiculous 100-hour work weeks, that startup business grew from $0 to $17 million in two years. You read that right: two years. Instead of doing accounting, audits, and taxes or reading textbooks, he actually took part in growing a company. Soon he moved on to his next adventures.
The Fractional Executive
As he cycled through a number of companies, Nathen gained a reputation. During one stint for a company based out of Japan, he started three companies for them in the United States. He dubbed himself a “fractional executive” given his divided attention for these multiple companies.
At times, Nathen served as the CFO, head of operations, or sales leader for three or four companies at once. Although Nathen loved the growth experience and didn’t mind logging 80-hour weeks, he noticed it affected his personal life. With the extensive traveling and long hours, Nathen found his health suffered as well as his home life.
“If I had to do it over again, I’d have figured out how to spend more time with my kids,” he said. “They’re 19 and 21 and it’s different now. You don’t get that time back.”
Something had to give. Nathen began work on drafting a business system to solve many of the common problems he saw businesses facing. While out for a walk with a friend one day, he shared his idea to create a new model. The friend immediately noticed the similarities to EOS®.
“I read Traction and thought, ‘Oh my God, this is perfect!’” Nathen said. “I read the book and I had what my wife calls a full-body yes. I had no doubt in my mind I wanted to do this. That was in late June. By the end of July, I signed up for Boot Camp. Even though it was a good chunk of change, I thought, ‘I’ve got to do this.’”
Unlike systems that risk squashing a business or hedging in their efforts, Nathen appreciates the powerful simplicity EOS offers his clients. Everything in EOS is organized with a good balance so that leadership teams don’t feel overwhelmed.
Finding the EOS Implementer Community™
Through reading Traction and attending Boot Camp, Nathen heard stories about how EOS Implementers® support one another. It sounded good, but he had no idea how much the community would support him in his own development. Now three years into his EOS journey, Nathen has learned to lean on the support and coaching he receives from other Implementers.
“I would’ve never believed someone telling me about this group. You have to live it to understand it,” he said. “The beautiful thing about the EOS Implementer Community™ is that they have the highest integrity and they support one another. In EOS, I have found really great people who want others to win.”
For anyone just getting into becoming an Implementer or thinking of becoming one, Nathen offers this advice: study, practice, study, practice, study.
“Study, keep learning, and don’t give up,” he said. “Keep moving forward and it will happen for you.”
Ultimately Finding Purpose
Like most Implementers, Nathen loved the prospect of helping companies. From his experience growing startups, he saw how EOS offered a simplistic yet complete model for fostering business success.
To this day, he loves when clients return for quarterly or annual meetings and report having their best quarters or years ever.
“I find it so satisfying when I hear a client say they’ve hit their 3-Year Picture™ early,” he said. “When they follow the system purely, it works!”
After years of traveling and experience, Nathen strives to help Boise-based businesses become more competitive on the world stage. He feels a strong sense of community now helping small- to medium-sized businesses grow while seeing the local area flourish.
As his legacy, Nathen hopes to leave behind a better economy in his community by helping others achieve their dreams. And he’s found the best pathway to achieving this by using EOS.