Spotlight on Jordan Gross / by Haley Smith

Meet Jordan Gross - author of bestseller Getting COMFY: Your Morning Guide to Daily Happiness. He shares some tips to get you smiling right when you wake up! 

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Tell us about your book, Getting COMFY: Your Morning Guide to Daily Happiness.

Getting COMFY is about eliminating stress and anxiety right when you wake up, and creating a life that is based on positivity and optimism. This collection of morning recommendations is the mental health awareness guide we all need right now. The advice is simple, implementable and allows you to get started as you read!

Specifically, C O M F Y is a 5 step process that includes Calm, Openness, Movement, Funny, and YOU, which are the components that deliver a morning based on personal growth, one that will energize your body and soothe your mind, rather than have a morning that rushes us into the mundane realities of our everyday lives. 

Getting COMFY is really about overcoming the un-COMFY. It’s about putting ourselves in situations in which we are way outside our comfy zones and becoming comfy in them. With the methods and suggestions in each bit of the routine, every single day it will be easier to Get COMFY in the morning, Get COMFY in your own skin, and Get COMFY in life! 

 

You've had many years of a 'formal' education and are now involved in the startup space! Tell us about your educational journey and the startups you've worked for. 

Going way back, I wanted to play soccer in college more than anything. It was all I could think about, and I just wanted to go to the best soccer school possible, with no thoughts about academics at all. One thing led to another, soccer didn’t work out, so I chose a school that had an attractive combination of athletics, academics, school spirit, and was far away from New York (sorry mom!). This took me to Northwestern University in Chicago. 

While there, I had internships in finance and consulting, was doing maybe a bit too much partying, and one day decided I was just following a path that was dictated by the people around me, rather than one that I wanted to travel myself. I started to listen to podcasts, read books, and most importantly, I immediately started to create. 

I started in the non-profit space building and promoting an organization called Center for Independent Futures that provided independent living for disabled adults. I then went on to start an Alzheimer’s Awareness Organization called They Forget, We Remember, which provided volunteering, support, and fundraising efforts for Northwestern’s world-class Alzheimer’s Disease Center. 

I continued school by pursuing a Masters in Management Studies at The Kellogg School of Management and moved to startups. I’m a big foodie, and got involved with two early stage food delivery companies at the time called Wise Apple (it was Pak’d when I was there), which provides healthy, kid inspired lunches, and a company called Chowbus, which delivers authentic Asian food around cities across the country. 

Throughout all of these experiences, what I loved most was creating new relationships, and the feeling associated with growing and building something. I founded my own startup called Feed My Mates, which offered one food option per night to combat the overwhelming nature of choosing what to have for dinner, and delivered meals around Chicago. 

I actually diverged from startups and joined Hillstone Restaurant group in a management program, but after 4 months of craving that feeling of starting something from scratch, I decided to leave and start Getting COMFY and the community around it! 

 

What's your best advice for daily happiness - or the most compelling advice from your book that you apply to your daily life?

3 major phrases that are life mottos of mine:

  1. Add value to others without expecting anything in return                                                                    Fulfilling lives have to be about something much greater than ourselves. Love yourself and work on yourself, but do it all in the pursuit to better others. 
  2. There is nothing memorable about the unremarkable                                                                               Do something outside the norm, take calculated risks, do something that scares you every single day. These are the experiences where growth is imminent. 
  3. Go to bed smiling, wake up happy                                                                                                             The day has to be filled with laughter and smiles. We have to smile so much that our faces start to hurt. I don’t mean to literally lay in bed smiling before you go to sleep, but rather, I mean to approach life with a grand sense of perspective. Always understand that there are others less fortunate, others experiencing and who have experienced similar situations, and the only things we can control are our responses. So why not respond with a smile.