Entrepreneur Inspiration from Chris Hardwick of Nerdist Industries: 3 Things You Must Do to Succeed

Chris Hardwick was once like you or me.

He dreamed about making his mark on the world but struggled with the best way to break onto the scene. He procrastinated, failed, and got discouraged. He sat on his couch and watched TV instead of making his move.

He also spent sleepless nights wondering how he’d forge a path for himself and be happy with his career choices.

Eventually, he did forge that path, but he didn’t make his dreams reality overnight! Everything Chris has accomplished is a direct result of his hard work and his bootstrap mentality.

Chris Hardwick: Nerd, entrepreneur, writer, and Chewbacca whisperer.

Chris Hardwick: Nerd, entrepreneur, writer, and Chewbacca whisperer.

Need some proof? Check out some of his titles and accomplishments:

Today, Chris Hardwick is the founder and CCO at Nerdist Industries (which was recently purchased by Legendary Entertainment), the host of the Nerdist podcast, a stand-up comedian, a musician in a comedy rock band called Hard n’ Phirm, a freelance writer for Wired magazine, the organizer of an Olympic-torch style lightsaber run called “Course of the Force,” and a published author of a self-help bestseller, The Nerdist Way: How to Reach the Next Level (in Real Life). Formerly, he was the host of Web Soup and MTV’s Singled Out, and an on-air gadget expert for G4’s Attack of the Show. His list of achievements goes on and on!

He even hosts a live after show called The Talking Dead, where fans of AMC’s The Walking Dead come together to watch cast interviews and discuss episode plot twists and character developments. The man’s a bloody genius (pun intended).

So, how did Mr. Hardwick go from zero to entrepreneur?

It’s simple, if you think about it: He got off his butt and started doing! Here are 3 inspirational tidbits from Chris Hardwick’s unconventional self-help book, The Nerdist Way, which will hopefully kick any foot-dragging, wannabe entrepreneur into action!

#1: Trick your brain into making a change.

You know that little voice inside your head that tells you it’s okay to eat ice cream for dinner because you’ve earned it, or convinces you to watch TV in place of working on your pet project? You don’t have to listen to it, and you should actually ignore it altogether. Convince that little voice that your good (positive) desires take precedence instead of coming up with reasons to justify bad (self-damaging) actions. Give it a try! I thought it sounded too easy as well, but it really works. Mastering this Jedi mind trick is half the battle to get where you need to be.

#2: Embrace the uncomfortable.

There’s a difference between being legitimately uncomfortable and being a whiny little wimp. Stretch your comfort zone to include things you might normally ignore, like designating time for your business plan each day or finding the motivation to exercise on a regular basis. Does change suck? Yeah, sometimes. But is change also necessary in order to grow as an individual and to learn from your experiences? Yep. That’s why you shouldn’t go so easy on yourself. Chances are, you’re on the right path if you’re somewhat uncomfortable with your new plans because that means you’ve initiated (worthwhile) changes.

The formula Chris uses is: “Uncomfortable = New Experience = Growth.” Enough said.

#3: Push yourself to succeed at something you love, even if you don’t feel like it.

What do you suppose would have happened if Steve Jobs replaced all of his innovating and developing time with eating junk food and playing video games? We probably wouldn’t have half of the shiny Apple products that we have today, and he wouldn’t be among the most admired people in the world. Similarly, you can’t limit your potential by pushing it aside; you have to work at your passion until it becomes a fine-tuned machine. You’re going to wake up some days and groan about how sucky work is, or you’ll gnash your teeth at the idea of spending time writing instead of spacing out. However, you certainly won’t get any better at it by ignoring it. You owe it to yourself to succeed, and no one is going to hand you that experience on a silver platter. You have to make it happen on your own!

Pick up a copy of "The Nerdist Way" if you know what's good for you!

Pick up a copy of “The Nerdist Way” if you know what’s good for you!

Don’t worry, these 3 tips represent only a fraction of the knowledge you’ll find in The Nerdist Way, so there’s no excuse not to read it from cover to cover. I’d highly recommend it for any procrastinating entrepreneur (and/or any physically or mentally inactive nerd) who is itching for a change!

At the risk of sounding creepy, I don’t think of Chris Hardwick as a celebrity (even though he is); I think of him as a friend. His book’s conversational tone made me forget I was reading a self-help book and made me think I was speaking to a close friend instead — a close friend who wanted me to succeed. My exposure to him began back in 1996, when he was still the charismatic host of Singled Out, and it’s been a delight to see him transform into the multifaceted star and nerd godfather that he is today. If he can transform his life, then so can we!

Now get out there and do your thang. The longer you wait, the harder it’s going to be. What’s wrong with seizing your moment right now?

What’s your favorite aspect of Nerdist Industries? Is there any other entrepreneurial advice we can get from Chris Hardwick? Do you listen to or watch any of the projects he’s associated with?

Image credit to, The Nerd Patrol, and Disorderly.

Jill Tooley

Jill has been obsessed with words since her fingers could turn the pages of a book. She’s a hopeless bibliophile who recently purchased a Kindle after almost 6 years of radical opposition, and she loves stumbling upon new music on Pandora. Random interests include (but are not limited to) bookstores, movie memorabilia, and adorable rodents. Jill writes for the QLP blog and assists with the company’s social media accounts. You can connect with Jill on Google+.


  1. Eric

    Those “Nerdist” podcasts are hysterically good, my personal favorite being their bowling competition with the unshaven-’cause-it’s-between-seasons cast of “Mad Men.” Folks, if you’re not familiar, it’s time to get familiar. That said, great post, Jill!

    • Jill Tooley

      Yes, that bowling match was epicness at its finest! I think it’s hilarious that Jon Hamm is ridiculously good at everything he does. Some guys have all the luck, right?

  2. Cybernetic SAM

    Not only is he successful but extremely humble. All I have to say WOWZA! They broke the mold when they made Mister Hardwick!

    • Jill Tooley

      I agree! He’s proud of all he’s accomplished, of course, but that doesn’t give him a big head. I get the impression he still doesn’t think he’s anything that great – just a guy who followed his dreams. More celebrities should be modest like him!

  3. Mandy Kilinskis

    At risk of being shunned, I haven’t listened to many Nerdist podcasts. I find them super funny, I just keep not finding the proper amount of time.

    However, I think that Hardwick’s change from charismatic host to nerd godfather is awesome. You can’t mention something nerdy without mentioning Chris Hardwick, and I think that’s awesome. He did a great pivot of his personal brand and it’s helping nerds everywhere. 🙂

    • Jill Tooley

      Don’t feel bad; I haven’t listened to all of them, either. If he has a guest I’m particularly keen on (like Jon Hamm), then I make a point to listen. But everything I have heard is hilarious! He’s the best.

  4. Amy Swanson

    I only knew of Chris from back in the day when he was host of ‘Singled Out’. I’m so glad he’s now able to follow his true passion and obviously helping others at the same time. Awesome post, Jill! I may have to borrow his book from you some time 😉

    • Jill Tooley

      Those were the days…sitting around on summer vacations, spacing out with some MTV. “Singled Out” was one of my favorites because it was the first time I’d seen a dating show quite like it, and Chris was his usual witty self. Jenny McCarthy was pretty good on it, too.

      You can borrow the book anytime you want! 🙂

  5. Rachel

    I only really learned who Chris Hardwick was in the last few years, but he seems like such an interesting guy and a fascinating success story. I know him mostly from moderating panels at comic conventions (kind of an odd way to become acquainted with a celebrity’s work, but hey, he’s an excellent host! :)) and from The Talking Dead. His Nerdist show on BBC America is pretty cool, too. I didn’t know he wrote a book! I need to get on that. Sounds like I would enjoy it immensely. 🙂

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