Whether you love him or hate him, you’ve probably heard of Tucker Max. The NY Times bestselling author has sold Millions of books worldwide and is largely considered to be the founder of the “fratire” genre from the mid-2000’s.
I must admit, I had “I Hope they Serve Beer in Hell” back in college and looking back, I feel a bit of shame that I had so much fun reading those stories of drunken hookups, witty put downs and asshole antics.
A few weeks ago, I was surprised when I stumbled on an article that Tucker wrote about “Why he stopped Angel Investing” and found out that not only does he have a new business, he has a wife and young son.
I was really curious to hear what inspired the infamous bachelor to get into a relationship and start his new business, so I reached out to have a quick chat. The audio of our recording dropped off in the second half, but we were still able to capture a few memorable nuggets. Enjoy!
How old are you and where are you living?
I’m 39 and live in Austin, Texas.
Why did you choose Austin?
It was kind of an accident. I had just finished recording my movie in LA. I hated LA and wanted to go to the most non-LA place, so I came to Austin to finish my book and ended up staying.
What are you working on at the moment?
I have my own company. It’s called Book In A Box. We are growing really fast.
What does the new company do?
We have turned writing and publishing into a service. We have a process where you can spend 12 hours in the phone with us in a course of about a month, and we’ll turn your ideas and wisdom into a book. From the manuscript to the cover of the book, everything would be the way you’d want it,
Why is the business you chose to start after all your previous success?
It kind of came to me by accident. I was at an entrepreneur dinner and this woman came up to me asking if I was the “publishing” guy. She told me how people had been telling her for about 10 years that she should write a book, but she didn’t have the time. She asked me if there was a way for me to turn her ideas into a book. I was a bit arrogant at first, since she was basically asking me to write a book without her writing anything first. I started lecturing her about hard work, but then she asked me if I was an entrepreneur. She proceeded to tell me how she was one, and how she spends all day helping people solve their problems. She then asked if I was doing the same, or if I just lectured people on hard work. After this conversation, I started to think about helping others write their own books. At first, I didn’t see how it could be possible. After thinking about it for a while, I realized that if I created a process to take out the knowledge from a person and turn it into a book, then it could work. Me and my co-founder created the process, and started doing it for some people before we even launched an official business.
How are you hoping to make a difference in the world?
If we can become the company that creates a process to turn wisdom and ideas into finished products, it would be truly exciting. It’s not just books, although books are amazing. What if we could turn this into a software? We currently charge 15k for our service, so it’s not cheap. However, if we could turn it into a software, it’ll be really cheap. Imagine how many more books would be created which we would’ve never known we were missing out on. It’s just like the way the iPhone completely revolutionized photography. It could be done with speeches, pitch decks, movie scripts, etc. It we can reduce the friction between the idea and the finished product. That’s how you make magic.
What helped you transition from your time as an author into an entrepreneur?
Spending around 3-4 years as an Angel Investor made a huge impact. When you are betting your own money, you learn quickly. You focus really quick on what works and what doesn’t. When it came time for me to start my own company, I didn’t make a lot of the mistakes many entrepreneurs make.
(Read Tucker’s article on “Why he stopped angel investing.”
Do you know what your purpose is?
I believe we can create our own purpose. We can do whatever we want to do. My purpose would be to have great relationships with my family and the people I love, take care of myself, and do some work that is beneficial to the world.
How did you tap into that?
If I had the answer to that, I’d probably be writing a book about it. The only way I can really describe is that it never occurred to be me that I should be listening to other people, or do what they want me to do instead of doing the things that really made sense to me.
How did you start writing?
It all started by exchanging emails with my friends. After we all left law school and went to different cities, I started writing stories about the stupid things I did and would send it to them. My friends thought they were hilarious, and my only goal in writing was to make my buddies laugh. It was a social thing for me at that time.
Many people know you as the perennial bachelor and might be surprised to learn that you actually have a wife and young son. How are you trying to be a good partner?
Being a great partner is about connecting with someone else. It doesn’t mean two people become one. It means you completely understand that person. You recognize who they are and non-judgmentally accept them and love them.
Could you share a vulnerable moment or story of struggle that led to important growth in your relationship?
There’s a million. That’s how relationships work. They grow almost like muscles do. Muscle grows mostly during the recovery stage then the actual work out. I’d say a huge percentage of the growth in my relationship has been when we have some sort of issue or conflict. When we have issues, we tend to talk them out and get deep into what is actually going on.
When we had our son, we had my wife’s mother move down to Austin since we were both entrepreneurs and were busy. I got along great with her but my wife didn’t get along that well with her in a lot of ways. Me and her ended up having to work together to get through a lot oF of the issues with her mom.
Early on in the relationship, I had a lot of intimacy issues and it was hard for me to open up to her. She helped me through that. She did it by being exceptionally empathetic and understanding of what I was going through. She was very compassionate and patient and didn’t get angry or turn away when things were tough. Instead, she was very positive and helped me see things that I was doing wrong. When I was turning away she would point it out, but she wouldn’t get angry. She created a very safe place in the relationship for me to work things out.
What daily habits give you the energy you need to keep going?
Coffee? I plan my whole day and segment my time. I make sure I focus and get stuff done. I make a list of the things that I need to get done, and each night I mark off what I’ve done and write down what I have to do next.
At the moment, what is it that is bringing you the most joy?
I like building a business. It’s fun. There’s a lot of cool stuff about it. I’m at the limits of my abilities in a lot of ways, and this is pushing me to grow and expand. My son is growing up, and now he’s one-year-old. It’s really cool to hang out with him.
What legacy do you want to leave for future generations?
We’ll see. I still got a few years left of productivity. I think I haven’t done a lot of the things I’ll be remembered for…
If you want to check out Tucker’s new businesses, check out the links below.
Matings Grounds – “Become the man that women want” http://thematinggrounds.com/
Book in a Box – Your book, in 12 hours. http://bookinabox.com/