Hi. My name is Eric Hanson. I was born and raised in Michigan. I now live in California. I am a new dad, I cook, practice Bikram yoga, and I often race in Ironman 70.3 events. I love surfing and golf (and my lovely wife).
I am the founder and CEO of COACHD, a fitness tech business that virtually connects the gym, that little fitness device you use, and the coach you need to get in shape for real. I don’t have any fancy accomplishments to report about our company or my career, those will come soon enough. My feeling about being an entrepreneur: They say that you don’t do yoga, you try like hell. That is the way I feel about starting a startup. I have a good feeling we are going to touch a lot of people and change a lot of lives with what we do at COACHD. I am looking forward to sharing more about that.
I have a long history as an aspiring athlete. I played college football, starting at Louisville and finishing at Grand Valley State University. During grad school I spent the better half of my 6 years at the University of Hawaii surfing (nearly everyday). After grad school I unsuccessfully attempted to play a bit of professional golf – I still play often and well. I have been involved in triathlon for over 10 years, and am now racing every 3 months or so in the Ironman 70.3 series (I am notoriously slow, but I love it). My back is paying for all of that, so to make sure I make it to the end, I practice Bikram yoga at least once a week, experiment with Wim Hof, float, and try to do cryotherapy as much as I can (it’s pricy).
I pride myself on the work I did in philosophy over my graduate career and just afterwards when I had the opportunity to teach Ethics, Philosophy of Death and Dying, Chinese and Comparative Philosophy, Business Ethics, Leadership, and Intro to Philosophy. I am very passionate about the field of ethics and I approach the discipline largely through the comparative study of Confucian and Classical Greek texts. My favorite thinkers are Zhuangzi and Nietzsche. My base has always been Plato. When I am doing philosophy right I am following the good work of Roger Ames (my graduate advisor) and reading the American pragmatists (mostly William James). I think Alfred North Whitehead had it the most right; I think Laozi almost always says it best; and I think that Aristotle might be the stud of it all.
I spent a long time studying and thinking about leadership and have approached that discipline from different directions. I taught in the Asia Pacific Leadership Program, created my own teaching curriculum around Ethics and Leadership at Grand Valley State University, and I now dive deep into nearly everything Nainoa Thompson has to say about leadership. Teaching leadership and personal development is my life passion. I get this gene and drive from my Dad. If you wonder why I left academia for starting a business, it was for two reasons: I felt phony as a 30 year old lecturing to executives and 20-somethings about leadership without having gone through some significant, publicly recognizable business or political achievement; and my girlfriend (now wife) wouldn’t move to Michigan where I was teaching (who can blame her), so I joined her in sunny California. COACHD is a natural extension of my deep personal journey into leadership – both in leading a team to start a company, and to build a practical way for people to truly change their lives. This is how I am currently tending to the physical body and the inner life of the mind that we all struggle to deal with.