091: Steve Kamb on Why Nerds Should Rule the World [Podcast]

In high school, nerds were the kids everyone secretly envied and feared. Perhaps because we knew that one day they’d sign our paychecks, and invent cool stuff like the iPhone and Twitter. One nerd in particular is flipping the multi-billion dollar fitness industry on its head.

Steve Kamb on Why Nerds Should Rule the World

Steve Kamb is the most physically fit nerd I know. In fact, he’s the most physically fit person I know, period. He is ripped. And he thinks Zelda is the best video game ever made. Cool, right?

As the founder and rebel leader of Nerd Fitness, Steve is dedicated to “helping desk jockeys, nerds, and average Joes level up their lives.” His unique program applies video game principles and behavioral psychology to physical fitness, and has transformed the lives of over 5,000 rebels.

This week on The Portfolio Life, Steve and I talk about how he started building a community of 280,000 subscribers (and counting) while working on cruise ships with rock stars.

Listen in as we discuss sacrificing comfort and security to commit to your community, and why prioritizing happiness is the key to unlocking your potential in life and work.

Listen to the podcast

To listen to the show, click the player below (If you are reading this via email or RSS, please click here).

Play your way to progress

These days people seem obsessed with productivity. A new app is released every other week and folks scramble to move their task lists again. They buy Moleskines by the stack, and jump on trendy methodology bandwagons in the hopes of feeling fulfilled every time they check something off.

But this sense of accomplishment is fleeting and is often dwarfed by the ever growing mountain of to-dos in their inbox.

What if we’ve been approaching goal-setting all wrong? What if the key to achieving our dreams lies hidden in the code of our favorite video games?

One of the things I found most interesting about Steve Kamb’s gamification of physical fitness is that it actually creates the freedom to reach your goals on your own terms. Not only is it fun, it works!

By defining our goals in the context of a game, and breaking down milestones into levels to complete, we set ourselves up for success and happiness.

Leveling up your life goes beyond working out and eating right. Steve has witnessed thousands of people use gamification to change their lives and work to accomplish adventures they never dreamed of.

Leveling up your life goes beyond working out and eating right.

Jeff Goins

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Show highlights

In this episode, Steve and I discuss:

  • How to find a tribe of rebels for your cause
  • The hidden principle behind video game addiction
  • Developing an alter ego of your day job
  • Writing as a means of serving your tribe
  • The underestimated power of strategic guest posting
  • Gaining influence with influencers
  • Why 1,000 subscribers is a significant milestone
  • How to give your audience a voice of their own
  • The value of involving your tribe in the creative process

Quotes and takeaways

  • When we are making progress, we tend to be happier.
  • Prioritize your life and work for happiness.
  • Life can be a game. You can play throughout life and work.
  • You learn a lot from your community.

hope without action


Which video game do you want your life to be like? How can you apply the progress principle to your work? Share in the comments