Meet the Gnarnians: Mike

  • August 31, 2023
  • Mike Stone
  • 4 min read

Gnarnian [nahr-nee-uhn] noun: An employee of The Gnar Company

In our Meet The Gnarnians series, we unravel the stories, experiences, and passions that drive the folks on our talented team at The Gnar. Through a collection of interview-style questions, you’ll get a sneak peek into daily life on our fully-remote team, some epic origin stories, and answers to some questions as weird and wonderful as our team itself.


The Basics

Where are you located? South Salem, NY

What is your Role? Co-Founder

When did you join the Gnar? 01/23/2016


If you had to eat an entire barrel of one single thing, what would you choose?

Dumplings! I think I could eat multiple barrels of them.


What's the best advice you've ever received?

I keep a list of advice and quotes on my phone that I add to and review periodically. They all roughly align with the best advice I've ever received, which my parents instilled in us growing up, to focus on effort and not outcomes as the outcomes will be the result of your effort.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes on the subject:

  • "If your work ethic is not as big as your dreams you won't achieve them." - Jeff Hoffman
  • "The most difficult decision is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity." - Amelia Earhart
  • "If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first." - Mark Twain

I also love being on great teams and this quote from Jon Cooper, head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning, really resonates with me: "On bad teams no one leads, on good teams coaches lead, on great teams players lead."


What was your career journey up until joining the Gnar?

My career journey was a bit all over the place because I didn't know what I wanted to do after graduating college but I knew I wanted to love my job. Initially I managed a bar/restaurant in midtown Manhattan, thinking that my love of cooking and entrepreneurship would mean an eventual career as a restaurateur.

I was then drafted to play professional lacrosse and left my job to pursue that opportunity. While playing lacrosse I had various jobs from being a sales rep for a custom apparel company, to coaching teams and clinics, to eventually starting my first company.

I also taught myself to code during this time and decided that if I could code all day it would be a job I loved. I left lacrosse, joined a coding bootcamp, and landed a job as a software engineer at a health and wellness startup in Boston. That's also where I met Nick (co-founder @ The Gnar), which led us to starting The Gnar in 2015.


If you weren’t in your current role, what would you be doing?

If it wasn't for The Gnar I would have probably continued on the engineering path, or I'd still be an (aging) lacrosse player or coach.


What's your favorite part of working at Gnar?

I love the team and culture we have at The Gnar. Seeing folks on the team take ownership of their work and help each other through challenges is very rewarding. Hearing other people say that they value our culture gives me a lot of pride in what we've built.


What has your experience been at Gnar?

Life changing! When we started The Gnar I imagined it becoming a successful company, but in truth I didn't really know what that meant. It's been far more difficult and rewarding than I expected, and I sometimes have to pinch myself to know it's real. I am immensely grateful for the experience and everyone who has contributed to it. I also look forward to all the experiences that lie ahead!


What advice would you give someone who is just starting out in your industry?

Never stop learning.


Outside of work, what do you enjoy doing?

I love to cook, play sports, and spend time with my family. It's even better when a couple of those things get combined!

Learn more about The Gnar and our team. 

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