The Proof

Nate Checketts, Founder at Rhone

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Nate Checketts is the CEO & Co-Founder at Rhone, a premium men’s activewear company. To date, Nate has raised over $35 million in funding to fuel Rhone’s growth, paired with exclusive partnerships with Equinox, REI, and Peloton. In February 2019, Rhone launched its first brick-and-mortar expansion with a permanent store based in Hudson Yards.

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On his regimented routine. I'm an early riser. I always have been. I’m a believer that if you win the morning you win the day and with 3 kids I need to wake up early to get ahead of the madness. I have a routine that I have followed for over a year that really starts the night before. I lay out my clothes for the next day both for any training and what I will wear and if there is any meal prep for breakfast or lunch I try and get that done as well. 

I'm up usually between 4:30 - 5 am. I start by checking my blood sugars as I’m a type 1 diabetic, then do some stretching or planks, then 5 to 10 minutes of prayer and meditation, 15 minutes to express gratitude and a planner (I use the 5 minute journal and productivity planner from Intelligent Change) and then I try to read for 15 to 30 minutes. 

2 to 3 days a week I volunteer teach a class for kids 14 - 18 around life principles, then I take my oldest to school and then I head to the gym. It’s a full morning and, I admit, sometimes it’s too full, but when I'm in my routine it makes a big difference. The key habit for me to make it all work is to get to bed before 10.

On his favorite products under $100. I'm a big believer in the 5 Minute Journal and Productivity planner previously mentioned. They are just great tools. Outside of that, I might have to say my Hyper Ice Foam roller. It's is the best.

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On Rhone's brand message. Long before starting Rhone I realized that what I wanted to do in life was to “build a brand that matters.” I had written that in my journal and thought about it often. When my cofounder recognized the opportunity in the space and the gap in the active offering, I was excited, but it just didn’t feel like enough to me to run a clothing company. I went back to what I had written and felt that clothing was an opportunity to tell a more important message: to use it as a vehicle for inspiring us all to progress and move forward. 

Clothing is intimate — it’s next to skin. There are few items you interact with more closely than clothing, so it’s a wasted opportunity if we don’t find a way to use it to inspire people to be who they are already striving to become.

On his life’s mantra. "Forever Forward." It was one of the first “marketing” lines that came to me while we were building the brand. I was trying to think of a memorable way to speak to progress and daily improvement. Change can be hard, but ultimately I think we all want to improve and grow with each day we have.

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On variable training. As you can imagine, it’s easy to tell you what the ideal week looks like just like my ideal morning, but the reality is you need to have an A, B, and C plan for everything. You don’t know when the kids are going to be up all night or travel will take you far away from your creature comforts of routine.

With how busy I’ve been, I’ve learned to be more flexible in my training approach. I have outlined what I like to do on each day of the week and use that as a template to come back to if I get out of sync.

Mondays and Fridays I run, Tuesdays and Thursdays I do some kind of HIIT routine, and Wednesdays I either take as an off day or do yoga. Occasionally I'll do an endurance type of workout on Saturdays or take my two older boys  (7 and 9) out for a 1 or 2-mile run. Sundays are always a day of rest for me.

On winding down before bed. My goal is to put my phone away by 9 pm so I can actually get into bed by 9:30 pm. If I’m honest, I struggle a lot with this. But that’s the goal. I've recently moved the charging of my phone away from my bedroom and then use a standard alarm clock to wake up.

I think it’s critical to detach ourselves from our phones. I made a commitment in the next quarter to reduce screentime. I'm doing things like not sleeping close to it and not bringing it into the bathroom. Then, I wind the day down with the 5-minute journal and plan my next day. If there's time, I love to read fiction at the end of the day.