avid Anderson and Mark Nathan are Millennial entrepreneurs with very different backgrounds. Born in 1985, David worked on Wall Street and at the White House before cofounding School Loan 411, a student-loan advisory firm. He is currently the CEO of Keep Global North America, the U.S. division of a Chinese multinational. He was inducted as a Global Shaper with The World Economic Forum and is the Senior Advisor to the Honorary Consul to the country of Moldova. Mark Nathan was born in 1982 into a family of Burmese and Filipino immigrants. He paid his way through college as an actor and started his entrepreneurial journey launching a film festival at age 21. He worked in the corporate world while building a network marketing business, until he became financially free to quit his job. Today Mark speaks globally about goal-setting, personal development, team-building, and creating culture. Both based in Chicago, David and Mark met almost 13 years ago and recently wrote a book together, The Delusion of Passion: Why Millennials Struggle to Find Success. Their goal was to clear up some of the misunderstandings about their generation while helping Millennials understand themselves and pursue their purpose with passion.—J.G.
Tell us a little about your background. DAVID: I come from humble beginnings. My mother struggled with physical and mental illness, so I learned to be responsible early on. I always looked for opportunities and mentors. While studying at the University of Illinois, I met Dr. Charles King, who was a marketing professor. One day he said, “You should call my good friend Mark Yarnell.” That day changed my life, for many reasons. I didn’t know at the time that I was about to get mentored by a giant of network marketing and the author of several bestselling books. Mark Yarnell started putting books in my hand: sociology, psychology, religion, finance—
you name it, I was reading it. I devoured 10 to 15 books a month, did that for about four years. I didn’t know I was developing myself for everything that was to come. This was in 2005. I was working at Starbucks and other odd jobs while taking care of my mom and two young siblings. Mark never pushed me to join the network marketing profession. He believed I was meant to do something different with my skill set and talents. He taught me an entrepreneurial mindset and warrior spirit. That took me from Wall Street to the White House to where I am today. Thanks to Mark Yarnell, I learned all about leadership, starting with leading myself.