Search and Replace Episode S01E17: Anthony Maher

As Anthony Maher transitioned into his new role as a partner in a busy development firm, he needed to take control of his morning routine so he could jumpstart the day the right way. He pulled from his experience as a professional athlete to bring him into alignment. With his morning routine back on track, he’s now more strategic during the day and has more quality time with his family. Find out how he did it on Search and Replace.

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[00:00:00] Announcer: Support for the following podcast is provided by the user experience specialists at Johns and Taylor. More information follows this episode. 
[00:00:10] Joe Taylor, Jr: What if the best path to the future you're trying to build for yourself comes from your past? I'm Joe Taylor, Jr and this is Search and Replace.
Anthony Maher leads a commercial real estate partnership in Philadelphia, the city where he's been working for most of the past decade. And for full disclosure, Anthony has been a client of my consulting business in a few different incarnations over the years. 
Before his current role in shaping sustainable construction for clients in the life sciences, Anthony helped lead a startup incubator. And before that he was a professional athlete, playing soccer with the likes of David Beckham. So, Anthony is used to being nimble in his professional life. And when it was time to jump into his new role, he realized it was a rare chance to overhaul his all-important morning routine. 
[00:01:05] Anthony Maher: Transitioning from my role as co- CEO of a thriving, co-working and incubator company where we had hundreds of entrepreneurs and multiple locations throughout the Northeast corridor. I found my days flying by. I found my days being consumed. The mornings tended to take off right away, fast and furious as far as what needs to get done, what potentially needs to be handled immediately. As I transitioned into this role as a partner in a development firm, I wanted to take back my morning routine and go really deep strategically and jumpstart my day the right way. 
[00:01:46] Joe Taylor, Jr: Anthony discovered, as the cadence of his new job revealed itself, that he could lean on some of the habits that served him well much earlier in his career. 
[00:01:55] Anthony Maher: I took a page out of the book of my days back as an athlete, where that first thing you do in the morning can start to really dictate how the rest of your morning and the rest of your day will go.
It was always body first, making sure that my body was feeling the right way and was prepared to perform. Looking back I realized that there was a larger mindset and mental fortitude that was being created in those moments, that preparation mindset that certainly translated into my playing career. And so as you fast forward from my 10 years of playing professional soccer into startup entrepreneurship, the morning routine kind of went away. It turned out to be right from the out of bed moment, phone in my hand, emails being answered. 
And so as a developer now my morning routine, transitioning into this role, I said I want to hit the reset button. I want to take some of the good that I used years ago. I want to certainly eliminate some of the bad and also introduce new concepts that would set me up for success as a developer. 
[00:03:01] Joe Taylor, Jr: Anthony soon discovered the impact of his changes reached beyond the quality of his work. 
[00:03:07] Anthony Maher: My morning routine not only benefits what I'm doing and sets me up for success, but it certainly enables me to have a stronger relationship with my family. That's at the end of the day, my top mission. And there's nothing more important. 
And a couple of examples to amplify that, if I start my morning off very thoughtfully and in a routine, my kids see that. They start feeling comfortable around the predictability of my morning. And it becomes a habit which ultimately shapes behavior.
When I come down the stairs and greet my boys, all of them are in different spots and they're pretty consistent with their they're hang out morning spots. I've asked them to start the mornings off differently, not just turn the TV on or pop on a show or turning the device on. To start their morning by reading.
And I asked him to help me with, Hey, what did you read today? Is there something, maybe, that you pulled from this morning that you want to share? And when you do it one off, it doesn't become a habit. But when you consistently ask the question, you start seeing them go deeper and allows you to have a really special moment.
[00:04:21] Joe Taylor, Jr: Anthony's got plenty of examples of special moments his new routines afforded him with his family. Like this one. 
[00:04:27] Anthony Maher: It was really dark. It was overcast and the living room was dark. And then my boy was there on his device, but right next to him was his Bible, believe it or not. And he wants to share a specific proverb of the day. And I think Proverbs; there's 31 Proverbs and the book of Proverbs, and he was looking at Proverbs 29 and get in this habit, showcasing me a verse that meant something to hem. 
So it's a circular reference one. I'm really, it builds a moment as a father to their son. But my son also gets to be pushed to think deeper and be pushed to start his day out more meaningful. And I have a feeling the consistency will shape his behaviors to come. 
[00:05:06] Joe Taylor, Jr: So, Anthony's got a little advice for you if you were thinking of shaking things up and putting together a new morning routine. 
[00:05:12] Anthony Maher: I almost use the same framework I would use for starting a new routine as I would in starting a new business. I would have a framework of discovery. Meaning let's look at all the experiences that have shaped you over your entire life. Let's look at the good and the bad, and that's also look at the influences that you have your life and how that shaped you as well. 
I'm a big believer in pushing yourself to have a framework that can set you up for success. And when you force yourself to go through that exercise and you go through that exploratory, it so much more than just the managing your schedule and managing your time. It starts to really influence yourself physically, yourself mentally, your attitude, the effort that you, kind of, can put into the rest of your day.
[00:06:11] Joe Taylor, Jr: That's Anthony Mayer, who's both partner and president of University Place Associates in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 
And in the time since we recorded this interview, I'm happy to report that Anthony and his wife Jen and have welcomed a baby daughter to their family, which I'm sure means Anthony's been making even more revisions to his morning routine. 
You can learn more about the innovative work Anthony is doing with his partner and with the company's founder, Scott Mazo, by following the link in our show notes over at
Search and Replace was produced by Nicole Hubbard. With support from Christine Benton, Connie Evans, Amelia Lohman, April Smith, and executive producer Lori Taylor. Our theme music was composed by Alex Refire. I'm Joe Taylor, Jr.
[00:07:04] Announcer: This has been a Podcast Taxi radio production. 
Support for Search and Replace is provided by Johns and Taylor, user experience specialists serving media and technology companies that want their websites to work. Learn more about how top performing businesses eliminate barriers between customers and their goals at

Joe Taylor Jr. has produced stories about media, technology, entertainment, and personal finance for over 25 years. His work has been featured on NPR, CNBC, Financial Times Television, and ABC News. After launching one of public radio's first successful digital platforms, Joe helped dozens of client companies launch or migrate their online content libraries. Today, Joe serves as a user experience consultant for a variety of Fortune 500 and Inc. 5000 businesses. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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