The Man Who Taught Me How to Invest

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“Holding a grudge is a symptom of not knowing how you want to spend the gift of the day.” 
– Mike Maples, Jr.

Mike Maples, Jr. (@m2jr) is the man who taught me how to invest. He’s one of my favorite people and a personal mentor.

He is a partner at Floodgate, a venture capital firm that specializes in micro-cap investments in startups. He has been on the Forbes Midas List since 2010 and named one of Fortune magazine’s  “8 Rising VC Stars.” Before becoming a full-time investor, Mike was inolved as a founder and operating executive at back-to-back starup IPOs, including Tivoli Systems (acquired by IBM) and Motive (acquired by Alcatel-Lucent). Some of Mike’s investments include Twitter, Twitch.tv. ngmoco, Weebly, Chegg, Bazaar-voice, Spiceworks, Okta, and Demandforce.

Enjoy!

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Want to hear a conversation with a mentor from Tribe of Mentors? Listen to this episode with Tim Urban, in which we discuss the future, how to deal with procrastination, AI, and much much more. Listen to it here (stream below or right-click to download):

Managing Procrastination, Predicting the Future, and Finding Happiness - Tim Urban


This podcast is brought to you by ConvertKit. After trying the competition, this is the only email tool that has made email marketing intuitive for my team without sacrificing any of the features and benefits I need to run a profitable business. It’s easy-to-use systems, split testing, resending technology, automation, targeted content, high rates of deliverability, integration with more than 70 services — like WordPress, Shopify, and Sumo — and excellent customer service are the reason I made it my go-to ESP.

Whether you have a thousand subscribers or a million, whether you run a simple blog or a whole company, ConvertKit has a plan that’s scaled to fit your budget and requirements. Go to ConvertKit.com/Tim to try it out and get your first month for free! Test the platform and make sure it works for you and your business.

This podcast is also brought to you by WordPress, my go-to platform for 24/7-supported, zero downtime blogging, writing online, creating websites — everything! I love it to bits, and the lead developer, Matt Mullenweg, has appeared on this podcast many times.

Whether for personal use or business, you’re in good company with WordPress — used by The New Yorker, Jay Z, FiveThirtyEight, TechCrunch, TED, CNN, and Time, just to name a few. A source at Google told me that WordPress offers “the best out-of-the-box SEO imaginable,” which is probably why it runs nearly 30% of the Internet. Go to WordPress.com/Tim to get 15% off your website today!

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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Overcoming Doubt, Battling the Busy Trap, and Enhancing Life — M. Sanjayan

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“The messenger matters as much as the message.”
– M. Sanjayan

M. Sanjayan (@msanjayan) is a global conservation scientist specializing in how nature preserves and enhances human life. He serves as CEO for Conservation International, having joined CI in 2014 as executive vice president and senior scientist. He has led several key divisions including Oceans, Science, Development, Brand and Communications and Strategic Priorities.

Sanjayan holds a doctorate from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and his peer-reviewed scientific work has been published in journals including Science, Nature, and Conservation Biology. He is a visiting researcher at UCLA and distinguished professor of practice at Arizona State University.

Sanjayan has hosted a range of documentaries for PBS, BBC, Discovery, and Showtime. Most recently, he was featured in the University of California and Vox Media’s Climate Lab series.

Sanjayan is a Disneynature Ambassador, a Catto Fellow at the Aspen Institute, and a member of National Geographic Society’s Explorers Council. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did!

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Overcoming Doubt, Battling the Busy Trap, and Enhancing Life -- M. Sanjayan

Want to hear another conversation inspired by Tribe of Mentors? Listen to this episode where discuss my answers to the 11 questions I asked all of the mentors, including my favorite failures, best purchases of $100 or less, my morning routines, and much more. Listen to it here (stream below or right-click to download):


This podcast is brought to you by Peloton, which has become a staple of my daily routine. I picked up this bike after seeing the success of my friend Kevin Rose, and I’ve been enjoying it more than I ever imagined. Peloton is an indoor cycling bike that brings live studio classes right to your home. No worrying about fitting classes into your busy schedule or making it to a studio with a crazy commute.

New classes are added every day, and this includes options led by elite NYC instructors in your own living room. You can even live stream studio classes taught by the world’s best instructors, or find your favorite class on demand.

Peloton is offering listeners to this show a special offer. Visit onepeloton.com and enter the code TIM at checkout to receive $100 off accessories with your Peloton bike purchase. This is a great way to get in your workouts, or an incredible gift. Again, that’s onepeloton.com and enter the code TIM.

This podcast is also brought to you by 99Designs, the world’s largest marketplace of graphic designers. I have used them for years to create some amazing designs. When your business needs a logo, website design, business card, or anything you can imagine, check out 99Designs.

I used them to rapid prototype the cover for The Tao of Seneca, and I’ve also had them help with display advertising and illustrations. If you want a more personalized approach, I recommend their 1-on-1 service. You get original designs from designers around the world. The best part? You provide your feedback, and then you end up with a product that you’re happy with or your money back. Click this link and get a free $99 upgrade. Give it a test run…

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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The Answers to My Favorite Questions

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“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”
– Jim Rohn

This is an unusual episode. Instead of the typical interview format where I ask other people questions, I did what thousands of you have requested; I answered the 11 questions that are the foundation of Tribe of Mentors (and added in a few bonus answers). From beliefs that have changed my life to how I cope with feeling overwhelmed, I go into depth on all of my answers. I also recorded some of the answers on video, which you can watch on my YouTube channel.

I hope you enjoy this solo episode, and find something helpful that you can apply to your life. As always, thanks for listening!

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Want to hear a conversation with a mentor from Tribe of Mentors? Listen to this episode with Tim Urban, in which we discuss the future, how to deal with procrastination, AI, and much much more. Listen to it here (stream below or right-click to download):

Managing Procrastination, Predicting the Future, and Finding Happiness - Tim Urban


This podcast is brought to you by ZipRecruiter. One of the hardest parts about growing any business is finding and hiring the right team. Nothing can drain your resources and cost you time and money like making mistakes in hiring.

ZipRecruiter developed its own system and platform for helping solve two of the biggest bottlenecks for employers: posting jobs easily and making it even easier to find the best candidates. More than 80 percent of jobs posted return qualified candidates based on your criteria in just 24 hours. As a listener to this show, you can give it a try for free at ziprecruiter.com/tim!

This podcast is also brought to you by Helix SleepI recently moved into a new home and needed new beds, and I purchased mattresses from Helix Sleep.

They offer mattresses personalized to your preferences and sleeping style — without costing thousands of dollars. Visit Helixsleep.com/TIM and take their simple 2-3 minute sleep quiz to get started, and they’ll build a mattress you’ll love.

Their customer service makes all the difference. The mattress arrives within a week, and the shipping is completely free. You can try the mattress for 100 nights, and if you’re not happy, they’ll pick it up and offer a full refund. To personalize your sleep experience, visit Helixsleep.com/TIM and you’ll receive $50 off your custom mattress. Enjoy!

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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Managing Procrastination, Predicting the Future, and Finding Happiness – Tim Urban

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“I always thought the future would be intense, but now I think the future is going fully fucking crazy!”
– Tim Urban

Tim Urban (@waitbutwhy) is the author of the blog Wait But Why and has become one of the Internet’s most popular writers. According to Fast Company, Tim has “captured a level of reader engagement that even the new-media giants would be envious of.” Wait But Why receives more than 1.5 million unique visitors per month and has over 550,000 email subscribers.

Tim’s series of posts after interviewing Elon Musk has been called by Vox‘s David Roberts “the meatiest, most fascinating, most satisfying posts I’ve read in ages.” You can start with the first one, Elon Musk: The World’s Raddest Man. Tim’s TED Talk, Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator, has received more than 21 million views.

This episode is a live talk that was recorded on the launch day of Tribe of Mentors. Enjoy!

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Managing Procrastination, Predicting the Future, and Finding Happiness - Tim Urban

Want to hear another conversation with a mentor from Tribe of Mentors? Listen to this episode with Debbie Millman, in which we discuss how favorite failures and why busy is a decision. Listen to it here (stream below or right-click to download):


This podcast is brought to you by Peloton, which has become a staple of my daily routine. I picked up this bike after seeing the success of my friend Kevin Rose, and I’ve been enjoying it more than I ever imagined. Peloton is an indoor cycling bike that brings live studio classes right to your home. No worrying about fitting classes into your busy schedule or making it to a studio with a crazy commute.

New classes are added every day, and this includes options led by elite NYC instructors in your own living room. You can even live stream studio classes taught by the world’s best instructors, or find your favorite class on demand.

Peloton is offering listeners to this show a special offer. Visit onepeloton.com and enter the code “TIM” at checkout to receive $100 off accessories with your Peloton bike purchase. This is a great way to get in your workouts or an incredible gift. Again, that’s onepeloton.com and enter the code TIM.

This podcast is also brought to you by ConvertKit. After trying the competition, this is the only email tool that has made email marketing easy for my team without sacrificing any of the features and benefits I need to run a profitable business. It’s got easy-to-use systems, split testing, resending technology, automation, targeted content, high rates of deliverability, integration with more than 70 services — like WordPress, Shopify, and Sumo — and excellent customer service.

Whether you have a thousand subscribers or a million, whether you run a simple blog or a whole company, ConvertKit has a plan that’s scaled to fit your budget and requirements. Go to ConvertKit.com/Tim to try it out and get your first month for free! Test the platform, kick the tires, and make sure it works for you and your business.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

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Tribe of Mentors Podcast — Tim Urban

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This is the most recent episode of my brand-new Tribe of Mentors podcast! It features a live interview I did with writer Tim Urban at Union Square Barnes & Noble in NYC on the launch day of Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World

Here we go…

Tim Urban (@waitbutwhy, waitbutwhy.com) is the author of the blog Wait But Why and has become one of the Internet’s most popular writers. Tim, according to Fast Company, has “captured a level of reader engagement that even the new-media giants would be envious of.” Today, Wait But Why receives more than 1.5 million unique visitors per month and has over 550,000 email subscribers. Tim has gained a number of prominent readers as well, like authors Sam Harris (page 365 in Tribe of Mentors) and Susan Cain (page 10), Twitter co-founder Evan Williams (page 401), TED curator Chris Anderson (page 407), and Brain Pickings’ Maria Popova. Tim’s series of posts after interviewing Elon Musk have been called by Vox’s David Roberts “the meatiest, most fascinating, most satisfying posts I’ve read in ages.” You can start with the first one, “Elon Musk: The World’s Raddest Man.” Tim’s TED Talk, “Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator,” has received more than 21 million views.

Want to hear another conversation with a mentor from Tribe of MentorsListen to this episode with Debbie Millman, in which we discuss how favorite failures and why busy is a decision. Listen to it here (stream below or right-click to download):


Get Tribe of Mentors at these fine retailers or at your local bookstore!  Barnes & Noble Amazon Apple iBooks | Books-A-Million | Indigo

Here’s a partial list of people included: tech icons (founders of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Craigslist, Pinterest, Spotify, Salesforce, Dropbox, and more), Jimmy Fallon, Arianna Huffington, Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York), Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ben Stiller, Maurice Ashley (first African-American Grandmaster of chess), Brené Brown (researcher and bestselling author), Rick Rubin (legendary music producer), Temple Grandin (animal behavior expert and autism activist), Franklin Leonard (The Black List), Dara Torres (12-time Olympic medalist in swimming), David Lynch (director), Kelly Slater (surfing legend), Bozoma Saint John (Beats/Apple/Uber), Lewis Cantley (famed cancer researcher), Maria Sharapova, Chris Anderson (curator of TED), Terry Crews, Greg Norman (golf icon), Vitalik Buterin (creator of Ethereum), and roughly 100 more. Click here to see the full list, sample chapters, and more.

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How to Say No

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This is a special episode of the podcast. When I wrote Tribe of Mentors, I reached out to many different experts, leaders, athletes, and entrepreneurs who are the best in the world at what they do. More than 130 people said yes — but many others said no. This episode covers rejection, and — more specifically — how to turn down seemingly good options. How to say no to seemingly burdensome “obligations,” and say yes to the critical few opportunities. Understanding the difference — and how to do it — can make a significant impact on your life and your happiness. Enjoy!

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Want to hear another conversation with a mentor from Tribe of Mentors? Listen to this episode with Debbie Millman, in which we discuss how favorite failures and why busy is a decision. Listen to it here (stream below or right-click to download):


This podcast is brought to you by ConvertKit. This is my go-to email service provider and the only email tool that has made email marketing intuitive for my team without sacrificing any of the features and benefits I need to run a profitable business. It’s got easy-to-use systems, split testing, resending technology, automation, targeted content, high rates of deliverability, integration with more than 35 services — like WordPress, Shopify, and Sumo — and excellent customer service.

Whether you have a thousand subscribers or a million, whether you run a simple blog or a whole company, ConvertKit has a plan that’s scaled to fit your budget and requirements. Go to ConvertKit.com/Tim to try it out and get your first month for free! Test the platform, kick the tires, and make sure it works for you and your business.

This podcast is also brought to you by AudibleI have used Audible for years, and I love audiobooks. I have two to recommend:

  1. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  2. The Tao of Seneca by Seneca

As a listener of The Tim Ferriss Show, you can join Audible for just $4.95 per month for your first 3 months (it’s regularly $14.95). This offer is available to new Audible members only and it ends December 31, 2017. Go to Audible.com/tim or text “tim” to 500-500 to get started. Choose one of the above books, or choose any of the endless options they offer. That could be a book, a newspaper, a magazine, or even a class. It’s that easy. Go to Audible.com/Tim and get started today.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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10 Short Life Lessons From Steven Pressfield

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The below profile is adapted from the new book, Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World, which features practical and detailed advice from 130+ of the world’s top performers. Enjoy!


Steven Pressfield (@spressfield, stevenpressfield.com) has made a professional life in five different writing arenas — advertising, screenwriting, fiction, narrative nonfiction, and self-help. He is the best-selling author of The Legend of Bagger Vance, Gates of Fire, The Afghan Campaign, and The Lion’s Gate, as well as the cult classics on creativity, The War of Art, Turning Pro, and Do the Work. His Wednesday column on stevenpressfield.com is one of the most popular series about writing on the web.

What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?

This’ll sound crazy, but I have certain places that I go to, usually alone, that summon up for me earlier eras in my life. Time is a weird thing. Sometimes you can appreciate a moment that’s gone more in the present than you did when it was actually happening. The places that I go to are different all the time and they’re usually mundane, ridiculously mundane. A gas station. A bench on a street. Sometimes I’ll fly across the country just to go to one of these spots. Sometimes it’s on a vacation or a business trip when I’m with family or other people. I might not ever tell them. Or I might. Sometimes I’ll take somebody along, though it usually doesn’t work (how could it?).

What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore?

I’m probably hopelessly out of date but my advice is get real-world experience: Be a cowboy. Drive a truck. Join the Marine Corps. Get out of the hypercompetitive “life hack” frame of mind. I’m 74. Believe me, you’ve got all the time in the world. You’ve got ten lifetimes ahead of you. Don’t worry about your friends “beating” you or “getting somewhere” ahead of you. Get out into the real dirt world and start failing. Why do I say that? Because the goal is to connect with your own self, your own soul. Adversity. Everybody spends their life trying to avoid it. Me too. But the best things that ever happened to me came during the times when the shit hit the fan and I had nothing and nobody to help me. Who are you really? What do you really want? Get out there and fail and find out.

What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?

The single book that has influenced me most is probably the last book in the world that anybody is gonna want to read: Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War. This book is dense, difficult, long, full of blood and guts. It wasn’t written, as Thucydides himself attests at the start, to be easy or fun. But it is loaded with hardcore, timeless truths and the story it tells ought to be required reading for every citizen in a democracy.

Thucydides was an Athenian general who was beaten and disgraced in a battle early in the 27-year conflagration that came to be called the Peloponnesian War. He decided to drop out of the fighting and dedicate himself to recording, in all the detail he could manage, this conflict, which, he felt certain, would turn out to be the greatest and most significant war ever fought up to that time. He did just that.

Have you heard of Pericles’ Funeral Oration? Thucydides was there for it. He transcribed it.

He was there for the debates in the Athenian assembly over the treatment of the island of Melos, the famous Melian Dialogue. If he wasn’t there for the defeat of the Athenian fleet at Syracuse or the betrayal of Athens by Alcibiades, he knew people who were there and he went to extremes to record what they told him. Thucydides, like all the Greeks of his era, was unencumbered by Christian theology, or Marxist dogma, or Freudian psychology, or any of the other “isms” that attempt to convince us that man is basically good, or perhaps perfectible. He saw things as they were, in my opinion. It’s a dark vision but tremendously bracing and empowering because it’s true. On the island of Corcyra, a great naval power in its day, one faction of citizens trapped their neighbors and fellow Corcyreans in a temple. They slaughtered the prisoners’ children outside before their eyes and when the captives gave themselves up based on pledges of clemency and oaths sworn before the gods, the captors massacred them as well. This was not a war of nation versus nation, this was brother against brother in the most civilized cities on earth. To read Thucydides is to see our own world in microcosm. It’s the study of how democracies destroy themselves by breaking down into warring factions, the Few versus the Many. Hoi polloi in Greek means “the many.” Oligoi means “the few.”

I can’t recommend Thucydides for fun, but if you want to expose yourself to a towering intellect writing on the deepest stuff imaginable, give it a try.

 

How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favorite failure” of yours?

I just wrote a book called The Knowledge about my favorite failure and guess what? It failed too. In all truth, when my third novel (which, like the first two, never got published) crashed ignominiously, I was driving a cab in New York City. I’d been trying to get published for about 15 years at that point. I decided to give up and move to Hollywood, to see if I could find work writing for the movies. Don’t ask me what movies I wrote. I will never tell. And if you find out by other means, BE WARNED! Don’t see ’em. But working in “the industry” made me a pro and paved the way for whatever successes finally did come.

If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it, what would it say and why?

I would not have a billboard, and I would take down every billboard that everybody else has put up.

What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made?

I’ve never invested in the stock market or taken a risk on anything outside myself. I decided a long time ago that I would only bet on myself. I will risk two years on a book that’ll probably fall flat on its face. I don’t mind. I tried. It didn’t work. I believe in investing in your heart. That’s all I do, really. I’m a servant of the Muse. All my money is on her.

In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?

I’ve always been a gym person and an early morning person. But a few years ago I got invited to train with T. R. Goodman at a place called Pro Camp. There’s a “system,” yeah, but basically what we do (and it’s definitely a group thing, with three or four of us training together) is just work hard. I hate it but it’s great. T. R. says, as we’re leaving after working out, “Nothing you face today will be harder than what you just did.”

In the last five years, what have you become better at saying no to? What new realizations and/or approaches helped?

I got a chance a couple of years ago to visit a security firm, one of those places that guard celebrities and protect their privacy — in other words, a business whose total job was to say no. The person who was giving me the tour told me that the business screens every incoming letter, solicitation, email, etc., and decides which ones get through to the client. “How many get through?” I asked.

“Virtually none,” my friend said. I decided that I would look at incoming mail the same way that firm does. If I were the security professional tasked with protecting me from bogus, sociopathic, and clueless asks, which ones would I screen and dump into the trash? That has helped a lot.

When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?

I have a friend at the gym who knew Jack LaLanne (Google him if the name is unfamiliar). Jack used to say it’s okay to take a day off from working out. But on that day, you’re not allowed to eat. That’s the short way of saying you’re not really allowed to get unfocused. Take a vacation. Gather yourself. But know that the only reason you’re here on this planet is to follow your star and do what the Muse tells you. It’s amazing how a good day’s work will get you right back to feeling like yourself.

What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

Great, great question. In the world of writing, everyone wants to succeed immediately and without pain or effort. Really? Or they love to write books about how to write books, rather than actually writing . . . a book that might actually be about something. Bad advice is everywhere. Build a following. Establish a platform. Learn how to scam the system. In other words, do all the surface stuff and none of the real work it takes to actually produce something of value. The disease of our times is that we live on the surface. We’re like the Platte River, a mile wide and an inch deep. I always say, “If you want to become a billionaire, invent something that will allow people to indulge their own Resistance.” Somebody did invent it. It’s called the Internet. Social media. That wonderland where we can flit from one superficial, jerkoff distraction to another, always remaining on the surface, never going deeper than an inch. Real work and real satisfaction come from the opposite of what the web provides. They come from going deep into something — the book you’re writing, the album, the movie — and staying there for a long, long time.

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The above was taken from Tribe of Mentors, which shares short, tactical life advice from 130+ world-class performers from every imaginable field. Many of the world’s most famous entrepreneurs, athletes, investors, and artists are part of the book.

Get Tribe of Mentors at these fine retailers or at your local bookstore!  Barnes & Noble Amazon Apple iBooks | Books-A-Million | Indigo

Here’s a partial list of people included: tech icons (founders of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Craigslist, Pinterest, Spotify, Salesforce, Dropbox, and more), Jimmy Fallon, Arianna Huffington, Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York), Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ben Stiller, Maurice Ashley (first African-American Grandmaster of chess), Brené Brown (researcher and bestselling author), Rick Rubin (legendary music producer), Temple Grandin (animal behavior expert and autism activist), Franklin Leonard (The Black List), Dara Torres (12-time Olympic medalist in swimming), David Lynch (director), Kelly Slater (surfing legend), Bozoma Saint John (Beats/Apple/Uber), Lewis Cantley (famed cancer researcher), Maria Sharapova, Chris Anderson (curator of TED), Terry Crews, Greg Norman (golf icon), Vitalik Buterin (creator of Ethereum), and roughly 100 more. Click here to see the full list, sample chapters, and more.

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