“When I turned 30, I knew my life was at a crossroads. It was either over, or I was going to restart.”
– Glenn Beck [9:10]
The goal of my blog and podcast is to push you outside of your comfort zone and force you to question assumptions.
This is why I invite divergent thinkers and world-class performers who often disagree. I might interview Tony Robbins and then Matt Mullenweg. Or I might have a long chat with Sam Harris, PhD, and later invite a seemingly opposite guest like…
This interview is a wild ride, and it happened — oddly enough — thanks to a late-night sauna session. I was catching up with an old friend, who is mixed-race, a Brown University grad, and liberal in almost every sense of the word. I casually asked him, “If you could pick one person to be on the podcast, who would it be?”
“Glenn Beck,” he answered without a moment’s hesitation. “His story is FASCINATING.”
He described how Glenn hit rock bottom and restarted his life in his 30’s, well past the point most people think it possible. Fast forward to 2014, Forbes named him to their annual Celebrity 100 Power List and pegged his earnings at $90 million for that year. This placed him ahead of people like Mark Burnett, Jimmy Fallon, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Will Smith. Glenn’s platforms — including radio, tv, digital (TheBlaze.com), publishing, etc. — get somewhere between 30 and 50 million unique visitors per month.
This interview is neither a “gotcha” interview nor a softball interview. I ask some tough questions (e.g. “If you were reborn as a disabled gay woman in a poor family, what political system would you want in place?”), but my primary goal is to pull out routines, habits, books, etc. that you can use. This show is about actionable insight, not argument for argument’s sake.
First and foremost, this is a story of entrepreneurship, and whether you love Glenn, hate Glenn, or have never heard his name, there is a lot to learn from him.
After listening to this (no tirades before, please), I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
- Listen to it on iTunes.
- Stream by clicking here.
- Download it as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as”.
At one point in this episode, we discuss billionaire Peter Thiel, who was previously on the podcast. Here is Peter and my experimental “conversation.” We delve into his principles of entrepreneurship, building massive companies, value creation, and competition, among other things (stream below or right-click here to download):
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This episode is also sponsored by The Tim Ferriss Book Club. In my book club, I highlight amazing books that I love. The most recent addition is We Learn Nothing by Tim Kreider. You can find all of the books at audible.com/timsbooks or here.
QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: For you, what were the most valuable takeaways from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.
Scroll below for links and show notes…
Selected Links from the Episode
- The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan
- Book of Virtues by William Bennett
- Winners Never Cheat by John Huntsman
- Learn more about the parable of the good Samaritan
- The Garden Cities of Tomorrow by Sir Ebenezer George Howard
- The story of Glenn Beck’s sole class at Yale [8:15]
- Facing the dark periods, and how bedtime stories helped him identify his alcoholism [17:10]
- How to avoid the temptations of the past [20:22]
- On common misconceptions [32:15]
- Suggestions for finding common ground during debates [37:45]
- Glenn Beck’s most often gifted book [41:30]
- Why Glenn has made the decision to be less divisive [45:30]
- Advice for becoming great on radio (or in audio) [49:00]
- “What controversial thing do you believe that few people agree with you on?” [53:30]
- What to focus on when building a fast-growing company [1:03:00]
- Why he sometimes asks people “How is your soul?” [1:15:05]
- Morning routines and habits [1:17:50]
- What makes Glenn Beck effective as the center of a $90-million+ organization [1:22:45]
- “Who’s the first person to come to mind when you think ‘successful?'” [1:26:50]
- Glenn Beck’s fascination with Orson Welles and the story of Citizen Kane [1:28:05]
- On Walt Disney [1:34:25]
- Glenn Beck’s advice to his 30-year old self [1:38:25]
Podcast Listener Questions (Submitted via My Facebook Page)
Matt Brand – “If you were to be theoretically reborn as a disabled gay woman in a poor family, what political system would you want in place?” [1:43:05]
Alex Kirby – “What are some of the things we can do to ‘rebrand’ capitalism and encourage entrepreneurship here (in the US) and abroad?” [1:39:35]
[Name sadly inaudible] – “If you were to leave people with one piece of advice, or a question they could ask themselves, what would that be?” [1:44:35]
- Steve Jobs
- Carl Sagan
- Thomas Jefferson
- John Dominic Crossan
- James Doty
- Penn Jillette
- Julie Taymor
- Aleksandr Dugin
- Betsy Morgan
- Billy Graham
- Orson Welles
- Walt Disney
Posted on: April 6, 2015.
Please check out Tribe of Mentors, my newest book, which shares short, tactical life advice from 100+ world-class performers. Many of the world's most famous entrepreneurs, athletes, investors, poker players, and artists are part of the book. The tips and strategies in Tribe of Mentors have already changed my life, and I hope the same for you. Click here for a sample chapter and full details. Roughly 90% of the guests have never appeared on my podcast.
Who was interviewed? Here's a very partial list: 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 nearly 100 more. Check it all out by clicking here.