Shay Carl — From Manual Laborer to 2.3 Billion YouTube Views (#170)

The Tim Ferriss Show with Shay Carl
Image from Instagram

Shay Carl (@shaycarl) got his first computer at age 27.

He was a manual laborer for ages and uploaded his first YouTube video while on break from a granite counter top job.

Flash forward to today:

  • His SHAYTARDS channel now has roughly 2.3 BILLION views. Celebs like Steven Spielberg have appeared alongside Shay and his family.
  • He co-founded Maker Studios, which sold to Disney for nearly $1 billion.
  • He has been married 13 years and has 5 kids.
  • He has lost more than 100 pounds since his overweight peak.

Shay came to San Francisco to spend 2 days with me, we did a bunch of weird shit together (a lot of firsts for Shay), and we covered a ton, including:

  • The most important decisions and inflection points in his life
  • Tools of the trade and tips for creating on YouTube
  • Favorite books, quotes, etc. that he lives by
  • Stories he’s never shared anywhere before
  • And much, much more

If you only have 5 minutes, listen to Shay’s thoughts on the decisions that helped Maker Studios become a massive success.

And here is the pic of his hilarious driver’s license that we mention a few times 🙂


You can find the transcript of this episode here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#170: Shay Carl — From Manual Laborer to 2.3 Billion YouTube Views

Want to hear another podcast related to YouTube stardom? — Listen to my conversation with Casey Neistat. In this episode, we discuss how one renegade filmmaker breaks rules, reinvents himself, and gets thanked for it (stream below or right-click here to download):

#116: How Casey Neistat Gets Away With Murder

This podcast is brought to you by Wealthfront. Wealthfront is a massively disruptive (in a good way) set-it-and-forget-it investing service led by technologists from places like Apple. It has exploded in popularity in the last two years and now has more than $2.5B under management. Why? Because you can get services previously limited to the ultra-wealthy and only pay pennies on the dollar for them, and it’s all through smarter software instead of retail locations and bloated sales teams.

Check out, take their risk assessment quiz, which only takes 2-5 minutes, and they’ll show you — for free — exactly the portfolio they’d put you in. If you want to just take their advice and do it yourself, you can. Well worth a few minutes to explore:

This podcast is also brought to you by Born Fitness Coaching. Born Fitness Coaching offers concierge coaching, a 3:1 coach-to-client model that is customized to your needs, goals, and preferences. That means you receive unlimited interaction and coaching with one certified coach for diet, one for fitness, and one to keep track of all the rest (lifestyle, accountability, and consistency.)

Born Fitness Coaching is offering a special coaching experience based on the principles of The 4-Hour Body. You guys have asked me for this, and this is why I partnered with them for this offer. There are only 100 spots available because I insisted that quality never drops. Each Tim Ferriss Show listener receives $100 off per month. For full details, please visit

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…

Selected Links from the Episode

Canon G7X | Final Cut Pro X

  • My simple podcasting equipment:

Zoom H6 | XLR Cables | Shure Microphone SM58

The Joe Rogan Experience | Dear Hank and John | This American Life

WTF with Mark Maron | WTKGTS

Show Notes

  • Shay Carl’s origin story [11:05]
  • On growing up a Mormon [13:33]
  • What Shay looked for in a mentor [23:11]
  • On near death experiences [31:17]
  • On the duration between starting and experiencing success as a YouTuber [34:21]
  • How Shay got his first gig in entertainment [39:11]
  • How daily vlogging helps Shay choose to be happy each day [43:09]
  • A funny story about great driver license photographs [46:07]
  • When did Shay Carl realize daily vlogging could be more than a hobby? [50:07]
  • From grocery money to mortgage money on YouTube [52:55]
  • The day Shay Carl decided to drop out of college [57:41]
  • How Shay Carl defines success, and who is the first person who comes to mind when you hear the word “success?” [1:04:27]
  • Thoughts on how physical tranformation impacts your mental state [1:10:08]
  • Discussing alcohol abuse [1:12:57]
  • Important decisions that allowed Maker Studios to succeed [1:36:00]
  • The story behind Trixin Clothing [1:51:03]
  • Suggestions for someone interested in vlogging [1:56:42]
  • Shay Carl’s vlogging camera equipment and editing software [2:16:02]
  • Favorite motivational quotes [2:22:12]
  • Fatherhood tips for first-time dads [2:23:25]
  • Favorite podcasts and audiobooks [2:29:08]
  • Most gifted books [2:33:34]
  • Chapters from the Book of Mormon that can help non-believers [2:35:31]
  • What purchase of $100 or less has most positively effected your life [2:41:35]
  • Morning rituals [2:45:30]
  • If you could put anything on a billboard, where would it be and what would it say? [2:47:19]
  • Families are forever [2:48:08]
  • Advice to your 25-year-old self [2:51:05]

People Mentioned


The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

Leave a Reply

Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation! (Thanks to Brian Oberkirch for the inspiration.)

127 Replies to “Shay Carl — From Manual Laborer to 2.3 Billion YouTube Views (#170)”

  1. Thank you for the richness of this interview. Shay’s comment “While we’re achieving, we’re living,” speaks to the importance of process vs. outcome and really resonates. I also loved his comment about the benefits of network effects and teams – I know it’s so basic, but seems to really hit home now.

    Tim, I feel that your journey of inquiry could lead to really fruitful horizons. I’d be happy to see you experiment. You asked great questions about what entertainment means, for example, in a vlog. I think as long as you’re exploring your own authenticity, there will be benefits both to you and to your audience. In addition to more video, I’d also like to see you conscientiously build community based around some of your discoveries and ideas. On that last point, you might need to critically look beyond the regular suspects in terms of platforms. Don’t let that stop your commencement, but I’d like you to keep that as a near term next step.

    1. Great comment. I’m also looking forward to the Tim Ferriss Vlog. What a natural progression into experimentation.

      Sidebar: I just heard my Japanese co worker mention Tim and the slow carb diet to some of our other coworkers at work last week here in Tokyo.

      1. Thanks so much for the encouragement… and the anecdote about Nihon Slow-Carb Diet! Natsukashii naaaaa… 🙂

  2. Great Interview! I surprisingly had never heard of this guy, but very interesting. Some great tips in there, I recently tried the exercise of writing to myself as a giver of advice from a decade away. Grabbed some interesting insight into my life. It’s not hard to see why this guy has been able to carve such a unique career out for himself. Thanks for the constant quality interviews Tim.

  3. Its really funny that this podcast showed up in my inbox today. I actually left the Mormon church after years of working at the Church Office Building downtown SLC with the church authorities and receiving the highest temple ordinances available to women. After years of dealing with the lifestyle (often highly sexist), I decided to read up on counter arguments and philosophy (stoic philosophy being one, which led me to your podcast). Learning a bit o’ history led to me leaving the church and consequently becoming socially shunned by family and friends and left by my then husband (a mere three days later). I was just asked to write a book for women about leaving the church, all the acrimony and social death that goes along with it–but in a funny/irreverent way. I started the project last week. Anyway, it was fun hearing some nostalgic Mormon Doctrine. This guy seems like a nice dude.

    1. Glad to see someone step in to talk about LDS reality. The Mormon cult(ure) teaches members (starting in childhood) to show that shiny, grinning veneer to the world, while the underlying reality is very dark and even life threatening. For example, ostracism can and often does lead to the total loss of family and friends. It’s an indirect form of violence that the LDS community regularly takes against former members. Ostracism is a primary marker for cult status, btw. Shay touches on it re his fear that his wife will leave him. He glosses over it, but it’s a very real fear that members deal with every day. Tow the line or you’re out.

      1. Its true. And its not like they chase you away with flaming minivans with 12 stick-figure kids and one dog-angel sticker on the back windshield. Its more like they act really weird around you until you go away. Also, they are slightly scared of you. Its alright, though. I looked it up and I qualify for outer darkness now. I have the entire card punched. Soon I will be a floating mind in a starless space. . . . At that part of the interview where Shay revealed that he feared his wife would leave him, I cringed (I know the feeling!). But typically women don’t leave apostate husbands. In my experience, men leave apostate wives. I didn’t mean to hijack this thread with my stuff but wanted to reply to people. Carry on.

    2. Hi erikavictor, you are really brave to leave the faith. These ostracizing religions can cause emense amount of grief. Power to you!

    3. Very interesting. He does seem like a nice guy. Would be interested to learn more about your book writing project, e.g. who asked you to write it, editor, etc.?

      1. Allen, sorry didn’t see this until today! I am in talks with a major publisher about it. As some of you know, the pub industry is a slow mover so we are all in emails back and forth at this point. Might have to use pen name as I have some kinda funny stories about working at the Church Office Building and they involve the “big guys.” I have lots of “damning” (read: hilarious) stories about real people (esp myself) so have to be a bit incog-neeto at this point.

      2. Erika, I can surely relate although not a Mormon. At one point I left a good solid job in Colorado higher ed to go to Manhattan to work for a small “Christian” college. Ended up being a big disappointment all around, professionally as well as spiritually. I could also tell some hot and sad stories about that, e.g. the ops director who left his wife for an affair with one of the undergrads and the wife committed suicide and it was all just glossed over so college operations could move one. Now I believe that regardless of the religious veneer we put on to make us “better” we are and will always be human, at least as long as we are on this earth plane. The whole spiritual thing now is my relationship to Jesus. I hope that in your book you can keep that “baby” while throwing out the dirty bath water.

        Blessings to you.


    4. This is really interesting. Do you think it’s more of a Mormon Culture thing or More of a Utah Mormon Culture thing? I am a somewhat recent member of the church (it’s been 9 years so I guess not that recent). I am from the east coast and I see lots of people join and lots leave (or just fall away). So far I haven’t seen anyone shunned or met with anything other than love. Obviously individual families will make their own choices on how they react to loved ones “losing the faith” but for the most part the church officials I’ve heard from and talks I’ve heard usually preach love and acceptance. So technically what your family did was a “sin” according to what I perceive LDS standards to be. Interested to hear your thoughts.

      1. I agree with you–total sin! Its okay, already dammed them to hell myself with my mystical damning teddy bear. But I’ve seen lots of people shunned. I live in Utah though and things can be hard here for an outsider. Aside from that, Shay’s interview was very inspiring and he’s living a good life. I ain’t dogging the whole faith or anything. Just excited to write some funny tales about drinking for the first time (at age 30), dating, sex and buying real underwear. Also included are tales of dating GA grandkids, modelling for the New Era and knowing Elizabeth Smart’s kidnapper and getting up to no good in the temple. I don’t suggest you read it at all.

    5. More power to you. I came to atheism in me mid-thirties, and as I mention in a comment below, if there is one thing I could tell my twenty year old self it would possibly be, “you will realize there is no god, please realize it now and save yourself the mess that religion will make of your life and mind in your twenties.”

  4. Still only half way through it but just wanted to say huge thank you Tim for bringing Shay to the show!

    So much practical wisdom and what’s even cooler – I couldn’t stop myself from smiling all the time I was listening. So reminds me of my own life philosophy. Loving it!

    It’s one of those interviews I truly enjoy, like a great movie or book. One of the best episodes, similar to the one with Cal Fussman (quality of content and pleasure from the experience).

    Thank you!

  5. Fascinating person–I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of him before. Great work as always, Tim. I love the Overcast links that you put in for these episodes highlighting one specific excerpt. It’s a great way to get a taste of the interview before dipping in fully.

  6. Awesome interview. Makes me feel good to know if you want success, you can have it, if you work hard enough for it. I dont always know where to even start, but I hope the road is a meaningful one.

  7. I learned of Shay from my kids who have been longtime viewers of the Shaytards (does that mean I’m an absentee parent?) I loved the little warning at the beginning of the podcast, “This podcast contains some religion”! Haha, are those the kind of disclaimers we expect these days? It was a great interview and I really loved hearing the story of Maker Studios as my son has told me numerous times how one can “make it” as a vlogger – just like Shay Carl. One of my favorite TF podcasts yet.

  8. Very inspiring. My birthday is in August, less than 2 months away. I’m doing a 365 day blog starting on my birthday. Thanks for the idea Shay!

  9. Another great podcast, and definitely looking forward to the daily vlog experiment.

    Something I think about a lot: given the increasingly video-centric culture that in ways started with reality shows, but continues in a more intense way with Youtube and social media in general, people who are now on camera have approached it differently because they have an expectation of what it is to fill X role on camera. Go back 15-20 years and you notice a subtle but different dynamic at work with people who were in the early versions of things like the Real World and Road Rules, where they were just doing it, without the very specific expectations of themselves of how they want to appear that many or most people have now.

    I just wonder, is it possible to avoid that kind of behavioral bias? If possible, is it good to? Is it bad to? It just seems that remaining truly genuine in front of the lens is getting harder and harder by the day.

  10. Holy hell. What Tim and Shay consider to be a lot of alcohol is nothing to me. Am I an addict?

    Also, where’s the driver’s license photo?

  11. This was awesome, I was a big fan of Shay Carl in his earlier YouTube days, as well as Lisa Nova, KassemG, the Station, etc. A fine human being, and it was great getting to know a bit more about him. @Tim, vlogging is great but please don’t ever replace the podcast format!!! I’m sure many of your followers would agree that we listen to your podcast during commutes or while doing other things where we can’t be watching a video. Podcast format also allows us to use our favorite podcast player, etc. Maybe video with audio that can be podcast? Or supplement podcasts with vlog – just like what we do with your show-notes, where we go back and look things up after we listen to podcast and dig more.

    Also, very much appreciate your call to “develop your empathy” for different beliefs.

  12. Great inspiration. Thank you both. Loved it that Shay Carl got to address his faith. I’m not a Mormon, but can surely learn a lot from how they run their lives, their families, their communities. I got my Ph.D. from Utah State in Instructional Technology. I used to live in Logan, Utah. Tim, if you ever want a great hot springs experience in mid winter, go to Crystal Hot Springs near Logan. It is salt water so you can soak and not shrivel. It is open air. Maybe Wim Hof wold like it. You can get hot and cold and hot again and soak up the sunshine, too. It was one of my study overload recovery luxuries in grad school.

    1. Dude, read erikavictor’s comment. Sorry to have chosen your comment to reply to. I know you must be a cool dude (you are listening to this pod cast). Shay is obviously a great person, but we can’t consider him an icon of mormonism. It is an isolating religion that ostracizes people who want to change their beliefs.

  13. It is a great interview Tim. This interview opened space on video logging for me which I was not aware of. I am looking forward to your video logs before August 1st.

  14. Hi Tim! Thanks for being so awesome! I just have a few quick questions in this comments section: You won’t see a documentary because it has a bad title? I mean, I know you’re excellent at coming up with yours, but might that be a limiting strategy? Whatever the case, it’s great to hear your interviews. I look forward to hearing more great titles, too!

  15. Thanks Shay and Tim. Another great episode.

    I appreciate the transparency and confidence Shay brought to the interview. It is a truly brave and honorable act to be real and admit past or current struggles. There is no doubt that someone who is dealing with a challenge in their life right no that will hear this message and be helped by it.

  16. Thank you Tim and thank you Shay for sharing your time with us. My favorite section: Get some wisdom from my future self. Definitely applying this to my daily routine. Looking forward to what unfolds for me.

    Tim, thank you for making a difference in my life.

  17. You should start to record your interviews, but don’t look into your camera. No edits. Just like your podcast.

  18. Tim, love the podcast. Longtime fan. Any chance of getting more minorities on your show? It’s always great to hear what the white dudes are up to but I would love to hear what some women at the top of their game are doing or Black/Hispanic people in the tech world are doing since they may bring a different perspective. Thanks.

  19. Favorite Quote from Shay in this podcast:

    ‘Think happy thoughts, then you’ll be happy.’

    And most people are like…’B.S. – That can’t happen!’

    ‘-Yeah, it’s not gonna work for you because you’ve got a shi**y attitude!’

    Funny yet true!

  20. Done… subscribed to the Youtube channel. Hope the internet does not break with you doing a daily vlog…

    It’s a really interesting idea and I think seeing the progression of one of your experiments would be fascinating to watch and inspirational!

    Good luck with it!

    An additional meta episode should be your evaluation of daily vlogging and what it did for you, what was difficult, how you can make it easy etc…

  21. No reason to suffer from alcohol addiction. Addiction has been cured. Read or listen to Allen Carr EasyWay to Control Alcohol or Stop Drinking Now.

  22. No reason to suffer from addiction. Read Allen Carr EasyWay to Control Alcohol or Stop Drinking Now. I am not affiliated- it cured me.

  23. Another amazing episode! One of my favourites so far. I never heard od Shay Carl before and I was not sure what to expect from this episode. However, I found it extremely inspirational! Shay’s honesty, passion and the clarity of his purpose was really touching. I loved the way he talks about his family and especially his wife. Well done Tim!! This was a great interview! – looking forward to watching your own Vlog!! 😉

    Tim – completely unrelated but it would be great to have Shaun T in the program!! Also Nick Vujicic would be an amazing inspiration!!

    1. Love your show Tim. Really appreciated you having Carl on and hearing his story. He mentioned Alma 2 as the go-to scripture in the Book of Mormon. I think he actually meant Alma 32. Worth updating the link to reflect this.

  24. QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode?

    My favorite takeaway/quote:

    “Let’s not be that hard on each other. Let’s be kind to each other.”

    I believe if we all did that – that would solve most of the world problems really fast. Maybe the hardest thing we got to do is start being kind to ourselves first? When we accept kindness as our modus operandi by default, kindness, cooperation – the world will become a completely different place. And it’s gonna happen, because it’s a logical evolutionary step. And it is happening.

    Cooperation, honesty, win-win, kindness, vulnerability and generosity, humanity, sharing and acceptance – it’s gonna happen, first inside each of us and then between all of us.

    “Live every day like it’s your last day” – for me it means – Get that good at living TRULY YOUR life that every day is like your last day by default.

    You do what you feel you got to do, you embrace “Hell YEAH!” opportunities, and not afraid to miss out on the rest, you connect with people you want to connect as they come into your life, you don’t put off important things till tomorrow…

    Then, what’s the difference between your last day and TODAY?

    And yes, start making videos Tim! 🙂 I’ve subscribed to your channel at least a year ago, time to make it interesting 🙂

    I’m starting my own challenge on the 1st of July – “Daily Choice to Healthy You”, as a part of a bigger project I’m working on, I want to show through my life that healthy choices are now, it’s not about diet, exercise etc. it’s about choices right now – in your shopping cart, at dinner, at the airport traveling, at the party, at family reunion or random encounter, health, weight loss – it’s all easy, it’s a daily choice…Are we choosing and promoting health and our best values daily? Or succumbing to mediocrity? The choice is TODAY and NOW. Always. – well, that’s the idea, and also simplicity of health when we choose it. And it’s not all or nothing, it’s awareness of choices and their consequences. Every single time.

    I asked myself your question Tim, when I started to think about video challenge – “What would it look like if it was easy?” 🙂

    So I’m starting with my phone, selfie stick for better view and simple mic that plugs in the headphones’ socket, got some free video editing software also. I know i’m gonna suck at first but heck, at least there will be something to laugh about later in life 🙂

    Anyway, August first? Waiting!!!

    Or maybe you can do last year before 40 video series starting on your birthday? And take longer project? Something AWESOME!

    I’m sure it would be amazing whatever you choose to do! Good luck!

  25. wow! Probably one of my top 3 favorite episodes. This guy is into it and he did his homework on you tim. Answering questions before you ask them haha. His authenticity, vulnerability and just keeping in real was refreshing to hear! No acting like a success or acting a certain way. Learned alot.

    Biggest take away eliminating the fear of criticism

    But wow great idea man and has seemed to open up a whole new avenue for you, Tim with Vlog. I totally agree with a daily 30 day video to show the “process” of any experiment. It will give people inspiration and confidence to try things themselves. The path to behavioral change is unsexy and showing the unsexy day to day process will lift the vail!

    Suggestion: “Periscope” app.

    Tim you da man! Thanks for all you do! You inspire me to help others and spread the good word.

  26. Thanks Tim, being a father of four who never stops dreaming I truly related with Shay and I’m now a fan. The Care Bear Stare conversation hooked me.

    1. Hell yeah, the F-ing Care Bear stare! Transported me back to my childhood in a split second outta nowhere.

  27. This podacst and the story about Shay’s battle with alcohol brought me to tears and prayer.

    As a business owner I fell for the BS that you had to be a drinker to get in the “right” social circles

    All it did was drive a wedge between me and my real purpose for becoming my own boss.

    To spend more time with my family and providing a life of adventurous activities

    At this time, I dont know if I will be able to keep my family, my spouse is taking efforts to leave.

    I am not quitting yet!

    Thank you for this podcast Tim Ferris and ShayCarl

  28. Editor: Slight correction on the show notes: the chapter of the Book of Mormon about hope he referred to is Alma 32, not Alma 2. (Double check the two differing chapter descriptions to confirm)

  29. Hi Tim,

    Excellent post. I enjoyed the raw conversation about struggles with addiction and Shay’s experience with his first paycheck from Youtube. By the way, congrats on finally accepting the YT challenge, remember to let Casey know too. Btw I’ve been following you since probably shortly after your first book came out. Funnily enough, I’m living your dream right now. I’m a high school teacher in Bangkok and loving it. You mentioned that you’d be heading to this region in July or so, and I wanted to invite you to conduct an experiment while here.

    My mentor here is a No Bullshit Feng Shui expert with over $5 billion worth of property consultations under her belt. She claims that she can teach you to know anyone’s personality, lifestyle, and sexual habits (or lack thereof), just from their floorplan within 2 days gauranteed. I would love to invite you to have a chat with her and see if it would be fun to meet while you’re in the area. Let me know. (btw I borrowed this message format from Ramit Sethi’s interview. Let me know if it worked)

    Chat soon,

    Vick Umythy

  30. Tim- What’s your process for deciding what gets into the show notes?

    And: Anyone know of an app for bookmarking important spots in a podcast?


  31. Great episode!

    Tim, you briefly mentioned experiments on rebuilding severed connective tissue. Is this something coming up? After a lifetime of injuries, I could really use some tricks to get back to BJJ and other activities I love.

    1. Jocko Podcast gets into discussions on how to train BJJ if you have long term injuries, fatigue, etc.

  32. First off- I’m a huge fan of Tim and his podcast. That’s why I have to express my disappointment with this particular episode and guest. I’ve never heard of Shay before, so I was curious about the actual “content” he kept talking about in the interview. I went on Youtube to check out his channel, and it’s mostly just dumb, lowest common denominator amateurish trash. Shay even jokingly states on his channel’s description that his videos “lower your IQ”. There are tons of people making crass, time wasting videos for the masses, and that’s fine. The disappointing part is that podcasts like Tim’s are usually a lighthouse for true intellectuals and people of substance – scientist, writers, REAL entertainers (i.e the wonderful Jamie Foxx) etc. In my eyes, getting someone like Shay on the show, just because he has millions of clicks and Youtube views, compromises the integrity of the podcast. If you listen between the lines, you quickly understand that this self described “social influencer” is ultimately in it mostly to influence people to buy sponsored products. Millions of people also eat McDonalds, but that doesn’t legitimize the food they sell…

    What really took it over the edge for me was when Shay was trying to give Tim career advice about vlogging. Tim, I assure you that you and Shay appeal to opposite target audiences. Shay seems like a well meaning nice guy, btw, so I wish him the best (especially if I never have to hear his voice again!). Still love the show of course!

    1. I wasn’t able to watch an entire Shaytard video either. But this was still a great conversation, and I believe it fits with Tim’s mission to deconstruct Influencers. Shay is absolutely influencing huge numbers of people and the process is interesting, even if I’m not his target demographic. Just my 2 cents.

    2. I discovered Tim Ferriss’ podcast a few months ago and have enjoyed and been inspired by many of his guests.

      Thank you ML for expressing so eloquently what I was thinking as I listened to this fast and crass talking Mormon that had nothing to share that was worth my time.

    3. I agree with you, ML. “Social influencer”…What kind of influence? There are so many youtube famous people now, or instagram famous. What do they talk about? Absolutely nothing. You can’t judge the influence level by the amount of followers. Sam Harris has 400 thousand followers, and this guy has 800 thousand followers on twitter, so does it mean he has a bigger impact on the society? It just means society likes following “easy-to-follow” people, people who don’t challenge them to think too much. Everyone is a self-proclaimed life coach now. And what is their life experience? Hardly anything worth knowing.

    4. Agreed. Not sure what the appeal is of his content. I spent about thirty minutes perusing it and it seems like a mix of bad fifteen year old humor and tedious TLC reality TV.

  33. Hey, awesome episode! I am a practicing Mormon, as well as a returned missionary, and I think Shay meant to reference Alma chapter 32, not chapter 2. Specifically, verse 27:

    “But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.”

    It uses the analogy, or in Tim’s words “parable”, of comparing our faith in God, or in ourselves for that matter, to a seed. If we want to know if the seed is good, or will bring forth fruit, we need to plant it. What is useful about this is that, even without seeing the seed completely grow into a plant and give fruit, we can see that the seed is good because it BEGINS to grow. Excellent chapter, and I also recommend it for everyone, even those who don’t consider themselves religious.

    I loved this episode, and so exiting to hear about Shay’s many adventures and life experiences.

  34. Great episode – first time listener, first time commentor ;). I really enjoyed Shay’s thoughts and the way you interviewed him, just like sitting down and talking with “the guys”. Thanks for putting it together, and I’ll be listening more! -Matt

  35. I loved this episode, big thank Shay and Tim. Actually priceless!

    On my wee under used youtube channel I am going to do the 30 day vlog challenge to help get me to increase confidence, face fears and see things through even though I am scared of what people might think.

    Really liked the bit about ‘not caring’ verses, actually caring what people think but getting the job done anyway… really resonated with me.

    would be great to get feedback… maybe in the daily vlog I will need to lay out my fears to get feedback from folks on what to do. just filming footage right now with one hand… need to buy a tripod clip for my wee cam.

  36. Thank you Tim, for all your Podcast. They give many Huge usable byte sized insights/ tools.

    I hope you realise that each of your podcast is a potential book material to be coauthored with your guest for the Podcast.

    I always believed that the world is different for every individual, based on their interpretations and filters. Your PODCASTS prove it beautifully. Listening to them enhances the boundaries of my interpretations and filters..

    Thank you once again for that.

    Keep smiling…

  37. Love the array of guests lately – Gladwell, Holiday and Shay could not be more different and makes for great listening. BTW Amy Cuddy is the “Posture Woman” –

  38. QOTD: Favorite quote from Shay via his Grandfather: “Work will work when nothing else will work.”

    This podcast may reach or exceed the Jamie Foxx podcast.

    Shay, your thoughts and opinions on eternity match my own, and please check out my thoughts on Twitter at @jasonoshima for the same line of thinking.

  39. Very interesting interview. I thought Shay’s comments about ‘cliche’ most the time being ‘truth’ was very interesting. One small note, the chapter in Alma that takes about the ‘science experiment’ of Faith is actually chapter 32. Probably worth updating for those who are trying to find it. I love the range of guests you have on and the different views they bring.

  40. Great podcast, one of my favorites of all the Tim Ferris podcast, thanks for having Shay on the cast and opening me up to his work.

  41. Nice podcast, i would be great if you get in the podcast : the wolf of wall street” and deconstruct him.

    i have heard every podcast, love the show, keep up the good work.

  42. Tim or anyone, please remind me of the book you or one of your guests recommended on hiring people, I’m struggling to track it down. Appreciated.

  43. “Look at your life, know and have hope that you can make it whatever you want it to be.” – Shay

    The chemistry on the podcast was amazing. Shay, kudos to you for being brutally honest about your faith and addiction. I also respect your commitment to your marriage and family.

    Tim, thank you for being a great conversationalist and having an open dialogue about suicide, and giving Shay the opportunity to share so much. I agree, we all have a void to fill each day and life happens in such a way that we all encounter struggles and setbacks.

    It takes courage to live our dreams.

    P.s. – here’s a clip from the movie Shay recommended. Captain Fantastic Official Trailer 1

  44. This is a great podcast. Now I have a better idea of how to approach the the use of video in online commerce and how to attract a larger share of viewers and customers. This was really great to hear how Shay has been able to successfully navigate cultural transitions and his foundation in solid values has enabled him to do that. It was great to hear someone mention Dave Ramsey. What Dave teaches continues to rock the foundation of America in such a positive way. Literally millions of dollars of personal debt extinguished weekly enhance the ability to create wealth with the increase in liquidity. Like so many of your guests sharing about their lives well lived and the trials and tribulations one experiences on the journey to greatness, this one really hit home on so many points. Thanks Tim, seriously great content.

  45. More evidence of Timmy’s inconsistencies. A talentless class clown who somehow fell into a Youtube hobby business. The level of self adulation for precisely zero is shocking. Don’t believe the numbers or hype. None of it is real.

    Timmy, I’m a casual listener and you often have some great guests but not this time. And no offence bro but you have a face for radio.

    1. I respectfully disagree with your comment in it’s entirety as a formal listener. Please show us YOUR face. Extreme ownership…

    2. Actually, I agree with Ronald when it comes to Shay. The guy gets clicks for what sees to be really junky, no-budget, TLC style reality TV garbage. More power to him for finding a hustle that pays the bills, but the content he produces seems to be in line with something like the Duggars and Honey Boo Boo. Throw in the religious nonsense and I simply couldn’t get on board with this guy at all. That said, why the personal attack on Tim’s face? Geez man, it’s one thing to honestly give your feedback about one of the show’s guests, but random personal insults against the host? Come on man, show some class.

  46. Very grateful for your innovative, generous work, Tim!

    Terrific, rich, easy-to-listen-to interview. I just wrote down several pearls I imagine my 10-years-from-now self would want to impart to my today-self. What a wonderful way to shower big love down on my own head! Molto grazie to both you and Shay for that.

  47. Hi

    Can someone help me with a problem I am having with all Tim Ferriss podcasts. I download them on my iPhone and the first 75% or so plays fine. Then instead of finishing the podcast simply repeats the last 20-30 minutes that I have listened to and I miss the ending of every podcast. Thanks

  48. Hey guys. I have listened to all of the podcasts, literally, but this is my first comment. Found this podcast while rehabing my first investment property a few years ago and it got me through countless hours of painting and drywall!

    That said, every Mormon I have ever met was a kind and generous person who made for a valuable friend BUT cognitive dissonance is the death of improvement. The things one must believe to be a Mormon require a suspension of logical thought that bring all of an individual’s thoughts into suspicion. I love this podcast because you can tell the people on it use pragmatism and logic to guide their lives, and I can use their thoughts to better my life. God did it, is not an explanation that these folks would accept, because it’s not useful in reality.

    I have no doubt that this guy is a great person but how can we take him seriously when he believes there is a living prophet who talks directly to a god who sends messages back to him? A guy who must believe that good Mormon couples are given their own PLANET to rule over as a reward in the afterlife? A guy who must believe in special magic underwear? A guy who must believe that black people are the cursed children of Ham (given black skin for their father’s transgressions? A guy who must believe that Mormon women must marry a Mormon man or they can’t get into heaven?

    I wish this man no I’ll will. Also I don’t find other religions to be less ridiculous. My only point is, it’s hard for me to trust his thoughts as logical and applicable to my life because he and I inhabit entirely different realities.

  49. Tim, after listening to your podcasts for over a year and enjoying every single one of them, for many reasons, this podcast with Shay Carl is the first one I’ve ever felt compelled to comment on, because of Shay’s enthusiasm and “groundedness” (if that’s even a real word).

    This podcast was replete with practical, accessible wisdom, and Shay just sounds like someone who I’d really get along with.

    Keep up the good work Tim.

  50. Common the Tim Ferriss team…you usually do so much better! Malcolm Gladwell, Cal Fussman and Brené Brown to name only a few of your inspiring guests that have depth and something meaningful to share.

    I have no problem with the spiritual beliefs of Shay Carl, but was totally bored and disappointed you had such a shallow guest that was more a plug/infomercial for nothingness than sharing anything meaningful.

    Please be careful to not get stuck in your bubble of coolness!

    1. I found this podcast very inspirational and genuine with a Mormon admitting to alcoholism. WTFO! Shay is the antithesis of “shallow”. I implore you to listen to this podcast again.

  51. Hi Tim,

    Great inspirational story.

    I’m from New Zealand and have just started reading your book, loving it so far. You’ve got quite a wide ranging reach mate. Well done.



  52. Dear Tim, thanks for another great interview. I’ve been following Shay for some time now and this guy is consistent, funny and caring and I’m happy he’s done so well lately.

    I wanted to ask you about something in this interview: a couple of times Shay mentioned about being vegan/vegetarian for some time and about documentaries on the subject.

    Both times we could almost hear you cringe… clearly a subject matter you don’t want to touch on. You even commented that this was a “heated subject” before you cut Shay off and changed the subject. Twice. I find that odd.

    My question is, why avoid the subject? You even went on to make fun of a documentary just because it has a “silly title” (Cowspiracy), but failed to even consider the facts presented by this and other good documentaries. Saying that something is silly because of its silly name is just not right coming from you, the guy that branded the “4 hour x” on anything but asks everyone to look beyond your titles, because the titles are click-bait for something deeper.

    Shay also mentioned “Forks over Knives” which is a much more medical-focused approach to veganism, but you also dismissed it. In other podcasts you have also dismissed your guests each time they bring up veganism/vegetarianism, no-amimal meats, etc.

    I’m wondering if you have too much skin on the game (i.e. companies profiting from animal products) or if you just don’t want to touch the subject because you’ve invested so much time and effort in convincing people about the slowcarb diet and eating animal products. I doubt it’s because you haven’t kept up with scientific studies and published data backing up what documentaries like Conspiracy, Forks over Knives, Racing Extinction, Earthlings, and dozens more point to: animal products/animal agriculture endanger the planet and are not healthy for human consumption, even the WHO is on board reducing animal products from diets, especially red meats.

    This is not a rant.. I’ve followed you for a long time, respect what you’ve done, and kept up with what you publish in all mediums. I’m just not sure about your not-very-subtle dislike for even considering the subject.

    Here’s a thought: want to start daily vloggin with an experiment? Go Vegan for 30 days and track your results. You’re already in SF, throw a rock and you’ll hit a vegan on any street. Food will not be an issue for you there, I’m very sure of it. And medically, I’m also sure you will be surprised how good you feel, you have more tools than anybody out there for tracking all kinds of data.. all the while not hurting animals.

    Best regards,

    Eduardo from Argentina (yeah, I’m a vegan in the meat-eating capital of the world! And yes, it can be done.)

    1. I thinking his Fasting for more than one week kicks the shit out of Veganism. No meat, how about NOTHING for a week. I did not catch his so called “distaste” for vegans btw. BUT I think a 30 day vlog on veganist diet would be a cool experiment. An even cooler one would be a 30 day fast!

    2. I was wondering the exact same thing, only from a slightly different point of view. I think we need to rethink how we do agriculture in this country, and I think that will help the environment and our health enormously. That would include using and consuming animal products, buy only done within a pasture based, rotational grazing system ala Joel Salitin or Alan Savory, and in lower quantities, with the focus being on plant-based foods, but mostly vegetables (less grains and fruit), and food being as locally sourced as possible. I guess I’m more-or-less describing the slow carb diet…

      Anyway, I too feel he is very obviously steering clear of the subject. Alex Honald (did I spell that correctly?) also brought it up. My guess is that TF is avoiding the subject because it is so controversial. People are very passionate about which diet is best and what is healthiest for our planet. I’d love to have Tim tackle this subject, if not only to spark a little debate. There must be a way to do it and not offend all his listeners and sponsors.

  53. Thia is the first of your podcasts I turned off. This guy is no doubt smart and has some original thoughts, but all the talk about the afterlife and meeting people who know your thoughts (as if it were a scientific reality) made me hit the kill-switch. All for diverse guests, but that was a bit too crazy

    1. As Jocko Willink would say…”Free your mind.”

      Also, if you have the courage to ponder Eternity, you will most likely come up with the same thoughts as Shay, myself, others as well probably. In the End, I imagine we will all be as One. Most people refer to this as Heaven.

      1. Going to disagree with you there jsnoshima. I grew up in a religious household and really struggled to stay committed to some form of Christianity until my thirties. I pondered eternity a lot and struggled to find some reason to stay Christian for decades. It wasn’t until I really began to explore the arguments for atheism, particularly in Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris (the latter of whom has been on the Tim Ferris podcast twice) that I understood not only how truly insane, destructive and stupid religion is, but how much damage it had done to my life. To borrow a question from Tim, if I could go back and tell my twenty year-old self something, one of the top contenders would be, “You will realize there is no god, and you will be so much happier for it. Please, realize it now and save yourself some seriously missed opportunities in your twenties.”

  54. So I never heard of Shay Carl now, but I subscribed because he is an inspiring dude as as you Tim.

    Heard you, Tim, on Freakanomics and was excited to hear you had your own podcast.

    A little constructive criticism for this episode, which is the first and only one I listed to yet. So it may not always be this way.

    But I would have loved this to be edited down. There was a lot of stuff that seemed repeated and there was just so much extra stuff I didn’t care about.

    Also if it were going to be more than 40 minutes I suggest breaking it up into separate parts with a theme to each.

    This three hour podcast took sooooo many car rides to listen to and I think most podcast listeners are listening during transit time.

    1. I think most of us fans(or at least more than 10% of us) prefer the long form content. Thank God for the ole pause button, as I listen during my commute to/from work as well. Usually one hour each way.

      1. I agree with jsnoshima. I love how long they are, because I feel like Tim is great at working different angles of questions and pulling out an authentic and real interview. You feel like you really get to understand the person he’s interviewing on a deeper level. I only comment because I wouldn’t want that to change 🙂

  55. I have to disagree with your alcoholic addiction comments. Desire to drink is not related to alcohol but related to your discipline. I drink every night 3 glass but I go gym and consume and get my brain together. So it has to do with your displcipline and your confidence of self not your addiction. I did drungs, alcohol but controlled my limits, so it’s ends with self not with level of consumption. You guys put in a negative way. Your weakness ends with your realization not ongoing consumption, otherwise that means you weak not alcoholic. Look from another window

  56. Tim,

    This podcast (and really your entire catalog of podcasts) have had a bigger impact on me than you could ever imagine as they were one of a series of events/inputs that led me to realize I fully believe in Christ. For that I can never express enough thanks. I have written in detail about my both powerful and frightening experience over the last several days at a newly created non-profit blog. I will respect the board’s rules and not include the URL as I believe you could find the website from my information entered if you so desire. I think you would appreciate reading the powerfully positive impact you had on me, but if you do not have time, I fully understand, and I hope you are able to at least read this thank you and know how much I appreciate what you do.

    -Craig Scott Lewis

  57. Great interview. Had not heard about Shay Carl before but was impressed at the depth of his answers. Seems like a great guy. Keep the great interviews going Tim – you do an awesome job providing helpful insights vs a biased agenda that is so prevalent in the internet today.

  58. Thanks again Tim. Though not a big fan of LDS, I really appreciate the openness of expression, regardless of faith, viewpoint, etc.

  59. You should interview Felix Kjellberg (PewDiePie). I find every interview with him very interesting – he is so goofy and stupid in his videos but when he’s outside of YouTube he seems very smart. I don’t think there is many good interviews with him cause they mainly ask him about his money and he does not like to talk about it.

  60. Am I the only one who doesn’t understand the appeal of Shay? I spent about a half hour checking out his “content” and it just seemed really tedious, amateur-ish, random, lowest common denominator reality-TV junk. Okay, maybe not “lowest” reality TV junk…but what exactly is the appeal? Props to him for defeating addiction, though I question anyone espousing the cult of LDS. But, one last time, what is it exactly that he is creating that is supposed to be so praise-worthy? Seems like just another youtube waste of time – just someone repackaging their dull home movies and sophomoric humor as “content.” He’s obviously got skill in getting clicks and views, but so do the Kardashians. Shay just seems to be an example of our time, wherein you can be internet famous regardless of whether your content is actually worth spending any time watching. Again, more power to him for finding a way to provide for his family, and he seems like a good and decent person, but the stuff he produces just seems like a no-budget version of some waste-of-time reality show you’d find on TLC.

  61. Hiya Tim!

    This interview with Shay Carl was great. It wasn’t too long, it was perfect to listen to over a few sessions, I almost wished it were longer. I listened over a few runs; it was so dense with information it was best to split it up.

    I’d not heard of Shay Carl before, so I had no expectations, I just hit “play” and was riveted.

    My favourite parts were Shay speaking about his relationship with his wife, I was very moved by how much he loves her. I also like hearing him speak about how important his religious beliefs are to him. I’m not religious myself, but I like to hear people speaking articulately and with passion about anything, including things I’m not personally into – that’s a lot of the point of podcasts really: hearing detailed opinions and views from thoughtful people.

    Also – as a former very fat person myself I liked how he *didn’t* talk very much about being fat. I don’t define myself as someone who used to be fat but now isn’t, I’m just someone trying to improve and be the best version of myself.

    So thanks Tim – your podcast is easily my favourite now, don’t tell Marc Maron, but I haven’t listened to him in months! Although, that is where I heard of you originally, I found your interview on WTF 335 most inspiring, and your tips helped me keep accountable and actually get in shape, now I think of it!

    So cheers – keep it up!

    Caroline, Dublin

    1. Watch it if you need convincing that the current form of animal agriculture in America is wrong. Or watch Food Inc. But you really should watch Alan Savory’s TED talk on how managing livestock correctly actually can solve the problem. It’s not the cows that are the problem. How many bison roamed the earth before we killed them off? And how many more animals were allowed to live before we turned the midwest into a bunch of mono crop farms. There used to be miles and miles of grassland, not miles and miles of row crops being sprayed with herbicides and insecticides. Many more animals lived in the grasslands, on top of all the bison. So again, it’s not the cows. It’s how we are managing the cows.

  62. Tim, I must say, this episode was absolutely amazing! I’m an avid listener of your podcast. Loved this one! I had never heard of Shay before this. Love how down to earth the both of you are. Keep it up !

  63. I’ve followed quite a few podcasts, and almost always enjoy them… but wow this guy is really nonsensical in almost all of his points. I’m being completely sincere here. Rambling, incoherent and lacking purpose are what I’d sum up the majority of his responses. He’s the epitome of morning talk radio douche. Please, for the love of his silly god, never have this guy back on. PLEASE TIMMY POO!

  64. Just getting to it now… great episode!

    Shay mentioned in the last break that they had done a full body-scan MRI. Anyone know what this would be used for? How to do it? Thanks!


  65. Can anyone remember who Shay mentioned has a good page to like on Facebook to keep up with the latest technology? He mentioned about limb and organ printing advances etc. I didn’t see the name in the show notes.

    Thanks in advance.

  66. Very nice one! I can relate to a lot of things, especially with my -now sober- alcoholic father that went all our childhood being a functional alcoholic and sometimes not even functional and he had to change his addiction to which was exercise or candy which was way better but yeah, the void needs to be filled.

    Also can relate with the whole “go for it, we might get broke and have to live with my parents” thing 😉 I’m still doing those risks, just keep doing it and love what I do so it’s always worth it! 😀

    Thanks for sharing this, to Shay for the stories and to you Tim for great questions and leading the podcast in a great direction! 🙂

  67. Wow, why on earth did you interview this guy? What’s next, a Honey Boo Boo/Kardashian mash-up? I’ve never heard anyone talk, and talk, and talk so loooonnnngggg about their own sweet self. Waste of time.

  68. Hey Tim, I loved this podcast. I have listened to it multiple times. As a fellow member of the LDS church I appreciated the stories and explanations provided by Shay. So one thing, I was clicking through the links to products and such in the show notes. You have linked to a strange copy of the Book Of Mormon on Amazon. Perhaps you should consider sending people to the church’s website or to an actual copy of the BOM distributed by the LDS church. I think it is awesome that you have such an open mind regarding the Mormon faith. I truly enjoy the content you provide and I have read most of your books. THANKS!