Tribe of Mentors — Naval Ravikant, Susan Cain, and Yuval Noah Harari (#442)

Photo by Todd White

Welcome to another episode of The Tim Ferriss Show! It will feature some of my favorite advice and profiles from Tribe of Mentors. Thousands of you have asked for years for the audiobook versions of Tools of Titans and Tribe of Mentors, and they are now both finally available at

Today’s episode will focus on my first chapter in Tribe of Mentors, as well as the profiles of Naval Ravikant, Susan Cain, and Yuval Noah Harari.

Just a few notes on the format before we dive in: I recorded the introduction and selected three fantastic, top-ranked narrators to handle the rest. 

The short bios, which you will hear at the beginning of each profile, are read by Kaleo Griffith. Ray Porter reads my words as well as those of the male guests. The words of the female guests are performed by Thérèse Plummer.

Tribe of Mentors is the ultimate choose-your-own-adventure book—a compilation of tools, tactics, and habits from more than 100 of the world’s top performers. From iconic entrepreneurs to elite athletes, from artists to billionaire investors, their short profiles can help you answer life’s most challenging questions, achieve extraordinary results, and transform your life.

I am really happy with how the book turned out, and the universe helped me pull off some miracles for Tribe of Mentors (e.g., Ben Stiller; Temple Grandin; Ayaan Hirsi Ali; Yuval Noah Harari, whom you will hear in this episode; Arianna Huffington; Marc Benioff; Terry Crews; Dan Gable; and many more). It includes many of the people I grew up viewing as idols or demi-gods. So thanks, universe! 

And if you only get one thing out of this book, let it be this: In a world where nobody really knows anything, you have the incredible freedom to continually reinvent yourself and forge new paths, no matter how strange. Embrace your weird self. There is no one right answer… only better questions.

I wish you luck as you forge your own path.

Please enjoy this episode, and if you’d like to listen to the other 100-plus profiles from Tribe of Mentors, please check out

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform. 

#441: Tribe of Mentors — Naval Ravikant, Susan Cain, and Yuval Noah Harari

What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments. Scroll for show notes and links from the episode:


  • Connect with Naval Ravikant:

Website | Twitter | AngelList

  • Connect with Susan Cain:

Quiet Revolution | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn  | Instagram

  • Connect with Yuval Noah Harari:

Website | Twitter | Facebook



  • To explain why I wrote this book, I really need to start with when — and share the one clarifying question I find helps answer many others. [02:42]
  • What happened when I pondered how assembling a tribe of mentors might help me find the answers I was seeking. [05:43]
  • How and why I asked the 11 questions posed to this tribe of mentors. [08:40]
  • “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?” [14:30]
  • “What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)? My readers love specifics like brand and model, where you found it, etc.” [15:47]
  • “How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a ‘favorite failure’ of yours?” [16:38]
  • “If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it — metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions — what would it say and why? It could be a few words or a paragraph. (If helpful, it can be someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?)” [17:20]
  • “What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? (Could be an investment of money, time, energy, etc.)” [17:50]
  • “What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?” [19:00]
  • “In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?” [20:25]
  • “What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore?” [20:45]
  • “What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?” [21:08]
  • “In the last five years, what have you become better at saying no to (distractions, invitations, etc.)? What new realizations and/or approaches helped? Any other tips?” [21:21]
  • “When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do? (If helpful: What questions do you ask yourself?)” [21:44]
  • Just as ancient wisdom tells you you’ll never step in the same river twice, be prepared to revisit this book for lessons you may have missed, overlooked, or just plain didn’t like the first time you dipped your toe in what it has to offer. Most of all: enjoy! [22:07]

Naval Ravikant

  • Who is Naval Ravikant? [24:54]
  • Naval’s book picks. [25:44]
  • Naval’s favorite failure. [26:29]
  • Naval’s billboard. [27:20]
  • Naval’s most worthwhile investment. [28:13]
  • Naval’s new belief, behavior, or habit. [28:52]
  • Naval’s advice to a college graduate. [29:36]
  • Bad recommendations Naval hears often. [30:54]
  • What earns a “no” from Naval. [31:16]
  • How Naval refocuses. [31:57]

Susan Cain

  • Who is Susan Cain? [32:18]
  • Susan’s favorite failure. [33:37]
  • Susan’s most worthwhile investment. [35:42]
  • Susan’s absurd thing. [36:43]
  • Susan’s advice to a college graduate. [37:54]
  • How Susan refocuses. [40:03]

Yuval Noah Harari

  • Who is Yuval Noah Harari? [40:33]
  • Yuval’s book picks. [42:13]
  • Yuval’s absurd thing. [45:36]
  • Yuval’s favorite failure. [45:47]
  • Yuval’s advice to a college graduate. [47:49]
  • What earns a “no” from Yuval. [52:17]
  • Yuval’s most worthwhile investment. [52:55]
  • How Yuval refocuses. [59:24]


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.

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13 Replies to “Tribe of Mentors — Naval Ravikant, Susan Cain, and Yuval Noah Harari (#442)”

  1. The nation is in freefall and, in receiving your latest email, I was interested to read what you’d say. Nothing. Just your favorite causes – yourself and your book/blog.

  2. Can you speak to your perspective on Black Lives Matter and how you appear to be quiet on the issue?

  3. Re: today’s 5-bullet Friday…”like getting peed on by a geriatric elephant.”

    Needed this today. Bless you, sir.

  4. Thanks a lot for this wonderful article. Please I will need a copy of your book to recommend it to my audience. Thanks a lot.

  5. Tim, I know you’re a busy man.

    I’m looking for my own version of this “trivia book”. Looking for good answers from key people on my country. I will include a section dedicated to you as reference and guide for my book. If you want to be aware please tell me how I can send you my news.

  6. Re Wolf Restoration and Why Does it Matter?

    Our Shrinking Biodiversity. Why Should We Care? What Can We Do?

    Biodiversity refers to the variety of life found in a place on Earth. It encompasses the variety of ecosystems that species create. One cannot talk about biodiversity without talking about extinction.

    Past extinctions have been attributed to natural consequences such as global warming or cooling due to meteor impacts on our planet, enhanced volcanic activity, etc.

    Our current extinction, however, is entirely the work of human hands. Early man butchered mammoths, mastodons, camels, giant beavers, and ground sloths.

    With the advent of agriculture and destruction of ecosystems and species habitats, extinctions accelerated exponentially: in a.d. 1600, 1 species was lost every thousand years; in 1985, 1,000 species went extinct per year; in 2000, between 20,000 to 50,000 species are doomed to extinction each year. This is an alarming rate of species extinction.

    Why should we care about shrinking biodiversity and species degradation and loss?
    There is growing evidence that novel infectious diseases are linked to decreasing biodiversity; that in intact ecosystems, species act as natural hosts to contain viruses. In the absence of a natural host, a virus can jump to humans and cause disease. A UN program noted that up to 75% of emerging infectious zoonotic diseases are a result of ecosystem destruction. Some recent examples of such diseases include Lyme disease, malaria, Ebola, West Nile virus and the current coronavirus.

    Help restore our Colorado biodiversity. Restore the Gray Wolf to his historic range. He will be a force in bringing balance to nature. As witnessed in the N. Rockies, wolves will keep elk populations in check, culling the ones with chronic wasting disease, thus preventing overgrazing, and restore biodiversity from song birds to snakes.

    Vote YES for Proposition #107, Restoration of the Gray Wolf to Colorado

  7. What a generous offering to the world, Tim! Thank you for the countless hours you poured over emails, tightened your questions, and the zillion other things you had to do to bring this book/podcast to life. It has already contributed greatly to my thinking… Thank you!

    In the podcast, you mentioned a book list. I would appreciate a link.

    Also in your interview with Hugh Jackman, a puzzle creating company was mentioned. That is, a place you can send a photo and have it converted to a puzzle. When time permits, please send me a link. Thanks again!

    Misti Burmeister

    1. Hello, Misti, and thank you for your kind words for Tim.

      Regarding the book list, you can find a link to it in the “Selected Links” section below the media player above. The text is “Tribe of Mentors — Recommended Books from Mentors and Top Books from Tools of Titans |”

      The name of the puzzle company Hugh Jackman mentioned was “MyJigsawPuzzle.” You can find them at myjigsawpuzzle dot com.


      Team Tim Ferriss

  8. Hi Tim,
    I’m an Italian Actor, speaker and singer and i am following you since 1 year ago. You really made an impact in my life and I discovered today that you released the audio book of one of my most gifted books “tools of titans”.

    I love that book so much i want to be the Italian voice to read it. I have experience in the field and have a professional studio.

    Please contact me and let’s talk aboit it, most Italians don’t speak English but they NEED your audiobook!

    My respect and gratitude

    Lorenzo Marte