The Tim Ferriss Show Transcripts: B. Jeffrey Madoff — Dealmaking, the Hidden Persuaders, Working with Ralph Lauren, and Finding the Secret to Life in the Mojave Desert (#526)

Please enjoy this transcript of my interview with Jeffrey Madoff (@madoffproductions), director of award-winning commercials, documentaries, and web content for clients around the world, including Ralph Lauren, Victoria’s Secret, and Tiffany.

Madoff has been a featured speaker at Wharton School, Princeton University, NYU Steinhardt, Google Next, Barclays’ Rise and Verizon on the topics of creating a brand and creativity. He works with private equity firms and investment banks, such as Lazard, to create the brand story for companies that are being sold or startups looking to attract investment.

His book, which is based on the class he teaches at Parsons School of Design, is Creative Careers: Making a Living with Your Ideas.

Transcripts may contain a few typos. With some episodes lasting 2+ hours, it can be difficult to catch minor errors. Enjoy!

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

#526: B. Jeffrey Madoff — Dealmaking, the Hidden Persuaders, Working with Ralph Lauren, and Finding the Secret to Life in the Mojave Desert
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This interview was transcribed by Rev.com.

Tim Ferriss:
Hello, boys and girls, ladies and germs. This is Tim Ferriss. Welcome to another episode of a very, very warm Tim Ferriss show. I’ll come back to that. My guest today is B. Jeffrey Madoff, M-A-D-O-F-F.

Jeffrey began his career in fashion, becoming one of the top 10 designers in the US, before switching careers to film and video production. He has directed award-winning commercials, documentaries, and web content for clients around the world, including Ralph Lauren, Victoria’s Secret, and Tiffany.

His book, Creative Careers, subtitled Making a Living with Your Ideas, is based on the class of the same name he teaches at Parsons School of Design. Jeff has been a featured speaker at Wharton School, Princeton University, NYU Steinhardt, Google Next, Barclays Rise, and Verizon on the topics of creating a brand and creativity.

He also works with private equity firms and investment banks, such as Lazard, if I’m pronouncing that correctly, to create the brand story for companies that are being sold, or for startups looking to attract investment.

He graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin with degrees in philosophy and psychology. We’ll talk about that. He was also on the wrestling team, might sound familiar, which combined with his academic studies prepared him for a life in the film business. You can find him online, acreativecareer.com, madoffproductions.com, and then on social and Instagram @acreativecareer as well as @madoffproductions.

Jeff, welcome to the show. It’s so fun to see you.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Fun to see you too. Thank you for having me on.

Tim Ferriss: To paint a picture, I am sweating profusely. The AC has broken in this home at an undisclosed location and to hydrate, because I have nothing that is cold besides what is in my hand, I have hard kombucha and Jeff is drinking carbonated water. So this is an unfair fight to begin with. We’ll see where this all goes.

I thought we would start with, I suppose, the beginning of a story that I cut short when we were having lunch earlier today, and it came about because of the phrase ‘scratching your own itch’ or ‘scratching my own itch.’ And you mentioned Ralph Lauren, which I confirmed as not Ralph Lauren, as many people will say, but Ralph Lauren. So I thought we would just start there. And if you could tell me the story that I so rudely interrupted earlier, because I wanted to keep it for the beginning of the show.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Well, I was talking to Ralph about how he got started and what motivated him to start a business. And Ralph’s muse were the movies. He loved films and he would really lose himself in the fantasy of the movie house. And he’d look at people like Cary Grant and Fred Astaire and Gary Cooper and he wanted to dress like that and he wanted to find suits that were cut like that and ties that were wide like that. And they didn’t exist.

He started designing, first with ties, then moved into the rest of men’s wear. He started designing that stuff because it was stuff that he liked and he figured, “I’m not the only one that wants to dress like a movie star.” And so I said to him, “You’ve kept your pulse on the consumer for so long. How have you done that for so many decades? That’s quite a feat.” And he said, which is a kind of scratch your own itch thing, he said, “I know who my consumer is because I am the consumer.”

So I thought that was just a really brilliant insight, not unlike when you and I spoke when I interviewed you and you talked about your book, The 4-Hour Workweek. It was the same kind of thing.

Tim Ferriss: For sure. You have spent so much time in front of students and speaking that I know, in some respects, what you’ve done in the classroom at Parsons School of Design is scratching your own itch. And that is doing what feeds and nourishes you or checks the box for an unmet need.

I had written this book because it was the book I couldn’t find. Furthermore, I then had workshopped that, although I didn’t know I was doing it at the time, by speaking to students. And I knew what students responded to, and I knew what fell flat. It was sort of like a comic working on their one-hour special. It’s like, you cut, you refine, you test again. That was the reason why, after 26, 29, however many rejections it was, I still kept going. People sometimes ask about how I maintain the faith and I always point out, it wasn’t faith. I already knew that at least there was a verified market of one, which is ahead of a lot of folks.

So let’s talk about these degrees in philosophy and psychology. You’ve written in your book that at the time, when you graduated, the wisdom factories weren’t hiring, so what did you do after graduation?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Well, I went to work in this boutique and I’d actually been working there before graduation. It was this little clothing boutique in Madison, Wisconsin, where I went to college. The wall behind the cash register is where we had the stereo system. That puts it into a timeframe of many, many years ago. And we were in the base of a rooming house so when somebody ODed and fell down the stairs, the arm would skip across the album and we’d go, “Oh, there goes another one.”

Tim Ferriss: Rooming house. What is a rooming house?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: A rooming house is somewhere between an apartment and a hotel. You pay every week, you have a room upstairs. Let’s say that the clientele aren’t necessarily very upscale.

Tim Ferriss: Got it.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: In the campus where we were in downtown, this rooming house was kind of notorious.

Tim Ferriss: And what was sold in the boutique?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: We sold clothes. The old impulse buy, as they say, where at a restaurant it might be mints or when you’re checking out at the grocery store, it’s candy bars and magazines. We had hash pipes and rolling papers. That was the impulse buy.

Tim Ferriss: Location, location, location, right? Underneath the rooming house.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: That’s right.

Tim Ferriss: And how did that job inform your path, if it did?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Yes, it did, but I know how it informed it in retrospect. I didn’t realize that before. And that is my firm belief. Here’s some of the practical information. I think that everything you do, if your eyes are open, informs everything else you do.

So I didn’t know anything about clothing design and I was totally naive. I thought that when I saw fabric on the bolt, I thought that was wholesale because it hadn’t been made into anything yet. I was ignorant, fortunately, not stupid. And the difference is, ignorant, you can learn. Stupid’s forever. So I did learn.

And I wanted to go back and refer to what you had mentioned, in terms of your book, because I think this is a really important part and that is — you had at least 29 rejections. I believe it was 34.

Tim Ferriss: It was a lot of rejections. I was also rejected from my first job, so that was 30-plus rejections. Quite a few.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: So what’s that component that keeps somebody going in the face of all those rejections as opposed to giving up? I think that when I’m asked about entrepreneurship and business and that sort of thing, what’s a key ingredient, and I’m curious if you agree with this, I think it’s perseverance.

Tim Ferriss: You mentioned ignorant but not stupid. I think I would add to that, informed perseverance. Because I think that you can smash your head against a wall and never break through, but if you have some informational advantage, meaning, in my case, I had this feedback from students. I knew that the material worked in front of live audiences, including people who would land squarely in the demographic the book would be positioned for.

So I do think that’s a huge component. If you have informed belief, having the commitment to persevere through the pain, I think, is a large deciding factor. And I should also just add, as color for this conversation because people most likely have no idea. We first met in 2007 or 2008, shortly after the first book had been published. You helped with The 4-Hour Body. Many of the photographs from the photo shoots that we did related to exercises were a product of your help. So we’ve definitely kind of been along jointly for each other’s rides over the last, it’s hard to believe, decade plus now.

And I love this type of conversation with a friend because it gives me the very unnatural, asymmetrical opportunity to just pepper you with all sorts of questions that I get to choose in a fairly lopsided way. Although this can certainly be a conversation, but it also gives me an excuse to do a bunch of homework on you, which would otherwise seem really creepy.

So let me ask you, just as a way of looking at your earlier years, what or who are The Hidden Persuaders? My understanding, this is a book that had some effect on you, The Hidden Persuaders by Vance Packard. Is that a fair statement?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Yeah, it is. Interesting you bring that up. Going back through the memory bank here, I think I was in seventh or eighth grade and I read this book, The Hidden Persuaders. What it related to is how products are placed and what creates desire. And this was long before behavioral economics was applied to consumerism and that sort of thing.

So to give a simple example, the colorful cereal boxes would be on the lower shelves so that the kids would pull it off the shelf and basically nag their parent, usually their mother at that point, into buying it. There were all these things. I’d never thought about strategic placement of products or anything like that and then I started realizing, wow, there’s a whole science to this in terms of trying to elicit preferences, trying to place things in the right eye line. And the fact that instead of being at five feet, which might be eye level for the mother, it’s down at two feet where it’s eye level to the kid. And so the kid will take it off the shelf. So Packard’s book was like, “Wow, I had never thought of that before.” And it was really cool.

Tim Ferriss: How did you end up going from fashion as a designer, where you found quite a bit of success, to film and video production? How and why?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Is this a mini-series because — 

Tim Ferriss: This is the beginning of our mini-series, episode zero.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: I wanted to move to New York and my financial backer was a very good guy but he made it clear from the beginning that he was backing my company because we banked at his bank and that the employees, of which I was 22 and I had 110, 120 employees, I provided jobs for Wisconsinites and we banked at his bank.

When I made a decision that I wanted to move to New York, he said, “I’m not going to continue to back you if you do, you know why I invested.” So I had to make a really big decision at that point in my life, which is I was, I think, 24. And am I a failure if I close the business? What does this mean to me and who I am? I was the type that went out there and competed and did things and now I would be closing down a business that I had started. Is that failure? What is that? I decided, and I think part of this is an influence of my dad, which is I learned that money comes and goes, time only goes.

Tim Ferriss: That’s a great way to put it.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: I like the way that words relate. You can spend money to spend time, you waste money, you waste time. Investing in your future, that’s a really weird concept when you think about what does that mean? So I decided — 

Tim Ferriss: If anyone heard that, that’s Molly trying to eat flies that are deftly avoiding her maw. Please continue.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: I was so tempted to snap at that one myself, but I figured I didn’t want to interrupt the sound.

Tim Ferriss: Don’t want to throw your neck off.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: That’s right. So I made the decision to close down the business and it was really based on that kind of a conversation, of realizing I could never replace the time, but I could replace the money.

Tim Ferriss: Quick interruption. Was the desire to go to New York to play in the big leagues of design?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Well, I was already playing in the big leagues and what made me unique was I was doing that from Wisconsin.

Tim Ferriss: So why go to New York and enter the shark tank?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Why go to New York? Because I discovered I’m a stimulus junkie. I love the energy of New York, the activity. If you’re bored in New York, it’s on you. There is so much going on all the time and I can go hear a jazz concert, see a play, eat at a great restaurant, and walk to all those places. I love it. That’s why flying saucers land in Wyoming. New York, you can’t find a place to park. So I was seduced by the energy of New York and wanted to be there.

One of the people I bought fabrics from, he said to me, “Do you know anything about the movie business?” And I said, “Not really. I’ve read some books. I love film, but not really.” And he said, “Well, my son is your age and you’re a bright kid, you have a good head on your shoulders. Would you mind meeting him? Because he’s getting involved with some people and he’s not going to listen to me, but maybe he’ll listen to you. Would you mind meeting with him? He’s your age.” I said, “No, I don’t mind at all. Happy to.” Well, the people he was involved with was Dennis Hopper, William Burroughs, and Terry Southern. And Tommy, the son, had bought the rights to Junky, which was one of William Burroughs’ novels and Dennis Hopper was going to direct it and star in it. So this was interesting. I mean, you’ve got Dennis Hopper coming off of Easy Rider and then Apocalypse Now.

Tim Ferriss: I think, for people who are listening who maybe don’t recognize the name or the gravitas at that time associated with that name, that’s a big deal.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: It was a very big deal. And he had just come off of filming Apocalypse Now with Marlon Brando, another iconic film name, and Dennis would get the checks from Zoetrope, which was Francis Ford Coppola’s film studio, endorse it on the back, then give it to Burroughs’ assistant. And he would go out and score drugs and buy alcohol.

Tim Ferriss: That is the shortest line between two points.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: That is correct. So I saw, “Wow, Zoetrope, that’s Coppola’s studio. Oh, there it goes.” When I met Dennis we really hit it off and it was a weird way that we hit it off. I’ve never shared this before, but it’s funny. I think you’ll get a kick out of it.

I said, “You know why I’m familiar with you, Dennis?” He goes, “Yeah, man, I know. Vroom, vroom, Easy Rider.” And I said, “Actually, it’s not Easy Rider.” He said, “What?” I said, “No, I remember all those Warner Brothers TV Westerns, and everybody would be wearing a Hollywood wardrobe of what a cowboy looked like, but you actually had the 10-gallon hat and actual authentic cowboy clothes.” And he goes, “Man, you’re blowing my mind. Nobody ever said that. You know what I would do, man? I would take my own money and I would go to Arizona, I’d go to Texas, and I would buy authentic, actual Western clothes, man. Nobody has ever said that to me. That was my money, man!” So he loved me after that. That’s where the fashion background kicked in.

Tim Ferriss: Yeah, no kidding.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: It was really funny. I was granted a part in this movie.

Tim Ferriss: Acting role?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: An acting role. He wanted me to act in it, which I thought would be a blast. Although it became clear that this was never going to get made because these guys were staying at the Chelsea Hotel, which was another awesome destination in New York, and they would get up at about five in the afternoon, have something to eat, then start drinking, doing blow. And by about two in the morning, it had devolved into Dennis and Terry Southern arguing who actually wrote Easy Rider. They had the same argument. It was like Groundhog Day.

Tim Ferriss: The loop would start.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Yes, yes. It was like an Escher drawing. And so they would argue with each other, really animated arguments. You thought they were going to get into a fight, which they never did.

Tim Ferriss: Just Fear and Loathing in New York City.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: And the funny thing was, is that Burroughs would sit there and he would click off his hearing aid because he didn’t want to listen to any of this stuff. So he’d click off his hearing aid, they’d argue, and then they’d fall asleep. And then I’d get there the next day at around five, see the mirror with all the finger scrapings on it from the blow. And I said to Tommy, “They’re going to squeeze you out of this and this movie is never going to get made.” “What do you mean? It’s my film.” And I said, “These guys can’t get it together to go have dinner. You think that they’re actually going to get a movie made? Not going to happen.” Sure enough, about two weeks later, they offered him money to buy his part out.

Tim Ferriss: So you were Nostradamus.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: I was Nostradamus or just somebody who realized these guys can’t get out of their own way. It’s not happening. So they offered him four times as much money as they paid for it. And I said, “Take it. How long have you held the rights?” He said four months. “So you’ve quadrupled your money in four months and this film is never going to get made, take the money and run.” So the reason, Tim, that you’ve never seen me on the big screen, is because the film never got made, but at least he got his money out of it.

Tim Ferriss: And did you go from that into being involved in production?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: God, it’s so convoluted how things happen, but there was a lawyer who was representing William Burroughs and he thought I was an interesting guy, we were around the same age. He was young. And he wanted to introduce me to some people. What I had seen, that was really attractive to me, is the promise of what it could be to make a film and tell a story like that. That was really exciting to me. So I met these people that were starting a production company, and they asked me to join them and I did and taught myself how to shoot, how to edit, how to light, how to do all that stuff.

Tim Ferriss: Two questions. Why did the lawyer do that? Presumably he’s got many things he could spend his time on. So why do you think he offered to make introductions? And then number two, without any previous production experience, why did that production company want to bring you on?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: They wanted to specialize in fashion and so my knowledge of fashion had value to them. And when we first started watching some of the videos they had done together, I was able to distinguish between — when I saw work I really liked — I said, “Who’s that cinematographer?” And then we’d watch for another hour and then something would come up and I’d say, “That’s the same cinematographer, isn’t it?” He said, “Yeah, how did you know?”

I could recognize style and recognize how it was done. And so they were interested in my fashion knowledge, that was one thing. And I kind of had, for whatever reason, an innate, and I can tell you the reason actually, an innate understanding of the medium.

So earlier I mentioned I think everything you do informs everything else you do. Well when I was designing clothes, it would start with a sketch. I’d have to cost out what were the materials? What was the labor? How long would it take to get made? Could I ship it by a deadline, collect the money for it, and start the cycle over again? Well, making a film, you start off with storyboards, a concept, you figure out the costs of the labor involved, the cost of the materials and rentals involved, and can you complete it by this time and deliver on deadline?

Tim Ferriss: I would imagine that there’s the process similarity, but that also, whether it’s by nature or nurture, I don’t know, but your ability to look at fashion and the components of fashion visually in high definition had to also be reflected in your ability to spot the same cinematographers, right? A certain visual acuity I would imagine also helped.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Yeah, that helped. And that was certainly developed as I was doing the fashion work and that’s a part of what I do, dealing in those visuals. So yeah, you’re right. And I think that jargon is what separates a lot of fields as opposed to if you look at just the protocol and the practice, most businesses are the same in those very broad strokes. They’re very much the same.

Tim Ferriss: The vernacular, the terminology is different. Different dialects of the same language.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: That’s right.

Tim Ferriss: And the lawyer, why did he help you?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: So the lawyer helped because he was more than a lawyer, he was a dealmaker.

Tim Ferriss: Yeah. That’s a great point.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: And so he was really interested in bringing me into this mix to show them he knew people and that’s really why he brought me in. He said, “This guy has got the fashion knowledge you need. He’s working on this film. He has a sense of what production is. You guys ought to meet.” And so that was why. That was part of his selling point, was that he knew people.

Tim Ferriss: Which, I should point out, is one of the things that separates, in some cases, really good lawyers from great lawyers. Is that they are dealmakers and they’re very creative about getting deals done and they recognize that by getting deals done, they ultimately have the most renewable resource of repeat clientele they could ever want.

But there are very technically, legally adroit lawyers who are perhaps more interested in billable hours and the microlevel tactics, but they’re not dealmakers at heart and they’re very different animals, really different. So I’m glad you mentioned that. I’m going to grab another hard kombucha and be right back. I’m going to ask you about success and definitions thereof with your students.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: I just wanted to make a comment about your lawyer thing and that is, in that definition of good lawyers who can recognize a potential deal and do something, they’re also kind of like if they were a doctor, they would infect you so they could treat you because they create more work for themselves by putting those deals together.

Tim Ferriss: I mean, I guess there are sort of, not to use like Dungeons & Dragons parlance, but constitutionally, there are sort of they’re in the light arts for doing that, and then there are the dark arts. And they’re different. They’re very different. So let’s talk about students. At the beginning of every semester at Parsons you ask your students to define success or at least you’ve done that many times. Why do you do that? And you can answer this in whatever order you’d like, and what have been some of the insights or answers that stick out? Or what are you looking for? Let’s just explore why you do that. Because you mentioned when you had to, or chose to, lay off whatever it was, 110, 120 people in Wisconsin, you were asking yourself, is this failure? Does this mean I’m a failure? What does this mean, right? And we’re meaning making machines as humans. So you ask your students to define success. Why?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: I think it’s really important to question some fundamentals that maybe you never ask yourself. So what does success look like, I think, is a really important question. And it doesn’t mean, by the way, that your definition can’t change. I mean, my personal definition has changed, but I think it’s always important to sort of have your own compass going on and knowing what it is you’re after, what it is that you’re doing. And so some will say, “Well, having enough money,” and oftentimes money is attached to this, “Having enough money so that I don’t have to worry about anything.” And I said, “So, having enough money so you’re not worried about anything. Can you be making that much money, however, also hate doing what you’re doing every day you’re doing it, would you still consider yourself successful?”

And so that starts a dialogue. So I use that as kind of a kindling in the hopes of igniting a dialogue about thinking about what does success really mean? And one of the things that I think is overlooked in so many circumstances is context. And looking at that in context and looking about what success is. I mean, the nature of success to me changed when I got married, when I had kids, and then I thought of a separate definition of success when my business was going really well, and that was I’d consider myself successful when I could say no without any negative financial consequences. So the freedom to say no was a big part of success for me. But now, I’m at a different stage of life, and I would say that my definition of success has evolved, for me, into engagement. I want to be engaged in what I’m doing. I want to be excited about doing it. I want to look forward to it, and I don’t care how much money I’d be getting. If I’m not engaged, if I’m not involved, I don’t want to spend my time doing that.

Tim Ferriss: What does engagement feel like? How would you know you’re engaged?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: You know you’re engaged when you are unaware of the time that passes, that you are so in the zone of the work that you’re doing, that time doesn’t mean anything and you love doing it. And that you look forward to the next time you get to do it. And that can also mean the group of people that you’re collaborating with and working with, that you just enjoy that process. And to me, that’s what’s really important is knowing and understanding why I want to do this and that it brings me fulfillment, and I think that’s really important.

Tim Ferriss: How do you choose who you interview for your class? I mean, you’ve interviewed some enormous names. Taylor Swift being just one example. How do you choose them? What are the criteria? Or what are you looking for? What are you hoping to share with your students? How do you go about guest selection?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Now, this is interesting because this also scratching your own itch.

Tim Ferriss: Okay. Tell me more.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: And by the way, Taylor Swift was part of a Victoria’s Secret job. She didn’t do my class — 

Tim Ferriss: Oh, got it.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: — just to be clear.

Tim Ferriss: Got it. Got it. Nonetheless.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: But I think that from our legal department — 

Tim Ferriss: Fair enough.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: “She never did that! He’s misrepresenting!” So my criteria for a guest is have they demonstrated in some way, whether it’s a lecture I heard, their book that I read, an article, whatever, that they’ve got knowledge that I think is interesting, compelling, can bring about a change in the way people look at things, make people aware of things. So it’s really, it’s scratching my own itch. I find what they’re doing really interesting, and I love the idea of being able to talk to somebody and explore what they do and learn from what they do. Teaching is a fabulous way to learn.

Tim Ferriss: Yeah, it really is.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: And I love learning.

Tim Ferriss: So side note for people, I don’t know if this footage can even be found anywhere, but thanks to your introductions — you may remember if people could find this, it would be hilarious — there was a very, very unusual promo that I did for The 4-Hour Chef during one of the Victoria’s Secret annual events, and I ended up cooking some dish and I think it was Alessandra Ambrosio or Ambrosia, and then Adriana Lima next to me, and I have never felt like such a hobbit/bridge troll. I mean, the visual was so hilarious because, A, they’re super tall and obviously stunningly gorgeous and they’re in heels, and there I am like three feet shorter with some kind of Willy Wonka jacket on, trying to make God knows what. It’s quite hilarious. So if people can find that, I highly recommend taking a look at it. 

Finding people who are interesting. I want to shift to someone who may or may not be interesting, and we’re going to move from New York City to the Mojave Desert. Can you please tell the story of the life coach who lived deep in the Mojave Desert?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: I’m laughing because I love that you picked that.

Tim Ferriss: And I don’t know the story. I do not know the story. I’m just using the prompt because I want to hear you tell the story.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: I may have to reread my book. So there was this person that I heard about who supposedly had insights into what makes life meaningful and eternal.

Tim Ferriss: And how old were you at the time?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: I was in my late 20s or late 30s.

Tim Ferriss: Okay.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: You know, the seeking ages. And so I heard about this person who lived deep in the Mojave Desert and that, for a fee, he would share that knowledge. And so it was really hard to get there, by the way. It’s not like there were direct flights to this place or anything. And so I make this journey, which involved a plane flight, then a train, then walking, and a car, and it was like quite a thing to get to this isolated place. And I go in and there’s this kind of very beatific man, smooth skin like porcelain, sitting cross-legged on the floor. And he motions me in and asked me to sit down, I sit down. And he said, “You are a seeker.” I’m thinking, “Well, yeah. I made it here seeking something; that’s not under the umbrella of big insight.”

And he said, “You see this fire?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “First, I want you to close your eyes.” And I closed my eyes. And he said, “I’m closing my eyes.” And he said, “You’ve opened your eyes.” And I’m thinking, “How’d you see that? Your eyes are shut. I was testing you!”

So he said, “Close your eyes, and I want you to allow your mind to go blank. And I want you to think of nothingness.” So I won’t tell you where my mind went, but it didn’t go to nothingness. And he said, “Now, I want you to open your hand and place it in front of you.” And I opened my hand and placed it in front of me, and he said, “Your right hand.” And I’m thinking again, “How did he know? His eyes are closed.” And he said, “Put your palm towards the ground and move it in front of you.” And it’s where the fire was.

So I moved in front, he says, “Now, I want you to slowly put your hand into the fire.” And I opened my eyes and said, “Are you fucking crazy? I’m not putting my hand in the fire.” And he said, “You don’t know how many people I have to stop once they start putting their hand down and I reach out. We’re in the middle of fucking nowhere. If they burn their hands seriously, I’m in the shit, and they’re feeling miserable, and we’re probably 120 miles from any kind of hospital. So thank goodness you had the good sense not to do that. You want a beer?” And so he hands me a beer, and he’s got this diamond-encrusted can opener, new can opener. And he said, “Yeah, one of my followers sent me this. You believe this? They spent their money on a fucking diamond beer can opener.” So he takes a big sip of it.

And I do, and he said to me, “You came here for the secret, right?” And I said, “Yes.” He said, “Okay, here’s the big secret.” I said, “What’s that?” He said, “There is no secret. If you were to put half of the effort into your own career and what you’re doing into what it took you to get here, you would have been far ahead of the game. Everybody comes here thinking that I’ve got some secret. And they’re so invested in what it takes to get here that I feel like I have to do something.” And I said, “What about the eternal life thing?” And he said, “Listen, you live in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of people coming up wanting a piece of you and all the answers from you, it feels like an eternity.” And I said, “Why do you do it?” And he goes, “Ah, it’s a living.”

Tim Ferriss: That’s amazing. Okay. A few follow-ups, how did you hear about this guy? And what impact did that have, if any, on you?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Okay. Here’s the big reveal, Tim.

Tim Ferriss: You are the man sitting cross-legged?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Yeah. And simultaneously across from myself. The big reveal is that I wanted to end my book with a parable, and so I made that story up.

Tim Ferriss: Ah, I like it.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: And I can’t tell you how many people said, “Well, who is this guy?” And all of that kind of thing. And what inspired me to write this is that there are so many self-acclaimed people with insight. And so many people who were clamoring to share in that insight, so it’ll somehow unlock the secrets of riches and long life to them. And I thought, you know what it really takes — and I don’t know any exceptions to this rule unless you’re born into money — is it takes a fuckload of work. That’s what it takes to do what I’ve done, what you’ve done, what everybody I know who has accomplished something has done. So there are no secrets. What there is is the hard work, the perseverance, and that keeps you going after what you’re going for. There aren’t any secrets to unlock. You’ve got to do the work.

Tim Ferriss: Yeah. I want to talk about a particular type of work. “I was hired to sell shoes, not be a zookeeper.” Please elaborate.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Those don’t go together for you? So when I was a kid, I was about 16, a new shopping mall was opening in Akron, Ohio, which is where I grew up. And I’m going to piggyback the story, piggyback the monkey story. We’re going to feel like Dr. Dolittle right now. There was a manager there. It was a chain of stores, and they had run an ad for somebody who was at least 23, had shoe selling experience, and was married. I was 16, unmarried, and never sold a shoe. So — 

Tim Ferriss: Why let that stop you?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Well, that was my thought. 

Tim Ferriss: Yeah.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Truly. And so I met with this guy. And I’d done door-to-door sales, I’d done all kinds of selling.

Tim Ferriss: What did you sell door to door? Not to digress.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: I was a Fuller Brush Man, which maybe many of your listeners don’t even know what that is.

Tim Ferriss: I don’t know what that is. Paint brushes?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: No. Fuller Brush was kitchen stuff and personal grooming stuff and went around with a sample case. You’d start off so they wouldn’t slam the door in your face. You’d say, “I’ve got a free gift for you.” That was a big thing back then and — 

Tim Ferriss: It’s like being a missionary?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Yes. And you get a choice of one of three gifts that we’ve got this week. And then you try to sell them shampoo or dish soap or whatever. One time, a woman opens the door wearing a robe, and her hair is wrapped up in a towel. And I said, “In our special this weekend, it may interest you since you just got out of the shower, is our hairspray.” And she said, “Well, I actually could use the hairspray now. Can I? Do you have a sample?” And I said, “Yeah.” And so I picked up the aerosol, everything was aerosol back then.

Tim Ferriss: Yeah.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: And I handed the aerosol can and she starts to — she first brushes her hair, then she sprays this. And as she’s spraying and I see, oh man, I handed her the oven spray.

Tim Ferriss: Oh, God.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: So I take the can back before she looks at it and puts it back in the thing, she’s going, “This is very firm.” And I’m thinking, “Yeah, and food won’t stick to your head either.” She actually bought it. She was probably disappointed with the actual hairspray, but I had 30 seconds to engage a potential customer before they closed the door on my face. I mean, nowadays I don’t even think you’d get anybody to open the door, but back then you could. So it was an actually amazingly good experience for selling. And that also prepped me for retail when somebody walks into the store — 

Tim Ferriss: Totally.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: — I engage them and get them selling. So I had that conversation with Bob, who was the manager, and he said, “Look, I can’t hire you. You’re supposed to be 23, you’re 16. You’re supposed to be married, you’re single. You’re supposed — 

Tim Ferriss: I just love that the number is 23.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Yeah. And he went on to found 23andMe! No, just kidding. Just kidding. So anyhow, he said, “I can’t hire you. I’m really sorry. I like you, but I can’t hire you.” And I said, “Well, I sold you and you’ve got to — it’s got to be harder to sell you than a pair of shoes.” And he laughed and said, “I’m sorry.” So as I’m walking out, he comes after me. And he said, “All right, fuck it. You’re hired.” And he hired me. And I said, “Why are you hiring me? And he said, “Well, you’re right. You sold me. I’m willing to take a chance on you.”

Well, that was really good management because although he had policies, when he saw what he thought would be a good opportunity and, in fact, I was a very successful salesman for them, he was willing to take a chance, take a risk, and do something and sort of make the perimeter for the job qualifications a bit more elastic to fit me in. Well, in the back of the store, there was a monkey.

Tim Ferriss: In the back of the shoe store?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: In the back of the shoe store, there was a monkey and — 

Tim Ferriss: “Attention. Do I have your attention? Interest. Are you interested?” Yes. “Decision. Have you made your decision for Christ?” Yeah. Anyway, for those who don’t get the reference, you can look it up.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: And as you had said earlier, this is an adult show.

Tim Ferriss: Yeah, yeah. Exactly.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: So the idea behind having a monkey in the back of the store, which by the way, would never ever happen these days.

Tim Ferriss: Not up to code.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: No, no. So since it was a family shoe store, the mother would come in, and she’d say to the kids, “Go back and look at the monkey.”

Tim Ferriss: What could go wrong?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: By the way, a phrase that I had never heard before or since, “Go back and look at the monkey.” And so there was a — when we first opened, there was a name the monkey contest.

Tim Ferriss: Okay.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: And the monkey’s name, the winning name was Solo. Now, at that time, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was the most popular TV show. And the hero’s name was Napoleon Solo. That’s why everybody thinks we chose the name Solo. The truth, revealed here for the first time, is we named it Solo because all the monkey did was masturbate. So, of course, what would you do sitting in a cage all day?

Tim Ferriss: Yeah, if I were a monkey in a cage, that’s what I would do.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: That’s right. And so the mother would then look back, look at her kids, and she’d see the monkey furiously masturbating. She said, “Get away from the cage. Get away from the cage.” So somebody had to clean the cage. Finally getting to your point. And the assistant manager — 

Tim Ferriss: The masturbating makes that task so much worse. I didn’t know that detail.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: I didn’t want to reveal everything over lunch. And so the manager, Jimmy, says to me, “The assistant manager wants you to clean out the monkey cage.” And there were five other employees. And I was, by far, the youngest. And I said, “Do you ever clean out the monkey cage?” And he said, “I told you to clean out the monkey cage.” And I said — and by this time the other employees gathered around because he was very animated when he said that. And I said to him, “I’ll take my turn if everybody else takes their turn. Otherwise, I was hired to sell shoes, not be a zookeeper.”

Tim Ferriss: He must love that.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: And he said, “I told you to clean out that cage.” And then Bob, the manager who hired me, had heard this and walks over, and he says, “Jimmy, why don’t you show him how to clean the cage properly? And then you’ll take your turn, Jeff will take his, and then everybody else will take theirs.” Well, I was okay with that because then everybody was treated equally and fairly, and I wasn’t treated differently because I was a kid. And I was often the top selling salesperson. So, again, I learned something about management from that, which is, first of all, hear people. Listen and hear people. Don’t just assume because the assistant manager said, “I’m not doing something,” maybe there’s a reason. Maybe there’s something to learn from that. Maybe there’s something to make the situation better for the employees or whatever. And again, he demonstrated this very common sense good judgment and that stayed with me to this point. Traumatized by the masturbating monkey, but learning from his management prowess, which I thought was quite good.

Tim Ferriss: Oh, my God, masturbating monkeys. Glengarry Glen Ross, Alec Baldwin’s performance is my reference from earlier for people who’ve missed it.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Good reference, by the way.

Tim Ferriss: Thank you. Thank you. And the last is action. A-I-D-A. Flipped over on the chalkboard. I think he was nominated for an Oscar.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: He was.

Tim Ferriss: Like six-minute performance, which is just incredible.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Yeah. David Mamet wrote it.

Tim Ferriss: Such an incredible writer. I mean, just stunning, stunning writer. This is a complete non-sequitur, but I have to ask. And I know we’re jumping around, but that’s the nature of our conversation — 

B. Jeffrey Madoff: As did the monkey, by the way.

Tim Ferriss: As did the monkey. So from monkey masturbation to 2009. So you are Madoff, as you reminded me very kindly, before we started, because I was asking you about Lauren versus Lauren. Now, there is a Madoff, who became quite famous in the wider world. So I don’t know if this is accurate. Were you actually quoted in The New York Times as saying, “I got a package at my office, which I returned to the post office because it was addressed to Bernard Madoff and no return address.” Is that you being quoted or is that somebody else?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Yes. Yeah, it is.

Tim Ferriss: So what was that? Did that year turn into a massive headache for you or was it really just a comical distraction for a short period of time?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: It’s interesting. It was a few things. So first of all, my first initial, although I go by my middle name, Jeffrey. My first initial is B — 

Tim Ferriss: B. Right.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: — for Ben and — 

Tim Ferriss: Not Benjamin.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Not Benjamin and not Big. Well, let me say that, let me phrase that differently, but anyhow, yes, it was Ben. And I would get calls all the time, my office would get calls, because it was Madoff Productions. The pneumonic, so you can keep it clear in your own mind is he Madoff with the money. I’m Madoff.

Tim Ferriss: Oh.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: And so we got this package and the package was addressed like a kidnap note. There were letters cut out of a magazine or magazines.

Tim Ferriss: That sounds promising.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Yeah. And I thought, “I doubt if this is anything good.” But I didn’t know it was even potentially dangerous.

Tim Ferriss: Oh, it could be a bomb for sure or poison.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: And I had gotten so many calls at all hours of the day and night, four in the morning I would get calls.

Tim Ferriss: From people who had lost their money to Madoff?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Yeah. Yes. And I had real compassion for these people because in good faith, these people invested, and they had lost their money. And so, I got some really horrible calls, some people who were crying and begging, and I said, “It’s not me. And Bernard has been sentenced. You think that you’re going to find a number in a phone book?” There were still phone books then. “I’m not him.”

And yeah, I got a call at five in the morning from Fox & Friends. And it rang, I picked up the phone, and they say, I forgot the person’s name, “From Fox & Friends, we’d love to have you on today. Bernard Madoff is being sentenced, and we’d love to have you on.” I said, “Well, first of all, let me be clear, at five in the morning, you are not my friend. And no, I have no interest in being on your show.” And he said, “Well, we know it’s early, but we wanted to get to you today.” And I said, “Do you think that I want your audience to see me on the screen, then you talk about Madoff or Madoff being sentenced with my face on there, and they’re going to think it’s me. I want absolutely no part of this.

Tim Ferriss: Nothing but upside.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Yeah, that’s right. That’s right, exactly. “Sounds like a wonderful opportunity. And could you put a target on me too?”

Tim Ferriss: “Do you have any anthrax I could borrow?”

B. Jeffrey Madoff: I was aggressively pursued for The David Letterman Show. They wanted me to — 

Tim Ferriss: Just because you had a name that was spelled the same way?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Yeah, so they wanted to do top 10 reasons for not having the last name. And so they called me a few times, and it happened my studio was less than a block away from Letterman’s studio. And so his producers invited me over, trying to talk me into it. And I said, “Look, I understand that you guys have to entertain your audience every night, five nights a week. And I’m not interested in making fun or making light of the pain that so many people have suffered, nor am I interested in being the butt of jokes because my last name is spelled the same way. They said, “Well, do you know how big our audience is?”

Tim Ferriss: “Do you know how huge an ass you could appear?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: “To so many people?”

Tim Ferriss: “To a national audience!”

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Yes. “Yeah,” I said, “I’m aware. No.” But what ended up happening — so there was a period of time, and obviously, to this day, I’m still asked about it, when my mom died. And this is in 2010, I’m in Akron with my wife. We’re at the funeral home. And the funeral director is looking at the certificate, and he says to me, “I couldn’t help but to notice the last name.” I said, “What? You usually don’t check when you’re going to bury somebody?” And he said, “Well, I do see the last name. May I ask, are you related?” And I said, “Yes, it’s my mother.” So that ended that discussion. But what I did, though, was I wrote an article. I get a call back from The Daily Beast. And I hadn’t submitted it. I sent it out to a bunch of friends and somebody must’ve submitted it. And it was called, I’m Not That Madoff. And — 

Tim Ferriss: Or, I’m Not That Madoff.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Right. Correct. And so I’ve never gone into this. So this is kind of bringing back memories, not all of them good. And so The Daily Beast said, “This is what — we love your article.” I said, “Thank you.” “We’d like to publish it.” “Thank you.” “But we want you to make one change.” And I said, “And what’s that?” “Well, you have a line in there. It’s very funny. It’s very clever. But you have this line in here that we’d like you to take out.”

And I said, “And what’s that?” And they said, “Well, you say that wealthy people often cloak themselves in religious and philanthropic causes to inoculate themselves against criticism.” And I said, “Yeah.” “So we’d like you to take that out.” I said, “No.” And they said, “Well, I mean, we’d love to run it, but we would like to take that out.” And I said, “How much you paying me for this?” “Zero.” But I wouldn’t take it out anyhow. And I said, “No, that’s an integral to the piece.”

Tim Ferriss: Why did they want you to take that out? As far as I’m concerned, it’s a statement of fact.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: It is.

Tim Ferriss: I mean, you, you don’t have to look very far to get a lot of confirming evidence. Did they give you a reason?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: No, other than they thought that it was very clever and good, but they didn’t like that part because it got serious. So I said no. The next day I got a call from The Huffington Post. “Love your article.” I said, “Thank you.” “We’d love to run it.” I said, “As is?” They said, “Oh, we wouldn’t change it. Absolutely.”

And then that led to me writing for them. So I did around 50 some articles, because I wanted to get down the discipline of writing regularly. So they didn’t impose that on me, but I did an article a week for them for a little better than a year. And so it actually ended up being something good.

Tim Ferriss: So I don’t know if this is going to be a natural segue or not. 

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Like all of our others, like monkey masturbating?

Tim Ferriss: All of my monkey masturbating to Glengarry Glen Ross segues. I’m a natural, folks. Just goes to show how far you can get with perseverance and a lot of ignorance.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: But that’s how, since we’ve known each other, the conversations are like pinball.

Tim Ferriss: They’re always like this. They’re always like this. Yeah, pinball meets racquetball meets LSD. Lloyd Price. Who’s Lloyd Price?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Well, Lloyd Price is a dear friend who died on May 4th. And Lloyd Price is, and I hate this term because it’s beaten to death, but it’s true in his case, an icon, one of the founding fathers of rock and roll. He’s in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And his first song, Lawdy Miss Clawdy, back in 1952, broke down the wall that was called race records, where you could only buy records by Black artists in Black record stores.

And Lawdy Miss Clawdy sold, and was the first record to sell this much, over a million copies. No record by a young person had ever sold anywhere near that.

Tim Ferriss: Yeah, that’s crazy. I mean, it’s a crazy number.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: And by the way, at that time, which would have been my grandparents’ generation, kids didn’t buy records. The only kids’ records were Shirley Temple. Kids did not buy records. It wasn’t a market. So there were a bunch of independent labels around the country that sold blues, gospel, and jazz. And this was the breakthrough album. So there are many rock and roll and musical scholars that consider it the cornerstone song of rock and roll. And it was covered by Elvis, by The Beatles, by Bruce Springsteen, on and on and on. And I met Lloyd. We really hit it off. And I was — 

Tim Ferriss: When was that?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: I met him in 2012 or ’13, something like that. And I was asked to do a documentary about him, because they wanted to start getting his story out there in hopes of doing something. And so I researched him. And I met him first, really liked him, and then researched him and did this documentary. And I was so taken by his story, because it takes place at the crossroads of the youth movement, the birth of rock and roll, and the civil rights movement. And I felt like this is a story that needed to be told. Most people don’t know Lloyd’s story and just how influential he was in breaking down that wall that was called race records. Nobody’s prejudiced against green.

Tim Ferriss: That’s very true.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: And he opened the doors, not only for Black musicians, but for young musicians. And that started that tidal wave that became rock and roll. So he and I became very close friends. And I said to him, after doing the documentary, “I know I can capture your voice. I want to tell your story.” Little did I know that meeting him was going to be a life-changing event, because since then — I wrote the first few scenes, read them for Lloyd.

Tim Ferriss: So let’s pause here for a second. So you wrote the first few scenes of what?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Of a play.

Tim Ferriss: There we go.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Yeah. I wrote the first few scenes.

Tim Ferriss: How did you get to a play? Did you already have it in your mind when you said, “I can capture your voice?” Was it in the form of a play?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Yes. And although movie was in the back of my mind as a next step, but play, there’s something about theater and live performances, whether you’re seeing a play, whether you’re seeing a comedian, even a live concert, where the talent is at risk the entire time they’re in front of an audience. Because in movies, you can do another take. On a play, you can’t.

Tim Ferriss: Yeah. I love that.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: And so that risk I find profound and profoundly seductive, because you have to be there, present, in the zone, to really be good at what you’re doing. And I have so much respect for the talent that I work with and the actors that I work with. It’s incredible. And comedians, they put a product out there and they get immediate feedback. It’s no AB testing. Right? They — 

Tim Ferriss: They laugh or they don’t.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: That’s right.

Tim Ferriss: There’s no charity.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: That’s right.

Tim Ferriss: If it’s not funny, they don’t laugh.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: That’s right. Yeah, and you can’t talk them into, “You know, that was funny.” That’s right. That’s the proof. And so you’ve got to pivot quick and recover quick. And if you get angry at your audience for not doing it, that’s the death knell of your career.

Tim Ferriss: So I stopped you when you said, “I wrote the first few scenes.” I don’t know if you remember that thread to pick up on that. Wasn’t sure where the thought was going. But you wrote the first few scenes of, I’m not sure if it was called this at the time, but Personality, subtitle, The Lloyd Price Musical based on his life. And what happened when you wrote the first few scenes?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Well, I wrote the first few to tell him the kind of voice I wanted to do the play in.

Tim Ferriss: Right.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: And so when I read them out loud to him, he loved it. He said, “You’ve got it.” And I said to him, “But there’s something really important that we need to understand right now.” And he said, “What’s that?” And I said, “You’re the messenger. This story is bigger than you, because your life and what you did changed the face of music, was instrumental in creating this new form. And you’re the messenger. And he said, “Jeff, I’ve been waiting years for somebody to say that to me. And they all puff smoke up my ass. And it’s not about my ego. It’s about wanting to tell this story. That’s why I want you to do it.”

And that began a friendship and a collaboration that lasted until his death. And now I have an additional mission and purpose, which is to keep his legacy and story and music alive.

Tim Ferriss: So many questions. I want to ask you first, how did it feel? What was it like to hear him say that to you, “I’ve been waiting to have somebody say that?”

B. Jeffrey Madoff: It was really gratifying, because what I said could have pissed him off if he was a lesser person. But his ego didn’t get in the way of that. And Lloyd had a phrase, “The truth needs no defense.”

Tim Ferriss: Oh, That’s great.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: And I love — yeah, I love that. I love that. And he had another one, which I thought about as I was raising money for this, which is — I was telling him about some of the meetings and so on. He said, “Jeff, you got to understand something. There’s a million ways to say no. There’s only one way to say yes. You write a check.”

Tim Ferriss: Right. “We’ll get back to you. Let us think on it.” Yeah.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: And there are people, by the way, that just love having meetings. And they think it’s cool to have a meeting about a play and all of that kind of thing.

Tim Ferriss: Yeah, if you want an all-you-can-eat buffet of that, just spend a bunch of time in Los Angeles and get plenty of practice, fucking meetings and phone calls. Jeez, Louise. So as it stands right now, where is this musical? What’s the state of affairs?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: So the state of affairs is, back in September of ’20, we got a theater deal. We did a workshop. First of all, let me say, that if I knew how long it took to mount a play, I would have started when I was younger. And we did a full-up workshop with choreography in the end of March 2019. We got a theater deal. And that theater deal’s with People’s Light Theater in Malvern, a very good regional theater. And we’re very excited about that. And we’re — 

Tim Ferriss: That’s in Pennsylvania.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Yes. And we were going to open in March of ’21. And with COVID, I had to make the decision, because theaters, by the way, get booked up a year-and- a-half to two years in advance. So in September of ’20, I made the decision to see if we could move it, if my management could move it to 2022, which is what we did.

Tim Ferriss: That was prescient of you.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: It would’ve been really screwed if I was wrong. Fortunately — or not fortunately, I wish COVID was over. But my hope is that by March, we’ll not only all be safe, we will believe that we’re safe and that people will be attending theater, which is beginning to happen. Bruce Springsteen opened his show on Broadway last weekend. I mean, today’s June 30th that we’re doing this.

Tim Ferriss: It is June 30th. That’s right.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: And last Saturday, I’m just putting a timeframe on this, Springsteen was the first Broadway show to open. And he sold out.

Tim Ferriss: Wow.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: And three weeks before that, The Colbert Show invited full audience without face masks. They just had to pass a COVID test and show proof of vaccination. And he’s been full to capacity every day since. Those are all good omens. So that’s really good.

Tim Ferriss: Yeah, the Roaring ’20s, here we go.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: So we’re now in the process. I am raising some more money, because it’s like any startups, like the tech startups you’ve been with. You cross a certain threshold, then you’ve got to raise money for the next stage. And then you cross that stage and you’ve got to raise money for the next stage.

And we’ve got wonderful talent involved. Sheldon Epps, who’s the director, is phenomenal, who’s been with me since the beginning, as has Shelton Becton, who is the musical director, and Chester Gregory, who plays Lloyd, and Stanley Mathis, who plays Logan, who was Lloyd’s mobster mentor. 

Tim Ferriss: And many, many awards across these people.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Yeah, we have a creative team. David Gallo, who’s won multiple Tony Awards, is doing set and projection. And Rob Kaplowitz, who is doing sound design, is a Tony Award winner. And we just have a tremendous number of people involved who are so good and so committed to the project. And that’s very gratifying. And you might like this. When I hired Sheldon, which was before we did our first reading — and I really liked him and I liked his insights into theater and everything else.

And so I said to him, “I want you to know I have a no asshole rule.” And he laughed. He says, “Well, I think I know what you mean, but why don’t you explain it to me?” And I said, “If you are an asshole, but you’re paying me, I’ll put up with it, but I will never put up with abuse. But if you’re an asshole and I’m paying you, I won’t put up with it.” And he laughed and said, “We’re in the same place.”

And we have built such a sense of community for each of the productions we’ve done. And it’s been just a joy. And the thing is, and I said this to the assembled cast before we did our workshop, is, and I think this is a general life lesson for me anyhow, which is never let anybody rob the joy of the process, because the process is what’s magic. The process is what’s so much fun. And that’s the journey on your way to that finished product, that process. I mean, that’s where the real stories come in, as you’re on that journey. And — 

Tim Ferriss: It’s also the bulk of your time.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: That’s right. That’s right, because once it’s up and on its feet, there’s a lot less to do.

Tim Ferriss: Is it fair to say that, and I know very little about theater, but that The People’s Light Theater in Malvern and certainly others around the epicenter of Broadway act as effectively feeders, if they’re successful, into Broadway?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Yes. Yeah, it is. And that’s from whether it’s La Jolla Playhouse in California, or whether it’s the Goodman Theater in Washington. There are many regional theaters of very high order. The Public Theater In New York is a regional theater. That’s where Hamilton started.

Tim Ferriss: I didn’t know that.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: The La Jolla Playhouse is where Jersey Boys started.

Tim Ferriss: Oh, no kidding.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: And those were all like what we have, enhancement deals. But the big caveat is: if you’re successful.

Tim Ferriss: Could you define for people who don’t know the term enhancement deal?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: An enhancement deal basically means that a good regional theater will set aside a certain amount of money for original productions. Maybe they do one or two or, tops, three a season. So they have their fixed budget. And then, on our end, we have to enhance that budget with the rest of the financial contribution. So they’re putting up the set shop, they’re building the sets, they’re building the costumes, they’re doing the marketing and sales. They’re doing all of those things. And if there is any recoupment, they’ll be able to get that.

So we’re not producing it. But what we are doing is marketing from that. That’s the idea. But we’ve enhanced their budget. So we’re both able to put on a play that the cost would be prohibitive for either party alone, but together, in pooling resources, we’re able to do the production.

Tim Ferriss: It’s very similar, not entirely, it’s not a perfect parallel, but very similar to the marquee titles that a publisher will select. They’ll hand pick a few that they’ll double down on in terms of betting their bandwidth and capital to back. Very, very similar.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Did you find, by the way, I’m just curious, after the success of The 4-Hour Workweek, and I think it’s fair to say that that launched your career — 

Tim Ferriss: Sure. I think that’s fair to say.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: — did you get any kind of response from any of the publishers that had originally rejected you, that wanted in on your next book or anything like that?

Tim Ferriss: I did get a couple of letters from publishers who rejected me, not only rejected me, but did so with no grace whatsoever, I mean, really abrasively rejected me. And I don’t think I replied to any of them. I found them amusing, found them very amusing, because you can say no in many different ways. And there were people who said no but did it taking just an extra sentence or two to encourage me, even though it wasn’t a fit for them. And it was really just an extra sentence or two and a shift in tone, just a few different words. And that made a real world of difference.

For instance, there was an agent, she may still be an agent, really, really capable agent named Jillian Manus, who did not take me on as a client, but gave me a lot of really good advice and feedback and was very generous and gracious in how she interacted with me. And a bunch of her advice helped me in my writing of the book, even though I ended up working with an agent who I still work with, Steve Hanselman.

And I have the utmost respect for her. And I think she is a better player, a more competent actor in that field because of the way she handled herself. And she had no reason to do it at the time. I shouldn’t say no reason, but I felt like it was her default way of existing in the world, because I had nothing to offer her at the time. But there were examples like that. And then there were the counter examples of people who are just like, “Who the hell are you, kid? This is a dumb idea. Goodbye.” And it just struck me as so shortsighted in a way.

Even if your job is to say no 99 percent of the time, which is certainly true for venture capitalists as another example, I mean, a lot of people say no 99 percent of the time, it strikes me as a very good investment of time to decide in advance how you’re going to do that with some degree of grace. So yeah, absolutely I received letters from some of them. And none of them were going to get a bite of the apple before the publisher who took a calculated risk on that first book for sure. And they got a great deal on it, as they should have. Right? I mean, after all, I’d been punched in the face and kicked in the nuts 30 times or whatever it was. So I didn’t exactly have a lot of leverage.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: But that’s smart to be aware of, because a lot of people get very resentful about rejection, but they don’t look at it in a context of, “I have got no backstory here yet. I can’t point to my successes in this world.”

Tim Ferriss: Yeah, totally. And it goes both ways, right? You can be gracious in receiving no. I think that’s very important. And these days, I get, through various channels, hundreds of communications a day. And 90-plus percent of those are asking for something. And it’s not physically possible for me and my team to even respond to all of those. But if we do, it’s usually a no, and it’s usually a polite decline. And that’s how I phrase it with my team. I’m like, “Please polite decline.”

And some people get extremely upset and they do the equivalent of responding rudely, as the publishers did, but they do it from the perspective of the person who’s asking for something. They get very morally outraged and offended and then they burn the bridge. Right? I say, “No, thank you. I can’t do this right now,” or “There’s no bandwidth,” or “I’m heads down on projects.” And they get really offended. And they guarantee that I’m never going to do something with them in the future by responding in a very overly sensitive, brusque way. Right? So it’s definitely a two-way street. If you’re going to try to do anything in the world, you need to get used to people saying no to you.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: There’s a lot more nos than yeses. And the question that I have is how does one construct that emotional moat around that part of your psyche that you want to protect? And you realize, “They don’t know me. What’s going on here has nothing to do with who I actually am.” And I think establishing that moat is critical for emotional survival, otherwise more kicks to the head.

Tim Ferriss: Totally. And also, I have, now on the receiving end, developed tremendous empathy and compassion for people on the receiving end, because in the beginning I might ask someone for a book blurb and they would say no. And I would be very upset. I wouldn’t respond rudely. I think I knew enough not to do that. But it would stick for a while, and I would be very upset.

I’d be like, “Why would they say no?” This is such an easy ask, and this and this and this. And I can come up with a laundry list of reasons why they should have said yes. And now that I’m in the receiving seat, it’s physically impossible to respond. I mean, if I look at my phone right now, I’ve got 98 unread text messages from close friends. And then I have another 253 unread text messages on Google Voice. And it just goes on and on. 834 notifications on Calendar. I mean, I can’t physically respond to this many things.

And it is entirely possible that the vast majority of people, or a high percentage of people who say no to you, will say no because they just don’t have the bandwidth to figure it out. And just because it’s not a fit for them, which you should accept as valid if they say it’s not a good fit, doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea. It just means that your shoes are too fucking tight. It’s not going to fit on their feet or whatever. It’s not the right fit. And it’s going to take a while if you have a novel idea and if you’re unproven in a particular area, it’s going to take a while to find Cinderella with that glass slipper. 

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Right. 

Tim Ferriss: It’s just going to take a while and it doesn’t matter if you’ve had a lot of success in one area, it doesn’t automatically copy and paste to the next. In many respects, you’re going to have to start over. And I really respect you for doing that not once but multiple times, sort of taking your, not necessarily leave, but departing from a well-trodden path that you know very well where you have all the connections and you understand all the dynamics to explore an area where you’re inevitably going to face more nos. And I hesitate to say rejection because I don’t view those as exactly the same. Do you know what I mean?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: What’s that distinction?

Tim Ferriss: Well, it’s like rejection, I guess just has such a negative connotation, whereas “No, not right now,” “No, not for me,” don’t quite have the stigma or the stickiness of rejection. Rejection is just such a, for me at least, has such a heavy connotation so I don’t think about it that way. And yeah, it’s been a strange journey and an interesting one. Let me ask you a question with respect to fundraising, without giving out your personal contact information because I think that’d be a terrible, terrible idea. I’ve seen that backfire before. Where could people go to maybe learn more about the production or consider supporting what you’re doing with Personality: The Lloyd Price Musical?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Well, as of yet, because it’s too early. I mean, tickets don’t even go on sale till September. So if somebody was interested, they could message me on LinkedIn.

Tim Ferriss: Okay. That’s easy. All right, so — 

B. Jeffrey Madoff: B. Jeffrey Madoff.

Tim Ferriss: All right. We’ll include that in the show notes as well for people. So you can direct message Big Jeffrey Madoff on LinkedIn and great, I mean, if that works, that’s easy. I just suggest people do it that way and those who are motivated will figure it out.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Yeah. And if they have just a bag of cash they want to drop off, I can give out the many convenient drop off locations.

Tim Ferriss: Well, let’s talk for just a little bit longer. So the process of doing homework, I saw somewhere that you’ve read everything by Raymond Chandler. I think that’s how you say the last name.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Yes.

Tim Ferriss: James Ellroy. You talk about Michael Lewis, Charles Dickens, you’ve clearly read a lot. Aside from your own book, which just as a reminder is Creative Careers, subtitle, Making a Living with Your Ideas, has, I think, an average of five stars on Amazon, it’s very well reviewed. What books have you given most as gifts to other people?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Well, you preempted the actual answer, which is my own.

Tim Ferriss: Yeah, well, right. Right. That’s why I preempted. 

B. Jeffrey Madoff: God damn you! There are books that I have suggested to people.

Tim Ferriss: That’s good enough.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: And so a book that was really amazing to me, Michael Lewis wrote. Well, first of all, I think Moneyball was astounding.

Tim Ferriss: Spectacular. Spectacular book.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Yes. And — 

Tim Ferriss: I’m trying to get Billy Beane on the podcast.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Oh, really?

Tim Ferriss: I am. We’ll see, fingers crossed. Billy if you’re listening, I’d love to have you on.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: I mean, Michael Lewis as a non-fiction writer is so good.

Tim Ferriss: Yeah, mind-boggling.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: And the way that he’s able to make things understandable without dumbing them down, he’s just so good. And I’ve read everything he’s written except his latest book, I haven’t read that yet about pandemic, but I will. Moneyball, which was great, which I read Moneyball and Freakonomics back to back and it was like — 

Tim Ferriss: That’s a good combo.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Yeah. It was like a case study. Right. But I love The Undoing Project.

Tim Ferriss: I know the story of The Undoing Project, but I haven’t read the book.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: It’s brilliant. And about 15 years ago, I read Heuristics And Biases by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. And that — 

Tim Ferriss: Quick side note, I was a test subject of Danny Kahneman’s at Princeton where I was a subject in some of his experiments.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Really?

Tim Ferriss: Just as a quick side note. Yeah. Yeah. Anyway, please continue.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Well, they created the field of behavioral economics.

Tim Ferriss: Yeah. In Green Hall. I was sitting there in front of a computer, looking at things on a screen and hitting space bar or whatever the indication was.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Wow.

Tim Ferriss: Yeah, wild. Never met him.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: They’re brilliant. And the thinking about thinking and why we believe what we believe, I found so amazingly insightful and useful and I was just blown away by it. I just absolutely loved it. And so The Undoing Project went into who they were as people and it just even enhanced even more what their whole mission was in terms of behavioral economics. So I loved that, but Michael Lewis’ books I have recommended tremendously, same with Timothy Wu. Timothy — 

Tim Ferriss: Timothy Wu, I don’t know the name.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: So he wrote The Master Switch. He’s a professor at Columbia University. It’s incredible, about dissemination of media and the attention economy. And I may have screwed up that name, but it’s Timothy Wu, W-U, and he is brilliant. And I kind of read him like I put together Freakonomics with Heuristics And Biases. With Timothy Wu I put together James Gleik and The Information, which is God, it’s an amazing book. So I love things that make me look at things differently and challenge my own beliefs in really interesting ways. So those are the kinds of things that I recommend. I read mostly non-fiction. Back when I was reading a lot of fiction, I loved Raymond Chandler. Raymond Chandler created the prototype, Phillip Marlowe, the hard-boiled detective who’s got integrity and a bottle of rye in the deep desk drawer. And his books I was always sorry that they ended because they were so much fun to spend time with those characters and I really loved it.

Tim Ferriss: Have you ever read Motherless Brooklyn?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: I saw the film.

Tim Ferriss: I thought that Edward Norton and team did a really nice job with that.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: They did. And I thought it was really interesting and of course the eccentricity of having a detective with Tourette’s.

Tim Ferriss: Tourette’s.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Was just kind of interesting. And I’m a sucker for any of these movies, whether it’s L.A. Confidential, which is one of the best ones.

Tim Ferriss: Incredible.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: With the fedoras, and I love that genre, the film noirish kind of genre. I just love it. And James Ellroy, who I mentioned, who writes with a blowtorch, it’s — 

Tim Ferriss: Okay. Please elaborate.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: His use of language has such velocity to it and is so strong. And he wrote L.A. Confidential, it was based on one of his books.

Tim Ferriss: Oh, I did not know that. Okay.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Yeah. And the movie, which I loved, was like a Disney version of the book.

Tim Ferriss: That’s hard to imagine.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: I know. But if you read the book, which I’d highly recommend —

Tim Ferriss: By the same name?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Yes. Yeah. It’s wickedly rough, but really good if you like that genre.

Tim Ferriss: I love it. I’m looking for more fiction. I’ve really been drawn to fiction recently, having been a non-fiction purist for decades. But I think, I can’t remember who said this so I don’t know the attribution, somebody can figure this out, but the masks we wear tell us more about the truth than the real faces we own or something like that. But the masks often tell us so much and so, I’m sorry, I do feel like fiction can convey deeper truths sometimes as effectively or more effectively than non-fiction. So I’ve really been drawn to that craft recently. And do you have any favorite documentaries or movies?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Oh God. As you know, I love film so to name a film is really tough. I mean, I recently re-watched for the 19th time, I don’t know, To Kill A Mockingbird, which I loved. And I had the additional joy of turning my kids onto it when they were like 12 and watching it with them. And there are certain points in that film that I cry — 

Tim Ferriss: Somewhat intense subject matter.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Yeah. But I’ve got really smart kids and they loved it. And I loved when I saw tears welling up in their eyes at the same points that had happened with me when I watched the film, and it’s just so beautiful. Quick sidebar to that, so I had done a film for Liza Minnelli at Radio City and there was a big party afterwards in the Rainbow Room, which is as glamorous as the movies make it, it’s a gorgeous space and is wonderful. Gregory Peck was sitting there and it’s weird since I said to my wife, Margaret, as opposed to my wife Alice, my other wife. I said to Margaret, my wife, “You want to meet Gregory Peck?” This is in 1991. And she said, “I’d pass out.” I said, “Come on.” So we go over and I shake hands with him and said, “I’ve always wanted to shake Atticus’ hand.” And Atticus Finch is the character that he played. And he said, “It’s interesting that you say that.” And he has, by the way, one of the great voices of all time.

“I was just speaking with Alan Pakula, who produced the movie, and we were wondering if that movie would be made today. What do you think?” And I said, “I don’t know, but what a sorry statement about our culture it would be if a film that was that great wouldn’t have been made.” And I said, ‘Were you aware that you were making something that was going to live on for generations?” And he said, “I’ve made over 174 movies.”

Tim Ferriss: That’s a lot of movies.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: “Never before or never since did I have the feeling that I had when I was making that.” And the very first scene he said, “We shoot movies out of sequence.” And I said, “Yeah, I’m aware.” And he said, “The very first scene is actually the courtroom scene, although it happens later in the movie, and I walk out on set and Harper Lee was there.”

Tim Ferriss: I don’t know that name.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Harper Lee wrote it.

Tim Ferriss: Okay.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: She wrote To Kill A Mockingbird. “And when I walked out onto the set, she got up, burst into tears, and left. She came back about an hour and a half later and I walked over to her.” He was wearing a three-piece linen suit, which is what her father always wore. And she said, “I’m sorry. I was so overwhelmed by how you reminded me of my father, but there was one thing that was missing.” And he said, “What was that?” She said, “He always had his pocket watch and a watch fob.” And then she hands him her father’s pocket watch.

Tim Ferriss: Wow.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Which he put into his pocket. And she said, “Whenever he was giving a closing argument, he would rub his thumb over the face of the watch, the pocket watch.” And I said, “Wow.” And he said, “And when I got the Academy Award for best actor for that film, as I was giving the speech, I had my right hand in my pocket and was rubbing my thumb over the face of the watch.” I said, “Oh, wow.” And then he takes his hand out of his pocket and says, “Would you like to see the watch?” And he hands it to me.

Tim Ferriss: Wow.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: And I thought, man, wow! That was to me like somebody seeing the sacred Shroud of Turin or something. I mean, it was just amazing, really amazing. But that’s a film that not only was the book great, the movie was great.

Tim Ferriss: So I have to interrupt for a second because this reminds me of an experience that we had where we were at some party, I can’t remember where it was, L.A. or something like that, and I was a huge fan of Jason Statham’s, I don’t know if you remember this, and he walked right past us at this event and ended up whatever, 100 yards behind us in the middle of this throng of this crowd. And I think I mentioned something along those lines and you were like, “Well, should we go meet him?” And I was like, “I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.” And you just grabbed me and we marched right up to him and said hello and he was extremely friendly. He was very, very kind and gracious. Also built like a brick shithouse, I mean, God, is that guy well-built. And funny enough, I saw that photo about a year ago and I was like, “Wow. Since I’ve lost my hair, I’m kind of converging on Jason Statham.” Have you always had that chutzpah to walk up to people or was that developed or how did that come to be?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: God, first of all, I just love when gentiles use words like chutzpah. After you were telling me that your ancestors came here in the 16th century or something like that, mine didn’t, they were kicked out of a country. But you know — 

Tim Ferriss: I like to keep my doors up.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: I think most people don’t mind you approaching them if it’s about something nice. And so I had a short conversation with him because I said, “My son is a huge fan of your movies. And when I watched them with him, he said you’ve got something going on. I mean, you can act, you’ve got chops. You can really act.” And he said, “Oh, man, thank you.” And we talked for just a moment or so and then I said, “Would you mind if we got pictures with you?”

Tim Ferriss: Yeah, wild.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: And so the sure way to make sure that nothing happens is do nothing. So worst case scenario, he says, “Get away from me, kid.” Worst thing he does is he says, “No,” but we both ended up with pictures that we really enjoyed. And it was nice to meet him because he was a very nice guy.

Tim Ferriss: Yeah, really sweet guy.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: And so it was cool and I have seen his, they’re married now I think, but his wife, I had shot many times because she was a model and I did some videos with her and she’s really, really a nice person too.

Tim Ferriss: Yeah. I was supposed to have Jason and I think Guy Ritchie on the podcast some time ago and then without any explanation, we were all slated to go and then the phalanx of God knows what, in between, very last minute, canceled. So maybe someday I’ll get to actually thank him in person for being so cool on our first encounter. Here’s a question that might be a dead end, and I accept that possibility and I’ll take the blame if that’s where it goes. But nonetheless, I’ll ask.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Good preamble though.

Tim Ferriss: Thank you. Thank you. I specialize in preambles. If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere, metaphorically speaking, right? This is to get a message, a quote, an image, anything out to billions of people. What might you put on that billboard? Doesn’t have to be an original, could be from somebody else, whatever you want, something non-commercial.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Well, if it was an actual billboard, I would say, “Pay attention to the road.”

Tim Ferriss: That’s a very B. Jeffrey Madoff answer.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: And if it was metaphorical in terms of just a metaphorical idea that I wanted people to get would be, “Stay curious, keep learning.”

Tim Ferriss: Stay curious, keep learning. I think you’ve done an excellent job of that. So you walk the walk.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Oh, you’re very kind. Thank you.

Tim Ferriss: It’s true. It’s true. I’ve seen it over and over again. That’s very inspiring and — 

B. Jeffrey Madoff: But it’s fun. I mean, when you and I first met all those years ago the conversation which was going to be, you had a half hour I think, and then we were like four and a half hours later.

Tim Ferriss: Yeah. I remember.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Because we were ricocheting all over the place like that. I mean, it’s a very enjoyable thing to do when you’re talking with somebody who, I don’t want to presume you respect me, but.

Tim Ferriss: I do respect you.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: But the same, it’s fun. And you also unearth things about oneself that you might not have hit on otherwise or you see it in a different way. And I think that’s a great thing about doing a podcast, isn’t it? When you get to talk to people that you find interesting and.

Tim Ferriss: Oh, yeah.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: All of that.

Tim Ferriss: Totally. And in some ways all the more so when I know someone and have the excuse and the pretext to do all this creepy due diligence that would otherwise be really strange. And I think this is a pretty good place to start wrapping up. Jeff, are there any other things you would like to mention? Any requests you have for the audience? Anything you’d like to say? Closing comments, anything at all that you would like to add before we bring this first conversation to a close?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Well, I am going to be taking a leap into the podcast world because of all the guests that I’ve had in my class. So I think that you being a master of that and I’ve been learning podcastian. And so I’m looking forward to that because it’s just I think like you, I think it’s accurate to say it’s about spreading ideas.

Tim Ferriss: Yeah.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: And that’s what’s fun, to do that and engaging with people about ideas. I am proud of my book. I think that that was an interesting thing, especially as I was going through some of the same things I was writing about, in terms of that was one of the things when I was thinking about, well, was I a failure? And all that. And writing a book about things you’ve experienced in life can be therapeutic at the same time and bring things up that maybe I wouldn’t have thought about otherwise. And as I had already mentioned about the teaching is that teaching is such a great way to learn, is such a great platform to engage with ideas. And I’ve got an audience that changes every semester, so I really enjoy it. And I’m very grateful for an opportunity like this, where we can just pinball back and forth and talk about the kinds of things that interest us and in scratching our own itches hope that we also do the same for our audience.

Tim Ferriss: Yeah. Well, I’m excited for you to get into the podcast game. You’re a natural and you’re already doing the heavy lifting and you’re doing the interviewing, you know how to do it. You are an expert storyteller and it’s just a matter of sharing the audio, so I think you’ll do very well. And to just repeat where people can find you are a few different options, acreativecareer.com, that is @acreativecareer on Instagram. The book is Creative Careers, subtitle Making a Living with Your Ideas, check it out. You can also find Madoff — not Madoff — madoffproductions.com, which can be found @madoffproductions on Instagram. If you are interested in learning more about possibly supporting Personality, subtitle, The Lloyd Price Musical, which I’m very, very excited to see, you can direct message B. Jeffrey Madoff, M-A-D-O-F-F on LinkedIn. Is there anywhere else that people can find you or any other links or any such things that we should mention?

B. Jeffrey Madoff: Well, actually, they will be hearing that podcast. This is kind of surreal self or another M.C. Escher thing. I was going to say, you could tell them about this podcast, but the only way that they would hear it — it’s like I had a teacher that would say, “And if you’re not here today, please raise your hand.” What? So, no. No, I think that’s it. No.

Tim Ferriss: So people can search.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: I got nothing else.

Tim Ferriss: Yeah. People can search your name and podcast. And by the time this is reaching their ears, perhaps they can find it. And also if it is live, I will link to it in the show notes, along with everything we’ve talked about, all the books, all the people, all of the everything at tim.blog/podcast as per usual. And what fun, B. Jeffrey Madoff, thank you so much for making the time and putting up with this sauna infused with hard kombucha. It’s been a lot of fun.

B. Jeffrey Madoff: I loved it. And thank you very much for having me on, I really appreciate it.

Tim Ferriss: Absolutely. And until next time, to everyone out there listening, thanks for tuning in.

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 600 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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