“Evaluate danger. Don’t nurture fear.”— Guy Laliberté
Guy Laliberté (@guylalibertedj) is the founder of Cirque du Soleil, One Drop Foundation, and Lune Rouge. He was named by Time Magazine as one of the most influential personalities in the world and has been recognized as one of the most creative and innovative minds by Condé Nast.
An artist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, Guy is a three-time winner of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, including World Entrepreneur of the Year; a Knight of the National Order of Quebec; and an inductee of the Canadian Business Hall of Fame. Guy has been granted the insignia of the Order of Canada, the highest distinction in the country, and in 2010 received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Guy now dedicates his time to his company, Lune Rouge, and his international nonprofit, One Drop Foundation, which aims to “ensure sustainable access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene for communities everywhere through innovative partnerships, creativity, and the power of art.”
Visit Frooogs.com to discover Guy’s latest project.
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Want to hear another episode with a creative empire builder? Listen to my conversation with David Maisel, founding chairman of Marvel Studios and founder of Mythos Studios, in which we discussed wheeling and dealing with Bob Iger, creating the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Broadway detours, early Hollywood lessons, and much more.
What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.
SCROLL BELOW FOR LINKS AND SHOW NOTES…
SELECTED LINKS FROM THE EPISODE
- Connect with Guy Laliberté:
- Innovative Projects and Entrepreneurship | Lune Rouge
- 15 Years of Turning Water into Action | One Drop Foundation
- Discover the Extraordinary | Cirque du Soleil
- Guy Laliberté: How Cirque du Soleil Got Started | CNN Money
- National Geographic
- Expo 1967 Montreal | Bureau International des Expositions
- July 20, 1969: One Giant Leap For Mankind | NASA
- The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry | Amazon
- Beautiful 1960s Old Havana Photos Archive | Best Cuba Guide
- Our Place in the Sun: Canada and Cuba in the Castro Era by Robert Wright and Lana Wylie | Amazon
- Guy Performing in 1977 | Instagram
- Busking 101 (How to Master the Art in 2023) | The Broke Backpacker
- Developing Innovative Eye Care Treatments | Alcon
- The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran | Amazon
- Moishes Steakhouse Montréal
- What the Latest Investigations Into Catholic Church Sex Abuse Mean | The New York Times
- My Healing Journey After Childhood Abuse (Includes Extensive Resource List) | The Tim Ferriss Show #464
- AcroYoga International
- History of the Garden Tuileries in Paris | Come to Paris
- This is the Birthplace of Cirque du Soleil! | Destination Baie-Saint-Paul
- Mardi Gras New Orleans
- Puppeteers and Sourdough Bakers of Glover | Bread and Puppet Theater
- The Canada Council for the Arts | Wikipedia
- Club Des Talons Hauts | Cirque du Soleil Through the Years
- Parti Rhinocéros Party
- La Fête Foraine | Cirque du Soleil Through the Years
- Kona Hawaii Big Island | Go Hawaii
- Le Mouton Noir
- Quebec Celebrates 450 Years (1534-1984) | YouTube
- Le Grand Tour | Cirque du Soleil Through the Years
- Excerpt of The Question of Separatism: Quebec and the Struggle over Sovereignty by Jane Jacobs | Independence of Québec
- 1886: ‘My Poor Old Jumbo, Your Alice Weeps for You’ | The New York Times
- Mapping Your Future Growth Like Walt Disney Did by John Carmichael | LinkedIn
- We’re Off and Running | Cirque du Soleil Through the Years
- International Youth Year | Wikipedia
- CapEx vs. OpEx: What’s the Difference? | Investopedia
- Commedia Dell’Arte Comes to the Circus | Cirque du Soleil Through the Years
- A Meteoric Rise | Cirque du Soleil Through the Years
- Little Tokyo | Los Angeles, CA 90012
- Le Cirque du Soleil: Something New under the Sun: New-Wave, Old-Style French-Canadian Troupe Opens Los Angeles Festival with a Circus That ‘Reinvents’ the Real Thing | Los Angeles Times
- The Circus as a Business? | Cirque du Soleil Through the Years
- The Improbable Rise and Savage Fall of Siegfried & Roy | The Atlantic
- Planting a Flower in the Desert | Cirque du Soleil Through the Years
- The Year of Cirque Du Soleil: Celebrating 30 Years of Wonder and Amazement in Las Vegas | Drift
- Red Ocean Strategy vs. Blue Ocean Strategy I Blue Ocean Strategy
- Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne | Amazon
- Edmonton’s Night Circus | Cirque de la Lune
- Immersive Art Experiences | Meow Wolf
- Cirque du Soleil: The Highwire Act of Staying Atop the Circus Business | Tharawat Magazine
- Cirque du Soleil Founder Sells Stake to Pension Fund Giant | The Hollywood Reporter
- Laliberté Grows from ‘O’ to Frooogy | Las Vegas Review-Journal
- [06:16] A galvanizing trip to Europe in 1977.
- [12:31] Busking without going broke.
- [15:46] Managing Mom and Dad’s misaligned values.
- [25:35] Emerging from a dark teenage period.
- [31:13] The transcendental power of Cirque du Soleil.
- [36:25] Beginning a “theater troupe on stilts.”
- [45:00] How Hawaiian epiphanies forged the spirit of Cirque du Soleil.
- [51:55] Black sheep winning over the wolves.
- [1:05:57] Drawing from P.T. Barnum and Walt Disney.
- [1:07:27] Overcoming early financial hurdles.
- [1:19:31] An opening day that signaled the beginning of never looking back again.
- [1:27:11] Evaluating danger without nurturing fear.
- [1:28:36] Buffering against betrayal without surrendering to cynicism.
- [1:34:12] Steve Wynn for the win.
- [1:47:55] Blue Ocean Strategy.
- [1:48:55] Pioneering and inspiring.
- [1:51:55] Priority and mortality.
- [1:57:47] Parting thoughts.
MORE GUY LALIBERTÉ QUOTES FROM THE INTERVIEW
“It’s one thing to convince the government, but I’m telling you, it’s much more difficult to convince a bank.”
— Guy Laliberté
“Evaluate danger. Don’t nurture fear.”
— Guy Laliberté
“There’s many things that kill success. The first one I’ve seen is about once you have success, you get a lot of reward financially. Then you start to nurture the fear of not having tomorrow what you have today, and that changes your entire way of addressing things.”
— Guy Laliberté
“The first month was a disaster. We lost our big top. It was raining. It was conflicts. The artists [were] fighting and there was a strike. Whatever happened at the beginning, we were in the mud up to the throat. But one month after, our show was so tight.”
— Guy Laliberté
“One of the biggest skills in business I learned was in the street because of this dangerous environment. You make friends or you run or you’re ready to face a more physical reality.”
— Guy Laliberté
“I’m not giving up. Unless the fish is cutting the line, I’m taking that fish out of the pond.”
— Guy Laliberté
- Gaston and Blandine Laliberté
- Neil Armstrong
- Kahlil Gibran
- Gilles Ste-Croix
- Daniel Gauthier
- Speedy Gonzales
- Jacques Cartier
- René Lévesque
- P.T. Barnum
- Walt Disney
- Daniel Lamarre
- Benny Le Grand
- Steve Wynn
- Siegfried Fischbacher
- Roy Horn
- Henry Gluck
- Terrence Lanni
- Elvis Presley
- Bobby Baldwin
- Franco Dragone
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.