Machiavelli for Women: 7 Power Strategies for the Workplace

The following is an excerpt from the new book, Machiavelli for Women: Defend Your Worth, Grow Your Ambition, and Win the Workplace. The author, Stacey Vanek Smith (@svaneksmith), is a longtime public radio reporter and host. She currently hosts NPR’s The Indicator from Planet Money, a daily podcast covering business and economics. She has also served as a correspondent and host for NPR’s Planet Money and Marketplace. Stacey is a native of Idaho and a graduate of Princeton University, where she earned a BA in comparative literature and creative writing. She also holds an MS in journalism from Columbia University.

Enter Stacey…

Niccolò Machiavelli. Today, he is probably best known as a ruthless power monger, devoid of ethics and compassion. The phrase most often associated with him, “The ends justify the means” (which Machiavelli never actually wrote but probably would have heartily agreed with), has turned him into an apologist for sociopaths, tyrants, and megalomaniacs the world over. 

I think this is a gross misunderstanding of both the man and his work. The Prince does not condone random cruelty or tyranny or violence. It is a remarkably sober look at how people take power and how they can best hold on to it and grow it. Machiavelli was an incredibly clear-eyed original thinker who might just be history’s first true champion of real talk. For that reason, there could be no better guide for the workplace. 

In the five hundred years since Machiavelli wrote The Prince, a lot of things have changed: We have electricity, the combustion engine, computers, and antibiotics. We’ve even split the atom. People, though, haven’t changed one bit. And for that reason, Machiavelli’s advice about navigating the workplace has proven to be quite timeless.

Machiavelli’s strategies are powerful tools in the modern workplace, especially for women, people of color, and other often-marginalized workers. Here are 7 of my favorite Machiavellian power tips. 

#1 — Always Get the Truth, Even If It Hurts 

Part of seeing a situation clearly is having people you trust who can offer their outside observations. They can help you see what you don’t want to (or can’t) see. This means helping you assess different situations and colleagues and also giving you feedback. Machiavelli was big on feedback. “A Prince,” he writes, “ought always to take counsel” (Chapter XXIII). Machiavelli saw honest feedback as the primary way a prince could protect himself against flatterers and yes-men. (Machiavelli was death on flatterers and yes-men) “There is no other way of guarding oneself from flatterers except letting men understand that to tell you the truth does not offend you” (Chapter XXIII). Feedback feels like risky exposure, but Machiavelli saw it as powerful protection for a prince and a way to get necessary information. The ability to hear the truth—or the “truth” of people’s impressions and opinions—will make you stronger and smarter and help you succeed. Machiavelli was careful to say that you should not open yourself up in this way to just anybody. Ask the people who are key to enabling you to move up within a company; ask people you respect; ask the people you trust. 

#2 — Cultivate Your Network  

Having people you trust and people who can help you in the workplace is crucial (in life, too!). Building a network of people at work or in your profession is absolutely essential to building a career. You should have a mix of people: people who are high up in the company, people who are colleagues, and those who are more junior—also people at other companies who can make you aware of opportunities that come up outside of your bubble. Machiavelli preached the importance of a network hard. The smart prince, he writes, “is defended by being well armed and having good allies” (Chapter XIX). Having a strong network is essential to rising in any profession. Wall Street CEO Sallie Krawcheck says she always remembers advice she got from her friend Carla Harris (a senior banker at Morgan Stanley): “All the important decisions about your career are made when you’re not in the room. People decide to hire you, fire you, promote you, fund you, send you on the overseas assignment, all when you’re not there. So how do you ensure that you have someone in the room fighting for you? I would strongly argue that you need to have in place your Personal Board of Directors. Those are your mentors, your sponsors, your confidantes.” 

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Iconic Therapist Dr. Sue Johnson — How to Improve Sex and Crack the Code of Love (#529)

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“When we’re safe and secure and we feel we matter to others and that they have our back, our potential and our resources come out.”

— Dr. Sue Johnson

Dr. Sue Johnson (@Dr_SueJohnson) is a leading innovator in the fields of couple therapy and adult attachment. She is the primary developer of Emotionally Focused Couples and Family Therapy (EFT), which has demonstrated its effectiveness in over 30 years of peer-reviewed clinical research. Sue has received numerous awards in recognition of her development of EFT, including the American Psychological Association’s “Family Psychologist of the Year” and the Order of Canada.

Her best-selling book Hold Me Tight — with more than one million copies sold—has taught countless couples how to enhance and repair their love relationships. The book has since been developed into a relationship enhancement program called Hold Me Tight Online. Her most recent book for clinicians, Attachment Theory in Practice, delineates the promise of attachment science for understanding and repairing relationships.

As the founding director of the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT), Sue trains counselors in EFT worldwide and provides guidance to 80 affiliated centers. She consults for the US and Canadian militaries and is a popular presenter and speaker for the general public.

Please enjoy!

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

Brought to you by Laird Superfood plant-based creamers, Headspace easy-to-use app with guided meditations, and Eight Sleep’s Pod Pro Cover sleeping solution for dynamic cooling and heating. More on all three below.

The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#529: Iconic Therapist Dr. Sue Johnson — How to Improve Sex and Crack the Code of Love

This episode is brought to you by Laird SuperfoodFounded by big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton and volleyball champion Gabby Reece, Laird Superfood promises to deliver high-impact fuel to help you get through your busiest days. Laird Superfood offers a line of plant-based products designed to optimize your daily rituals from sunrise to sunset.

My two favorite products are their Turmeric Superfood Creamer and Unsweetened Superfood Creamer. I put one of them in practically everything. Both can really optimize your daily coffee or tea ritual, and a $10 bag will last you a long time. For a limited time, Laird Superfood is offering you guys 20% off your order when you use code TIM20 at checkout. Check out LairdSuperfood.com/Tim to see my favorite products and learn more.


This episode is brought to you by Eight Sleep! Eight Sleep’s Pod Pro Cover is the easiest and fastest way to sleep at the perfect temperature. It pairs dynamic cooling and heating with biometric tracking to offer the most advanced (and user-friendly) solution on the market. Simply add the Pod Pro Cover to your current mattress and start sleeping as cool as 55°F or as hot as 110°F. It also splits your bed in half, so your partner can choose a totally different temperature.

And now, my dear listeners—that’s you—can get $250 off the Pod Pro Cover. Simply go to EightSleep.com/Tim or use code TIM. 


This episode is brought to you by Headspace! Headspace is your daily dose of mindfulness in the form of guided meditations in an easy-to-use app. Whatever the situation, Headspace can help you feel better. Overwhelmed? Headspace has a 3-minute SOS meditation for you. Need some help falling asleep? Headspace has wind-down sessions their members swear by. And for parents, Headspace even has morning meditations you can do with your kids. Headspace’s approach to mindfulness can reduce stress, improve sleep, boost focus, and increase your overall sense of well-being.

Go to Headspace.com/Tim for a FREE one-month trial with access to Headspace’s full library of meditations for every situation.


What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia, on Homeschooling, Atheism, Understanding Financial Markets, Ayn Rand, Favorite Books, and More (#528)

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“Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge.”

— Jimmy Wales

Internet and technology entrepreneur Jimmy Wales (@jimmy_wales) is founder of the online nonprofit encyclopedia Wikipedia and cofounder of the privately owned Wikia, Inc., including its entertainment media brand Fandom, powered by Wikia. Jimmy serves on the board of trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit charitable organization he established to operate Wikipedia.

In 2019, Jimmy launched WT Social—a news-focused social network. In 2006, Jimmy was named to Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world for his role in creating Wikipedia.

In 2021, inspired by his family quiz nights during COVID-19 lockdown, Jimmy created Quiz Night Beyond—a website where people can create and play quizzes online with family and friends wherever they may be.

Please enjoy!

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

Brought to you by You Need A Budget cult favorite budgeting app, Athletic Greens all-in-one nutritional supplement, and Helix Sleep premium mattresses. More on all three below.

The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#528: Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia, on Homeschooling, Atheism, Understanding Financial Markets, Ayn Rand, Favorite Books, and More

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. I get asked all the time, “If you could only use one supplement, what would it be?” My answer is usually Athletic Greens, my all-in-one nutritional insurance. I recommended it in The 4-Hour Body in 2010 and did not get paid to do so. I do my best with nutrient-dense meals, of course, but AG further covers my bases with vitamins, minerals, and whole-food-sourced micronutrients that support gut health and the immune system. 

Right now, Athletic Greens is offering you their Vitamin D Liquid Formula free with your first subscription purchase—a vital nutrient for a strong immune system and strong bones. Visit AthleticGreens.com/Tim to claim this special offer today and receive the free Vitamin D Liquid Formula (and five free travel packs) with your first subscription purchase! That’s up to a one-year supply of Vitamin D as added value when you try their delicious and comprehensive all-in-one daily greens product.


This episode is brought to you by You Need A Budget! You Need A Budget is a cult favorite budgeting app for a reason—it works. The app and its simple 4-rule method will change the way you think about your money and help you gain total control so you can plan for the things you need and get the things you want without guilt or stress. You Need A Budget has helped millions of people transform their finances, save their marriages, and live life on their own terms.

The You Need A Budget team offers free, live classes every day of the week—including video courses, bootcamps, and challenges—and active fan groups in every corner of the internet. On average, new budgeters save more than $600 by month two and $6,000 in their first year. Try the app free for 34 days (no credit card required) at YouNeedABudget.com/Tim


This episode is brought to you by Helix SleepHelix was selected as the #1 overall mattress of 2020 by GQ magazine, Wired, Apartment Therapy, and many others. With Helix, there’s a specific mattress to meet each and every body’s unique comfort needs. Just take their quiz—only two minutes to complete—that matches your body type and sleep preferences to the perfect mattress for you. They have a 10-year warranty, and you get to try it out for a hundred nights, risk free. They’ll even pick it up from you if you don’t love it. And now, to my dear listeners, Helix is offering up to 200 dollars off all mattress orders plus two free pillows at HelixSleep.com/Tim.


What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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The Random Show — Life-Extension Misadventures, Blockchain/Crypto Investing, NFT Experiments, Dogecoin, Zen Buddhism, and Weathering Sharp Elbows (#527)

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Technologist, serial entrepreneur, world-class investor, self-experimenter, and all-around wild and crazy guy Kevin Rose (@KevinRose) rejoins me for another episode of “The Random Show.” In this one we explore crypto investing, NFT experiments, Dogecoin, Zen Buddhism, current workouts, sleep supplements, and much more.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform. You can watch our conversation on YouTube here.

Brought to you by UCAN endurance products powered by SuperStarch®Vuori comfortable and durable performance apparel, and Tonal smart home gym. More on all three below.

The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#527: The Random Show — Life-Extension Misadventures, Blockchain/Crypto Investing, NFT Experiments, Dogecoin, Zen Buddhism, and Weathering Sharp Elbows

This episode is brought to you by UCANI was introduced to UCAN and its unique carbohydrate SuperStarch by my good friend—and listener favorite—Dr. Peter Attia, who said there is no carb in the world like it. I have since included it in my routine, using UCAN’s powders to power my workouts, and the bars make great snacks. Extensive scientific research and clinical trials have shown that SuperStarch provides a sustained release of energy to the body without spiking blood sugar. UCAN is the ideal way to source energy from a carbohydrate without the negatives associated with fast carbs, especially sugar.  

You avoid fatigue, hunger cravings, and loss of focus. Whether you’re an athlete working on managing your fitness or you need healthy, efficient calories to get you through your day, UCAN is an elegant energy solution. My listeners can save 30% on their first UCAN order by going to UCAN.co/Tim.


This episode is brought to you by Vuori clothingVuori is a new and fresh perspective on performance apparel. Perfect if you are sick and tired of traditional, old workout gear. Everything is designed for maximum comfort and versatility so that you look and feel as good in everyday life as you do working out.

Get yourself some of the most comfortable and versatile clothing on the planet at VuoriClothing.com/Tim. Not only will you receive 20% off your first purchase, but you’ll also enjoy free shipping on any US orders over $75 and free returns.


This episode is brought to you by Tonal! Tonal is the world’s most intelligent home gym and personal trainer. It is precision engineered and designed to be the most advanced strength studio on the market today. Tonal uses breakthrough technology—like adaptive digital weights and AI learning—together with the best experts in resistance training so you get stronger, faster. Every program is personalized to your body using AI, and smart features check your form in real time, just like a personal trainer.

Try Tonal, the world’s smartest home gym, for 30 days in your home, and if you don’t love it, you can return it for a full refund. Visit Tonal.com for $100 off their smart accessories when you use promo code TIM100 at checkout.


What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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

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“Everything you do, if your eyes are open, informs everything else you do.”

— B. Jeffrey Madoff

B. Jeffrey Madoff (@madoffproductions) 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, which is based on the class he teaches at Parsons School of Design, is Creative Careers: Making a Living with Your Ideas.

He 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.

Madoff is also a playwright and theater producer. His play Personality: The Lloyd Price Musical, based on the life of the titular Rock & Roll Hall of Fame legend, will have its world premiere in March of 2022 at People’s Light theater in Malvern, Pennsylvania.

He graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin with degrees in philosophy and psychology. He was also on the wrestling team, which, combined with his academic studies, prepared him for a life in the film business.

Please enjoy!

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

Brought to you by Public Goods high-quality everyday essentials, LinkedIn Jobs recruitment platform with 750M users, and ExpressVPN virtual private network service. More on all three below.

The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#526: B. Jeffrey Madoff — Dealmaking, the Hidden Persuaders, Working with Ralph Lauren, and Finding the Secret to Life in the Mojave Desert

This episode is brought to you by LinkedIn Jobs. Whether you are looking to hire now for a critical role or thinking about needs that you may have in the future, LinkedIn Jobs can help. LinkedIn screens candidates for the hard and soft skills you’re looking for and puts your job in front of candidates looking for job opportunities that match what you have to offer.

Using LinkedIn’s active community of more than 770 million professionals worldwide, LinkedIn Jobs can help you find and hire the right person faster. When your business is ready to make that next hire, find the right person with LinkedIn Jobs. And now, you can post a job for free. Just visit LinkedIn.com/Tim.


This episode is brought to you by ExpressVPN. I’ve been using ExpressVPN to make sure that my data is secure and encrypted, without slowing my Internet speed. If you ever use public Wi-Fi at, say, a hotel or a coffee shop, where I often work and as many of my listeners do, you’re often sending data over an open network, meaning no encryption at all.

A great way to ensure that all of your data is encrypted and can’t be easily read by hackers is by using ExpressVPN. All you need to do is download the ExpressVPN app on your computer or smartphone and then use the Internet just as you normally would. You click one button in the ExpressVPN app to secure 100% of your network data. Use my link ExpressVPN.com/Tim today and get an extra three months free on a one-year package!


This episode is brought to you by Public Goods! Public Goods is the one-stop shop for sustainable, high-quality, everyday essentials made from clean ingredients at an affordable price. Public Goods searches the globe to find healthy, eco-friendly, and innovative products and then packages them using a single, streamlined aesthetic for your home so you can get all of your premium essentials in one place and avoid buying from a bunch of mismatched, single-product brands. Multiple people on my team were already using Public Goods, and now, so am I.

Visit PublicGoods.com/Tim to receive $20 off the products in your first Public Goods order using code TIM, with no minimum purchase required! 


What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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Giuliana Furci on the Wonders of Mycology, Wisdom from Jane Goodall, Favorite Books, and the World’s Largest Fungarium (#525)

Artist's rendering of Giuliana Furci.
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“It’s really not about rock and roll anymore — it’s about rotten mold, and we have to let things rot.”

— Giuliana Furci

Giuliana Furci (@giulifungi) is foundress and executive director of the Fungi Foundation (est. 2012), the world’s first nonprofit dedicated solely to fungi. She is a Harvard University associate, Dame of the Order of the Star of Italy, co-chair of the IUCN Fungal Conservation Committee, mother, author of several titles—including a series of field guides to Chilean fungi—and contributor to numerous publications on the environment, such as the first State of the World’s Fungi report (Kew, 2018), Biodiversidad de Chile: Patrimonio y Desafíos (Ministry of the Environment, Chile, 2008) and the IBPA Award-winning book Fantastic Fungi.

Giuliana has worked for the fungi since 1999 and in the nonprofit sector for the last 17 years. She has held consulting positions in US philanthropic foundations as well as full-time positions in international marine conservation NGOs and Chilean environmental NGOs.

Please enjoy!

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

Brought to you by Athletic Greens all-in-one nutritional supplement,  Eight Sleep’s Pod Pro Cover sleeping solution for dynamic cooling and heating, and Mack Weldon premium men’s basics. More on all three below.

The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#525: Giuliana Furci on the Wonders of Mycology, Wisdom from Jane Goodall, Favorite Books, and the World’s Largest Fungarium

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. I get asked all the time, “If you could only use one supplement, what would it be?” My answer is usually Athletic Greens, my all-in-one nutritional insurance. I recommended it in The 4-Hour Body in 2010 and did not get paid to do so. I do my best with nutrient-dense meals, of course, but AG further covers my bases with vitamins, minerals, and whole-food-sourced micronutrients that support gut health and the immune system. 

Right now, Athletic Greens is offering you their Vitamin D Liquid Formula free with your first subscription purchase—a vital nutrient for a strong immune system and strong bones. Visit AthleticGreens.com/Tim to claim this special offer today and receive the free Vitamin D Liquid Formula (and five free travel packs) with your first subscription purchase! That’s up to a one-year supply of Vitamin D as added value when you try their delicious and comprehensive all-in-one daily greens product.


This episode is brought to you by Eight Sleep! Eight Sleep’s Pod Pro Cover is the easiest and fastest way to sleep at the perfect temperature. It pairs dynamic cooling and heating with biometric tracking to offer the most advanced (and user-friendly) solution on the market. Simply add the Pod Pro Cover to your current mattress and start sleeping as cool as 55°F or as hot as 110°F. It also splits your bed in half, so your partner can choose a totally different temperature.

And now, my dear listeners—that’s you—can get $250 off the Pod Pro Cover. Simply go to EightSleep.com/Tim or use code TIM. 


This episode is brought to you by Mack Weldon! Mack Weldon is reinventing men’s basics. They believe in smart design, premium fabrics, and simple shopping. I’ve been focusing on their underwear and have been wearing their AIRKNITx 5-inch boxer briefs for a while now, and I absolutely love them. They are engineered to keep you dry, cool, and comfortable to the end of your workout (or workday). The fabric is soft, lightweight microfiber, which maximizes airflow and stretches in every direction. It’s breathable, moisture wicking, and odor fighting.

To get 20% off your first order, visit MackWeldon.com/TimTim and enter promo code TIMTIM. Mack Weldon—reinventing men’s basics.


What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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Ramit Sethi — How to Play Offense with Money, Plan Bucket Lists, Build a Rich Life with Your Partner, and Take a Powerful $100 Challenge (#524)

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“People’s feelings about how they are doing financially are highly uncorrelated with their actual financial status.”

— Ramit Sethi

Ramit Sethi (@ramit), author of the New York Times bestseller I Will Teach You to Be Rich, has helped tens of millions of people live a rich life with their money, careers, businesses, and psychology. He hosts more than a million readers on his site iwillteachyoutoberich.com, newsletter, and social media. His new podcast, I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi, reveals real stories about love and money from behind closed doors. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to fine podcasts.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform. You can also watch the interview on YouTube.

Brought to you by Wealthfront automated investing, Athletic Greens all-in-one nutritional supplement, and Pique Tea premium tea crystals. More on all three below.

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

#524: Ramit Sethi — How to Play Offense with Money, Plan Bucket Lists, Build a Rich Life with Your Partner, and Take a Powerful $100 Challenge

This episode is brought to you by WealthfrontWealthfront pioneered the automated investing movement, sometimes referred to as ‘robo-advising,’ and they currently oversee $20 billion of assets for their clients. It takes about three minutes to sign up, and then Wealthfront will build you a globally diversified portfolio of ETFs based on your risk appetite and manage it for you at an incredibly low cost. 

Smart investing should not feel like a rollercoaster ride. Let the professionals do the work for you. Go to Wealthfront.com/Tim and open a Wealthfront account today, and you’ll get your first $5,000 managed for free, for lifeWealthfront will automate your investments for the long term. Get started today at Wealthfront.com/Tim.


This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. I get asked all the time, “If you could only use one supplement, what would it be?” My answer is usually Athletic Greens, my all-in-one nutritional insurance. I recommended it in The 4-Hour Body in 2010 and did not get paid to do so. I do my best with nutrient-dense meals, of course, but AG further covers my bases with vitamins, minerals, and whole-food-sourced micronutrients that support gut health and the immune system. 

Right now, Athletic Greens is offering you their Vitamin D Liquid Formula free with your first subscription purchase—a vital nutrient for a strong immune system and strong bones. Visit AthleticGreens.com/Tim to claim this special offer today and receive the free Vitamin D Liquid Formula (and five free travel packs) with your first subscription purchase! That’s up to a one-year supply of Vitamin D as added value when you try their delicious and comprehensive all-in-one daily greens product.


This episode is brought to you by Pique TeaI first learned about Pique through my friends Dr. Peter Attia and Kevin Rose, and now Pique’s fermented pu’er tea crystals have become my daily go-to. I often kickstart my mornings with their Pu’er Green Tea and Pu’er Black Tea, and I alternate between the two. Their crystals are cold-extracted, using only wild-harvested leaves from 250-year-old tea trees. Plus, they triple toxin screen for heavy metals, pesticides, and toxic mold—contaminants commonly found in tea. I also use the crystals for iced tea, which saves a ton of time and hassle.

Pique is offering 15% off of their pu’er teas, exclusively to my listeners. Simply visit PiqueTea.com/Tim, and the discount will be automatically applied. They also offer a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, so your purchase is completely risk free. Just go to PiqueTea.com/Tim to learn more.


What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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Dennis McKenna — The Depths of Ayahuasca: 500+ Sessions, Fundamentals, Advanced Topics, Science, Churches, Learnings, Warnings, and Beyond (#523)

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“To my mind, science, properly pursued, only deepens the mystery. It doesn’t take the mystery away. It shows you how mystery exists profoundly at every level.”

— Dennis McKenna

Dennis McKenna (@DennisMcKenna4) has spent more than 40 years researching the interdisciplinary study of Amazonian ethnopharmacology and plant hallucinogens. He has conducted extensive ethnobotanical fieldwork in the Peruvian, Colombian, and Brazilian Amazon.

His doctoral research at the University of British Columbia focused on the ethnopharmacology of ayahuasca and oo-koo-he, two tryptamine-based hallucinogens used by indigenous peoples in the Northwest Amazon.

He is a founding board member of the Heffter Research Institute and was a key organizer and participant in the Hoasca Project, the first biomedical investigation of ayahuasca used by the UDV, a Brazilian religious group. He is the younger brother of Terence McKenna.

From 2000 to 2017, he taught courses on ethnopharmacology as well as Plants in Human Affairs at the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota. In 2019, in collaboration with colleagues, he incorporated a new nonprofit, the McKenna Academy of Natural Philosophy. He emigrated to Canada in the spring of 2019 with his wife Sheila and now resides in Abbotsford, British Columbia.

Please enjoy!

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

Brought to you by Wealthfront automated investing; Allform premium, modular furniture; and Tonal smart home gym. More on all three below.

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

#523: Dennis McKenna — The Depths of Ayahuasca: 500+ Sessions, Fundamentals, Advanced Topics, Science, Churches, Learnings, Warnings, and Beyond

This episode is brought to you by WealthfrontWealthfront pioneered the automated investing movement, sometimes referred to as ‘robo-advising,’ and they currently oversee $20 billion of assets for their clients. It takes about three minutes to sign up, and then Wealthfront will build you a globally diversified portfolio of ETFs based on your risk appetite and manage it for you at an incredibly low cost. 

Smart investing should not feel like a rollercoaster ride. Let the professionals do the work for you. Go to Wealthfront.com/Tim and open a Wealthfront account today, and you’ll get your first $5,000 managed for free, for lifeWealthfront will automate your investments for the long term. Get started today at Wealthfront.com/Tim.


This episode is brought to you by AllformIf you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while, you’ve probably heard me talk about Helix Sleep mattresses, which I’ve been using since 2017. They just launched a new company called Allform, and they’re making premium, customizable sofas and chairs shipped right to your door—at a fraction of the cost of traditional stores. You can pick your fabric (and they’re all spill, stain, and scratch resistant), the sofa color, the color of the legs, and the sofa size and shape to make sure it’s perfect for you and your home.

Allform arrives in just 3–7 days, and you can assemble it yourself in a few minutes—no tools needed. To find your perfect sofa, check out Allform.com/Tim. Allform is offering 20% off all orders to you, my dear listeners, at Allform.com/Tim.


This episode is brought to you by Tonal! Tonal is the world’s most intelligent home gym and personal trainer. It is precision engineered and designed to be the most advanced strength studio on the market today. Tonal uses breakthrough technology—like adaptive digital weights and AI learning—together with the best experts in resistance training so you get stronger, faster. Every program is personalized to your body using AI, and smart features check your form in real time, just like a personal trainer.

Try Tonal, the world’s smartest home gym, for 30 days in your home, and if you don’t love it, you can return it for a full refund. Visit Tonal.com for $100 off their smart accessories when you use promo code TIM100 at checkout.


What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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Anne Lamott on Taming Your Inner Critic, Finding Grace, and Prayer (#522)

Illustration via 99designs

“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor.”

— Anne Lamott

Anne Lamott (@AnneLamott) uses honesty, empathy, and humor to write about our world. In her beloved and bestselling books, like Operating Instructions (an account of her son’s first year), Bird by Bird (her classic book on writing), and Help, Thanks, Wow (a celebration of prayer), Lamott delves into what makes us human. She explores the wide experience of life that unites us: birth and death, parenthood and family, faith and doubt, love and loss, forgiveness and hope.

In each of her 19 books, which have sold millions of copies worldwide, Lamott brings her distinctive mix of bracing candor, clarifying insight, and refreshing humor to convert serious subjects like addiction, motherhood, loss, and faith into human truths we can all share. She is the author of several essay collections on faith, including Traveling Mercies, Grace (Eventually), and Plan B, as well as several novels, including Imperfect Birds, Blue Shoe, and Rosie.

Lamott has been honored with a Guggenheim Fellowship and has taught at UC Davis and writing conferences across the country. She is an inductee of the California Hall of Fame and the subject of Academy Award-winning filmmaker Freida Mock’s documentary Bird by Bird with Annie (1999).

Her most recent book is Dusk, Night, Dawn: On Revival and Courage.

Please enjoy!

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

Brought to you by LinkedIn Jobs recruitment platform with 750M users, Eight Sleep’s Pod Pro Cover sleeping solution for dynamic cooling and heating, and LMNT electrolyte supplement. More on all three below.

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

#522: Anne Lamott on Taming Your Inner Critic, Finding Grace, and Prayer

This episode is brought to you by Eight Sleep! Eight Sleep’s Pod Pro Cover is the easiest and fastest way to sleep at the perfect temperature. It pairs dynamic cooling and heating with biometric tracking to offer the most advanced (and user-friendly) solution on the market. Simply add the Pod Pro Cover to your current mattress and start sleeping as cool as 55°F or as hot as 110°F. It also splits your bed in half, so your partner can choose a totally different temperature.

And now, my dear listeners—that’s you—can get $250 off the Pod Pro Cover. Simply go to EightSleep.com/Tim or use code TIM. 


This episode is brought to you by LMNTWhat is LMNT? It’s a delicious, sugar-free electrolyte drink mix. I’ve stocked up on boxes and boxes of this and usually use it 1–2 times per day. LMNT is formulated to help anyone with their electrolyte needs and perfectly suited to folks following a keto, low-carb, or Paleo diet. If you are on a low-carb diet or fasting, electrolytes play a key role in relieving hunger, cramps, headaches, tiredness, and dizziness.

LMNT came up with a very special offer for you, my dear listeners. For a limited time, you can claim a free LMNT Sample Pack—you only cover the cost of shipping. For US customers, this means you can receive an 8-count sample pack for only $5. Simply go to DrinkLMNT.com/Tim to claim your free 8-count sample pack.


This episode is brought to you by LinkedIn Jobs. Whether you are looking to hire now for a critical role or thinking about needs that you may have in the future, LinkedIn Jobs can help. LinkedIn screens candidates for the hard and soft skills you’re looking for and puts your job in front of candidates looking for job opportunities that match what you have to offer.

Using LinkedIn’s active community of more than 770 million professionals worldwide, LinkedIn Jobs can help you find and hire the right person faster. When your business is ready to make that next hire, find the right person with LinkedIn Jobs. And now, you can post a job for free. Just visit LinkedIn.com/Tim.


What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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Dr. Andrew Huberman — A Neurobiologist on Optimizing Sleep, Enhancing Performance, Reducing Anxiety, Increasing Testosterone, and Using the Body to Control the Mind (#521)

Artist's rendering of Dr. Andrew Huberman
Illustration via 99designs

“Use the body to control the mind.”

— Dr. Andrew Huberman

Andrew Huberman, PhD (@hubermanlab), is a neuroscientist and tenured professor in the Department of Neurobiology at Stanford University’s School of Medicine. He has made numerous important contributions to the fields of brain development, brain function, and neural plasticity. Andrew is a McKnight Foundation and Pew Foundation fellow and recipient of the 2017 Cogan Award for his discoveries in the study of vision. Work from the Huberman Laboratory at Stanford Medicine has been consistently published in top journals including Nature, Science, and Cell.

Andrew is host of the Huberman Lab podcast, which he launched in January of this year. The show aims to help viewers and listeners improve their health with science and science-based tools. New episodes air every Monday on YouTube and all podcast platforms. 

Please enjoy!

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

Brought to you by Athletic Greens all-in-one nutritional supplement, Theragun percussive muscle therapy devices, and Helix Sleep premium mattresses. More on all three below.

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

#521: Dr. Andrew Huberman — A Neurobiologist on Optimizing Sleep, Enhancing Performance, Reducing Anxiety, Increasing Testosterone, and Using the Body to Control the Mind

This episode is brought to you by Helix SleepHelix was selected as the #1 overall mattress of 2020 by GQ magazine, Wired, Apartment Therapy, and many others. With Helix, there’s a specific mattress to meet each and every body’s unique comfort needs. Just take their quiz—only two minutes to complete—that matches your body type and sleep preferences to the perfect mattress for you. They have a 10-year warranty, and you get to try it out for a hundred nights, risk free. They’ll even pick it up from you if you don’t love it. And now, to my dear listeners, Helix is offering up to 200 dollars off all mattress orders plus two free pillows at HelixSleep.com/Tim.


This episode is brought to you by Theragun! Theragun is my go-to solution for recovery and restoration. It’s a famous, handheld percussive therapy device that releases your deepest muscle tension. I own two Theraguns, and my girlfriend and I use them every day after workouts and before bed. The all-new Gen 4 Theragun is easy to use and has a proprietary brushless motor that’s surprisingly quiet—about as quiet as an electric toothbrush.

Go to Therabody.com/Tim right now and get your Gen 4 Theragun today, starting at only $199.


This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. I get asked all the time, “If you could only use one supplement, what would it be?” My answer is usually Athletic Greens, my all-in-one nutritional insurance. I recommended it in The 4-Hour Body in 2010 and did not get paid to do so. I do my best with nutrient-dense meals, of course, but AG further covers my bases with vitamins, minerals, and whole-food-sourced micronutrients that support gut health and the immune system. 

Right now, Athletic Greens is offering you their Vitamin D Liquid Formula free with your first subscription purchase—a vital nutrient for a strong immune system and strong bones. Visit AthleticGreens.com/Tim to claim this special offer today and receive the free Vitamin D Liquid Formula (and five free travel packs) with your first subscription purchase! That’s up to a one-year supply of Vitamin D as added value when you try their delicious and comprehensive all-in-one daily greens product.


What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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