“Life, business, success . . . it’s just like a nightclub. There are always three ways in.”
The day before his freshman year final exams, 18-year old Alex Banayan hacked The Price Is Right, won a sailboat, sold it, and used the prize money to fund his quest to learn from the worldʼs most successful people.
Over the next seven years, he pursued a graduate degree in persistence and perseverance from the University of Life. He snuck into Warren Buffett’s shareholders meeting. He chased Larry King through a grocery store. He celebrated with Lady Gaga in the hottest nightclub. Along the way, he landed remarkable one-on-one interviews with Bill Gates, Maya Angelou, Steve Wozniak, Jane Goodall, Quincy Jones, and many more.
Alex’s major discovery? Each and every icon shared one thing in common: they all took something he calls The Third Door.
Since that fateful day on the Price Is Right, Alex went on to become the world’s youngest venture capital executive, a coup that landed him on Forbesʼ ’30 Under 30′ list and Business Insiderʼs ‘Most Powerful People Under 30.’
He has delivered keynotes at prestigious organizations like Apple, Nike, IBM, Dell, MTV and even Harvard.
He has contributed to publications like Fast Company, the Washington Post, Entrepreneur, and TechCrunch. And he has been featured everywhere from Fortune, Forbes, Businessweek and Bloomberg to Fox News, & CBS News.
This week, Alex’s new book chronicling his wild seven-year adventure — aptly entitled The Third Door — hit bookstores everywhere.
I first met Alex about 6 years ago. Just 19 at the time, he was in the very early stages of putting his book together. I liked him instantly, and left our lunch impressed with his rare mix of precociousness, infectious enthusiasm and raw authenticity. We stayed in touch. And that day I made him a promise: should he ever finish his book (something I doubted at the time) that he had an open invite to share his story on the podcast.
Today I honor that promise.
This is a conversation about one young man’s determination to find his way in the world.
It’s about a quest to learn what cannot be taught in the confines of a classroom.
It’s about never giving up.
And it’s about always finding a way.
But most of all, this is a very personal exchange between two friends about what it really means to pursue a dream.
Peace + Plants,
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Thanks to this week’s sponsors
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Note: One of the best ways to support the podcast is to support the sponsors. For a complete list of all RRP sponsors and their respective vanity url’s and discount codes, visit my Resources page and click “Sponsors”.
Background, Context & Reference:
- Connect With Alex: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn
- Book Alex Banayan for Public Speaking: Harry Walker Agency
- Entrepreneur: How an 18-Year-Old Uncovered Tim Ferriss’s Secret Cold Email Template to Reach CEOs and VIPs by Alex Banayan
- Huffington Post: Articles by Alex Banayan
- Huffington Post: How Alex Banayan, the 21-Year-Old VC and Author, Spends His Mornings by Caroline Pugh
- CSNBC: The surprising lesson this 25-year-old learned from asking Warren Buffett an embarrassing question by Ruth Umoh
- Big Speak: Celebrity Success Expert Alex Banayan Says Use Third Door Method for Success
- Fortune: Introducing: The Kid VC by By Scott Cendrowski
- Business Insider: How 19-Year-Old Alex Banayan Became The World’s Youngest VC by Alyson Shontell
- Medium: Big Questions Blog: This Week’s Podcast: Alex Banayan with Cal Fussman
- Jewish Journal: 30 under 30: Alex Banayan by Kyle Ora Lobell
- Larry King Now: What surprised Alex Banayan about the world’s most successful people
- VIDEO: Now This News: Alex Banayan Interviewed Some of the Most Successful People Alive
- YouTube: Alex Banayan Keynote IBM Amplify // “The Third Door and Customer Engagement” // San Diego, CA
- Book: The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich* by Tim Ferriss
- Book: When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead: Useful Stories from a Persuasive Man* by Jerry Weintraub
Notable People Discussed in today’s podcast:
- Tim Ferriss: podcaster, public speaker, entrepreneur, multiple NYT bestselling author and podcast guest
- Gary Vaynerchuk: (Gary Vee) 4x NY Times bestselling author, speaker serial entrepreneur and podcast guest
- IN-Q: or “IN-Question“, is the stage name of Adam Schmalholz, an American songwriter and National Poetry Slam champion and 2x podcast guest
- Elliott Bisnow: co-founder of Summit & co-owner of Powder Mountain Resort in Eden, Utah
- Malcom Gladwell: Author, staff writer for New Yorker Magazine and host of Revisionist History
- Peter Thiel: entrepreneur, venture capitalist & hedge fund manager
- Rick Horgan: Scribner Vice President and Executive Editor of commercial fiction, current events, biography, “big idea” books, politics, subculture, popular psychology and sociology, crime, business, and sports
- Cal Fussman: journalist and author. He is a Writer at Large for Esquire magazine, known for the What I’ve Learned column
- Dustin Moskovitz: Internet entrepreneur who co-founded Facebook and left in 2008, to co-found Asana
- Tony Hsieh: CEO of the online shoe and clothing company Zappos, internet entrepreneur and venture capitalist
- Reid Hoffman CBE: American internet entrepreneur, venture capitalist and author. Hoffman was the co-founder and executive chairman of LinkedIn
- Qi Lu: Chinese software executive and engineer, previously Executive Vice President at Microsoft
- Larry King: American television and radio host, whose work has been recognized with awards including two Peabodys and 10 Cable ACE Awards
Related Podcasts You Might Enjoy:
- RRP #334: Tim Ferriss Is Evolving: Looking Within, Learning Self-Love & Pondering What Matters Most
- RRP #217: Gary Vaynerchuk Works Harder Than You Do
- RRP #118: IN-Q: Have You Ever Been Excited For Now?
- RRP #247: The Art of Non-Conformity: Chris Guillebeau On Living an Unconventional Life & The Power of Divine Moments
- RRP #281: Adam Braun on Lightning Moments, Reimagining Education & Blazing A Life of Purpose
- RRP #197: Never Fear Failure: Jesse Itzler On Living With A SEAL, Tackling Life Plateaus & Getting Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable
*Disclosure: Books and products denoted with an asterisk are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
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Support The Sponsors: One of the best ways to support the podcast is to support our sponsors. For a complete list of all RRP sponsors and their respective vanity url’s and discount codes, visit my Resources page and click “Sponsors”.