Joe is the founder and CEO of Spartan, the largest obstacle racing series in the world. He is also a New York Times bestselling author of multiple books including Spartan Up, Spartan Fit, and most recently The Spartan Way.

 

Some interesting insights from this episode:

  • The most grueling endurance event he’s ever done is running a business.
  • “Death is the price we pay for life so make it worth it.”
  • Learn how he built the largest participatory endurance sport in the world with over a million annual participants and 275 events spread across 42 countries.
  • It took over a decade of losing money and tweaking the product until he finally figured out a formula that worked. He stuck with it for so long because he knew it was his true north.
  • Branding matters. They’re probably 10x more successful because of the name Spartan.
  • Intermittent fasting can make you feel better and it increases performance.
  • The best way to physically train is to focus on flexibility and mobility.
  • The ambitious mission of Spartan is to change 100 million lives.
  • “Excellence is giving it everything you’ve got. When you’re up against a wall and you refuse to give up, that’s excellence.”

Albert-László Barabási is the Robert Gray Dodge Professor of Network Science at Northeastern University, where he directs the Center for Complex Network Research, and holds appointments in the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Central European University in Budapest.  He is the author of four books with his latest one entitled: The Formula: The Universal Laws of Success. 

 

Some interesting insights from this episode:

  • The definition of success is the rewards we earn from the communities we belong to. While your performance is about you, your success is about us.  It’s what we as a community acknowledge and value.
  • The first law of success is that performance often drives success but when performance can’t be measured, networks drive success.
  • The second law of success is that performance is bounded but success is unbounded. Marginal differences in performance may lead to order of magnitude differences in success (fame, fortune, recognition, etc.).
  • The third law of success if that prior success will increase the odds of future success. It is the law behind why the rich get richer and the powerful stay that way.
  • The fourth law of success is that while team success requires diversity and balance, a single individual will inevitably receive credit for the group’s achievements.
  • For performance oriented teams, diversity and empathy are the most critical success factors while for innovation oriented teams, leadership is most important.
  • The fifth law of success is that with persistence, success can come at any time. Your ability to succeed neither declines nor improves with age.

Daniel Negreanua (aka “Kid Poker”) is a professional poker player who has won six World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets and two World Poker Tour (WPT) championship titles. The independent poker ranking service Global Poker Index (GPI) recognized Negreanu as the best poker player of the decade in 2014.  As of 2018, he is the 2nd biggest live tournament poker winner of all time, having accumulated over $39,500,000 in prize money. He is the only player in history to win WSOP Player of the Year twice.

 

Some interesting insights from this episode:

  • He was making more money than his teachers playing poker so he quit high school to pursue his passion full time.
  • He would keep a journal during his games where he would track his mood and observe how it affected his game play. This allowed him to better control his emotional states and be more steady and focused.
  • His advantage and edge is mental preparation and the ability to deal with adversity when it comes.
  • It’s important to get clear on what your intention is going into something. It’s about knowing what the steps are to accomplish whatever intention that you set.
  • “Whenever you think that you’ve mastered something in life, that’s the exact moment when someone’s about to surpass you.”
  • There’s a difference between being a victim to circumstance and standing completely responsible for your results.
  • Excellence is the pursuit of ultimate integrity which means doing exactly what you said you were going to do.

Daniel Pink is the author of several New York Times bestselling books about business, work and behavior including A Whole New Mind, Drive and To Sell is Human.  His articles have appeared in The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Wired and a number of other publications.  His TED talk on the science of motivation is one of the 10 most watched TED talks of all time.  His latest book is titled WHEN: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing.

 

Some interesting insights from this episode:

  • Curiosity is more important than planning. If you simply follow your curiosity, that in itself is a pretty good plan.
  • Learn about our chronotype and how it has a massive effect on our performance.
  • To optimize your day, you should do analytic work during the peak, the administrative work during the trough, and the creative work during the recovery.
  • Napping has been shown to improve reaction time, increase alertness and boost memory.
  • Having coffee first thing in the morning can actually be counterproductive.
  • Learn when it’s advantageous to go first when you’re competing for business and when you’re better off going last.
  • There’s really no such thing as a midlife “crisis”. But most of us do hit a natural slump in our lives that we eventually overcome.

 

Show Notes:

Daniel Pink’s Book: WHEN: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing https://www.amazon.com/When-Scientific-Secrets-Perfect-Timing/dp/0735210624/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1517698858&sr=8-1&keywords=when+the+scientific+secrets+of+perfect+timing%2C+daniel+pink

 Daniel Pink’s TED Talk: The Puzzle of Motivation  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrkrvAUbU9Y

Daniel Pink’s Website: www.danpink.com

Scott Kelly is a retired NASA astronaut and a veteran of four space flights.  He is best known for spending nearly a year on the International Space Station and the second most time in space of any American.  He recently wrote a book now available about his space travels called Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery.

 

Some interesting insights from this episode:

  • He struggled academically for many years until he read Tom Wolfe’s The Right Stuff which would finally give him the focus he needed to turn himself around and become a model student.
  • Despite the odds of success of becoming an astronaut being stacked against him, his attitude was if you don’t even try, then you know for certain that the odds are zero.
  • Learn how spending a year in space tests your psychological endurance as much as your physical endurance.
  • When you’re doing a very challenging task, try to focus only on the things you can control and then ignore the rest.
  • His mother’s passing a rigorous physical exam to become a police officer served as a role model for Scott overcoming his own challenges.
  • Excellence is the ability to focus 100% of your ability and attention on one thing.

Anders is a professor of psychology at Florida State University where he specializes in the science of peak performance.  His groundbreaking research has been featured in many publications including Scientific American, Time, Fortune, Wall Street Journal and New York Times.  His most recent book is called Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise.

 

Some interesting insights from this episode:

  • The Malcolm Gladwell “10,000 hour rule” (i.e. it takes 10,000 hours to become world class at something) stems from Anders’ research. But it’s not necessarily 10,000 hours and it’s not any kind of practice.
  • Learn what is meant by “deliberate practice”.
  • The success of the Navy’s Topgun (fighter pilot training program) largely stemmed from the methodology behind deliberate practice.
  • The brain can be rewired to extend its capabilities at any age.
  • There is no such thing as natural talent.
  • Learn how building mental representations can dramatically improve performance.
  • For many fields, the workday is far too long. It is very hard to maintain intense focus and concentration for more than 3 or 4 hours a day.

Jeff Seder is the founder and CEO of EQB, a consulting firm which advises thoroughbred racehorse owners. He utilizes proprietary big data analytics to predict the success of racehorses, most notably the 2015 triple crown winner American Pharoah.  He has his undergraduate, law and business degrees all from Harvard and he currently resides on a farm in Pennsylvania.

 

Some interesting insights from this episode:

  • Learn how he used utilized big data to predict the success of American Pharoah, the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years.
  • Success is all about hard work: “It took 35 years and $7 million to become an overnight success.”
  • On why competitors haven’t replicated his methods: “I can give someone a violin and an instruction manual but they’re not going to play a symphony right away.”
  • On following your passion: “My Harvard professor asked me what I was passionate about and I said ‘horses.’”
  • Learn how he used a slow motion camera to study the U.S. Olympic bobsled team and help them turn the tide and start winning medals for the first time.
  • “Excellence is learning your instrument and then forgetting it all and just wailing.”

 

 

 

 

 

Seth Goldman is the Co-founder of Honest Tea, a company he started in 1998 and has grown to over $200 million in revenue.  Today, Honest Tea is the nation’s top selling ready-to-drink organic bottled tea. The Honest Tea brands are available in over 130,000 outlets across the United States.  The company was acquired by Coca Cola in 2011.

 

Some interesting insights from this episode:

  • Learn how he reinvented the entire bottled tea industry.
  • Being a relentless optimist helped get him through the tough times.
  • The company wasn’t just about a better tasting drink but about an expression of his personal values (health, the environment, working conditions in developing countries).
  • To successfully launch a startup, start with a very strong vision of the brand and then everything else will fall into place.
  • The best way to learn is simply by doing. Market research will only get you so far and doing too much of it could become a hindrance.
  • Excellence is having a vision and being able to execute on that vision without compromise.