Imagine being set on a trajectory for the majority of your life, only to wake up one day questioning whether or not you’re on your path or a path someone else put you on.
This is what happened to my guest and author, Alex Banayan. From an early age, Alex’s parents’ dream was for him to become a doctor, and up until his freshman year in college it was what he thought he wanted to – until he realized it didn’t. Upon this realization, he attempted to seek the answers for how other successful people got their start – only to realize that such a book didn’t exist. Overcome with inspiration and a drive to write one on his own, he knew he had to find the funds to back this passion project.
Having trouble thinking about anything but this project, the day before his freshman year final exams, he made the decision to trade an all-nighter studying for exams with one on how to hack The Price Is Right. With a slim chance of actually winning, Alex beat the odds, won a sailboat, sold it, and used the prize money to fund his quest to learn from the world’s most successful people.
Throughout our conversation, we talk all about his seven-year journey to write The Third Door and all the rejections, “flinch” moments and courage that took place to make it happen. Alex is an EPIC storyteller, which you’ll hear in this episode and his book. There were so many goose-bump-inducing moments and nuggets of valuable insight shared and I can’t wait for you to experience all of them and let me know your thoughts, too. Of all the authors I’ve interviewed, this is literally my favorite book so far. Go out and grab his book ASAP – you won’t be sorry!
• Who is someone who’s changed your life?
• What’s your favorite speech you’ve ever given?
• What’s one regret that you have?
• How did you end up interviewing the world’s most influential people?
• How do you hack the Price Is Right?
• How many names made the list and how many made the book?
• Who was the coolest person you ended up meeting?
• Who made you the most nervous/prompted the biggest “flinch?”
• What’s your advice to get over your “flinch?”
• What was the worst rejection you received?
• Were there any people along the way that pulled you back on track and didn’t allow you to quit?
• Who did you want to interview that you weren’t able to?
• Where did you get this obsessive persistence from?
• What would you say is the single-most-important lesson of your book?
• Now that you’ve spent 7 years knocking down doors, is it fate or luck that finally allows these things to happen? Or is it good old-fashioned making it happen yourself?
• How do you view money, success and wealth after writing The Third Door?
“The most extreme expectations are the ones that aren’t explicitly said.”
“Courage is acknowledging how scared you are, analyzing the consequences, and then deciding that you care so much about it you’re going to take one thoughtful step forward anyway.”
“The core belief was like a thread that, even in my darkest times, I could hold onto and it kept me from calling it quits.”
“The only thing worse than an unproductive hour is quitting all together.”
“Persistence is the means of achieving the goal.”
“The soul of the book is possibility.”
“You can give someone all the best tools and knowledge in the world and their life can still be stuck, but if you change what someone believes is possible, they’ll never be the same.”
“The strongest lessons are the ones that are never said.”
“The hard work is the last 10%.”
Alex Banayan is the author of the national bestseller The Third Door, which chronicles his seven-year quest tracking down Bill Gates, Lady Gaga, Warren Buffett, Maya Angelou, Steven Spielberg, Jane Goodall, Steve Wozniak, Jessica Alba, Larry King, and dozens more of the world’s most successful people to uncover how they broke through and launched their careers. Banayan has been named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list, Business Insider’s Most Powerful People Under 30, and been featured in major media including CNBC, MSNBC, Fortune, Forbes, Billboard, Businessweek, Bloomberg TV, Fox News, and CBS News. An acclaimed keynote speaker, Banayan has presented the Third Door framework to business conferences and corporate leadership teams around the world including Apple, Google, Nike, IBM, Salesforce, Snapchat, Disney, Harvard, and countless others.