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Episode 53, The atomic number of Iodine 53 is Herbie the Love Bug Racing No, and I was on Bill Maher this weekend. When you have capitalism on the way up and you have socialism on the way down, I'm not done yet. Question.


What does that have to do with the number of 53? Absolutely nothing. But it's my podcast.


Go, go, go. Welcome to the fifty third episode of the Prop Jesus show and today's episode, we speak with Ryan Holladay, a writer and media strategist. He's a real Blue Flame thinker and author of 10 books, including The Obstacle is the Way Ego Is the Enemy. The Daily Star. Conspiracy and Stillness is the key.


Is that really the key stillness we discuss with Ryan his thoughts on stoicism, fatherhood and living by your values? OK, OK, what's happening? Enrollment for Google's career certificates is finally open. Google announced its Career Certificates program back in July and left a dog hanging with no new announcements until just last week's UnderPressure. I came on my other podcast and talked about as Google career thing or career certificates and then we didn't hear much about it and actually tweeted Adam and Sinda responded because he and I are very close.


So he doesn't know that yet. But we're actually quite close where where we like to roll. We like to get Mexican food together. He comes over, we have a beer and we just hang because that's the kind of friends we are. At least in my mind, most people have an imaginary friend called God. I have an imaginary friend called Famous People or imaginary friends, I should say. So who's more fucked up? Who's more fucked up?


Very religious people are me and my invisible famous friends. I don't know. I don't know. Toss up the career certificate courses are 100 percent online, require no prior experience or degree and focus on fields including IT, data analytics, project management and you X design. On top of that, the courses are relatively affordable at just thirty nine bucks per month for a subscription with the online platform Coursera. Speaking of which, speaking of which course to the era of Coursera recently filed for its IPO, it's valued around Spizer around five billion and is leapfrogging universities.


Remember the big thing? Dispersion, our big theme dispersion. That's right. Three big trends in our economy that have created more value than any other trends in the last fifty years. There's globalization, comparative advantage, then digitization, loosely speaking, the Internet and now dispersion, dispersion, taking core value and skipping the traditional supply chain or friction in the supply chain to either reduce costs, reduce friction or add more value. And what are we seeing here?


We're seeing Coursera, skip the campus, skip the tenure, skip the bullshit, skip the basketball games. Wonderful basketball games are wonderful. Tenure is bullshit. But bottom line is, if you skip if you leapfrog that infrastructure, that friction, you can add a lot of the core education certification and the experience, some not most some of the experience at a fraction of the cost. According to a company report, more than 21 million people check that 21 million people have joined Coursera since mid-March of twenty twenty.


Oh, my God. 21 million people in the last twelve months. That's a 353 three percent increase from the same period last year. And the company has seen a 444 percent increase in course enrollment. So let's talk about a little bit about Google certificates. And, of course, Sarah, the notion of certification or getting 30, 40, 50 percent of the certification of college at a tenth of a percent of the price is what Google is doing.


And I think it's really powerful. And to their credit, I don't know how big an economic opportunity this is, but they've even more importantly said this certification, that if you complete a certificate, a Google certificate and product management, that they will look at you based on this certification. When you apply for a job, it's not a guarantee you get a job. But when you apply for a job, if you get a job, they will in fact, they will, in fact, treat you as if you had college certification.


And that's the key here online. Ed isn't going to take off. We're not going to bust the caste system that is higher ed unless corporations decide, decide to anoint certification of people who don't have traditional college degrees.


So what's going on here? The second greatest opportunity of disruption and stakeholder value creation over the next decade. Number one is health care. 17 percent of our economy, four trillion dollar business, boom, it's changing, it's dispersing beyond doctors offices and hospitals directly from the health practitioner, directly from EHI to the end consumer patient, the second biggest education, about a 700 billion dollar business in the U.S. And we need to leapfrog the friction imposed by universities and administrators who have designed the industrial education complex to create friction such that they can feel better about themselves.


Let's only let in five percent of applicants. Let's engage in cartel pricing where we reject the majority of our people and the second tier colleges get to sell a Hyundai and Mercedes like pricing. Let's just break the fucking wheel. This is very exciting. There's a lot of people who not only want education as a means of certification, but want education is a means of upskilling. And that is maybe they have a college degree. Maybe they're the district manager for seven.


Tiffani's in the Texas area, but they're not going back to war. And not only that, they don't get invited to the off site with the top 100 executives, but they want some upscaling. They want a taste of supply chain from a great MIT professor. They want a taste of strategy from Sonya Marziano at Stern or Sarah Bachman at Harvard. I'm talking my own book. Section four are online ed startup that tries to offer access to elite MBA education at 10 percent of the price and one percent of the friction.


We just raised. Thirty million dollars from General Catalist and GSV and Learn Capital and a bunch of other powerful folks, powerful, successful, blast, whatever you want to call them. And we're essentially trying to get in front of this wave. We've been doing this for about 18 months. But bottom line is with Coursera, of course, there is sort of a gangster here online. Ed is about to take off. You know, of course, there was early everyone's been talking about this.


It's say, how do you go bankrupt slowly and then suddenly, how does online ad revolutionize education? Slowly and then suddenly and we're about to enter the suddenly phase, look for the Coursera IPO to be a monster. OK, and other news the mouse has in Disney continues to be a streaming juggernaut. You got it. Not its own. So not there. You got it. The company's streaming service, Disney Plus, has attracted more than 100 million subscribers in less than a year and a half and is targeting 300 to 350 million by 2020.


For the mouse, you are still my ambition. Your mouse tennyo Disney's latest move, a seven year agreement with the NHL. Who would have thunk it? The agreement will bring hockey games, ABC, SBN and Disney streaming platforms, ESPN Plus and Hulu.


Bloomberg reported that Disney is paying about 300 million annually for the package. I don't know why that doesn't sound like a lot of money to me. Sports have been a major player in the latest surrounding the streaming wars. Amazon is looking to own the rights to Thursday NFL games starting in 2023 and Disney CEO Bob Chapultepec Schepisi told Bloomberg that the company is steering as many rights as possible towards ESPN. Plus, that'll be really interesting when they start when the big win the big players.


I've been predicting this for a while when the deep pocketed players would come in and buy rights to the Olympics and some of the bigger things we've already seen, live events, live events seem to be crashing, but we still have sports. And basically broadcast television is becoming kind of sports channels practically. So Disney has this seven year, I agree with NHL, which feels like a smart move. The league opened this year season with record viewership in the U.S. and Canada.


I think most of viewership is my father, who every year, every year, no joke, get something from his loving son, crossed off his bucket list despite the fact that he abandoned me, my mother, at the age of eight. But that's another story. That's another story. My father, my nine year old father, gets something off his bucket list for his birthday. And every year I think he's going to say, well, I just want to spend time with you or your grandkids or I want to go to Scotland and show you where I grew up.


No, every year it's the same thing. I want to go to opening night of the Air Canada Centre of the Leaves versus the Habs, the Montreal Canadiens, and he hears the bagpipes come out on the ice. I don't know why there are bagpipers in Toronto and he cries. I never see my father cry except when we go to a fucking hockey game. Anyways, he's obviously responsible for this uptick in NHL viewership. He's going to be very excited about Disney.


Plus, wherever these hockey games are going to play nine of the top ten most dream games on NHL TV have come from this season and average James per game are up ninety nine percent compared to last season. I wonder what's going to happen post. But OK, moving on from the streaming wars, let's wrap with a look at the IPO market. Barron's reported that so far in 2021, 302 U.S. IPOs have raised around 102 billion. That's up 763 percent from the same period last year.


And sparks make up 80 percent of this year's IPO. It's a spack world we just live in at the current IPO wave, maybe flaming hot. But according to analysis by managing director at Baird Baird, Biard Baird, Shafak Schepisi, of all of the companies that IPO last year, 81 percent reported losses in the first quarter as a public. Company, so essentially you have sparks reaching deeper and deeper into the barrel, trying to find less and less mature companies or willing to take companies that typically would have no chance of winning public public.


What does that mean? They're selling promise over performance. It's almost as if revenues are a bad thing. You can be an electric vehicle company and you just say we're an electric vehicle company and before you have a battery or a car, you have the luxury of just talking about the promise versus actually having to show performance against that promise. And that's kind of what sparks are. So what are sparks? I've evolved a little bit on Spaatz.


I used to think they were just a giant bubble. I no longer believe that there's a very talented operating groups and what is backpack's is basically dispersion and that is dispersion of the markets. And that is someone who wants to invest in a company, someone who has shares to sell in a company, dispersing or leapfrogging traditional investment committees at investment banks who get to decide who gets to be public or not. Also, it may sound like they're just going to be too many public companies, but the number of public companies over the last 20 or 30 years has been cut by 50 or 60 percent.


So to a certain extent, this just represents a regression to the mean what's going to happen here? My prediction is that it's going to be similar, not quite as drastic or as volatile as the dot bomb era in 2000. That is, a lot of giants are being burned right now. You're going to see some great companies come out of the SPAC financing boom and go on to be great companies.


And people will remember it was a spark. They'll just remember that it was a great company. And back at the end of the day, it's just an alternative form of financing in your in the life cycle of a company. You're also going to see a lot of companies that are just simply overvalued, unlike the dot bomb era. I don't think I think most of these companies have value, but like the dot com era, a lot of them will be overvalued.


We shall see. Spaak Spaak may spark me. You betcha. Lou Dobbs, didn't he go to SPAC dot com?


No, that was space dot com. What a tragedy. Lou Dobbs no longer at Fox. Yeah, that makes sense. I think they should have kept them there. I think Lou Dobbs fit in really well with Fox. Just super fucking old and a bigot. Oh my. That escalated fast. Anyway, stay with us. We'll be right back for our conversation with Ryan Holiday. You know, the dog loves champagne, pretty much all alcohol, but especially jumping my latest discovery from Wine Access is a Titan Champagne and Bruneians selection Brut.


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Welcome back. Here's our conversation with author and media strategist Ryan Holiday. Ryan, where does this podcast find you?


In my office in Bastrop, Texas. I'm sorry, where?


Texas, right outside Austin, in a little town called Bastrop.


So walk us through your approach to stoicism and how people can apply the four virtues. You talk about courage, temperance, justice and wisdom in their everyday lives. Yeah, I think my sort of my quick definition of stoicism is you don't control what happens, you control how you respond. And I think those four virtues, which are also the four virtues of Christianity, they date back even further than the Stoics. I think Aristotle is the first to mention them.


But I think those four virtues are the sort of guide for how one responds to some situations.


Call for courage, some call for temperance, some call for wisdom, some call for justice. Those are the four virtues.


But but I think they're they're interrelated. It's hard to know.


I'm writing about this now. It's it's hard to know where one begins and where one ends. And and I think they also they and they inform each other. You know, I was thinking about this.


Courage is great, but it's courage great in the abstract or discourage only matter when it's applied to the so-called right thing.


And so this is where the virtues all sort of interrelate with one another.


Can you give us a kind of a real world, even if it's pedestrian example, of applying each of those to your daily life or how you interact online or or what kind of modern trappings? Yeah, I think temperance is an interesting one.


I sort of I think we struggle with temperance because it's the word, at least for Americans, is sort of associated with the temperance movement.


So we tend to think that temperance means abstinence or really it means sort of moderation or I think it might be better defined as as self-discipline, you know.


So how does one how does one get to the idea of enough? I think this this is fascinating to me. And a lot of the tech figures that you write about or or think about, you know, is is the fall of we work not, you know, a company rooted in a lack of temperance, a lack of sort of humility, a lack of self-discipline, a lack of self-control. So to me, temperance is the idea of like, what is enough?


What are you actually motivated by? You know, for the Stoics, you see Alexander the Great come up in their writings over and over again as sort of the penultimate example of a person who could never be satisfied, for whom there was never enough. So it it leads to these great accomplishments. But the Stoics sort of reflecting over and over again.


But where does he end up? He ends up dead like everybody else. And so I think it's precisely in ambitious, talented people that this idea of temperance is so important because you are going to bust through a lot of the ordinary limitations and then you're going to need to impose those on yourself.


Mm hmm. Yeah, I think of it is figuring out, you know, ambition and money are sort of the ink in your pen and they can write in your chapters, but it's not your story. And you got to figure out the story or the what is the ends. This is all a means to an end. What is the end when you get there appreciating it? But talk a little bit about courage as it relates to everyday behaviour.


Well, courage is a tricky one because, of course, there's multiple types of courage. There's physical courage and moral courage.


I've sort of come to define courage as sort of any time you put your ass on the line, literally or figuratively. And this is where I was talking about how sort of justice informs it.


You know, there's some sort of raw courage, I suppose, in being an anti voxer or politically incorrect racist. Right. Like the a person who sort of doesn't care what the consequences of what they say or do.


There's a certain amount of courage in that, I suppose, plunging ahead, you know, knowing it's going to ruin your career. I was thinking about I was thinking about this as I wrote this book a few years ago about about Gawker. And they post this story where they out, I believe it's the CFO of Condé Nast as as being a gay man who is having an affair with with a with a gay gay escort, I believe.


And so they publish his story. It's a horrible story that never should have been published.


And then because there's a huge advertiser backlash and public relations backlash on Nick Denton, then the publisher of Gawker, um, publishes the story.


And to the editors, this is, you know, putting the quality of the story aside. The editors of Gawker decide that this is an unforgivable breach of the line between sort of business and publishing, that the editor has now unpublished a story because it was unpopular and so they resigned on principle. So I think any time one is resigning on principle, there's a certain amount of courage involved in that. Right.


But. The Stoics, the idea of resigning on principle for a bad principle is not particularly honorable and particularly impressive.


So courage isn't merely, I think, you know, plunging into the fray or taking the risk to me, like, I don't I don't see much to admire in skydiving. You hurled yourself out of a plane, I guess that you conquered some fear, but to what end? So I think courage as a virtue is is the one that that works in isolation the least? Yeah.


When I think of famous people or people that we admire in history, they demonstrated that courage. And that is, you know, refusing the draft was a very unpopular thing. You know, Muhammad Ali refusing to take your assigned seat on a bus was a very unpopular thing at the time. You know, the hard part is being right. The hard part is, is is going against the common conventional wisdom, knowing that over time you'll be proven right and that you're not afraid to take.


You know, an enormous amount of shit and give up wealth and give up even your personal freedoms or give a personal safety, right. That's I think the most most historical figures that we admire demonstrated that kind of courage. And and we're right. I'm not sure that we're going to be especially impressed with people who said the white patriarchy is the way to go, even if you know, which takes courage. Yes, but you better hope that that you're right.


What about talk a little bit about justice?


Yeah, well, I was I think they are related in an interesting way. You know, Kennedy says that you want to have a society where the conscientious objector and the the war hero are sort of respected equally.


I think obviously a society has to have both just because you never really know when one is right. And probably the truth is somewhere in the middle, I suppose. But I think justice is tricky because we tend to think of justice. I think it maybe it says something about the role that justice plays in our society. It's kind of illustrated like when you think justice, you think justice system or you think social justice as in this sort of social justice warrior thing, it's it's almost as if the word justice is not only not something we admire, it's almost like an expletive, like it's something problematic or inconvenient.


I think for this, the Stoics like virtue was the the whole point. Was there an immense amount of injustice in the ancient world? Of course, but I think they were on that sort of same. That same if there's a there's a Jeffersonian aspect to it where they could articulate the ideas but were preposterous hypocrites about it. And what we have the benefit of doing now is using those words and trying to get a little bit closer to those ideals.


And in meditations, Marcus really talks about how he learns from the earlier Stoics about the importance of of of free speech and equality under the law and a ruler that respects, you know, the subjects.


And so, you know, you have you been there, a guy struggling with it in the real in the real world. And then obviously all the limitations of of his society with its slaves and its wars of conquest and all these other things that were happening simultaneously and wisdom.


Wisdom is, you could argue, is the is the virtue that explains when and how to apply all of the others. Right. How do you know what the right amount is? That takes wisdom. How do you know what the right thing is? That takes wisdom. How do you know when to when to charge ahead and when to retreat? This takes wisdom.


So I think wisdom is is sort of the, you know, the ultimate virtue. It's funny how these things are rendered to I mean, often that instead of wisdom, you see prudence and the engines will talk of prudence as the virtue which again, we tend to think would probably be temperance. But prudence is just, you know, the the right, the right understanding the truth of it, you know, the the right take. And so for me, wisdom is this sort of ongoing process that one has to engage in.


That one sort of pursues their whole life, both experientially and academically. Senecas is the path. The wisdom is like just one thing a day when one book, one quote, one story, one conversation that you sort of enjoy yourself there. And that's kind of the philosophy that I, I sort of apply in my life. Just how do I how do I just try to get a little bit better, a little bit smarter every day.


So it feels as if social media has catalyzed a lot of really terrible behavior, emotions, reactions, incivility, and you have a view on how stoicism can help address that. I mean, you could argue that that. Social media is is is designed about as well as a slot machine know or a casino, it's designed in every way down to the smallest detail to exploit desires and temptations and biases of the of the human condition. You know, there's why there's no clock in their infinite scroll is why there is no clock in a casino.


You know, the the validation, the likes are why they're handing out free drinks. So all these things are there to prey on impulses that you have at Facebook or Twitter. Instagram didn't create them, but they do perfectly exploit them. And so, you know, I'm not saying these things should be banned or made to go away. I'm just saying you have to be aware that these things are not your friend. But it is interesting, you know, you'll watch you have certain friends, a lot of journalists.


It's very strange how much it affects journalists when whenever I see someone who is very, very active on social media, I never struck that this is a happy, content, well-adjusted person.


It's almost always corresponds to some extreme imbalance somewhere in their life or their personal trust, your instincts.


And that seems it's one of those things. You said it and I never dawned on me. And it's I think it's accurate. I spend a lot of time on social media, on LinkedIn. I'm addicted, physically addicted to Twitter. And Fran Lebowitz did this podcast with my co-host on my other podcast, Kara Swisher. And they said, well, why aren't you on Twitter? And I'm sure a lot of me would come out on Twitter. That's not out.


And I'm not sure I want that. And I look back through my Twitter stream and some of the interactions and I just think, do I really like this? Do I really like the person? You know, I've decided and I'm trying to embrace it's interesting. I think Stoicism is having a moment, largely because social media and our media has created so much divisiveness and such. It's sort of rooted out or manifested such an ugly part of people's personalities that we need an immunity to kick in and to modulate it.


And when I've been reading about Stoicism, it's funny, it's it's really impacting my behavior on social media.


I felt the need to get back in anyone's face who I felt was being overly hostile or just wrong or attacking me in it for, you know, an unwarranted and then stoicism basically like, OK, fine, you know, let them.


And that's not to say don't defend yourself, but focus your energies on more positive things. And this is about them. This is about their problem. And don't let them live rent free in your your mind. And, you know, some very basic principles around Stoicism, I think have made me not a better person on social media, but a less fucking awful person on social media. And it strikes me that the majority of people I know who are really into social media, they're definitely feelings.


I don't know if it's narcissism, rabid need for self affirmation, which I suffer from, but it's it feels like social media has led to a rise in a need for an immunity, and that immunity or stoicism is really filling the gap, if you will. Do you have any sort of hacks around applying this, what I'll call a Stoics lifestyle or some of these some of these philosophies, some sort of basic everyday, you know, check yourself here or this type of emotion?


I do, I do, you know, when I was when I was writing the book, when it was coming out, I was checking my at reply's one day on Twitter, and it was just so just the venom and the the people who I did not respect getting into my head, sort of being like, hey, here's people I don't like, who I don't respect. And I'm giving them this little box where they can read this little door where they can get directly into my brain.


And it struck me that that was not good. And I, I haven't checked my at mentions probably since, I don't know, twenty, seventeen or something. The way I try to use the mediums because we have a million followers on Instagram for daily stoic ticktock and YouTube. What I try to think about them primarily as publishing mechanisms rather than communication mechanisms. So like almost all the content that I put out on social media is scheduled. So I have stuff to say, but I don't want it to be in real time and I don't want to be checking it.


I want I want to use it as a as a quick way to communicate things, see what's working, you know, maybe perhaps expand on it.


But there's obviously some urging you. I have it in me.


You don't become a writer or a creative or a you know, whatever it is that we do here, you don't do that if you don't have something to say, if you don't feel some desire to communicate it. And there's probably a, you know, a need for validation in there.


You have that I couldn't do I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't have it.


But what I'm really concerned about is sort of blowing that in frivolous means.


So it's like I know how hard it is to write a book and I know how many sort of endless, unrewarding days it takes sitting at the computer, thinking, writing, putting it together, editing, waiting, all of that. And I know that part of what motivates one to do that is some hope that that it's worth it on the other side. And so just the amount of people that I know that that don't write articles anymore or or don't write books or make stuff that matters because they're spending all that energy sort of communicating in real time in this weird echo chamber has always struck me as kind of a cautionary tale.


So I keep I try to be real disciplined about my social media time because or at least the role that it plays in my sort of creative life, because it's it's like if I'm running a marathon, I'm not also, you know, doing a bunch of other sports, like I want to concentrate my energy and my my motivations on the on the right thing. So, I mean, that's one place I think about it.


At least talk a little bit about stoicism and fatherhood.


Well, certainly nothing tested test one's stoicism quite like having kids. I have a four and a half year old and almost two year old. I think, you know, we're talking about sort of controlling one's reactions or outbursts. The interesting thing with kids that I struggle with is, you know, they they're constantly doing things to get attention or to get a reaction that the very natural response is the exact opposite of what you want to do. And so my wife and I were just talking about this yesterday.


You know, it's like, OK, he's hitting you because he wants attention and it hurts when he just snuck up behind you and punched you in the head. If you don't control the reaction, you're going to find yourself getting hit in the back of the head even more than you already are. And so I think about that a lot. How does one sort of control one's reactions and responses?


All the time? I feel I feel like in a way that's really what it's been.


It's just a constant reminder of this idea that stuff happens. And, you know, Victor Franko talks about the stimulus and the response. You're constantly getting the stimulus and all these different ways. And you have to say, like, I'm not just going to emotionally, instinctively respond to this. I have to be deliberate about what I do here and that every response I make is a choice, getting me closer or further away from a certain outcome. And so it's kind of this test over and over again in the idea that.


We do control the reactions and and when we're not in control of the reactions, we often get outcomes that we don't like. So what advice do you have for young professionals who are looking to build economic security? I think the best career decision I ever made was not valuing my career over my relationship with my wife, especially when I was young. I mean, I there are so many, you know, it's like late night sessions or opportunities or things.


Whereas if I had been a young single guy in my 20s, I would have done obviously I didn't do because I had to get home because my wife and I were going to go to dinner or we weren't married then or or whatever. I just I wanted to spend time with her and I had certain obligations to her.


People tend to think that sort of relationships and like, I can't be in a relationship. I'm focusing on my career right now.


I think that's that's a big one that that I, I like to dispel for people because I feel like it was the best strategy that I ever made for for two reasons.


One, all sorts of incredible advice from her, you know, things that I wouldn't have done that I couldn't have done had I not sort of had the support or the confidence or the belief from this other person, this partner, to talk to.


But I also somewhat occasionally think of all the stupid things I probably would have done had, you know, had I had I not been in this relationship. So I economic security, I might redefine that as security a period. And I'd probably put relationships at the top of that.


But I think when I think about like what my what my success has been as a as an author, entrepreneur or whatever, at the root of it, I was just writing about this to go live tomorrow.


I think the more direct your relationship with an audience is, the safer and more secure you will be. And I don't think this is true just if you're a writer. But the idea is like how how do you have as few intermediaries between you and your potential market as possible? So whether that's an email list or, you know, your publishing it, I don't really care. There's lots of different ways to do it.


But when I look at people who are successful or have a lot of optionality in their career or life, usually the source of that freedom is that they have some sort of audience or fan group or or base.


You know, we talk a lot about Trump's political base. You have a base that you are in direct contact affiliation with that no one can get between you. Like when, you know, a lot of these times we go, oh, so-and-so just got canceled. And it's like by cancer, they mean they got fired from The New York Times. Like, I don't want to tempt fate, but it would be difficult to cancel me because I'm sure you could cancel this or that contract.


But my relationship with my audience is primarily owned by me. And that's the position I think you want to be in creatively and and career wise.


I think that's a really I would like to pause during these interviews. And when I when something resonates or feels it feels like there's real insight there. And I was on Bill Maher last Friday, which does not which doesn't have much to do with this conversation.


But I like to bring it up every ten minutes to everyone who works right now, see above rabidly insecure and desperate for other people's information. But I was thinking about him and I admire him. He makes fifteen million bucks a year. He can get canceled at any moment, AT&T decided to spin HBO, they decide they want a younger host, they decide they want to swap them out for someone more woak. They decide that timeslot doesn't work anymore.


I just even as big is incredibly successful, as rich as he is, he's just always walking on a knife's edge. Always. And then I was thinking, OK, I have a quarter of a million subscribers to my email newsletter and if I offend somebody, they can unsubscribe. But I've paid for it. To your point, it's a direct relationship and I kind of own it. And unless I cancel myself or unless I decide to replace it with another, you know.


Yeah, you're right. It's in these technologies offer greater opportunity to have a direct relationship, whether it's your Twitter, following your followers on Tic-Tac, substract with newsletters, whatever it might be. But you're right, the opportunity to own your audience or have an email, as I think professionally, just for brands just to start aggregating through a warranty or anything, email addresses of all your customers you're owning. The relationship is really powerful.


So what if somebody says, all right, I want the principles of stoicism to influence my relationships and my professional life? What two or three pieces of media craft a media diet for us that helps.


That helps like to go down the rabbit hole of stoicism, to be informed and and to be educated about stoicism. What are the two or three pieces of media? You would you would. Yeah.


I mean, obviously this is something I've thought a lot about. I got very lucky. I so my experience is weird. I was I was a kid in college. I was writing for this college newspaper and I went to this conference. It was sponsored by Trojan Condoms and the guest speaker there was like ten of us, the guest speaker. There was Dr. Drew from Loveline. And I went up to him afterwards and I recommended I asked him if he had any books that he recommended and he had been reading Epictetus, one of the books.


And so he said, you know, you should go read Epictetus. And I went back to my hotel room and I went to Amazon and I looked up Epictetus. And either I don't remember, I couldn't find it or that seemed hard. But but Marcus Aurelius also came up and I'd seen the movie Gladiator. So I was like, oh, Marcus Aurelius. That was a real person. I didn't know this. And and I bought Meditation's.


And I got very lucky in that for whatever reason, the algorithm on Amazon had picked the right translation at the right time. And I read it and changed my life.


But I sort of I know how many things had to go right for it to go that way.


So one of the reasons I do daily stoic and I wrote the dailies, the book is there's not a superb entry point into stoicism. It's it it can be hit or miss so that I did a free email and I do the the book, which is a page a day.


But if I was recommending the actual Stoics, I would start with the Gregory Gregorius translation of meditations.


I would probably next read Senecas essay on the shortness of life, which is just sort of incredible meditation on the importance of time and how little we waste life.


And if there's also a novel that I think is quite beautiful that's worth reading called Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yosano, it won the National Book Award. And I think the Pulitzer like 15 or 20 years ago. But it's a it's a beautiful novel. That's essentially the advice that Marcus Aurelius gets from his his dying stepfather. That sort of encapsulates the principles of stoicism. So I think those might be a good place to start.


And also, just a quick plug here. You have a newsletter called Ryan's Daily Dad newsletter. Yes. And also the Daily Stock Newsletter, which has over 300000 subscribers and obviously several other. We're sort of surrounded by you, Ryan. You're very prolific. You're Chileno right now.


I like to keep busy, but but I am a big believer in this sort of page a day or one thing a day model like there's a book I read Tolstoy at the end of his life wrote like a one page a day book that's called The Calendar of Wisdom. I really like the the idea of like, I'm going to spend a little bit of time, probably in the morning before the day has interrupted, before things have gotten crazy. I'm just going to spend a few minutes kind of centering myself, thinking about something, discussing with myself, some idea or premise.


To me, that's what journaling is. That's what these page books are. That's what the page of a newsletter can be. To I think carving out some time to really, like actively have a practice is really important. Yeah, it's just really important, particularly in how crazy and chaotic the world is.


A page a day. Ryan Holiday, as a writer and media strategist, is the author of 10 books, including The Obstacle is the Way Ego Is the Enemy. The Daily Stoic Conspiracy and Stillness is the key.


He joins us from his home just outside of Boston. Texas, I, I, I wish you wisdom and temperance and, uh, do you mean what are the other two justice in courage, justice. And I wish you a ton of justice and courage, and I appreciate your time today.


Thank you, sir. We'll be right back. Does it make sense the same company that controls half of online retail also possibly eavesdrops on your private conversations at home. What about the idea that a single company controls 90 percent of Internet searches, runs your e-mail service and gets to track everything you do on your smartphone? Big tech is more powerful than most countries are, and they profit by exploiting your personal data. It's time to put a layer of protection between your online activity and these tech juggernauts.


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Welcome back, it's time for officers to part of the show where we answer your questions about business, big tech entrepreneurship and whatever else is on your mind. If you'd like to submit a question, please email a voice recording to officers at Section four, a dot com question number one.


Hello. My name is Matthew. I'm 28. I do derivative accounting in special projects for a life insurance and annuity provider crossed from the bridge from where I am submitting my question to you, which is from sunny St. Petersburg, Florida. But my question is around information access.


The New York Times has put their content behind a paywall and this is proven to be quite lucrative for them. You often call for Twitter to buy CNN and incorporate their content into its subscription model, though Square may just by CNN, despite you. Finally, you and Kara just discuss Niva, the ad free subscription search engine in the works on the latest Pivot podcast episode. My question is, do you ever worry about any negative externalities that may arise from all these premium news and information sources going behind the paywall?


Do you think a lot of people will still opt to get their information from free, lower quality news sources, furthering the educational divide in America? Or do you think something like Niva could become a household staple like Netflix, where you pretty much just have to have it? Thank you for all your hard work. And finally, my condolences for your family's loss of Zoe. Dogs are incredible creatures and every memory with them is a blessing.


Matthew, thank you for the thoughtful and not only a smart question, but a nice question. I appreciate your kind words and how you cram so much into a question. And I love St. Petersburg. I just went to the Dali Museum and saw the Van Gogh exhibit and I just loved it. I dream of painting and then I paint my dreams. That's the thing that stuck out to me. And I took my 10 and 13 year old boys and I'm forcing myself to take them to stuff like that, recognizing that they don't enjoy it or pretend not to enjoy it while they're there.


But they will look back on it and be grateful and feel closer to me for forcing them to do that. And hopefully at some point something sparks. I think my youngest has I think has maybe an eye for art anyways. That's not WIU. That's not why you called in. So absolutely there are some externalities and you summed it up, you sort of answered a question. That is what happens when there's two worlds. As I get older, I just can't get over.


How powerful media is that you you're a function of what you read. And oftentimes what you read is not by your choice, it's what's put in front of you. And it's scary. If you think about it, there's really only five or seven families that probably control two thirds of all of our media. One family, specifically the Zuckerberg chan family, controls a third of all media. Supposedly, you know, somewhere between 40 and 50 percent of our media is not consumed on social media and 70, 80 percent of that is controlled by Facebook.


So what happens when we move to a world where it's iOS and Android and I think the whole world is digressing, iOS and Android, and that is there's a paid expensive product where you get privacy, better quality, more manicuring and you have to pay for it. Think of the App Store. I think of AOS twelve hundred dollars for five hundred fifty dollars worth of chipsets and sensors. And then there's free, there's Android. And in exchange for that they want 100 data points per day pulled from your phone.


They're less concerned or have less, I don't know, less vigilance or discipline about the platforms being weaponized or young men being radicalized on their YouTube platform or by Russians or operatives of the Russians weapons using the platform Facebook for their own nefarious activities. I think it's dangerous. And also I think that we have a tendency to want to credit our grit and our talent with success. And then when we face adversity or struggles or failures, we like to blame the market.


And I think we become more prone to believing conspiracy theories. So if all of a sudden fact checked, higher quality journalism goes behind a wall and the free stuff just tends to be engaging or trafficking in misinformation, I think it's very scary. And I wonder if there's more of a role for public television or PBS or state funded journalism that attempts to be tends to be somewhat balanced. I read a survey that said that the most trusted or balanced media brands now are The Wall Street Journal, which used to be considered conservative, but now people see them as being balanced.


And PBS, which used to be seen as very left leaning. But people say the PBS makes a solid attempt to see both sides of the issue as opposed to just being in the entertainment business. And that is tickling your censors, validating you or enraging you. And someone's after being on Bill Maher, I got a really thoughtful message from someone who said that most influencers and most people in the media and it was addressing my situation, enter into a bubble where we felt.


US on issues that are emotionally charged, we want to talk about the wall, we want to talk about late term abortions are we want to talk about bigotry in America because those things are very emotionally charged, whereas the majority of America, 98 percent of the people that aren't in that bubble are just more concerned with how do they how do they get by? How do they put food on the table? How do they find a better means of giving their kids as good or better a future without going into student debt?


You know, how do they access health care? Is there more that we have a tendency to wrestle with these issues and spend a disproportionate amount of our our leadership or bandwidth or human capital or leadership capital around emotionally charged issues? Because that makes for better media and makes for better grandstanding and opportunities to dunk on the other side or what Sarah Silverman this weekend called righteousness porn where and she was being critical of the far left, where it's kind of all or nothing.


And we're very fond of big speeches and it's not that much or it's not that interesting to talk about to make big speeches around infrastructure or the need for the new electric grid until there's people in Texas, you know, dying and we can dunk on Ted Cruz, then all of a sudden we're interested in infrastructure anyways. I think there is real danger. It's a thoughtful question and I think there is an externality here. The question is, how do we address an externality?


It's probably I would argue that we need a tax. We need a tax on algorithmically driven or serve media, because I think that's where the real trouble starts. And when algorithms start deciding the media, we see, instead of thoughtful human editors, the algorithms go to very dark places around tickling our tribal censors and maybe use that money to fund to fund media. But then who gets to decide the editorial complexion of the media? I mean, my my head my head hurts just thinking about it.


But I want to acknowledge the point. And I want to thank you for the generous question, Matthew. Best to you and your family and colleagues in the great city of St. Petersburg. The Berg. The Berg. I'm down with the St. Petersburg Eans. I call it the berg is. We're close. We're close. Next question.


Hey, Prof. Steve from Naples, Florida. My question is about Apple. I've been a shareholder for over ten years now and obviously very pleased with the growth in the stock price. But I'm wondering what you think Apple should be focusing on in the next decade? What I mean by that is I think several years back they had an opportunity to buy Netflix. I know Jim Cramer talked about that a lot. Pre pandemic. I thought they should have made an acquisition with peloton and other than beats.


I really can't remember the last large acquisition they've made. Now, it seems to me that Sotos is ripe for the taking. I know you've mentioned that on the show before. I also know that you're a big fan of Restoration Hardware. And I'm wondering, do you think or see Apple going in any kind of home design direction? In closing, what are your top five companies that you think Apple should be taking a look at as far as acquisitions?


Thank you. Keep up the good work.


OK, Steve from Naples, Florida. It's a Florida day, Florida plus to Naples. You must play golf or have grandparents. I've only been in Naples once. And to be blunt, I was not impressed. I was not impressed in Naples.


But anyway, so first off, let's talk about Apple and acquisitions. Apple is actually the least acquisitive of big tech firms or Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft, because I believe they see their culture as being a key asset in addition to their brand and realize that acquisitions are they're not either not good at it or they realize they're sort of an Apple way and have been successful trying to integrate other companies into that culture. So they're not they're not big acquirers, although the acquisition of Beats I would call a buzz killer, I think they're basically going to put bows out of business.


I consulted Dubbo's called the CEO about two years ago and said, boss, you know, I'm calling to just tell you, you should sell right now. And that is you have your connected devices, you're in the home. And this would be a great time to punch out because one of these guys is going to get into your business and eat your lunch. And I think Apple is doing that. And I think you're going to see both. I think Bose's on the wrong side of the Apple trade right now anyways.


What do they go into? At the end of the day? I think it's about ghab and what I mean by that gross attention product. And that is you look at how much time or how much attention of someone's day can you capture times? Their affluence equals shareholder value. And Apple, despite having a lower market share than Android, is worth more. iOS is worth more because it attracts more affluent audience. The question is where the next time arbitrage is?


Where could they stick the issues in front of people and gather more attention? And I sort of see three areas. The first is autonomous vehicles. They have reignited their Titan car project. Why? Because all of a sudden the automobile market is worth closer to a trillion dollars and just 100 billion because of Tesla. If autonomous is going to happen, people are going to have the time to stare at screens as opposed to the road. So there's an opportunity there to get another 30, 60, 90 minutes of screen time or was in front of someone with autonomous.


So my guess is Apple will, in fact, partner with an automobile manufacturer, get out of the shitty business, the supply chain, in assembling the car and get into the business of kind of connected automobiles, if you will, are autonomous or getting people to stare at an operating system for another hour a day. I think the other areas connected fitness. I have predicted they would acquire peloton. I don't think peloton is worth 30 billion dollars a standalone company right now.


And also they've had some supply chain issues. Apple could help them figure it out. Apple is probably the best marketer or the best brand in the world. What they don't get enough credit for is that probably have the best supply chain in the world. It is not easy to bring all those parts together from Asia. And Tim Cook has built an incredible, incredibly robust supply chain at a mostly China, but other parts of Asia as well. So I think you could see them acquire peloton and get into connected fitness again, dispersing, leapfrogging the fitness or the sweat industrial complex.


I'm not going back to Equinox now. I got my peloton. I got a bunch of equipment in my garage. I work out of my yard and I absolutely love it. I'm just not going back into a gym. I don't think ever so connected fitness and then the final area. I think it's education. I think that their roots, Apple's roots in education make them a natural to offer some sort of certification. They haven't made big moves in that category yet.


Maybe they'll just be a supplier. But I see them in first off as a strategy. They're moving towards a recurring revenue bundle. They're going to take their Apple one product, 23 percent of revenues, recurring revenue. They're going to move it to thirty or forty by offering their hardware as part of a recurring revenue program. And I think that takes the stock to one hundred and fifty, maybe even 200 bucks. And I think they're going to look very hard connected vehicles, autonomous driving, if you will, connected fitness and then potentially education.


It's difficult what you're talking about as a merger strategy where you try to predict who they will acquire. That's dangerous for Apple because Apple, as we said, is not that acquisitive. But it is fun to think about the gross attention product economy. Thanks for the question.


Best of luck to you, Steve, from Naples.


All right. Next question. Hi, Professor Galloway. This is Sam from Los Angeles. First on. I want to thank you for all the content you put out there may not always agree with you. A lot of what you say makes me see the world in a new way. And some of your thoughts are downright life changing. Which brings me to my question. I've heard you say multiple times, don't keep score when it comes to relationships. And this advice has changed my life.


I could go on and on, but I'd rather ask a few questions before my time runs out. First, should this rule of not keeping score only apply to personal relationships or does it apply to business as well? Second, though, you have been very open about your past mistakes and successes, you rarely talk about your current marriage as someone who does three podcasts a week, TV interviews, one blog post every Friday, teaches at NYU and oh yeah, has kids and a wife.


How do you handle your family and your work balance? I would love to hear you talk more about the same for Los Angeles.


Again, another very generous question. Thank you for the kind words. I was just in the City of Angels as I was on Bill Maher. I don't know if I mentioned that more than four or five times so far, but and I stayed at the Waldorf Astoria. I'm now at a point where I'm embarrassed when I stay in nice places because I'm worried about rich shaming or wealth shaming. But yeah, I stayed at a ridiculously fat, fuckin expensive hotel and I loved every moment of it.


I went to the pool and had a Cobb salad and like an eleven dollar coke. And I felt loved. I felt loved by our capitalist society. Anyway, totally different story. Don't keep score. So look at your friendships, look at your relationship with your spouse, your relationship with your parents, and to say this is the kind of son, husband and dad I want to be.


And pursue that and don't let what they do or don't do for you shape the dad or the husband or the sibling you want to be, I find, generally speaking, I have a wonderful sister. She's actually my half sister by my dad's third marriage. But we have a really wonderful relationship. And I find that the healthiest way to approach siblings is to expect nothing. And then whatever they do you're happy with. I just don't keep score with my sister because as relates to my father who's struggling right now, sometimes I do more, sometimes she does more.


And the reality is we have a natural instinct to inflate our contributions to our relationship and to accidentally gloss over some of the contributions the other party's making. And that creates friction and tension. So I just think it's generally healthy to say, all right, this is the guy I want to be in this relationship. I'm not saying you should ever be in an abusive relationship. I cut friends out of my life all the time. I just decide, am I getting a lot from this relationship because I want to consistently have new relationships.


And it's a zero sum game, the amount of time you have. So I drop and I shed relationships. One of the things I don't believe is that you should stay friends with people because you go way back. Well, unless that history is giving you joy, that's not a reason to maintain a relationship because there's probably new relationships you want. So I shed skin or relationships on a regular basis, but I decide who is it I want to be in that relationship and then just don't keep score as relates to business, that's a little bit different.


I think you want to think about the boss. You want to be think about the employee you want to be. Think about the CEO or the entrepreneur you want to be. I've evolved a lot as an entrepreneur. I used to be so focused on making money and Darwinistic. I look at people, look at how much value they're adding, look at how much money they made constantly doing the trade off in the moment, the moment the value add started to fall behind the comp.


I fired them and that served me well economically. But it was not a lot of fun. It was very stressful. And over the long term, I don't think it was a good idea because over the last 20 years, as I've sort of evolved to being trying to create more loyalty, you realize that occasionally people are going to have difficult periods in their life. And if you're patient with them again, going back to Bill Maher and this is relevant here, when I got to the lot, I asked everybody, how long have you been with the show?


I started as Bill Maher is assistant 23 years ago, and now I'm an executive producer. I've been with Bill since politically correct 19 years ago. I've been Bill's makeup artists for 22 years. I mean, everyone I talked to had been there two decades. And that reflects really well on Bill's character, because what what that means is the following. It means he's a kind and generous man, because if you work with anyone for 20 years, at some point they're going to fuck up or more specifically, at some point they're not going to be able to be 100 percent focused on their job.


Their kid's going to have ADHD. They're going to be struggling with mental illness, or they're going to be looking after a parent with dementia and they're not going to be able to bring it. They're not going to be able to add more value than what you are compensating them for. And in a Darwinistic society or how I used to behave as a younger man, as a CEO, I would find reasons to slowly but surely use that person out of the organization.


And when you demonstrate kindness and generosity and patience and you end up with people working around you, been with you for 20 years, that means you're a good person. And I've been thinking a lot about masculinity. And I know I'm going a bit far afield here, but what does it mean to be a man? I think we've unfairly conflated toxicity and masculinity. I think masculinity is a wonderful thing. You just have to identify what it is masculinity is and then foot to those activities or that attribute.


And for me, masculinity is being a baller, being strong, having your shit so together that you can gather enough resources such that you can begin to take care.


You can begin to show an irrational passion for the well-being of people who aren't your family. So you asked me about balance. People think I work a lot more than I do. I love to work. I like to write at night, but I get up at eight or eight fifteen every day. I don't get up early. Sometimes I take the kids to school. Most of the time I don't. I work out almost every day. I never get let work get in the way of a good time.


I love to drink. I love to spend time with friends. I take ridiculously nice vacations. And the reason I'm able to do that is that greatness is in the agency of others. You know, this isn't me with a handheld camera or a mike. I mean, I could just go on.


I have 12 to 15 people at any moment trying to make this content better and something you learn early. If you want to be in your own business and you want to scale and you want to give people the impression that you're working all the time, even when you're not grandnieces in the agency of others. And you always reinvest. You always give people. Money, you give them a chance to better themselves and you reinvest. Sure. Could you make a little bit more money that year?


Yeah, you could if you if you ran stuff on a razor's edge, but reinvest in people, reinvest in the business, grow the business, and you can get to a point where you do get to spend a lot of time with your family. I spent a lot of time with my family, get to do wonderful things and also give people the appearance that you're working all the time. I am not a workaholic. I want to spend the rest of my life working less.


I love not working. I'm great and not working again. The key is greatness is in the agency of others and loyalty is a function of appreciation. Always reinvest in those relationships. I don't talk much about my wife because she has asked me not to. I put my personal life on pretty frightening display here and she does not want me to talk about our relationship. And quite frankly, sometimes she uncomfortable with me mentioning our boys. So I try to I try to respect that request.


Anyways, thanks for the thoughtful question and the generous words. Sam from Los Angeles. Algebra of happiness, so as I've mentioned now nine times, I was on Bill Maher this week, and the reason was so rewarding for me is it's my father's favorite show. And I knew my father is 90. He's not doing that well, no specific reason to see above 90, but dementia is taking hold in every day. Kind of takes another step in its relentless march.


But I didn't tell him I was going to be on Bill Maher. It's his favorite show, and I knew he would see it and just go ape shit crazy. And that, you know, I think we're just all so desperate for affirmation and love and recognition from our parents, even at this age. So I was super excited about that. And his health aide sent me this picture of him and said that he was so inspired and so excited that he put on his blazer and wants to go to the store.


And she has a tough time getting him out of the house and a photograph of him in this blazer and a hat. And, you know, obviously it was very a very meaningful moment for me. And I've been thinking a lot about achievement. And when nice things happen to you. And for the longest time after my mom died, I didn't feel like I achieved anything because the first thing I would do, whether it was getting into graduate school, whether it was getting a job off, or whether it was getting a bonus, whether it was dating someone that I really liked, it just wasn't real.


It didn't really happened until I called my mom. And I didn't have to be modest with my mom. I could say, yeah, I got my first bonus. My my first job was a Morgan Stanley. I remember I my first bonus with twelve thousand dollars. I had never had more than 50 bucks in my checking account until I was, you know, in my mid 20s and calling my mom and saying I just got a 12000 dollar bonus.


My mom would just be like over the moon, like, oh my gosh, that's amazing. And we would just, you know, sit on the phone and talk about how awesome I am for like twenty minutes. And it was so wonderful. And she enjoyed my achievements more than I enjoyed them. And when she passed away, there was this strange void in my life where I didn't accomplish anything or nothing wonderful ever really happened because I couldn't share with my mom.


It just wasn't real. It just sort of didn't matter. It was like a tree falling in the forest in an observation I made is that any achievement you have is really just in pencil until the people you love celebrate it. And then it goes into indelible ink. And I remember that I've been getting a ton of positive reinforcement from the appearance on social media and about your friends emailing me. But until I saw my dad, you know, recognize that it didn't really mean much.


And then I started thinking, well, how do you create more of those moments? And I think it has to be a function of creating a virtuous cycle upward, and that is calling and texting friends when they achieve something and celebrating their achievement and giving them the chance to talk about it. I have a friend who just got on the New York Times bestseller list, so I called him and said, tell me about it. I have another friend who just endowed a scholarship at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in his father's name.


His father was was a was an airman in World War Two and was shot down and in a Romanian camp and reached out to him and said, this is just amazing. Can you tell me more about your father?


And it feels really good. It feels really good to share in other people's success. And then slowly but surely they want to share in yours. And the strategy here is to be really generous and not be. I was so fucking immature and selfish when I was a younger man that especially when other men had success, I didn't want to acknowledge it. I thought that I was giving up some sort of currency there to say, wow, that's super impressive.


Tell me more about it. That's great that you've done that. I thought for some reason that somehow made me less impressive. And I think that's a sign of weakness and not being a man. And so what you want to do is you want to create more ink, you want to create more ink and have more people really want to soak and be excited about your success. But the way to get there is training and discipline around really being happy and expressing your emotions and helping other people bask in their own success.


It's just a wonderful thing to share other people's success. It starts to feel like yours. And also you want to create more ink in your own life. You want your achievements to be real. You want those pencil etchings to be traced over and indelible ink with people who you care about, who can share that success such that such that it really does happen. Our producers are Caroline Shavar and Andrew Voros, if you like what you heard, please follow, download and subscribe.


Thank you for listening. We'll catch you next week with another episode of the Prophet Jesus show from Section four and the Westwood One podcast network.