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  • Dave: Hi there. It’s Dave Asprey, Bulletproof Executive, and youre here with Bulletproof

  • Executive Radio. Really creative name. Today’s gold fact of the day is that the longest record

  • for someone staying awake is 264.4 hours. That would be 11 days and 24 minutes. Kind

  • of a long amount of time, even if youre on Bulletproof Coffee, Provigil, Adderall,

  • and all the other crazy stuff that you could do to stay awake and that you probably shouldn’t

  • if youre that tired. Today’s podcast is going to be particularly

  • cool because weve got a guy on who’s a really well-known expert in something that

  • I don’t talk about that much on the Bulletproof Executive.

  • We talk about human performance, but we don’t often talk about financial performance and

  • one of the things that I’ve learned over the years of spending $300,000 on upgrading

  • my performance and getting my brain to work the way I wanted it to work is that it takes

  • money, and it’s easier to do things like that when you have a solid financial base,

  • so I’ve invited Tom Corley, the author of Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy

  • Individuals onto the show to talk about not necessarily biohacking or being healthier,

  • but to talk about the financial side of success and what we can do as human beings to ensure

  • or at least encourage our own success. Tom, youve studied for five years daily

  • activities of 233 wealthy people and 128 people in poverty to find 200 daily activities. That’s

  • what youre here to talk about today. Thank you for joining the show.

  • Tom: Hi, Dave. Thanks for having me on. I appreciate it.

  • Dave: Youre doing something else new that’s really interesting as well. In fact, you just

  • turned in your manuscript for Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to Be Happy and Successful

  • in Life. I’ve written a book about epigenetics. I think that success starts really in your

  • grandmother about when she’s conceived because of the epigenetic impacts that roll down through

  • multiple generations. What your mother ate when you were in the womb really affects what

  • your physical [meat 00:02:18] is capable of today, so even if you follow the rich habits,

  • if your parents got it wrong, youre at a disadvantage.

  • All men are not created equal, not in the world that I see through the lens of epigenetics.

  • Some have more skills than others, and through hard work, we can all achieve all sorts of

  • amazing things, but it’s harder if your parents didn’t do it right. I’m stoked

  • to see talking about building habits in kids so that we can avoid some of the pitfalls

  • that many people go through, especially in their 20s. What are the habits that people

  • should care about the most if they want to be successful? What’s your number one thing

  • out of this list of 200? Tom: Boy, that’s a loaded question. There’s

  • so many of them, but I’ll tell you. The one thing that I found that is responsible

  • for most of the success that the wealthy people have is daily self-improvement, and predominantly

  • reading that relates to what you do for a living. Thirty minutes a day was the average

  • time that wealthy people spend every day reading something that had to do with their career

  • or something that had to do with gaining knowledge that they could leverage at some point to

  • help their customers, clients, or anybody and the other thing I found was building relationships.

  • To the wealthy, relationships are like gold. It’s the currency of the wealthy, Dave,

  • and they go to great lengths to build strong relationships with specific people. They just

  • don’t build relationships with anybody. If they decided that Dave Asprey was going

  • to be a relationship they wanted to develop, one of the individuals in my study, he would

  • call you a relationship tree, and he would say he was going to plant you in the ground

  • and his goal by the time he ended his career or his life was to turn you into a redwood.

  • He wanted to know everything there was to know about Dave because that information’s

  • powerful and it could help him in some way, shape, or form to help you.

  • Dave: My background is computer science. I was raised by geeks in the wild and there’s

  • a sort of mindset that comes in. A lot of the readers here were like, “That’s manipulative

  • orThat’s slimy,” orThat’s using people,” orYou only went to school to

  • get relationships and that’s some form of privilege that’s not based on ability or

  • merit.” How do you respond to that when you find out this is what wealthy people do?

  • Tom: A lot of the wealthy people, while theyre building these relationships, are on board

  • of directors of nonprofit groups, civic groups. Theyre helping to build hospitals. Theyre

  • helping, for example, I’m on a … ever since I found out about this research, I joined

  • a bunch of nonprofits and I’m on the board of directors of an organization that helps

  • kids with cancer, so you could look at it any way you want, but at the end of the day,

  • theyre helping a lot of people by building these relationships. These relationships are

  • a two-way street. You scratch my back, I scratch yours. Along the way, a lot of people benefit

  • from that backscratching. Dave: I find it to be … I wasn’t raised

  • to do that, to even recognize the value of those relationships, but as I matured, that

  • seems like amazing advice and all of the most successful people that I’ve been fortunate

  • to spend time with in Silicon Valley and elsewhere do the same thing. They will pick up the phone.

  • Theyll call someone they want to get to know. Theyll arrange activities that they

  • want to do to connect to the people that they value, and fortunately, there’s some times

  • that I’m in that list, and it’s a dance. It seems like one that successful people do

  • do, and they don’t do it because theyre trying to use other people, but you have an

  • hour. Who are you going to spend it with? You might as well structure that consciously

  • instead of going to a bar and figuring out whatever happens.

  • Tom: I call it the relationship seesaw and what wealthy people try and do is surround

  • themselves with other wealthy, successful people because when wealth comes together,

  • you can do a lot of good with that wealth. You can do a lot of good with your Rolodex,

  • your contact database, and what wealthy people try and do is tip that relationship seesaw

  • so that most of their relationships are success relationships and one of the things that they

  • try and do is limit the time that they spend with what I call poverty relationships. Those

  • are the relationships with negative people, people that are cynical. They don’t add

  • any value. Theyre more like vacuum cleaners. By building these successful valuable relationships,

  • they do a lot of things besides what weve talked about. I had one individual in my study

  • who was a bigwig at a bank in New York. He ran their commodities group and during January

  • of 2009, everybody remembers what was going on back then, he lost his job and he lost

  • $600,000 a year in pay. For two weeks, he made a couple phone calls. I remember one

  • of them was to me and he said, “Boy, I just lost my job.” I said, “That’s too bad,”

  • and he goes, “Yeah, I’m not worried about it. I’m going to make a few phone calls.

  • I’ll find something.” Within two weeks, he had another job and then

  • he called me up. He said, “Yeah, I got a job. I think it’s going to be a better job.

  • More potential for earning money anyway.” I said, “How did you do it?” and he said

  • over all the years, along with a lot of the wealthy people, they did certain things: A

  • hello call, a happy birthday call, life event call. They stayed in touch. They did everything

  • in their power to help build the relationships they wanted to build, and so when he fell

  • into that abyss, all he had to do was throw out a life line, a phone call, a couple phone

  • calls, and within two weeks, he had another job, and that’s what those powerful, successful

  • relationships do. They bail you out in a time of need, not just help you make money, but

  • they bail you out when you really need them the most.

  • Dave: It’s a form of resilience, just like you can recover from an accident or something

  • or from a heavy workout or you can drink more vodka than the next guy because you built

  • resilience, and building it into your career, it matters. This happened to me actually.

  • I was at a security company in Silicon Valley. We planned to lay off. I fought like hell

  • to protect my team, the guys working for me, and I did. None of them got laid off. I was

  • assured that I was also protected, knowing full well that I was probably at risk because

  • my team was all really good, so you don’t need the boss when youve got people who

  • can execute. Sure enough, the morning of the layoff, I’m

  • not invited to the right meetings. I’m like, “Oh, great. I’m on the listeven though

  • two days ago they promised I wasn’t on the list and I didn’t mind being on the list,

  • but they didn’t give me the benefit of a runway, so I came home from what was already

  • going to be a rough day because any time there’s a layoff, it’s painful, and I found I don’t

  • have a job. Honestly, my wife, Lana, freaked out a little bit, but I’m like, “I’m

  • going to make a few phone calls,” just like the story you said. That’s what made this

  • come up in my mind. “I’m going to make a few phone calls.”

  • I had a job as an entrepreneur in residence at Trinity Ventures within a few days, and

  • that was a remarkable time in my career because I got to see what start-ups experience when

  • theyre pitching on the VC side, but I got to see it from the VC’s perspective, which

  • was really valuable for me. It’s a weird thing to look at any time youre laid off

  • as an opportunity to expand if youve built resilience and safety buffers in. Like I said,

  • it’s about the people and more specifically, the people youve helped. I think that piece

  • of advice for everyone listening to this is don’t look at everyone as who’s going

  • to hire me later, but how can you help them because they might help you back or theyll

  • help someone else and it works out, so it’s beautiful advice. I love it.

  • You pay a lot of attention to this because when you were nine, your family went from

  • basically millionaires to nothing. What happened? Can you tell me a bit about that?

  • Tom: Yeah. My dadthere’s four types of luck, Dave. There’s random good luck,

  • there’s random bad luck, and those two types of luck are fairly democratic. They affect

  • rich people and poor people equally. Then there’s the types of luck that wealthy people

  • and poor people create. Wealthy people create opportunity good luck and poor people create

  • detrimental bad luck. My dad was the victim of random bad luck. The warehouse burnt down

  • and back in those days, they didn’t … he had, I don’t know, four or five million

  • dollarsworth of tools in inventory and lost most of them. They didn’t have insurance

  • like they do today, so he had to stroke a check to his vendors for about four million,

  • which was all the money he had. He could have filed for bankruptcy because

  • at the time, I didn’t know anything about it but as I got older, my dad said, “Yeah,

  • I was probably half a million dollars insolvent at that point,” and he said, “Bankruptcy’s

  • not the solution.” He said, “The solution’s getting back up on your feet and starting

  • all over again.” He was fortunate enough to have some rich habits, not many, but he

  • had a few rich habits that helped to drag him back up, and it took years, but when he

  • retired, he had a million dollars in the bank, so he went from being insolvent with eight

  • kids, most of them young, to retiring with a million dollars in the bank and that was

  • because of some of the rich habits that he had.

  • Dave: At the time, were his rich habits conscious or were they things he’d picked up? I imagine

  • most people’s habits because theyre habits, are not particularly conscious, cultivated

  • habits. Did he pass these down to you or is this all a result of your study because you

  • didn’t want to relive that experience? Tom: No, the answer is he didn’t pass these

  • down to us really because he was never around. He was always working. He was one of these

  • people that he tightened his belt and he decided, “I’m going to work my way out of this,”

  • and he was great at building relationships. There was no question my dad was probably

  • one of the most powerful people on Staten Island before he fell off the mountain. He

  • was a big, powerful, behind-the-scenes political guy and all those relationships camethat

  • was the one rich habit that he had. He had the rich habit of building these rich relationships,

  • and each one of them bent over backwards to try and help my dad.

  • They were loaning him money. They were trying to get him jobs. They couldn’t do enough

  • for him and that’s why we didn’t lose our house. We came close. Until the time I

  • was 23, we probably had about six or seven instances where we almost lost our house.

  • You lose your house and we had 11 people living in that house. That would have been a disaster.

  • My dad was incredible that way in keeping the family alive. It was that rich habit of

  • building those relationships. Most of these rich habits that I’ve encountered opened

  • up my eyes because I didn’t have my dad that sat down and had the conversation with

  • me. I can tell you when I uncovered these rich

  • habits, I sat down with each and every one of my kids and explained the habits to them

  • as I was uncovering them and all of the strategies that I uncovered, and of course, when I wrote

  • the book, I made each one of them read the book, and so theyre the beneficiaries of

  • it. I’ve got a guinea pig in my son who’s 24 years old and he’s working in the city,

  • and he’s knocking it out of the park. He’s one of the fair-haired kids in his company

  • because he is the beneficiary of these rich habits and this is why the parenting is so

  • important and why I wrote the Rich Kids book. Parents are often the only success mentors

  • any of us ever have a shot at having in life. There’s five ways you can find a mentor.

  • Parents are predominantly the way, so if parents aren’t doing their job because they don’t

  • know what to do, then the kids are going to grow up and theyre going to pick up whatever

  • habits their parents passed along to them and this is why the rich get richer and the

  • poor get poorer, Dave. It’s not because of Wall Street. It’s not because of the

  • government. It’s not because of 15 other reasons. It’s because of parenting.

  • If parents know the rich habits, they can passand not just parents, grandparents

  • they can pass along the rich habits to the kids or the grandkids and it can change

  • their lives. It can break the generational cycle of poverty at a very early age by indoctrinating

  • kids. Dave: You are going to achieve a lot of good

  • with this book. I’ve been involved with Junior Achievement where you go in as a businessperson

  • and you teach economics usually to poorer schools and I’ve done this in East Palo

  • Alto, I’ve done it in Mountain View. One was a rich school, one was a very poor school

  • and man, the difference in the awareness and understanding of the people in the classroom.

  • In the poor school, it’s like, “What are you going to do to get a job?” “I’m

  • going to buy insert-name-of-large-SUV-with-spinners-on-itand you go across the tracks and it’s so

  • different, just the perception of economic reality is wildly diverse.

  • If you, with your work, can teach parents to do this for their kids, a lot of people

  • won’t do things for themselves that theyll do for their kids or even their pets, so since

  • youre not going to have rich pets, rich kids was definitely the right target for you.

  • When are people going to be able to get this book? Because honestly, I want to read it

  • and make sure I teach my kids a lot of these habits that I probably don’t know myself.

  • Tom: It’s going to probably come out in late spring. Were shooting for June 1st.

  • We already know that Rich Habits was a breakthrough book. We already know this is going to have

  • broader appeal because I sent out the manuscript to about 20 people. I’m part of an organization

  • that’s tied into the Jack Canfield [crosstalk 00:17:03].

  • Dave: Informational Leadership Council. Is that the one?

  • Tom: Yeah, well it’s the Breakthrough Success Group, and my publicist happens to be one

  • of the trainers in his group, so they were the first people I reached out to to have

  • them take a look at the manuscript for feedback. That’s one of the big things that Jack talks

  • about, feedback. You want to get feedback, so I got a lot of feedback and what I sent

  • out as the manuscript changed very much. In fact, one individual had such significant

  • feedback that it took me about three days to revise the manuscript and it took about,

  • I don’t know, 14 hours during those three days to make those changes, so it was wholesale

  • changes that I made and I got to tell you there is a lot to that feedback, a rich habit,

  • I guess you could call it. Youre always afraid whenever you create,

  • Dave. Youre afraid of that feedback because it’s human nature. It’s the way we are.

  • That’s why you have to turn it into a habit to seek that feedback, and I’m glad I did

  • because it really transformed that manuscript. It made it much better, so were shooting

  • for June 1st and we think were going to have a blockbuster on our hands.

  • Dave: It would not surprise me and when it comes out, I would encourage people listening

  • to this now to check it out. When it’s coming out, if I can have you back on the show to

  • help you with your launch, I’d be more than happy to.

  • Tom: [crosstalk 00:18:45]. Dave: When I look back on my own experience

  • as a biohacker, I realize I spent a lot of time and money on doing bad habits that I

  • had, including financial ones, but oftentimes health and nutrition and all the other things

  • that we do and getting it right the first time is so much simpler for almost everything

  • that humans do, so I’m really a supporter of that work. When people are looking at being

  • breadwinners for their families today and whether they have children or not, there are

  • some other things that they should do. Youre talking about 30 days to change poverty

  • habits. We talked about read more. I’m