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HA! You won't BELIEVE what this guy did at dinner. And that's why he's successful.
Last Updated March 20th, 2014

I recently read Adam Braun’s new book, “The Promise of a Pencil(affiliate link)” And let me tell you – it was GREAT. I could spend this whole blog post raving about how great the book is…

…But instead, I’m going to share just one story inside his book that SHOCKED me (and I’m not easily shocked). This story reveals an important insight into why Adam was able to become so successful and has been able to inspire such change. You’re going to love it!

Here’s what happened…

Adam was at a nice restaurant in NYC eating a fancy steak dinner. After backpacking, on a shoe string budget, all over the world, I could only imagine how great that steak must have tasted.

He was invited to this dinner because he had interviewed for a prestigious consulting company and they were going to offer him a job. The company took everyone out to celebrate with steak and champagne.

He finished his steak and watched as the waiter began clearing plates. That’s when he noticed another, perfectly cooked, UNTOUCHED steak on a plate being taken from the youngest female partner at this consulting company. All she ate was the vegetables and left the juicy steak behind.

Imagine what must have been going through Adam’s mind – what would have been going through YOUR mind if you were in his position. He was thinking, “I want that steak.”

So he did what most of us would never have the cojones to do: he SNATCHED that steak off the woman’s plate.


Reading this story in his book, I got embarrassed FOR him. Because really, who does that?

But what’s strange is this:

The fact that he had the confidence to do it is what mattered. Adam tells the WHOLE story on this new Social Triggers Insider podcast.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

(If you can’t see the audio player, here’s the MP3 link).

And you’ll hear more than just this steak story in this new podcast. His new book is, I think, a collection of “the principles that separate winners from losers,” but we don’t just talk about the book.
Promise of a Pencil

Instead, I get him to reveal stuff he doesn’t even mention in his book or in other interviews. Things like:

* The ONE secret to success most people NEVER talk about.

* The Big Reason Why You Need To “Do Something On The Side.”

* The BEST way to deal with naysayers.

* And more.

So listen to this today.

And I highly suggest you buy his book “Promise of a Pencil.”

Do you dig this podcast? Leave a review on iTunes. If I hit 400, I’ll start releasing podcasts more regularly 😉

And then here’s what I want you to do:

Leave a comment telling me what you’re trying to build, and WHY you’re doing it. Who are you helping? What’s your big mission? Describe what you want to do in detail.

I will pick 10 people who leave a comment to send a copy of this book to. It won’t be random. I’m going to pick the comments I like most. So leave one now and I’ll pick the winners on Friday, March 21st, at 5pm Eastern.

I should also mention that, whether you leave a comment or not, you really should pick up this book. His memoir was a quick, inspirational read. And he’s donating ALL of the proceeds from the book to his non-profit, Pencils of Promise. So just getting this book could help a kid get access to education.

Personally – I plan on buying a copy for myself, and for a friend.

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122 comments Leave a comment

So many misteaks. 🙂

Jaime Buckley

Hey Derek & Adam!

This podcast was fantastic…and the comical things is–I had no idea who the heck you guys were, lol. Followed a link which referred to the “usually loud and outspoken blogger Derek Halpern.”

So here I am =)

Listened to the podcast and you both sounded like guys I’d be laughing with over a number of subjects. I chuckled about taking the steak–but hey, talk about an opportunity. A story, a memorable event–and like Derek said–I’d tell it to everyone, get people talking!! Epic.

Just want to know if Adam went out to dinner with that woman again, after he was put on her team?

My own father, a successful man, had me go get ‘real world experience’ for a year before he’d employ me…and it formed SO many characteristics and gave me skills I couldn’t have gotten any other way. Funny thing was, I never waited in line again.

Married the girl of my dreams, doing what I love more than anything else…and have 12 kids.

Hehe. “Get a real job”? Derek. Ouch.
I agree with Adam–it was a real job…it just wasn’t ‘traditional’.

Thank goodness for that, eh?

Thanks guys =)


Jorge Diaz-Santiago

I got embarrassed for the young female partner. To be so wasteful when she could have ordered only the vegetables, or taken it home, is just beyond words. It doesn’t matter her net worth, where she lives, the group of people she is with, or that the company is paying for it.


Awesome interview!. Dream Big, Make difference… And persevere!

Planning to read his book too!


Not doing this for the book. Obviously WAY past the deadline. Just wanted to answer the question at the end:

what you’re trying to build, and WHY you’re doing it. Who are you helping? What’s your big mission? Describe what you want to do in detail.

I’m trying to build a speaking and info-publishing business because that’s the absolute best way for me to reach an audience with whatever it is I want to discuss or promote.

I’m doing this because it allows me to obtain the skills that will allow me to help advance our species. I dream of working with Peter Diamandis and fulfilling a vision of what like could be like and actually start working to make that happen.

For now, I intend to serve speakers, coaches, authors, and entrepreneurs by helping them make more money by doing fewer presentations. Not only that, but when they do speak in a live seminar setting, I’m giving them a proven way to have the absolute best audience for their content/promotion EVERY SINGLE TIME.

As I advance in that business I will undoubtedly have a chance to meet Peter in person and shake his hand. I would like to participate in Singularity University and Abundance 360 and all the other stuff he puts on so I can meet with and learn from the very people who have the same philosophical drive and intention: advance and contribute to humanity.

Derek, I want to personally thank you for asking the questions that allowed me to get clarity on my intentions. These ideas have been rattling around in my head for quite some time. The last two paragraphs serve as my crowning achievement, my defining moment. Now I know with clarity the path I’m truly travelling. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Love and gratitude,

AJ & Serenity Services

Hey Derek great podcast and great book recommendation. I only glanced at the table of contents so far, but it does seem like something worth checking out. To answer your questions:

1. My partner and I are trying to build a successful online business that nets us at least $9,000 per month (six figures a year).

2. Serenity are doing this to gain and experience freedom for ourselves. Freedom from financial worries, freedom to travel, and overall live life on our terms. With all this extra money and time, we also plan on supporting worthy causes we believe in such as Food for the Poor and the Humane Society of the United States.

3. In our online business, we are helping small business owners and entrepreneurs either establish their online presence or improve an existing one.

4. Our big mission is to educate all small business owners and entrepreneurs about the benefits of using the Internet to improve their business. Then with our own profits, we want to help not only less fortunate people in developing countries with food, shelter, etc., but also less fortunate animals. Overall, we want to provide value to small business owners and entrepreneurs everywhere, achieve freedom for ourselves, and then take advantage of our freedom (and profits) to make a difference in this world.

Whereas some people try to become rich so that they can have their own mansions, sports cars, private jets, and enjoy the high life overall, Serenity and I are more about using our freedom and wealth to bless others. After all, what goes around comes around.


I went through some challenging health issues a few years back, a miscarriage and being diagnosed with endometriosis and an under active thyroid. At the time I was desperately searching for advice and info on what endo was and what it would mean for my future. I was devasted by what I learned and the amount of misinformation and totally negative stuff was out there. I want to start something that helps educate people on this disease and to get the funding for research that is so desperately needed. March is endometriosis awareness month


I’m working on building a reliable and valid way of supporting people in their happiness. I’m currently doing my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th psychology units in pursuit of this and have spent much of my life in therapy and the performing arts preparing for this. I’m very pleased to have recently gained a new part-time role leading peer assisted study session through my university because of my apparent status as a role-model student – yippee! I believe that the best way I can assist others is by being my happiest self, and besides…it feels real good! The study load is very challenging for me so far, but I’m getting the hang of it, and challenge is part of the excitement and the electric stimulation that I get so much inspiration and ‘life juice’ from. There is one thing I’m wondering about…which is whether I ought to continue as a part-time student instead of full-time and thus allow what might be a more relaxed and harmonious lifestyle…but first I want to complete this semester as a full-time student, see how well I do, how much I enjoy the challenge. After that I will take a few weeks off, reflect, and know how to do things even better.
I want to build such a strong resonance of good-feeling high vibrations, accross the dynamics of emotion, thought, physicality, and spirit, that the sense of it is obvious to anyone who comes into contact with it – whether that be by reading an article, listening to a song or podcast, viewing art, or being in a creative counselling session with me. I want to love life evermore and ooze it everywhere I go, with everyone I see.

Angus Pryor

Damn, I think I just missed out on the judging.

My goal is to give away a million dollars a year – I’m serious. I’ve thought about this a lot.

Some people talk about attending your own funeral and listening to what people say about you. I just see giving as an incredible legacy. I’ve been really blessed in my life and what drives my investing/entrepreneur activities is certainly not more STUFF.

But if I could change the lives for the better of thousands of other people, THAT would be something.

At the moment, I’m just working on replacing my income, while learning skills in online entrepreneurship. I engage in quite a lot of property investing and aim to ramp up both to achieve my goal. I suppose I’m driven by the notion of “shoot for the stars, if you miss you might get the moon”. If I don’t hit a million a year, I might ONLY give away $500k. You get the idea.



Rich Devlin

I provide bookkeeping and accounting services for small business owners, primarily creative and tech firms. I leverage technology to help small business owners be more profitable by making sure they have clean, current and reliable financial information at their fingertips….which helps them make better decisions about their business….which means better cash flow and greater profitability.

I do this because I sincerely believe that small business owners are the beating heart that drives our economy and in their efforts to create something of value, whether they are designing beautiful websites or baking delicious pizza, they are helping make the world a better place.

I also believe that small business ownership provides the greatest opportunity for people to do remarkable things for themselves and others, and to lead a life driven by passion


I have a service-oriented business which I need to build to the point I can leave it for my daughter. She suffers from chronic Lyme disease (which is not covered by insurance) and from chronic migraines as well. I have some ideas as to how to reach that level, but I have not yet been able to do so. Any help would be appreciated.


    Where are you located? My brother has suffered for quite a while from Lyme’s disease however we found an alternative medicine doctor in the area who has helped my brother and countless other Lyme’s sufferers TREMENDOUSLY – we are in the DC area. Let me know, would love to get you some more info.


I’m creating a blog, “A Different Hunger”, set to launch May 1st. I am doing so for several reasons:
1. It’s time I turned my ideas into action
2. I want to help others to find and identify their passions, so they are able to find their purpose(s) and live intentionally
3. I see a HUGE need for college students (like myself) and young adults to be properly informed of the fascinating and developing field of positive psychology in order to live a purposeful, meaningful life – especially at such a critical time in their lives before they choose what their “career path” will become
4. Being a former college athlete and a current psychology major, I believe I have a unique and valuable pedestal to get my message across to college students
5. I am doing this because I am passionate about helping others as well as the material I will be covering

I am going to touch on Fitness, Diet, Travel + Positive Psychology as a means of maximizing life and enhancing overall well-being. I hope to help others find their “hunger(s)” so they may focus on them and lead a more enjoyable life.

I’m EXTREMELY excited to get started. I have set my launch date several months out because I want to make sure all my content is built out and the site design is perfect, both aesthetically and conversion-wise. Leading up to and immediately after launch I will focus on promotion and getting my word out.

Thanks again for all of your invaluable content and info, Derek, it has been extremely helpful thus far.



I’m building a non-profit, a community TV station, and a personal business.

To be more specific. I am a founding board member of a non-profit organization called Community Financial Wellness. Our mission is to curb poverty and increase financial freedom by teaching people the way money works. We borrow heavily from the philosophy of Robert Kiyosaki and we want people to understand that simply understanding how money works can make a huge difference in your ability to take control over your life. We’re starting small and local by providing weekly seminars at our location. Our goal is to take this National and then Global with branches in every community helping people create assets and eliminate liabilities in order to achieve financial freedom.

I am the Producer/Director/Editor/Host of Bullhead City Arizona’s TV4 (which is a fancy title that means I am the only full time employee keeping this thing running). TV4 gets all of it’s funding from an agreement with the local cable company. The money we receive is barely enough to keep things running, and much of our equipment is on the verge of breaking any day. I want to build up this station to achieve what I know it can. I am in the process of building systems that will allow tv4 to collect sponsorship funding to supplement its income. This will allow TV4 to make desperately needed upgrades and hire staff to increase the output of valuable content our station provides to our local community. TV4 is a vital source of information to our community. I refuse to let it die the slow death that it is dying.

I am also building my own LLC that teaches businesses how to leverage the power of media to increase sales and outreach. Unlike other coaches in this realm, I set myself apart by providing special accountability tools that ensure that my customers get an almost personal experience with someone who encourages them to make the steps they are afraid to make. Fear based paralysis keeps too many would-be productive busisnessess from ever existing and allows many wantreprenuers to be preyed on by aggressive self-help businesses that aren’t actually helpful. If my business doesn’t help you use media to increase sales and outreach, I want you to have your money back.

Thank you for listening. It feels good to talk about.


I’m in awe of the ambitious goals of those who commented. Some will no doubt change the world. I respond here, simply because I’m happy to be able to look in at all the activity of such bright, driven people. What I write about in my blog is probably inconsequential, since I’m not trying to raise awareness of anything or be a resource for those who need guidance. I’m out here developing my writing muscle and finding my niche. Honestly, I’m faking it until I become it! Act like a writer, become a writer. And each time I post, the more I feel like I’m finding my voice. My hope is to someday have a something valuable to convey, and be that place where people can visit to take a break from their chaotic lives and ponder with me. Because small things lead to big changes, I’ll keep plugging along until that day it starts to click, and I’ll know I’m saying something worth listening to. Then I’ll have arrived to where I was meant to be.

Thanks for sharing all that you do. I appreciate being able to connect with you and others who are trying to do things, big and small. And I love books!


I am building an online resource to help women wake up the entrepreneur within. I want to build this community around mutual help, inspiration (which is why I comment here, because inspiring stories like Adam’s are my fuel), and then to organize amazing and unique live events around entrepreneurship. For me it is a state of mind that can change your entire life, no “throwing everything away” and even no “building my business” required if that’s not how you roll.
I am already completely in love with the idea of bringing this spirit and adventurous mindset to my country, France, where this type of services and events are not yet developed.
I want to target women although of course men will be accepted, because I have seen so many creative women let their talent go to waste in the name of security and pleasing everyone but themselves and being caregivers for their whole social circle.
I am very excited to share this with you, even though it also makes me feel vulnerable because it’s still a dream, not a reality… I’ll give it my all though, and more, because it is the dream I am made of. Thanks for the great post!

roxanne kennon

Can’t wait to read Adam Braun’s book or the ‘Give and Take’ by Adam Brandt. I jumped from the legal profession to running my own heating & air conditioning company with my husband. We are a very small company and most days I feel like we are the under dog; there are so many larger companies in our area that at times we simply can’t compete with the quantity of jobs. I jumped in with my husband because owning our own business allows us to life the life we want and on our terms. I can work remotely and still actively engage in the lives of my teenage boys and local community programs such as Boy Scouts and Future Farmers of America to name a few. I’ve got a lot to learn, but we strive to offer services that allow us to grow to support our community further without crossing the over priced/cost point. Our goal is to reach families (at home, in treatment centers, and hospitals) with sick children, newborns, infants and elderly that simply can’t afford extreme heat or cold temperatures or high prices to obtain controlled environmental temperatures.
My husband and I both come from families where we were told to work our way up through ‘secure’ companies and any ventures outside this norm was on our own dime. Each day is scary because we support our family on one source of income currently (my side ventures are not ripe for income production yet). I find each of the tips from Social Triggers spark another idea on how to handle our business and my side ventures and arming us with more information to be successful transforms the butterflies in my stomach to productive energy. Thank you Derek!

Jim Lumpkins

Wow! What a fantastic interview. My big take away is dream big and keep pursuing. I want to provide trail access to physically challenged individuals by way of specialized chairs. I will have a network of volunteers provide the legs.

Melissa Wilson

I love what Adam is doing with Pencils of Promise. I’ve been hearing about him all over the web recently and it’s awesome. Before this interview, I heard his interview with Lewis Howes and thought he had a great story. I like how you saw the steak incident as being significant and using it as a metaphor for making things happen in life. Great interview!

I, myself, am trying to build something impactful. During the two years I spent in middle school I was bullied every day. It left a lasting effect on me that I’ve only recently been able to come to terms with after some 15+ years. I’m at a place now where I can help others who are going through the same thing, and that is exactly what I want to do.

I’m building a website and blog for survivors of childhood bullying who are still struggling to overcome bullying’s effects. My hope is to inspire them to move on from what happened and use my experience as a guide for how to do it. I think it’s difficult to stop bullying altogether so I want to be there for those who it does happen to. I hope to be able to reach as many survivors as possible and make their recovery easier and quicker than mine. Lives get ruined from bullying but it doesn’t have to be that way and everyone deserves a chance to be who they were meant to be.

Thanks, again, Derek!

Patti DeMuri

My mission is to empower families that have children living with chronic illness to help them find peace, love and happiness within their lives. Through educational classes, group coaching and support of other families in similar situations, I am transforming their lonely journey into a shared experience.

My passion is to teach people how to succeed with their doctor by identifying and focusing on goals (patient’s and doctor’s), desired outcomes, values and communication styles to achieve a ‘win-win’ situation for all. Parents are taught how to navigate the medical system and advocate effectively. Our medical system serves neither the patient or the doctor so it is time for a change.


Hi Derek!

Thanks so much for sharing this podcast!

I have many dreams that I want to work on, but my priority right now is in compiling a large number of resources for combating the symptoms of ADHD without the use of stimulant or non-stimulant medications. The side effects of these medications are horrible!

I’m a licensed psychologist and my training has been in healing for the “whole” person (biological, psychological, and social). Unfortunately, the training I received meant that for biological or physical healing the appropriate approach is to send someone to a psychiatrist for medication. Now that I’ve learned about side effects from these medications and interviewed many parents that do not want their children on medication, I’ve decided to do my own research and offer parents other means of controlling their child’s symptoms. And – once I finish and release the info on ADHD, I’m going to continue to work my way through mental health concerns teaching people how to prevent and find healing without the use of medication.

I would love to eventually have a network of people that have a similar dream, but, I also know that most mental health workers will promote medication over natural treatments. So, I’m going to follow Adam’s advice, “take the steak” and make a difference in mental health!

Arron Burns

Tear into that steak and be proud of it. There are so many times in life people tell you “you can’t do that” well if you’ve already done it, then you’ve already proved them wrong. They can say “you shouldn’t have done that” and maybe that would be true. In the end if you got what you wanted and no one got hurt in the process, its all good! If your waiting for someone to tell you it’s ok to do something, you may never get to do it, and who are they to keep you from achieving you goals.

Hey Derek, I just recently found you through Pat Flynn and I’m glad I did. Adam should be very proud of what he is doing, he’s making a huge improvement in many lives that will continue to affect people long after all of us are gone. Thanks for sharing his story and for all the great info so far.

I loved tinkering with cars at a young age and turned that into my career. Unfortunately all of the negativity surrounding that career turned something I loved into something I hate. I recently started a website to help people better understand there vehicle and their mechanic. I am hoping that with this information people won’t feel so threatened when they need to have there car serviced. A better informed customer, who knows the service requirements of his or her vehicle, would make the trip to the service centre so much better for everyone involved. A better informed customer will know when someone is only out to flush there wallet.

Thanks Derek

Michael Dickson


You gotta laugh your ass off on the amount of comments you get with each post. Keep doing what you’re doing.

I’m working on something that’s going to shorten the learning curve for the beginning writer from years to weeks…

…But, I can’t tell you what it is just yet, cuz then I’d have to kill ya and that would suck.

Nicole Limacher

So, I want the book. I want the book because I can relate to Adam. I don’t like wasting food, and it’s not strange at all to eat the food that others don’t want (though I’ve yet to grab someone’s steak of their plate in primal victory). I know that within this book can be found gems of wisdom that can improve my life in many ways, not just what I hope to achieve.

What I hope to achieve is a simple Queendom, if you will, of information that ultimately betters someone else’s life not just in the practical sense, but in the spiritual sense as well. My primary product is a range of fiction and non-fiction books, and perhaps a foray into film if that will better enable me to reach those who need to be reached. Currently, I work the social media front with my blog and occasional YouTube videos.

I’m doing this because my survival depends on it. I believe that by raising those up around me, any potential threat they may have towards me is lessened and instead there is room for a more collaborative effort to survive. Even the actions of complete strangers affect you and I through their lifestyle, parenting, and political motivations. By reaching them with what I believe is a better way, they will change their behavior for the better, for me and for they.


My mission is to help mums set up and run their own businesses while still being mum.

Talking with stay at home mums, they want to do something for the family, for themselves but not something that will impact on their family time like a job would.

They want to be more than just mum and housewife, they want to challenge themselves, do something interesting and earn some money. But the most important thing, they tell me, is keeping the family going. Most have partners who are the main earners, so they need to keep on top of the house etc. They can only commit 10-15 hours a week to a business.

What I do is cut through the noise and help them focus their precious time on what really matters. I provide a safe place for them to come and ask questions, a shoulder to cry on not only with me, but other mums in the business.

If I were to describe my role, it’s to be a friend who is in business.

I absolutely love what I do and sometimes think I’m the luckiest mum around 🙂


Hello Derek,
Adam’s story is indeed a very inspiring one. I had been hemming and hawing about a project that I have been keeping on the back burner since last year. Hearing Adam’s story several times this week, has put me back on the rails for getting it going finally.

I was in an abusive marriage for over 20 years. It affected my health, and decimated my self-confidence. My daughter also entered into an abusive relationship, even though she saw what I went through. Because of the struggle that we both experienced, I want to show girls that they don’t have to go through the same thing. I have a program that I will be presenting to High School Girls called Powerful i AM. By using my story, as well as the words “i AM”, I will show the students that they can create a future that is amazing. They need to change their thinking, and not fall into the same traps that I did.

I believe that Powerful i AM has the trappings of a movement. My hope is that High School girls across the country would find that they can change their destiny with three simple words.


Mary Kathryn Johnson (@SayBumpandTweet)

Thanks for the opportunity to tell a story, Derek. Here goes…

My mission is to help as many children as possible get out of day care and into the loving arms of their successful entrepreneurial parents. Here’s why:

Twelve years ago, I was pregnant with my second son, and at the 8 month mark, I fell and broke both my legs.

The baby was fine…lots of good padding on mom…but I had a pink cast up to the knee on one leg, and a blue cast on the other, and both were staying put for at least 12 weeks.

I was faced with labor, delivery, caring for my newborn and his 3yo big brother, my home and husband while hopping around my house using a walker, and having a bedside commode follow me like my baby’s changing table, since getting to the bathroom quickly enough was an issue.

I didn’t even know I was depressed. I just kept on smiling, and trying to laugh, and my mantra was, “If I can get through this with my sense of humor in tact, I CAN DO ANYTHING!”

I started my first online business, MommyLoves, 18 months later. My 2 broken legs while 8 months pregnant experience taught me that life is too unpredictable to plan for my freedom tomorrow. I need to create my freedom now, so I can be present with my sons as they grow, and when they need me. They certainly won’t need me forever.

After making MommyLove a success, nurturing it along as my second priority after raising my children, I am now ready to help other parents who want to be successful freedom-seeking entrepreneurs do the same for their family and themselves.

Parenting and Entrepreneurship share common skills, tools and resources, and Parent Entrepreneurs have amazing Power to use those skills to their advantage. My podcast, Parent Entrepreneur Power on iTunes showcases parents like Pat Flynn, Andy Traub and Jason Leake, who are using this power to tremendous success!

We have an incredible incentive for success in business – we want the freedom to watch our kids grow right along with our businesses!

Thanks for listening, Derek!


Hey Derek,

Nice Podcast, great choice, and loved the steak hook:)

5 yrs ago I left my thriving teaching career in New Jersey to move to India and start a non profit to reach children in the slums of India. Talk about encountering naysayers and doubters, trying leaving your salary position to working on donations.

My vision was to reach children living in the slums in extreme poverty and change the trajectory of their lives. I knew this wasn’t going to be a one day thing. And I’d have to do it from reaching them on their level. I’ve slept in the slums, experienced countless stomach infections where I felt like I was going to die because of lack of hygiene, spent countless hours with these kids and their family’s in their shanties to build the relationship. It worked!

Now, we have a center where the kid’s come and receive an English Education, love and support. I’ve learned another language, Hindi.

Why I do this is because I’ve been so blessed by my education, Rutgers University grad, that I believe this could really make a difference in these children’s lives if they can break the cycle of dropping out of school. Drop out rate in India is 50% before 8th grade.

As of today, we have 38 kids engaged in our learning center in the heart of the slums. 9 children are attending full-time English School’s on scholarships. We’re planning to start a new learning center in another slum and come May we’re hoping to select 5 more children to send to English School on scholarship.

Derek, I’d love to have this book to inspire me more to take even greater steps of faith to impact the children who have all the smarts in the world just no opportunity.

Yours for the children of India,

Social Triggerer:)


I think Adams work is amazing but just have to point out its made much easier when your brother is Scooter Braun, Justin Biebers manager, and Bieber contributes millions and brings huge awareness to Pencils of Promise.
He has extremely deep resources that the average person has no hope of getting
Just wanting to point out how all that would make it quite a bit easier but for the rest of us it’s about doing the best you can with what you have to hopefully make a difference

Faisal Khan

amazing and truly inspiring……shows how one can achieve one dream no matter scale their dreams…..just dont get scared…and you will achieve it if you consistent


And now that I wrote my mission, I just want to add that the podcasts are my favorite thing that you produce Derek!

Thank you for interviewing such inspiring people, I’m always re-energized after I listen and this time was no exception.

Keep up the good work Derek, and thank you Adam for changing the world for the better! We need more people like you, and by sharing your work the seeds might be planted for more people like you to step up and make good things happen. It makes me happy and gives me hope for the future. Thanks again!


I am building an online business that gives people the inspiration, information, and tools they need to live their healthiest lives, naturally.

Ultimately I want to empower people to take charge of their health so they can both live the lives they dream of and feel good doing it.

Outside of my website my work is in natural medicine, and I want to reach a wider audience.

I want to show people everywhere that they don’t need someone else telling them what is good for them, they can create their own version of healthy by observing how they feel, learning how to adjust their food and mindset, and taking their health into their own hands, every day.

Without health you have nothing, and there are SO many easy ways to make yourself feel better in body, mind, and spirit.

I want to teach people the multitude of simple habits they can integrate into their lives, and I want to teach them to recognize what they personally need to thrive and empower them to take the actions that are right for them.

The reason I’m building my online business is that I want to reach a wider audience than I can in my personal practice. I want help people who ready to transform their lives for the better, as well as those who don’t know that they are ready, but will be with a little guidance.

Our country is in a healthcare crisis right now, and many things people are suffering from are preventable with a healthy lifestyle.

I want to empower people so they don’t end up relying on pharmaceuticals to make it through the day.

But more than that, I want to teach them how to feel awesome, no matter what age they are, and to take charge of ALL aspects of their lives.

I believe that if everyone cared about bolstering their own vitality, many of the worlds problems would melt away. And I want to be part of that change.

Lisa Van Ahn

I must say, I LOVE seeing Adam, his book, and his mission promoted across all my favorite sites (yours included). This inspiring and motivational story lived out by such a wise yet young man encourages me on my path…

Teaching tween girls self-defense through the power of self-love.

My mission stems from my personal experience of being negatively effected by bullying and unfortunate and horrible assaults when I was young. I grew up believing in the negative experiences that were happening in my life and I let it shut me down. When the time came to defend myself, I had no idea how to do that because I didn’t believe in myself or my worth. And when we believe we are unworthy, there isn’t a defense system in the world that will protect us.

I believe our circumstances may not be our fault but we are responsible for them.

I took responsibility and came back to myself through kick-boxing and boxing earning accolades and championships as a fighter (even got to fight on ESPN). Now I’ve taken what I’ve learned and packaged it into a curriculum for young girls, to teach them the power of their own inner I Am.

I’m doing this not to save girls from negative circumstances (cause that happens to all of us) but to teach them how to handle these situations with the confidence, self-love, and strength that I know they inherently possess.

My purpose is to show Every Girl the I Am girl that lives inside of her and I want to share this with as many girls as I can around the world.

If Adam’s mission is “the promise of a pencil”, mine would be ” to reach every girl, show one girl she matters”.

I haven’t listened to the podcast yet, ’cause I was so excited to read the comments of others and see what wonderful things your readers are up to, but I’m off to check it out.

Thank you so much, Derek, frankly…you rock!

Steve Wasnick

Hey Derek,

Yet another great post – and podcast… Thank You for sharing this with everyone!

What I’m building: A 3rd-party funded online auction fundraising venue for nonprofits, enabling them to increase their scope of reach, raise more money, and keep 100% of their auction proceeds. Then I share our 3rd-party funded revenues, matching up to 8% of the auction proceeds as a matching donation, leaving the organization with up to 108%.

Why I’m building it: Because the system is broken and is badly in need of being disrupted. Online auction companies are taking up to 50% the funds from their nonprofit clients’ auction fundraisers as their fee. This is money from bidders trying to support an organization and up to 50% of their high bids are being siphoned off without their knowledge or consent. If this isn’t backwards and wrong, I don’t know what is.

Who am I helping? All of those our nonprofit clients are charged with serving. They are the real winner from our disruptive, yet very effective model.

What’s my BIG mission? To disrupt a corrupt marketplace with our model and help nonprofits take back control of the money they work so hard to raise. Nonprofit auction fundraising is a $16 billion dollar industry. If I can help to put just 10% back into the hands of so many of these worthy organizations to help those they serve, then I’ll be ready for the next step… 15%!


Hi Derek,

I prefer the podcast interviews. Do keep more of these coming!

Jenny Taylor

Great interview. I definitely plan on reading the book.

Please excuse my long winded response but these are dreams we’re talking and they can’t be cut short sometimes!

I’ve been a entrepreneur since I could talk. As a kid my goals were simple, I wanted to sell lemonade by day and be a detective/singer by night.

Many years later I had an “ah ha” moment. Now I am building a clothing company called Save the Seed that starts conversations about what’s in our food.

A couple of years ago while studying Journalism in college I started to research our food system. It was shocking. Companies with huge political power are genetically engineering pesticides into the seeds of our food, changing it’s natural genetic structure and patenting it! We are patenting life. This in itself sets a scary precedent. There are no laws requiring labeling so consumers have no idea what’s happening. And the WORST part is…the companies leading this train claim to be trying to feed the growing population, however, the entirety of their crops end up in processed food.

The Key message here:
This system disempowers people. At the minimum consumers have a right to know what’s in their food.

My goal is to help get these conversations started. For example: someone with the same problem Adam mentioned about being tired of just socializing and drinking. Well, my shirts fix that problem. It adds purpose to your socializing. Imagine you wear a Save the Seed shirt to a bar, the very first thing that will happen is someone will ask you “what does that mean” or “omg have you heard about what Monsanto just did.” You will then proceed to have a debate or share stories about personal lifestyle and experiences.

I want to flip the fashion industry on it’s ass and use it to start thought provoking conversations. The clothing I make is top of the line, soft, recycled, organic and one a kind. I’m tired of seeing shirts with a vintage Coke bottle on it. Or YOLO. It’s true. You only live once. So say something that makes a difference!

This journey has been tough, I took myself through the manufacturing process, setting up an online store and then had my inventory stolen from my car one night! It’s funny to think that somewhere in San Diego county someone has a box of 200 Save the Seed shirts. I am now back in production and will have my store up live in 2 months.

Thank you for the inspiration and your truthful tone Derrick. It’s always great information I get and it’s good to have you in our B-School class!

Derek McCullough

I’m building freedom. Freedom for everyone who wants it. Freedome from the bad news thrown at us daily, the social conditioning we all go through, and the ruts a lot of people end up in.

I’m building it because I believe that life is more than most people can see. I want to open their eyes, show them everything life has to offer, and that they can have every bit of it they choose. I want to start this change on a small scale and have it end in a revolution.

Fiona McAllister

Hi Derek,

I am trying to change the way women view themselves using the vehicle of fashion. There is a strong push in the media (yes, even today) that women are sexual objects for the fulfillment of men’s fantasies. As a result of that comes an insane amount of pressure for women to feel the need to be sexy as they see portrayed in the media. White, tall and very thin (usually very underweight). If women do not fit that model, then they start the destructive cycle of negative self talk, concluding that they are not pretty, and therefore of no value. The reality is only a very small handful of women are born with those genetic qualities. And the other reality is that every woman is of value and has significant contributions to make to society. Plus with the right self talk and change in person belief structures, they gain the knowledge of how to see themselves as ALREADY beautiful exactly as they are this minute in time. Then they can use that knowledge to learn how to package the body they are given from the Universe or God or however you see it, to highlight the natural attributes they have to be the most beautiful versions of themselves on the inside and the outside. My website launched about a year and a half ago has articles focusing on the above, using down to earth strategies and advice to help women make looking and feeling their best a reality.

The next goal is to start up a fashion line that creates vibrant pieces to make a statement but that offer sufficient coverage to remain perfectly respectful. In relation to the above information, so many women have the false belief that if they bare it all it will attract the attention they want in a man. The truth is wearing overly revealing clothing gets attention in the wrong way. In line with my goal of creating a website of personal change for women, the clothing line will offer the ability to look great without the pressure to bare more than is (at least in my opinion) respectful of yourself.

    Lisa Van Ahn

    “with the right self talk and change in belief structures, they gain the knowledge of how to see themselves as ALREADY beautiful exactly as they are this minute in time”.


    I can’t wait to see your fashion line and I totally resonate with what you’re doing in the world. xoxo

      Fiona McAllister

      Hi Lisa,
      I looked at your site, and totally agree with what you stand for too. In particular there are 4 articles and one upcoming that I think will resonate for you and your message.
      A journey in self love (Jan 2013)
      How to receive a compliment (Oct 2013)
      Reflections of a beautiful girl who believed she wasn’t (Dec 2013), Confessions of a beautiful girl who believed she shouldn’t be (Feb 2014) and the last article I am currently working on
      Expressions of a beautiful girl who accepted she is (forthcoming)
      For my fashion line, keep checking the website http://www.stylejourney.ca and you’ll be informed when that goal comes to fruition.
      Warmly, Fiona

Denise Burridge

Hello Derek,
My name is Denise it’s very nice to meet you!
My project goal is to auction off a one of a kind wedding dress for That Others May Live. That Others May Live Foundation provides critical support, scholarships and immediate tradegy assistance for the families of the United States Air Force Rescue Heroes who are killed or severly wounded in operational or training missions. The idea is to make the dress and have it ready to auction off for November 11th when Brides Across America starts their campaign. Brides Across America is a non profit that brings together the wedding industry to provide donated wedding dresses for military bride-to-be. My ultimate goal would be to give That Others May Live Foundation a check from the auction of $10,000. Dream Big or Go home!! Thank you for your time. I look forward to getting a donation from you as well!
prosperity, peace and love


Hey Derek!

I’ve only been a subscriber for a short time but I’m loving your posts so far. I’m trying to build a community of women who are strong, both outside and in. Being a Personal Trainer I come across so many women who are afraid to go in the weight room, afraid to exercise in public, afraid to set and work towards health goals, and afraid to feel proud of themselves once they do reach their goals. It breaks my heart.

I became a Personal Trainer because I spent years of my life being afraid myself. I didn’t want the world to really know who I was…hell, I don’t think I even really knew who I was. So I drank myself into oblivion every day, did a lot of awful things, and identified myself as the party girl. I came across as confident, but it was only liquid confidence.

After realizing that I needed to clean up my act I needed to find something else to occupy my time with, so I dedicated myself to learning about health, exercise, and nutrition. Much of what I learned went completely against what was being communicated to women regarding food and fitness; I’d always been told fats are BAD. Carbs are BAD. Lifting weights is going to make me bulky and if I want to look good I need to do hours of cardio and eat as little as possible. WAS I EVER MISINFORMED.

I’ve always had a pretty strong background in science, and once I started learning about the science behind exercise and nutrition I knew I had to start changing other womens’ views. As my knowledge grew so did my confidence, and seeing these positive changes in my body composition happening even though I was eating lots and not spending hours on the treadmill increased my drive to educate other women.

I want to create a community of informed women who lift one another up; they encourage eachother to bang out one last rep. They encourage one another to finish running that last km. They celebrate when their friends hit a new PR and they’re understanding of the social implications that often come with dedicated health and fitness goals. They’re not afraid to be themselves, to speak out, and to break the stereotype. The fitness game can be difficult and at times lonely, but if you’ve got a strong support group behind you, the knowledge, and the mental toughness, there’s no doubt you can succeed.

THAT’S my vision for SASS Fitness – my girls who are Sassy And Strong as Shit. 😉

Joe P

I am working on helping folks with Diabetes that live in the Philippines.

What the focus is since the ones that need the most help usually have the least money I want to help them in terms they can understand…make choices with their diet to mitigate the damage and minimize the drugs they need to take.

Selling ads or perhaps some products or consultations to those that can afford it etc would be plowed back into helping those same folks that cannot afford meds etc to purchase them.

My “problem” right now, this instance is HOW can I do this and extend my idea to realize my dream. I do not want to be rich, I want to be content with my dream being realized someday. That is all.


I took the bar exam twice and am waiting for results. It’s weird…I spent a lot of time stressing out studying the first time around, thought I probably passed, but didn’t. The second time around I studied even more, felt less stressed out, but am now more doubtful about whether I passed. Somewhere in the process, I came up with new strategies for dealing with studying for and retaking this grueling exam.

If I pass this time, I plan to make a website targeted specifically at retakers of the bar exam (mainly in my state). I want to reveal what’s really going on in the whole ordeal. What they want to test you on, what you could do to make the study more efficient, why you don’t need certain conventional things that most people get, etc. Many of the prep sites out there seem to be selling and capitalizing on people’s fears, but most of my stuff will be free, just like yours.

Results come out in mid-May. 2014 has treated me much better than 2013 so far, so I’m hoping for success

David B

My name is David, I am 51 years old and I am trying to build a real estate photography business on the east coast of Australia. But not just any real estate photography business, my goal is to be the first choice in real estate photography in eastern Australia. At the moment, the goal seems huge and casts a big shadow over me since I’ve only had the business going for three months.

I am doing this because I want to be able to travel my amazing country while I work, meet people and be creative everyday. I have been involved in real estate, marketing, import/export, sales, advertising, retail and customer service businesses my whole life. Some have been my own business, some have been as an employee.

In November 2013, I left my job. I’d been working as a manager for a big-box “category killer” store for four years. I’d learned a lot, but I felt like I’d “sold my soul to the devil” because I was doing things that were company policy that I didn’t agree with. I didn’t have a job to go to, I had $5000 a month in financial commitments, and at the time I left, I had no savings (but I did have high limits on some credit cards). I left a month before christmas and I had no new job or business to go to.

Over the next four weeks watching video and listening to audio and reading spiritual, motivational and business leaders like Dr. Wayne Dyer, Jack Canfield, Bob Pritchard and Napoleon Hill, searching my soul for a direction. I decided that when the right “thing” put itself in front of me, I’d know it was right. In the meantime, I’d written my goals, designed my life as if I was already living it and decided “what” life I wanted to live. All I needed was the “how”.

I found an opportunity for a real estate photography franchise, did a heap of research on the business, wrote a business plan and decided against buying a franchise (it was $50k, plus another $10k of equipment) and decided to go it alone. To me buying a franchise, was like going into another job. I’d be told where I could work, how much I could charge and I didn’t want to do that. So off I went, into the blue to start my business.

I drove my SUV and caravan to the middle of my chosen sales area, and plunged myself into my new business. I was away from my wife, my two dogs and my home that we had placed on the market to fund the business. I was committed. It WAS all or nothing. It was a calculated risk, but I believe in my skill, ability and drive to get to my goal. I still don’t know “how” exactly to get to where I am going but I will get there.

I love driving to the jobs I visit, I never know who they will be, what their homes will look like or what roads I will go down to get there (a bit like life, really) but I love helping them get from “Point A” (their current home) to “Point B” (their new home). That feeling never gets old. It is a real joy to know that the photos I take can make a difference to peoples’ lives. When I take a set of photo’s and four weeks later that clients home is sold and they can move on to the next chapter of their life, that gives me joy.

I am getting to see some great parts of my country, meeting great people and being creative every day, and day-by-day I am building my network, growing the business and working towards achieving my goals.

As a “side project”, I am also using my down time to take photos that I can sell to stock photo companies which will give me some extra income and also use this time to develop my skills.

As my business grows, I’ll need to find a way to leverage my time so I can achieve my income and business growth, and cover the entire east coast of Australia, but I know that when that time comes, the ideas will arrive at the right time. As Wayne Dyer says “You’ll see it when you believe it”. I want to help as many people as I can.


Jo-Ann Blondin

Love this interview. I once got an amazing job launching a company because I called out the senior guy for keeping me waiting and not wearing shoes for the interview – but did it in a fun way. Apparently because I stood up for what I felt was an area for improvement, that helped me stand out. He also liked that I had a backbone. And he was a past Bain executive – years before the steak story.

I finally quit the job because the culture had become only about work and I wanted time to create and grow other parts of my life. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to work at an amazing company and to have had the courage to make a change to grow and be surrounded by great friends and family.

Thanks for sharing this story. As I am not a steak eater, I will be looking for the untouched green juice to swipe at an event to stand out!

Colette Nichol

First, this podcast was great! I love the steak story. Amazing.

So I’m keeping this short, as I think you’ve got your reading cut out for you.

I create online videos with soul for businesses and organizations whose products or services are focused on positive human change and who want to strengthen their connection with current and potential customers and fans.

There’s a lot of video out there, as you know. The mass media is still, you know, massive. But there is not a lot of soulful video being made, and I want to be part of that change. People have stories that need to be told and need to be heard. We’re all dying for some authenticity, and that’s what Story Envelope does.

I’m starting super small, but I do have big dreams. My longterm mission is to build a large online channel, similar to a Netflix, that is full to the brim of soulful inspirational content that reflects the diversity of our world.

Women are extremely underrepresented (and misrepresented) in the mass media and in the film industry, and so are the vast majority of people whose family roots were not, at some point, European. But that’s not the world we live in.

Now is the time for people to ignore the gatekeepers and take back the storytelling mediums. And that’s what Story Envelope intends to do.

Thanks for your continued awesomeness.


Kirsten Reeder

Hey Derek,

Thanks for that, and all of your awesome content in general. I love this challenge because thanks to you (and your intro to B-School) I’m finally figuring out what I’m building, why, and why it matters, and I’m excited to share.
My company, Sprout Shell, was started with one product, and one goal in mind. A baby car seat cover that protected babies from the elements (and those touchy strangers in the grocery store) and we wanted all moms to have one. That is still our product, and that is still our goal, but I’ve come to realize that the most important part–and the part that I love most–is connecting with our customers.
My dream is to have a large community of moms who feel like my friends, who feel connected and not alone in their journey. We want them to not only feel good about themselves when they use our product, but to know that we’re behind them. That we care. We want interaction and conversation with them. I hope to garner a community that provides input and can share their ideas to help make our company better and stronger.
I’m doing it because being a mom is hard. There are a lot of ups and downs and funny stories along the way, but what some people need the most is a friend. If someone writes us an email, I want them to feel like they’re emailing their sister. I want to do this with in-person events at local stores, fairs and festivals in their hometowns, and online via social media and email. When people see our name or hear about us they’ll think, “Wow, I really like that company. They’re always doing such nice things and I want to be associated with them.
So, there ya go. Our mission and dream. Now to make it a reality!


Scarlett Magda

What a fantastic interview! I think you two hit some really key points. The steak story is classic and one that should be shared endlessly. I can relate well to Adam in that my parents fled Hungary in order for me to have a better life and it is their struggle that has motivated me to start a non- profit called Veterinarians International which uses sound veterinary expertise to enhance the health of humans, animals and the environment globally. Given that 75% of new diseases have come from animals we need to have healthy animals in order to have healthy people. I look forward to reading Adam’s book and I thank both of you for inspiring others to induce change.


Hi Derek and social triggers community,

firstly I have to say thank you for this e-mail. This is so INSPIRATIONAL. Also secondly I am really sorry if my comment has nothing to do with the questions you asked (this is my first comment ever so it is a big vulnerability sigh on my side), I haven`t got any fancy business plan, or not even any idea yet what it is that might be my passion.
But what I have is the determination to find it. I am one of these people that were always made to believe that they are not good enough, not educated enough, have nothing of value to offer… But I have still managed to fight my way through and look on things from a different perspective than the grey shadowy crowd around. People around want you to believe what they do, because than you will be as limited in thinking as them. There are a lot of life lessons one can learn, one of them is listen to your heart and don`t give up on your dreams. You can change this frigging world!
So yes, as you can see I haven`t got any set plans yet, but I am on a way of recovery form a long long sleep. I have found the courage to open my eyes and seize the opportunities. I want to inspire and influence others and I will find a way to do it.
Thanks again for this brilliant interview. I even forwarded the link to your website to someone who I know is trying to do something similar than Adam and it might inspire her to not give up and to not listen to narrow minded people.
Right, now I will hit submit before I loose the courage…


I love the steak story and would love a free copy of this book! Here is my own mini-steak story- this popped in my mind as I was imagining the Bain dinner while listening to the podcast. I had my first son at 18 and went on to graduate from college and law school and have 2 more boys by 24 (6 years). I was the top of my class and was being recruiting during a well paid summer clerkship during my 2L summer (back in 1998 when I was 23 with a 4 year old and Caleb was turning 2 during that summer). The firm had a huge family party at the managing partners home, complete with hundreds of people and a carnival like atmosphere in the backyard. On Caleb’s 2nd birthday. I have heard of moms not even admitting all summer that they had kids. Not me, I was young and loved my kids even if being a pregnant senior in high school wasn’t exactly brilliant. So I told the summer coordinator it was his birthday that day. They had this HUGE sheetcake for everyone that was JUST his birthday cake! The whole party sang happy birthday to him. Looking back, I have zero idea how I had the guts to put my mommy stuff so front and center in trying to get a lawyer job. Anyway, my new business that I am creating through Marie Forleo’s b-school is going to have both an online course and offline center focused on being a great parent (guys too) without guilt for trying to reach the corner office in a firm or corporation. It is taking shape and will be up soon- working with someone on mamazulis.com now!


Hi Derek, I am only starting my business, and I’ve bee resisting to formulate in words what is that exactly I am doing. So now seems like a great time to do so.

I ran a travel blog that focuses on travel with children, through sharing our own story of our indefinite travel. I want to inspire people to travel with their children, rather than leaving them at home or giving up the whole idea of travel because “it is so complicated with children”.

I am working on a service that will help them plan and prepare for the trip be it one week vacation or indefinite travel. More importantly I want to provide them with online support while they are at the first steps in their trip. I know many people are capable of researching and putting pdf together, but many of them are paralyzed when they are out t there. All they need is just a little bit of support and validation.

I have friends who do something similar, and when I see their clients going to a trip that would otherwise not happen, it melts my heart.

I strongly believe that it is our responsibility to create the future generation with big heart and open mind by raising our children educated, happy, creative, empowered and compassionate. Travel is one, very powerful tool to educate, encourage creativity and plant love for our planet in our hearts.

Phillip Christenson

Hey Derek,

Thanks for sharing. I’m trying share the virtues of Fee-Only Financial Planning. Think Edward Jones but without all of the bad commission loaded product sales. There is a better way to do financial planning where the interests of the client are held to the highest standard. There will be a Phillip James Financial on every major city in the US soon. Keep you eye open for a branch office near you!



Hi Derek!

I saw Adam Braun on Marie Forleo’s show some days ago, too. I was too very inspired and I even made my (almost) first blog post about it, mostly about Marie this time (need to learn more about Adam before he gets his own post), sharing the youtube-video on my blog.

My goal with my recently started blog (in Swedish) is to share all the awesome persons and material I have found during my 5-6 years searching for them (starting when I was about 15). I have read hundreds of books and watched hundreds maybe thousands of videos looking for inspiration and powerful insights and now I’ll try to share them with others. I know they can make a difference. It takes a lot of time finding all these people and books, there are plenty of them, but some are just extra special and I’ll start with sharing them. Sharing them here in Sweden will maybe save them some precious time, too.

And as a young man (recently 21) from Sweden I don’t think most people my age are looking for these videos and books (or know they exist). I want to create a platform to inspire people my age and show them where to find knowledge. So I though I’ll do it starting with one post at a time.
making it easier for them to find what I think is important for every human to know and show them where it can be found. I think it can help people reach their goals, dreams and have a more fulfilling life. To share my own experience watching and reading all this things, from the perspective of a youth, will hopefully help some people find their happiness and that is motivating me. Hopefully this also helps me take even bigger steps achieving other goals I have. You have to start somewhere right?

Right now there are a lot of stuff I need to learn about blogging and how to use the Internet to make this dream of mine come true. I’ve spend some days now searching the web and today I found you! Hopefully you’ll continue helping me on the way sharing your advice and videos like so many other great persons out there.

Thank you!

Tack från Sverige!

Kevin BigHappy Smith


Just last week I walked into work and retired on the spot. After 30 years as an Air Traffic Controller I was done telling people what to do and decided I was only going to be responsible for myself. After listing the things that were most important to me my kids (5 and 9) easily topped the list. I decided I was going to do something for them and their school.
I am now putting together an after school lego robotics program for the school. If things go well I would like to expand it to all schools in our district.
Trying to become the cool Dad and now I think I have the time to do it.
More pod casts please Derek.




I am helping a group called Joy Starts Here to reintroduce relational brain skills that are rapidly falling out of society. There are 19 relational brain skills necessary for developing and maintaining relationships. We should have mastered these by age 3 1/2 by imitating our parents or primary care givers. However, if a parent dies, is sick, injured or there is emotional or financial upheaval that removes the parent either temporarily or permanently a child can miss learning a skill or two or more. Then he/she cannot pass on to his/her child skills they do not have–that’s how the skills are falling out of society. More and more people have fewer and fewer skills.

The skills are acquired experientially, not through reading. Reading occurs in the left brain and relationships happen in the right brain. We have to learn them from someone who already has them. Read to see the need, but then attend a class with a trainer who has the skills. And when you get the skills, you can pass them on!

Thankfully, the way our brains are we can learn those missing skills as adults. It is more difficult, but it can be done. We are getting the word out about the classes we offer.

I’m doing this because I see the difference these skills make in lives. The difference the level of joy makes is like night and day. And now I see that I have missed your 5:00 pm cutoff time!

This is an excellent podcast. I found it very inspiring–I will swipe the next Kobe steak I’m next to! : ) (Actually, I’m pretty much an introvert and probably will sit there grinning silly thinking about it but not really able to execute! Working on that.)

Blessings, Carol Brown

megan linney

This was far and away the most compelling podcast I have heard in a while. Not only can I relate to Adam Braun in several areas, but the chemistry you two shared about “going for it” was thoroughly enjoyable!

Thank you both! p.s. I did just buy the book! 🙂


Hi Derek,
Listening to this has been amazing for me. Thank you so much.

I had an idea to produce a new children’s character. It all flashed before me in an instant, and I could see the whole picture. I knew I could tell a story in rhyme, I then found I could illustrate.

I have now produced a children’s book, and today am on the cusp of putting the work out to find a publisher but then…. it occurred to me, why give it to a publisher? I’ve done the work, I found out how to print it, I’m its biggest advocate, and I found that schools here in my little country of Wales are opening doors to me. Using my little my character, and telling them the story containing the inciting incident that makes him a hero, I inspire them to write stories and songs, and paint pictures based on my little character and his adventures, which are all on an ecological, personal development theme.

One teacher said to me that a little girl of 8 years old had never put a sentence together, but only wrote down single words like dog, house, car… after a session with me she went into class and wrote 3 coherent sentences about my little character. It was worth doing, just for her! Another teacher told me that children in schools in Wales (A western country) don’t know how to show empathy, and my character oozes empathy and love… but he ain’t soppy! NO sir. My character is a superhero!

So I went ahead and bought the trademark for this character, and in several classes too so I can put his name of anything from a babygro to a fridge magnet, a film or a game… its endless. Then I made the toy and am in the process of obtaining a design patent, even though I hold all the original copyright.

So why give my hard work away? After hearing Adam’s story, I’m beginning to feel the confidence I need to jump in and do it.

I’m no spring chicken, but I have a wealth of experience… and with people like you and the people who post on here, I know I can do it. and after hearing about Adam… Well, I need to do the same.

So many thanks to you for bringing this into my living room tonight. I’m going to have a long soak in a hot bath and listen all over again!

Jessica Baskin

Hey Derek! Thanks so much to you and Adam for sharing your inspiration and advice. I am a graphic designer in NJ and am currently enrolled in Marie Forleo’s B-school (which is how I found your site!) with hopes of creating designed goods for a cause. Specifically I’d like to design items that can be gifted to cancer patients, survivors and their supporters. I plan to use a significant portion of the proceeds to also fundraise for cancer patients in need of treatment, and possibly some other outlets. I’m just getting started on my mission and am really looking forward to reading Adam’s book for guidance. Thanks so much for this opportunity!

Abdelrahman Ali

What I love in this book that is written by a youth who believe in global change despite all the obstacles he might face. This story really inspired me and I can not wait to read the whole book.


Hello Derek,

Thank you for sharing this pod cast really appreciate it. My goal is to be my own boss in a company in the IT field. Everyone always say that everyone wants to be their own boss. Well I’m just bringing back the customer service in the IT business. I go around the city working on people’s computers or networks mainly targeting small business since some of them cannot really afford an IT in their company. I also sell high end gaming performance desktops & laptops along with server equipment. I started to hooking up with one of the biggest supplier in the US and now I am able to provide a wide range or computer components to my customers.

As far as working on my customer’s computers system; I’m also bring back the customer service on how people wanted to be treated when they want to buy or ask a simple question. How do you feel if you have unanswered question about or having trouble logging into your email. (Something simple), but you don’t want to go in a store because they feel you will get charge to much. Or how about walking in a store and try to get an answer, but come across with several different solution and still stump. I understand the business is to make money for giving certain information, but there should be a fine line. I give accurate, straight to the point and ways for my customer to save money. All of your pod cast and videos really help me by finding ways to improve.

Danny Dumas

I am saving firefighters lives! Every year over 50% of all firefighters that die, die of heart attacks. This is almost completely preventable. I am doing this by trying to change a firefighters culture and not mandating that they ” workout” I am doing this by educating them on proper technique for lifting and working out and teaching them about nutrition and how it effect their every day lives. I am using our natural competitive nature to challenge them by having them strive for physical standards and competitions between each other. I am using things like earning a patch for different areas such as Endurance and Strength.

My name is Danny Dumas I am a 13 year Lieutenant Fire Fighter/Paramedic.

LadyAnn Sears

Hi Derek, Thank You so much for this podcast, just what I need today,
My name is lady Ann with Exalted Life International Outreach Program
Assisting Hurting Women And Children from South Florida to South America
this is my passion, we provide food, clothing, school supplies, shoes and toys
to hurting women and children, our vision is to create a safe place where hurting women and children can gather to be empowered and nurtured in Body, Mind And Spirit, Changing Lives, Creating Wellness In Our Community.


How inspiring!! I am learning so much from you Derek and your visitors. Each podcast I listen to takes me closer to achieving my success.


I actually heard about this book last week. It sounds amazing. I definitely plan to get/read it soon since I’m working on building my startup company right now with virtually no funding as of now, other than my business partner and my money. My company is an independent film company (ran by 2 young women of color) that was started as a result of being tired of waiting for an opportunity to pursue my dream, and instead creating an opportunity/platform to let my voice be heard.

My company focuses on quality and diversity. We aim to show people of color, especially women of color in a positive, multi-layered light as opposed to the negative stereotypes or token characters that are currently perpetuated by mainstream Hollywood. We want to bring a new voice to the forefront, while also breaking the ceiling for minorities in Film & Television. We also aim to tell relatable stories about 20-somethings, since we are currently in our twenties. We intend to use this platform to open dialogue about real issues that young people are facing right now.

We also intend to mentor teenage boys and girls to encourage them to believe in themselves and pursue greatness, no matter what their circumstances may be.

We are currently in the preproduction stage of a webseries that deal with celibacy & sexual responsibility for a group of young twenty-somethings. We have experienced a lot of setbacks with the production lately that has gotten us down a little, which is why I think this book would be great for me to read.

Michele Carroll

I am creating a website that highlights Los Angeles based female business owners and entrepreneurs. Once a week I will choose a W.O.W (woman of the week) and give her free advertising, in the form of an editorial spread, that she might otherwise have trouble securing. It will include an interview, questionnaire, and photo spread – a really great piece to show off to their customers, clients, fan base, etc. I will also bring to light information/resources that could help boost confidence to other women thinking about making the leap into entrepreneurship. All of the trendy and popular sites/magazines out there for women are about fashion, fitness, relationships, and maintaining a family – which is great stuff! But I want to provide more for female readers. Content that is still fresh and fun, but substantial and helpful in this movement for equality in the workplace. Because at the end of the day it starts with us, and what we have the balls (excuse the irony) to pursue.

Hannah Pasquinzo

I’m building an Equus coaching business – using horses to help teach people about the energy they bring to their daily lives. Horses don’t lie. Their feedback is immediate:

Are you communicating what you want effectively? Did you set clear boundaries? What is holding you back from getting the results you desire in your relationships, in your work, or in your life?

Because this work is so visceral, the transformation people experience can come at lightening speed – instant gratification, just the way we like it. 😉

Dan Locke

Derek you were not joking when you told me you had some great podcasts coming – thanks man top work teasing out the real depth here. Very inspiring.

I’m trying to build a place to help analysts lift who they are being and add value. Data is key and analysts are stick somewhere between corporate hierarchy crap – they get stuck. This place will let them move forward using the experience of others who have accelerated.

Why? These people are smart and honest. They give 40 or 50 hours per week after giving years getting the credentials like a degree (gate openers still own entry) and in return they are on the end of criticism and the business always wanting more. It leaves them feeling numb.

Big mission is a mentorship type model drawing on webinars, an active email list, linkedin group and masterclass. All hooked back into the website. I secretly want analysts to see their future place in a world full of data – I want them to break out of the corporate hierarchy and use their unique value for something more.

Dan Locke.

Flora Morris Brown


Thanks for sharing Adam’s work, his book and his interview. I couldn’t wait to win a copy, so I dashed over and bought his book right away.

My big goal is help writers get past the fear to publish their 1st book. It is said that 4 out of 5 people want to write a book, but most of them never will. My big mission is to offer support, encouragement and direction to the people who have a dream of writing a book, not to necessarily become NY bestsellers, but to share their messages with the world. Most writing and publishing advice is directed at folks who want to become professional writers. My ideal client only wants to write that one book, (although they may change their minds later.) I want them to know their options, and help steer them clear of the scams, pitfalls, and potholes that await the naive and unsuspecting new author.

The mantras that Adam shared on the interview and in his book are powerful for anyone who is going after a meaningful life. As a retired teacher, I’m especially delighted that he has chosen the building of schools as his life’s work. His work takes on heightened meaning since he’s building schools in places where going to school, especially for girls, is discouraged even at threat of death.

Thanks to you Derek for the inspiration and motivation you share with us on Social Triggers through your own work, and that of the many authors and entrepreneurs you interview.


    Flora, I would love to talk to you after reading your post! Please read mine too. I am one of those people who have a book…. But I am from the UK, though my story is universal!


Wow. Fabulous interview. Super inspiring story here. And wonderful questions and preparation too by host and interviewer Derek.

I don’t usually like podcasts because I like to see people when they talk or just read what they said! But this one is worth every second. I just bought the book too.

Jay S

I’m too lazy to write out my whole business mission. So I bought the book from your affiliate link, because both Derek and Adam are awesome. Toodles.


Hey there!

My “side business” is blossoming into a full-time company. I’m integrating my Starving Artist background with my healing practice and creating Practical Sanctuary: Spaces that Heal.

Because your environment affects your nervous system. Hugely. Your nervous system determines your level of health. And when you’re spending most of your time in a place which triggers your “fight or flight” response, your health will suffer.

This seems so obvious to me that I never understood why people tolerate living and working in places with overhead fluorescent lights, industrial carpet, dingy walls, no windows, terrible air quality, noxious odors and unpleasant noises. Or why they create them in the first place.

So I’m doing this because I’ve finally found a way to integrate my passion (creating beauty) with my purpose (helping people heal.) My mission is to rid the world of physical therapy gyms that look like Argentine prisons, and replace them with places that heal on all levels.

Les Proctor

Great story! “Take the steak!”

My greatest desire is to help people realize that often heart disease is a disease of choice.

The statistics are mind-numbing. Every six seconds another American has a heart attack or a stroke. 1 of 2 people die without even knowing they were at risk. This includes: athletes, younger people, and women. Why? How can someone who looks perfectly healthy looking person have a heart attack or a stroke? What gives?

I’m sick of the medical establishment treating symptoms and pretending it’s normal. They’re treating symptoms and not the causes of disease. I’ve seen first hand the devastation of heart attacks and strokes in my family, and I’d like to help educate people about new research on good fats that can help save lives and money. It’s estimated that a trillion dollars a year in healthcare spending each year is wasted. If you said, just for arguments sake, “I would be very happy if I could save just one life.” Can you imagine how happy you would be if you saved thousands of lives, or hundreds of thousands of lives? How much money could we save — and what else would be done with that money? We could pay down the debt, or invest more money in education. We could take another moment to smell the flowers.

So I’m building an audience of people who are interested in eating, exercising, and supplementing their way to better health. And my plan is to out-educate the competition, particularly about a new omega fatty acid called purified Omega 7.

Thanks for asking, Derek — I’m a huge fan!


I really like what Adam is doing and my hope with my business is to provide nutrition coaching and information to people all over the world.
Ultimately I would like to get to the point where I can go into impoverished areas to help equip them with nutrition knowledge and programs to help improve their lives

George Levy

Hi Derek,

Always great to listen to you and so psyched about the amazing positive impact you are having with Social Triggers.

Excellent podcast episode – I was blown away by Adam Braun’s message on realizing the impact that something as simple as a pencil, which we usually take for granted, can have on making the world a better place. Really – thank you for finding and sharing that insight for us to experience it.

My personal passion project is ILoveBeingHappilyMarried.com

ILBHM is a global community my wife and I launched in 2010 with the mission of “Spreading the Joy of Marriage” by helping married couple BE and STAY happily married.

With all the bad publicity marriage gets, all the celebrity breakups that get media coverage, the focus on the 50% of marriages ending up divorced…

Many couple when they hit a rough spot in their relationship, and the truth is ALL marriages hit those if given enough time, just simply throw in the towel and get divorced. Families are broken apart, children are affected and the impact of many of these divorces has negative repercussions beyond just the couple.

To help counter some of the unnecessary divorces, we felt the need to present a positive side of marriage and provide encouragement and support to marriages worldwide as they manage their own challenges in their married lives.

From what began as 1 simple post for a page on Facebook saying “I Love Being Happily Married”, which we simply shared with a few personal married friends… the message spread virally as other couples joined along…

Since then, I Love Being Happily Married has grown to become a very active global community devoted to being and staying happily married – with over 17K Likes on Facebook, we’ve written and published several books on Kindle, and we receive multiple thousands of online visitors worldwide on a monthly basis.

In essence, at ILBHM “We believe happy marriages make happier families, and happier families make for a happier world.”

My objective now is finding ways to massively scale up the impact of this positive message of helping marriages and help bring down that 50% average divorce rate by several percentage points.

Can it be done? Don’t know yet but we’re certainly going to try!

What I do know is that every time I get a message from a list member sharing their own story and how ILBHM has helped his or her marriage and their family, I know that we’re doing the right thing and that we’ve made the world a better place for that family.

Congrats again on Social Triggers and keep sharing with us all your awesomeness 🙂

wendy merron

Really enjoyed your interview with Adam. Both of you are do’ers who embody that innate confidence of great entrepreneurs.

There’s no question that you will continue to be successful.

But can the introverts of the world have the same success? I know they can.

Introverts frequently feel that they can’t speak up comfortably, and they feel that the only way to succeed is to be an extrovert. Neither of these are true.

I am passionate about helping female introverts have more confidence and succeed in business.

James Carbary

In 2012 I read a book called ‘Love Does’ by Bob Goff. The entire book was a collection of stories about how Bob showed extravagant love to those around him.

After finishing the book, I thought about how I could apply what I’d learned in my own life. As I was thinking and praying about what I would do, the idea of birthdays wouldn’t get out of my head.

I started thinking about how most of us are celebrated well when we’re young, but the celebration stops when we grow up. Our desire to feel valued & appreciated never goes away though.

So I decided to throw an entire day for our friend Bethany. It wasn’t her birthday, or any other special occasion. Her brother woke her up to breakfast in bed, she went downstairs to have flowers at her door, her mom left her a sweet note in the kitchen. Her sister took her out to ice cream & her friends took her to putt putt. Then 20 of her friends & family took her to dinner.

The entire day she was told how incredibly loved & valued she was. It was amazing to see it unfold.

I planned 2 other “Worth Days” before I realized that I should share this concept with the world. I partnered with a web developer last July, and WorthDayPlanner.com launched on January 20th of this year.

There are still several tweaks & adjustments to be made, but it’s been incredible getting to see Worth Days happen for people I’ve never even met.

Our mission is simple: to show the people in our lives that they are extremely valuable to us….and we don’t need a birthday or a funeral as an excuse to do it. We do it just because.

Love what you’re doing, Derek. You’ve been a big inspiration as I’ve been getting this concept off the ground.

    Lisa Van Ahn

    James, I LOVE this.

Laura Bannister

Hi Derek,

Thanks for a great post, as always! Adam is such an inspiration, I really enjoyed his interview on Marie TV the other day.

I’ve started a blog called The E.YOU. to teach people about European politics and inspire them to engage with the world around us. I’m all about impartiality and making it accessible and entertaining, and my ultimate hope is that it will help people to see the links between their own personal growth/peace and the way that translates into a broader context.

My big dream is that people will understand how we all need to take personal responsibility for creating a better, brighter world.

I look forward to listening any more podcasts you produce!

janet bonarski

I’m in B-school right now because I want to turn my blog into a business.
My Blog is called “Learning for the Love of it” and I want to share my
passion for learning with other people. At the dark time of my life, the fact that I could read and search and learn was my freedom. I found out it was possible to teach myself anything because I could read. I am retired now and don’t need the income, so my plan is to find a way to share not only my love of learning but to use any profits I might be able to generate to raise the respect for learning to a higher place in our culture. I’m not sure yet how to do that, but my profits will be committed to however I find to do that. btw, my profit-plan is selling hand-made accessories for learning lovers to my followers (currently at 1400+)

Enjoyed the interview with Adam.

Anna Kunnecke

If you consider the sweep of time, things are changing unbelievably fast for women. Having basic freedoms and rights, not to mention an education and our own money, is a RADICAL historical departure, and it’s taking some time for many of us to catch up.

Women are the greatest untapped resource on the planet, and if we’re going to solve the most difficult challenges of our time, we need every woman to bring her full potential to the table. We need her smarts, her intuition, her heart, her passion, even her pissed-off-ness.

In my work as a coach, I empower women who are living out a new dynamic of female leadership in their worlds, their careers, and their households. My mission is nothing short of a global takeover by the wise women.

I work with private coaching clients, teach programs like The Queen Sweep, and run a nonprofit website called The Birth Story Project. My work is to help women take their place on the global stage, starting right now in their workplaces, their homes, and their own minds and hearts.

Darren Hesselink

I am building a national, semi-virtual financial planning firm that helps Gen Y and Gen X entrepreneurs, business owners, and corporate professionals figure out the most tax efficient way for them to build wealth, protect their family and business, and optimize the way they use money.

Why? Because there is a huge wealth transfer coming that most people are clueless about it and aren’t planning for. Working with retirees and seeing what mistakes they made opened my eyes. I’ve seen the mass amounts of money they leave on the table (when they need it most, and I’m not talking about when they die). The backbone of our nation deserves to have a planner that can help them guard against this. And people deserve to know the truth about how the investment world (wallstreet) works so they don’t get taken advantage of.

But ultimately my big mission is to teach. And I want to show people a smarter and easier way to handle and spend money. To teach people how to use it as a tool and not let it control your life.

I’ve been in the corporate world and I’ve ran my own business so I know what it takes to be successful (we work the hardest and don’t get a free ride… ever). And I’ve also made a ton of mistakes with money along the way. That’s why I have a burning passion to help people get the best information and actionable steps they can implement in their lives to give them an edge. And provide them all the cutting edge tools and technology to support them while they are on the path.

There is so much bad information out there that gets regurgitated on the net by people just reading other posts with zero real life experience. Life can’t be explained on a spreadsheet.

I’ve seen how it really plays out. I’ve seen how it really looks when the planning you’ve done your whole life is finally put into action.

But most people don’t get it and I plan on changing that.

It’s time to turn Financial Security into Financial Action.

Love your blog Derek, keep inspiring people.



Hi Derek,

As always, thanks for the great blog. I’m a regular reader.

I’m building alot of things, but the one thing I care most about is my efforts to build hope.

For 10 years, I have been working with (via music education) inner city school kids ages 11-18 who demonstrate financial need. It’s been a challenge at times. Some kids take months or years to reach. Attendance can be quite inconsistent. And waking up at 7am every Saturday and giving up half my weekend for 10 straight years has been a bit of a sacrifice. But I wouldn’t trade it for any other opportunity in the world.

I feel extremely fortunate to be in a position where I can positively influence young students in a way that’s, in the very least, uplifting, and in the very most, life-changing.

I don’t do this for the money as I get paid a nominal stipend; I do this because it gives me a chance to effect others in a way that will hopefully inspire them to rise above the harsh reality they are oftentimes surrounded by and change their world and the world around them. Plus, music gives people joy, so it brings a bit of joy to their lives every week.

Thanks for encouraging me to share this experience.



    Lisa Van Ahn

    Jason, I am a total music lover. It can completely give you a shift in your state of being when you’re rocking a great song. I love your mission with inner city youth and it’s not an easy path for sure. But please KNOW that what you’re doing has so much value and even if it takes years, and even if you might never realize it, there are kids that will remember you and someday when they’re changing the world with their own mission they’ll say it happened because of the influence you had in their life.


      Hi Lisa,
      Thanks for your response. That certainly is my goal. Hope through music! I think deep down, we all want to make a lasting impression in this world 🙂


Hi I think it’s great what Adam do, and i’m really forward into reading his book, it would be great if i can get one of those copies, but i live in Mexico.


Ken Bratz


So many people are floundering around wanting a direction for their life. After our 40 years of helping businesses become successful, we are making a run at providing people a process to help them make decisions about their lives. We have a 501C3 organization that we are reworking the website for and to provide the “map” for people to follow. We are having fun. Social Media will be a big part of this process.I got some great ideas from this post of yours. Keep up the good work.

Keeon Taylor

I am building a brand that will give people the realisation that it is possible to get in the best shape of their life
So many people believe that it can’t be done. They start eating right and exercising for a while and then stop. My goal is to help them first and foremost with their mindset. They have to see it first.
Those who their to believe that they could get in better shape.
A brand that always adds value going beyond the call of duty. A brand that serves because the greatest calling in life is service to another.
To build social media communities and a membership website. Everyone will support each other in the good times and not so good times. The people in the communities will continually inspire each other.

    Jeremy Montoya

    I struggled with weight and health until I realized I wasn’t applying your secret sauce: mindset.

    Between that and a decent diet, fat slides off and confidence slides in.

    Nice to hear your fresh approach Keeon!

    – Jeremy


      It’s more than mindset. It’s a reason, environment and support as well. Those together help create sustainable change.


        Hi Sachin, I hear you but…yes there’s a but. Your mind is the fundamental reason that you do what you do. Everything starts with an intentional mental decision. You can have the best reason in the world…say your doctor tells you that if you don’t exercise…your relatives will be having a family gathering to honor you but you won’t be there. Many people are told this and they still don’t exercise, quit smoking etc. They have family giving them support and giving them the right environment but…they still don’t budge. Once you decide even without the external factors your mindset changes for the better. Sometimes the external factors help us afterwards but everything starts in the mind.

Connie Trowbridge

He took the steak, I freaking loved it! I love the mantra that is connected with this humorous and ballsy move.

I can’t even begin to write all the things I loved about this podcast. The biggest takeaway from this for me personally, is when he said you kinda have to become fearless. Many of us that are just starting out (and some seasoned pros) are always afraid of ruffling those feathers and stirring things up. We hesitate, we go back and forth on putting a project or offering out there, we stress over what the haters might say, and we just waste precious time and energy worrying about the maybes and the negatives, (that may not even actually occur) instead of focusing on the main intention behind what we are doing in the first place!

In my own world I am trying to build a health and wellness community but not just any community. Many of us are tired of the overwhelm, the sprout eating, tofu shoving, stick up the ass health preachers that complicate an already difficult subject. This can be even more overwhelming when we are battling illnesses and we are trying to figure out a solution. Thats where I come in. I’m not for your seasoned wellness warriors who don’t think twice about shoving wheatgrass up their bums. I’m for the every day Joe/Jane that looks at a block of tofu, pokes at it and wonders, “Why the f*ck is it jiggling?”.

I do this because so many people are dying from sicknesses that can easily be cured through lifestyle changes. So many people are stressing over figuring out just how the hell they are going to pay for an expensive medication. Completely unaware of alternative practices that would cost them a fraction of those meds, AND have zero side effects. I do this so we can practice and teach prevention and avoid the depression, bankrupt, terror, stress and anxiety that comes when you get sick, your family get sick, and those closest to you.

I created my own miracle when I healed my body after 7 years of sickness through lifestyle changes. I did what 7 years of doctors couldn’t do for me, in one short year. The year I took control of my health and not just educated myself, but IMPLEMENTED what I was learning. So now my mission is to do the same for others: to create miracles in their lives by guiding them in achieving their health and wellness goals.


Hey Derek,

I’m slowly building a blog about hand-to-hand trading. Reason? I’ve been trading like that for about 10 years and it may help a lot when you have low budget or not enough space to keep your things. I want to help people understand that we waste too much money and if we would just share our products or sell them after we got bored with them would help us and our enviroment. You can see it by looking at two schemes:
Aftersale -> less trash -> clean enviroment! (profit!)
Aftersale -> less buyers (more people use same thing) -> less production -> lower pollution -> clean enviroment!

I know it’s a bit idealistic but we have to try, otherwise our grandchilder will be able to look at some animals only on pictures etc.



I’m slowly building a blog about hand-to-hand trading. Reason? I’ve been trading like that for about 10 years and it may help a lot when you have low budget or not enough space to keep your things. I want to help people understand that we waste too much money and if we would just share our products or sell them after we got bored with them would help us and our enviroment. You can see it by looking at two schemes:
Aftersale -> less trash -> clean enviroment! (profit!)
Aftersale -> less buyers (more people use same thing) -> less production -> lower pollution -> clean enviroment!

I know it’s a bit idealistic but we have to try, otherwise our grandchilder will be able to look at some animals only on pictures etc.


    Jeremy Montoya

    Wow, Kuba. This is the kind of thinking/acting that will revolutionize the way we live and view our human experience.

    Keep on pushing!

    – Jeremy

Adam Scavone

Since 2010, I have been working to build a taxed, regulated, legal cannabis/marijuana industry for New York, similar to what is now emerging in Colorado. I want responsible, hard-working adults in New York to be able to walk into an Amsterdam-style coffee shop, purchase cannabis or extracts or food items, and to be able to consume them in smoke-free ways (vaporizers, etc.) while enjoying a cappuccino and the Sunday newspaper, before heading off to play a game of frisbee in the park with friends.

Some of us prefer a mellower buzz. We’re not trying to get absurdly high, or get high all the time, or trying to bore people to death with pointless stories with no discernible beginning, middle, or end. We work as hard as Derek, Lewis, Adam, and a laundry list of others. Our Patron Saints are Carl Sagan, whose genius eclipsed that of virtually all of his contemporary mere mortals, and Peter Lewis, founder of Progressive Insurance, whose empire and influence went far beyond Flo.

If 10% of the state uses cannabis, that’s 1.9 million people that I’m speaking up for and on behalf of, and if Colorado’s recent tax revenue reports are applicable, I’m calling for nearly $100 million a year to roll into New York’s treasury. That might be spare change to some, but it’s a hospital, or a school, or a whole bunch of parks, every single year – $1 billion a decade.

It’s the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do, and Derek, you may be glad to know that your content is helping us shape our message in ways that resonate with mothers, fathers, seniors, and others who otherwise have little reason to care. Thanks for everything.

    sean malarkey

    Adam – I too hope you succeed with this! Keep up the good fight!


    I hope you succeed with this. There’s no reason to keep the use of ganja illegal or criminal.

Danyelle C. Overbo

Take the steak, I love it! I’m going to use that as a mantra for being bold from now on. I am currently building a freelance copywriting business alongside my sales career. The reason I’m doing this is that I want to build on my skills as a writer and always be sure that I have an income that I’m in control of forever. My dream is to use my writing skills to help non-profits with their missions, especially ones that help animals and fight for women’s rights. I love this podcast because taking risks is one of the most important things you can do for yourself in life, and not enough people do it.

Janet Huey

My microbiz recycling pet supplies saves people money AND keeps stuff out of landfills in Houston. I want to reach more people, kinda spreading the gospel, not just earning a living. Most of my business is by referral so I know folks tell other folks and I want the “green” snowball to keep growing.


Ha! I, too, live by the adage: “A nice, juicy steak must never go to waste.”

I’m Jade from SocialTagg and I’m building an event platform that will make networking so easy that you don’t even have to think about it. Central to our platform is our world-class networking app, which is available on Android, iPhone, and Windows Phone. The platform itself is helping event organizers track event registration logistics, measure analytics, and distribute mobile surveys, but attendees and exhibitors can also make use of the check-in and networking functionalities.

Why am I doing this?
1) I’ve been pursuing side projects to satiate my curiosity, and this one intrigues me.
2) I want to help people plan better events and make meaningful connections.
3) I absolutely love events, tech, and startups. It’s awesome knowing that if you execute on an idea, amazing things can and will happen!

It’s been an amazing journey… all this started with my hackathon side-hustles and the need to create more and do more. 🙂



I am building Prom King, a project I started a year ago. We collect new and gently used clothes for boys and young men ages 10-26 and redistribute them for special events.
It’s important because it allows men who have been traditionally excluded from the donation process to become donors. It also allows boys and young men to look great while participating in great life events. The prom, a play, sweet sixteen party… none of it is it of reach due to a lack.of appropriate clothes.
My longterm goal is to have national amd international Prom King branches, where people can donate clothes and change lives.

    Lisa Van Ahn

    Evelyn, I LOVE peeps who know their sweet spot. Mine is working with girls. It is awesome that you’ve created this great program for boys…Keep rocking your mission.


    This is an awesome idea. Any reason why you’ve stuck with boy alone?

Nina Bains

Wow I am so inspired by this man. I can definitely relate because I was leading a very unconscious lifestyle since my early childhood years. I was suffering because of my subconscious mind and the beliefs/programming’s and conditioning that were embedded in me as a child. Thanks to a lot of mentoring/coaching I have healed on an amazing spiritual level and I am working on creating a business and life I love. My mission/goal is to help bring awareness to people that change is possible. We don’t need to stay stuck in honouring belief systems/cultural boundaries that no longer serve our highest good. We can change how we choose and become unstuck and live our lives differently. Become free from years and years of belief systems/cultural programming’s and conditioning. Stop fearing and start living the life we are meant to live. That’s my mission that will be accomplished through webnars/personal coaching workshops and seminars.


I am trying to build influence with my sites but most of all I am trying to help myself find out what I am really good at. All my life I have believed that I have some extraordinary skills in art, photography and literature, and blogging allows me to combine them all. I am developing about 10 websites, searching for the best field to express myself in. The one that gets the largest traffic and audience will show me my path.

Jeremy Montoya

My goal in life is to inspire change through action and demonstration, so that we can become more self-reliant when it comes to money and our lives.

The way I’m focused on doing it, is building a community online of people aspiring to do the same.

I’m trying to build a mindset, or way of thinking, that will outlast me and help my friends, family, and community find their unique passion to bring to the world.

My first creation, is a personal blog called ‘While You’re Sleeping’, and my second is a podcast called ‘Final Clock Out’ that me and my partner will be launching in the next month.


Hearing about your story motivates me to create an impact bigger than myself, and inspires me to leave my community a little better than I found it.


Thank you for continuing to feature the work of great people, hope to see even more of your podcast soon.

– Jeremy

Julie Stubblefield

Hi, Derek! I absolutely LOVE this! And this is a great comment challenge.

I’ve started a Fit Mom Revolution, where we are redefining how moms look and feel. When I was trying to ditch my extra 70 pounds of weight, I felt isolated and alone and didn’t realize that I was missing out on life in general, but in particular with my husband and kids, nor did I have access to support. The Fit Mom Revolution is about creating a community of women who are re-learning how to care for themselves so they regain peaceful sleep, feel less stressed, and rediscover their positive outlooks.

This is near and dear to my heart, as many moms suffer from depression, isolation, and low self-esteem, as I once did. Giving power back to moms to care for themselves means a happier community, stronger families, and healthier lives. Building a community like this will be unstoppable and will truly changes lives.

The Fit Mom Revolution is helping moms restore balance in their lives, repair their relationship with food, and find support along the way. What most don’t realize is that changing the outside for the long term has very little to do with how we eat and exercise and more to do with starting on the inside. That’s where we jump in.

Thank you for letting me share!

    Lisa Van Ahn

    Julie, A fit mom can be a great mom because she’s taking care of herself she can rock out taking care of her family too. Love it!

Dave Perks


I had the pleasure to collaborate briefly with Adam when I worked for Semester at Sea as a brand strategist. He’s one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever spoken to. And I’ve been looking forward to reading his book. That said, one of the reasons I left Semester at Sea was to build something of my own.

We moved back to Blacksburg, VA, home of Virginia Tech and nestled in the small gap between the Appalachian Mountains and the Blueridge Mountains. The presence of the university creates a backdrop of education and a moderate amount of affluence. However, the roots of this region are deep and you don’t have to go far to find evidence of poverty.

I could describe the scenes, but really words don’t do them justice. My children go to school with other children who take home bags of food stashed in their backpacks every Friday. The food is donated by a community program each week and there is enough in each bag to feed the child’s family for the whole weekend. Often it’s their only option.

So then why the hell did I come back here to start an ad agency?

I believe that when you attract creative people by doing great work, those people become part of the community. And creative folks love the communities in which they live. There is already a strong base of artists, craftspeople and musicians throughout the Blue Ridge. And there is a growing base of entrepreneurs in town, too. I just can’t shake the feeling that we’re a handful of creative business people away from having the mix we need to break through and make life better for a lot of people who have struggled far too long in this area.

My goal is to build an agency that produces a level of work equal or greater to the agencies where these folks are already working in cities like New York, Chicago, Portland, Seattle and others so that we can recruit them here. Blacksburg’s been named the #1 town in which to raise a family among other things. There’s a lot to be had, and there’s a lot to be done.


I’m building a wonderful (franchise) business renting lifelike flower arrangements to businesses in NZ. My days are filled with making people smile (so different to my previous life – corporate project manager).
I’m doing this because many years ago I met a kind young lad in Cambodia and over the years I helped him to achieve his goal of learning English. He’s now married with 2 young girls. My commitment to him is to go one step further and ensure that both his daughters have the opportunity to any education opportunities they wish. This year the elder (Rosita) has just started at an International school in their hometown of Siem Reap- thanks to me and my flowers. Everyone’s smiling now:)

    Lisa Van Ahn

    Grace, that gift of “lifelike” flowers and to gift Real Life education with it is so incredibly beautiful!


Hey Derek,

I’m building a proper professional network for Techies (IT people) because LinkedIn has failed us. LinkedIn were the promised land of not having to deal with middle men recruiters, where companies could go direct to great talent, form real relationships and over time hire suitable people.

Instead what’s happened is that LinkedIn has become a feeding ground for low rate recruiters to spam everyone with their “Fantastic Opportunities”. So I am helping the IT industry to help itself so that recruitment agents, the resume and the interview can go back to the 20th century where they belong.

Anyway, don’t get me started on the whole recruitment thing…

Keep up the good work Derek, your podcasts are pure gold.

    Michael Dickson


    I want on that network! Look me up on LinkedIn under my name above. You’ll see I work for a large disti. Let me know when that network is up and I’ll flood it with IT pro’s!


I’m creating a support site for those suffering from Tourette Syndrome. I want to share sound information, let people know they aren’t alone, and also provide folks with resources to natural and non-drug approaches they can take to address their TS symptoms. As with many conditions, there is no known “cure” for TS, but there are definitely ways to manage the symptoms without mind-numbing drugs that usually have terrible side effects. Someone in my family managed the tics and accompanying OCD with natural approaches so well that no one would even guess TS was ever an issue! It’s really amazing, and this kind of news definitely needs to get out there. Thanks for considering me (and my mission!) for one of the 10 books you’re giving away. It sounds super inspiring and I can’t wait to read it! (To respect the anonymity of my relative, thank you for keeping my email address private.)


    Hey MW,

    Read your post and I am so excited to hear about your mission! I’m working on a similar mission for ADHD with approaches to natural supplements and diet (among other approaches) that are non-prescription.

    I plan on touching on several other issues (such as Tourette’s) in the future. I would love to have info for your mailing list if you have one so I can stay up to date on the latest information you provide.

    Jeremy Montoya

    It’s awesome to see your approach to health!

    Our society has become so attached to letting others be in control of their well-being via prescription pills (and others) that make the situation worse or cause nasty side effects.

    Hope to hear more about your project having a wide-spread effect.

    – Jeremy

azeem ahmed

hey man. don’t need the book but I just woke up from a power nap and I loved this email from you. I was about to take a shot and guessing a spoiler but now here.. might aswell answer your questions:
1. building my dream
2. because you only get one go at life
3. whoever has the money and whoever needs it most. can be different.
4. big mission? to win, to conquer, and to enjoy the fruits of life

Tegan || Happy Healthy Whole

Picked up a copy of this book the other day. Looking forward to getting stuck in and the podcast! What a guy. Thanks D

Justin Lewis

My mission is to find people with extreme talents and sponsor them by investing money into their success. It’s something I’ve been doing for the past few years now and I really enjoy doing it. In order to gain the investment money I created a company to improve businesses brand awareness and community online. I agree that one person can bring change and I’ll check the book out as soon as I have the time 😀


    Thats awesome Justin. I admire your mission – and the beautiful website you have!

    Keep up the great work man.

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