Most Successful People Share Their Best Advice to their Younger Selves

Most Successful People Share Their Best Advice to their Younger Selves – Part 1


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A few years ago I was full of self-doubt and thought I wasn’t good enough. I lacked confidence, had many limiting beliefs and was paralyzed by my fears. Furthermore, I didn’t know what I wanted to do after college and how to make a success of myself.

However, my life began to change after reading some brilliant books and implementing their lessons in my personal life. I am now a 22-year-old entrepreneur, author, and show host. I can say I have experienced early “success” relative to my age.

I see so many young people with untapped potential who can offer so much more to the world. I want to take them with me and give them a Head Start in life. This gave me the crazy and audacious idea to ask the world’s most successful people to give their best advice to their younger selves.

I started reaching out to all the people who I deeply admired and who impacted my life. I’m quite the nerd and I’ve read and kept up to date on many people (I don’t Facebook stalk, I LinkedIn stalk).

After 600+ emails and 30+ hours of research, I didn’t expect much of a response. However, to my surprise, I started getting replies!

I got answers from over 100 people, including New York Times and international bestselling authors, 2 Nobel Prize winners (casual), media moguls, billionaires, CEO’s of the world’s largest organizations, leading investors, someone who was knighted and some of the world’s greatest leaders.

I was both shocked and excited when they responded. I would have uncontrollable outbursts and shout, “YES! Arianna Huffington replied to my email!”

I couldn’t be more excited to share this with you but before we get to the main event it’s important to take note of the following:

  1. This post is really long. If you’re looking for advice of particular person feel free to use the jump links below to take you directly to their advice.
  2. Be sure to use the “Back to top” button on the bottom right-hand side, as this post is enormous!
  3. I highly advise you read every single piece of advice from these amazing game-changers. There’s no rush, so feel free to bookmark this page for future reference.


After getting insights from over 100 world-changers it is my mission to share them with as many young people as possible. Without further ado, here is the advice that they would give to their younger selves in order to provide you with a Head Start in life (drumroll please).

Click on the World-Changer to see their advice to their younger self.

Adam Braun | Aicha Evans | Alfred Lin | Anu Jain | Angela Duckworth | Arianna Huffington | Asheesh Advani | Ashish J. Thakkar | Avani Patel | Bear Grylls | Bengt Holmström | Beth Kanter | Betty Liu | Bill Drayton | Brian Tracy | Bruce Poon Tip | Bryan Johnson | Carolyn Everson | Carson Tate | Chris Guillebeau | Dan Ariely | Daniel Gilbert | Daniel Pink | Dave Asprey | Dave Kerpen | Dave Ramsey | David Berry | David Sable | Dorie Clark | Dr. Demartini | Dr. Gary Chapman | Elio Leoni Sceti | Ellyn Shook | Gary Vaynerchuk | Geoffrey Moore | George Berkowski | George Church | Greg McKeown | Hadi Partovi | Hal Elrod | Helene Gayle | Ian Bremmer | Jacqueline Novogratz | Jacquelyn Zehner | Jamie Oliver | Jason Fried | Jason Silva | Jessica Jensen | Jim Clifton | Joe Gebbia | John Sviokla | Jonah Berger | Josh Elman |

See Part 2 for more advice from the following:

Justin Rosenstein | Kate Robertson | Keith Ferrazzi | Leila Janah | Lewis Howes | Liz Wiseman | Marina Cantacuzino | Marshall Goldsmith | Mary Barra | Martin Seligman | Sir Martin Sorrell | Mark Thompson | Max Landsberg | Mel Robbins | Michael Mann | Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi | Nancy Lublin | Naveen Jain | Neil Pasricha | Nick Nanton | Oliver D Hart | Oprah Winfrey | | Pat Lencioni | Patrick Dixon | Paul C Brunson | Paul Polman | Dr. Peter Chee | Peter Diamandis | Peter Schwarzenbauer | Piers Morgan | Premal Shah | Price Pritchett | Rachel Bridge | Rashmy Chatterjee | Richard St. John | Rita J King | Rob Nail | Roelof Botha | Ronan Dunne | Sam Altman | Simon Sinek | Srikumar S. Rao | Tim Urban | Tony Hsieh | Vanessa Van Edwards | Vinod Khosla | Vusi Thembekwayo | Wendy Kopp | Wim Hof | Whitney Johnson | Yuval Harari

Click here to see part 2


Adam Braun

CEO of MissionU & Founder of Pencils of Promise


Believe that big dreams are possible, as long as you surround yourself with incredible people and focus on listening more than speaking.

Shivad’s Cheeky Comment: Well, that’s a good way to start this post! Luckily, his first name starts with an “A.” The stars were aligned!

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Adam Braun is the Founder & CEO of MissionU, a one-year program that gives you the skills and experience needed to launch a successful career. He was previously Founder & CEO of Pencils of Promise, the award-winning organization that has built nearly 400 schools around the world. He is a New York Times bestselling author of The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change.

He has been featured as a speaker at The White House, the United Nations and the Clinton Global Initiative. He has also been named to Business Insider’s 40 Under 40, Wired Magazine‘s 50 People Who Are Changing the World, and was selected as one of the World Economic Forum’s original ten Global Shapers.


Aicha Evans

Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at Intel Corporation


Enjoy failing fast rather than spending so much time figuring out how to be perfect or even worse being paralyzed by fear of being perfect.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Aicha Evans is a Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at Intel Corporation. She is responsible for driving Intel’s long-term strategy to transform from a PC-centric company to a data-centric company, as well as leading rapid decision-making and company-wide execution of the strategy. Previously Evans was general manager of the Communication and Devices Group, responsible for driving wireless engineering for multi-comm products and Intel platforms. She was elected to the Anita Borg Institute board of trustees in 2016.


Alfred Lin

Partner at Sequoia Capital


Live your life. Pursue your vision of the future, your passions, your version of success. Along the way, you might accomplish your wildest dream. Even if you don't, you'll learn some of the most valuable lessons in life. It is far better to put your blood, sweat, tears, and heart on the line, risk everything, and walk away with absolutely nothing than play it safe. At the very least, you will gain the knowledge that you gave it your all, you survived the struggle, and you are a better person for staring into the abyss and are able come out the other side. Life is what you make of it and it can be many things, but “safe” isn't one of them.

Shivad’s Cheeky Comment: This advice needs to be sent to every Asian and Indian Parent. By the way, Alfred, does your mom still want you to do your PhD?

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Alfred Lin is a businessman and venture capitalist at Sequoia Capital. He currently sits on the boards of Achievers, Houzz, Humble Bundle and Stella & Dot. Alfred focuses on consumer internet, enterprise and mobile companies. While at Harvard Lin met Tony Hsiesh the future CEO of Zappos. In 1996 Lin dropped out of a Ph.D program in Stanford to join Hsieh as CFO of LinkExchange, the company sold 18 months later to Microsoft for $265 million. Prior to Sequoia Capital, Alfred was the Chairman, COO, and CFO of which was acquired by Amazon for $85O million. Previously, Alfred was the VP of Finance and Business Development of Tellme Networks and co-founded Venture Frogs.


Anu Jain

Founder of Lavish Life & InfoSpace


Dream big because every dream is possible. Focus on what matters to you and don’t be afraid of failure. It took me a long time to learn this lesson and now my attitude is that if I fail, it is ok, since I’ve learned a lot and can pivot from where I started!

Shivad’s Cheeky Comment: I honestly don’t know how Anu has been able to be on so many boards, be a mother to three children and still contribute to this post!

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Anu Jain is an entrepreneur driven to make a positive impact in the world. She is passionate about empowering girls and women. She co-founded several successful ventures including Lavish Life and InfoSpace.

Anu and her husband recently launched a $1 million XPrize competition to incentivize innovators to design a technology-based solution that sets a new safety standard for women.

She is a board trustee of the X-Prize Foundation, an organization focused on using exponential technology to solve the grand challenges of humanity. Anu is also on the advisory council of the UN Foundation Girl Up campaign that specifically focuses on empowering adolescent girls in the US and around the world. She is also on the Advisory Board of Girl Rising, a global campaign for girl’s education.

Additionally, she is a director of the board for Bellevue LifeSpring, an organization dedicated to serving underprivileged children and their families in the local Bellevue community. Anu has served on the advisory board of Pratham, an early learning education non-profit as well as on the board of the United Way of King County.

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Angela Duckworth

Founder and CEO of Character Lab


Want is as important as ought. The parent of passion is not obligation, but desire.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Angela Duckworth is the Founder and CEO of Character Lab, a nonprofit with a mission to advance the science and practice of character development. She is also the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.

Angela studies grit and self-control, two attributes that are distinct from IQ and yet powerfully predict success and well-being. She has advised the White House, the World Bank, NBA and NFL teams, and Fortune 500 CEOs. Currently, she serves as a faculty director for Wharton People Analytics, an initiative that helps organizations adopt the latest insights from social science research. She is also a MacArthur “genius” grant winner, researcher, and author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.


Arianna Huffington

Founder of Thrive Global & Co-founder of The Huffington Post


My advice would be to remember to secure your own oxygen mask first-- when you prioritize your own wellbeing, you'll be more effective in all that you do.

Shivad’s Cheeky Comment: There’s no point in achieving “success” if you can’t celebrate it due to burnout and poor health. (See I’m not just about funny comments. I’m also deep).

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Arianna Huffington is the author of 15 books, including international bestsellers Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder and The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time. She serves on numerous boards, including Uber and The Center for Public Integrity. Huffington is an international media mogul who started the award-winning news platform The Huffington Post. She was recognized by Forbes as one of the Most Influential Women In Media and one of Most Powerful Woman in the World. Furthermore, she was recognised by Time Magazine as one of the most Influential People in the World. She later stepped down from her role at The Huffington Post to devote her time to a new startup, Thrive Global, focused on health and wellness information.



Asheesh Advani

CEO of Junior Achievement (JA) Worldwide


If I had the opportunity to speak to my younger self, I would tell myself to focus less on schoolwork! I would tell myself to develop unusual hobbies and interests, skills and passions that are outside my comfort zone. I would tell myself to be bold, think big, and be more adventurous, rather than just focusing on getting good grades and impressing my teachers. The ironic thing is that I find myself now, as a parent, giving the opposite advice to my own kids. Thank you for inviting me do this exercise! Another learning opportunity for me.

Shivad’s Cheeky Comment: I hope teachers will still share this article with their students after reading your advice. It would be like buying your competitors product to help them be more profitable than you.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Asheesh Advani is the CEO of Junior Achievement (JA) Worldwide, a global NGO that creates, develops and implements hands-on educational programs and experiences related to workforce readiness, financial literacy and entrepreneurship for young people. Its programs reach over 10 million children in 100+ countries. It is an organization that implements its programs through partnerships with the public and private sector, with over 400,000 volunteers and 4,000 employees worldwide.

He is a lifelong social innovator with a passion for entrepreneurship. As an alumnus of JA, he recalls how participating in a JA program as a teenager stayed with him during his entrepreneurial endeavors.

Early in his career, Asheesh founded CircleLending, which pioneered the business of managing peer-to-peer loans within social networks and was acquired by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group in 2007. Prior to joining JA, he served as CEO of Covestor, an online marketplace that has democratized access to investment managers for consumers.

Outside of his entrepreneurial activities, Asheesh has served as a corporate executive, magazine columnist, author of business books, an active member of non-profit boards related to entrepreneurship education and financial capability, and occasional commentator in media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, and The New York Times.

Since 2008, Asheesh has been an active member of the board of CFED, a Washington, D.C.–based nonprofit that bridges public policy and practice in the areas of education, financial capability, entrepreneurship, and home ownership. He is also actively involved in the World Economic Forum (WEF) as a member of the Civil Service Advisory Council and the Global Agenda Council for the Future of Education, Gender, and Work.


Ashish J. Thakkar

Founder of Mara Group & Mara Foundation


Entrepreneurship is a journey not a destination, stay focused, honest and positive, if you do there is no block is big or strong enough to stand between you and your dream and potential.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Ashish J. Thakkar is a serial entrepreneur who started his first business in 1996 at the age of 15 with a $5,000 loan. Since then, he has driven the growth of the company from a small IT business in Uganda to the globally recognized multi-sector investment group that exists today. Through its investments, Mara Group now has a presence across 25 African countries in sectors spanning technology, financial services, infrastructure and real estate. Ashish continues to drive the business development and strategy of Mara.

In 2012, Ashish was appointed a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in recognition of his success and leadership in driving social and economic change in Africa. Ashish advises several heads of state in Sub-Saharan Africa and is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Africa.

Ashish is passionate about enabling, empowering and inspiring young male and female entrepreneurs. Consequently, in 2009, he founded the Mara Foundation to foster and support emerging entrepreneurs through mentorship and venture philanthropy. I’m not done yet. Ashish is also the author of The Lion Awakes: Adventures in Africa’s Economic Miracle.

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Avani Patel

Head of Harvard Business School StartUp Studio & CEO TrendSeeder


You don’t make mistakes, mistakes make you. So don’t be afraid to take chances! Things may not turn out the way you anticipated but that’s okay. It will be something you learn from or you will discover something new. Your experiences will help you shape your path and it’s okay if that path is winding. Your experiences will also help shape who you are as a person.

Shivad’s Cheeky Comment: I can’t wait to make a quote card out of this. Let’s try get it to a million likes!

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Avani Patel is the Founder of the HBS StartUp Studio. The goal of the StartUp Studio is to foster connections and collaborations amongst HBS alumni to support founders, investors, and alumni who have joined one of the numerous high-growth startups.

As CEO of TrendSeeder, Avani heads a platform that pairs fashion expertise and business acumen to help emerging fashion companies build their brands and grow their businesses. Promising talent gets the tools and training to develop business skills (a “fashion-focused MBA”), foster relationships with a network of mentors comprised of industry professionals, and have access to business growth opportunities.


Bear Grylls

Chief Scout


Don't listen to the dream stealers, choose the path less trodden, be kind, be courageous and never give up!

Shivad’s Cheeky Comment: I think it’s funny to point out that Bear Grylls is the only one who did not take a bath before he contributed to this post. But that is why we love him!

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Bear Grylls is renowned for his reality show “Man vs. Wild.” He is an adventurer, traveler, and explorer. Adventure sports such mountaineering, sailing and skydiving interested him ever since he was a child. He was trained in these sports by his father who was associated with the ‘Royal Yacht Squadron’. He learned martial arts and at an early age, earning his black belt.

Adventures are accompanied by risks and demand immense physical as well as mental strength. Bear had to face many injuries and at one such occasion he even landed up injuring his spine. This courageous individual not only emerged of the bodily injury but also overcame his psychological hindrances. His determination to climb Mount Everest remained undeterred and with his intense determination, he again ushered into his adventurous pursuits, when people were skeptical about his locomotive organs being functional.

He is also an author of the #1 bestselling book, Mud, Sweat, and Tears: The Autobiography. Opening up to a wider audience and giving kids the chance to partake in his programming, Bear presents a new series called Bear Grylls Survival School.


Beth Kanter

Nonprofit Thought leader, Master Trainer & Author


Make time for reflection every day - whether it is keeping a journal or having a mentor you can talk to -- strive to improve your self-awareness and sharpen your skills as a continuous learner.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Beth Kanter is a well-established international nonprofit thought leader. Her first book The Networked Nonprofit: Connecting with Social Media to Drive Change, introduced the sector to a new way of thinking and operating in a connected world. Beth’s second book, Measuring the Networked Nonprofit: Using Data to Change the World, is a practical guide for using measurement and learning to achieve social impact. She published her third book The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit: Strategies for Impact without Burnout. She is the author of Beth’s Blog where she writes about networks, data, learning, training, facilitation techniques, nonprofit organizational culture and self-care for nonprofit professionals. Her blog is one of the longest-running and most popular nonprofit blogs.

Beth has over 35 years working in the nonprofit sector in technology, training, and capacity building and has facilitated trainings for nonprofits on every continent in the world (except Antarctica). She was named one of the most influential women in technology by Fast Company and one of the BusinessWeek’s “Voices of Innovation for Social Media.” Beth currently serves as adjunct professor at Middlebury where she prepares graduate students for their internships at international nonprofits and how to use online networking tools to advance their careers.


Bengt Holmström

Professor of Economics at MIT & Nobel Prize Winner in Economics


Learn the art of empirical work.

Shivad’s Cheeky Comment: I must admit, I didn’t know what empirical work meant. I googled it and it means doing work based on observation and experience, instead of theory. You’re welcome.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Bengt Robert Holmström is the Paul A. Samuelson Professor of Economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was head of the Economics Department from 2003-2006. He holds a joint appointment with MIT’s Sloan School of Management. He is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Econometric Society and the American Finance Association, and an elected foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Finnish Academy of Sciences and Letters. He is a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (corporate finance). In 2011 he served as President of the Econometric Society.

Holmström is a microeconomic theorist, best known for his research on the theory of contracting and incentives especially as applied to the theory of the firm, to corporate governance and to liquidity problems in financial crises. He authored a paper titled Understanding the role of debt in the financial system.

He holds honorary doctorate degrees from the University of Vaasa, Finland, Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden, and the Hanken School of Economics, Finland. He was awarded the Banque de France-TSE Senior Prize in Monetary Economics and Finance in 2012, the Stephen A. Ross Prize in Financial Economics and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange – MSRI Prize for Innovative Quantitative Applications in 2013, the Distinguished CES Fellow award from CESifo, Munich, and the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel in 2016.


Betty Liu

Founder of Radiate


The best advice I would give my younger self is not to worry so much. When you think everything is falling apart, that's usually when things are about to go right again. And always stay humble.

Shivad’s Cheeky Comment: No one creates our suffering. We create our own worry based on a reality that doesn’t even exist yet.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Betty Liu is a well-known American new anchor known best for her work in CNBC and Bloomberg Television. An award-winning business journalist, Liu regularly interviews influential business, political and media leaders including Warren Buffett, Elon Musk, Carlos Slim, Ted Turner and Lloyd Blankfein.

She is also the founder of Radiate, a site that’s transforming professional development for today’s leaders as well as an author of a book titled Work Smarts: What CEOs Say You Need To Know to Get Ahead.

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Bill Drayton

Chair & Chief Executive Officer Ashoka: Innovators for the Public


Give yourself permission to change your world in any useful way that sings for who you are and for your temperament. Formulate your dream, build your team, and leave your impact. We know from millions of examples around the world that any young person can do this and, if you do so, you will get your power -- you will know that you are a changemaker. No one can ever take that away from you. You’ll be a changemaker for life -- i.e., someone who can express love and respect in action (which is what brings happiness and health) -- and you will always be in great demand. We now live in an everything-changing world, and anyone who cannot be a changemaker is out of the game.

Shivad’s Cheeky Comment: Head Starters, our second name can be changemaker!

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Bill Drayton, as the founder and CEO of Ashoka, has pioneered the field of social entrepreneurship, growing a global association of nearly 3,000 leading social entrepreneurs who work together to create an “everyone a changemaker™” world. Drayton has been a social entrepreneur since an early age — during his years as an undergraduate at Harvard and a law student at Yale, he launched a number of organizations, including Yale Legislative Services and Harvard’s Ashoka Table, an interdisciplinary weekly forum in the social sciences.

In 1970, he began his career at McKinsey and Company in New York. From 1977 to 1981, Mr. Drayton served as Assistant Administrator at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where he launched emissions trading (the basis of the Kyoto Protocol) and other reforms. In 1981, while working part-time at McKinsey and Company, he founded both Ashoka and Save EPA, the predecessor to Environmental Safety. With the support that he received when elected a MacArthur Fellow in 1984, he was able to devote himself fully to Ashoka. In addition to his current role as Chairman and CEO of Ashoka, Mr. Drayton is the chair of Youth Venture, Community Greens, and Get America Working.


Brian Tracy

CEO of Brian Tracy International & Author of over 70 Books


The best piece of advice I could give is to remember that the only real limits on what you can do, have, or be are self-imposed. Once you make a clear, conscious decision to achieve you goals, you must cast off all of your mental limitations and go after them with your whole heart. This virtually guarantees your personal success as long as you continue taking action.

Shivad’s Cheeky Comment: The only thing holding us back is our own limiting beliefs which we have created ourselves. That means they can be uncreated!


Brian Tracy is Chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International, a company specializing in the training and development of individuals and people. He has consulted for more than 1,000 companies and addressed more than 5,000,000 people in 5,000 talks worldwide. As a Keynote speaker and seminar leader, he addresses more than 250,000 people each year.

Brian has studied, researched, written and spoken for 30 years in the fields of economics, history, business, philosophy, and psychology. He is the top selling author of over 70 books that have been translated into dozens of languages. His books include Get Smart!: How to Think and Act Like the Most Successful and Highest-Paid People in Every Field and Maximum Achievement: Strategies and Skills That Will Unlock Your Hidden Powers to Succeed.

He has written and produced more than 300 audio and video learning programs, including the worldwide, best-selling Psychology of Achievement, which has been translated into more than 28 languages. Brian has conducted high-level consulting assignments with several billion-dollar plus corporations in strategic planning and organizational development.


Bruce Poon Tip

Founder of G Adventures & Author of the Bestselling Book Looptail


You can’t do everything on your own. Leadership is critical to get people to believe that your ideas are never owned because others need to own your ideas to breath life into them. Ideas are also one the most common things in the world, millions of people have great ideas - execution is everything. Leadership is about creating a movement and you will be a lifelong student of how to inspire through leadership - so drop the ego and lean in!

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Bruce Poon Tip is a Canadian entrepreneur best known for founding the travel company, G Adventures, and author of the bestselling book Looptail: How One Company Changed the World by Reinventing Business. He even got the Dalai Lama to write the Foreword for his book! Bruce is an authority on social entrepreneurship, ‘quintuple bottom line’ versus 3BL, corporate social & environmental responsibility, leading with service and innovation.


Bryan Johnson

Founder of Kernel, OS Fund, and Braintree.


My advice is to be skeptical of advice! But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask for opinions from others.To understand what I mean, you can read what I wrote about this very topic on my blog.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Bryan Johnson is the Founder of Kernel, OS Fund, and Braintree. He founded Kernel in 2016, investing $100M of his personal capital, to build the world’s first neuroprosthesis to enhance human intelligence (HI). Johnson believes that the combination of human and artificial intelligence (HI + AI) will define humanity’s future.

In 2014, Bryan invested $100M to start OS Fund to support inventors and scientists who aim to benefit humanity by rewriting the operating systems of life. His OS Fund investments include endeavors to cure age-related diseases and radically extend healthy human life to 100+, make biology a predictable programming language, digitize analog businesses, replicate the human visual cortex using artificial intelligence, expand humanity’s access to resources, reinvent transportation using autonomous vehicles, and reimagine food using biology, among others.

In 2007, Bryan founded Braintree, an online and mobile payments provider that was acquired by PayPal for $800M. Bryan is an outdoor-adventure enthusiast, pilot, and author of Code 7: Cracking the Code for an Epic Life.

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Carolyn Everson

Vice President, Global Marketing Solutions at Facebook


I would tell a younger me that life is short and you have to dream big: declare a bold vision and realize that anything is possible. It wasn't until a few years ago that at the suggestion of Lisa McCarthy, my coach, that I wrote a vision statement for myself, and started living with greater purpose and direction.
The vision statement is written as if it is one year in the future, and outlines in detail what I've achieved personally, accomplished professionally, and how I have given back through community service. The act of writing in the past and present tense – as if everything has happened – is a psychological motivator, too. I then share my vision with my family and to the entire team at Facebook which makes me feel accountable to it.

Several years and several visions later, I am more in tune with how I am spending my time and energy in the areas which matter most to me. Writing my annual vision a year in advance and then challenging myself to achieve what has been declared has made me a better person. I wish I started writing a vision years earlier.

Shivad’s Cheeky Comment: I also wrote my vision statement last year. Crystal clear goals can truly change your life.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Carolyn Everson is the Vice president of Global Marketing Solutions at Facebook, where she leads the Global marketing solutions team focused on top strategic accounts and global agencies.

Prior to Facebook, Carolyn was the Corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s Global Advertising Sales and Trade Marketing Teams. She led the company’s advertising business across Bing, MSN, Windows Live, Mobile, Faming, Atlas and the Microsoft Media Network. Carolyn also spent seven years at MTV Networks. Her last role was as Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of U.S. Ad Sales for MTV Networks where she oversaw strategic planning, operations, and finance for MTVN’s U.S. Ad Sales department.

She has been named a Woman to Watch and Fortune included her on the 40 under 40 list two years in a row. Carolyn is also on the Board of Directors of Hertz Global Holdings, Inc; serves on the Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Board; is a board member of the Effies and an advisor to Luma Partners.


Carson Tate

Founder of Working Simply


Don’t be so hard on yourself. Perfectionism is an illusion and significant impediment to growth and thus your success. Make more mistakes, take more chances and use the lessons learned to fuel the next big, bold idea.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Carson Tate is a dynamic teacher, coach and productivity consultant known for igniting personal transformation and providing easy to implement, yet power-packed actionable strategies and tools. She is the creator of the Productivity Style Assessment® and the Work Smarter, Not Harder productivity program. Carson is an internationally-renowned expert on workplace productivity and productivity consultant, whose views have been included in top-tier business media including Bloomberg Businessweek, CBS Money Watch, Fast Company, Forbes, The New York Times, Shape, USA Today, Working Mother and more.


Chris Guillebeau

Author of The Art of Non-Conformity Blog and Bestselling Author


Don't let anyone break your rebellious spirit. It's a strength, not a weakness!

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Chris Guillebeau is a New York Times bestselling author, blogger and speaker. During a lifetime of self-employment that included a four-year commitment as a volunteer executive in West Africa, he visited every country in the world (193 in total) before his 35th birthday. He is best known for The Art of Non-Conformity blog and book titled The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World (Perigee Book.). He is the author of the bestseller, The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future.

He organizes the annual World Domination Summit in Portland, Oregon. His latest book is Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days. Chris is also the founder of Pioneer Nation, Unconventional Guides, the Travel Hacking Cartel, and numerous other projects.


Dan Ariely

Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economist , Bestselling Author & Founder of BEworks


Take more risks. I think in general when we think about taking risks, we think about taking them one at a time. Is this risk worth it or not and so forth. But the way we need to think about life is a combination of lots and lots of risk and lots and lots and lots of returns. The fact is that for most risks, yes the downside is annoying but the upside is incredible. So I would have loved to have taken more risks. And it’s not just advice that I would give to my younger self, I am also giving it to my current self.

Shivad’s Cheeky Comment: Dan sent me his answer via a voice-note (which I totally did not send to my closest friends via Whatsapp).

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Dan Ariely is the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University and is the founder of The Center for Advanced Hindsight and co-founder of BEworks, Timeful, Genie and Shapa. Ariely is also associated with Qapital and Lemonade in the capacity of Chief Behavioral Economist and Chief Behavioral Officer, respectively. Ariely’s TED talks have been viewed over 10 million times. He is the author of Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic, and The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone–Especially Ourselves. All three books became New York Times best sellers. He also wrote two semi-books: Irrationally Yours-an illustrated collection of his immensely popular The Wall Street Journal advice column, “Ask Ariely” and Payoff, a short TED book. His latest book is Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter.

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Daniel Gilbert

Professor of Psychology & Author of the International Best-Seller Stumbling on Happiness


Make a plan for your life and then be glad when it doesn’t go that way.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Professor Gilbert has won numerous awards for his research and teaching. His popular book, Stumbling on Happiness, spent 6 months on the New York Times bestseller list, sold over a million copies worldwide, and was awarded the Royal Society’s General Book Prize for best science book of the year. He hosted and co-wrote the award-winning NOVA television series This Emotional Life which was seen by more than 10 million viewers in its first airing. In the last few

He hosted and co-wrote the award-winning NOVA television series This Emotional Life which was seen by more than 10 million viewers in its first airing. In the last few years, he has appeared in a series of television commercials meant to help Americans overcome the psychological obstacles to saving for retirement. He is a contributor to Time, The New York Times, and NPR’s All Things Considered, and in 2014 Science named him one of the world’s 50 most-followed scientists on social media. His TED talks have been seen by more than 15 million people and remain among the most popular of all time.


Daniel Pink

#1 Bestselling Author of Drive and To Sell Is Human


Don’t worry so much about what other people think.

Shivad’s Cheeky Comment: I was going to add a cheeky comment, but you wouldn’t have cared what I thought (see what I did there).

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Daniel H. Pink is the author of six provocative books — including his newest, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. His other books include the long-running New York Times bestseller A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future and To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others.

Pink was the host and co-executive producer of “Crowd Control,” a television series about human behavior on the National Geographic Channel. He also appears frequently on NPR’s Hidden Brain, the PBS NewsHour, and other TV and radio networks in the US and abroad.

He has been a contributing editor at Fast Company and Wired as well as a business columnist for The Sunday Telegraph. His articles and essays have also appeared in The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, The New Republic, Slate, and other publications. Thinkers 50 named him as one of the top 10 business thinkers in the world.

Pink’s TED Talk on the science of motivation is one of the 10 most-watched TED Talks of all time, with more than 19 million views. His RSA Animate video about the ideas in his book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, has collected more than 14 million views.


Dave Asprey

Founder of Bulletproof & NY Times Best-selling author


Honestly, I wish I could have started this movement (Head Strong) earlier.
If I would have known in my teens and 20s what I know now about performance and longevity, who knows what I could have accomplished?The standard American diet and the low-fat, high-processed-carb dogma has made generations of people fat and sick, but worse, it’s affecting what people are capable of accomplishing in their personal and professional lives. I’m just thankful that we have the opportunity to educate and create change now.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Dave Asprey is the founder of Bulletproof who spent two decades and over $1 Million to hack his own biology. He is the creator of the widely popular Bulletproof Coffee, host of the #1 health podcast, Bulletproof Radio, and author of the New York Times bestselling books, The Bulletproof Diet: Lose up to a Pound a Day, Reclaim Energy and Focus, Upgrade Your Life and Head Strong: The Bulletproof Plan to Activate Untapped Brain Energy to Work Smarter and Think Faster-in Just Two Weeks.

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Dave Kerpen

Founder and CEO of Likeable Local


I always hear people say, ``Be more fearless`` or ``Be less afraid,`` and frankly, this is unrealistic. So I would tell my younger self to feel the fear and take more risks anyway, in my personal life and in my career. This is the essence of courage.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Dave Kerpen is the founder and CEO of Likeable Local, a social media software company serving thousands of small businesses, as well as the chairman and co-founder of Likeable Media, an award-winning social media and word-of-mouth marketing agency. He is an international keynote speaker, Kerpen is the #1 LinkedIn Influencer of all time in page views and is also an author of a book titled The Art of People: 11 Simple People Skills That Will Get You Everything You Want.


Dave Ramsey

Radio Host of The Dave Ramsey Show and Best-selling Author of The Total Money Makeover


If I could talk to younger Dave, I would tell him you’re not nearly as important as you think you are. I would warn him that being successful is going to be a whole lot harder than you think it is. And I would tell him that the gleaming mountain of success is not really a gleaming mountain at all. It’s really a pile of garbage—mistakes and failures. Successful people just happen to be standing on top of them instead of being buried under them. And it’s up to you to decide where you want to be on that pile. You are the key to your success.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Dave Ramsey is a personal money management expert, host of the extremely popular Dave Ramsay Show and best-selling author of The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness. In his latest book, a follow-up of his enormously successful New York Times best-sellers Financial Peace Revisited: New Chapters on Marriage, Singles, Kids and Families and More than Enough: The Ten Keys to Changing Your Financial Destiny, Ramsey exemplifies his life’s work of teaching others how to be financially responsible, so they can acquire enough wealth to take care of loved ones, live prosperously into old age, and give generously to others.


Dr. Demartini

Founder of the Demartini Institute and Author of over 40 books


Prioritize your daily actions (What are the highest priority actions I can do today that will help me fulfill my inspired mission on Earth?) and delegate all lower priorities to specialists who are more competent and qualified than you are to free you up to do what is most inspiring, most productive and most meaningful and to set you free to live an inspired and more prosperous life. If you feel you cannot delegate then you have trapped yourself doing lower priority actions that will devalue you and distract you from your greater mission. Make sure the highest priority actions you end up doing serves others in a way that you can easily earn fair sustainable income in exchange in order to pay those you delegate to fairly in order to expand everyone’s life and overall global economy.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Dr. Demartini is considered one of the world’s leading authorities on human behavior and personal development. He is the founder of the Demartini Institute, a private research, and education organization with a curriculum of over 72 courses covering multiple aspects of human development.

His trademarked methodologies in human development, the Demartini Method and the Demartini Value Determination, are culminations of over 44 years of cross-disciplinary research and study and utilized in all human development industries across the world.

Dr. Demartini travels 360 days a year to countries all over the globe where he shares his research and findings in all markets and sectors. He is the author of 40 books published in 29 different languages. They include Count Your Blessings: The Healing Power of Gratitude and Love and The Breakthrough Experience: A Revolutionary New Approach to Personal Transformation. He has produced over 60 CDs and DVDs covering subjects such as development in relationships, wealth, education, and business. He has created over 72 different courses; the most advanced of which is a 21-year correspondence course. Each program is designed to assist people to activate leadership and empower all seven areas of their lives: Financial, physical, mental, vocational, spiritual, family and social.


David Berry

General Partner at Flagship Pioneering, Serial Entrepreneur & WEF Young Global Leader


It is more important who you surround yourself with than the specifics of a given path or trajectory. Often people get themselves onto a path – becoming a doctor, lawyer, professor, etc, for which there are paths. What I found though is despite my best efforts to make paths, my path got created by opportunity, and the natural tendency when you are on it is to resist. If you focus on giving yourself an opportunities – ie getting great people around you, the rest of it solves itself and in ways you could never imagine.

Shivad’s Cheeky Comment: Think like David, because choosing a career path is too mainstream.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: David Berry is innovating, entrepreneuring, and investing in new ventures in life sciences and sustainability to address major global challenges, tackle critical societal needs, and disrupt large markets.

He is the founder of over 15 companies over the past 15 years including Joule Unlimited, Seres Therapeutics, Eleven Biotherapeutics, LS9, Pronutria, and Symbiota. He is also a General Partner at Flagship Pioneering.

David is a strong advocate of global sustainability, and the growth and advancement of the arts and education. He is a Leadership Council member of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solution Network, Board of Trustees of the Hackley School, Board Member Juventus music ensemble and is a former member of the MIT Corporation.

David was elected a 2014 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, named Innovator of the Year by Technology Review, and received the prestigious Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for invention and innovation. David was selected by the US State Department as 1 of 12 Innovators Helping to Reshape Reality.

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David Sable

Global Chief Executive Officer at Y&R Advertising


The #1 advice that I would give my young self is the same advice my late grandfather gave me and has proven to be true. The world owes you nothing. You owe the world.”

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: David Sable is a Global Chief Executive Officer at Y&R Advertising, one of the most iconic global marketing communications companies in the world. He is a Member at WPP Group (UK) Ltd., Chairman at The Advertising Council, Inc., Chief Executive Officer of Young & Rubicam Brands, Inc. and Member-Executive Board at United Negro College Fund, Inc. David is on the Board of Directors at American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. and Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. Mr. Sable was previously employed as Vice Chairman & Chief Operating Officer by Wunderman, Inc. and Chief Marketing Officer & Executive Vice President by Genesis Direct, Inc.


Dorie Clark

CEO of Clark Strategic Communications & Author of Stand Out


In business, I'd recommend starting to build an opt-in email list much sooner. This is immensely valuable because it's getting harder and harder to reach people through the noise of social media.

In life, I'd have started working out sooner, as I always viewed it as a chore, and didn't realize that exercise classes could actually be fun and interesting. The dramatic health benefits of losing just 10 pounds, as shown on blood levels and the like, is quite astounding.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Dorie Clark is a marketing strategy consultant, professional speaker, and frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review. Recognized as a “branding expert” by the Associated Press, Fortune, and Inc. magazine, she is the author of Entrepreneurial You: Monetize Your Expertise, Create Multiple Income Streams, and Thrive, Reinventing You, With a New Preface: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future and Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It, which was named the #1 Leadership Book of 2015 by Inc.magazine and one of the Top 10 Business Books of the Year by Forbes.


Elio Leoni Sceti

Chairman of LSG Holdings and Non-Executive Board Member of Anheuser-Busch InBev


The advice I'd give is to be relentlessly curious & willing to learn from others who know more and to always put (in whatever you are doing) 100% of what you've got.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Elio Leoni Sceti is the Chairman of LSG Holdings and a non-executive board member of beverage and brewing multinational Anheuser-Busch InBev. Elio was formerly CEO of Iglo Birdseye until June 2015, when he led the sale of the company to Nomad Foods. Under Elio’s lead, Iglo launched an industry-wide campaign against Food Waste, as part of the Company’s new CSR agenda. Previously, Elio has held a number of senior leadership roles and marketing roles, at EMI Music, Procter & Gamble and Reckitt Benckiser.


Ellyn Shook

Accenture’s Chief Leadership & Human Resources Officer


I have been in the workforce now for over 30 years. I’ve traveled all over the world and learned from some of the most brilliant minds in business and academia. Yet one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned about success at comes from my 26- year-old daughter, Jessie: Never leave home without your heart. And that is perhaps the best advice I didn't have and wished I had.

Shivad’s Cheeky Comment: Jessie, if you are are reading this then you are probably now internet famous. Usually, it’s the teenagers that make their parents internet famous and not the other way round.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Ellyn Shook is Accenture’s chief leadership & human resources officer, responsible for helping the 411,000 people of Accenture succeed both professionally and personally. Her global team of HR leaders and experts is re-imagining leadership and talent practices to create the most truly human work environment in the digital age, fueling Accenture’s differentiation in the market and ability to improve the way the world works and lives.

A member of Accenture’s Global Management Committee and Investment Committee, Ellyn is a strong advocate for inclusion and diversity, and Accenture has been widely recognized externally as an employer of choice and for its diversity efforts.

Ellyn serves on the board of trustees at Harvey Mudd College, the Women’s Leadership Board of the Women and Public Policy program at Harvard’s Kennedy School, and the steering committee of Paradigm for Parity. She is active in Women in America and Ellevate Women’s Network, and is also a member of the HR50 division of World50. A 2015 article in Forbes named Ellyn one of the top 10 CHROs and she was included on Engagedly’s global list of Top 100 HR Influencers for 2017.

Market research proves that a person needs to know you and your reputation before they transact with you. Well I got answers from Oprah and Jamie Oliver so you know I’m legit.


Dr. Gary Chapman

New York Times Bestselling Author of The 5 Love Languages


My #1 piece of advice I would give my younger self is to learn how to understand how I want to be loved, and also observe others around me and learn how they want to be loved. The key to having meaningful relationships is to love others in their love language, not my own. As a relationship develops, be open to asking this question: “what can I do to make your life better.” Listen to their answers. Then look for ways to sincerely show love, using the five love languages as a guide for helping you accomplish that goal.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Dr. Gary Chapman’s expertise, his own life experiences, plus over thirty-five years of pastoring and marriage counseling, led him to publish his first book in the Love Language series, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts. Many of the millions of readers credit this continual New York Times bestseller with saving their marriages by showing them simple and practical ways to communicate love.

He is the author of numerous other books including Anger, The Family You’ve Always Wanted, The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted, Desperate Marriages, God Speaks Your Love Language, How to Really Love Your Adult Child, and One More Try. He co-authored When Sorry Isn’t Enough: Making Things Right with Those You Love with Dr. Jennifer Thomas, which introduces readers to the 5 languages of apology.

Dr. Chapman speaks to thousands of couples nationwide through his weekend marriage conferences. He hosts a nationally syndicated radio program, A Love Language Minute, and a Saturday morning program, Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, both airing on more than 400 stations.


Gary Vaynerchuk

CEO of VaynerMedia


I reached out to Gary and he provided an answer from AskGaryVee here. In essence, The one thing he would have told himself is:

Gary, I've got some great news. You were 100% right. It's all actually going to happen and you're going to prove them all wrong!

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Gary Vaynerchuk is a serial entrepreneur and the CEO and co-founder of VaynerMedia, a full-service digital agency servicing Fortune 500 clients across the company’s 4 locations.

Gary rose to prominence in the late 90’s after establishing one of the first e-commerce wine sites, WineLibrary helping his father grow the family business from 4 to 60MM in sales.

He is also one of the most sought after public speakers alive today. He is a venture capitalist, 4-time New York Times bestselling author, and an early investor in companies such as Twitter, Tumblr, Venmo and Uber. Gary has been named to both Crain’s and Fortune’s 40 Under 40 lists.

Gary is currently the subject of DailyVee, an online documentary series highlighting what it’s like to be a CEO and public figure in today’s digital world. He is also the host of #AskGaryVee, a business and advice Q&A show online.

Gary has a podcast, The Gary Vaynerchuk Audio Experience and appears with Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba and on Apple’s first original series “Planet of the Apps.”

In addition to running VaynerMedia, Gary also serves as the CEO of holding company VaynerX, which houses VaynerMedia and The Gallery, a new publishing company started after acquiring leading women’s lifestyle property PureWow in January 2017. Gary also serves as a partner in the athlete representation agency VaynerSports and restaurant reservations app Resy.

I’m not done yet! Gary is a four times New York Times bestselling author and his latest book is .


Geoffrey Moore

Author of Crossing the Chasm


Put yourself in service to something that is deeply worthwhile, and then go wherever the world pulls you.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Geoffrey Moore is an author of Zone to Win: Organizing to Compete in an Age of Disruption and Crossing the Chasm, 3rd Edition: Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers (Collins Business Essentials), speaker, and advisor who splits his consulting time between start-up companies in the Mohr Davidow portfolio and established high-tech enterprises, most recently including Salesforce, Microsoft, Intel, Box, Aruba, Cognizant, and Rackspace.


George Berkowski

Co-Founder of & Author of How to Build a Billion Dollar App


Become a “builder” or a “maker” as early in your life as possible. Create things - any kind of things - that people love, and want to pay money for, and understand what it feels like to deliver those things. Then go and build a company the moment you get out of university. Don’t wait.

Shivad’s Cheeky Comment: Start building stuff even if you are still in high school or in college!

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: George Berkowski is an entrepreneur who has built businesses in manned space flight, online dating, transportation and mobile apps. His new venture is which provides augmented reality as a service. is one of the minds behind the internationally successful taxi-hailing app Hailo where he led the product team and launched the app in 13 cities and helped drive the first $150 million in revenue. Hailo was acquired by Daimler in mid 2016. He is the author of How to Build a Billion Dollar App. He was Chairman of MIT’s Enterprise Forum in the UK and is heavily involved in the UK and US startup scenes.

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George Church

Geneticist, Molecular Engineer, and Chemist at Harvard Medical School


You can be bold while still modest and considerate of other people, seeking win-win scenarios. You can be especially bold when working with multiplexing and exponential technologies. To succeed a lot, it is good to plan on failing a lot on the way.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: George Church, PhD is the principal investigator, founder and guinea pig #1 of the Personal Genome Project (PGP) research study based at Harvard Medical School. He is also Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Wyss Institute, Director of the Center for Computational Genetics, and Director of the NIH Center for Excellence in Genomic Science (on human genome engineering). He is a member of the NAS and NAE and Franklin Laureate for Achievement in Science.


Greg McKeown

Founder & CEO of THIS Inc & Author of Essentialism


It all works out. And better than you think.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Greg McKeown has dedicated his career to discovering why some people break through to the next level—and others don’t.

The definitive treatment of this issue is addressed in McKeown’s latest project: the instant New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. As well as frequently being the #1 Time Management book on Amazon, this book challenges core assumptions about achievement to get to the essence of what really drives success.

McKeown is the CEO of THIS Inc, a company whose mission is to assist people and companies to spend 80 percent of their time on the vital few rather than the trivial many. Clients include Adobe, Apple, Google, Facebook, Pixar,, Symantec, Twitter, VMware and Yahoo!

His writing has appeared or been covered by Fast Company, Fortune, HuffPost, Politico, and Inc. Magazine. He is among the most popular bloggers for the Harvard Business Review and LinkedIn’s Influencers group: averaging a million views a month.

McKeown has been interviewed on numerous television and radio shows including NPR’s All Things Considered and NBC’s Press: Here. Entrepreneur Magazine voted his interview at Stanford University the #1 Must-See Video on Business, Creativity and Success.


Hadi Partovi

CEO of


Dream bigger. With the right idea, it really is possible for one person to change the entire world. But not if you don't let yourself dream big.

Shivad’s Cheeky Comment: Thank you, Hadi. I honestly used this advice while finishing up the post.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Hadi Partovi is a tech entrepreneur and investor, and CEO of the education non-profit

Born in Tehran, Iran, Hadi grew up during the Iran-Iraq war. His school did not offer computer science classes, so he taught himself to code at home on a Commodore 64. After immigrating to the United States, he spent his summers working as a software engineer to help pay his way through high school and college. Upon graduating from Harvard University with a Masters degree in computer science, Hadi pursued a career in technology starting at Microsoft where he rose to the executive ranks.

He founded two startups – the first was a huge success and the second a dismal failure. In 2013 Hadi and his twin brother Ali launched the education nonprofit, which Hadi continues to lead full-time as CEO. has established computer science classes in 20% of US classrooms, created the most broadly used curriculum platform for K-12 computer science, and launched the global Hour of Code movement that has reached over 100 million students.

Hadi has served as an early advisor or investor at many tech startups including Facebook, Dropbox, Airbnb, and Uber. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Axon and Convoy.


Hal Elrod

International Bestselling Author of The Miracle Morning & Host of the Best Year Ever LIVE Event


Life isn’t about wishing you were somewhere, or someone that you’re not. Life is about enjoying where you are, loving who you are, and consistently improving both.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Hal Elrod is on a mission to elevate the consciousness of humanity, one morning at a time. And as one of the highest rated keynote speakers in the world, and author of the #1 bestselling book, The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM). The book has been translated into 27 languages, has over 2,000 five-star reviews on Amazon and is practiced daily by over 500,000 people in more than 70 countries.

Hal died at age 20. Hit head-on by a drunk driver at 70 miles per hour, he died for 6 minutes, broke 11 bones, and was told by doctors that he would never walk again. Hal defied the logic of doctors and the temptations to be a victim, proving that ALL of us are capable of overcoming any adversity and consistently creating extraordinary results in our personal and professional lives.

Not only did Hal walk, he ran a 52-mile ultra-marathon and went on to become a hall of fame business achiever, international speaker, author, and grateful husband & father—all before the age of 30. Now, Hal also hosts the highly acclaimed Achieve Your Goals podcast, he is the Executive Producer of the Miracle Morning Movie and creator of the Best Year Ever Blueprint Live Event.

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Helene Gayle

CEO of McKinsey Social Initiative


Learn from your mistakes or failures, don’t be paralyzed by them. Mistakes and failures are your best learning opportunities. Allow yourself to not feel the burden of always having to be right.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Helene Gayle is CEO of McKinsey Social Initiative, a nonprofit organization that implements programs that bring together varied stakeholders to address complex global and social challenges. McKinsey Social Initiative’s first program, Generation, addresses the problem of youth unemployment, with programs in five countries—India, Kenya, Mexico, Spain, and the United States—and a goal of connecting one million young people with skills and jobs in five years. Previously, Dr. Gayle was president and CEO of CARE USA, a member of CARE International (a leading humanitarian aid organization fighting global poverty).

Before joining CARE USA in 2006, Gayle directed the HIV, TB, and Reproductive Health Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and spent 20 years at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), focusing primarily on HIV/AIDS. Gayle also served as chair of the Obama administration’s Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. She has been called one of the top female leaders and global thinkers in the world. As of 2014, she is listed as the 78th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.


Ian Bremmer

President and Founder of Eurasia Group


Most things don’t work who cares. You have to not allow failure to affect your sense of self and you also have to not do it and become a completely raving narcissist and think you better than other people.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Ian Bremmer is the president and founder of Eurasia Group, the leading global political risk research and consulting firm. He is a prolific thought leader and author, regularly expressing his views on political issues in public speeches, television appearances, and top publications, including Time magazine, where he is the foreign affairs columnist and editor-at-large. Once dubbed the “rising guru” in the field of political risk by The Economist, he teaches classes on the discipline as global research professor at New York University. His latest book is the national bestseller Superpower: Three Choices for America’s Role in the World.


Jacqueline Novogratz

Founder and CEO of Acumen Fund


Don’t fear the power of your dreams. Dare instead to start by taking one step at a time and then letting the work teach you. It should not be easy work, but you will know if it is the work you are supposed to be doing. And then do it without apologies.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Jacqueline Novogratz is the founder and CEO of Acumen Fund, a non-profit global venture fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to solve the problems of global poverty. Acumen Fund seeks to prove that small amounts of philanthropic capital, combined with large doses of business acumen, can build thriving enterprises that serve vast numbers of the poor. Prior to Acumen Fund, Jacqueline founded and directed The Philanthropy Workshop and The Next Generation Leadership programs at the Rockefeller Foundation. She also founded Duterimbere, a micro-finance institution in Rwanda. She is a frequent speaker at international conferences, including the Clinton Global Initiative and TED. She is also an author of a book titled The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World.


Jacquelyn Zehner

President of The Jacquelyn and Gregory Zehner Foundation


More than you think is possible, is in fact possible. So dream big, then do, then dream big again.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Jacquelyn Zehner dedicates her time and resources towards the advancement of women and girls. As the President of The Jacquelyn and Gregory Zehner Foundation, a role she has held for the past 15 years, Jacki funds and champions a wide variety of projects and organizations, with a particular focus on women’s rights, women’s entrepreneurship, philanthropic movement building, and social issue media. Since 2012, Jacki has served as the Chief Engagement Officer and was the founding President of Women Moving Millions (WMM).

Prior to her philanthropic focus, Jacki was a Partner and Managing Director at Goldman Sachs, where she was the youngest woman and first female trader to make partner.In addition to her work with WMM, Jacki serves on a number of boards and advisory committees, and is an active writer with a blog called Purse Pundit, speaker, and consultant on topics relating to women and wealth, philanthropy, and leadership.

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Jamie Oliver

Celebrity Chef and Restaurateur


It’s easy to worry and feel insecure about the future when you’re younger, but things always tend to fall into place in the end. The most important thing to remember is that by simply applying yourself and finding a passion, you can go on to do wonderful things. It doesn’t matter if you’re not top of the class – you don’t have to be good at everything to be successful, and it certainly doesn’t mean you’re thick. At the end of the day, you’ll be judged on what you do, not just what your qualifications say, so stick to your guns, trust your gut instincts and dare to be different– while it’s much easier to go with the flow, it’s good to have your own opinions and thoughts.

Shivad’s Cheeky Comment: BOOM! That’s’ why you are on the cover image, Jamie.

Did your wife ask you out by saying, “You know what is on the menu today? ME-N-U!”

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Jamie Oliver is a phenomenon in the world of food. He is one of the world’s best-loved television personalities and one of Britain’s most famous exports.

Jamie has had huge success with television series The Naked Chef (BBC), Jamie’s Kitchen, Jamie’s School Dinners, Jamie’s Great Italian Escape, Return to School Dinners, Jamie’s Chef, Jamie at Home, Jamie’s Ministry of Food, Jamie Does…. and more recently Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals and the Emmy Award-winning Jamie’s Food Revolution.

Jamie has inspired people to spend more time enjoying being in the kitchen and even start growing their own food! His programs have now been broadcast in over 100 countries including the USA, Australia, South Africa, Brazil, Japan and Iceland.

Having been translated into over 30 languages, the accompanying cookbooks are bestsellers not only in the UK but across the world. His 2010 book, Jamie’s 30-Minute Meals, became his first million-selling book in the UK as well as being the fastest-selling non-fiction book since records began.

Jamie’s latest book is 5 Ingredients – Quick & Easy Food.


Jason Fried

Co-founder and CEO of Basecamp


Most of the things you'll worry about aren't worth worrying about.

Shivad’s Cheeky Comment: Please tell that to my over-protective Indian family.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Jason Fried is the Co-founder and CEO of Basecamp, a project management tool that puts everything you need to get work done in one place. Jason is the co-author of the book Rework, which teaches new ways to change the way you work.


Jason Silva

Filmmaker & Show Host of Brain Games


Follow your bliss. Dress Straight and Infiltrate. Be kind.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Jason Silva is a Venezuelan American television personality, filmmaker, and public speaker. His goal is to use technology to excite people about philosophy and science. The Atlantic describes Silva as “A Timothy Leary of the Viral Video Age.” Jason, a former presenter on Current TV, lectures internationally on such topics as creativity, spirituality, technology and humanity, writes and produces short films, and co-hosts National Geographic’s Brain Games.


Jessica Jensen

Head of Brand Strategy for Facebook Business Marketing


I would tell myself to “try on lots of sweaters.” Our work lives are long and we can and should try lots of very different things—and not worry so much “is this the right step for my career.” Your career will take lots of twists and turns and you should experiment. You might find things you never knew you would love!

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Jessica Jensen, Head of Brand Strategy for Facebook Business Marketing, oversees global positioning, marketing strategy and communications of Facebook Inc’s advertising offerings. Prior to joining Facebook, Jessica was the Global Head of Product Marketing for iAd, a division of Apple. There she oversaw the launch of iTunes Radio and directed the marketing of other advertising products in the iAd mobile advertising suite.

Preceding her time at Apple, Jessica was Vice President of Lifestyles within the US Media Group of Yahoo! She served as the GM of Yahoo! Shine and Yahoo! Health. Prior to joining Yahoo!, Jessica was CEO and founder of Low Impact, a leading site in the green housing sector. Jessica was also Senior Vice President of Marketing and BD for Investor’s Business Daily and Jessica started her professional career at The Boston Consulting Group in Los Angeles in the Entertainment and Media practice — working with the world’s largest media companies as they embraced the digital world. She is a passionate proponent of strong women’s voices and mentoring future female business leaders. She has a hilarious toddler named Lily, a tree-hugger husband, and a geriatric Shih Tzu.

Want to get my Indian Mindset and learn to start something with as little money as possible? Sign up now. Stocks will always last since this is an e-book.


Jim Clifton

Chairman and CEO of Gallup


The more you play to your strengths—your very special and unique God-given strengths—the more you win.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Jim Clifton is Chairman and CEO of Gallup. Clifton has served as CEO of Gallup, an analytics and advice company, since 1988. He is the author of many articles and of the book Coming Jobs War, co-author of Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder and creator of The Gallup Microeconomic Path. It is a behavioral economic framework focused on employees and customers, to increase performance. It is used by over 500 companies worldwide.


Joe Gebbia

Co-founder and CPO of Airbnb


Take the next step.

Shivad’s Cheeky Comment: No need to say anything further. Just take the next step!

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Joe Gebbia is the co-founder and CPO of Airbnb, serving on the Board of Directors and Executive staff, while leading Samara, Airbnb’s in-house design and innovation studio. An entrepreneur from an early age, Airbnb’s groundbreaking service began in his San Francisco apartment and spread to 3 million+ listings in over 191 countries, creating a new economy for thousands of people around the world. He is involved in crafting the company culture, shaping the design aesthetic, and innovating future growth opportunities.

Joe has spoken globally about both entrepreneurship and design, and received numerous distinctions such as the Inc 30 under 30 and Fortune 40 under 40. His lifelong appreciation for art and design led him to the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where he earned dual degrees in Graphic Design and Industrial Design. Gebbia now serves on the institution’s Board of Trustees.


John Sviokla

US Advisory Innovation Leader at PwC


The most important thing today is curiosity, of two kinds: read, read, read — almost all successful people read like crazy. Listen. Great listening is so focused, so infused with empathy and curiosity that it creates a positive change in the person listened to. Also, you’ll be hugely differentiated in a world so full of self-broadcasting and skim-level understanding!

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: John Sviokla is the US Advisory Innovation Leader and Head of Global and US thought leadership at PWC. He serves a wide range of clients and writes often on innovation, strategy, and leadership. He is a co-author of The Self-made Billionaire Effect: How Extreme Producers Create Massive Value.

Until November 2010, John was vice chairman and chief innovation officer of Diamond Management & Technology Consultants, Inc. Prior to joining Diamond, he researched and taught at the Harvard Business School for twelve years in Marketing, MIS, and Decision Sciences. HIs writings have appeared in books and journals including the Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, Fast Company, and the Wall Street Journal.


Jonah Berger

Bestselling Author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On


Always be curious.

Shivad’s Cheeky Comment: That answer definitely left me more curious. I want to know more!

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Jonah Berger is a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and bestselling author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On and Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior. Dr. Berger has spent over 15 years studying how social influence works and how it drives products and ideas to catch on. He’s taught Wharton’s top-ranked online course, published dozens of articles in top-tier academic journals, consulted for a variety of Fortune 500 companies, and popular outlets like the New York Times and Harvard Business Review often cover his work.

Never come first in what you do, no matter how hard you try? That’s fine! We’re giving away prizes for second and third place winners.


Josh Elman

General Partner at Greylock Partners


My #1 piece of advice: be patient and do great work. Many people want to rush ahead and be “in charge” fast in their career. But if you do amazing work first and learn to be depended on as someone who can over-achieve when given responsibility, you will ultimately be given more; a lot more responsibility. The people I’ve seen most successful in their career spend more time worrying about winning for their company than for themselves. And those people often win in both in the long run.

MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME PERSON: Josh Elman is General Partner at Greylock Partners. He specializes in investments in the consumer products and services with a focus on advertising, commerce, gaming, information technology, services, social networks and platforms, mobile apps, new media, and connected devices. Previously, Mr. Elman spent 15 years in product and engineering roles at leading companies in social, commerce, and media. He served as Product Manager at Twitter, Inc. from 2009 to 2011. He was the Product Lead for Growth and Relevance at Twitter, growing Twitter’s active user base by nearly ten times. Prior to Twitter, Mr. Elman worked on the platform at Facebook and led the launch of Facebook Connect. He served as a Project Manager at Facebook, Inc. from 2008 to 2009.

Mr. Elman worked at LinkedIn Corporation, from 2004 to 2005, and helped establish early models for user growth and launched the first version of LinkedIn Jobs. He also held roles leading product management at Zazzle Inc, and leading product and engineering for RealJukebox and RealPlayer at RealNetworks Inc. Mr. Elman serves as a Director of Medium, Meerkat, Super, and SmartThings. He serves as a Director of Life on Air, Inc. Mr. Elman has been a Director of Physical Graph Corporation since November 2013. He was a Director of Jelly Industries, Inc.

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Shivad Singh

Shivad Singh is a 22-year-old Entrepreneur, 5x Author, and Host of the Head Start Show. He is so passionate about helping young people that he fears a Zombie Apocalypse purely because there will be no one left to inspire. Due to his business skills and color of his skin, he is a.k.a "Guru Head Starter".



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