Bulletproof CEO Founder: Dave Asprey


Today’s guest is the famous Dave Asprey: As seen on Bloomberg, The New York Times, Business Insider, Fast Company, CNN, Men’s Health, Rolling Stone, Vogue, Forbes and many more!

He sold the first product EVER over the internet, was a top 100 influencer in cloud computing for 20-years, and is the father of what is called, biohacking.  You’ll want to be sure to stick around until the end to hear what Dave’s secret to success was at such a young age was.

Throughout most of Dave’s early life, he was poor and that was a driving factor for his motivation to make money when he was really young.  He went to school for computer science, and worked in cloud-computing for 20-years before discovering his true passion.  Helping people hack their biology to tap into the unlimited potential of being human.  

Today, he runs multiple businesses, but he is most focused on Bulletproof, the hundred-million-dollar venture-backed company that was started as a blog in 2011, and now reaches tens of millions of consumers with unique food products, award-winning podcasts, and best-selling books.

Podcast Transcript

Note:  There may be errors to this transcript (some funny, some confusing - we used an automated transcription software!)

Ash Faraj  00:01

Today's guest is the famous Dave Asprey. You've probably seen him on CNN, Men's Health rollingstone, Vogue or Forbes, but he sold the first product ever over the internet. It was a caffeine t shirt. He was a top 100 influencer in cloud computing for 20 years in is the father of what is now called biohacking. You want to be sure to stick around until the end to hear what Dave's secret to success was at such a young age. So throughout most of Dave's early life, he was poor. And that was a driving factor for his motivation to make money when he was really young. He went to school for computer science and worked in cloud computing for 20 years before discovering his true passion, helping people hack their biology to tap into the unlimited potential of being human. Today, he runs multiple businesses, but he's most focused on bulletproof, the 100 million dollar venture backed company that was started as a blog in 2011, and now reaches 10s of millions of consumers with unique food products, award winning podcasts and best selling books. You're in for a special one today. So settle back, unwind and enjoy the conversation. So I think, you know, everyone's wondering, you know, what, what is Dave's been up to during quarantine? Is has he been eating any unhealthy foods? Or is he still living on Yak butter tea, what's what's going on?

Dave Asprey  01:30

You know, I, I don't eat crappy food. It's just it's not worth feeling that way. And that's not to say that I, you know, only do keto all the time. In fact, that is a universal way to feel like crap. And I've been writing that since my very first book came out that helped the intermittent fasting and keto and become cool. And I've been almost feeling pain. As I watch people sort of say, oh, if it's a carb, I'm never gonna eat it again. And actually, that's not how it works, because some carbs do good things. So for me, what I'm much more likely to do is I'm much more likely to say, Oh, you know what, today, I'm going to have some sugar, like, Oh, I'm a bad person, except I don't actually think I'm a bad person. But you can say I can have sugar or I can have sugar blended with a whole bunch of inflammatory fat and a whole bunch of other crap, I'm not going to do that. So basically, I will gracefully degrade instead of just like jumping off a cliff,

Ash Faraj  02:30

one food that you eat very, very frequently, what is it?

Dave Asprey  02:33

grass fed beef and lamb. Those are amazing. And I eat those a lot. four legged animals are generally the best ones for feeling good for living a long time. And this has been a big part of the bulletproof diet, and people have lost a million pounds of diets. It's been very successful. And you eat grass fed steak, you eat grass fed lamb, and you don't have to have huge amounts of it, although you can depending on where you are with what you're trying to do. But it's more about getting the healthy fat and the fat soluble nutrients that you can only get from animals. You don't have to be like, I crap all the time. or vegan, there's this whole universe between the two and eating crap all the time. And being vegan are both extremist perspectives and the richness is in the middle. And that's where I like to live.

Ash Faraj  03:24

So Dave, your story is obviously you know, it's out there. One thing that I noticed that is not really out there is you're like, what was Dave's childhood like? Growing up,

Dave Asprey  03:32

I had Asperger's syndrome. As a child, I had the diseases of aging as a child, I had a 46 inch waist. By the time I was 23 years old, I was fat as a teenager, I got bullied a lot. I lived in a basement, we didn't know it at the time that it had toxic mold in it. So I have like these nosebleeds all the time and arthritis when I was 16. And so it was not probably not the happiest of of childhoods. From that perspective. You know, I had asthma. I was on antibiotics every month for years on end because I kept getting strep throat and sinus infections. And since that time, I've decoded all of that. And I've managed to come back from all of that those health challenges that came on as a result partly of genetics, but mostly of the environment around me. And you have under that the social pressures, being the tallest, biggest fattest kid, you're always going to get in fights because there is such a thing as Napoleon's complex. So I got into lots of fights as a kid, and I probably had a mouse that earned some of those fights but some of the times it was just literally someone trying to prove something by taking out the biggest guy,

Ash Faraj  04:38

you know, was humans we tend to remember things based on emotion. And I'd be kind of curious to hear if there was what what emotion like when you look back what emotion Do you remember feeling most frequently?

Dave Asprey  04:49

Oh, pretty much loneliness and anger would have been the the two most dominant ones for me as a childhood. And loneliness is something that you it is something that You feel whether or not you're around people, like if you feel you're not good enough, right, like you're not worth being friends with, then even if people are trying to be friends with you, you won't see it. And so I certainly had that. And for me, a big part of this, in addition to those environmental things I just talked about, when I was born, I had the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck. And I didn't lose oxygen to the brain or anything like that. But if you have a traumatic birth, it sets you up for fight or flight response dramatically throughout your entire life until you do some really deep reprogramming of your physiology. So people who, you know, whether you had a C section or you know whether, you know, it was a rough labor, whatever that changes, personality characteristics, and it doesn't reliably and programmatically I had no clue of this till I was 30. And this amazing woman named Barbara Finn Dyson, it turns out, She's the founder of the American pre and perinatal psychology Association, a very studied woman, and many decades of experience, and she just looked at me at this personal development thing, and she said, Tell me about your birth. And I'm like, I don't know, hospitals, vaginas, you know, like, kind of do. And she said, Do you know anything about it? And I said, Well, yeah, I had this this umbilical cord thing around my neck. But yeah, they said, didn't cause any trouble. And she said, Yeah, I thought so. And then she gets out this little PowerPoint. And she says, this is you. And it's like, all of my strengths and weaknesses, all the things that I'm afraid of and, and things like that stress behaviors, all that I'm like, how did you know this? And, and I was really unnerved. And she said, Well, it's science. Because this is a predictable outcome of a tough birth. So a lot of the things that are going on already, I was predisposed to sympathetic activation to fight or flight to looking for a fight when there wasn't one. And on top of that, I had the biological stuff that was going on. So that was, that was a really big revelation in my personal development path. And that's one of the reasons that I started a neuroscience company, in addition to bulletproof was to be able to help reprogram my own brain and to let other people do the same thing.

Ash Faraj  07:12

A lot of people think that, oh, you know, people grow up privileged. And there's always been kind of a golden child, if you will. So,

Dave Asprey  07:19

if I'm a grown up privileged, it's tough because everyone grows up privileged. And now you can say, Dave, you know, that's such a douchebag thing to say, but let's go back 100 years, life sucked 100 years ago, let's go back 200 years, even if you are in a very poor segment, probably even poorer than you would generally find the United States, there's still a level of availability of very basic things that we didn't have, when you go back a couple 100 years. So it's because of technology progress. It's because now we know how to clean water. Now we understand things. And maybe in your small village in Africa, you know, you don't have a well, but there's probably a nonprofit seeking to build one. And there's the ability to connect to this global knowledge base that the president of a country didn't have 6070 years ago, that you and I have today. So I became an entrepreneur as a young person, mostly like, yeah, I can do it. Like I'll show you kind of a almost like a an anger and proving your worth. And it's really only after you get beyond that, and you say I want to make something doesn't exist, I'm going to change things, I have a mission. And you can become successful, I made 6 million bucks. And I was 26. Last time when I was 28, you can become successful because you're running away from failure. Or you can become successful, much less painfully because you're pursuing something that's worth it. And that's what I'm doing now. And I find that more successful and it's easier to do it this way.

Ash Faraj  08:50

Yeah. I remember reading about you when you were at UC Santa Barbara. Was it Santa Barbara?

Dave Asprey  08:55

Yeah, I was at Cal State as well.

Ash Faraj  08:58

Yeah, I remember like reading while you were at school, you had sold caffeine shirts over the internet or something. And yeah, you like paid your way through school by like working at Baskin Robbins and just doing these side hustles and

Dave Asprey  09:09

efforts, auto parts and boxes, I welded toy truck frames, anything that would make a buck. But it turns out those caffiene t shirts, that was the first product ever sold over the internet. We didn't have a name for e commerce. I don't even know I was doing anything special. I've just like, Hey, I'm shipping t shirts to 14 countries. I like this. This is kind of amazing. And then it was when the Miami Herald called and said, Hey, can we interview you? And they did that because there was this before the browser existed. You could still talk with people. It's not kinda like Reddit today, but it was called Usenet way back in 25 years ago, and I flamed or trolled I guess is the current word for that. A Rutgers professors said, no one's ever gonna make money on the internet. And like you might be from an Ivy League school. I'm just from a state school, but I'm already making money on the internet. So you don't know you're talking about and it was, you know, the young Angry arrogant comment that I, you know, I would never do something like that today. But you know, I've learned a few things. And that was what kind of set off is this thing where I'm, you know, in my double extra large t shirt. My proof that I was fat picture because no one believes that anymore is like the centerfold of Entrepreneur Magazine, wearing that T shirt, and at publications reached out to me. And it was really funny though, because, you know, 2223 or something. And I experienced a brief moment of fame, you know, 15 minutes, right? And I was no happier at the end of that than I was at the beginning. And I'm like, Oh, wait. So pursuit of fame doesn't equal happiness, like check. Like, that's really good to know. Right? And even before I started bulletproof, I kind of like I had no digital identity. I'm a computer hacker by training, like, you know how to walk without leaving traces digitally. And I had that I was like, completely anonymous. Oh, my God, I can give that up. Because I believe that what I'm writing about, and what I'm sharing is worth giving up anonymity. So I just Island fame doesn't do it, and then making $6 million. I was 26. And I'll be happy. You don't I told other friends of my company. This is the company held Google's first servers, I was a co founder of the consulting part of this of this company, the business unit I helped to start did $100 million a quarter in revenue in my mid 20s. Okay, that's pretty darn good. And I looked at a friend said, You know what, I'll be happy to have $10 million. Like, what a douchebag thing to say, right? But I wasn't alone, all of us were saying that, it's like it, there's always another level. And I look back, I'm like, man, clearly, wealth is gonna make me happy fame is gonna make me happy. So what is and that was, those are big parts of my progression as a human being. Because for a lot of the time, it was, it was really, I'm, I'm gonna be rich, when I'm rich, everything's gonna be safe, everything's gonna be happy. And all that. That's not what it's about. It doesn't work, you'll feel just as much joy from something like that as you will, when you go, I really want two scoops of ice cream and you eat the both and you're like, that was pretty good. But, you know, it's fleeting, right? And then like, Is there another flavor? You know, can I have some more, right? And the data actually, when I studied this, and I gave a big talk at the biohacking conference on that I put on every year, when I was starting the biohacking thing. And a talk on happiness above about $74,000 in household income, another dollar doesn't make you happier. So having your basic needs met, increases happiness above that. It actually it's nice, there's no doubt about it. But it doesn't make you happy, it can make some things easier, and it can make other things harder. And I know a huge number of wealthy people who are absolutely miserable and lonely. And it's because they're afraid they're gonna lose what they have. And it's because they have no idea who's a real friend and who's not because people are always trying to take their money. And that's like, it's a big things. So there's the number of CEOs who are really lonely. It's, it's phenomenal. Right? And that's why they go to these masterminds and things like that. So they connect with other CEOs. Because that that really happens where you know, you I made it, but I didn't get what I wanted. And then you have to figure out what did you really want.

Ash Faraj  13:12

So if I end up being dead, broke and not famous, just go get some ice cream?

Dave Asprey  13:17

Pretty much and and part of the fear that that entrepreneurs and people aren't entrepreneurs we all have is, oh my god, what if I was dead broke? What if I lost everything, and there's a voice in your head that says you're gonna die? That voice is a lying bastard. Like you're living at least if you are living and this can be here globally, you're living in a in a society where people will take care of you. And the reason for that is because we are biologically wired inside ourselves to take care of other people. And yes, people can do bad things to each other. And they do. But generally, even if you were tomorrow, you lost everything. Would you starve to death? You wouldn't, right? There's there's ways to get food, there's homeless shelters, there's services, and there's people who want to help, like you have the laws of human nature on the shelf behind you from Robert Greene.

Ash Faraj  14:02

Oh, you read them.

Dave Asprey  14:03

Yeah, I've interviewed Robert on my show, I think twice now, before I had a stroke. And after and I tell you his book, The 48 Laws of Power was the book that helped me understand when I was 26, I got to attend board meetings for a publicly traded company were $36 billion. And I thought all the executives are crazy. Like, I don't even understand this. I'm like this Asperger's kind of guy, I can see the future of the technology. And these people act like complete crazy pants. They weren't crazy. They were following different rules that I didn't know about. So Robert Greene was there. But now you look at his laws of human nature. That's an example of a guy who has spent his entire life giving back he studies these things, and he writes these books that help millions of people, right, but we're all wired to help like that. And I look at that and I actually feel safe or I know that if you know I was to lose everything tomorrow, which is highly unlikely. But I wouldn't die and my family would still be safe. We'd be uncomfortable, but we'd be safe and And it's that, that willingness to accept being uncomfortable that is part of human resilience. And I think it's something that maybe we've lost as a as a society, people are very fearful of not having things that they don't need.

Ash Faraj  15:14

Yeah, no, that's very powerful. So just really quickly, was your motivation, you know, back to the story of you selling caffeine shirts? Was your motivation, just out of curiosity? Was your motivation that you wanted to make a buck? Or was your motivation that you wanted, like kind of like recognition or to prove something I just had a curiosity.

Dave Asprey  15:35

Back then I didn't recognize that there was a PR story or anything like that. What I wanted to do then was really straightforward. They had 900% increased my tuition. That's funny, I used to think it was 15 100%. But then, when Joe Rogan invested in a company that competed with mine, he was trying to find something I said on the show that wasn't accurate. He goes, his tuition didn't go up that much. So I redid the math, I was wrong. It was 900% increase, not 15 100% increase, but I'm like, how am I gonna pay for my tuition, I'm sharing a one bedroom, legs, super ghetto apartment with a guy, we sleep in the same room. And I'm barely making ends meet. And I can save up enough at the beginning of college, in order to pay for my tuition and books and all that stuff. I'm getting some help from my parents. But um, things are really tight. Like, if I didn't, if I had 50 bucks left, at the end of the month, I'm like, Oh, my God, I'm rich. And so I said, Well, maybe I can start a company that's going to make me enough money on top of scooping ice cream at Baskin Robbins, and whatever other scrappy things I can think of. And that was why I did it. It was literally to put food in my little one bedroom apartment. And when I say food, I'm talking like, if you did it, right, you could get a coupon for for Little Caesars, and a coupon for someone else. And they would honor other people's coupons. So I could spend 20 bucks. And I could get four large pizzas. And like, that's enough to last me for four days. And like I was literally optimizing at that level, because that was all you could do. And yeah, I've been I've been pretty poor. And it, it was it was a motivation to actually have enough time to study and to do what I wanted to do that that helped me start that company.

Ash Faraj  17:18

What's fascinating about what so just to kind of fast forward a little bit after college, you, you know, you've worked in it for about eight years. And then you decided that you know, to go back and get your MBA from the Wharton School of Business. Just out of curiosity. Do you remember why you made that decision? Initially?

Dave Asprey  17:36

Yeah, there was a.com crash. So I mentioned I lost that $6 million I made, I had been i'd risen in my career. To the point at any time, my company is called Exeter's communications. It was the only stock to split three times in 1998. Like it was just on a tear. Because I had insider information, any acquisition we did, I would look at the technology in the back. We need it, we don't need it. So I played a strategic role there. That meant that I was not allowed to sell my stock. And I watched, I watched the company just completely crash as the.com bubble crashed. And so I was like, wow, this stock is $80 a share is suddenly $5 a share. And I've watched my wealth evaporate. But it happened to everyone, like the amount of traffic in Silicon Valley dropped my hour and a half commute was only 20 minutes, because there was no one driving to get a job. So pretty much everyone decided to go to business school back then. And I thought, well, if I'm gonna spend two years going to school, it might as well be the two years where there's economic destruction everywhere. So it was it was that the number of people applying went through the roof. And so I thought, well, I, I want to do this, because I already have a job that most MBA students would kill for I am director of strategic planning for a publicly traded company. But I felt I didn't have the knowledge. And I didn't have the network and the connections. I had been taught just from from my family, mostly that you know, you go to school to learn stuff, not to meet people and almost like having a good network is an unfair advantage. But when I worked at Exodus, a guy named Peter foreign Bob, who to this day runs the Boys and Girls Club in East Palo Alto just a fine human being who mentored me a lot. He, he said, Dave, you need to if you're going to go you need to go to a top school, and need to form the network and the connections. And I watched how he used his connections from going to a really good school. And I said, All right, I went to relatively poor and low in school. For my undergrad. I'm going to go to a really good one. So I took the test and I did the work. And I got into Wharton and I barely graduated from Wharton, but I graduated.

Ash Faraj  19:42

You got student loans or

Dave Asprey  19:44

Oh, yeah, yeah, I took hundreds of 1000s of dollars in student loans, and I paid them off. Well, actually, I paid off as slowly as possible. I think I finally paid him off last year.

Ash Faraj  19:51

So just steady carry. I mean, so I guess the reason I'm asking this is because our audience is people in their mid 20s, I suppose. How do you think in today's world How do you think somebody should? Like what factors should go into? You know, maybe their work worked a couple years? Yeah. Should I continue my career path? Or should I should I, you know, take out student loans and go back to school, you know, to get an MBA,

Dave Asprey  20:13

the price of school has gone through the roof, and the competition has gone through the roof. So the value of an MBA is pretty much two things. There's the reputation of the school, and there's the network you get from it. And I will tell you flat out if you're not getting into at least a top 10 school, do not waste your money. The reason for that is that when I was doing this, this was only 20 years ago, you couldn't go and get every course that MIT take MIT teaches for free online, you can now so anything you want to learn, you can learn for free, it is no longer a question of having the knowledge. So all you get out of school is you get something on your resume that says you went to a really good school, which does increase your employability and increase your value. I know some of the jobs I got after I got my MBA, especially ones that had a really good salary and meaningful stock options. Oh, that's because I checked that box of an Ivy League MBA, so you can do it. But if you're saying I'm going to go to, you know, a mid tier school in my neighborhood to get an MBA, you don't need that. You really don't, I would tell you live and start something if you want to be prepared to fail, most people, their first company does fail. Certainly mine did, I got tired of putting t shirts and bags, I wasn't smart enough to hire people to do it for me. And I just shut it down. That was what I did. The reason I started my my blog, now it's the Dave asprey.com blog. But before it was the bulletproof blog, before that it was the bulletproof executive blog, I thought five people would read my blog, and is about new how to manage your biology see a better mental performance. And so your brain, everything works the way you want it to. And like if five people read this, and they can avoid spending hundreds of 1000s of dollars on either recovering their health or on improving what they think they can do. Only five people is a huge win for me. Because if I'd have had this when I was 20, it would have saved me hundreds of 1000s of dollars in a decade of suffering. So that was that's the still the motivating factor for my blog. Turns out a few more than five people cared and that was the birth of bulletproof. But the motivation there was once you've reached a level of success, you want to help. So if you're listening to this, and you're saying, Oh, you know, what would I do? Well get advice from someone who's done it before, that's the best thing you can do. And you can get that through books you get through podcasts you get through going out, you're joining your chamber of commerce or whatever a little local business networking group there is, and learning and learning and learning and growing. And even that That's funny. You have the laws of human nature on your shelf there. You know, the author Ryan Holiday?

Ash Faraj  22:54

Oh, yeah.

Dave Asprey  22:56

Yeah, he's a really good writer. I mean, fantastic. And I love his books I spend on my show. And Ryan has one called perennial seller. In fact, anyone listening to this should read perennial seller where he talks about the amount of effort and, and not perfectionism, but just desire and, and human energy that goes into creating something of value, whether it's a company or writing a book, that's called perennial seller, the reason I bring them up is he learned to be a writer, because he was the main researcher for Robert Greene when Robert Greene wrote the 48 Laws of Power. So that's why you want to be an apprentice to an entrepreneur, right? And you go and you say, Look, I'm going to be here, I'm going to help, I'm going to build stuff for you, right? And I'm going to whatever you need, and you watch what they do, you watch how they do it, right? And eventually, you're going to go do your own thing. And it's very clear to everyone. And maybe along the way, you'll realize, you know, I don't want to do my own thing. I've watched what that person does. That's not what I would be good at. So I will instead be a CEO, right? Or I'll be a chief marketing officer and I don't want to be handling that other stuff. But then you end up learning, okay, do I want to be in corporate America? Do I want to work for a smaller company? Or do I want to have my own smaller company, there is no moral superiority to being the entrepreneur versus being a part of a team with an entrepreneur and providing massive value to the people work for you and the people you support. And that's something that you have to hear this, if it's not in you to go out and be an entrepreneur. It's okay. And you must if you're going to be an attorney, you must be willing to basically be beaten down. Sometimes it can be lonely, you work your ass off all the time, and you will fail and you'll be constantly learning lessons. It's kind of like someone who rides in a rodeo or something, you're gonna get bucked off horses an awful lot before you figure out how to ride one. And as it is now, I have five companies, you know, outside of bulletproof I have a Neuroscience Institute where I train entrepreneurs brains with electrodes so that you get out of your own way better. That one's called 40 years of Zen, I have a company that makes glasses for making sleep better circadian rhythm stuff. And the list goes on, where I can do this for multiple companies just because I've done it enough times that I find learn how to hire people better than me. That's, that's the final step of being an entrepreneur. It's like, Oh, I can do it more than once. Because other people helped me. If you're listening to this be one of the other people who can help me or the other people like me, because that's how you learn. And the we glorify you, oh, you know, I started this company, I was 25. And I'm a billionaire. And that's cool, if you can pull it off, and you should try it, because you've got very little to lose. But if along the way, you're like, this isn't for me, it's okay. There's no failure in that it's just learning.

Ash Faraj  25:44

Well, and I think, you know, just close your eyes, the whole your mentor conversation, it goes back to what you were saying earlier, just like it's just, it's an innate human desire for human beings to want to help other human beings. So it's, yeah, very interesting. Um, so you've obviously had, you know, a ton of experience, and you've been successful, both in the corporate world. And as an entrepreneur, I'd be curious to hear you know, you My first question is, what do you feel like enabled you to kind of work your way up in the corporate world?

Dave Asprey  26:12

I was a shitty corporate employee, I'm not an employee. Terrible, absolutely terrified. fire me. There's a whole set of rules for how you behave in an office environment, that isn't how humans normally would, would behave. And this is how teams form for business. And it's, you know, how do you show respect to your boss, you know, who should be in a meeting? who shouldn't be in a meeting, okay? If I want my boss's job, which is what everyone wants in corporate America, like, how do I help my boss get to the next level? Or how do I help my boss, you know, move into what they want to do so that there will be an open spot? And how do I make it so I'm the one who gets the spot. It's a very different game than being an entrepreneur. Alright, so I watched this, I'm like, Oh, my God, this is weird. So for me, it's always been about creating disruption. And what you don't want in corporate America is disruptive people. And eventually, I got a hold of my own, you know, my own proclivities, you know, my own personality things, I started becoming more self aware, I will tell you, if you want to be in corporate America, you have to know the rules. And the rules are very different. And some people thrive in that. And I have friends who I'm, I'm so amazed, like, wow, how do you do that? Like, how do you lead a team, you know, 100 people within this other organizations, other teams pushing on you? And how do you convince people that your project should get funded and all that? I think it's a lot more relaxing to say, I'm going to fund it because I'm the entrepreneur, which feels really good, except Why do you think entrepreneurs get funded? So for bulletproof? I'll tell you how I funded the company. When I started bulletproof. My liquid savings was down to $10,000, because I had just moved to a new country. And I spend most of my money doing most of my liquid assets doing that. And I'd been an entrepreneur in residence at a Silicon Valley venture capital firm. So it's great. Monsanto wrote that Trinity is called Trinity ventures. Yeah, tourney was the first investor in Starbucks. And they had backed one of the companies where I was an executive. And we had a successful like, set for like 600 million. So I was kind of a known entity. So they let me have a venture capital business card for a year. And I got to sit in their office and meet a lot of people and sort of learn how the investor side of things works, which is eye opening. And you go through all that. And you learn how capital really works. So along the way, I was sitting here, up here, and I started bulletproof. And I said, Man, I have no money to do this, I actually have to get a job. So I had a job as a VP at a big company with stock options, quarter million dollars a year, you know, not bad. And I'm working hard. I'm doing a good job. In fact, you know, the blog I did for them, maybe one of the top 100 most influential cloud computing bloggers, did you know that no one knows that, because who cares about cloud computing, except for geeks, there's like 10,000 people who really care about cloud computing, and most of them would listen to me, whatever. So you want to talk about difficult stuff, Ash, evangelizing cloud computing and antivirus software. That's hard, evangelizing, do you want to be smarter and grow abs and not be hungry and be a better human being that's actually fun, and it's way more valuable? But that's easy compared to evangelizing really technical things to people who are all paid to be there. So I did that because I had to put, I had to pay for my family. Right? You know, we all have these stories. Oh, you know, Dave's been rich forever. No, I did. I mentioned I lost that $6 million. I was 28. I've been living like everyone in Silicon Valley until you sell a company you are paycheck to paycheck. I don't care what your degree is. Everyone I know who lives who still lives down there. I moved to Canada 10 years ago. But everyone I know who lives there is paycheck to paycheck. It is so hard, because everything is expensive, right? So I'm kind of scratching my head. How am I going to start this other company? I really just wanted to create a blog. So I started writing, but I didn't. Once I watched the coffee. I said oh my god, I'm gonna need capital for this. So I got hired by an investment bank in my spare time to fly around the world and teach hedge fund Managers how to make their brains better. And I did that, and I got paid about $50,000 to do that. But they saw my blog and they called me up and they said, Dave, you know how to do stuff. No one else knows how to do like you created biohacking. Can we fly you around, and I wrote an investment guide for investors and how to invest in the future of upgrading humanity. And I flew around, I taught hedge fund managers how to do this. And I took that $50,000, that was my seed capital. And I used it to hire my first employees and all that. And I didn't raise any money for bulletproof until we were doing $27 million in revenue. That's how I started it. It wasn't that much money. But it was almost 20 years of studying human biology and having done the work myself, so I became an expert. And then I started the company. And I see so many people who are in their early 20s, saying, Oh, I can do that I'm gonna go be a life coach. And what they're doing is they're copying some content they found online, sometimes they're changing it quite often, they're just changing the name at the top. And they're putting a Hangout, a hat that says, I'm an expert. And the bottom line is, it takes a while to become an expert, right. And there are some people who are experts, I don't know how maybe they studied really hard, they dove in for a year, but it's better off. And my advice for you would be for anyone listening to this. There's a bunch of stuff that I'm going to call myself an old person, I'm not particularly old, I'm 28% of where I think I'm going to live in my mid 40s, right. So I've got a two decades of someone who's about 25, right. And so you learn some things, mostly by walking into walls, and you know, falling down a few times. The way I made my career so powerful so quickly when I was young, is that I knew about the internet, when it was a brand new thing. And a lot of people didn't understand it, they didn't know how to do it. And the way I, I progressed my careers, I became an instructor. And then I became the head of the web and Internet Engineering Program at the University California. I did this in evenings. So I had 50 people in my class, who were studying the very current technology and writing reports for me, I'd read the reports, and then I go to work, and I knew more than everyone else about this cutting edge thing. So you can become the best in the world when you're 25. At maybe crypto kryptos, a little bit long in the tooth even for that right now. But there's still opportunities there. And you can say, Look, I'm going to be bad asset, 3d printing, I'm going to be bad as at the human biology, human genome at CRISPR. Because these are very, very new, right, and there isn't someone who has 20 years of experience who's going to be able to run circles around you. So your job is to find the future and become good at the future. And that's what I've always done. And if you can do that, you can open any door in corporate America you want. And most importantly, when it's time to start a company for that you can go in and you can look a venture capitalist or an angel investor right in the face. And you can say, here's what the future looks like, here's what I've done. Even if it's just for a couple years, here's our plan. This is what the future will be helped me with some capital, and they're gonna go, this is a real expert. That's amazing. That's number one. Number two, they're gonna say, do you have a team around you who can actually do this? Because even though you're the expert, do you have the ability to run a marketing campaign? Have you ever done it before? And the odds are, if you're an expert, you probably haven't. So like, you know, but my friend right here, he can do marketing. And over here, I have a finance person, right? So we have expertise to make something we have someone who can sell it and someone who can count the beans. And if you walk into a meeting like that, you've got a pretty powerful team. Man when you're 25 when you're 22 You don't even know how cool this stuff you know is are you the expert and tick tock you know what I care about Tick tock, I simply don't care. I'm never gonna care about Tick Tock and I, you know, I've got you know, my my name alone at gmail, like I, I've been there. And honestly, I just don't care enough about that to go in and pour my life into it. And so you can pour your life into it. And that becomes really valuable.

Ash Faraj  34:12

If you were to meet the 25 year old Dave, what advice would you give him?

Dave Asprey  34:15

I would say, other people really want to help you. All you have to do is ask,

Ash Faraj  34:20

what in your life do you feel like has given you the greatest sense of fulfillment?

Dave Asprey  34:24

Probably being a dad.

Ash Faraj  34:26

What has been the happiest day in your life so far?

Dave Asprey  34:29

You know, every day I wake up, and, and I feel good is a pretty happy day for me right now is I don't know that I could put one day I've had peak experiences, but if you're doing happiness, right, it should be present all the time.

Ash Faraj  34:44

Obviously, you have a long life ahead of you. Live 280

Dave Asprey  34:49

total don't shortchange me, man.

Ash Faraj  34:51

At least at least Okay, at least at least. But you know, just kind of you know, foreseeing that if you could be remembered for one thing, or do you want that to be

Dave Asprey  35:00

I don't give even the tiniest shit about being remembered. The only thing that I care about is, you know, what am I? What's my family think about me, like, you know, did? What do I my kids have to say about the way I raised them other than that I'm not here for legacy?

Ash Faraj  35:15

In your opinion, what do you feel like the most important life skill is?

Dave Asprey  35:19

discern discernment is the most important life skill. And that is the ability to tell what's actually happening versus what you believe is happening.

Ash Faraj  35:29

What is the best advice that somebody has ever given you?

Dave Asprey  35:33

I'm just going with the first thing that comes to me. I had a professor Ron Ludwick at Cal State. He looked at me once, and he said, Dave, just don't think. And the context for that was, I was pointing out that one of the questions on the final exam didn't actually have a correct answer, because all of them were provably false. And the reason though, that that came into mind is that the the real thing behind that is that your decision making is 90% feeling and 10% thinking and we like to think that it's all thinking. And if I had learned earlier on to listen to all the signal that comes from below the head, and to use that for my decision making along with my head, I would have been a lot further along than I am now.

Ash Faraj  36:22

And then the last one is, if you were stranded on an island, you have access to just one meal, what would you want that meal to be?


Well, there's the survival thing. And then there's the the pleasure thing. So if it was going to be survival, it'd be an extremely fatty grass fed grass fed steak like a ribeye. Probably if that was all I got to eat forever. You can live on that pretty much forever. But if it was going to be, you know, I only get one meal like that. I don't know.

Dave Asprey  36:50

That's a good question. I'd probably there's probably cheesecake. That's pretty good. I feel like crap afterwards. But hey, yeah,

Ash Faraj  36:57

I love that. Thank you so so much for listening to this episode. Now, if you enjoyed this episode, leave us a quick rating review on Apple podcasts. It just takes a few seconds but it's worth so much to us. Thank you so much for listening. And like always, I always say this if you ever want to reach out to me, my email is Ash at executandi comm more than happy to chat more than happy to have a conversation. We hope to see you again next week. Take care

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