Six thought leaders with skin in the game

Over the past few weeks, I have been thinking about why I follow certain thought leaders. This thinking came because I consume a seemingly random group of podcasts, articles, and books. With more thinking and going more in depth, I have found that most of the people I follow have lots of overlaps although they’re in different disciplines.

Nassim Taleb – Barbells, Black Swans, out of the money options, fasting, and risk. Antifragile, Taleb’s latest book was the most influential book I have ever read. He put language to a few abstract ideas I had, but most importantly taught the lesson of the barbell. A barbell is a strategy with many applications for the domestication of risk. It is both hyper conservative and hyper aggressive, limiting downside with unlimited upside. The author who is 50 years old says he dealt with threats after his last book by trying to look like a bodyguard, working to improve his max deadlift.

Joel Salatin – America’s Farmer. Salatin is both a prolific author and runs one of the most profitable and ecological farms in America. His books were very influential in my path to being a farmer. His book Folks, This Ain’t Normal he says our society must become reconnected with our ecological umbilical to face the serious problems facing society.

Joe Rogan – When I became a Rogan fan, I got a lot of criticism from my friends. Rogan  is a stand up comedian who is a modern free thinker, his podcast ranges from ancient Egypt, psychedelics, human performance, current affairs, and beyond. If you want to be exposed to a wide range of ideas, listen to Rogan.

Gary Vaynerchuk – The best business mind for the new economy. Gary has written two books, with his third coming out in November. His idea is that ‘Legacy is greater than currency’ meaning its a lot easier to make more money than it is to regain your reputation. My grandpa always told me the most important thing in life is your reputation. So its an idea that stuck. Gary made his mark by tasting wine online for years, making 1000 episodes of WineLibraryTV.

Robb Wolf – Author of The Paleo Solution, Robb is on the cutting edge of human performance and nutrition. What separates his nutrition ideas from diet fads, is he is also involved with sustainable food production. This intersection between earth care and human care is going to become a lot more important with problems in health care and with sustainability of agriculture.

Jack Spirko – I’ve recently found The Survival Podcast, Jack’s daily podcast which covers a range of topics “Helping you live a better life, If times get tough or even if they don’t.” Jack is the best permaculture teacher in the United States and has used the principles to create a successful online business.

All these people have ideas for how to improve the world (like many others), but what sets them all apart is that they walk the walk. Skin in the game as Taleb would say. There are other people that have influences my thinking, but this group of people have been the leaders. Follow any of them if you want to improve your life in any way.


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