You’re Not Lazy: How To Learn Anything Faster – Cliff Weitzman Founder of Speechify

Sponsored by Huel – go to and with your first order you’ll get a free t-shirt and shaker.

Sponsored by Trading212 – download Trading212 app and use the promo code “ALI” after signing up and depositing to receive a random free share worth up to £100.

Sponsored by WeWork – visit and use the code ‘ALI’ at checkout to redeem 50% off your first booking.

Cliff Weitzman is one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met, he’s the CEO and founder of Speechify, which is the #1 text-to-speech app that converts books and anything on the internet into an audiobook. Cliff originally built Speechify because he has dyslexia and growing up struggled to read, but after sharing it with the rest of the world the app has now been downloaded by 20 million+ users. Cliff is only just getting started having done all of this in his 20s and being listed in Forbes’ magazine’s 30 Under 30 list. In the conversation we talk about how Cliff developed the Speechify app, the life lessons he learned along the way, how speed listening is a superpower and why the best thing you can do is put more love out into the world. Enjoy!

Season 5 Episode 5

00:00 Intro
02:12 Your childhood and growing up with dyslexia
11:09 Your ambitiousness
14:17 Building a text-to-speech program
18:12 Why listening is a superpower
24:00 Reading 100 books a year with speed listening
40:20 Do you have a note taking process for listening?
45:24 Life lessons from building Speechify
01:02:44 Expanding your network & the power of adding value
01:17:45 How to avoid procrastination
01:22:11 Organising your life and maintaining relationships
01:37:29 Tips for putting more love into the world


🎥 YouTube Channel – @CliffWeitzman
💻 Website –
📸 Instagram –
🐦 Twitter –
👥 Linkedin –


🎥 YouTube Channel – @aliabdaal
🐦 Twitter –
📸 Instagram –
💻 Website –
👥 Linkedin –

How to take over the world podcast –
The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel –
How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie –
Show Your Work by Austin Kleon –
Brandon Sanderson’s episode on Deep Dive –


Visit the website for the transcript and highlights from the conversation –


Deep Dive is the podcast that delves into the minds of entrepreneurs, creators and other inspiring people to uncover the philosophies, strategies and tools that help us live happier, healthier and more productive lives.

Apple Podcasts –
Spotify –


If you enjoyed listening to the podcast, we’d love for you to leave a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts to help others discover the show 🙂


You can also Tweet @AliAbdaal with any feedback, ideas or thoughts about the lessons you’ve learnt from the episodes and we can thank you personally for tuning in 🙏

PS: Some of the links in this description are affiliate links that I get a kickback from 😜

Well then the number one word is lazy Right so your teachers thinks you're Slow your parents think you're lazy and This is something that is uniquely true For most kids like me who grew up with Dyslexia or ADHD or any type of Neurodiversity your parents just think That you don't care what you're about to Hear is an interview between me and Cliff Weitzman who is a friend of mine Cliff is one of the most inspiring People that I've ever met I believe that I could do anything when you're a kid You keep telling yourself that you can Do these things and at a certain point Most people believe that actually they Can't that just never happened to me he Is the founder and CEO of speechify Which is an app that helps basically Convert the internet into audiobooks Cliff has dyslexia and in his past he Was unable to read and is still Basically unable to read and so ended up Building speechify as a way of helping Himself get through school and college And university we talk a little bit About his background there and how that Affected his experiences growing up my Younger brother Tyler tell himself how To build iPhone apps so we worked on it Together Tyler did most of the work and I did some but while I was in college I Kept teaching myself more and more so That I could fix this program then I

Built a tool that would parse PDFs for Me so I could take 300 Page PDF for my History class and turn it into a two Hour audiobook and then go work out and Just finish the PDF Cliff is also Incredibly intentional about the Relationship in his life and about Giving love and compassion putting Good Vibes out there into the world and so in The second half of the conversation we Talk a lot about his approach to Relationships how he just randomly cold Emails and messages people and says hey Do you want to be my friend and then Somehow hangs out with them I met Amar And Thomas and Matt from yes Theory or Logan or Jimmy and I just would study How they created content and then I Gotta go to creating content and we talk A lot about this balance between kind of Striving for success and also investing In relationships just put good energy Into the world and if you do that good Things happen At the moment according to the YouTube Analytics 81 of you who are watching This on YouTube have not yet hit the Subscribe button and so if you're for Example in the now 81 of people who are Watching this on YouTube but who are not Subscribed to the channel I would love It if you could do so and would be Awesome to get that number down to 50 And it would be cool to get like 50 50

Sub non-sub ratio just just for fun Cliff thank you so much for being on the Podcast This is it's cool doing this like Actually in person because I remember The first time we we were we got Introduced through Valentin and did like A live streamy type thing and you were On mine and my brother's podcast talking About juntos and stuff Um so so much so much to talk about Let's start Um by rewinding back to Childhood and The reading situation so what was going On in your childhood with with the whole Struggling to read stuff and I guess We'll track your life story over time And get to the present day and I'm sure At some point we'll break it and do a Part two because there's so much to dive Into sounds fun yes I think the first Time we did our first interview It was the very beginning of covid and I Was sitting on a bench press that I just Installed in my apartment yes uh because We had I think five of us living in a One bedroom apartment in La at the time But to answer your question so I grew up In Israel I moved to the U.S when I was 13 and first second third fourth grade I Had a really tough time learning how to Read Um I have four younger siblings who are Very sharp my sister speaks seven

Languages my brother started coding when He was eight and then skipped four and a Half years of math in high school uh you Know build 47 apps by the time he was 17 Did his Master's in AI Stanford and I Couldn't figure out how to spell my last Name and I wanted to read really really Badly but I would fall asleep inside of Books all the time And So eventually my dad was like okay There's no way he's like this lazy Um And he started reading to me And my dad has a very deep voice so Every night I'd fall asleep listening to My dad reading Harry Potter And he would record himself with Cassette tapes and I just love this so Much I would listen to them over and Over again and when I moved to the US When I was 13 I didn't speak English And I found the Harry Potter audiobook Set and so I listened to that thing 22 Times in a row and that's how I learned English And I fell in love with audiobooks So I Listened to about 100 audiobooks a week Sorry a year I also know about 100 Audiobooks a year and I've done that for The last 16 years or so and it doesn't Matter if it's sci-fi or fantasy or Philosophy or theology or politics or Economics I'm just obsessed with Listening and in the beginning I would

Listen to like 0.75 X speed because I Literally didn't speak English And then you know I practiced then I got The 1X speed and then 1.25 and then 1.5 And 2x Um and continue from there So you okay so you moved to the US from Israel h13 Um what what was happening around the Time of the move like why did you why Did your family move Um so we had moved for a very brief Period outside of Israel earlier and we Had wanted to move to the US but like it Didn't work out for Visa reasons And my parents were like hey this seems Like a fun adventure and my dad has this Philosophy you know if you write a book In Hebrew seven million people can read It if you do it in English seven billion Can and they saw it as one of the Biggest ways that they could open up the World to us and give us opportunities And so my parents did a really really Good job raising us um they're really The The best example of parenting I've Actually come across Um and so they included us on all the Big decisions so I remember they sat us Down and they're like hey Would you guys be interested in going on An adventure like yeah let's go on an Adventure and so we all decided that we

Wanted to move to the United States and So when I got here it was really tough Because the culture in the US is Slightly different than the culture in Israel Like I spoke with a heaviest lady accent Like nobody understood what I was saying Um and I was a really small kid too like I was Five two freshman year five three Sophomore year like literally I have a Driver's license where I'm 16 and I Weigh like 110 pounds Um And when I moved here I'm super dyslexic So I spent all this time learning how to Read in Hebrew and then I had to relearn How to read but in English but because I Signed up for this move I was really Motivated Um and it didn't matter if it was like Eighth grade where I was like failing my History class and there was no like Audiobooks for the textbook so I would Like go online and Google and I'd like Try to hack together some sort of Audiobook that I could listen to Um and actually ended up I would go to My teachers and I would ask hey like I'll just be real with you there's There's no way I'm going to be able to Read this chapter or do the outline that You're assigned is it okay if I come to Class like 15 minutes early and verbally

Summarize the chapter to you And surprisingly many teachers said yes Um and so going into High School my mom Literally had to read my summer reading Books to me because I couldn't do them Myself even going into college Um we had this book called sons of Providence and I spent all summer trying To read it I didn't want to be the one Kid who shows up not having done the Summer reading before his like fancy Ivy League school And I read about half and so my mom had To read the rest of it and she worked And she didn't have time to read all of It shared maybe another 25 and so I was I was stuck and so the only thing that I Did the only thing I could do which is Like I built this text-to-speech Software that would read the book into My iPhone overnight and then I listened To that on the planet it worked and then You know I used the version of that Throughout College Um but yeah like I was very very very Motivated to learn how to read and to Like figure out English and succeed in School when I was young so having having Dyslexia like what is that like like When you when you see words on a page Like how would you try and describe it To someone who did yeah yeah so most People Visualize dyslexia as like the words

Flipping around or jumping or flipping That's not what it's actually like Um the best description I've ever been Able to come up with is reading a Sentence takes me as much energy and Brain power as most people take to do a Long division equation in their head so That means that it takes a long time to Read a sentence and it's very energy Fatiguing so if I wanted to read a page That's like doing 20 multiplications all In a row but like 2400 divided by like 13. you know 5 800 Divided by 72. and You know you'd be tired after doing that Now I imagine doing it for a chapter Like you'd be asleep so literally this Was my problem I would I I dedicated Every school break that I had when I was Young like literally third grade and Upwards to trying to learn how to read And I would get woken up by Librarians In the public library basically on a Daily basis Um but I was really motivated because I Really admired my dad my dad is a lawyer And I want him to be proud of me and in My head I was very ambitious from a very Young age Um I think about as like I have this Fire in my chest that if it was to open It would like bounce off the walls Um and I was like look I won't be a Billionaire I won't be president I won't

Be a pop star I won't be any of these Things I want to be if I don't know how To read so I have to figure out how to Read and so I just I worked on it Um And then So number one it's time like everything Just takes a lot longer when reading is Involved number two it's it's Draining And number three you know spelling is Difficult you know I mix up my left and Rights it's hard for me to remember Names uh the scientific backing behind Dyslexia it's there's no conclusive one Answer but here's the best one that I've Understood reading a bunch of PhD papers About it there's these things in a brand Called mini columns and they're Responsible for sharing information if You are a normal person you have normal Length mini columns that are normally Distributed if you're artistic Interestly interestingly you have Shorter mini columns that are closer Together if you are dyslexic you have Longer mini columns that are further Apart and so people who are savants They're very good at specific small Tasks short-term memory people with Dyslexia have bad short-term memory and Most importantly they have bad what's Called phonemic awareness and so reading Is challenging and actually dyslexia is

Not a reading disability it's a decoding Disability so if you look at the word Like House house you need to break down the Phonemes and understand them it's like a Puzzle I'm bad at this so in college When I'd walk around with friends like My girlfriend in college knew every Single street name I didn't know a Single street name because when she Looked at the signs her eyes immediately Told her what that was but I would need To dedicate energy to reading that word It's like being a long division thing And you then yeah how are you going to Remember that exactly but if I see a Picture of a guitar or a house like it's Like an emoji a dog Emoji I know what it Is Um yeah so that's how dyslexia impacts Me When did you figure out that you had Dyslexia yeah versus I'm just dumb or Can't read or you know the other things You might have told yourself Well then the number one word is lazy Right so your teacher thinks you're slow Your parents think you're lazy and this Is something that is uniquely true for Most kids like me who grew up with Dyslexia or ADHD or any type of Neurodiversity your parents just think That you don't care but I really cared And so in preschool uh I'm I'm very

Musical right actually the best example Of you know what is it like to be Dyslexia Search up the song or read to You by Cliff Weitzman and you'll find it On Spotify Um So I was I was good at all the plays and I was good at Art and I was good at Acting And you know a lot of kids learned how To read a little bit before first grade My parents couldn't get me to learn I Was like oh it's fine but he'll learn it In first grade but then that didn't Happen And that didn't happen in second grade Either and my dad started to get really Mad at me because he was like Cliff like Why are you not paying attention like Why are you so lazy why don't you care And I was like do you care Um And yeah over time we just kept working At it You mentioned that you were quite Ambitious growing up and he said President and billionaire and pop star What's what's going on there Um You know I don't know where this even Happened but like from the moment I Remember having conscious thought maybe Four and a half years old I believed that I could do anything like

I thought I was a superhero I believed I Could do a backflip I believe they could Do a front flip I believe that I could Be in the Olympics I believe that I Could be you know I listened to someone On the radio I was like oh I can do that And so I signed up for like a singing Dancing troupe and by the time I was 12 I was performing a TV in Israel Um and you know I believe that I could Be like prime minister of Israel so I Was like cool I'm going to be a Billionaire prime minister and a pop Star all at the same time Um and You know when you're a kid you keep Telling yourself that you can do these Things And at a certain point most people Believe that actually they can't That just never happened to me like Everything I still dream constantly like I live 80 of my life daydreaming about the Future Okay so you move to the US you taught Yourself English through basically Harry Potter audiobooks The Stephen Fry ones The jibnea ones So in the United States this incredible Shakespearean actor named Jim Dale does All the Harry Potter narration oh it's Actually as a result of like some rights Issues uh audiobook company actually own

The Masters they don't own audio rights Uh and so Stephen Fry is an American uh Dude who narrates the audiobooks for Harry Potter in Britain Oh interesting Um and then you go to university in UL College and you went to Brown yes What did you study I studied Renewable Energy Engineering so it's a mix of Physics engineering computer science Yeah Brown is a very interesting spot Because you can make your own major Um so I invented my major at the time I Thought that renewable energy would be The field that would grow the most over The next 50 years and Um basically I built like solar cells And nuclear reactors and like studied Hydro energy but down the street from Brown is a place called RISD the Rhode Island Um Design Institute and it's the number one Design school in the world actually both Founders of Airbnb went to RISD so I Took a lot of industrial design and Graphic design courses at RISD and I Took classes in like philosophy and Um you know biotechnology and you know Medicine Etc because I just love learning and so I basically Like Brown also doesn't require you to take Any requirements with the exception of

Two classes that have to do something With writing during the 32 courses that You take And so I just refused to take Prerequisites I would email professors And I would get them to let me take the Class I remember I had one semester where two of my Classes I was missing six or seven Prerequisites to be in it it was like Masters level courses and I was just Yeah I'll figure it out and then I just Did them and so I learned a lot it was Like my two weeks in my cheeks started I Heard from smiling so much it was like The best experience of my life okay Um and and you said that before you got There you you built a text-to-speech Thing to be able to read the pre the the Pre-reading that's right how how did you Just build a text-to-speech that like Were you dabbling with coding and stuff When you were younger like what was the Story there yeah so my younger brother Tyler is 18 months younger than me Him and my sister were in the gifted Program every single year Um when we were growing up I didn't get In then they both got into Exeter which Is the number one high school in the US Tyler lived in the same dorm that Mark Zuckerberg was when he was in high School Tyler started building Dragon Ball Z

Websites with HTML and CSS when he was In third grade in fifth grade he taught Himself assembly so he could hack my Like RuneScape and MapleStory games and We moved to the United States we met People using his hacks Um Where the App Store came out Tyler was Finishing seventh grade he had just Moved to the United States he had just Skipped his first math class and skipped The class in Spanish even though he Didn't speak Spanish before and he Fished this old Toshiba out of the trash If it then had like a bunch of viruses And he cleaned them all up and he turned It into a Hackintosh and he taught Himself how to build iPhone apps and so I remember you know we were sharing a Room he'd just be on the computer all Day by the time he was 17 Tyler built 47 IPhone apps Um one was ranked in the top 10 social Networking category of the app store Called black SMS allows you to pass Protect and encrypt your text messages Um so Tyler was coding on my childhood And I would always try And I would always fail because I would Misspell the variables and if you code And you know one variable says you know House correctly and one says incorrectly And I can't tell the difference it would Break

So it was ready to moralize him Um right before College I started going To hackathons and I would try to code But I sucked but what I would do is I Would hop on a table and I have some Idea and I'd convince people to join my Team And then Um I would organize people and so I won The first four out of I I won four out Of the first eight hackathons I did one Was at MIT Um one was by this place called starter Weekend Province and after that I was Like okay I have to learn how to code And then I just took a bunch of courses On udemy on how to build iPhone apps and How to build websites and I would see How other people did it Um the first version of text-to-speech For speechify Tyler did most of the work Um I did some of it and Tyler's blind in His left eye he's asking mannequin his Right eye he does all of his work on Giant projector he now leaves the AIT in My speechify Um and so we worked on it together Tyler Did most of the work and I did some but While I was in college I kept teaching Myself more and more so that I could fix This program because it was oh it was All it was always break it started as a Mac app on my computer and it would let Me highlight words like hit a keyboard

Shortcut and it would read and most Americans read a 200 words per minute Um People will use speechify by default Will listen at 240. most of us can Actually listen faster than we can read Especially today because most people Know they're on YouTube double speed Yeah Tick Tock everything is fast Instagram double speed WhatsApp messages Podcasts audiobooks Um and then over the first month people Get to listen to 350 words per minute I Listen to everything at 700 words per Minute Um and so I was listening a lot faster Than any other default text-to-speech Readers allowed me to Um but this thing kept breaking so I Kept fixing it and then I took a couple Of classes in computer science And I kept thinking about it and then I Built a tool that would parse PDS for me So I could take you know a 300 page PDF For my history class and turn it into a Two-hour audiobook and that'd go work Out and just finish the PDF Um and I'd have like philosophy classes With super dense material from like Aristotle or Nisha or whatever and I Just put it on my computer I click play I'd listen a little bit slower and I Played like Classical music or like EDM music in the

Background with no Um the lyrics at like 30 volume and so My ADHD brain was like very soothed Because like 70 is on the reading and 30 Is on the listening and if you try to Talk to me like ah don't talk to me I'm Like Zone the ad set like that for like Three hours and I didn't take everything Um and that's what I did how's your Comprehension when you're listening that Fast like people always are like oh but Like obviously if you listen to Audiobooks 100 audiobooks you like I I Sometimes mention the stat people like Yeah but like obviously you don't like Actually take any of it in like what's What's your comprehension like ah 100 so If I listen to things I will have most of the memory if I Listen to something three times I'll Have it memorized Um So here's the thing right I typically Listen and read at the same time The problem is my reading sucks uh but Speechify highlights words as it goes And so people with dyslexia It's a decoding problem more than a Reading problem and so through Speechifier I learned how to sight read So if I see the word house 500 times a month in random text and Then I hear it at the same time next Time I see house I treat it like an

Emoji like I just know that those shapes Mean house it's just most people Dyslexia never get over that Gap to be Able to sight read and so for me I hear I listen at the same time and so my Retention goes up my comprehension goes Up my understanding goes up I can do it Faster and there's no fatigue Um now when you get good at that you can Start walking around juggling driving Working out cooking whatever and still Listen Um you know when you go to first grade No one expects you to read well they Expect it to take you know 10 years 12 Years before you're actually a really Good reader You got to practice listening too and so No one who I've ever met was good at Listening in the first podcast or the First audiobook they listened to Typically it takes about 10 audiobooks Before you become a fluent listener and Once you become a fluent listener you Can listen faster You can retain more you can do other Things at the same time and you Understand better and so it's literally Just a function of practice and if you Practice you get really good at it and Then it becomes an absolute superpower Because it can intake the internet Three times faster than everybody else And you can do it while you're walking

Around or doing whatever you want Yeah one of the nice things about this Is that it's it's in a way very passive Practice like all you have to do is like I I try and tell people this one when When people hear me listening like if I Have someone in the car and I was Listening to an audiobook on the way to Pick them up and I you know it auto Plays and suddenly it's like and they're Like oh my God is this height is this How fast you listen and I'm like that's Only 2x I slowed it down because it was The the climax of both bringer and I Wanted to enjoy it more like Um and I think people find it so hard to Believe that you could actually listen To something at three times a 3.5 x Speed and actually comprehend it but it Really just is a case of start listening At one time speed and then 1.1 is not It's not that bad and then you get used To that 1.2 it's not that bad and I only Discovered this I think I think it was Two years into listening to audiobooks I Was going I was getting through the Wheel of Time series and I was like okay This is getting really slow and then I Tried 1.5 and I was like oh my God Suddenly these slow books I'm way way More interesting and I just had never Discovered the speed function on Audible Before this and then I was a complete Convert

Um yeah if I listen if I listen to less Than 1.5 x speed I want to jump out that One at the window like I literally I Cannot deal with it even in Conversations with normal humans like You know when I was single if I would be A girl and she would speak quickly it's Instantly more attractive because you Can get through so much more material Together Um and it's literally just practice so I Think Malcolm Gladwell in one of his Books I think it's blank he talks about Uh conscious versus you know passive uh Practice and conscious practice you know Most people don't type but 140 words per Minute even though they're typing all Day but if you deliberately deliberate Practice deliberately practice typing Faster you'll get really really fast so With speechify because it's passive the Computer does the work for you what we Do is there's an automatic speed ramping Algorithm and if you turn it on every Thousand words it increases the speed by Five words per minute whatever is Relevant and so people end up listening Really really fast it's just practice Um one of the things we talked about in Our previous things about I'm sure we're Going to re redo some material is the Criticism that people have of like hey Look man why does life have to go so Fast why can't you like enjoy oh you

Know you're one of those toxic Productivity hustle culture Bros that Encourages people to listen and watch Things faster than they should that's That's not how the artist intended it Like all of those things uh I I imagine You get those criticisms a lot like What's your response to this I mean You're like me Fifty percent of my audible library and Speechify Library are fantasy books I'm Not listening to those things to be Productive man of listening to them Because I love them but I listen to them At 3x speed Um Imagine every YouTube video how to be Watched at 50 percent speed No finish the podcast And so my brain is just adjusted to Intake the same amount of information But faster That's it And so there's a lot of like okay my Favorite piece of art ever is Hamilton The musical I'm obsessed Um like I've got every word of Hamilton Memorized I listen to Hamilton songs Like a 1.4 when I get the chance Um but part of the reason I like Hamilton is because it's fast yeah and I Didn't take all of it right but things That are slow are give me more so what Is true is my brain has just adjusted to

Needing more information and by the way That's true for everybody right it used To be the 60 of kids in high school Would read books for fun this is like 60 Years ago uh now it's less than six Percent But when you grow up with Instagram and Tick Tock and YouTube and all the stuff Like your brain needs more information And even movies it used to be the number One movie in the world was Gone with the Wind frankly my dear I don't give a damn that speed people Would that movie would flop today the Speed is too slow And so Society is adjusted and if you Adjust with it you reap the rewards hmm And I guess the the the people who Listen to audiobooks at three times Speed are a bit more ahead of the curve On sort of speeder processing and like People are criticizing like the Gen zero Is criticizing that for uh or spending All the time on watching high-paced Content on Tick Tock exactly and Thinking nothing of it yeah so by the Way if you are able to listen and follow Tick Tock videos they go really fast if You're able to listen to a podcast at 2x Speed or listen to an audiobook at 2x Speed You have a superpower use it So okay Um someone might be thinking what's the

Point of listening to all this stuff if You don't act on it like surely it's Better to read 10 books a year and Really apply their insights than it is To read 100 books a year and not apply Their insights again that's another Thing I've heard a lot I've seen a lot Of YouTube comments and stuff whenever I Talk about I can't see this Um okay so here's how I think about Things All the knowledge in your brain is like A tree I think of it as a tree of Knowledge when you go to high school in Middle School you talk to your parents It builds the bark of your tree when you Go to university and you read more it Builds all this all the the branches and Every book you read is a new Leaf of Information on that train now if you Don't have a spot to let that leaf land It'll float away so for example if you Know one of the things I did at a Certain point is I listened to the Entire Bible in Hebrew I did this a couple times Right this doesn't mean anything to you Because you don't have context about Hebrew Um but even if I told you like one of The things that were said in the Book of Numbers like again no relevance so You're not going to remember this Five days from now

Um sometimes it makes sense to re-listen To a book right so I listen to How to Win Friends about once a year by Dale Carnegie because I just think it's a Great book and so there's a lot of books That I go back to I can quote most of the book to you but I still find something new every single Time Because I have that foliage built around That topic and so recently I've been Reading a ton of books about you know Building brand Performance Marketing Um yeah Austrian economics whatever it Might be And the more I read in that density the More I keep Um at the same time I retain most of the Material and so reading like business Books for example has become boring Because I read like the top 300 books About business when I was in high school Um it becomes repetitive Um so you go you go deeper you go Literally read primary sources which is What I do a lot now Um and you know that becomes fascinating And so Definitely start by reading like reading Is the number one way in which I learn I Just do it with my ears and to start With 10 books a year and understand them Well but if you unlock the superpower of Listening

And like you and me you finished I Finished two audiobooks a week I've done That for about 16 years Um okay you can listen to the same book Over and over again or you can diversify The the sources so that's one thing you Can do yeah one of the things that I Found the speed listening really helps With is uh just reducing the cost of a Book So I was at this philanthropy retreat Thing over the weekend where people were Talking about Ai and biosecurity and Pandemic prevention and like how do we Avert nuclear war and I just found Myself being like I have no idea what Anyone is talking about here and so in Conversations with people I was like What's like the one or two books you'd Recommend to kind of get up to speed on What the what what the hell's going on With nuclear for example and this Chapel I spoke to who works in policy was like You know there's this really good book Called The Bomb which came out recently That charts the history of nuclear war From the 1960s onwards You should try that out and I was like All right cool and immediately just Opened up Amazon on my phone bought it On Audible I saw it was a 12 hour read I Was like cool I can get through this in About three hours yeah something like That and I started listening to it on

The drive home and already like you know Two hours two or so hours into it like Listening about about 2.5 x speed Because there was a lot of names and Stuff and I'm not overly familiar with How the US government works so it's like Yeah let's slow down a bit I know I feel Like oh my God like I now have so much Context on the nuclear thing which I I Had zero on like other than studying the Cuban Missile Crisis in like history in When I was 15. beyond that I knew Nothing about any of this and it's like Oh it turns out there's all this like Drama between the Air Force and the Navy And the Army and the Marines all the Stuff around nuclear like stuff with the Kremlin the hotline there's some really Cool and if that if that had been Recommended to me as a book and I would Have seen how dense it is just like I'm Never gonna I wouldn't have read Brandon Sanderson because I've seen how big the Freaking way of Kings is but as an Audiobook as an audio Booker like a Speed multiple It only costs me about three hours of Time where I'm driving or at the gym to Be able to actually ingest a lot of Information about nuclear and maybe I Can't recite the names of like oh in 1963 this was the person who was the Head of the Department of State or Whatever but I don't really need to

Because what I care about is getting the Gist and a general understanding of the Topic yep the story and the plot plus It's asynchronous time right to read a Book you need to not drive not work out Not cook you're sitting at a desk you Know even reading while you're on the Trainer and an Uber is difficult but if I'm listening you know I finish my zoom Call like here's my how my day goes Right I wake up in the morning airpods Go in I start listening I brush my teeth I'm listening I'm cooking breakfast I'm Listening I take them out when I'm Eating breakfast with my teammates and Then if I have five minutes between a Zoom call and where I'm in I'll listen And then I finished the zoom call I'm Gonna head over here cool I start Listening I get in the Uber I like might Pick up a phone call or two the second The phone call ends I go back to Listening my airpods just don't leave my Ears and then I only stop listening I Texted you hey I'm downstairs but I can Do things and listen at the same time And when you show up downstairs I stop Listening and so all that dead time in The day typically it's like three to Four hours I'm listening to a book but I'm listening at 3x speed All right we're just going to take a Quick break from the podcast to Introduce our sponsor which is very

Excitingly heal I have been a paying Customer of huel since 2017 so it's been About six years now that I've been using Hugh fairly regularly I started eating Hill in my fifth year of medical school And I've been using heal regularly ever Since because you know I like to be Productive I you know my calendar is Full with a lot of things and often I Don't have the time or don't make the Time to have a particularly healthy Breakfast or a particularly healthy Lunch my favorite flavor is salted Caramel because 400 calories you get 40 Grams of protein which is absolutely Insane and you also get a decent healthy Mix of carbohydrates and fiber and fat Along with 26 different vitamins and Minerals which are all very good for the Body there's nine different flavors of This to choose from my favorite is a the Banana version and also the Salted Caramel version so what I do is I take My two scoops I put them into my NutriBullet blender type thing although You can just use a normal Shaker if you Want I mix it up normally with water but A little bit of milk to add a bit more Of a milkshake like consistency to it And then I just sip that while I'm on my Desk doing my work in the morning and it Ensures that I get a very healthy Breakfast in that's nutritionally Complete rather than some high sugar

Cereal which is what I would have Defaulted to instead also heal is Ridiculously reasonably priced like a Meal 400 calories comes out to one pound 68 per meal which is super super cheap Compared to what the alternative would Be if you were ordering takeout for Example anyway if you like the idea of Getting these cheap and healthy and Nutritionally complete meals in your Diet then head over to forward Slash Deep dive and if you use that URL forward slash Deep dive they Will send you a free t-shirt which are Quite nice and also a free kind of Shaker bottle type thing with your first Order so thank you so much Hill for Sponsoring this episode this episode is Very kindly brought to you by Trading212. now people ask me all the Time for advice about investing because I've made a bunch of videos about it on The YouTube channel and my advice for Most people is generally invest in Broad Stock market index funds which is Exactly what you can do completely for Free with trading 212. it's a great app That lets you trade stocks and funds and ETFs and foreign exchange if you really Want to and one of the great things About the app is that if you're new to The world of investing you can actually Invest with fake money you don't have to Put real money in they've got a practice

Mode where you invest fake money and Then it actually tracks what they the Market is doing in real time so you can See had I invested 100 pounds into this Thing what would my return have been X Weeks or X months further down the line Once you've got some comfort with that Then it's super easy to deposit money Into your trading tube into account you Can use Apple pay like I do initially or You can use a direct bank transfer and Then once the money is in your trading 212 account then you can invest it in Basically whatever you want the other Really cool feature about trading 212 is Their pies feature so what you can do is You can follow people who've created Investing pies for example someone might Have a pie where I don't know 30 of his Apple and 20 is Tesla and 10 is the S P 500 and you can follow people on the app And see what pies they've created and You can see the performance of those Pies and then you can just copy and Paste a particular pie into your own Account and so that means like let's say You've got 100 pounds to invest and You've put 50 of it into the S P 500 but You want to be a little bit more Experimental with the other 50 pounds You could invest it into a pie where Someone else is generally a pro or Someone in their bedroom who just loves The markets has already done all the

Homework for you the app also lets you Auto invest which is a great thing Because then you can automatically Invest a percentage of your paycheck Into the thing every month and so if you Haven't yet started with investing and You want to give it a go then you can Download the app on the App Store and if You use the coupon code Ali Ali at the Checkout that will give you a totally Free share worth up to 100 pounds it's Available on iPhone and Android and you Can check it out by typing in trading212 Into your respective App Store so thank You so much trading212 for sponsoring This episode that thing that you just Said I imagine there are some people Listening to this thinking oh my God that sounds incredible and just as Many probably thinking oh my God That sounds like the worst thing in the World this guy's a psychopath like Um I wonder like I mean most people do The same thing but with music Right so let's take Hamilton for example Um I eat biographies for breakfast I'm Obsessed right like I literally wrote a Rap album about the life of Arnold Schwarzenegger after I listened to Hamilton for the first time Um Hamilton the musical it's about two Hours 40 minutes long it is the best Biography of Hamilton in my opinion Right it's dramaticized but like you

Can't take away from the beat and lyrics And everything else when you listen to Music it's exactly like listening to a Book especially if you pay attention to The lyrics by the way one really cool Thing is if you start listening to a lot Of audiobooks you will notice and Remember all the lyrics from all the Songs you listen to most people who I am Friends with Um you know they listen to the beat or The melody and they don't necessarily Recall or understand the lyrics they Need to look at the lyrics on their Phone to really and take them for me Like both happen because I've trained That part of my brain But if you already do this for music why Do you do it with music because it Enriches your life It Makes You Happy Well Brandon sanderson's uh you know the Way of Kings enriches my life I'm sorry Even more than music and so again it Doesn't matter if it's fantasy or Fiction or philosophy or sci-fi I listen Because it makes me happy it's it's Beautiful it's enjoyable I'm living Inside this world and the joy that you Get from a book if you've read a book is So much deeper than the Joe you get from Watching a movie or watching a TV series And so I don't watch TV I don't watch Movies I just consume books but I do it With my ears

Do you like uh presumably on on the few Occasions where you do watch TV movies YouTube videos do you speed those up as Well or do you sort of slow it down and Watch it as the Director pre intended or Some like that I cannot deal with The speed of movies and TV shows at this Point so I use an app on my on my Computer called uh Video speed controller uh you can Increment the speed by 0.1 increments And when like my friends don't notice I I up it by 20 but if I was watching by Myself I'd want to do my 5x speed YouTube on my computer automatically Plays a 3X speed for everything Um and again okay we talked about you Know working out right before this when I was younger You know lifting 145 pounds was Difficult now I can then press that however long you Want me to Um and so you build the muscle right if You build the muscle and you can bench Press like 225 easy Um there's no reason to set the Resistance to 145. set it to 225. and so The trick is just practice listening Faster and here's the key Some of us are able to read at a Thousand words per minute like there are People who can do that right a college Professor in the United States typically

Will read about a 330 350 words per Minute no one goes how dare you read That quickly It's the same thing it's just that the Upper level that is accessible to most People and listening is a lot easier to Reach and here's why We've been listening for hundreds of Thousands of years We've only been reading For like a thousand years We evolved to be really good at Storytelling and paying attention and Processing with our ears It's a hack you know the idea of writing Characters and then decoding them it's An amazing hack but it's a hack Um it's not what humans evolved to learn How to do If you learn and here's the thing right Reading is a highly computational Behavior for the brain to do typically About 97 of your brain function is Actually working on decoding and only Three percent can focus on comprehension But if you listen like three percent is Focusing on decoding 97 focus on Comprehension so computers Are designed for computing the really Good at Computing and so if you could Outsource the computational work Of reading to a computer that's the best Except AI was not good enough to read Like a human until

Just about now Um and so now you can do that just think About it this way right how many of us Do long division math in our head nobody You pull up your iPhone you do it on Your phone It makes sense to do the same thing with Reading Um do you listen to podcasts very much I didn't used to and the quality of Podcasts significantly increased over The last 10 months so now I do my Favorite is how to take over the world By Ben Wilson hmm what's up I haven't Come across that oh my God it's amazing Okay so I came up I came across this Podcast The first episode I listened to was uh The life of Julius Caesar uh and then I Listened to Napoleon's biography by him And then he recently put out the Biography of Um Brigham Young And uh what he'll do is he'll read like Five primary sources and he'll produce Like a two to three hour uh biography Podcast he's got a great voice and then He'll also find the overarching concepts From all their lives for example they All eat fast they all attack fast They're all really good at communication And it's fascinating and so you know I Love the idea of taking over the world Not the same violent way that people

Used to but there's a lot that you can Learn so I'm obsessed with Hamilton I'm Also obsessed with Napoleon Um and you know Sandy for Julius Caesar And so the more you study people the More interesting it is and so that the Reason why I didn't like podcasts Historically is you know you got one Person interviewing another person Another person editing basically three Human hours running to one minute of you Consuming but if I fly from like California to New York and I listen to The Book Obama row before he became President that book is eight hours long I listen to 2x speed 3x speed by the Time I land I finished that book it's Like I sat next to Obama the entire time But he spent an hour thinking about Every single minute of what he was going To say And so books used to be a more dense Source of information uh podcasts Recently have improved dramatically the Other thing that happened to me is that Now read enough books that it's actually Difficult for me to find new things in Books but the lead time from something Being discovered To appearing in a podcast is faster than The lead time for something being Discovered to be published in a book and So when I was in college uh I knew I was

In the right classes when I started not Being able to Wikipedia the concepts About photovolithics engineering that we Were learning in class and I could only Learn that from the professors directly And so what I did is I took all these Classes and I would email professors at Stanford and MIT and Harvard to like ask Them additional questions Um it's now become the case that for Most topics you can learn more Cutting Edge stuff from podcasts so that's Really cool hmm Yeah that's interesting that's a good Way of thinking about it um the way I Think about audiobooks versus podcasts Is Audiobooks are really good if I want to Get like a just a broad General like Sort of Blitz about about a particular Topic but one thing I like about Podcasts is that usually like for Example if Tim if Tim Ferriss is an Interviewing Morgan house all about the Psychology of money like the book is Good but in a way him asking questions To the thing will spark other things in My mind of like even though I've read The book I still find the interview Valuable or I can't one when Cal Newport Is interviewing Tim first about Something I'm very familiar with both of Their work and so the way they talk About it has a meta level of awareness

To the topic but there's no point me Listening to a podcast about nuclear Because I know nothing about the topic And so to get the foundational Groundwork the books are sick because Then at that point I can understand what The experts are talking about And then the other thing I would say is Amazing about books is if you listen to Fantasy or sci-fi World building it's Really difficult to build a world and Have it be Um Congruent and consistent and actually There's a lot of strategy in doing that And so you get a lot of emotional Rewards uh by listening to a fantasy or Sci-fi audiobook that someone has spent A lot of time thinking about Um do you have any kind of note-taking Process when it comes to learning from Audiobooks and podcasts and stuff I Don't Um I remember it all in my head Um but the way I think about it is Everybody has a mental model of the Universe in their brain yep It's like a Google map where some areas You zoom in it's more pixelated other Places like it's really fleshed out and All the topics are connected to each Other and uh you know when people get Down YouTube wormholes and start Believing conspiracy theories

Um you know if the mental model is that Gigantic Street That conspiracy theory is a shrub that Lives over here that's not connected to Your main Tree in any shape way or form Uh a good example of this is I used to Believe the Vikings were mythical Creatures I didn't think they ever Existed I thought they were like dwarves And elves and then I went and visited Denmark and I was in Copenhagen Um and this girl said this thing about Vikings and I was taken aback because She talked about them like they existed In history and then I realized they did Like King Bluetooth was a real person Um who had a chipped tooth that turned Blue Um and he United like Denmark and Switzerland and Sweden and all these Other countries And they lived like right before World War one and I was like whoa and that was The first time that Vikings were Introduced into my mental model of the Universe so it all started to get Connected and so I consume a lot of Books I consume a lot of podcasts I talk To a lot of people I think a lot and so My brain keeps making these Fiber connections between things For note-taking I take notes on all my Zoom calls on Apple notes I love Apple Notes um I use them religiously and have

Done so since like 2011. Um One of the things we've now built in Speechify is when you listen to an Audiobook or PDF or whatever you get Both the text highlighted for you in Your library and you can listen and it Works both in iOS and on web and you can Click on a sentence and it'll allow you To take the note in there and one thing I want to do is ingest all the podcasts And if you want to make a comment on Something that you said uh you can and Then the audience can upvote and it Turns into a subreddit essentially like You can build a community for the Podcast listeners And then it makes all podcasts uh Indexable and searchable by topic so you Can search neurotropics and you can see Every time the Joe Rogan or Tim Ferriss Or Kyle Newport are you talked about you Know whatever neurotropic of choice Um and so that's something to me that's Really exciting so I'm we're trying to Build that into speechify Yeah the the thing around building a Model of the world in your head versus Outside of your head Um you know this you might be familiar With familiar with Tiago Forte building A second brain all that kind of stuff Yeah uh all of these new note-taking Apps that are allegedly trying to

Outsource the work of the brain to an App because a computer can understand an AI or whatever can link create links That you might not have found useful Yourself Um and so I've been sort of dabbling in The space for the last like three years Now but I've never I've never once had a Situation where my computer has created A link that I wouldn't have created in My head one thing it is useful for is For example let's say I had a call with Someone two years ago interviewing them About the book and I tagged it with a Thing and two years later when I'm Refining that chapter I search for the Thing and it's like oh okay and I now Have a searchable transcript which is Useful but beyond that I'm not sure what Actual utility I've gotten from the let A device connect your thoughts to things The CRM that I have in my computer is Amazing for people so I put a note in Instead of anyone's contact in my phone That when I put them in so let's say I Meet someone at a party I'll be like all Right Connor yellow hat Gangnam Style Because we danced Gangnam Style at the Time and then I'll search that every Time I need that person I'll text in the Question so a lot of my knowledge is Actually linked to the people that I Know right you get a bunch of like Random texts from me I'd say anything

For most people know me because I think About random things at four in the Morning uh or when I you know get out of The shower and I always build them up at This point I've actually shifted to Using iMessage and email for most of my Communications because it just makes it Easier to follow Um and then everything is in Google now As an Apple notes and so I I know how I Write and so I search for the right Keywords to unlock that thing the other Thing is I have an app on my phone that Organizes my contacts by the date in Which I entered them so if I met someone At the Christmas party 2018. that's good I will go to that date and then I look At who came into my contacts booth and Oh yeah it was Jimmy and then I'll send Him a message Um so that's the thing that I really Rely on and if I didn't have it I would Cry and so I backed that up a lot um do You use the CRM for like just work stuff Or also personal stuff oh yeah personal Stuff even more than work exactly what's It called oh I don't know like my CRM is Just the contacts book in my phone and Apple notes like it's not but you just Add like some level of metadata to the Thing that helps jog your memory and Stuff nice Um okay let's go away from this sort of Deep sort of speed listening E-Type

Rabbit hole for a bit so you're you're In college you're taking a lot of these Classes you're consuming a lot of Information and you're using this hack Together text-to-speechy thing that you And Tyler kind of created to make it Easier for you to absorb information Because you've got dyslexia and reading Is like a real nightmare exactly Um what happens next in the cliff Weisman story and I guess also you're a Very like sociable dude Um and I remember last time we spoke you Mentioned that you did some like Rogue Things socially when you were in in College I wonder if you can elaborate on That yeah of course Um cool so I don't drink I don't smoke I've never been high I've never been Drunk Um there's no way you're getting me to Touch a cigarette Um not psychedelics either yeah Um the way I think about psychedel I Have a lot of friends who love Psychedelics many many close friends Um Psychedelics the way they are described To me is you know Let's say this is the lens for the world You get to look at the world from Another angle you shift it it's like Clicking a reset button the thing is I Love how my brain functions like I'm so

Happy I do not want to roll the dice and Resetting it and I've also had a lot of Friends who have had like a Life-changing experience with Psychedelics that were that were Negative right right oh yeah many many Okay Um And I don't want to risk it I'd rather Stay stay as I am maybe when I'm like You know 60 and and life becomes boring And I want to change something but so Far I I'm very happy uh I'm the happiest Person I've ever met really I I don't I Don't want to shift it Um okay so I'm 18 year old Cliff Um you know I'm just about to graduate High school at this point in my life I Became obsessed with parkour Um so when I was six I saw a movie where Jackie Chan did a backflip and I was Like obviously I'm gonna learn how to do This and I I got into University and so You know I could do less work in school And I would just spend like six hours a Day doing parkour I was like working on like double Backflips and I started doing hackathons Got to Brown Oh my God and brown was ranked for eight Years in a row the happiest School in The world Um people were interesting and

Interested and for the first time Everybody was like someone I could learn Something new from it was a huge shift And even though you know I went through Like a public high school in California That this was a very different Environment And so what I did is I would uh I would Go to the dining hall and I very quickly Realized the best thing about college is The people who were there much more Important than the classes and I would Have two dinners every single night I Would grab a plate I would go to a table Exactly like this so you have eight People sitting at the table I'd look for One that has six or seven people it'd be Like hey can I turn you guys what's your Name Ali I'm Cliff nice to meet you can I grab a seat sure How's it going and then I talked to Everybody in that table I'd finished my Food at this point I was trying to eat 3000 calories a day I get two more Plates and I go and I'd sit at another Table and then I'd grab a cup of tea and I said another table actually sorry I Had like three dinners a night And I would do this for the first two Months of every single semester first Semester second semester and I did this Every year so I got to know 60 of my freshman class uh within the First two months and then I got another

Class underneath and class underneath And I got to know a lot of the seniors And the Juniors and even when I Graduated I would fly back and I was Crashing on Valentine's couch and I Would do this again and Um I would host workshops for adoc which Is the admitted students day and you Know I'd get people to open up and so I'd meet all those people even if they Didn't come to Brown Um before I got to Brown I knew that I Did not want to drink and I was like Cool I gotta make sure that I don't have Any social inhibitions even without Drinking and you know I think right Before that I'd read the four hour week For the first time and how to win Friends and so I combined the Comfort Challenges that Tim Ferriss suggests With the chapter about smiling uh from Dale Carnegie's book and so every time I'd walk down the street and someone big Was walking across I'd lock eyes with Them and I'd flash a smile in their Direction and my goal was to get to Smile back and the great thing about That is number one you become very happy From this physiologically because if you Smile you know your brain becomes and Then the other person is smiling at you Genuinely and I always play this game to This day especially in airports but I Would go with like a coffee shop and I'd

Try to negotiate a 15 discount I'd lie On the floor on a Starbucks for like 15 Seconds 20 seconds to give myself a time Out I'd go to the mall and ask out you Know every person who walked by just to Build the muscle and I got good at just not being shy and so I'm the first person dancing on a table At any party I just don't drink Um and that was really really useful and Anyone can do it it's just a matter of Practicing and then that's served me Really well because throughout College I Did 42 hackathons I think Um and I met a lot of friends in all Those events and like I'd be the first person to ask questions Every time you know someone interesting Came to to school and you know I'd build A relationship with them Um I'd enter like there's a rap battle Cool I'll do the rap battle there's a Break dance battle cool I'll do the Breakdance battle someone's playing Basketball or a sport I like let's say a Sport I've never played before I'm Always in Um I just have no inhibitions about Going to do stuff and I love putting Myself outside my comfort zone always Um and that served me really well and Then when I graduated and I started Working on speechai full time it was Quite lonely because I couldn't meet new

People and one of the best things about Brown is you have artists and musicians And philosophers and actors and people Who are into math and physics and Computer science and history it's Incredible cross-pollination of all These things but downtown San Francisco Is just All Tech Bros so that was a lot Less interesting and I was living with My brother And all the people who I was working With like I had I had hired them and so There weren't that many people so I Started flying back to Brown every month Or two And then I realized that there were a Bunch of cool people on Instagram and YouTube and Twitter so I just started Dming people and even before that I was Really good at Cold messaging people on Email Founders especially and one of the Strategies I developed once they got to The point where I'd read all the books That I could read to learn about a topic Is I'd make a Google sheet of the 100 People who knew about the topic the most And then I'd message every single one of Them on Instagram Facebook LinkedIn Email and then I'd follow up it's like On a zoom call once I got a zoom call I'd be like whoa this is amazing you Know so much about Performance Marketing You live in Israel Denmark Chicago cool Uh can I come

Say hello in person like I I I it's easy For me to come visit Denmark on like Sunday Um can I come by I'm like yeah sure and Then fly there and then I'd meet them And so you know it doesn't matter if It's an athlete or a musician or like an Author like recently I went and I spent Some time with Brandon Sanderson in in Utah and I you know One of my favorite rappers lives in Las Vegas so I'll fly to his studio and I'll Record with him Um or there's like this Um like media Mogul who is like an Incredible Um agent for actors so I'm going to meet Him in Aspen in like three days and After that I'm gonna go to Las Vegas and After that I'm gonna go Um need like Orlando Bloom in LA because He's a big user his future fight like if There is someone who I think is awesome I will just build a relationship with Them and then the way I got really good At Performance Marketing is I just made A list of the top 100 best performing Consumer subscription companies in the World and I went and I sat behind the Founders of grammarly of audible of goop Without a shave club Um of of you know Robin Hood Etc and I saw how they bought Ads and then I met you know

Amara and Thomas and Matt from yes Theory or Logan or Jimmy and I just Would study how they created content and Then I gotta go to creating content and Then I wanted to know how to hire Engineers so I found that ctOS of all The top startups John Collison whatever And I'd talk to them about it and then I'd understand how they did it and I'd Figure out the process and then I'd Implement the process and so really my Strategy as CEO speeches wise if you're A Founder your number one rule is to Learn you learn how to code how to Design how to talk to users Um your number your top three goals as a CEO is make sure there's enough money in The bank set the vision and make sure The right people are in the right seats And so a company by definition the word Means a collection of people so your Role is to collect incredible people and Then have them grow in the same Direction for a really big vision And so you know I used to be the head of Engineering it's fine I used to be the Header product of speechify I used to be The CMO at speechify not CM I led Marketing and Performance Marketing and You know brand whatever it might be so I'll read every single book there is About the topic like literally 100 books Until I'm a subject matter expert and Then I'll find all of the number one

Practitioners in the field and I will Make friends with them and I will study How they do it and then you know maybe I Can teach them something and they can Teach me something else and then I'll do A ton of experiments and I'll rewrite The Playbook of how to do this thing and Then I'll find someone who's more Talented at that operation than me and I'll have them leave the department and I'll go and run the next Department After that Um and so you know that one of my Favorite things in life is to just make Friends with the most awesome people in The world right so I love this podcast You know how to take over the world Because it tells you the stories of just The most badass people in history well There's a lot of badass people alive Today I would argue more badass than any Other people who have ever lived because They've had the benefit of listening to All these books listening to all these Podcasts bro every 13 year old already Gets to read everything that Newton Never wrote about geometry and then by The time they graduate high school they Know all the calculus man Newton didn't Have anything through oh he has the line If I have seen further is because of I Stood on the shoulders of giants so we Had you know capernus kiss and Galileo But like everybody today is so much more

Awesome than people who lived in the Past because they get to benefit from Everything that everyone else has ever Written or said Plus you have an iPhone an external Brain and you can bench press like you Can make yourself amazing and so there's All these incredible people I want to be Friends with all of them and so that's What I do Why do you want to be friends with all Of them like what's what's driving that So number one I have this huge urge to Be the best person that I can be Um so if I look at like my top three Goals in life number one is to make Myself the best person I can be and have Kids who are greater than me number two Is love I think love is the most Important thing in life and the more you Give it the more you have to give it's Like fire you light a flame and you can Then light another one without Extinguishing the original one you know Renewable Energy Engineering energy Cannot be created or destroyed but love Can Um it's like a jug where as you pour of It Um The Jug gets bigger has more water in It So I think Love Is Magic so maximize Love in my life whether it be with my Friends

Um with my users with my kids with my Partner whatever it might be uh and Number three is to create as much value In the world as possible and Elevate the Collective quality of life and I see Creating value as a function of love It's how you love on someone who you've Never met before Um you know for speechify 15 of the Reviews on the App Store are people who Say they cried when they started using The app because of some impactful in Their lives Um I'll tell you you know a short story Which is right before I graduated College I wrote this 30 page book sorry 30 page Paper about my World Views And I finished writing it at like four In the morning and I was writing the Last paragraph of this thing and I had Taken all My Views and I distilled them Down into the 28 principles that I Believe that most other people don't Believe and you can find this on medium And the last paragraph Was In one of those days where Cliff was Asleep in the book when he was 10 year Olds 10 years old imagine if he had a Dream that he could right If you could read books about how to not Get bullied about how to be a good Athlete about how to learn about math About how to figure out how to take a

Challenge and not being able to go to Computer science and figure it out you Know how to deal with a psychological Challenge of having your younger Siblings who are smarter than him Um on how to make friends Imagine if you told them that you know He would actually go to college I don't Think he'd believe you or that he'd go To go to Brown Imagine if you told him that who he is Today is greatly shaped by the fact that He is dyslexic and that he learned how To overcome that challenge when he was 9 10 years old Um And so I cried when I wrote this Paragraph and I sent it to my girlfriend At the time it's like a big paper but I Had like four spelling mistakes three Spelling mistakes and it's because I can Hear the spelling mistakes of Speechifying I couldn't believe it and So I submitted this paper and Immediately went on to write thank you Notes so my eighth grade teacher Mr Bloom who let me come in 15 minutes Early and Summarize the book to my Sophomore year teachers assistant Mark Reisler who would sit behind me and say That one but I didn't know which one of The options from the squiggly Red Lion To pick because two two and two sounded Exactly the same to me

And to some of my professors to my Parents and then I added one more guy And I basically sent in this email and It was like Hey You Don't Know Me I Don't know you but I just graduated College And number any thank you notes in the List would not be complete without you In fact I would not be the person I have Today without you and it was the dog Cats who is the founder of audible And I sent that email it was a long Email like eight paragraphs and he Responded like 40 minutes later with a Longer email than the one I sent and he Went you know messages like this Um don't make my days and weeks but my Months And we built a relationship Um And to be like talking to doncast is More exciting than talking to LeBron Um The crazy thing is I get About 25 emails like this a day at this Point or Instagram messages or you know Facebook messages Etc uh people who use Speechifying the same way because Audible's got like 450 000 titles Speechified let's listen to the entire Internet Um And so the cool thing is like As I developed these relationships

I get inspired by the people who I meet Because not everyone's story is on the Internet you know Um there's a lot of people who will Build a cool product I'll think it's Awesome and typically if someone builds A cool product you probably think the Product is cool you'll probably think The person is cool too so I just said a Ton of cold messages all day if I see Something cool I I message the person I Say hey you build something cool you Know would love to be your friend I'll Ask a couple of questions whatever it Might be And that's how I approach recruiting and That's why the team is speechified so Strong too is like we just hire awesome People who led teams and built awesome Great things Um and so the goal is to just surround Give as much love as I can to the rest Of the world Um be able to give as much love as I can Um and just learn and you know when you Exhaust books people are the next Frontier Right we're going to take a very quick Break from the podcast to introduce our Sponsor which is brilliant Has been a supporter of my channel for The last several years I've been using That product for the last several years And it's the best app I've ever found

For online courses in maths and science And computer science the courses are Really fun and interactive and engaging And you learn stuff and then you apply It with a practical puzzle and you learn A bit more and then you've applied a bit More so it's generally a way more Engaging and interesting way of learning Stuff compared to how we might have been Taught in school for example my favorite Courses on brilliant are the computer Science courses so back when I was Applying to med school I was actually Torn between medicine and computer Science and I went for medicine in the End which I don't regret but there was Always a part of me that really wanted To understand how computer science works And so when I started taking the Computer science courses on brilliant it Really helped me understand like at a Deep level what the deal is with the Basics of computer science like they've Got a fantastic course introduction to Algorithms they've got a whole course on Cryptocurrencies which is all about how Cryptocurrencies actually work and how The kind of sha-256 encryption works and It teaches the topic of cryptography and Security in a really fun and engaging Way which is way better than any other Explanation I found on the internet Anyway if any of that stand up you're Straight and you would like to level up

Your knowledge and your thinking in Terms of maths or science or computer Science then do head over to forward slash Deep dive And the first 200 people to use that Link which is also in the video Description and in the show notes we'll Get 20 off the annual premium Subscription so thank you so much Brilliant for sponsoring this episode And let's get right back to the podcast This episode is very kindly brought to You by wework now this is particularly Exciting for me because I have been a Full paying customer of wework for the Last two years now I discovered it During you know when the pandemic was in The on the verge of being lifted and I Spent like the whole year just sort of Sitting in my room making YouTube videos But then I discovered wework and I was a Member of me and Angus my team members We were members of the wework in Cambridge and they have like hundreds of Other locations worldwide as well and it Was incredible because we had this Fantastic beautifully designed office Space to go to to work and we found Ourselves like every day just at nine O'clock in the morning just going to Wework because it was a way nicer Experience working from the co-working Space than it was just sitting at home Working these days what me and everyone

On my team has is the all-access pass Which means you're not tied to a Specific wework location but it means You can use any if there's several Hundred co-working spaces around London Around the UK and also around the world And one of the things I really love About the co-working setup is that it's Fantastic as a bit of a change of Scenery so these days I work from home I've got the studio at home but if I Need to get some focused writing work Done and I've been I'm feeling a bit Drained just sitting at my desk all day I'll just pop over to the local wework Which is about a 10 minute walk from Where I am I'll take my laptop with me I'll get some free coffee from there I'll get a few snacks and it's just such A great Vibe and you get to meet cool People I've made a few friends through Meeting them at wework and it's just Really nice being an environment almost Like a library but kind of nicer because There's like a little bit of soft music In the background and there's other kind Of startup Bros and creators and stuff In in there as well and it's just my Absolute favorite co-working space of All time it's super easy to book a desk Or book a conference room using the app And it's a great place to meet up with Team members if you're going to Collaborate and you'll live in different

Places they've got unlimited tea and Coffee and herbal teas and drinks on tap And they've also got various kind of After work events that happen like happy Hours and yoga and a few other exercise Type things and you can also take in Guests so often when guests will come Over to visit I'll say hey let's pop Into wework and we'll just work from There for the whole day and then we'll Go out for dinner sometime in the Evening anyway if you're looking for a Co-working space for you or your team Then I'd 100 recommend wework like I Said I've been a pain customer for Theirs for the last two years which is Why it's particularly exciting that They're now sponsoring this episode and If you want to get 50 off your first Booking then do head over to Forward slash Ali and you can use the Coupon code Ali at checkout Ali to get 50 off your first booking so thank you So much wework for sponsoring this Episode so let's say someone's listening To this and they're like and I'm I'm I I Feel like I'm sort of in this in this Boat where You know I saw you very kindly shared Your like goals spreadsheet with me on Google Sheets the other day and I was I Was looking at it and I was just like oh Wow you're so intentional about like People that you want to meet and like

Want to hang out with and and part of me Was thinking I'd like to do that as well like that Seems cool and you know for example When I had Brandon Sanderson on the Podcast like that that was sick like That was awesome Um and I it was a cold a cold message on Twitter and I almost didn't believe that It turned out it turned out the way it Did But another part of me was a sort of Scared I think there was a fear around Like oh Sending call messages seems like just Like hey it seems like a lot of work be It like it's kind of weird like I feel Like I already struggle hard enough to Keep to keep in touch with my actual Friends let alone trying to then expand This network for people around the world And even a part of me was like uh Cliff Must have some kind of like insecurity To be wanting to become friends with With celebrities and I was like that's Weird like why am I why is that like Where my brain went with this because I Think it was it was me being afraid of Like that's really cool and I want to do That but I'm but my ego is trying to Find reasons for to be like Oh you know you know I'm I'm more secure On myself therefore I don't need to be Friends with

A famous person And I think this is I feel like this is Similar to the attitude some people have When if you see someone who's like very Successful at a thing and you kind of Feel like you want it like I want to be Successful with that thing But you feel like there is something Stopping you from getting that like you Feel like you can't put in the time or The effort or like me or it just Wouldn't be possible it's very easy to Be like oh I don't I don't actually want The thing because oh you know that that Person's materialistic that's why they Have a Lamborghini I don't actually want Lamborghini oh whatever that might look Like Um yeah so the funny part is like we're Talking about like being friends with Famous people but we're talking about Brandon Sanderson like that's the thing That both you and I are most excited About Brandon Sanderson most of the People who are watching this don't know Who he is and if they do know who he is They have no idea what he looks like Yeah but man I again the guy who I Teared up messaging was the founder of Audible none of you guys knew who Doncast was before I don't care how Famous someone is yeah I care about what They've done I care about their story I Care about how they've impacted the

World and how I can be inspired by them And so the people with message like They're a parkour athlete with like 1 000 followers on Instagram who are just Their core friends but they can do a Move that I can can't do they can do a Webster they can do a beautiful Webster And so I'm gonna message them and be Like hey Adam you have the best website Anybody I ever seen I know you live in North Carolina would it be cool if I Hired you to coach me and I'll set up my Phone on FaceTime and I'll put my Airpods in and I'll just train for two Hours and pay you for that he's like Yeah for sure but you don't need to pay Me like I'm happy to coach you And so like I'll just reach out to People who I think are cool I don't care If they're famous it just happens to be There if they're famous I'm more likely To know their story Um you know I'm a bigger fan of chaitu Or Simon who work with me than I am of Any any of these people Um and Yeah it's just the fact that like the More you learn about people the more you Realize that the world is stacked with Incredible human beings who also just Have such great character and again if Someone doesn't have good character if They're like a jerk I have zero interest In being their friend no matter what the

Story is Um And and that's that's the key is like You gotta just do it all from a place of Curiosity and love Um to answer your previous question of Like oh it might take a lot of work and Take energy it doesn't take any work it Doesn't take any energy right so let's Say you're on Instagram Typically I send audio messages and I'm Like Hey Jason I heard you on this podcast I thought it was awesome I specifically Liked what you said about the tree of Knowledge I have the specific questions About backflips can I ask you sure Um this is the question by the way you Know I'm working on this I'm doing this Blah 40 second message right if it's a Cold email dude I said at least 40 of these this week Um hey Steve I just was going through The GitHub repository for the Mozilla Text-to-speech uh open source project And I saw this contribution that you did And I thought it was amazing uh you know This can be a Twitter message could be An email whatever Um I'm working on this company called Speechify here's the link or even before Speechify I'm a student at Brown

University I'm studying Renewable Energy Engineering I'd love to be a friend uh Like I'd love to be your friend like That line all the time yeah I love it Like I'd love to get to know you maybe Be friends Um are you free for a zoom call to get To know you like 3 P.M or 4 P.M on Thursday or Friday Um my best Cliff that's it you're Talking about three lines yeah why you Think they're awesome yeah why you have Some sort of credibility and it's enough To be interested in the topic to be a Student Um and a time that you suggest 80 of People say yes really yeah I just got a Message it don't make it long yeah so The thing is like one thing about me is Like I actually like couldn't care less About people's like status sure in life Yeah when I was a freshman at Brown Jack Dorsey came to give a talk Jack Dorsey Is the founder of Twitter and square Um and I like snuck into the talk late But he was a great speaker and so at the End I walked up and I was like hey I Really love the way he merged technology And Design Could I Shadow you for a day in San Francisco Um I'd love to learn how to do what you Do and he's like ah maybe and it's like Sweet can I get your secretary's email

And he's like sure here here's her email A message no response message again no Response happened to be that at another Conference Um in St Louis he was speaking and he Like got off stage too quick for me to Make the relationship but I searched the Crowd for someone who had a square T-shirt and I found one Um uh this guy Greg this woman sake and I started talking to them Got Greg's email Later that summer I got a one-on-one Lunch from Jack Dorsey I was 18 years Old Um and just because I maintained the Relationship and you know they you know Engaged with me because they wanted to Recruit me to the company eventually and I sent them this video of me pitching This product that was really good but Still Um like I don't care like in my opinion You know It's a great thing for Jack to be Friends with me because I will introduce Him to a bunch of other cool things in His life Um and that's the frame that any of you Guys listening to this should have when You interact with a new person Um you know none of it matters Um it just matters like do you come into Things with good intention and as long

As you give more than you receive which Is what you should try to do all the Time your life will be amazing and Here's the thing like I said it costs me Nothing to give you love And you know when I'm with Brandon Sanderson to ask him this question that I know you're curious to to know about Or when I see your video or you know Download your product to say hey you can Approve this in the following way hey I Mentioned this person about this product That you built that I think is great Um it doesn't cost me anything but it Might benefit you tremendously and so if You give 70 points of value to a Thousand people and they give you back 30 points of value man your life is so Much richer because you didn't lose Anything for like the good energy that You spent you know with everybody else So I rule if in a short period of time I Can significantly increase it some Increase someone else's life do it And so you're already a master at this Right like the reason why you have a YouTube channel is one day you woke up And you're like hey I know how to study for the medical Boards really well let me make a video To teach people and then you're like oh You know I love iPads let me make a Thing about how to take notes on iPads And you build a following because you

Genuinely shared the things that you Were good at with the community for no Other reason than you wanted to help and The same thing was true for me I used to Write a lot of productivity medium blog Posts and I used to post them as a Organic post on the Facebook feed for The freshman classes that would come at The brown and then that feed got so big With resources that it became a medium Post because it just stopped you know Matching the character limit And then I I wrote another one if I was A entrepreneur and I was starting at Brown here's all the resources that I Wish I knew and like here's an index of All the people on campus so I think are Really cool they should reach out to Um and hey you know I'm gonna go to this Conference in MIT uh tomorrow morning I Didn't know how to get to MIT until I Was a sophomore Um so if you're a freshman meet me at This gate at 6 30 a.m here's a link to Register and I'll show you how to get to MIT that's where I'm at Valentine who Became my best friend Um who let to be you know meeting the Girl that I dated for the rest of College and all these good things that Happened in my life was just because I Was doing things For nothing less than a desire to help Other people figure out how to figure

Out things that I'm doing and you know a Lot of people talk about product Market Fit when they're working on startups one Thing I think people should talk about More is founder product fit and so my Goal is you know to be the person that I Needed most when I was young and what I Really needed was someone to read my Books to me and so I also made sure that My mission in life the thing I worked on Spend the most my time on was something That was congruent with who I am and the Type of help that I needed And so that's you know my way of giving Love into the universe in general is you Know I'm building the thing that I Needed and I get to benefit those people And benefit myself because I'm uniquely Capable of doing that because I Understand the problem better than Anybody else and so if you can align Your life in that way or you find a Thing that you're is it a problem that You yourself have right studying for Medical school and you solved it for Yourself and you can broadcast how to Solve that problem yeah great Yeah this is connecting a lot of dots in My own in my own mind as you as you say This because I think Like in my in my first year of med School like you know we I was part of The Islamic society and um there were Medical students in the in the in the

Years above and they would all share Like essay plans and notes and stuff and It became the sort of like Islamic Society Medics Community sharing notes So then I was like I mean that's cool But like cool why don't I do that within My own College of my own cohort of Medics and then made a Google Drive Sharing notes there and being like hey Guys if we all write three essays and They're different and we share them with Each other like the 30 essays we can all Memorize with the exam and and that and Then a couple years later Um when I got super into like Evidence-based study techniques I Thought hey why don't I give a talk About this because this would be a cool Thing and we just made a little Facebook Event and it was meant to be just for The Islamic society and we booked out The prayer room for seven people but Then it got 20 000 Impressions on Facebook it has a Facebook event and Like sort of 120 people showed up Because it was like this is a talk On how to study for exams and that gave Me that sort of thing Four years later one or three years Later when I started the YouTube channel Of that talk I gave three years ago went Down pretty well I still have the slides From that I'm gonna make a video at some Point doing evidence-based study tips

But before I do that I need to make 100 Videos so I can get good at making Videos and that that video that I made 181 videos later went viral and caused The whole explosion of everything and as You describe this thing of just sort of Like just putting yourself out there and Trying to be helpful and trying to just Add value in whatever way you can I Think a lot of people overthink this a Lot of people have this thing of oh I Couldn't possibly say anything publicly Because unless it's perfect it can't go Out there and I was speaking to someone Over the weekend who's like been writing In her journal for like a thousand words A day for the last like eight years or Something and she wants to be a writer I Was like okay if you published anything She was like no it's not good enough to Publish And she was asking me how I became how I Was so sort of chill about this and it Was Austin cleon's book show your work Um which taught which gave me the model Of as long as the thing that you're Doing has the potential to benefit at Least one person then there's almost a Moral obligation on you to put it out There and actually sent Austin a thank You email like many years later Um with a piece at the bottom being like I'd love to connect and then we ended up Connecting and he was on the Deep dive

And just really nice things happen just Sending a thank you email as a result of That one book Um and that well yeah just the this idea Of putting putting Good Good Vibes out There into the world just trying to be Helpful in whatever way you can and Trusting that like good things will Happen as a result three points of that Number one I have a rule if something Positive is said about anybody else in a Conversation with me I'll check and then I'll text that person the positive thing That was said about them because it cost Me nothing but you just made their day Yeah if I'm procrastinating and like I Want to like I don't know watch TV so I Won't watch TV I'll just send gratitude Notes to people that I love and it might Be that it's the first time I thought About this person in six months but I'll Just send him a message by the way That's how I maintain connection with People who I'm close with even if I'm Not closer than the person Um the way I got into making YouTube Videos was when I was 15 I did parkour And what we would do is we would shoot Ourselves on our little point-of-shoot Like cameras or iPod Touches that I Would make iMovie Show reels and I post that to YouTube And you can find it has like I don't Know a thousand views per video

But then later I filed a patent when I Was in college for a 3D printed Skateboard break that I built and I had To figure out how to printable I built This 3D printed skateboard break you Mounted on the axle of skateboard break You mounted on the axle of your Longboard yeah and then you twist your Heel and it'll stop your board for you Oh that's awesome yeah it was great and So you know I built that in college and So I patented it but it was a huge Hassle to patent like the online patent System for the US is like designed by a Deranged DMV employee who like wanted to Like ruin the lives and productivity of Everybody who went through it yeah so I Learned how to do it and then I was like Okay well this literally took me three Days to figure out let me just make a Video walking people through how to do This and so I did in that video got like 150 000 views and then I devised this Way of blocking the recommendations on The right panel of YouTube so I wouldn't Get distracted and I would block the Main feed of YouTube as well and like Most people won't know how to select the Divs and use Adblock to do this let me Make a screenshot how to do this that Also got 150 000 views and then um Foreign I got the scholarship for kids with Learning differences so basically I paid

For I paid for college Um and I did it by building all these Products when I was in college and I Hired 10 Freelancers to find and apply To scholarships from me full-time and I Had like a bunch of criteria it'd be Like more than five thousand dollars Eligible as a non-us citizen who was Living in California who had like a you Know x amount GPA who studied energy or Had dyslexia or whatever Um and so one of the scholarships was For the lion Fellowship they elect the Top 20 highest performing kids with Learning differences in the US and Canada and I got into this thing and I Realized nobody was using Texas speech And I was like are you guys kidding me And so I got up on stage and I demoed The tool that I built Um and you know three weeks later half The people who were in that conference Had already sent me thank you notes Saying this completely changed my Education thank you and so when like the 15th person messaged me my mom had Called me up to dinner and I was like Give me 15 minutes and I screen recorded How I used text-to-speech on my computer I made a little YouTube video one take And then I uploaded to YouTube the day That things also got like 300 000 views There's like thousands of comments Saying like I'm literally crying my you

Know third graders doing homework by Herself this video got uploaded in like 2014 two years before I started working On speech five the company Um and so don't try to get paid don't Try to like Arbitrage just put good Energy into the world and if you do that Um good things happen Right I'd have to zoom in on the this like Thank you notes thing so you said that You don't procrastinate you don't scroll On social media okay but instead of Procrastinating typically if I'm low Energy in my work and I find it Difficult to focus I just pull on my Phone I go to iMessage and people who I Feel graded towards I send them specific Messages for what I feel gratitude about Wow that's such a positive way to waste Time on your phone exactly and don't Endless scroll Twitter like I imagine if You're on like every time I'm on the Toilet multiple times a day you know my Default is Twitter I just scroll scroll Yeah I just go to iMessage and I message People wow Oh man my life would be so much better If that was my default like thumb action Rather than just another thing I do is I Use uh so my phone I activated the Child Safety Lock so Um What's it called on your phone uh when

It blocks you from being on an app after 15 minutes oh yeah that thing um yeah Yeah so that thing um They just released an API for this Um Apple Focus mode yeah Um I set my phone as if I'm a five-year-old And parental controls and I do not know The code to open that parental control Thing and I haven't known the code for About five years my brother knows it my Girlfriend knows it like all the rest of My team know it uh but I don't and so I Get two minutes of Instagram a day Two minutes on Twitter Two minutes of YouTube She went to tick tock and then they're All locked and I can't open them uh if There's something specific I need to do I can ask someone to open them for me And it'll be open open for a couple of Minutes but then they're immediately off Again Um yeah I don't even have the app I Think for YouTube on my phone Um and that's how I defend myself Wow all right I'm gonna I'm gonna try This this this group this gratitude Message thing seems like a very easy Life hack for just like I'm just all Loads of good things happening because I Find that one of the issues I have is I mean as I as I'm sure you do as well

Like when you've got a lot going on it's Easy to let relationships slide it's Easy to be like oh I've got an extra two Hours this evening oh because uh meeting Finished audio because I was I'm Actually at home oh great two hours I Can work on my book I can do this thing I can do something work related And I know that that's the wrong answer here Because like every single thing I've Ever read around you know how to design Your life and all this stuff so that's Really what I do yeah um first of all I Do the same thing as you if I have a Free time I'm spending on a speech of my Butt You remember maybe a month before I got To the UK you crossed my mind because I Thought that I was moving here and I Send you a message I was like Hey I want To be in the UK at this time do you want To hang out you're like yeah I was like How about this date literally a month And a half two months into the future Yeah and we booked a time to hang out And you were like do you want to do a Podcast too and I was like yeah so we Put time on the calendar Oh Monday came I was looking forward to Hanging out with Elite so I book all of It in advance yeah Um There's like this really cool you know

Adventure vacation I'm organizing with a Couple of friends you know I got this Idea for a thing and then I messaged Everybody they all said yes and then you Know I had a teammate start to organize It for us and so you know we Consolidated a time but like that one is Not random it's like happening Organically but like it got initiated in A month and a half beforehand and then I Have a couple of friends where we have Like we know we're gonna get together Every quarter and so when I think about Them I'll message them that nice thing And I was like hey love you guys Thinking of you why don't we meeting up For you know rhinos this quarter how About we go to Puerto Rico Um I found this like cool place Um and then I'll look forward like three Months we'll just book it and then I'll Show up and this is what I always do and Then you know if I'm going to be in Puerto Rico I'll message like three Friends who are in Puerto Rico to like See them as well Um yeah now what I've also done is I I I Encouraged my friends to move in with me Even when I had a one bedroom apartment There were five of us living in the one Bedroom apartment and I would literally Pay for people to break their leases And so if I and so if I do not need to Work on speechify there's a bunch of my

Favorite people already in the kitchen And then we'll go work out or go and run Or hang out or do whatever So uh that camaraderie that you get in College of the dorm room took me a long Time but I revived it for myself and Really what I want to do is like build a Compound where all my siblings live and All my friends live and we all live on One street and each person has a house Like that's gonna happen that's a dream Yeah Brandon has this and he's eyes amazing Utah yeah well all this from Jimmy has This too yeah Um Yeah so so so so it's really great and Um Yeah that's the move Okay more specific questions on this so How do you do you try and maintain inbox Zero on email iMessage WhatsApp messages All that like I I have zillions of Whatsapps I need to reply to I always Feel like oh about it so I had a CEO Coach Matt macherry for the first two Years yeah I've read this thing I think You linked to me his stuff absolutely Yeah I've been through his whole Google Doc it's incredible yeah yeah he's Amazing Um Matt loves inbox zero he has a bunch Of like rules for being a CEO Um I tried to maintain inbox zero uh for

Two weeks and I got physically ill like I literally got sick and Matt was like Okay don't do it Um and so every person has a different Way and style of working right I Definitely do because I have ADHD and I Have dyslexia I have a neurodiverse Brain and every person learns a Different way every person has their own Strengths and so one key that I tell People who are working on companies is Like design your workflow to allow you To work on the things that are your zone Of genius and have the team work on Everything else and you know we've Talked about this a bunch more Um And so uh no definitely not on email Um I have the philosophy where if I Missed your email if it's important You'll email me again Typically that's true for iMessage it's More personal so I do make sure that I Respond to all the iMessages and so that You know does and that's not very hard Because you can just heart something you Can leave an audio message like iMessage Is easy WhatsApp is relatively easy I Leave groups on WhatsApp as quickly as I Can uh the only group I'm in WhatsApp is For my team and for my family uh because I could care less what a random person Who is like a second connection says I Don't want that to filter I don't read

The news yeah all my knowledge comes From like reading history and philosophy Um Yeah that's my workflow around uh those Kind of things and then you know the Other inbox on Instagram is also really Valuable because you'll get a lot of Inbound and there's no obligation to Respond but if something really good Pops up I'll respond Um Do you use WhatsApp archiving to Maintain in book zero no absolutely yeah No no I I I don't archive on email I Don't archive on WhatsApp I don't Archive on iMessage Um I just let it flow and then if it's Important it comes back I do on email uh Star things and then every month or so I'll go on the stars and I'll go look Through and I'll go what's important That I missed it 90 of those things a month later they're Not relevant and not important anymore Yeah but really like Unless you're working for like 9-1-1 or The police nothing's actually urgent if It's important they'll message you again That's it hmm And then when you're sending these cold DMS and stuff you'll be like oh hey you Know I loved your thing but whatever Um are you free on Thursday for Zoom 4 Pm kind of vibes uh do you have a slot

In your calendar where it just happens To be free or is it is it not like sorry I'm addicted to iCal addicted my day is Like fully blocked the entire time If this week is October 1st Uh I'm probably booked for the next Three weeks yeah so I looked at you know October 25th 26 27th those days are Pretty free so I'll just suggest two Times on the 26th and two times four Weeks out yeah I just scheduled four Weeks out yeah by the way I did this in College like during the summer I think Whoa this guy Dan shibler is awesome He's like the captain of the MMA team And he's also like a pre-med and he's Also taking a bunch of Cs classes But I actually don't know him really Well hey Dan Signed the CIT the other day realized I Don't know you as much as I want to I'd Like to get to know you better are you Free to grab lunch in the ratty Um you know I know school is going to Start September 1st September 2nd at Noon Yeah happy too boom calendar in my scent Nice and so I do the same thing with Founders without everybody I just Schedule four weeks in advance Nice and then when it comes to on the Day do you not feel like I've got this Zoom call like do you ever get that kind Of thing because they don't schedule

Things I don't like okay so the other Thing is like internally in the team too Like Uh the recruiting team works you know Around the clock with a lot of urgency And uh I do not allow anybody to put Time on my calendar uh I put all the Time on my calendar so send me introduce Me over email to someone and I will Suggest to them a time that I want to Meet them yeah um and if we agree on the Time of the email then yeah please send Me a calendar invite or I'll send it to You but take it quickly faster than Everybody else I have a keyboard Shortcut on my phone and on my computer For my zoom link and so I just go boom 30 minute meeting Cliff plus Ali no you Know uh asterisk Z outfit autocomplete The zoom link put in your email done I'm Waiting for your and if you don't accept I expect that the event is not happening And then if I see same day you didn't Accept it's a question mark instead of a Tag I'll be like Hayley be good for Three anyways yeah done Solid It sounds so easy it actually is one of The things I loved about your um last Time we spoke you said something like Tree treat airports as if the train Stations yes talk to me uh so the the Quote is I treat the airline system like It's the subway system

I book All My Flights day of Almost entirely um when I was in college I was like oh if I get three credit Cards I get like 150 000 points so I got All the points Um and was responsible with the credit Cards never go into credit card debt Kids Um It's a Valentine and I like booked this Great trip to like Hawaii with her Um and you know later when I started Spending money on ads I had a lot of Points Um and so I I do treat my calendar very Dynamically I'm making it sound like I'm More richer than I am not Um I if if I'm really excited about Someone I will suggest because tomorrow Your calendar is not booked back to back To backpack you have two free thoughts And so if I saw someone awesome on this Podcast that I listened to today I'll Just so okay Ben Wilson from how to take Over the world I finished his entire Podcast in like three days I've had him on Instagram and Twitter I Messaged him on both and I was like hey I love what you wrote here one of my Biggest problems in knife in life right Now is I have a team that's 120 people We've got 23 million users and I feel Like I'm not ambitious enough I want to Be way more ambitious than I am and what

I loved about your podcasts is you Extract why and how these people were so Ambitious I'd love for you to coach me On how to be more ambitious are you free For a call 3 P.M or 5 p.m on Friday I Set this on a Wednesday and he said yes I was like sweet what's your email boom Calendar it might send Um but if I was not that excited about William Wilson but I was like you know Eight out of 10 excited I would invite Him for like next month Um typically I try to invite for you Know three four days but like if it's Meeting someone in LA and I know I'll be In LA in a month I'm not gonna be there Right now then I'll invite them for when I'm gonna be in that place in person [Music] Um Yeah I mean that sounds great like I I feel like Yeah so I mean currently there's like Two people in Portugal that I know I Want to hang out with Paul Millard and Peter levels Um and I've been thinking I should just go to Portugal at one Point just hang out with them in person And it'd be great to have them on the Pod and like we could do remotely but Like it would just be fun to do it in Person and stuff and then and then I Keep on thinking oh but I look at my

Calendar and it's like yep that was um Book and actually four weeks out it's Probably empty and I could just but I I Guess in my mind I'm thinking I couldn't Possibly schedule something four weeks Out wow and that's just a bit dumb Because I could schedule things a year Out yeah Um Princess Beatrice is uh is dyslexic and So she messaged me I don't know like two months ago being Like hey I'm working on this thing you Know I love your product blah blah blah And I was like oh I'll be in the UK in Two months you want to meet at this Place at this time she was like yeah so You just booked a time I was messing With JK Rowling's team because I'm Trying to get Harry Potter on speechify As an audiobook we booked it for like a Month and a half two months out Um and then the day comes you can adjust Like you're not like gone to your head And married to the time that you if Something comes up you go forward you go Backwards you go the next day it's fine But like once it's on the calendar the Intention is set yeah Um I've had many time like I was gonna Meet someone I'll give you an extreme Example we had a teammate who wanted to Leave Someone offered him more money uh

Actually that was not exactly the case Whatever he was gonna leave He was based in Ukraine I was like no no I want you to stay I Couldn't convince him I booked a flight And I showed up in Ukraine like two days Later and then we went to the gym Together we did a bunch of things like It was literally under martial law when I went uh but I was gonna keep this Person on the team Um yeah and he stayed with us it was Great and then I was like oh you know I'm in Ukraine I might as well go visit My friend in Beijing and so I just flew To China and then I was like oh I'm here I'm gonna do a bit of turkey so I went To you know hang out with a friend there And then I went here then I went back to California Um and so yeah it's all kind of very Whimsical lackadaisical most meetings You can move uh I okay so the thing I Was going to say earlier is you want to Work inside of your zone of genius and Never step outside of your Zona genius And so one of my zone of Genius things Is I'm really good real time live like High pressure environments are going to Shine and so I try to put myself in Those things as much as I can and if I Have an opportunity to go full force Into my Zona genius I will clear my Calendar and I'll go full force yeah

Um and so sometimes that means going and Leading like the web monetization team On a project or we're working on this Like really big project with like Tech Talk and Facebook right now on Acquisition so like I I will move other Meetings to make sure that I can make Those meetings happen Um and you know that's really really fun Another example by the way is you know Um uh Tyler messaged me and you in a Group chat like two days ago being like Hey you know I'm gonna go to Paris you Know this day to meet someone I'll lead You want to join yeah Um and you know great let's hang out Like we know we're gonna go to Paris Awesome I know Thomas is there in Matthew let's go hang out with them too Um and so Yeah like making plans is like just Super Dynamic and if it doesn't work out It doesn't work out just make sure you Communicate well Um and you know we're gonna be in Paris There's actually these two other people Who I really like in Paris let me DM Them and be like yeah I'll be in Paris At this time you want to you know boom There you go Um I love that that's so great Okay so okay so I got this message by The Paris thing and I was thinking okay

I'd love to go to Paris with these guys But then I'm thinking okay but it would Be cool to go with my girlfriend and That involves coordinating her calendar Because she works and it's like and then Coordinating my calendar and figuring Out like when we've got if we've got Podcast bookings and stuff and it it in My mind it ended up being like so much Friction that I was like I'll deal with This later because it was like at night Time and I haven't gotten around to Dealing with that yet because it Involves looking at my calendar and Sifting through the the mess of Coordination and stuff do you get that Like how do you no I don't yeah so Here's why not Tyler goes hey it's gonna be October 6th I look at October 6th am I is there Something in October 6 that is not Movable yeah if it's not the case I will Move everything on October 6th and I'll Go do the very fun thing that I want to Do yeah Um I'll call my girlfriend I'll text my Girlfriend at the moment or call her and Be like hey we want to go to Paris at This date are you free this day if he's Not I'll then why don't you free cool You're free here hey Tyler can you do This date and if he says yes fantastic If he says no Then you know then I need To choose do I want to go to Paris

Without my girlfriend actually it'll be A day trip so yeah yeah why not Um one thing I love doing is I book Other people applies for them all the Time so chaitu who joined our team at Speedrify he had just finished working On another company Um he was in India we had a great call We were considering working together I Was like oh I really want to work with I Called him back I was like Hey too uh When's your birthday cool okay I'll book You a flight to LA from India uh uh Leaving this time of the state and I Checked with him ahead of time like you Know if he was free so he came and then He just didn't leave the United States Like he just moved in with us and we Started working together Um I had a friend who was sampar who was Organizing this uh basketball thing And and Duke uh would like uh Alex who Used to coach uh Kobe Bryant one-on-one And now coaches Kyrie Irving and so we Organized this basketball weekend and so I messaged like Ben Wilson I messaged to Me I was like yeah we talk about it Um and so you know we just organized a Bunch of friends and we just like did a Basketball clinic for a weekend and then We went like other awesome people like Hassan Minaj came and like whatever and Like it was completely random you know I Think you know the plan came together

Maybe like three days before the thing Actually happened sweet cool I did it For two days I flew down to North Carolina flew right back to New York you Know that's it and I had a couple Meetings there I just moved them like Three days forward so I could do the Thing that I wanted to do and like That is the thing that gives me energy So I always just you know Vibe check is This the thing that is going to give me The most energy to do this day yeah and If the answer is yes great that's the Thing I should do that day So great so simple yeah I feel like in My mind I really over complicate the Hell out of the scheduling stuff and Then and then like yeah you're right Like most things can be moved yeah and So like there's so little that is Immovable now you and me have a freedom That most people don't have which is we Don't work a nine to five job you know You don't need to ask your boss for Permission to fly to Portugal but hey Most people listening to this I bet You're still working remotely Um or you're a student if you miss a Class it's not a big deal you know how Many classes I missed in college or to Go and do like a hackathon or Competition like in Boston or London or Ferris or whatever Um I once missed the midterm

Um I just convinced him to like let me Take it on another day Because someone invited me to this cool Event that was gonna happen the next day So yeah so I booked my flights you know They have Um And that's it And so you know what do you need to get To this one ideally you so okay I'm like Ridiculously Frugal I remember when I Moved to San Francisco Um I did not buy food for like the first Like week I like literally started being Hungry because lunch in San Francisco is Like 25 and I was like there's no way I'm paying 25 for the Pokeball But in the end I was like cool I gotta Not look at prices when I buy food here Um and so I made a rule I will not look At prices when I buy protein in high Quality food I'm not gonna like ball out At some like fancy restaurant I have no Interest in that it doesn't give me Utility but like I need to eat you know 200 grams of protein a day Um and then I didn't go to events Because I didn't want to pay for the Ubers I would like a longboard like an Hour to get there and then I made a rule I will not look at the price when I book An Uber if it means I'm gonna hang out With friends because it's important for My well-being yep and then I

Extrapolated that rule two planes once It was reasonable to do so financially Um I extrapolated the same thing to like Buying gifts for people like if I saw a Hoodie that I think you'd really like I Will buy this hoodie or like these Headphones or whatever like if I can see That something I can see is like Uniquely great for I why not just do it Um if I can with a small period of time Significantly increases someone else's Quality of life just do it like don't Even think about it just do it like make It into a muscle into a habit right Somebody throws a ball at me I'm gonna Catch it If there's a way for me to help you and It doesn't I'm just gonna do it same Thing for booking an event that's going To make me happy Um and then if I can't do it that's fine Like no one's gonna kill me I just Readjust and communicate as Appropriately yeah that's it That's it damn that's so good I love it Um do you do you have any other sort of Uh tricks tips hacks principles Strategies that you use on the Relationships fronts to put more love Into the world thousands so first of all Uh Cliff Weisman on YouTube I've got Like a ton of videos on this on Instagram on medium Etc Um yes there's a lot um

Smiling stranger is really important Um just don't be afraid of other people So so okay No one will get mad at you for asking to Hang out no one will get mad at you for Asking to hang out and if they're busy They just happen to be busy so you're Allowed to follow up like people are Like stressing out so much about double Taxing people who cares if you double Text people you are an awesome amazing Human being the fact that someone else Is busy has nothing to do with your life Like if you tried to message me during This basketball weekend I was playing Basketball like I didn't have time to See the message it's not that I don't Love you I just didn't look at my phone Um and so there's no problem in double Texting or 5x emailing especially if you Haven't met the person before they don't Owe you anything is it typically I am Willing to message someone like eight Times before they respond and I have Never had someone ever message me saying Stop messaging me Etc just be polite be Respectful Um And don't get like hurt when you don't Get a response when the person has no Obligation to respond to you Um and so that's really important Removing that fear is key When I was in college I made a list of

All the people who I thought were really Cool at Brown who I was not friends with Yet and I messaged all of them and I was Like hey you want to go to the gym 3 P.M on Monday most people said yes why Because everybody wants to go to the gym Everybody would love someone to keep Them accountable and now you have an Hour together where you're doing Something together next to each other You're going to talk and so whether it's Coffee lunch or dinner Everybody Eats or Going to the gym like all those things You're allowed to ask someone to do and Like it's so easy for them to say yes And they're repeatable too like my best Friends in college were just people who Were my gym buddies Um because that's what we did and Actually you know when I moved here the First thing you and I did was we we went Through we did a workout yeah and then I Happened to be going to a show and you Know the West End so you join us for the Show and then we realized that both of Us really like making music so we Started making music together it doesn't Matter what it is Um so just find an excuse and then I Will say that the other thing that I do Is I always look to spend time with People who are going to make me better Right so you know if this person has you Know written a book that I admire or

They're a really good musician or They're a good athlete or they're just Like a kind human being my best friend In Palo Alto is this guy uh Nick Hunter he used to be the captain of The Michigan gymnastics team and he he Paints and he makes music Um you've never heard about Nick Hunter But he's like the best human being I Know and like he's just a really good Friend and I grew so much by spending Time with Nick Hunter and like his Roommate was like a really good Jujitsu Coach and so you know Benji taught me a Bunch of stuff and you know it's just Fine people who are like genuine who are Like drunk on life just passionate and I Just look to surround myself with those People and then if I run into people who Are not like how's your day going okay Why only okay oh nobody ever asks you Know this happens so there's Um there's a Instagram page Facebook Page called humans of New York and so if You read a bunch of the posts you can Reverse engineer what the questions are So I have this list of questions that I Ask people right you know uh what's your Can I ask you a personal question sure What's your biggest struggle enough Right now what's your top three goals in Life what gives you energy in your work Um all these things and you get to like The meat of the person and so in all

Those dinners around three dinners a Night for two months Every semester I just got really good at skipping over The small talk and immediately going to The big talk and the easiest way to do That is you form relationships with People either you Bond over ambition or You Bond over vulnerability and so if You're able to share that you were you Know I was bullied in like third fourth Fifth grade really badly someone slapped Me on the face in the middle of class Um you know I was bad at reading when I Was young Um I was really small like all all the Stuff Um I had an accident whatever it might be Um Minhaj talked to me about this we talked About how in comedy uh you know you want To make a statement about something Um and if you can go low as opposed to Going high and go low status that's Really powerful it's actually very very Attractive if you're able to share Something vulnerable people gravitate Towards you Um and so if you can figure out what are The things that You're vulnerable about But that you're willing to talk about That's really great Um right you and I I think at a certain

Point we talked about how you're looking For a wife and I was like oh that's Interesting tell me more about that yeah I was put it over the whole like Systematizing relationships and yeah I Was I was single and I was like oh tell Me more and then you know we we nerded Out over you know yeah being bad with Mean Girls Um and you know I have so many friends Who like struggle with the same thing Um I don't have kids but one day I would Love to have kids I want to have seven Kids Um man I love meeting friends who have Kids and like talking to them about what It's like to be a parent like I just Again I read all the parenting books Ahead of time Um right so Bond over vulnerability Bond Over ambition And there's a million things like this Amazing Cliff I think this is a good Place to end the part one of the Conversation Um we are still sort of in our timeline It's still around 2015 so you're still At University you haven't graduated and You haven't started speechify full time So uh part two definitely you'll would Love to have you in the new house uh We'll still grab dinner we'll once we Set up our podcast dude in the next Couple of weeks it would be amazing to

Do a part two where we Deep dive into Speechify and the story around that and The Richard Branson staff and like all Of the all of the cool that you're That you're doing Um thank you so much for this it's been Great so far um have you got any asks For the audience you might have seen or Watched or listen so far Good question number one check out Speech of five or Speechify on any of the app stores Number two if something sucks about Speechify let me know I'll fix it uh we Just launched audiobooks on speechify And so if you message me about that I'd Appreciate it and you know we make a lot Of ads on Facebook Instagram take that On YouTube and I'm trying to hire Comedians to help me write better ads so If you are a small Creator and you Think that you can make as good ads or Write comedy for the ads hit me up also I just moved to London and I'm looking For a videographer so if you're a Videographer in London let me know I'd Love to hire you That's it man amazing Thanks for having me on the Pod thanks All right so that's it for this week's Episode of Deep dive thank you so much For watching or listening all the links And resources that we mentioned in the Podcast are going to be linked down in The video description or in the show

Notes depending on where you're watching Or listening to this if you're listening To this on a podcast platform then do Please leave us a review on the iTunes Store it really helps other people Discover the podcast or if you're Watching this in full HD or 4k on YouTube then you can leave a comment Down below and ask any questions or any Insights or any thoughts about the Episode that would be awesome and if you Enjoyed this episode you might like to Check out this episode here as well Which links in with some of the stuff That we talked about in the episode so Thanks for watching uh do hit the Subscribe button if you aren't already And I'll see you next time bye

Challenge Secrets Masterclass

At Last! The “Funnel Guy” Teams-Up With The “Challenge Guy” For A Once-In-A-Lifetime Masterclass!

The ONE Funnel Every Business Needs, Even If You Suck At Marketing!

Just 60 Minutes A Day, Over The Next 5 Days, Pedro Adao & Russell Brunson Reveal How To Launch, Grow, Or Scale Any Business (Online Or Off) Using A ‘Challenge Funnel’!

Leave a Comment