Character

How Nathaniel Branden Changed My Life, and Impacted Us All

Nathaniel Branden and Judd Weiss

I’m not the only one who’s had some socially awkward teenage years. Mine were pretty depressing. I wore mostly black, I was hostile when I spoke back to everyone, and I had no friends. I don’t blame others, I was pretty uncomfortable to be around. I was a smart kid, but I was way behind everyone else. The most toxic part about it was how self righteous I was. Clearly being a loner meant I was much better than everyone else. This was obviously preferable to associating with all the mindless sheep. But I knew something was wrong because I was always sad. I was stuck in a hole. Discovering Nathaniel Branden’s books were like finding an outstretched hand guiding me out of a dark hole. When I discovered him I quickly read everything of his that I could find. I scoured used book stores and found powerful books of his that had long been out of print. There’s no question that I was transforming myself as I read his books. Everyone has potential, but too often too much of that potential is restrained and untapped. From an incompetent loner who was uncomfortable even socializing with people, I’m still stunned by how quickly I became a massive overachiever with an overwhelming abundance of incredible friends in my life. It seems strange now since I’m such a public person, but I used to be an extremely private person. I had to rip myself open with both hands, I had to fight against my inertia and change my terrible habits, I had to reach up and pull with everything I’ve got. Finally I was excited to become something more than a disgruntled loser. I saw a path out, and I took it. Nathaniel’s writing laid the foundation for me to create a powerful blueprint for my life that I could act on and achieve with. Which is why I’ll always be so deeply grateful to him. And why I often say that I was raised by Nathaniel Branden’s books more than by my own parents.

Nathaniel Branden Self Esteem Respect Kindness Generosity Quote16 years ago, when I was a young 18 year old, I would drive to any book signings for Nathaniel within driving distance, just for the chance to see him in person. I never really got a chance to talk to him back then, I was shuffled along in the line of his other fans. About 7 years ago I reconnected with Nathaniel at a regular local Objectivist salon hosted at the home of a mutual friend of ours in LA. Nathaniel was in his later years at this point. We eventually became friends. What that initially meant is that he would call me up when he had computer problems and I would try to fix it. When he eventually stopped driving, I started giving him rides around Los Angeles. His wife appreciated it since it would relieve some pressure off her busy calendar, and I appreciated the opportunity to talk with him. I held a few events for Nathaniel at my house to speak to a group of friends that I assembled. I later held large birthday parties for his 81st and 82nd birthdays. By the way, his 82nd Birthday Party here was the largest party I’ve ever thrown at my house, with about 400 well dressed high quality people literally stuffed like sardines into my living room (never ever again, never will I ever let my house get that packed again). Nathaniel Branden Judd Weiss like a grandson Facebook commetNathaniel would sometimes tell me fondly that I was like a grandson he never had. I never lost sight of the fact that Nathaniel was a hero to me. If I could go back in time and tell my 18 year old self that “one day you are going to become personal friends with him , and you will even host Nathaniel Branden’s birthday at your house in Bel Air”, probably 18 year old Judd wouldn’t believe me. Because 18 year old Judd did not believe he was capable of that.

Nathaniel Branden 82nd Birthday at Judd Weiss House

Nathaniel Branden’s 82nd Birthday Party I threw for him at my house. The reaction as I introduced him.

Yesterday I was honored to speak at Nathaniel’s memorial in Los Angeles. It’s not easy for me to let go of him. No one in this world has had a bigger impact on my life. If Nathaniel Branden hadn’t been in my life, I wouldn’t have accomplished what I have. I wouldn’t be who I’ve become.

Some people touch many lives, Nathaniel Branden profoundly changed many lives. Millions of lives. In fact, all of us have been affected by him.

Nathaniel Branden IntegrityIt’s very challenging to quickly articulate the enormity of the legend that is Nathaniel Branden. I hope I’ll do him justice here.

A world renowned author of over 20 profoundly impactful books   Continue Reading >>   

Music Pick: Nero

 
Nero – Welcome Reality

Nero - Welcome Reality

Innocence
My Eyes
Guilt
Crush On You
Must Be The Feeling
Won’t You (Be There)

(Click image for Amazon.com)

 
Nero

I’m actually enjoying the rise of dubstep over the last couple years. I’m glad all our favorite drum and bass acts are now dubstep. There’s definitely some cool stuff coming out. But much like any other popular music trend ever, much of the scene is quickly growing stale. In my opinion, some of the best music in the dubstep scene aren’t the purists, but the artists willing to incorporates styles outside of dubstep and keeps pushing music further. At the top of my list is Nero and their debut album Welcome Reality.

This. Is. A. Fucking. Classic!

Nero is no secret. They’re widely acclaimed and loved. I’m just throwing my voice in the mix to say the hype is entirely justified. Though it’s funny to see many dubstep fans criticize this album for not really being dubstep. Welcome Reality makes no promise of being faithful to dubstep. It’s beyond dubstep. And thank god. It pushes further and breathes new life into the genre. There’s some progressive house here. NeroThere’s some drum and bass. There’s more pop sensibility here, some early 90s nostalgia, but it sounds so fresh and futuristic. The opening track is 2808, and I’d say it sounds like this album came from that year, 2808, humans are in some space cities with decadent parties themed to try to remember what life was like from our generation back on Earth.

Detailed atmospheric soundscapes, powerful energy, engaging beats. This album is brilliant and fun and totally addicting. Rated: Masterpiece! I’m in love with it. My favorite song is probably My Eyes, followed by Innocence. I’m very excited about the promise in Nero, and their albums yet to come. Eagerly looking forward to that journey.

[videos after the break]
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Judd Weiss on The Peter Schiff Show!



Well guys, I got on The Peter Schiff Show. That’s a pretty big deal for me, as I’ve been a massive fan of Peter Schiff for a while. I wasn’t on with Peter, I was on with Neeraj Chadhary, who was guest hosting the radio show. I was talking about connecting with people, and a more effective approach to communicating our ideas, especially when there’s a difference of opinion.

After you listen to my segment, if you’re familiar with Peter Schiff, you’ll realize that he certainly does violate a lot of the principles that I’m discussing, as he’s rather well known for infuriating those who disagree with him. His (lack of) ability to persuade those who disagree with him isn’t what makes him an exceptional communicator, or what makes me such a huge fan. What makes Peter Shciff such an exceptional communicator is that he possesses a legendary ability to articulate complex ideas clearly and powerfully. In that regard he is among the greats, and one of the best speakers I have ever seen. Now I do wish he would stop attacking the character of those who disagree with him, be a bit more considerate to where they’re coming from, I think he’ll be a lot more effective in his outreach. Yet his extraordinary ability to explain these complex ideas simply and convincingly has certainly brought a tremendous amount of understanding to many (me included). I’m so impressed with his ability to articulate, that I’ve learned about as much from studying his technique as I have from studying his ideas (i.e. turn everything into a metaphor).

For a crash course in why Peter Schiff is incredible, check out my earlier article on him here.

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Acceptance is the Key

Philip Gould standing over graveSomething truly horrible happened to me recently. The worst thing I’ve ever experienced in my life. I know that far more terrible injustices happen around the world, but I’ve never experienced anything like this. I can’t talk about it. I will be happy to at some point in the future. Anyway I was getting pretty depressed and disturbed. And then I saw this video, and it hit me really hard. In fact I think it might be one of the most important videos you ever see in your life.

So beautiful and inspiring:

The photo above is Philip Gould standing over the grave site where he will soon be buried in a few weeks.

Wow.

Some things are hard to accept. Some things feel impossible to accept. While watching this video, I realized that I’m unable to accept what happened to me, that I still hoped it was a nightmare I could wake from. Seeing Philip Gould so accepting even of his own inevitable approaching death is what I needed to see to realize that I need to accept what cannot be changed, that I can accept it, and that no matter how awful something is, I can appreciate that I have my life and my health and my drive to create a good future ahead.

Sometimes you smile at the world and the world smacks you hard. I hope I’ll have the strength to always face the difficulties of life as bravely as Philip Gould.

“Acceptance is the absolute key. At that moment you gain freedom, you gain power, and you gain courage.” – Philip Gould

Your Boss Is Your Customer

Your Boss Is Your Customer

Your boss is your customer. Your interview is your sales pitch. Your time and skills are your product. Your signed employment contract is your completed sale.

Your boss is your customer. Your power with any customer comes from your value to him. Bring a lot to the table and he will continue to be your customer. Bring even more to the table and you will have even more customers available. Supply and demand works great for you when there is only one of you. That is, of course, only if there’s not an uncountable number of others just like you.

Your boss is your customer. Some bosses are shitty. Some customers are shitty. Some customers are just nasty and unhappy no matter what you do. Some customers are not worth your time. If you’re unable to find quality customers, are you going to blame your customers?

Your boss is your customer. He is purchasing service from you monthly. Customer Service that lacks motivation and enthusiasm is a quick way to give him buyer’s remorse. If better service is provided elsewhere, he should purchase elsewhere. If he does fire you, he is not the asshole, you’re the asshole. Until you realize that, it’s doubtful you’ll fix the problem. Never expect someone to pay you for inferior service. If he does fire you and you have kids to feed, don’t blame your boss for their hardship.

Your boss is your customer. You treat your customers with respect. If you try to show a customer who’s boss, most of the time your customer will be happy to show you.
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The Four Words You Will Never Say Again in Business: That’s Not My Job

The Four Words You Will Never Say Again in Business: That's Not My Job

If you ever answer someone important with “That’s Not My Job” you will be RIGHT! It won’t be your job when you’re terminated for being unimportant or useless.

Those words are banned if you’re an entrepreneur, and even if you have a salary. If those words ever come out of your mouth, don’t expect to go very far. It’s as simple as that. Your job is to put food in your stomach. Your job is to ensure that your operation is successful. Your job is to do whatever the fuck you need to do to make that happen.

That is the path of the achiever. He goes over and above. He doesn’t lose money and opportunities by being snotty. Of course the division of labor is important. Of course you shouldn’t always try to do everything. Of course you need to decide what is legitimately worth your time, not to waste time on time wasting things. But when push comes to shove and you have a real problem or a real opportunity, you do everything you can to handle it. I don’t care if you’re dealing with clients or you’re a salary employee, if you would ever like to move beyond your current position, you need to go beyond what you think is your job description.

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How to handle Neighbors Pissed Off over a Crazy Late Night Party

How to handle Neighbors Pissed Off over a Crazy Late Night Party

actual photo taken from the house party

(note: I wrote this a year and a half ago at the end of 2008. Hope this will give you insight into how I normally deal with massive conflicts in business, by confronting issues head on, finding common ground, not getting defensive, and taking real genuine action beyond words.)

So last month I rented out my house to a Hollywood promoter who threw an insane party with over 350 people. The party was more elaborate than anything I ever threw. There was a platform with hot girls go-go dancing under a rack of lights beaming a spectrum through the fog. Cool effect, and everyone was having a great time, telling me it’s the best party they’ve ever been to. But it was hard for me to walk around knowing maybe 5% of the people, feeling like I’m in some Hollywood club, only it’s my house, filled way beyond capacity, those are my tables and couches they are spilling their drinks over, these drunk assholes are fucking with MY things.

So anyway, the party seriously pissed off some of my neighbors. I’m probably 1/3 the age of the youngest people that live on this quiet street in Bel Air. I guess they’re not into loud crazy Hollywood parties, and so in the morning I got this email threatening cops if I do it again:   Continue Reading >>   

How Multi Level Marketing is a great way to piss off your friends and ALWAYS leave you poor

How Multi Level Marketing is a great way to piss off your friends and ALWAYS leave you poor

Who wants to have MILLIONS of dollars coming in EACH MONTH without having to do ANYTHING? Raise your hand! Who wants to retire at 32 and watch the money pile up while enjoying a 6 month vacation? Raise Your Hand! All you need to do is pay $499 and make just 20 sales, and find 3 other people to do the same and help them find 3 other people to do the same, and anyway who cares about the specifics, it’s not so hard and you can make more money than you can DREAM about! Now who’s feeling that? RAISE YOUR HAND! That’s right, can I get a hell yeah? Guys, we’re talking about MILLIONS of dollars. Louder. I said can I get a HELL YEAH!!

The nicest thing I can do for friends that try to recruit me into a Multi Level Marketing business is to destroy their motivation and tell them to get the fuck out.   Continue Reading >>   

Don’t Calm Yourself Down

Don't Calm Yourself Down

Have you ever swam in a powerful current? Try to swim against it and you are powerless, burning energy, losing control, moving backwards. Swim with it and you become a force of nature.

Nobody’s fooling nobody. Hustling ain’t easy. You’re going to constantly face challenging obstacles that will make you uncomfortable. To get far, you will need to improve your skill of converting anxiety into a swelling source of power.

My years in college were pretty much a waste of my life. But there was one valuable lesson I learned that made that wasted time almost worth it. It was one short anecdote from my teacher in Speech class. Public speaking is a well known source of severe anxiety for people. To help deal with that anxiety, our teacher told us the anecdote of 2 boys sitting next to each other on a roller coaster. They are slowly climbing the initial ascent, before the big first drop and high speed twisting chaos. The buildings below are getting smaller as the boys slowly climb, and one boy tenses up shaking his head “NO NO NO NO NO NO NO”. The other boy next to him is alive on fire “YES YES YES YES YES”. Our teacher explained that if you analyze the brain chemistry of the 2 boys, the same chemicals are firing. They are experiencing the same emotions. The only difference between them is how they choose to respond to their emotions. One is trying to block the rush of energy and return to normal. The other is enjoying the rush, feeding off it.

The rush will come when something is a big deal. When you’re about to perform your first court trial. When you ambush a difficult to pin down businessman. When you’re about to get out on stage or out on the field. When you call a girl you’re excited about. The solution is NOT to pretend to yourself that it’s not a big deal, trying to feel normal. That’s fighting against a powerful current. That’s cutting yourself off from yourself. That’s LOSING control and moving backwards. Normal is gone. Cry about that if you want, it’s not coming back, accept it. The roller coaster is moving. What is natural now is excitement. Good. Excitement is so much more useful than indifference.
This IS a big deal. Harness that excitement. Don’t calm yourself down. Rile yourself up. Don’t block out the anxiety. Relax into it. Let it overcome you. You know how tense you feel when you really have to pee, but you’re holding it? Think of the rush of energy like that. But stop tensing up and holding back; let it all out. If you still have a little left inside, push that out too. You’ll feel numb for a moment, the rush of energy flows and tingles through to your fingers and down through your legs. Much of it soon dissipates and you are left on fire.

Now go kill ’em all

 

Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.
– Jim Morrison, The Doors

 

It’s Easier to Sell Something when You List the Faults

It's Easier to Sell Something when You List the Faults

Here’s a business paradox for you. Your sales will increase when you tell people what’s wrong with what you’ve got. Including if what you’re selling is you and your services.

WHAT???

This is mostly unheard of in the business world. Everyone in business is constantly fronting. This is a world full of mega-fucking-huge egos resting on inflated claims of grandeur. No way anybody’s gonna admit what they’ve got for sale is not perfect, especially if it one’s personal service.

But you see, your buyers, they’re sniffing. They’re constantly sniffing, looking for the catch. What’s the catch here? They simply can’t rest until they find it. Your buyers just won’t be ready to make a deal until they can figure out what the real drawback might be with what you’re offering.

So PUT THEIR MINDS TO REST. Tell them what could possibly be wrong for them with your deal. Lay out the faults and limitations of what you’re offering. This does a couple amazing things for you. It allows your customer to feel like he can truly evaluate the deal and be in a better position to make a decision. That’s huge. HUGE. But most importantly, it’s honest; and therefore it boosts your credibility considerably. And, it’s shocking. You have just separated and elevated yourself above the rest of the snake oil salesmen out there. You are a credible source of info in a world of bloodsuckers. Your business customers will cling to you for safety like a 4 year old clings to his blanket. It will no longer matter much what kind of claims your competitor promises, because your customers just don’t know that they can rely on those claims, but they know that they can rely on you. And that puts money in your pocket and stability to your career.

The truth does pay because the truth is valuable. Credibility is valuable. Even more so when there’s more money on the line.   Continue Reading >>   

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