Jan. 12, 2022

The Surprising Habits of Backable People

#37: Bestselling author Suneel Gupta joins Chris to discuss how to make your ideas sound so appealing to others that they not only adopt them but advocate for them. They talk about how to make failure work in your favor, why conviction and storytelling can be more compelling than statistics, why you should stop trying to be charismatic, and the power of going the extra mile. 

Suneel Gupta (@suneel) is the bestselling author of Backable: The Surprising Truth Behind What Makes People Take a Chance on You. At one point of his career, if you googled “failure” you would get a New York Times article featuring his story. He was the founding CEO of RISE, named app of the year by Apple, which was acquired by One Medical. Suneel later ran for US Congress, served on the faculty at Harvard University and is currently an emissary for Gross National Happiness between the US and the Kingdom of Bhutan.


Selected Links From The Episode

Connect with Suneel: Website | Instagram | Twitter | LinkedIn

Suneel's Book: Backable: The Surprising Truth Behind What Makes People Take a Chance on You

New York Times article featuring Suneel’s journey of failure

LaidOffCamp: Tech Crunch | NPR


Full Show Notes

Who is Suneel Gupta? [00:16]

Chris’ crazy story getting laid off in 2009. [01:38]

Suneel Gupta’s viral failure story. [02:53]

Making failure work in your favor. [04:30]

Why having a brilliant idea is not enough. [05:50]

Yes, you can do anything you want - but there’s a caveat. [07:38]

Why casting a central character can be more powerful than statistics when you pitch to investors. [09:17]

Are backable people all charismatic people (and why you shouldn’t try to be charismatic)? [14:23]

How not being too rigorous can help you (and 4 types of people you need in your backable circle). [17:31]

Applying lessons from the failures of successful people. [26:58]

Non-obvious lessons from the failures of successful people (conviction and exhibition matches). OR Why you might want to practice your speech 21 times.  [28:51]

Flipping outsiders into insiders. [34:21]

Building muscle memory for what you want to master. [35:55]

What to ask instead of “what do you think”. [38:31]

Why you should have shorter presentations.[42:23]

Starting conversations and building rapport with complete strangers. [50:52]

The energy you give off matters. [57:30]

Why you should go one step beyond what anyone else would do. [59:40]

Preparing the energy you want to bring and calling out the negatives upfront. [01:08:15]

What Suneel Gupta is working on now. [01:13:37]

How to connect with Suneel Gupta. [01:16:03]



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