The Third Door

The Third Door

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- The Wild Quest to Uncover How the World’s Most Successful People Launched Their Careers -


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Book Details
 251 p
 File Size 
 2,653 KB
 File Type
 PDF format  


About the Author
The day before his freshman-year final exams, ALEX BANAYAN hacked The
Price Is Right, won a sailboat, sold it, and used the prize money to fund his quest
to learn from the world’s most successful people. Since then, Banayan has been
named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list and Business Insider’s Most Powerful People
Under 30. He has contributed to Fast Company, the Washington Post,
Entrepreneur, and TechCrunch and has been featured in major media, including
Fortune, Forbes, Businessweek, Bloomberg TV, Fox News, and CBS News. An
acclaimed keynote speaker, Banayan has presented the Third Door framework to
business conferences and corporate leadership teams around the world, including
Apple, Nike, IBM, Dell, MTV, Harvard, and countless others.

Praise For
“A treasure chest of wisdom…knowledge that can be used by anyone, anywhere,
who wants to take their journey further…Banayan has become one of the most
equipped guides to help you climb higher mountains in your life.”
—SHAWN ACHOR, New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness
Advantage and Big Potential
“Unlike any business book I’ve read. The Third Door is an exhilarating thrill
ride of hope, joy, ambition, and self-discovery. I cheered out loud, and at
different points, tears trickled down my face….The Third Door motivated me to
turn up the volume in my life….A triumph.”
—MAYA WATSON BANKS, director of marketing at Netflix
“A cinematic story full of drama, betrayal, and heartbreak. The Third Door takes
you on a narrative adventure packed with life-changing lessons. Once you start
reading, you can’t stop.”
—JONAH BERGER, New York Times bestselling author of Contagious: 
Why Things Catch On
“Powerful…one of the best books of the year…After reading The Third Door,
an uncontrollable shift happened in my life—I started to see the challenges in
front of me as fun. This book not only gave me new tools to achieve my goals,
but it also showed me how exciting it can be to tackle seemingly impossible
obstacles. If you want to take your life to the next level, you have to read The Third Door.”
—MIKE POSNER, Grammy Award–nominated and multiplatinum musician
“Banayan’s heart is poured into every page of this book. The Third Door is not
only a guide to how the world’s most remarkable pioneers succeeded, but it’s
also a magnificent story of one boy’s journey to achieve his dream. The Third
Door drips with passion and emotion—and it’s a must-read for anyone wanting
to turn their vision into a reality.”
—ADAM BRAUN, New York Times bestselling author  of The Promise of a Pencil
“A wild ride…inspiring, hilarious, and insightful. Whenever you start to believe
there’s no other way to solve your problem, let Alex Banayan inspire you to think bigger.”
—DAVID EAGLEMAN, New York Times bestselling author of Incognito, host
of PBS’ The Brain, and adjunct professor at Stanford University
“As a Jewish mother, I don’t want my teenage kids to read this book and get any
ideas about dropping out of school. However, as someone who has served as a
senior diplomat, tech executive, and social innovation entrepreneur, I want to put
it at the top of their reading list! The Third Door is required reading for anyone
in today’s dynamic society who wants to learn success from the best.”
—SUZI LEVINE, United States Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein (Ret.)
“In just a few hours of reading this book, Alex Banayan taught me how to meet
billionaires, leapfrog my associates, and achieve my dreams in record time. I’ve
never read anything quite like this! Whether you are an entrepreneur or trying to
jumpstart your career, The Third Door will open up your world of possibilities.”
—TIM SANDERS, New York Times bestselling author of Love Is the Killer App
“My grandfather used to tell me: ‘If a problem has a solution, why worry?’ And
it’s precisely that attitude of optimism and possibility that has so inspired me
about Banayan’s The Third Door. He wasted little time worrying: ‘What if?’ He
went for it. And that made all the difference.”
—JASON SILVA, Emmy-nominated host of National Geographic’s 
Origins and Brain Games
“Equal parts badass and wise, The Third Door ushers you inside an epic journey
of invention and determination. Banayan’s quest to discover the keys to the
world’s most impossible doors unlocks the hidden power in each of us.”
—BRAD DELSON, lead guitarist of the 
Grammy Award–winning rock band Linkin Park
“Wild adventures. Incredible stories. Immensely practical advice. The Third
Door has it all—and it’s exactly what our generation has been waiting for.”
—BEN NEMTIN, star of MTV’s The Buried Life and New York Times
bestselling author of What Do You Want to Do Before You Die?
“Alex Banayan was intent on creating his ‘dream university’—Bill Gates would
teach business; Lady Gaga, music; Steven Spielberg, film; Jane Goodall, science
—and that vision became a reality. This book proves that education is one of the
most powerful forces in the world, and it’s made even more powerful when you
take charge of your own learning.”
—KAREN CATOR, former director of the Office of Educational Technology at
the U.S. Department of Education
“Gripping stories…The Third Door is that rare book where the author lives the
advice he’s sharing. Alex Banayan redefines the meaning of entrepreneurial
hustle and hard work. Prepare to be humbled—and inspired.”
—BEN CASNOCHA, New York Times bestselling coauthor of The Start-Up of You
“The Third Door draws upon lessons from some of today’s most inspiring
figures in business and popular culture, and by doing so provides a masterclass
in innovation, entrepreneurship, and creative problem solving across
generations. It is a must-read for aspiring entrepreneurs and corporate leaders alike.”
—LEXIE KOMISAR, global program director for growth and strategic
partnerships at IBM
“Banayan personifies creativity, hustle, and passion. He’s the embodiment of the
next generation of the entrepreneurial leader, and The Third Door beautifully
brings this mindset to life.”
—JOSH LINKNER, New York Times bestselling author of Disciplined
Dreaming and Hacking Innovation
“Banayan’s approach to solving problems is as hilarious as it is brilliant.
Whether you’re an accomplished entrepreneur, an aspiring one, or an executive
trying to get your employees to think outside the box, The Third Door is the way forward.”
—MEREDITH PERRY, founder of uBeam
“A surprising combination of bildungsroman, spiritual journey, and caper
comedy, The Third Door creates an opportunity for all of us to inspect what
success means, what inspires us, and how we think about our paths through the world.”
—MICHAEL SLABY, chief innovation officer of the Obama 2012 Presidential
Campaign and executive director of Chicago Ideas
“Alex Banayan’s The Third Door was absolutely worth the wait! He perfectly
captures amazing insights while being funny and approachable. Banayan’s
journey leaves you not only inspired but also excited to pursue your dreams and
define success in your own way.”
—KAMAURI YEH, director of West Coast Brand Experience at Nike
“Banayan’s hustle is insane. He crouched in bathrooms, chased people through
grocery stores—he did whatever it took to make his dream happen. The extents
he went through will inspire you to keep grinding on your path. If you are
hungry to succeed, trust me: read The Third Door.”
—JERMAINE DUPRI, Grammy Award–winning rapper and music producer
“Engrossing…brilliantly insightful. Applicable and useful. I found myself
nodding in places and re-reading passages….Banayan demystifies the hardest
and scariest thing many of us have to do to succeed.”
—DR. M. SANJAYAN, CEO of Conservation International and host of PBS’
Earth: A New Wild
“Whether you are just beginning your first act or setting off on your twentieth,
this may be the best and most thoroughly enjoyable career advice book you will
ever read: fast moving, funny, big-hearted, and constantly insightful.”
—MATTHEW BISHOP, author of Philanthrocapitalism and former business
editor of The Economist
“Banayan’s incredible journey, told with wit, warmth, and wisdom, explores his
own search for meaning through the personal stories of his heroes. An inspiring
read for anyone looking to find their purpose.”
—RUMA BOSE, author of Mother Teresa CEO: Unexpected Principles for
Practical Leadership
“I wish I had The Third Door when I was starting my first business. Thankfully,
Banayan has delivered the book we’ve all been waiting for.”
—MICHAEL LAZEROW, former chief strategy officer of Salesforce and
founder of Buddy Media
“In this magnificent book, we the reader have the honor of following and
witnessing an ambitious, resourceful, and very clever young man turn into a
wise, astute, and very successful young adult. The twists and turns, the joys and
disappointments, the letdowns and, ultimately, the victories and final realizations
read like a movie that grips you with both hands and won’t let go. The best part
of all is the author’s growth, self-reflection, and self-discovery. What does it
really take to be happy? You really will find the answer in these pages as
Banayan and his cast of friends gladly show us the way. Buy copies of this book,
both for yourself and your entire family. You’ll be glad you did. And so will they!”
—BOB BURG, coauthor of The Go-Giver and The Go-Giver Influencer
“A brilliant writer…I couldn’t stop reading once I started. The Third Door is a
must-read for entrepreneurs.”
—VIVEK WADHWA, columnist for the Washington Post and Distinguished
Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University

Table of Contents
Title Page
1 Staring at the Ceiling
2 The Price Is Right
3 The Storage Closet
4 The Spielberg Game
5 Crouching in the Bathroom
6 Qi Time
7 The Hidden Reservoir
8 The Dream Mentor
9 The Rules
10 Adventures Only Happen to the Adventurous
11 Bite Off More Than You Can Chew
12 That’s How You Do Business
13 Exponential Life
14 The Avoidance List
15 You Can’t Out-Amazon Amazon
16 No One Ever Asks
17 It’s All Gray
18 Hallelujah!
19 Grandpa Warren
20 The Motel 6
21 Frog Kissing
22 The Shareholders Meeting
24 The Final Bullet
25 The Holy Grail: Part I
26 The Holy Grail: Part II
27 The Third Door
28 Redefining Success
29 Staying an Intern
30 The Collision
31 Turning Darkness into Light
32 Sitting Down with Death
33 The Impostor
34 The Greatest Gift
35 Getting in the Game
About the Author

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