Tucker Max On Why Writing A Book Is So Important And What It Really Takes To Write One

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In this episode with Tucker Max, we discover why writing a book is so important, why almost everyone has a book inside them, and how to actually write one.
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“If you want to be serious in your career, you have to create some form of media and be good at it. For most people, a book is the best way to do it.”
— Tucker Max

Greetings, SuperFriends!

Today we are joined by Tucker Max. Tucker is the writer of four New York Times Best Sellers, 3 of which were #1 on the list, which have sold over 4.5 million copies worldwide. You have probably heard of some his books like I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell and Assholes Finish First.

But today, Tucker is in a totally different sphere of the universe. He is the co-founder of Scribe, a company that helps people turn ideas into books. As you'll see, this is something that Tucker is really passionate about, as he's passionate about helping people who have knowledge empower and impact the lives of others.

We talk all about that throughout the episode. We talk about his experience as one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people, and we also talk about why he is so invested in this message and why it's so important to him.

Moreover, we went into Tucker's recent delving into MDMA therapy, and how that deeply impacted his life and changed the way he is as a human being. We talked about success habits, books that have impacted his life, and many more things that you will discover in the episode.

I really enjoyed this one, as I always enjoy hanging out with Tucker – I'm sure you're going to do the same as well!

-Jonathan Levi

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In this episode, we discuss:

  • Who is Tucker Max, what does he do, and how did he get here? [3:20]
  • Why did Tucker make that big transition in his life? [4:20]
  • How does Tucker view writing? [6:30]
  • Why does Tucker Max believe that almost every knowledge worker has a book inside them? [9:00]
  • Distinguishing ourselves through creating content [12:20]
  • The two forms of content that provide the biggest return [16:15]
  • How self-publishing became equal to traditional publishing [17:00]
  • A few insights on how Scribe's process works [21:40]
  • What are some of the examples Tucker has to support the idea that everyone should write a book? [26:10]
  • Tucker's transition to a healthy life, and what his routine looks like [29:00]
  • Tucker's story of delving into MDMA therapy [30:40]
  • How did MDMA therapy impact Tucker? [34:00]
  • Some homework for people that want to become better writers [37:20]
  • Books that have impacted Tucker Max's life [40:25]
  • Tucker Max's final takeaway message [42:00]

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Favorite Quotes from Tucker Max:

“If I really want to impact the world, the best thing I can do is help other people make an impact.”
“The point of writing is not to be a fancy writer, the point of writing is to write things that help people.”
“If you're truly a knowledge worker, chances are what you're doing and what you know is not recorded in any books anywhere.”
“If you write a bad book, it will make you look bad.”
“If you rely on inspiration, you will never finish anything.”


Introduction: Welcome to the Becoming Superhuman Podcast, where we interview extraordinary people to bring you the skills and strategies to overcome the impossible and now here's your host, Jonathan Levi.

Jonathan Levi: Before we get started, I want to ask you, what would it mean for you to be able to double or even triple your memory and ability to learn so many people tell us that this skill would be absolutely life-changing for them, but they just don't have the time. They just don't have the time. So that's why we have developed my team and I a 5 Day Memory Mastery crash course, where we go into all the fundamental neuroscience and the actual techniques that are used by the world's best memory athletes and world record holders. It's a course that we value at $97, but here's the thing we are actually giving this course away completely for free. All you have to do to enroll in the course is visit JLe.vi/5. That's JLe.vi/5.

Greetings, SuperFriends, and welcome, welcome to a very, very special episode of the show. You guys today, we are joined by Tucker Max. He is, yes, the writer of 4 New York Times Bestsellers three of which were number one bestsellers, having sold over 4.5 million copies. You probably have heard of his books “Things like I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell” and “Assholes Finish First”, but Tucker is in a totally different sphere of the universe. He is the co-founder of a company called Scribe, which helps turn their ideas into books. As you'll see, this is something that Tucker is extremely passionate about. He's passionate about helping people who have knowledge empower and impact the lives of others. We talk all about that throughout the episode, we talk about his experience as one of Time Magazine's a hundred most influential people, and we talk about why he is so invested in this message and why it's so important to him. We also went into Tucker's recent delving into MDMA therapy and how that deeply impacted his life and changed the way he is as a human being. We talked about success habits, books that have impacted his life, and many, many more things. I really enjoyed this episode. I always enjoy hanging out with Tucker and learning from his incredible wisdom and experience. And I know you are going to as well. So without any further ado, Mr. Tucker Max.

Mr. Tucker Max, how are you, my friend?

Tucker Max: What's up brother? How you doing?

Jonathan Levi: Really, really good. I just turned in my draft of my book, my final draft of my book today to your team. So I'm pretty excited and you, you and your team have been on my mind. I'm stoked to talk.

Tucker Max: I'm glad you did well on your book. It's going to be really good.

Jonathan Levi: Thank you. I'm pretty excited about it. So, Hey, Tucker, for those, the three people in the audience who don't know who you are, tell us a bit about you and what you do and how you got to where you do it cause it's a fascinating story.

Tucker Max: All right. So I'll, I'll hit the highlights I've written 4 New York Times bestsellers, seven total books before four the did really well, three of them hit number one, sold about four and a half plus million copies worldwide. So that was kind of like the first part of my career and then I got into helping other people write their books and kind of by accident, but I did and so now I help people like you turn their ideas and knowledge and wisdom and their story into a book that sort of that about almost coming up on five years, we've done about 1200 books in that time, including some really big books like David Goggin's “can't hurt me” and Tiffany Haddish' “last black unicorn” and a bunch of others we've done about eight or 10 big bestsellers in five years. Yeah. That's kind of the story. That's the high level.

Jonathan Levi: Awesome. Now I want to ask why do this? Why not keep writing books? And I know the answer of course, cause you told me, but uh, for the sake of the audience, I mean, why go into this?

Tucker Max: It's a good question. I definitely don't make as much money doing this as doing a lot of other things we do well, the company's doing really well, but I think eventually it'll do extremely well, but when you get to a certain age and a certain level of success, at least in my experience. You start to think about things besides just money and status, right?

 You start to think about things like, what does the work I do? How does it matter? Right? How does it impact people? Like who actually cares if I do this? And so for me, after I kind of wrote my books, they were like, I was like excited. You know, they did well, I was proud of them, but like, they were all about kind of drinking and hooking up and doing all the dumb things we all do in our twenties right? I just wrote it all down and it worked, it worked really well for me, but you eventually outgrow your twenties and so it wasn't until I started helping people write their books that I kind of started to really see, Oh wow. Like I can make an impact. I can definitely make an impact. Like I can do things myself that can make an impact, but if I really want to impact the world, the best thing I can do is help other people make your impact.

Because I like maybe invest, I'm going to impact 5 or 10. Let's say I really do something amazing. I impact truly impact 10 million people. That's incredible right? But if I help thousands of people like you Jonathan? Impact, no, let's say even just tens of, I know you impact more, but let's just say I helped thousands of people like you average impacting 10,000 people, then it has a way, way bigger impact and effect than anything I could, you know? And so that's kinda how I got into books is I realized that if I actually cared about the work I was doing, and I actually cared about helping people, that that was the way I could contribute the most of the world.

Jonathan Levi: Really incredible. Now, what really struck me about you and about the process is your stance on writing? I think a lot of people come at it from, Hey, I'm not an author. I'm a real estate agent, or I'm not an author. I'm a public speaker, or I'm not an author, I'm a lawyer. And you have some very different views on that. I'd like to spend a lot of time on that and sussing out why you feel it's important to empower. Everyday people, I guess I would call them to become authors or writers at the very least.

Tucker Max: Right. Great question. So the reason is because I feel like somehow where in the 20th century writing became this elitist snobby some sub-sector of the, of society I guess it was a lot of writers convinced the world that you had to be a fancy writer in order to feel valid writing. And I'll be totally honest. Jonathan, when I started writing, I kind of felt that way. That's part of the reason I actually, it's not true, but as I say, it's of the reason I became a writer, it's not true at all.

But once I became a writer, I kind of adopted that mentality right? Because I'm a writer that makes me fancy and of course, I would never say that explicitly, but that's the true that's how, how you feel. Right. And then eventually I just realized that it was all total bullshit. You know that like the point of writing is not to be a fancy writer. The point of writing is to write things up, help people. The point of writing is to share your story and share your knowledge, to make an impact and to leave your legacy. And if you care about the writing, then you're missing the point that writing is just a vehicle. It's not the thing to care about. And once I kinda got that, then it was the next obvious step is helping people who are doing amazing things are understand that they also have knowledge to share, and they also have a story to share and their knowledge and their story can make an impact. They just have to put it into a book and that it's not as complicated or as elitist as they've been told. You know, and that message seems have worked, man.

Jonathan Levi: I love that. And I think that's so important and people often come at it from this approach of I'm not the best in my field. Therefore, why should I write a book? And the reality is, is that the best in the field first off is not actually writing books they're doing research, and there's a million different ways to teach the same subject and a different way is going to resonate with a different reader or a different person. So the world really does need your book.

Tucker Max: I wouldn't even go further. If you have done anything that other people find valuable, if it's a knowledge based thing, right? Like if you're, you know, if you're just a, a plumber, no shame to plumbers, we need plumbing. I love my plumber, right? I mean, I call him it's a disaster and he saves me unless you've invented something new in plumbing, you don't need to write a book.

You just, you go and you serve people with plumbing and that's awesome. But if you're a knowledge worker, especially. You almost have, I don't want to say you have one, but you almost have an obligation to write a book. I feel like, because if you're truly a knowledge worker, chances are what you're doing and what, you know, Is not recorded in any books anywhere, if it's actually valuable, because the way the, especially the way the world works now, there's so much going on in the world moves so fast and there's so much complexity that like, if you are just keeping everything to yourself, You're robbing the world of that in a lot of ways right now to lay on top of that is exactly what you said. Even let's say you're a knowledge worker and let's say you could definitively prove to me that everything you knew was out there somewhere right? Like Jonathan, I bet someone for you could make the case probably not, but they could make a bad case that everything in your courses and your universe has been said somewhere else in some form right

Jonathan Levi: I would a hundred percent agree with that.

Tucker Max: Okay. But here's why I think why you have a big audience and why your book is going to be important is because I know when your field, for a fact, that no one has taken all of that and aggregated all of this research and all of this findings and all of these techniques into one definitive source, put it together and then simplified it in a way where someone who can just take it and use it and really apply it to their lives right away and to me, even if you just curated, that's still a, that knowledge, that's still incredibly valuable.

Like in fact, I think curation in some ways might be more valuable than the original work if only because the original work is useless if people don't know about it, You know, and so like, if you have the way that supplies other people too, is if you have a perspective or a way of doing things that reaches a certain set of people that are not otherwise reached, then dude, I mean, like, I hate to sound like a pitch man, but I feel like if you're not writing a book or you're not sharing your story in your knowledge, in some effective way, because it can be, you can do on YouTube or podcasts or other things then like, what are you doing? You know? Like how are you helping people other than the people that you're directly serving? There might be thousands, tens of hundreds, of thousands of people, or maybe in some cases, millions that would love to know what you know, but we'll never do it unless you put it out there, you know?

Jonathan Levi: I completely agree.

And this is exactly how I feel about online courses as well is, you know, you have this obligation to document this and put it in a way that people can learn it and actually practice it and not everyone's a online course, consumer and not everyone is a reader and not everyone listens to podcasts. So you better be everywhere sharing this message if you believe in it.

Tucker Max: Yup. A hundred percent. Seriously.

Jonathan Levi: There is also this component, which I think you guys do a really good job of articulating that. Look, every jerk-off has a degree in X, Y, or Zed today, and only by creating content in a field can you actually distinguish yourself as a thought leader in that field as someone who is respected as someone who has something to contribute? Talk to me a little bit about that and your views on a book, because I think what scribe communicates so well is look, you're not going to make millions of dollars off your book, but.

Tucker Max: Yes. So we're moving into a world now this is a little bit of hyperbole, so I'll just say that upfront, but it's basically true in most advanced industries that if you don't have your own brand and your own media, then you're way behind those that do. Of course there are some industries where that's not true yet, but it will be true everywhere for people at least above a certain level and in some industries, I'm just going to use salaries as a proxy for sort of progress in an industry in some industries. That's right now that's like half a million dollars a year and other industries, it's at a hundred grand a year. You need to have a professional brand. A lot of people use the word personal brand. I don't like to use that because that kind of implies like entertainer, like Kim Kardashian or something. Whereas that's makes business, people get a little weirder, but entrepreneurs, business people need at a minimum professional brand, which means some form of media that exists that's proof of work, meaning proof that you can do the thing you are selling people you can do right? My favorite example, the obvious ones now are high-level coaches and consultants. If you are a coach or a consultant and you don't have any media, the only way that you're functional right now in the economy is because you have been doing it so long that you have so much word of mouth that it's compensating for that that's it.

That's the only reason you're competing. Man, if you're, unless you're 10 years from retirement, you're going to get stuck. You're going to get stuck in a bad hole and you're going to lose to the people who have really good books or really good podcasts, or really good forms of media. Because if you are, if you're essentially a knowledge worker, what's your selling is your ability to do something that's hard to do hard, to describe hard, to learn, hard to execute, and most people just aren't going to trust you anymore, that you can do that. They don't trust sales anymore. They don't trust marketing. They trust things. They trust their friends. Word of mouth is always number one.

So if you have good clients, you're always going to have some clients who talk about you. You're going to have some inbound marketing, but beyond that, the thing they trust the most is their own eyes and ears. They can read your book and see, Oh wow this person is actually really smart. I get what they're saying. I want to work with them or they're going to hear you on a podcast. Like right now someone's listening to me is thinking, Oh wow. Either this guy's, you know, he knows books, he's smart. He sees the future, blah, blah, blah. I need to write a book. Let me go look at his company and see if they're any good that increases the trust factor and the visibility and the credibility factor through the roof better than basically anything else. You know, if you're a knowledge worker, you shouldn't run ads on Google. Like, it doesn't make sense. Right? You can't run Facebook ads. You kind of can, if you're selling courses or something like that. But if you're like a fortune 1000 HR consultant, like Facebook ads don't make sense.

What makes sense? What makes sense is speaking at the right conferences, writing books, geared to your audience, doing content, doing podcasts, doing those sorts of media things to prove to the world so to your potential clients, that you are someone they can trust and work with.

Jonathan Levi: Absolutely and I would say that there are two kinds of power hacks because I do all of those things right? Online courses, books, podcasts, public speaking, there are two kinds of things just because of the way it has been up until now, where I think you get a disproportionate amount of boost or credibility or publicity or respect relative to the amount of effort it takes and that is speaking on stage.

You know, people see that you spoke on stage at a conference. Holy crap, this guy must know what he's talking about, or gal must know what she's talking about and the other one is a book. I mean, anyone can record videos and put it online. People still believe that writing a book takes a lot of effort.

Tucker Max: Well, it does. Here's the thing though. So I agree, but let me have this. There was a period we're coming out of it. I think we're pretty much out of it now we're at the very tail end. There was a period the early, let's say 2006 or so when the kind of scammy internet marketers discovered it was easy to self-publish and that was back when it just being published alone, had a lot of cache.

And so they traded on that, the Delta between being published and the rise of self publishing. And so, you know who I'm talking about, a lot of, some of them were friends of mine. They sold courses and programs where it was like, you know, become the instant credibility in your field, write a book and like the whole thing was basically just convincing people.

If they wrote a book. That's all they needed to do. I even know someone who is in a mastermind group with the two of us who bless his heart. I love him, but he literally had a program where you would go there and he would help you come up with a book title. He would have like photographers and designers there and they would do the book cover. They would put the book cover on Amazon and then like, it would be like 150 people at this event. Everyone would buy everyone else's pre-launch book, get them all to number one in their category in Amazon, they call themselves bestselling authors and then none of them would write their books. Seriously, like 150 people, like five of them would actually write the book, but then like, it was basically people buying fake credibility and authority.

And so people eventually figured this out Amazon bestseller doesn't mean anything, blah, blah, blah. There was a whole flood for about a decade of bad self published books right? And so it kind of gave self publishing a bad name and then we kind of came along at the end of this, about 2015. That's actually the company start at the end of 2014 and we started doing soup cause I came out of traditional publishing with my books, but I never liked it.

And I kind of started my own publishing company at the end and kind of did some revolutionary stuff that a lot of other big authors have now imitated. But I was like, no, let's do let's self publish so that the authors can have full creative control, can own all rights and royalties, but let's do super high end publishing like really great books, really beautiful covers. Let's make these books look as credible as the authors that write them and so that's basically what we did. And I'm not going to say we were the first ones to do that, but we were really kind of the ones who led the charge with self publishing can be just as high, a credibility and professionalism as traditional publishing.

And it culminated with David Garvin's book that came out in December and blew up and did. His book has sold over a million copies and all media forms, uh, and only like whatever it is, four months or five months now, I guess about five months, dude, his audio book is blown up. It's incredible. He did the entire process for us.

Totally. He turned down a $300,000 advance. And came with us instead paid our full fee and it turned out really well for him. He got a ton of press. He got a ton of media, sold millions of copies and end up making three or four times as much as he would have made that he'd gone with a traditional publisher.

And his book is amazing. Like it looks and feels like not just a traditionally published book, but the best traditionally published book. Now to tie this back to what you were saying, It used to be just having a book was enough, but that's not true anymore because of, like I said, all the kind of frauds that came out now, a book is a credibility booster because people will read it and they will judge you based on it right? So if you write a bad book, it will make you look bad. Like a book by itself does not help you if it's not good. If you read a book, that's got a crappy cover, it looks like you bought it off. Fiverr people will think you're like an unprofessional seriously. They will. It's bad. And we have a lot of authors who come to us who are republishing crappy books. They did five or six years ago. I may want to, you know, get the covers updated. That's like 10% of our business, man. It's amazing how many people do that and so like, that's the thing you got to remember is if you're thinking about writing a book and I don't want it to say this to scare people, but it needs to be a serious consideration. If you don't have good smart things to say, at least to your audience, then I would highly hesitate writing a book because like people will read it and they will judge you and if your book is good, they will judge you very positively and want to work with you. And if your book is bad or if your book looks bad, they will judge you portal.

Jonathan Levi: Wow. So there's a lot there to unpack. The first thing I want to say is, uh, and I typically don't like to endorse products or services on the show, but your process is amazing. And I've told you this many, many times that I've sold just about everyone that I know that is considering writing a book because you guys really do tease out the absolute best.

And I went into it as someone who has written multiple books and very many online courses. And in five minutes, like a hot knife through butter, you're like here's all the things that are wrong with all the books that you've written and I think I'm a better author now for it, but also I think what you guys do really, really well.

And how has reminded me of this. You guys would rather not publish a book than publish a crappy book because you now have your entire reputation with a thousands, some odd books.

Tucker Max: Yeah, 1200. Oh yeah, dude. No, seriously. I mean, you and I know a lot of the same people. If we did a terrible job on your book, you would do the opposite of what you're doing and I wouldn't blame you. Like that's the way the world works as it should. No, dude, I'm a hundred percent with you, man. We are in this for the long haul we're in this, like we built this company. It's like I said, at the beginning, if it's true, what I say, if it's true that I care about helping people make an impact in the world, but it's true that I see that as the way I can make the biggest impact is helping people like you make a bigger impact.

Then it would be a complete betrayal for us to not do amazingly high quality books.

Jonathan Levi: Totally and I want to say, you know, I think typically if someone were to hear the way that you're processing works, like many of your clients write their own books with your coaching, but many of them also essentially write their books through phone conversations, right? For the people who don't have time to write books, it's just a series of phone conversations with a professional writer and you would think that the writer's voice wouldn't come through or that the books would all read the same. But I have to say, I've read a lot of Lioncrest books of people that I know folks like Cameron, Harold, and the books are phenomenal and the book reads like Cameron's voice.

So I think everything that you guys have done is just incredible. I can't even imagine how you guys go about relearning voice in that way, but I mean, really good reads and I've read a few of them.

Tucker Max: Yeah, it's actually easier than you would think. So we have two services. The one you went through, which is like where authors will write it themselves with our guidance and then we have one that's sort of like ghost writing. We call it scribing, but it's close enough if you think of it, like ghost writing. The difference though, between what we do and ghost writing is exactly what you said. We've structured our process so that we don't just get the idea from you and then write up our version of it? What we do is we have a very algorithmic process where we kind of get all of the content, not kind of, we get all of the content out of the author and then we write it in their voice and the way we nail the voice, it's actually really simple. As we do the interviews, we send a couple pages to the author of like how we're envisioning the voice going and so like over a three month process where we interviewed them, we go back and forth with them, dialing in the voice until they are like, yeah, that's exactly what I want. And it's actually really easy to do if you just do it slowly, progressively literally it's way easier you think. Yeah.

Jonathan Levi: Really incredible.

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We've actually teamed up with four Sigmatic to bring you an incredible 15% discount to take advantage of that. Just visit foursigmatic.com/superhuman. Today. All right. Back to the show. I do want to transition and talk to you about some other superhuman stuff. Cause I know you have been on a journey of personal growth for many, many years, but before I do that, I want to ask what are some of the kind of out there, people who've written books with you where you, you know, a typical person in the audience will go, really? That person wrote a book or really that's a story. Like I know Giftology is one of the examples you always give, but what are some of the head-scratchers that will help people understand that you really do mean, and you really stand behind this idea of every professional should be writing a book to get themselves out there.

Tucker Max: You know, uh, Gina Wickham, who did, you know, like traction and, uh, all those books see all his system. We did his books books right now. His next two books we're doing, dude, this hasn't like all announced this on your podcast. We haven't really talked about this publicly yet. But we're doing the Nobel prizes books. Like the Nobel prize committee is doing their first American book. It's a series of essays by like huge people like Nigel Ferguson and all these other people were doing that book in America. It's all over the map dude. We have nurse practitioners doing books about how to start, you know, like medical practices.

We have midwives, we have, you know, CEOs, entrepreneurs, like you, software developers, software developers, it, people. Uh, CEO coaches, we have, it's basically everyone who is a knowledge worker, which in this world is almost everyone now. Like very, they're very few people that are not, if someone's listening to your podcast, they're almost certainly a knowledge worker, because like, if you care about learning, you're a knowledge worker. We're doing a book with people in your fields.

Jonathan Levi: Right and I'll give a plug for a couple of people who were in my class. I mean, someone who was the wife of a very high level CEO and entrepreneur writing a book about how to manage a family. When the husband is, you know, a multi-hundred millionaire, how do you raise your kids well? Someone else who was a family planning lawyer talking about how to deal with and prepare for the death of a parent. A CTO of a really successful tech company talking about how to innovate. I mean, really cool books. Like if you went into it thinking, and I certainly went into it thinking everyone is a quote, unquote thought leader, you know, super or an online course creator or a public speaker, just turning their stuff into a book, and that was not what I found at all. It was a lot of people starting their career or pivoting their career towards how do I teach others, which I thought was really cool and empowering.

Tucker Max: Yeah, no, you're exactly right. It's funny. Like one thinks it's going to be like that, but we have very few people that kind of fit into your category that are more sort of public-facing thought leaders. There just aren't as many of them, we have a bunch of them, but given how many offers we're working with, it's just a small percentage is 10 or 20%.

Jonathan Levi: Right. Very cool. Now, Tucker, you, as you said in your twenties, you did a lot of drinking, a lot of partying today. I know you as a pretty healthy guy. I mean, you work out quite a bit. You take really good care of yourself. Talk to me a bit about that transition and what your kind of regimen looks like for keeping yourself healthy. I know you're a father, you're a husband. You're a very busy entrepreneur.

Tucker Max: Yeah, it's pretty basic, man. I just, I focused on the fundamentals. So the biggest number, one thing for health is sleep. So I get, you know, I try to get eight hours of sleep every night, then, you know, heavy lifting either heavy or intense is what I do and so. Three times a week I do jujitsu, uh, presented ASSU and MMA, that kind of stuff and then one time a week I'll general do like powerlifting or Olympic lifting, CrossFit style stuff.

And then that's pretty much it. I go for walks and my kids and dogs cause they like walk in and that's about it. And then nutrition-wise, it's pretty simple. Like I used to be really pretty strict paleo, but I altered a little, but I'm pretty much no sugars, no processed sugars. I'll eat fruit, but no processed sugars, basically no grains at all and then I'm tend to be very resistant. I try to limit the starch, right. So like no potatoes, but I eat a lot of starchy vegetables, but like, I try to avoid the white starches, like potatoes and stuff like that and that's pretty much it, man. Like, um, yeah, pretty healthy.

Jonathan Levi: Awesome. Now I want to ask you about the incredible article and I've sent this to probably a hundred people that you wrote about MDMA therapy, which I want to thank you because you were super vulnerable and super open and honest and direct, and it really communicated the fact that you're just interested in helping people, even at the risk of your own public persona.

Tell me about that experience and maybe what attracted you to that. Today is my birthday. Yeah. Thank you, man. Thank you. I appreciate that.

Tucker Max: Yeah. So long, long story short, I've had a couple of friends, pretty good friends. One of whom is very, very well known or been into kind of the emerging field of, let's call it plant-based medicines right? So psychedelics and things like that.

India is not technically a psychedelic, but it often gets lumped in and those friends have been telling me for five years. I really, really need to get into this because I've been very serious about my sort of therapeutic personal work for Sam 43. Now I started in honest about 35. So about seven, eight years.

I've been really serious about it and for like, for most of that time, they've been telling them these three people have been telling me, dude, you know, talk, therapy's great. Meditation's great. All that stuff, keep doing it. But plant therapies are really the thing they're going to catapult you forward.

And so long, long story short, I finally gave in and I finally decided, I figured, let me start because it was this sent to it for all the normal reasons, everyone else's. And then I forget what it was, but something just turned the corner for me for MDMA it at that a different friend of mine wasn't in that group of kind of entrepreneurs and a high powered people.

He like did it and I saw the change in him and I was like, Oh man, And so he connected me to his person and we knew we was actually an author. We did a booklet, the book's called trust, surrender receive. I talked about this in the article you're talking about. And so I got connected with him. I went to New York and I did an MBMA therapy session right? So MDMA is the active compound in ecstasy, although ecstasy also not often as other things laced into it. But MDMA methylenedioxy methamphetamine and it's a small amount, 200 milligrams. And basically you put an eye shade on and you lay on like, essentially like a therapist couch and the, your guide is there for the whole day, and it takes you about five, six hours and it takes about 45 minutes for it to kind of kick in. You're doing two doses, one dose, and then a second dose. Uh, you know, so you, you kind of move up slowly through it. It was just, I mean, you can read the whole experience in the article, but it was the most emotionally, spiritually profound experience of my entire life.

And I've now become like huge into it. Like I've done it five, that was September was my first one. I just on Saturday dude. So today's Monday. We're recording on Saturday. I did my fifth in MDMA session and then in three weeks, I'm going to do my first mushroom session. Yeah. So this is do this life-changing map.

I can't speak highly enough of it. Yeah, I understand MDMA is a tool. It is not a cure. All I did not like it's not a magic pill. It's just a tool to help you deal with issues and on your therapeutic journey. But it's not magic. I just want to be clear about that.

Jonathan Levi: How are you different since starting this journey?

Tucker Max: Dude, I'm so different. It's like, you know what you feel like when you go first off? So you feel like I said, in my article, like, I didn't, I felt the most love I'd ever felt in my life, but it wasn't that I was feeling love for other people. Although I was, it was more like, I felt like the embodiment of love. It was like, you know what it is, man. It's like, Imagine if all of the bullshit, all of the defensiveness and the fear and the anxiety. Imagine if all of that just melted away and your sure. Human self emerged. That's what it's like to be on MDMA. Now it sounds blissful, right? Except the problem is when that happens, if you put a lot of trauma in your past, like I did? All of that trauma comes up now that sounds horrific and monstrous and it can, it's hard, like make no mistake about it. That is not easy to deal with, but the only way you can deal with that stuff is to let it come up and process it so you can move past it right? And so that's exactly what happened. It was like I had all man, I had all kinds of stuff come up and, and really painful, difficult stuff.

But because the MDMA, what it does basically it flood your brain was serotonin and so you feel this deep love and safety and security and so your brain feels safe to bring all this stuff up, you know, and you can deal with it and process it. Do I've let so much stuff go? I'm 10 times more relaxed, more calm, more centered, happy is the wrong word. It's more content. I am. Wow. It's just, it's helping me become the person that I've always known I could be and then I've been trying to get to, but it was really hard for me to get to, it's helping me become that person you know?

Jonathan Levi: It's so powerful, so powerful and really fascinating.

I think there's so many exciting things developing right now. I mean, Tim Ferris just sent out an Israeli documentary about MDMA for PTSD, which somehow I have a feeling you knew about that before.

Tucker Max: Yeah.

Jonathan Levi: And you know, really, really interesting things happening, not just for severe trauma, but also for behavioral disorders also for anxiety, really, really exciting stuff.

Tucker Max: The data for MTMA helping to alleviate PTSD is astonishing. Like you can look up the studies, the mid offer study, and there's some others, but we're looking at anywhere from 60 to 85% cure rates for treatment-resistant PTSD. Which is off the charts like MDMA is already in stage three clinical trials for prescription usage and it's looking like it's going to be legalized for at least in America or for prescription use five 2021. Uh, psilocybin is in stage two trials. It's shown remarkable effectiveness for, uh, treatment-resistant depression. Just has so as ketamine as well. And so all of these things are starting to come online.

I'm telling you, man, our kids are going to grow up in a world where they're like, man, you guys didn't have access to this stuff. What the hell was wrong with you? Like it's going to change the world.

Jonathan Levi: And instead they just put everyone on SSRS, which is special for PTSD don't work period.

Tucker Max: No, no, not at all.

Jonathan Levi: Incredible. So Tucker, I know we're coming up on time here. I do want to ask you, you know, we've gotten everybody pumped up about writing and really convinced. I mean, I personally believe, I know a lot of people in our circle of belief writing made me a better communicator and a better thinker because once you know how to communicate your thoughts, you know how to organize your thoughts.

I would be remiss if I didn't ask. I mean, I don't think I've ever had someone who is a four-time, New York Times bestseller on the show. How can people improve their writing? What is some homework that we can give them to move towards becoming a better writer?

Tucker Max: Yeah, so, all right. So let me run through a couple of things that I teach in the workshop.

So Google scribe, nonfiction rules, and there's a blog post that I wrote. There's basically four rules for non-fiction writing and they sound so basic, but no one follows them. They're very clear. I can tell it right now. Keep it simple. I'm sorry, keep it short, keep it simple, keep it direct, make it about the reader.

If you do those four things. And I give a lot of examples in the piece. If you do those four things really read your piece thinking, is this, I mean, like say out loud to yourself, is this as short as possible? Like think to yourself, what if I had to pay a hundred dollars per word in this email? How short would the email be? Right? You'll cut half of it out and it'll be better. Is it as simple as possible, right? Meaning like, like, you know, am I explaining everything in the most simple terms? Is it as direct as possible? Like, am I understanding exactly what I'm trying to say and saying that, you know, very simply indirectly and then also is it about the reader?

If you look at most of your writing for most people, you're talking to yourself, You are talking about things that you care about you're worried about, or your issue or this or that. And you're not actually thinking about the person that's reading the book. Right? Wow. Those four things are the best things I know of to become a better writer.

Jonathan Levi: That's so powerful. And I just remembered one of the things that you shared with me in the workshop, which I actually quoted you in a webinar we recently did about productivity, which is really, really good writing. I love that moment where you say, what percentage do you guys think really, really good writing is creative inspiration? And everyone throws out 20%, 30%. You're like 0%. It's sitting down, it's having the discipline to write every single day and get better at writing. And I think so. Powerful because people look at someone like you, who's had so many successful books and go, well, God, he just must have the gift, you know, but to hear you say that, like, no, I just, I sat on my ass and I wrote and I wrote and I wrote, and then as you said, I edited until I hated my book. It's actually it's 0% inspiration and a hundred percent perspiration.

Tucker Max: It's true. Inspiration is what maybe gets you started and if inspiration comes use it, that's great. But if you rely on inspiration, you will never finish. That's true forever.

Jonathan Levi: I love that. That's fantastic. Tucker, since you have written so many books and have edited so many books and have produced so many books, what are some of the books that have most impacted your own life? Scriber? Otherwise?

Tucker Max: Yeah. So there's one that we did in this company that is David Goggins book. Can't hurt me. He's amazing. I highly recommend that to everybody, but like there's another one that hasn't gotten the attention has, has deeply personally impacted me. It's called a “one last talk” by Philip McKernan.

I think you took that book or not. I'm not sure if you did. I think it was either just come out or it was about that book, man. That book blew me down. I can tell you the concept is really simple. If you had one, like data lives, if you were about to die and you had 15 minutes to save, what would you say and who would you say it to?

Wow. And like, and do that as a speech. I mean, it's a little bit more complicated that he kind of walks you through it. But when you think about that, if you're dying tomorrow and that's, it, there's no way around it. You had 15 minutes to say something. Who would you say? What would you say? And who would you say it to? Man some, when you think about that, some crazy shit comes up. And so that led me down a crazy path and we actually do that exercise in our company. Now we do one last talk every six months for. We do for people and we'd have a whole day and we all do it. It's like kind of amazing and that's the one that recently, at least that's kind of blown me away.

Jonathan Levi: Well, I'm looking at their reviews right now, some life-changing stuff. So we will link people up in the blog post so they can check that out, get it out in front of people's eyes, Tucker. I really want to thank you. I really appreciate your time. I do want to ask if there's one message that people take away from this episode and carry with them for the rest of their lives. What would you hope for that to be?

Tucker Max: But if you want to be serious in your career, you've got to create media, some form of medium, be good at it. For most people, a book is the best way to do it.

Jonathan Levi: I love it and where can people reach out and learn more about everything you're doing and hopefully attend that incredible guided author process that I did?

Tucker Max: Just go to scribewriting.com. Everything's there.

Jonathan Levi: Beautiful. Tucker. I really appreciate it. Always a pleasure chatting with you, and I'm already looking forward to doing my next book. I should tell the audience, you had to talk me out of doing two books back to back with you. Awesome.

Tucker Max: Do you know now how much of a disaster that would have been? Dude?

Jonathan Levi: I'm glad that now I get to focus on the next one, cause I'm really excited about it as well.

Tucker Max: Cool. Me too man. I'm excited to help.

Jonathan Levi: All right. Well, I will see you soon either at Genius Network or at your office in Austin.

Tucker Max: See you, man.

Jonathan Levi: Take care. All right. SuperFriends. That is all we have for you today, but I hope you guys really enjoyed the show and I hope you learned a ton of actionable information tips, advice that will help you go out there and overcome the impossible.

If you've enjoyed the show, please take a moment to leave us a review on iTunes or Stitcher, or drop us a quick little note on the Twitter machine @gosuperhuman . Also, if you have any ideas for anyone out there who you would love to see on the show. We always love to hear your recommendations. You can submit on our website, or you can just drop us an email and let us know that's all for today, guys, thanks for tuning in.

Closing: Thanks for tuning in to the Becoming Superhuman Podcast for more great skills and strategies, or for links to any of the resources mentioned in this episode, visit www.becomingasuperhuman.com/podcast. We'll see you next time.



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The Basics of Total Personal Transformation W/ Stephan Spencer