EPISODE 42 — Tucker Max —The Price of Fame
Tucker Max took the internet by storm after his blog went stratospheric in the early 2000s. Two best-selling books, one movie, and a media empire later, Tucker’s success is showing no signs of slowing down. But Tucker’s days recounting debaucherous adventures online are behind him, and the self-styled “fratire-ist” now focuses on helping others achieve their editorial dreams with the help of his publishing house, Scribe Media.
In this episode, Tucker answers questions such as:
- Why did Tucker Max step away from the limelight?
- How can introspection help you move forward?
- What is it about delegating control of your company to someone else that leads to growth?
- How did Tucker & his team create Scribe Media to turn experts into authors?
*This episode of The Game Changing Attorney Podcast is intended for mature audiences only.
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4:50 – A change of plans. “No big firm was hiring me because no one gets fired from being a summer associate — I did. Then, I wrote an email to all my friends about it. It was funny, and my friends are a**holes, so they forwarded it to all their friends. It became the legal forward of the year. Everyone at every firm got a copy, so everyone knew who I was before I graduated law school. It wasn’t good — no firm was taking me. I was untouchable. So, yeah, I was like, ‘Okay, I guess I’m not going into law.’ So, I went to work for my dad.”
9:23 – Riding a different wave. “We all do dumb sh*t in our 20s. The difference between me and anyone else is I wrote it down. I just wrote it all down, and it was funny. People liked it. There was no plan for this, man. I got fired from being a lawyer, and I got fired by my dad from my family business. So I didn’t have a lot of other options, and this thing I was doing was working. It just ended up being that I was one of the first people to catch this wave, right? My book was the first book that went from blog to book to New York Times best-seller. Number one, the first one.”
17:35 – Understanding newfound fame. “When you become famous as a dude, it’s a dynamic shift that is so weird and so different and so unlike anything else that happens anywhere. It can be a micro-fame. I know professors who are very famous in their little academic field, and then outside their academic field no one cares, but that dynamic is still the same, like at their conferences for their little field. It’s that people don’t look at you as you are. People look at you for what you can get them. That’s the definition of objectification, right? My whole life became that for a while, and it was very, very, very weird. It started to cause me to resent my success and my fame because I wasn’t interacting with anyone on a human level. Everything was transactional.”
27:48 – A pivotal moment. “That really was a dark moment for me when I realized what I had created in my own life through my own decisions. I already had kind of known I was done with writing about drinking and hooking up. I was tired of it. At some point it just becomes tedious, so I was like, ‘No, I’m not going to do this anymore.’ I had said I was going to change, and that I didn’t like this anymore for a while, but decided that I was actually going to change my behavior. That was the trigger, and that was when I really started taking responsibility and accountability for who and what I had become — looking at it and saying, ‘Is this what I want?’ That was when I really had to take stock and understand the problem was me. There is no problem outside of me. The problem is me, and it is my mindset, and it is my emotional state, and it is how I am looking at myself and how I’m looking at the world — what I’m taking responsibility for and what I’m not taking responsibility for. So I started therapy.”
31:05 – A different kind of therapy. “I tried a lot of other things to connect with myself and my body. Nothing really worked for me until I started on psychedelic medicine. That was a game changer. MDMA therapy — which obviously is still not legal, but will be. It’s in stage three clinical trials. I just kind of found a way around those things because that’s the type of person I am. It broke me open. I’ve been doing that for the last two and a half years: various forms of psychedelic therapy, either with psilocybin, LSD, or MDMA. Those are the three main modalities that I’ve used. I feel like I’ve grown more in the last two and a half years than I did in the last eight before that. It’s been amazing, and everything in my life has taken off because of it. My marriage is 10 times better. I’m a better father. My company’s doing incredible. Everything in my life is way better than it used to be. And more importantly, I feel way better.”
38:36 – Becoming a better “you” takes work. “I always tell people, ‘Things get harder before they get easier.’ So, for me, all the stuff we were talking about earlier — the questions you asked me about all the dark stuff, all the stuff I hated about my life, the things I didn’t like about myself, all this deep trauma that I’ve repressed — all that sh*t comes up, and it’s f*cking awful. It’s the worst. There’s a reason I tried to bury my life in alcohol and women, and then success and money. Because if you don’t, you then have to stop and face all this stuff, but the only way that you get through it is if you actually stop and face it.”
39:46 – The origins of Scribe. “I was at an entrepreneur dinner, and this woman was trying to write a book for 10 years and she couldn’t do it. She was a really successful entrepreneur. She said, ‘I can’t find the time. How do I get this out of my head?’ And I was like, ‘Are you asking me how to write a book without writing it?’ And she said, ‘Yeah.’ So, like an a**hole, I started lecturing her about hard work. She’s like, ‘Are you a real entrepreneur? Because a real entrepreneur would help me solve my problem. They wouldn’t lecture me about hard work.’ She’s totally right. So I got obsessed with the idea, and then basically built a process to get a book out of someone’s head without them having to learn how to write a book. It was still completely their words, their ideas, their voice, and not ghostwriting in a traditional sense. We ended up working together and wrote this great book. I just did it as a fun project, not thinking it would be anything other than a fun project, but she referred a bunch of people to us. Then, I talked about it on a podcast. I literally was passing this work off to a friend of mine, just as freelancing work, and he’s like, ‘Dude, I’ve signed $250,000 of business in the last month. I think we might have a company here.’ I was like, ‘Oh, okay.’”
48:42 – What does being a game changer mean to you? “The most game changing thing I can think of is to genuinely think for yourself, and almost no one does. If you really want to be a game changer right now, the thing to do — and it’s so hard — is to really, really begin to question everything you think is true. That doesn’t mean it’s not true, but really think, ‘What are my assumptions?’ First of all, ‘What do I believe? Why do I believe it? Whose ideas am I holding?’ You want to be a game changer? Genuinely think for yourself.”
EPISODE RESOURCES & REFERENCES
Duke University School of Law
The University of Virginia
Fenwick & West
I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell by Tucker Max
I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell (film)
New York Times
Time 100: Most Influential People
What MDMA Therapy Did for Me by Tucker Max
Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins
The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish
Nobel Prize Committee
MAGA (Make America Great Again)
BLM (Black Lives Matter)