Week 3 - support is worth millions 💸

From Andre Agassi and Tony Robbins to the one man who supported a crop of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs - 'support' is more than a buzzword.

The Harvard Studies of Adult Development tracked a cohort of men over their lifetimes. One simple finding — quality of relationships and social connections had the biggest impact on overall quality of life, on wellbeing. More than…

  • Money 💰

  • Job title 🥼

  • Fame 🎆

  • Health 🩺

Support. Easy to relegate to buzzword status, but it moves the needle.


If you’ve been following this newsletter along at home, you know that young creatives, entrepreneurs and future-minded people need a raft of things to support them on their journey. This is an eleven-part series, and this is where we’re up to.

  1. Funding, income, and investment

  2. A thinking gym, and idea factory… basically a system to continually upgrade and develop their ideas and perspectives

  3. Support moves the needle, can be the difference between success and failure, millions or billions of dollars in income, millions or billions of lives touched… that’s where we’re at today 👍


Questions ❓

Do you feel adequately supported right now? Be selfish for a moment here, if you could have all the support you wanted, what would that look like?

Who do you talk to when you’re having an off day, or when things aren’t going well?

Can you ever have enough support?

Problem 🧧

  1. Capitalistic society, social media, Covid-19… we don’t know our neighbors.

  2. Young innovators, in particular, look like the weirdo wherever they are (Elon Musk was bullied profusely at high school).

  3. Support is normally too ‘intangible’ — meaning, vague in its importance. Let’s turn that on its head for a moment.

🎾Gil Reyes (behind Andre Agassi)

  • Andre Agassi, legendary American tennis player of the 1990’s and early 2000’s, has a great book, and was really frustrated to come up against Pete Sampras so often.

  • Gil Reyes was Agassi’s strength and conditioning trainer.

📐Measurable Results

  • "Gil is the reason why I've won more Slams after the age of 29 than I did before. He's the reason why I'm still out there playing this sport at a time in my life when I can really understand and appreciate it."[6]

  • Three slams before, five after. Agassi amassed more than US$30 million in prize money over the duration of his career. What would the yield have been without Gil?

  • When they first began working together Agassi could bench press 135 pounds. Fourteen years later in 2003, he was benchpressing 350 pounds.

🗣Tony Robbins and Billy Beck

📐Measurable Results

  • Unleash the Power within nets Robbins around US$9 million a year.

  • Tony’s site estimates that in 40 years alone of just this program, he has encountered 50 million people from 80 countries. Knocking say, 20% off that knocks off 10 million people. That’s double the population of New Zealand.

⚽ Bill Campbell and a golden generation of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs

📐Measurable Results

  • What, you mean apart from the influence on all the companies we interact with on a daily basis?

  • Their combined market cap today is $6,665,742,000,000


Let me tell you about Rizwan

A few years ago, I was at rock bottom in my business — my business partner had left and I had let go of my only team member. I was seriously considering throwing in the towel.

Rizwan, a tenant in one of the properties I managed, heard me say this and seemed mortified. “No, you can’t quit, you have so much empathy, which is so rare in what you do! You should keep going, you are good”.

Simple statement. It was all it took to lift my spirits, to motivate me to go forward. No one can stop the going from getting tough — but they can cheer you on from the sidelines.


Where do I go to get support?

My biggest single regret when I started Sydney Listings, was operating a business without a community around me. I had good people around, yes, but not a surrounding community.

Andonis Sakatis said to me recently that, with startups, two themes seem to emerge in a success story.

  1. Community

  2. Timing

What are those places?

  • Co-working spaces? But only if the community is heavily interwoven… you can sit at a desk and pay rent anywhere.

  • A friend of mine, Taylor Harrington, recently joined the team at Groove, a virtual co-working space startup.

  • If you’re lucky, friends and family — Phil Knight’s mum lifted his spirits when she bought one of his first pairs of sneakers.

  • I don’t want to beat too hard the drum of the Constant Student Community, but to be honest, there aren’t many other places I’m aware of.

So, I’ll repeat my questions…

Questions ❓

Do you feel adequately supported right now? Be selfish for a moment here, if you could have all the support you wanted, what would that look like?

Who do you talk to when you’re having an off day, or when things aren’t going well?

Can you ever have enough support?

👀 We’re looking for young entrepreneurs, builders and creators.

If you know anyone, please share this with them.

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📚 Book recommendations

  • Educated by Tara Westover — the incredulous story of a home-schooled girl raised by a radically religious family in rural Idaho, who would go on to have a distinguished academic career. Incredibly well written and I was engaged the whole way through. Thanks Gabby Monardo for the recommendation.

  • The War of Art by Steven Pressfield — a kick up the backside. Everyone creates art in some way, shape or form. Stop messing around and get to it.

  • Started reading the Moral Molecule by Paul J. Zak, all about oxytocin, and what this does to influence generous behaviour, love and compassion.

Members of Constant Student get access to my reading notes on 120+ books here, including these.