I feel privileged and honored to have interviewed Robert Greene on my Podcast. As you can read below, I have learned not only so much about him but more about his books and his philosophies.
Robert in my opinion is the 21st Century Napoleon Hill – in 1927, after 20 years of research and countless interviews with Benjamin Franklin and Henry Ford to name a few, Napoleon Hill came out with a 1200 page manuscript called “The 17 Laws Of Success.” In similar fashion, I believe Robert is just as great as him because Robert has studied some very famous and influential people as well – perhaps not in person but at least in spirit.
I hope you enjoy the first part of this interview process. The real meat and potatoes of the interview will come in part 2 which should make things really interesting and valuable to learn from. Stay tuned for part 2 next Wednesday!
Robert Greene on the 48 Laws Of Power:
- Although Robert knows all of the laws, he does not practice every single law for it would drain him of all energy. However, he is very aware of the laws and knows people who use them. He realizes that the laws reflect an overall way of looking at the world but during the course of the day, he doesn’t map things out to get ahead in this world.
- Robert believes envy is a dangerous thing.
- Fidel Castro: The story was that the former President of Guatemala had a stack of books in his Presidential office and visited his dignitaries and he gave a copy to Fidel Castro. Fidel read it and enjoyed it very much. Since the book was released, there have been many leaders who have a copy of the book. However, the book is not designed for people who already have power, it is designed for the every day Man or Woman.
- Robert’ books are some of the most sought after books between prison inmates in the United States. Robert believes that the prison systems are barbaric and since the inmates are terrified and about navigating and protecting themselves, they read his books. He has met someone who has been in the prison system for 20 years and he told him clearly that a lot of it is for defensive purposes. However, he has a lot of empathy for the United States prison systems. The idea of reform is completely wrong. He does not feel bad or that they found it helpful.
Robert Greene on Robert Greene:
- Robert was the hippy type, was into philosophy. His majors were Greek and Latin. He was into foreign languages. After graduating college, he wondered around Europe for 5-6 years. He lived in Paris, he worked in a hotel, he taught English and he washed dishes. He tried journalism; he got into Hollywood, which was not a great fit either for various reasons. By this time, he is 35-36 and it was not looking good for him.
- Robert feels lucky and he is aware of the fact that if he hadn’t met Yost (his partner), he doesn’t know what would have happened to him. Yost helped Robert create the 48 Laws Of Power. He is aware of the luck and opportunity that plays in his life and other people’s lives.
- Robert closely resembles the classic rake but he is a reformed rake right now as he has a girlfriend of 16 years. Rakes aren’t reformed but he believes he is. A rake is someone who is usually obsessed with woman and can’t find satisfaction with only one. Rakes can be very romantic and engaged and in the moment, then it passes and they move onto someone else and this desire is very seductive to woman. Even though Woman know that this man may be a a rake, they often feel they will make him calm down but that is usually there down fall. He also feels he is the natural archetype as well.
- From the 48 Laws Of Power book, Robert admits to violating the outshining the master law – Inadvertently he triggered the insecurity of his superior as if he was after his job. Since violating it, he is aware of it. This is something he did prior to writing the book. Robert doesn’t think about the laws but it just seeped into his attitude and has become him after all of these years.
Robert Greene on Philosophy:
- Everyone has untapped energy to get things done, you have it in you. When your push comes to shove, you have the resources to rise to come up to the occasion. This is a lesson he will keep with him for the rest of his life.
- Robert was a late bloomer, he didn’t write until 36. He never gave up on himself. He would get depressed but he never gave up. He kept trying something different, whatever it was. When there was an opportunity for a book, he went for it. He was so desperate to make it at that point that he put an incredible amount of energy into the book. He discusses it in Mastery – the sense of knowing who you’re and knowing what you want. If you’re clear about what you want to accomplish, it can see you through these dark moments. In writing Mastery, he was very late in delivering it – it was a monster to put together. As a result, he was very late in delivering and the publishers were getting antsy and he was going to get into a lot of problems if he did not deliver the book on time but he did through the power of meditation. In the end, he found a way to delivery the book with 30-seconds to spare on a March deadline right before midnight.
- The worse kind of seducer in the world is one that pretends he is not. Seduction is about bringing what you’re natural at and improving it.
- Knowing when to give up, to not try to do something you are not going to succeed in. Do not put too much energy on something you’re not reluctant to walk away from.
- Power and strategy is about knowing when to give in, how to accommodate and how to adapt yourself to circumstances.
Robert Greene on 50-Cent:
- 50 cent was a very open person and gave him complete access of himself for 6-8 months. Robert saw him on the streets of queens where he hung out with his friends and where he did business in Las Vegas.
- 50 cent is the Napoleon Bonaparte of hip-hop. He is not a thug or aggressive when you meet him. They approached Robert; he flew to NY and met him in the back of a steakhouse in NY. He was intimidated but he realized he was a really nice person. He is really down the earth, has a great sense of humor and there was no glaring sense of ego issues and he liked him and they got along really well.
- He is not afraid of most of the things most people are afraid of – like being alone, being criticized, and death. Because he is not afraid of these things, he has an incredible of advantage and that would be the book.
- The first time he met 50, it was like a scene out of the godfather, where someone in the mafia could execute someone and not know about it. Robert was not the only white guy there, there was one other. 50 had his entire entourage there but Robert was by himself.
- 50 and his crew put him at ease, they didn’t put him through any tension.
Links to Robert Greene’ Books:
From this 4-part interview, what was your favorite part or what did you learn the most that you will use in your own life?