Have you ever looked up at the moon and wondered what it’s like to walk on its surface?
It’s fascinating to think of going there on vacation and seeing the world from a new perspective – literally.
The only reason why it hasn’t happened yet is that people haven’t found the monetary value in it.
Most people think of the moon as a big deserted rock without much purpose, not to mention how expensive and hard it is to get there. You’d sound like a crazy dreamer to say that that is going to change anytime soon.
Our guest today not only sees the moon in a different light, but he has found a way to get us there very soon.
With technology decreasing in price, and getting better all the time, Naveen Jain is planning on making this dream come true. He’s found ways to make space exploration profitable for private investors and is in charge of the only company allowed to go to the moon right now.
In fact he estimates that in the next 20 years private citizens will get to go to the moon for around ten grand.
He’s been making all of this happen by simply breaking the rules.
When someone tells Naveen that he has an impossible idea, he knows he’s on the right track.
In fact he’s found that the bigger he dreams, the easier it is to accomplish those dreams. His over the top goals pique the interest of the top minds from all around the world, and they all come together to support his cause.
I honestly can’t wait for you to listen to this episode of The School of Greatness Podcast as we explore the possibilities anyone can achieve if they just dream big enough.
Learn about all of that and much more, on Episode 563.
Lewis Howes: This is episode number 563 with Naveen Jain.
Welcome to the School Of Greatness. My name is Lewis Howes, former pro athlete turned lifestyle entrepreneur. And each week we bring you an inspiring person or message to help you discover how to unlock your inner greatness. Thanks for spending some time with me today. Let the class begin. Christopher Reeve said, “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, but then they seem improbable, and then when we summon the will they soon become inevitable.”
I’m so pumped for our interview today. It’s with Naveen Jain, which is an entrepreneur and philanthropist, driven to solve the world’s biggest challenges through innovation. A man who knows no limits. Naveen pushes big dreams into action, spurring massive cultural and technological change. His audacious vision and magnetic personality continually inspires others to follow what feels impossible.
The founder of Moon Express, World Innovation Institute, iNome, TalentWise, Intelius and Infospace. Naveen has seen beyond the current business and technological landscape, creating companies that make a true impact. He blows my mind because he’s literally taking people to the moon. That’s his vision. In today’s interview we talk about where a scarcity mindset comes from within all of us. Also, why problems are an opportunity for someone to build a business, why there is no one universal diet that works for everyone, also how to enroll people in your big vision, when it takes a lot of resources, a lot of money and a lot of support and how to make people thirsty for knowledge.
This one may inspire you to do things a little bit bigger than you’ve ever thought before. If you are not ready to take massive action and take your ideas to the next level, then make sure you do not listen because this will inspire you to get out of your seat, and start thinking bigger than you’ve ever thought in your life.
Make sure to take a screenshot of this right now, post it on Instagram stories or Twitter or Facebook, it’s Lewishowes.com/563. Again, tag me at Lewis Howes when you are listening so we can connect on social media. Before we dive in, I want to give a shout out to our sponsor. That’s Four Sigmatic. Again, an entire kingdom of mushrooms exists guys. Many of them with amazing health benefits for immunity, energy and longevity that have been studied for centuries. At Four Sigmatic, they believe in the real magic of functional mushrooms to help us live healthier, more enhanced lives. They make drinking mushrooms and super foods delicious and easy to do with mushroom coffees, mushroom super food, blends and mushroom elixirs.
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Let’s dive into this. Start thinking bigger, taking bigger actions and making a massive impact with the one, the only Naveen Jain. Welcome back everyone to the School Of Greatness podcast, we have Naveen Jain in the house. My man, good to see you brother.
Naveen Jain: Good to see you brother.
Lewis Howes: I’m very glad you are here. We met recently at an event in Toronto, which was a lot of fun. It was really the first time I got to be aware of more of what you do. I’d seen your face and I’d heard your name before but I really didn’t know what you did. And then when I heard you are trying to go to the moon, I was like who is this guy? Let me learn more. You’ve got a business called Moon Express, moonshot, Moon Express or moonshot?
Naveen Jain: Moon Express.
Lewis Howes: Moon Express. You are literally taking people to the moon, is this right?
Naveen Jain: Yeah. Our goal really is to create a multi-planetary society, because after all we are all living in the same spacecraft called planet earth. Whether we destroy it ourselves or we get hit by some large asteroid, we’ll all become dinosaurs, and that’s definitely something we don’t want to do.
Lewis Howes: What gave you the inspiration to try to go to the moon?
Naveen Jain: I really think that a lot of the inspiration came from just growing up in a very humble background in India. We didn’t have a lot of resources, we didn’t [inaudible 00:06:49], we didn’t have food to eat, we didn’t have a place to stay. And really looking up at the moon, there was something about it that you could see and feel for a second that you are the richest man in the world, because the richest man in the world cannot be looking at it any differently than you are. It felt like you could be anybody you wanted to be.
To me the going to the moon really was symbolic for me about what individuals and a small of group of people are capable of doing. For me going to the moon is an amazing business. If I could rephrase John F. Kennedy it would sound something like, we chose to go to the moon, not because it’s easy, because it’s a great business. What makes it a great business is there are 16 quadrillion worth of minerals on the moon. What’s really amazing about it, it is a planet, a celestial body that is almost like an eighth continent of the planet earth. Once we can learn to live on the moon and that is so close, and very similar types of problems as living on the Mars. We can next look at the whole space as our own backyard.
We could be living on Europa, and Titan and Mars and anywhere else. To me another way of looking at it is, what is it that people fight over? We fight over land, we fight over water, and we fight over energy. If you look up, there is an abundance of land up out there, there is an abundance of water and all the comets, and all the asteroids, and you start to look at the abundance of energy. Our solar system, even the planet earth, even in our own galaxy, we are a tiny pale blue dot, in our own galaxy. There are trillions of these galaxies in this universe, then there could be trillions of universes in this multiverse.
Where is the scarcity? The scarcity comes in our mind, because we believe it’s not possible. We believe the only place we can live is this planet. And that’s why everything that we value today because they are scarce, but what if we can create abundance of food, we can create abundance of land, we can create abundance of energy, and we can create abundance of everything that we value? People still say, humans are just greedy, it doesn’t matter how much they have, they will want more. Then I remind them, we are really not that bad people. Because when you look at air, and you look at oxygen, we have learned to live together, we can all be in the same room and we never say, “Hey Lewis, you are taking my oxygen, move away.”
We don’t because we inherently believe it is in abundance, that mindset if it’s in abundance, we don’t value it and we don’t fight over it. There is no doubt in my mind that we have access to these exponential technologies that can create this abundance of food, abundance of water. We can talk about that a little bit more.
Lewis Howes: When was the first idea for you that you wanted to go to the moon. Was it when you were a kid when you were like, that’d be interesting one day?
Naveen Jain: Yeah, that was to me just a germination of an idea that what if that was possible? Then obviously the man landed on the moon in 69 and that showed it was really possible. At that point we did that for political reasons. Some scientific, but it’s never been explored from the perspective of let’s go somewhere where no one has gone before, and let’s stay somewhere where no one has stayed before. Our idea is not just to go there just to visit, what if that simply became the next Australia, where we just lived there and we had the same type of connection that we have on other continents and moon just simply became another continent and will have the same internet or let’s call it the intergalactic net.
Lewis Howes: You’ve got to educate me. How would someone live on the moon? You have to create a new atmosphere or will you all be living in bubbles or what?
Naveen Jain: These are all the things that every problem is simply an opportunity for someone to start thinking about creating a business around it. You say, how can we live there, there is a tremendous amount of radiation. Radiation is a big problem. At the same time you start to look at the nature, the nature is an amazing innovator. You find these bacterial organisms that are growing in the radioactive nuclear waves. You talk about radiation, that’s the radiation baby. That radiation what’s nature has figured out not only how to survive in that radiation, it has figured out how to use radiation as a source of energy.
Imagine, if we can take the genetic material from these bacteria, and use the CRISPR technology, genetic editing technology for us as humans, and we said only our genetic material is also the same as these bacteria, so that not only we are resistant from the radiation, in the evening we’ll just be simply holding the hand with our honey and say, “Honey, do you want to go out and take a walk and get some radiation?” No longer going out for dinner anymore.
That to me, just in thinking about the possibilities. Seven years ago when I started saying we are going to go to the moon, and we are gonna mine for the resources, and people said, that’s a freaking crazy idea. When someone tells you it’s a crazy idea, that means you are on the right path, because dream so big that people think you are absolutely crazy, and when you tell them what you are gonna do and if they don’t think it’s a crazy idea, you are not thinking big enough. Think big.
The reason is, when someone tells you it is impossible, it becomes impossible for them, not for you. The more people who tell you it’s impossible, that means more people have taken themselves out of the solution and now the field is yours and yours only. That’s the just a different way of looking at it. When I look at it as an entrepreneur I don’t focus on what the world is, I focus on what the world can be. Don’t look at the glass being half empty or half full, you focus on saying, is this glass what’s filling? Do I want to fill this glass or not? Because if I do, doesn’t really matter is half empty or half full. If I don’t, do I really care it’s half empty or half full?
That to me is really starting to think about every time you see something and you say, what is possible? What if, and imagine are the two amazing words in the English dictionary. When I say Lewis, imagine, what happens if all your preconceptions go away and you are willing to open to anything that I’m willing to say for at least the next 30 second of imagining. Then you may come back and say that will never work, but at least you are open for that time. For example, when I was finishing up my moon project, I said just to let you know, we are the only company in the universe right now that has the permission to leave earth orbit and land on the moon.
Even though everybody believes that Elon and Richard, and Jeff, they are all going to the space, they actually so far, the only thing they are doing is in the suborbital space. They are still in the earth orbit. There is no private company that has ever received the permission to leave the earth orbit, and we are the only company. In fact, in 2015 President Obama signed into the law is called Space Resource Act that gives us the ownership of everything that we bring back. We have ownership of that, clarity of that law.
Lewis Howes: Crazy.
Naveen Jain: Crazy, isn’t it? As I was finishing this project, we are launching a mission to the moon in six months. Imagine, it’s not like someday-
Lewis Howes: Six months from now.
Naveen Jain: six months from now.
Lewis Howes: You are launching a mission to the moon.
Naveen Jain: Launching a mission to the moon.
Lewis Howes: How many people are going?
Naveen Jain: The first one is gonna be a robotic mission. The thing is, when we started that project people thought it’s gonna be a billion dollar venture. I was convinced that given how fast the cost of these sensors and technology is coming down, it will be probably a hundred million or less. I thought I was being 10X optimistic, it turns out actually I was 10X pessimistic, the cost is under $10,000,000.
Lewis Howes: No way, to send a rocket to the moon.
Naveen Jain: Including the cost of the rocket. The whole lander and the rocket that combined thing is gonna cost under $10,000,000.
Lewis Howes: It’s gonna come back too?
Naveen Jain: The first mission is one way mission, and our second mission is going to be a return mission. The amazing thing is, imagine what you are just talking to me. You are starting to believe the mission of landing on the moon is already done. You are talking about when are you coming back? What are you gonna bring back? What is the stuff out there? You are not longer even questioning that I’m gonna land on the moon, and that is the human mindset.
Lewis Howes: It’s already been done too. I believe that if it’s been done before, of course it can be done again.
Naveen Jain: Except that it’s never been done by a private company. As a private company you can’t mobilize 20,000,000 people to go out in a column of the nation to say here is a hundred billion dollars, go do it.
Lewis Howes: How much did it cost for us to go to the moon before?
Naveen Jain: The cost in 1960 was 25 billion dollars. In today’s dollars that’ll be 100 billion dollars. That would have been price prohibitive, and from a business perspective would not have made sense. Now it’s costing $10,000,000, it starts to make sense. Bringing the stuff back and obviusly the platinum grade material. There is Helium-3, Helium-3 is an amazingly clean energy fuel resource. That means you can use a small quantity of Helium-3 in a fusion reactor and you can power this planet for generations.
Lewis Howes: No way.
Naveen Jain: Yeah. Here is the thing, people say fusion reactor, did you say fusion? Don’t know you that we don’t have a fusion reactor right now? I say I do, but I don’t have Helium-3 either. The point is in the next 10 years when we are able to scale and start to bring Helium-3, the technology will be there for fusion. When these guys have a fusion reactor they are gonna be looking around, does anybody have Helium-3? That’s when you say, yep, got some.
My point is as an entrepreneur, your job is not to be where the pack is, you focus on where the pack is going to be. You start looking where the technology is headed and you start to plan for that. Even if you just brought the moon rocks back, and you and I talked about that, that itself could completely disrupt the diamond industry.
Lewis Howes: How much could you charge for that?
Naveen Jain: Imagine, diamonds are neither rare, nor were they ever a symbol of love and romance until in 50s when the DBS basically marketed them as a symbol of love and romance. Moon has been a symbol of love and romance for centuries. All we have to do is when we bring the moon rocks, we make diamonds as commodity. The way you do that is simply to change the way people look at them. Everyone gives someone a diamond. If you love her enough, you give her the moon. Don’t promise her the moon, you give her the moon. The girl gets up and says Lewis, you are getting me a diamond, you are trying to buy me, I thought you loved. Because if you loved me, you’d have given me the moon. Then honeymoon really becomes about taking your honey to the moon. If you take honey to Hawaii that’ll be honey-Hawaii not honeymoon.
Lewis Howes: When are you guys gonna start doing trips with-
Naveen Jain: People?
Lewis Howes: Anyone? If I just wanted to buy a flight to the moon, when would that be?
Naveen Jain: My gut check is in the next 10 years I’m hoping that tickets will be so cheap like $10,000 of a ticket to the moon. That’s really even start to become very affordable for most people at least to be able to say, “It’s a little more expensive than going to New York, but it’s no more than going a first class ticket to Australia.”
Lewis Howes: That’d be crazy. How long do you think they’ll stay for? Will they go for like a day, come back or what would it be?
Naveen Jain: Some people are gonna stay there. There is no doubt in my mind in the next 20 years there is gonna be baby born on the moon.
Lewis Howes: No way.
Naveen Jain: Parents are gonna be looking at this baby and saying, “Look up, we come from that planet.”
Lewis Howes: That’s crazy.
Naveen Jain: Won’t that be crazy? That’s just the beginning of the craziness, and if you continue to expand on the thought process of what entrepreneurs are capable of doing. My feeling is that exponential technology is growing at such a pace that’s allowing you and I and a small group of people to do things that could only be done by the large companies and the nation states. As you and I were discussing earlier, imagine what is it that the nation states will do? They provide education, healthcare, going to space, defense, all the stuff that used to be done by that government sector, what if the entrepreneurs can do this and do that better?
You know I started my another company called Viome, and the goal there is really simple, what if we can create a world where chronic illness is a matter of choice? What if illness actually become optional? People say that’s a freaking crazy idea. And you know you are onto something. About a year ago when I said we are gonna make illness optional, that was a crazy idea at that time. A year later now we have not only the technology but the people who are actually doing it. A crazy idea that a day before a breakthrough is a crazy idea, the after it’s an obvious idea.
We have now, head of the Watson research came and joined us to do the artificial intelligence to look at what’s happening inside your body. Dr. Mercier joined me to essentially understand how to interpret all this data. Dr. Usovich who was working at Los Alamos National Lab, it turns out they were working on a technology for bio-defense work for national security. The whole purpose was to know what is going on inside the human body?
We took that technology, got exclusive license, put the team together, and now we have launched the company where we are able to analyze everything in detail inside your body. I’m gonna tell you some of the thing that not being a rocket scientist or not being a doctor, it still doesn’t stop you from pushing the envelope and changing the way people do things. For example, the reason we were able to do a launch to the moon for so cheap is because we were thinking more like a software guy, don’t build the big rockets, you have to build a smaller rocket and build another thing on top of that that can go off and take to the moon, just like software programmers, they build modules. The same thing happened in the medicine. Everybody is focused on therapeutics. You have Alzheimer, how do I build a drug for that? You have Parkinson?
Lewis Howes: Or cure it.
Naveen Jain: How do I cure it?
Lewis Howes: As opposed to how do I prevent it.
Naveen Jain: That’s exactly right. It turns out, I read a lot Lewis. I read a lot of science journals. In the last five years, every single scientific journal is showing that we as humans are mostly microbial. What surprised me as coming from outside was I was told-
Lewis Howes: We are mostly what?
Naveen Jain: Mostly microbes in our gut.
Lewis Howes: Microbes.
Naveen Jain: What happens is I was told you are your genes, your genetics are your destiny.
Lewis Howes: If your father had this, your mother had this, you are more likely to have it.
Naveen Jain: More likely to have it. It turns out it was so wrong, our human DNA only produces 19,000 genes. The organisms in our gut produce anywhere between 5,000,000 to 10,000,000 genes. Think about that. We are 99% microbial genes, less than 1% human genes. The research is so clear that every single chronic disease that we know of, Parkinson’s starts in your gut not in your brain. You don’t have to take my word for it, just google Parkinson’s and microbial, you’ll see it, Alzheimer, autism, depression, anxiety, your behavior control, obesity, diabetes type I, type II, autoimmune diseases, all of your gut issues, everyone of them have one thing in common, chronic inflammation, which is essentially caused by the imbalance of microbiome.
Your microbiome, which is really these organisms in our gut, the nature created us as a symbiotic relationship with all other organisms. We can’t do all the work ourselves. They created this ecosystem, they digest our food in turn, they release the nutrients. When we eat fiber, our human body cannot digest fiber, it goes to these microbes, the eat the fiber and they release fatty acids, and that is what our body needs. They release the vitamins, they release all these things that we need. If you don’t feed them, they get unhappy.
Lewis Howes: They affect the rest of your body, they cause cancer, disease, whatever-
Naveen Jain: Exactly, and what happens is when your guests are not at ease, we become uneasy.
Lewis Howes: Your guests, is that what you said?
Naveen Jain: Yeah. Those are your gut, if the guests are uneasy, the host becomes uneasy, and unease is called disease which is disease. Basically diseases is simply about your body not being at ease. What if you can understand what they are doing? What if we could tell you exactly what food and diet you need, and nutrition you need, and the supplements you need, and just for you? What I learned was there is no such thing as universal healthy diet, what’s healthy for you is not healthy for me. What’s healthy for me today may not be healthy for me three months from now. You have to constantly change and adapt because what happens is when you change your diet, your body changes. Your body adapts to it. Then you have to change it again, otherwise you always have imbalance, you keep feeding only one part of organisms, others start to die.
You have to constantly balance them. This balance of the ecosystem is what keeps our body healthy. Imagine if we could do that. We launched that company three months ago now, and we have thousands of people who are already benefiting from it. To me it’s just so satisfying that not coming from the medicine, coming from outside the world, able to rethink it, and able to do something that could change the lives of billions of people around the earth.
What is a success? Success is not about how much money you have in the bank. Success is simply about how many lives you’ve been to impact positively? I tell our children all the time is, the best way you will ever know that you have become successful is the day you become humble. Because if you have the aorta of arrogance left in you, that you are still trying to prove something to someone or yourself, that means you are not successful. Success comes from when you don’t have to tell someone you know who I am. You just be yourself. You go out and do things that you care about.
What is it that you are passionate about? What is it that you are willing to die for, and then you live for it? What if you had everything in life, what would you do? If you do that today, then that’s how you constantly focus and find your passion to do things that change the world.
Lewis Howes: When did you start to think this way? Because you said you grew up in India, when did you leave India, and were you always struggling financially growing up or how did it happen?
Naveen Jain: I came to United States 35 years ago, and I had $5 in my pocket, barely spoke the language. God has been very very kind to us. Any which way you look at it, every single day I feel we are so blessed. This is my seventh company and knock on wood, everything that I have done so far has been really, really successful. To me I am more focused on making an improvement in people’s lives, because the people who helped me become who I am don’t need my help. That is one of the worst feeling you can have is when you can’t pay back the debt you have. You know there are people who helped you, you did not do it yourself. You asked them what can I do for you? And they say nothing.
That’s the worst feeling you get is that you have all these obligations to the society, what would you do? If you can’t pay back you pay forward. To me that really became who I am is constantly focus on what can I do that will change the lives of billions of people around the world? It’s not about money anymore. That’s something that I try to tell a lot of young people who focus so much on making money. That making money is like having an orgasm, if you focus on it you’ll never get it. If you just enjoy the process and do the thing that you love you’ll automatically get what you are looking for, but just don’t focus on it.
Lewis Howes: When did you start thinking this way though? Did you always have this mindset of anything is possible? I can create anything I want even when people say I’m crazy? Did you start to see result in something and you are like, maybe I can do this.
Naveen Jain: I cannot recall a singular moment that says this is where the change really happened-
Lewis Howes: Was there someone that inspired you this way who thought differently or?
Naveen Jain: I think what happens is, as you start to gradually start going that direction, you start to surround yourself with the people who think similarly. To me really is, you become an average of the 10 people that you surround yourself with. If you are a negative person you tend to surround yourself with negative people. The minute you start to think everything is possible, I can achieve any dream I set out to do, amazing things happen. The people around you start to change. That’s what I tell people. The first thing you need to do is, get rid of everyone around you who laughs at your ambition and says, you can’t do that Lewis, you are a nobody. Just look at yourself, how can you possibly think you could be reaching millions of people some day and you could tell them what you think? They would have said you are crazy Lewis, and you told them that’s okay.
Lewis Howes: You’ve started seven companies, is that what you said?
Naveen Jain: Seven yeah.
Lewis Howes: Seven companies. And I’m assuming raised hundreds of millions with all these companies combined right, you’ve raised a lot?
Naveen Jain: I don’t raise a lot of money. So far really every company other than this last company, I rarely raise the money. It’s really been a company became profitable very very early.
Lewis Howes: You bootstrapped it-
Naveen Jain: Yeah, we bootstrapped, even this one, we bootstrapped the company ourselves but the goal was so massive that if we could do this and we really could find a way where people never have to be sick, imagine what would happen, the whole healthcare system will just implode. What’s really happen Lewis is that any system, once it becomes big it becomes like an organism. You are just diving truly starts to take hold. The survival of the system is what really matters, and the purpose goes out the window. If you look at healthcare system, pharmaceutical companies really have become parasites on humanity. They don’t really want you to be well. In fact-
Lewis Howes: They won’t make money if you are well.
Naveen Jain: They won’t make money. In fact, one of the CEO of the pharmaceutical company said, the best drugs that we develop are the drugs that people have to take rest of their lives. Think about that mindset. If I can keep them sick is the best drug I develop.
Lewis Howes: That’s not good.
Naveen Jain: That’s not good. All they do is they treat the symptom, they suppress the symptom, and when they suppress one symptom they cause four more, so now there are four more drugs to sell. The whole system has become so corrupt, and that’s the reason when I started this I said we are just not gonna sell anything, because people should be able to just find the food what they eat. If you just tell them what they need the whole idea of these pharmaceutical companies, the doctors and hospitals and the insurance company, let the system implode. Then we’ll save the trillions of dollars we are spending on this healthcare, the chronic disease will just go away.
I am absolutely a firm believer, we actually can eliminate chronic diseases, because they all happen, by the way they all happened the last 100 years. People who used to live on the farm, don’t have allergies, they don’t have autoimmune disease, they don’t get Alzheimer because they are one with the nature. They get all exposure to all of the microbes in the chicken and the cow, and the more hygienic we are becoming the more things we are leaving in the urban areas, more genetically modified foods we are eating, all of those things are killing the ecosystem inside us.
We are taking antibiotics. Antibiotics is like throwing a nuclear bomb because you saw a bad guy. It obviusly gets the bad guy but it gets everyone. When you kill the ecosystem, what happens? Suddenly your body cannot digest things, you suddenly are sick. Every time you take antibiotics, you literally are destroying your body. Then you have to rebuild that body again. The ideas is, what if we can prevent all of these chronic diseases, from obesity to diabetes, to depression, to anxiety?
Anybody who had a family member suffer through them or even cancer. There was a research that came out a couple of days ago from Cleveland Clinic where they found that breast cancer is caused by the microbes. The cure for cancer, whether it’s chemotherapy or immunotherapy, whether it works or does not work, can be predicted by simply looking at your gut. The key is, remember when you said probably, “Lewis, listen to your gut, do the gut check.” She was the scientist, right?
Lewis Howes: Sure.
Naveen Jain: These are the things when you are anxious you see the butterfly in your stomach, you don’t get butterfly in your head. When you are depressed what do you do? You eat? Everything goes back to the gut. The point is, I believe that sooner or later just like we changed about, we used to believe the earth is the center and everything revolves around earth, until we learned better. I believe in the next five, 10 years we are gonna realize that gut is our primary brain. It pulls the string on the puppet that’s on the top of our shoulder, and it just simply follows, your gut decides what you crave when you are hungry, when you are full, and your behavior.
Behavior is by the way what’s most surprising thing is controlled by the organisms in our gut. These microbes control our behavior. People say, how can that possibly be? I remind them, when dogs get infected with rabies what’s the first thing they start to do? They become aggressive and they bite. These things change the behavior of a dog, becomes, it’s starting to bite, a good dog becomes a bad dog. These microbes are the ones, and the way the mechanism works is, the recent research showed that, even in our brain the prefrontal cortex, the takeover, the communication mechanism, called micro-RNA, and they start to manipulate the micro-RNA that changes the genetic expressions. Our microbes in our gut are controlling in our brain, and the communication is happening back and forth using the vagus nerve.
It uses a neurotransmitter like cortisol and serotonin to go back and forth. Most people may not realize 70% of serotonin is produced in our gut, not in our brain. When you talk about feeling good, it’s all in your gut.
Lewis Howes: I’m fascinated by how you enroll people in your vision. These crazy ideas that people think are crazy, but then later they are like, “That makes so much sense.” How do you get these overwhelmingly unrealistic concepts and infect these ideas in other people to say, come with me, whether invest with me, by my side, and act with me. Whatever it is, how do you enroll?
Naveen Jain: First thing you have to do is believe in yourself that it can be done. People have to believe that with or without them it’s going to get done.
Lewis Howes: It’s happening.
Naveen Jain: It’s happening. This train is leaving the station. When I started the first time in the Moon Express I said people, every time in your life you have had a chance to watch the history being made, how often in your lifetime you get a chance to make the history? Come join me and we can make the history together, or you can watch on the sideline while we make the history and you watch.
Lewis Howes: No one wants to miss out.
Naveen Jain: Nobody wants to miss that out. Another thing that I found really interesting is the bigger and the crazier the idea, the easier it is to execute. Here is the thing. For example, if I tell someone, I’m going to build an iPhone app that’s gonna be able to help you find a roommate. People say, good idea, great idea, go do it, have fun with it. When I tell them I’m going to start something that’s gonna make illness as an option. You start to get the best and the brightest from around the world, because now you have created a big magnet, it attracts the people who want to make this their legacy. They want to work on the hard problem. They want to solve the problem that changes the way people live their lives.
When I did that I was telling you the head of the IBM Watson Research called and say, I can build the AI for you, I have been doing it for 20 years. Just get me the data from inside the body and I can get the AI for you. Dr. Mercier, PhD in microbiology, MD, she’s working for Craig Venter who was in the cover of Time Magazine, with the title, The Man who Played God, making the people live forever. She calls me and says, what’s the point of living longer if people are gonna be sick? I love your vision. I’m gonna quit my job and join you.
Dr. Usovich found us because he said I have the technology that looks inside your body. We did it for the National Defense work, I think we can get that for you. The point was, that single goal of what is possible allowed me to bring these people together. When you have these people together what happens? Every single venture capital wants to be investing in that, because you have this amazing team, all star team with a vision that could change the way people live their life. What if I’m right? This is not a 10 billion dollar company, it’s not a 100 billion dollar company. Even the sky is not the limit.
Lewis Howes: The moon is not the limit.
Naveen Jain: The galaxy is not the limit, the universe is not the limit, because it can be anything, it changes the way people lived their lives, but the best thing is, you did something that changed the lives of billions of people around the world. That is the thing that people want to be. Nobody joins a company saying I will make a lot of money. People do it because they say, I’ll have serious impact. I remind people unlike the olden days, people did good or people did well, that means people started nonprofit, or people started for profit. I really think the world has changed, people like you Lewis are changing the way people live. They are saying this, you can be great but you don’t have to be mean, you can build amazing great companies not at the backs of people. I really believe, if you want to do the small good in the world, you create a nonprofit.
If you do want to do a large good in the world you create for profit, because profit is the engine that drives you to scale. Never ever think that what you are doing, if it makes money somehow you are letting yourself down. You say if I’m ever going to be doing great stuff in the world, it needs to have an engine for profit-
Lewis Howes: Resources, you can make more-
Naveen Jain: Make more money, right?
Lewis Howes: Exactly.
Naveen Jain: Even if you are the richest man in the world, and if you give away your money, it’s only a matter of time before you run out of money.
Lewis Howes: It’s not generating new money.
Naveen Jain: That’s right.
Lewis Howes: It’s not generating any resources, they are constantly asking for more.
Naveen Jain: That’s right. That’s the thing, doing good and doing well is really the right flow. That’s the reason I love what you do. You allow people to be great, You allow them to create amazing ventures that do great things, but doing it in the right way, never sacrificing your integrity and values to get something. Knowing that what you have inside you is the most precious thing you have, your integrity, never ever give that up.
Lewis Howes: That’s great man. I appreciate that. When we talked last time, it was a few months ago, you said you were working on solving the world’s biggest problems essentially, right? And that’s what excites you, things that seem like they can’t be done, you want to work on them. You are working on going to the moon, you are working on eliminating illness, preventing illness. Is there other stuff you have in the future that you also want to work on, or do you have too many ideas that you can’t execute the few that are ahead of you, that are already seemingly impossible?
Naveen Jain: The interesting thing is, I spent seven years of my life on Moon Express and now we are so close to the launch. I want to look at my next moonshot. I did this healthcare. I’m already starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel that in the next four five years, we will have this problem under control. Once we get about 1,000,000 people using Viome, Viome, that’s like V-
Lewis Howes: Viome, right?
Naveen Jain: As an Indian I cannot pronounce that world well. I always Viome, is it Viome, VIOME. As I think we can solve that problem in the next five years, then I want to really solve the problem of education, because I think the problem in the healthcare and the problem on education are very similar. Just like our healthcare system was designed to treat infectious diseases and acute care, and now we are suffering from chronic diseases, so it was designed for episodic, being sick, and now we are always sick, the chronic diseases, and that’s why the system is falling apart.
The irony here is, the cure for the infection antibiotics is largely responsible for many of the chronic diseases. If you look at the school system, same problem. It was designed to teach you skills. Today in the world of exponential technologies, the skills are becoming obsolete every five to seven years. That means by the time you graduate, the skill that you learn may no longer be needed. That really creates this chronic unemployment. Now the school system, it’s not that it’s broken, it’s not that it’s not doing what it was supposed to do, it’s doing exactly what it was supposed to do. Our needs today are very different than they were there. You have to reimagine that the education system, how do you solve that? That means now it’s not about teaching you skills anymore, because you have to assume today we have all the information in our hand using iPhone.
That means we know every fact. I don’t need to remember when Abraham Lincoln was born. I simply remember the google words, I need to google the keyword to find that information. My memory no longer needs to be in my brain, I can outsource it on the cloud, that means all the phone numbers, all the information that I care about is already on the cloud. Even our decision making, like when I’m driving I no longer use my brain, google maps tells me turn left, I turn left. It says make a right, I make a right. I don’t think about it anymore.
That means now our brain is constantly outsourcing the system. Education system now has to say, okay, if you have all this information, how do you connect the dots, how do you solve the problem using interdisciplinary things? How do you learn to learn, how do you remain intellectually curious? As we were talking about the things earlier, we as humans, the day we stop learning is the day we die, and we become a zombie. There are a lot of people that you and I know who are just zombies, they are not learning anything, they are costing through life. I see lots of these people, whether it’s a teacher or an entrepreneur. They get so frustrated.
They say I can only take you to the water, I cannot make you drink. I keep reminding them, I say, step back for a second, what if you made them thirsty? If you made them thirsty, you don’t have to ever worry about them finding the water and them drinking.
Lewis Howes: How do you make them thirsty?
Naveen Jain: Intellectual curiosity. If you start to show them what if this was possible? What if you could do this? How would you go about doing that? That intellectual curiosity will drive them to constantly find the water which is the knowledge, and constantly drinking is to constantly solve the problem, because now they have the knowledge. That’s the reason when I came to this healthcare I was saying, I was reading and I start to look at the stuff and research was showing how microbiome is responsible for this, how microbiome is responsible for that. Those are all connecting dots until I said, I think we can make it less optional.
Same thing in education, what if there was no need for teachers? What if there was no need for the school system? Just like what we are doing in healthcare. We are saying, why do you need the doctor, why do you need the hospitals when you can empower each individual to become the CEO of their own health? What if I told you Lewis what is inside your body is not a black box. This is what’s happening inside your body, and here is what you can do about it? You simply sign up and look at the information and you know what to do about it. You no longer have to be treated like a black box or a helpless victim.
When you call somebody a patient, really you are calling them a victim, and you are saying now listen to me, the state on this stage is telling you what to do. The stage on the stage doesn’t even know the basic science. When I got to the doctors, and I talk about the microbes, they are not even taught in the medical school.
I was interviewing a couple of doctors to join us for the team. I said do you know how our gut works, do you know these microbes, do you know this thing called leaky gut? Do you know the difference between DNA and RNA? They said, they don’t teach that in medical school. Think about that for a second, you are getting an advice from someone who is at least 10 to 15 years behind the science.
Science is coming up now is gonna be 15 or 20 years before they teach them in medical school. By the time you talk to a doctor who has gone through internship and practicing for a few years, you are 25 years behind where the science is. That’s the reason why I believe time has come for us to go directly science to consumers. That’s the reason we started a company to bypass this whole healthcare system. What if we did the same thing for education system? What if we can go to every child and say, whatever you want to learn you can get that on a smartphone, in the way you learn?
Today’s school system is backward. A teachers teaches a certain way, we learn differently. Some people learn experimentally, some people learn conceptually, some people learn graphically. We have to all adapt to the teacher’s way. What if the other way round happens? What if the software adapted to how you learn? What if software allowed you to learn things at your own pace like a video game? You learn the level one and then you go to the level two, it doesn’t matter whether it takes you three days or three years? You always go learn at your own pace, you learn to solve problems. You are no longer learning the skills, you are learning all the resources that are at your disposal on google, how would you apply them to solve this? That’s just a different mindset.
Lewis Howes: What would you say is the greatest lesson you’ve ever learned and who taught it to you?
Naveen Jain: The greatest lesson to me really has been this idea of possibilities. The idea of dreaming big, and idea of never giving up. I remember from the early days, my mother was illiterate. My mother did not know how to read. It’s very interesting, I have vivid memories, I’m five years old, my mother is sitting across me. She wanted to make sure that we get out of the cycle of poverty, and she wanted me to learn.
Lewis Howes: Where in India were you living?
Naveen Jain: We had no place, we were moving from village to-
Lewis Howes: [inaudible 00:47:32].
Naveen Jain: We moved from, in the northern India, we moved form village to village to village. Here is what happened Lewis that my father was an overseer and whose job was to build the buildings for the government. India is an extremely corrupt world. Essentially working for the government, the government realized everybody is gonna take a bribe anyway, so why pay them? My dad decided that he wants to be an honest man, and when you are an honest man that means now you are not taking bribe. Here is what happens. The way the system works is that you tell the contractor don’t use the cement, use half cement, half sand, the building is gonna fall apart in a few years, or you save the money, you give us a piece of it, he takes his part, gives the rest to his boss. His boss takes his piece gives it to his boss. Then everybody in the food chain [inaudible 00:48:19].
Since my dad was not taking money, his boss will call the contractor every six months. I’m not getting any money, is he keeping it all? Keeping it all? You know what he’s asking me to do? What? He’s asking me to build the building to the speck, I’m losing my shirt. I thought I would only use sand, and now he’s asking me to use all cement. I’m losing my shirt. In government you never get fired you get transferred. Every six months he will go from village to another village, until we went to such remote villages there was nothing to be built, because then he’s not taking anybody’s bribe.
They don’t care if he doesn’t work as long as he’s not taking anybody’s bribe away. Most of our studies were done in places there were no tables, no chairs, you wrote on the floor. My sister went on to become a postdoctorate in applied mathematics. My brother had a PhD in statistics. I’m the least educated person in my family, I ended up doing engineering and MBA. The reason I’m saying is that when my mother, I didn’t know she’s illiterate, she’s sitting in front of me saying tell me the answer to this problem. She would point it, and I’d say mom the answer is seven. She’d say don’t make me look, do it again.
I’d do it again and say, mom I think the answer is still seven. Good, now go to the next one. I did not realize she couldn’t even read, but she cared. That love and believing that I can get there. The idea of never giving up. You are asking me what is the greatest lesson I learned was never giving up, because as an entrepreneur, you only fail when you give up. An idea that you tried may or may not work, and every idea that does not work is simply a stepping stone to a different idea and a bigger idea. Just never give up.
Lewis Howes: I love that. What about your father, what was the greatest lesson he taught you?
Naveen Jain: Integrity. He really taught me that it doesn’t matter how tough life gets, you never ever compromise who you are, you never give up your values, you never sacrifice integrity, and day in day out I said there is nothing that I would do that will make my dad ever look back and say , “What have you become?”
Lewis Howes: That’s great. This is fascinating.
Naveen Jain: You are at loss for words. Rarely happens.
Lewis Howes: I’m just excited. I want people to feel like they have something that they could do right now. I’m curious how do people cultivate this idea of innovation the way you have and the way a lot of your friends have done? Maybe they feel like I’m not sure, I don’t have those resources. How could they get started in their life right now?
Naveen Jain: I think one other thing is that, about this constant learning, the good thing is everything that you need to learn is already available on that internet. What I do is I get up very very early, I get up at 4:30 in the morning. I spend the first three hours just learning about all the different technologies. I will go read every science magazine, what’s happening in the nano technology? I don’t have to know a lot, but by learning every time, initially what I did is I went to YouTube, and I learned the basic lectures about basics of nano technology, the basics of neuroscience, the basics of artificial intelligence.
Once you start to develop the vocabulary, then you can start to read more, because they start to make more and more sense. Really just watching things like singularity university where I’m on the board now, but at that time I was not. I’m now on the board of singularity university. I learned about every exponential technologies. I had all of our children go through the exponential technologies. To me when I look at myself and say what has been my biggest accomplishments? I really see that would be our children. To me the best thing we did is allow these children to have the same ambition and same hunger. I grew up poor and I would be lying if I said God has been so kind. These children were growing up in extremely affluent home. How do we still create and nurture that-
Lewis Howes: Hunger, desire.
Naveen Jain: Hunger and desire and the passion? I remember that having these conversations with our children and telling them that your self worth is not from what you own, your self worth comes from what you create, and if you own a lot and you haven’t done anything, you are still a worthless piece of shit when it comes to society, you are a parasite on society. Don’t ever be a parasite, create something, don’t just own something. That to me is really the kind of thing. Just to brag about the children, how wonderful they’ve come out.
I have a oldest son who is 27. When he was 17 year old he started something called Kairos Society, K-A-I-R-O-S, now it’s the world’s largest college entrepreneurship thing. You look at the stem where they say, every single top CEO, entrepreneurs from 140 countries, they are all college entrepreneurs. He started a company called Human, got acquired by Tinder, and now he’s starting a second company. Daughter is 23, graduated from Stanford, she’s a Stanford Mayfield fellow. She’s in the board of Stanford Women in Business, and she’s a youth ambassador for United Nations.
Our youngest one is a junior at Stanford. Amazing things. Our daughter was passionate about women empowerment. You know what she did? She’s now in a company doing women empowerment by actually removing all the bias in hiding. She in a company called Biometrics, they build artificial intelligence to remove the bias. They are working with companies like Unilever, suddenly there are more women and diversity, and people are starting to get hired. The point is that technology in itself is a tool to allow you to do what you actually care about. She cared about women empowerment, it wasn’t about AI. She’s using the technology to deliver what she cares about. That to me is really the key.
Lewis Howes: What do you think is the greatest skill that every person should be learning and mastering? If there is one thing that we had to learn?
Naveen Jain: Again, I’m gonna go back to what I’ve said, intellectual curiosity, learning to learn, constantly finding desire that you are always every day when you go to bed, ask yourself, am I intellectually better today? Am I emotionally better today? Am I spiritually better today? If you are not then the next day you need to try twice as hard, because every single day you’ve got to be at least better in one of the three ways.
Lewis Howes: In your mind you’ve met a lot of great people, a lot of wealthy people. A lot of interesting smart people. Who do you think is the most fascinating human alive right now?
Naveen Jain: It’s such a difficult thing because I find in different areas I just respect so many different people. I love Richard Branson from the perspective of his humility. Even though in a public persona you come across as a flamboyant person, in person I would say he is introvert and his humility is just unbelievable. You look at our neighbors Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, they are just great entrepreneurs, you look up to them. Elon Musk, he has failed many times, and he has done many things, and he and I have been in very similar industry for almost the last year 30 years. When he was running Zip2 I was running Infospace. When he was running X.com or PayPal I was running the authorize.net. He’s doing SpaceX, I’m doing Moon Express.
You look at him, and every time I look and say you know what? Man has got a ball of steel. He’s just amazing to go out and do things that he can do. I’ve got tremendous admiration for them. If you look at all of these people, it’s hard to pick one.
Lewis Howes: If you could have a conversation with someone who is no longer here, who would that be? Someone from the past that you never got to speak with?
Naveen Jain: There ae so many people in the past, then you start looking Marcus Aurelius, what a great philosopher he was? You start to look at, to some extent Mahatma Gandhi, and you look at many great people that have been on this planet earth. I wish I could just watch what they were thinking when they were doing … Alexander the Great, what caused him to go create this large empire, what was going through his head? It can’t be the land, the conquer of the land, what was going through his mind? To me what really I find most fascinating is how people think, not what people do.
I think you and I had a brief conversation earlier about, that everyone wants to know about the seven habits of, and I always thought that is such a dumb thing to always do. Why would you want to follow the rituals and the habits of someone? You want to follow their thought process, because rituals don’t make you them. Their thought process makes you them. For example, Tony Robbins takes ice bath every morning. You can take your ice bath three times a day, not gonna make you Tony Robbins.
What’s gonna make you Tony Robbins is if you think like Tony Robbins. That’s the reason I love the idea of people following the thought process of these people who have just done amazing things in their lives.
Lewis Howes: What do you dream about then?
Naveen Jain: I dream about every single day what other problems I could be doing? Am I really giving it my best to the society back? Have I really given enough back than what I have taken? Because to me this obligation to give back, is always strong, because I feel I don’t want to die with that dent on my head.
Lewis Howes: What’s missing in your life?
Naveen Jain: At this point I just feel that there is so much to do, the time is the only thing that’s missing in my life that I work 18, 19 hour day seven days a week and I just wish I could just do twice as much. Yes, I try my best to build the best team around me so we can leverage a lot of that, but I just wish somebody could give me more time.
Lewis Howes: Maybe that’s the next challenge. Maybe that’s the next-
Naveen Jain: Stop time?
Lewis Howes: Yeah, expand time, something. I don’t know. That would be interesting. I want to ask the final few questions. This has been fascinating. For people that are interested in ending any illness or preventing it, where can they go to learn more about Viome, is it viome.com, or how do they?
Naveen Jain: Yes.
Lewis Howes: Viome.com. We’ll have links up for this afterwards and tell guys where to go to get all that.
Naveen Jain: That’s correct. This technology used to cost thousands, $3,000 to $5,000. We brought it down to $399. Once you do one test you can do as many tests as you want during the year for $199. We are really trying to make sure that everybody can get to the things. I know it’s still a lot but my hope is that as people start to come on board price will continue to come down.
Lewis Howes: Viome.com, make sure you check that out. Final few questions. This is called the three truths. Imagine this is the last day for you many years from now and life is over, you haven’t been able to expand it past 200 years, so it’s another hundred something years from now.
Naveen Jain: 150.
Lewis Howes: 150 years. And everything you’ve created, you’ve solved so many of the world’s problems. There is skyscrapers in the moon, you are going off to Mars now, you are doing whatever you want, any dream you’ve had is happening, or it’s happened. For whatever reason, all of the things you’ve ever said, all the things you’ve talked about in your speeches, they are erased from time, so no one has your information anymore. You have a piece of a paper and a pen, and you get to write down the three things you know to be true about all your experiences in life, the three things, the three truths that you would share with the world, the lessons. What would be those three truths for you?
Naveen Jain: Always be who you are, don’t let someone mold you to think you want to fit into the society. Never give up your identity to fit into the society. Stay crazy, because it’s the crazies who change the world. It’s never in the mental of the bag that will ever change the world. The third thing is, never stop learning, because the day you stop learning you died. Those are three basic truths, intellectual curiosity, dreaming big and being true to yourself, the integrity.
Lewis Howes: I love that. Where can people connect with you personally?
Naveen Jain: I am on social media. You can find me on LinkedIn, you can find me on Twitter, you can find me on Facebook, or you can send me an email, my first name dot last [email protected] So that’s [email protected]
Lewis Howes: Perfect. And viome.com, make sure you guys check that out. Before I ask the final question, I want to acknowledge you Naveen for your incredible ability to dream and to think so big and to dream about not just what’s in it for you, but what’s in it for humanity and the world. I know you are constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible and you are attracting the best of the best to help solve these problems, so that we don’t have to suffer anymore. I acknowledge you for your ability to be crazy, to continue to learn and to give back, and not just make it all about you. I want to thank you for that.
Naveen Jain: I want to acknowledge you Lewis for doing what you do, to allow everyone’s dream to be coming true, and to be able to share these ideas with your community and your tribe. All I can say is thank you very much for dedicating your life to spreading the magic of greatness and I can tell you from my side there is no better School Of Greatness than to be talking to great people around the world.
Lewis Howes: I appreciate that. Final question is what is your definition of greatness?
Naveen Jain: My definition of greatness really is someone who is able to find happiness inside them, because as long as you are looking for the happiness in the outside world you’ll always be chasing the mirage. You’ll never find it. The happiness comes from inside, able to be at peace with yourself is the best greatness you can ever have.
Lewis Howes: Naveen, my man, I appreciate you very much.
There you have it my friends. I hope you enjoyed this one again. I am ready to go to the moon. I hope you are as well. Let’s do it together. Let’s go to the moon and make sure to check out the full show notes and all the resources and information we talked about with everything that Naveen is doing and everything else at lewishowes.com/563. Again, you can watch the full video interview also there, check out about our sponsors, the links to check out, their products and their offers, again Four Sigmatic guys, one of my favorite products right now.
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Again Christopher Reeve said that so many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then when we summon the will they soon become inevitable, you were born for great things. Continue to expand your mind, to expand your heart and make an impact in the world. As always, you know what time it is, it’s time to go out there and do something great.