The Simple Hack to Write More and Break Bad Habits: Interview with Maneesh Sethi

Making a positive change in your life is challenging. With the failure rate of resolutions at 80%, it’s no wonder people give up on setting goals altogether. What if there was a simple, scientific hack to help you break bad habits and get more writing done?

The Simple Hack to Write More and Break Bad Habits: Interview with Maneesh Sethi

This week’s guest on The Portfolio Life got his first book deal at 12 years old, travel hacked his way around the globe, worked with Tim Ferriss to launch The 4-Hour Chef, appeared on Shark Tank, and that’s just scratching the surface.

Listen in as bestselling author and habit hacker, Maneesh Sethi and I talk about how his revolutionary wearable Pavlok came to be, his journey as a nomadic entrepreneur, and how he wrote 5 months of content in 5 days.

Listen to the podcast

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Show highlights

In this episode, Maneesh and I discuss:

  • How a hero crushed his dreams
  • Writing a 80 pages in 4 days and landing a book deal
  • Repurposing existing research and content for a niche audience
  • Being motivated by people who don’t believe in you
  • Studying abroad in Italy and moving to Buenos Aires
  • Buying a camel and riding him to school
  • Trying to become a famous Berlin DJ led to working with Tim Ferriss (and sleeping on his couch)
  • Paying someone to slap him every time he checked Facebook
  • The fleeting fame of going viral
  • Dealing with imposter syndrome
  • What really happened on his Shark Tank appearance
  • Winning the wildcard slot to get incubator funding for Pavlok
  • Discovering the impact of self-administered aversion therapy
  • The most impactful hack to writing more and losing weight
  • Getting death threats
  • The value of helping people solve tangible, life-changing problems


“You’re not broken. You’re designed to fit in to a group of people who allow you to extend your strengths, and not feel bad about your weaknesses.” –Maneesh Sethi

  • Finishing is not always the goal, the idea has intrinsic value.
  • Temperament is a tool to help you understand yourself, not a box to live in.
  • Reduce complexity to increase feasibility.
  • Work with people you inspire, and who inspire you.
  • The right tools allow you to externalize your willpower.
  • You don’t have to do stuff that you hate to do.

Optimize the path to your goal.

Maneesh Sethi

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How far would you go to stop a bad habit? What lengths have you taken to start a new habit? Share in the comments.