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Inspired BlogLISTEN: All Episodes of 3 Things with Ric Elias

In 2009, Red Ventures CEO Ric Elias had a front-row seat on Flight 1549, the plane that crash-landed in the Hudson River in New York. Two years later, he shared the 3 things that went through his mind as the plane went down, and what he learned when he thought it was all over.

As a lifelong learner, he believes there is growth in every experience, and from every conversation.

On the “3 Things” podcast, Ric shares private conversations with friends and remarkable people. Guests include an astronaut, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, a former monk, CEOs, Hall-of-Fame athletes, and personal friends with inspirational stories.

Just as he did on the TED stage, he summarizes each episode with 3 things we can learn from the conversation.

Listen to all episodes of 3 Things here:

Episode 1: Lessons from Space (Chris Hadfield)

Chris Hadfield is the former commander of the International Space Station, the first Canadian to ever walk in space, and the first astronaut (to our knowledge) to cover David Bowie while in orbit. 

In this episode, Ric and Chris discuss leadership under stressful situations, the pace of progress in space exploration, and when humans can expect to start living on the moon.

Episode 2: Criticism vs Coaching (Larry Fitzgerald)

Larry Fitzgerald is the second-leading NFL receiver of all time, an eleven-time Pro Bowler, and a close friend. 

Ric and Larry spoke about competition at the highest level, the future of football, and what it means to be coachable.

Episode 3: Our Ultimate Responsibility (Howard Schultz)

Today’s guest is Howard Schultz. He’s the former CEO of Starbucks and briefly considered running for President in 2020.

In 2019, Ric spoke with him in front of a live audience about his childhood, servant leadership, and one time Bill Gates Sr. helped him stand up to a bully…

Episode 4: Making Powerful People Panic (Leymah Gbowee)

Leymah Gbowee is a Nobel Peace Prize winner. In 2003, she brought a movement of 40,000 women right to the door of their oppressor – an act that helped end the civil war in Liberia and revolutionized women’s rights in Africa. 

In this episode, Leymah shares stories from her remarkable journey, and what it’s like to stand up for something when no one else will.

Episode 5: Eat or Be Eaten (Bobby Flay)

Bobby Flay is a world-famous chef, restaurateur, and TV star. In 2019, Ric and Bobby spoke in front of a live audience at Red Ventures about how Bobby got his start – and sought revenge! – on Iron Chef, leadership lessons he learned in the kitchen, and whether or not he’s ever cooked a frozen pizza. (No spoilers.)

Episode 6: The Business of Basketball (Mark Tatum)

During NBA Allstar Weekend in Charlotte, Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum discussed the future of sports betting, what the NBA is doing right (and the NFL is doing wrong), and Lebron vs MJ.

Episode 7: A Monk’s Guide To Mindfulness (Dandapani)

He lived as a monk for 10 years and now travels the world as a leading mindfulness expert. In this episode, Dandapani shares the secret to harnessing your awareness in order to live a happier life.

Episode 8: An Olympic Comeback (Dan O’Brien)

Dan O’Brien is an American former decathlete and an Olympic gold medalist. In the 1990s, he had one of the most dramatic moments in sports history – and then one of the greatest comebacks of all time. 

In this episode, Ric and Dan discuss the role failure plays in our success journeys, and how anyone can become a “pressure player” – able to succeed even in the most challenging conditions.

Episode 9: Take A Swing At The Champ (Jay Bilas)

Jay Bilas won a National Championship when he played for Duke back in the 80s, and today he’s one of the most outspoken critics of the NCAA – because they do not pay college athletes – while coaches make millions, and the industry makes billions.

In this episode, Ric and Jay talk about life outside of basketball – including his unique approach to parenting and the best advice he ever got from Coach K.

Episode 10: Becoming #1 (Andy Roddick)

In 2003, Andy Roddick became the #1 professional tennis player in the world – and he held on to a Top 10 world ranking for nearly a decade. Then, on his 30th birthday, he suddenly announced his retirement. 

In this episode, Ric and Andy discuss what it takes to become #1, how to sustain “peak performance” over time, and how to make the call when it’s time to move on to something else.

Episode 11: Motivating Greatness (Ron Rivera)

Ron Rivera is the former head coach of Carolina Panthers and current coach of the Washington Commanders. In this episode, Ric and Ron discuss leadership: How do you bring out the best in others? How do you motivate someone who’s already at the top of their game?

Episode 12: Training to Win (Luke Kuechly & Christian McCaffrey)

Christian McCaffrey & Luke Kuechly are NFL superstars whose intense training rituals include medical testing, measuring their sleep, and apparently – eating a lot of pork stew? 

Even for those of us who aren’t elite athletes, Luke & Christian share fascinating ways we all can use science to improve our focus, our energy, and overall health.

Episode 13: Living Longer & Happier (Marshall Rauch)

Marshall Rauch is almost 100, but he’s more focused now than ever on getting better every day. In fact, just after his 90th birthday – he launched a brand new business with his son.

What’s his secret to living a longer, happier life? According to Marshall in this uplifting – and highly entertaining – episode, the answer is simple: “Don’t take yourself too seriously.”

Episode 14: Changing The Rules Of NASCAR (Rick Hendrick)

Rick Hendrick is the owner of the largest private dealership in the US. And the most dominant NASCAR team owner in history. He’s SO good at racing, that NASCAR had to change their rules – just to give others a chance to win. 

He’s known for finding unique competitive advantages, inventing entirely new technologies to get ahead (literally), and for never slowing down – regardless of how dominant and victorious he’s become. His take on peak performance? Simple: “Show up to win.”

Episode 15: Counterpunch Your Self-Doubt (Jesse Itzler)

Jesse Itzler is EXTREME. He started his career as a rapper, then founded the world’s largest private jet card business, then sold a different company to Coca Cola.

Today, he’s the owner of the Atlanta Hawks and an ultra-endurance athlete – constantly pushing his body and his mind past the point of what is (supposed to be) humanly possible.

This episode is all about overcoming self-doubt, pushing past physical limits & mental fatigue, and finding ways we all can accomplish amazing things we never knew we were capable of.

Episode 16: The Mindset of a Champion (Abby Wambach)

Abby Wambach is a soccer legend. She’s won two FIFA World Cups, two Olympic gold medals, and she currently holds the world record for all-time international goals scored – among men and women. On top of that, she’s a fierce champion for equal pay, and a New York Times bestselling author, going viral with her book, “WOLFPACK.”

In this episode, Ric and Abby discuss what it takes to achieve – and maintain – greatness,  how Abby is fighting for equal pay, and how she’s finding forgiveness through parenting.

Episode 17: Sleep, Exercise, and Nutrition (Dr. Peter Attia)

Dr. Peter Attia is the founder of Early Medical, a medical practice with the goal of lengthening patients’ lifespan and simultaneously improving their healthspan.

In this episode, Peter shares the one thing you can start doing now to help prevent dementia, how to get better, more restful sleep, and the core elements of a balanced nutrition.

Episide 18: Longevity and the Future of Medicine (Dr. Peter Attia)

This episode is Part 2 of Ric’s conversation with Dr. Peter Attia, where Peter shares predictions about how we could cure diabetes and cancer in the next 10 years, ultra endurance, and parenting. Be sure to check out Part 1, which covers sleep, exercise, and nutrition.

Episode 19: Not Impossible (Mick Ebeling)

Today on the podcast: a fascinating conversation with inventor, humanitarian, and entrepreneur Mick Ebeling.

Mick founded Not Impossible Labs – an award-winning technology incubator dedicated to “doing things that can’t be done.” His team looks for unsolvable problems in the world, commits to solving them, and then crowd-sources creative ways to drive real change.

Episode 20: My friend Roberto

One of my dearest friends, Roberto Lazcano, is currently serving his 24th year in prison. Today I am honored to share his story and the story of how we met. 

Humanity is about seeing the best in someone; not judging them for the worst mistake they ever made.

EXTRA: “Earning the Gift of Life” (via The Drive with Dr. Peter Attia)

The Peter Attia Drive is a weekly, deep-dive podcast focusing on maximizing longevity, and all that goes into that from physical to cognitive to emotional health.

In this episode, Ric dives deeper than he ever has before into what it was like to survive the Miracle on the Hudson, how it impacted his life, greatly changed his perspective, and improved his relationship with his family and the broader community.

Episode 21: Learning to Love the Grind (Coach Calipari)

Coach Cal is one of the most successful college basketball coaches in history, leading 49 players to be drafted in the NBA. 

In this episode he shares his secret to building a great team, what he really looks for as the top quality in star talent, and what he’s doing to pay it all forward.

Episode 22: Hope and Progress (Harvey Gantt)

In a moment where politics and division feel relentless, and optimism feels scarce, here’s an encouraging conversation with Harvey Gantt – an iconic architect, a civic leader, and a pioneer for racial justice. 

Growing up in the segregated South, Harvey’s life experiences and his perspective on the progress we have – and haven’t – made are both a severe reality check, and a beacon of hope.

Episode 23: Rewiring Our Brains For Positivity (Neil Pasricha)

Today’s guest is Neil Pasricha, a New York Times bestselling author and a positive psychology expert. In this episode, Ric and Neil discuss how to achieve happiness and positive energy – even during one of the most uncertain, and devastating, years in recent history.

EXTRA: “Conversion with Ric Elias (via A Bit of Optimism with Simon Sinek)

Ric and Simon debate what really drives company culture (is it “Values?” “Beliefs?” …is there a difference?!), and unpack more about how surviving Flight 1549 has shaped Ric’s life.

Simon Sinek is a New York Times bestselling author, TED Talks legend, and host of the top-rated podcast, “A Bit of Optimism.”

Episode 24: How To Change Minds (Adam Grant)

Adam Grant is an organizational psychologist who’s been recognized as one of the world’s 10 most influential management thinkers, helping people find meaning and motivation at work. 

In this episode, Adam discusses how to train your mind to pivot faster, how to have more productive debates and disagreements, and how the pandemic will continue to shape the future of work.

Episode 25: Leading In Healthcare, Through A Pandemic (Gene Woods)

Gene Woods is President and CEO of Atrium Health, one of the largest health systems in the US. In this episode, he shares how his teams on the front lines are coping, how the pandemic has accelerated innovations in healthcare, and how all organizations can be forces for good in our communities.

Episode 26: The Purpose of Business (Simon Sinek)

Simon Sinek is an optimist, a New York Times bestselling author, and the speaker behind the third-most-watched TED Talk of all time – “How great leaders inspire action,” where he popularized the concept of “Starting with your Why.”

Episode 27: The Power of Networking (Aryeh Bourkoff)

Aryeh Bourkoff has been called “Media’s Hottest Dealmaker.” If you don’t know him by name, you’ve definitely seen his work in the news – he’s advised multi-billion-dollar media deals with AT&T, Amazon, Verizon, and even Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic. As founder and CEO of LionTree, one of Aryeh’s superpowers is his ability to connect with people. 

In this episode, he shares insights he’s learned over the years about how to unlock success and opportunities – both in business and personally.  

If you enjoy this episode and want to find more from Aryeh, check out LionTree’s podcast – KindredCast – where his team shares in-depth conversations with dealmakers and thought leaders.

Episode 28: Life In Limbo (Maggie & Teresa’s Story)

This episode is dedicated to the hundreds of thousands of people whose future has been in limbo for more than a decade, and those who are waiting, working and wishing for a chance at the American dream. It’s time their voices were heard.

Episode 29: History Is Not Inevitable (Mehrsa Baradaran)

Mehrsa Baradaran is an author and a professor of law at the University of California Irvine. Her work focuses on the racial wealth gap in America, and how it can be tied back directly to historical policies and continued systemic issues. 

In this episode, Ric and Mehrsa talk about the history of the racial wealth gap, the impacts of it today, and what can be done to move the needle on this issue.

Episode 30: Underdog Mentality (Kemba Walker)

Kemba Walker is a four-time NBA All-Star, member of the 2019 USA National Team, an NCAA champion, and the all-time leading scorer for the Charlotte Hornets. Kemba first made a name for himself nationally when he led the UConn Huskies to win the NCAA Championship in 2011. Later that year, Kemba was a top draft pick for what would become the worst team in NBA history (statistically speaking) – the Charlotte Bobcats. 

Kemba sat down with Ric to talk about the ups and downs of his career, a day in the life of an NBA superstar, and how he imagines life after basketball.

Episode 31: Movement (Casey Crawford)

Casey Crawford is a CEO, a former Super Bowl champion, and he’s known for giving away almost half of his company’s profits. According to Casey, it’s the holistic approach that’s needed for true generational change in underserved communities, and it’s a model for giving back that other companies can follow.

Episode 32: The Future of Cities (Vi Lyles)

Our guest today has a big goal – setting a new standard for American cities when it comes to achieving racial equity, social justice, economic opportunity, employment, and mobility. 

In this episode, Mayor Lyles shares what progress means to her as a public leader ; her experience becoming the first Black woman elected Mayor of Charlotte, NC, after growing up in the segregated South ; and why creating opportunity for others is her ultimate definition of success.

Episode 33: Finding Your Competitive Edge (Greg Olsen)

After 14 seasons in the NFL, Greg Olsen retired as one of the Top 10 tight ends of all time. Now, he’s a rookie all over again – starting a new career in sportscasting. 

In this episode, Greg shares what it was like to play in the Super Bowl, what it’s like to learn a new skill on national TV, how his son’s journey to overcome a rare heart condition inspired him to help others, and what it means to “find your edge” as a top competitor.

Episode 34: The War in Ukraine (Natalie Jaresko)

Today’s guest is Natalie Jaresko, the former Finance Minister of Ukraine. In today’s episode she reflects on how the current war in Ukraine will have direct, lasting impacts on the entire world for months and years to come.

This conversation was recorded in front of a live audience, where Natalie reminded us of the tragic realities of war, but more importantly, the power of resilience and hope. Inspired by her words, Ric made a personal commitment to use his platform to help make a difference.

Episode 35: Good Games vs Close Games (Jay Bilas)

Jay Bilas won a National Championship when he played for Duke back in the 80s, and today he’s one of the most outspoken critics of the NCAA – because they do not pay college athletes – while coaches make millions, and the industry makes billions.

This is the second time Jay’s been on the show. Today, he and Ric talk a little bit about life, and a LOT about basketball. Be sure to also check out his earlier episode, from April 2019, to hear Jay’s unique approach to parenting and the best advice he ever got from Coach K.

Episode 36: The Science of Sleep (Dr. Matthew Walker)

This episode is all about SLEEP – featuring one of the world’s top experts, Dr. Matthew Walker. His groundbreaking research covers everything from why we sleep, what happens to us when we sleep, what happens when we dream, and how sleep impacts our concentration, our memory, our immune system, and more. His current focus is on the possible link between not getting enough sleep and likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Episode 37: Optimism Is Not Naive (Simon Sinek, Live at RV)

Today’s episode was recorded in front of a live audience at Red Ventures, where Ric and our guest Simon Sinek discussed how optimism is different from general positivity, and how an infinite mindset can unlock opportunity and happiness… even when chaos strikes.

Episode 38: Competitive Character (Brad Stevens)

Today’s guest is Brad Stevens – the current President of Basketball Operations for the Boston Celtics and one of the most transformational leaders in the NBA. He’s built a reputation for staying impossibly calm on the sidelines – even in the most dramatic competitions – and for bringing superstar performances out of players who otherwise may have stayed under the radar.

In this episode, Brad shares his views on when to take big risks, what separates good competitors from great ones, and what it means to be a good teammate in all aspects of life.

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About the Author:
Red Ventures

Over the last twenty years, Red Ventures has built a portfolio of influential brands, digital platforms, and strategic partnerships that work together to connect millions of people with expert advice. Through premium content and personalized digital experiences, Red Ventures builds online journeys that make it easier for people to make important decisions about their homes, health, travel, finances, education and entertainment. Founded in 2000, Red Ventures has 3,000 employees in 10 cities across the US, as well as in the UK and Brazil. Red Ventures owns and operates several large digital brands including Healthline, The Points Guy, Bankrate, MYMOVE, and

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