the alchemist

Brandon Epstein – Founder of Entrepreneur Fitness

Brandon Epstein is the founder of Entrepreneur Fitness  host of The Entrepreneur Fitness Podcast, where he coaches people on creating abundant energy, peak mental states, and optimal emotional health. These are his good things.

Good things to read.

The Alchemist. A powerful story about the power of intention and thoughts.

Think and Grow Rich. The bible for self help.

The Biology of Belief. Scientifically explains how our thoughts and emotions effect our cells and genes.

Good things to watch.

Tony Robbins TED Talk. The longest TED talk of all time. Captivating and powerful.

Any Oprah graduation speech.Great advice for anyone in a place of transition.

Will Smith Inspiration compilation. Incredibly inspiring.

Good things to use. Best way to manage projects.

BetterYou. Best app for guided meditation.

VisionBox. Best app for designing lockscreens to attract your dream life.

Ask Brandon your question on Twitter, @Brandon_Epstein.

Jeremey DuVall – Trainer, Publisher, Helper

Jeremey DuVall is a former personal trainer turned writer and digital publishing guy. He spends his time helping bloggers produce amazing content and contributing to a variety of health and fitness publications. He’s also really great at high fives. He blogs regularly at  These are his good things.

Good things to read.

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk. Yes, before there was a movie, there was a book, and in my opinion, it’s much better than the motion picture. Although it can be difficult after having the stage set by Brad Pitt and Edward Norton, try forgetting everything you know about Fight Club and read the book with an open mind. Palahniuk’s writing is unusually entertaining, and the characters will keep you reading page after page. Be sure to read the afterword and find out that many of the events (like peeing in the soup as a waiter) are actually based on real-life events.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. This is just a great story from start to finish — plain and simple. Combine the interesting adventure with real life lessons, and you have one hell of a book.

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. I’ve read all of Gladwell’s books, but this is by far my favorite. Far too often, I think we look at the success of others with contempt and envy. Outliers presents success in a very different light. While you’re reading, go ahead and pick up Tipping Point and Blink; you won’t regret it.

Good things to watch.

New Girl. By the time Tuesday arrives, everyone is usually in need of a great laugh. For my fiancee and I, New Girl provides just that. The situations the characters get themselves into are likely reminiscent of your own life. Plus, everyone knows a real-life Schmidt. Two things I’ve taken away from the show:

  1. Everyone should play True American at least once in their life.
  2. The Douchebag Jar needs to be utilized in most places.

This is Water. This commencement speech by David Foster Wallace has gone all kinds of viral. It’s certainly worth 8-9 minutes of your life. After watching, you will view the world through a different lens.

Your Own Presentation. Whether it’s giving a presentation or interviewing for a new job, getting an outsider’s perspective on your presenting style can make a world of difference. I was lucky to have several interviews critiqued when I was starting to apply for jobs. The feedback I was given made a huge difference in my confidence in front of others.

Good things to use.

Noise-Canceling Headphones. I work best when I’m isolated in my own environment. To stay focused and avoid outside distractions, I use a pair of Able Planet headphones. Put those on, and it’s like the entire world disappears around you. Seriously, someone could be screaming right next to me, and I wouldn’t hear it. For those that don’t like working to music, I occasionally use Coffitivity to give me some ambient background noise, or I play something more mellow like Acoustic Alchemy.

A Standing Desk of Some Sort. Coming from a personal training background, I’m used to constantly moving throughout the day. Since I began working at my computer more and more, I had to rely on a standing desk otherwise I would go absolutely crazy. Sitting, in general, isn’t great for your posture. Plus, you’ll likely be more awake and concentrated with a standing desk. Currently, I use a ledge in my apartment when I want to stand, but I’m looking for the ideal standing/sitting combo desk (likely going to build one). If you have to sit all day, invest in a laptop stand and use a wireless keyboard and mouse so you can avoid staring down while you work.

A Timer. Ever wonder how you finish the day with half of your to-do list unchecked? Probably by wasting time on Facebook or browsing the internet. Using a timer can help you best allocate your time and also plan intermittent rest breaks to recharge. I use Timebar because it sits in the menu bar at the top of my screen so I can see how much time I have left before the buzzer. If you find yourself constantly checking out your friend’s pics on Facebook, consider using SelfControl, a free app that both acts as a timer and a buddy that blocks any URL you want (like

Connect with Jeremey on Twitter, @JeremeyD.

Tiffany – The Budgetnista

Tiffany “The Budgetnista” is a bestselling author (The One Week Budget), and a sharer of all things, frugal, fun and fabulous via her financial, education firm, The Budgetnista.

Good things to read.

The Richest Man in Babylon. A prerequisite read for all other financial books.

The Alchemist. If you’ve ever dreamed of more, this book will inspire you to keep going until it’s yours.

The 4-Hour Workweek. For my Dream Catchers. For those who understand that and extraordinary life cannot be had by doing ordinary things.

Good things to watch.

The Secret. The Law of Attraction explained. 

Scandal My not-so-secret guilty pleasure and just plain fun TV.

YouTube. Where I learned how to do yoga, paint my home, program my phone and a ton of other things ranging from completely useless to life changing. Oh, and all for FREE!

Good things to use.

Navigation on an Android phone.  I LOVE this feature. Whenever I travel I use the turn-by-turn walking feature to help me get around unfamiliar cities.

Kindle (the original without internet) Having a Kindle has dramatically increased how many books I read. It has also helped me be more patient and enjoy waiting, because I use that time to read instead.

Budget.   All of our financial successes or failure can be traced back to our budget, or lack thereof. Change your budget, change your life.

For all things budgets and more connect with Tiffany on Twitter at @TheBudgetnista.

Jenn Vance – Science and technology enthusiast, ultrarunner, AT hiker

These are Jenn Vance’s good things.

Good things to read. 

The Pleasure of Finding Things Out by Richard Feynman. A collection of essays in which Feynman revevals the truth about Los Alamos, predicts the future of nanotechnology, and attacks the problem of scientific illiteracy in America.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. A parable that makes me want to drop everything I’m doing and embark on a(nother) daring, life-changing adventure.

Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut. Vonnegut is delightful. DELIGHTFUL, I tell you. So subtle, yet sharp. A sample: “Kilgore Trout once wrote a short story which was a dialogue between two pieces of yeast. They were discussing the possible purposes of life as they ate sugar and suffocated in their own excrement. Because of their limited intelligence, they never came close to guessing that they were making champagne.”

Good things to watch.

Bobak Ferdowski. Science hasn’t been this sexy since Feynman published his theory on quantum electrodynamics. Why am I putting a person in the “”to watch”” category? I mean…look at him.

National Geographic’s Appalachian Trail special. It will make you want to drive straight to the mountains and start hiking. Be careful. It’s a dangerous urge to awaken.

Some Like It Hot. Cross dressing, crime and classical instruments, plus the best movie closing line ever written.

Good things to use.

Your legs. Get out of the car and walk already. A lot. More than you feel you should have to. Your body can handle it.

Codecademy. A free online system for learning how to code. Code is the new second language — if you’re not at least a little bit literate, you will be left behind. You don’t have to be an engineer to benefit from it. Just do it, it’s fun!

A Melitta single-cup filter for making pour-over coffee at home. It’s like having a Blue Bottle barista in your kitchen but without the hipster attitude.