The Third Door - Alex Banayn Book Review

This book without question, profoundly changed my life. This was an absolute page turner and a really inspiring story of a young college student named Alex. I am going to first give a brief overview of the book and then share the lessons I learnt from the book and my favourite parts.

So, Alex is lying on his college dorm bed, enrolled as a medical student and has an exam he should be revising for. He realises medicine is not the path he wants to go down.

So, he sets out on a mission to speak with all of the world’s most successful people and understand how they launched their careers.

This ended up being an incredible 5-year journey plus 2 additional years to write the book itself. I only discovered the length of the journey after reading it and it actually applied to my situation, I found myself in with the NDA this term.

Some things simply don't progress as fast as you would like them to but you have to keep pushing the envelope and remind people you are there. Alex had to do this constantly in order to receive the interviews with the likes of Bill Gates, Jessica Alba and Larry King to name 3 out of 70+ incredible people he managed to interview.

So, to fund this project, Alex actually hacked this game show called The Price Is Right, by managing to be one of the students selected to take part in the show and then through sheer luck, he won a boat which he sold for $15,000, funding his adventure.

He would study entrepreneurs intensively and inform their assistants about his project in the hope of receiving an interview.

He was constantly turned down, but he did not give up. In one scenario, he crouched in a toilet cubicle for over an hour in order to meet Tim Ferris.

He came across a young entrepreneur named Elliot Bisnow who co-founded Summit, where he managed to draw in the likes of Richard Branson and Bill Clinton to attend an event to give talks to the younger generation of entrepreneurs. When Elliot responded to his email saying he is free Thursday morning, Alex had an exam Thursday afternoon.

He knew how big of an opportunity it was to meet Elliot, so they met in the morning and Elliot then brought Alex to a TED conference.

At this conference, Alex was surrounded by incredibly successful entrepreneurs, Larry Page the CEO of Google, then there was Reid Hoffman the founder of LinkedIn… Alex understood that he had an exam in the afternoon.

He also understood how big of an opportunity this was, so he called the University and said, patch me through to the Dean, “it's Alex Banayan. I need to explain to you where I'm standing right now, within 10 feet of me is….” and he listed everyone in his vicinity.

He then said I don't need to explain to you how rare of an opportunity this is now. I have an accounting final in an hour, and I would have to leave right this second to get to campus on time.

I can't make this decision- you have to make this decision. And I need an answer within 30 seconds. 30 seconds passed and Alex asked if she was still there.

She responded, “you didn't hear this from me, but email your professor tomorrow morning saying your flight from San Francisco to LA was delayed you had no control over the matter and that's why you missed the final…”.

Alex stressed his gratitude in the book for this as it massively shaped the remainder of his journey and Elliot played a huge role in opening up doors for Alex.

The remainder of the journey had tons of ups and downs and lessons he shares. I would like to pick on some of my favourite quotes from the book.

When Elliot was sharing with Alex his rise to success, he started out cold calling real estate companies trying to sell ads.

He told Alex, “the best cure for nervousness is immediate action”. I love this quote because there has been several times in my life where I stop and start overthinking things that we not necessarily present but created these issues all in my head.

Therefore, taking immediate action just stops this from happening and is brilliant when faced with pushing your fears for example, volunteering on stage in front of people to talk/participate in something.

The second quote is from Elliot again (full of wisdom for such a young man). He said, “I’ve learned that you have to go for it, even if there’s a chance you’ll fail.

The planets are never going to perfectly align. When you see an opportunity, it’s up to you to jump. Wow! I just love this so much.

I am going to always give 110% on this and drilling in a routine that allow me to perform at my best at all times.

It is because I have seen this opportunity, and I have jumped…

The third quote is from the man himself, Bill Gates. Bill said in his interview with Alex,

“It’s better to make a fair deal today that sets you up for more deals down the road than a great deal that doesn’t set you up for anything. Choose long-term positioning over short term profits”.

This is just wisdom from Alex. Incorporating this advice into my own dreams, I think it would be of more value to bring on board an investor who has skin in the game within business.

There is an investment event called Vevolution which gathers investors in the plant-based industry and allows for new and innovative plant based companies to pitch for investment.

I will listen in on the event this time and will apply for the next one (spring time) and hopefully bring on board a special investor to make a positive impact for our business and the wider world.


I could describe tons of parts from the book, but I will end with the thoughts I was left with once finished reading. I truly believed anything was possible. Genuinely anything.

Whatever you wish to accomplish, you can. All you need to do is work towards that goal.

Sure, you will need to make sacrifices along the way, but those sacrifices will all be worthwhile if the dream/goal means that much to you. If you don’t know what your dream/goal is, go try things.

Go meet people. Go on an adventure. Be kind to people and ultimately, live a life that is true to you.

Thank you Alex for this page turner, I hope to meet you one day.

🙏🙏🙏

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