#309 Arnold Schwarzenegger (Before He Was Successful)

Episode Summary

What I learned from reading Arnold and Me: In the Shadow of the Austrian Oak by Barbara Outland Baker.

Episode Notes

What I learned from reading Arnold and Me: In the Shadow of the Austrian Oak by Barbara Outland Baker.


EightSleep: Get the best sleep of your life and unlock more energy. Go to

Tiny: Tiny is the easiest way to sell your business. Tiny provides quick and straightforward cash exits for Founders. Get in touch by emailing

Meter: Meter is the easiest way for your business to get fast, secure, and reliable internet and WiFi in any commercial space. Go to


Listen to Invest Like the Best #333 Justin Mares


Join my free email newsletter to get my top 10 highlights from every book


(6:30) He forced his sons to eat with silverware at perfect right angles. They had to keep their elbows to their waists. If the boys did not obey, the back of his hand was quick to strike their cheeks.

(7:30) His life began to flourish through the art and science of bodybuilding.

Arnold ate it, slept it, worked it, imagined it, thought it, believed it, and trusted it.

Bodybuilding became his existence.

(8:10) He had no time to waste on naysayers. He aligned only with those who shared his passion. 

(8:15) He knew that to succeed according to his manic standards he needed to master an individual sport.

(8:30) His intelligence did not show on his report cards yet he mastered his goals like a wizard. (If you do everything you will win)

(8:50) His singular concentration provided a rock solid belief in his potential.

(9:30) Not even his peers could understand the enormity of his lifetime dreams.

(11:00) Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder by Arnold Schwarzenegger (Founders #193)

(11:15) Gradually a conflict grew up in our relationship. She was a well-balanced woman who wanted an ordinary, solid life, and I was not a well-balanced man and hated the very idea of ordinary life. She had thought I would settle down, that I would reach the top in my field and level off.

But that's a concept that has no place in my thinking.

For me, life is continuously being hungry.

The meaning of life is not simply to exist, to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer.

(13:40) If you do everything you will win.

(13:45) And I then saw very clearly what I could achieve, and that gave me a tremendous amount of motivation.

(13:55) Instead of training two hours a day like most kids did, I would train twice a day, two hours.

Totally abnormal.

Sometimes three times a day and sometimes four times a day. I would go home during my lunch time, and then do, for an hour straight, just sit-ups to get that extra hour that no one else has gotten in, just to be ahead of everyone else.

(16:20) Arnold was not a man of many surprises. He was clear in his focus, firm in his decisions, and egocentric at all costs.

(17:55) Champions behave like champions before they’re champions; they have a winning standard of performance before they are winners. — The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership by Bill Walsh. (Founders #106)

(21:20) He made it clear that his world was huge and I must learn to accept that other people and activities demanded his attention.

(23:30) His family foundation was instrumental in setting up his intense motivation to succeed.

This negative motivation pushes him to achieve the maximum potential in every activity.

(27:30) No one could restrain his mutinous energy.

(27:55) Arnold always felt self-confident, no matter the disparity in sophistication, income or status.

(29:30) Francis could sell ice to the Eskimos, Lucas said later. He has charisma beyond logic. I can see now what kind of men the great Caesars of history were, their magnetism. — George Lucas: A Life by Brian Jay Jones. (Founders #35)

(31:30) I’m not so dominant that I can’t listen to creative ideas coming from other people. Successful people listen. Those who don’t listen, don’t survive long. — Driven From Within by Michael Jordan  (Founders #213)

(22:40) Problems are just opportunities in work clothes. — Henry J. Kaiser: Builder in the Modern American West by Mark Foster. (Founders #66)

(33:10) Optimism is a moral duty. — Edwin Land A Triumph of Genius: Edwin Land, Polaroid, and the Kodak Patent War by Ronald Fierstein. (Founders #134)

(33:50) A sunny disposition is worth more than fortune.  — The Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie by Andrew Carnegie. (Founders #283)

(35:30) Stay public. You gotta promote, promote, promote, or it all dies. You just gotta be out there all the time. — Bourdain: The Definitive Oral Biography by Laurie Woolever. (Founders #219)

(37:00) He maintained his rigorous training schedule.

(38:30) He craved the interaction with each new expert and remembered every tip.

Arnold already recognized that he had the ability to learn any content he chose.

(38:45) The best jobs are neither decreed nor degreed. They are creative expressions of continuous learners in free markets. — The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness by Naval Ravikant and Eric Jorgenson. (Founders #191)

(39:15) Imitation precedes creation. — Stephen King On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King. (Founders #210)

(44:35) Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story by Arnold Schwarzenegger. (Founders #141)

Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder by Arnold Schwarzenegger. (Founders #193)


I have listened to every episode released and look forward to every episode that comes out. The only criticism I would have is that after each podcast I usually want to buy the book because I am interested so my poor wallet suffers. ” — Gareth

Be like Gareth. Buy a book: All the books featured on Founders Podcast