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What Does it Take to be Backable with Suneel Gupta

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In 2008, Suneel Gupta watched a young Barack Obama deliver a speech at the democratic national convention. From his perspective backstage, he saw the faces of the crowd as they became visibly moved. This made him ask, what is it that makes people backable? What is the intangible ‘IT’ factor that makes people take a chance on you?

Suneel shares stories and lessons from his journey co-founding Rise, a company focused on health care and health coaching, and writing his recent book “Backable: The Surprising Truth Behind what Makes People Take a Chance on You.” Suneel is also on the faculty at Harvard, where he teaches students how to become backable. This episode explores the ingredients to discovering the “right path,” the stories we tell ourselves and the baggage we carry, and the undeniable importance of community throughout.

Other topics from this episode include:

  • Focusing on the next right move
  • Not feeling pressure to connect your past to your future
  • How to develop conviction for your projects
  • Resiliency and the value of failure
  • Storytelling and pitching
  • Not sharing your idea too early
  • Finding meaning in difficult situations
  • Low stakes practice for high stakes performance
  • Essential backable qualities

For more information about Suneel, head on over to and order a copy of his book!


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