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The Third Door: The Wild Quest to Uncover How the World's Most Successful People Launched Their Careers

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  1,783 ratings  ·  254 reviews
The larger-than-life journey of an 18-year-old college freshman who set out from his dorm room to track down Bill Gates, Lady Gaga, and dozens more of the world's most successful people to uncover how they broke through and launched their careers.

The Third Door takes readers on an unprecedented adventure--from hacking Warren Buffett's shareholders meeting to chasing Larry
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Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 5th 2018 by Currency
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Harsh I have given up in the past after the 1st and the 2nd door. This book and Alex's hustle gave me the hope to work hard and find the third door.

The…more
I have given up in the past after the 1st and the 2nd door. This book and Alex's hustle gave me the hope to work hard and find the third door.

The cold-email template has literally changed my life. I can't believe the people I have gotten responses from. That was a game changer.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,783 ratings  ·  254 reviews


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Mehrsa
Dec 07, 2018 rated it did not like it
This is satire, right? Or maybe they asked a bot to put together all the hashtag cliches and the #lifehacks and Tony Robbins/Tim Ferris/Think and Grow Rich memes together to make a book? I read the whole thing because I could not believe this kid kept harrassing these people for interviews. Like what on earth is he thinking? Buffet finally blocks him. It's the height of obnoxious privilege. He uses and abuses his networks of dudebros to get interviews with sucessful dudebros but also a few hot w ...more
Cassette
Jun 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Look, everything said in this book has been said before in other books. At some point you've got to ask yourself, "where did these people learned what they learned from?" That'll lead you to books, peers, and dead people they've learned from. And the deeper you go you too will see too you can find these advices elsewhere.

So if you have a long, long list of books read skip this one, you won't miss out.

For everyone else, yeah, if you have the time and money I'd recommend reading this book—your e
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Arash
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
I heard an interview with Alex and was intrigued to learn more of his story but I'm disappointed I wasted my time. The whole book is just anecdotes of how he got to meet all of these people he wants to interview. I didn't find his interviews insightful or interesting at all. I don't think anything the people shared was particularly useful or different than what is out there already. Also, because I don't share Alex's enthusiasm and exuberance for billionaires and business people (especially egot ...more
Ben Rostami
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“The Third Door” by Alex Banayan is the key to an empowering point of view and life strategy that will open countless doors for people who read the book and embrace its way of thinking. As he says in the opener, “Life, business, success… it’s just like a nightclub. There are always three ways in. There’s the First Door: the main entrance, where the line curves around the block; where 99 percent of people wait around, hoping to get in. There’s the Second Door: the VIP entrance, where the billiona ...more
Katie Shim
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I met Alex in November of 2018 where he invited me as one of his personal guests over Instagram to his keynote at the World Trade Center. I took a 15-hour bus ride from Toronto to New York to make it happen. It was that well worth it. Alex himself is electrifying. His presence and his energy is one people want to be around and he emits an aura that radiates and affects people.

It feels that way when you’re reading (and listening!) to his book. Effectively enough, it’s like the words are jumping o
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Kelly
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
I tried to hate this book and the author for being self-aggrandizing and name dropping constantly in what seemed like a long love letter to Elliott. Even though it took me months to get through this short and easy to read book full of compelling stories, I am glad I did. The lessons in this book are actually invaluable. We have the power to make the most of ourselves and our one shot on this dust mote. And some of these lessons, both from the author and from those he interviewed, will help steer ...more
Lynda Filler
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Impossible to categorize. A must-read book of the year

I was introduced to Alex in a YouTube video and immediately knew I had to download his story. If the book was half as good as his passionate story I had to read it. I was totally blown away! It’s impossible to label this story. It’s so much more than what it promises to be. I would say it’s a coming-of-age autobiography as much as it is a journey to discover how each wildly successful person achieved his or her turning point towards success i
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Elena
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this. It was not so much a collection of interviews revealing clear steps to success (there are none!) as it was a roller coaster story about Alex Banyan's quest to interview these people. I just liked him and his honest, introspective style. Many of his ideas and bits of wisdom really resonated with me where I am at right now. Thumbs up.
Ava
Feb 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Well, there were times when I was not sure, if Alex is just annoying or naive.
"The Third Door" is a book, written by a young man trying to find his calling. I am from an older generation, and have to say that we all had times, when we questions society and the path we were supposed to go. And this is good.
I like how he described his thoughts, motivation and the determination to succeed, even though he had quite a few moments, when he was close to giving up.
Having said all that, there was noth
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Khairul Imran
Oct 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Gives you a lot of motivation to continue with your dreams.
Hadi Abedini
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: maybe-hadi
Although there seems to be a lack of subject and being a half done mission(as called in the book), It takes you through the adventures of a teenager finding the way to success and happiness. It's really inspiring and for me it was hard to put the book down. the book gave me a new point of view and changed my thinking about the way to get into business world.
Andrew Benner
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Life changing
Ashley Jacobs
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Prior to searching for the best career books of 2018, I had heard of neither the author or this particular book. Since I was able to get my hands on the audiobook of The Third Door, I decided to give the book a try. I did not expect to finish the book in a day, but that’s exactly what happened. I simply could not stop listening. Although it was less about how successful people launched their careers and more about the author’s journey to interview these individuals, it’s still a story that will ...more
Jason V
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
With too many lessons learned to list, this book has already changed lives and will continue to change and inspire many, many more lives ahead.

Alex Banayan has left his mark and a gift for those who decide to embark on the journey that is The Third Door.

Banayan has a relentless focus and a drive that is rarely seen.

One of my favorite chapters is with Steve Wozniak. Woz offers his candid view of what it means to be successful. It has to come from within and be your own definition. Not your boss’s
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Joerenz Tabanda-Bolina
When I first sat down to read Alex Banayan’s ambitious adventure narrative, the last thing I expected was to be taken on a 48-hour long emotional roller coaster ride that would leave me enlightened and craving more. Written endearingly and in a vernacular style, Banayan succeeds in playing celebrant to a beautiful marriage between guide book and inspirational story that is sure to take a proud place in your bookcase.

18-year-old Banayan starts his journey at the University of Southern Californi
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Kai Lode
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the few books that sucked me in from start to finish, reading the whole thing in less than 48hours. I remember hearing about Alex on Cal Fussman’s podcast while at the gym a few months before the book came out. I vividly remember having to stop mid set during my chest workout and preorder the book. After having read the book it is safe to say it was totally worth it. 100% a great book for any person in their highschool/college years trying to understand how to choose what they want to do ...more
Marco
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
I reached the chapter of Elliott Bisnow and I can't believe that part is supposed to be aspirational. The Powder Mountain screams self-absorption and elitism. Reading about it more online makes you vomit.

There are a few good points but I think need to read better books to filter out the ego points of some people interviewed in this book and their actions during the whole "mission" ordeal.
Dmytro Shteflyuk
A somewhat interesting story of a guy trying to get an interview. Couple good lessons and interesting ideas, but mostly just a story of a young guy trying to talk to famous people. If you are looking for the actual interviews - you won't find them in this book.
Richard Mulholland
Dec 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is not the book I thought it would be. It was not even the book it was sold as. However it was still a good read. This is not a collection of the lessons from the world's most successful people, but rather the lessons from a relentless author who wanted to achieve something. That's pretty special too.

Ps. I recommend the audio book version, read by the author.
Mandy Jo
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one book that I think that everyone should read. It will give you that boost, no matter what industry you are in.

I also like that Alex read it himself in the audio version.
Jonathan Byrd
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When I first heard Alex Banayan’s voice on a podcast called Big Questions with Cal Fussman, I thought it was just another interview. Then he began talking about his Persian Grandfather, a highly fascinating story in and of itself. Then I realized it was much more than just an interview. Alex had written a book. Not just any book, The Third Door. Not long after that, I decided I had to buy this book. Only problem was I was on the road, by the time I got home I couldn’t wait to get my copy.

When t
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Robert Malka
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Third Door by Alex Banayan: Simply Brilliant.

The Third Door blew me away and could not have come at a better time. At first, I was surprised at his approach: Like a couple of other reviewers, I thought that the book was going to organize Alex’s interviews, breaking them down into a series of step-by-steps and key principles for success (something like Ray Dalio’s Principles), with his wild quest as a narrative pretext for those discoveries.

But that’s not what The Third Door is. It’s somethin
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Adam McNamara
“Life, business, success… it’s just like a nightclub. There are always three ways in. There’s the First Door: the main entrance, where the line curves around the block; where 99 percent of people wait around, hoping to get in. There’s the Second Door: the VIP entrance, where the billionaires, celebrities, and people born into it slip through. But what no one tells you is that there is always, always… the Third Door. It’s the entrance where you have to jump out of line, run down the alley, bang o
...more
Mediaman
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: business, education
I heard this author interviewed on the radio and thought he was dynamic. The book, however, is not. It's the story of a crazy college drop-out who thinks bugging famous people enough times will get him an interview with them for a few minutes. He claims to be trying to make a point but instead he comes across as inept and pushy. If it weren't for his handsome looks I doubt he would have made the couple of key contacts that he needed to meet the people he wanted.

Instead of his silly "third door"
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Chris
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: growth
This book has changed me. That's a high bar. Specifically, it has re-awakened in me a passion to do, create and be. I am excited and motivated in a way I haven't been in many years. Indeed, I look back at my earlier writings and actions and it is like meeting an old friend. Perhaps for that old friend it is like finding a long-lost soul mate. Needless to say this book is 5 stars.

But much more than how it has affected me, it is superbly written. it is enjoyable, and Banayan has a fantastically ap
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Zach Kahn
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
There are a lot of interview books out there, but the Third Door is especially impactful because it has the honesty to show the author's development and retrospection as he learns from some of the most successful people alive today. The result is a captivating read that feels personal and full of wisdom.

The Third Door is well laid out and aligns Alex's journey as he learns and adapts from the people he interviews. His story is about writing this book, but the drive, the persistence, and the crea
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Vipul Bhesania
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’ll be honest, it took me a while to pick this up because I didn’t know whether it’d be worth reading or not. BUT, once I picked it up, I COULD NOT put it down and I’ve now read it twice over and intend to read it again since it is packed full of important life lessons.

Alex has beautifully weaved the present and past tense which makes his story that much more real for the reader – I felt myself vividly imagining everything he was experiencing as he was retelling it. His whole story is a grippin
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Rakshith Kunchum
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-i-own
This book is not about the interviews themselves but the journey that the author took in achieving his dream of interviewing the achievers and sort of trying to uncover some hidden treasure. His journey surly is inspirational and cluttered with tidbits of wisdom along the path.
One thing that I want to point here, the moment the author realizes that he has been gender biased in choosing his interviews - I realized that as a reader even I never noticed it. I felt sad that I am also blinded by the
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Cristina
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
Up until the Lady Gaga chapter, I found it enjoyable (sort of book you read by the pool in one day) but empty - a sort of “How to write a book about nothing and capitalise on that”. Lady Gaga chapter was the most powerful one and what stuck with me was “Its your choices, not your abilities”.
Luke Barwikowski
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's definitely a book that changed the way I see the world slightly. It basically follows a young entrepreneur who makes a ton of mistakes and reflects on them. Good stuff.
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“You have a choice,” Dan said. “You can be good at those twenty-five things or you can be world-class at the five. Most people have so many things they want to do that they never do a single thing well. If I’ve learned one thing from Mr. Buffett, it’s that the Avoidance List is the secret to being world-class. “Success,” he added, “is a result of prioritizing your desires.” 1 likes
“What I’m about to tell you,” Elliott told me, “ninety-nine percent of people in the world will never understand.” For the first time all week, it was just the two of us. Elliott had told Austin he wanted to talk to me one-on-one. We were standing on a rooftop lounge during sunset, looking out at the Manhattan skyline. “You see, most people live a linear life,” he continued. “They go to college, get an internship, graduate, land a job, get a promotion, save up for a vacation each year, work toward their next promotion, and they just do that their whole lives. Their lives move step by step, slowly and predictably. “But successful people don’t buy into that model. They opt into an exponential life. Rather than going step by step, they skip steps. People say that you first need to ‘pay your dues’ and get years of experience before you can go out on your own and get what you truly want. Society feeds us this lie that you need to do x, y, and z before you can achieve your dream. It’s bullshit. The only person whose permission you need to live an exponential life is your own. “Sometimes an exponential life lands in your lap, like with a child prodigy. But most of the time, for people like you and me, we have to seize it for ourselves. If you actually want to make a difference in the world, if you want to live a life of inspiration, adventure, and wild success—you need to grab on to that exponential life—and hold on to it with all you’ve got.” 1 likes
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