Ryan Holiday

Ego is the enemy, in business and in life. Smart companies understand this.

Author of Growth Hacker Marketing and Ego Is the Enemy

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Ryan  Holiday | Author of Growth Hacker Marketing and Ego Is the Enemy
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Ryan Holiday is a leading media strategist whose campaigns have been studied by YouTube, Twitter, and Google. He’s the former Director of Marketing at American Apparel and the author of Growth Hacker Marketing, which reveals how multibillion dollar brands are built without spending a dime on “traditional marketing.” His latest, Ego Is the Enemy, the instant Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller, illustrates how ego is often the main impediment to personal and professional success.

Ryan Holiday is the renowned media strategist behind celebrity authors Tucker Max and Timothy Ferriss. After dropping out of college at 19 to apprentice under the strategist Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power), he went on to advise many bestselling authors and multi-platinum musicians. His book Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising explains the growth hacker mindset and overnight success of companies like Dropbox, Facebook, AirBnb, and Twitter. Porter Gale, Former VP of Marketing at Virgin America, says: “This book is a wake up call for every marketing exec in the business. And a tutorial for engineers, IT, founders and designers. Read it.”


“Growth hackers are the new VPs of marketing, and this book tells you how to make the transformation.”

— Andrew Chen, Silicon Valley entrepreneur

Holiday is also a highly engaging and inspiring motivational speaker. In his new work, Ego Is the Enemy, Holiday shows how “the battle against ego must be fought on many fronts,” and provides helpful examples of major figures who’ve achieved success by escewing the spotlight and putting the greater good above their own egos. It’s hit the Toronto Star and Globe and Mail bestsellers lists and is an Amazon top-ten seller. And in The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph, Holiday shows us how to turn obstacles into advantages, inspired by a timeless set of philosophical principles used by icons from John D. Rockefeller to Amelia Earhart, Richard Wright to Steve Jobs. Forbes calls it “an inspiring read for anyone faced with adversity” that can “save years of future angst.” Publishers Weekly argues that “Holiday’s performance is commanding and optimistic, sure to inspire readers to take new perspective on their apparent obstacles.” It has so far sold over 100,000 copies.


“Holiday is part Machiavelli, part Ogilvy, and all results … this whiz kid is the secret weapon you’ve never heard of.”

— Tim Ferriss, #1 bestselling author of The 4-Hour Workweek

Holiday is the former Director of Marketing at American Apparel, where his work in advertising is internationally known. He is a media columnist for The New York Observer, and his other writings—published in 17 languages—appear in Forbes, The Huffington Post, Fast Company, Thought Catalog, and The Columbia Journalism Review, among others. Holiday’s first book, Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator, a tell-all expose of modern online journalism, is a Wall Street Journal bestseller and an Amazon Editor’s Best Book of the Month. The Financial Times called it an “astonishing, disturbing book.” To The Big Picture author Edward J. Epstein, “Ryan Holiday’s brilliant expose of the unreality of the Internet should be required reading for every thinker in America.”    


“Ryan didn’t just tell a story on stage; he provided our crowd with a keynote stuffed with hands-on knowledge from his day-to-day work life. He truly rocked our stage, delivering inspiring and real-world-ready know-how on billion dollar brands, including growth hacking insights that can be applied the next day in the office.”

Marketing Rockstars

“Ryan Holiday was charged with opening our first Marketing event, a conference which had never been hosted and for which our audience of marketers and ad agencies had high expectations. He truly lived up to the challenge with an inspiring, attention-catching talk filled with real-world examples. He proved to be an excellent and engaging speaker; he set the bar high for the rest of the day.”

Editions Infopresse

“As the founder of The Do Lectures, I get to watch all the talks each year. I have seen over 250 of them. I get asked which ones stand out, all the time. But the better question is which ones do I refer to each day. Which ones help me do more, do better, and keep pushing forward. Ryan Holiday’s talk at Do Wales was a Masterclass for me. Inspirational and brilliant, yes, but it’s more than just words. It is a methodology, an operating system for getting sh*t done. I refer to it every single day.”

The DO Lectures

Speech Topics

Growth Hacker Marketing A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising

Dropbox, Facebook, AirBnb, Twitter. A new generation of multibillion dollar brands built without spending a dime on “traditional marketing.” No press releases, no PR firms, and no billboards in Times Square. It wasn’t luck that took them from tiny start-ups to millions of users and massive valuations. They have a new strategy, called Growth Hacking. And it works.

In this talk, Ryan Holiday shows how the marketing game has changed forever. He explains the growth hacker mindset and provides a new set of rules—critical information whether you’re an aspiring marketer, an entrepreneur, or a Fortune 500 executive.

Motivational Speakers
Ego Is the Enemy How to Change World By Conquering Yourself

Many of us insist that the main impediment to a full, successful life is the outside world. When in fact, Ryan Holiday insists, the most common enemy lies within: our ego. Early in our careers, it impedes learning and the cultivation of talent. With success, it can blind us to our faults and sow future problems. In failure, it magnifies each blow and makes recovery more difficult. And even the most successful companies can be torn apart by destructive egos—the disease of ‘me’. At every stage, ego holds us back. 
In this keynote, adapted from his upcoming book Ego Is the Enemy, Holiday draws on a vast array of stories and examples, from literature to philosophy to history. He invokes fascinating figures such as George Marshall, Jackie Robinson, Katharine Graham, Bill Belichick, and Eleanor Roosevelt, who all reached the highest levels of power and success by conquering their own egos. Their strategies and tactics can be ours as well. 
In an era that glorifies social media, reality TV, and other forms of shameless self-promotion, the battle against ego must be fought on many fronts. Armed with the lessons in this fascinating and motivational talk, “you will be less invested in the story you tell about your own specialness, and as a result, you will be liberated to accomplish the world-changing work you’ve set out to achieve.”

Exposing the Racket How the New Media Really Works

You’ve seen it all before. A malicious online rumor costs a company millions. A political sideshow derails the national news cycle and destroys a candidate. Some product or celebrity zooms from total obscurity to viral sensation. What you don’t know is that someone is responsible for all this. Often, that someone is Ryan Holiday.

Holiday is a media columnist for The New York Observer and advisor to websites like Complex and Entrepreneur. He’s also a veteran media manipulator. In a world where blogs control and distort the news, his job is to control blogs—as much as any one person can. In today’s culture, blogs like Gawker, Buzzfeed, and The Huffington Post drive the media agenda. Their bloggers are chained to money, technology, and deadlines. And manipulators wield these levers to shape everything you read, see, and watch—online and off.

So why is Holiday giving away these secrets? Because he’s tired of a world where blogs take indirect bribes, marketers help write the news, reckless journalists spread lies, and no one is accountable for any of it. He’s pulling back the curtain because he doesn’t want anyone else to get blindsided.

In this frank, compelling, and confessional talk, Holiday explains exactly how the media really works. What you choose to do with this information is up to you.

Motivational Speakers
The Obstacle Is the Way The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph

“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”—Marcus Aurelius

We are stuck, stymied, frustrated. But it needn’t be this way. In this talk, Ryan Holiday shares the formula for success that’s been followed by the icons of history—from John D. Rockefeller to Amelia Earhart to Ulysses S. Grant to Steve Jobs—a formula that let them turn obstacles into opportunities. Faced with impossible situations, they found the astounding triumphs we all seek. These men and women were not exceptionally brilliant, lucky, or gifted. Their success came from timeless philosophical principles laid down by a Roman emperor who struggled to articulate a method for excellence in any and all situations. Holiday reveals that formula for the first time—and shows us how we can turn our own adversity into advantage.