Hi there and welcome!

I am Ryan Holiday and I am a writer and media strategist. When I was 19 years old, I dropped out of college to apprentice under Robert Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power. I went on to become the director of marketing for American Apparel (you might have seen some of the controversial campaigns I was a part of). My creative agency, Brass Check, has advised clients like Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as many prominent bestselling authors, including Neil Strauss, Tony Robbins and Tim Ferriss. I am the author of six books, including The Obstacle Is the Way, Ego Is the Enemy, The Daily Stoic and Perennial Seller. The Obstacle Is the Way has been translated into more than twenty languages and has a cult following among NFL coaches, world-class athletes, TV personalities, political leaders, and others around the world. Now I live on a ranch outside Austin, Texas where I do my writing and work in between raising cattle, donkeys and goats.

I originally started this blog nearly ten years ago to help me along in my journey of self-education. I wanted to write what I wished other blogs would talk about more often: life, dealing with assholes, how to be self-critical and self-aware, humility, philosophy, reading, learning, research and strategy. Aside from this site, I have written for the New York Observer, Thought Catalog, Entrepreneur, 99U, Fast Company, The Huffington Post, Medium, Boing Boing, Forbes, Columbia Journalism Review and multiple other outlets.

Today, most people subscribe to my work via email—about 80,000 people get it emailed directly to their inbox wherever I happen to publish them. I’d like to invite you to sign up and get them too (you can also reply and chat with me about anything I’ve written). As a welcome, I will instantly send you a free pdf collection of my most viral and popular articles designed to help you be more productive, strategic and successful. I can’t take credit for everything in them—because one of my strategies is to borrow from the smartest people I know. My tips and tricks include helpful hints from a wide range of people like filmmaker Casey Neistat, my editor Niki Papadopoulos, my wife Samantha and authors like Tim Ferriss, Nassim Taleb and Robert Greene. Just sign up below and I look forward to chatting!

For my favorite articles throughout the years, you can consult this page.

What Others Say

“Ryan Holiday is one of his generation’s finest thinkers…”Steven Pressfield, author of the New York Times bestseller The War of Art

“Holiday is part Machiavelli, part Ogilvy, and all results…this whiz kid is the secret weapon you’ve never heard of.” Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek and Tools of Titan

“Ryan Holiday is one of the most promising young writers of his generation.”George Raveling, Hall of Fame Basketball Coach, Nike’s Director of International Basketball

“I don’t have many rules in life, but one I never break is: If Ryan Holiday writes a book, I read it as soon as I can get my hands on it.” Brian Koppelman, screenwriter and director, Rounders, Ocean’s Thirteen and Billions

“[The Obstacle Is the Way is] a book for the bedside of every future—and current—leader in the world.” Robert Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power and Mastery

“It’s rare that I finish a book then immediately reread it, this time with a yellow marker in hand…I can’t recommend [Ego is the Enemy] highly enough.”Kevin Rose, entrepreneur and technology investor

“[The Daily Stoic is] a generous gift of guidance on modern living culled from a canon of wisdom hatched long ago.”Maria Popova, editor of Brain Pickings  

“Ryan’s insights are priceless.”  — Marc Ecko, founder of Ecko Unltd and Complex


You can of course also follow me on Twitter and Facebook where I post most of my writing as well. You’re welcome to follow me on Instagram as well where I regularly post stories involving my donkeys and other animals from our ranch in Texas.

NOTE: This site directs people to Amazon and is an Amazon Associate member.

91 responses to About

  1. Hello Ryan, I am a fan of your blog and writing. I own a surfing website/ real estate brokerage/ travel agency in Costa Rica. Do you surf? Thought you would be an interesting person to spend a few days with, and we have the coast pretty much wired. Strange email, I know, but I am an eternal entrepreneur and enjoy learning and sharing with folks who have done extraordinary things.

    Have a good one brother!

  2. You love Meditations yet you follow Tucker Max, isnt that bit of incongruent?

    • I don’t follow Tucker Max. He is my friend and one of the best ones I have at that. I owe him an incredible amount and I don’t think he’s ever asked for anything in return. Not incongruent at all.

  3. Ryan,

    I just discovered your blog , great and short ideas ….
    I am strugling to figure out how to become a partner at this firm , I wish to establish the company into Mexico as a complete industrial solutions and we are missing the human touch to get the business done … business is about people right ???

  4. You rule, dude!

  5. caroline tudor July 9, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    hi ryan
    are you still 21? tim says you’re 24. not that it matters but it knod of does . . .


  6. I didn’t think there was another person in the world who thought Meditations was the coolest book ever. Besides the genocide on the Marcomani tribe, Marcus Aurelius was pretty awesome.

    I’ve been trying to compile a list of my own. My ridiculous OCD often gets me stumbling on the small things that don’t matter, but I try to focus and find principles that can apply to anything. Do you have a list of your own meditations?



  7. F&$k, I haven’t read a single one of the books on your reading list.

    I have one for you, albeit a quite famous one, an easy read, but personifies determination and will power: Hans Ulrich Rudel – Stuka Pilot

    Regarding working in an organisation I found The Rules of Work to be a must read.

    Would you advise 48 laws of power over Power by Jeffrey Pfeffer?


  8. Congrats on the book deal, Ryan. Can’t wait to read it.

  9. I listened to your audiobook. Kudos for reading it yourself. Effing amazing. I feel like a bag has been lifted off my face and I can see the word for what it is. Where can I get the last one or two pages of your book in text format to post as a quote? I want to post that brilliant shit on my facebook wall and I’m too lazy to buy a real book and type it out.

  10. Ryan,
    I’ve read quite a bit of your writing and am in the middle of your book. I’d be very interested to hear more about your creative process. How do you decide what approach your going to take with each client? I would imagine that it differs greatly if a client is a service provider vs. a retail product like American Apparel vs. a Tucker Max book. Assuming that this isn’t found in the second half of your book, do you have any writing that describes how you come up with your various strategies?

  11. Normally I do not learn post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very forced me to take a look at and do it! Your writing taste has been surprised me. Thanks, very great post.

  12. Thanks for your marvelous posting! I actually enjoyed reading it, you’re a great author. I will be sure to bookmark your blog and will come back in the foreseeable future. I want to encourage you to definitely continue your great posts, have a nice afternoon!

  13. Loving your site. Just purchased your book and am really looking forward to reading it.

    BTW great About Page, really stands out from most people’s. I might have to mimic yours on my blog 😀


  14. Hey Ryan, your article on the new digital divide was fascinating and I’ll definitely be reading ‘Average is over’ now – thanks for the insight.

  15. Today I stumbled across your name on Thought Catalogue. Liked what I read, looked you up, and 4 hours later, my email/letter/semi-memoir to you (and also probably the most self-revealing thing I’ve ever written) is finished and sent. I can’t begin tell you how glad I am that I found your writing, although I certainly tried to in my email. You really helped me figure out how to explain to my parents why exactly my goal is happiness, not success. Hope to hear back from you soon.

  16. Tremendously significant knowledge that you have stated, thank you for posting.

  17. Hi Ryan, i stumbled upon your site a few months ago, but never visited your about page. The links to your “bigger” articles proved really helpful!

  18. Just wanted to thank you for your awesomeness.
    Not more, not less.


  19. Thanks for the monthly favorite books list! You da man homie!

  20. Thanks for the growth hacking book!

  21. Loved your book, “The Obstacle Is The Way.” Hoping to see you at Voice & Exit this summer!

  22. Happy Birthday Ryan. Thank you for all the high quality reading reccomendations. Wishing you the best from New Orleans.

  23. After reading all of the books that you have read, have you found YOUR passion or does your drive come from searching for YOUR passion?

  24. Cristi Hendry May 6, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    If you’re 28, how can you have been marketing director at American Apparel for “many years?” Better to say how many years if it’s under 10. Next book should be Trust me I’m marketing!

  25. Great site and a great topic as well I really get amazed to read this. It’s really good. I like viewing web sites which comprehend the price of delivering the excellent useful resource free of charge.

  26. Venkata Potukuchi March 13, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    Hello Ryan – I am reading your book, The Obstacle is the way, and was very impressed. Stoicism and your strategies pretty resemble the journey and state mentioned in Bhagavad-Gita. I live in Austin, TX too and would like to meet and chat with you if you get some time. Please let me know.


  27. Hi Ryan,
    I just wanted to say thank you. Your book ‘The obstacle is the way’ has put me on an unstoppable course to do bigger things. I am currently a Bulldozer operator on a coal mine in rural West Australia. Every morning I wake at 4am to Learn programming and work on my app. My wife has started a blog to help other parents of Autistic kids. We are doing the hard things and trying to help people.

    When things seem too difficult I listen to ‘Obstacle is the way’ to remember that doing difficult things is how to be the best version of myself. When I get too big and think I am too clever, or I feel myself being too arrogant, then I listen to ‘Ego is the Enemy to ground myself’. There is no way I could count how many times I have heard them both.

    I look forward to your latest book. will it be available on audio? I look forward to creating products that last.

    Again, thank you.

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  1. Moral Imagination, Yugoslavia, and How I Learned to Love Sarah Palin | not just wandering - January 7, 2011

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  2. 24-Year-Old Marketing Director Lands Major Book Deal - GalleyCat - November 17, 2011

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  6. We Can’t Wait For This Book By American Apparel’s ‘Media Manipulator’ (APP) | Athens Report - November 22, 2011

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  7. Ryan Holiday | LADYGUNN - November 28, 2011

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  9. An Interview with Ryan Holiday | Silicon Bayou News - February 29, 2012

    […] Ryan has lived in New Orleans for the past year and Joshua Raley caught up with him for the abridged interview below. The full interview can be found on Joshua’s blog and covers everything from food brands to working with Tim Ferriss and other best selling authors. For more of Ryan’s writing, check out his site. […]

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    […] Ryan Holiday is a “media strategist for notorious clients like Tucker Max and Dov Charney.” He has also worked as an apprentice and researcher for author Robert Greene, an adviser for bestselling authors and multi-platinum musicians, and as the Director of Marketing at American Apparel. […]

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  55. 4 Books That Will Increase Your Value Regardless of Your Profession – herrington.io - January 24, 2017

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