This is Brian. 👋

Happy day after Thanksgiving. 🦃 🤗

I spent Thanksgiving morning reflecting on just how blessed I am to have so many incredible people in my life and how fortunate we are to have the opportunity to do Heroic work with you. 🙏

I also spent the morning alchemizing the news I received Wednesday evening that, although we sold enough books to easily be #1 on their bestseller list, The New York Times released their bestseller list for last week and they decided to leave us off that list.

Bookscan is the most respected source of book sales in the industry.

Here’s the data from last week.

According to their data, we should have been in the #1 slot. I had our team create a sheet with us in the #0 slot. 😉

With 16,800 sales (according to Bookscan), we had nearly 2,000 more sales than Atomic Habits, which the NYT put in their #1 slot.

Note: That’s INCREDIBLE that James is *still* selling *that* many books every week and a tribute to how great of a book it is and how big of a need it is filling for people looking to change their behavior. (Check out our Notes here.)


I knew that the NYT list is created by an editorial team and not driven solely by the numbers. As such, I knew that there was always a chance that we’d be left off the list for a range of reasons.

I pegged the possibility of being completely left off the list at less than 10% as I knew we had the numbers to merit a high rating if we didn’t quite reach #1 and I (perhaps naïvely) believed that their team would be excited about celebrating a book focused on cultivating virtue in a world so overrun with vice.

But, again, I knew the odds of being left off the list were non zero.

I also strive to practice my philosophy which, of course, integrates a lot of Stoicism.

As such, I had already practiced my take on one of the ancient Stoic’s top tools to maintain equanimity as I negatively visualized the outcome of *not* making the list. (See this +1 on Two Kids…)

I also like to embrace reality (see radical acceptance, loving what is, the art of acquiescence, etc along with page 764 of the book for more 🤓 😉).


When the CEO of Blackstone texted me and Michael with the news he didn’t expect to share, I immediately replied with this:


There’s a chance that the editorial team “made a mistake” and will correct that mistake. I don't give that high odds.

I won’t pretend that I am not disappointed. Because I am.

Not primarily for me but for our internal team at Heroic and our partner team at Blackstone who have worked so incredibly hard over the last x months to create something we’re all so incredibly proud of.

I’m equally disappointed for our extended team of Heroes around the world who have so passionately and generously supported our launch initiative.

I just got tears in my eyes typing that.

Bless you all.

In addition to being disappointed and sad, I’m also angry.

To put it directly, while respecting the fact that the NYT editorial team is doing their best to maintain whatever standards they have set for their list, I find it shocking that they would exclude Areté from their list while featuring The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck for over 300 weeks—an otherwise great book with an unnecessarily salacious title that I believe reflects an erosion of standards of civility (aka viciousness) present throughout our modern society.

You know what else I thought of?

Joseph Campbell.

In The Power of Myth, a great book based on his incredible interview series with Bill Moyers (see Notes), Campbell tells us: “If you want to find out what it means to have a society without any rituals, read the New York Times.”

I think we can swap out “virtue” for “rituals” and arrive at the same truth.


There’s the NYT update.

I deeply (!) appreciate all of you for your (goosebumps) EXTRAORDINARY support.

I remain so deeply humbled by you and your belief in me and us and our movement.

I can assure you we will alchemize all this into antifragile fuel for our growth. 🔥

I also want to celebrate the (obvious!) fact that pushing as hard as we did to give ourselves the best shot at making the NYT list has HUGE long-term benefits.

In addition to the 20,000+++ copies we have already sold and the thousands of Areté gifts that will be delivered this holiday season, we now have Areté in basically EVERY Barnes & Noble and major independent bookstore in the country.

We will also be featured as the “CEO Pick” in Hudson airport bookstores in December/January.

And I always get a kick out of the fact that Areté is one of the very few books available at FedEx stores. 🤓 🤓

With that…

It’s time to get back to work.

Next up?

Forging an antifragile Heroic Public Benefit Corporation as we lean into the next phase of our movement and deepen ways to serve via our Heroic Coach program (and soon to launch Heroic Workshop instructor training!), Heroic Corporate, Heroic Military, Heroic Education, and Heroic Sports initiatives.

Lots of exciting momentum that we will be sharing as we finish the year strong and strive to help you do the same.


We also have the first 9 books in our Heroic Kid’s book series completed along with an Areté Workbook that’s coming out soon.

Day 1. All in.

With Wisdom, Discipline, Courage and Love I say…

Heroes unite.

It’s time to change the world. One person at a time. Together. Starting with you and me and all of us.



P.S. Although we didn’t try to do anything in Canada per se, we did make their bestseller list. Hah! Go Heroic Canadians!! 🤓

P.P.S. I got the NYT news late on Wednesday and didn’t lose a minute of sleep as I knew we had done our absolute best.

I did lose some sleep last night though as I cooked some hero bars with Abe drafting parts of this note. 🤓

P.P.P.S. As you might know, Heroic is a history-making, crowdfunded Public Benefit Corporation committed to changing the world by running our business the way we think our heroes would—with wisdom, discipline, courage, and love.

We’re blessed to have the support of 3,000 investors (just like you!) from over 75 countries around the world.

Would you like to become one of our Early-Stage Heroic Investors and own a piece of our movement while supporting us in our Mission to change the world? You can invest as little as $100 or as much as $1,000,000+.

Learn more and invest today at Wefunder.com/Heroic.


Any time we talk about our crowdfunding round, our attorneys remind us that we need to include this bit of legalese so here we go…

These materials may contain forward-looking statements and information relating to, among other things, the company, its business plan and strategy, and its industry.
These forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs of, assumptions made by, and information currently available to the company’s management. When used in the offering materials, the words “estimate,” ”project,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “expect” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements reflect management’s current views with respect to future events and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause the company’s actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. The company does not undertake any obligations to revise or update these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after such date or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.