034 – Bill Perkins – Die With Zero

034 – Bill Perkins – Die With Zero

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In this episode, Bill Perkins, a successful businessman, hedge fund manager, and high-stakes prop better, reveals the ripple effect he loves to see from prop betting. Bill explains the difference between something that’s impossible and something that simply requires hard work and resources, and shares how he tries to bring out the best in people. Elliot and Bill discuss his upcoming book “Die With Zero” and what he believes is the biggest mistake someone can make. Listen in to learn how to get real results – now.

Time Stamped Show Notes

[01:00] – Introducing Bill, a successful businessman and hedge fund manager focusing on venture capital in the energy markets; he makes high-stakes prop bets

  • 02:30 – He studied engineering but didn’t ever want to do that as a career; he started at the bottom and worked his way up
  • 03:40 – He was a slacker when he was young but decided that he didn’t want to be poor; he had a confidence and arrogance that kept him accountable and driven
  • 04:00 – He learned that you’re always being interviewed; people are always watching how you do things

[06:30] – On how he sees the work ethic of others

  • 06:50 – He recruited people based upon how he saw them work; he could recognize people who could execute and bring value
  • 08:00 – Things have gotten easier, but now people expect people to be easy and they are forgetting how to be resourceful and find answers
  • 09:11 – People aren’t used to acquiring knowledge and putting it together to make things work

[09:23] – On bringing out the best in people 

  • 09:44 – He believes the best is in everyone and needs to be uncovered; people should make doing their best part of who they are

[12:30] – On beliefs informing behavior and what is actually possible

  • 13:00 – People sometimes have deep-seeded beliefs that are hard to get rid of; he has a thought experiment to determine if something is possible
  • 14:30 – Sometimes people believe something can’t be done but it can be, you’re just not willing to put the effort or resources into doing it; that’s a different decision

[15:30] – On how Bill’s prop bets are impacted by his beliefs around what’s possible

  • 15:40 – He’s never made an impossible prop bet; it has always been possible
  • 16:20 – Bill believes humans are not good at long-term incremental effects in lifestyle and measuring it; we aren’t good at looking into the future
  • 16:50 – People will transform themselves if the figure is high enough

[17:30] – On prop bets

  • 17:35 – He got to 7.3% body fat; it was grueling and he was happy he did it
  • 17:55 – There’s a ripple effect to prop bets; some are life-transformative, like weight, diet, or health challenges

[19:00] – On Bill’s upcoming book

  • 19:05 – It’s about using your resources – health, money, and time – before you die and it’s called “Die With Zero”
  • 21:20 – He believes the biggest mistake is behaving as though you’re going to live forever and your resources are going to be static
  • 22:10 – Decide what you want out of life from cradle to grave; the book offers a macro optimization
  • 23:50 – It rare to see people firing on all cylinders; it’s not talent, it’s work ethic and belief
  • 24:20 – There’s always more to give, but you never get to perfection; visualize your best, believe that you can, and results will follow

3 Key Points

  1. Your beliefs inform your behavior. Change your beliefs, change your behavior. 
  2. Always do your best and recognize the possible. 
  3. You aren’t going to live forever and your resources aren’t static.


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