Giving generously: how Principles went from PDF to Book

Ray Dalio is a particular man. He founded Bridgewater, the world’s largest hedge fund, which manages over $150 billion.

As of right now, Ray is worth more than $15 billion, and also the author of Principles, the NYTimes best seller.

But this story isn’t about Ray – it’s about how Principles became a book in the first place. It’s a story about generosity and taking what resources you have to seek a more enriching life.


Ray gained fame after the 2008 market crash; he had shorted the market and made a killing.

Following the market crashing and Ray’s windfall, people hounded him to understand how he did it. People wanted to know the fundamentals on how Ray operated.

Listening to the people, Ray wrote Principles.

When I say write, I mean he wrote out his thoughts in Word and posted it online as a PDF. The information was substantial and novel. Quite a few would go so far as to say it was incredible.

But: the production quality did not match.

The original Principles PDF

You know how an indie film can become a darling with the critics and subsequently a cult classic? That’s what Principles became.

The original PDF was a file you had to go looking for. The URL was something akin to and no official site or page existed. It was never marketed or promoted, but the wisdom contained within made it a viral hit. Eventually, over 3 million people would download that PDF on word-of-mouth alone.

One of those readers was Phil Caravaggio. A man who would call that PDF extraordinary and life-changing would do something extraordinary himself.

Meet Phil Caravaggio

If you open up Principles, you’ll see this at the front of the book:

“Whatever beauty you see in the book’s design was the result of Phil Caravaggio’s generosity and talent. After I put the original version of Principles online as a PDF, he came to me as a stranger bearing the gift of a gorgeously designed print edition, created with the help of the artistic book designer Rodrigo Corral.”

Phil is the co-founder of Precision Nutrition, a well-respected nutrition company that operates in three areas:

  1. Nutrition coaching via habit formation
  2. Nutrition certification for health professionals
  3. SaaS software that helps health professionals manage their clients

Phil’s co-founder Dr. John Berardi is a leading figure in the health and fitness space – he advises companies such as Apple, Nike, and Equinox, and has worked with clients such as MMA fighter Georges St-Pierre.

Their partnership is a marriage of complementary skills. John is the face and brings the nutrition knowledge, and Phil brings the underlying business and processes savvy.

The company exemplifies bootstrapped success – 16 years old, reliable mid-8 figures revenue, and I often cite them as an example of “professionalism” (something severely lacking in the health and fitness space).

I consider myself fortunate to count both Phil and John as my friend.

Phil is the co-founder of Precision Nutrition, a powerhouse in the nutrition space.

Never resist a generous impulse

One of Phil’s favorite saying is “never resist a generous impulse.”

So back in 2014, Phil comes across a video featuring Ray (How the economic machine works). Blown away at the information presented, he goes seeking more information on Ray and comes across his PDF.

Three pages in, Phil thinks to himself: “This is one of the best things I’ve ever read in my life.”

By the time he finishes reading, Phil has realized he’s stumbled upon a goldmine of knowledge. Most people writing about business have never done what they’re talking about, and here’s this guy who, in the midst of running this business at the highest level, documented how they did it.

For most people, this would mean sharing it on social media. For the more enamored, this may mean writing an email or article about it.

Phil decided to leverage his assets and go one step further.

So Phil goes out and hires a proofreader. He tells him to go through the PDF and to clean it up; the goal here was to clean it up a bit to make it timeless.

Phil then turns to Rodrigo Corral, a famous and renowned book designer who has designed award-winning books for peeps like Jay-Z, Chuck Palahniuk (he of “Fight Club”), and more.

Together, they produce the original book form of Principles.

I’m kind of hand-waving over all of this, but it was hard work. Phil didn’t just hand it off to them and let them run with it; he was actively engaged in cleaning it up and putting it all together.

Originally thinking it would take a few months, it took Phil nearly a year to get a finished book in his hands.

Phil found Principles so life-changing that, as an expression of thanks, he had it cleaned up, designed, and put together as a book.

The easy part over, a bigger challenge awaited Phil: how the hell does he get the book in front of Ray Dalio himself?

Phils spends months and months trying to find someone that might have a connection to Ray.

Finally, after eight months, he finds a connection:

Someone (Person A) who had applied for a job at Precision Nutrition heard of Phil’s project. Via LinkedIn, Person A found another person (Person B), who had worked with someone (Person C), who had gone to school with someone (Person D), in Ray’s office.

(I had to letter the people so you’d see how stretched out and tenuous the connection was).

To re-state: Phil Caravaggio → Person A → Person B → Person C → Person D (connection) → Ray Dalio

Person D gets connected to Phil, and not knowing what to think, asks if they can meet in Connecticut.

So Phil flies to Connecticut and meets her in a garden center that has a coffee shop.

(I just want to pause and note the absurdity. Here’s Phil flying to CT to meet some lady who has no clue who he is so that he can give her a book to give to Ray.)

The person informs Phil that she cannot promise anything; she can get Ray to see the book, but what happens after that is entirely out of her control.

“That’s fine; cool” says Phil. He just wants a shot to get the book in front of Ray.

She then wanted to why what Phil was trying to do. Was he a publisher? What was his angle?

“No, it’s just a gift. This is the God’s honest truth – it just really meant something to me.”

Phil wants to build a sizeable company, and how better to do it than receive mentorship from someone who has already done it?

But that was a secondary concern. The primary goal was to show appreciation to someone who had fundamentally changed his outlook. It was about not resisting a generous impulse, no matter how crazy it seems.

Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, and Phil hears nothing. Phil assumes nothing will happen.

I have to note again – I know Phil. We hang out regularly, and he’d previously told me that I needed to read Principles. At no point in time does he tell me he’s made a physical copy of this. At no point does he tell me what great lengths he’s gone to into spreading this book. At no point in time does he ever show even a modicum of bitterness…

He keeps hammering away at me: “you need to read this book.”

One day, Phil is vacationing in Italy. His phone rings; caller id says the call is from Connecticut, and he picks up the phone to hear Ray’s executive assistant on the other side. The reception is really weak, and as Phil tries to find a better connection, Ray gets on the phone.

Ray was over the top complimentary. About how it’s amazing and how beautiful it is. He tells Phil that he wants to do something with it, and Phil offers to help. Ray takes him up on it, and Phil and his wife fly down to Connecticut.

And that is how Phil Caravaggio played a part in helping Principles go from a simple PDF to a legitimate NYT Best Seller.

Phil wanted to show his appreciation for something he valued highly; instead of thinking “this is crazy,” he made it happen.

But what about ME (aka you)?

You may be reading this and think “well good for Phil – he has time, money, resources, and connections – and I have none of those.”

100% true.

(Well 99% – as the CEO of Precision Nutrition, he was incredibly busy and short on time.)

Phil spent over $50,000 converting that PDF into a book (his logic: if you’re going to do it, do it right).

That’s not something I could afford to do without mulling it over.

With that said, I did spend over $7000 making the NYC Chocolate Chip Cookie Off happen.

You may see these numbers and think “hey asshole, I don’t even have that much in savings, much less throw it into some other side project.”

It’s not about the $50000. Or the $7000. It’s not about the time or the people we know.

The point is that we both used the skills and assets we had available to ourselves as leverage to make something we cared about happen.

I mean, Phil had to go four-levels deep to find a way of just getting something to Ray… not even an actual introduction! And even that took months and months.

We worked within the realms of our means.

For example, anytime I come across something interesting, I share it. Not only that, I almost always reach out to the author (via email or twitter) to let them know how much I enjoyed it.

That’s me not resisting a generous impulse.

Read a great book that you think someone will enjoy? Send it to them! Ryan Holiday and Shane Parrish have both talked about how often they buy books).

It’s not about the money; it’s about the thought. A $10 cocktail or a five dollar chocolate can be very meaningful.

> If it’s within you means: never resist a generous impulse.

A case study: #cookielife

The entire #cookielife and subsequent charity food off madness started because I told my friend Kara “this cookie is amazing and you need to try it so I’m going to buy you one.”

I didn’t just say it; I insisted we go and that it would be my treat.

We went to Le Gourmand, and I spent a grand total of $6.00 to purchase two cookies.

To use Phil’s phrase, “I didn’t resist the generous impulse” (mine: “this cookie is delicious and others need to experience the deliciousness”).

Subsequently, that lead to over 200 cookies sent to me via mail, over $50000 raised via charity food offs (in just 2017 – we should double that in 2018), and countless friendships and amazing memories formed…

All from spending $6.00 (in Canadian dollars!) over two years ago.

People come across my love for cookies and think I’ve got some ulterior motive; that my affinity for cookies is some exercise in personal branding. But then they meet me and then they understand – I just love sharing stuff I like. Cookies. Chocolates. Food. Dinners. Books. Stories. Connections. Random gifts.

Hell, I just spent $300 taking a buddy’s book (that had a positive impact on me) and getting a beautiful leatherbound version made of it.

All because I ran across a company that does it, and thought to myself “man, [redacted] would look awesome as a leatherbound book.”

It’s never about a master plan. It’s never about “what will I get back?” It’s about (and this will sound cliché and very life-coach-ish) giving back and making a positive impact.

You don’t need to have a grandiose plan to “change the lives of millions of people”. You don’t need to be some inspirational and aspirational figure that everyone adores and loves. Just a bit of generosity goes a long way.

My buddy Nate (who has worked for Precision Nutrition) wrote about Phil and the genesis of the book and he summed it up perfectly:

For me, it means trying to live every day with what the hippies and self-help gurus call an “abundance mindset.” It means pushing away the feelings of insecurity, competition, fear, and scarcity, and embracing the fact that there’s enough for everyone to go around. The pie is big enough for everyone to have a piece. And the only true way to get ahead is to give. Because the more I give, and the more gratitude I show, and the more I try to help, the happier I am.

(One day I’ll be half as eloquent as Nate.)

It’s not about karma. It’s not about a balance sheet investment – “give, and you’ll get 10x back.” And it’s not about showing off your generosity.

It is about sharing whenever you want, and letting anything you get out of it be a byproduct, not the expected result.

Never resist a generous impulse.

xosotin chelseathông tin chuyển nhượngcâu lạc bộ bóng đá arsenalbóng đá atalantabundesligacầu thủ haalandUEFAevertonxosofutebol ao vivofutemaxmulticanaisonbethttps://bsport.fithttps://onbet88.ooohttps://i9bet.bizhttps://hi88.ooohttps://okvip.athttps://f8bet.athttps://fb88.cashhttps://vn88.cashhttps://shbet.atbóng đá world cupbóng đá inter milantin juventusbenzemala ligaclb leicester cityMUman citymessi lionelsalahnapolineymarpsgronaldoserie atottenhamvalenciaAS ROMALeverkusenac milanmbappenapolinewcastleaston villaliverpoolfa cupreal madridpremier leagueAjaxbao bong da247EPLbarcelonabournemouthaff cupasean footballbên lề sân cỏbáo bóng đá mớibóng đá cúp thế giớitin bóng đá ViệtUEFAbáo bóng đá việt namHuyền thoại bóng đágiải ngoại hạng anhSeagametap chi bong da the gioitin bong da lutrận đấu hôm nayviệt nam bóng đátin nong bong daBóng đá nữthể thao 7m24h bóng đábóng đá hôm naythe thao ngoai hang anhtin nhanh bóng đáphòng thay đồ bóng đábóng đá phủikèo nhà cái onbetbóng đá lu 2thông tin phòng thay đồthe thao vuaapp đánh lô đềdudoanxosoxổ số giải đặc biệthôm nay xổ sốkèo đẹp hôm nayketquaxosokq xskqxsmnsoi cầu ba miềnsoi cau thong kesxkt hôm naythế giới xổ sốxổ số 24hxo.soxoso3mienxo so ba mienxoso dac bietxosodientoanxổ số dự đoánvé số chiều xổxoso ket quaxosokienthietxoso kq hôm nayxoso ktxổ số megaxổ số mới nhất hôm nayxoso truc tiepxoso ViệtSX3MIENxs dự đoánxs mien bac hom nayxs miên namxsmientrungxsmn thu 7con số may mắn hôm nayKQXS 3 miền Bắc Trung Nam Nhanhdự đoán xổ số 3 miềndò vé sốdu doan xo so hom nayket qua xo xoket qua xo so.vntrúng thưởng xo sokq xoso trực tiếpket qua xskqxs 247số miền nams0x0 mienbacxosobamien hôm naysố đẹp hôm naysố đẹp trực tuyếnnuôi số đẹpxo so hom quaxoso ketquaxstruc tiep hom nayxổ số kiến thiết trực tiếpxổ số kq hôm nayso xo kq trực tuyenkết quả xổ số miền bắc trực tiếpxo so miền namxổ số miền nam trực tiếptrực tiếp xổ số hôm nayket wa xsKQ XOSOxoso onlinexo so truc tiep hom nayxsttso mien bac trong ngàyKQXS3Msố so mien bacdu doan xo so onlinedu doan cau loxổ số kenokqxs vnKQXOSOKQXS hôm naytrực tiếp kết quả xổ số ba miềncap lo dep nhat hom naysoi cầu chuẩn hôm nayso ket qua xo soXem kết quả xổ số nhanh nhấtSX3MIENXSMB chủ nhậtKQXSMNkết quả mở giải trực tuyếnGiờ vàng chốt số OnlineĐánh Đề Con Gìdò số miền namdò vé số hôm nayso mo so debach thủ lô đẹp nhất hôm naycầu đề hôm naykết quả xổ số kiến thiết toàn quốccau dep 88xsmb rong bach kimket qua xs 2023dự đoán xổ số hàng ngàyBạch thủ đề miền BắcSoi Cầu MB thần tàisoi cau vip 247soi cầu tốtsoi cầu miễn phísoi cau mb vipxsmb hom nayxs vietlottxsmn hôm naycầu lô đẹpthống kê lô kép xổ số miền Bắcquay thử xsmnxổ số thần tàiQuay thử XSMTxổ số chiều nayxo so mien nam hom nayweb đánh lô đề trực tuyến uy tínKQXS hôm nayxsmb ngày hôm nayXSMT chủ nhậtxổ số Power 6/55KQXS A trúng roycao thủ chốt sốbảng xổ số đặc biệtsoi cầu 247 vipsoi cầu wap 666Soi cầu miễn phí 888 VIPSoi Cau Chuan MBđộc thủ desố miền bắcthần tài cho sốKết quả xổ số thần tàiXem trực tiếp xổ sốXIN SỐ THẦN TÀI THỔ ĐỊACầu lô số đẹplô đẹp vip 24hsoi cầu miễn phí 888xổ số kiến thiết chiều nayXSMN thứ 7 hàng tuầnKết quả Xổ số Hồ Chí Minhnhà cái xổ số Việt NamXổ Số Đại PhátXổ số mới nhất Hôm Nayso xo mb hom nayxxmb88quay thu mbXo so Minh ChinhXS Minh Ngọc trực tiếp hôm nayXSMN 88XSTDxs than taixổ số UY TIN NHẤTxs vietlott 88SOI CẦU SIÊU CHUẨNSoiCauVietlô đẹp hôm nay vipket qua so xo hom naykqxsmb 30 ngàydự đoán xổ số 3 miềnSoi cầu 3 càng chuẩn xácbạch thủ lônuoi lo chuanbắt lô chuẩn theo ngàykq xo-solô 3 càngnuôi lô đề siêu vipcầu Lô Xiên XSMBđề về bao nhiêuSoi cầu x3xổ số kiến thiết ngày hôm nayquay thử xsmttruc tiep kết quả sxmntrực tiếp miền bắckết quả xổ số chấm vnbảng xs đặc biệt năm 2023soi cau xsmbxổ số hà nội hôm naysxmtxsmt hôm nayxs truc tiep mbketqua xo so onlinekqxs onlinexo số hôm nayXS3MTin xs hôm nayxsmn thu2XSMN hom nayxổ số miền bắc trực tiếp hôm naySO XOxsmbsxmn hôm nay188betlink188 xo sosoi cầu vip 88lô tô việtsoi lô việtXS247xs ba miềnchốt lô đẹp nhất hôm naychốt số xsmbCHƠI LÔ TÔsoi cau mn hom naychốt lô chuẩndu doan sxmtdự đoán xổ số onlinerồng bạch kim chốt 3 càng miễn phí hôm naythống kê lô gan miền bắcdàn đề lôCầu Kèo Đặc Biệtchốt cầu may mắnkết quả xổ số miền bắc hômSoi cầu vàng 777thẻ bài onlinedu doan mn 888soi cầu miền nam vipsoi cầu mt vipdàn de hôm nay7 cao thủ chốt sốsoi cau mien phi 7777 cao thủ chốt số nức tiếng3 càng miền bắcrồng bạch kim 777dàn de bất bạion newsddxsmn188betw88w88789bettf88sin88suvipsunwintf88five8812betsv88vn88Top 10 nhà cái uy tínsky88iwinlucky88nhacaisin88oxbetm88vn88w88789betiwinf8betrio66rio66lucky88oxbetvn88188bet789betMay-88five88one88sin88bk88xbetoxbetMU88188BETSV88RIO66ONBET88188betM88M88SV88Jun-68Jun-88one88iwinv9betw388OXBETw388w388onbetonbetonbetonbet88onbet88onbet88onbet88onbetonbetonbetonbetqh88mu88Nhà cái uy tínpog79vp777vp777vipbetvipbetuk88uk88typhu88typhu88tk88tk88sm66sm66me88me888live8live8livesm66me88win798livesm66me88win79pog79pog79vp777vp777uk88uk88tk88tk88luck8luck8kingbet86kingbet86k188k188hr99hr99123b8xbetvnvipbetsv66zbettaisunwin-vntyphu88vn138vwinvwinvi68ee881xbetrio66zbetvn138i9betvipfi88clubcf68onbet88ee88typhu88onbetonbetkhuyenmai12bet-moblie12betmoblietaimienphi247vi68clupcf68clupvipbeti9betqh88onb123onbefsoi cầunổ hũbắn cáđá gàđá gàgame bàicasinosoi cầuxóc đĩagame bàigiải mã giấc mơbầu cuaslot gamecasinonổ hủdàn đềBắn cácasinodàn đềnổ hũtài xỉuslot gamecasinobắn cáđá gàgame bàithể thaogame bàisoi cầukqsssoi cầucờ tướngbắn cágame bàixóc đĩaAG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人爱游戏华体会华体会im体育kok体育开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育欧宝体育ob体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育开云体育开云体育棋牌棋牌沙巴体育买球平台新葡京娱乐开云体育mu88qh88

If you’re serious about being an entrepreneur…

Then you need to join the SJO Fam

Stories like Phil helping Ray convert his PDF into a book comes with that experience. Learn from my experience.

Leave behind the people trying to sell you their consulting or coaching gigs. Join the SJO Fam for real-life experienced advice and thoughts.

Powered by ConvertKit


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *