Gillian Zoe Segal and Warren Buffett

The Ingredients for Success: Learning from the Best with Gillian Zoe Segal, JD

Dr. Chris E. Stout
5 min readDec 1, 2019


Did you ever wonder if anything ever spooked Warren Buffett? Or how Jeff Koons got started?

In the spirit of Tim Ferriss’ books, Tribe of Mentors and Tools of Titans, Gillian Zoe Segal spent five years meeting, interviewing and photographing 30 diversely successful billionaires (Buffett, Sara Blakely, Michael Bloomberg), artists (Koons, Marina Abramović), creatives (Frank Gehry, Hans Zimmer, Matthew Weiner), authors (Anderson Cooper, Graydon Carter, Jeff Kinney), athletes (Laird Hamilton, Jillian Michaels), and of course a Harvard Dean and Nobel Laureate along with various and sundry inventors, leaders, and pioneers.

The result is a wonderful book of inspirational backstories and actionable approaches, aptly titled Getting There: A Book of Mentors.

Gillian Zoe Segal is an entrepreneur, CNBC contributor, photographer and author of not only Getting There: A Book of Mentors but also New York Characters. She was also one of LinkedIn’s top voices and is a professional speaker having spoken at Google, Royal Bank of Canada, Lexis-Nexis, and numerous other venues across North America. Gillian received a BA from the University of Michigan and a law degree from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University.

I first came across Gillian in Omaha at the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting where she was doing a book signing. In this episode we learn how growing up in New York City shaped her and her writing, particularly her first book New York Characters.

Getting There is a literal who’s who of interviewees, but New York Characters, while having many celebrities and notables, it is much more eclectic. We talk about the how she came up with that idea, along with a budding genre, like Brandon