LiveStream Talk Back Tuesdays with Peter Buffet

Grounded in the Freest Sense : A Conversation with Peter Buffett

Let me guess ... You have no interest in reading this article. You anticipate that words will drone on about someone last-name-Buffett and you will be at a total disconnect. You're skeptical about whether there is relevancy in exploring the thoughts of the son-of-a-billionaire.  You're asking yourself, what does this have to do with Me?  Let me answer...


FOr some light summer reading, Peter Buffett authored a New York Times Bestseller called, "Life Is What You Make It: Find Your Own Path to Fulfillment." It’s a comfortable narrative about embracing possibility. It is an inspirational piece that appeals to the human longing for purpose using a message that both parents and their teenagers can share in. In it he dissects economic dichotomy as is relates to the home dynamic and gives emphasis to the importance of growing up with a secure sense of Love. He revels in honest memories of his days in public school and revisits observations he made while in attendance at Stanford. He shares the stories of friends he met along the way and how they impacted his life in an effort to expose those meaningful run-ins.  He goes so far as to expose his failures and doubts before, after and on the way to realizing his dream.


"Self-respect can only come from earning your own reward. That is absolutely essential."

Some background : He received his family inheritance at age 19. "Technically, the gift came from my Grandfather - roughly ninety thousand dollars. It was understood that I should expect nothing more."  Thanks to the relatively diminutive gift he was thrust into making things happen for himself. He gainfully explores how he has achieved purpose as a musician and perspective as a human being through both trial and triumph. And now, a conversation with Peter Buffett.

You say in your book, “You've got to put in some grunt work and master the basics." That makes it sound like anyone can do it. Are there prerequisites to pursuing this philosophy? The only prerequisite is realizing you’re part of something.  You have to be self-reflective and understand that you play a role in whatever it is that you're trying to pursue. In the scenario where things don't work out I think a lot of people don't look at the role they play. You have to do that honestly and objectively.

You are a composer, a producer, a performer and self-taught in recording with 13 albums to date. Prolific! Talk to me a little bit about your creative process. When I started in the business of writing music I was kind of worried that maybe it would run out at some point, but music keeps coming and coming! I also enjoy a deadline - I put this idea out there I was going to write a song a month and I’m doing that. I enjoy being challenged and wanting to accomplish something, so it’s a little bit of both.

You’re doing a once-a-month talkback Q & A online and touring this interactive stage show  'A Concert and Conversation'. What is this grass roots attempt at connecting bringing to the Peter Buffett brand? I’ve always loved technology.  Distribution has changed tremendously the last 5 years or so because of the Internet. With the way things are going it seems like you can connect with everybody. I feel like engaging. We need to speak up about our experiences and stories and try to learn from each other. I enjoy finding like-minded people and engaging with the opposite point of view as well to try and understand it.

Is there something you’ve come across in your open dialogue that has posed a challenge to your thought process? I went to China 5 times last year.  I met amazing and motivated people who are curious and very open to new ideas. I feel like I know a different side of China.  Ultimately, it’s just a whole lot of people that want a lot of the same things as the rest of the people on the planet.

(Each of Warren's 3 children received 1 Billion dollars in funding for a non-profit initiative. Peter and his wife Jennifer run NoVo - a West-African charity aimed at empowering young women who are bearing the burden of conflict in patriarchal families. It is a strategy to end poverty by both exposing systems that keep women and girls in submissive roles as well as investing in their self-worth so that they can spawn optimism for generations to come. It is essentially an adaptation of Warren's financial strategy - to find something that is under valued and put stock in it long term - just waiting for it to mature.) I’ve heard you mention the ‘human and health cost' in our consumer choices - was is that reflective of? As you get further into philanthropy you start to see deeper into people lives around the world and realize the actual price that is paid for the things we buy.  There is incredible damage being done on so many levels. We just go to the store and buy something - we don’t realize how far down the chain that’s affecting people.  It can be overwhelming, but the point is bringing awareness so we can start to live with relation to things in a different way. Let's talk about your family for a moment. Your father seems to have a very cleary defined sense-of-self having been relatively unchanged by the accomplishments in his life. Do you see yourself in him? I saw somebody that was fully realized in the sense that he was loving what he did that was all that mattered. He wasn’t put-off by outside thinking. He taught me consistency - putting one foot in front of the other in order to work towards something. He emphasised the importance of doing something because you love it.

“If your passion is collecting garbage – do it.” – Warren Buffett

After beating cancer in 2003, Peter’s Mom died unexpectedly from a stroke. I asked him to comment on finding happiness after that loss. I tell people who have lost loved ones as often as I can that I actually in many ways feel closer to my mom now. As we get older we understand out parents more. That can still happen, even after they're gone.  My relationship with my Mom has continued to grow.  It’s been extraordinary.

Article by Stefanie Pearl Photos Provided

Peter conducts a Talk back tuesday on livestream every first Tuesday of the month on his website 

Thank you for sharing in this moment with us - Happiness is Trending.