“I mean fasting, starting blasting.”
Chris Brown, “Ladies Love Me

TEDx Beacon Phil Sanderson

Last year, I had a great time giving a talk at TEDxBeaconStreet on How I Hacked an Ultramarathon By Thinking Like an EntrepreneurSo when the show’s producers invited me to speak again this year, I gladly accepted. My talk, Fasting: A Path To Mental And Physical Transcendence, is about my yearly tradition of fasting and its transformative effects mentally and physically.

Fasting is a powerful vehicle for personal growth, and it’s a realistic and achievable undertaking for most people. Naturally, in my world as a VC, I see fasting as a highly beneficial journey for entrepreneurs who want to unleash their full potential.

Here’s the video of my TEDxBeaconStreet 2015 talk:

My talk begins with a pivot from Maslow’s hierarchy, which details five interdependent levels of basic human needs or motivators. My assertion is that the temporary deprivation of food can remind us of what we fundamentally need to survive, thus de-cluttering our minds so that we can progress through Maslow’s hierarchy to achieve our goals in life.


For the uninitiated, fasting sounds daunting. I won’t lie––it’s not easy. But it’s not nearly as difficult as running an ultramarathon. That’s why I believe anybody (barring those with health conditions) is capable of fasting and its transcendental benefits. As with most challenges in life, preparation is everything. Here’s how I fortify my annual fasting journey:

Fasting Fortifications

Watch my TEDx talk above for more tips, as well as what to expect during the fasting experience.