DiscoverWin Monday with Paul EpsteinFrom Everest to West Point (ft. Alison Levine, Author, Speaker, Adventure-Seeker)
From Everest to West Point (ft. Alison Levine, Author, Speaker, Adventure-Seeker)

From Everest to West Point (ft. Alison Levine, Author, Speaker, Adventure-Seeker)

Update: 2022-11-02


From Everest to West Point (ft. Alison Levine, Author, Speaker, Adventure-Seeker)

Climbing the highest peaks in life and business


“If I want to know what it's like to be these explorers going to these remote mountain ranges, then I should go to the mountains instead of watching films about them.”

—Alison Levine


Alison Levine is a leadership expert, polar explorer, and mountaineer who is no stranger to extreme environments. She has survived sub-zero temperatures, hurricane-force winds, sudden avalanches— even a career on Wall Street— to then serve as Deputy Finance Director for Arnold Schwarzenegger in his successful bid as the Governor of California. She would later become an adjunct professor at the US Military Academy at West Point, and in true Playmaker fashion, she continues to serve as a senior fellow at the Coach K Center on Leadership and Ethics at Duke University. 

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[8:31 ] - The Definition of Courage

What it means to be courageous

Inspired by Alison’s story, Paul shares his definition of courage: “Standing tallest when fear and risk are highest.” 

Growth and discomfort are non–negotiables. We’ll never get rid of things that scare us. Life is about taking calculated risks and, as Alison says, using fear to our advantage.

[17:48 ] - “I Felt This Before, and I Made It”

Lessons from Kilimanjaro

When altitude sickness strikes for the first time, it can very quickly feel life-threatening. But the more mountain climbers become acclimated to high altitudes, the more their bodies and minds adapt. The next time it hits, they recognize it— and know that they can make through to the other side, because they have in the past.

[28:11 ] - A Lesson from Arnold

The Governator’s focus on people

While working on Arnold Schwarzenagger’s campaign, Alison passed him in the hallway and was surprised to hear him ask, “How’s our mountain climber doing today?” She says she learned that when you know something personal about every member of your team, you inspire them to push even harder for you and your vision.

[39:03 ] - Back to Base Camp

Or the Power of a Two-Day Investment

When preparing for a high-altitude climb, climbers often return to base camp multiple times in order to acclimate to the altitude. In life, we sometimes have to give up on our relentless climbs for a moment in order to ‘return to base camp.’ We get stronger, we refresh ourselves, and we invest in ourselves. Alison invests in “Mastermind days” where she sets aside all her day-to-day work to invest in herself. What could you achieve if you did the same?

[45:46 ] - The Five Things

Alison’s Parting Advice

Searching for your purpose? You don't have to come up with it today or tomorrow, or in two weeks. Just start by making a list of five things that are important to you, that bring you joy. If you start with those, then when it comes to making difficult decisions you know where to start. You set out on a path that will lead you toward your purpose.


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The WHY Institute

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The best part? It’s completely free for Playmakers listeners. Are you ready to find our WHY in just five minutes? Take your assessment now.



Paul Epstein may not be a hard charging running back on the actual football field, but his list of high-profile wins in the world of sports will have you thinking that he could be.

Paul has spent nearly 15 years as a pro sports executive for multiple NFL and NBA teams, a global sports agency, and the NFL league office. He’s transformed numerous NBA teams from the absolute bottom in league revenue to top-two in financial performance. He’s broken every premium revenue metric in Super Bowl history as the NFL’s sales leader. He opened a billion-dollar stadium, helped save the New Orleans NBA franchise, and founded the San Francisco 49ers Talent Academy.

He's since installed his leadership and high-performance playbook with Fortune 500 leaders, Founders and CEOs, MBAs, and professional athletes.

Now, as a global keynote speaker, #1 bestselling author, personal transformation expert, turned senior leader and advisor to PurposePoint and the Why Institute, and host of the Playmakers: On Purpose podcast, Paul explores how living and working with a focus on leadership, culture, and purpose can transform organizations and individuals anywhere to unleash their full potential.

Learn more about Paul at


The Playmakers: On Purpose podcast is an all-access pass to a purpose-centered tribe of leaders in business, sports, and life who are on a mission of meaning and impact. The show takes purpose from an out of reach North Star to a practical and tactical exploration of how we can step into each day, ON PURPOSE, where life no longer happens “to us”, it begins to happen “for us”. 

From the Why Coach of the San Francisco 49ers to your coach, take a seat at the table with sports industry executive, #1 bestselling author, personal transformation expert, turned senior leader and advisor to PurposePoint and the Why Institute, Paul Epstein, in this inspiring, yet immediately actionable podcast. 

From formative stories pre-purpose to personal and professional transformation’s post-purpose, each show will share a high-energy, prescriptive blueprint to ignite impact and drive inner success, fulfillment, and purpose no matter your starting point. It’s time to meet Paul at the 50 and get ready to live and lead ON PURPOSE.

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In Detroit, history was made when Barry Gordy opened Motown Records back in 1960. More than just discovering great talent, Gordy built a systematic approach to launching superstars. His rigorous processes, technology, and development methods were the secret sauce behind legendary acts such as The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross and Michael Jackson.

As a nod to the past, Detroit Podcast Studios leverages modern versions of Motown’s processes to launch today’s most compelling podcasts. What Motown was to musical artists, Detroit Podcast Studios is to podcast artists today. 

With over 75 combined years of experience in content development, audio production, music scoring, storytelling, and digital marketing, Detroit Podcast Studios provides full-service development, training, and production capabilities to take podcasts from messy ideas to finely tuned hits. Here’s to making (podcast) history together.

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From Everest to West Point (ft. Alison Levine, Author, Speaker, Adventure-Seeker)

From Everest to West Point (ft. Alison Levine, Author, Speaker, Adventure-Seeker)

Detroit Podcast Studios, Paul Epstein, Alison Levine, Connor Trombley