In the 2011 movie “Limitless,” actor Bradley Cooper’s main character takes a drug that hacks his brain like nothing else, giving him supernatural focus abilities.
If we’re doing a poor job of explaining it, just check out the trailer here…
Apparently, there’s more to it than just fiction. Turns out the shit’s actually real.
ABC did a report last year on a secret pill supposedly super-charging young entrepreneurs used to stay ultra-productive. Known as “Nootropics,” a hybrid group of supplements that allegedly make you “smarter” without any side-effects.
Nootropics supposedly increase dopamine flow within the brain and fights excessive daytime sleepiness. And—allegedly—will have you all like…
According to Erin Finnegan, a then-30-year-old entrepreneur, the drug gives her the boost to keep up with her hectic schedule.
“I would not give them up willingly,” she told ABC. “The additional focus that I can have with them, yes, it does sustain the speed I am going at now and the many things, I would have to take a couple things off my plate if I wanted to keep going without them.”
Per Wikipedia, Nootropics—or smart pills or “cognitive enhancers”—are loosely defined as “drugs, supplements, and other substances that may improve cognitive function, particularly executive functions, memory, creativity, or motivation, in healthy individuals.”
But taking it a step further beyond an umbrella term for focus pills. According to a 2015 Thrillist report, there’s an actual pill known a “Nuvigil” that the movie’s based on.
Beginning with one 150 mg pill in the morning, happiness and alertness waves washed over me. Quickly. But I wasn’t as jittery as I expected. Prozac is a familiar reference to Nuvigil, and I have plenty of experience with the former, but it was nothing like I had ever experienced before. My brain waves—usually jumbled, misfiring, and inconsistent—felt untangled and clean, like a futuristic room full of glowing servers from Dubai, if you will.
NBC covered this a few years ago, as well. “I would get to work and I would be on fire,”Jonathan Reilly, an LA-based biomedical engineer said. “I was able to see more possibilities.”
“These drugs are being used in industries where there’s less room for failure and immediate results are expected,” NYC career coach and author Roy Cohen said in the report used in the NBC video. “These people thrive on accomplishment—it’s in their DNA. It’s incredibly seductive to have this potential for guaranteed peak performance.”
(Yes, it’s a few years old, but definitely worth a read.)
But there’s more to it than peak performance. Unlike the more general, almost white label Nootropics category, Nuvigil doesn’t come without side effects (you’re technically supposed to have a subscription). Ranging from nausea to diarrhea, dry mouth and even suicidal thoughts.
Glass didn’t get that, though. “No, I didn’t,” he wrote. “Not once.” However he did say he had trouble sleeping along with feelings of lethargy.
The outside of my body felt like what the inside of my brain usually feels like: exhausted. I was mentally alert with a tired outer shell; I was lethargic and my muscles wanted to remain idle … It was a constant…“blah” feeling. Nothing is bad but nothing is good, all at once. Call it a muted euphoria.
But did it do its job? Glass says yes. And no caffeine crash, either.
My overall focus? Relentless. Writing, I found, became a superhuman trait…I felt words and their synonyms flow from my fingers like lightning and I was typing verbatim what I was thinking. I felt articulate, concentrated. And I wasn’t the only one. My editors noticed too; all week I was complimented on my creativity and quality/volume of work.
In other words, on the pill and it’s #SharkSeason.
Outside of obscure websites, there’s still little legitimate info available on cognitive enhancers. There’s limited coverage from mainstream media. Just go ahead and Google “Nootropics” and see what you find.
(You’ll find a lot of junk websites, making all sorts of claims.)
Which begs the obvious million dollar question—is it safe?
NYC neurologist Dr. Richard Isaacson told ABC, yes, but also added by saying it’s hard to generalize. “They may interact with other things … so that’s why we always recommend discussion of approval by a treating physician.”
Even though the use still occurs on a very hush-hush level, the use is definitely happening. And it looks like it’s here to stay. The global Nootropics market is expected to hit $6B by 2024, according to a research report distributed on Business Insider’s Markets Insider platform.
Eric Matzner, founder of Nootroo, the self-stylized “Gold Standard In Nootropics,” told ABC it’s the future. “We’re talking about … a new type of biology where we’re taking these things into our own hands but also to try and proactively go from baseline to above,” Matzner said.
Geoffrey Woo, CEO of Nootrobox—another Nootropic—echoed Matzner’s futuristic sentiment in a 2016 Bloomberg report.
“What we want to unlock is the next-level thinking that makes us human,” Woo said in the hilariously titled These Bro Scientists Want to Sell You Mind-Hacking Pills. “In a way, it’s almost arming humanity against artificial intelligence and robots.”
Humans vs. AI. Alrighty then. We’re wrapping this one up. Up and at ’em, #WealthGANG.
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As a millennial in today’s consumer-driven world, budgeting and managing your paychecks can be tricky.
Thinking like a consumer and not the owner of the product can prove to be a big difference to building your investments. Instead of owning the latest Apple device, you’ve got to target owning a part of Apple, and this simple move can be the first step towards becoming a better manager of your wealth.
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BREAKING: WealthLAB Co-Founder Makes Forbes 30 Under 30 List
Forbes Africa just unveiled its fifth annual “30 under 30” list, highlighting the top young entrepreneurs, innovators and gamechangers.
And guess what: WealthLAB co-founder Odunayo Eweniyi is on it. See the full Forbes list here.
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Extremely honored to be on the list of this year’s Forbes 30under30 2019 in Technology along with my cofounders @somtoifezue and @JoshChibueze. Thank you everyone for the support, we could not have done this without you guys! Thank you @forbesafrica! #thegirlthatcould #30under30
Alongside co-founders Joshua Chibueze, 26, and Somto Ifezue, 28, Odunayo built PiggyVest, a fintech app that’s helped over 230,000 African Millennials invest and save over $15M.
“PiggyVest was born out of the need to help people create a sustainable means of saving,” Odunayo told Forbes. PiggyVest users currently earn 10-13% on savings.
Just last May, PiggyVest—then known as Piggybank—closed a seed round, raising $1.1M. In doing so, Odunayo became one of under 30 Black women to raise over $1M in startup capital.
While the app started as a digital piggy bank for savers, Odunayo told TechCrunch the goal was to become a “financial warehouse” where other financial providers “can plug in their services for [PiggyVest] users.”
That vision recently came to life with the launch a new investment feature called “Investify,” which pays around 25% depending on the investment opportunity.
These investments will range from classic guaranteed fixed income opportunities (TBills, bonds, commercial papers, etc) to unconventional opportunities in real estate, agriculture, and transportation.
Minimum amount you can invest will vary by investment opportunities.
— PiggyVest (@PiggyBankNG) April 30, 2019
The Forbes distinction comes on the heels of an impressive recent run of awards for the young entrepreneur.
In March, Odunayo earned an award from Forbes as one of the top young “wealth creators” in Africa. Shortly after, Odunayo was named 2019 SME Entrepreneur of the Year in Wealth and Society in West Africa.
Prior to founding PiggyVest, Odunayo co-founded PushCV, the largest job database in Africa.
“I’ve always wanted to make an impact. I didn’t know how I would do it, but i felt a compulsion to.”Odunayo told Black Enterprise in a recent interview.
In addition to PiggyVest, Odunayo’s co-founded WealthLAB (yes, this WealthLAB) with NYC-based investor-entrepreneur Philip Michael. The two also invest in women —and minority run startups in the US.
Forbes Africa named 120 entrepreneurs across four categories: trade, technology, innovation, and sport. “I’m honored but I’m just ready to work,” Odunayo said when asked about the award. “I’m already thinking about what’s next.”
Well, alright then. Hit her up and congratulate her on IG here!