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Sean Jacobs

Sean Jacobs

By Sean Jacobs
Proud of Australia, exploring ideas and building better individuals
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Currently playing episode

Episode 18 - Wellness and Avoiding Burnout with Enoch Li

Sean Jacobs

Episode 40 - Testing our Koala assumptions with Vic Jurskis
Here I talk with Australian ecological historian Vic Jurskis, and test just how true it is that koalas are endangered, what constitutes a healthy, stable koala population, Indigenous land management practice and the history of koalas on the continent. Vic has featured on ABC and 2GB radio, and is the author of The Great Koala Scam (Connor Court Publishing, 2020).
May 11, 2020
Episode 39 - Underrated versus overrated?
On this episode Jordan, Will and I question each other on whether certain things - people, places, books or anything else - are underrated or overrated. The concept is adapted from Conversations with Tyler and, while slightly different, offers an entertaining listen, covering everything from the artist Deadmau5 to Thomas Piketty's Capital. Please be sure to review!
February 03, 2020
Episode 38 - Year in review and thoughts for 2020
Wrapping up 2019 and looking ahead to next year, I recorded this from Brisbane’s Happy Boy Restaurant. Amid ambient café noise, we touch on what it takes to be a genius, socialism versus capitalism, the ascendance of China, man’s search for meaning, LBJ and, of course, our big reads in 2019 and thoughts for 2020.
December 21, 2019
Episode 37 – Fundamental Truths on the Present (Part 2)
In part two Will and I, continuing our 'enduring' theme, allude to John Howard - the seminal political figure in Australian politics of the last 20 years - and his capacity to provide stability with change. And, at least by the temporary standards of modern prime ministers, deliver a solid dose of political endurance. We also talk about Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams' advice on when to give in or keep 'enduring', and discuss how generalists can triumph in an age of specialisation.
November 20, 2019
Episode 36 - Fundamental Truths on the Present (Part 1)
What endures? Clearly things that have been around for a while will tend to go on persisting, from Broadway musicals to timeless virtues. Economist Will Witheridge and I talk about how important principles are, why they appeal and why they’re making a comeback, from author Ryan Holiday’s commitment to stoicism to Jordan Peterson’s philosophy of self-help. This show is split in two so please tune in next week for Part II.
November 10, 2019
Episode 35 - Index Funds, JFK and Hitch
On this episode we take things around the world, covering everything from Brexit and the late Christopher Hitchens to index funds and the common sense of JFK. Sorry it’s been a while in between drinks.
October 06, 2019
Episode 34 - Australia’s nearest neighbour – Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (PNG) has 8 million people, 800-plus languages and over a thousand cultural groupings. Understandably, running the PNG state can be more than difficult, amplified by a swelling resource sector and huge challenges around health, education and security. But not all is an uphill battle. Over the years I’ve been enthusiastic about economic growth in PNG and the opportunities that it can deliver. From the unusual benefits of PNG’s Westminster system to skirmishes on the Indonesian border, and property rights to Bougainville independence, I hope you enjoy this primer on an interesting nation close to home. 
June 22, 2019
Episode 33 - Warren Buffett primer - A Dollar for Fifty Cents
Warren Buffett - investment and business titan, man of steady temperament and, as Whig Capital's Jordan Shopov explains, a 'learning machine'. As someone who knew only a little about Buffett I learnt a lot from this discussion with Jordan, who has read the most on the 'Oracle from Omaha' than perhaps anyone in Australia. We talk about Buffett's principles for success, the value of role models, circles of competence and how getting a dollar for fifty cents means constant growth and learning. To tap into Jordan's wealth of knowledge please get in touch with him at 
June 12, 2019
Episode 32 – Post-election wrap, musings and observations
Join Jordan and I for a casual post-election wrap up. From franking credits to betting odds, and inner-city politics to Q-exit, we unpack the Labor leadership, the background noise of the ‘culture wars’, and talk next steps for ScoMo. We even find time briefly to talk Izzy, and hypothesize about a world where millennials possess the same enthusiasm for debt as carbon reduction.
May 22, 2019
Episode 31 - A primer on the coming republican debate
In any national election the stakes are high. But if Labor wins they have committed to holding a referendum on an Australian republic.  This issue was put to the Australian people in 1999 but lost.  Yet, as I explain, it is an issue that will always be with us.  For this episode, we flip things around and Whig Capital's Jordan Shopov interviews me on the republican versus monarchy debate.  Full disclosure - I am a spokesman for the Australian Monarchist League (and a member of the Australians for Constitutional Monarchy).  But I hope I can give this important issue the fair background it deserves.  As always, please remember to rate the podcast or share with your friends. 
April 19, 2019
Episode 30 - How To Avoid Consumer Politics And Be A Good Citizen
For this episode I'm joined by Sam Rebecchi - a Melbourne-based communications adviser and part-time writer for the Spectator Blog. I saw his recent Spectator article - 'Shock News: politics and consumer goods are two different things' - as a good opportunity to talk about the elevation of consumption politics, the evacuation of values from public life, and the perceived lack of distinction between the two major Australian political parties.  Politics, he concludes, has sadly been reduced to nothing more than the goods on our shelves.  Tune in to hear how we can turn this around, the path to good citizenship and building strong communities. 
March 20, 2019
Episode 29 - Bastion Collective CEO Jack Watts
For this episode I’m fortunate to be joined by Bastion CEO Jack Watts ( Jack and I met over a decade ago on a leadership course in China, and he has since grown a small sports marketing opportunity into a firm with global reach and employing hundreds of people. We talk about the importance of experience, taking on risk, avoiding bad decisions, managing people and dealing with growth. I enjoyed Jack’s principles – design the life you want to live, tap into your thrill of the chase, fail fast, ‘corterize’ it, get the bad news out, and move on with the best you’ve got. Hope you enjoy this episode. Please remember to rate and share the podcast with your friends.
February 18, 2019
Episode 28 – Public vs Private - When Should Government Run Things?
On this episode economist Will Witheridge and I discuss the philosophy behind privatisation, the wisdom of Adam Smith, and cartels and monopolies. We also talk about the challenges of the privatisation journey in the West (Australia's Two Airlines Policy for example), some of the areas where privatisation doesn't entirely work and the balance between government regulation and 'nationalisation in new clothes' - excessive green and red tape.
February 09, 2019
Episode 27 – Old Head Young Shoulders: The Parallel University with Richard Krohn
To start 2019 we are putting an ‘older head on younger shoulders’ with Richard Krohn – author of The Parallel University: Create A Balanced Life And Have It All. From superannuation to resilience, we talk about the importance of creating a plan, avoiding binge television and surrounding yourself with positive people. We also cover how individuals should respond to the allure of progressive politics, the hefty fees from planet finance, and test general assumptions around inequality and globalisation. Now is a time when a lot is being asked of individuals. Not all are answering the call, which only underlines the importance of Krohn’s lessons from Parallel University.
January 22, 2019
Episode 26 - 2018 Year in Review
From bitcoin to Australian federalism, I like to think The Jacobs Podcast, which I started in early 2018, has been a very small contribution to good old fashioned ‘long form’ discussion. Jordan Shopov, Will Witheridge and I reflect on our favourite podcasters of the year, which includes heavies like Tyler Cowan and Russ Roberts to Dave Rubin and, of course, this year’s big sensation – Jordan Peterson. We also talk about our favourite books and our thoughts on 2019, where we predict the ‘values and capitalism’ debate will re-emerge as planet finance revolves back into earth’s orbit, laying bare the effects of low interest rates and the timeless question of inequality.
December 22, 2018
Episode 25 - Role Models and Anti-Role Models
Who are your role models? Who are your anti-role models? We all have both. Join Will Witheridge, Jordan Shopov and I as we discuss economists, politicians, writers, sports stars, financiers, military leaders and many others. Sometimes the best role models are the people right in front of you. Let us know who yours are at
November 26, 2018
Episode 24 - Advance Australia with Gerard Benedet
On this episode I'm joined by Gerard Benedet for a very brief chat on Advance Australia - a new organisation challenging the dominance of progressive advocacy groups like Get Up. This is a shorter episode but it comes at an informative time. Hope you enjoy the listen. For more on Advance Australia please go to
November 20, 2018
Episode 23 – Safe As Houses
A dollar today, a dollar tomorrow. Join Whig Capital’s Jordan Shopov and economist Will Witheridge for a discussion on the state of housing in Australia. From lending practices to the Banking Royal Commission, and the difference between ‘value’ and ‘price’, we cover some pretty heavy terrain. Regardless of where you sit, it’s worth a listen.
November 12, 2018
Episode 22 - The South Pacific with Ambassador James Batley
My guest is former Australian Ambassador and regional trouble-shooter James Batley, who has taken on some of our most challenging foreign policy roles – from Bougainville and East Timor to the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI).
November 07, 2018
Episode 21 - Dr Anthony Dillon: Individuals, identity and the modern world
After meeting for the first time at the recent Liberty Fest 2018, Dr Dillon and I thought a podcast would be a good idea. Anthony's work is available at We discuss a range of topics, from symbolism and Aboriginal history to building better capabilities and thriving in the modern world. And please remember to rate or share the podcast! Happy listening and please get in touch at
October 18, 2018
Episode 20 - Networks and Hierarchies
Squares or Towers? Join economist Will Witheridge, businessman Jordan Shopov and I for a discussion on how networks and hierarchies have worked throughout history and in the modern age. We look at this by basing the discussion around Niall Ferguson's newest book on the subject. But you don't need to have read the book. Enjoy and remember to rate the podcast!
October 10, 2018
Episode 19 - Twelve Books Every Young Australian Should Read
For this episode it's just me 'running solo' and talking about my recent article on books that I think young Aussies should read. Check out the article at and leave a message with your thoughts. Happy listening!
September 27, 2018
Episode 18 - Wellness and Avoiding Burnout with Enoch Li
For this conversation I’m joined by the Beijing-based Enoch Li – founder of Bearapy ( – to talk about avoiding burnout, the nature of depression, mindfulness and how ‘play’ can lead to good outcomes in staying fresh and fulfilled.
September 05, 2018
Episode 17 - Book Interview: Winners Don't Cheat
Although I feel slightly indulgent speaking about my new book, I pass the interviewer’s mic to good friend Jordan Shopov. We talk about the lessons in my book, in particular, how an intolerance of your circumstances, developing focus, improving your writing and taking advantage of the unique opportunities Australia offers all conspired to fuel my turnaround. For a copy of the book please visit
August 22, 2018
Episode 16 – Identity Politics with Dr Jeremy Sammut
On this episode I talk to Dr Sammut from the Centre for Independent Studies. We start a little differently by discussing personal history but then move onto the (re)emergence of identity politics, the state of universities and building cultural confidence in Australian history.
August 15, 2018
Episode 15 - Lifeguarding with Luke Ingwersen
For something slightly different, I talk to Gold Coast Lifeguard Luke Ingwersen on the range of roles a lifeguard plays, from local tour guide to first responder. It’s a great discussion on rips, some general water safety, the changing nature of international beach-goers and the challenges of being responsible for public safety in one of the busiest places in the country.
August 08, 2018
Episode 14 - Please Keep The Cow And Do The Milking - Australian Federalism
This episode's title is borrowed from Robert Garran's satire of the Australia's State Premiers in 1934. While we oftentimes hear that the States should collect your income tax (the Feds currently do) they historically haven't been too keen on it. Federalism is hardly a 'fun' topic but join Jordan Shopov, Will Witheridge and I as we talk about some of the unique features of our federal system.
August 01, 2018
Episode 13 - Us vs Them: The Failure of Globalism
It’s not all about the United States, Trump or Brexit. All states and governments are under pressure, from technology and ‘automation’ to a new generation bringing all new grievances. Are robots really going to wipe out our workforce? And, in a more connected world, are we actually becoming more isolated? Join economist Will Witheridge and I for a discussion on the trends shaping our current world.
July 20, 2018
Episode 12 - Renewable Energy with Lauren Timms
Renewable energy targets, power bills, nuclear power, Paris agreements and a 'carbon constrained environment'. Join energy policy specialist Lauren Timms and I as we come at the energy discussion from different angles. I even manage to throw Adam Smith in there.
July 03, 2018
Episode 11 - Could a Hawke, Keating or Howard survive today?
From social media to our need for 24 hour news, we know that the world has changed. But how would past leaders survive today? And do we put our current political leaders under so much pressure, despite being able to do only so much? Talking through these topics with me is professional economist William Witheridge and Whig Capital's Jordan Shopov. A special thanks to Sam Muller for his help in producing this episode!
June 13, 2018
Episode 10 - Staying SAFER with Stephen Foote
My interesting discussion with Stephen Foote on public safety and staying resilient in a complex world. Steve is a co-founder of the International Safer Institute at
June 07, 2018
Episode 9 - Australian Exceptionalism with Professor David Flint
How unique is Australia's past? From the rule of law to civil society, and from Australia's first Governor to the slim prospects of the Australian Republican movement, Professor Flint and I look at the benefits of Australian history.
June 01, 2018
Episode 8 - This Bitcoin Thing?
Like most I don't understand or really 'get' Blockchain? Or is it Bitcoin? Join Jordan Shopov and I as we discuss (in basic terms) what it is, how it works and if the hype is all worth it.
May 17, 2018
Episode 7 - The Uber of Tutoring with Sam Robertson
Joining me on this episode is my long-time friend from water polo Sam Robertson, founder of Scooter Tutor, who talks about his Australia-wide start-up and his thoughts on education, persistence and sharing ideas.
May 10, 2018
Episode 6 - Building Wealth In Your 20s
Not all about less avocados! After a quick Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) Day debrief we move onto the idea of shares over real estate, the concept of stocks and the important idea of values and wealth.
April 28, 2018
Episode 5 - Andrew Cripps
Andrew Cripps is a former Minister for Natural Resources and Mines in the Queensland Government. He shares his motivations for getting involved in politics at a young age, approaching policy, and staying principled in a challenging world.
April 19, 2018
Episode 4 - BOOK INTERVIEW: Manus Days
In this episode I speak to Michael Coates, author of Manus Days: The Untold Story of Manus Island. His book is available at Connor Court Publishing. Happy listening.
April 11, 2018
Episode 3 - What I Wish I Knew In My 20s
Who do we think we are offering ‘wisdom’ in our early thirties? Jordan Shopov and I discuss what we wish we knew a decade ago around career, happiness and decision-making. Warren Buffett once again features heavily in terms of advice but also Steve Jobs and even Aussie cricketer Steve Waugh. Thanks for listening and please keep the feedback coming.
April 11, 2018
Episode 2 - People Are Looking For Depth
Episode 2 – People Are Looking For Depth What to talk about on the second podcast? Well, podcasts. In this episode we talk about the shows Jordan and I enjoy but also why people are tuning out of mainstream current affairs broadcasts. Our thoughts are that people are getting a tad over slim perspective, limited depth and no decent exchange of ideas in their current affairs – something that shows like ABC’s Q&A, Michelle Grattan’s ‘Conversations’ or The Project just don’t really seem to offer (and don’t seem to get). Some of Jordan’s favourite podcasts are Econtalk, Masters in Business and Conversations with Tyler Cowan, while some of mine are The Remnant, The Ricochet Podcast and The Art of Manliness. But don’t move on to these so swiftly! Please make sure you listen to Episode Two of the Jacobs Podcast and offer your thoughts on improvement, questions or issues for discussion. This episode’s lead in was by Okinawa Lifestyle with a jam called ‘Levan’. Thank you again to Elly McNee.
April 11, 2018
Episode 1 - Pilot
The inaugural episode of the Jacobs Podcast. It took me a while but we’re finally here. In the first episode I talk to Jordan Shopov – friend and founder of Whig Capital Management – about the benefits of reading. We touch on some pretty decent figures – Adam Smith, Warren Buffett and Harry Truman – while exploring how reading can help with accessing better arguments, ‘getting off the curriculum’ and cutting down ignorance. Thank you to producer Elly McNee.
April 11, 2018