Ben Nemtin Profile

  • Author of the New York Times #1 best-seller, What Do You Want To Do Before You Die?, Ben Nemtin’s pursuit of his bucket list turned into a global phenomenon followed by millions.

  • Nemtin is the star of the MTV series The Buried Life which follows Nemtin and his friends’ attempts to achieve crazy goals from playing basketball with President Obama to hunting down and capturing a fugitive.

  • From mental health to endurance of will, Nemtin’s keynotes take on topics with universal appeal as he delves into strategies for achieving impossible dreams while coping with real life stress.
  • Ben Nemtin never imagined that his humble Bucket List would grow into a global movement of millions. Nemtin is the cofounder of the The Buried Life Movement, which refers to how the dreams we’re most passionate about often get buried by the grind of daily life. After a crippling depression put his life on hold, he and three friends innocently set off in an RV for a two-week-long trip to cross items off their bucket list and help people whom they met along the way do the same.

    The simple road trip turned into a ten-year-and-counting way of life. To date, Nemtin and his friends have played basketball with President Obama, helped a man find a kidney donor, reunited long-lost lovers, and raised $400,000 for charity. As each “project” drew more and more attention, the team decided to write a book, resulting in the instant New York Times #1 best seller, What Do You Want To Do Before You Die?. Additionally, they translated their mission and adventures into the television series The Buried Life, which became MTV’s highest rated show ever on iTunes and IMDB.

    An acclaimed motivational speaker and storyteller, Nemtin has delivered over 500 keynotes worldwide, rallying and equipping audiences to act on their own lifelong dreams. Dubbed the “Next Gen speaker,” Nemtin has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, the Today show, Rachel Ray, and at three TEDx events.

    • View Extended/Alternate Bio

      Ben Nemtin is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of What Do You Want To Do Before You Die? and the star of the MTV show The Buried Life. As the co-founder of The Buried Life movement, Ben’s message of radical possibility has been featured by major media outlets including The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, Inc., ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC News. Oprah called Ben’s life work “truly inspiring.” An acclaimed keynote speaker, Nemtin has presented his ‘5 Steps to Make the Impossible Possible’ to business conferences and corporate leadership teams around the world, garnering standing ovations from Amazon, Microsoft, Nationwide, Viacom, Verizon, Levi’s, Harvard, and more.

      In a pit of depression, Ben and his three best friends decided to create the world’s greatest bucket list to make them feel alive. They bought a rickety old bus and criss-crossed North America, achieving the unthinkable. And most importantly, every time they accomplished a dream, they helped a complete stranger cross something off their bucket list. From playing basketball with President Obama to streaking a professional soccer field, from raising over $400,000 for charity to placing a record-breaking $250,000 bet on roulette, Ben’s bucket list quest has inspired millions to chase their dreams and realize that impossible is possible.

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    Ben Nemtin's Speech Descriptions

    Buried Life Movement co-founder, Ben Nemtin gets audiences thinking about what is most important to them and how they can turn their “buried dreams” into real-time priorities and accomplishments. Nemtin’s personal stories and experience as an ordinary youth who set out to fulfill his bucket list with few resources, ignites people’s spirits, giving them the courage and nudge they need to pursue their wildest aspirations and empower others along the way. Beyond motivation, Nemtin imparts the patterns and actions he’s uncovered that are applicable to achieving any goal.

    5 Steps to Making the Impossible Possible

    Ben has driven many other people to chase and achieve their dreams, as both a helping hand and as an inspiration. These experiences have taught him that articulating and prioritizing your personal goals is not a selfish act—but one that creates a ripple effect that can both help others directly and inspire others to live their best life. Ben weaves the remarkable story of how The Buried Life grew from 100 impossible dreams into a global movement and connects his story to the fabric of our daily lives.

    Ben’s message of radical possibility combined with his ‘5 Steps to Make the Impossible Possible’ leaves audiences not only inspired but also equipped to tackle the seemingly insurmountable. Ben’s system of achieving impossible goals demystifies daunting tasks by turning ‘dreams’ into ‘projects’ and creating a digestible pathway to success. Ben reminds us that it’s never too late to start your list or leave a lasting impact on others.

    New Leadership: Why Dreams Matter

    What’s your dream? Asking this question is one of the fastest way to transform relationships and build meaningful connections. Ben knows firsthand, he’s been asking it for the past decade. He also knows that pursuing your passions brings you a sense of purpose, fulfillment and happiness. The truth is, a company can only become the-best-version-of-itself to the extent that its employees are becoming better-versions-of-themselves. Showing that you care enough to ask your team what their dreams are goes a long way, and it’s usually easier than you think to help them get there.

    Ben brings home the importance of pursuing a bucket list, not only for your own wellbeing, but also for your career and for those around you. Ben facilitates goal sharing and inspires people into action by implementing tiers of accountability. Organizations that take a stand to support their employees dreams see increased retention, improved recruitment and experience greater work-life-harmony.

    We’re Only Human

    Ben authored a #1 New York Times Bestselling book, starred in his own MTV show, met President Obama at the White House, was interviewed by Oprah, had beers with Prince Harry and has been living his dreams for the past decade.

    He also struggles with depression. This may come as a surprise, and that’s exactly why Ben wants to talk about it. In university, Ben was hit with a crippling depression that forced him to drop out of school and retreat into his parents house. In an effort to climb out of his darkness, Ben decided to surround himself with friends who inspired him and committed to finally following his buried dreams. These commitments led him to Jonnie, Dave and Duncan and The Buried Life was born.

    Ben is a mental health advocate who believes that all humans have ups and they have downs. He believes the stigma around mental illness can be broken through open, honest conversations. However, the onus is not on the 1 in 5 who struggle with mental health to break the stigma, the responsibility falls on all of us. By showing how his vulnerabilities have become his strengths, Ben gives others the courage to talk about their internal battles. Ben shares the tools that help him cope with the stresses of life and emphasizes that it is ok to reach out for help. His astounding story and authentic levity gives audiences hope and normalizes behavioral health in a vibrant way.

    What People are Saying about Seeing Ben Speak

    Rating Entries

    “Ben’s storytelling and ability to connect with our audience was apparent from the minute he greeted our participants. Listening to his story made everyone in the room feel empowered and motivated to make a difference and be courageous in their own lives. Ben helped us realize that we as individuals and leaders have the ability to make a real impact and empower others to make that same impact not only professionally but in our everyday lives. The message was perfectly aligned with our theme and I had so many attendees say it was the best event to date. I would highly recommend Ben to anyone wanting to add that “WOW” factor to their event.”
    – HR Strategic Advisor, FedEx Services

    “The event was incredible! We were so pleased with our decision to bring in Ben. The audience was really engaged and there was a long line for autographs. We had a lot of positive feedback. Thanks so much for working on this engagement with us. It’s been a very pleasant experience. We will definitely include ESB in our search for next year’s keynote!”
    – Executive Assistant to the President, WorkCompCentral

    I just wanted to pass on my praise for Ben. He was just wonderful, a great message, speaker and wonderful person. You were correct we loved Ben. I can’t wait to see our results to our survey when they come in. Thanks again for everything, we have a very successful meeting.
    – Maryland Hospital Association

    “Ben took the time to understand our company and culture and adapted his presentation for us. He even arrived the day before his presentation and attended several of our other conference events and utilized his observations to further customize his remarks for Camden. The feedback from our employees was phenomenal. Many said Ben was the best speaker they had ever seen. Ben is relatable, humorous, inspiring and motivational. He brought energy and a positive message that invoked thought and emotion. We highly recommend Ben.”
    – President of Camden Property Trust

    “Ben did an excellent job of sharing his story in a light and lively way. We have a group that varies in age from 20 to 80 and all were entertained. I have been going to this meeting for over 25 years and the audience participation was far and above greater than any I have ever seen.”
    – Chairman of the Board – Arkansas Hospital Association

    “Ben’s presentation was, hands-down, the highlight of our Annual Meeting! He was entertaining and humorous, and his message of challenging attendees to identify their goals, as well as how to work together to achieve those goals, was motivational and thought-provoking. In sharing his story, Ben encouraged leaders to follow their dreams and make a difference in the world not only for themselves but, more importantly, for others. As an event planner for nearly 30 years, Ben’s story was one of the most inspiring I’ve heard!”
    – Director of Corporate Events, West Virginia Hospital Association

    If you want a lesson in boldness, and to cross things off of your bucket list, there is no better teacher than Ben Nemtin.
    – Author, Entrepreneur, Public Speaker

    “Ben has a way of capturing the audience like no other speaker I’ve met. He is both inspiring and genuine on stage – two qualities that combined together make magic. Working with him has been an absolute pleasure.”
    – Director, Junior Achievement Sweden

    “Ben presentation is truly authentic, he speaks from the heart. His delivery is smooth and funny. He comes across as “just a guy with a dream”. He is inspirational. Brilliant.”
    – Dean, School of Applied Sciences and Technology

    “I think what you’re doing is really so inspiring.”
    – Oprah Winfrey

    “In my 29 years at MHA I have hired hundreds of speakers for every health care discipline in the hospital setting and you, by far, are on the top of my list. You inspire people to not only make their own bucket list, but also to “pay it forward” along the way – what an exceptional message to deliver.”
    – VP of Education & Member Services, Minnesota Hospital Association

    “I must say that Ben personally brought me to my knees with emotion when he spoke about the Journey of Life and going for what we all feel is truly important and something we want to do before we die.”
    – Senior Athletics Director, Stanford University

    “I like the way you help folks, keep doing what you’re doing.”
    – President Barack Obama

    “Ben did a beautiful job of truly connecting with the entire audience. At different times, people were laughing, wiping tears, taking notes, or spontaneously applauding. He genuinely inspired everyone in the room, and I got magnificent comments from the attendees.”
    – CEO and President, Ohio Hospital Association

    “I thoroughly enjoyed it, without being too cliché I laughed and I cried. I think it was important for Harvard students especially to experience this because for most of the students here there is this pressure to embrace the material things in life and sacrifice any in your way to make it to the top. Overall I think it was a great event and a message that we could all embrace and learn from!”
    – Director of Student Life, Harvard Law School

    “Ben Nemtin is a masterful storyteller and speaker, who has a remarkable way of connecting with audiences and using his life and “bucket list” adventures to help and inspire others! We were honored to have Ben keynote three different events in Memphis, TN, including a reception with hundreds of college students and business professional mentors, a fundraising dinner for the Boy Scouts, and our cityCURRENT Signature Breakfast with more than 400 prominent community leaders. At each event, Ben received a standing ovation! It was absolutely amazing to see THREE standing ovations with three completely different audiences! Even better, Ben is a genuine, good guy. He was a pleasure to work with and extremely professional when it came to his preparation and tweaking his presentations to fit the audiences. You’ll find that watching Ben is like watching a movie where he combines personal stories with media to make you laugh, cry, learn, and then want to act to take control of your life and make a difference in the lives of others. If you’re looking for a speaker to truly inspire your audience, I definitely stand behind Ben Nemtin! We’re still receiving rave reviews from his presentations, so please feel free to reach out if you would like any more information about my experiences in booking Ben Nemtin.”
    – CEO – cityCURRENT

    I can tell you Ben was one of the top talks of the day. He was incredible! 153 countries tuned in live to watch and I’m certain once his talk goes online in the coming week his will go super viral through our community.
    – We Are Family Foundation

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    Books by Ben Nemtin:

    What Do You Want to Do Before You Die?: Moving, Unexpected, and Inspiring Answers to Life’s Most Important Question

    What Do You Want to Do Before You Die? is an illustrated collection of your wildest dreams. Two hundred of the most moving, imaginative, unexpected, and inspiring things to do before you die are brought to life through handmade art curated by Ben, Dave, Duncan, and Jonnie—the founders of The Buried Life.

    These four regular guys are on a mission to complete a list of 100 things before they die, and for every item they accomplish, they help a total stranger do something on his or her own list.

    Why we wrote this book:

    We hope that the dreams and words filling these pages will ignite part of you and halt you long enough to sincerely think about what is important to you. It’s easy to think about what’s important to others but rarely do we truly listen to our gut and our heart, and that is where a bucket list should grow. If nothing in the world were impossible, what would you do? Even if it is impossible, what do you want to do before you die?

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