CIA Spy: "Leave The USA Before 2030!" Why You Shouldn't Trust Your Gut! - Andrew Bustamante

Added: Mar 4, 2024

In this podcast episode, Andrew Bustamante, a former CIA officer, shares his experiences and insights on how spy skills can be applied to break barriers in business and everyday life. He explains that the CIA recruits individuals with a certain psychological profile, including a level of childhood trauma and high performance, to become highly productive field operators. Bustamante was recruited by the CIA at the age of 27 after serving as a nuclear missile officer in the Air Force.

Key takeaways


Understanding core human motivations - reward, ideology, coercion, and ego - can help in connecting with others and influencing their actions effectively.


Building trust through reliability and helping others is crucial in establishing strong relationships and gaining valuable insights in both espionage and business.

Adapting to change faster than opponents and using time strategically can provide a competitive edge and lead to better decision-making.


Disguises in espionage involve altering key features to create a new identity, with different levels of disguises ranging from light changes such as wearing sunglasses or wigs, to the use of prosthetics.


Fear and anxiety can be harnessed as powerful tools, leading to heightened observational skills and greater awareness of one's surroundings.

Family Dynamics

Bustamante's childhood was marked by the absence of his father, who was killed before he was born. He was raised by his mother and grandmother, with his mother being described as cold and focused on career success rather than emotional support. He felt a lack of love and emotional connection in his family, leading him to keep secrets and learn how to lie from a young age. He reflects on the impact of his upbringing on his ability to trust others and form meaningful relationships.

Career in the CIA

After being recruited by the CIA, Bustamante underwent training to become a field operator, specializing in collecting foreign intelligence. He highlights the importance of understanding the nuances of espionage terminology, such as the distinction between spies, handlers, and assets. Bustamante acknowledges that manipulation and deception are essential skills in the intelligence field, but emphasizes the value of using these skills for motivation rather than solely for manipulation.

Lessons from Espionage

Bustamante founded Everyday Spy, a company that uses spy education to break barriers in various aspects of life. He explains how spy skills can be applied to overcome social, financial, educational, and cultural barriers. By understanding human motivations and mastering the art of deception versus perspective, individuals can navigate complex social interactions and achieve their goals.

Overcoming his Upbringing

Bustamante reflects on the impact of his upbringing on his personal development and relationships. He acknowledges the challenges of overcoming his upbringing and strives to be a better parent to his own children. He recognizes the importance of addressing his own "faulty wiring" and minimizing negative traits while maximizing positive qualities in his parenting approach.

Challenges of Nuclear Missile Officer Role

As a nuclear missile officer, Bustamante describes the intense pressure and isolation of being stationed underground for 72-hour shifts, waiting for a potential nuclear war scenario. He reflects on the existential questions that arise from being in a role focused on nuclear deterrence and the toll it takes on mental well-being. Despite the importance of the role in national security, he grapples with the lack of fulfillment and purpose in his duties.

Recruitment Process

Bustamante describes how he received a mysterious call after applying for a government job, which led to him being recruited by the CIA. He was asked to keep the recruitment process a secret and not disclose it to anyone, including his family.

Bustamante acknowledges that his ethnicity played a role in the CIA's decision to recruit him, as the agency was seeking diverse candidates post-9/11. He reflects on the importance of representation and how his background influenced his recruitment process. He also mentions the extensive background check he underwent due to his military service.


Once recruited, Bustamante underwent extensive training at a classified facility, where he learned various skills required for his role as a CIA officer. The training involved simulated scenarios and exercises to test his abilities in different situations. He mentions that the training is conducted in batches, with different disciplines receiving specialized training.

Skills Taught

During his training, Bustamante learned how to lie effectively, mirroring the person he is lying to, and paying attention to body language cues. He explains that skilled liars mimic the person they are lying to create a sense of trust before gradually introducing falsehoods. He emphasizes the importance of establishing a baseline with individuals to detect changes in behavior that may indicate deception.

Detecting Lies

Bustamante debunks common myths about detecting lies, such as eye movements and micro expressions, stating that these indicators are not reliable. He stresses the need for time on target to understand a person's baseline behavior and identify unusual variances that may signal dishonesty. He highlights the difference between skilled and unskilled liars, noting that unskilled liars often exhibit more obvious tells.

Challenges of Living a Double Life

Bustamante shares the challenges he faced in balancing his personal life with his CIA training. He discusses the need to disconnect from friends and family as part of his covert work, highlighting the sacrifices he made for his career. He also reflects on the emotional toll of keeping secrets and living a double life.

Core Human Motivations

Bustamante explains that people are primarily driven by four core motivations - reward, ideology, coercion, and ego. Reward refers to anything that individuals desire, such as money or recognition. Ideology represents the beliefs and values that people hold dear. Coercion involves using negative tactics like guilt or shame to force someone to act. Ego pertains to how individuals view themselves and their desire for validation. Understanding these core motivations allows individuals to connect with others and influence their actions effectively.

Messaging and Narrative

Bustamante emphasizes the power of messaging and narrative in influencing behavior. Messaging involves crafting emotional statements to evoke a response, while narrative provides a logical framework for individuals to follow. By aligning messaging with an individual's ideology or values, one can create a compelling narrative that motivates them to take action. This approach is used in politics, marketing, and intelligence operations to sway opinions and behavior.

Perception vs. Perspective

Bustamante discusses the difference between perception and perspective. Perception is subjective and based on an individual's senses and emotions, while perspective is objective and considers multiple viewpoints. He advises individuals to distrust their emotions and rely on objective reasoning to gain perspective. By understanding the perspectives of others, one can make more informed decisions and avoid being swayed by emotional biases.

Applying CIA Skills in Business

Bustamante highlights the parallels between CIA recruitment processes and sales strategies. He introduces the Sadat process - spot, assess, develop, recruit, handle, and terminate - as a framework for converting leads into loyal customers. Assessing potential clients for their long-term value and fit with the company's goals is crucial for sustainable business growth.

He explains that by following a structured process of asking questions, confirming responses, and creating windows for deeper conversations, one can uncover valuable insights and establish trust with customers or assets. This approach allows for a more strategic and effective engagement, leading to long-term relationships and success.

Importance of Assessing Customers

Bustamante underscores the significance of assessing customers based on their lifetime value and potential impact on the business. He acknowledges the transformative impact of focusing on high-value clients and tailoring marketing efforts to attract similar prospects. By prioritizing quality over quantity in customer acquisition, businesses can enhance their profitability and long-term success.

Building Trust

Bustamante highlights the significance of trust in espionage and business. He explains that trust is built through helping others and being reliable. By understanding the motivations of individuals and leveraging the principles of trust, one can establish strong relationships and gain valuable insights.

He also discusses the concept of perception and how it influences interactions. By mirroring emotions and creating a sense of vulnerability, one can establish a deeper connection with others. This approach allows for a more authentic and meaningful exchange, leading to increased trust and cooperation.

Identifying Profitable Customers

Bustamante emphasizes the importance of targeting profitable customers in business. By focusing on customers who provide high value and yield long-term benefits, companies can maximize their profits. He compares this strategy to identifying valuable assets in espionage, highlighting the similarities between customer relationships and intelligence operations.

He explains that by understanding the needs and preferences of profitable customers, businesses can tailor their products and services to meet their demands effectively. This targeted approach not only increases revenue per customer but also attracts similar customers, leading to exponential growth and profitability.

Accepting Change and Using Time as a Tool

Bustamante highlights the importance of accepting change and using time as a strategic tool in espionage and business. He explains that adapting to change faster than opponents provides a competitive edge and allows for better decision-making. By leveraging time as a resource and understanding its role in relationship-building, individuals can navigate challenges and opportunities more effectively.

He also discusses the principles of surveillance detection and the process of identifying potential threats in foreign environments. By following surveillance detection routes and gathering data points over time, individuals can assess the level of risk and take appropriate actions to mitigate potential dangers.

Disguises and Deeper Levels of Disguise

Bustamante shares insights into the use of disguises in espionage and intelligence operations. He explains that disguises, also known as costumes, are designed to make individuals unrecognizable rather than transform them into someone else. By altering key features and characteristics, such as hair, accessories, and facial expressions, individuals can create a new identity and blend into different environments.

He categorizes disguises into three levels: light disguise, long-term disguise, and prosthetic disguise. While light disguises involve temporary changes like wigs and sunglasses, long-term disguises may require more sustained alterations to maintain a different appearance. Prosthetic disguises involve advanced techniques such as prosthetics and makeup to create a completely new identity.

Overcoming Fear and Anxiety

Bustamante explains that fear and anxiety can be powerful tools if harnessed correctly. He discusses how anxiety can actually be a superpower, as it can lead to heightened observational skills and a greater awareness of one's surroundings. By training oneself to understand and control fear, individuals can learn to slow down their emotional brain and allow their rational brain to process information more effectively.

The Role of Identity

Bustamante emphasizes the importance of taking action to overcome fear and achieve one's goals. He notes that the worst person to determine one's identity is often oneself, as individuals tend to focus on their flaws and insecurities. By taking action and gaining perspective from others, individuals can challenge their own perceptions and move past self-imposed limitations.

Leaving the CIA

Bustamante worked as a CIA intelligence officer for several years before eventually leaving the agency in 2014. He and his wife resigned together to focus on their family and spend more time with their one-year-old child.

Geopolitics and World War III

Bustamante shares his views on geopolitics, particularly the ongoing power struggle between the United States and China. He predicts that World War III is already happening in the form of proxy conflicts between smaller nations funded by larger countries. He warns of the dangers of reaching economic parity between the US and China, as it could lead to increased tensions and conflicts on a global scale.

Leaving America in 2027

Bustamante expresses his intention to leave America by 2027 due to his concerns about the country's current state and future prospects. He believes that the US is going through a difficult period of adolescence and may not provide the opportunities and stability he desires for his children. He plans to relocate to Europe, the Middle East, or Latin America to offer his family a better quality of life and more diverse opportunities.


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