Tim Ferriss — Business And Life Lessons
What can we learn from Tim Ferriss? What business and life lessons can we uncover from his own experience?
Tim Ferriss is one of the only people in the world whose other accomplishments completely dwarf the fact that he’s a Princeton alumnus.
Tim Ferriss is a regarded as one of the most innovative people in business by Fast Company. The acclaimed Forbes Magazine describes him as one of the people that you need to know today.
Tim Ferriss is very popular in coaching circles and is the world’s leading expert on lifestyle design.
ImportantHis best-selling book The 4-Hour Workweek promises to help people escape the 9-5 grind, live anywhere they want, and get rich. Do his methods work? The 25,000+ subscribers on Tim’s blog certainly seem to think so.
Tim Ferriss firmly believes in turning the traditional retirement plan upside down.
WarningAnd rather than deferring all your happiness to the future (65+ years old), he presents the case for us to streamline our lives, build our own business, find joy, travel the world and be passionate today.
Tim Ferriss doesn’t just work hard. Most of all, he works smart, very smart.
His ability to break down a subject in a simple and clever way and show how to take action with maximum efficiency — across countless different activities — is practically unrivaled.
I’ve learned a lot from Tim Ferriss over the years, but a few lessons stick out more than any others. I consider the following business and life lessons nothing short of life-changing.
By applying these Tim Ferriss’s lessons, you’re certain to kick start the year off right and catapult yourselves to greater levels of success. So let’s dive right in and begin designing the lives you want, TODAY, using these potent principles.
Tomorrow Is Too Late
It’s natural to want to wait until everything is just right before making that big change in your life. But the stars will never align and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time.
Someday is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you.
ImportantTim Ferriss picked an imperfect time to start cutting down on the amount of time he spent running his business and the rest is history. Tim Ferriss used the extra time to become a tango champion, motorcycle across China, and write a best-selling book.
There will never be a better time than now.
We like to convince ourselves that, someday, it will be the perfect moment for us to take action on that passion project or business idea. However, the truth is, this is dead wrong, it’s often an excuse for not wanting to take action hidden under the veil or rational thinking.
Many a false step was made by standing still. You don’t have to be first, you just have to do it well. Tim Ferriss wasn’t early on Twitter nor on podcasting. Yet he has 1M+ followers, and one of the biggest shows in podcasting. The lesson is that being early is much less important than being right and being great.
You will want to live your ideal life today whatever it costs.
WarningMany people today live their lives slaving away at a 9 to 5 job, spending up to 50 years of their lives working behind a desk in a company for someone else. Tim Ferriss advises us to avoid this type of life by rewarding ourselves with an experience of the life that we want every once in a while.
Don’t wait until you’re ready. Rig self-encouragement so you can win!
Tim Ferriss recommends lowering your standards to get going. Expecting perfection from yourself is a great recipe for freezing up. You can always return to your work later, once you’ve completed the entire task, to hone or fix things.
A lot of people want to be entrepreneurs but are afraid to take the leap. Tim Ferriss insists that starting a business doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing wager.
If there’s anything I’ve learned from Tim Ferriss over the years it’s to test everything.
ImportantTim Ferriss is known as a human guinea pig for all of his various experiments and, when it comes to marketing, he’s no different. When thinking of a title for his first book, The 4-Hour Workweek, he tested different options with Google Adwords to see which would get the highest click through rate then chose the book title based on that.
When marketing your business, you can’t assume you already have the answers — test all of your assumptions.
You may find your customers aren’t who you thought, a certain ad works better than another, or a particular feature of your product is actually preferred by more people.
Tim Ferriss has taught me time and time again that there’s almost always a better way of doing things. But we’re not talking about small improvements. If you invest the time in mastering that process, you’ll often be several factors more productive than you were before, which can make all the difference.
Whatever you’re working on, you will want to go against the grain.
WarningIf everybody’s going left, you go right. Don’t follow the herd. You’re bound to stumble and fall, but you’ll find new ideas and success when you blaze your own trail. There’s also less competition when you don’t pursue the crowded channels.
It makes a lot of sense to moonlight and test a business idea for a period of time until you have the confidence and some cash flow coming in.
After successfully doing it in your spare time it’s at that stage you’ll feel more comfortable going all in and risking your livelihood. Being a successful entrepreneur is 90% psychologically so test drive your business idea and your abilities to see if running a business is for you.
Be The Best At One Thing
Tim Ferriss is echoing Google’s company philosophy, which states “Simplicity is powerful.” At Google, programmers are taught that the best products include only the features that people need to accomplish their goals.
Pick a niche and stick with it.
WarningIf you attempt to be the best at everything, you’re inevitably going to be a jack of all trades and a master of none. But the Internet is such a big, big place — and so if you want to stand out from the crowd, you have to be absolutely great at at least one thing.
The problem you have, above all, is you’re trying to do too much all at once. You go to narrow and so wide that nothing gets traction.
ImportantA not-to-do list is a tool to help you focus on the right things in your business and life. There are a million things we can do in our business in life, but which ones should we really not be doing? This takes creating not-to-do lists combined with ruthless prioritization.
Dabbling is for poor people.
A major weakness Tim Ferriss continually sees are companies getting distracted implementing new features and trying to improve their product. They already have a successful product and instead of identifying the cheapest and most successful avenue for acquiring customers or focusing on POLISHING THE PRODUCT THEY ALREADY HAVE, they focus on adding ten new features that don’t add much to the user experience.
Create a winning product / service and then polish the most important aspects of it. Then spend your energy finding profitable customers in an efficient way. If you want to cut through the clutter then you have to be absolutely great at one thing.
Instead of having lots of small goals that are mostly meaningless, go for the big goals.
This strategy puts large amounts of focus on only one or two goals meaning you get results faster.
Outsourcing activities helps you to strategically apply your focus on areas where they will make maximum impact.
Tim Ferriss says that you can achieve this by delegating small responsibilities in your life to other people. This will allow you to focus your energy on the more important activities.
Stop Information Overload
Today, we live our lives surrounded by information. There is data coming to us from literally everywhere. With this much information flowing through our lives, it is easy not to notice the important events occurring all around us too.
The overload of information flowing into our lives causes us to lose focus of what is important.
ImportantTim Ferriss teaches us that we need to take an information fast every once in a while. This means that we shut off our connection to television, the Internet, emails and RSS feeds. This gives us time to focus on our family, friends and even engage in activities that relax us such as hobbies or talents.
We do not have to be slaves to our email and social media accounts.
A new habit has spilled over into my social media check-ins. I peek into Instagram once a day (if that) and Facebook twice a week. Do you have any idea how much time and energy this opens up?
Batching is scheduling the completion of time-consuming but necessary tasks at set times, as infrequently as possible. This can be done with everything from emails to bills. For example, Tim Ferriss recommends only checking your email twice per day. Once at 12 noon, and again at 4pm.
A Low-Information Diet means you’re limiting the consumption of media in your life.
Tim Ferris coined the term “Low-Information Diet” in his book The 4-Hour Work Week, where he talks about the importance of cultivating selective ignorance. He doesn’t talk about complete ignorance in all things, but instead talks about the disservice consuming what doesn’t concern you does to yourself and those around you.
The biggest downfall of individuals is not clearly defining objectives.
WarningIf you don’t define your goals clearly, everything seems important, and you attempt to assimilate all of the information thrown your way on a daily basis. Not only is this incredibly exhausting but it’s entirely inefficient, especially if a large portion of this information is irrelevant to your critical goals.
Enjoy The Journey
Every obstacle presents an opportunity to get better, stronger, and tougher. It reminds us that we should be seeking out the things that scare and challenge us. This is the space in which growth occurs.
You probably had your fair share of stress and obstacles to overcome. But you came out the other side a better person.
ImportantBuild a habit of getting outside of your comfort zone regularly. Realize that you’ll face tough situations, but they are the experiences that pave the way to success.
Success can be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations you’re willing to have.
WarningTim Ferriss’ message for entrepreneurs is you have to get outside your comfort zones and develop socially so you can effectively present and sell your ideas and concepts. But more importantly, the key to a rich life is connecting with people and forging lasting friendships.
Very few people chase after their true goals. As we get older, the voice in our head that used to say, “You can become an astronaut,” starts to say, “Be reasonable and lower your expectations!” That doesn’t mean that becoming an astronaut, rock star, or millionaire entrepreneur is easy — but it’s probably more possible than you think.
Gabrielle Reece is a world-renowned athlete. She has a practice that is simple but powerful. She always goes first.
ImportantThis practice teaches us to take initiative and connect with people. We don’t need to wait for a cue from others before we act. Put yourself out there. Start conversations with strangers. Take a genuine interest in other people’s lives. You never know where the next conversation will lead you.
Fear can be a good thing. We all know it’s a dog-eat-dog world out here.
Unless you want people taking advantage of you, you have to learn how to stand up for yourself and what you truly believe in. Learn to be difficult when it counts.
Master The 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 rule is another name for the Pareto Principle, which basically says that 80% of outputs come from 20% of the inputs. The original example was based in Italy where the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto observed that about 80% of the land in Italy was owned by about 20% of the population.
This 80/20 rule, as Tim Ferriss shows, can be applied to all areas of life and business.
WarningTim Ferriss mentioned in The 4-Hour Workweek using this rule to find the 20% of his customers that caused 80% of his stress while running his supplement company. Furthermore, this 80/20 rule can be used to find the 20% of customers that are driving 80% of the revenue in your business.
Tim Ferriss argues that you should eliminate the 80 percent of things you’re doing that aren’t yielding significant results.
ImportantAnd instead you should focus exclusively on the 20 percent of activities that are. In doing so, you free up a ton of your time to focus on duplicating those actions/clients/processes that yield high returns.
However, 80/20 isn’t set in stone; it’s simply a starting point for your analysis. Sometimes you’ll find the ratio to be even higher at 90/10 or even 99/1. Whatever the case, you can channel your energy and stop wasting time on fruitless goals with this in your arsenal.
Focusing on the important tasks helps you to reduce your workload tremendously.
ImportantThe key is knowing what your goals are and doing only the tasks and projects that support those goals. Everything else can be ignored.
Parkinson’s Law says that a task will swell in perceived importance and complexity in relation the amount of time allotted for completion.
When you take these two laws into consideration, you should use both together to achieve peak productivity at work — identify the critical tasks that contribute most and schedule them with short, clear deadlines.
Tim Ferriss is one of the most respected life coaches today and with good reason. His books have grossed millions of copies and it is all due to their uplifting and helpful content.
These lessons can assist you to get more out of your days. They help you to become more efficient.
ImportantThe tips indicated above are just a taste of what it is about. They are helpful and can assist you to achieve your goals and achieve a fully satisfying life.
Decision creates action. Action creates results.
WarningDon’t let this be another post you read in passing. Make a choice to test one of these out for a few weeks.
More of us need to adopt the Nike tagline — JUST DO IT! Follow that advice, and you may see your wildest dreams come true.
What do you think is the most important life lesson from Tim Ferriss? Is there anything that you’ve learned from him that I’m missing here? Let me know in the comment section below.