Derek Sivers on Developing Confidence, Finding Happiness, and Saying “No” to Millions – The Tim Ferriss Show

Check out The Tim Ferriss Show Episode Page & Show Notes

Key Takeaways

  • Early in your career, say yes to every opportunity that comes your way
  • Later on, when faced with an opportunity, it should either be a “HELL YEAH!” or a “no”
    • Most of us say yes to too much and let little mediocre things fill our lives
  • Most people overestimate what they can achieve in a day/week and underestimate what they could achieve in a year
  • “When you make a business, you’re making a little world where you control the laws. It doesn’t matter how things are done everywhere else.”
  • RELAX – You can achieve everything you want to in life without all the angst
  • If you’re having trouble making yourself happy, just make someone else happy

Books Mentioned

Life Lessons

  • “When you’re earlier in your career, I think the best strategy is to just say yes to everything”
    • You just never know which of those opportunities will be your lottery ticket
  • “You are whatever you pretend to be” – Kurt Vonnegut 
    • Choose to be confident even when you have no reason to
  • The standard pace is for chumps
    • Schools have to organize their curricula around the lowest common denominator so no one’s left out – anybody can be smarter than that if they want to be 
  • Relax for the same result
    • Often times in life, we burn the candle at both ends, toiling away for only a 5% increase in results or performance
      • Instead – relax. You can get everything accomplished that you need to without all the anxiety, angst, and worry. Slow down and enjoy the process.
  • “If you’re having trouble making yourself happy, just make someone else happy” – Tim

HELL YEAH! or No

  • When faced with an opportunity – If you’re feeling anything less than, “Oh hell yeah! I would love to do that! Oh my God, that would be amazing!” then just say no
    • Most of us say yes to too much let little mediocre things fill our lives
    • If you’re too busy, it probably means you just lack control of your life

Don’t Be a Donkey

  • Derek’s advice to his younger self: “Don’t be a donkey”
    • This relates to an old fable about a donkey standing halfway in between a pile of hay and a bucket of water. The donkey can’t decide whether to eat the hay or drink the water, so he eventually falls over and dies of both hunger and thirst.”
    • Many people get stuck in life wanting to go in too many directions/work on too many different things
      • You can, and have the time, to do everything you want to do – all it takes is foresight and patience
    • “Most people overestimate what they can achieve in a day or a week and underestimate what they could achieve in a year” – Tim

Lessons in Business

  • Simplify the hell out of things
    • Your business model doesn’t have to be complicated 
  • When you’re starting your own business:
    • Either scratch your own or respond to demand (scratch other people’s itches)
      • Just DON’T try to create demand where there is none
  • “When you make a business, you’re making a little world where you control the laws. It doesn’t matter how things are done everywhere else.”
  • “There’s so much more to a business than just the money”
    • Sometimes you need to put the numbers aside and do what makes both your employees and customers happy
  • A good question to ask yourself from time to time – “Why do I want to grow my business in the first place?”

Reading

What would Derek put on a billboard?

  • “It won’t make you happy”

These notes were edited by RoRoPa Editing Services

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