Guy Raz Interviews Tim Ferriss — Key Lessons, Critical Decisions, and Reinvention for Fun and Profit | The Tim Ferriss Show

 Check out The Tim Ferriss Show Episode Page & Show Notes

Key Takeaways

  • Tim’s parents didn’t always have the budget for toys, but they always had money for books:
    • “My parents cultivated this love of reading very early on, and as a result, I did well in school” – Tim Ferriss  
  • Why did Tim initially join a data storage company?
    • His mentors told him it was better to get a job in a growing industry (like data storage) because he would gain a lot more experience and learn how to scale a company 
      • “I wanted to learn as much as possible to build something myself”Tim Ferriss
  • “The best time to start a company is when you have a job”Tim Ferriss  
  • Helpful sales tip:
    • Most gatekeepers (assistants, etc.) work from 9am to 5pm, so if you want to increase the chances of speaking to an executive, reach out to them before 9am or after 5pm
    • Don’t spend time trying to convince everyone to buy your product. Instead, spend time persuading your target audience to buy your product. 
    • If you want to get better at sales, study informercials and call their hotline to learn what scripts they use and how they get people to buy their products.
    • Keep a swipe file of any advertisement that convinces you to buy a product. Study those ads and try to understand what made you want to buy the product.
  • Tim’s supplement company was doing well and making around $100,000 a month, but it was taking up so much of his time that his girlfriend, who he thought he’d end up marrying, broke up with him
    • That event inspired Tim to make some changes in his life:
      • He fired his high-maintenance customers
      • He told his supplier to not contact him with any problems that could be solved with $100
      • He started traveling the world and running his business from his laptop

Intro

Books Mentioned

Tim’s Upbringing

  • Tim grew up in Long Island, New York 
    • He was bullied as a kid because he was smaller than a lot of the other kids. Tim would spend time reading books instead of going to the schoolyard because he was afraid of getting picked on.
      • That summer Tim hit puberty, grew 5 inches, and gained 40 pounds 
        • “The bullying stopped pretty quickly in the beginning of sixth grade” – Tim Ferriss
  • Tim’s parents didn’t always have the budget for toys, but they always had the money for books:
    • “My parents cultivated this love of reading very early on, and as a result, I did well in school” – Tim Ferriss  
  • Tim’s first job was working as a busboy
  • Tim went to school in Japan for a year while in high school
    • That year completely changed his life because he realized a lot of society operates through social constructs that are malleable (the side of the road people drive, how people bathe, grammar rules, etc.)
      • “When I came back, I was looking at everything in the US and in my life with very fresh eyes”Tim Ferriss
  • Throughout college, Tim battled with depression and suicidal thoughts. He had even started to plan how to take his life.
    • Tim requested a book about suicide from the library but forgot to change his address so a message about the book was sent to his parent’s home. Tim’s mother called him asking what was going on and that conversation snapped him out of the idea of ending his life.

Post-College Life  

  • After college, Tim moved to San Francisco
    • He got a job in sales at a data storage company after emailing the CEO 26 times
  • Why did Tim join a data storage company?
    • His mentors told him it was better to get a job in a growing industry (like data storage) because he would gain a lot more experience and learn how to scale a company 
      • “I wanted to learn as much as possible to build something myself”Tim Ferriss
  • Tim was making around $40,000 a year and noticed he saw spending around $400 a month just on supplements 
    • He started spending his lunch hours at work to call supplement experts and suppliers to create his own supplement line
      • “The best time to start a company is when you have a job”Tim Ferriss 

Helpful Sales Tips

  • Most gatekeepers (assistants, etc.) work from 9am to 5pm, so if you want to increase the chances of speaking to an executive, reach out to them before 9am or after 5pm
  • Don’t spend time trying to convince everyone to buy your product. Instead, spend time persuading your target audience to buy your product.
  • If you want to get better at sales, study informercials and call their hotline to learn what scripts they use and how they get people to buy their products.
  • Keep a swipe file of any advertisement that convinces you to buy a product. Study those ads and try to understand what made you want to buy the product.

Tim’s First Book

  • Tim’s supplement company was doing well and making around $100,000 a month, but it was taking up so much of his time that his girlfriend, who he thought he’d end up marrying, broke up with him
    • That event inspired Tim to make some changes in his life:
      • He fired his high-maintenance customers
      • He told his supplier to not contact him with any problems that could be solved with $100
      • He started traveling the world and running his business from his laptop
  • While in Argentina, Tim fell in love with the tango and would practice 6 hours a day
  • Throughout his travels, Tim took notes on how he was able to run a business while also traveling to several countries
    • He decided to put together a book proposal and send it out to publishers. It was rejected by over 25 publishers. 
  • To promote his book, Tim gave out free copies to influential bloggers
    • His book hit the NYT bestseller’s list in less than a month

Life As A NYT Bestselling Author

  • As a bestselling author, Tim was constantly getting requests for speaking gigs, conferences, consulting opportunities, and other offers
    • After two years of taking advantage of all of those opportunities, he decided to take a break because he didn’t want to labeled as the 4-Hour Workweek guy forever

The Current Tim Ferriss

  • Today, Tim spends most of his time working on his podcast and interviewing incredibly successful individuals
  • He also spends time talking about psychedelics, educating people about it, and supporting the research behind it
  • Tim would like to have kids in the future
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Notes By Alex Wiec

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