Tim Discusses His Four Must-Read Books on The Tim Ferriss Show

Check out The Tim Ferriss Show Episode Page & Show Notes

Key Takeaways (Tim’s 4 Must-Read Books)


  • In this episode of The Tim Ferriss Show, Tim (@tferriss) discusses the four books that have had the biggest impact on him

Book #1 – The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz

  • This book, which has more than 100 5-start ratings on Amazon, was firsts suggested to Tim by Stephen Key, an ultra-successful inventor
  • The book’s central message: Don’t over-estimate others and under-estimate yourself
  • “I still, personally, read the first two chapters of this book whenever doubt creeps in…I find it to be a helpful philosophical and psychological reboot.”Tim Ferriss

Books #2 – How to Make Millions with Your Ideas: An Entrepreneur’s Guide by Dan S. Kennedy

  • “This is a menu of options for converting ideas into millions of dollars” – Tim Ferriss
  • Tim estimates he’s read it 6-7 times now
    • “It’s like steroids for your entrepreneurial cortex”Tim Ferriss
  • A side recommendation: One Simple Idea: Turn Your Dreams into a Licensing Goldmine While Letting Others Do the Work by Stephen Key
    • “It’s an excellent book about licensing. Instead of venturing, or doing the manufacturing yourself, instead of handling the nuts and bolts of operations, how can you, if you’re good inventing license products?” – Tim Ferriss

Book #3 – The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber

  • “This is a classic. Gerber is a masterful storyteller.” – Tim Ferriss
    • “The book discusses how to apple a franchise mindset to create scalable businesses that are based on rules/systems and not out-standing employees”
  • Who might this book be good for?
    • Those starting their first business
    • Or, those looking for another reboot: “If you’ve strayed from the path of systems and rules and processes, this provides an excellent road map, told in parable, for becoming an owner, instead of a constant micro-manager” – Tim Ferriss

Book #4 – Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel by Rolf Potts

  • “Rolff Potts is the man” – Tim Ferriss
  • This convinced Tim to first travel around the world, which ultimately lead to the writing of The 4-Hour Workweek
    • On his trip, Tim took just two books: Vagabonding and Walden by Henry David Thoreau
  • “This is really a philosophical reset. This book helps you to better value time wealth while recognizing the limitations of money as currency.”Tim Ferriss
  • Tim estimates he’s read it 10+ times

Bonus Book – Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality by Anthony de Mello

  • “This short book has completely captured me. Just in the last two years, I’ve probably re-read it 5 or 6 times. When I feel myself bleeding into overwhelm or feeling scattered, this is one of the first break-glass-in-case-of-emergency steps that I take.” Tim Ferriss
  • The book was first recommended to Tim in his interview with Peter Mallouk (Podcast Notes)