Transcripts > The GaryVee Audio Experience > #AskGaryVee 271 | Tim Ferriss
Hello, everybody. This is Gary Vaynerchuk and this is episode 271 of The Ask Gary Vee Show, and I’ve got to be honest, thank God we finally did it because now I don’t have to answer, oh, I don’t know, 400 fucking times a week, when am I going to have Tim on the Ask Gary Vee Show. I like literally need to create some AI, machine learning, auto responder.
This is a huge honor for me, no question, one of the people that I admire the most in let’s call it the ecosystem, people putting out content, people trying to impact the world, people that are navigating through the game, and so I am awfully excited for this episode and I know a lot of you just got super fired up as well. And even more exciting, Tim has a new book coming out in eight days, and we’re going to talk about that, we’re going to talk about pop culture, business hacking, but Tim, for the nine people that are watching this that don’t know who you are, can you give a quick little bio. And before that, your new facial hair game, is so legit.
Inspired by Kung Fu movies.
I figured. I know your love for Japan and all those things.
Slash Down and Out in Beverly Hills.
No, seriously, it’s really like-
Thank you, thank you. Thank you. Well I figure I can’t do it on the top.
You look fit, man. You’ve looked-
I’m feeling good.
You look great.
So I’m going Jason Statham upside down face, I’m growing it this way.
You do look fit too.
Like have you been like, had you had a good six months to a year? I feel like the last time I saw you-
What’s your fast game?
Fast game is number one, don’t do this at home kids, talk to your professional. Liability, cover my ass. Okay. So three contiguous days each month, so I do a 3 day fast every month and then I do longer five to 10 day fasts two or three times a year.
That kills my once a week.
For that, well no, but once a week, it’s actually is debatable which is greater benefit, right? The sort of high frequency, low dose.
The good news is that, it’s so funny. Obviously, you get brought up a lot to me, I’m like look, anytime I want to do something, like I intuitively do stuff, you do them for, like you, like this at this book. He goes thick. I was saying the girth of his work is so incredible, the podcast, the blog.
Those are the two pulled quotes right there.
But it’s so funny, I just fast once a week when I’m in that zone randomly, because I just like the way I feel.
I have no idea of the data and the science and the understanding. I know that’s where your strength lies. So there is no-
I’m trying to up my intuition game.
Yeah, yeah. So we can talk about that.
Oh, we gotta talk about that, I’m curious of that.
I thought you were going to say for the nine people who are familiar with my work, which would be true.
Depends on when you’re watching.
I love when Timmy goes, oh excuse, I love when Timothy-
Oh, yes, thank you. Thank you.
Which we have to talk about as well, goes with the humility card. Tim, honestly, it’s been an unbelievable decade for you.
You have not only a lot of awareness, and people know who you are, but what I think is super interesting, because there’s a lot of names that run around the world … There’s two things that I really like about you from afar, from afar. One, lot of people know who you are, and as people get closer to actually you, the admiration grows, not declines.
And I think that is a big fucking deal.
You’re welcome. Okay, so where were we? The nine people.
Oh, yeah. So I, I suppose was put on the map as far as most people are concerned with a book called the Four Hour Work Week, which we could certainly talk about. Had it’s 10th anniversary the day I stepped on the TED stage this past year. April 24th. To talk about the darkness, so the juxtaposition was quite interesting. And then after that wrote a number of different books with the four hour infomercially sounding vibe. And then Tools of Titans, and then Tribe of Mentors, so I’ve retired the four hour jersey for the time being. And around 2007-
Ah, that little nugget of the time being. I can’t wait for that 20th anniversary Four Hour Mars, where we’re all going to be.
And Four Hour Mars. Jeff Bezos, with Tim Ferris. And then around 2007, also started angel investing and getting involved in tech.
And so the main financial-
Impact on your career.
-piece of the pie chart has come from the involvement with tech.
And have done a lot of like TV projects and things of that nature.
Yeah, TV, podcasts for the past two years, The Tim Ferris Show.
I mean the podcast is a beast.
Yeah, it’s been a good run. Funny to believe that it started with me getting stupidly, inappropriately drunk out of nerves, interviewing our friend Kevin Rose. I don’t know why I was so nervous. But now yeah, 300 or so episodes later, about 200 million, more than 200 million downloads, yeah, it’s crazy.
You did a really good job with that.
Okay, let’s go into this, what is the new book and what’s it about and then we’ll bounce around, and don’t forget, this is a call in show, so Facebook, put in your phone numbers, this is a rare opportunity. Unlike me, who just weirdly adores interacting with people at all levels at all times, Tim, I’m not speaking for him, but he’s more limited than I am.
I’m more monkish in my behavior.
Yeah, so this is a rare opportunity, you can randomly DM me, and I might just like probably respond. You know, Tim, like I can’t get to him and so I think that this is a huge opportunity, make sure you call in, I would recommend this be Tim questions, I’ll get to you another time, but thrilled if we can, wherever we cross paths. Talk to me about the new book.
Yeah, so Tribe of Mentors came about, I just turned 40 not too long ago, and it’s been a big 12 months, been a heavy 12 months too, I had a number of close friends die unexpectedly, including one of my mentors in this book actually just passed away just a few weeks ago, very unexpectedly of complications.
Who taught me how to swim.
How old was Terry?
Sixty-six. So he had metastatic, or metastasized prostate cancer and then had complications from that, and a stroke.
It’s been … Thank you … a good opportunity for me to just take a step back and say, all right, let me hit pause for a period of time to try to reassess priorities, look at the direction that I’m heading, look at the things I’m doing or not doing, how has planning or over planning or under planning helped or hurt me, how am I relating to myself, not just to the world. I mean all of these questions started to bubble to the surface and it seemed like a good opportunity to ask a lot of questions, some of which are really tactical, some of which are more strategic, some of which are really high level life mission type goals.
And I asked myself the question, which I’ve been trying to do in the last couple of years, which is what would this look it, or what might it look like if it were easy, right? So if this were simple, what would the structure look like? And I journaled on it, and the answer that came back was, you should just ask other people the questions that you are having trouble answering for yourself.
So I reached out to about 140 people across every possible discipline, so ranging from say, David Lynch, the director, or Terry Crews all the way to Kelly Slater, the most decorated surfer of all time, to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who’s an incredible writer, thinker, activist, Temple Grandin. I mean you name it, basically every possible discipline and industry. Artists, I reached out to all of them, people at the top of their fields and asked them a set of 11 questions and then compiled it into this book Tribe of Mentors. Because I’ve thought for a very long time, this is borrowing from somebody else, advise I got when I was probably 14 or 15.
Who gave that advice?
It was an older student in a martial arts class, he was an adult, and he left a voicemail on my answering machine, remember those?
Old school. By the way guys, not on your mobile device. This was a machine-
With physical tape.
-that was attached to.
You have to put the tape in.
Yeah. And if you ran out of tape, no more messages. But his message was, advice to me which was “You’re the average of the five people you associate with most.” Which I still think, physically, emotionally, financially, that’s true. And I get asked all the time, “Well, what if I don’t have five people around me that I can use to average up?”.
Yeah. Find them, or you can do it remotely, you can do it virtually.
Through audio, through video, through books. And so Tribe of Mentors was intended to give people 130 of the world’s best to learn from.
I love it. What stood out for you? So you sent this out to people, stuff comes back.
You know some of these people really well, some people medium well.
Some people not at all.
Some people not at all.
Yeah, just DM through Twitter.
Like Hail Mary.
They must have been pumped getting that DM. What did you kinda, give me one to three this person said this, or I couldn’t believe how well I knew this person and the thing they said, like give me a standout.
Well, I’ll give you a few.
So I’ll give you two patterns. The first would be, I’d say 85 to 90 percent of all the people in this book, many of which I’d never had any contact with, have some type of very specific morning ritual. Very often with some type of meditation or repetitive exercise. Which I think serve, in some cases the same purpose. So very high percentage of people practicing transcendental meditation or virasana meditation, specifically.
Another pattern, I think partially because of the question that I asked, which is, do you have a favorite failure, or if you had to pick a failure of yours that set you up for a later success, could you tell a story? And for every huge success that you associate with someone, they have an equally devastating loss that maybe hasn’t gotten as much air time, or any air time. So showcasing those is really important.
I love that.
Just because when people are going through hard times or dark times, it’s very easy to look at, say, the magazine covers and think that Tim Ferriss has got it all figured out, or Gary has got it all figured out, and they never make mistakes. They never whiff a ball. And it’s just, at least in my case, certainly not true. I think it’s important to showcase those. A few very specific pieces of advice that I’ve been using a lot recently, number one, you can’t do all profound, deep questions or it gets really tiring. It’s just heavy lifting. It’s a lot of digestion. So one of the questions that I asked everybody is what is the purchase of $100 or less that has most changed your life in the last few years? One that came back was this supplement called Host Defense MyCommunity. It’s a combination of different mushrooms that this chef, like a big-time chef, has used for immune support when she’s traveling. I started taking that, and it’s like all the usual flu season cold stuff, just gone. So from just a functional day-to-day perspective, right now, I’m hustling, hitting it.
I’ve blocked out time, and that travels with me. So that’s one. Another would be, and I don’t know if you’ve ever had any interaction with Kyle Maynard. Kyle Maynard is a fascinating guy. He was born a congenital quad amputee. So he has his arms and before the elbows and his legs before the knees. Nonetheless, he is in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, like collegiate wrestling, and is the first person to ever climb Mount Kilimanjaro without prosthetics. So he military crawled the entire mountain. He’s such a stud. He was taught by a CEO at one point. The CEO used this for hiring, but you can use it for anything. This particular CEO, very successful, would have his current employees rank prospective employees from 1 to 10. That’s not interesting by itself. His rule was you can’t use 7. So I want you to rank from 1 to 10. You can’t answer 7. What ends up being so beautiful about that and leveraged is that 7 is a safe number. It’s kind of like the nonoffensive Switzerland of answers. It’s not committal. It’s not too bad, so you can wiggle out of it, whereas if you’re choosing a 6, that’s barely passing. That’s not good. If it’s an 8, you’re indicating you’re pretty stoked. You’re vouching.
He forced them to make a decision. I love it.
Exactly. So you can, 1 to 10, no 7. So I’ve used that, and Kyle has used it for, say, invitations…
For anything. Invitations to conferences. Invitations to coffee, whatever it might be. It’s like …
Decisions in life.
Decisions in life.
I’ve been using binary a lot lately, like black and white, 1 and 0. To me, that’s the ultimate, right? It’s just yes no game. But that’s really the same thing as the 7 in a lot of ways.
With the reality there’s a little massaging to …
That’s interesting. I like that a lot.
So another question that I asked everybody is what tips or suggestions do you have for saying ‘no’ to different things? And what have you gotten better at saying ‘no’ to? So we had a lot of founders, a lot of people that you would know in here as well, the founders of Facebook, Twitter, Salesforce, Craigslist, everything, Pinterest, and so on. Dustin Moscovitz, cofounder of Facebook, was talking about ‘no’, and the first ‘no’ being the cleanest and the easiest. What a lot of people tend to do is they cross their fingers and hope something will go away. They’ll say, “Well, ping me in two months. I’m a little busy right now. I’m overcommitted, but maybe in three months.” And then lo and behold, that person, if they know what they’re doing, is they calendar it and two months later, “Hello, hello, Gary. It’s been two months.”
It’s been time. That’s right.
And then you end up in this vicious cycle of punting.
So he’s saying clean nos.
He’s providing guidelines for clean first nos.
No, that’s true. No question in the last three years of my life, and especially even last year in running VaynerMedia, more radical candor, less honey massaging has helped, and it’s so not natural to me.
I don’t think it comes naturally to many people, especially if you … I know some of your early stories, certainly in my early story, for instance, of working in restaurants and so on, I mean, you’re client facing. It’s a high-touch business. You need to honey coat and know how to deliver things, and so to switch gears then is tough.
But when you get to a certain, if you even have a small amount of success in any field, if you want to 10x that and then 10x that and then 10x that, the behaviors that got you to the first point are very rarely the behaviors that get you to the next.
100 percent. And you know what helped me? I realized I wasn’t doing any favors. To me, before, I was doing something nice. You kind of through experience, you’re like, “Wait a minute. I’m not doing anything nice here by saying another two months.”
No. You’re saving them short-term pain to guarantee larger pain later sometimes.
I still punt stuff for two months because sometimes I’m like, okay, in February … I do still aspire to sneak something silly in.
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah. If you have the seed of an interest in it. I think in many cases, for a lot of folks, it’s just like, “Oh god. I don’t want to deal with this. Let’s hope it goes away.”
I think that’s right. Listen, a lot of people in my audience already know who you are and are going to see you in other places or your own platform and are going to get this book. My world has been interesting in the last year, and I think there’s a lot of people who … You know, it’s funny. For the last seven or eight years, I would have said nine people in our crossover. Now, I think there’s some more to that. Yeah, I’ve heard but haven’t dug deep. What else can we say about this book because I do want everybody in this audience, and let’s link it up, guys and girls because I … The work you put out is so real. We live similar-ish but different lives. We know what’s going on out there. I’m just such a fan of the quality and quantity.
Honestly, I think that’s …. We have a lot of differences, but I think one of our weird similarities is we’ve both been around for a little while now. We’ve put out a lot of shit, and somehow, miraculously, they’re still somewhat interested.
Yeah, yeah, totally.
I think that speaks to depth, and I think you have it. So what else should they know about the book or what else do we want to get off here until I ask you a little more about you as a whole, and we’re going to take the first call in a second.
Yeah, yeah. We can jump into all sorts of stuff, but I would say that whenever I write a book, and this is something I admire about you and actually I favorited and retweeted something recently — you may or may not have seen it – on the first three minutes of your answer about what advice you’d give to someone just getting started going out into the world, and it was work for free for someone as high level as possible in basically an apprenticeship role.
I literally believe that if somebody texted me … I apologize cutting you off.
No, you’re fine.
If somebody texted me right now and said, “Hey, I’m getting to work for Tim for the next two years, and I can afford to” whether that means your parents put you in a position where you can afford to, you’ve made some money on eBay in your teens, or fuck it, I’m going to live with 13 roommates in the outskirts of Oakland and commute in to San Francisco. It’s a glorious win.
Yeah, yeah, totally. And you end up focusing on the learning instead of earning. The reason I brought that up is that I think you’ve been very good at making decisions, and I’ve tried to do the same, where you’re developing skills and relationships even if that project fails.
It does not really matter if 2 out of 10 fail or 5 out of 10 or 9 out of 10. If you are at like a snowball acquiring these skills and relationships, you’re going to win. Inevitably, if you stick with it, you will win. And with any book that I put out, the goal is for it to be more valuable years from now even than it is today. The reason I say that, it’s intended to be evergreen. So you have the really, really specific tactical stuff but also the principles and the portfolio of tools like the 1 to 10 but no 7. These types of tricks that are just going to work, and they’ll work 10 years from now.
Tried and true.
They’ll work 20 years from now, so it’s intended to be more like a choose your own adventure book, where you can flip open to a single recipe. You’re like, all right, I need to become stronger in x, y and z way, therefore I’m going to look up Jocko Willink.
He is amazing. Retired Navy SEAL commander. Or I want to become more focused on absorbing knowledge. Okay, I’m going to read, say … You all know Harari’s profile. He wrote “Sapiens.” He has an incredible, incredible annual routine, these sort of rituals. He inspired me to do my first Vipassana meditation retreat, which I did not too long ago, and has been hugely, hugely impactful. It’s intended to be something that can be used immediately, so you pick something up, have a cup of coffee, and you can take something from it, but also something that you can refer to for 10 years. But that’s it.
I love it. Let’s take our first call…. Nicole in Lake Placid.
We should be remiss, but I want to give a huge shout out to Kevin Rose, our mutual friend, for having their first child. Great job there. It’s amazing.
Yes, Kev, Kev, Dar, Dar. Love you guys.
What’s the name again?…. Nicole.
Nicole, hey. It’s Gary Vaynerchuk, and you’re on the “Ask Gary Vee” show with Tim Ferriss.
Oh my god. I’m losing my mind.
Take your mind back real quick. Ask the question. Then you can throw your mind out again.
Sure. Absolutely. My boyfriend is sitting next to me, and he’s freaking out too.
What’s his name?
Jeremy, what’s up?
What’s up, Gary?
Go ahead. What’s the question?
My question is a few months ago, I actually quit my corporate job because I was just not happy there. I started a VA company and within two months replaced my corporate salary and am doing really well. I’m billing out eight hours a day and working on weekends, and now I’m looking to scale my business and hire on maybe my own assistant or subcontractors underneath me, and I’m just trying to figure out how to do that, maintain the expected level of quality that I put out.
And also enhance the positive relationships with my clients because they do put a lot of value in me and trust. I have access to email accounts, social media accounts, credit cards, everything. And I just want to keep that same level of quality and grow my business because I want to be more successful and grow.
I totally understand. I get it. It’s a non-scalable thing, so, especially when you get into credit cards and Social Security numbers, the advice that I usually love that’s mine, and I don’t think it’s everybody’s, but I’m a big fan of hiring intuitively to the best of your ability, but firing quicker if you know that it’s wrong. There’s a little extra dynamic there with things like sensitive information because you don’t want to create the vulnerability that could be an atomic bomb. Does that make sense? Is that something that’s running through your mind?
Yeah, no, absolutely. Some of the contracts that I have with my clients actually state not hiring subcontractors. But I’d like to introduce that to my clients in a very respectful way to see if maybe we can talk about that in the future.
So I’m trying to just kind of plan out how to grow at this point.
Yep. I’ve got some thoughts. At this point, I’m gonna let Tim jump in.
Yeah. I have a few thoughts just because I’ve spent so much time with one foot in the VA world. I would say that … there’s a book called The E-Myth Revisited. I would take a look at that, just in terms of systematizing how you train, just for the big picture and longer-term view, I think that would be useful. There’s also a book called Built to Sell that will allow you to think about building a business that is not dependent on you as a bottleneck. Even if you never sell the business, it’s a useful set of check boxes.
Just on the simplest level, I would say you need to run background checks, certainly on people. It’s a very simply, simple process, but as a baseline, before you even consider someone, you should run background checks.
Then there are two components, I would say. For training and quality assurance, to ensure that you’re not doing in a one-off fashion where you have to continually say the same thing, is create various documents and videos that can be used to train other people. So if you have a particular way of, say parsing email, going through someone’s inbox, determining what’s important and what isn’t, consider using a program like ScreenFlow, where you can capture all of that and walk someone through, in real time, how you are, say clearing and categorizing someone’s inbox. Then that video can in turn be used to train 100 people ultimately, if it came down to it.
And then last, I’ll try to keep this short, but-
Well, this is a domain that you like-
-built. I mean, you’re more qualified to answer her, so go ahead.
I’ve seen companies built and self-destruct in this space quite a few times.
Because a lot of them popped up after 4-Hour Workweek, I assume, right?
A lot of them popped up.
And they were all paying you.
Or I gave them the hug of death by promoting them, and then they couldn’t maintain the quality if they tried to scale too quickly.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. “Hug of death.”
So the secret to scaling effectively, I think, in a business like this, is to scale very, very slowly in the beginning.
Do not be in a rush to hand your clients off to someone else. What I would encourage you to do, and I’ve seen this done elsewhere, is bring someone in on, say, calls, even if you don’t do calls, consider incorporating them in a temporary way, so that they can handle low-level, low-sensitivity tasks for someone else and prove to be very fast and very, very reliable.
And then as the trust develops between the client and this supplemental VA, you can talk to the client about having them handle more in the interest of having better response time and higher quality. That would be one approach.
And last but not least, this is what I’ll close with. I would, at least every six to 12 months, schedule a day where you can do a 30,000-foot review and ask yourself, “Do I want to scale?” If the answer is yes, “Why do I want to scale?” Because I see very often, when people create, say, a business to manifest a better life for themselves that differs from, say, you corporate job, that they take something that’s really going well and then recreate the problems that they experienced in their old job by creating complexity and trying to scale, even if their lifestyle needs are already met with the income that they’re generating.
Yeah, the AKA, you’re making 337 a year income from crushing it on something, and now that’s like the perfect zone. And now you’re making 509, but you hate your life. And that extra really meant nothing.
How long … you said two months in, you were able to do that. How old is it now, the company?
About four months old.
Right. And how old are you?
Yeah, I mean, I don’t know if you watch any of my stuff, but obviously if you’re watching this, unless … I don’t think Tim shared it.
Tons of it.
Good. So patience. Do not be in a rush. I turn 42 tomorrow, right? And I feel 24, and that’s the real truth. If you understood that and said to yourself, “Well, wait a minute, I’m gonna feel exactly the way I feel now in seven years,” it may not make you rush to scale sooner than you needed to.
I mean, you’re four months in. I’m almost, you know …
Yeah, no, I’m not looking to scale super quick. But just a little background story, my boyfriend’s probably gonna kill me for telling you guys this, but about a year ago, he had heart failure in the middle of the night. And after CPR and a coma and everything, it just kind of put things into perspective.
I don’t want to work 40 hours for a company where I hate every second of every day.
So I decided that I wanted to work from home, and that he and I could be together more and travel more.
I get it. I love it.
And so now that I replaced my corporate salary, it’s great. But I want to have a bit more free time, I guess, to do that stuff with him.
So look: there’s no such thing as free time or passive income when you own something because it’s mental time.
You’re gonna have to wrap your head around mental time versus physical time. I am so fired up for next week because somewhere around Tuesday morning, I know the world shuts off, at least in America. Let me rephrase: the U.S. shuts off somewhere around Tuesday morning because, first, everyone’s gonna buy Tim’s book, but second of all, because it means that Thanksgiving is about to start. And I know Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday and Thursday and Friday are literally the best days of the year for me, literally this is not a joke. Next week, Tuesday afternoon, my team will feel it, I am in the best mood because it is literally one of the 24 days a year where I can actually mentally relax a little bit because the world shuts down … I’m sorry, the U.S. shuts down for Thanksgiving.
That will happen again during the Christmas week. That will happen in this miraculous new one that is new, in the last eight to nine days of August, which was a European thing, but has now become an American thing. You just need to travel more, spend more time together. That could be physical. But you guys are seeing the Eiffel Tower, or when you’re having the best sushi ever in Japan, or when you’re watching a great soccer match in Spain, your mind’s gonna be on this business someway, somehow, no matter how zenned out, how much meditation. When you make that leap to being the final line of defense, there is a truth in that that is something you’re gonna have to wrap your head around. And no level of scale is gonna change that. It will only increase it.
Yeah, and I would add, if I may add one more thing.
No, you’re good. Let me just add one more thing. Because Gary’s mentioning some potential peak life experiences that you could have, which may be part of the impetus or dream related to building this business. I would say a year from now, try to schedule four or more weeks where you are not part of the system. In other words, if you schedule at least four weeks, it has to be at least four weeks off the grid, where other people are making decisions for your business, what that means is prior to leaving on that vacation to Spain or wherever it might be, you have to put systems in place– rules, policies, people, etc. that will allow you to do that without everything falling apart.
Those systems then outlive the vacation. And you come back-
-and that helps you then to scale because you’ve proven that you are not the bottleneck for every and all decisions. But you have to force that. If you just say, “I’m going to make an effort to build it,” that’s generally not gonna be enough. But if you’ve pre-committed to yourself and your boyfriend, maybe even other people in your family, you’ve bought plane tickets, now you have accountability. And that’s very, very … I’ve seen it be very helpful for entrepreneurs who want to scale but not to do so by bleeding out their eyeballs.
Now that we’re just going high-level, and we’re just really jamming here and playing a little ping pong, let me talk about accountability. Buying plane tickets may be accountability for a big percentage of people because it’s a financial one.
It took me realizing at 38 years old that I’m only accountable to other human beings, not money, and that’s how I hacked my health finally. I hired a full-time health employee, and I didn’t want to let Mike and now Jordan down. So I wasn’t competing with myself or letting myself down. That’s why I wasn’t winning that game. But once I realized my accountability was actually other human beings-
-that’s how I hacked that. So make sure … Tim’s right, but then make sure it’s not money because you might be like, “Screw it, who cares about the $2,000 of plane flights?”
The people are really important.
I mean, this is part of the reason, before we started recording, I was saying that after reading an article called The Tail End: Wait But Why by Tim Urban, which had a huge impact on how it related to my family and realizing that by the time, I think you graduate from high school, you’ve spent 80% of the total hours you ever spend with your parents before they die. I start scheduling every six months a trip with my family. Now I’m taking my family on this trip but it’s also extremely beneficial to me because I’m taking in this extended trip every six months and I have to ensure systems are in place. It’s a fantastic way to raise other people up while also improving your business game at the same time.
I love that. I hope that helps.
I do. Yeah. Absolutely.
Fortunately, my boyfriend is just as entrepreneurial as I am so we love this stuff. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.
You’re welcome. Have a great day.
Love you guys. All right, you too.
Bye. Bye. Let’s get another call. It’s super interesting. The reality is that restrictions… Snapchat, creating a restriction to the openness of social at the time had the real upside. I think in life those restrictions are a huge deal as well.
A huge. Huge.
I think people are putting those barriers there and the reason I got so excited when you said, “Buy the plane tickets,” I didn’t realize that money wasn’t my barrier anymore.
I’ve had different levels of money. I was never trading on money. Once I figured myself out, I’m like, “Oh, I’m a good CEO because I don’t like to let people down. I work for them, not them me.” That’s how I’ve been able to hack. I think it’s super important for people to get inside themselves to understand those things.
Who’s this?…. Charlie.
Charlie. This is Gary Vee on the AskGaryVee show with Tim Ferris.
My man, Gary. What’s up man?
Things are good, Charlie. How are you?
Man, life is good.
Good, man. What’s your question?
All right. I need two answers from you guys. One from each of you.
You got it.
How do you run y’all’s businesses?
Real quick. You chopped off for a second, Charlie. One more time?
I said what have y’all learned from hip hop that have transformed how y’all run your businesses?
I love it.
That’s CEO Charlie.
Is that CEO Charlie? Charlie, I didn’t catch your name. I love it. I’m so glad you’re on the call, man. How are you doing?
Man, life is good. Never been better.
How’s titty boy?
Man, titty boy is doing amazing. We had a great year.
AKA 2 Chainz for all of you guys that don’t know. Tim, what is your hip hop story, if at all? I’m actually not sure I know.
Yeah. Believe it or not, I was one of the co founders of the first hip hop dance troop at Princeton University.
I’m so excited right now.
This is hip hop dance troop so b-boying, and b-girling it, is my history primarily.
I was listening to at the time Eric B. & Rakim and so on.
The dance troop, which is still going strong now, I mean more than two decades later. What I learned from hip hop is that at least within the dance forms, that there are certain techniques and there’s certain basic principles, let’s say on top rocking and footwork and power moves and all that. They’re basic ingredients, but beyond that, you have the power to improvise. The rules are meant to be broken. If you look at, for instance, Korean B-boys and what they’ve done in the last 10 years, B-boy pocket, especially if people want to see power moves it’ll blow their minds, can keep redefining this genre that is still recognizable as hip hop. That’s part of what’s so exciting to me about it is that while you have this recognizability and pattern matching, you still, as an individual, have so much freedom to create. That’s true in business. That’s true in how you decide to interact with your loved ones, whatever their rules of engagement might be there.
I think it can be translated to almost every possible area including business, where I make a point of breaking my own rules repeatedly as experiments to see what happens. I do that in terms of formats in the podcast. I do that in terms of how I communicate with my employees. I think it’s very, very far ranging.
Charlie, for me, I grew up in a culture in Edison, New Jersey that really embraced it. Fifth grade for me was Adidas with no shoelaces. I was all about it. Here’s what’s interesting. Everybody told me, our teachers told us in fifth grade in ‘85 that it’s not music. It was obviously urban and minority. I grew up on MTV when Michael Jackson wasn’t being played on MTV and politics had to be played to have him on. Here’s what I learned in the 25 years that I’ve paid attention to it close from afar.
If you’re tried and true, the market will come to you. What is super interesting to me about hip hop is that it is now absolutely fundamental pillar of our culture across all genres. It stayed true to itself. It evolved but the world came to hip hop. Hip hop didn’t go to the world. Then I realized as I got older, rock and roll did the same thing. Honestly, that’s what happened with me and entrepreneurship. Unlike Tim, who’s incredibly good at girth and super smart at things that I’m not, he was a really good student and he’ll tell you he’s … You’re 40, Tim, now?
I turn 42 tomorrow. We grew up in an era, Charlie, that a lot of these kids are not growing up, which was entrepreneurship wasn’t a thing.
You were judging by … I went to Mount Ida College. Tim went to Princeton. That was the judge and the jury when we were 18, 19. Tim was a winner, I was a loser and then to watch Tim break out of the model of what every Princeton kid did, went a very different path, and a lot of cynicism I’m sure from the bankers and all the other people that he went to class with. I’m sure there was plenty of jokes and cynicism behind his back and now all of those people who are watching right now would a hell of lot be more excited to be this path than the alternative. Hip hop let the world to come to it. I think the biggest thing in business is you have a product or service that people don’t see. The other thing Tim and I share is we were there early for a lot of these products that nobody knew in the mass world. We knew in our little subculture but people didn’t know, like ordering an Uber was seen as ridiculous. That’s why I passed. Tim’s smarter.
Or Twitter or all these other things. Listen. There was a lot of entrepreneurs, Patti Flynn, JLD, Lewis Howes, but when Tim did his podcast … I don’t know the timing of you and those three, but when Tim did his podcast, it was earlier. Things had happened. He wasn’t the first but he was the biggest when he did it. It was still 24 months earlier than I did it or other did it and he reaped the benefits of that. I’ve had those moments on Snapchat or Instagram or things of that nature, YouTube for sure. By the way, fun fact, there’s another video of Tim and I, we’re much younger, we’re drinking wine, and it’s like eight years old. We may have to slice that into the post production.
Yeah. Add more hair.
Yeah, me too. Charlie, my answer is, if you believe in your thing, stick with it and the world will come to you. If you’re passionate about cricket protein, this is not a joke by the way now, this is actually something I think is gonna work out. If you’re passionate about cricket protein, bet the farm on it because if you see it and you understand why you see it, it’s gonna be a lot of fun in nine years when we’re all eating it and you were there not because it’s not selling right now. Most of the things that have brought good to Tim and I, I can definitely speak for myself and I’ve watched from afar and sometimes close with Tim, people weren’t super sure about, at the time, we’re playing on being historically correct. Hip hop was historically correct.
Appreciate it, Charlie. Keep hustling, man. I’m impressed with you. I also love your health transformation, which has been epic.
Thank you, Gary.
You’re welcome, brother. I’ll talk to you soon.
I mean for example, you experiment on yourself on all … You are out there like taking all sorts of concoctions and doing mental stuff that I know, not for me, I won’t do it because it’s not natural for me, but I know you’re gonna be historically correct. I watch it and I’m like, “Fuck, man. I wish I had that year because he’s gonna be, in 30 years people are gonna be like, ‘Fucking Ferris was doing that shit in 2007.’” You know that, right?
Well, a lot of it, if you look at The 4-Hour Body 2010, a lot of that is now proven out. I mean the vast majority of the book.
That’s so cool.
Which is cool, but I would say that whether it’s hip hop or me doing all these weird experiments or you doing your thing, it’s easier for us to indulge that obsession and to do that thing, no matter how weird it is, than to hold it inside.
We have no other option.
No, right. It’s like when you have feeling, that’s a really positive indicator in a lot of cases. People ask me, “Should I write a book?” I’m like, “Probably not.” In the sense that I write books because-
-You have no choice.
I have these things trapped in my head and I have to get them out or I’ll drive myself crazy.
Do you feel like you, I, a couple other people, are empowering people to do that for their thing?
I think so.
Do you feel like you’re a motivator to others to go tried and true because you’re so deeply tried and true to your thing?
I hope so.
Do you like that idea or that doesn’t come to your mind?
I like the idea of showing people both the successes and the failures so they can see net net, that it’s actually low risk. If that makes sense.
If you’re developing skills and relationships, and that’s how you choose your projects, and you’re not trying to appeal to the entire world. You’re trying to find your 1,000 true fans who are just as crazy about cricket protein, or whatever it might be, as you are. Over time, you will make mistakes, you will have what people perceive as failures, but over time you will win. It’s almost an inevitability, and so if I can showcase that for people, where they’re like, “Oh, I saw Timothy Ferriss publicly face-plant when he did a A, B, and C, and television, that didn’t work out. I saw him try this new thing with this one book. That didn’t work out. But still, in between he had this huge success and this huge success.”
You’re talking about the Amazon thing?
No, really. I mean, listen. I mean, 90% of the stuff we do doesn’t work. Sid and I are supposed to have an international domination tour in 2017 of all my content being transcribed all over the place. He texted me three days ago. He’s like, “Really hope that we can get focused on the International Tour.” It’s fucking November. You know? We’re losing all the time.
And it doesn’t matter. If you get a few things right, you can screw up almost everything else.
One thing right, sometimes.
Yeah. Sometimes one thing right.
If it’s big enough.
Yeah, for sure. And I think that for that reason … Somebody asked me not too long ago if I viewed myself as a role model. I wouldn’t use that. I think, I don’t want people to try to be me, but if they can take lessons from watching my public successes and failures, and that gives them the courage to try something because they’ve now realized that it’s, in fact, very low risk or reversible …
Actually, before you go there, Tim, self esteem.
Something I’ve been talking about a lot over the last 18 months more than ever before. Why do you think you had it? Mom, Dad, environment, something I don’t know? I don’t know. I’m asking. I don’t know.
So this is …
But you have it. You’re talking right now, and I’m like, I connect with it tremendously because it is the drug.
It is the one that … You’re right. Let me ask you that. I’m going to ask a bunch of things because I’m going to get it figured out here.
Do you like the failures more than the successes?
Okay. I do.
Yeah, yeah. I …
Are you eating chocolate?
I think …
What is that? It looks delicious. Sorry.
Arm’s reach. Keep it out of arm’s reach.
I promised I was going to … I could feel that I was … I felt that I was going ADD now.
Yeah. It’s like a bloodhound.
I knew, I could feel the chemicals in my head. I’m like, I’m about to get radic … I’m about to get random. ‘Cause I’ve been staying very calm for very long. I’ve been trying to keep this vibe. I’m like, I’m about to fucking explode. So, real quick, but real quick … So I really do, and I’m not kidding. I mean, look, let me rephrase … Maybe I just like them the same. I definitely am not scared of them, and I definitely like them a lot more than I think a lot of people. Why do you have self esteem, do you think, from your standpoint?
Yeah, so let me answer a few different things, not necessarily in that order. I would say I hate, I greatly dislike failure. I love being underestimated. So, if someone says “Oh, Tim Ferriss is trying X, he’s never, that’s never gonna work.” I’m like “Great. That is nothing but upside.”
I love that. Oh, I love it.
It’s already assumed that it’s gonna be a worst case scenario. I have nothing but upside. I love that.
As your brand has grown, as your successes have grown, do you like trying to do new things because you’re trying to scratch that itch?
In part, definitely.
Yeah, me too.
Yeah, because I’ve been doing the same thing. It’s kind of like being Serena Williams. It’s like “Oh, no, yeah.” Like if you don’t win Wimbledon, we will be disappointed.
The grand slam.
Yeah. You have to win everything because we expect you to, or we’re gonna be disappointed.
It’s so ridiculous.
My god. That’s terrible.
But on this self esteem bit, I’m gonna give you an answer that might surprise you. So, I have spent for a host of reasons that I don’t necessarily want to get into right now, but some very like dark, bad stuff when I was a kid that … I spent the vast majority of my life disliking myself. And that’s something that I’ve tried to … I’ve realized is not an optional piece of the puzzle. Like, you cannot love other people fully if you just tolerate yourself.
And so if not for yourself, your family or your people, your loved ones, you have to reconcile bits and pieces inside of you.
The reason I say that is I think what I could attribute my successes to is more the fact that I was confident I could train myself to absorb or tolerate very high levels of pain to outwork other people to win in sports like wrestling, which is all pain. Right? And so I chose arenas in which I felt like even if I lacked the technical gifts, even if I lacked certain coaching advantages, that I could still win because I could just outlast other people. And I enjoyed being an instrument of competition. And I still do. I love competing. I’m better in competition than I am in rehearsal.
Yeah, it’s like-
I understand totally.
It’s really weird, but that’s just me. I feed off of it.
How much time did you spend in your own head in your teenage years?
Because I was horribly … I mean you and I … I’ve known of some of your backstory and certainly you’re in this right, and talking about some of the bullying experiences. I was a tiny kid until about sixth grade. I got my ass kicked. It was like Lord of the Flies every day. I had to rack my bike home so I wouldn’t get the shit kicked out of me. So, that, I think developed a lot of anger in me, and I used that as a fuel. I was an angry kid. I was not … There were moments of happiness for sure and I had a good family life, but I was an angry kid.
I get it.
And so in high school I was very solitary. I did not … I wasn’t a social butterfly at all.
Do you think that’s still true now?
I think I’m an introvert who can pretend to be … Not pretend to be an extrovert. I’m an introvert who recognizes the value of being extroverted for certain things.
It’s really interesting. I was thinking-
Like to teach, it’s very difficult to teach. I view myself as a teacher, not a writer. It’s very difficult to teach well if I’m overly introverted. Right?
It’s interesting. I was thinking about … I knew we were gonna hang today. I was just like, you know you reverse engineer … I talk about all the time … I realized something very interesting. Out of the people I know, and we’ve gotten to spend some time together, it’s interesting how much of our time together has been one on one. In the 13 … 11, 9, 16 times we’ve hung out, I’m like holy shit, why is 75% of that time in that coffee shop in San Francisco, on the grassy knoll at South by Southwest. It was interesting to me, and it just made me think a little bit about that.
Yeah. I don’t do terribly well in groups. I shouldn’t say that. I don’t do well in big groups. But, for instance, if I do a book signing I need two or three days to recover from that. It’s so depleting for me.
I want to be on. It’s not like “Oh, great. Nice to meet you. Good-bye.” I’m so in it. I’m looking through somebody, like into them, not just at them.
Yeah, I get it.
But I need a lot of solo time to recharge.
I get it. Let’s do one more question. Adam?…. Chips on shoulders, man.
They’re such a fucking advantage. Jesus Christ, chips are good, boy.
They’re good until they’re not.
Yeah, of course. If you don’t know how to control it, it gets real bad. You and I could have been real fucking… No, really. We could have been known for way, way worse stuff than-
Adam, it’s Gary Vee here an the “Ask GaryVee Show” with two guys with chips on their shoulder.
Oh, my god. Hey Gary, hey Tim.
How are you?
Hey. I’m doing great. I’m actually in class. I just walked out.
That’s a very good strategy. What can we help you with?
Well, I was memorizing my question, but I can’t remember all … Okay. My question is: For a foreign student … not a foreign student, I’m sorry, I’m just like talking right now.
No worries. We got you. We’re not hanging up.
Okay. So, for someone like me who just traveled from Asia, Malaysia, to US … I’m 20 years old, so I just started college and all that. I watch many of your videos about hustle… basically going into this entrepreneur land, like you said. So, where do I start? I want to start doing things. I want to start experiencing things, but I don’t know where to start.
So, real quick, and this seems like it could get really good, actually for a couple reasons. You know, Tim said something super interesting earlier about “Should I write books?” And he was like “No.” You know, I came out the gate with the hustle and the entrepreneur thing. You know, Four Hour Work Week crushed it. You have these moments where you’ve got a lot of more life to live to reconcile those headlines that people put you into.
You know, as I hear your question … I’ve been doing a lot more of this over the last two years, which I think is a maturity that I’m happy with, do you have to be an entrepreneur? To me, I always think about the number eight at Facebook versus the number one of the nine million things that didn’t work. You know, I want to make sure that I’m not inspiring something that sounds great but isn’t really you. Or, do you feel like you are, and maybe the culture you grew up with suppressed that in school? What’s your read right now at a young age? Are you excited about that? Do you need it? Why are you gravitating?
Because when I hear “How do I start an entrepreneur?” I’m scared already because when you’re a purebred, you don’t, I mean, I don’t know, fuckin’ go buy something at the dollar store right now and post it on Craigslist. I mean, that feels very raw and real to me. The modern day entrepreneur of making a deck and raising $4 millions on an idea, and this and that. That is student entrepreneurship, sometimes not, but I’m curious where you are.
Right now, obviously I have no background experience in sales or being an entrepreneur. In fact, I just recently, what’s the word for it? It’s like I just wanted to be a entrepreneur, because … You really inspired me to be that. Because my mom, she’s in marketing and sales, so it kind of picks off from there. For now, I’m actually in liberal arts, which I actually plan to change to business, international business major. But that was another question I was about to ask you, if it’s the right path if I want to be an entrepreneur. I am very passionate to be an entrepreneur.
Go ahead, Tim.
All right, Adam, let me jump in here for a second. Where do you live right now?
Where do you live right now?
I’m living in Rochester right now… in that area.
All right. There are a few thoughts that I have for you. The first is that there are as many paths to entrepreneurship as there are entrepreneurs. There’s no one right way. So the most important thing that I want to convey first is that you’re not going to make any fatal mistake at 20 that’s going to prevent you from being an entrepreneur for the rest of your life. You can have 20 failed businesses, and then still go on to be a billionaire all time, right?
You could be whatever, you probably don’t know who Wayne Gretzky is, but the Wayne Gretzky and Mike Tyson maybe, if you get that, of your chosen field. So I would say, number one, don’t be afraid of your first steps, because there really isn’t any clearly defined path. My recommendation, at 20, would be to not try to memorize the entire playbook and start from scratch. What I would potentially consider is finding a small, fast growing company nearby, and either interning or volunteering or doing something that allows you to be in any room with people who are negotiating and deal making.
Because at the end of the day it could be real estate. It could be design. It could be web services. It really doesn’t matter what the industry is. It’s the skillset. You want to get very good at crafting deals and persuading and negotiating, and the easiest way to get good at that is to observe someone who is doing that regularly, whether that’s on the phone or otherwise. So I would suggest that you look for opportunities to learn from other people who are already good at deal making and negotiating, because you will use that in everything, whether you’re buying, selling or anything in between.
Just to answer your other question, and then we can hop around a little bit, first, actually, to identify your obsession, if you want to do that, that could be part of your journey. There’s a book called Small Giants by Bo Burlingham, which I would recommend checking out, which profiles a number of different businesses that are not intended to scale. So you might have a woman who makes leather pants for the most famous rock musicians in the world, and she makes 100 of those a year, and she makes a few hundred thousand dollars, and she only accepts clients she loves, and that’s it.
That’s a real analogy or you made that up?
That sounds cool.
Like Sheryl Crow is one of her clients. So that’s one you can take a look at.
Just to your question about college and majors, I was a liberal arts major. I was in neuroscience. That didn’t work out. Then I went to East Asian studies and studied Japanese and Chinese. That has, from the outside looking in, nothing to do with what I’m doing right now.
However, I would say that it is very hard to learn business in a school setting. It’s like learning how to play football by reading books about it, and then trying to go to the Superbowl. It just does not tend to work out very well. So if you are going to stay in school, and I’m of the mind that there is some value in that, depending on your circumstances, and certainly your parents would probably like that, if I had to guess. View college as a way to become a better rounded human being, and also if you are interested, to develop certain skills. I would … If you were to say to me, “My passion is entrepreneurship 100%. That’s all I want to do.” I would probably tell you to take computer science and math classes before business, because if you have those skills, you can figure out the businessy stuff in a three day tutorial from someone. So those are a few thoughts, but just my perspective based on my life experiences.
Brother, here’s, let me tell you something. Entrepreneurship is tricky right now, because it feels like anybody can do it. You don’t see Steph Curry at 20, and say, “I’m inspired now. I’m going to be an NBA player,” and think that that’s tangible. Entrepreneurship has zero cost of entry. It’s awfully cool right now.
It’s very scary for me. One of the things I’m trying to combat, Adam, is people jumping in because I’m an inspiring character. But it was what I always was and always will be. So I think that there’s a lot there from Tim that’s important. You can’t think it’s that easy to just be inspired and be successful at something. I would spend more time tasting. I think you should try to do as many things as possible, and to Tim’s credit and point, try to surround yourself …
I would really pour on the extrovert nature. I’m empathetic, immigrant in a new country, or a foreign exchange, or whatever you want to call it, so might not come as natural to roll up on it, but you might just be introverted by nature. But I would take advantage…
Well rounded person in college, I get it. I know that’s a narrative. To me, it’s just take advantage of a captive group of people in the same place, and try to meet as many people as possible. Entrepreneurship is hard. Being a successful entrepreneur is stunningly rare. Way more than people think, Adam. So I think patience also, 20 years … To Tim’s point, the next 10 years, you could taste fail. It’s why I’m pushing people to get closer to big time mentors, because what you will siphon out of them is going to be so much more ROI positive. Don’t put pressure on yourself to thinking it’s either school or entrepreneurship. There are so many twists and turns.
Yeah, there is a lot on the spectrum, which is, Gary, you and I, I think, see this a lot in our respective audiences, is where people make a false dichotomy out of full-time employment or full-time entrepreneurship.
That’s it. Those are the … And no. There’s actually a spectrum in between. So as a student, for instance, one thing that I did when I was in college, which you might consider, is becoming a part or beginning a student club or a student union of some type.
Love that. Love that.
So that you have to sell membership, you have to actually take notes, keep track of records, right?
Oh, I see.
So if there’s … It doesn’t matter what it is. If you are, say, the graphics editor of the school newspaper, you’re going to have to learn to deal with deadlines. You’re going to have to learn how to maybe interact with ad sales, because so and so is buying a two page spread, now you have to integrate and reflow the entire design of the magazine. These are all experiences that mimic the real world, meaning non school world. So I would encourage you to learn on someone else’s dime, right? At school, you aren’t necessarily paying a lot for your mistakes, which relates also to my recommendation to maybe work within a smaller company, where you have the opportunity to observe a really good deal maker, where you can make mistakes, and someone else is paying for that education.
Adam, so me a favor also. Buy something on Craigslist or eBay or a store, and resell it on the Internet. Figure it out. Just go through the exercise. The exercise of buying something and selling it for a profit is an incredible, incredible indicator, and exposes a lot in the game, because it’s always some level of buying and selling. Just do that. It’s a very easy, fun or not fun venture, and it will be quite telling in the success or non success you have, if you do it a couple times.
I’ll give one more.
Which is actually … Adam, I don’t know you, but I’ve spent a good amount of time in Singapore and Malaysia. So another exercise I would suggest, because entrepreneurship if you choose to take that route, is full of uncertainty. What I would suggest, and also nervousness in many cases. When you go out to get a cup of coffee or tea or whatever it is, and this is borrowed from a friend of mine named Noah Kagan, ask for 10% off. So for the next 10 coffees that you get …
… each time you get to the head of the line, I don’t care if it’s Starbucks. It doesn’t matter if they say yes or not, but ask for a 10% discount. You can’t say you’re doing an experiment. You can’t say that Tim Ferriss told you so. You just have to ask for 10% off, and just sit there and wait for them to respond.
Did you do this, Tim?
And, what were the conversions?
It makes you more comfortable with discomfort, and you also realize the downside is so limited. The downside is you just …
I respect the macro amazingness. No, no, no. What were the conversions?
Oh the conversions.
Yeah, how’d you do?
Oh, the conversions are surprisingly high.
Well, yeah, and that’s why-
I mean, like 70%.
Seven of the ten people, at a Starbucks or Peet’s Coffee or some random place, were like, “Okay, sir.”
Yeah, or they’re just so stunned that they’re like, “Wait, this is Starbucks.” And I’m like, “I know. I would still love, I’d really appreciate 10% off.” Half the time, they’re just like, “Okay, guy. Sure, yeah. I don’t want to fight this fight right now, so okay, fine. 10% off. Yeah. Knock yourself out.”
I love it. Adam, try some of those things, get back to us, okay?
All right. Thank you very much.
Good luck. Good luck. What else, Timmy, as we’re wrapping up?
What else is going on in your world?
How are your investment … Are you still investing?
I haven’t really done any investment for about two years.
Yeah, me neither.
I’ve been out for about-
I’ve stepped out.
Yeah, no. It’s-
It’s overpriced. It’s hard to pick the winners as much. Too much supply and demand.
Too much supply in terms of cash. Too much, this is going to sound like a crotchety old man, but maybe that’s me. A lot of also entitlement. If my startup isn’t valued at pre-money 30 million because I had an idea while I was taking a dump 10 minutes ago, then I’m insulted. It’s like no, no, no. You have to earn that. So I like to wait. Things go in cycles. I will definitely be investing again, but I’ll wait until there’s blood in the streets.
What about voice? That seems to be the closest thing to social I’ve seen in a long time. I’m going to probably invest in that space. The platform building on top of Alexa and Google Home. I’m real bullish on it.
Oh, I think it’s going to be a super active space. I think it’s probably also going to be a very crowded space, just like, say, blockchain and-
AI. Yeah. All the trends.
Yeah, and AI and all of that. When you move into a crowded space, you just have to make sure that you have an informational or analytical advantage so that you can pick reasonably intelligently. At this point in time, I’m allocating my brain space to more of the writing and the podcast and so on, so that I don’t have, I think, enough bandwidth to do a financially responsible job.
I love that.
I would just be spraying and praying, or being like, “Oh, my 10 friends are in? Okay fine.”
I love it. Yeah, we did a lot of that back in the day.
Which I don’t want to do, because all of my friends who have funds have too much money, so they’re spending more money than I should as an individual.
I get it.
So I would say, just maybe as an overlay on everything we’ve been talking about, that a lot of folks look at me, and some people assume that I’m a risk taker. “Oh, he loves risk. He loves taking … No risk, no reward,” and all this. I am so focused on risk mitigation at all times.
Me too. Me too. Look what I did in the height of everything, when we were living it, I decided to build a client service business. No really.
No, I get it. But I think that’s in part because you and I have had so much practice capping the downside, and walking through that rehearsal. Can I actually stomach and handle the worst case scenario? If so, all right, I’ll cap my downside, and then eventually the upside will take care of itself. You shared in Tribe of Mentors… This is another one I think about a lot, which is when you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do or what do you think about? Your answer was, if you’re going through something very difficult, you imagine your family dying in a terrible accident. It puts it in perspective. It’s like, there are problems that we put in quotation marks, and we make a big deal out of on a day to day basis, and then there are tragedies and crises and real dark things that can happen.
Period. Real Stuff.
When you put it in perspective, you’re like, “Oh, yeah. Whatever. Getting my coffee 20 minutes late and it’s cold. Maybe not a big deal.”
Maybe that should not occupy any of my mind.
Or something like big, lost a huge account. Lost a million dollars.
Yeah. Lost a huge account. Yeah. One thing that came up again and again when I was talking to these various mentors in different fields, is the idea that sometimes you need life to save you from what you want, to give you what you need. So sometimes losing that account, you look back five years later, and you’re like, “Best thing that ever happened.”
The best. Tim, you get to ask the question of the day. All the guests on the show get to ask the question of the day. It’s a great opportunity for you to get thousands of answers on Facebook and YouTube. I know you like to get consumer insights and things of that nature. Anything. Or a favorite color. I could care less. Whenever you want to go, Timmy. Fire it away.
Timothy…. Camera one, is that where I’m looking?
I think that one actually, right? Yup.
This one? All right. Question of the day is what failure or disaster, or so it seemed at the time, actually was a blessing in disguise and set you up for later success?
I love it. Tim, you said something earlier about you’ve got to be right to be able to do the right thing by others.
It was interesting, and you know this, this is a … We have an interesting, great, long relationship, but I really wanted to use this medium to publicly apologize to you. This is something I’ve done to you personally a lot of times.
I am so thankful for the life that I live. I am such a happy man, because I really have crazy good intent, and have been able to execute it a bunch. This is something nobody knows here. I’m excited for everybody… Tyler and people that know who I am. I know you know who I am, but I wanted to do it, because I thought it was important for me, because I want you to know how much it means to me, because I’ve done it a bunch of times personally.
Early in my career, I was giving a speech at Blogs With Balls, just funny in itself, and I think I got overzealous. I did get overzealous, and I was talking about hard work and hustle. In it, I said, “Fuck four hour work weeks. You got to work your ass off.” The level of intent was extremely low, but in reality it was just not the right thing to do, especially because, out of all the people I know … The thought that I haven’t offended or hurt or even did anything slightly wrong to millions of people that I have no respect for or compassion for or desire for friendship or how I feel about them, the thought that that happened, and I just want you to know, because I know I’ve said it a bunch of times privately, but in my everlasting quest for you to know how deeply I’m hurt that I could’ve done anything that hurt you or miffed you in any certain way, I wanted to put it super out there into the universe, and never let there be any confusion.
I admire you tremendously. I’ve really enjoyed our friendship through the years. That is, when I do die, that is something that will still run through my … I’ve lived it pretty good. I’ve lived it pretty good, and have all the right intents. I hated that that happened. I hate that that happened, and I want you to know, on this big of a stage, at least my little micro big stage, that I mean it with every ounce of my soul.
Thank you, Gary. Accepted. I know you do. We’ve talked about it personally, so …
But you mean a lot to me, man.
It means a lot, so thank you.
Honestly, now that, as I continue to get older, there’s not that many people doing it.
The level of, I get put into a lot of … A lot of people use my name and associate it with other names, and I have no interest. But every time people, like on Twitter or in real life, when people are like, “Oh, I like Tim and Gary.” Every time I’m associated with your name, it means a lot to me.
Thank you, Gary.
You’re welcome, brother.
I love you.
Many adventures ahead.
100%. Really appreciate you. Tim Ferriss, everyone.
You keep asking questions. We’ll keep answering them.