So let me start out with a few announcements. Since I was able to land my biggest guest ever (that would be Tim), I have decided totakeadvantage of my great fortune by unveiling two things tonight.
The first is my new website, www.deandwyer.com. That will be a blog post for another day, but the framework is now in place to officially launch that sucker, so TODAY IS THAT DAY.
You will notice that the site isn’t completed yet, but I am teaching myself to launch ideas when I have the framework in place.
Second, I had the great fortune to interview Tim Ferriss as part of the online promotion he was doing for his latest book, The 4-hour chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life.
And I have to say, Tim did not disappoint. The man is a wealth of knowledge.
Here are some of suggestions of things you should be listening for in the podcast.
- How Tim became an accidental author
- Tim’s theory on the magic of 3
- Breaking news that Tim has never revealed publicly before (I’m like the TMZ of the blogosphere.)
- Tim’s formula for dealing with refection
- Why he chose to reinvent himself with his second book
- The one thing he wants people to know about him
Rather than write about stuff that you will hear when you listen to the show, I am instead going to do something different. I am going to use what I learned from my interview (BTW I always listen to my interviews 2 or 3 times after I am done to search for hidden lessons and clues that might not be obvious to the naked eye brain) and frame that learning within a recent framework I have developed.
So lets start with my framework. You are going to find that much of my work moving forward is going to revolve around this framework.
You see, I have discovered that people who are able to create the ultimate lifestyle for themselves, all adhere to the same basic formula.
- They solve their own problems.
- They sell their solutions. AND…
- They live their lifestyle fantasies.
Step #1: Start by solving your own problems
To understand Tim’s journey, you need to go all the way to the genesis of his first book, The 4 hour workweek, to understand how this journey actually began.
Ferris had discovered that he was not cut out to be an employee. So after researching the best businesses to start, he decided on a supplement company.
And within a short period of time, his company was doing very well financially. Soon he was pulling in over $40,000/month, but it came at a cost. It was sucking up 80 hours of his week.
Desperate to get his life back, he started looking at ways to automate his business.
After much trial and error he was able to perfect his system to the point where his business ran on autopilot. It now only required 2 to 4 hours of his time each week.
Step #2: Look to sell your solutions
What is rather ironic is another common theme I have seen pop up more frequently. Tim’s decision to sell his idea did NOT originate from Tim himself.
In fact, Tim revealed during our interview that he had never thought about writing a book. His journey to automate his business was done out of self-preservation. It had never occurred to him that there was a solution worth selling.
But as seems to be the case with many successful lifestyle hackers, Tim was doing something that would have a serendipitous outcome.
Twice a year Tim would guest lecture at Princeton (his former college) and teach a lesson called high tech entrepreneurship. He was simply sharing the lessons he had learned about automating his business.
At the end of one of those lessons a student had sarcastically suggested he write a book and be done with the topic.
With that the seed was planted.
He wasn’t sold on the idea of writing a book, but he began to collect notes on chapter ideas. Soon he had a rather large pile of notes and an author friend suggested he write the book.
That was enough to inspire him to seek out an agent and put together a proposal for his nonfiction book.
As a side note, nonfiction books are written after the fact, once a publisher has accepted the proposal.
In Ferriss’s case, the first 26 publishers rejected his book idea; and some not so politely. The 27th accepted and the rest as they say, “was history.”
Published in 2007, the book went on to spend 4 and half years on the New York Times bestseller list and has been printed in over 40 languages.
Step #3: Live your lifestyle fantasies
There are many who are able to achieve steps 1 and 2, but fall flat on their asses when it comes to step #3.
Of course, lifestyle fantasies are different for everyone, but at the end of the day, everyone should be looking to create a business that serves their life. Sadly, most create a life that serves their business.
How does this play itself out for Ferris?
Well it actually plays itself out in many ways. He is now an angel investor and acts as a consultant for a number of new companies.
He has multiple streams of passive income so he is earning money 24/7.
But most importantly, all this has freed him up so that he can explore his obsessions.
The 4-hour workweek focused on lifestyle design. He then moved on to The 4-hour body, which focused on his obsession for superior health.
And all of this has lead to his final obsession…
The 4-hour chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life.
The book is a summary of Tim’s two year journey traveling all over the world learning from the best learners on the planet, ranging from chess masters to chefs.
And don’t be fooled by the title of the book. While he definitely teaches people how to master the art of cooking (which is perfect for guys like me who are absolute train wrecks in the kitchen) this really is book about how to…
LEARN ANYTHING FASTER.
This ranges from marksmanship (or markwomanship…no gender bias on this blog!!) to building fires to learning languages to running profitable businesses to losing weight.
Tim sums it up best.
“Your life really changes when you have an organized approach to learning anything.”
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