Tim Ferriss
Stock photo of Tim Ferris. Design by the author.

Who doesn’t want a good head start in life?

Rich parents. Genius level IQ. Good genetics. Crazy luck.

Only if I had those things; all my life problems would disappear. That’s what we tell ourselves. Don’t we?

What do we do next?

We do what we do best. We sit back and do nothing.

While at it, we use our alleged lack of unfair advantages to excuse our inactions. We give up before trying, and then we get offended by other people’s success.

Here’s what you need to know. Good starts are often overrated.

From being sexually abused as a child to coming deadly close to ending his own life as a 22-year-old, the beginning of Tim Ferriss’ life hasn’t been the kindest one.

Today, Tim Ferriss is one of the most successful podcasters, investors, and entrepreneurs, with a net worth of $100 million.

Moreover, Tim is also one of the rarest self-help authors, internet personalities, and life gurus who don’t suck. No wonder why he is super popular as well as well-respected!

He managed to score crazy results, despite having a messy start.

You can do it too. No. I can’t turn you into a millionaire. However, I don’t see any reasons you can’t do at least better than you are doing right now.

All you have to do is…

Dare To Ask Crazy Questions

It’s easy to miss.

Tim Ferriss didn’t just win despite a bad start. In fact, he won because of his bad start. Let me explain.

To achieve such a massive success as an author and a podcaster, you have to hit the right nerve with your target audience.

That’s exactly what Tim got from all these years of suffering and failures, a common ground with the very people he intended to appeal to. Not only that, but he came up with radical ways to address those pain points.

Again, unlike most fraudster self-help gurus, Tim’s methods are backed by science, and most importantly, they work.

He himself is a testament to that.

And how does he come up with those effective solutions?

In Tim’s own words:

I find that levels of success in almost any industry or area correlate to a person asking great questions. In some cases, they seem absurd. In fact, the hallmark, in a way, of great questions is they sound completely ridiculous.

The reason why asking radical questions is highly effective is that it pushes you to challenge your preconceived notion.

It helps you grow out of your unproductive thought pattern and replace it with a much more efficient thinking process.

Start Small. Start Right. Stay Consistent

Asking great questions will help you in two ways:

  1. Pinpointing the actual problems
  2. Coming up with possible solutions

However, executing them is a different beast altogether. Here, you will actually have to put in the hours and build something meaningful.

And that’s where most people fail. There are two ways they end up wasting their lives:

So how to get around these problems? How to make the work less intimidating?

Simple. You have to break down your impossible dreams into smaller doable tasks. Then, all you have to do is follow them up with gradual yet consistent effort over some time.

As Tim Ferriss puts it:

Meaning, in the beginning, do less than you are capable of doing.

Pick Your Battles According to the Rewards

Your time and energy are finite. Besides, time isn’t something you can buy back. Therefore, you are better off investing your time in something that will get you your desired outcome.

Of course, it heavily relies on your life priorities or your own version of success.

Not everyone wants to be rich. Nor does everyone want to launch a startup. We all have different goals. We all have different sets of fears.

So it’s crucial to pick your battles according to your desired outcome and the pain points you want to avoid.

Then according to that, we must choose our steps wisely. Here, Tim Ferriss prefers to ask himself this question.

What is the one thing on this list of seven different campaigns that will make all the other ones irrelevant or much much easier?

Don’t Just Accept but Expect Small Fallouts

You can’t maintain a high level of productivity if you always expect only good things to happen to you.

When you subject yourself to such unrealistic expectations, you become too fragile to function in your day-to-day life.

As Tim quotes it:

It’s recognizing that to prevent all hurt feelings, all mistakes, all problems, all of this, is impossible. And if you try to do that, you will never have a proactive schedule of your own.

He further explains:

Humans are very good at considering what might go wrong if we try something new. What we don’t often consider, is the atrocious cost of the status quo — not changing anything.

While avoiding every threatening aspect is impossible, Tim does provide us with an effective measure to neutralize self-paralysis while taking some reasonable risks.

Here it is:

  1. Define: Find out your fears. What do you fear going wrong? Make it as concrete as possible.
  2. Prevent: Now, ask yourself what you can do to prevent it from happening or decrease its likelihood even by some margin.
  3. Repair: If the worst-case scenarios happen, what can you do to damage control? How have other people handled it in the past?

When you run your fears through these steps, breaking them down on a much more tangible level, you will find countless ways to tackle them. That’s how you take back the power.

Learn Newer Skills and Build Core Competency

Want to get better results? Start providing better value. There’s no way around it.

The easier you are to replace, the less valuable you are to your market. No matter whether you are a business owner, freelancer, or full-time employee, the same rule applies to all.

So, how to be more valuable? How to be harder to replace?

Here’s Tim’s answer:

Find a situation where you can be in the room with masters of a craft. That could be just deal-making…you sit in a room with an absolute pro at crafting deals, negotiating, and getting past no.

And why does it matter?

Learn before you earn. It’s never too late to do that. I don’t care if you are coming out of a college, out of a high school, 30, 40, whatever it is. System’s thinking. Focus on the skills and relationships first. And then you can just create a blank check for how much money you wanna make.

In the end, it all comes down to one undeniable piece of truth. You only control your own mind and actions, nothing else. So the more time you waste stressing over things beyond your control, the less time you have to nail the things you do.

If you liked what you read, please feel free to…