Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss gathers and breaks down a truly vast amount of information from some of the most successful figures on the planet. In short, if you read and reference one book for the rest of your life – make it Tools of Titans.
Here are 17 things you should learn from his book. They can apply to your own life, regardless of your personal situation:
1. Getting Things Done
“If all we needed was more information, then everyone would be a billionaire with perfect abs.” Derek Sivers
As illustrated in another best-selling book called “getting things done” by David Allen, it is often the vast amount of information we carry around which stops us from getting things done. Similarly, Tim would come to the very same conclusion when he quotes Derek Sivers above and explains that information without action, is nothing. In fact, sometimes the best way to succeed is to start now and adapt later.
2. Freeing yourself of unnecessary thoughts
Julia Cameron is one of many authors who have written about the advantages of morning pages. Essentially, when you wake up each morning, the idea is to write down several pages of whatever is on your mind. Now, this does not have to make sense entirely. The purpose of the task is, in fact, to rid you of unnecessary information that may be clouding your mind.
Having put this information on paper, you are left in a much more creative mood. In other words, you are free of the unnecessary thoughts with which you woke up.
3. Asking stupid questions
Society has a common tendency to frown upon “stupid questions.’ Nevertheless, Tools of Titans goes on to speak about the importance of stupid questions.
Another podcast host Alex Blumberg explains how stupid questions are questions nonetheless. You are better off knowing the answers to these questions rather than ignoring the fact that they exist. In conclusion, the chapter points out that there are ways to “disguise” a rather dumb question using a very good choice of words. The outcome you should be looking for in this regard is to use these questions as a source of growth. This will also enable you to learn more for yourself.
4. Showing up
“My work is not done on the night of a big standup special. My work was done three months ago. All I have to do is show up.” Whitney Cummings
It’s certainly important to prepare adequately for whatever it is that you want to achieve in life. Even so, the most important part is showing up.
Many speakers will talk about how facing your fears and taking risks is often the secret to success. Tools of Titans outlines a very different and seemingly more rational approach. In no uncertain terms, Tim Ferriss learns that the act of doing will trump any amount of learning, preparation, or information.
5. Public speaking
“I always advise young people to become good public speakers”. Scott Adams
Scott Adams was the author of Dilbert and told Tim Ferriss that absolutely anyone can learn to be a competent speaker. Furthermore, Adams went on to say that anyone who has even one skill can learn to be a good public speaker. What’s more, they can become an invaluable figure in the process.
6. You do not need qualifications
Ferriss talks about his meeting Dan Carlin, a famous podcast host. He learns how Carlin is proof that you do not need qualifications or even experience to do something you love. Unfortunately, this seems like one of the darker segments of the modern world in which traditions and conventions continue to hold back aspiring artists and entrepreneurs.
As Gary Vaynerchuck is known to say – “You need to stop caring about what anyone else thinks of you and start investing in what you think instead.”
7. Be real with yourself, and others too
When speaking with world-famous motivator Tony Robbins, we learn how weakness can often translate to strength. That is, if you utilize it in the right way. In this segment, Robbins discusses anxiety with the author. He also explains how he writes down his anxieties every single morning. Essentially, he says, acknowledging such feelings is far more beneficial than trying to ignore them. Similarly, Tim Ferriss discusses his own personal problems throughout the book… These include his battles with anxiety, depression, and even suicidal thoughts.
Moral of the story: Be honest with yourself, and others too.
8. Create your own tribe
One of the most interesting aspects of Tools of Titans relates to a theory from Kevin Kelly that you need one thousand true fans to be successful. The reasoning behind this theory is that if you create a product or service, then you will always have at least one thousand true fans who are likely to enjoy and even buy whatever you produce.
However, there are also two parts to the theory: you need to interact directly with these one thousand fans and: this effort should be rewarded when your true fans relay your message to their own friends or people they know.
Having said that, this chapter does also stress that your message needs to provide value. The whole concept revolves around the fact that good content is worth remembering and sharing. Good content also drives people to come back for more.
9. Know when to say “no”
Tim Ferriss is known for talking about the power of “saying no” and knowing when to use it. In fact, he wrote an entire book on the subject. In the chapter with investor Chris Sacca, he speaks about choosing the right time to accept invitations. Likewise, he wrote about how to know when to say no to extra work or further obligations.
Although this may seem slightly negative to some people, this is an incredibly powerful lesson in that we spend too much time tending to the work of others rather than sticking to our own course and our own destiny. Saying no is not a bad thing. Society leads us to believe that it’s selfish. In reality, saying yes to everything is simply not sustainable.
10. There are only so many self-help books
When speaking with the writer from the television hit “The Office,” Tim Ferriss came to understand how BJ Novak was not convinced that self-help books apply to every individual. In his own circumstances, he found the morning daily rituals of other successful people tedious. Instead, he preferred to use his own methods to get in the mood for the day ahead.
11. You are the USP (Unique Selling Point)
While Ferriss did utilize a marketing firm to promote his books, this was on a rather minuscule level. He still speaks about how little this particular firm accomplished. At the same time, poor performance is not the subject of this point. Tim Ferris was largely responsible for marketing his own books. In fact, it was Tim who made every effort to connect with influential bloggers around the world, build relationships and offer value to these bloggers wherever possible.
Moral of the story: You are the center point for marketing your own product or service, the leader, the one and only reason people should find it interesting.
12. Creating a community or tribe is content marketing
Having written one bestseller, Tim Ferriss was already considered an authority on the concept of lifestyle design. Having said this, the true reason for his meteoric rise in the online world comes down to his innate ability to create an interactive community. As opposed to most famous publishers, Ferriss didn’t have the support of mainstream companies, individuals or businesses. However, in creating a fiercely loyal community around his blog and content in general, he was able to make just as much of an impact with this tribal following.
In short, the author focused on creating unique, interesting, and shareable content. This translated to an incredible level of marketing, one that was entirely free.
13. How you sell is more important than what you sell
One of the most common mistakes in modern marketing is to forget “what sells” or to get lost in the features and benefits of a product rather than understand what potential customers are really interested in knowing.
For example, when Tim Ferriss published this book, he took the very same approach to marketing as with his first bestseller, the 4-Hour Work Week. When most authors release a book, they talk about the specifics of their content, the reason their take on a certain topic is so important or what makes their book stand out from the crowd. Alternatively, Tim Ferriss decided to speak about “Lifestyle Design” when he released his first book. With Tools for Titans, he focused on his belief that every successful person uses the very same tools to get ahead.
By finding some common ground, people were more likely to pay attention to the above message and in the process, find out about the author’s new book.
14. New media is now modern marketing
“New Media” largely refers to the way in which marketing has changed in recent years. Essentially, it is considered the more social and smarter alternative to traditional sales techniques such as a press release. Furthermore, new media can include anything related to the social side of online activity such as social media, blogs, podcasts, forums, etc.
One of the great lessons to be learned from these books and the approach which was taken by Ferriss to market them is the level of success he achieved through new media. In many ways, these levels are unattainable with conventional marketing. The very personal approach taken by the author with his blog, followers, and delivery has proven a crucial reason for his incredible rise in notoriety.
15. Quality is all that matters
An immense amount of research went into writing Tools of Titans. This is clear from the frequency of statistics and factual information throughout the book. Similarly, the 4-Hour Workweek was not only insightful but also filled with facts that added credibility to every paragraph that made sense.
When you consider the popularity of the author’s books, you should realize that the commonality between them is the extremely high quality and relentless effort which was put into writing them. In this modern era, people are desensitized to traditional marketing exploits. Simply put, quality is now more important than ever if you want to stand out. When it comes to Tim Ferriss’ books, there is nothing average or mundane about this content. As any seasoned writer will tell you, there is no fluff within his writing. Tim Ferriss made every word count. He ensured that the finished product was worthy of the praise it now receives.
While this is often the intention of most authors, unfortunately, the tiresome process of writing a book can give way to a lower-quality product. From Tools of Titans, you can easily see that this was never the case and that Ferriss did not allow for any lackluster writing in his book.
16. Conventional marketing is no longer effective
As already mentioned, the conventional means of marketing are no longer effective. This is especially true in the case of overselling a product or service. As you might expect, Tim Ferriss completely avoided the hard sell. Instead, he sent his book to fellow bloggers for free, without as much as a request for them to review it.
As with his newfound community, this was another example of how the author focused on producing quality content rather than purpose-built marketing material. Essentially, this method of “soft sell” put into practice the well-known fact that the best strategy for growth as a blogger, influencer, or business of any kind, is to focus on creating content that leaves no need for a desperate tactic such as a hard sell.
17. PR and marketing are still crucial tools for success
Yes, Tim Ferriss is mostly responsible for his own success. Be that as it may, savvy PR and marketing is still something that stands out from Tools of Titans. The methods the author used to promote his book are particularly outstanding. You see, there was still a method to his tactics. As with his books, an incredible amount of research, preparation and effort went into promoting his products.
In many ways, Tim Ferris was working within his means. This was not only a very effective approach but reasonably affordable too. For these same reasons, partnering with Pressfarm is often considered the most sensible approach when it comes to content marketing or PR. Our understanding of every aspect of new media is central to our proven strategies for success.
With one of our affordable PR packages, you could get a professional press release, a few compelling guest posts, and an eye-catching media kit for your brand. All of this content is designed to help you make a splash in your industry and stand out from your competitors.
In addition to helping you create quality content, the team at Pressfarm can help you distribute it widely. By submitting this content to the right media outlets and startup directories, we can help your brand feature in relevant search results across search engines.
Moreover, with our database of over 1 million media contacts, you can connect with the best journalists in your niche. The media database is designed to help you continue telling your brand story long after we’ve wrapped up your campaign at Pressfarm.
As an entrepreneur, there are only so many self-help books you can read. Even so, if you want a good synopsis of them all, then Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss is probably the only one you need.
How Pressfarm can help
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