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The 5 Failures of Tim Ferriss and How He Overcame Them

TimFerriss is certainly not the type of person you might associate with failureand even a quick glance at his resume should tell you that almost everythingthe man touches, turns to gold.

It’strue, Ferriss often talks about failure such as here, here, and here but it wouldseem that most of his battles relate to personal problems that take placebehind the scenes. In other words, Tim is always open when it comes to hisencounters with depression, yet he seems to excel in everything else he does inlife.

However,there are some significant events in which Tim has needed to dig deep…

1. Shortcomings at Shypand Leaving Investing Behind

In2013, Tim Ferriss raised a whopping $250,000 in less than one hour on AngelListfor a startup called Shyp. As if that wasn’t enough, he went on to double thatamount through his newly formed syndicate and Shyp itself managed to raise acombined total of $2.1 million. In case you might be wondering, Shyp was ashipping company that also picked up and packaged items before sending themthrough major carriers.

Whilethe company managed to last for five years, Shyp was eventually shut down andhad to lay off its employees. As you may know, this was one of many investmentsthat left Ferriss feeling stressed and even somewhat disillusioned, while hewas cited as saying that his impact was “minimal” for these startups.

WhatDid Ferriss Do About it?

Insteadof investing in more companies, Ferriss announced that he was taking anextended vacation from investments. As a result, he also decided to focus onpassion projects such as writing and media publications which left him feelingmuch more rewarded and certainly less stressed.

2. When the Tim FerrissExperiment “Failed”

Manypeople do not realize that Tim Ferriss had his own television show on HLN inwhich he set out to master a number of skills in the shortest amount of timepossible. While his show was in fact debuted on the channel above, mostepisodes would never see the light of day which left Ferriss feeling like afailure.

Ontop of this disappointment, Tim was especially sad that his fans could not seethe show, for the television company held all rights and decided not to air therest of the episodes.

WhatDid Ferriss Do About it?

Whilemost people would cut their ties and try to put the experience behind them,Ferriss started a long and complicated battle to attain rights to distributethe show. It involved, lawyers and legislation at every turn but after one yearof persistence, he gained digital rights to the show and published them oniTunes.

Justa few years later, Tim also hosted a second show called Fear(less) with TimFerris. As part of this show, he interviewed many influencers about theirsuccess in various industries.

3.  Ferriss Suffered Crushing Blows DuringCollege

WhenTim was studying at Princeton University, he suffered a number of personalsetbacks that would leave him contemplating suicide. In various podcasts, TEDtalks and blog posts, Ferriss speaks candidly about this time and never shiesaway from speaking the truth. While Tim does not go into the specifics, he neededto overcome these problems before he could tackle what would become his veryfirst startup – BrainQuicken. In fact, this was also the experience that wouldresult in his most famous book, the 4-Hour Work Week.

Buthow did he overcome these issues?

What Did Ferris Do AboutIt?

Afterrealizing his predicament, Ferris decided to face his fears head-on and takemore responsibility for the outcome. In time, he also channeled his energy into90-hour workweeks and a manic schedule that would spawn the above-mentionedbook.

4. The Dangers of CreatingYour Own Company

WhenTim started out as an entrepreneur, he received a considerable payment for thesale of BrainQuicken. However, it was only at this point when he realized the dangeror trap associated with starting a business, for he suddenly felt handcuffed toBrainQuicken for every waking moment.

Forthis reason, Ferris says that it’s better to focus on passion projects and workthat you genuinely enjoy rather than one that might be making more money. Atthe same time, he also insists that working for yourself is better than workingfor someone else, regardless of whether any handcuffs are involved or not. 

WhatFerriss Did About it?

Fortunatelyfor Tim, he was able to realize this issue at a young age and after receiving awindfall from his first startup, he decided to invest some of this capital inother startups. With this in mind, he was no longer handcuffed and had muchmore free time to focus elsewhere.

5. Unhappiness in Spite ofMassive Success

Inspite of all the success, Tim Ferriss discovered one of his great failings inlife while researching his book “Tribe of Mentors”. While interviewing a hostof inspiring individuals, he came to learn that many of these people had agreat sense of peace in common. However, through this realization, Tim alsolearnt that he was deeply unhappy and no longer satisfied with his manyachievements or temporary victories.

WhatDid Ferriss Do About It?

Inorder to overcome his failing, Ferriss said that he needed to shed the cynicismand practice empathy as a means of keeping the pessimism at bay. Whileawareness was key to this process, Tim took an interesting approach to thematter by using meditation to manage his self-control. Over time, the famous authorcites this meditation as the reason for his appreciation and greater sense ofcompassion in life.

Final Thoughts

AlthoughTim Ferriss may not have many black marks or major failure on his resume, it’sclear that the lifestyle guru has encountered his fair share of obstacles inboth his personal and business life. When it comes to his methods, it’s alsoapparent that there’s a lot to say about persistence in the face of adversity.