Let’s be honest, for every person who thinks that’s that Tim Ferriss is either overhyped or anything remotely negative, there are ten more experts who look up to the serial entrepreneur. What’s more, the facts and numbers speak for themselves – Ferris is the author of no less than 5 #1 New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers not to mention the owner/investor of far more companies.
To say that Ferriss’ book – The 4 Hour Work Week – is transformative would be an understatement. After all, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales recently admitted to packing up and going to Argentina after reading this book.
“You’ve got this whole rat race thing going on, you’re following all the normal things, and you just step back and go, ‘Hey, is there a radical, different way of looking at this?’ So I got into my apartment in Buenos Aires and nobody knew I was there. They all thought I was in New York because I was working remote anyway.”
Here’s what we can learn from Tim Ferriss:
1. Forget about Perfectionism
As you may know, the Tim Ferriss podcast is one of the most popular in the world but the guru is very clear on why his podcast blew away so much of the competition. In recent interviews, Ferriss explained how most podcast hosts and bloggers strive for a sense of perfectionism that ultimately becomes their downfall.
In other words, Tim says that when you spend too much time editing, you will most likely end up burnt out or exhausted at the very least. What’s more, this perfectionism will always result in less productivity and far more procrastination than any entrepreneur wants to experience.
If you are unsure of what Ferris means by any of this, he says that one should ask the question: “What would this process look like if it was easy?”.
How It’s Done – Ferris advises startup founders to take a more simple approach to get work done. For example, he recommends that you create a template in which tasks are delegated and outsourced with the intention of producing actual products. In every instance, this template should focus on keeping work to a minimum and costs low while producing the best possible product or outcome.
Takeaway – Productivity is always better than potential and perfectionism is not conducive to productivity.
2. Create a Community of True Fans
I can’t count the number of times Tim Ferris has mentioned “1,000 True Fans” – the fantastic article by Kevin Kelly. Simply put, this short article outlines a simple action plan to focus on creating a small community of interactive followers rather than a large community with little to no traction.
Whenever Ferriss talks about his success, he refers to this outlook and cites his true fans as being the driving force behind his biggest achievements. Now, that’s not to say you need one thousand fans or even five hundred. Rather, startup founders should focus on gathering their own tribe of like-minded followers.
In case you’re wondering, a true fan refers to someone who is consistently interested in what you do, who will buy your products or services and interact with whatever you publish.
How It’s Done – Entrepreneurs and Startup founders should be willing to start small and interact with each and every person they encounter on social media and other avenues. In time, the true fans should grow into a loyal community. These communities might even become valuable sounding boards or launch platforms for every project thereafter.
Takeaway – It’s important to forget the numbers and focus on nurturing community within the current audience.
3. Charge a Premium for Quality
For many startups and entrepreneurs, charging low prices is thought to be the best way to attract customers. However, according to Tim, this is one sure way to earn less and have to work even harder for these lower figures. That is to say, when you charge a low price for something, you obviously make less money. Worse still, low-paying clients are usually significantly more hassle. It’s true that low-maintenance clients are often those who do not mind paying a premium for high quality.
What’s more, Ferriss explains that charging a premium is proof that you don’t mind putting in extra work to get rid of these troublesome clients. As if that’s not enough, he goes on to remind entrepreneurs that charging higher prices will inevitably mean that they need fewer customers.
How It’s Done – Needless to say, you should price out competitors and offer a similar price for the same services. Do not try to slash these prices and focus on conveying quality instead of attracting “cheap” buyers.
Takeaway – If you underprice your services, you will have more work for less money.
4. Nailing the First Impression
When Ferriss first talked about his advice for people taking job interviews, he said that the same advice was applicable to entrepreneurs starting a business. After all, first impressions are just as important for people as they are for businesses.
Ferriss outlines the simple fact that it takes seconds for people to form a first impression. For this reason, appearance is everything. In fact, the guru states that your trustworthiness, likeability and competence are all on the line within these first few seconds.
With this in mind, Ferriss says that startup founders and entrepreneurs should spend as much time as possible honing their image and the brand message they want to convey.
How It’s Done – As you might expect, the company website should be flawless and properly designed by a web developer. Also, whatever content might be on the site must also be up to scratch and scanned for anything that might be considered inappropriate. More specifically, Ferriss said that logo design, landing pages, and every other aspect of content marketing need sufficient attention before going live with a project.
Takeaway – If you fail with first impressions, you have failed entirely.
5. Forget Absolute Income and Focus on Relative Income Instead
Everyone has the same amount of time in the day. Likewise, everyone can choose between working hard or not. Most often, the amount of pay will depend on how well this time is spent and how much money is charged for what you do. When it comes to income, there are also two different ways to focus on what you earn – relative and absolute income.
Now, for the sake of clarity, relative income is the measurement of what you earn in comparison with the rest of society, such as work colleagues, friends, etc. For example, a customer service rep in A company might be paid better than a customer service rep in Company B. If we assess this pay based on measuring income alone, the customer reps in company A have a better income. On the other hand, absolute income refers to the total earnings you receive for a period. For example, a customer service rep earns $30,000 on an annual basis.
Takeaway – Take everything into account when you consider your income. Living costs, currency rates, and the flow of money will all be different for your brand.
6. Rehearse possible outcomes
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a lot of uncertainty for entrepreneurs. This has been a stressful situation for everyone, Tim Ferriss included. In order to cope in the middle of so much uncertainty, Ferriss has adopted some stoic practices, including the practice of rehearsing possible outcomes.
“The areas where I have not struggled are the places where I have rehearsed, to the extent possible, what might happen.” ~ Tim Ferriss
The Stoics called the practice “pre-meditation Malorum,” which translates to “the pre-meditation of evils.”
According to Ferriss, if you write your worries down, describe the worst-case scenario, and write what you can do to avoid that scenario, you’ll be less anxious. This practice can also help you to do better crisis management.
All things considered, it’s pretty clear that Tim Ferriss takes a very practical and unorthodox to startups and entrepreneurship but it clearly works. Also, if we look at his track record for success we can not only see some incredible results but also a very clear process that brought him to achieve these results in the first place. Many of which he has explained above!
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