Skip to main content

17 Questions: 5-9

Lesson 4 from: How Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers Master Productivity

Tim Ferriss

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

4. 17 Questions: 5-9

Next Lesson: 17 Questions: 10-13

Lesson Info

17 Questions: 5-9

So what if let them make decisions up to 100 dollars, 500, 1000? This is about automating processes within your company. And I wrote about this in The Four-Hour Workweek in the automation section, so I'm not gonna spend a lot of time on it, but if you're feeling overwhelmed or a bottleneck in some process in your own company, in your own job, how can I let other people make decisions up to 100, 500, 1000, and increase that dollar amount as they prove and document that they made decent decisions? You might recall I had two hours per week, question mark. If I could only work two hours per week on my business, what would I do? And this relates to 80/20 analysis, identifying the 20% of activities that produce 80% of the results that you want. This could also be the activities, people and so on that produce 80% of the positive emotions you want in your life. More and more, I'm doing this type of reflection. I went through my entire 2016 calendar and asked that question. What are the 20% of ...

people, activities, events that produced 80% of my positive emotions? And I did the inverse, the 20% of, you know, events, activities that produced 80% or more of my negative emotions. And that is 80/20, also talked about in The Four-Hour Workweek. I do this constantly. Least crowded channel just means everyone is trying to do X, consider doing the opposite of X. And I used this for my book launch. I've used this for every book launch. I look at the most popular means of promotion. If everyone's going after podcasts, I don't go after podcasts. If everyone's going after blogs, I don't go after blogs. If everyone's going after YouTube social influencers, I don't go after those people. I do the opposite. Maybe I'll do billboards. Maybe I'll go after long-form print. I always look for the least crowded channel. If everyone is pitching via email and phone, I'm gonna try to meet them in person, which is how Four-Hour Workweek hit its tipping point. Alright, what if I couldn't pitch my product directly? I'll keep them one super short, but journalists, media don't care about your product, generally speaking. They don't want a product release, okay? And what if I couldn't pitch my product directly is a way of thinking about creating angles and stories. People don't want product pitches. They love stories. And the way that I thought about, and have thought about my book launches, is with the acronym PPC, not pay-per-click, though. So you have polarize, alright. If everyone's okay, they find what you view or make mildly interesting, you're dead, alright. So you need to make something that can recruit 1000 true fans. I highly recommend Kevin Kelly's 1000 True Fans. You can find it at It's also, a revised edition is in Tools of Titans, with the idea being, if you can develop, if you can cultivate the intense view, not the lukewarm money, and have a 1000 die-hard true fans. And if you have a one in a million interest, by the way, you can still build a massive business that is hugely profitable, just taking one person out of a million. I mean, I don't care if you're into, like, Conan the Barbarian meets My Little Pony Claymation videos, you can probably find 100 people who are going to pay you to make the best damn short videos about that on the planet. So find your 1000 true fans and in doing so, almost inevitably you will polarize them. People will not like what you do, and that's okay and in fact, that creates the debate that creates the self-driven marketing force that is your 1000 true fans and their sort of counter-attacking force that creates the type of discussion that ultimately helps you tremendously. Alright, so PPC, polarize. Number two, phenomenize. So if you want to create a successful product or service, think about how you can create, perhaps, a movement, perhaps a new label, a new concept. For The Four-Hour Workweek, that was lifestyle design. I made no attempt to trademark that or protect it. Why, because I wanted to become part of the common vernacular, the popular vernacular, and that ended up being one of the better decisions I made. Then the last, and these are sort of Don King-esqe words, but communitize. I couldn't think of a better way to polarize, phenomenize, communitize, alright. And communitize just means that you are enabling your 1000 true fans to create their own groups. You're providing them with directions, ideas, in some cases tools, saying hey guys, you could do this at the time on Ning, or Facebook groups, which is what I'll be doing again this year because I want, the most common request that I get from people who have read my books is meetups with like-minded people. Okay, well I'll orchestrate a competition of sorts to encourage people to develop those, most likely on Facebook groups, but they could be Meetup as well. And that creates a self-driven engine for everything. Okay, what if I created my own real-world MBA? I'm not gonna spend a ton of time on this, but consider how you can take money that you can afford to lose and create a self-directed learning curriculum. In the case of investing, or I should say MBA, I took what I would have spent on an MBA. I wanted to go to Stanford. That's 120,000 dollars over two years and decided I would make my own Tim Ferriss fund, which wasn't a real fund, it was just me investing in startups. And I viewed that, this is the key concept, I viewed this as my tuition. I was going to spend and lose, if you want to look at it that way, that 120,000 dollars, but that the skills and the relationships, those two things, the skills and the relationships that I would develop would more than make up for that over time. This is also how Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, chooses his projects, by the way. He calls it systems thinking, but even if you fail, how can you win? So if you have, if you choose five projects, and you have conventional goal orientation, I want to make this amount of money, whatever it might be, you could fail on those five and still be back at square one. However, if you say, start a blog, or a podcast, and you say alright, even if this fails to the outside world, I'm gonna be developing the ability to eliminate verbal tics, I'll be developing relationships with the people I interview, I will be doing X, Y and Z, skills and relationships that persist past that, you could fail four times, have one moderate success and then have a huge home run, Stars Wars-like mega-hit, because you've been thinking in these terms.

Ratings and Reviews


Awesome content. Great job Tom, N creative


Spot on, if you need good examples and brilliant questions that change your way of thinking.

cynthia roderick

He's quite impressive.... wish there was a download of these questions...instead I have to watch again and take indication of where I could find the questions otherwise...of course, these videos drive you to check out his books and website... I bought a synopsis of the latest and either the synopsis was VERY POOR or the book doesn't say much... in any case, don't waste your money on the synopsis... I will buy an earlier book... as I said, he's an impressive guy who does his homework....

Student Work