Chase Jarvis: Interview with Tim Ferriss
Oh, excellent. Super, Super happy to be here first ever podcasting week. I'm thrilled to help kick this off with my good friend Tim Ferriss. Well, well joint have joined us in just a second. If you're familiar with, I'm sure from it with him because you have to have been living under a rock if you're not, I think he's got five, maybe 45 summer in that range. Number one New York Times bestselling book. Um, he considers himself a human guinea pig. He's been experimenting, um, on peak performance with himself and the cadre folks he runs around with. And he also, at some point in the last few years, started a podcast. We're gonna find out why he started the podcast. Um, and we were gonna go back a little bit because he was on my part. My podcast, The Chase Service Live shows Now, I think 10 years running, Um, he was one of my first guests, and then when he started a podcast, I was one of his first guess. And you're gonna hear, you know, we're gonna go on the way back machine and here a lit...
tle bit about how we started. Why and what Tim has done more than anyone else that I know is he's perfected this as an art, and he now has hundreds of millions of downloads. Um, and he's gonna tell you everything you want to know and a little bit more about podcasting, and And look, we've been friends for a long time. It will be very informal, but that's one of the things that I love about audio. Ah, And again, this is our goal here is to kick off the week with a lot of energy trying at a ton of value in just this little this. Ah, about It's about 60 minutes here. Um but in order to start this, I actually need another. I need a guest. So please give a warm, creative life. Welcome for my dear friend And the super awesome podcaster Author, Guru badass himself. Mr. Tim Ferriss in the house there. ISS. Yes, that is a lot of clapping. Good morning. Good morning. We also go to the same Taylor's you guys, right? I was going to say we have the same barber, but I can't see your hair, Tim. Whoa! Different Barbara different barber. Um, good morning. Your hailing from Austin right now. Is that accurate? I am. And that's why I have a Oh, it's bedazzle. That's incredible position. Awesome. Well, as I am, if you could hear my intro or not, but I gave a little bit of a backstory any. We've been friends for a long time, so this is gonna feel really informal. But that's also one of things that I love about audio. Um, is it allows and specifically the way that I think both of our shows are formatted. It allows sort of room to have full deep answers rather than I've been a lot of TV. Tim also has, and those answers in television or like How can you get it in six seconds? Yeah, and what's your What's the shortest version you can possibly do Of some particular answer versus riel depth? I know Tim's interviews have gone on. What's the longest you've got, like a couple of hours for sure, right? Oh, or plus hours with people like Kevin Kelly, Long David Hannah Mayer Hansen is also over four hours, Let's say the sweet spots. Probably between an hour and 1/2. 2.5, Yeah, wow. So we're not gonna go quite that long today. Um, but I think just the the ability to you have a real connection with your audience to be in their ears where they're doing something, um, is really valuable. Um, but again, I'd like to go back to the beginning because everything has an ark. And we could talk about your celebrated podcast. Now, with how many 1,000,000 downloads you got more than 300 million. It's probably somewhere between 304 100 million. Okay, that's a lot. Um, but what we want to do is I want to go back to the beginning because I think for their folks in the audience who were in the studio audience here today Welcome all of you. And then there's folks at home. Thousands are tuned in from all over the world, and I think there's a range of of, um what we need to identify with folks who have a podcast. They want to make it better go from, say, 2 to 10. And there's people who want to go from 0 to 1. You want to start something, so we're gonna bounce back and forth and service of both those audiences today. And to do that, I think we should go back to the beginning of your show. And I'm going to reveal I'm gonna share something very vulnerable here, which is I remember getting a call from you. And it was like, Hey, but I like your show. It's it's been fun to be on your show a couple times, but, you know, I've been doing these books, these books and I am really a lot of research. And then only a little bit of that information makes its way into the book. And I just said to myself one day what it would be if it was easy. And so I'm gonna start a testing out. I think you were very clear about this is an experiment, but I wanted to know if I could interview your for for an hour or something. Ah, and see if the podcast was going there, it could could get going. And, ah, so we did that. We sat down, and that was I don't know how many years ago now, but please walk us through what the original sort of context was for starting a podcast. The why you started it and then the how you got off the ground. Sure, the first rial exposure I had to podcasts was during the launch of the four hour chef. And for each book launch, I'd say in the preceding six months, I look for a new, collected or underpriced channel that is growing very quickly for the four hour work week that was blog's Weblogs, which were increasing in importance and along with radio specifically, NPR seemed to move a lot of books. When the for our chef came around, podcasting seemed to be a medium that was not being used by authors launching books whatsoever and nonetheless where, I say, despite that, was moving a lot of copies of books when people happen to chance across them. So I really focused on podcast for the launch and was on Nerdist Marc Maron WTF. It's also on Joe Rogan, and the effect was incredible. It was really, really beyond all expectations, and I had fun. As you noted, I didn't have to censor myself. I didn't have to give a 12th soundbite that required two hours of makeup. I mean, look at me. What makeup do any? I have nothing to put makeup on nonetheless would show up at 5 a.m. for these morning TV shows, which have their place but wouldn't register in book sales whatsoever. And after the launch, after the four hour chef, I was completely fatigued and battle weary and worn out by yet another 700 page book Project, Multiyear Project, where it aeration is really hard. You put together this finished product, you publish it, you hope you get it right, and any type of modification is really involved. So I thought to myself, What type of creative project could I pursue more? What have experiment? Could I dio where I would have 100% creative control, more or less 100% distribution control? And, uh, that would also be very lightweight and allow me to test many things quickly and podcast things when I came up with. So I asked myself, Really, what would it look like? Or what could it look like if I were on the other side of the table instead of being interviewed? If I were doing the interviewing, which I do anyway for the books like you mentioned and instead of sharing 5% of the conversations in text format sharing the entire conversations. And in my mind I wanted to have a graceful exit. So I committed to myself. And then I think I also mentioned this in episodes one and two, doing six episodes, and I would assess then after six episodes, whether I wanted to continue or not. But that would give me the expectation upfront with listeners that this might be a limited run a season, a season one. This was before I think people were doing what they called seasons of podcasts. But you could certainly approach it that way and the objective with the podcasts, which is the objective with many things that I've done, even if you look back at, say, investing and Startups 2000 7 2008 when I started, it was running an experiment where I could really focus on developing relationships and skills that would persist and be valuable. That would transfer from one project to the next to the next. Even if that initial project failed by any outside measurement. That's how it started and it was didn't have a name, didn't have a monetization strategy, did not even know how to list a podcast as faras RSS and so on so that it would be automatically distributed. I knew nothing coming into it from from the business or production standpoint of audio. Well, think times have changed a little bit because there's a lot more infrastructure. There are entire platforms, like anchor and whatnot. We're going to that a little bit later. But what I think what strikes me in listening to that? Is that you? Sort of. If you wait till you're ready, you're never going to start. And even from someone who's, you know, one of the master podcasters of all time. He had that same approach. And I think, um, maybe we can shift gears and like So, how did you get your first couple guests and describe? You know what that was like? Because I think that for the folks at home right now, they're going Wow, like, you know, a mice friends. So it was really small. I don't have you know, Richard Branson is not a good buddy of mine. So who who's gonna pay attention if I start at the beginning and ah, I don't even know You know what gear to use. So how did you go from doing nothing to doing something? Well, there's so many variables in the beginning. If you are a beginner and podcasting, I would encourage you to control as many as possible so you might not have a large friend, Roland X. But who says you even have to publish your first few podcast? You report, do some dress rehearsals. And for me, it took the form of interviewing a handful of very close friends Kevin Rose yourself and a few others so that at least that piece of the puzzle was not intimidating to me. One thing that people could do in this selling that I've seen work very, very effectively is if you want to interview someone who is above your pay grade, so to speak, you can find a publication. Whether that's a Forbes as a contributor or perhaps a regional magazine could be any number of newspapers where you can do an interview on behalf of that media outlet and they get the text. But you agree with them in advance that you can use the audio, the full audio for a podcast. There are ways to borrow credibility, and I mean you and I have similar war stories along these lines, tons of them. And I think you put it really well where if you wait until you're perfectly ready, you're never gonna do it. You're never going to get started. So and but novel Ravi Kant, another friend of mine, has been on the podcast, said something along the lines of, You know, if I always did the job I was qualified for, I'd still be pushing a broom somewhere. And he's one of the most successful tech investors in the world at this point. Look, So there's this this concept of just starting and one of the things that I also encourage people don't want to get your take on this is do what you can with what you have to me. That's a better way of starting. Then I need to go out and buy this. This is I find this is very useful for procrastinating. I don't have the right Mike. Hey, I need some new headphones and if I just go to work on my other job and save up and I could buy those Sennheiser headphones and then I can by the recording thing versus I think most of us have a phone, and that phone has the ability to record audio. And I would encourage you to think about just using that to start with. And look, you maybe do six or 10 of those and you find out that you love this, then you can start investing. How, What was your particular experience and tell us what you're set up was like The very beginning I set up at the very beginning was actually this Mike that I'm holding right here, which is an audio tech audio Technica 80 are 2100 which is a USB Mike costs preps $50 and it sound great, by the way, thank you. It it really punches above its weight class. And I could use something called E can call recorder, which allows me to record both audio and video if I so choose, which I don't do very often. So the total cost going into it would be $100. Wow, that's it Well, and I would also suggest to people that sometimes doing the podcast interviews via phone or via Skype is advantageous. In the beginning, it's much more complicated in person from a gear standpoint, unless you're using a phone, you could just use the phone. But if you want to get distracted and you probably will get distracted by the many other options, their arm or things, perhaps counterintuitively they can go wrong in person. And you will be trying to maintain eye contact and keep the person comfortable, which will prevent you from doing things like taking notes, which you can do very easily when it's audio only via something like Skype and you can have references in front of you can have questions in front of you. It simplifies things quite dramatically. I think that's a really counter intuitive way of thinking. I think everyone like okay, cool. And I can't have him over because, ah, they're gonna come to my house and the House is a master of really small apartment. It's not gonna be cool again. Maybe Skype like Tim. You know, you just put some steer horns on the wall behind it, and you just get after it, um, is right. But I do like the simplification concept of it. I think my we started doing something a little bit different. Just me and a couch and I filmed it because I thought it was another distribution platform. So it was audio and video, and today it's it's still, um, the Chester of his live show is both. Ah, what about you know, you've experimented with audio and video and I've seen you, you know, sort of ebb and in and out where you currently fall on that spectrum. And now that you're a master and you were not just about simplifying the process, where do you fall on the on the that spectrum? I'm still mostly in audio guy. I have recorded some video actually in this tiny little apartment in downtown Austin, so you don't need much. But it's not my native element. Yeah, and video adds a layer of complexity and cost in production time for someone who's just getting started or even for me. I have quite a bit of television experience. I know how to vet people, and it's still very involved. Do you want to do live switching and so on? It's a whole separate skill set. It's a basket of many skill sets, so I I defer to audio in general and there are people also who love video, say like Joe Rogan. Yeah, if you do a spectacular job and with Elon Musk, write yourself in any way competitive with people who love something that you do not love doing. And I don't I don't waken talk about competition because I generally don't think about it, but they're always going to be better at that given skill. Yeah, and in my case. Or I should say, in my experience, when I look at people who quit after three or four podcast episodes and there are something like 550,000 podcasts on ITunes alone right now, I think there are 30,000 new podcasts going up every week. And the number I heard actually yesterday was there fewer than 500 that have 100, or more downloads. Preface it. So the elephant graveyard of three episode podcasts is the vast majority. And then that he gets the question, Why do these spokes quit? And I think it is in part because they try to get fancy in the beginning. They want to be this American life, which, not coincidentally, has a thank you credits that lasts about three minutes, 75 names. It's very, very, very hard to do. So I looked at the formats that would require the least work, and those were WTF Rogan, long format conversations, minimal editing. And I knew that if I didn't keep the format simple in the beginning that I would quit. I also forced myself to keep it simple, and I don't recommend this for everybody, but I did all of my own audio editing for the first 20 to 30 episodes. Was that using GarageBand? I would say it was a mistake at the time or it wasn't a mistake. I don't I don't regret doing it. But the software was not sufficient for the size of files that the Senate of creating, Uh, so what do that? Let's us this time into that just for a second. So for the people you named your mic, the Z 24 8 k are 2180 2100. That's this $50 mike and then ah, so you started out with garage Band that had hard time with these bigger, longer files. So what do you currently use? And, ah, tell us how long it took you to edit in the beginning and now Now, what is your program? Well, I like to be able to do all of the jobs associated with any project that I'm working on. And that sounds strange. Perhaps I think you're pretty good at this and have done this with a lot of what you've done. Maybe not everything, but it gives me a level of confidence and familiarity so that I can then ask for what I need and know what is hard and what is not. Yeah, so I do not do any of my own editing anymore. I have a team on Slacker that is coordinated, be a slack. They're all contractors and my flow just to go through it because it works really well. And a lot of folks with podcasts that are approaching the size of mine or even much smaller, have teams of 10 20 people. I have two full time employees for everything that I dio, and that's it. So here's what it looks like. I record my interview. Let's just say I'm using the 18 or and you can call recorder on Skype, which is what I used to record Doris Kearns Goodwin recently. Okay, A Pulitzer prize winning author. I then export that with split tracks, so I get to high fidelity dot n movie files. Okay, those immediately go into Dropbox in a folder under her name, which is within a podcast folder. Then I record separately an intro, which is 1 to 2. minutes long, based on any number of things that I might have written down during the conversation. Because keep in mind, we're not doing video when I record, so I have lots of flexibility. Any types of edit notes, bathroom breaks, coughs, whatever it might be. I note those on I create an Evernote file. So the Evernote file at the top has the guest name Podcast, then headlines Ah, handful of perspective headlines that my team will test where you could test or I could test on social and so on. Then I have audiophile links to the Dropbox edit notes, so I indicate what needs to be changed or what should be looked out for. If there were any flubs in the intro for, for example, and then block post, and that's where I would add any assets or notes requests the guests might have had for things they want us to point traffic to and in advance that guest would have signed a guest release. We could talk about why this is important. I've signed a lot for you guys. So you have to sign a get they sign a guest release via hello Sign. They do not have to print something out. Deal with all that headache. They also sent preferred headshots or photographs that they own rights too, or with photographer credit. Also something you could talk about very important and preferred bio of 150 words or less, plus preferred say website and one or two social. So we have all of this before we ever record. And I have canceled interviews because I've not received those materials in advance. Okay, so I have a linked Evernote. I put it into slack and I say, Take it away, boys. Wow! And that's it. That's the last time I touch it. And what happens from there? Ah, when he was walking that just on your end and and give us the 32nd version of how the rest of that process looks the rest. The process is largely out of my hands, but currently I have no more than two sponsors. Prep is IDs. Those sponsor reads are not live sponsoring. It's and I could talk about why that actually gets better. Results also creates a hell of a lot less work. And guess work for me. Those are in a separate sponsorship reads folder and get dropped in by the editor. They use whatever software they use. I don't actually even know what they use, and you can get that type of editing done. Given that it's not a highly produced if show it's a conversation where you're taking out the coughs and bathroom breaks and managing levels so that each side is audible, there's not much done, and that could be done for maximum a few 100 bucks. You could probably get someone to do it for 50 to 100 bucks. Well, if you listen to the episode the intro theme music, you have sponsorships, introduction, some type of transition sound effect interview and then theme music out the back and to sponsor reads. And that's the end of episode. The format is very simple. Uh, so keep the format as stupidly simple as possible. Do not get fancy. As Morgan Spurlock once said to me, Once you get fancy, fancy gets broken. Awesome. I think that's really helpful, Arc. For those folks who are listening at home that workflow it, it aligns with the workflow that I have and so many other the podcast that I've been on, like the signing documents up front. All that stuff is really standard. So I don't want you to think that you're making a big ask for your future guest. If, um, if you know, modeling off things that are already done in the industry is I think it's helpful. Just you should know that that's that's pretty standard stuff. So I think we've talked a lot about, like going from 0 to 1 and how you get started and and who your first guests were whatnot. I'm gonna I'm gonna go back to the in studio audience right here for just a second if you've got a question formulated now. But before I do, um, is there anything that, like what we're failures that you had in the beginning? What went wrong? Unnecessarily thinking that in person is better, then doing something remote. It's a lot easier, and I think a lot cleaner in the beginning to do something remotely so you can refer to your notes. If you forget something, you can say Google it on your phone. That's a protest. Do not Clickety clack the keyboard. Eso have your phone ready? Ah, there's so many little things that can cause problems in those circumstances. Make sure you and your guest turn off all applications that will auto update in the background getting turn off all your notifications in settings and uh, se slack Evernote Dropbox. Turn all of those off and on the macro level. I would say that not having enough redundancy in the system so always have an extra USB cable always have extra XLR cables if you're using regular stage mike. So if people are wondering what I use in person, it's It's very simple. It is in sm 58 stage Mike. Generally kind of Mike. You would see comedians use XLR cable connected to a, uh, zoom H six recording device. That's it in that back and fits in a backpack. You just like what zooms like 400 bucks or something like that. And another stage Mike is a little bit fancier, but generally you don't fits in a little teeny package, and you can your mobile with that, right? Everything fits in my background. Got end. In a case like that, the Onley riel disaster I had with equipment was a faulty XLR cable. And one of the things I do not do, which is industry standard, is wearing headphones when I'm recording. I don't like to do that because for people who do not do a lot of media, it can sometimes be off putting and they react differently. So I'll do a sound check beforehand, which you definitely want to do, and then I'll take out the headphones. But I couldn't hear the cable failing. That was a bad day. Got it, Uh, other mistakes that I've seen. I was able to avoid a lot of mistakes because I talked to people who had made a lot of mistakes like me. Yeah, so one of the mistakes I avoided, I was thinking about monetization too early. This is This is one of the ways that novice podcasters get very distracted and forget about the most important piece of the puzzle from my perspective, which is being unique, which is being different. You are not going to be one of those top 500 podcasts by being 10% better than something that already exists. I can't have to be different. Yes, as just a lifelong creator, I cannot emphasize Tim's point here enough like your your goal should be to be different, not better. Whether that's in subject matter or your delivery or your guests or your style. How can you get great at your craft? Of course, it's not like Different doesn't replace being, um, able to record podcasts and do the essentials that sort of get in the door fee. And you know what Tim's talking about, Like, what is your unique angle? And by unique it doesn't You don't have to have lived a tortured childhood, and you know you don't have to have the whole world against you to breakthrough. But what is the thing that you do that's different, or what's your take on the world? Can't can't overstate that because that's that's how you're going to find an audience, I think ultimately, and tell me if you agree with this time, I think the in the particular lies the universal. So if you and a handful of your friends, your peers or in your industry have a problem that you're facing something that you're trying to create or build. There's some drama around it. There's, ah, unknown set of information that you're trying to explain. Extractor Explore together those air things. If if you and your 10 friends have that problem, the reality is that there's a 1,000,000 people who share that in the particular lies universal. So what is what is the thing that you care about and then can you help a fine and connect with that tribe? What would you add to that, Tim, when I leave out, I would I would just recommend a few related Resource is. So there's an essay written by Kevin Kelly on KK dot or called 1000 True fans read that no matter how weird were niche you think your interests are, chances are every single one of them corresponds to a 1,000,000 people. Number two. I would recommend a book called The Blue Ocean Strategy, which really touches on eliminating your focus or even the concept of competition. If you create something that is fundamentally different, you can remove the need to think about competition, and I would also say, as some very specific recommendations, don't pigeon hole yourself unnecessarily with a really overly specific podcast name. But I would suggest pitch in pigeon, holing yourself in the beginning with a very specific focus, and if you're not sure how to make it different, make it more specific. So let's say you begin with, and this applies to blog's. This applies to writing. This applies to a magazine column. It applies to all of this. If you are looking to create in some fashion, let's just say content. In this case, maybe you start with fin tech startups in Omaha. That's your podcasts. Financial technology start ups, early stage start ups in Omaha, Nebraska and that could be a popular podcast, and it could have a decent and certainly well defined audience. And then you expand that to maybe it is regional early stage fintech startups and over time, but the name of the podcast is, you know, money on my mind or whatever. You come up with something that's really broad and over time, as you actually develop the chops to earn and deserve a large audience, which no one really deserves in the beginning. Unless you have some illustrious radio career that you're leaning on once you actually are ready for the major leagues, then you end up on a national stage talking about early stage start ups in general across the country. And you have masters of scale or something like that. Uh, which is which is, uh, read a hostess. I read off, man, but if you try to boil the ocean at once, you're going to be under qualified for the type of people you are going to be compared to. So go niche enough that you have domain expertise or unique access. Could be interviewing homeless people in your hometown. I mean, it really could be that specific. If you are really fucking good, you you will, you will find people will take notice. And as I was told really early on, when I was doing these 13 15 page block posts, this is before the four hour work. We came out so I did not have a large audience just like everybody else. I started with zero readers and zero listeners. I had someone that Google say to me actually think was Matt Cutts who said the best the good content is the best s CEO at all these other friends who are focusing on search engine, optimizing the hell out of all their stuff. But they were putting the time into good pieces, and he said, Just focus on the good pieces. Good content is the best s CEO, and that is true for podcasting as well. Beautiful. All right, we're gonna take a second here and go to the in studio audience. Three. Hand in the air like you just don't care if you got a question. There we go. Right in the front. Thanks for passing the mike. Tell us who you are and, ah, where you came in from today and then go ahead and fire after question. Okay. Excuse me. My name is Eric lowered. I came up from Portland, so we came up last night. Um, and first off, I want to say thank you, Tim, because you are the reason that I actually have a podcast. A couple of years ago, you did a podcast about William Irvine's book The Art of Stoic Joy. I remember. I remember catching that going still. Enjoy what they it really kind of confusing. I'm like, OK, I got to get that book. So I bought the book, read it was like, Wow, this is really cool some of its stocks and we didn't and then, um, re read it again last year. Listen, the audio book and was like, Oh, I need to apply these things a bit more And so it's beginning of this year. I was like, Oh, you know what? I want to start a podcast. Let me just practice because I kept psyching myself out doing it. So, like you said, I recorded on the phone, posted it, and basically it was about Stoke philosophy. It's called the stoic Coffee Break. Yeah, and just under just over 80,000 downloads now. So it's it's kind of cool. Um, but I guess my question for you is because I've focused my title on stoic philosophy and called the store coffee break. Is that pigeonholed too much for a title? I mean, because for me it was just talking about stoic philosophy. He was talking about these ideas. I've got 145 episodes that I just I just finished up one yesterday before we came up with 145 stocks in the world s so but I'm averaging about probably 1500 downloads an episode, and it keeps increasing slowly. So I'm wondering if I'm to pigeonholed on that. I mean, I guess. What's your opinion on that? Yeah, This this is a This is a difficult one to have an objective answer to. Since since you're also talking to a very biased story the meaning, someone who's by stoicism I'm like, Oh, my God, you have at least 10,000 episodes. No problem. Yeah. I don't think it's overly pigeonholed. I think one way, maybe Dio take the temperature on that is how excited you think you can be within what I think is a very broadly defined theme. Still coffee break that could be interviewing modern day figures. People have popped up in the news, have handled stressful situations unusually well, right? I mean, you could go in any number of different directions. So if you think forward or project forward to Episode 0 to 10 how excited do you think you could be still exploring this? And if the answer is 89 10 then I'd say keep doing it. I mean, certainly it's brought enough in my mind as someone who's had to give many talks on stoicism and come up with different angles that I don't I don't think it's in some way handicapping Lee Small. I think you have a lot of room to maneuver. Yeah, I mean, like the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks. They read books like Ryan Holiday's book on Stoicism and and so you I could See You at some point in Episode 200 interviewing Pete Carroll from the head coach of Fail Seahawks, talking about the role of stows and played in there. You know, super foreman or whatever. So e think the point is, if you can see that arc and 10 what your take on this? I love that there is the potential for a narc. I think that's part of if something stays the same. There's a There's a beauty in simplicity and and consistency, but there's also your your listeners. They want to go on a journey with you Over time. You don't have to take him on a journey. I mean what you might be thinking of this thing you've been working on for two years. They've only heard five episodes. You don't have to traverse the universe in five episodes. In fact, I think that's a mistake. If you were completely burned out on it, your audience is just getting used to it. So But I do love the idea of an arc. And I don't know if how that resonates with you, Tim, you know, Do you believe in that? And if so, what's your ark? It's good question. Uh, I'm a professional. Yes, I think that my ark is really been exploring my own interests and ex finding different vehicles, whether those air books, the Blawg podcast for exploring it, challenges that I have, which are personal dreams. I have that a personal things that are affecting me in my life that I have not been able to figure out or that I have not been able to find a good resource for that's it. But think that's all I do to scrap. All I do is scratch my own itch. That's it. Because I assumed, at least in that case, I know there's a market of one. Yeah, which is a I'm gonna plug Seth Godin's got a new book coming out called This Is Marketing. I Got an early copy. I just was set last week in New York. Incredible Book talks about making something for a small but viable audience like What's the smallest you can think of rather than ever? Like like like what Tim talked about? Everyone wants to be masters of scale podcast overnight. Well, there's a huge team of people who produced that there's a huge distribution. Reid has millions of followers, massive email list versus Like, you know, your stoic philosophy or in this case, but and I love the personality behind Tim and Tim's quest for knowledge and lifelong learning like That's what I'm signed up for, That's what I mean. We've been friends for 10 years, but I mean, like it was shortly after the four hour work week. Like this is a person who is on a journey that similar to me. Human performance is interesting, and I want to look at the lens of human performance through people who are experimenting in their lives. And this is when Tim was, you know, trying to help people understand that you don't have to be rich to be rich, for example, and that was attractive to me. And then, you know, we've been on this journey together now for 10 years as friends. I like that personal part. That's part of the connection, and it's an emotional connection. It's not a tactical make sure there's tactics like, I listen to this because I want to learn ABC. But what I find, by and large and this is true for anything, if you're a creator or an entrepreneur, people will come to know you. That's why blogging is. It's basically sort of a new reality television that has a filter of authenticity that other reality television mrs So again, in the particular lives universal. Tim made it for an audience of one, and now he has hundreds of millions of downloads. Thanks for a question and give a quick follow up with that actually has been. The biggest thing for me is that since the beginning of the year, when I started this, is that the personal growth from me from having to take a philosophical idea from stoic philosophy, process it, dig, not just take the quote and kind of go. Here it is. It's like I dig into it and grab that meat and really try to unearth that so that I can share it with other people. And I found that in doing so, my own personal growth has been absolutely amazing. Yeah, I think that's so so I definitely agree with that. So thank you. Yeah. Thanks for that, Eric. Um, anybody else? For what? The question. Go to the back there. Back left. Ah, but you're Yeah. There you go. It's coming to you. Say stand up. If you would tell us who you are, where you came in from and fire off your question. Hi, Claudia Miro from Seattle now. Nice by way of San Francisco. Um, so my question for Tim, I've been in a fan since four hour work week first launched, and it's just, um, incredible to see your journey. I just think the authenticity in which you share your content I relate on the personal development and life hacking perspective, but also on, you know, having content that's just meaningful. And I think that speaks for so anyway, my question is, um how does your time look now? So how much time do you dedicate to podcasts? as you know, looking at productivity and time management, I guess. Um, but also Yeah. So how does your time? How do you divide your time? I guess now, across the things that are really meaningful to you. So I think that's part of my fear is that this is gonna be come this behemoth And there's all these other areas of my life, and I just I'm curious how you manage that. I know you have teams, but I'd be curious to know how your time is these days. Sure. Thank you for the kind words. Also crazy love every questions prefaced with a lot of admiration. Say we got 90 seconds of admiration and a four second question. Do you know it impacted these folks? Them well played cheese cheese can tell all of my terrible stories and share all my dirty secrets. But in the meantime, I'll take it. I'll take what I can get the time. Time split is something that has taken me a bit of time to figure out and actually coming back to early mistakes. And I'm not sure this was a mistake in the sense that I had to feel the pain to search for an alternative but recording ad hoc. Like when I felt like recording and then getting caught behind the eight ball to edit something because oh my God, I forgot. My friend wanted something out in three days and fuck. Now I have to sit with garage band at like 10 PM and figure this out. Not having a schedule was problematic. So these days what I do and this is not what everyone does, but this is what I do is I will almost always batch recording of podcasts, and the way I tend to do that is I will record on the first Monday and Friday of each month. I almost always reserve phone calls or any type of communication, like what we're doing right now on a Monday for Mondays and Fridays. And I will then record, say, to podcasts on a given Monday, first Monday of the month and then two more on that Friday that used to do an average of six episodes per month, and I'm now down to four. It's very deliberate, even though it negatively affects my income per se. I've decided that once podcasting starts to feel like a job. It's a sign that I need to change how I'm doing it, and I will also, in some cases, for instance, I've spent a lot of the last few months traveling with family. I will block out two weeks and my primary focus is recording podcasts. And then I will have enough episodes so that I can get all of the materials in these Evernote docks that described earlier to my team and then head off. They have the publication schedule, which is now generally every Thursday, and I don't have to look at it past that point. It has a total of time, does not require that much because I figured out the rules and the processes and so on for recruiting for checking the boxes before I record with someone before they are scheduled. The amount of time that needs to be blocked out. They get a podcast prep document before we have our call, which makes all the recommendations that I might make, such as turning off, say, Dropbox slack, etcetera, turning off notifications how to change their sound settings. If they need one of these mikes, the 80 21 hundreds, I will have one of them Amazon prime to them. My sister will have that done. And keep in mind. I have one full time assistant and I have one person who helps with editorial scheduling. That's my whole team. So if you think about what we're able to accomplish as a tiny team, it's a bit absurd, Uh, and nonetheless Ah, I shouldn't say. Nonetheless, I should say To accomplish that, we have to have very, very clear processes. When does Tim record the podcast? Everyone on my team knows that. And we also have automatic and nose. So people show up two days before their book comes out and they want to do an interview. It's like Sorry, man, you can't do that with The New York Times and you can't do that with this either. Like this. This has a lead time and we have an editorial calendar, and that's a quality problem to have, but nonetheless something that I thought about in advance that I could set policies from the get go that would make it manageable. Super helpful. Thanks. I think this concept of matching something again early on you're trying to figure out your own flow and how to be a good interview and all that stuff when you actually sort of create the way that I think about you, create a machine really good and effective at, ah, at the process of it, it's because you've got these things in place. One technique that I use is when I land a guest. That is someone I'm really excited about. I'll build a schedule around it like I just mentioned Seth Godin. Alright, cool recording with Seth or whomever in New York. And then we Conseco wanted to be in New York this time and will build a schedule around sort of someone that, uh, that we travel to New York to be with. Or for example, someone came here will do the same thing. So this is a really common practice. It's very effective, the batch mentality. I think it just gets, like work items in at a similar time. Would you add to the anything to that Him? I would just say that recording remotely also was a huge advantage. It's not the only way is just one way. Yeah, but one of the most common questions I get is how did you land such and such a guest. Some big name you're so you're taking my just stealing my thunder here, bro. Second, Yeah, is there were dueling interviewers here. Now go ahead, Go ahead. But and one is I have been able to get guests that other people have not been able to get by being more flexible in accommodating. They don't have to fly to my studio. I don't have to fly to them. I can communicate with them via Twitter. Say that's actually a great way to get a hold of hard to reach people. About 1/3 of the guests I had in tribal mentors last book came through Twitter D M's because you don't have to exchange contact information. Otherwise, two d m. But you can get in touch with them and ask them what time works for them. And you can throw out, say, Monday and Friday of the first week and see if that flies. But if they could only do it for 15 minutes in between takes in a movie, Great. Okay, I'll take 15 minutes, and very often what'll happen is they'll be willing to go longer than that once it gets going. But don't bank on it. So I've been very, very flexible with how I have booked people. And secondly, I've been willing to play the long game. Jamie Foxx took a year and 1/ to get on the podcast. Arles. Schwarzenegger took between a year and a year and 1/2. Edward Norton, same thing, and I was never insistent. I was never entitled Just bank. Okay, I'm gonna follow up with the manager or the friend of a friend every six months and eventually, particularly if you look at in the case of celebrities, you get IMDB pro and you look at the schedule of movie releases. Ask them if they're willing to do media when they're already gonna be doing video in between large projects, it's going to be 10 times harder. It can happen, but it's gonna be 10 times harder. I think the same is probably true with books and with everything right, you know, someone's got a book coming out, and this is, I think, a way of both serving. You know, we talked about scratching their own itch. I think you know, Tim mentioned that to me, that's a way to be successful in life. Let alone, just podcasting, like when stuff gets hard and it will if you're not doing something that you care deeply about, if you're just doing it, to monetize or to build an audience, or when stuff gets hard, you're gonna like that's gonna be a roadblock for you versus if it's something you're deeply passionate about solving, you know, creating access to store philosophy that because that's something you believe deeply. And when stuff gets hard, it's gonna be a lot easier for you. Push through and to become one of those podcast for which there's hundreds of episodes instead of one of the ones that there's only three. So what can you do? That's that's how you should think about your own but also think about from the guest perspective. If you say I want you to be on my podcast, who's that about? That's about you vs. I see you've got a new book, a new movie, and you fill in the blank. I've got a small but rabbit audience that would love this information, and I think you know we could help you move some units or whatever. How could you make it in service of your guest fill in the blanks on that one for me, Tim, I would add one more thing to the guest. Recruitment, which is is related. And that is you don't have to have a huge network to get great guests. You need to know one or a few people who are very, very good at what they dio. So let's use the fintech Early stage Fintech Startups in Omaha. Podcast example. I love how we landed on this one and I love the name. What was it? Money on my mind Way got an actual podcaster. This is great. So let's just say over the course of 3 to 9 months, which would be the period of time in which I would suggest you focus just on getting good aircraft. No thought on monetizing whatsoever. If you get to the point where you are suddenly interviewing whoever is considered to be the Warren Buffett of financial tech investing, that person is almost certainly going to know people people who are potentially the best at and I know the best. But some of the best known people in photography in acting in film the blank because people who are the best of what they dio no other people where the best of what they do, you do not need to know half the people in Hollywood to get an actor on your podcast at all. You need to know people who are really, really, really good at what they dio. And they know they know other people in different fields who are also the best of what they know. Awesome. All right, I'm gonna shift gears her, Tim, and we're going to do with speed round. All right? We're alone. A little show. I'm short on time. And I had some Some grand I want to cover. So my hope would be that you could compress this into a This is a trick too, by the way, for interviewer. Um, I want to try and compress us into ah, like a 1 to 2 sentence. Answer if you can. Um, these are Big z's or bigger, bigger questions, so it's gonna be a challenge, But that's what we're here for. Uh huh. What is your process for curating guests? Personal interest. What problem Or or dream or neuroscience? E set of neuroses. Do I have that I'm currently trying to deal with. And who do I think could help me with that? Awesome. You talked about not monetizing your podcast too early, but at some point, you decided Teoh. And in that way, how did you get your first sponsors create content That is good enough that they come to you. I know that sounds like a cop out, but if you go trying to hump the leg of every sponsor out there, you're gonna have exactly focal for leverage. And you're also not gonna get the cream of the crop. So create content that is exceptional. And it will attract the people who are willing to pay a premium and buy premium. I'm going to say there are podcasts out there, including mine, that can charge 50 to $100 CPM. And you can see how that starts to add up. How much time do you spend personally preparing for each interview? Highly variable. Uh, don't don't don't remark on today's prep because there are some guests who, if you have not done an absurd amount of preparation, will shut down in the 1st 5 minutes. And you you have to try to read if they are one of those people are not. But I would say that minimum. I also have at this point trained people to prep for guests the way I would prep for guests. And I've studied, for instance, how people from inside the Actors Studio are doing research for a guest will go to Wikipedia, look for the strangest one or two things in the citations, and dig into that to try to find, say, one or two personal interests that interviewers have generally not asked people about. Case in point would be Edward Norton and asking him about surfing for the 1st 10 minutes of our conversation so that he wouldn't go on autopilot with getting the same 10 questions he always gets about acting. And, uh, the most, I would say is like two full days of prep. Wow, that's awesome. And then, is there anything that you've done in particular to hone your craft? Besides what you just referenced with finding unusual things about people to get them sort of in their flow? Any anything else, any any tricks for, ah, that you've done to practice your own craft and get good at interviewing? Oh, tons. I think about it constantly I collect questions. If I find questions in an in flight magazine, if I hear a question, if I'm being interviewed and someone asked me a good question, I will write that down and put it into Evernote. I was into my rotation. How many questions did you write down today? Just getting just getting every everyone thinks so. So brilliant. And lightning, um, is the last question. Oh, great. Follow up questions often get the the gold. So how did that make you feel? What did you learn from that? These are really important questions that you can use to follow up on just about anything. And then, secondly, advice that Calif Usman gave me. Master interviewers Let the silence do the work. If you ask a question and it's a hard question or there's the interviewees seems stuck. Let it sit for at least five seconds or so to see what comes out of it. Yeah, I'll just reference an earlier part of this conversation. Remember when Tim took a long time to answer a question? He looked off. To me, that's gold, especially in the audio world, because that that creates the sort of hanging moment like what? What's he going to say? And it's clear that there's sort of the answer that follows. It is either going to be frightening or thoughtful, or there's gonna be some sort of drama on the other side of that. So so let that linger. And again, I would love to have had twice as much time as we have our 3/4 more time, Um, some, some version of more time to be able to have this be a little bit emotional, the connection between United. But we've done those podcasts before. You could go to eat each of our shows to get that one today we wanted to be very tactical. Um, is there anything else that you've added that that you want to add that I haven't asked him about advice to people who are going from 0 to 1 or trying to grow their existing podcast? Just keep it simple and get started and try a bunch of formats and go record 10 episodes of 30 minutes each and try something different every time and assume that you may not publish any of them. Those your dress rehearsals and if you're not willing to do that Maybe you should pick a different game. Beautiful. Let us give a huge warm thank you Applause for Mr Tim Ferriss.