Meine Buchnotizen – Tools of Titans von Timothy Ferriss

Meine Buchnotizen – Tools of Titans von Timothy Ferriss

In diesem Buch fasst Timothy Ferriss die Gedanken seiner Podcast-Gäste zusammen. Viele Gold Nuggets und Inspirationen.

Tools of Titans

Das Buch enthält neben den Interviews folgende Aufsätze:

Gelesen im Februar 2017.
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“Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.” — Pierre-Marc-Gaston

The more absurd, the more “impossible” the question, the more profound the answers. Serial billionaire Peter Thiel: “What might you do to accomplish your 10-year goals in the next 6 months, if you had a gun against your head?”

The “normal” systems you have in place, the social rules you’ve forced upon yourself, the standard frameworks—they don’t work when answering a question like this. You are forced to shed artificial constraints to realize that you had the ability to renegotiate your reality all along.

“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” – Ben Franklin [DR – Early to bed and early to rise, work like hell and advertise]

“What’s on the other side of fear? Nothing.” – Jamie Foxx


„Productivity“ tricks for the neurotic, manic-depressive and crazy
“The moment that you feel that, just possibly, you’re walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself. That’s the moment you may be starting to get it right.” —Neil Gaiman, University of the Arts commencement speech

8 step process for maximizing efficacy (doing the right things):

    1. Wake up at least one hour before you have to be at computer.
    2. Make a cup of tea (i.e. pu-erh) and sit down with a pen and paper.
    3. Write down 3 things that are making you the most anxious. Most important usually equals most uncomfortable.
    4. For each item, ask yourself: “If this were the only thing I accomplished today, would I be satisfied with my day?” “Will moving this forward make all the other to-dos unimportant or easier to knock off later?” Put another way: “What, if done, will make all of the rest easier or irrelevant?”
    5. Consider only item you have answered „yes“ to for at least one of these questions.
    6. Block out 3 hours to focus on one of them for today. Let the rest of the urgent but less important stuff slide.
    7. The 3 hours are one block of time. No phone calls or social media.
    8. If you get distracted or start procrastinating, don’t freak out. Gently come back to your one to-do.
        What you do is more important than how you do everything else, and doing something well does not make it important.

Being busy is a form of laziness—lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.

Being busy is most often used as a guise for avoiding the few critically important but uncomfortable actions.

Hacking Kickstarter
If you add a + to the end of any URL, you can see stats related to that link. For example: Soma campaign

To discover top referral sources, give your VA a list of Kickstarter projects similar to yours and ask for a list of referrers for each project.

Main sources are: coverage on right blogs and buzz on Facebook, Twitter and email.

If you do this, you will be listed in Kickstarter’s Popular Projects sections.

How to find relevant bloggers using Google images. Find Kickstarter projects in your sphere. Save to desktop 2 to 3 images via right-click. Drag and drop each image into Google Images search bar. Check the results page for blogs relevant to your project.

Create a media list spreadsheet: publication, URL, first und last name of the writer, links to relevant posts by that writer.

Find more sites which might be relevant for you and research site traffic via SimilarSites, SimilarWeb or Alexa. You can use SimilarWeb Chrome extension.

Build relationships with bloggers. Find mutual friends. Pitching bloggers without a relationship resulted in less than 1% response. With introductions, success rate was over 50%.

Schedule e-mails to influencers for launch day via Boomerang (Gmail plug-in).

Other tips and email templates.

The Canvas Strategy
If you want great mentors, you have to become a great mentee. If you want to lead, you have to first learn to follow.

It’s not about making someone look good. It’s about providing the support so that others can be good.

When you are just starting out, be aware of the following fundamental realities: 1) You’re not nearly as good or as important as you think you are; 2) you have an attitude that needs to be readjusted; 3) most of what you think you know or most of what you learned in books or in school is out of date or wrong.

There is a way to work all of that out of your system: Attach yourself to people and organizations who are already successful, subsume your identity into theirs, and move both forward simultaneously.

That’s the other effect of this attitude: It reduces your ego at a critical time in your career, letting you absorb everything you can without the obstructions that block others’ vision and progress.

Bill Belichick, 4x Super Bowl winning head coach started by analyzing film without pay. His insights were attributed to senior coaches. He thrived on what was considered grunt work, asked for it, and strove to become the best at precisely what others thought they were too good for. Belichick started getting paid very soon.

Greatness comes from humble beginnings. It comes from grunt work. You’re the least important person in the room — until you change that with results.

Imagine if for every person you met, you thought of some way to help them, something you could do for them? And you looked at it in a way that entirely benefited them and not you? The cumulative effect over time: You’d learn a great deal by solving diverse problems. You’d develop a reputation for being indispensable. You’d have countless new relationships. You’d have an enormous bank of favors to call upon down the road.

Help yourself by helping others.

The person who clears the path ultimately controls its direction, just as the canvas shapes the painting.

How to say „No“ when it matters most
Once you reach a decent level of professional success, lack of opportunity won’t kill you. It’s drowning in “kinda cool” commitments that will sink the ship.

It’s a „HELL YEAH!“ or it’s a „No“.

We’re all busy. We’ve all taken on too much. Saying yes to less is the way out.

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” — Richard P. Feynman

“Make your peace with the fact that saying ‘no’ often requires trading popularity for respect.” — Greg McKeown

“I am an old man and I have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” — Mark Twain

“He who suffers before it is necessary suffers more than is necessary.” — Seneca

Thought Exercise – Fear Setting
“Many a false step is made by standing still.” Fortune cookie

“Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.” —Benjamin Disraeli, former British Prime Minister

“I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” —Mark Twain

What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.

A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have. Resolve to do one thing every day that you fear.

A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.” — Henry David Thoreau

Let the pallet be a real one, and the cloak coarse; let the bread be hard and grimy. Endure all this for three or four days at a time. I assure you, my dear Lucilius, you will leap for joy when filled with a pennyworth of food, and you will understand that a man’s peace of mind does not depend upon Fortune; for, even when angry, she grants enough for our needs. – Seneca

Lazy: A Manifesto
I can’t help but wonder whether all this histrionic exhaustion isn’t a way of covering up the fact that most of what we do doesn’t matter.

It’s hard to see pretense of indispensability as anything other than a form of institutional self-delusion.

Yes, I know we’re all very busy, but what, exactly, is getting done?

This busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness: Obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day.

I feel like 4 or 5 hours is enough to earn my stay on the planet for one more day.

8 Tactics for Dealing with Haters
#1 It doesn’t matter how many people don’t get it. What matters is how many people do.
#2 10% of people will find a way to take anything personally. Expect it and treat it as math.
#6—“Trying to get everyone to like you is a sign of mediocrity. You’ll avoid the tough decisions, and you’ll avoid confronting the people who need to be confronted.”—Colin Powell

Why You Need a „deloading“ Phase in Life
It’s the silence between the notes that makes the music.

Deloading blocks must be scheduled and defended more strongly than your business commitments. The former can strengthen and inform the latter, but not vice versa.

Mind-blowing experiment
First: don’t be stupid an kill yourself. Use soft surface in case you pass out.
1. Do a set of push-ups and stop a few repetitions before failure. Write down the number.
2. 30 minutes rest
3. Do approx. 40 repetitions of the following breathing exercise. Inhale to the max (raise chest), exhale (drop chest sharply). Exhale as short „hah“. After 20 to 30 repetitions you might feel loose, mild lightheadedness and tingling in the hands.
4. On the last breathing cycle, breathe in completely, exhale completely and do another set of push ups. Often it leads to a sharp increase in the max number of push-ups.

Testing the „impossible“: 17 questions that changed my life
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” Mark Twain

If you stress-test the boundaries and experiment with the “impossibles,” you’ll quickly discover that most limitations are a fragile collection of socially reinforced rules you can choose to break at any time.

#1 What if I did the opposite for 48 hours?

What if I ended my emails with “I totally understand if you’re too busy to reply, and thank you for reading this far,” instead of the usual “I look forward to your reply and speaking soon” presumptive BS?

#2 What do I spend a silly amount of money on? How might I scratch my own itch?
#3 What would I do/have/be if I had $10 million? What’s my real TMI?
#4 What are the worst things that could happen? Could I get back here?

#5 If I could only work 2 hours per week on my business, what would I do?

After removing anxieties about the trip with fear-setting, the next practical step was removing myself as the bottleneck in my business.

What 20% of customers/products/regions are producing 80% of the profit? What factors or shared characteristics might account for this?

#6 What if I let them make decisions up to $100? $500? $1,000?

This question allowed me to take my customer service workload from 40 to 60 hours per week to less than 2 hours per week.

“From this point forward, please don’t contact for me with questions about A, B, or C. I trust you. If it involves less than $100, please make the decision yourself and take a note (the situation, how you handled it, what it cost) in one document, so we can review and adjust each week. Just focus on making our customers happy.”

People’s IQs seem to double as soon as you give them responsibility and indicate that you trust them.

#7 What’s the least crowded channel?
#8 What if I couldn’t pitch my product directly?
#9 What if I created my own real-world MBA?

#10 Do I need to make it back the way I lost it?

If you lose 1000$ at the blackjack table, should you try and recoup it there? Probably not.

#11—What if I could only subtract to solve problems?

#12—What might I put in place to allow me to go off the grid for 4 to 8 weeks, with no phone or email?

Two weeks isn’t enough, as you can let fires erupt and then attempt to repair things when you return. Four to 8 weeks (or more) doesn’t allow you to be a firefighter. It forces you to put systems and policies in place, ditch ad-hoc email-based triage, empower other people with rules and tools, separate the critical few from the trivial many, and otherwise create a machine that doesn’t require you behind the driver’s wheel 24/7.

The systems far outlive the vacation, and when you come home, you’ll realize that you’ve taken your business (and life) to the next level. This is only possible if you work on your business instead of in your business.

#13 Am I hunting antelope or field mice?

A lion is fully capable of capturing, killing, and eating a field mouse. But it turns out that the energy required to do so exceeds the caloric content of the mouse itself. So a lion that spent its day hunting and eating field mice would slowly starve to death. Antelope are big animals. They take more speed and strength to capture and kill, and once killed, they provide a feast for the lion and her pride.

Are you spending all your time and exhausting all your energy catching field mice? In the short term it might give you a nice, rewarding feeling. But in the long run you’re going to die.

Ask yourself at the end of the day, “Did I spend today chasing mice or hunting antelope?”

When looking at the to-do list: “Which one of these, if done, would render all the rest either easier or completely irrelevant?”

#14 Could it be that everything is fine and complete as is?
#15 What would this look like if it were easy?

#16 How can I throw money at this problem? How can I “waste” money to improve the quality of my life?

“If you’ve got enough money to solve the problem, you don’t have the problem.”

Spend money to earn time, as latter is nonrenewable.

#17 No hurry, no pause.

Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.

Luxury is feeling unrushed.

Look for simple solutions. If the answer isn’t simple, it’s probably not the right answer.

Mind training 101
Perhaps you’re a world-conquering machine with elite focus, but you might need to CTFO (chill the fuck out) a few minutes a day before you BTFO (burn the fuck out).

Done consistently, my reward for meditating is getting 30% to 50% more done in a day with 50% less stress.

Complete 7 sessions before you get ambitious with length. 10 minutes is plenty.

In my own sessions of 20 minutes, 15 minutes is letting the mud in the water settle, and the last 5 minutes are really where I feel the most benefit. For me, it’s much like training to failure with weight lifting. The benefits are derived from the last few reps, but you need all the preceding reps to get there.

But what if you think of your to-do list, past arguments, or porn for 19.5 minutes out of 20? Do you get an F in meditation? No. If you spend even a second noticing this wandering and bringing your attention back to your mantra (or whatever), that is a “successful” session. As Tara Brach pointed out to me, the muscle you’re working is bringing your attention back to something.

If you’re replaying some bullshit in your head and notice it, just say, “Thinking, thinking” to yourself and return to your focus.

Do Less Than You Can. If you can sit in mindfulness for 5 minutes before it feels like a chore, then don’t sit for 5 minutes, just do 3 or 4 minutes, perhaps a few times a day. The reason is to keep the practice from becoming a burden. If mindfulness practice feels like a chore, it’s not sustainable.

During working hours or school hours, randomly identify two people who walk past you or who are standing or sitting around you. Secretly wish for them to be happy. Just think to yourself, “I wish for this person to be happy, and I wish for that person to be happy.” That is the entire practice. Don’t do anything; don’t say anything; just think.

The Single Decision
Dealing with the temporary frustration of not making progress is an integral part of the path towards excellence.

If the pursuit of excellence was easy, everyone would do it. In fact, this impatience in dealing with frustration is the primary reason that most people fail to achieve their goals.

Achieving the extraordinary is not a linear process. The secret is to show up, do the work, and go home.

Once the decision is made, simply refuse to budge. Refuse to compromise.

And accept that quality long-term results require quality long-term focus.

Learn to enjoy and appreciate the process. This is especially important because you are going to spend far more time on the actual journey than with those all too brief moments of triumph at the end.

Learn from defeats when they happen. In fact, if you are not encountering defeat on a fairly regular basis, you are not trying hard enough.

Absolutely refuse to accept less than your best.

If the commitment is to a long-term goal and not to a series of smaller intermediate goals, then only one decision needs to be made and adhered to. Clear, simple, straightforward. Much easier to maintain than having to make small decision after small decision to stay the course when dealing with each step along the way. This provides far too many opportunities to inadvertently drift from your chosen goal. The single decision is one of the most powerful tools in the toolbox.

„Good“ by Jocko Willink
Oh, mission got cancelled? Good. We can focus on another one.

Didn’t get promoted? Good. More time to get better.

Didn’t get funded? Good. We own more of the company.

Didn’t get the job you wanted? Good. Go out, gain more experience, and build a better résumé.

Got beat? Good. We learned.

Unexpected problems? Good. We have the opportunity to figure out a solution.

Accept reality, but focus on the solution.

If you can say the word “good,” guess what? It means you’re still alive. It means you’re still breathing.

And if you’re still breathing, that means you’ve still got some fight left in you. So get up, dust off, reload, recalibrate, re-engage, and go out on the attack.


Rhonda Perciavalle Patrick
Two 20-minute sauna sessions at 80°C separated by a 30-minute cooling period elevated growth hormone levels two-fold over baseline. Two 15-minute dry-heat sessions at 100°C separated by a 30-minute cooling period resulted in a five-fold increase in growth hormone. The growth hormone effects generally persist for a couple of hours post-sauna. Hot baths also work.

Chris Sacca
Cultivate beginner’s mindset – “Experience often deeply embeds the assumptions that need to be questioned in the first place. When you have a lot of experience with something, you don’t notice the things that are new about it. You don’t notice the idiosyncrasies that need to be tweaked. You don’t notice where the gaps are, what’s missing, or what’s not really working.”

Marc Andreessen
Raise prices – Is your product any good if people won’t pay more for it? “The number-one theme that companies have when they really struggle is they are not charging enough for their product. It has become conventional wisdom in Silicon Valley that the way to succeed is to price your product as low as possible, under the theory that if it’s low-priced, everybody can buy it, and that’s how you get to volume. And we just see over and over and over again people failing with that, because they get into a problem called ‘too hungry to eat.’ They don’t charge enough for their product to be able to afford the sales and marketing required to actually get anybody to buy it. Is your product any good if people won’t pay more for it?”

Two rules to live by:
Key to success – Be so good they can’t ignore you.
Smart people should make things.

“Get inside the heads of the people who made things in the past and what they were actually like, and then realize that they’re not that different from you. At the time they got started, they were kind of just like you. So there’s nothing stopping any of the rest of us from doing the same thing.” Steve Jobs also said: „Everything around you that you call ‘life’ was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.“

“My goal is not to fail fast. My goal is to succeed over the long run. They are not the same thing.”

“Every billionaire suffers from the same problem. Nobody around them ever says, ‘Hey, that stupid idea you just had is really stupid.’”

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Tim used a Zoom H6 recorder for primary audio, but had a backup recorder (Zoom H4n) for interview. Arnold asked “What’s this for?” to which Tim replied, “Backup, in case the primary fails.” Arnold tapped his head and looked at his team, seated around the room. Having backup makes a good impression. No busy person wants to take 1 to 3 hours for an interview that never gets published.

„I wasn’t there to compete. I was there to win.“

„I am a big believer that if you have a very clear vision of where you want to go, then the rest of it is much easier.“

In negotiation, he who cares the least wins.

Twins (also George Lucas Star Wars toys) – quetions to ask yourself before deal-making: Can I trade a short-term, incremental gain for a potential longer-term, game-changing upside? Is there an element here that might be far more valuable in 5 to 10 years (e.g., ebook rights 10 years ago)? Might there be rights or options I can explicitly “carve out” and keep? If you can cap the downside (time, capital, etc.) and have the confidence, take uncrowded bets on yourself.

Derek Sivers
If information was the answer, then we would all be billionaires with perfect abs. It’s not what you know, it’s what you do consistently.

Answer to „Who do you think of when you hear the word „successful“?“ – „The first answer to any question isn’t much fun because it’s just automatic. … In that case, the first would be Richard Branson, because he’s the stereotype. … My third and real answer, after thinking it through, is that we can’t know without knowing a person’s aims. What if Richard Branson set out to live a quiet life, but like a compulsive gambler, he just can’t stop creating companies? Then that changes everything, and we can’t call him successful anymore.”

The standard pace is for chumps. (The school has to organize its curricula around the lowest common denominator, so that almost no one is left out. They have to slow down, so everybody can catch up.)

If just starting – say Yes to everything.

Once you have some success – if it’s not a „Fuck, yeah!“ it is a „No“.

“Because most of us say yes to too much stuff, and then, we let these little, mediocre things fill our lives. . . . The problem is, when that occasional, ‘Oh my God, hell yeah!’ thing comes along, you don’t have enough time to give it the attention that you should, because you’ve said yes to too much other little, half-ass stuff, right? Once I started applying this, my life just opened up.”

Busy = out of control. Lack of time is lack of priorities.

If you are “busy,” it is because you’ve made choices that put you in that position. It’s a cue to reexamine your systems and rules.

We are whatever we pretend to be. Even when everything is going terribly, and I have no reason to be confident, I just decide to be.

Alexis Ohanian
Improve a notification email from your business (e.g., subscription confirmation, order confirmation, whatever): “Invest that little bit of time to make it a little bit more human or—depending on your brand—a little funnier, a little more different, or a little more whatever.” (Example: Derek Siver’s email for CD Baby)

Matt Mullenweg
“From the early days of WordPress, we would always think: ‘Okay, if we do X today, what does that result in tomorrow, a year from now, ten years from now?’ The metaphor I think of the most—because it’s simple—is the dog chasing the car. What does the dog do if he catches the car? He doesn’t have a plan for it. So I find it just as often on the entrepreneurial side. People don’t plan for success.”

Don’t be a dog – think „what if?“

Recommended read „The Tail End“ – “It turns out that when I graduated from high school, I had already used up 93% of my in-person parent time. I’m now enjoying the last 5% of that time. We’re in the tail end.”

On hiring – “I look for a passion, attention to detail, drive beyond the things that they need to do. I’m totally down with quirky.”

Harvard Business Review – The CEO of Automattic on Holding “Auditions” to Build a Strong Team

We’re especially interested in how well candidates self-motivate, how well they communicate in writing (because most of us work remotely, we rely heavily on instant messaging), and how they deal with mistakes. We don’t expect perfection—we care more about how quickly they identify an error, how they communicate about it, and what they learn from it.

Tony Robbins
Life is always happening for us, not to us. It’s our job to find out where the benefit is.

Losers react, leaders anticipate.

“Mastery doesn’t come from an infographic. What you know doesn’t mean shit. What do you do consistently?”

“If you let your learning lead to knowledge, you become a fool. If you let your learning lead to action, you become wealthy.” Jim Rohn

“Investing in yourself is the most important investment you’ll ever make in your life. … There’s no financial investment that’ll ever match it, because if you develop more skill, more ability, more insight, more capacity, that’s what’s going to really provide economic freedom.” Warren Buffet

“The quality of your life is the quality of your questions.”

The reason you’re suffering is you’re focused on yourself.

State → Story → Strategy

Ask yourself ‘How do I get no risk and get huge rewards?’ and because you ask a question continuously and you believe there’s an answer, you get it.”

Casey Neistat
“If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth writing.” Ben Franklin

Morgan Spurlock
Hope is not a strategy. Luck is not a factor. Fear is not an option.

Reid Hoffman
“I have come to learn that part of the business strategy is to solve the simplest, easiest, and most valuable problem. And actually, in fact, part of doing strategy is to solve the easiest problem, so part of the reason why you work on software and bits is that atoms [physical products] are actually very difficult.”

In doing an 80/20 (Pareto) analysis of your activities, you typically end up with a short list. Make “easy” your next criterion. Which of these highest-value activities is the easiest for me to do? You can build an entire career on 80/20 (Pareto) analysis and asking this question.

‘In order to move fast, I expect you’ll make some foot faults. I’m okay with an error rate of 10 to 20%—times when I would have made a different decision in a given situation—if it means you can move fast.’ “Foot fault” refers to a penalty in tennis when you serve with improper foot placement, often due to rushing.

“How do you know if you have A-players on your project team? You know it if they don’t just accept the strategy you hand them. They should suggest modifications to the plan based on their closeness to the details.”

Peter Thiel
How do I become less competitive in order that I can become more successful?

We never want to let a convention be a shortcut for truth. We always need to ask: Is this true?

Tell me something that’s true that very few people agree with you on.

What do you believe that other people think is insane?

Seth Godin
You are more powerful than you think you are. Act accordingly.

It’s always the hard part that creates value.

Trust and attention—these are the scarce items in a post-scarcity world.

We can’t out-obedience the competition.

The goal isn’t to get good ideas; the goal is to get bad ideas. Because once you get enough bad ideas, then some good ones have to show up.

First Ten – a simple theory of marketing that says: tell ten people, show ten people, share it with ten people; ten people who already trust you and already like you. If they don’t tell anybody else, it’s not that good and you should start over. If they do tell other people, you’re on your way.

To create something great – start extremely small.

Parenting advice – “What could possibly be more important than your kid? Please don’t play the busy card. If you spend 2 hours a day without an electronic device, looking your kid in the eye, talking to them and solving interesting problems, you will raise a different kid than someone who doesn’t do that.“

“I think we need to teach kids two things: 1) how to lead, and 2) how to solve interesting problems.“

„Because the fact is, there are plenty of countries on Earth where there are people who are willing to be obedient and work harder for less money than us. So we cannot out-obedience the competition. Therefore, we have to out-lead or out-solve the other people.“

The way you teach your kids to solve interesting problems is to give them interesting problems to solve. And then, don’t criticize them when they fail. Because kids aren’t stupid.

I really don’t care how you did on your vocabulary test. I care about whether you have something to say.

On roasting his own beans – „I know there’s a metaphor there. Which is, you can spend a lot of time trying to fix stuff later but starting with the right raw materials makes a huge difference.”

James Altucher
How can a magazine publisher start an airline from scratch with no money? His first step: He called Boeing to see if they had an airplane he could lease. No idea is so big that you can’t take the first step. If the first step seems too hard, make it simpler. And don’t worry again if the idea is bad. This is all practice.

If you can’t get 10 good ideas, get 20 ideas.

After working at a newspaper – “You’re basically told, ‘Find the thing that’s going to scare people the most and write about it.’ … It’s like every day is Halloween at the newspaper. I avoid newspapers.”

Scott Adams
Losers have goals. Winners have systems.

Chase Jarvis
The way that I hacked the system was setting my first hired, day-rate gig at several thousand dollars a day. … This is like a 10-year, overnight success program … I was eating, breathing, sleeping photography, when I was able to start to monetize my craft, I did so at a very high price point. Little note: If someone ever says ‘yes’ that quickly, you didn’t ask for enough.

Tim himself did not accept advertisers for the podcast until he had 100.000 downloads per episode 6 weeks post-publication. Novice podcasters and other artists get too distracted with monetization in the beginning. Instead, you should be honing your craft and putting out increasingly better work in the first 3 to 9 months.

Waiting to get to 300.000 downloads per episode instead of wasting time pursuading sponsors at 30.000 can make the difference between $50k and §1 million per year.

Kevin Kelly
1.000 True Fans

“Success” need not be complicated. Just start with making 1,000 people extremely, extremely happy.

True fans are not only the direct source of your income, but also your chief marketing force for the ordinary fans.

Alex Blumberg
Asking the right dumb question is often the smartest thing you can do.

Prompts to elicit stories: [DR: auch gut um Bewerber zu interviewen]

    1. Tell me about a time when …
    2. Tell me about the day [or moment or time] when …
    3. Tell me the story of … [how you came to major in X, how you met so-and-so, etc.]
    4. Tell me about the day you realized ___
    5. What were the steps that got you to ___?
    6. Describe the conversation when …

“Describe the conversation when you first mentioned to your wife/husband that you wanted to drop this lucrative career in X and start your own company.” It has never failed to get a good story.

Follow-up questions when something interesting comes up:

        1. How did that make you feel?
        2. What do you make of that?
        3. What did you learn from that?

General-Use fishing lures:

        1. If the old you could see the new you, what would the new you say?
        2. You seem very confident now. Was that always the case?
        3. If you had to describe the debate in your head about [X decision or event], how would you describe it?

Recording tools:
Audio-Technica AT8035 microphone
TASCAM DR-100mkII recorder
Sony MDR-7506 headphones
XLR cable(s)

Tim’s podcast gear
In-Person Interviews:
Zoom H6 recorder
Zoom H4n as backup
Shure SM58-LC cardioid vocal microphone
XLR 3-pin microphone cable
Bluecell microphone windscreen foam covers (Brand does not matter here)
Skype Interviews:
Ecamm Call Recorder or Zencastr
Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB cardioid dynamic USB/XLR microphone
Yellowtec iXm for last-minute recording
Audacity (free), GarageBand, Ableton, Sound Studio, Hindenburg.

Ed Catmull
To become an artist, learn to see. Art is not self-expression. What artists do is they learn to see.

Tracy DiNunzio
When you complain, nobody wants to help you.

If you spend your time focusing on the things that are wrong, and that’s what you express and project to people you know, you don’t become a source of growth for people, you become a source of destruction for people.

Find the right audience to suck in front of. “If anybody is going to go out and pitch investors, my advice is to make your first 10 meetings with investors that you don’t really want funding from, because you’re probably going to suck in the beginning. I sucked for a really long time.”

Book your A list for after your first 10 pitches.

Phil Libin
Mikitani’s (CEO of Rakuten) rule of 3 and 10.

Every single thing in your company breaks every time you roughly triple in size (1, 3, 10, 30, 100, 300, 1000 employees).

Everything breaks at these points of 3 and 10 (multiples of 3 and powers of 10): payroll, meetings, communications, budgeting, decision making.

Every implicit and explicit part of the company changes significantly when it triples.

You should constantly be thinking about how to reinvent yourself and how to treat the culture.

The rule of 3 is why a lot of quickly growing companies get in trouble. For big companies it is exactly the opposite – if you figured out how to run things at 10.000 do not mess around until you reach 30.000. Big companies are constantly pushing all of these bullshit innovation initiatives because they feel like they have to do something.

How are you complicit in creating the conditions you say you don’t want?

Chris Young
His father’s advice: „Do not worry about what you are going to do. Because the job you are going to do had not been invented yet. The interesting jobs are the ones that you make up.“

What interesting thign are you working on? Why is that interesting to you? What is surprising about that? Is anybody else thinking about this?

The only HR document you will ever knowingly want to read – Valve: Handbook for New Employees

Hold the standard – about sending out not perfect quail jelly: That wasn’t the standard, and you know what the standard is. Hold the standard. Ask for help. Fix it. Do whatever’s necessary. But don’t cheat.

How to manage the fine line between insisting on high standards and simply being an overbearing asshole? Ask yourself „What context does this person even have, and have I provided appropriate context? What context and visibility do I have and what do they have? Am I basically being unfair because I’m operating from a greater set of information?”

Daymond John
“If you go out there and start making noise and making sales, people will find you. Sales cure all. You can talk about how great your business plan is and how well you are going to do. You can make up your own opinions, but you cannot make up your own facts. Sales cure all.”

“My parents always taught me that my day job would never make me rich. It’d be my homework.”

Money is a great servant but a horrible master.

Noah Kagan
Improve tools at the top of the funnel. Optimize upstream items that have cascading results downstream. For example, look for technical bottlenecks that affect nearly everthing on your computer. Increase the speed of your mouse. Invest in the best router you can afford (Noah uses ASUS RT-AC87U Wireless-AC2400 dual band gigabit router). Use Eero techonology to improve WiFi.

For hiring well – „Who?“ is often more important than „What?“. Books: Who and Topgrading.

The classics for copywriting – The Gary Halbert Letter (also The Boron Letters) and Ogilvy on Advertising.


„Every time I left the house, my dad would always say, ‘Remember who you are.’“

Neil Strauss
The biggest mistake you can make is to accept the norms of your time.

Use “TK” as a placeholder for things you need to research later (e.g., “He was TK years old at the time.”). Almost no English words have TK in them.

Writing goal: two crappy pages per day.

Draft ugly and edit pretty.

Be vulnurable to get vulnerability. Preemptively address common concerns. Examples and tipps for interviewing.

Mike Shinoda
On dealing with media: do print interviews via email. Record audio on your side.

“Great to connect! What I usually do for phoners is record it on my side as a backup [via Skype using Ecamm Call Recorder; Zencastr also works well] and then email you a Dropbox link afterward. I assume that’s cool?”. Or “I might want to put the full audio on my podcast after your piece runs, which I’ve done before. I assume that’s cool?” If they agree, then you’re not breaking the law by recording. If they don’t agree, that’s a red flag and you should abort.

Before starting any collaboration, ask yourself, “What are their incentives and the timelines of their incentives? How do they measure ‘success’? Are we aligned?”

Justin Boreta
“Be the silence that listens.” — Tara Brach

“What would this look like if it were easy?”

Peter Diamandis
A problem is a terrible thing to waste.

“I think of problems as gold mines. The world’s biggest problems are the world’s biggest business opportunities.”

The best way to become a billionaire is to help a billion people.

Recommended book for cultivating dealmaking ability – Stone Soup. (actually a children’s book and a 10-minute read)

I’ve come to believe that making stone soup is the only way an entrepreneur can succeed at creating something big and bold.

The stones are, of course, your passion, your labor and your big bold idea; the contributions of the villagers are the capital, resources, and intellectual support offered by investors and strategic partners.

Start with Why by Simon Sinek

28 Peter’s laws

1. If anything can go wrong, fix it!
2. When given a choice, take both!
5. Do it by the book, but be the author!
6. When forced to compromise, ask for more.
10. When faced without a challenge, make one.
13. When in doubt: think!
19. You get what you incentivize.
23. If it were easy it would have been done already.
24. Without a target you will miss it every time.

Sophia Amoruso
A day that ends well is one that started with exercise.

B.J. Novak
If you find yourself saying, “But I’m making so much money” about a job, pay attention. “But I’m making so much money,” is a warning sign that you’re probably not on the right track or, at least, that you shouldn’t stay there for long. Money can always be regenerated. Time and reputation cannot.

When possible, always give the money to charity, as it allows you to interact with people well above your pay grade.

Get the long-term goal on the calendar before the short-term pain hits.

Standup comedy “I was really bad for a while, but let’s say you do 20 jokes and 3 of them get pity laughs — well, those are the 3 you keep. And then, after a while, 1 of them always does well — well, that’s your opener. And now 2 of them do well — well, you have a closer. It evolves that way.”

Schedule (and pay for) things in advance to prevent yourself from backing out.

Maria Popova
Those who work much, do not work hard.

Maria’s starting recommendations:
The Shortness of Life: Seneca on Busyness and the Art of Living Wide Rather Than Living Long
How to Find Your Purpose and Do What You Love
10 Learnings from 10 Years of Brain Pickings

Jocko Willink
Discipline equals freedom.

Two is one and one is none.

Where can you eliminate “single points of failure” in your life or business?

Don’t just have backup gear — have a backup plan to handle likely contingencies.

What makes a good commander? Humility. You have to be humble, to be coachable.

#1 reason why a person cannot lead: „99.9% of the time, it wasn’t a question of their ability to shoot a weapon, it wasn’t because they weren’t in good physical shape, it wasn’t because they were unsafe. It was almost always a question of their ability to listen, open their mind, and see that, maybe, there’s a better way to do things. That is from a lack of humility.“

Stay humble or get humbled.

Marc Goodman
How business travelers get kidnappe: Organized crime outfits bribe airline employees for lists of passengers. They then Google each name, create a list of apparent high-value targets, and arrive early to look for the right names on limo driver signs. TF: Use Uber or pseudonyms for any car service pickups around the world. By using a made-up name for your car reservation, if you see a placard with your real name on it, you know it’s a set-up. If you become successful — or simply appear successful on the Internet — and travel a lot overseas, this is not paranoia.

Stanley McChrystal & Chris Fussell
The advice I’d give to anyone young is it’s really about developing people who are going to do the work. Every minute you spend on that is leveraged, is exponential return.

Shay Carl
Work will work when nothing else will work.

Uses Canon PowerShot G7 X camera and Final Cut Pro X for his vlogs.

Will MacAskill
If you earn $68K per year, then globally speaking, you are the 1%.

According to in 2016, three of the most effective and impactful charities are:

  1. Against Malaria Foundation
  2. Deworm the World Initiative
  3. Give Directly

Most gifted book – The Power of Persuasion by Robert Levine.

Whitney Cummings
Perfectionism leads to procrastination, which leads to paralysis.

Cal Fussman
Listening is about being present, not just being quiet.

What’s the best lesson your father ever taught you?

Don’t panic. Let the silence do the work.

A question Cal suggests asking people more often: “What are some of the choices you’ve made that made you who you are?”

Paulo Coelho
Trust your reader. Understand that he or she can fill the empty spaces. Don’t over-explain.

Amanda Palmer
Dropping Ashes on the Buddha by Zen Master Seung Sahn

Honor those who seek the truth, beware of those who’ve found it. (adapted from Voltaire)

Eric Waeinstein
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.” —Mark Twain.

Very often, it’s a question of being the first person to connect things that have never been connected before, and something that is a commonplace solution in one area is not thought of in another.

Naval Ravikant
The most important trick to be happy is to realize that happiness is a choice that you make and a skill that you develop. You choose to be happy, and then you work at it. It’s just like building muscles.

The first rule of handling conflict is don’t hang around people who are constantly engaging in conflict.

Naval’s laws (excerpt):

  1. Be present above all else.
  2. Desire is suffering (Buddha).
  3. Anger is a hot coal that you hold in your hand while waiting to throw it at someone else (Buddhist saying).
  4. If you can’t see yourself working with someone for life, don’t work with them for a day.
  5. Reading (learning) is the ultimate meta-skill and can be traded for anything else.
  6. All the real benefits in life come from compound interest.
  7. Earn with your mind, not your time.
  8. Watch every thought. (Always ask, “Why am I having this thought?”)

What you choose to work on, and who you choose to work with, are far more important than how hard you work.

Free education is abundant, all over the Internet. It’s the desire to learn that’s scarce.

You get paid for being right first, and to be first, you can’t wait for consensus.

My one repeated learning in life: ‘There are no adults.’ Everyone’s making it up as they go along. Figure it out yourself, and do it.

You should realize that this is such a short and precious life, it is really important that you don’t spend it being unhappy. There is no excuse for spending most of your life in misery.

Glen Beck
Be willing to fail or succeed on who you really are.

Richard Betts
Don’t work for the awards, make the awards work for you.

If you work for the awards, you don’t do good work. But if you do good work, the awards will come.

The Jar of Awesome
Can’t think of anything? “I didn’t die today!” is a reliable winner. That’s totally awesome compared to the alternative.

Stephen J. Dubner
Worst advice:
“‘Write what you know.’ Why would I want to write about what little I know? Don’t I want to use writing to learn more?”

Advice a younger self:
„Don’t be scared. … Psychologists call it the ‘spotlight effect,’ as if everybody must be caring about what I do. And the fact is: Nobody gives a crap what I do.”

Josh Waitzkin
Learn the macro from the micro. Focus on depth over breadth.

If you’re studying my game, you’re entering my game, and I’ll be better at it than you.

TF: I often share exact under-the-hood details. I do this because of two core beliefs. Belief #1 — It’s rarely a zero-sum game (if someone wins, someone else must lose), and the more I help people with details, the more detailed help I receive. Belief #2 — If it is competitive, I’m simply offering people the details of my game. My attention to detail will scare off half of the people who would have tried; 40% will try it and be worse than me; 10% will try it and be better than me, but … see Belief #1. That 10% will often reach out to teach me what they’ve learned, as they’re grateful for my own transparency.

Must important turns of the ski run – the last three turns before you get on the lift. Most people are very sloppy then … they have bad form. The problem is that on the lift ride up, unconsciously, you’re internalizing bad body mechanics.

If your last three turns are precise, then what you’re internalizing on the lift ride up is precision. End the work day with high quality, which means you are internalizing quality overnight.

How you do anything is how you do everything.

When you are not cultivating quality, you are essentially cultivating sloppiness.

Lateral thinking or thematic thinking, the ability to take a lesson from one thing and transfer it to another, is one of the most important disciplines that any of us can cultivate.

Who do you pick when your ego seems threatened? “It’s very interesting to observe who the top competitors pick out when they’re five rounds into the sparring sessions and they’re completely gassed. The ones who are on the steepest growth curve look for the hardest guy there, the one who might beat them up, while others look for someone they can take a break on.”

Brené Brown
The hero and the coward both feel the same thing, but the hero uses his fear, projects it onto his opponent, while the coward runs. It’s the same thing—fear—but it’s what you do with it that matters.

A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.

When I had the opportunity, did I choose courage over comfort?

People always think you gain trust first and then you’re vulnerable with people. But the truth is, you can’t really earn trust over time with people without being somewhat vulnerable first.

Jason Silva
Being jaded is almost like being dead.

Be a skeptic, don’t be a cynic.

Jamie Foxx
Girl, you better start having some fun. We’re gonna be gone in a minute. You’re gonna look back and say, “Shit, I should have been laughing, and now I’m dead.”

Jamie’s morning workout routine, done roughly every other day:

  1. 15 pull-ups, 50 push-ups, 100 sit-ups
  2. 15 pull-ups (different grip), 50 push-ups
  3. 10 pull-ups (first grip)
  4. 10 pull-ups (second grip)

Jamie asks his daughters to explore their fears with the question, “What’s on the other side of fear?” His answer is always, “Nothing.”

Look at whatever you’re afraid of and ask, “What is on the other side of fear, if I push through this?” The answer is generally nothing. There are few or no negative consequences, or they’re temporary. Failure is not durable.

Advice from Ray Charles: „Let me tell you something, brother. The notes are right underneath your fingers, baby. You just gotta take the time out to play the right notes. That’s life.”

Bryan Johnshon
What can you do that will be remembered in 200 to 400 years?

“Life is not waiting for the storm to pass, it’s learning how to dance in the rain”

Where are you afraid of getting sprayed with water, even though it’s never happened? Oftentimes, everything you want is a mere inch outside of your comfort zone. Test it.

Brian Koppelman
Morning Pages (by Julia Cameron) – It’s three longhand pages where you just keep the pen moving for three pages, no matter what. No censoring, no rereading. It’s the closest thing to magic I’ve come across.

Robert Rodriguez
Turn weakness into strengths, bugs into features: You use those gifts, because nothing ever goes according to plan. Sometimes I hear new filmmakers talk down about their film, and ‘Oh, nothing worked and it was a disappointment.’ They don’t realize yet that that’s the job. The job is that nothing is going to work at all. So you go: “How can I turn it into a positive?“

It’s good not to follow the herd. Go the other way. If everyone’s going that way, you go this other way. You’re gonna stumble, but you’re also gonna stumble upon an idea no one came up with.

Even if I didn’t sell Mariachi, I would have learned so much by doing that project. That was the idea—I’m there to learn. I’m not there to win; I’m there to learn, because then I’ll win, eventually.

You’ve got to be able to look at your failures and know that there’s a key to success in every failure. (Spy Kids and Sin City came out of Four Rooms, which did not perform at the cinema)

You can go back and you can look at it and go, „Oh, that wasn’t a failure. That was a key moment of my development that I needed to take.“

Even if I didn’t know what to do, I just had to begin. For a lot of people, that’s the part that keeps them back the most. They think, ‘Well, I don’t have an idea, so I can’t start.’ I know you’ll only get the idea once you start. It’s this totally reverse thing. You have to act first before inspiration will hit.

You don’t wait for inspiration and then act, or you’re never going to act, because you’re never going to have the inspiration, not consistently.

Even the pros don’t know – You never know. It shows that you don’t know. I want people to hear those stories because when you feel like, ‘Oh, I don’t know if I’m doing it right. These other guys seem to know.’ No, they don’t know. None of them know. That’s the beauty of it. You don’t have to know. You just have to keep moving forward.

If you can have a positive attitude, look at it, and say, “Let me see, what I can learn from this?”  Why would you ever get upset about anything?

Charles Poliquin
The basics are the basics, and you can’t beat the basics.

The best thing to increase testosterone is to lower cortisol (reduce stress). Because the same raw material that makes testosterone and cortisol is called pregnenolone.

“So after reading [The 4-Hour Workweek and The ONE Thing], when I’m at home, I work 2 and a half to 4 hours max. I take the month of July off. I take the first 2 weeks of August off. I don’t work from the month of December until about end of January, and a week a month I take off.”

Pavel Tsatsouline
Anything more than 5 reps is bodybuilding. If you want to be strong, you want to keep your reps at 5 and under.

To increase your pull-up numbers, start doing half the reps you’re capable of (e.g., sets of 4 if your personal best is 8) in repeated sets throughout the day. Simply accumulate reps with at least 15 minutes between sets, and adjust the daily volume to always feel fresh.

Calm is contagious. When you’re a leader, people are going to mimic your behavior, at a minimum.

Laird Hamilton, Gabby Reece & Brian MacKenzie
“I always say that I’ll go first. If I’m coming across somebody and make eye contact, I’ll smile first. Be first, because—not all times, but most times—it comes in your favor.“

If you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. If you run into assholes all day, you’re the asshole.

Loving your children can override a lot of wrongs.

“Of 10.000 successful couples studied, there’s only one thing that everybody had in common. The man respected the woman.“

Paul Levesque (Triple H)
Kids don’t do what you say. They do what they see. How you live your life is their example.

Overcoming jet lag – “When I landed, I would check into the hotel. The second we checked in, I’d ask them: ‘Is the gym open? Can I go train?’ Even if it was to get on a bike and ride for 15 minutes to reset things. I learned early that it seemed any time I did that, I didn’t get jet lag.”

Is that a dream or a goal? “Evander Holyfield said that his coach at one point told him, something like his very first day, ‘You could be the next Muhammad Ali. Do you wanna do that?’ Evander said he had to ask his mom. He went home, he came back and said, ‘I wanna do that.’ The coach said, ‘Okay. Is that a dream or a goal? Because there’s a difference.’

Because a dream is something you fantasize about that will probably never happen. A goal is something you set a plan for, work toward, and achieve.

Floyd Mayweather before the fight: „Why would I be wound up? I’m either ready or I’m not. Worrying about it right now ain’t gonna change a damn thing. Right? Whatever’s gonna happen is gonna happen. I’ve either done everything I can to be ready for this, or I haven’t.“

Whitney Cummings: “My work isn’t done tonight. My work was done 3 months ago, and I just have to show up.”

If you don’t do something well, don’t do it unless you want to spend the time to improve it. Still, to this day, I see a lot of guys do stuff in the ring and think, ‘He doesn’t do that well, but he does it all the time.’ You shouldn’t do that.”

“What am I continuing to do myself that I’m not good at?” Improve it, eliminate it, or delegate it.

Jame McGonigal
It also turns out that if you play Tetris after witnessing a traumatic event [ideally within 6 hours, but it’s been demonstrated at 24 hours], it prevents flashbacks and lowers symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Adam Gazzaley
On hiring: „That’s usually where I start: ‘What do you think about that really gets you excited?’ Because I’m more interested in what drives someone and motivates them and makes them want to get out of bed in the morning than a list of classic résumé check-boxes.“

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Bildquelle: Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain

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