Prepping for Warren Buffett: The Art of the Elevator Pitch (Videos)

109 Comments


The Oracle of Omaha, the world’s richest man. (Photo: Stephanie Kuykenal/Bloomberg News/Landov)

It’s 1:33am in Omaha and I can’t sleep.

Much like pre-Santa jitters as a 7-year old, I’m so excited to potentially meet Warren Buffett tomorrow for the 1st time that my little reptile brain won’t turn off. Ridiculous? Perhaps, but he (Warren, not Santa) is perhaps the greatest investor the US has ever produced.

So what do you say to the world’s richest man if you, by some miracle, end up standing at the urinal next to him? You better know in advance or you’ll sound like a Hannah Montana fan.

This is why learning to elevator pitch — how to deliver your message is 60 seconds or less — is one of the most important skills to develop if you ever plan on interacting with real players and demi-gods like the Oracle of Omaha…

Why? One example: there are 10,000+ people camping in the rain overnight just to attempt to meet Warren when he walks into the annual shareholder meeting tomorrow morning. 10,000 people.

Here are two examples of my elevator pitches, both related to the book.

The first was impromptu answer to “what is your name and what do you do?”, and the latter was filmed late one night for my new page on German Amazon.com.

For meeting VIPs in crowded settings, the goal should be to do 3 things in an introduction of no more than 60 seconds:

1st. Establish credibility. Cite 1-2 examples of social proof like media or association with reputable companies/organizations. Do not speak quickly during an elevator pitch. Slow and calm.

2nd. Make it clear you are not looking for money (unless you are) but have something of interest to discuss after much research, and then ask how you can follow up in a less hectic environment. Give them your card with below #3 handwritten on it.

3nd. Mention something very, very hard to forget about you that separates you from the rest. It doesn’t need to have anything to do with your reason for wanting to meet them. For me, tango is my default. I’ll close with something like: “Just so you remember, as I know you’ll meet a million people today, I’m the world record holder in the tango. Happy to give you and Astrid a lesson sometime if the stars align.” Referring to this odd fact will be important when you follow up.

If you meet them at an event or around other people, do not follow up within the next 3 days, as everyone else will. I like to give at least one week and then cite the bolded reason in the previous sentence as my reason for waiting.

Enjoy the below videos, and check out the timing on both ;)

###

Odds and Ends:

I’ll be doing a 90-minute Q&A May 8th at the SanFran MusicTech Summit, and the interviewer is the very cool and clever founder of world-famous CDBaby (look at “statistics” here), Derek Sivers.

The German edition of 4HWW just came out, and I LOVE the cover. ‘Nuff said.

Posted on: May 3, 2008.

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109 comments on “Prepping for Warren Buffett: The Art of the Elevator Pitch (Videos)

  1. Zehr gut :-) I agree that the elevator pitch is extremely important, as is learning to pitch in general.

    I was watching The Apprentice last week (series in the UK about people competing to get a 6-figure-salaried job) – one team hadn’t prepared their pitch properly and watching it was extremely painful!

    Like

  2. Interesting (and fun) to see those videos Tim :)
    I think my German is not as good as yours even though I’m living next to Germany, but I understand what you’re saying.

    I really like the cover of the German version of the book. I just read the Dutch version, but the color scheme on this one is much nicer! Do you make those choises or does the publsher do that?

    ###

    Hi Farfield,

    Thx for the comment and kind words. The publisher makes these decisions overseas, but I did have some input in the US.

    All the best,

    Tim

    Like

  3. Hey Tim,
    I wonder if you will get this excited the day your first child is born? LOL I hope you get some rest. I am sure you will be great and your pitch will ignite something in Mr. Buffett and he will want to share a Coca Cola with you. Buffett is extraordinary man. To his credit he is a man with integrity and uses his intuition wisely. If I were to pick his brain I would ask intimate questions if he were so inclined to share about how he feels about and connects to the people he employs. If he believes in God or something bigger than himself and how that affects his choices in his life. I would also ask after all these years what gets him excited or gets him up in the morning beyond the throng of business.

    It is 5:15 am in NJ. Even though I am not nervous about meeting an impressive man, I have been up all night none the less. :) It’s all good Carolyn Myss kept me company. Ha-ha.

    Good Luck, I guess this is the excitement you live for? I hope the excitement lasts more than 60 seconds of a pitch.

    Hugs,
    Jen

    Like

  4. So you’re preparing for meeting a guy that’s made a name for himself by being notably conservative by adopting what are essentially guidelines for finding a date. Best of luck to you.

    Like

  5. Tim,

    I´d offer him the “four hour solution” to radically improving his chess game. Make a bold promise based on your experience in different sports and activities.

    Have fun.

    Like

  6. Tim,

    Congratulations! You did it. That was about the best German speaking I have heard from an American in a VERY long time! Awesome – even better if you learned it with your “language structure deciphering method”. I am amazed.

    Have a great day with Warren Buffet.

    Hubert F.

    ###

    Thank you, Hubert! It’s been a while, but I hope to get my Berlin accent back up to speed soon :)

    Bis dann,

    Tim

    Like

  7. Haha,

    Your German is pretty good :D
    Although I’d rather adress the potential customer on Amazon.de as “du”, since most of them are going to be heavily influenced by American “you” culture. “Sie” in Germany is for old people and those you HAVE to respect (police, teachers).

    I think you make a better “du” person than a “sie” person. Especially on such a personal topic as YOUR LIFE.

    Have fun,
    Bleicke

    Like

  8. Tim,

    Next time when you travel to Germany, try to meet Harpe Kerkeling (German comedian, actor, show master and author). I bet you guys would have a blast

    Hubert F.

    Like

  9. For added razzle dazzle factor, some people add magic tricks to their elevator pitch. Learned this from a magician turned corporate pitchman Joel Bauer, it’s pretty entertaining and surely would catch anyone’s attention.

    Good luck!

    Like

  10. Hi Tim,

    1.) Does it matter whether the target is interested in your “unique” accomplishment.

    For example, if you knew Mr. Buffet absolutely hates dancing would you still mention the world-record in Tango dancing and offer to give him a Tango lesson?

    or

    Let’s say I have a very large collection of marbles (which I assume most would find BORING). Would it be worthwhile to let Mr. Buffet know this and offer him the opportunity to see them?

    If so, is the goal not only to come up with something unique (who cares how interesting it is) but, more importantly, to provide a kind gesture to show you aren’t just a “taker” but a “giver.”

    Without offering the Tango lesson, would your elevator pitch have been effective?

    Just wondering.
    EJ

    ###

    The memorable part is intended to be that and nothing else. It need not be an interest of theirs, and if you’re not sure, there is no need to make an offer. Hope that helps!

    Tim

    Like

  11. I noticed in German you’re much more serious and did not smile once. Is this a cultural difference?

    Like

  12. Tim, I actually sent Warren Buffett a letter from the advice you gave of contacting famous people in your book. I was even more surprised when he replied. My name will link you to the blog post I wrote about it, how exciting it would be to meet the world’s richest person in person.

    ###

    Congratulations, Josh! I can’t wait to see it!

    See, guys? It can work. Compared to Warren Buffett, the CEOs of AT&T and Samsung should be a piece of cake :)

    Tim

    Like

  13. So what do you say to the world’s richest man if you, by some miracle, end up standing at the urinal next to him? You better know in advance or you’ll sound like a Hannah Montana fan.

    You know Tim, it wouldn’t be a crime to just leave Warren Buffet alone, perhaps nod to him politely, and let the man pee in peace. :-)

    This scenario reminds me of a mini-interview of mine with business author Jeffrey Fox, whose bestsellers include How to Become CEO, Don’t Send a Resume and many more. Here is a link to the article:
    http://www.bostonproducts.org/articles.php?ar_id=79

    We talked about the career value of *not* attending the annual company holiday party. The advice in this excerpt might be applicable to this scenario. I welcome any comments:

    [Jeffrey] Fox also insists the CEO would prefer not to be regaled with party-going employees reciting their clever witticism/self-serving diatribe. “I put that on a par with employees who plan ahead to sit next to their CEO on a five-hour flight to bend his or her ear, thinking it will boost their career,” says Fox. “Don’t do it! Again, it’s an example of doing the wrong things right, which will only harm your career.”

    I guess it all boils down to the point of authenticity. A bridge player for instance could legitimately chat a bit about bridge to Buffet – an *authentic* point of discussion. Peter Murphy (above) mentioned chess – unfortunately bridge, not chess, is Buffet’s game of choice. (Too bad, I play chess too).

    Tim, great job on the tagline on the Deutsche cover: More Time, More Money, More Living — well done, Tim [thumbs up]. Best wishes for continued success.

    Mike

    Like

  14. Tim

    My name is Jake Shellenberger and I am a swimming coach at Penn State University. If you ever want to learn how to swim or go to a Penn State football game let me know. Now that Michigan is renovating their stadium we have THE LARGEST college football stadium in the country and no doubt the loudest. See you in State College!!

    Jake

    ###

    Hi Jake,

    Thanks so much! I’ll definitely take you up on teaching me to doggy paddle if I land in PA soon :)

    Tim

    Like

  15. P.S.

    Awesome to see Zach Even-Esh on a Tim Ferriss blog… Zach if you are reading this I am a fan of your site and DeFranco’s site and all the other “underground” strength sites… good stuff. I do a bit of your training when I can with my athletes at Penn State and they love it. As far as me personally I grew up on a farm and manual labor aka “underground strength” has been a part of my diet for quite some time. Keep lifting!!!

    Jake

    Like

  16. Tim, you’re clearly nervous and/or excited in the German video. You’re doing your own camera work and shaking like crazy.
    I don’t have experience with your steadiness, but I’d suspect that a man with a combination of your experience in dance and fighting, and an assured personality would have steady hands.

    Here’s to your German success.

    ###

    Hey Jesse,

    LOL… just ready for bed, really. It was about 2am and they needed it the next day, so I just held the camera in one hand and took the footage in three takes. It seems shakier than it is because of the parallel horizontal and vertical lines formed by the doorway, walls, etc. If the plane of the shot had been parallel to the ground and the background something with curves or flat (sky or a distant outdoor shot), it would have looked better.

    Oh, and the camera work was terrible, I’ll admit 100% :)

    Tim

    Like

  17. LOL… I look like H-J? I have German blood folks. No getting around it, though I did recently dye my hair purple, which looks more Barney-esque.

    I did end up looking really serious in this take, which I think is funny. The other take had more smiles, but they chose to run with this one. Those Zerious Germans! I do love them.

    Tim

    Like

  18. The art of the ask. Coming up with the perfect elevator speech is sorta fun. Well, it’s fun as long as you’re not having to pitch it in person. (for those of us that dislike nonprofit fund raising)

    @Josh, You sir have giant digi-balls, hats off to you.

    Like

  19. Tim – @ your twitter – way to go!

    I am somehow confused by the lack of – characters, words – on the German cover, how did you do that? ;) Ahhhh, sweet simplicity – getting their attention with BOLD colors – great stuff!
    :)

    Like

  20. Hey Tim,

    I was at the shareholder meeting this morning, and I heard your question. It was good, but you might want to read the Jason Zweig edition of “The Intelligent Investor” by Ben Graham. (it has kick-ass summary chapters explaining how Graham’s wisdom applies to today’s environment).

    As Buffett mentioned in your answer, Ben Graham breaks down groups of investors into 2 types—professional who can live, breathe, and spend 12 hours a day reading annual reports and research; and everyone else (like the 4 Hour Work Weekers).

    There’s nothing at all wrong with non-professional investors, but unless you can fully understand how to value a company, it makes way more sense to do as Buffett responded—find a no-load Vanguard fund.

    31,000 people was pretty crazy today, eh? Have fun during the rest of your time in Omaha, and be sure to hit Borsheim’s tomorrow. Buffett and Gates hang out with the crowd, play bridge, and play a little ping pong, too.

    Welcome to Omaha, dude!

    Cheers,
    -Alex

    ###

    Hi Alex,

    Thanks much. I have the Intelligent Investor and intend to review chapters 8 and 20. I’m off tomorrow back to CA, but I did get to meet (sort of) Bill Gates earlier today, which was cool. Buffett is more my style, though :)

    Have fun!

    Tim

    Like

  21. Tim,
    I enjoyed your question at the meeting today. This post is pretty topical considering the larger number of Germans at the event.

    Also, I was wondering how you chose your introduction / profession? I didn’t immediately recognize you as Tim Ferriss the Princeton guest lecturer.

    ###

    Thx!

    I just said that I “guest lecture at Princeton twice a year to undergraduates” and nothing more. Warren has a soft spot for students, and I wanted him to be specific, which he was, so I asked on my behalf and theirs (students do often ask me how I invest).

    Tim

    Like

  22. I really like the cover of the German version of the book. I just read the Dutch version, but the color scheme on this one is much nicer! Do you make those choises or does the publsher do that?

    Like

  23. Here is Tim’s question (I think, it was right before lunch) and the most of the others from cnbc.

    “11:54 am: How would you invest your first million if you were just starting out and were not a full-time investor? Buffett’s answer: a low-cost stock index fund with a company like Vanguard. Charlie says if you don’t have any prospects of being a very skilled investor, you should go with an index fund. he and Buffett warn against listening to people who make money by telling you what to do with your money, although Charlie notes that some stockbrokers are perfectly honorable people.”

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/24441379/site/14081545/

    ###

    Thanks, Tyler. Yes, this was my question, but I added the following conditions:

    -no dependents
    -other savings to cover 18 months of expenses (so the 1 million can be freely invested in high- or low-risk vehicles)

    Much more on investing coming soon…

    Tim

    Like

  24. hahaha…

    Yeah, you look so serious in the German language video (almost like one of Hitler’s generals!!)

    I dont understand German (although I always wanted to understand Hitler’s speeches)…. but I surely did enjoy your video! :)

    Take care

    Like

  25. The first video was great, the second one made me feel a bit ill. I’m still trying to get over it. I don’t know why, I’ve heard lots of people speak German, but maybe it’s the comparison between the two languages that’s creepy – the English video is in a sunny place, and you smile and look free and happy; the German version is in the dark, you’re wearing that cap and you don’t smile at all. Maybe it’s because Holocaust Remembrance Day was a few days ago here in Israel too.

    Like

  26. Ive never heard this called the Elevator Pitch before we used to call it the short and sweetening however i like it none the less and like the catcher to keep them remembering you

    Like

  27. Tim, your worldly knowledge and extremely specific advice, tips, resources and guides have become my passion, using them is even more fun! Thank you for this blog post as I hope one day to meet you, and I will be prepared, perhaps not with as an exciting “remember me” as world record holder of tango, but I’m working on it. Thank you!

    P.S if you met Warren can I suggest that you have a follow up blog on how it went and if you did get to share a coca cola?!

    Carpe Diem

    Like

  28. Hey Tim,
    It’s great to know you’re in Omaha, too! :) I decided to attend the meeting this year because I’m worried that Warren will retire and that this might be the last chance to see him. Did you get to ask him a question? I didn’t hear your name during the Q&A session on Saturday – or maybe I just wasn’t paying attention. By the way, I’ve been meaning to ask you for a whie now – what do you invest in? Is it the good ol’ Berkshire-Hathaway, some other stocks, bonds, index funds, gold, or something else? I’m sure a lot of your readers would like to learn your investing philosophy. :^D

    Best,
    Grigory

    ###

    Hi G,

    Gotta run to a plane, but much more coming on investing soon. Yes, I did ask him a question and will elaborate on that in my upcoming posts as well.
    :)

    Tim

    Like

  29. Ja nicht schlecht. The one thing that surprised me is that you said you are not a millionaire and you are living like one. I never heard you say that in English, I wonder if this has something to do with the German psyche? Alles Gute zu deinem Buch…

    ###

    Thx, Mario! I think it might have been a slight mistranslation on my part. I meant to say, basically, that one can live like a millionaire without being one. All said, I also don’t consider myself a millionaire, but that’s a personal definition. If I’m not pulling in a few million a year at least in income, I don’t think I’d use the term for myself.

    It’s an overused term anyhow :)

    Tim

    Like

  30. There is a very good saying in the Talmud: ” That which comes from the heart – penetrates the heart”. That’s is the only thing you need to have in mind when talking to Warren or other deadly people ;)

    Like

  31. Saw you at the shareholders meeting and heard someone say “guest lecturer at Princeton” at which I immediately knew it was you. Hey your branding is working! I thought your question was specific and straight to the point.

    Afterwards I saw Bill Gates walking in the exhibition hall being hoarded by people for autographs and pictures…I swear it looked like paparazzi we see here in Hollywood.

    Overall a great meeting, great steaks but terrible night life…can’t wait for next year!

    Like

  32. Tim,

    Yesterday was yet another invaluable experience at the shareholders meeting. I wish I had known in advance you would be there so I could of shook your hand. Warren and Charlie are definitely unique people, in my opinion a dying breed.

    Like

  33. Tim or anyone on here? I’m wondering if you have had any experience with these offers on “to how” to change your web page layout to get google / yahoo advertising for free?

    ###

    Hi Olson,

    I believe the page you linked is suggesting illegal approaches. Wouldn’t risk it myself. Sorry for removing the link, but that’s the policy with stuff like this.

    Cheers,

    Tim

    Like

  34. You FINALLY put the picture up from the Oscars. Why did it take you so long? Are your photoshop skills that bad? ;) Yes I’m trying hard to wind you up.

    Like

  35. That’s funny you posted that because:

    1. I had a dream last night that I met you in a crowded place and I was so excited and had so many things I wanted to ask you that I TOTALLY botched my 60 seconds and, as you can imagine, had some bit of a struggle keeping/getting your focused attention.

    2. Warren Buffet is a bit of a hero and yet I have to say that the market today is already completely different than when he built up what he did and that I think that the creativity and reinvention of “what a millionaire is” that you have running through you has you on the precipice of being a great one yourself. I was fascinated by the interview you posted and your records of all of your exercises to date. That says it right there.

    3. I need that international ticket for the editing of the book award. Let’s go.

    Like

  36. Great advice. Warren Buffett plays ukulele too. He may be conservative, but he likes enjoying life. Nice touch for you to know Astrid’s name and mention it re: tango. It always pay to approach people as people and not be fooled or entranced by a media image. I have found that waiting a week rather than the first 3 days makes all the difference in the world, too. Besides, when you’re away at an event, the first few days is getting back into the groove–it’s hard to respond to new relationships so soon after returning, I think. Smart take on it.

    By the way, Tim—promoted your 4-hr work week book on my blog today. I love the stuf and have been transformed by it. Keep up the great work. Come on over and visit if you’d like!

    Vicki Flaugher, the original SmartWoman

    Like

  37. Hi Tim, heard your question in Omaha as well, don’t think you got quite as specific answer as what you were looking for. Pretty interesting meeting though, huh? I didn’t know much about Munger before, now I am a rabid fan of him as well.

    Like

  38. It was great to meet you Saturday. I’d love to continue the conversation – you know how to reach me. Clearly I’m not following your advice by following up only 2 days later. You’ll remember me as the ‘crazy asset allocator’ guy.

    For the benefit of others reading these comments, below I’ve pasted SeekingAlpha’s version of Tim’s question along with Buffett and Munger’s answer:

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/75598-2008-berkshire-hathaway-shareholder-meeting-detailed-notes

    Q32: Timothy Ferris, Princeton guest lecturer. Imagine you are investing with small sums of money at 30yrs old, with your first $1mil. Your savings can cover expenses for 18 months. You are not a full time investor, no dependents. What advice do you have, please be as specific as possible.

    WB: Put it all in a low cost index fund. Vanguard. Reliable, low cost. Not professional, thus an amateur. Unless bought during strong bull market, that investment would outperform bonds over long period of time and I would forget it and go back to work.

    CM: The great horde of professionals taking croupier profits out of system, and most of them pretending to be experts. If you don’t have prospects as a professional investor, do an index fund.

    WB: No one will give you that advice since it doesn’t make anyone money. You will get a good return. Why should you expect more than that when you don’t bring anything to the party?

    Like

  39. Heck Yeah,

    This blog is getting cooler each day Tim. I contacted Hans via email and he wrote me back a really cool email. Here it is:

    Jose,

    Thanks so much for your email and kind words, much appreciated. That’s great
    you read the 4hr wrkwk also, a great book I thought.

    As far as making changes in your life, and I think this goes for any change
    whether career or stopping smoking or going a different route with a
    relationship or what have you, really the main thing is just deciding,
    unequivocally, and making up your mind about what you want, and don’t want.
    So many people waffle and fret, complain and dream, but never decide 100%
    that no, I’m not going to do that any more, and now I’m going to do X
    instead. After you pass that point, the rest is easy, just filling in the
    blanks on the details. ;)

    Simple advice, of course, but hope it’s helpful nonetheless.

    I love BJJ, and in fact we just this week launched our own JJ program here
    at Nexus, where we’re lucky enough by coincidence to have the former runner
    up in the ’96 JJ world championships in Rio already on our staff here. Have
    a look — http://www.nexussurf.com/jiujitsu.html.

    If you could pass this link on to Carlos or anyone else you know that’s
    interested in JJ, that would be much appreciated. Floripa is a pretty
    awesome place to train with the backdrop of the local culture, people,
    scenery, etc.

    In an effort to kickstart this new program off the ground, we’re actually
    offering to all JJ schools and teachers the following —

    If an instructor can get together a group of 5 or more students to come to
    Nexus for a trip, he or she gets his entire stay with us for free (this
    includes housing, car, cell phone, breakfast, all JJ activities, alternate
    ‘a la carte’ adventure sports activities set up for the group, VIP nightlife
    access, and more!!), so if you know anyone that might be interested, please
    spread the word!!

    Thanks and all the best,

    HK

    So thanks again TIm and keep us posted on what the great Warren Buffet has to say.

    Cheers

    Jose Castro-Frenzel

    Like

  40. Hey Tim,

    We loved hearing you asking your question up there and it was fun to realize it was you even though you were slightly discreet. Leave it to to the 4 Hour Work Weeker to get up there and ask the man a question.

    I am glad we got to chat for a few minutes during the break. I was the one who came up to you with a couple other guys up stairs. I was the one in the middle who lived in Sevilla for a year so. (I hope that works for my back of the business card description as you suggest). I should have expected you had spent some time there. No doubt a good choice.

    Great to hear you have moved yourself into S.F. I am out there as well. I am glad to hear you are going to spend some time on investments. I have been a student of Buffet’s for many years now and I’d be happy to pass some great Buffett media your way if you are interested. He has taught us a ton through videos and other channels. Let me know and perhaps we can meet up in SF to sort through it.

    Maybe once you get back from your next couple adventures in Greece and Australia, we can trade stories. I will be in Dubai and Beiruit for a few weeks until the end of May. Not quite a mini retirement, but I’m working on it.

    Thanks a lot for all you have for us. I am loving my outsourced life at $3-5/hour!

    You might enjoy the review I poster of you book on my site.

    -Scott

    ###

    Hi Scott,

    I totally remember you, of course, and good use of Sevilla. I might just pester you for some WB goodies :)

    Tim

    Like

  41. Hi Tim,

    LOVED your book and nearly fell out of my Qwest Center chair when you introduced yourself to Warren and Charlie. Love it that you DIDN’T say you were the author of “The 4…” and instead claimed Princeton in a modest moment. It was the right call. Just found this blog to let you know that if anyone heard your question and listened to their answer, they will die richer thanks to you and to W&C. I worked for JP Morgan and Salomon Smith Barney in equities in NY and London for a dozen years then retired young by doing all the stuff you talk about, and by reinvesting all my Vanguard SP500 index fund divindends. You should too.

    Wondering how early you had to get there to ask that question, and if you loved his answer on the Coke/Beijing question as much as my husband and I did: (roughlywhy do you want to take someone you hate and obsess over the thing you like least about them?)

    Are you going to blog about the meeting???

    ###

    Hi Lisa!

    Thanks so much for the comment. I loved the meeting, and congrats on the Vanguard! John Bogle would be proud :)

    I missed the Beijing question! Would you mind sharing it here? I do plan to blog about the meeting. Just digesting things…

    Pura vida,

    Tim

    Like

  42. At first, I thought your idea about saying “something very, very hard to forget about you” was a little silly. Then I got this email today:

    —SNIP—
    Hi Brent,

    How are you doing? We met last month. Hoping you
    could keep me in mind for any deferments or projects
    you have in house. Happy Cinco de Mayo.

    Best,

    Name Withheld
    619 555 1212
    —SNIP—

    Um. Who are you again?

    Like

  43. Hi All!

    @Lisa Wolf

    Thanks so much for the comment. I loved the meeting, and congrats on the Vanguard! John Bogle would be proud :)

    I missed the Beijing question! Would you mind sharing it here? I’ll also be posting on the meeting and will answer you other Q there. Thx!

    @ Scott

    I totally remember you, of course, and good use of Sevilla. I might just pester you for some WB goodies :)

    Like

  44. Good day!
    Thank you for your dedicated action,it refreshes the body,mind like the new spring breezes rushing through the blocks of Manhattan! This book embodies company I want to keep.
    The thought ballooned in the mind.. have you ever contemplated starting a bank, where investments would be in positive, more humanitarian endeavors, as opposed to often purely profit driven investments?
    Kindly,
    Dhruva Mikkelsen
    PS
    Thank You for this book!

    Like

  45. When I was in Nebraska, I told my friend who live there that I must see Warren Buffett’s home. Being a resident, he know where he live.

    When he took me there.

    Wow! It was in a middle-class neighbor and yet so modest. People will miss it. But he is secured since there is a security kiosk outside although you will miss it. No iron wrought fence around.

    It is open.

    My Great Uncle always talk about Warren Buffett and investing and it has great influence on me. I told my friend, one day, I am going to sit down and have a dinner with Warren Buffett at his favorite steakhouse.

    I intend to make it happen soon and your book serve me as an inspiration on the section of how to get experts/famous/celebrities on the phone.

    Soon, it must happen and I will report this experience here!

    Like

  46. Hey Tim,

    I’m looking for a post/comment/article I thought you authored on reducing negative or self-sabotaging talk and speech patterns in daily life.

    Was this you or am I just imagining it? If so, could you please direct me to the link.

    Thanks in advance,

    Steve

    ###

    Hi Steve,

    I think if you search “10 words you should stop using now” or “10 common words”, etc., you should find it. Also might like the no-complaint experiment, which should be in “most popular” somewhere.

    Enjoy :)

    Tim

    Like

  47. Tim,

    I imagine that on your mini-retirements you may have been tempted to buy properties across the world. Heck you could produce additional passive income renting places that have been “stamped with your presence” ;-)

    Do you invest in real estate?

    Like

  48. I thinks you should always be as prepared as possible for any event like this. Even if you are a natural speaker you can always do better. Sometimes I get the feeling that our president (U.S) doesn’t spend enough time prepping and that has caused him to often come off as an idiot.

    Like

  49. Tim,
    The Beijing Question you missed was key to Buffet (and to helping people h better understand the power and limitation of activism!). .

    A very articulate and poised lady asked if Warren would consider using his considerable weight and credibility as a Coke shareholder to encourage Coke to withdraw its sponsorship of the Beijing Olympics due to China’s human rights violations in Tibet. Warren responded, “I hear what you’re saying, but here in America, women did not have the right to vote until the turn of the century, and we legally considered Blacks to be two-thirds of a human being. We’re better now. We believe the Chinese are improving on this front, and that punitive action won’t ultimately serve either of us. Charlie then added something like, “What you’re suggesting is the equivalent of taking someone you don’t like, finding the thing you hate most about them, and obsessing over it. What’s the point of that?”

    Like

  50. Hi,

    Don’t mean to sound thick but what does ‘Manusha’ mean?
    You use it a lot and I tried googling it but it didn’t come up with a solid answer.

    Thanks
    Fran

    ###

    Hi Fran,

    “Minutia” generally means small details, depending on usage. Hope that helps!

    Tim

    Like

  51. Tim,

    As a past foreign exchange student in Darmstadt Germany, I have to say that your German is excellent. You may have prepped for the video, but the guteral Rs sounds are pretty authentic. Definitely a Berlin accent. I’m interested how your mandarin is.

    You are continually an inspiration and proof of mind over matter.

    Livin the dream!

    Nate

    Like

  52. Hi Tim,

    that video in German was great.. You really speak very well but your accent reminds me der Fuehrer in his younger years.. :) Good luck to you!

    Like

  53. Tim,

    I was at the meeting in Omaha last Saturday. Having recently read your book (twice) I loved hearing you ask your question to Warren and Charlie. Do those guys have the best combination of intelligence, humor, and common sense, or what?!

    Like

  54. First off, let me say you’ve done some amazing things and inspired many people – me included.

    I’ve lived near Omaha for all of my life and have learned much about value and evaluation from Mr. Buffett at the annual meetings. This seems to be one of his greatest skills, along with having the ability to block out certain “wavelengths” to keep excessive noise and chatter from affecting his decision making.

    Anyway, I’m glad you had a good experience in Omaha. If you are ever looking for a reason to come back, the Qwest center will host the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials this summer. Although not a swimmer myself, I am hoping to take in the event.

    Kind regards,
    Shannon Ehlers

    PS
    In the spirit of your own challenges, I came up with the following challenge for you. It is relatively easy to talk to Warren Buffett if you get in line soon enough, and even easier if you’re Tim Ferriss, so I decided to ratchet it up a notch. Next year return to the shareholders’ meeting, but instead of talking to Buffett, Munger, or even Gates, let’s see if you can get a spot with the Fruit of the Loom singers. Something tells me your advice would be even more memorable coming from someone dressed as grapes and singing songs about underpants. :-)

    Like

  55. Tim!

    I agree with ‘Net’s’ Talmud quote and comment:

    ” That which comes from the heart – penetrates the heart”. That’s is the only thing you need to have in mind when talking to Warren or other deadly people ;)”
    …focused passion will penetrate. I practice focusing my passion.

    You speaking German kinda scared me for some reason.

    Adrienne

    Like

  56. Ok, I know this is an old blog, but I felt the need to post something I was introduced to over the weekend. I had the chance to here Simon Sinek speak about The Golden Circle. If you haven’t heard him speak before, I highly recommend it. As part of his discussion on application of The Golden Circle, he addressed the topic of the Elevator Pitch. Simply put, he recommended that your elevator pitch should be about WHY you do things, not WHAT you do. People buy the WHY, not the What. The What is only things that represent your why. You can check out my blogpost for more information, but the key is to know your WHY. What’s your Why?

    http://givingreturns.blogspot.com/2008/05/whats-your-why.html

    Like

  57. Here’s my pitch: I have the patent on a construction tool that will decrease by 25% the time spent on putting up buildings and also I have the World’s Record for the longest and fastest indoor rappel inside New York’s World Trade Center Towers in 1994.

    Like

  58. Dear Tim,

    the whole of yesterday I was utterly sleepy and beamless and it really took me until 6pm or so to get “awake”. Scary, my flatmate told me that there´s sleeping laboratories, guess I should go there!

    I was utterly stuck on the dreamlining part and was looking for another tool to help from your website. Then I discovered your tips for an elevator pitch and smiled, because I was to meet a cool, important entrepreneur in the morning and I felt like: You don´t have a story. Then I got one.

    Today went fine, he opened doors and gave great insights and motivated me to execute my dream to travel the world. I then went skinny-dip in a lake nearby this mansions-filled area. Nice sky. Later, I received an order from a great new magazine that wants me to portrait a wise lady in Zurich (I´m a writer).

    Anyways, the best part was yet to come. Jumping over the dreamlining part just to get on with it, I discovered the Comfort Challenge “Eye Gazing”. A very old best friend, my ex-boss and recently my girl friend told me to do so – guess now I really have to. It´s really NOT irrelevant, but a great reminder for the person you speak to. How many people do this?! See, near nobody anymore.

    Then Pareto Principle and Parkinson´s Law – so true, man! I do so many things at once and declare them as “creative”, but it all sucks indeed and I do not get forward with the few important issues.

    “Learn to Propose”? My girl will love this!

    And so on, and so on. It´s an amusement and constant head nodding to read this book. Thanks so much for this manifesto on freedom, can´t wait to make put it all into reality!

    Howdy,
    Daniel

    PS: That´s good German das du da sprichst ;-)

    Like

  59. I love warren buffet, how he uses metaphors is awesome.

    Metaphors are one of the topics next to storytelling that will be completely hot again in 2009 (again). Happiness will be the subject of 2008, or come to think of it, Meaning. Check my Thoughts on Happiness symposium. Next years theme will be the Moral of the Story. About the science of morality and the art of storytelling.

    Like

  60. I love warren buffet, how he uses metaphors is awesome.

    Metaphors are one of the topics next to storytelling that will be completely hot again in 2009 (again). Happiness will be the subject of 2008, or come to think of it, Meaning. Check my Thoughts on Happiness symposium. Next years theme will be the Moral of the Story. About the science of morality and the art of storytelling.

    Would you like to join me once at one of my Thoughts on Happiness symposiums?

    Like

  61. I love warren buffet, how he uses metaphors is awesome.

    Metaphors are one of the topics next to storytelling that will be completely hot again in 2009 (again). Happiness will be the subject of 2008, or come to think of it, Meaning. Check my Thoughts on Happiness symposium. Next years theme will be the Moral of the Story. About the science of morality and the art of storytelling.

    Would you like to join me at one of the Thoughts on Happiness symposiums?

    Like

  62. I love Warren Buffet, how he uses metaphors is awesome.

    Metaphors are one of the topics next to storytelling that will be completely hot again in 2009 (again). Happiness will be the subject of 2008, or come to think of it, Meaning. Check my Thoughts on Happiness symposium. Next years theme will be the Moral of the Story. About the science of morality and the art of storytelling.

    BTW: Would you like to join me at one of the Thoughts on Happiness symposiums?

    Like

  63. “So what do you say to the world’s richest man if you, by some miracle, end up standing at the urinal next to him?”

    Have you farted?

    Like

  64. Tim,

    I’d aim to get his interest on another level first. For example, a discussion of the thinking techniques of his business partner, Charlie Munger. (They are on the web link).

    Best – Dean

    Like

  65. This may not be the best place to post this, but hopefully I will receive some helpful replies. I have read 4HWW twice and read most of the recommended books that deal with product developing and licensing etc. With inspiration from the book as well as some other media (the Big Idea) I have decided to create a product and sell it. I have put together pricing, a contract manufacturer for the product, a packaging manufacturer and a shipper (hopefully a fulfillment service will be used in the near future) and using elance I am developing packaging and a website.

    The trouble I see in the future, and could not find answers to in any readings, is how to make the jump from paper to a final product for selling. Meaning, Tim mentions that you should put minimal capital into a product until dry testing has been completed. If dry testing goes well and it appears profitable to go forward, how do you balance funds to pay for the raw materials and packaging before receiving payment from a large contract? Would you request that a retailer who’s agreed to carry your product must pay, say 50% before receiving the product to cover your costs? If I were to land a large contract with a retailer for say 1,000 boxes or 5, 000 boxes I would have no way of paying the manufacturer or packager until payment from the retailer was received.

    I hope that this is clear and hope that someone with knowledge or experience in this area can give me some information or at least a push in the right direction.

    Thank you and feel free to e-mail me at michaelfranciscoyle@gmail.com

    Regards

    Like

  66. Hi Tim,

    I am reading your book right now.I am going in a slow pace,will write a review in my blog.
    Elevator pitch is really important as you have to convey your message within couple of munutes or even less.Nice tips on that.
    Reminding the person you met after a week is the reasonable gap.Good tip.
    I read most of the comments for this post,wondered how many people you can inspire,incredible.
    You are one of the examples of a person who is stretching the abilities.
    you are awesome.Keep up the great work.

    Bets Wishes,
    Kannan Viswagandhi

    Like

  67. hi tim… my husband does not speak english, but he’s amazingly smart and open-minded, and he’s dying to read your book. before i outsource somenoe to translate it for him, or force him to make time to take english lessons… maybe you can tell me if the translation already exists. i couldn’t find it online. thanks!

    Like

  68. Hey Tim,

    sehr gutes Deutsch! Ich beschäftige mich ein bisschen mit den modernen ‘amerikanischen’ Methoden, über das Netz mit Video-Posts, etc. auch den in den deutschen Kopf einzudringen.

    Ich weiß nicht, ob Du das bereits intensiv ausgearbeitet hast, ob Du die Leute mit “Du” oder “Sie” ansprichst… Falls das noch eine Sache ist, die Du evtl. überarbeiten möchtest, dann würde ich Dir raten, das “Du” zu verwenden!

    Ich kann es nicht gut rational erklären, aber ich persönlich empfinde die amerikanischen Marketing-Mails oder Blogs als angenehm, wenn sie über Dinge sprechen, die mich interessieren und so schreiben, als wären sie nur für mich geschrieben (z.B. eine Mail mit “Dear Kristof, did you ever hear think about wroking less and get more done … this and more in my book ‘4-hour-work-week’…)

    Alle Dinge im ‘deutschen Leben’, die einem persönlich wichtig sind, sprechen einen mit “Du” an. Vor allem das jüngere Publikum würde diese Höflichkeits-Überschreitung’ ok finden. Ist nur meine Meinung.

    Danke für den guten Blog und Dein Buch!

    Kristof

    ####

    Danke sehr, Kristof! I totally agree and had asked the German publisher which to use. I think moving forward that will be “du”. Excellent point with examples.

    Bis dann!

    Tim

    Like

  69. Allo Tim ~
    You’re brilliant! Congratulations on your literary masterpiece!
    So jealous you had time with The Oracle of Omaha. It would be great if he read your book and shared his thoughts about it. Happy Travels :)
    Adieu,
    Cali

    Like

  70. Tim,
    you mention in the book that your BrainQuicken Biz is not “sellable.” I am considering an online biz and want to avoid pitfalls where possible. So my questions is: Why is your biz not sellable? and thanks for being specific

    (love your work by the way, the book changed my life as a professional recruiter, which is commissioned sales. Chapters on Elimination and the Critical Few were worth the price of admission alone. I have told everyone I know about the book and even gave it as a gift to some.)

    Thanks man!
    Tim B.

    Like

  71. Beg to differ.
    Santa is easily a better investor than Buffet. His holding company has made trillions with little or no overhead, besides elf food and hot chocolate.
    He does more in a day than Buffet and Munger do in a career. He’s not afraid of global diversity.
    Buffet and Santa are tied when it comes to avoiding investment in technology, however.

    Like

  72. Congratulations on your German, Tim! If you didn’t read that off some script in the back of the camera then I do pay you my respect. Being German I can judge (c:
    Strangely, you don’t sound at all like an American speaking German, but I sense some French accent every now and then…

    The comment with the H-J I wouldn’t support, though (c;

    Mach weiter so!

    Like

  73. Mastering an Elevator Pitch for your business is essential. In order to be able to successfully pitch yourself you need to identify the following: 1: the Problem in the marketplace 2: Your Solution 3: Validation of yourself, your team and your business 4: Ask for what you want, whether it be a meeting, finances, etc.

    Like

  74. Hi Tim,

    I’ve been invited to a private event to host a high ranking government official. I appreciate the easy steps of this post to get a next meeting (or in this case, the contact of one his chronies. I was an oarsman in college, and while this is unofficial, I think I might hold the world record for the dock machine (a rather medieval, wooden contraption that allows you to perfect your stroke while stationary on a dock). The alternative is that a horse fell on top of me while trying to rope a steer. Hmmm, what would look better on a business card?

    Mike

    Like

  75. Hi Tim,

    Big fan of yours and the book (which I am almost done with).

    Quick question – where can I find this book in different languages? I saw someone mention that there was a Dutch version, is there a Chinese version available? I would love to give a copy to my parents to read.

    Cheers!
    Henry

    Like