Tim Ferriss: A Day In The Life


(Trouble viewing? See Tim Ferriss: A Day In The Life on Hulu. If you’re international, try using Hotspot Shield first.)

I’m often asked, “What does your typical day look like?”

In an attempt to answer this difficult question, I met up with Morgan Spurlock’s film crew for an episode of “A Day In The Life.” The full Friday we shot (I reserve Fridays for in-person meetings) reiterates a point I’ve driven home before: The 4-Hour Workweek is, and always has been, about using time optimally, not being idle.

It also shows how much I love my POS VW Golf, which is having its 10th birthday soon.

To clarify the intro, here’s a mostly complete list of start-ups I advise and have invested in [UPDATE 2014: Here is the most complete list of all my startups, which is kept up-to-date.]:

About.me (acquired by AOL)
DailyBurn (acquired by IAC)
Milk (acquired by Google)
Posterous (acquired by Twitter)
Foodzie (acquired by Joyus)
Uber (The Escalade in the above video was via Uber, which I use whenever parking will be a hassle.)
DonorsChoose.org (educational non-profit)
Schematic Labs (makers of SoundTracking)
Central Kitchen Restaurant (press)
Blue Bottle Coffee
DuoLingo (language learning)

Other investments, including late-stage and publicly traded, include:

Facebook (pre-IPO)
Twitter (pre-IPO)
Alibaba Group (pre-IPO)
SimpleGeo (acquired by Urban Airship)
Unsubscribe.com (acquired by TrustedID)
Digg (acquired by Betaworks)
Basis (acquired by Intel)

Would you like to work together? If so, watch the “Advise This!” video below and tell me about your company in the comments, ideally in 200 words or fewer. Stats are always helpful.

Look forward to checking it out. In the meantime, I have to wrap up The 4-Hour Chef!

It’s shaping up to be a fun one… :)

Odds and Ends:

WellnessFX Competition – Would you like to spend 30 minutes with me? I’d love to learn what you’re up to and see if I can help. WellnessFX, featured in the above episode, is sponsoring a giveaway for six 30-minute slots. Click here to learn more.

SXSW – “Advise This” Panel – So, what do start-up “advisors” do, exactly? How do you recruit A-listers to your cause? Or, better yet, how do you assemble and leverage the *right* team? In the below panel, Gary Vaynerchuk, Tony Conrad, JR Johnson, Chase Charvis, and I discuss the relationships between founders, investors, and advisors in start-ups. You’ll recognize the now familiar “14 minutes into my 15 minutes…,” which I say to keep my head from getting too damn big. It’s a Seneca thing:

Posted on: April 24, 2012.

Watch The Tim Ferriss Experiment, the new #1-rated TV show with "the world's best human guinea pig" (Newsweek), Tim Ferriss. It's Mythbusters meets Jackass. Shot and edited by the Emmy-award winning team behind Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations and Parts Unknown. Here's the trailer.

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Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation! (Thanks to Brian Oberkirch for the inspiration)

329 comments on “Tim Ferriss: A Day In The Life

    • Hi Tim

      I lived in China for 2 years during which time I fully adopted your mantra and started a very successful 4HWW business. I ran the business while traveling in South America for 4 months and now live in Thailand.

      I have an idea to start a website for travel emergencies (I am a subject matter expert in international medical evacuation). The site will have set input fields such as Insurance Number, Name, Passport Number, Emergency Contact Details and so on. The completed fields can then be translated into any of 14 languages with the push of a button and printed off into a business sized card that can be carried in your wallet. In a medical emergency the card can accessed by emergency services and care provided immediately regardless of language barriers (hospitals need to know who you are and how you will pay before they start treatment)

      The idea is so useful to leisure and business travelers that word of mouth advertising through travel blogs would seem highly likely. Offer French, Spanish and Italian for free with a small fee to access Chinese, Indian, Portugese, Russian, Japanese etc.

      Hope to hear from you.

      Tim Shaw


  1. Hey Tim- Two Degrees Food (www.twodegreesfood.com) would love to work with you in some regards (whether advising, investing or otherwise). We’re the first buy-one-give-one food company; for every healthy snack bar we sell, we donate a meal to a hungry child. We’ve donated almost 500k meals in first 15 months in business, and are in all Whole Foods, offices of HP, Facebook Twitter, Patagonia, AOL, Microsoft, etc. We’re based right here in SF and would love to chat. Thanks


  2. Hulu asked me to pay $7 to watch it on my iPhone. Interesting business model… Instead I walked upstairs to my laptop (I know I should have used the opportunity to make it a 90 second intense exersize)

    Unfortunately Hulu now tells me I can’t view this outside the USA. Although I’m confident the video is awesome, I’m not going to install a VPN to watch it :-)

    I’m sure you’re already working on it…


  3. Nice one! It seems like these non-traditional careers where entrepreneurs or anyone has 12 different projects going on, all very successfu,l is what people aspire to these days, but what are your thoughts on dedicating a lifetime to the pursuit of excellence in just one thing because you love it?

    Check out the movies “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” or “Bill Cunningham New York.” These are about two guys who have spent their entire lives in pursuit of excellence in one field, the former being sushi and the latter being fashion photography.

    Thoughts on one vs. the other?


  4. Hey Tim,

    I have an idea to provide online personal training and nutritional coaching on an electronic format. Workouts/Nutritional information are delivered via electronic media, clients are given specific measurable goals/benchmarks and accountability via skype/email/phone/sms. I have a BS in exercise science, I’m a CSCS, certified nutritionist and it is my goal to stop the destructive progress of obesity in the US/World. Thanks for your time



  5. Thank you for doing this episode, I don’t understand how secretive some tech people are… would be nice to see this sort of documentary about mark zuckerberg, google founders etc.


    • Tim,
      It seems people look down on having a wide range of skills. I’m only 25 so perhaps it’s because people don’t believe how much experience it is possible to have. Anyway, FHWW helped me focus on my media foundation which is going very well now. I have experimented for years bridging modern and traditional worlds. This is the movie crowd funded via kickstarter.
      “Within The Four Walls trailer”



    • Heyo Tim – I think you’re saying one thing in your response, and another the linked blog. Your previous post is also pretty condescending, in a punchy #humblebrag kind of way, toward specialization.

      I think the world is becoming increasingly specialized out of necessity. Your lawyers are specialist. The programmer at startups you advise are specialist. If you watch Jiro Dreams of Sushi, and visit him the next time your in Tokyo, you’ll be raving about that specialist the to your friends eating that ‘pedestrian’ SF sushi.

      The truth is, good sir, you are the weirdo!!! Like you said you’re brain is wired to have a finger and a thought in multiple endeavors, maybe that’s why you are who you are, who knows. But I’d propose most people aren’t wired that way, and that ain’t so bad for their happiness.

      Number three – boredom – was the only one of the five that’s relevant to any of this. If someone is bored in what they do or their life, then they’re never going to “maximize [their] peak experiences.” The real problem is in when people know they’re bored, but can’t find it in themselves to change their situation…


      • Zach. I think your comments towards Tim are very close minded. I would encourage you to open your mind to other perspectives. Many successful entrepreneurs have ADHD behaviors and characteristics, so they’re hardwired differently. As entrepreneurs we all have value and bring something different to the table. Each with our own unique talents and shortcomings. The key is to have the self-awareness of these shortcomings and mitigate them by bringing people on our team with those strengths. Specialization has its unique advantages like everything else, however, some entrepreneurs are happier and more effective by starting several projects or business start-ups at once, and having trusted members of their team handle the detail work and day to day operations. That’s my “2 cents worth” to add to the conversation….


      • Hey count me in I am a weirdo too !
        I get bored very easily and enjoy having multiple skills.
        Thanks to Tim I managed free myself from a boring but a very well paid job in the UK.
        Been travelling around the world (this month in Bangkok, learning Thai , muay Thai, total immersion swimming, scuba diving, island hopping, and abou 20 more things) with the income from the automated business.

        Met quite a few mega rich (almost billionaires) and chuffed to say that I live a more adventurous life. The only downside is when I become friends with people who have to get back to work after their too weak (2 weeks) holiday.

        It’s actually possible to achieve TIM (T=Time, I = Income, M= Mobility)


    • Tim…thought you’d love this quote from Peter Drucker:

      “I began to force myself to study afternoons and evenings: international relations and international law; the history of social and legal institutions; finance; and so on. Gradually, I developed a system. I still adhere to it. Every three or four years I pick a new subject. It may be Japanese art; it may be economics. Three years of study are by no means enough to master a subject, but they are enough to understand it. So for more than 60 years I have kept on studying one subject at a time. That not only has given me a substantial fund of knowledge. It has also forced me to be open to new disciplines and new approaches and new methods – for every one of the subjects I have studied makes different assumptions and employs a different methodology.”

      Here’s the article from Inc… http://www.inc.com/magazine/19970201/1169.html

      It’s had a huge impact on how I go about my learning. Biggest lesson was to learn one thing at a time.


  6. Tim, I wish more of those people you described who “really dislike” you would watch this. As a huge fan, I had no idea how you lived and your perspective on things, even from reading your material. The 14 minutes into the 15 minutes of fame sounded so humble, and I never would have expected that. You are an inspiration and I can’t wait for the book. I’ll be a fan in the 16th minute.