How to Build a World-Class Network in Record Time

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How to build a world class network

Photo by Ron Herrman

“Don’t dismiss people, don’t be a dick, and don’t rush. Play the long game.”
– Tim Ferriss

 

Welcome to a special edition of The Tim Ferriss Show. Back in 2007, I experienced a massive tipping point for The 4-Hour Workweek at the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference held in Austin, Texas. Two or three days played a key role in the book becoming a worldwide bestseller in 40+ languages.

So what exactly happened at the event? How did I optimize those 2-3 days?

The below audio is a presentation I recently gave about a better, more effective way to network. My suggestions might surprise you or seem counterintuitive–the best way to build a world-class network quickly is to spend very little time networking, at least not in the “ugh, gross” sleazy sense of the word.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How SXSW played a role in the success of The 4-Hour Workweek
  • How you can “stack the deck” for your own product launches
  • Simple biohacks for handling booze overload and sleep deprivation
  • Why it’s so important to meet people in person  to build your network
  • The most common mistakes people make when attempting to “network”
  • How to interact with A-listers (or opt not to)
  • How to enjoy the ride and not end  up exhausted with a pocket full of business cards that do nothing
  • And much, much more…

If you are able to apply a few lessons from this talk, you may find that you never have to network again.

There is a better way.

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Want to hear a podcast relating to mental performance and stamina? — Listen to my conversations with my friend, Ed Cooke, a Grandmaster of Memory. In this episode, we discuss mental performance, imagination, and productive mischief (stream below or right-click part 1 here and part 2 here to download):


Still looking for more? — Listen to my conversations with Pavel Tsatsouline on the science of strength and art of physical performance (stream below or right-click here to download):



This episode is brought to you advertisement-free. Want this to happen more often?

Every Friday, I send out a very short email called 5-Bullet Friday. It includes the coolest things I’ve been playing with that week, such as favorite articles, gizmos and gadgets, movies, and other stuff you can use immediately.

Sign up for a week and give it a try.  It’s 100% free, super short, and a small dose of awesome to kick off every weekend.

You can see a lot of people are excited about this on Twitter.  Please check it out here!

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What’s the most important lesson you’ve ever learned about “networking” or interacting with big wigs? Please share in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

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The “Wizard” of Hollywood, Robert Rodriguez

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Robert Rodriguez, nicknamed "The Wizard."

Robert Rodriguez, nicknamed “The Wizard.”

Robert Rodriguez (@Rodriguez) is a film director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer, editor, and musician. He is also the founder and chairman of El Rey Network, the new genre-busting English-language cable network.

While a student at the University of Texas at Austin in 1991, Rodriguez wrote the script for his first feature film while he was a paid subject in a clinical experiment at a drug research facility. That paycheck covered the cost of shooting his film.

The film, “El Mariachi,” went on to win the coveted Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival, and became the lowest budget movie ever released by a major studio. Rodriguez wrote about these experiences in Rebel Without a Crew, a perennial guide for the independent filmmaker.

Rodriguez went on to write, produce, and direct a series of successful films including, Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn, the Spy Kids franchise, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Frank Miller’s Sin City, and Machete, among many others.

I hope you find listening to this episode as enjoyable as it was to record.

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Want to hear another podcast with another award-winning movie maker? — Listen to my conversation with Brian Koppelman, co-writer/producer of Rounders, The Illusionist & Ocean’s Thirteen. In this episode, we explore how he got started, how he handles rejection, his big breaks, his creative process, and much more.


This podcast is brought to you by Athletic Greens. I get asked all the time, “If you could only use one supplement, what would it be?” My answer is, inevitably, Athletic Greens. It is my all-in-one nutritional insurance. I recommended it in The 4-Hour Body and did not get paid to do so. Get 50% off your order at Athletic Greens.com/Tim

This episode is also sponsored by 99Designs, the world’s largest marketplace of graphic designers. Did you know I used 99Designs to rapid prototype the cover for The 4-Hour Body? Here are some of the impressive results. Click this link and get a free $99 upgrade. Give it a test run.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken and what was the result? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

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The Person I Call Most for Startup Advice

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The Tim Ferriss Show with Naval Ravikant

“Desire is a contract you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want.” – Naval Ravikant

Naval Ravikant (@naval) is the CEO and a co-founder of AngelList. He previously co-founded Epinions, which went public as part of Shopping.com, and Vast.com. He is an active angel investor and has invested in more than 100 companies, including more than a few “unicorn” mega-successes.

His deals include Twitter, Uber, Yammer, Postmates, Wish, Thumbtack, and OpenDNS, which Cisco just bought for $635 million in cash.

BUT, even if you have zero interest in startups or investing, this episode is well worth your time.  This is really about the habits and beliefs of a highly successful (and happy) person.

Naval has refined his way of living in very unique ways, and you can borrow what he’s learned, read the books that have changed him, and experiment with the habits he has developed through trial and error.

Enjoy this conversation with a curious character!

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Want to hear another podcast on meditation and “spirituality”? — Listen to my conversation with Sam Harris, PhD. In the below episode, we discuss “spirituality,” neuroscience, his meditation practice, and more (stream below or right-click here to download):



This episode is sponsored by 99Designs, the world’s largest marketplace of graphic designers. Did you know I used 99Designs to rapid prototype the cover for The 4-Hour Body? Here are some of the impressive resultsClick this link and get a free $99 upgrade. Give it a test run…

This podcast is also brought to you by Athletic Greens. I get asked all the time, “If you could only use one supplement, what would it be?” My answer is, inevitably, Athletic Greens. It is my all-in-one nutritional insurance. I recommended it in The 4-Hour Body and did not get paid to do so. Get 50% off your order at Athletic Greens.com/Tim

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What do you still want to know about investing, whether in startups or elsewhere? Or: What was your favorite takeaway from Naval? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

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5 Things I’ve Been Loving, Using, and Reading

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Absolutely the best for flying. But which one? The booze, hat, or weird footwear?

Absolutely the best for flying. But which one? The booze, hat, squat, or weird footwear?

Greetings, friends.

Here are some popular links, thoughts, and articles that have appeared in my “5-Bullet Friday” e-mail newsletter, which is free and goes out every Friday.  I cheated in this post and gave you six.

Enjoy!

Article I’m enjoying (and pondering)How Bold Entrepreneurs Are Breaking $1 Million In One-Person Businesses by Elaine Pofeldt for Forbes.com

Clothing I’m loving — Check out Myles’ “everyday shorts.”  I originally got these as a gift from Huckberry, and they are now my go-to shorts for nearly everything. I swim in them (quick drying), I wear them while working at coffee shops, and you can even wear them to a nice dinner if you have decent shoes. Multi-purpose rocks.

My most popular Facebook post recently — Japan’s Michael Jordan of Day Trading. His “one rule” is quite smart, methinks…

A quote that’s on my mind — “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.” – Steve Jobs

Responses I’ll be practicing (yet again) next week — How to graciously say no to anyone by Austin Kleon. This is worth revisiting constantly.

New footwear, long overdue — I’ve needed Adidas slip-ons for years. No idea why it took me so long to get them. They’re perfect as indoor Japanese-style slippers, or for wearing outside when you don’t want flip-flops killing your toe webbing. I’m typing this on an airplane, where I’m wearing them with socks. #GermanStyle


Would you like to get a very short (five-bullet) e-mail from me every Friday with the five coolest things I’ve found that week?

It might include books, gadgets, albums, articles, new hacks/tricks, and — of course — all sorts of weird stuff I dig up around the world.

These “5-Bullet Friday” emails are only available if you subscribe to my e-mail newsletter.  They will not be on the blog or anywhere else.  This post is just a teaser to entice you to sign up.

Try it out for a week! Unsubscribing is easy, and there’s great stuff coming next Friday. Just submit your email address in the opt-in below (or here) and you’re set.

Sign Up For 5-Bullet Friday

P.S.  If you haven’t seen this short commencement speech, you’re in for a treat.  Perfect weekend viewing.

P.P.S. Deal of the week — Why do fast-growing startups like Wealthfront, Airbnb, Etsy, and others use Vimeo PRO instead of YouTube for product demos, customer testimonials, training videos, etc.? No ads, customizable players, you can re-upload new edits without changing URLs, and much more. Check out the goodies here and use code “TIM” for 25% off.

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Kevin Kelly on Artificial Intelligence and Designer Babies

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The Tim Ferriss Show with Kevin Kelly

“I do think we’ll have designer babies in the future. I’m not so sure people will want blue-eyed babies when they can make green or purple.”
– Kevin Kelly

Kevin Kelly (@kevin2kelly) returns to the podcast due to popular demand. Kevin continues to be perhaps the Most Interesting Man in the World.

He is Senior Maverick at Wired Magazine, which he co-founded in 1993. He also co-founded the All Species Foundation, a non-profit aimed at cataloging and identifying every living species on earth. In his spare time, he writes best selling books, co-founded the Rosetta Project, which is building an archive of all documented human languages, and serves on the board of the Long Now Foundation. As part of the last, he’s investigating how to revive and restore endangered or extinct species, including the Wooly Mammoth.

As usual, Kevin’s responses and answers are fascinating.

Enjoy!

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Want to hear my conversation with Kevin Kelly, in which we discuss population implosions, the Long Now Foundation, organizational methods for learning, and much more? — Listen to it here (stream below or right-click to download part 1 | part 2 | part 3):





This podcast is brought to you by Vimeo Pro, which is the ideal video hosting platform for entrepreneurs. In fact, a bunch of my start-ups are already using Vimeo Pro. WealthFront uses it to explain how WealthFront works. TaskRabbit uses it to tell the company’s story. There are many other names who you would recognize among their customers (AirBnB, Etsy, etc.) Why do they use it? Vimeo Pro provides enterprise level video hosting for a fraction of the usual cost. Features include:

  • Gorgeous high-quality playback with no ads
  • Up to 20 GB of video storage every week
  • Unlimited plays and views
  • A fully customizable video player, which can include your company logo, custom outro, and more

You get all this for just $199 per year (that’s only $17 per/mo.) There are no complicated bandwidth calculations or hidden fees. Try it risk-free for 30 days. Just go to Vimeo.com/business to check it out. If you like it, you can use the promo code “Tim” to get 25% off. This is a special discount just for you guys.

This podcast is also brought to you by Mizzen + Main. These are the only “dress” shirts I now travel with — fancy enough for important dinners but made from athletic, sweat-wicking material. No more ironing, no more steaming, no more hassle. Click here for the exact shirts I wear most often. Don’t forget to use the code “TIM” at checkout.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What habit, skill, or hobby do you think could have a life-changing impact? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

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What Evernote’s Phil Libin Learned from Jeff Bezos, Reid Hoffman, and Others

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Phil Libin (@plibin) is the co-founder and executive chairman of Evernote.

Evernote has roughly 150 million users, and I personally use it at least 10 times a day. It is my external brain for capturing all the information, documents, online articles, lists, etc. in my life.

In this episode, Phil and I cover a ton. Here are just a few examples:

  • Philosophical and performance systems: Stoicism, electrical brain stimulation, and more
  • Phil’s favorite lessons learned from Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn), and Hiroshi Mikitani (Rakuten)
  • Creating tech “for yourself” and Evernote’s genesis story, leading to approximately 150 million users
  • The best toast in Singapore, the best hamburger in Tokyo, and why “Goat Simulator” is amazing
  • Long-term (10,000-year) thinking and real versus imagined threats

More importantly, he digs into his “a-ha” moments, and what you need to do to bring your next big idea to life.

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Want to hear another podcast with more detail on brain stimulation for performance enhancement? — Listen to my conversation with amazing neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley. In this episode, we discuss what happens when you combine cognitive-focused video games with neurofeedback, magnetic and electrical stimulation, and even performance-enhancing drugs (stream below or right-click here to download):


 

This episode is sponsored by 99Designs, the world’s largest marketplace of graphic designers. Did you know I used 99Designs to rapid prototype the cover for The 4-Hour Body? Here are some of the impressive resultsClick this link and get a free $99 upgrade. Give it a test run...

This podcast is also brought to you by Athletic Greens. I get asked all the time, “If you could only use one supplement, what would it be?” My answer is, inevitably, Athletic Greens. It is my all-in-one nutritional insurance. I recommended it in The 4-Hour Body and did not get paid to do so. Get 50% off your order at Athletic Greens.com/Tim

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: When you think of successful products, what is the first that comes to mind? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

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Tara Brach on Meditation and Overcoming FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)

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The Tim Ferriss Show with Tara Brach

“Meditation is evolution’s strategy to bring out our full potential.”
– Tara Brach

Tara Brach (@TaraBrach) is a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and one of the leading teachers of Buddhist thinking and meditation in the Western world.

She is the founder of the Insight Meditation Community in Washington, D.C. and her lectures are downloaded hundreds of thousands of times each month at tarabrach.com.

I was first introduced to Tara’s work by another guest on this podcast, Maria Popova. Soon thereafter, a friend and neuroscience Ph.D. recommended her book, Radical Acceptance, as life-changing. It exceeded all expectations.

It’s my hope that this tactical conversation offers you techniques for addressing loneliness, anger, self-hatred, the “trance of unworthiness,” and much more. Tara’s had a measurable impact on my life, and I wish the same for you.

For those who know my fondness for Stoic philosophy, I think Tara’s work is a fantastic compliment to Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, and other favorites.

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Want to hear the episode in which I learned about Tara Brach for the first time? — Listen to my conversations with Maria Popova of BrainPickings.com. In this episode, we discuss writing, workflow, and workarounds (stream below or right-click here to download):



This podcast is brought to you by Vimeo Pro, which is the ideal video hosting platform for entrepreneurs. In fact, a bunch of my start-ups are already using Vimeo Pro. WealthFront uses it to explain how WealthFront works. TaskRabbit uses it to tell the company’s story. There are many other names who you would recognize among their customers (AirBnB, Etsy, etc.) Why do they use it? Vimeo Pro provides enterprise level video hosting for a fraction of the usual cost. Features include:

  • Gorgeous high-quality playback with no ads
  • Up to 20 GB of video storage every week
  • Unlimited plays and views
  • A fully customizable video player, which can include your company logo, custom outro, and more

You get all this for just $199 per year (that’s only $17 per/mo.) There are no complicated bandwidth calculations or hidden fees. Try it risk-free for 30 days. Just go to Vimeo.com/business to check it out. If you like it, you can use the promo code “Tim” to get 25% off. This is a special discount just for you guys.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What type of meditation have you tried? If you find meditation difficult, what are your barriers? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

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105 Comments / Leave a comment or question