How to Build a Large Audience From Scratch (And More)

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TF_cowboySometimes, going weird allows you to go big. (Photo: My weird Instagram)

In this episode, I answer questions submitted by you all.

50% of this episode is spent explaining how I’d build an audience from scratch, if I had to start over today. The other ~10 questions/topics are listed below.

Do you like or dislike this type of episode? Please let me know in the comments, and I’ll do more or fewer based on that.

For the movie recommendations I mention (shorts, documentaries, etc.), click here to see the growing list.

Enjoy!

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If you enjoy the above Q&A episode, you might also like this episode, where I answer the question: “What would you add to The 4-Hour Workweek for 2015?”

Other questions I answer in this episode:

If you’re the average of the 5 people you surround yourself with, who are those 5 people for you?

Based on the self-experiments you conducted in your books, are there any habits you continue to implement on a daily basis?

What is the most important question you ask yourself everyday?

If you could make one new thing mandatory in the nationwide high school curriculum, what would it be?

Bruce Lee said “The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” What methods do you practice to maintain focus and follow through to achieve your goals rather than getting side tracked, distracted, or discouraged?

With all the misleading information on health out there, what are the best/most reliable resources?

What are your top 10 natural supplements that you’ve found most helpful?

What are the things you’ve done to become a better writer?

What are your guilty pleasures for those times when your brain needs a rest?

What would you go back and tell your younger self?

Again, here are my answers.

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For previous episodes of the podcast, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rick Rubin, Jon Favreau, and others, click here.

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The Morning Cocktail I Drink Instead Of Coffee

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Try this morning tea cocktail instead of coffee. It’s rocket fuel for the brain.

I started experimenting with fat-plus-stimulant beverages in 1998 and 1999 while on the Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD). For the above tea blend, I now add turmeric and ginger to the aged pu-erh, usually Rishi brand.

The above video was shot while filming the parkour episode of The Tim Ferriss Experiment TV show. We filmed 13 episodes back-to-back and I needed a morning pick-me-up that could be prepared quickly but sustain me for hours.

The tea prep might seem reminiscent of Bulletproof Coffee, and it is.  They serve similar purposes.  For this reason, I jokingly referred to the cocktail as “Titanium Tea” with the production crew.

Alas, BP coffee looks like a delicious frappuccino, and my concoction looks like diabetic horse urine.

Here’s why I still drink TT Horse Urine nearly every day:

  • I’m a caffeine “fast metabolizer” according to genetic test results from 23andMe, Navigenics (since acquired), and personal experience. If I drink a cup of black coffee, I feel like a superhero for 30 minutes, then need two cups to get back to baseline. But…

  • When I use a blend of — say — green tea and fermented black tea, I’m combining slightly different pharmacokinetics and biological half-lives, so respective peak plasma (blood) concentrations of stimulants and other compounds are staggered. Instead of one single high point and then a rapid descent into fatigue, I have multiple high points. Rather than feeling amazing for 30 minutes and then fatigued, I can feel 20% more effective for 3-4 hours.

  • This can be extended further if I include a tea like yerba mate (I like Cruz de Malta), which includes three xanthine alkaloids. For our purposes, you can think of these three xanthines as “stimulants”: good old caffeine (by weight, often <50% compared to coffee), theophylline (found in green tea), and theobromine (the primary alkaloid in cocoa and chocolate). Yerba mate isn’t the only tea to include these three, but the ratios in yerba mate appear optimal for my biochemistry and creative writing.

  • NOTE: The most extended effect is only achieved if you sip the yerba using traditional technique. The gourd is my constant companion — plus one glass of Malbec — for 10pm-4am jam sessions when on book deadline. Just as coca-leaf teas don’t = cocaine, which doesn’t = crack, the form and speed of administration matters. For the nerds, this is why powdered “good” foods (e.g. bean flour) aren’t always compliant with the slow-carb diet.

  • If I rely on theobromine and/or theophylline as my uppers, instead of primarily caffeine, I can quit stimulants cold turkey without caffeine-withdrawal headaches. This can be a massive competitive and health advantage, as you can cycle off of stimulants to minimize tolerance development.

  • But — I’m not a doctor and don’t play one on the Internet! As always, the dose makes the poison. Excessive theophylline and theobromine have plenty of adverse effects, particularly when consumed with fat like coconut oil (i.e. “dose dumping“). So speak to your doc first if you have any medical conditions, m’kay?  This is an N=1 article.

  • I still drink coffee on occasion, especially if empty handed in the middle of nowhere. It’s a hell of a lot easier to find coffee and butter than pu-erh tea and coconut oil. Definitely 10x better than straight black coffee, and kudos to Dave Asprey for taking it mainstream. It’s now ubiquitous, and that’s no small feat. Many of the top performers I know drink BP coffee, including legendary producer Rick Rubin.

For more quick-tip videos like the above, click here.

For 13 full-length episodes shot by an Emmy award-winning team, click here or on the image below.

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Is It Time to Kill Sacred Cows In Your Relationship?

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Danielle Teller and Astro Teller on the Tim Ferriss Show

[Preface: Would you like to sponsor The Tim Ferriss Show, the #1 business podcast on iTunes and one of the iTunes “Best of 2014″? Click here for details.]

Dr. Astro Teller is a computer scientist and entrepreneur who currently oversees Google[x], Google’s moonshot factory. Dr. Danielle Teller is a physician specializing in intensive care and lung medicine; she has trained doctors and run research programs at Harvard University and the University of Pittsburgh.

Together, they are the authors of Sacred Cows.

In this conversation — my first podcast with a couple — we cover a lot of my usual questions (favorite books, routines, philosophies of living, etc.) but focus on something I haven’t personally figured out: relationships.

It’s important to note that the Tellers are not “for” marriage but, rather, “for” the freedom to decide how to live most honestly and happily, whether as part of a couple or as a single person.

Combining the rigor that has established them as leaders in their respective fields, Astro and Danielle walk me through how they think about relationships, and how they survive and thrive as two driven people.

Sidenote: Want to see me tackle dating experiments, struggle with live “cold approaches,” and optimize online dating with a computer hacker? Be sure to watch my “Dating Game” episode of The Tim Ferriss Experiment here.

Enjoy the podcast below!

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This podcast is sponsored by LSTN Headphones. LSTN Headphones are gorgeous headphones that I use. They’re made of real exotic, reclaimed wood. Proceeds from each purchase help a hearing-impaired person hear for the first time through the Starkey Hearing Foundation. Here are some of the headphones I wear and travel with: LSTNHeadphones.com/TimOn that page, use the code “TIM” to get $50 off orders of $99 or more!

This podcast is also brought to you 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 and share your results!

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: Are you pursuing monogamy? Why or why not? Have you figured out other rules that work for you and your partner? Please (seriously, please) let me know in the comments! I expect this thread will have some great suggestions.

Scroll below for links and show notes… Read More

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How to Make Lock Picks Out of Common Household Items

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This short video might blow your mind.

Using household items like paper clips or toothbrushes, you can easily defeat 70-80% of the padlocks out in the world.

The teacher is Kevin Reeve of OnPoint Tactical. Kevin has trained and consulted for the FBI, Secret Service, SWAT, and elite military units like Marine Force Recon, SEAL Team 6, etc.

He was also my teacher for the “Urban Escape and Evasion” episode of The Tim Ferriss Experiment, which is currently the #1 non-fiction TV show across all of iTunes.

In that episode, Kevin teaches me (and therefore you):

  • How to escape common restraints like zip ties and handcuffs.
  • How to “borrow” cars in emergency situations.
  • Effective evasion tactics for urban environments (e.g. parking garages, fast appearance changes, etc.).
  • And much more…

I get restrained, hooded, thrown in a trunk, and subjected to other abuse. My (least) favorite part was getting stun gunned while temporarily blinded. Surprise, Ferriss!

If you’ve ever fantasized about being Jason Bourne — or simply being ready for anything — the entire episode is full of effective and easy-to-learn techniques.

I suggest getting the “Season Pass” for $14.99 or so, which gets you all 13 episodes for ~40% off, plus hours of bonus footage. Many of you have said that the bonus footage alone is worth more than the $15.

MORE ON THE TV SHOW

Bestselling author Tim Ferriss (“The world’s best human guinea pig.” – Newsweek) pushes himself to the breaking point, attempting to learn notoriously punishing skills–surfing, parkour, professional poker, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, online dating (Ha!), learning languages, etc.—in just one week each. Filmed and edited by the same team behind Anthony Bourdain’s hit shows (Zero Point Zero).

In every episode of The Tim Ferriss Experiment, Ferriss partners with the world’s best and most unorthodox teachers (Laird Hamilton, Marcelo Garcia, Stewart Copeland, etc.), who train him for a final gauntlet. Shocking breakthroughs, injuries, epiphanies, and disasters ensue. In cases where he succeeds, Tim shows you how to replicate his results. The mantra of the show is “you don’t need to be superhuman to get superhuman results…you just need a better toolkit.”

Enjoy!

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Rick Rubin on Cultivating World-Class Artists (Jay Z, Johnny Cash, etc.), Losing 100+ Pounds, and Breaking Down The Complex

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500-358492-894__1Our conversation took place in a barrel sauna like this.

“It’s [about] getting closer to the source and not being distracted by any nonsense…”
– Rick Rubin

Rick Rubin has been called “the most important [music] producer of the last 20 years” by MTV.

Rick is also revered as something of a Zen master, and he is as deep as he is soft-spoken. He rarely grants interviews, and one condition of doing this one was the setting: his hyper-heated barrel sauna at home.

In this episode, we delve into how Rick helps artists (e.g. Jay Z, Shakira, Johnny Cash, etc.) produce their best work. Not only that, we also discuss Rick’s step-by-step experience losing 135+ pounds. He describes underwater weightlifting stories, training with Laird Hamilton, testing different diets, and much more.

Rick’s resume includes everyone from Johnny Cash to Jay Z. His metal artists include groups like Black Sabbath, Slayer, System of a Down, Metallica, Rage Against the Machine, and Linkin Park. He’s worked with pop artists like Shakira, Adele, Sheryl Crow, Lana Del Rey, and Lady Gaga. He’s also been credited with helping to popularize hip hop with artists like LL Cool J, The Beastie Boys, Eminem, Jay Z, and Kanye West.  And that’s just a small sample.

This conversation teaches a cohesive lesson in breaking down complex skills with deep and subtle problem solving.

The sauna caused the microphones to burn our hands and us to nearly pass out. DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME, folks! I think it adds a hilarious element to the whole thing, but it’s not without risks.

[Last but not least, if you haven’t seen my new TV show, which is #1 on iTunes as I write this, please check out The Tim Ferriss Experiment! There are 13 episodes, including ones with surfer Laird Hamilton and “top 10 drummer of all-time” Stewart Copeland.]

Enjoy!

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Interested in learning more about world-class musicians? — Check out my interview with Amanda Palmer who left her record label and raised more than $2 million via crowd funding. (stream episode below or right-click here to download):

Also, don’t miss Justin Boreta of The Glitch Mob, one of the biggest electronic groups on the planet. In my conversation with Justin, we play their never-before-heard draft versions of their songs and then explore what it takes for Justin to move that draft through 300+ versions to a final version which will knock your socks off (stream below or right-click here to download):


This episode is sponsored by OnnitI have used Onnit products for years. If you look in my kitchen or in my garage you will find Alpha BRAIN, chewable melatonin (for resetting my clock while traveling), kettlebells, maces, battle ropes, and steel clubs. It sounds like a torture chamber, and it basically is. A torture chamber for self-improvement! Ah, the lovely pain. To see a list of my favorite pills, potions, and heavy tools, click here.

This podcast is also brought to you 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: Rick Rubin cites “heart work” as critical for creatives. What is the balance of heart work and head work in your creation process? 50/50? 70/30? How did you realize what works best for you? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes… Read More

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How Beginners Can (Sometimes) Beat Pros at Poker

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In this post, I’ll show you how Phil Gordon trained me in 5 days to have a fighting chance against pro poker players. Here’s the video teaser.

Before we filmed the experience for The Tim Ferriss Experiment (currently the #1 TV Season on iTunes), I had never played a hand of poker.

Phil’s crash course purposefully did not cover all the bases. It couldn’t. We didn’t have the time.

Instead, his program (and this post) will show how a gambling idiot (me) can magnify strengths and cover weaknesses to an absurd degree…at least for a few hours in order to win real cash.

Let’s be clear: I am not a good poker player, and perhaps you aren’t either. But that doesn’t mean you can’t win.

If you understand a few principles and follow them religiously, Lady Luck (and strategic aggression) might smile upon you. Especially if you learn how to leverage “short-stack strategy” or “heads-up play,” both of which I’ll explain.

This post has three parts:

– My video explanation – This is the actual video I sent to TV post-production. I sent similar videos for all 13 episodes (parkour, the dating game, building a business, etc.) right after we finished each week. This is nuts and bolts of how Phil helped me pull off miracles.

– My real notes from my notebook – These are PDFs of the notes I explain in the aforementioned video. For a novice or intermediate, they are only really useful once you’ve watched the video.

– Phil’s one-page cheatsheet – ‘Nuff said.

– The full TV episode (preview and links)

Let’s get started on the how-to… Read More

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How Facebook’s #30 Employee Quickly Built 4 Businesses and Gained 40 Pounds with Weight Training

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Noah Kagan on The Tim Ferriss Show
Noah Kagan was #30 at Facebook, #4 at Mint.com, and is the Chief Sumo (founder) at SumoMe, which offers free tools to help grow website traffic. To keep things extra spicy, he’s become a taco connoisseur and created 4 separate products that have generated more than 7 figures.

This podcast conversation is about all of the tools and tricks he uses to do it all.

Noah was my co-teacher in the “Starting a Business” episode of The Tim Ferriss Experiment, which is now the #1 TV season across all of iTunes. In the episode, we help a novice entrepreneur named Cindy to develop and launch her business in a single week. See all the details here, and be sure to watch the bonus hour of behind-the-scenes footage.

But back to the current podcast…

Noah and I cover a ton, including his favorite tools, apps, books, routines, and more.  It ranges from apps for preventing distractions, to how he blocks out time every Tuesday for learning, to how he gained 40 pounds of (mostly) muscle in the last six months or so.

If you loved the resource-rich business interviews with Ramit Sethi and Tracy DiNunzio, you’ll love this one.

So, here’s the interview, chock full of tools, cursing, and sexual innuendo…

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If you can’t see the above, here are other ways to listen:

This podcast is brought to you by Athletic Greens (AG), my all-in-one nutritional insurance policy. It’s a whole food-derived greens powder that I’ve used since 2008 or so to cover my bases in a busy world. If I need to skip meals or eat sub-optimal food, AG allows me to worry less. For travel, I take pouches with me to prevent fatigue. For a limited time, you can try AG at 50% off! Click here.  It ain’t cheap, but I find it totally worth it.

This podcast is also brought to you 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 BodyHere are some of the impressive results.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY:  Are you afraid of doing the “coffee challenge” that Noah describes? If so, why? If not, please do it and share the results in the comments. Feel free to share any other experiences with “comfort challenges” like those in The 4-Hour Workweek.

Scroll below for all show notes, links, resources, etc…. Read More

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