Tools of Titans: Derek Sivers Distilled

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derek-sivers
“If [more] information was the answer, then we’d all be billionaires with perfect abs.”
– Derek Sivers

Derek Sivers(@sivers) is one of my favorite humans, and I call him often for advice. Think of him as a philosopher-king programmer, master teacher, and merry prankster. Originally a professional musician and circus clown (he did the latter to counterbalance being introverted), Derek created CD Baby in 1998. It became the largest seller of independent music online, with $100 million in sales for 150,000 musicians.

In 2008, Derek sold CD Baby for $22 million, giving the proceeds to a charitable trust for music education. He is a frequent speaker at the TED Conference, with more than five million views of his talks. In addition to publishing 33 books via his company Wood Egg, he is the author of Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur, a collection of short life lessons that I’ve read at least a dozen times. I still have an early draft with highlights and notes.

I posted the following on Facebook while writing this chapter: “I might need to do a second volume of my next book [Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers] 100% dedicated to the knowledge bombs of Derek Sivers. So much good stuff. Hard to cut.”

Here’s a bit of what made it into the first edition — cherry-picked from the nuggets I’ve applied to my own life. Enjoy!

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Want to hear an entire conversation with Derek Sivers? — Listen to this podcast, which was Derek’s first appearance on the show, and also a favorite of Seth Godin. In this episode, Derek discusses developing confidence, finding happiness, and saying “no” to millions (stream below or right-click here to download):



This podcast is brought to you by Audible. I have used Audible for years, and I love audiobooks. I have two to recommend:

  1. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  2. Vagabonding by Rolf Potts

All you need to do to get your free 30-day Audible trial is go to Audible.com/Tim. Choose one of the above books, or choose any of the endless options they offer. That could be a book, a newspaper, a magazine, or even a class. It’s that easy. Go to Audible.com/Tim and get started today. Enjoy.

This podcast is also brought to you by FreshBooks. FreshBooks is the #1 cloud bookkeeping software, which is used by a ton of the start-ups I advise and many of the contractors I work with. It is the easiest way to send invoices, get paid, track your time, and track your clients.

FreshBooks tells you when your clients have viewed your invoices, helps you customize your invoices, track your hours, automatically organize your receipts, have late payment reminders sent automatically and much more.

Right now you can get a free month of complete and unrestricted use. You do not need a credit card for the trial. To claim your free month and see how the brand new Freshbooks can change your business, go to FreshBooks.com/Tim and enter “Tim” in the “how did you hear about us” section.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

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The Tim Ferriss Radio Hour: Meditation, Mindset, and Mastery

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Tim Ferriss Radio Hour

I’m excited to bring you a little taste test of a new show format that I’ve been working on — The Tim Ferriss Radio Hour.

After 200 conversations with a variety of fascinating people, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Foxx, Tony Robbins, Maria Popova, Peter Thiel, Marc Andreessen, Amanda Palmer, Malcolm Gladwell, Rick Rubin, Reid Hoffman, Chase Jarvis, Sam HarrisRainn Wilson, and so many others, I started to spot patterns. This is the premise of my new book Tools of Titans, which is a compilation of all of my favorite habits, philosophies, and tools of world-class performers.

This is where Tim Ferriss Radio Hour comes in. In each episode, we’ll take a deep dive into one specific topic or tactic, bringing together the collective genius of past guests — with some new insights from yours truly — to help you become world class in your own right (if you aren’t already).

In this episode, we’ll be exploring meditation and mindfulness. You’ll hear from Chase Jarvis as he explains his top priorities for feeling fulfilled. I talk transcendental meditation with Arnold Schwarzenegger. I cover a wide spectrum with Sam Harris, and ask him about everything from hallucinogens to meditation techniques. And then I wrap up with Rainn Wilson, discussing how to handle life when you feel overwhelmed.

Without further ado, let’s jump into the first episode of The Tim Ferriss Radio Hour!

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In this podcast, we talk with Arnold Schwarzenegger. In his first episode on the podcast, we discussed psychological warfare, never-told-before stories, how he became a millionaire outside of Hollywood, and much more (stream below or right-click here to download):



This podcast is brought to you by 99Designs, the world’s largest marketplace of graphic designers. I have used them for years to create some amazing designs. When your business needs a logo, website design, business card, or anything you can imagine, check out 99Designs.

I used them to rapid prototype the cover for The 4-Hour Body, and I’ve also had them help with display advertising and illustrations. If you want a more personalized approach, I recommend their 1-on-1 service. You get original designs from designers around the world. The best part? You provide your feedback, and then you end up with a product that you’re happy with or your money back. Click this link and get a free $99 upgrade. Give it a test run.

This podcast is also brought to you by Four Sigmatic. I reached out to these Finnish entrepreneurs after a very talented acrobat introduced me to one of their products, which blew my mind (in the best way possible). It is mushroom coffee featuring chaga. It tastes like coffee, but there are only 40 milligrams of caffeine, so it has less than half of what you would find in a regular cup of coffee. I do not get any jitters, acid reflux, or any type of stomach burn. It put me on fire for an entire day, and I only had half of the packet.

People are always asking me what I use for cognitive enhancement right now, this is the answer. You can try it right now by going to foursigmatic.com/tim and using the code Tim to get 20 percent off your first order. If you are in the experimental mindset, I do not think you’ll be disappointed.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

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Susan Garrett — Master Dog (and Human) Trainer

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Susan Garrett

“Dogs are here to teach us. And if you don’t open your eyes to that, you’re going to miss life lessons.”
– Susan Garrett

Susan Garrett (@susangarrett) is an incredible dog trainer. She has a B.Sc. in animal science, and for more than two decades has been one of the most consistently successful competitors in the sport of dog agility.

Susan has been on the podium of the world and national championship events more than 50 times, winning those events a total of 38 times. She was of great help to me when I first adopted Molly, my own pup, and her book Shaping Success (The Education of an Unlikely Champion) was selected as the 2005 dog training and behavior book of the year.

Susan is a champ not only for her competitive track record, but for her ability to convey concrete tips and recommendations for:

  • The most critical exercises for your dog
  • The three types of reinforcement
  • How to use crates properly
  • What you should do in the first 24 hours of adopting a puppy
  • How training a dog is like training an Olympic athlete
  • And much, much more!

We discuss every facet of behavioral modification and conditioning, which applies to much more than dog training. These are techniques that work on everyone from chickens to cats to irritating in-laws.

If you only have 5 minutes, you’ll want to learn why negative reinforcement isn’t as effective as positive reinforcement — even for people.

I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did!

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Want to hear another podcast about powerful communication? — Listen to my interview with Malcolm Gladwell. In this episode, we discuss routines, habits, and tools, how to make your stories relatable, and why he eats as little as possible in the morning (stream below or right-click here to download):


This podcast is brought to you by Four Sigmatic. I reached out to these Finnish entrepreneurs after a very talented acrobat introduced me to one of their products, which blew my mind (in the best way possible). It is mushroom coffee featuring chaga. It tastes like coffee, but there are only 40 milligrams of caffeine, so it has less than half of what you would find in a regular cup of coffee. I do not get any jitters, acid reflux, or any type of stomach burn. It put me on fire for an entire day, and I only had half of the packet.

People are always asking me what I use for cognitive enhancement right now, this is the answer. You can try it right now by going to foursigmatic.com/tim and using the code Tim to get 20 percent off your first order. If you are in the experimental mindset, I do not think you’ll be disappointed.

This podcast is also brought to you by Wealthfront. Wealthfront is a massively disruptive (in a good way) set-it-and-forget-it investing service led by technologists from places like Apple. It has exploded in popularity in the last two years and now has more than $2.5B under management. Why? Because you can get services previously limited to the ultra-wealthy and only pay pennies on the dollar for them, and it’s all through smarter software instead of retail locations and bloated sales teams.

Check out wealthfront.com/tim, take their risk assessment quiz, which only takes 2-5 minutes, and they’ll show you for free the exact portfolio they’d put you in. If you want to just take their advice and do it yourself, you can. Well worth a few minutes to explore: wealthfront.com/tim.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

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The Tim Ferriss Show Crosses 100 Million Downloads

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tfchase

I’m still having a total blast. (Photo: Chase Jarvis, also pictured)

Holy schnikes!

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At the end of October, The Tim Ferriss Show shot past 100,000,000 downloads.  What does that mean? Here’s an official quote from Libsyn:

“Congratulations to Tim for crossing the 100-million download mark. At Libsyn, we have been hosting podcasts for more than 12 years, and we currently host well over 28,000 podcasts, including a high percentage of the blockbuster hits on iTunes,” said Rob Walch, Vice President of Podcaster Relations at Libsyn. “Tim’s podcast is the first business-interview format podcast in our history to cross the 100,000,000 download mark.”

This is wild.

As some of you know, my podcast–The Tim Ferriss Show–was started on a whim. It was intended as a break between big book projects. “I’ll do six episodes to get better at interviewing” was the grand goal.

In the first episode and after two bottles of wine, Kevin Rose nicknamed the show TimTimTalkTalk (damn you, KevKev). And the next morning, after reviewing my ridiculously slurred and iffy questions (e.g. “If you were a breakfast cereal, which would you be?”), I let out a long sigh. I’d always hated the sound of my own voice, but this was worse than expected. TERRIBLE. The podcast experiment wouldn’t last a month.

Or so I thought.

Now, here we are, 100M downloads later, on the cusp of 200 episodes, and growing faster every month. 100M excludes YouTube and other substantial ancillary views/listens.  As of this writing, The Tim Ferriss Show has been in the iTunes top-100 list for 934 consecutive days.

I can say one thing for certain — I’ve only made it this far because of YOU.

Your amazing feedback, support, questions, and comments are what kept this podcast alive. Amidst self-doubt (similar to this) and many mistakes, I’ve wanted to throw in the towel more than once. But, through thick and thin, you’ve been there, telling my monkey mind to chill the fuck out, to take a deep breath, to go to sleep and fight another day.

Many, many thanks.  To celebrate, I’m gathering the top-100 most prolific commenters from this blog’s comments, and you guys will be getting some thank-you goodies🙂

Once again, thank you all so much for listening to this podcast. It means the world to me and keeps me going.

You guys rock.

Here’s to many more adventures ahead!

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Stephen Dubner — The Art of Storytelling and Facing Malcolm Gladwell in a Fist Fight

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stephen j dubner

“Storytelling has a power that goes well beyond the sum of its parts.”
– Stephen Dubner

Stephen J. Dubner (@Freakonomics) returns to the show. He is an award-winning author, journalist, and radio and TV personality. He is best-known for writing, along with the economist Steven D. Levitt, Freakonomics (2005), SuperFreakonomics (2009), and Think Like a Freak (2014), which have sold more than five million copies in 35 languages. He is the creator of the top-ranked Freakonomics Radio podcast.

His brand-new podcast, produced in collaboration with The New York Times, is Tell Me Something I Don’t Know It is equal parts game show, talk show, and brain-tease. I had a chance to experiment with this format as a “panelist” alongside Malcolm Gladwell. It’s a blast.

In this episode, we cover such diverse topics as:

  • Why cats wiggle their butts before they pounce
  • How to grow a podcast
  • If he thinks he could take Malcolm Gladwell in a fist fight
  • Economics and the President’s actual influence over the economy
  • How virtual reality might affect education
  • And much, much more

If you only have 5 minutes, I recommend listening to the three books that shaped Stephen into the person he is today [at 31:26 for the overcast link]

Please enjoy this round two with Stephen J. Dubner!

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Want to hear another podcast featuring Stephen J. Dubner? — Listen to this early episode of The Tim Ferriss Show. In this episode, we discuss the craft of brainstorming, narrative storytelling, and how to avoid wasting mental energy on meaningless nonsense (stream below or right-click here to download):


This podcast is brought to you by Wealthfront. Wealthfront is a massively disruptive (in a good way) set-it-and-forget-it investing service led by technologists from places like Apple. It has exploded in popularity in the last two years and now has more than $2.5B under management. Why? Because you can get services previously limited to the ultra-wealthy and only pay pennies on the dollar for them, and it’s all through smarter software instead of retail locations and bloated sales teams.

Check out wealthfront.com/tim, take their risk assessment quiz, which only takes 2-5 minutes, and they’ll show you for free the exact portfolio they’d put you in. If you want to just take their advice and do it yourself, you can. Well worth a few minutes to explore: wealthfront.com/tim.

This podcast is also brought to you by 99Designs, the world’s largest marketplace of graphic designers. I have used them for years to create some amazing designs. When your business needs a logo, website design, business card, or anything you can imagine, check out 99Designs.

I used them to rapid prototype the cover for The 4-Hour Body, and I’ve also had them help with display advertising and illustrations. If you want a more personalized approach, I recommend their 1-on-1 service. You get original designs from designers around the world. The best part? You provide your feedback, and then you end up with a product that you’re happy with or your money back. Click this link and get a free $99 upgrade. Give it a test run.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

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Tools of Titans Foreword — Arnold Schwarzenegger!!! “I Am Not A Self-Made Man”

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arnold1

Speaking as a Long Island kid raised on Commando and Predator, this post is a dream come true.

Arnold Schwarzenegger–the freaking Terminator–was kind enough to write the Foreword for Tools of Titans. Whaaat?! Seriously, I have to pinch myself.

The more time I spend with Arnold and his team, the more impressed I am.  The more I study his life, the more I want to think bigger, stretch my limits, and smile at the naysayers of life. His habits, decisions, philosophies, and routines are endlessly fascinating, which I explore in ToT.

Arnold, thank you. Danke sehr!

Now, without further ado, here is the Foreword for Tools of Titans by Arnold, which could also be titled “I Am Not A Self-Made Man.”

Enter Arnold

I am not a self-made man.

Every time I give a speech at a business conference, or speak to college students, or do a Reddit AMA, someone says it.

“Governor/Governator/Arnold/Arnie/Schwarzie/Schnitzel (depending on where I am), as a self-made man, what’s your blueprint for success?”

They’re always shocked when I thank them for the compliment but say, “I am not a self-made man. I got a lot of help.”

It is true that I grew up in Austria without plumbing. It is true that I moved to America alone with just a gym bag. And it is true that I worked as a bricklayer and invested in real estate to become a millionaire before I ever swung the sword in Conan the Barbarian.

But it is not true that I am self-made. Like everyone, to get to where I am, I stood on the shoulders of giants. My life was built on a foundation of parents, coaches, and teachers; of kind souls who lent couches or gym back rooms where I could sleep; of mentors who shared wisdom and advice; of idols who motivated me from the pages of magazines (and, as my life grew, from personal interaction).

I had a big vision, and I had fire in my belly. But I would never have gotten anywhere without my mother helping me with my homework (and smacking me when I wasn’t ready to study), without my father telling me to “be useful,” without teachers who explained how to sell, or without coaches who taught me the fundamentals of weight lifting.

If I had never seen a magazine with Reg Park on the cover and read about his transition from Mr. Universe to playing Hercules on the big screen, I might still be yodeling in the Austrian Alps. I knew I wanted to leave Austria, and I knew that America was exactly where I belonged, but Reg put fuel on the fire and gave me my blueprint.

Joe Weider brought me to America and took me under his wing, promoting my bodybuilding career and teaching me about business. Lucille Ball took a huge chance and called me to guest star in a special that was my first big break in Hollywood. And in 2003, without the help of 4,206,284 Californians, I would never have been elected Governor of the great state of California.

So how can I ever claim to be self-made? To accept that mantle discounts every person and every piece of advice that got me here. And it gives the wrong impression — that you can do it alone.

I couldn’t. And odds are, you can’t either.

We all need fuel. Without the assistance, advice, and inspiration of others, the gears of our mind grind to a halt, and we’re stuck with nowhere to go. I have been blessed to find mentors and idols at every step of my life, and I’ve been lucky to meet many of them.

From Joe Weider to Nelson Mandela, from Mikhail Gorbachev to Muhammad Ali, from Andy Warhol to George H.W. Bush, I have never been shy about seeking wisdom from others to pour fuel on my fire.

You have probably listened to Tim’s podcasts. (I particularly recommend the one with the charming bodybuilder with the Austrian accent.) He has used his platform to bring you the wisdom of a diverse cast of characters in business, entertainment, and sports. I bet you’ve learned something from them — and oftentimes, I bet you picked up something you didn’t expect.

Whether it’s a morning routine, or a philosophy or training tip, or just motivation to get through your day, there isn’t a person on this planet who doesn’t benefit from a little outside help. I’ve always treated the world as my classroom, soaking up lessons and stories to fuel my path forward. I hope you do the same.

The worst thing you can ever do is think that you know enough.

Never stop learning. Ever.

That’s why you bought this book. You know that wherever you are in life, there will be moments when you need outside motivation and insight. There will be times when you don’t have the answer, or the drive, and you’re forced to look beyond yourself.

You can admit that you can’t do it alone. I certainly can’t. No one can.

Now, turn the page and learn something.

— Arnold Schwarzenegger

###

Tools of Titans is available at Barnes & Noble, AmazonBooks-A-MillioniBooksIndiebound, Indigo, and more.

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Charles Poliquin – His Favorite Mass-Building Program, His Nighttime Routine For Better Sleep, and Much More

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poliquin

“If you’re 80% good and 20% terrible, you can’t expect to have 100% results.”
– Charles Poliquin

Charles Poliquin is back for another round of the podcast. Charles (@strengthsensei) is one of the best known strength coaches in the world. He has trained elite athletes from nearly 20 different sports, including Olympic gold medalists, NFL All-Pro’s, NHL All-Stars and Stanley Cup champions, and IFBB bodybuilding champions. His clients include long-jump gold medalist Dwight Phillips, NHL MVP Chris Pronger, and MLB batting champion Edgar Martinez, and the first women’s wrestling US Olympic gold medalist Helen Maroulis, among many others.

And as I creep up towards episode #200, his first appearance on the podcast is still one of the top-15 most listened to episodes, and he’s constantly requested by listeners for a round 2.

In this episode, you to play host, and I selected your most popular questions on Facebook and Twitter. This time, Charles goes deep on several topics, including:

  • His favorite mass building program of all-time
  • Recommendations for older lifters
  • His latest thoughts on hormones and diet
  • How to differentiate a bad trainer from a good one, and a good one from the “best of the best”
  • His nighttime routine for improving sleep
  • Why most people screw up abdominal training
  • Ketosis and muscle gain
  • And much, much more!

Enjoy!

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Want to hear another episode with Charles Poliquin?  — Listen to his first appearance on the podcast. In this episode, we discuss, muscle-building techniques, how to become stronger, warmup routines, why people struggle to lose fat, and more (stream below or right-click here to download):

This podcast is brought to you by Rhone Apparel. Dozens — maybe even hundreds of you — have asked me: “What shirts are you wearing in your recent YouTube videos?” They’re a very specific set of shirts from Rhone. I’m packing for a trip for seven to ten days, and I would say half of what I’m going to pack is from Rhone. These are the most comfortable shirts (and Rhone stocks way more than shirts) that I have ever worn — at least for active wear. But you can even sneak them into a business casual event or dinner if you’re a Long Island kid like me.

Rhone has minimal branding, so you don’t feel like you’re walking around with some sort of billboard on your chest. They come with pure, melted-down silver in the fabric — anti-odor technology so you don’t smell like a musk ox halfway through the day. I love Rhone’s shirts, pants, and shorts, and I’ve been wearing them pretty much every day for the past few weeks. Luckily, there’s no risk in trying them out: free shipping and a 100-day return policy should help you decide if they’re worth it. Plus, listeners get an exclusive 15% off for using the code TIM at checkout. Find ’em at rhone.com/tim.

This podcast is also brought to you by TrunkClub. I hate shopping with a passion. And honestly, I’m not good at it, which means I end up looking like I’m colorblind or homeless. Enter TrunkClub, which provides you with your own personal stylist and makes it easier than ever to shop for clothes that look great on your body.

Visit trunkclub.com/tim, answer a few questions, and then you’ll be sent a trunk full of awesome clothes. They base this on your sizes, preferences, etc. The trunk is then delivered and you only pay for clothes that you keep. To get started, check it out at trunkclub.com/tim.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

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