Derek Sivers on Developing Confidence, Finding Happiness, and Saying “No” to Millions

117 Comments

The tim Ferriss Show with Derek Sivers

“To me, ‘busy’ implies that the person is out of control of their life.” – 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, 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 5 million views of his talks. Since 2011, he has published 34 books, including “Anything You Want,” which I’ve personally read 10+ times.

Enjoy!

TF-ItunesButtonTF-StitcherButton

Want to hear another podcast from a tech entrepreneur who built and sold a multi-million dollar company? — Listen to my conversation with Bryan Johnson. In this episode, we discuss his path to building a business worth $800 million (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 and world-famous investors. It has exploded in popularity in the last 2 years and now has more than $2.5B under management. In fact, some of my good investor friends in Silicon Valley have millions of their own money in Wealthfront. 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–exactly the portfolio they’d put you in. If you want to just take their advice and do it yourself, you can. Or, as I would, you can set it and forget it.  Well worth a few minutes: wealthfront.com/tim.

This podcast is also brought to you by MeUndiesHave you ever wanted to be as powerful as a mullet-wearing ninja from the 1980’s, or as sleek as a black panther in the Amazon? Of course you have, and that’s where MeUndies comes in. I’ve spent the last 2-3 weeks wearing underwear from these guys 24/7, and they are the most comfortable and colorful underwear I’ve ever owned. Their materials are 2x softer than cotton, as evaluated using the Kawabata method. Check out MeUndies.com/Tim to see my current faves (some are awesomely ridiculous) and, while you’re at it, don’t miss lots of hot ladies wearing MeUndies.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: In this episode, Derek discusses how he deconstructs the ideas from books into useful “do this” style directives. If you were to write a directive based on lessons from this podcast, what would it be?  Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Read More

117 Comments / Leave a comment or question

Jamie Foxx on Workout Routines, Success Habits, and Untold Hollywood Stories

142 Comments

Foxx_Ferriss

This episode is easily one of my favorites I’ve ever done.

Jamie Foxx (@iamjamiefoxx) is an Academy Award-winning actor, a Grammy Award-winning musician, and a famous standup and improv comedian. He is, without a doubt, the most consummate performer and entertainer I have ever met.  In the 2.5 hours we spent together in his home studio, he blew my mind.

We cover a TON in this wide-ranging episode, including many never-before-heard stories. Here’s just a tiny sample of what you’ll hear:

  • Jamie’s workout routine
  • Jamie’s origin stories — how he used $400 to match a $1,000,000 party thrown by Puff Daddy; building up his network with Kanye, Jay Z, and Pharrell; expanding his fan base; and bombing horribly at the beginning.
  • What he learned during the magic of In Living Color
  • Jamie playing live music throughout our interview
  • Impersonations (and lessons learned from many of the following) — Quincy Jones, Ed Sheeran, Ray Charles, Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Cosby, Doc Rivers, Kermit the Frog, Sammy Davis, Jr., LeBron James, Bill Clinton, Tamara Rawitt, Shawn Wayans, Jim Carrey, Oprah Winfrey, Norman Lear, Mike Tyson, and others
  • The key skills Jamie learned from his grandmother
  • Jamie’s parenting style
  • Check out the show notes below for much, much more. Enjoy!

TF-ItunesButtonTF-StitcherButton

Want to hear another podcast with a mega-successful Hollywood actor and director? — Listen to my conversation with Jon Favreau. In this episode, we discuss the movie Swingers, how to reinvent oneself, and how to create art that can be massively successful. (Stream below or right-click here to download):

This podcast is 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. Just go to trunkclub.com/tim and 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 free of charge both ways, so you only pay for clothes that you keep. If you keep none, it costs you nothing. To get started, check it out at trunkclub.com/tim.

This podcast is also brought to you by 99Designs, the worldís 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, which is non-spec. 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: In your opinion, who are the greatest living performers? What makes them impressive? Please let me know in the comments.

And please be sure to say hello to Jamie on Twitter at @iamjamiefoxx. He’s a good dude and was extremely generous with his time.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Read More

142 Comments / Leave a comment or question

Rainn Wilson on Meditation, The Sexy Nostril Exercise, and Acting as Therapy

44 Comments

cropped - rainn-wilson-headshot-2-copy_jpg

“Cynicism is a disease that robs people of the gift of life.” – Rainn Wilson

Rainn Wilson (@rainnwilson) is best known for playing “Dwight” on NBC’s Emmy-winning, “The Office.” He has also acted in “Super,” “Cooties,” “Juno,” “Monsters vs. Aliens,” and “The Rocker” among other movies. He co-founded SoulPancake, a media company that seeks to tackle “Life’s Big Questions.” He’s a board member of Mona Foundation and co-founded Lidè Haiti, an educational initiative in rural Haiti that empowers young, at-risk women through the arts. He is the author of the brand-new book, The Bassoon King, which is his laugh-out-loud memoir.

We cover a lot in this episode, including:

  • The value of “as if” exercises from drama school
  • Meditation practices, and what constitutes a “win” in a session
  • The origins of SoulPancake and the Kid President video mega-hit
  • Favorite books, documentaries, and movies
  • Acting as therapy (even for non-actors)
  • The basics of Bahá’í Faith and what Rainn would put on a billboard
  • The Sexy Nostril exercise

TF-ItunesButtonTF-StitcherButton

Want to hear another podcast with a cast member from The Office? — Listen to my conversations with BJ Novak. In this episode, we discuss creative process, handling rejection, and good comedy (stream below or right-click here to download):

 


This podcast is brought to you by MeUndiesIf I’m not going commando, then I’m wearing MeUndies. I’ve been testing out pairs for about 3 or 4 months now, and, as a result, I’ve thrown out my other underwear. They look good, feel good, have options for men and women, and their materials are 2x softer than cotton, as evaluated using the Kawabata method. Not only does MeUndies offer underwear, but they also have incredible lounge pants. I wear them when I record the podcast, and when I’m out and about grabbing coffee.

If by some chance you’re not happy with the first pair you try on, they’ll refund your purchase completely. Check out MeUndies.com/Tim to see my current faves (some are awesomely ridiculous) and, while you’re at it, don’t miss lots of hot ladies wearing MeUndies.

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 and world-famous investors. It has exploded in popularity in the last 2 years and now has more than $2.5B under management. In fact, some of my good investor friends in Silicon Valley have millions of their own money in Wealthfront. 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–exactly the portfolio they’d put you in. If you want to just take their advice and do it yourself, you can. Or, as I would, you can set it and forget it.  Well worth a few minutes: wealthfront.com/tim.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: When it comes to setting and achieving goals, what systems have worked best for you? What have you tried that has or hasn’t worked?  Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Enjoy!

Selected Links from the Episode

Kid President | Subscribe on YouTube | What Makes Someone Truly Wealthy 

  • Watch more of Rainn Wilson:

The OfficeHesherBackstrom

Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Show Notes

  • SoulPancake and long-term goals for the company [8:15]
  • What have been Rainn’s most challenging projects, and how has he prepared for them? [15:20]
  • Does getting deep into the mindset of a depressed character help you fight depression in real life? [19:20]
  • Rainn Wilson’s meditation practice [23:10]
  • Exercises that could benefit non-actors to get outside of their own head [29:00]
  • Rainn Wilson’s exercise habits [34:15]
  • When you think of the word successful, who is the first person that comes to mind and why? [36:20]
  • Most gifted books [42:30]
  • In recent memory, what purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life? [46:35]
  • What is something that you believe that other people think is insane? [48:43]
  • Common misconceptions about Rainn Wilson [52:05]
  • What Rainn Wilson has in common with Dwight Schrute (his character in The Office) and which characteristics are completely different? [53:00]
  • Why Rainn Wilson decided to write The Bassoon King [53:55]
  • The core tenants of Bahá’í Faith [58:20]
  • If you could have one billboard anywhere, what would it say and why? [1:06:05]
  • Advice to a 30-year-old Rainn Wilson and what his life looked like at that point [1:06:55]
  • Favorite movies and documentaries [1:08:45]
  • An ask or request of the audience [1:10:55]

People Mentioned

44 Comments / Leave a comment or question

The Magic of Mindfulness: Complain Less, Appreciate More, and Live a Better Life

115 Comments
Photo: Susan Burdick

Photo: Susan Burdick

 

This is another special (and short) episode of The Tim Ferriss Show.  In this episode, I share my personal experiences, apps, tools, and best practices for cultivating “mindfulness,” which I’ll define.

When I talk about strategies for better living, I usually focus on effectiveness and efficiency. For a good life, these are necessary but not sufficient.

“Mindfulness,” the third leg of the stool, is far more difficult for me and most type-A personalities.  There are many definitions of mindfulness, but for the sake of our discussion, think of it as a present-state awareness that helps you to be non-reactive.

Why is mindfulness essential? First, achievement without appreciation is a Pyrrhic victory, and mindfulness helps cultivate appreciation. Put another way, if you can’t be happy with what you have, you’ll never be made happy by what you get. Second and related, after just a week of mindfulness practice, you will complain less, react less, and more effectively fill your life with what’s important and valuable to you.

Here are the tools and techniques I use to put this into practice…

TF-ItunesButtonTF-StitcherButton

Want to hear another podcast regarding morning rituals? — Listen to my conversations with Tony Robbins. In this episode, we discuss his morning routines, peak performance, and mastering money (stream below right click here for part 1 and here for part 2 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, which is non-spec. 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 Wealthfront. Wealthfront is a massively disruptive (in a good way) set-it-and-forget-it investing service, led by technologists from places like Apple and world-famous investors. It has exploded in popularity in the last 2 years and now has more than $2.5B under management. In fact, some of my good investor friends in Silicon Valley have millions of their own money in Wealthfront. 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–exactly the portfolio they’d put you in. If you want to just take their advice and do it yourself, you can. Or, as I would, you can set it and forget it.  Well worth a few minutes: wealthfront.com/tim.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What mindfulness practices have you implemented that made a significant impact on your happiness? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Read More

115 Comments / Leave a comment or question

B.J. Novak of The Office on Creative Process, Handling Rejection, and Good Comedy

22 Comments

BJ

“I find that being in a good mood for creative work is worth the hours it takes to get in a good mood.” – B.J. Novak

This episode covers principles and tactics for creating amazing careers, comedy, writing, and much more. Hilarious stories weave it all together.

My guest is B.J. Novak (@bjnovak), best known for his work on NBC’s Emmy Award-winning comedy series “The Office” as an actor, writer, director, and executive producer. He has appeared in films such as Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds and Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks. He is also the author of the acclaimed short story collection “One More Thing” and the #1 New York Times Best Seller “The Book With No Pictures” (great Christmas gift), which has more than one million copies in print. Last but not least, he is co-founder of The List App.

In other words, he does a lot and does it well. What are the habits, tools, and routines that help him to do this? That’s what we explore in this conversation.

TF-ItunesButtonTF-StitcherButton

Want to hear another podcast from a comedian? — Listen to my conversation with Whitney Cummings. In this episode, we discuss turning pain into creativity (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.

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 and world-famous investors. It has exploded in popularity in the last 2 years and now has more than $2.5B under management. In fact, some of my good investor friends in Silicon Valley have millions of their own money in Wealthfront. 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–exactly the portfolio they’d put you in. If you want to just take their advice and do it yourself, you can. Or, as I would, you can set it and forget it.  Well worth a few minutes: wealthfront.com/tim.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: In this episode, we discuss how a good mood impacts productivity. What situations do you find most difficult to overcome, and what techniques have you tried to reestablish a positive mindset? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Read More

22 Comments / Leave a comment or question

Will MacAskill on Effective Altruism, Y Combinator, and Artificial Intelligence

39 Comments
Will green background, picture by Sam Deere

Will MacAskill (Photo: Sam Deere)

“We want to disaggregate benefits and aggregate costs.” – William MacAskill

Will MacAskill (@willmacaskill) is an Associate Professor in Philosophy at Lincoln College, Oxford. Just 28 years old, he is likely the youngest associate (i.e. tenured) professor of philosophy in the world.

Will is the author of Doing Good Better and a co-founder of the “effective altruism” movement. He has pledged to donate everything he earns over ~$36,000 per year to whatever charities he believes will be most effective.

He has also cofounded two well-known non-profits: 80,000 Hours, which provides research and advice on how you can best make a difference through your career, and Giving What We Can, which encourages people to commit to give at least 10% of their income to the most effective charities. Between them, they have raised more than $450 million in lifetime pledged donations, and are in the top 1% of non-profits in terms of growth.

He is one of the few non-profit founders who have gone through Y Combinator; for-profit companies get $120,000 for 7% of equity; as a non-profit, 80,000 Hours got $100,000 for 0% of equity.

In this episode, we discuss his story and a ton of actionable tips, including:

  • Why “following your passion” in a career is often a mistake.
  • Thought experiments: Pascal’s Wager versus Pascal’s Mugging.
  • Why working for a non-profit straight out of college is also a mistake.
  • How it’s possible to “hack” doing good in the same way you would a business.
  • Implications of artificial intelligence.
  • The best ways to really evaluate if you (or charities) are going good in the world.
  • The reasons donating to disaster relief typically isn’t the best use of your money.
  • Why ethical consumerism typically isn’t a great way to do good.
  • Running a non-profit in the Harvard/Navy SEALs of startup incubators: Y Combinator.

TF-ItunesButtonTF-StitcherButton

Want to hear another podcast related to philosophy from a world class philosopher? — Listen to my conversation with Sam Harris. In this episode, we discuss his daily routines, the Trolley Scenario, and 5 books everyone should read (stream below or right-click here to download):



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 and world-famous investors. It has exploded in popularity in the last 2 years and now has more than $2.5B under management. In fact, some of my good investor friends in Silicon Valley have millions of their own money in Wealthfront. 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–exactly the portfolio they’d put you in. If you want to just take their advice and do it yourself, you can. Or, as I would, you can set it and forget it.  Well worth a few minutes: wealthfront.com/tim.

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 is your favorite charity and why do you donate? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Read More

39 Comments / Leave a comment or question

Kevin Costner on Building His Career, Positive Self-Talk, and Making Dances with Wolves Happen

69 Comments

The Tim Ferriss Show with Jon Baird and Kevin Costner

Kevin Costner (@modernwest) is an internationally renowned filmmaker. He is considered one of the most critically acclaimed and visionary storytellers of his generation. Costner has produced, directed, and/or starred in memorable films such as Dances with Wolves, JFK, The Bodyguard, Field of Dreams, Tin Cup, Bull Durham, Open Range, Hatfields & McCoys, and Black or White, among many others. He has been honored with two Academy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, and an Emmy Award.

This episode also features Jon Baird, the author and illustrator of the novels Day Job and Songs from Nowhere Near the Heart. He is the co-developer, along with Costner, of the Horizon miniseries.

Their first book collaboration is a beautiful tome — The Explorers Guild: A Passage to Shambhala. Kirkus described it: “With its colorful cast, exotic locales, and intertwined fates, the book slowly addicts. A rousing throwback whose spinning plates never stop, even at the end.”

TF-ItunesButtonTF-StitcherButton

Did you enjoy this podcast? — If so, don’t miss my conversation with Arnold Schwarzenegger. In this episode, we discuss psychological warfare and much more. (stream below or right-click here to download):



This podcast is brought to you by TrunkClub. I hate shopping with a passion, and — honestly — I’m not good at it. I end up looking like I’m colorblind or homeless. The fix is 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.

Just go to trunkclub.com/tim and answer a few questions, chat with a stylist, and you’ll be sent a trunk full of awesome clothes to try. They base this on your sizes, preferences, etc. The trunk is delivered free of charge both ways, and you only pay for clothes that you keep. If you keep none, it costs you nothing. For more details, check out trunkclub.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, which is non-spec. 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 Kevin Costner movie and why? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Read More

69 Comments / Leave a comment or question