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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How to Defy Gravity on Earth (And Win $2,000+ Worth of Prizes)

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[PLEASE NOTE: This competition has ended. Here are the winners. Thanks!]

Unless you’ve been to outer space, the next few minutes are worth your time.

Below are the details of The Zero-G Giveaway. My goal is simple: I want to you to have one of the coolest experiences on the planet. Namely, floating like an astronaut, experiencing weightlessness, and grinning ear-to-ear for a week afterward.

I’m not selling anything and no purchase necessary. Just thought it’d be cool, and I have some big news coming next week, so this is a warm-up. I’m limbering up my Internet joints for action.

All that said, you have less than 48 hours, so please keep reading.

My approach to blogging is simple: share what excites me most. It doesn’t matter if it’s expensive, free, or really cheap (like this).

Whether or not you win, I want to you to think of new possibilities.

For the Zero-G giveaway, I teamed up with Huckberry because they offer so many things I love. Sometimes it feels like I’m shopping in my own closet.

ACHTUNG! This is about getting people–a lot of people–excited. I want to you to dream big, and I want you to encourage others to do the same.

That’s why the more you spread the word on social media, the more likely you are to win.

If you want to enter, simply click here. It takes five seconds. After you sign up, you’ll be given the chance to spread the word to your friends. That’s it.

I hope you enjoy these prizes as much as I do.

Grand Prize (1 winner) 

Second Prize (3 winners)

If you’re not familiar with all the above prizes, here are few thoughts on why I chose to include them.

Exo Protein Bars: These are the only bars I currently eat. Clean protein, paleo-friendly, no soy and made of crickets. The amino acid profile is killer, a former 3-Michelin star chef makes them delicious, and it’s minimally-processed compared to almost every other form of protein bar. No garbage, no fillers. CrossFitters and other athletes gobble these things up. Journalists have been surprised I eat these, as there is a bit of natural sugar, but they don’t spike glucose for me or media friends who’ve tested them.

Soma: In its simplest form, it’s a high-end competitor to Brita water filters. It combines Apple-inspired design (sleek glass carafe) with a subscription service that delivers the world’s first compostable water filter to your door.  I have three at home.

LSTN Headphones: So cool that they had to be included. These wood-rich headphones immediately get double takes, and they have everything you need—a microphone for calls and voice recording, and passive-noise isolation feature to highlight your tunes and keep out the rest of the world. These bad boys are consistently ranked as good or better than headphones 2-3x the price.

In Conclusion

Jump on it! The giveaway ends in less than 48 hours.

To sign up, simply click here. And don’t forget: every time you share the page, your likelihood of winning increases.

What else would you like to experience before you die? What’s on your personal bucket list?

Good luck and pura vida :)

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Looking for a Change in 2015? How About Becoming My Managing Editor?

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I’m looking for the perfect Managing Editor.

This person will be my right hand for all things related to content. Some of things you’d get to work with:

– One of the world’s most popular blogs (this one). Typically 1.5-2 million readers per month. See “The Tim Ferriss Effect” on Forbes for a funny description of what it can do.

– One of the world’s most popular podcasts — The Tim Ferriss Show — selected by iTunes as “Best of 2014” and often the #1 business podcast across all of iTunes (at times, #1 across all categories).

– Email broadcasts to nearly 500,000 people.

– Social media accounts that reach millions of people.

– New top-secret projects for 2015, including high-end video and new book stuff.

Things would start with a paid one-month trial, probably around 20 hours per week. If things go gangbusters, there would be potential to expand significantly from there. Competitive pay and tons of interesting options.

Here’s more on me, if needed.

JOB DESCRIPTION

To help me focus exclusively on writing, interviewing, and other content creation, I need someone who’s expert at handling quite a bit.

The Managing Editor’s responsibilities would include, but not be limited to, the following:

* Spearheading the editorial calendar for the blog, podcast, email, etc. for the next 6-12 months. I’m too ad hoc and last-minute right now. It’s unnecessarily stressful. I need someone to manage most or all of it, including…

* Helping me reach out to would-be podcast guests and book them, prep them, confirm them, etc., whether celebrities, world-class investors, or scientists.

* Helping me draft blog posts that I don’t otherwise have the bandwidth to adapt. For instance, great unused parts of The 4-Hour Body that are currently Word docs with footnotes, etc. A past example of such adaptation: The Truth About “Homeopathic” Medicine.

* Sourcing great guest posts and guest authors. Here are two different but equally successful examples: Hacking Kickstarter and 20 Things I’ve Learned From Traveling Around the World for Three Years.

* Helping plan and implement content promotion. This would include social accounts reaching millions of people, cutting-edge experimental stuff, and more.

* Experiment with different ways of increasing traffic (syndication, managing SEO/SEM contractors, etc.).

PERKS

* You’d be working behind the curtains on high-profile projects. You’ll see all of my projects first, and get to play a critical role in their creation and launch. This could range from interviewing icons to wordsmithing posts or book chapters that will be seen by millions of people.

* I will ask your advice and look to you for original ideas, new experiments, and more.

* If you’re in SF (or willing to visit), you will also be invited to spend time with the most impressive people in my network. In fact, that would be part of your job.

* I might send you great tequila, there will be strange assignments, and you get to work with a weirdo. That’s me. There won’t be a lot of boredom.

JOB REQUIREMENTS

Please note that most of the below are “must have,” not “nice to have.”

First and foremost, you need to understand and love the goal of my content — helping people unlock their latent potential, and providing non-obvious toolkits to that end.

These types of stories must make you excited to conquer the world, do huge things, and tackle big problems. Alignment with the above mission is the most important, but you should also:

1) Have at least 2-4 years of writing/editorial experience
2) Be a great writer and equally good at editing/improving other people’s writing.
3) Have managed tight deadlines and successfully put together editorial calendars.
4) Ideal: Have managed other writers.
5) Ideal: Comfortable with WordPress.
6) Ideal but not required: Live in or near SF.  Remote is also possible.

I need someone with relevant experience. This is non-negotiable. I cannot take fresh grads or people who don’t check most of the above boxes. I’m hiring a pro, not looking to mentor someone from ground zero.

DOWNSIDES

A friend and well-known editor for a massive site cautioned me about this section. In his words:

“[It’s] great to tell people about these, but maybe be a little less brutal with your self-descriptions? These are reasonable expectations in my trade.”

Alas, I still prefer the Shackleton approach to job descriptions. Being my Managing Editor will not be easy. Rewarding? Definitely. Exciting at many times? Absolutely. Easy? Not likely. Think of it like a professional sports team.  I’m not going to haze you or anything stupid, but my content works because I take it very, very seriously. We’re here to create posts that are more valuable (traffic-wise) two years after publication than the week we put them out. We want epic content that gets linked to by “real” media all over the world. If you have the right personality for it, you’ll love this. But…

Here are some fair expectations:

* I’m an unrelenting perfectionist. If you’re not the same, it will probably make you insane.
* I live and die by deadlines. They are absolutely sacred, and I am merciless about this.
* You will need to be self-directed and very self-organized. Besides inflexible deadlines, I won’t provide a lot of structure. I assume you’re bringing a lot of your own process and best practices.
* You need good mental and physical stamina, and you MUST have the discipline to “turn off” and recharge during off hours. You should have a regular exercise regimen or activities for decompressing.

STILL INTERESTED? NEXT STEPS…

Great!

Just to re-emphasize: I absolutely need someone with experience. If you have no experience, there will be other opportunities with me in 2015. Please don’t clog things up here.

If you do check most boxes, I’d LOVE to hear from you.  2015 is going to be a LOT of fun.

Please click here to tell me about yourself.  Any questions?  Please let me know in the comments, which I’ll be watching.

Thank you for reading this far, and Happy New Year, all!

Pura vida,

Tim

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The $5,000 Secret Santa and Other Goodies

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This is a housekeeping post with one time-sensitive update and smaller recommendations. It’s split into two parts:

  • The $5,000 Secret Santa
  • Bite-sized Recommendations: 2 Books, 2 Movies, 2 Tweets, and 2 Songs.

The $5,000 Secret Santa

The short version: I’ve decided to go crazy and do a one-time-only $5,000 Quarterly box. It’s limited to the first 1,000 people, and it will ship before December 25. For that reason, I’m calling it the “Holiday Mega-Box.”

If you’re interested in learning more, please click here. (Note: This is completely separate from the regular Quarterly subscription described below)

Normally, every three months, I ship out a box of amazing physical products with a personal letter explaining everything. It costs $100 per box, and thousands of people subscribe to it here. The theme is obsession–the ideas and objects I can’t get out of my head. Sometimes I’m hooked on a great travel gadget. Other times, I find an incredible book or productivity hack through my experiments. Here are the contents of some previous boxes. They’re often worth $200 or more and include custom items you can’t buy, liked original artwork from Simon Bisley or letters from authors, etc..

Interested in the absurd $5,000 box that’s destined to be unforgettable? Click here.

Interested in becoming a “curator” and creating your own boxes? Quarterly.co does all the legwork of procuring items (or manufacturing them), as well as fulfillment and customer service. Click here if interested.

Bite-Sized Recommendations

Here are a few things that have been capturing my interest recently: 2 books, 2 movies, 2 tweets, and 2 songs… Read More

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Tim Ferriss Rethinks Email

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Pretty soon, many of you will get an email from me.  It’ll probably surprise you.

See, when I sketched out the original 4-Hour Workweek site in 2006 (sorely in need of a redesign), I included an email capture field, as that’s what friends said I should do:

The_4-Hour_Workweek_and_Timothy_Ferriss

Then I promptly forgot all about it. I hated email, so I didn’t want to send you email. Simple as that. Do unto others, right?

But things have changed.

Now, with Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, and hundreds of clones, the Internet and mobile are a battlefield of noise. Even if you “like” my Facebook fan page, my updates will rarely reach more than 10% of you.

For years now, thousands of you have complained that Feedburner delivers time-sensitive blog posts days or WEEKS too late. This means missed giveaways, meetups, competitions, Q&As, parties, and all sorts of fun stuff.

Needless to say, this sucks.

So I reluctantly decided to re-examine email. In a world where people change email addresses less often than physical addresses, it just made sense.

My first step was to dust off the keyboard and log into AWeber, which I’d decided was best for me eight years prior. What I found shocked me. I had nearly 300,000 email addresses from sign-ups! Holy negligence, Batman!

Ah, well. Yet another reason for my friends to make fun of me. Enjoy, Kevin Rose.

But better late than never. Within the next 10 days, I will start emailing new blog posts to anyone who’s signed up (on the homepage or the newer blog form), generally around one post per week.  Plus, you’ll get VIP treatment, like private Q&As, exclusive content, giveaways, and other things that don’t appear on the blog.

Here’s the deal:

– If you haven’t signed up yet (or you’re not sure), please do so now. Here’s the link. No spam, ever. Just good stuff.

If you sign up now, your first email will also include a link to a free download of the entire 4-Hour Chef audiobook, which includes narration by yours truly and Neil Gaiman (!). And to kick things off, I’ll be doing a 2-3-hour Q&A — for email subscribers only — next Monday night, 8/11. Ask me anything: business, personal, “inappropriate,” whatever.  Nothing is off limits. Sign up here to get the details via email.  A recording will be made available to email subscribers who can’t make the live session.

I’ll also be giving away a round-trip ticket to anywhere in the world. For details, you guessed it, you need to click here.

– If you’ve already signed up, you’re all set! Please keep an eye out for a welcome email from “Tim Ferriss” within the next 10 days.

It’s not spam. It’s from me.  Following that, blog posts and VIP goodies will show up, roughly once per week.

If you’re using Gmail and my email ends up in your “Promotions” folder, please do me a favor and drag it to your “Primary” so it doesn’t get lost in all the OKCupid notifications and whatnot.

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And please realize — I and my assistant get about 1,000 email a day. It’s funking unreal, and it’s brutal. No one is more sensitive to email abuse than I am, so I will NOT abuse your inbox.

If you get annoyed, you can one-click unsubscribe. Easy peasy and no BS.

Things will be intermittent (usually once a week, sometimes twice), and posts will be high-quality (like this or this).

As mentioned, I’ll be doing a 2-3-hour Q&A next week to kick things off, and also giving away a roundtrip ticket anywhere in the world. For details on both, just add your email here.

If you have any questions about all this, please ask in the comments! I’ll be paying close attention and answering as many as I can. I’ve literally put off email for years, but enough is enough. It’s the right thing to do.

And thank you for reading. Whatever this blog has become, I owe it all to you.

Pura vida,

Tim

timothy-ferriss-hat-headshot-four-hour-work-week-body-chef

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Why Not Hug Strangers? – A Video Experiment

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What happens when you hug strangers?

Andrew Hales of LAHWF wanted me to find out.

The above video took place in Dolores Park in San Francisco last Thursday, around 5:30pm. All people hugged are complete strangers.

Andrew challenged me to make the awkward even more awkward:

  • Could I score a hug by simply standing like a zombie with my arms out? (He’s good at this)
  • Could I go for the “long hold” and hug someone for 5 seconds, 10 seconds, or more?
  • Could I hug without saying anything? (Not my strong suit, it turns out)

To make things more interesting, Andrew accidentally–or purposefully?–started the filming at the famously gay southwest corner of Dolores.

Oh, boy…

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In other news, if you’re looking for a short essay to jumpstart your week, this might be what the doctor ordered: “6 Formulas for More Output and Less Overwhelm.”

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4-Hour Parenting – plus – Sports Doping

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First, An Email

This short post was inspired by an email.

John Heltzel, who’s on the non-profit board of Hand in Hand Parenting, sent me the following:

I was recently having dinner at Los Altos Grill with a CEO. He lamented that he travelled a lot and was having trouble re-connecting with his kids when he returned. I said: “When you get home, take out your iPhone, set the timer for 10 minutes, and say ‘you are now the boss for the next 10 minutes’ and see what happens.”

He wrote me back: “I did the ’10-minute boss’ exercise with my kids yesterday. They loved it. First started with ‘Get me some Skittles’ and then ‘Play school with us.’ Thanks for the tip!”

I’d love to hear from readers on other simple tricks for keeping connected to kids. As a some-day parent and driven person, it seems like the little things are the big things.

What do you think?

Second, Sports Doping

I was recently asked by The Next Web “[In the future]… will winning in sports be determined by technology?”

Here is my answer:

I would go so far as to say that nearly ALL future record-breaking athletics will depend on technology. This assumes we broadly define ‘technology’ as innovative tools for solving problems… like normal limitations of the human body. The 1980’s were the ‘golden age’ of steroids, which partially explains the records during that period. Moving forward, athletes’ coaches will use better tracking for Moneyball-like approaches to incremental gains; they’ll also use advances in medical and black-market biotech for massive gains.

The human body hasn’t evolved much over last 100 years for Olympic weightlifting or sprinting, right? This can be overcome a few ways: better scientific selection from massive populations (e.g. current day China, Cold War USSR), gene doping, cutting-edge medical treatment for faster recovery from injuries (Platelet-Rich Plasma injections, etc.), mechanical advantage (e.g. compression suits for swimming), and tweaking systems largely neglected in a sometimes anabolics-myopic arena (think acetylcholine optimization for 50-meter sprints). At the highest levels of power- or endurance-dependent sports, *everyone* is doping in some capacity, whether using EPO injection (banned) or high- altitude simulation tents (100% allowed but expensive, and the effects are nearly identical).

The options they choose are determined simply by how rich or poor they and their countries are. There is no such thing as a level playing field. Never has been and never will be.

Competitors with $1,000,000+ bonuses from big brands will always have more resources than the drug testers. It’s an easy game to beat…

[Read the full article here, including answers from others.]

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