Tim Ferriss is one of the most influential entrepreneurs of our time. His first book, The 4-Hour Work Week, remains a best-seller year after year. In this book, Ferriss urges individuals to rethink our traditional assumptions around work. It is a must-read for anyone interested in entrepreneurship.
1) The timing is never right
“The stars will never align and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time…Conditions are never perfect. ‘Someday’ is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you.”
If you have a dream in mind that you wish to achieve, then stop waiting and start acting. There will never be a perfect time to start. As the ancient Chinese proverb goes, “the best time to start was 20 years ago, but the second best time is now”.
2) Run towards your fears
“Most people will choose unhappiness over uncertainty…What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.”
We often suffer more in our minds than in reality. But our fears are by and large unfounded. Tim Ferriss recommends the regular practice of Fear Setting (rather than Goal Setting) to help you determine which things you should pursue. Once you write down your fears and the potential consequences if they come true, they suddenly have less power of you. You will realize that the worst-case scenarios are really not that bad.
3) Choose your friends carefully
“You are the average of the five people you associate with most, so do not underestimate the effects of your pessimistic, unambitious, or disorganized friends. If someone isn't making you stronger, they're making you weaker.”
Whoever we spend time with is influencing our behavior and ambitions, whether we are aware of it or not. So choose your friends wisely. Spend time around people who make you better.
4) Leverage your strengths
“It is far more lucrative and fun to leverage your strengths instead of attempting to fix all the chinks in your armor. The choice is between multiplication of results using strengths or incremental improvement fixing weaknesses that will, at best, become mediocre.”
It is an uphill battle to try and fix your weaknesses. We all have strengths in certain areas. The key is to know where your strengths are and how to further amplify your abilities in these areas.
5) Focus on being productive instead of busy
“Doing something unimportant well does not make it important. Requiring a lot of time does not make a task important.”
Many people criticize The 4-Hour Work Week because it sounds like the goal is laziness. But this a misconception. In his book, Tim Ferriss emphasizes the importance of making systems operate as efficiently as possible. This will free you up to invest your time in bigger and better things. We aren’t striving for laziness, but rather better time management. Consider which tasks that could be automated, outsourced, or removed. When starting an entrepreneurial venture, see yourself as a bottleneck to be removed by optimizing systems to function effectively without you.