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“The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.” — Lin Yutang

“Discipline equals freedom.” — Jocko Willink

This post will teach you how to say “no” when it matters most.

It will also explain how I think about investing, overcoming “fear of missing out” (FOMO), and otherwise reducing anxiety.

Last, it’s also about how to kill the golden goose when the goose is no longer serving you.

I’ll dig into one specifically hard decision — deciding to say “no” to startup investing, which is easily the most lucrative activity in my life. …


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Since the success of The 4-Hour Workweek, I’ve been able to see some of the worst e-mail pitches out there.

Here is an example of how to do it properly, with 5 tips and good template phrases bolded:

Hi Tim,

I hope all is well (and I gather from your celebrity that it is — I can’t seem to go a week without seeing your book or name somewhere).

I know you place tremendous value on your time so I’ll be brief. The website I launched last fall has evolved into a much more far-reaching venture: a software company that provides fundraising optimization and online advocacy solutions for nonprofits. …


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How do you generate the most profit with the least effort? How do you maximize margins without sacrificing quality?

I’m not talking more customers, nor more revenue, nor more offices and employees. Profit.

Based on my interviews with high-performing CEOs (“high-performing” determined using annual-profit-per-employee measurements) in more than a dozen countries, I’ve listed 11 common “rules” below. This is a return-to-basics call.

Here’s your cheat sheet for consistent profitability — or doubling of it — in 3 months or less.

1. Repetition is Usually Redundant — Good Advertising Works the First Time

Use direct response advertising (call-to-action to a phone number or website) that is uniquely trackable — fully accountable advertising — instead of “image” or “brand” advertising (e.g. billboards with no URL/phone/messaging), unless others are pre-purchasing product to offset the cost (e.g. …


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When facing life’s questions, who do you turn to for advice? For me, I turn to experts. In the past year, I had the opportunity to ask over 100 brilliant people 11 questions as I put together for my most recent book Tribe of Mentors. One of my favorite questions I sent to each was: What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)?

Their responses were immediately actionable, which is one thing I look for when compiling the mix of questions included in the book. …


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“Not-to-do” lists are often more effective than to-do lists for upgrading performance.

The reason is simple: what you don’t do determines what you can do.

Here are nine stressful and common habits that entrepreneurs and office workers should strive to eliminate. The bullets are followed by more detailed descriptions. Focus on one or two at a time, just as you would with high-priority to-do items. I’ve worded them in not-to-do action form:

1. Do not answer calls from unrecognized phone numbers

Feel free to surprise others, but don’t be surprised. It just results in unwanted interruption and poor negotiating position. Let it go to voicemail and relax.

2. Do not e-mail first thing in the morning or last thing at night

The former scrambles your priorities and plans for the day, and the latter just gives you insomnia. E-mail can wait until 10am, after you’ve completed at least one of your critical to-do…


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Email is the single largest interruption in modern life.

In a digital world, creating time hinges on minimizing it.

The first step towards controlling the email impulse is setting up an autoresponse, which indicates you will be checking email twice per day or less. This is an example of “batching” tasks, or performing like tasks at set times, between which you let them accumulate.

In this post, I will share two of my own tried-and-true email autoresponses, one short and one long.

Your success with batching — whether laundry, phone calls, or email — will depend on two factors: your ability to train others to respect these intervals, and, much more difficult, your ability to discipline yourself to follow your own rules. …


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Over the past three years, I’ve been fortunate enough to interview over 200 world-class performers on my podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show, which recently passed 200,000,000 downloads.

The guests included chess prodigies, movie stars, four-star generals, pro athletes, and hedge fund managers. It was a motley crew.

More than a handful of them have since become collaborators in business and creative projects, spanning from investments to indie film.

As a result, I’d absorbed a lot of their wisdom outside of our recordings, whether over workouts, wine-infused jam sessions, text message exchanges, dinners, or late-night phone calls.

My life had already improved in every area as a result of the lessons I could remember. But that was the tip of the iceberg. The majority of the gems were still lodged in thousands of pages of transcripts and hand-scribbled notes. More than anything, I longed for the chance to distill everything into a playbook. …


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To do or not to do? To try or not to try? Most people will vote no, whether they consider themselves brave or not. Uncertainty and the prospect of failure can be very scary noises in the shadows. Most people will choose unhappiness over uncertainty. For years, I set goals, made resolutions to change direction, and nothing came of either. I was just as insecure and scared as the rest of the world.

Through a series of mistakes, failures, and accidents, I eventually learned how to create a scale that made decision-making an easier process. I realized that on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being nothing and 10 being permanently life-changing, my so-called worst-case scenario might have a temporary impact of 3 or 4. I believe this is true of most people and most would-be “holy sh*t, my life is over” disasters. Keep in mind that this is the one-in-a-million disaster nightmare. …


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“We don’t rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training.” ― Archilochus

Mental toughness can take many forms: resilience against attack, calmness in the face of uncertainty, persistence through pain, or focus amidst chaos.

Below are eight lessons from eight of the toughest human beings I know.

All are taken from the hundreds of tips and tactics in Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers.

1. “If you want to be tougher, be tougher.”

Jocko Willink, former Navy SEAL Commander

“If you want to be tougher mentally, it is simple: Be tougher. …


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Last year was an interesting year for me. I turned 40, lost several close friends of mine, and came to some sobering realizations that often strike people who are in the middle of their lives. I didn’t have a midlife crisis per se, more of a midlife reassessment. So over the past year, I’ve been reaching out to dozens of people I consider my mentors to ask them for life advice. I call the brilliant group of peak performers I chose my tribe of mentors — over 100 in all — and they helped me answer the one question I often ask: What would this look like if it were easy? …

About

Tim Ferriss

Author of 5 #1 NYT/WSJ bestsellers, investor (FB, Uber, Twitter, 50+ more: http://angel.co/tim ), host of The Tim Ferriss Show podcast (300M+ downloads)

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