Tim Ferriss — Starting A Business (Video Summary)

Tim Ferriss is a huge role model for me — I’ve read all of his books and listened to most of his podcasts. He shares so much gold. I stumbled across this video today and found it really helpful. If you have the time to watch it, I’d definitely recommend it. Here are my notes from the video.

Note: these notes are very informal and concise. For more information, watch the video and do yourself a favour and read the 4-hour Work Week.

Tim uses a framework for creating and growing a business using the acronym DEAL.

D — Definition

E — Elimination

A — Automation

L — Liberation

Liberation is the ultimate goal, it’s a life of mobility and choice. But the first step is definition.


Definition = quantifying goals, overcoming fears

  • Goal-setting
  • Fear-setting
  • Target monthly income (TMI)

Goal-setting: What are your goals for the business? These must be clearly stated so you know what’s next.

Fear-setting: Ask yourself — What is the worst thing that can happen if no one buys your product?

Tim recommends using small comfort zone challenges to get used to doing difficult things.

Coffee challenge: Ask for a 10% discount on coffee (comfort zone challenge), use things like this to get over your fears.

Quote from Tim: Giving 80% is like giving 0%, it’s not enough to reach orbit. To reach 100% you have to commit.

TMI = Target monthly income

To calculate, ask yourself what gets you excited? Quantify your ideal lifestyle.

Here are some questions to guide your thinking:

  • $X per month.
  • What do you do with that?
  • How do you reach that goal? What sets you apart from every other business and makes you unique?

Use the answers from these questions to set a price point on your product or service that will help you reach your TMI. When you find your price point, find an effective marketing strategy.



What would you normally do if you weren’t on a deadline? How long would you give yourself to do things? Do you have a hard time focusing on one thing? Do you self-doubt?

Exercise — Quant Based Marketing

- Set a target amount of users / people (e.g. 30 people)

- List all the different ways you think you can get 30 people and how many people you think will sign up with each method

- Note: keep track of everything, what has and hasn’t worked

Tip: stop using passive marketing strategies and use more direct methods. Push yourself.

Use conversion rates to optimize your selling process

- Conversion rate — CR = # of sales ÷ # of solicitations

Compare your conversion rates from different mediums. When you find something that works, scale it. This is where automation comes into play.


Don’t try to do everything on your own. Delegate and automate.

What can you repeat? What will be predictable? Use data to answer these questions. These answers will help you during this step.

For example, if phone sales worked, find people who can make calls and give them a commission, that way you’re not the only bottleneck.

Automation and delegation allow you to remove yourself from the process and scale the business.

Naturally the last step is liberation. After successfully implementing the previous steps, you can be nomadic and free.