4 Lessons from Tim Ferriss and Seth Godin that Every Entrepreneur Should Learn

+75 resources to take IMMEDIATE ACTION.

If you are a fan of Tim Ferriss like I am you will be blown away by his recent podcast episode with the one and only Seth Godin. It’s one of the best episodes in the last 6 months by Tim, HANDS DOWN and there are so many lessons that every entrepreneur NEEDS to know.

I listened to it right when it came out, again the day after and have now gone back to it 5x’s because of all the gems in there. In the last week I took a bunch of notes, did research around the topics, read a ton of more stuff from other people diving deeper on these lessons and then decided I needed to share this with other people that love this stuff like I do. This is how this post came to be.

This is not just one of those scammy top 5 you NEED to learn and your life will change forever type posts, it’s all about the resources so you can actually take action.

How to Use this Post

The post is broken into 4 Lessons from the Podcast and in each lesson you should:

  • Read Tim and Seth Thoughts
  • Read My Thoughts on How it Relates to Entrepreneurs Like You and I
  • Dig into all the Resources listed and Take ACTION on that Lesson

Check out the Podcast episode and Tim’s Show notes here for all the questions and topics they discuss.


The 4 Lessons from Tim Ferriss and Seth Godin

Seth and Tim talk about how most people spend their life in Defense mode just floating their way through hoping and wishing for certain things to happen. Instead they say everyone has the power to do absolutely anything they want in life. The real question is what are they going to do with that power and what impact will they have. What’s crazy is that 95% of the world falls into this space and so few people invest enough time in who they are, why they are that way and what they are going to do in their time on this earth.

When I think of Offense though I think of not just taking life into my own hands but instead why I shouldn’t be waiting around for new customers to hear about my startup. I am taking my life into my own hands by deciding to quit my job and create a business that I am proud of and being on the offense is trying all the different traction strategies to find the right ones that drive traffic. I could focus on putting a solid product out and providing a high level of customer service (which are important to me and I) but as an entrepreneur we never know which growth tactic will drive the most people to your website unless you get after it and just try a bunch. What helped us get our first 100 clients won’t be what will help us get from 100–1000 and 1000–10,000 which places emphasis on the power of continuous learning.

Since I have been focusing a lot on traction the last 2 months these books came right to mind that helped me.

Books

Traction: How any startup can achieve Customer Growth by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares

Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing and Advertising by Ryan Holiday

Launch: An internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula to Sell Almost Anything Online by Jeff Walker

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal

Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel

Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less by Joe Pulizzi

Ask: The Counterintuitive Online Formula to Discover Exactly What Your Customers Want to Buy…Create a Mass of Raving Fans…and Take Any Business to the Next Level by Ryan Levesque

Blogs

There were a lot of marketing/growth blogs I follow but with the drive from this podcast I read a bunch of Andrew Chen’s posts. Living in the Valley and working for Uber gets him as close to the latest tactics as one can get. Ryan Holiday as I mentioned before is just an animal and I grabbed some interesting insight from his posts as well. Plus he had a killer episode on Tim Ferriss’ podcast in 2014 that you should listen to.

Andrew Chen

Ryan Holiday

Additional Resources
Noah Kogan    Quicksprout
Rand Fishkin  Kissmetrics
Buffer        Moz
Hubspot 

Courses

Bryan Harris at VideoFruit has an interesting course around acquiring your first 10,000 subscribers that I just came across. From what the others who have taken the course have said and his background appearing on tons of publications and influencers podcasts it should be solid. I have not done it yet but he has a course opening this May that I may check out. It’s focused on building an email list but I see it as being beneficial for anyone looking to drive new customer/users growth while taking a value first approach.

Ali Mese who many on Medium are aware of and read his articles, is all about growth. He put a course together focused on helping people go from 0 to 1M visitors that I just finished this week. It was very practical and useful for people trying to build acquire users/subscribers etc. With Medium being a platform I am focusing on for building my personal brand I felt he could provide some actionable insight to help me drive traction. His publication #SWLH always has useful articles and is one of the most subscribed publications on Medium.

Additional Resources
Chris Ducker Youpreneur    Amy Porterfield B-School 
Noah Kagan Email1k Primer from Google
Startup Sales Bootcamp How to Start a Blog

Online Communities

I heard about Hackernews prior to this podcast but signed up for all the 4 below after learning where people that share the same passion for growth hangout.

Growth Hackers

Hackernews

Inbound.org

Product Hunt

Tim and Seth jumped into why when something is worth trying that it’s worth failing. Seth talks about trying, trying, trying until you eventually get something right and on that journey the learning is what really counts. He talked about all the different “things” he has put out in the world and how some have a large impact and some don’t. That insight relates very closely to what Adam Grant talks about in his new book, Originals: How Non-Conformists move the World, when he analyzes some of the most successful creators of our time like Mozart and Picasso and how they have created thousands of pieces of art but so few end up being the big impacters. It comes down to trying, trying and trying some more and over time your best work will stick.

This taught me the importance of just trying and removing the potential other stresses like $$ that may put unneeded pressure on me as I work towards building great things. When I quit my job Feb.1st 2016 I ensured I had enough money saved up that I could work on building businesses for the next 2 years without making a dime and not putting stress on my family or our lifestyle. I’ll just keep trying and trying and take failures as learning opportunities.

When pondering this concept Gary Vaynerchuk came to mind immediately. Almost everyday I consume some piece of his content since he crushes so many platforms. I feel like he is always up to try something new and keep trying until something sticks. For him not all work out but trying is worth failing. He is all about hustle and showing the real life of an entrepreneur. I read Jab, Jab, Jab Right Hook recently and bought the Pre-order of his new book, #askgaryvee, listen to his podcast all the time and follow him on snapchat. Take a look at his content because it’s great daily motivation and insight into the life of an entrepreneur. When I do this it reminds me how he is always up for trying and failing.

Books

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World

Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion

#Askgaryvee: One Entrepreneur’s Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness

The #AskGaryVee Show podcast!    Gary Vaynerchuk Blog
Gary’s Youtube Channel Gary’s Facebook
Gary’s Twitter
Additional Resources

4 hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

$100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau

Level Up Your Life: How to Unlock Adventure and Happiness by Becoming the Hero of Your Own Story by Steve Kamb

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance

Four Steps to the Epiphany by steve blank

Seth shares a story about his friend Lin in this episode that really resonated with me. He says that his friend was a toy designer that was shot down time and time again by the toy companies. She then came to Seth to ask for his advice and at the time he worked in publishing. He suggested that Lin get into the book business because everyday there are people waiting for the next great idea to come across their desk. 6 months later she created the 52 deck of cards and since has sold 5 million decks.

Why push uphill when you can learn what people actually want and just push your business downhill, Seth and Tim suggest. That got me thinking. Its not the 80’s and I am not Lin trying to sell toy ideas but instead there are tons of tools out there to see what people online care about.

Although I spent 2 months in customer discovery with mybumper to understand if there was a big enough problem our product solved, I decided to analyze our product with Google Trends. This could be a great option for you if you are looking to start a business or sell something new and want a business that pushes downhill rather than uphill. As Seth suggests there are tons of problems that need solving out there so why invent a new one.

Software Tools

Google Trends

Google Trends gives you fantastic insight into what topics are trending, what words are be searched the most, how a topic popularity has gone up or down in the last few years and how it compares to other keywords. You can also use it to determine where those keywords are being searched the most and if you dig into it what are keywords that are searched along with it and which are breaking through recently. Here are a few of the trends I pulled for iPhone battery cases.

The chart on the lefts shows Mophie (the 800lb guerilla in the space) vs iPhone battery as a keyword. It shows although they are perceived to be dominating the market there are many more searches for iPhone batteries then there are Mophie.

The chart on the right puts into perspective how much people are actually searching for iPhone batteries compared to Tim Ferriss. Very encouraging.

The bottom 2 lists show some of the breakout search terms recently associated with iPhone batteries. Battery for iPhone and iPhone battery case provide a level of validation to what I learned from customers that there is a big pain around the iPhone battery dying all the time.

You can tell these tools coupled with a few others can paint a really solid picture about what people are talking about and buying now a days. A few others I came across recently and that I dug into more after this podcast are Facebook Audience Insights and Buzz Sumo.

Facebook Audience Insights- One of the best tools to get insight into demographics, buying behaviours and where people that follow a certain industry go to get their news, influencers, the books they read etc. (Try typing Entrepreneurship in, MIND BLOWN).

BuzzSumo- Another amazing tool noah kagan and Appsumo created and a true value add for entrepreneurs. You can go on there, search a given topic and find the most shared articles, blog posts and influencers for it. Awesome when trying to come up with blog ideas or understand an industry better.

Additional Resources
Ruzzit  
SWAY
Hubspot Blog Topic Generator
Portent

Blog Posts

I came across noah kagan’s guest blog post on Tim Ferriss’ blog from a few years back after digging for some more juice around software tools. He talks about Google Trends and other tools like Facebook Audience Insights to find something to sell online. Solid step-by-step guides for those that want more detail.

3 weeks ago I tweeted a blog post I read from Jon Loomer that I took another look at after thinking about which tools are best for finding something to sell.

If you want to learn more about Facebook Audience Insights tool, how to use it and where to apply your learning for creating ads Jon Loomer’s blog post does a great job explaining.

Another blog post I decided to read again was from Shopify’s blog that is a great step by step for anyone looking to start anew. The level of detail Richard Lazazzera goes into for the blog is crazy. It’s 3 days, starting with no idea, sourcing a product, trying different traction strategies and making $1000 in revenue.

Additional Resources
How to Find a Product to Sell Online: The Definitive Guide
Step-by-Step Guide on How To Find A Profitable Product To Sell — StartupBros
How To Find The Best Products To Sell Online — The Ultimate Step By Step Guide
How to Set Prices For Your Stuff When Selling Online

When Tim asks Seth what his top 5 business decisions of his career are he says, STARTING A BLOG. He goes on to say how much happiness it brings to his day to share his thoughts, help others and overall build something that lasts. They talk about writing 5 posts a day sometimes very small and just thoughts and sometimes larger that turn into posts they make public. What’s important though is just writing and writing some more as eventually the juices will flow and content will stick.

This was probably the most impactful for me. I have written blog posts before but have never taken my personal brand seriously and put effort around building it like a business. Before listening to this podcast I was convinced that 2016 was the year of the chrisspadafora brand but this was the icing on the cake and one of the reasons you are reading this right now.

The future I believe will be a world of freelancers providing services from wherever and whenever to people that need those expertise. The 9–5 will die and what better time to start a blog than now.

I dug more into these 5 folks and if you are looking for how to start creating or optimizing a blog you should take a look . From literally day 1 to using content marketing strategies to go from 50k to 100k followers there is tons of actionable insight.

Blog Tyrant

Joe Pulizzi

Bryan Harris

Copy Blogger

Pat Flynn

These guys I follow already but are great for examples on how to do it right. The last 2 probably look familiar.

Ramit Sethi

Neil Patel

Benjamin Hardy

Jon Westenberg

Biz Stone

Ev Williams

Seth Godin

Tim Ferriss


Well those are the 4 Lessons Every Entrepreneur should learn from Tim Ferriss and Seth Godin and the resources to take action on the lessons learned. Hopefully these lessons help you as much as they helped me and in the end of the day if you have access to these resources that is just the first step, putting a plan together and getting after it is what’s important to becoming a better entrepreneur.

See a few other of my favourite podcast episodes in the last 12 months

As a bonus I recorded an Anchor talking about the 3 things you should do tomorrow to ensure you ACTION these lessons Tim and Seth teach. Take a listen and share your thoughts by replying with your own Anchor.

If you enjoyed reading this article please click the HEART button to recommend. Also, I would love to hear other resources you have come across in the comments.

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