October 23, 2008

An Interview With Tim Ferriss

Over the last few weeks, I have quietly been reading The 4-Hour Workweek. A book that teaches you how to become part of the New Rich.

The New Rich is a group of people that use the power of automation and mobility to generate income in far less time than the normal 9 – 5 job. Best of all, it provides a way to travel the world without feeling stuck at home due to your “real job.”

After finishing it, I decided to contact Tim Ferriss to do an interview for my blog. I figured it would benefit my readers (yes you) and give a little insight into his lifestyle.

Well guess what? He agreed to do the interview via e-mail. So I put together some questions to ask him and fired away.

So let’s get at it, I’ll start with a brief introduction.


Tim is not only an author, but also a blogger. You can check out his blog here.  A quick summary I found over at Tim’s biography sums him up real well:

“Timothy Ferriss, nominated as one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Business People of 2007,” is author of the #1 New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and BusinessWeek bestseller, The 4-Hour Workweek, which has been sold into 33 languages.

He has been featured by more than 100 media outlets, including The New York Times, The Economist, TIME, Forbes, Fortune, CNN, and CBS. He speaks six languages, runs a multinational firm from wireless locations worldwide, and has been a popular guest lecturer at Princeton University since 2003, where he presents entrepreneurship as a tool for ideal lifestyle design and world change.”

As you can see, he’s a pretty productive guy. He does a ton of traveling which is what made me check out the book in the first place.

The Interview

Justin: I have had a few tipping points in the office that eventually led me to leaving my office job recently. What was your tipping point that made you reevaluate your career and come up with your new lifestyle?

Tim: Two things.  First, having a new sales manager come into the start-up office in 2001 and drop a phone book on my cubicle desk with “Better get to smiling and dialing.  Start with A.”  Second, having a long-term girlfriend offer me a plaque (no joke) as a Dear John letter.  It read: “Business Hours End at 5pm!!!”  I was working then in 2004 from 7am to 9pm.

Justin: How long did you have the idea of writing The Four Hour Work Week before you actually started working on it?

Tim: Once the idea kept me up 2-3 nights in a row, while in Buenos Aires, I jumped online to research the publishing process and wrote a draft book proposal within 2 weeks or so.  To get an agent then took about 4 months, after which the book was sold in around 4 weeks.  But not after it had been rejected by 14 out of 15 publishers.  Then the writing began.

Justin: I have been thinking about writing a book myself. Do bloggers have any sort of advantage when it comes to getting published?

Tim: An audience.  Their disadvantage is that they 1) tend not to be able to structure anything over 1,000 words, and 2) they split their time between the book and blog and end up with mediocre books.

Justin: Traveling is something I love to do as often as I can. What do you think is the best way for a blogger like myself to generate income while traveling around the world?

Tim: For a blogger?  Develop a strong niche and get one or two companies to sponsor your blog.  Option 2 of hundreds, develop a travel angle for specific posts and get others (companies to be featured) to finance your travel.  I’ve seen it done many times.  In a “you can have A or B, but not both”, it often pays to look for the C option.  I’d rather never have to spend money vs. making a lot of it.  Less taxes : )

Justin: Would you ever be willing to do a guest post on my blog, Life of Justin? It’s okay to say no : )

Tim: Never say never, but the next 1-2 years will be tough : )

And that concludes the interview. Now…

Check Out The Book

Now that you know a little more about Tim and his book, go check out The 4-Hour Workweek. I promise it is a great book and will teach you a lot of things to save some time in your business and personal life. And don’t forget to check out my books page for some more recommended reading.

Have You Read the book? What Are Your Thoughts?

22 thoughts on “An Interview With Tim Ferriss

  1. Jenn

    Awesome post! I’ve been wanting to read this book for a very long time. I walk by it every time I’m at the bookstore. I think I’m going to finally buy it!

  2. Adam Pieniazek

    “I’d rather never have to spend money vs. making a lot of it. Less taxes : )”

    Hmm…that’s an interesting way to look at money and something that I certainly agree with. Cutting back on expenses is always easier than making more money, especially if you’re cutting back by getting someone else to pay for it!

    Great interview!

  3. Terence Chang

    Nice interview. I am also a fan of his 4HWW book.

    It inspired me to change my life the big time. Many people thought that it impossible, because it looks too good to be true.

    Personally, it’s all about the hard work at the beginning and what direction you choose to make your life better. I know if just few years, I will be working only 4 hours a week. I am getting there.

  4. Justin Post author

    @ Terence: Thanks for the response. I agree that it is really tough in the beginning but once you make the commitment and decide what to do it gets easier.

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  6. Justin Post author

    @ Carla: Awesome! So your going to Biz Tech Day? I just checked it out and it looks like something I would love to go to. Did you pay the 250 for registration?

  7. Ryan

    Just found this on reddit and thought I’d share a little. I read the book about a month ago and thought it was fantastic. It starts out a little different and your like “whoa how is this possible” but it gets more interesting as you read on. I liked it enough to share it with my family even though my parents were a little skeptical about only working 4 hours a week. Great post!

  8. Mr. Money

    Note to self, write a book about a 3 hour workweek.

    I’m already planning a vacation to Buenos Aires (partly due to Tim’s description of the place, mostly due to the great USD to Argentinean peso exchange rate) so I’m halfway there!

  9. Justin Post author

    @ Mr. Money: I am actually thinking of doing the same thing. I was already thinking about moving to Costa Rica due to the cost of living. Sure makes living off of ad revenue a little easier. : )

  10. Raj Krishnaswamy

    Sounds very interesting. I put in very long hours everyday and work seven days a week. I enjoy my work, however, if there is a way to expedite matters and get some free time that will be nice. I certainly will be reading this book. Thank you for this tip.

  11. Trevor

    That was an interesting interview. Although I’ve never heard of this author before (although I feel like I’ve heard of The Four Hour Work Week), it was still intriguing to read his answers to your questions.

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  13. Web Design Brighton

    I’ve had a couple of (non-relevant) book s published & it’s true that even with something thyat will obviously sell (as was the case with my books), most publishers still rejected it. The one who went for it has made a lot of money.

    Moral of the story is don’t give up!

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