Testing the impossible – 17 questions (1 – 5)

This is summarised from ‘The Tim Ferris Show’ Podcast #206. Please go and listen if you are interested in the full audio podcast. In the podcast Tim talks about a chapter in his book titled  Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers

What if I did the opposite for 48 hours?

Tim refers back to his first sales job where he states that the majority of calls were made during 9 – 5. However these were the times the gate keepers (P.A’s/Secretaries etc) worked and most often they prevented him from speaking to the directors and senior level management. Instead he focused on dedicating all of his time to calls after 5 p.m where he was able to bypass the gatekeepers and speak directly with the decision makers. During the day he then focused his time on emails.

What do I spend  a silly amount of money on? How do I scratch my own itch?

Tim refers to a time where he was working at a start up and at the time he was spending over $500 a month on sports supplement. He knew the best websites , products and avenues and started to think what was missing and what he was making makeshift solutions for that he couldn’t find at retail. The result was a cognitive enhancer. At his startup he begged his fellow co workers each to prepay for a bottle which allowed him to hire a chemist and do a manufacturing run which turned to be his first successful company.

What would I do/have/be if I had all the money in the world?

2004 he is doing very at that point of his life however he was working very long hours and was always on the verge of a breakdown. His girlfriend which he was due to marry left him for that exact reason. He realised he either had to restructure his company or shut it down to save himself. It was at this point he asked himself what does he dream life look like and what income would he need in income to be able to live this. The answer was far more affordable than he thought.

What are the worst things that can happen? Can I get back here?

Following on from the point above, he decided to leave and live abroad for a period of time. However, he didn’t immediately leave and danced around the decision to go for about 6 months prior. Ultimately, he was able to take the emergency brake off after realising that he would be able to and it wasn’t such a big risk after all.

If I could only work 2 hours on my business what would I do?

After removing himself from his business, he considered the Pareto law. What 20% of customers/products/regions are accounting for 80% or more of the profit? What factors or characteristics might account for this? Essentially he removed some of his customers, streamlined others by simplify their communications and contracts and depended relationships and increased order size with his 3 – 5 biggest customers/ lowest headache customers. He also allowed his staff to be more self sufficient and make decisions without need for him to intervene up to a higher degree.

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