SPI 051: Tim Ferriss on Promotion from Scratch, Accelerated Learning, Experiments Gone Wrong, Publishing, and More

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In this session of The Smart Passive Income Podcast, we have Tim Ferriss on the show!

Tim is a two-time, #1 New York Times Best-Selling Author with his books The 4-Hour Work Week and The 4-Hour Body, and he recently came out with the third book in his “4-hour trilogy” titled The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning anything and Living the Good Life.

Tim seems to be everywhere these days to promote his new book. Just check out the PR/Web summary for week 1 of the launch – it’s insane! Of course, I’m more than happy to include the SPI blog and podcast in his promotional efforts, but for this particular interview I wanted to touch on more than just his new book. I wanted to talk about all of his books, especially The 4-Hour Work Week, which most of my audience is familiar with.

I ask him several questions (many inspired by you!) about each of his books and as always, Tim delivers the goods.

In this session, you’ll find out:

  • The true meaning and purpose behind Tim’s “4-Hour” series of books.
  • How much work and exactly what he did to promote The 4-Hour Work Week with no following whatsoever, and how we could possibly replicate his success.
  • Tim’s thoughts on what in The 4-Hour Work Week should be updated, since the most recent update was 3 years ago.
  • What super rats are and what (not-so-fun) incident happened when he tried to become one.
  • Tim’s advice on eating well, staying in shape and meeting income goals when you have a family, kids and a mortgage and other responsibilities that will absorb time and money.
  • Why he uses food and cooking as a vehicle to teach about accelerated learning (meta-learning).
  • Different strategies for meta learning, including how one could use his strategies for things that may seem more intangible (unlike cooking, a sport or language), such as marketing.
  • Tim’s thoughts on where publishing is headed and some thoughts on the boycott of his books in major book stores, including Barnes and Noble.
  • Where Tim makes most of his money.
  • What’s next for Tim and the 4-hour series of books.
  • Plus more!

Right click here to download the MP3

Items mentioned in this podcast include:

Note: some of the links below are Amazon affiliate links.

Ask Tim FerrissLike I mention on the show, it kills me that I couldn’t ask Tim more questions, but I really enjoyed interviewing Tim and I hope you enjoyed the interview too! If you haven’t yet picked up your copy of The 4-Hour Chef, you can get it by clicking here!

Congratulations to the winners of the free copies of The 4-Hour Chef that I was giving away: Ryan, Naomi, JP, Marjorie, Neel, Liz and Greg. I’ve sent you all emails already.

And finally, please subscribe to the podcast using the link below to get updated when the latest podcast episode goes live! The upcoming podcast episodes feature regular people who have built successful online businesses outside of the make money online, business and blogging space. It’s always great to learn from the masters like Tim, but it’s great to learn from people who are unknown and killing it too.

Also, you can click on the link below to leave a rating and review of the show on iTunes, which helps a ton!

Thanks again for your support! Stay safe, stay warm and stay productive!

Cheers! :)

Archery Update

In this session, Tim and I discuss archery for a little bit. He gives me some tips for my first lesson, which was a birthday gift from my awesome wife! I took my first lessons on December 12th and Tim’s tips totally helped out! Here’s some pics from the lesson:

Of course, there was a lesson from a professional at this venue who helped a lot, and this cluster (the green and brown feathered arrows) was one of my last rounds. The first sets were…not quite as tight. :)

Thanks Tim!


Click Here to Download the Transcript for Session 51 (PDF)

  • Logan


    • http://www.shuckabuck.com Eric @ ShuckaBuck.com


      This interview should be useful for promotion tips for my kindle books.

      Thanks pat!

      • http://www.jasonloveslife.com Jason Love

        If you found some good promotional tips for your kindle book let me know. I am working on a comic book that I want to put on Kindle and marketing is something I haven’t figure out yet.

        -Jason Love

        • http://www.shuckabuck.com Eric @ ShuckaBuck.com

          I have found some good ones over the past year of publishing:

          1. Use KDP Select to Promote your books for free.
          2. Use Twitter. I’ve been testing this with my new book and so far so good – I use socialoomph.com to schedule, then take 15 minutes a day and use search.twitter.com to answer/ask questions. I also use @INSERTBIGBRANDHERE to get the attention of the people with lots of followers. Also, posting interesting quotes, or funny stuff, or anything like that to get RT’s of my updates.
          3. Facebook Groups – there are tons of groups out there for writers, authors, marketers, and niche groups that you can join. Hint: Don’t spam – be real.

          The goal for these promotions is to get more sales (of course), but the REAL goal is to get more REVIEWS. The more good reviews you have, the more books you will sell and your book will sell for a longer period of time.

          Facebook Ads is a little tricky – I haven’t tested it with any of my books (I currently have 17 published), but if you target the right people who have kindle devices I would guess your CPC can be pretty low.

  • http://www.timpoulton.com Tim

    Sweet :-)

  • http://www.BiggerPockets.com Brandon Turner

    I’ve been waiting for this one Pat! Two of my favorite people in one podcast. I know what I’ll be doing for the next hour! Thanks for all your great content Pat!

  • http://wp4fb.com Wilco

    Looking forward to plug it in!

  • http://www.iheartbudgets.net Jacob @ iheartbudgets

    headphones in and player started! This is a pretty epic pairing, excited to have my brain explode from so much awesome! :)

    • http://www.iheartbudgets.net Jacob @ iheartbudgets

      Wow, that was awesome! Is there anything Tim doesn’t do?! Thanks for puting this together, for sure picking up the book as just from that short conversation I can tell his books can drastically improve my life (especially schedule-wise).

  • http://www.shuckabuck.com Eric @ ShuckaBuck.com

    This should be one of the best interviews since hopefully I can get some tips on promoting my kindle eBooks.

    Thanks Pat!

    • http://www.shuckabuck.com Eric @ ShuckaBuck.com

      Wow…really jam-packed with some awesome tips! I like when tim talked about book publishing, and I also liked the part about learning basketball (shooting in a straight line).

      I’m also a big golfer, and his tip about keeping your head still whenever doing any hand-eye coordination stuff is spot on!

      • http://www.klinkle.com Eric

        The free throw tip is a great metaphor. I think if there was a single word I’d use to describe Tim it’s ‘process.’ He turns the focus on the process of the task rather than the goal of the task. Instead of worrying about making the basket, he focuses on the process of shooting straight.

        Pat, solid work, as usual!

        And congrats on the NY Times blurb!!!

  • http://www.ingeniousinternetincome.com Steve @ Ingenious Internet Income

    Awesome! Been looking forward to this one. As mentioned above, I hope to pick up a few tips for Kindle promotions. Great score on getting this interview!

  • http://www.flawlessconfidence.com Diggy

    Downloading now, been waiting in anticipation:)

    Great job Pat!

  • http://andrewminalto.com/ Andrew Minalto

    Tim is my HERO! Seriously – he’s 4 hour work week totally change how I look @ business and life in general.

    Thanks Pat!

  • http://gireviews.net Brendan

    Funny. I was hoping Tim would talk about the 22 immutable laws of marketing. I haven’t even started to listen yet, but I see it in the links!!

    I bought and read it because of Tim and I’d love to hear his thoughts about his serious violation of the law of line expansion :)

  • http://www.davidveldt.com David Veldt

    Awesome interview, Pat and congrats on landing time with Tim. It’s been exciting to see where your podcast has gone in the past couple years.

  • http://farbige-kontaktlinsen-mit-staerke.com/ David

    I waited long for this Podcast and finally subscribed your Podcast Channel on iTunes. I am downloading it so that I can listen to it when I am driving to work.

    Thank you Pat!

  • http://www.dylanvarian.com Dylan

    This is probably the best podcast I have listened to date. Two of my main inspirations to start my own business when I was seventeen in one place!

    Nice job Pat!

  • http://www.sensophy.com Jacob Sokol

    The thought that comes to my mind over and over as I’ve seen this pop-up on social media is… Congratz, dude!!! :)

  • http://eminimind.com/trading-plan Tim Racette

    Hey Pat, the SPI.com/session50 and session51 links don’t seem to be redirecting to the transcript pages (at least for me). Awesome interview!

  • Takeshi

    Great job Pat, monster interview!

  • http://www.strategicmarketingguy.com CJ @ StrategicMarketingGuy

    I’m going to re-listen to the 4-hour Work Week audiobook next week just because of this. I didn’t appreciate it when I listened the first time.

  • http://authoritywebsiteincome.com Jon @ Authority Website Income

    These are the kind of interviews that help get me really motivated to dominate whatever project I am working on online.

    Thanks for providing such an awesome podcast!

  • http://www.smartbusinessrevolution.com John Corcoran

    I just downloaded it and immediately got sucked into listening to it – even though I’m still at work and have a ton of stuff to do (like prepare my NMX presentation… which is nagging at me). You must have loved doing this interview. I hope I’ll be able to interview Tim one day. Such a cool dude.

    I think it was really great that you shared the interview with your audience by inviting us all to submit questions. That was a great idea.

  • http://www.mazzastick.com Justin

    Looking forward to this one Pat. :)

  • http://ztdchallenge.wordpress.com/ Luis


    I posted one message on the post in which Pat asked us to formulate a question for Tim Ferriss, and I mentioned on it the delicious scrambled eggs that I made in the morning thanks to the 4 Hour Chef. And Pat goes and passes my thanks onto Tim Ferriss.
    Thanks to you also Pat!

    Man, this and Pat actually answering my emails really astonishes me. You’re awesome people.

  • http://buildingawebsitepro.com Michael


    This interview could have easily gone on for several hours.

    For people who are open to the insights in this interview and who will actually take action (at least in some small way) to what is discussed, they will truly be positively affected by this interview.

    Thank you, Pat, and congratulations on the interview and all you have accomplished thus far.


  • http://www.solosmarts.com Kelly McCausey

    Listening and enjoying! Love the conversation on trusting before recommending :)

  • http://www.mymodernastrology.com Damien

    Two amazing guys – very interested to listen to this, more so after reading the comments.

    Very excited about this – brain is definitely in “input” mode!

  • http://tracktownmobile.com Mike

    Look at all of those topics you both covered! Downloading it now to have a listen!

  • http://andykremer.blogspot.com/2012/11/how-to-earn-over-80-per-month-with-one.html Andy

    Timmmayyy! Very nice Pat 😉 I actually did LOL.

    On a different note, I’m buying the Roland R-05 (I know you don’t use it, but I still found out about it from you) today to start working on creating a podcast. In-person interviews with inspirational nomads is the premise, so I think it’ll work well for that :) Thanks SO MUCH for the step-by-step tutorials!

  • http://www.KettlebellsForSaleHQ.com Brian

    Is Tim interested in adopting a 30 something year old man (boy at heart)?

    – 450 months old
    – Potty trained (all bets off on a good night out)
    – Can make his own breakfast
    – Has a short attention *SQUIRREL!*

  • http://www.epicwebstudio.com/ Rodrigo Flamenco

    Awesome interview! incredible to see the whole movement the book the 4 hour workweek has started, how many dreams have come true and are still in the way of becoming true thanks to you Tim! Thanks Pat and Tim for all the value you have given in our lives

  • http://talesofwork.com Kimanzi Constable

    This was an amazing interview. I have heard Tim interview in a bunch of places this week but everytime I learn something new and valuable.

    I just saw today that he sold over 60,000 copies the first week. The crazy schedule he had and his hustle really paid off! Very inspiring!

  • http://tradlands.com Jeremy

    I’d be interested in seeing the affiliate sales results for Pat because of the mentions in this episode, which includes a purchase by me of the book by Al Ries.

    Really great episode here.

    My question for Tim, had I replied in time to respond to the last blog post, would be how does Tim feel about being a leader, thought leader, business leader, author, “guru”, mentor, or person in the world who has positively affected and influenced so many thousands of people? Tim’s work has transformed peoples lives.
    Tim’s 1st book changed my life as well as my fiance’s and we have developed a product business since we read the book only a year ago. We were living the deferred life plan and now a life of possibility has opened up for us that we know we can create and live in to.
    I think this also has happened for thousands of others and I would be interested to hear what Tim or Pat thought as well as what others thought about his influence for this generation?

  • http://www.what-is-coaching.com Jean Paul C

    The concept of modeling is spot on, although I did not learn of it first from Tim Ferris. Richard Bandler, the founder of NLP along John Grinder, discovered modeling and wrote about it in their book “The Structure of Magic,” where they “deconstructed” and modeled the work of people like Virginia Satir and Milton Erickson and created a “meta” model for learning and applying their techniques.

  • http://www.tosbourn.com Toby Osbourn

    Hey there,

    Long time blog reader, first time podcast listener and I have to say, I have got more value from this one podcast than I have entire series’ of other similar podcasts.


  • http://www.richardsontek.com Justin Richardson

    Pat, such a great podcast. I typically listen to all of your podcast while I work away at my 9-5. Ironically, after listening to this podcast, I gave in and ordered “The 4-Hour Workweek”!

    From the affiliate link of course (:
    Can’t wait to read it!


  • http://www.method2earn.com/ [email protected]

    Amazing interview This might be the very best podcasting We have attention the day.

  • http://adsenseflippers.com Justin

    Great interview, Pat!

    Archery lessons, eh? The two of you discussing archery gave me visions of you jumping around the house doing some Legolas-type moves prompting disdain from your wife and squeals of delight from your son, hehe.

    Interesting to hear he’s considering moving on from the 4-Hour franchise…I wonder what he’ll be up to next!

  • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

    A great interview! Loved the questions and his answers. I know Tim’s done a ton of interviews for this book, but I’m glad to hear he sounds not tired of the process. Lots of energy and really great answers.

    I was definitely surprised to hear my name mentioned in the interview! Appreciate the shout out!!

  • Paul

    Interesting stuff.

  • http://www.myworkathomeventures.com Melissa

    I’m still on some earlier podcasts, but I’m looking forward to getting to this one! Thanks!

  • Kevin

    Awesome interview Pat! I’ve been aggressively listening to many of Tim’s interviews this book launch and this is one of my favorites. I found myself more than once speaking out loud whether it was agreeing with what was said or saying “great question.”

    Luckily, I was on my treadmill in my garage. If I had been walking down the street or out I think people would have thought I was crazy!

    Again, great job!

  • http://www.omabu.com Michael

    Tim is surely a great guy. But I DON’T agree with his whole 4 hour work week life style.

    I you love your business, why would you want to work only 4 hours on it?

    I guess it’s more about having and automated source of income than creating a business that you really love.

    • http://www.detailedsuccess.com Kris @ Detailed Success

      If you had read the book you would know that the title was chosen just because it got the most amount of clicks through adwords (he did a book title split test to see which one works best)

      The book is about much-much more then just how to work on your business for 4 hours. It’s about how to leverage your time and work effectively.

      • http://www.omabu.com Michael

        I did read his book and is not as great as many people describe.
        He does have “Some” good advice but
        Lots of fluff in it.

  • http://www.omabu.com Michael

    writing fast is sure not my forte.

    * If you love your business…….

    * an automated………

  • http://www.detailedsuccess.com Kris @ Detailed Success

    I have seen/heard TON of Tim Ferriss interviews around this week (dude does some serious PR) and I have to say that this is one of the top interviews.

    Great job Pat!

    • http://gireviews.net Brendan

      Any others you thought stood above the cookie-cutter ones?

      • http://www.detailedsuccess.com Kris @ Detailed Success

        The interview on Mixergy was very good.

        • Zac

          Check out the interview on Joe Rogan’s podcast, that is awesome!

    • http://www.omabu.com Michael

      I even bought his $300 course on creative life and it’s not as good as I thought it would be. A lot of fluffy advice about web 2.0ish startup kinda lifestyle.
      Not my kinda style of life.

      • http://tradlands.com Jeremy

        I think it was free when it was live?
        I watched it for free as it aired. Were they then reselling the videos of the course? Or was there more to the course when you purchased the videos?

  • http://www.inmikeswords.com Michael O’Neal


    It had to be a thrill to interview one of your heroes. What inspired you about the interview, and what will you personally change/adopt because of it?

    Happy almost birthday. :)


  • http://Twitter.com/GoBrickless Eric Foster


    Had the chance to listen to this podcast on my commute today (to the job I hate!) 😮

    I just wanted to say thanks, and… awesome job as always! And… to be honest, I expected you to sound a bit nervous in the interview (I know I would be) but man… You sounded like a real pro!

    And just because Tim Ferris did… I am going to start calling you “Patrick” from now on. LOL

    Eric Foster

  • http://hotbusiness.biz Moin

    I patiently waited lengthy for this Podcast and lastly signed up your Podcast Route on iTunes. I am installing it so that I can pay attention to it when I am generating to perform.
    So many thanks!

  • Bennett

    Hey Pat, you’re the best. Wonderful to see all of the progress you’re making!

    Just wanted to let you know you’ve got the titles for Zinsser and King swapped up above in you “items mentioned in the podcast” secition.

    Keep up the great work, it’s always fun to see what you’re going to share next!

  • http://www.mindcombo.com Andre Schütz

    Great Podcast. I really like his books and the way he communicates his ideas.

    Furthermore, and this is just for you – you make a great job. I followed this website for a while and I am very often surprised about the many interesting articles. Seems to be a lot of hard work. Really, I read a lot of them. Keep it up.

  • http://websitebuddha.com David

    Tim definitely does not work a 4 hour work week :) This guy is everywhere. Looking forward to SPI 52.

  • http://www.superhumanmojo.com Braden@SuperhumanMojo

    I’m a huge fan of Tim’s. I haven’t bought the 4 hour chef yet, but The 4 hour body book completely changed my life. That book has taught me to question everything and experiment for myself. I just wish I’d learnt some of this stuff back in school. It should be a compulsory textbook.

  • http://www.rizzodigiacco.com/our-team/ Jake Williams

    Great interview and I really love hear it! Thanks Pat for sharing and you did a good job. Keep it up!

  • http://howtospeak-japanese.com Yamato

    Pat, thanks for this podcast and all the best for your B-day.

  • http://www.popularblogsite.com Popular Blog Site

    Digging the podcast! I have been listening to them while I’m at work! Keep them coming!

  • http://www.oyemag.com Cesar

    Hi Pat, Sorry to say but I was pretty let down by this Tim guy. It just seemed like the guy was talking in circles and avoiding really giving your audience concrete, useful advice–kind of like he was holding out a carrot to get us to buy his book but deliberately (yet subtlely) holding out on anything of substance. He is a master salesman, I will give him that. On a side note, is it humanly possible for your brain to truly learn a language that fast? Highly doubt it.

    Anyway, since I made the effort to come here to complain about Tim I’d also like to take the opportunity to let you know that you are doing an unbelievable job with your blog/podcast/etc. The quality of your content, your approach and philosophy are simply amazing. Kudos and congrats–but most of all THANK YOU.

  • http://workathomeefficiently.com Work at Home Efficiently

    Really great podcast Pat.

    I loved hearing at the beginning how Tim asked for help from people he didn’t know in person. It takes guts approaching people you don’t know for help, but the payoff is HUGE!

  • Tim

    Pat, thank you for you podcasts. They are incredibly helpful and continue to help me with my online endeavors.

  • http://www.denstoffwechselanregen.de Hubert

    thanks so much Pat.

  • Harry

    Hey Pat – just a small thing, but I own the Stephen King book and it’s called simply “On Writing”, not “On Writing Well” ! Not that I’m nitpicking or anything… :-)

    Great interview, really enjoyed it, and the links in the show notes are like a mini-education in themselves!

    Thanks again Pat :-)

    • Harry

      In fact, looks like it’s the Zinsser book that’s called “On Writing Well” ! Just thought you might want to know, especially as I imagine they’re probably affiliate links.

      Okay, that’s it! 😉

  • http://tekkbuzzdigitalmedia.com/inbound-marketing/ Deborah Richmond

    I enjoyed the interview. One of the things I loved about 4-hour work week was the idea that you can’t put all the fun stuff off until retirement. While I can’t take a month off from my business at this point, I do stop and take more time to fit in the fun things I want to do. Listening to Tim again reminded me of that concept.

  • Kevin

    Awesome shots Pat!

    Do you think you’ll continue?

    I’m seriously thinking about starting archery with my kids–they said they’d be interested (hopefully they won’t try to shoot each other).

  • http://www.haemorrhoidensalbe24.de peter

    thank you so much!

  • http://www.thehomeforsurvival.com/surviving-disaster Survivor Mike

    Awesome interview and certainly consider Tim my Yoda – with Pat, of course, being my Ben Kenobi.

    Must have a been a real thrill for you. Congrats and thanks.

  • http://www.cloud65.com Easy Earn Money

    what Billy implied I’m stunned that some one able to profit $6405 in four weeks on the internet. did you look at this site link http://www.Cloud65.com

  • Hugh Culver

    Really great interview. I’ve probably listened to Ferriss on at least 6 other interviews and this was still valuable. I loved the use of listener’s questions. Nice work Pat!

  • http://www.vpillssatis.gen.tr v-pills

    Hi, I patiently waited lengthy for this Podcast and lastly signed up your Podcast Route on iTunes. I am installing it so that I can pay attention to it when I am generating to perform!

  • http://www.panaxtr.com panax

    Realy amazing interview This might be the very best podcasting We have attention the day!

  • http://www.facebook.com/stacey.beck.370 Stacey Beck

    This is really interesting, thanks for sharing. I like reading the interview and what exactly he has to say. I also want to know if you will continue.


  • Dalecooper

    Tim Mentions an application called “Average Monthly Volume” in place of keywords planner, does anyone now where to find this tool? I tried googling but its a generic phrase