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HOT TOPIC Is Tim Ferriss a fraud?

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mon_fi

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He talks about interesting stuff, but at the end of the day, it seems he is always changing route when encountering an obstacle instead of working hard and pass it which makes him come across as lazy. Some of the things he says are also pretty blatant. I believe the reason why people like him so much is that he makes everything look extraordinary, talking about "150% increase of income" for example while in practice you went from making 1$ to making 2.5$. What do you guys think?
 

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Lex DeVille

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He talks about interesting stuff, but at the end of the day, it seems he is always changing route when encountering an obstacle instead of working hard and pass it which makes him come across as lazy. Some of the things he says are also pretty blatant. I believe the reason why people like him so much is that he makes everything look extraordinary, talking about "150% increase of income" for example while in practice you went from making 1$ to making 2.5$. What do you guys think?
He's known around the world and has probably sold millions of copies of his books at this point. People everywhere listen to his advice. At the very least, he knows something about business and value creation.

I don't follow Tim Ferris's approach, but I read one of his books at a tipping point in my life, which ultimately brought me to MJ's book and lead into an entrepreneurial career.

As with any guru, you have to take what they say with a grain of salt. Everyone has flaws and everyone can also be valuable. If you read his books, then look for what is valuable for you. Use what you find useful and discard the rest. There's no law that says you have to follow a guru's advice word for word.
 

The-J

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it seems he is always changing route when encountering an obstacle instead of working hard and pass it which makes him come across as lazy.
Lol what?

Dude ran one business for 8 years and sold it for millions.

Dude became a consultant in Silicon Valley for nearly a decade.

Dude's been running his podcast for I don't know how many years but it's been a long time, and that's become his 'day job'.

His blog has been up since 2006.

He's written 4 giant tome-like books in the span of a decade.

You can criticize Tim Ferriss for a lot of things, but you cannot legitimately call him lazy.
 

Kak

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No. He’s not a fraud. Not my cup of tea either though.
 

loop101

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Tim Ferris is not a fraud, he's just in the Tim Ferris business.

 

Strategery

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If it weren’t for Tim’s interview of The Spy Guy owner, I never would have found The Millionaire Fastlane.
 

farmer79

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I have enjoyed Tim’s podcast over the years and in general like his content. As far as fraud I have never felt I didn’t get value from his content. I still think there is no greater value than a book. I mean could you not find $14 of value in the 4 Hour Work Week? That seems impossible. I can cook a steak better after the 4 Hour Chef. That actually makes my life a tiny bit better.

Having said that I’ll be suspicious if he starts selling 5000 dollar seminars.

His fans though can be a bit much, like Ayn Rand fans they have found a Messiah.
 

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check out his ted talk
 

RazorCut

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....it seems he is always changing route when encountering an obstacle instead of working hard and pass it which makes him come across as lazy.
What have you done that gives you the right to label him as lazy?
 

biophase

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I believe the reason why people like him so much is that he makes everything look extraordinary, talking about "150% increase of income" for example while in practice you went from making 1$ to making 2.5$. What do you guys think?
I don't understand what you mean here?
 

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Rabby

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Fraud is a pretty strong word... why accuse him of that? Seems a bit over the top to me. Are you upset at the guy for something? Did he steal money from you somehow? Intentionally deceive you to separate you from your money, perhaps using fake financial instruments or forgery or... ?

Tim Ferris is a capable business person and a very good promoter and podcaster. Probably not for everyone. His written content is specific. It tells the steps he used in his lifestyle business. For someone who is good at generalization, you can learn a lot.

For example, I read 4hww before I knew about MJ's books, and 4hww at the time got me closer to a fully automated business. I needed a few other resources, but I learned a lot from that book. Funny thing is, I don't use overseas VAs, or sleep in public places, or look for weird rules to bend in competitive sports. But I learned things from Tim that I applied to business, and a six figure amount of income per year went from not-passive to passive as a result of that learning. Just from one book, imagine that. So fraud? No, I really doubt that.

Now, if you can not generalize, or make things abstract, you might get nothing from someone like Tim. He writes about concrete things he did. It's up to you to figure out what those things mean, and how you can apply them. Like anyone else who shares information, it's not his job to become your virtual employer and tell you exactly what steps you need to do every day to eventually become successful. It's on you, and no writer, no information, no government, and no excuse will change that. Figure it out or don't. Apply it, or don't. Your choice.

One thing I like about @MJ DeMarco 's writing is that he manages to make it a bit more timeless. Perhaps you get fewer of the day to day steps, but the principles are very clear. That's a hard thing to do without losing readers... most people need stories and concrete things for their minds to hang onto... or to keep their eyes in focus. So MJ manages to do both: distil the information down to principles, and provide stories and concrete examples.

If you put the two of them in a room - MJ and Tim (and I would love to see this) - I suspect they would get along pretty well. They're different people, but they agree on some basic principles. Either one would tell you not to trade time for money any more than you have to. They're both teaching you to scale time. Do you understand? The message is about the same set of things, it's just the perspective of two different people with different experiences and ways of thinking. That doesn't make one of them wrong or in competition with the other... it makes for common ground and probably an interesting conversation.

I would think about this before passing harsh judgements on successful people. Why do they need to be frauds, instead of just successful people? Why does someone selling information about success make them a villain?
 

MJ DeMarco

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Tim Ferris is not a fraud, but a highly accomplished individual, entrepreneur, author, podcaster, blogger, and more! If only any of us could eclipse 10% of what Tim has done, we'd be much improved in our lives.

He might not be (as @Kak put it) my cup of tea as I'm not one for "shortcuts" and "hacks", but I have tremendous respect for him.

For anyone to call him a fraud is, well, just plain lazy thinking.
 

JAJT

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I personally love a lot of Tim Ferris' work and attitude.

He seeks out people who are doing amazing things in non-conventional ways and/or breaking new ground in not-yet-proven fields. I find he's one of the best casual sources for what the future might look like in a number of fields.

He's also a self-proclaimed guinea pig, always challenging the status quo for himself on a wide range of topics to see if there's a trick or shortcut via that magical "80/20 rule".

Even when I don't necessarily agree, I find his (or his guest's) unique approaches to various things fascinating.

I'm always thrilled anytime someone is willing to challenge a method or conventional thinking, run some tests, and present the results and Tim is superb at this.

Personally I actually dislike him on his own podcast though. I find him boring to listen to and find he adds very little to the discussion - luckily his guests are usually picking up the slack nicely in interesting fields though.

He's not someone to be taken as gospel though. I'd argue that 99% of the things he claims are still very much up for debate given that most of the sample sizes for his experiences is "1" - himself. I still find it interesting and I wish more people were out there doing similar work.
 

Ronak

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People either love him or hate him, but not a fraud.

My personal 10 takeaways from Tim Ferriss, in no particular order:

1) Pareto principle--do more with less

2) Amazing writer and storyteller...you want to keep reading

3) Question convention and find your own path

4) Leverage-- other people's time, recognition, expertise

5) Don't limit yourself within a box-- biz, cook, athlete, host

6) Ask better questions for better answers

7) Hope for everyman...intelligent but not genius, but can achieve genius level
results

8) Life experience is wealth

9) Experiment in life

10) Push your personal comfort zone
 

farmer79

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I may not like all the hacks but one interesting thing I have noticed is people are often resentful if you learn a skill in far less time then it took them to learn the same thing.
We homeschool our kids and are easily finished by noon. (Granted our children are under 10) I find when we tell people that they often need to assert that we must be missing something or we aren’t covering everything because we aren’t spending enough time.
On a funny somewhat hypocritical note when I was studying for the series 7 exam so I could trade with a prop firm, I studied and studied and studied, and another fellow trader who was taking it with me asked why I was studying so hard and I was surprised he even asked. I asked him back why he wasn’t studying and he replied, this test is nothing but regulatory nonsense, nothing on this test will make us better traders (this was true) , the firm we are trading with only cares that we pass, the score is completely irrelevant to them. I’ve looked at the content%’s and I am sure I can score a 70. Anything more is a waste of time.” I score mid 90’s he scored low 70’s and it didn’t affect either of our careers in the least. Other than I was bitter for a while and maybe felt slightly superior which didn’t last too long either because he was a better trader. Lol.
 

Jon L

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I think the idea that you can become successful on just 4 hours of work a week is ... unrealistic ... for 99.9999% of us. That's the idea that Tim Ferris seems to push, though.

I see that as just his 'shtick.' It wasn't how he got rich. Its a bit like the Millionaire Fastlane, and the idea that if you just get into the fastlane and follow a couple rules, you too can become a millionaire.

There's a bit more to it than that.

Tim started out his company working his a$$ off. Then, as he grew, he realized that he could outsource. Then he outsourced some more, and some more, and then some more. Eventually, he outsourced most everything. But that took a lot of time, and was the result of a long series of very smart moves that aren't realistically made all at once. They take time to develop.
 

Ronak

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I think the idea that you can become successful on just 4 hours of work a week is ... unrealistic ... for 99.9999% of us. That's the idea that Tim Ferris seems to push, though.

I see that as just his 'shtick.' It wasn't how he got rich. Its a bit like the Millionaire Fastlane, and the idea that if you just get into the fastlane and follow a couple rules, you too can become a millionaire.

There's a bit more to it than that.

Tim started out his company working his a$$ off. Then, as he grew, he realized that he could outsource. Then he outsourced some more, and some more, and then some more. Eventually, he outsourced most everything. But that took a lot of time, and was the result of a long series of very smart moves that aren't realistically made all at once. They take time to develop.
90% of the people judge a book by its title. He never said you can build a company on 4 hours a week, which is the most common criticism of 4HWW, just like MJ never said that you need to do a few things and you'll instantly become rich. It's more about the mindset of looking at things from a different perspective and questioning the underlying assumptions of society. The title simply attracts the initial attention and is frequently a play on words not meant to be taken literally.
 

Andy Black

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90% of the people judge a book by its title. He never said you can build a company on 4 hours a week, which is the most common criticism of 4HWW, just like MJ never said that you need to do a few things and you'll instantly become rich. It's more about the mindset of looking at things from a different perspective and questioning the underlying assumptions of society. The title simply attracts the initial attention and is frequently a play on words not meant to be taken literally.
Didn’t he come up with the title by split-testing ads?
 

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Jon L

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90% of the people judge a book by its title. He never said you can build a company on 4 hours a week, which is the most common criticism of 4HWW, just like MJ never said that you need to do a few things and you'll instantly become rich. It's more about the mindset of looking at things from a different perspective and questioning the underlying assumptions of society. The title simply attracts the initial attention and is frequently a play on words not meant to be taken literally.
that was what I was trying to say ... you just said it better :)
 
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mon_fi

mon_fi

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My question should have been "what do you guys think of Tim Ferriss". I am not denying he's smart or a hardworker, I am questioning the realistic expectations of getting the results he is selling. An example would be "how to gain 30 pounds of muscles in just 4 weeks and working out 1 hour per week" or "how to play basketball with obama". My impression is that he makes extraordinary events and results seem like normal results "if you work smart". Come on. Him out of all people should know it doesn't work that way. He sells easiness. I think that is the problem I have.
 

knowledgebeast

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My question should have been "what do you guys think of Tim Ferriss". I am not denying he's smart or a hardworker, I am questioning the realistic expectations of getting the results he is selling. An example would be "how to gain 30 pounds of muscles in just 4 weeks and working out 1 hour per week" or "how to play basketball with obama". My impression is that he makes extraordinary events and results seem like normal results "if you work smart". Come on. Him out of all people should know it doesn't work that way. He sells easiness. I think that is the problem I have.
He attracts attention with the promise of shortcuts and easiness, but then he actually sells creative thinking, out of the box innovation, constant questioning of pre-exisiting ways of doing things, etc. In other words, innovation and experimentation with success, the human body, business, relationships, investing, etc.
 

JAJT

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Didn’t he come up with the title by split-testing ads?
Yes, he even admits as much IN THE BOOK!

He said he had a bunch of different titles, split test them on Google (or whatever) and chose the highest converting one.

The title of the book was literally an example in the book of how to put his ideas into practice in a practical way to maximize results with very little time.
 

Kid

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Is it the guy that works 12h everyday and wrote book about working 4h per WEEK?
 

Andy Black

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Yes, he even admits as much IN THE BOOK!

He said he had a bunch of different titles, split test them on Google (or whatever) and chose the highest converting one.

The title of the book was literally an example in the book of how to put his ideas into practice in a practical way to maximize results with very little time.
So he sold people what they wanted, and then gave them what they needed?
 

YoungPadawan

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Not a fraud, just over-hypes and over-simplifies things.
 

daniel_m

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He's not a fraud. He was successful before the book, but the vast majority of his wealth and notoriety came after the book.

He isn't a Mark Cuban or Elon Musk (in terms of how he gained his wealth and fame), but he's not quite a Tai Lopez either. He's somewhere in the middle of that.
 

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