How You Can Be a World Class Performer in Just 704 Pages

 Written By Ben

 This is a really thick book… or so I thought.

The subtitle reads: The Tactics, Habits and Routines of Billionaires, Icons and World Class Performers.

A little about the author - Tim Ferriss is an angel investor and advisor to a few big companies like Facebook and Uber and he loves to learn… a lot.

He shot to fame with his best-selling book The Four Hour Week in 2009 that was singlehandedly responsible for the digital nomad movement.

This book is a compilation of the most important notes he got from his super successful podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show. He is often referred to as the “Oprah of Audio” (due to the podcast having been downloaded more than 100+ million times.)

He interviewed a lot of people for this book. Somewhere around 200.

He divides the book into 3 parts – healthy (health), wealthy (wealth creation) and wise (how to think).


Here’s just a few (of many) key takeaways I got from the book:

  1. Paulo Coelho, author of The Alchemist

You would think that a bestselling author that has sold over 350 million books would have no problem writing whenever he wishes.

But he does.

He literally guilts himself into writing a book.

He would wake up early, and procrastinate the whole morning until the afternoon. All the while wasting time watching TV and thinking about what he should be doing.

By the time the guilt overwhelms him, he would sit down and write for hours till he is exhausted and falls asleep.

He tricks himself into writing by saying that he will only write for 30 minutes.

But this will snowball beyond 30 minutes because after writing for a while, he would have gotten momentum and write like a freight train.


  1. Derek Sivers, founder of CDBaby

You will love the fact that you discovered him (if you haven’t).

He is not your usual entrepreneur. In fact after he sold his company for $22 million, he donated it away to set up a trust fund for the development of music and the arts.

His personal philosophy on making decisions is the “Hell Yeah or No” framework.

When you have the freedom to choose something, ask yourself if it is a Hell Yeah or a No.

This will eliminate most of the work you dislike doing and leave ample amounts of time for you to either enjoy life at your own pace or only do work that you are curious about.


  1. A question to ask yourself – what if I did the opposite for 48 hours?

Tim gave the example of being a call rep and smiling and dialling all day between 9 to 5 but all the while being rejected and stopped by gatekeepers i.e. secretaries and assistants.

So he thought to himself what if he did the opposite for 48 hours?

He would take Thursday and Friday and call only at 7 to 8.30am and 6 to 7.30pm. The rest of the time he would focus on cold e-mails. Did that make a difference?

It did.

He managed to bypass the secretaries and talk directly to the decision makers (CEOs and CTOs).

The result?

In the last quarter of his job, he outsold the entire LA office of his biggest competitor.


  1. A quote:
    “Desire is a contract you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want.” – Naval Ravikant, founder of Angelist.


  1. Peter Diamandis, Chairman of the XPrize Foundation

“If given two choices, take both.”

An example of this would be:

“Should you spend time writing on Medium or on your blog?”

“Should you spend time exercising or doing mediation?”

“Should you learn coding or the piano?

If you can do both at the same time and spread the time equally, why not?

Better to experiment with both now than to regret not doing the other later on.


The difference it has made on my life?

  1. I managed to write more as a result. It usually took me days of procrastination before I could write. But since framing it in just 30 minutes, I managed to write a lot more in a day than I used to in a week.
  2. I have said no to many requests on my time. If it doesn’t move me closer to my goals or that it simply doesn’t spark my curiosity, I don’t do it.

    The result?
    I have since read a lot more books, had more time to think and make clearer decisions, more time to spend with my loved ones, and sleep soundly knowing that the day was all mine.
  3. A part of my work requires me to write content to pitch to certain media sites. I used to write in quantity (say - five 500 word articles every 3 days). But then I decided, what if I spend my time writing just one 2000 word article that is high quality instead.

The result was that the article got featured in a link roundup organically.

  1. I’ve since stayed more present whenever I am mindful of it.
    I take 5 minutes out of my day to meditate on a two-syllabi word of my choice (mine is fo-cus). It is also Bill Gates and Warren Buffett’s favourite word.

When you train yourself to keep your mind as empty as possible and only allow thoughts that serve you to enter your mind, you will notice that you are a lot more concentrated and enjoy your work more.

  1. I was hesitating between reading more than one book at a time because it might “confuse me” but the thought of having just one good to read at a time was too restricting.

I have since started to read two books and listen to one audiobook or podcasts during my commute.

The freedom is refreshing and it also allows you connect the dots when you realize books on different subjects have certain similarities. New discoveries, anyone?


Tools of Titans is buffet of wisdom from some of the most brilliant and successful people in their fields - changemakers and the like.

Here are some of the figures you will find in this book:

  • Seth Godin, author of Purple Cow and Linchpin
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger, bodybuilding legend, former Terminator and Governor of California
  • Chris Sacca, billionaire investor in companies such as Uber
  • Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter
  • Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers and Tipping Point
  • Casey Neistat, YouTube vlogger
  • Tony Robbins, author of Awaken the Giant Within and life strategist
  • Ryan Holiday, author of Obstacle is the Way and Ego is the Enemy
  • Peter Thiel, billionaire investor in Facebook and founder of PayPal

I really don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t pick up this book.

Just one insight alone when implemented can potentially change your life.

About Ben: He is a marketer and blogger. He loves to learn and make an impact (and not forgetting to have fun in the process). You can read his thoughts on life and business at his blog, BenSimBlog.


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