LRS 045: Why a Top 20 Angel Investor Would Take a Break from Startups: Tim Ferriss on Saying No More Often

Why a Top 20 Angel Investor Would Take a Break from Startups: Tim Ferriss on Saying No More Often - The Let's Reach Success podcast

One of my most favorite game changers, high achievers and successful entrepreneurs, is Tim Ferriss.

Today on the Let’s Reach Success podcast I’ll talk about him, and – in particular – his decision to ditch investing and focus more on his other projects. That may not sound like a big thing, but when being a top 20 angel investor, things are different.

You’re in the role of providing your own capital for new startups, deciding whether a venture is profitable even though there’s always risk involved.

There’s no fixed amount as to how much you can invest, and the biggest names in the game go for a few million. But they are also the most strategic individuals who end up recognizing seemingly amateurish startup businesses, but which can dominate a market once given the trust and resources.

Tim Ferriss is widely known for writing 3 New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers, the 4-hour series.

He’s also the person behind the blog the 4-Hour Workweek, with more than 2 million monthly readers, and the host of the Tim Ferriss show which is ranked number 1 across all of iTunes

But he’s also a successful investor and advisor. A small part of his portoflio are companies like Uber, Twitter, Evernote, Shopify, Facebook, Alibaba, Duolingo, Digg, RescueTime, StumbleUpon and many more.

It would take a long time to calculate his profits and the shares he has in each startup.

At some point, though, he started receiving so many pitches and introductions from first-time startup founders and eager business owners wanting to crush it once again with a new project, that he just decided to say no.

No one expected this, as once you’re in the big game, people hardly ever leave. But he had his reasons.

Let’s see why Tim Ferriss is done with investing and advising, although he admits it’s the most lucrative activity in his life, and what’s the existential life lesson behind his decision that can help us all be more mindful and successful.

Show Notes:

  • Who is Tim Ferriss [1:03]
  • Some of the top companies he’s invested in and advised for[1:26]
  • When to say yes and when to say no on the say to success [2:39]
  • What Tim considers a bad investment [4:11]
  • The changes in the tech scene over the last few years [5:00]
  • His vision for startup investing and when’s the best time to build a company [6:18]
  • Why you should start saying yes to less [8:20]
  • How to let go of the ‘say yes to everything’ mindset [10:18]


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Some pretty successful people out there are saying no every minute. Keep that in mind.

The example of Tim Ferriss and his decision to say no to investing in new startups in the future is inspiring.

What do you think?

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