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]

Mentioned:

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Glad you joined me on the podcast today. If you want to hear a particular topic on it, leave a comment below and I’ll make sure I cover it in the future.
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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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How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money

How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money - Interview with R.J. Weiss from TheWaystoWealth.com

This is an interview-style post with R.J. Weiss from The Ways to Wealth.

Hey R.J. What’s your background and what do you do?

I blog about all things personal finance at The Ways to Wealth.

Before I went full-time into blogging, I spent ten years in the financial services industry. Specifically, helping families buy the right type of life insurance.

During my time with a full-time job, I’ve always had different side hustles going on. From freelance writing, Amazon FBA, conversion rate optimization, to website design — there were many projects I pursued outside of work.

How did you start your career in finance?

I got started in finance straight out of college working for my the family insurance business. As I love the financial planning side of things, I choose to specialize in life insurance planning. This led me down the path to obtaining the CFP® Certification.

What made you start blogging?

The Ways to Wealth, which I started in 2016, has been my 5th blog.

The others mostly fizzled out most due to a lack of interest. But, in 2009 I started a personal finance blog called GenYWealth.com (no longer around) that had some success.

The idea GenYwealth.com was to write about what I was learning about studying to take the CFP®. The blog was, by all means, a success. I was able to gain valuable knowledge, pass the CFP® exam, earn some extra money and build up a good community.

I then took this knowledge and started a business blog, which allowed the insurance agency I was working for to generate leads.

I started The Ways to Wealth because my passion is personal finance–from investing to travel hacking, I love the challenge of optimizing my finances.

How was The Ways to Wealth born?

I didn’t have much of a plan for starting The Ways to Wealth when I purchased the domain name.

I was actually thinking it would be a niche site, which was inspired by Pat Flynn’s niche site duel. Then, I came across the income reports of Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and wisely changed direction to a more traditional blog.

This change came about 6-months after starting to blog.  I did a timeline of the site in one of my income reports.

What worked best when trying to grow the site?

I had a decent knowledge of SEO. So at first, I started growing the site with email outreach. One of the first posts I had about best investing books of all time, had about 15 links to it.

This was nice to start with but was quite slow to build up, as it can take a while to earn Google’s trust.

The big turning point came when I started to understand Pinterest. I spent a few frustrating weeks on the platform, then it finally started paying dividends.

I went from about 100 sessions a day to 1,000, which was huge for me at the time.

How did you get to 3 million monthly viewers on Pinterest?

the ways to wealth pinterest 3 million monthly views

I lay out my Pinterest strategy here. But at the core the idea is to:

1) Write high-quality content that Pinners want to click through, read, and share.

2) Pin to my own and high-quality group boards, with a keyword-rich description.

3) Continue to Pin my best pins across my own boards/group boards, ruthlessly eliminating Pins that don’t perform well.

One thing to keep in mind is impressions don’t mean much on Pinterest. What counts are clicks to your website. So, you want to design not for impressions but clicks.

What aspects of the online business are you outsourcing or automating and how?

The first thing I outsourced was Pinterest design. I’ll design about 30-40 pins a month, so this was big time saver for me.

Of course, it took some work to get going. At first, I hired 5 or so people on Fiverr. I found one decent designer but the work quality deteriorated over time.

I then went to Upwork and posted a job for a  graphic designer. I found a great team down in Argentina, who I’m very happy with.

I’m currently experimenting with working with a ghostwriter. A few of my latest posts have been transcribed from my recording, with the ghostwriter making sense of it all.

I can compile about 3 posts in 90 minutes, then take another 90 or so minutes to prepare them. Saving me around 3-4 hours per post this way.

What’s your main income stream and why do you think it works for you?

My main source of income for the blog is affiliate revenue. It works because the partners I do have are high-quality businesses, who deliver value and solve real problems. This makes it easy to naturally link to such a partner.

When did you start making more than $10K/month and what was the turning point?

My first month over $10K was in January of 2018. In December of 2017, income was around $3,000 and in July of 2017 around $500. So, it was definitely a jump.

What happened then in January?

First, personal finance is at its peak interest in January.

Second, I had multiple Pins go viral.

Third, in November I started driving traffic via Facebook to the site. So, in January I could take campaigns I’d been fine-tuning for a few weeks and scale them.

How do you balance work and family life?

I have a routine I stick to Monday through Friday.

When inside of my designated working hours, I work. When outside of these hours, I’m not.

This is a lot easier said than done. But the thing important for me is not to take work everywhere I go. This means I don’t have any apps on my phone that are work-related (email, analytics, etc..)

What are you 3 best finance tips for newbies?

  • Focus on your savings rate. How much you save is the most important decision you’ll make.
  • Small incremental improvements add up over time. My favorite example is increasing your savings rate 1% every quarter, means you’ll be saving 20% of your income in just 5 years.
  • Study happiness. Become a student on how to increase your level of happiness. The natural result is you’ll want less overtime, making the game of personal finance a lot easier to win.

What books, blogs or podcasts help you stay motivated along the way of growing an online business?

I read a fair amount to keep fresh ideas in my head.

My favorite podcast is The Tim Ferriss Show.

Two blogs I enjoy reading are:

Farnam Street
Barking up the Wrong Tree

And as far as books. I try to read one a week. A few books I would recommend to online entrepreneurs would be:

Deep Work by Cal Newport
The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

Pin this post if you enjoyed the interview.

Check out my interview with R.J. from TheWaystoWealth to see how he entered the finance niche, started making money blogging, began bringing traffic from Pinterest and monetizing it with affiliate marketing, and is now making $10,000/month from his online business. #blogger #interview #blogtraffic #incomeideas #income