Tools of Titans” is a summary of Tim Ferris’s amazingly popular podcast. The caliber of people presented there is spectacular and the depth of knowledge amazing. I let myself split my book summary similarly to how TF has split it:

I wouldn’t say “Wealthy” part is about amassing capital – it’s rather about creating impact on the world and executing successful enterprises. The money usually follows though.

As in Daily Rituals, successful people presented in Tools of Titans provide vastly varied recipes for success. Contrary to Healthy part, where advice was somewhat consistent, it is hard to tease out common threads here. The success comes in any size and shape and shape, which is probably the logic behind “Who is the most succesful person that comes to mind” question.

What resonates with me

  • “Standard pace is for chums” – Derek Sivers.
  • Chris Sacca dresses in Cowboy Shirts ( and lives in rural Truckee, where he invites the people he makes business with (kinda similar to Ryan Holiday who lives in a ranch near Austin  – few hours away from all the hustle in a nice place)
  • “Everhything you call Life was made up by people no smarter than you” – Marc Andressen
  • “Its not what you know, its what you do consistently” – Derek Sivers
  • Business models can be simple. You can charge similar to competitors
  • If it’s not a “HELL YES”, its a no (what is my hell yes ?)
  • Treat life a series of experiments – D Sivers
  • We are what we pretend to be
  • “It just requires you to give lots of damns, which not enough people do” – about making great services  -Alexis Ohanian
    • Task: Improve a notification email from your business
  • Most superheros are nothing of the sort.
  • Getting upset wont help things
  • Casey Neistat: Success defined as how little time can you spend doing what you hate
  • Give the mind an overnight task
    • Reid Hoffman
    • Josh Waitzkin
    • Thomas Edison
  • “You are more powerful than you think you are. Act accordingly.” – Seth Godin
  • Be a meaningful specific instead of wandering generality – Seth Godin
  • Josh waitzkin recommends a habit of writing 10 ideas each morning in a notebook
  • The world doesn’t need your explanation for no.
  • Don’t be afraid to do something you are not qualified to do – Dan Carlin
  • Make commitments in high energy state so its hard back out when you are in low energy state

Business I want to create

  • Push something downhill if you can  – Seth Godin
  • What is the smallest footprint i can get away with ?
  • You should only start a business if people specifically ask you to – Derek Sivers
  • If you cant be first in a category, set up a category you can be first in. Forget brands, think categories
  • You just need to create a great experience and charge enough
  • Sales cure all
  • A problem is a terrible thing to waste
  • “Be expensive”

Parenting tips

  • Sweet and Sour summers – his parents made him work in a “sweet” internship and then very grueling work. He laerned the difference fast.
  • If you spend 2 hours a day without an electronic device, look your kid in the eye, talking to them and solving interesting problems, you will raise a different kid that someone who doesent do that – Seth Godin

Making a flaw into an asset

  • Schwarzenegger distinct accent made him great for Terminator, he wanted to keep the accent, that’s why he went with accent reduction instead of accent removal class
  • Just copyright your faults – Dan Carlin had a very big amplitude between loud and quiet in radio
  • I’d disagree on fixing weaknesses as a primary investment (or life) strategy. All of my biggest wins have come from leveraging strengths instead of fixing weaknesses. Don’t push a boulder uphill just because you can.

Great questions

Tony Robbins says that quality of your questions is the quality of your life

  • Who is the third person that comes to mind? What makes them more succesfull than the first person?
  • Ricardo semler asks WHY 3 times
  • Peter Thiel: Why cant you do your 10-year plan in 6 months?
  • What is problem do you face every day that nobody has solved yet?
  • Are you starting with a big share of small market?
  • Have you identified unique opportunity that others dont see?
  • Do you have a wae to create AND deliver the product?
  • What am I embarassed to be struggling with? And what am I doing about it?
  • What interesting thing are you working on? Why is that interesting to you? Is anyone else thinking about this?
  • If you had 100 millions, what would you build that would have no value in copying?
  • I don’t understand. Can you explain this to me?
  • Are you doing something you are uniquely capable of? Something you were placed on earth to do?

My Kindle highlights

  • Which of those did you assign yourself, and which of those are you doing to please someone else? Your inbox is a to-do list to which anyone in the world can add an action item.
  • and figure out how to be helpful. If people wonder why you’re there, just start taking notes. Read
  • “It also saved me a lot of time thinking about what to wear and a lot of money that would’ve been wasted on suits.”
  • “Experience often deeply embeds the assumptions that need to be questioned in the first place.
  • “We call our test ‘What do the nerds do on nights and weekends?’
  • “Strong Views, Loosely Held”
  • “Smart people should make things.”
  • everything around you that you call ‘life’ was made up by people that were no smarter than you.
  • “To do original work: It’s not necessary to know something nobody else knows. It is necessary to believe something few other people believe.”
  • “‘Far more money has been lost by investors trying to anticipate corrections, than has been lost in corrections themselves.’—Peter Lynch”
  • I benefited from [a magic decade] and I became a millionaire from my real estate investments. That was before my career took off in show business and acting, which was after Conan the Barbarian.”
  • Arnold was able to use his biggest “flaws” as his biggest assets,
  • Arnold’s Most Personally Profitable Film Was . . . Twins?
  • of Anything You Want,
  • options. The best plan is the one that lets you change your plans.”
  • “Be expensive”
  • “Expect disaster”
  • “Own as little as possible”
  • ‘When you think of the word “successful,” who’s the third person that comes to mind? Why are they actually more successful than the first person that came to mind?’
  • Ricardo Semler, CEO and majority owner of the Brazil-based Semco Partners, practices asking “Why?” three times.
  • The Standard Pace Is for Chumps
  • I’m gonna make it $35, that will let me give anyone a discount any time they ask.
  • That was my entire business model, generated in 5 minutes by walking down to the local record store and asking what they do.”
  • Success—If It’s Not a “Hell, Yes!” It’s a “No”
  • Take 45 Minutes Instead of 43—Is Your Red Face Worth
  • average. I believe the movie Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a masterpiece.
  • ‘We are whatever we pretend to be.’”
  • After a few months, that felt really incongruent with my mission to make people smile.
  • ‘Give me an example of something that you’ve built into your product or your service that you’re especially proud
  • “Wow . . . if you can inject this life into your software, into the copy, into the whatever, you can connect with people.”
  • few years of programming expertise. It just requires you to gives lots of damns, which not enough people do.”
  • Improve a notification email from your business (e.g., subscription confirmation, order confirmation, whatever):
  • “What are you doing that the world doesn’t realize is a really big fucking deal?”
  • Most “superheroes” are nothing of the sort. They’re weird, neurotic creatures who do big things DESPITE lots of self-defeating
  • rule: What you do is more important than how you do everything else, and doing something well does not make it important.
  • Being busy is a form of laziness
  • “When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth.”
  • “getting upset won’t help things.”
  • “I have a meeting and I spend 10 minutes looking for my wallet because I just stuck it someplace. It’s in the fridge or something. I don’t know. I’m always losing something. Actually, I lost one of our initial investment
  • “The Tail End” by Tim Urban on the Wait But Why blog—if you only read one article this month,
  • “And the McDonalds sweet and sour sauce is not like sweet and sour sauce anywhere else in the world.
  • Life is always happening for us, not to us. It’s our job to find out where the benefit
  • Stressed’ is the achiever word for ‘fear.’”
  • “Priming” my state is often as simple as doing 5 to 10 push-ups or getting 20 minutes of sun exposure
  • Even though I do my most intense exercise at night, I’ve started doing 1–2 minutes of calisthenics—or kettlebell swings (see Justin Boreta, page 356)—in the morning to set my state for the day.
  • “And, as I’ve always said, there’s no excuse not to do 10 minutes. If you don’t have 10 minutes, you don’t have a life.” This reminded
  • Asymmetrical risks and rewards:
  • What’s the Most Outrageous Thing You Can Do?
  • [Happiness]It’s how little time you spend doing what you hate.
  • “Once we get those muddy, maddening, confusing thoughts [nebulous worries, jitters, and preoccupations] on the page, we face our day with clearer eyes.”
  • I’m just caging my monkey mind on paper so I can get on with my fucking day.
  • Why can’t you do this in 6 months?
  • What I prefer over trends is a sense of mission. That you are working on a unique problem that people are not solving elsewhere.
  • There is something very odd about a society where the most talented people all get tracked toward the same elite colleges, where they end up studying the same small number of subjects and going into the same small number of careers.
  • “I don’t like the word ‘education’ because it is such an extraordinary abstraction. I’m very much in favor of learning. I’m much more skeptical of credentialing or the abstraction called ‘education.’
  • “You are more powerful than you think you are. Act accordingly.”
  • “Trust and attention—these are the scarce items in a post-scarcity world.”
  • “If a narrative isn’t working, well then, really, why are you using it? The narrative isn’t done to you; the narrative is something that you choose.
  • tell ten people, show ten people, share it with ten people; ten people who already trust you and already like you. If they don’t tell anybody else, it’s not that good and you should start over.
  • smallest possible footprint I can get away with? What is the smallest possible project that is worth my time?
  • “What am I embarrassed to be struggling with? And what am I doing about it?”
  • 10 old ideas I can make new 10 ridiculous things I would invent (e.g., the smart toilet) 10 books I can write (The Choose Yourself Guide to an Alternative Education, etc). 10 business ideas for Google/Amazon/Twitter/etc. 10 people I can send ideas to 10 podcast ideas or videos I can shoot (e.g., Lunch with James, a video podcast where I just have lunch with people over Skype and we chat) 10 industries where I can remove the middleman 10 things I disagree with that everyone else assumes is religion (college, home ownership, voting, doctors, etc.) 10 ways to take old posts of mine and make books out of them 10 people I want to be friends with (then figure out the first step to contact them) 10 things I learned yesterday 10 things I can do differently today 10 ways I can save time 10 things I learned from X, where X is someone I’ve recently spoken with or read a book by or about. I’ve written posts on this about the Beatles, Mick Jagger, Steve Jobs, Charles Bukowski, the Dalai Lama, Superman, Freakonomics, etc. 10 things I’m interested in getting better at (and then 10 ways I can get better at each one) 10 things I was interested in as a kid that might be fun to explore now (Like, maybe I can write that “Son of Dr. Strange” comic I’ve always been planning. And now I need 10 plot ideas.) 10 ways I might try to solve a problem I have This has saved me with the IRS countless times. Unfortunately, the Department of Motor Vehicles is impervious to my superpowers.
  • Scott’s short blog post “The Day You Became a Better Writer”
  • Scott believes there are six elements of humor: naughty, clever, cute, bizarre, mean, and recognizable.
  • I’m going to try my best, and I’m going to go home, and my family’s there.
  • Andre’s autobiography, Open.
  • It’s usually two goals. It’s something very serious and something funny, something stupid.”
  • Shaun got the Rolling Stone cover wearing the American flag pants.
  • If you can’t be first in a category, set up a new category you can be first in.
  • Forget the brand. Think categories.
  • don’t be afraid to do something you’re not qualified to do.”
  • Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got,
  • [TF: This will blow your mind. Go to any Kickstarter project, click on Share, and pick a social network, like Twitter. A pre-populated tweet will appear with a shortlink. Copy and paste the link alone into a new tab, add + to the end, and hit Return. Voilà.]
  • To discover the top referral sources, we gave our VA a list of Kickstarter projects similar to ours and asked her to list the referrers for each project.
  • Find 10 Kickstarter projects similar to yours, and for each, do the following: Right-click and save-to-desktop 2 to 3 images. Drag and drop each image file from your desktop into the Google Images search bar. Review blogs listed on the results page to see which might be relevant to your project.
  • visit
  • Stephen Hawking actually has the best quote on this and also [a] legitimate story. . . . [He] has the right to complain probably more than anybody. He says that, ‘When you complain, nobody wants to help you,’
  • If you spend your time focusing on the things that are wrong, and that’s what you express and project to people you know, you don’t become a source of growth for people, you become a source of destruction for people.
  • Snow Crash and Cryptonomicon.
  • The Diamond Age
  • “What interesting thing are you working on? Why is that interesting to you? What’s surprising about that? Is anybody else thinking about this?”
  • “If you had $100 million, what would you build that would have no value to others in copying?”
  • ‘What context does this person even have, and have I provided appropriate context?’ . .
  • Am I basically being unfair because I’m operating from a greater set of information?’”
  • out-of-print book on thermodynamics called The Second Law.
  • Think and Grow Rich, Who Moved My Cheese?, Blue Ocean Strategy, Invisible Selling Machine, The Richest Man in Babylon, and Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World.
  • ASUS RT-AC87U Wireless-AC2400
  • “There was one [problem in an assignment] that was called Giramacristo’s Puzzle. I made that word up beforehand. I made sure there was no such thing on Google. I made a website that had the right solution, but it recorded everybody’s IP address.
  • TF: This week, try experimenting with saying “I don’t understand. Can you explain that to me?” more often.
  • “Do people you respect or care about leave hateful comments on the Internet?” (No.) “Do you really want to engage with people who have infinite time on their hands?” (No.)
  • “Nautilus magazine,
  • “A problem is a terrible thing to waste.”
  • The world’s biggest problems are the world’s biggest business opportunities.”
  • I’m going to call it the ‘XPRIZE’ because I had no idea who was going to put up the $10 million. The ‘X’ was going to represent the name of the person who would eventually put up the money, as a variable to be replaced.
  • Start with Why
  • Peter’s Laws Peter has a set of rules that guide his life.
  • “I like to make promises that I’m not sure I can keep and then figure out how to keep them. I think you can will things into happening by just committing to them sometimes. . .
  • When possible, always give the money to charity, as it allows you to interact with people well above your pay grade.
  • Make commitments in a high-energy state so that you can’t back out when you’re in a low-energy state.
  • Are You Doing What You’re Uniquely Capable of, What You Feel Placed Here on Earth to Do? Can You Be Replaced?
  • If I’m not saying “HELL YEAH!” about something, then I say no.
  • but I’d disagree on fixing weaknesses as a primary investment (or life) strategy. All of my biggest wins have come from leveraging strengths instead of fixing weaknesses.
  • Don’t push a boulder uphill just because you can.
  • In the midst of overwhelm, is life not showing me exactly what I should subtract?

2 thoughts on “Book: Tools of Titans – Wealthy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s