My notes on Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss – Part I

tools of titans review

If you never listened to Tim Ferriss, you are missing out! Tools of Titans, is his most recent publication. And let me tell you, what a great book!


Tim hosts a great podcast “The Tim Ferriss Show” where he interviews the world-class performers around the world. He is also a best-seller author and many other things.

But for me, the most fascinating thing about Tim, is the way he deconstructs what the most successful people are doing, and he applies those methods in his own life.

Tools of Titans combines the routines and tools of the most successful people Tim interviewed.

Tim Ferriss on Tools of Titans

It’s basically a HUGE “notebook of tips and tricks that helped him double his income, flexibility, happiness and more…” And yes, this book will probably change your life.

While I was reading this book, my brother (with 9 years old) asked me:
-What is that book about?
-It has the routines and tricks of billionaires, icons, and the best performers in the world.
-Wow, I want to read that book too!

Every page contains a valuable insight that I want to apply in my life, which explains why I underlined pretty much every thing in this book! 

This book is divided in three parts: “Healthy”, “Wealthy” and “Wise”.

All the things I'm referring in this post are in the first 100 pages of the “Wealthy” section. So you can imagine the value of the book... 

You can probably guess that I plan to write a lot of new posts about this book. But I wanted to make it digestible so you can apply some of these principles right now. 

You can listen to most of these interviews on “The Tim Ferriss Show” Podcast

So here are my thought on the first 100 pages of the Wealthy section of Tools of Titans!

tools of titans notes

Favourite "Random" Quotes from Tools of Titans:

If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success. 
-James Cameron

Everyone is interesting, if you’re ever bored in a conversation, the problem is with you, not the other person.

If you let your learning lead to knowledge, you become a fool. If you let your learning lead to action, you become wealthy.
-Jim Rohn

Chris Sacca

Chris Sacca and Tim Ferriss on Tools of Titans

Favourite Insights from Chris Sacca:

As he wanted to focus in what really mattered to him, he stoped doing what didn’t interested him. Instead, he started focusing on “the things he wanted to learn, to build what he wanted to build, and to really invest in relationships he wanted to grow”.

He basically stoped doing the things that he didn’t want to do. Focusing only in what made him happy!

This a great lesson, because sometimes we say “yes” to a lot of things we don’t want to do. Which results in less time and motivation to do what we really enjoy.

In the beginning, Chris went to all the meetings that he possibly could (even though he wasn’t invited). He would just sit there and he would figure out how he could bring value to those people, in order to stay in the meeting. If someone asked him what was he doing there, he would start taking notes for them.

This was one of my favourite ideas from Chris.
In my opinion, it is a genius idea. He would listen to what the most successful people in the company he worked were talking about, getting a lot of knowledge and insights for free. Even though he wasn’t a part of that meeting, he would provide those people some value, in order to stay there learning.

I love the fact that Chris loves weirdness. He said: “what sets us apart, gets us hired.” Basically, “being weird may even find you the ultimate happiness”.  
And I couldn’t agree more. Being weird differentiate us from everyone! Be weird!

Favourite Quotes from Chris Sacca:

Your inbox is a to-do list to which anyone in the world can add an action item

-Chris Sacca

Be your unapologetically weird self

-Chris Sacca

Marc Andreessen

Marc Andreessen and Tim Ferriss on Tools of Titans

Favourite Insights from Marc Andreessen:

Do you want to know how Marc looks for new opportunities? He asks “what do nerds on nights and weekends?”

Their day job is one thing, but what he wants to know is what they do as a hobby. Basically, what they do when they aren’t working on their jobs, “then things get really interesting”.

Marc doesn’t focus on the past, he always looks forward: “We don’t revisit past decisions”.

Marc lives accordingly two rules that guide him in his decisions and life. For him, the principles to be successful are: “Be so good they can’t ignore you” and also “Smart people should make things.” So get up, and do something!

The idea of "being so good they can't ignore you" was created by Cal Newport, a Ph.D professor and a best-selling author. 

He also said something that is really important to hear “[the people who made things in the past] are not that different from you. As the time they got started, they were just like you… so there’s nothing stoping any of the rest of us from doing the same things”.

Basically, all of the successful people you admire and follow, started just like you. We all start as beginners! The key is to focus on working and gaining experience to increase your skill levels. As the times goes on, new opportunities will emerge because of all the work you put on! 

Favourite Quotes from Marc Andreessen:

Don’t overestimate the people on pedestals

-Marc Andreessen

Smart people should make things

-Marc Andreessen

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Scharzenegger and Tim Ferriss on Tools of Titans

Favourite Insights from Arnold Schwarzenegger:

Arnold with 19 years old won the bodybuilding competition "Junior Mr. Europe". He knew he could win, and that was exactly the reason why he was there.

I highly recommend you to listen to the first podcast Tim Ferriss recorded with Arnold. And please, listen carefully to the “European Brick Laying” story. It’s genius and hilarious!

Arnold knows how to make his competitors vulnerable, by only asking things like: “Do you have any knee injuries or something like that?” 
Even though his competitors didn’t have any injury at all, this would make them uncomfortable and insecure (he would watch them looking themselves in the mirror and checking out their knees and tights). It's mean... but funny. 

Favourite Quotes from Arnold Schwarzenegger:

I am a big believer that if you have a very clear vision of where you want to go, then the rest of it is much easier

-Arnold Schwarzenegger

I wasn’t there to complete, I was there to win

-Arnold Schwarzenegger

Derek Sivers

Derek Sivers and Tim Ferriss on Tools of Titans

Favourite Insights from Derek Sivers:

Since I started reading Tools of Titans, Derek Sivers was the interviewed that fascinated me the most! Tim describes him as “one of my favourite humans”. If I could, I would quote everything Derek said! 

If you are still uncertain about buying “Tools of Titans”, Derek Sivers interview covers the price of this book, believe me.

“When you’re earlier in your career, I think the best strategy is to just say ‘yes’ to everything. Every little gig. You just never know what are the lottery tickets."

Even if the gig doesn’t pay much or even nothing, it can bring you a lot of new opportunities in the future. Almost all of us start from the ground, so you just need to get your work out there! Derek Sivers started with a “piddly little pig show”.

When asked “what would you put on a billboard”, Derek answered: “It won’t make you happy”, and he would “place it outside any big shopping mall or a car dealer.”

Search on google for: “private CD Baby jet”. This was the automated email costumers received when the CD they bough on CD Baby (a company he created) was shipped. Here's what it said: 

"Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow. A team of 50 employees inspected your CD and polished it to make sure it was in the best possible condition before mailing. Our world-renowned packing specialist lit a local artisan candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CD into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy. We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved “Bon Voyage!” to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day.
We hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. In commemoration, we have placed your picture on our wall as “Customer of the Year.” We’re all exhausted but can’t wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!! 
Thank you, thank you, thank you!" 
-CD Baby

These small and tiny actions can have a huge impact in your business! And they will differentiate you from your competitors. 
So no, you don’t always need to have “massive-action plans”.

Favourite Quotes from Derek Sivers:

If [more] information was the answer, we’d all be billionaires with perfect abs.
-Derek Sivers

​My thoughts on this quote? If you want something, work for it. Knowledge isn’t enough!

When you’re earlier in your career, I think the best strategy is to just say ‘yes’ to everything. Every little gig. You just never know what are the lottery tickets.

-Derek Sivers

Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins and Tim Ferriss on Tools of Titans

Favourite Insights from Tony Robbins:

Tony Robbins is the world’s most famous performance coach”! And as you can imagine, his fame came because of his hard work and passion!
Just take some time to watch one single video of him (there are plenty on youtube), and I promise you will feel more excited to do something about what isn't good! 

Tony Robbins values a lot the quality of the questions you ask yourself. Because those have the power to change you and your life!

Tony Robbins has a morning routine that he calls "Priming". I wrote a more complete post about it, click here to read it!

He starts his day with a different type of meditation. It is something that is “intended to produce a rapid change in his physiology.” 
He takes a cold short shower (30-60 seconds) and then he does some breathing exercises.
He follows this “morning prime routine”, by feeling grateful for everything in his life (“ I let gratitude fill my soul”), then he “focus on feeling the presence of God” and he dedicates his last 3 minutes to focus on the things he’s going to make happen.

Favourite Quotes from Tony Robbins:

Mastery doesn’t come from an infographic. What you know doesn't mean shit. What do you do consistently?

-Tony Robbins

The quality of your life is the quality of your questions.

-Tony Robbins

The reason you’re suffering is you’re focused on yourself.

-Tony Robbins

Find here the analysis of Tony Robbins marketing strategy!

Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss on Tools of Titans

Favourite Insights from Tim Ferriss in Tools of Titans:

Tim Ferriss on his first interview with Arnold, used a Zoom H6 recorder for primary audio, but he also had a backup recorder for their first interview.
When Arnold asked him why he had two audio recorders, Tim answered: “Backup, in case of the primary fails”. It will cause a good impression, with no doubts!

You should ask yourself this: “Can I trade a short-term, incremental gain for a potential longer-term, game-changing upside?” If there’s something that could be more valuable in the next years, save it! Remember, “you only need one winning lottery ticket”.

And yes, all of these great insights come from just 1/6 of this book...

Buy Tools of Titans here!

Leave a Reply 2 comments

Joshua Briley - December 14, 2017 Reply

Hey there, thanks for this great write up on Tools of Titans. I’ve been reading this book everyday for the last couple of weeks. As a musician/web developer, I was also drawn to the Derek Sivers, story. I hope you don’t mind, but I “borrowed” your pic of the book and used it on a blog post I wrote about my appreciation for the book. I did give you attribution for the image, and pasted a link back to this article. If you prefer I stop using the picture, I will gladly oblige. BTW, this is my article on the topic: Thanks again for this great article.

    Filipa Canelas - December 19, 2017 Reply

    Hi Josh!

    No problem! Just checked your post and commented.
    I liked your “One Year of Gratitude” idea! Who knows if I’m not going to adapt it and use it myself 😉

    Thanks for the support!

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