The questions below are straight-up stolen from the books of Tim Ferriss.
They are designed to help you question what you’re currently doing, learn something new about yourself, and optimize your blogging/business operation.
(Psst. I also did a full video on this)
I just finished Tim’s latest book, Tools of Titans (which is incredible by the way), and my favorite chapter was “Testing the ‘Impossible’: 17 questions that changed my life.”
If you’ve read The 4-Hour Workweek or listened to Tim’s podcast (which if you haven’t….stop reading MY blog right now, and go do that stuff)…you’ve probably heard some of these questions before.
These questions are designed to make you:
- question existing assumptions
- challenge the status quo
- reflect on what’s possible (and what isn’t)
- face your fears head on
So I got to thinking…
Can we use/adapt these questions for blogging?
Specifically, what can we as blog-growth-focused entrepreneurs use these for?
Before the questions, let’s reexamine our goals:
We want to:
- Enhance our standard of living and lifestyle through an online presence.
- Create meaningful content that gets likes, views, and genuinely adds value (I hope you feel this way)
- Increase our monthly income through our websites.
6 Questions to Ask Yourself:
Here we go. I recommend choosing your favorite question below and journaling on it.
1 – What if I did the opposite for 48 hours?
If you’re not happy with your results, it’s time to try something different.
Going through this question might bring useful strategies for inching closer to your goals.
Or…it could be completely unfruitful btw. Zero fruits. ?
The point is to try.
Breaking the question down further…
- Step 1 -> What are you currently trying to achieve?
- Step 2 -> What are you currently doing to progress towards that?
- Step 3 -> What would happen if you took the opposite approach?
The way you’re currently doing things might be the opposite of what could bring you better results.
How do you know until you try?
2 – What do I spend a silly amount of money on?
When thinking of new product ideas (ebooks ebooks ebooks!! info products!!!!! online courses !!11!!)…this is an excellent exercise.
The point is to find product-market fit by examining what people are already spending money on.
And the lowest hanging fruit?
You. What do you spend money on?
Example: I know most of you also spend money on blogging tools (here’s my list):
- social media automation management (Buffer, SmarterQueue, Tailwind for Pinterest, etc)
- domains and hosting (duh. Bluehost anybody?)
- Email Service Prodiver (ConvertKit, Mailerlite, etc)
- SEO tools (Ahrefs, Moz, etc)
How can I piggyback off the fact that folks spend money on this?
Should I build related products/guides/helpful articles?
Pro Tip: This even works with affiliate marketing–hence my SmarterQueue review post here.
3 – What would I do if I had $100 million? What’s my real TMI?
TMI = Targeted Monthly Income
For purposes of Lifestyle Design, it is necessary to move from annual thinking (“I make $50,000 per year”) and total costs (“A Ferrari 612 Scaglietti costs $250,509”) to monthly cash-flow. What is your ideal lifestyle in exact detail, and how much does it cost per month?
The point of this exercise is to explicitly, in pain-staking detail….figure out your ideal lifestyle.
Want to quit your job and travel the world full-time?
Great. What exactly does that look like, and how much does it cost?
Want to focus on your blog full-time to make a living?
Great. What exactly does that look like, and how much does it cost?
See a theme here?
Spend time nailing down your ideal lifestyle (I recommend doing this with your spouse if you have one), and then break that lifestyle down into a monthly income.
You now have the plan right in front of you.
For wayyy more help with this, use Tim’s original blog post for Ideal Lifestyle Costing.
4 – What’s the worst thing that could happen?
What a perfect opportunity for a Star Wars quote:
“Named must your fear be before banish it you can.”Yoda
Going back to your goals…chances are you have certain fears surrounding them.
More specifically, on the road to success (whatever the hell that means to you), you’re going to face decisions and sacrifice…and there is ALWAYS fear there.
There is great power in defining your fears. There is greater power in plotting a course of action should the worst happen.
- If you lost your job due to x…could you get another one?
- If you failed miserably on your next venture…what’s the worst that would happen?
- Is it REALLY that bad? Could you recover from it?
See if you can identify the exact fears holding you back (or discouraging you from doing something), and dig a bit deeper.
Chances are….you over-exaggerate.
5 – If I could only work 2 hours per week on my business, what would I do?
If you had a gun to your head…and could only work 2 hours on your blog/business/side-project….what would you do?
You would be forced to prioritize and get creative!
You might have to:
- Focus only on the most important drivers of success (revenue, growth, audience engagement, etc)
- Eliminate perfectionism (huuuuuggee)
- Eliminate smaller tasks that take up to much time and don’t give you much in return
- Outsource non-creative work
I love this exercise.
Specifically, I love the “what I’d have to STOP doing” side-effect answer.
You’ll boil your operations down to 2 hours, sure…but what about all the stuff you’d stop doing? Can you cut that stuff out now?
What would that do for your growth? Revenues? How much time would be saved?
6 – What if I couldn’t pitch my product directly?
I don’t know about you…but I LOVE being sold to.
Nobody does. It doesn’t matter how amazing your blog content is, or your info product is…people don’t really want you to sell it to them.
Instead, here’s what people want:
- Their problems solved
- To find interesting, useful content that helps them
- To find funny or engaging content that makes them feel better
- to feel needed and important.
So you have something to sell or put in front of people. What would you do if you were NOT allowed to directly pitch it to people?
Your answer to this question is likely going to involve one of the bullet points above.
You spent 3 months traveling around the country making an “in-depth guide to travel hacking,” which you plan on selling for $197.
You could email 1,000 people and pitch it to them, and likely fail miserably. What else could you do?
- Publish a fun story highlighting what you learned through the process?
- Publish a story with some of your failures?
- Write a guest blog post on a travel hacking website, sharing most of what you learned for free?
So what do you think?
Did the Tim Ferris questions prove useful?
Have you ever spent time doing exercises like this?
Let me know which question is your fave in the comments! (and feel free to share your own interpretation, etc!)
I’m inadvertently answering the question “what would you do if you only had 2 hours a week to work” because my wifi has been down and I have to haul my 2 kids to McDonalds if I want to get on the internet. Answer: email my subscribers and respond to their emails. Also, I love your voice…”zero fruits” is my fave line. Lol.
I definitely feel you with the 2 kids…
And thank you! Everyone always told me I had the perfect voice…and face…for radio 😉
It seems I should really open this book as it is collecting the digital dust on my e-book reader for months now. I had this excuse that I am just a rat in the race of the 9to5 world without a business so most of it would be probably irrelevant to me. Maybe this is the answer to the first question? 😀
The 4 Hour Work Week is definitely a productivity book in disguise. Still a must-read.
Tools of Titans is just plain amazing for everything.
Thought-provoking questions for blogging and for life! Thanks for helping me get unstuck!
I’ve spent way too much time this week watching your videos because the info is great and obvi very entertaining. Well done Pete.
Aw. Thanks Paige 🙂