Tim Ferriss’s 10 Rules for Startup Success

Alex Hamm July 17, 2015 10
Tim Ferriss’s 10 Rules for Startup Success

Tim Ferriss is a 3 time best-selling author, start up advisor, and angel investor who hosts the The Tim Ferriss Show podcast on iTunes. The multi-millionaire has been featured before here on Attitudes 4 Innovation, and continues to make the media each week for his unorthodox strategies for living and hacking the status quo.

As a startup advisor, he has a thing or 2 to say about building a successful company from the ground up. In a recent video done by Evan Carmichael, Tim’s 10 rules for startup success were documented and shared by Tim himself. Tim’s 10 rules for startup success are:

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Via FHWW.WordPress.com

1. Have other interests

It’s important to have more in your life than just your business. If you are starting a business or already have a current business, you’ll probably find it difficult to think about anything other than your business. But it’s important to have other things in your life and other passions along with your new business.

That way, as Ferriss says, if you have a bad day or week or year in one of these areas, you won’t feel completely depressed and as if your life sucks.

Find other hobbies and passions.

2. Scratch your own itch 

Don’t try to create a product or service that you know nothing about. Find a problem that you yourself are having, and solve that problem with an amazing product. You will already know everything that the product needs and will feel passionate about creating a solution for yourself and many others like you.

3. Learn the art of the pitch 

Learn how to pitch your product and more importantly, learn what customers and/or investors want to hear. You need to be able to completely explain your business, your product, and your business model quickly and clearly.

You need to get this down very early on in your journey.

4. Focus on your strengths

The best founders and entrepreneurs are very good at doing 2-3 things in their business and then finding other talented people to do the rest of the work. Some call this delegating, others call it outsourcing, or heck, you may just want to bring on a few partners or employees if you have the resources to do so.

The important thing to keep in mind is that you don’ want to be doing everything for your business. You want to do what YOU are good at.

5. Be able to sell

SALES CURE ALL. If you can’t sell your product or service, you really don’t have anything special on your hands. You need to be able to sell your product. This comes down to having a great product, but also having the skills to get your product in front of the right audience and get them itching to pull out their credit cards.

6. Ideas are worth nothing 

Ferriss says it best when he says it’s all about execution. If you have an amazing idea for a business, that really doesn’t mean anything. The only thing that really matters is whether or not your able to execute properly on that idea.

7. Pick the right things to do

“You need to be effective rather than just efficient” -Tim Ferriss

It’s not a matter of how many things you are able to do, it’s more a matter of being able to pick the 1-2 things of highest priority and focusing on those things.

The most effective entrepreneurs are very good at focusing on those 1-2 high priority tasks and either eliminating the rest or delegating it to other people.

8. Be pragmatically pessimistic 

It’s good to be an optimist, but it’s also crucial to be aware of the things that could go wrong. Expect the best, but certainly be prepared for the worst.

The worst thing you can do is put all your chips in one basket in the startup world, where the success rate is very low. You need to be aware of what can go wrong so you can have safety nets in place and be able to recover…or else you may lose your company faster than you’d expect.

9. Have a focused metric 

Have 1-2 numbers that you track every week. It doesn’t really matter what they are, but rather it’s important that you are working towards a metric and are constantly looking to improve.

10. Use failure to help you

Failure is a feedback mechanism, not an end result. Anyone who knows anything has heard that before.

Please enjoy Tim Ferriss’s 10 Rules for Startup Success:

Photo Cred: TheNextWeb.com


  1. avatar
    JustApps August 10, 2015 at 6:50 am - Reply

    Sound advice

  2. avatar
    Alisha August 26, 2015 at 4:07 am - Reply

    Great tips!! We have a brand new business and I agree it’s important to do other things besides the business! It can get overwhelming and these pointers are spot on!

  3. avatar
    Stephen Osoko November 2, 2015 at 9:14 pm - Reply

    Great post on tim ferriss tips.
    I’m currently listening to the audiobook version of the 4 hour work week and the stuff is Gold!
    I have a success blog called
    I’d love to hear your opinion on my work Alex.
    Thanks in advance!

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