When Your Passion Becomes Your Livelihood and Other Ideas from Tim Ferriss

Last night, after an enjoyable dinner at the Rio with some of the Mobius crew, I chatted on the phone for an hour with Tim Ferriss. Tim, 29, is a Bay Area-based, remarkably down-to-earth serial lifestyle entrepreneur:

  • Princeton University Guest Lecturer in Electrical Engineering and High-Tech Entrepreneurship
  • No-Holds-Barred Cage Fighter, Vanquisher of Four World Champions
  • Speaker of Six Foreign Languages: Japanese (learned in three months), Chinese (learned in one month), German, Spanish, Italian, and Korean
  • First American in History to hold a Guinness World Record in Tango
  • Trainer and Advisor to more than 30 World Record Holders in Professional and Olympic Sports
  • Nutriceutical Designer and Glycemic Index Researcher
  • National Chinese Kickboxing Champion
  • Political Asylum Researcher and Activist
  • Knight and Ordained Minister
  • MTV Breakdancer in Taiwan
  • Speedo Model in the Hamptons
  • Actor on Hit TV Series in China and Hong Kong

Jesus, can you get any more average and boring than that?!

Among other delightful topics of conversation, Tim made the point about the risk of turning your passion or hobby into your primary income-generating activity. Just like you’re less likely to enjoy a book that is assigned to you in school, you’re less likely enjoy the work you’re doing if it’s livelihood. John Amaechi, the ex-NBA athlete who came out of the closet, noted that many NBA stars don’t even enjoy basketball by the time they’re in the pros. As career advice, this is counterintuitive ("Find your passion and then get paid for it!"), and I don’t know if I agree, but it made me think, which is most important.

Tim’s book, The Four Hour Work Week: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich, comes out April 24. I’ll be checking it out. Here’s his blog.

I continue to be in awe and totally humbled by some of the folks who are part of my life, even in the smallest ways. Some of it the result of effort — I work hard on my "people flow", some of it sheer luck. Either way, a good reminder for me that the world is full of interesting and amazing people — the key is to be open to finding them.

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