The Tribe of Mentors: preface

Dear readers, as last year, with Tools of the Giants, this year I have the honor to preface Tim Ferriss‘ latest book Tribe of Mentors.

Just like last time, it was a pleasure for me to accept this kind offer, as those of you who have followed me for a while will know, given how much the book The 4-Hour Week changed my life.

So, unlike last time, let’s make room for the preface without any more preamble!

Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss: foreword by Olivier Roland

“There are nine hundred and ninety-nine patrons of virtue to one virtuous man.”

Henry David Thoreau

What Thoreau meant was that many people know that there is a problem; be it political, economic, personal, etc.; and voice their concerns, but few of them do anything to solve it.

Unfortunately, the “do as I say, not as I do” attitude is widespread; and we have all been guilty of this behavior at one time or another; because it is so easy to behave in that way.

And yet we all experience things in our daily lives that we disagree with; or find offensive, even in our own lives.

Have you ever strongly disagreed with the attitude of your boss, management or colleagues? Have you ever felt trapped in your own job, by your addictions, or just by your bad habits? How many times have you said to yourself “I would really like to work out more”; or to meditate more, or to eat more broccoli than pizza; or to practice that hobby that you love so much but that you never seem to get round to?

Yes, I know, it can make you feel fairly depressed about life.

The Tribe of Mentors Tim Ferriss

To encourage us to be more proactive; in order to improve our lives and have greater clarity in regard to the problems that we face; one solution is to link up with people who have successfully accomplished what we strive for; those who not only say, but do it too.

And, fortunately, the ability to “connect” to such people is now much easier than it used to be thanks to the Internet: though a face-to-face meeting is always nice, it is definitely more productive to connect with inspirational characters through books, blogs, podcasts and YouTube videos.

In this regard, I have always been inspired by Tim Ferriss. The philosophy he shares in The 4-Hour Week has changed my life for the better; and one of the reasons that I have been motivated to use it myself is because Tim practices what he preaches… well; most of the time anyway (I’ll get back to that).

The philosophy of The 4-Hour Week can basically be summarized as follows: create a business to fit in with your lifestyle, rather than permit your lifestyle to be dictated by your business, and use it to live your life as fully as possible and achieve your dreams, which are usually much more accessible and less expensive than you might think.

This requires you to find something that interests you outside of your work; something that you genuinely love to do and means that you don’t fall into the cycle of; “work for work’s sake” and money for money’s sake.

Tim is a real role model in this respect, as on numerous occasions he managed to avoid the temptation to fall into the trap, in order to make a lot of money:

  • For every book that he has written, he could have launched a whole range of related products – from educational products to physical products – but to his credit, he didn’t. It’s not that he isn’t able to sell products, in fact, quite the opposite, but simply because it would have involved a lot of work and time for him, and he had already made enough money and enjoyed his life.
  • For example, when Tim Ferriss book The 4 Hour Body, about how to train and improve your body to be healthier, happier and more efficient, was released, he could have easily created a business which sold nutritional supplements, just like his first business, and which would have generated millions of dollars per year. He chose not to do so.

This is not to say that Tim is some kind of demigod who glows at night and doesn’t, at times; lapse back into his own personal habits.

As he explains himself on his blog, after the publication of The 4-Hour Week, he went through two periods in his life (2007-2009 and 2012-2013) when he couldn’t say no enough and saw his agenda “become a list of the rest of the world’s agendas.”

And this is precisely what makes it relevant: the gods inspire no one, they are too perfect. What inspires us is ordinary people who do extraordinary things.

And that’s where “Tribe of Mentors”, that you have in your hands, is a real treasure: it’s full of advice offered by ordinary people who have done extraordinary things, with the aim to help you to do the same and to be one of the doers rather than just one of those people who just talk a good game.

This advice is offered in the form of fresh and insightful questions that Tim has refined from the hundreds of interviews he has conducted over several years for his podcast, the most popular business podcast in the United States.

As you’ll soon discover, there are many hidden pearls and gold nuggets to be found within these pages; so put on your adventurer’s hat and enjoy the treasure hunt!

Olivier Roland, author of The Way of the Intelligent Rebel

Dubai, February 2018.

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