This is where Tim Ferriss called – to wish me a Happy Birthday – a part of my wife, Kim’s, diabolical plan and birthday gift to me.
[Note- This phone call was a total shock and surprise and came completely out of the blue for me. I was caught literally and figuratively with my pants down. I had absolutely nothing at all to write with and as a result I have to rely totally on my memory. That being said- It was kind of hard to forget. I’m going to write this as a dialog between the two of us- it is NOT word for word- and is my best memory -see above.
Kim“Rob, you have a phone call…”
Tim: Hi, is this Robert?
Tim: This is Tim Ferriss. How are you? Your wife has worked very hard and arranged this phone call for your birthday. Happy Birthday!
Rob: Are you kidding me? Is this really you? [I did a lot of that…]
Tim: Yeah, it’s really me.
Rob: This is unbelievable. Thank you so much for calling- I can’t believe my wife was able to pull this off!
Tim: She is very resourceful and she made it happen.
Rob: [Are you ready for the most brilliant thing you ever heard anyone ask…] What are you doing?
Tim: I’m lying on the floor in my house in San Francisco talking with you.
Rob: [At this point I rambled a lot]. It seems that you and I are traveling in the same circles. I was in Punta del Este the same week you were. In fact I was e-mailing your assistant Amy (after reading your post looking for a place to stay in Punta) trying to help you find a place to stay.
Tim: I actually remember that specifically.
Rob: Also, I just got back from Greece filming for Jet Set Life and we where on the same island just a few weeks apart. In fact, I ran into someone who worked with Donnie Deutsch in Manhattan and we were discussing your interview.
Tim: Yeah Greece was a lot of fun.
Rob: It’s like synchronicity- my two major goals I set in Punta on New Years eve happen within 5 minutes of each other on Sept 17. Weird.
Tim: Yeah. Carl Jung wrote a great book on synchronicity you should check it out.
Rob: Ok I will.
Tim: Your wife had asked if you could interview me for your blog. I really don’t do this – but – I will if the following three conditions are met.
1- You could only ask me three questions.
2- The questions could not have been asked before and have to be interesting.
3- The questions have to be asked right now.
Tim: Are you game?
Rob: I’m game- let’s do it!
Tim: What’s your first question?
Rob: Is there anything that you put in your book The Four Hour Work Week that you regret in retrospect?
Tim: [Thinking for a few minutes…] No, I can’t think of anything I regret, there are a few typos that need to be corrected but that’s really about it.
Rob: OK next question. What’s the biggest downside to your new found celebrity status?
Tim: That’s a good question- I haven’t been asked that one either. Well, I would say getting better at saying NO. I would also say having to filter out false friends.
Rob: Interesting. Ok next question. I saw your interview with Donnie Deutsch on the Today Show and I couldn’t help but notice that he was really intense with you and gave the 4HWW philosophy a real hard time. What do you wish that Donnie would have just ‘gotten’ from you that he just wasn’t ‘getting’? And, as a follow up what was it like when the cameras went off.
Tim: Well, I wish that he understood that growth is not the only measure of the value of a company. There is more than one metric to measure a business other than if it is going up or down. There are many ways (and metrics) that I use to determine a businesses success. Is it serving my life? Am I happier? Is my life better for it etc. As far as what happened when the camera went off. It actually went very well. Donnie is very supportive of his friends and a really great guy. He was incredibly gracious to me. In fact, the producers of The Big Idea (his show) called me to be on a few weeks later. So it’s all good.
Rob: Well. I guess that’s my three questions.
Tim: Ahhh, that went fast. You can ask me a couple more.
Rob: [Forgive this next one] Have you ever looked at our site Jet Set Life?
Tim: Yes, I have.
Rob: Is there any advise you would give me?
Tim: Yes. I would focus more on offline media. Offline media appearances and PR are excellent for driving traffic online. It’s less expensive than pay-per-click and adds credibility to anything web-based.
Rob: Which offline media [exactly] do you mean?
Rob: [I felt really long winded at this point] Tim, I just want to thank you for doing this, but more for the work that you’re doing to change people’s lives. I’ve seen it not only in my own life, but also in the lives of my friends. You really are making a difference.
Tim: That made this whole phone call for me, Rob. That was really nice for me to hear. Thank you!
Rob: So, there it is. That was kind of the essence of the call. He was everything and more that I hoped he would be. He was very gracious and undeniably intelligent. He continues to inspire and motivate me to eliminate work for works sake, seperate what I do for money and what I do with my life and helps me fill the void in a meaningful way.
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