The Secret To Success – Condition Yourself For Failure | Tim Ferriss

this is Tim Ferriss this is my contribution to the Honda failure the secret to success series I am author of the 4-hour workweek which is in 35 languages was number one New York Times Businessweek Wall Street Journal bestseller and is in 35 languages also an angel investor in companies like Twitter StumbleUpon and many others so my story starts with an audio book it was my first product I was convinced this was in college that it would be my ticket to millions of dollars in changing the world and it was designed for guidance counselors in high school wanted to help students get into their first choice colleges spent ages putting this thing together spent all of my money buying at inventory and initial run of about 400 copies and it sold a grand total of one copy to my mother not a one was legitimately sold it’s because I wasn’t thinking as my market I was thinking of my market in other words I wasn’t writing for a target market that I belonged to and that was a mistake so I learned two things from that number one think as your market not of your market and number two is that you should design your product after you know what your market is okay so you find your market and then design a product for them that’s what I did with the 4-hour workweek and even though it was turned down by 26 out of twenty-seven publishers before it was sold I was confident because I tested it and I’d done it very cheaply so on Google AdWords for example I tested the title the 4-hour workweek with about a dozen others and this is how it worked I bid on terms such as retirement world travel content related to the content in the book and then when people search that on Google on the right hand side with the sponsored results you would see ads that had the headlines the prospective headlines as the ad titles and then the prospective subtitles as the ad text and it led to an empty page under construction page but Google mixed and matched the titles and the subtitle so for less than $200 I could see which combination of title and subtitle had the highest click-through rate and the 4-hour workweek as much of a blessing and a curse as it is ended up being the title that one as did the subtitle that we used so what I learned is through that and through all of my experiences up to this point is that you need to fail and learn how to fail condition yourself to fail but in very small reversible ways and I think that what a friend of mine Joe Sugarman said he’s one of the highest-paid copywriters on the planet and that it and that is for every problem the problem itself presents an opportunity that Dwarfs the problem and that is to say that if I had only looked at my failure with the audio book and viewed it as a failure in the product let’s say and not in the process I wouldn’t have taken away much instead I realized that my approach wasn’t right fixed my approach and that has led to a lot of great successes so hopefully that’s helpful in some fashion this is Tim Ferriss signing off