Media Feast and How to Get on TV (Plus: Winner of the Endless Summer!)

There are three main paths to getting on TV:

1. Make so much noise elsewhere that TV has to pay attention (online is the best place to kick up a firestorm, IMHO)

2. Be a billionaire heiress or pop singer, then either shave your head or go to jail

3. Create and pitch a trend + segment instead of you and your product

Number three is the most neglected.

I once thought that pitching the person and story were the keys to the TV kingdom, but I’ve since learned that’s Minor League. Why? A single person, unless already a celebrity, doesn’t fill 30 minutes on the most popular shows.

The solution is to develop an entire segment based on a new trend or phenomenon.

This is how it looks: find statistics that indicate a new trend, tie yourself into the trend, add experts, case studies, PhDs, and other guests to help fill 30 entertaining and credible minutes about this topic. Give it a good headline and pitch it to producers at the top shows. It’s a simple concept and it works.

To become a quick study in pitching media and creating buzz, I highly recommend picking up Losing My Virginity by billionaire Richard Branson, and for a good tactical guide minus the autobiographical stories (which are awesome), see Author 101: Bestselling Book Publicity, co-authored by one of the top experts in TV placement in NYC, Rick Frishman.

Find below a few recent examples of TV pieces I’ve done — Fox and Friends and Businessweek TV — that resulted from approach 1 above:

And approach #3? Keep an eye on this blog for more TV news coming soon… 😉


Grand Prize Winner of the Endless Summer Competition!

With 39.6%, the winner is… Roger! Congratulations to all for such amazing entries. Roger, I’ll be in touch so you can get that trip to Japan you’ve wanted, the coaching, as well as the donation for the causes of your choice. Well played!

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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50 Replies to “Media Feast and How to Get on TV (Plus: Winner of the Endless Summer!)”

  1. Great post once again. I’ll have a look at the TV pitching for a marketing client of mine. I’ve always been really interested in getting mainstream publicity and you Sir, seem to have a good take.

    Your RSS feed has now migrated into my Firefox Live Toolbar, running a close second to “The Superficial“!

  2. Tim, I hardly watch any tv, so I’m probably the wrong person to be making suggestions, but I think you should skip the 3 shows you mention above and get a cameo spot on Entourage. Now that would be cool!

  3. hmmmm, you know, i’m tempted… but the money and freedom is nicer than being on Oprah right now. 🙂

  4. CONGRATULATIONS, ROGER!! I voted for Colbert, Tim, but if Oprah airs in Japan and you guys are planning to meet up there to collaborate (and/or party) — maybe she’s the one to talk it up! In any case, HAVE A BLAST, Tomotachi!

  5. Hi All,

    Julien, I hear you, but I’ll tell you this much: I know one gent who was scheduled for Oprah and he decided to sell a book two days before the show aired. He received high 6 figures after a few phone calls.

    Being on a national show like Oprah gives you one thing: options. It doesn’t obligate you to anything, but it gives you some very powerful new doors to open, should you choose.

    As you know, I wouldn’t do anything that would tie me down for long 😉

    Have a killer weekend!


  6. It’s a great idea, but unfortunately, video of me sitting at my desk being more productive would not make good tv. My increased productivity hasn’t yet translated into any additional freedom or exciting adventures.

    But my mindset has changed, for sure, and I am now working on projects that will lead to my working less.

  7. Aaah I told you you’d be on Oprah soon! I need to go light a fire under my elancer’s butt 😛 Take me with you!!! I’ll be working on this this weekend ~ awesome!

  8. Hey Tim!

    How about this:

    Use me as a test case – we film the whole thing from our first meeting to our final goodbyes. We slice it together and make it a killer documentary. I’ll provide the crew, equipment, and pay for the expenses of making the film, you just show up and work your magic! Let me know if your interested.


  9. LOL… I mentioned no names! That said, here is my dream: challenging Colbert to a good ‘ol fashioned American breakdancing battle. He can run, but he can’t hide… 😉

    Anybody taking bets? He may have some footwork, but he’s never seen my air freezes or swipes.


  10. I don’t have a video camera, and I’m not sure what I would tape anyway. But, here is my version of a success story.

    When I was 19, and an exchange student, I wrote a set of life goals. I managed to get to most of them by the time I was 25, which, to me, counts as success.

    When I graduated from college, I took a job in what amounted to middle management with Special Olympics. I hated it. I was too far removed from the athletes, who I enjoyed coaching and mentoring. So, I quit the job, even though most would view a well-paying job and living in Monterey County as success.

    I have taken only two jobs since then: I coached a professional women’s basketball team in Sweden and a professional men’s basketball team in Ireland. Otherwise, I work for myself doing what I want.

    While I love the 4HWW, I am working on an article with a similar theme: people who skip the rat race, and manage to work in jobs where they feel like they don’t work.

    You see, while a 4-hour work week sounds ideal, if I were to be set-up financially as per the 4HWW model, I’d want to spend most of my time doing exactly what I do now: write and train basketball players.

    The 4HWW has inspired me to create financial independence so I can travel more, worry less and enjoy training and writing more, without the pressure of earning an income.

    The first step was self-publishing my book, and a subsequent Second Edition: Cross Over: The New Model of Youth Basketball Development. It does not quite meet the product model in 4HWW, but it’s close.

    The goal, as described in this blog entry, is to become a voice in a movement. I have a web site geared toward that direction. The movement is changing the way we approach youth basketball and basketball player development.

    The next step, which I am in the process of creating, is to create a business around the model in the book. Thus far, the business is slow in developing, but it is in the process. My next project, the first step of the business, should be completed in September. If everything goes according to plan, this project should be the product that fits the 4HWW model and creates financial flexibility to do what I want.

    Once the finances are taken care of, and I do not need to live paycheck to paycheck, I want to travel more. I have been fortunate to direct clinics on China, South Africa, Greece and Macedonia. Through my web site and book, I have connected with people and organizations in Argentina, Brazil, Nigeria, Kenya and the Philippines. I’d like to help these organizations and also learn from them. I’d also like to return with Hoops4Hope to South Africa.

    So, it’s not a perfect 4HWW success story, but it is a success story and I am using the 4HWW book as a model to finish off my life goals, create new ones and make it happen.

    Anyway, that’s my story.

  11. Hi Tim,

    Love your book and I think I am getting addicted to your blog. Now that’s not part of the 4 hour work week right 🙂

    Anyway, I got your book at the right time of my life but kind of on the fence to take that next step. I am 40 years old, no family and was recently laid off(not a bad thing). I’ve got some job options(some virtual) and I really want to live the life you talk about(travel muses. etc.) I’ve got so many ideas on places to go and muses that I want to start but my head is swimming with info overload. Any advice on how to take the next steps without analysis paralysis?

    I feel like this might be my last chance to lead the life you speak of.

    Thanks for any advice you can give.


  12. Hi Tim,

    I own 4 successful businesses, give lectures & speak when asked, was a candidate on The Apprentice, am a member of YPO and consult when an interesting gig crosses my path. My dirty little secret…I work about 10 -15 hours a week, before your book, only my closest friends knew this.

    I’ve always kept it really quiet (especially from clients), frankly with my companies the way they are I thought no one would believe me anyhow, but there you have it…your book is liberating me from this secrecy.

    I travel AT LEAST a minimum of 6 months out of the year, usually 9. Not sure I meet case studies for 4hww as I’ve been this way for a couple of years, and just read your book last week, but it’s the life.

    When I first started my businesses I thought I needed to work 100 hours a week, I would get up at 7AM and literally work until I went to bed around 1AM…for years. Didn’t take a day off for 6 years straight (started my first company at 18 in lieu of going to college & was terrified of failing). Then I set a goal to be able to travel at least 6 months out of the year, I pretty quickly realized I was the only person stopping myself from doing that.

    One of my company logos was just featured in Transformers the movie (totally boosted sales), and being on TV didn’t hurt any when I was on :). I think Oprah FOR SURE! Got to go back stage & front row when my friend was on, she’s amazing & the show is awesome, and what could be better than that kind of international exposure!

    On an extended road trip now, in Washington & Oregon this week, mountain biking in Whistler next week & then hiking and exploring all of Alaska w one of my dogs as co-pilot. Started training BJJ on this trip, very excited, just had my first lesson & got training requirements from my coach back in Santa Fe, my goal: blue belt by my b-day in January. Your book unblocked me on that goal, thanks :).

    If I sent in a video, seeing I’m on the road it would just be my road trip adventures, no business in site…hmmmm, actually I put together this uber-mastermind group a little while ago w/my uber-business friends, all adventure-seeking live life out loud types who are also brand icons & I do calls from the road. Maybe I will send something in. Live big…andrea

  13. Tim, like many others I’m sure, I work best with clear time constraints. Can you post a firm date that you’d like to receive final submissions by? It’ll help everyone gauge how much time can go into creating these.


    Hi Dave and All,

    Excellent point. The sooner you can upload the better — by Friday, July 27th would be ideal for the current shows — but these TV opportunities will be ongoing, so upload anytime. Please note that no editing is needed. Just say a bit about yourself and tell your story of before-and-afters. “Ummms” and so on are no problem, and be authentic. Think of them as like my videos from the road: au natural.

    If you have a recording device and have seen positive changes after 4HWW, take a few notes of 3-5 highlights (or fewer) you want to cover, and just shoot it a few times. Should take more than 20-30 minutes to get it right.

    Hope that helps!

    Have a killer weekend,


  14. Tim! I am training an “old” training partner of yours, David Ellis – last he trained with you he was about 85 lbs, now he is preparing for the US Open in Judo this Fall.

    I gave him your book, I might as well buy a box of them since I keep giving mine away!

    I have a question maybe you can address down the road in a later Blog.

    I have a muse; it’s a membership web site, as you know. But, I also opened a gym – I’d love to hear YOUR ideas on making this (a physical business, not an internet biz) into an automated biz allowing the 4 hr work week.

    My work hours are extreme, my first goal is a 4 hr work DAY, not work week

    When teaching begins, I am up at 7 AM, then from school I train clients from 5 – 8 PM, home, work on internet biz till 11 or midnight – a normal day then goes from 7 am – approx. midnight Not sure how I do it – there are a few, or shall I say, ONE thing, keeping me from leaving teaching.

    Anyway, since you opened a gym in Thailand, I wonder how you would have operated it to create the 4 hr work week with the physical business.

    I am assuming the key here is systematize and automate – e-myth style.

    I look forward to hearing back!

    Plus, I REALLY want to hear the story of how the Thai Mob shut you down!

    Come on bruddah, don’t make me choke you out!! haaaa




    Hi Zach,

    LOL… I don’t want anyone to choke me out this weekend 😉 You’re right about what I would recommend — systematize and automate. How would you recreate yourself if you had to? What rules and routines do you follow that you could put on paper for someone?

    As for the Thai mafia, it was actually the Taiwanese mafia, but I’ll just give a teaser, as I’m on Long Island and need to hit the beach: they require “protection” money, which is often inflated for foreigners, if they can get building permits at all. In addition to that, swimming pools weren’t at the time legal, so they had to be classified as “water reservoirs” for fire emergencies! The list goes on and on…

    Hope that helps!


  15. Tim – I have been running a video of “outsourcing my life” – now in 5 episodes , on youtube, my blog and also have a group on Facebook with the same name. Will tag the videos with the above tag as well.

    BTW – I am planning to set up an Outsourcing my life – panel at Europes biggest web event – Le web 3 in Paris, Dec 11-12. Would love to have you on board!

  16. Hey Tim,

    Are you on LI, NY? I’m from the North Shore but all the nice beaches are South and East like Montauk and the Hamptons..

    I want to say that this last post about creating segments and stories is a great idea. I had started to do that on a smaller level by making connections between people I know that could provide the story and inexchange for making the connection they would mention my product. But with this I can create the story and still fit my product into it as a main element!!

    Some crazy things have been happening since I read 4HWW almost 3 months ago..

    Kind of off topic question, but are you an impatient person? There are times i’m incredibly impatient and I get frustrated if I’m not where I want to be… although given your jet-setting lifestyle I’m sure its hard but what about when you were first getting started?

    Oh by the way, I talked my gf into a mini-retirement next spring in europe!! We’re thinking about 6-8 months right now but if I get my business up and running ideally i wont have to come back to “work” after and can start planning other things i’ve always wanted to do, like going mountain climbing on mount rainier!!!

    Thanks Tim!!


  17. I live on SSI disability. So the whole vacation days question doesn’t exist for me. What I want and have trouble with is getting a house. How to fund a house. I love to dance,write, and have artistic ideas(but I’m not into actually making the art, I want someone else to do it). Tim, your suggestions about outsourcing in your book got me really fired up! I have 6 notebooks full of ideas I never did and want someone else to do! How does one contact Chinese or other cheap labor sources? Or how to look that up on the web? I’m not as bright as you are,Tim, in fact brain damage from a motorcycle accident is a large part of my diability. If you would take some time to help me with this I would be pleased and honored. Thanks a lot, your book has been the most wonderful read I have had in years. Thanks, Casey

  18. Hey Tim,

    Got your book, still reading it, very inspiring. Thank you.

    I’m a former fashion model, ex-market analyst on Wall Street, who has a successful jewelry line now. Haven’t really counted how many hours I work but it’s not much. I got to go to China, Thailand, Bali and Paris this year.

    I have already applied some stuff from your book and it helped me get more done and have even more time to play.

    Would love to record the video.

    Thank you,


  19. Tim,

    How about you setting up a bootstrap loan program? A few hundred dollars would really help me right now.

    I read your book at the right time but as an out of work teacher who became an insurance agent (3 months of working for commissions drained me financially), I’m trying to hold it together and find employment to be able to concentrate on a 4HWW idea.


  20. Hi All,

    I’ve just posted my video. We are a family who lives the 4HWW mobile lifestyle. I hope our story inspires others to do what we’ve been doing.



  21. First off, congrats to Roger for winning this competition!

    Tim, I just got off of a flight and had to immediately open my laptop and fire off an email since I finished reading your book within 48 hours of buying it… are the MAN. (People were looking at me weird on the plane b/c periodically I would burst into laughter) Your book is clear cut and gives clear step by step strategies on how to change conventional thinking and create a lifestyle design that works for you. For many years I have walked between the unconventional thinking and fitting into society’s norms of thinking in almost a purgatory fashion. I have done some risky things in my life-

    1-Self supporting since the age of 16, I worked & went to school full time- in that space, also launched & ran businesses. became the first college grad of my family

    2-Moved to another state that I had never been to based on a coin toss decision (literally)

    3-Went from being homeless when I was 16 to owning a home & being a landlord with other properties by the time I was 23.

    5-In between this space of time (just turned 30 this month), I have went to foreign countries on my own, got different career opportunities, speak 3 different languages (learning a 4th right now), read 100s of books, became a DJ, owned 2 of my dream cars…. i could on & on, but I did all of this out of determination to make a better life for myself, my family, and future generations. And this is ONLY the beginning… Most of the people in my life think that I am nuts, gutsy, or inpsiring (or a combo of all) I always thought, why be forced into mental imprisonment and settle for less? There’s got to be a better way to do everything you want…there’s only have one life to live! Case in point- this evening, the guy sitting next to me on the plane tonight asked me about the book b/c he saw how much I was into the book and my periodic outbursts of laughter. I described to him my review and he says “that guy was just lucky. there’s no way anyone could do all that by age 29 without dumb luck.” I smiled and replied, “it may be luck. but all that luck really means is that preparation meets opportunity.” He looked at me funny and went back to sleep.

    Never has the lightbulb hit me up side the head like it did when I read this book. It really crystallized my way of thinking, giving my concept of life a methodology. Now that I read your book, who knows where I will be in the next year or so! The axiom, the mind never goes back to its original size once expanded is appropriate here. If you could respond and simply let me know if there is another area on your blog that I could post updates to my new path, it would be appreciated. I cannot wait to get started on life now armed with the knowledge you have shared with world. Good luck with all of ventures, you deserve all that life has to offer. I cannot wait to see what else you do. Most of all, thank you for being you.

    All the best,


    PS- The day that I have an opportunity to meet you-and we will meet!- drinks are on me. 🙂

  22. Tim,

    On the topic of PR – you’re right on. I’ve been in PR for 8 years and the best way to get on the news is to position yourself as a subject matter expert or part of a larger trend story. And Oprah is THE show to be on in terms of opening doors, etc.

    On a personal note, I’m into page 75 of your book right now and you’re killing me. I have my 6-month wish list completed and have taken first few steps – but they all require money – which I don’t have a lot of… So I’m completely on edge at the moment – can’t stop dreaming of the possibilities, can’t “focus” on tasks I need to accomplish cause I keep trying to think up money-making schemes. I’m going to keep plugging through the book and the exercises. I absolutely can not tell you what a genuine surprise it was to see that each chapter has Questions and Actions – I hate books that are all about lecturing and not showing you how to do things. You’re an all-star in my book – and I love how you keep it real (in your language – ie. the use of the phrase “kick your ass” very nice). I’ll be in touch as I need to bounce ideas off of you. Thanks again for all of your help in reminding me there is life outside my cubicle walls.

  23. I love you Tim!

    I just got to know you yesterday, when I accidentally picked up a copy of your book because Jack Canfield’s Success Principles was nowhere to be found in the Self Help section…

    As a European living in the US, I can relate so much to what you write!!! Back to your book now!

    You’re funny too!


  24. Kudos to Roger. I didn’t know you had to quit your job to win. Good luck in Japan, Roger. Have fun.

  25. As a frequent guest on TV, Radio and print media, I find most people make the mistake of focusing on “tactics” for getting attention rather than serving and making contributions to the world through your expertise.

    Tactics won’t make you a good guest, but being a passionate expert, adding value within your field will.

    Live Your Dreams,

    Jill Koenig

    Author, Coach and Motivational Speaker

  26. Thanks for the great info. By the way if you haven’t already read it, you would love Screw It Lets Do It by Richard Branson too.

  27. I wouldn’t upload your video to You lose all rights by doing that and Google could sell your video and make money off it without you getting a penny. 🙂

  28. Just under the deadline (in my usual fashion) we finally posted our video. I wanted it to be shorter, but even after some editing we still ended up with almost 10 minutes. So you’ll have to 80-20 it yourself 🙂

  29. Here is my video:

    But I cannot get mine (or the above two posted here) to pull up when I search for 4hww. I wanted to mention this because I have been looking every day and the same 5 come up in search all week. I assume there have been more people adding videos, but not sure why the tags are not picking up?

  30. Here’s my ‘4hww success’ video:

    Just read the book a couple months ago — so, it’s just the beginning of the story. Complete with cute kids, monkeys, and me!


  31. Look at that!! I’m comment #42 — wow!

    That means my comment is the answer to life, the universe, and everything.

    (Geez, what a geek I am.)


  32. FYI I reported the above problem about search not picking up tags to youtube, and the problem seems to be resolved today. So, there are a lot more videos coming up under 4HWW success…

  33. I do consider all the ideas you’ve presented to your post. They are really convincing and will certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are very short for beginners. Could you please lengthen them a bit from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.