Tim Ferriss Scam! Practical Tactics for Dealing with Haters

Brute force seldom works with haters. Redirection does. (Photo: Deadstar 2.0)

I recently spent a week in Amsterdam enjoying bicycles, canals, Queensday, and… ahem… coffee shops. For real. Honest. The best coffee I’ve had in Europe has to be De Koffie Salon.

I also gave a short keynote at The NextWeb about how to deal with haters, protect yourself from (some) media, respond to FlipCams, and other personal branding self-defense 101.

Think you have crazy people contacting you or commenting on your blog? Me too. I share some of my favorite hater e-mails, Amazon reviews, and voicemails. It’ll make you feel better to hear the stories.

It is possible to learn to love haters. But it does take some know-how and tactical planning…

I elaborated on a few points in an interview in the Netherlands with Amy-Mae Elliot, who originally posted them on Mashable in her piece Tim Ferriss: 7 Great Principles for Dealing with Haters:

1. It doesn’t matter how many people don’t get it. What matters is how many people do.

“It’s critical in social media, as in life, to have a clear objective and not to lose sight of that,” Ferriss says. He argues that if your objective is to do the greatest good for the greatest number of people or to change the world in some small way (be it through a product or service), you only need to pick your first 1,000 fans — and carefully. “As long as you’re accomplishing your objectives, that 1,000 will lead to a cascading effect,” Ferriss explains. “The 10 million that don’t get it don’t matter.”

2. 10% of people will find a way to take anything personally. Expect it.

“People are least productive in reactive mode,” Ferriss states, before explaining that if you are expecting resistance and attackers, you can choose your response in advance, as opposed to reacting inappropriately. This, Ferriss says, will only multiply the problem. “Online, I see people committing ’social media suicide’ all the time by one of two ways. Firstly by responding to all criticism, meaning you’re never going to find time to complete important milestones of your own, and by responding to things that don’t warrant a response.” This, says Ferriss, lends more credibility by driving traffic.

3. “Trying to get everyone to like you is a sign of mediocrity.” (Colin Powell)

“If you treat everyone the same and respond to everyone by apologizing or agreeing, you’re not going to be recognizing the best performers, and you’re not going to be improving the worst performers,” Ferriss says. “That guarantees you’ll get more behavior you don’t want and less you do.” That doesn’t mean never respond, Ferriss goes on to say, but be “tactical and strategic” when you do.

4. “If you are really effective at what you do, 95% of the things said about you will be negative.” (Scott Boras)

“This principle goes hand-in-hand with number two,” Ferriss says. “I actually keep this quote in my wallet because it is a reminder that the best people in almost any field are almost always the people who get the most criticism.” The bigger your impact, explains Ferriss (whose book is a New York Times, WSJ and BusinessWeek bestseller), and the larger the ambition and scale of your project, the more negativity you’ll encounter. Ferriss jokes he has haters “in about 35 languages.”

5. “If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.” (Epictetus)

“Another way to phrase this is through a more recent quote from Elbert Hubbard,” Ferriss says. “‘To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” Ferriss, who holds a Guinness World Record for the most consecutive tango spins, says he has learned to enjoy criticism over the years. Ferriss, using Roman philosophy to expand on his point, says: “Cato, who Seneca believed to be the perfect stoic, practiced this by wearing darker robes than was customary and by wearing no tunic. He expected to be ridiculed and he was, he did this to train himself to only be ashamed of those things that are truly worth being ashamed of. To do anything remotely interesting you need to train yourself to be effective at dealing with, responding to, even enjoying criticism… In fact, I would take the quote a step further and encourage people to actively pursue being thought foolish and stupid.”

6. “Living well is the best revenge.” (George Herbert)

“The best way to counter-attack a hater is to make it blatantly obvious that their attack has had no impact on you,” Ferriss advises. “That, and [show] how much fun you’re having!” Ferriss goes on to say that the best revenge is letting haters continue to live with their own resentment and anger, which most of the time has nothing to do with you in particular. “If a vessel contains acid and you pour some on an object, it’s still the vessel that sustains the most damage,” Ferriss says. “Don’t get angry, don’t get even — focus on living well and that will eat at them more than anything you can do.”

7. Keep calm and carry on.

The slogan “Keep Calm and Carry On” was originally produced by the British government during the Second World War as a propaganda message to comfort people in the face of Nazi invasion. Ferriss takes the message and applies it to today’s world. “Focus on impact, not approval. If you believe you can change the world, which I hope you do, do what you believe is right and expect resistance and expect attackers,” Ferriss concludes. “Keep calm and carry on!”


One of my favorite authors, Nassim N. Taleb of Black Swan fame, e-mailed me the following aphorism today, which was perfect timing and perfectly put:

Robustness is when you care more about the few who like your work than the multitude who hates it (artists); fragility is when you care more about the few who hate your work than the multitude who loves it (politicians).

Choose to be robust.

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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475 Replies to “Tim Ferriss Scam! Practical Tactics for Dealing with Haters”

  1. Great tips dude! Haters are just jealous of other people’s success because they will never have it. I’ve always admired people that are where I want to be because that’s the only way to get there. By hating on people that are where you want to be, you are telling the universe you don’t want that kind of success and you’ll never get it.

  2. Hey Tim, I had a discussion with my father about this earlier today. I had posted something on my facebook profile that he considered was “unprofessional” and I thought it was just pretty funny. I know that he has my best interest at heart, but he also has been successful living in the corporate life. He mentioned that people will not want to buy from me if they know that I thought something was funny that could be offensive in some way or another. Isn’t that what makes humor what it is though?

    I know that there are going to be people who completely despise how open and honest I am about who I am, but there will also be the group who absolutely loves me for it. Should I focus on listening to his advice or keep being me and just dealing with those people who are understanding of it and are my true fans?

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Keep doing you Chris!

      Remember the highest batting average of all time is just over 3.66. That average would make you an all-star.

      Chances are higher that 4/10 people who enjoy your posts. It comes back to point #1 in this post. Focus on the people who do and not the people who don’t.



  3. All true, and since we are quoting people here, my favorite saying about haters is from Katt Williams (to paraphrase): “What you need is more haters. If you don’t have at least 20 haters, then you can’t be doing that much.”

    Both Thomas Aquinas and Napoleon Hill have said that they learned much about their failings from their enemies.

  4. There will always be haters in the world. Just know thy you’re not successful until you have at least one hater.

  5. I just realized you got a new tattoo! Cool, I have been thinking about going for it for years now, what moved you to get yours?

  6. Just 10%??? Wow… sometimes it seems like a lot more. I’ve only watched the first 5 minutes of video, so I’ll have to watch it later tonight when I’ve got some more time.

    It seems that a few months ago you wrote something on your blog to the effect that you can’t try to please everyone… As someone who enjoys making sure people feel comfortable and naturally avoids confrontation, I’m learning that confrontation isn’t bad as I try to do what I feel is best. There will always be people who confront you and think you suck–it just takes some getting used to is all.

    Can’t wait to watch the rest of the video.

    Cheers from Utah!

    1. Yeah, the 10% is something called the ‘vocal minority’. Happy people usually don’t have much to complain or whine about and the secure people usually don’t feel the need to degrade or attack someone else to make themselves feel better.

      I always think of an animal documentary. Animals raise their hackles and growl at stuff that make them feel afraid or threatened. 😛

  7. Thanks Tim. This is great advice. I have a popular youtube page and i used to go CRAZY when the “Trolls” would talk trash on my videos. i once spent a full day trading insults with a 14 year old kid!!! lol, now thanks to one of your earlier blog post, i just have my assistant delete negative post. thanks!

    P.S. you book changed my life, i make my full income from the net now! I can not thank you enough

  8. “In fact, I would take the quote a step further and encourage people to actively pursue being thought foolish and stupid.”

    This is interesting. I was that kid that was bullied in school. Sometime after college, I realized I like me and started doing things specifically to stand out. I have a hot pink iPod, for example. All my friends say nothing about it because they know I don’t care what people think. Strangers look at it and shy away from me. It doesn’t -mean- anything and yet strangers act like it’s this huge problem for a big burly guy to have a pink iPod.

    Since I’ve been doing things like that, I have gotten a lot better with criticism. Some of that is my mental change that allowed the behavior, but the behavior has been self-reinforcing as well.

  9. Decided to watch the video right now anyway… couldn’t wait.

    “Focus on people who value relationships over transactions.”

    Excellent advice. People who value transactions are there to cause a stir, to do something just for the immediate attention–and more often than not it’s negative.

    As part of your advice, I’d say, make sure you’re one of those types of people who value relationships as well. Be the type of person you want to attract.

    Great video Tim, thanks.

  10. There is always going to be haters. Btw Tim I tried to contact you via Twitter from @JoeHobot account.

    Anyway I got your book yesterday and I read (listened) 85% of it by today!!! Yeah i sleep only 4hrs per day.

    So about those haters , don’t bother and don’t even bother your self with returning them a favor of explaining things…use them in positive way.



  11. All’s I know is I’m glad you’ve gone ahead and said it like you mean it, *especially* when you know it’s controversial. Good example for me.

    Your panache and “extremeness” is exactly what made me sit up and pay attention to what you have to say.

  12. Once read that the opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference. If some people love you and others hate, usually means you’re doing something right.

    Great talk.

    PS – Love the tattoo gimmick. Well-played.

  13. Tim:

    Great reminder. The only one getting shot at is the one sticking his head up above the crowd. Stay down in the crowd to not get criticized. But of course you will accomplish nothing more than follow the crowd.

    The big question is whether to live life safely with mediocrity or live boldly with the opportunity to accomplish great things.

    Having been in high profile positions before and received my share of criticism, I’ve said often our choice is not whether everyone will like us. They won’t. Our only choice is who will like us. Make sure it is the ones that matter to you most.

    Thanks for the post

  14. Im right in the middle of “The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand and I’m seeing a lot of parallels between the way Howard Roark deals with criticism and your suggestions here. I dont know what your views are on objectivism and individualism but, in any case, I like the operating system you’ve presented here.

  15. Great post! I loved the tips when I first saw them on Mashable & have tweeted them several times. Glad to see the vid!

    “It doesn’t matter how many people don’t get it. What matters is how many people do.”

    & “Living well is the best revenge.”

    Say it in a nutshell for me!

    Love this one too:

    “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. ” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

  16. Great advice, especially #3. It may boost your ego when a lot of people like you, but it’s very superficial. Most people deep down will stop caring about you if you stop being funny, or interesting, or rich or whatever.

  17. Downloading the video now. I’m lucky that any haters so far haven’t said much more than homophobic slurs or attempt to spam blog comments…but oddly enough even these instances feel like sort of a badge of honor, as if to say “Oh, people are insulting me, I guess I am doing stuff the matters.”

    (Granted, I do take care to distinguish between genuine, constructive criticism and flat out haters.)

  18. Hater’s are people who just don’t understand or are confused as to why other’s love and admire you! Great post Tim!

  19. Love that you worked “Tim Ferriss Scam!” into the blog title. If you’ve already got the google juice, might as well use it to cover that base too.

    Good points from great minds well articulated. Thanks.

  20. You have “haters” because you mislead. You were national kickboxing champion by winning 3-4 fights as your buddy Josh wrote? Please.

  21. Nice talk! Love the sleeve, I picked up one in Hong Kong a few years ago. When are you coming to Singapore.

  22. I find its all to easy to question yourself when haters attack. But as you said, it should bring you confidence that put yourself out there, plus the support of friends and family can remind you that you are in the right. Great tips Tim!

  23. Tim great speach… cool stage…..

    Kat Williams said in one of his stand ups… ” That if you dont have five haters by summertime you need to get busy! Be thankful for your haters.

  24. Very informative as always! This will certainly come in handy with the approaching launch of my startup.

  25. Of all the people I’ve seen trying to pick apart trolls, you’ve done the best job. I especially liked the vessel with the acid metaphor… took a while for me to really get a grasp on it but you are absolutely right about resentment being the punishment. Nice stuff.

  26. The story of Cato dressing differently and learning to be ashamed only about what matters resonates deeply with me due to recent experiences which you, Tim, could be considered the catalyst of in a way.

    I have some problems with my left ankle and recently realized that I need some pretty big orthopedic inserts if I need to wear regular shoes to be without pain. It was not until I saw your post about Vibram Five Fingers that I thought about how I am pain-free when I walk around barefoot, and how I often removed my shoes and drove barefoot for my 4-hour drives 2 days a week to and from my house. So I gave them a try and my ankle pain cleared up in three days. Beyond that, I loved how they felt, a lot of pain in my lower back disappeared, and so I was an instant convert and stopped using normal shoes pretty much completely about a year ago.

    I’m proudly from New Jersey, but moved to Houston about 7 years ago to be with my wife as she is from the area. I work on the road deep in East Texas in a small town of about 6,000 people. As one might imagine, boots or dress shoes are pretty much the only choices for most men in the area. I get lots of stares, some laughs, and some comments, intensified by the fact that I am naturally always very alert of my surroundings and am constantly monitoring everyone around me. My coworkers find them amusing and couldn’t consider doing it themselves, and even my wife giggles a little about how silly they look.

    This had the profound effect of me becoming more open about who I am, more confident in myself, and overall a better person who is better able to withstand criticism. I’m kind of proud of them like the guy above with the pink iPod, and I’ve had more than a few people come up to me with serious inquiries about why I wear them and how they can get some. I enjoy being without pain (without meds no less) and comfortable. This extends to other areas of my life as well and overall has made me a better person, much in the same way for Cato.

    So, thank you for the book, the advice on shoes, and this video. All three have been extremely useful for me.

    Also, it’s a shame the 2nd commenter was kind of hating in his own way as saying what you presented wasn’t applicable to many people. It is a shame he couldn’t see how this can easily apply to life and dealing with people in general. It was a brilliantly presented topic.

    1. Thanks so much for the comment. Great example of Cato’s principle, as is the pink iPod! Love both examples.

      Funny how the second commenter was too focused on thinking up a zinger (which is wasn’t) vs. the broader message: these tools are for dealing with criticism in LIFE. No one needs a blog or hate mail to experience that.


    2. I read Dr. Wayne Dyer’s Pulling Your Own Strings about being “quietly effective”. Don’t wrestle with negativity from the masses, but always think for yourself and act rebelliously if necessary. Wise words…

    3. this is was humbling and will be exactly what I need this morning to keep on the path Ive formulated. You and Tim both are truly inspiring.

  27. As somebody who’s experienced a lot of flack and observed the phenomenon of shit-talking extensively, people attack figures like Tim Ferriss because such figures pose a threat to their egos. To admit to themselves that they have been doing things that may very well be completely contrary to their goals, would be to admit that they have been wasting their lives. Rather than have a Red Pill/Blue Pill moment and become better people, they choose to defame and slander. It is a matter of close-mindedness and unwillingness to change. We shouldn’t try to change such people’s minds because they are likely unchangeable and will only dampen our moods. Besides, the less people embrace positive ideas such as those Tim Ferriss preaches, the better those of us who do embrace them will look.

    Is it just me, or did that crowd seem dead?

    1. It was a VERY quiet crowd all around. This has been my experience in Europe, and it’s really unnerving as a speaker. The Twitter chatter showed people enjoyed it, but it was near impossible to read them during the preso. Same deal with Japanese, who think it’s rude to make noise during the presentation, so it’s dead quiet. Quite a contrast from us rambunctious (and often rude, true) Americans 🙂


      1. Yes, I’ve always found cultural differences fascinating. It made me think of how David Hasselhoff is a superstar in Europe, but mostly considered a has-been in America. LOL You just never know!

  28. I LOVE this post!

    I was actually going to blog about something similar soon.

    Steve Pavlina once mentioned how people’s immediate reaction to anything that seems out of their current lifestyle is to say it’s stupid/unreasonable/not worthwhile/not going to work.

    He said that he even did it himself, after he found out about someone doing a 92 day juice cleanse. He thought, “Who in their right mind would do that?”

    …and then found himself doing it a year down the line.

    I think it’s people’s immediate defense mechanisms and their mind trying to avoid having to go out of its comfort zone.

    I really love “focus on living well”, too. As an entrepreneur, some people have thought I was nuts along the years. One of my friends who got the same resistance asked me, “How can you prove that your life is better than anyone else’s?”

    I don’t think anyone should TRY to prove it, and I don’t. However, I’ve always thought if someone tried to come head to head with me, there are definitely things that could be compared:

    – Happiness levels

    – Debt levels

    – Amount of friends

    – Amount of experiences

    I haven’t found any “hater” who’s had too many success in those areas.

    When I used to get a lot of resistance from my family for doing something “crazy” (sleeping in my car on random cross country trip, impromptu ticket to Brazil, etc…), a simple “Who’s happier – you or I?” tended to do the trick, too. 😀

  29. Tim,

    Great post! This is very helpful. I look forward to more haters in the future so I can implement these principles. I welcome the experience.

  30. I think you have to burn through a lot of people who don’t “get it,” or you’ll never make a significant impact in the few that do. As an example, brutal or radical honesty doesn’t make every one your friend, but it does make for much deeper relationships with those that last.

    Some great advice I got from a friend: Do something by doing nothing. A great number of problems can be solved by simply not responding or delaying response, even beyond simple criticism.

  31. Slightly off the subject of haters, Tim, but this is the third or fourth time you’ve plugged Seneca on your blog, and I’ve gotta ask: can you recommend any of his other works for those of us who have already read (and loved!) “Letters from a Stoic” and his essay “On the Shortness of Life”? Those of us who emphatically are not among The Haters need something to tide us over till your new book comes out! As you mentioned in the video, Seneca was a very prolific writer…any suggestions for picking out the very best stuff that you haven’t already mentioned on this site?

  32. I love how you have comments about your tattoo. Were you testing to see if people “prematurely” commented (before finishing the vid)? That would be hilarious if you did.

    I feel like your intro wasn’t as powerful as usual. Was that potentially by design due to the content of the piece?

    (i.e. “fueling the fire” by having an intentionally “lukewarm” intro…thereby having the haters feel like they completely changed sides by the time you concluded).

    Probably a far out idea…but it crossed my mind. Excellent as usual. You continue to inspire me bro…

  33. It always puzzled me why “tim ferriss scam” was an auto-suggestion on Google when typing your name. But I admire how you’re proactively taking control of your reputation. Already ranking #8 for the term! That’s quick!

  34. WHAT? Tim Ferriss is a scam? Well I am so glad you told me. I guess I probably shouldn’t think for myself, do my own research and develop my own opinion, right Hater? I don’t really understand what haters are hoping to accomplish except wasting their time and existence. Now critics are great and life would be bland without them.

    I just yesterday had a hater call up my business phone and proceed to yell at me about how horrible I am and how bad my business is.. They were really off base, it was still tough to hear, but I am hoping it begins to happen more and I get more used to it as I proceed through this life.

  35. Oh and speaking again of haters, I should probably be one. Small world here. I was recently, i believe this was in March perhaps, talking with a good friend of mine and she asked me what I was thinking about and I happen to just be contemplating 4HWW and Tony Robbins stuff and she told me her mother was going out to California I think to visit her best friend out there. Turns out her moms best friend is your Aunt! I tried to get some contact with you there but your aunt said they can never even contact you. Damn man! Evasion at its finest my man. At its finest..

  36. I especially liked this quote “Focus on impact, not approval”.

    Great talk Tim. All this knowledge can be applied to real life interactions on top of blogging.

    Come to think of it, most of the ideas mentioned are obvious or to-be-expected after the fact. But you did a great job of putting everything together and linking it into a clear and concise talk.


  37. If too many people “get it” it likely not worth getting. Like the video, good advice and the “new tatoo”.

  38. Tim,

    This post was right on time for me… Last week I was having some “cafe con leche” in San Telmo when I got my first negative review online. This person attacked me personally and make claims that were totally false. I took it very personally and make the mistake of “reacting” instead of being “response-able”. Luckily, I was able to discover the true identity of the troll and put a stop to the mess. You’ve given me a new perspective on handling constructive criticism, haters, and trolls.

    Anyways, thanks a million for the wisdom and inspiration… I’m in Buenos Aires right now because of you.

    – Chris Dunn

  39. As always, I enjoyed your video and talk.

    If you need a hitman for all you’re haters, don’t hesitate to give me a shout. I set up a muse just for the occasion :).

    Have a good one brotha!

    Patrick Hitches

  40. Being a libertarian, objectivist, and atheist has given me a lot of practice dealing with haters. The idea that the people that get it matter and the others don’t is one of the hardest things to realize real time.

    Your ability to put out consistently actionable content dealing with such varying topics is amazing, bravo, good sir.

  41. Dude, dude, dude… Tim. Absolutely BRILLIANT. For anyone coming into their own with big vision and world-changing ambition, this is so intensely relevant, it really touches my heart.

    Thank you so, so much.

    It reminds me of a couple things, both of which I’ll share with the intention that others benefit: Katt Williams comedy bit on Haters – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxxPLDZnqwA, it also brings to mind the song “Hate” by Jay-Z + Kanye West off of Jay’s latest album, BluePrint 3.

    “I’m runnin’ new york, I got the may-or on my page-er

    You cant fade us, you hate us

    I need you, stay the-ere

    I breath you, like ay-ir,


    Where are my haters,

    I love all my haters

    I love all my haters

    I love all my haters”

  42. Very interesting topic. Tim, I have to admit that when I first read your book, some things about it offended me, and I didn’t agree with all your philosophies. But there was so much awesome life changing stuff in there that I was able to look past some of the attitude and appreciate the content of your message.

    I’ve since read it three times, and am now working less than 5 hours a week, living in Costa Rica with my family (until we want to go somewhere else), and thoroughly enjoying my life. Thanks for your influence!

    The hardest part for me has been dealing with the “haters”, or just close family who don’t really understand. They see my zeal and excitement for entrepreneurship or homeschool, for example, and take it to mean that if someone likes working at a job or sends their kids to school, they’re lazy or stupid and not living up to their potential. I don’t really say that, but people take offense and take things personally. I wonder if I should write a blog post to clarify some misconceptions… I don’t mind haters if they’re people I don’t know, but it’s hard when family takes offense or thinks you’re looking down on them.

  43. If everybody loves you then everyone is lying to you.

    Hate is a sign of success and a sign of other people’s jealousy.

    Hate Me!!!!

  44. Wow! Thanks for the wonderful tips Seth!

    This is pretty helpful for me, especially at a very young age, to know about this things, and most especially that I’m starting to get critics on what I do and what I believed.

    That just proves that what I’m doing right now is effective. 🙂



  45. One of your best posts yet. You continue to refine what you say and I am sure speaking experience helps as well. Thanks again for being so practical in your desire to help people. Seriously it has helped me out a bunch in so many ways. Low info diet actually lets you think! Also (you’re gonna love this one) I am in sales and we just got a new boss. Previous boss: meeting every day @ 7:30am reading over printed out emails!!! WTF??? New boss asked me for input I told him to cut that crap out and stop wasting our precious morning time to close deals. Guess what??? No more meetings man!! Ha!!

  46. This is extremely useful, in sales and in life too.

    Thanks for sharing, I need to re-watch this.

    Keep at it!!

    – Jose

  47. The name of this post got me thinking of a Katt Williams stand-up bit. I find it crudely insightful and somewhat inspirational, here’s the quote minus the profanity:

    “All I’m saying is live your life. You’ve got to get your hustle. You got to understand that [people] is going to hate you regardless – get that out of your head that fantasy world were [people] ain’t hating on you. You gotta be grateful – you need haters. What is you complaining about? What do you think a hater’s job is? To hate, so let them do their job. What is you complaining about? Ladies, if you got 14 women hating on you you need to figure out how to get to 16 before the summer get here. What is you mad about? Fellas, if you got 20 haters you need 40 of them. What is you complaining about? If there’s any haters in here right now that don’t have nobody to hate on feel free to hate on me, sit back there and say my hair ain’t luxurious when you know it is.”

    When you’re positive, successful and confident people will find a way to try to bring you down to their level either in a personally motivated jealous attack or in a business oriented way. People will constantly try to take either your happiness or your resources. As Mr. Ferris points out, its imperative to either put the fire out immediately by starving it of oxygen or bring the argument to the forefront to show the inaccuracies of their alleged statements. Although Mr. Ferriss cites Seneca and the Stoic movement, I’ve always admired the Socratic method and its ability, if the questioner was clever enough, to allow someone to paint themselves in a corner with their own statements through use of simple questions. I strongly believe that if you give a hater plenty of rope they will hang themselves. And, in the end, as they say, “cooler heads will prevail.”

  48. Dude, constant state of doubt about the tattoo- had to watch twice cause I couldn’t stop looking at it. But I did think that the tattoo stopped to high on the wrist to be real…haha, beyond that, excellent point(s).

  49. As always, stellar advice, Tim. There is definitely a lot of internet “hating” and worthless discussion that definitely interferes with maximum effectiveness. I appreciate the tips.


    Carson Boddicker

  50. Fuck you Time Ferriss!!!

    You heartless self promoter.. thank you so much for giving me the inspiration to take a 3 year trip around the world with my family…that includes my little 3 year old daughter who was 1.5 years when we left.

    You are such a jerk to encourage us to take my little girl, so she could learn from cultures that most kids could only read about in a text book. In fact she has more stamps on her passport than most adults….good work my friend…now she knows 3 languages and is now a fabulous kid!

    In fact my internet business has catapulted because of our boldness of taking our life in our own hands…..Way to go Ferris!!

    You Biggest Fan…Rhonda Swan~ Mother of The Unstoppable Family.

  51. Thanks so much for this Tim!

    I needed this today. Sometimes I let haters get me down for several days. I’m quite sensitive to it. For a while it got easier, and was like water off a duck’s back when I got a bad comment – but every now and then it feels like everyone thinks you’re an idiot.

    I have bookmarked this page and will come back to it for inspiration in the future.

    Many thanks and blessings,


  52. Querido Timoteo,

    You look like a bulimic Frank Caliendo on steroids, I hate your guts, I hate you for advertising on your blog, I hate you for testing assumptions and for practicing what you preach.

    I guess I’m not as good at hating as Rhonda 🙂

    “Practice being foolish and stupid” Love it.

    P.S. I bought my roommate your book (expanded) and he was skeptical at first “Ah 4 hours.. b.s.” now he’s talking about it all the time. I don’t own the expanded edition to be honest but I just want to spread the wisdom. He’s a very succesful studio guitar player in Los Angeles.

    P.P.S. You suck

  53. Now I see that all the preparation you do prior to the speech is really worth it. It is just great! And tattoo move was very smart, one of the notes I took in Evernote is as follows “Illustrate the principles you’re talking about with simple and vivid example, ideally funny”.

    Thank you!

  54. I love the Colin Powell cite. I think when you stick to your values and goals and always act and react accordingly, you message will be true. This true self you are projecting will bring you enough genuine and loyal fans that all the haters don’t matter.

    While dealing with haters is fun, being a hater is too! Don’t take me wrong, but it is basically the same thing. You have a strong opinion and stick to it. This also means to state this opinion in comments, reviews, interviews, etc. If you are the kind of person that gets emotional quickly, so be it. Most people can deal with it as long as some mutual respect is involved.

  55. The picture attracted my attention. Have you ever practiced Aikido in any way? If so, or if you’re interested, while you’re still in Amsterdam, seek out Carel Zappeij. He is a friend of my sensei and a great teacher. Or come up north to Groningen to visit our dojo (www.sjok.nl).

    It feels strangely exciting knowing you’re in our country…

    Sympathy and regards,


  56. @tim and all the other vibram wearers

    Those shoes are awesome, and their awesome just because to the fact that everyones looking at them and you. I was once thinking, hey, why not giving the vibram people a call and asking them for getting money everyone asks me about the shoes or giving them a broshure would be a nice way to advertise them, maybe by letting them be worn by hot vibram girls 🙂

    Get uncomfortable from time to time is not a good feeling but the feeling of growth you get after you leaned into your “fear” so to speak is phenomenal.

    Ive discovered that, point 3 in your 7 principles is far more important for dealing with bullsh*** , and not merely dealing with it, but just as a starting point it should be hammered in everyones publishers or bloggers head.

    “Trying to get everyone to like you is a sign of mediocrity.” (Colin Powell)

    so true.

    thanks Tim. Good Job as always.

    And Fuck you for changing the life of so many to the better 🙂

    Mach weiter so !

    gruß marcel

  57. Bad ass ink Tim. Do you have pics of the sleeve on flickr? I’ve downloaded the video for later viewing so I don’t multi task. At first I thought the title was a seo trick for this post (which it still is) but cool that you had a presentation.

    It is interesting that at your level (of success etc.) you still give thought to ‘them haterz’.


  58. I love number 5. One of our biggest fears is the fear of criticism, as soon we learn how to deal with it the better, it makes things much easier.

  59. Hey Tim,

    This was a great post! 🙂 I believe 100% in all the tips written here (I’ll watch the video later, I still got to prepare for dinner)

    You’re right… what’s the point in always answering to criticism right? Why spend 60 seconds of your life reacting to the haters when you can spend that precious time improving life? I’ll bookmark this post. I’ll share to everyone!

    I have a friend who follows all these tips, although he already did them years ago. He is what I call eccentric and unique, and everytime he wears merchandise of WWE or anime, and speaks of his interests and his opinions, he has a lot of “fans” staring at him, insulting him and trying to anger him. But he doesn’t care. He does all these tips and he smiles ^_^ He always tells me it’s makes him feel great that he has “fans” like that because he is never affected by their words and actions.

    Overall, awesome post! Keep it up. And by the way, your book was great! Still coming up with a good muse idea, but I’m applying your principles on my personal life and it’s actually improved day-by-day! 🙂 thanks so much Tim

    Keep it cool out there!

    Miguel Marfori

  60. Haters really do serve their purpose.

    They provide opposition, resistance to your cause and in their efforts to knock you down they light a fire inside that makes you work twice as hard.

    Richard Branson has haters but he’s still kicking ass!

    Anderson Silva has haters but he’s still kicking ass!

    Tony Robbinns has haters but he’s still kicking ass!

    Go get some haters and go kick some ass!

  61. Very nice!

    A dose of Tim and Emimem’s new hit single and I’m g-t-g (good-to-go). All I have to say to the haters….BRING IT!

    Thanks for being you Tim and helping many to who they are…haters or not.

  62. Great advice Tim, I especially like number 6 🙂

    I think an old proverb summaries internet flame wars beautifully ” Don’t argue with fools, because people from a distance can’t tell who is who”

    Keep up the good work Tim, your a big inspiration.

  63. Great tips Tim! You can never please everyone and you shouldn’t have to. Whoever you are and whatever you do there will always be people on both sides of the fence – those who love you and those who don’t.

    And, by the way, I’ve been to that coffee shop in Amsterdam – it is awesome. And it’s such an amazing city!

  64. As a relatively new/small podcast, we are always trying to get our listeners to post a review on itunes. To our delight someone did give us a 5 start review. We were chuffed to bits! Then horror of horrors someone then posted a review that didn’t like it, one star :-(. It sure was a blow to the ego I can tell you. Now looking back I’m kind of glad it was posted as it made us seriously look at what we were doing. When we did, we realised he was just blowing out his A**. So if anything it just helped us check in with ourselves first and then brush him aside. As we grow I’m sure we’ll get more positive and negative comments, both have their place and are an opportunity to empower us.

  65. I wasn’t going to watch this presentation because the topic seemed boring but I’m glad that I did. Your presentation skills have improved from ‘good’ to ‘amazing’ over the past couple of years. It was a pleasure to watch! Like many others I liked the ‘tatoo’ part and got a bit of a chuckle out of it.

    If I was to be slightly critical I would say that I don’t enjoy the swearing; however, you don’t hide your true personality either which is great. Cheers!

  66. Gotta ask- you’re looking pretty buff in the video, and you have been talking about the deadlift goal; are you doing Pavels 5×5 workouts now, instead of the 1 set to failure? Just started the 5×5’s, and wondering if you tweaked that idea, or just started using it. Thanks!

    1. Hey B,

      I’m about 15 lbs heavier than usual in the video. For max strength, the 5×5 will work better than to failure. For the deadlifts, I’m using a different program, which I’ll outline completely in the new book 🙂


  67. Loved the Keynote … you do have to just laugh at some of the insane peeps out there. Fortunately I haven’t experienced any *haters* yet …

  68. I’ve been attacked on Twitter for some of my tee designs – I’ve been accused of stealing designs, having crappy designs, etc. I engaged the people criticizing me, but did not fight with them. I’m not sure what was gained. I used to think that no response = they win. Of course, when you respond = they win.

    As that bloated computer said in War Games, “The only winning move is not to play.”

  69. Timothy,

    Thanks for sharing such solid advice (always) w/ the world. You are a revolutionary.

    I enjoyed the quote from Chairman Powell so much that I had to do a little more reading on it and him last night. A synopsis of his book, My American Journey, drafted by Oren Hariri, gave the perfect quote to sum up your contributions through your writings, blog culture and presentations: “Good Leadership encourages everyone’s Evolution.”

    The simple fact with your Haters is that they know they are unable to evolve, too afraid to escape their shackles, and deep down it enrages them to fear that they might have more of a choice about how to live their lives. And, of course, they blame you and not themselves for the feelings of inadequacy. 🙂

    Keep on Scammin’ in the Free World!


    C. Loomis

  70. You know when you consider that people taking things personally is just a statistical likelyhood, it becomes easier to not take their stuff personally in return… (did that make sense?) Realizing that some people are just hard wired that way, does make them easier to deal with.

  71. Tim- Thanks for this article…. I was just thinking the other day about all the AMAZING blogs that I am blessed to read daily/weely/monthly… I am trying to “do a little prunning” (Brogan, Godin, Rowse, Joel, were 100% YES), and this BLOG post confirmed I MUST be pay attention to your insight… So, THANK YOU… Best, Brian-

  72. Wow. For myself incredibly spot on and timely.

    Work in local government and these are unsurprisingly trying times. Special interests groups have been especially virulent recently so a fresh perspective, even coming from a different direction, is helpful and gets the creative juices flowing. Thanks!

  73. #7. #7 #7 #7. It’s not haters, but lovers who disapprove, who can hold you back the most. The complete aloneness of no one else understanding or believing, on your own “just you and God”, really cultivates that “Keep Calm and Carry On” in the depth of your soul.

  74. This is some of your best advice to date, I think. When I went from comedy to writing, this was a tough transition for me to make–to realize I couldn’t and shouldn’t worry about the criticism as much as I was or even pay it attention in many cases. That’s because when you get heckled as a comedian, you get to face your heckler head-on and you deal with them because the audience expects you to; if you don’t, the heckler can take over the room. I rarely got heckled in comedy in part because you have to be gutsy to go toe-to-toe with a comedian, but in today’s age of anonymity with the web… hecklers can hide. Some of the biggest hecklers for any of us are often the ones who don’t even read our material; they just read a blurb, passage, and often have the concepts completely wrong because of it. You have to shrug them off and trust that all the good feedback will illustrate their criticisms aren’t even relevant. I wish you had written this a few years ago! What took you so long? Get it together! That Tim Ferriss is too slow with his posts, he… (I couldn’t resist.)

  75. Tim

    Quick “case in point”. I participate in a piano teacher’s forum. Recently I made a post referencing a heavily opinionated article I’d written on my blog. It was in response to a very divided debate on the fundamentals of teaching piano.

    Someone responded in big bold letters “BORING!” (Google Analytics later revealed he had spent 0:00 seconds “reading” to come up with this thoughtful analysis.)

    At first reaction, it caught me off guard. But because of your book and your message, I was HAPPY to see someone respond like this. I kept thinking about all the things you talk about, and when you really start doing something important, you’ll get strong reactions from both sides, creating conversation and debate.

    And you know what effect his big bold “BORING!” really had? It was like a giant red flag that said to everyone else “stop and read this!”. I got more hits than usual on my site because of it.

    Thanks again for the constant inspiration.

  76. Tim, as you’ve become more well-known and had a larger impact over the years, so in proportion has the criticism and vitriol seemed to grow in proportion. Thanks for constantly staying positive and keeping things in perspective, and for directing so much of your energy outward.

  77. Tim, your body is looking good! Can’t wait for “From Rapid Fat Loss to Strongmen”.

    I was about to say “Put some Flickr photos up of your tats. I know they’ll have some philosophy behind them!” Haha! I knew you’d have a reason behind it.

    With your good point on being non-reactive, a point I’ll add to that is to question why you were reactive in the first place. Carl Jung said we project our inner turmoils and shadows onto others. What frustrates us on the outside often signals something unresolved on the inside. This way, your critics actually help you grow as a human being.

  78. Hey, great presentation! Its hard to believe there are so many haters out there. Don’t these people have anything better to do?

    Also, una pregunta… Ahora estoy en Buenos Aires. Puedes recomendar cual es tu Malbec favorito y si tu conoces una buena escuela de Tango aca? Yo habia probado aprender salsa cuando estuve en Bogota pero fue impossible! Tu Dijiste Tango es mas facil, la verdad? Gracias por la recomendaciones… Ciao!!

    1. Byron,


      1. Clos de los Siete Malbec 2004

      2. Horacio Godoy en “La Viruta” o Gabriel Misse



  79. Tim, this is one of the best pieces in a while.

    A great lesson is that when we start out, dont expect to get it right, learn and grow from it.

    Of course you will be pissed on your first hater, but after time, master dealing with it.

    Great take away



  80. Awesome post! I always look for your responses to the posts, to see how you handle the rude ones, and have always been impressed at how cordial you are towards those who are undeserving of it. This “how to” post helps show your thought process on it. Thank you for sharing.

  81. Tim,

    I noticed you started advertising on the blog. As far as blog advertising goes, I really don’t mind yours.

    Not too “in your face” like most of the desperate bloggers with 1,000,000+ alexa ranks. Very chilled out.

    I’m really curious though; were you waiting for critical mass this whole time, or is this just a short term experiment?

    Also, do you plan on testing several mediums (CPM Banners, CPA Programs, Media Buys, Affiliate Programs, etc.) in the future?

    It’d be interesting to see which approach works the best with a high-traffic blog like yours…

  82. Great stuff Tim and very useful!

    I get nervous if I don’t have anyone unsubscribe off my newsletter or all the comments I ever get a positive. It is much worse if I get no interaction—yawn.

    I would second Mike’s comments above about advertising too.

    Excited to hear a deadlift update soon on your quest for 500 lbs. Whoo ha

    Rock on!

    Mike T Nelson PhD(c)