How Facebook's #30 Employee Quickly Built 4 Businesses and Gained 40 Pounds with Weight Training (#75)

Noah Kagan on The Tim Ferriss Show

Noah Kagan was #30 at Facebook, #4 at, and is the Chief Sumo (founder) at SumoMe, which offers free tools to help grow website traffic. To keep things extra spicy, he’s become a taco connoisseur and created 4 separate products that have generated more than 7 figures.

This podcast conversation is about all of the tools and tricks he uses to do it all.

Noah was my co-teacher in the “Starting a Business” episode of The Tim Ferriss Experiment, which is now the #1 TV season across all of iTunes. In the episode, we help a novice entrepreneur named Cindy to develop and launch her business in a single week. See all the details here, and be sure to watch the bonus hour of behind-the-scenes footage.

But back to the current podcast…

Noah and I cover a ton, including his favorite tools, apps, books, routines, and more.  It ranges from apps for preventing distractions, to how he blocks out time every Tuesday for learning, to how he gained 40 pounds of (mostly) muscle in the last six months or so.

If you loved the resource-rich business interviews with Ramit Sethi and Tracy DiNunzio, you’ll love this one.

So, here’s the interview, chock full of tools, cursing, and sexual innuendo…

You can find the transcript of this episode here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#75: Tools and Tricks from the #30 Employee at Facebook

If you can’t see the above, here are other ways to listen:

This podcast is brought to you by Athletic Greens (AG), my all-in-one nutritional insurance policy. It’s a whole food-derived greens powder that I’ve used since 2008 or so to cover my bases in a busy world. If I need to skip meals or eat sub-optimal food, AG allows me to worry less. For travel, I take pouches with me to prevent fatigue. For a limited time, you can try AG at 50% off! Click here.  It ain’t cheap, but I find it totally worth it.

This podcast is also brought to you by 99Designs, the world’s largest marketplace of graphic designers. Did you know I used 99Designs to rapid prototype the cover for The 4-Hour BodyHere are some of the impressive results.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY:  Are you afraid of doing the “coffee challenge” that Noah describes? If so, why? If not, please do it and share the results in the comments. Feel free to share any other experiences with “comfort challenges” like those in The 4-Hour Workweek.

Scroll below for all show notes, links, resources, etc….


Subscribe to The Tim Ferriss Show on iTunes.

Non-iTunes RSS feed

Links from the Episode

SumoMe: website, Twitter, Facebook

Noah’s blog

Peter Thiel

Alfred App

Facebook Newsfeed Eradicator

Schedule Once ($99 a year option)

Andrew Warner

Quest protein bars

Tuft and Needle

My Pillow

Parachute bedding

Steve Pavlina

Tucker Max

Monthly 1K

Darren Rowse

Shane Snow

Taco Deli

Gary Halbert Letters

Kopywriting Kourse



The Pleasure of Finding Things Out – Richard Feynman

Withings Scale

The Online Coach – the SHUL workout

Pavel Tsatsouline

Travis Brewer

RAD Roller

Evan Williams Bourbon

Charlie Hoehn


Travis Scott


Promise Ring

Router that Noah recommends

Books Mentioned

The Martian

Go the F**k to Sleep

Who — Here is Noah’s short and personal book report on Who. I have about 10 pages of notes from this book. It’s well worth purchasing (I prefer Kindle version so I can highlight and export).

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing


The Ultimate Sales Machine

Million Dollar Consulting

The Sales Acceleration Formula


SPIN Selling

Ogilvy on Advertising

Small Giants

Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman!

Starting Strength

Practical Programming

Show Notes

Noah’s ad for living in Austin, TX [1:39]

Noah’s favorite tools he’s using right now [6:26]

Noah’s health/fitness routine [13:43]

Noah’s mattress and bedding recommendations [17:08]

Why Noah organizes his dollar bills in his wallet [25:14]

What the coffee challenge is [30:54]

The 3 most important (but undervalued) things people should spend more time learning [45:43]

What REALLY changed the game for Noah in his writing style [47:59]

Why Noah blocks out 2 hours every Tuesday morning just for learning [58:54]

Noah’s tips for adding muscle [1:03:01]

Noah’s business rules [1:17:00]

Noah’s challenge to build your email list (prize included) [1:27:00]

How to get a custom email address added to your Gmail [1:33:30]

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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Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation! (Thanks to Brian Oberkirch for the inspiration.)

484 Replies to “How Facebook's #30 Employee Quickly Built 4 Businesses and Gained 40 Pounds with Weight Training (#75)”

    1. #NOAH

      Results: 0 to 12,212 emails

      Ok, let’s dig in. I help run a company that was founded as a small main street butcher shop in 1962 by my grandfather and great grandfather. We now have 4 supermarkets and over 300 employees.

      We also have a rewards card that allows customers to get sale prices, deals, etc. Part of the sign up process requires them to register with an email but this is only used to deliver coupons which happens automatically. We were in the same position as Tim prior to him stepping up and doing something with all these emails he had collected over the years on his blog.

      This podcast was the kick in the ass I needed to put our list of emails to work. But, I like to do things right so I didn’t just log into mail chimp and blast everyone.

      After listening to the podcast I decided to completely re-build our company website to make it 100% responsive and design it in a way that funnels people into signing up for our email list (I went from a hosted on mediatemple to squarespace for anyone interested). The new version of the website ( went live at 7:30pm on Tuesday, May 12 and within a few hours I had 6 new subscribers just from regular visits.

      On Wednesday, May 13 I spent my afternoon designing the mail chimp newsletter template and importing our rewards card list. Around 6:30pm I sent the email to 12,212 people! It was super nerve-racking and I must have re-read it 50 times.

      The email went out in 2 separate groups due to store locations and the feedback within the first hour has been amazing. I have had 14 personal replies thanking me for sending it and the initial metrics are promising as well.

      What have I learned?

      #1 the facebook newsfeed eradicator is amazing.

      #2 trackpad speed takes some getting used to.

      #3 there is nothing like a good challenge with a deadline to get a “not urgent but important” (hey Stephen Covey) project done which would have taken weeks otherwise.

      So thanks for the push Noah and Tim 🙂

      Cheers to growth,


      P.S. I posted this comment on my personal blog with screenshots as proof [Moderator: link removed]

      1. Okay so I was really hoping to get to hang with Noah but man, I think you took the cake on this one. Really impressive stuff.

      2. Looks like you piggy-backed off my placeholder comment at the top. Nice 🙂

      3. #NOAH update

        +87 new list subscribers via the website since I redesigned it last week.

      4. Hey! I know you’re busy, so I’ll keep it short and sweet: I know you are obsessed with deconstructing skills (from swimming to languages and making money), but there’s one uber-important skill which I have never heard you talk about, which are social skills. Essentially, how do you walk into a party and just get into a group, be socially accepted in the group and make friends. It would be an incredibly addition to my life (and many with me, I believe) if you did something like this, especially for mini-retirements. The biggest counterargument I heard to mini-retirements is “won’t you get lonely”.. And they make a good point!

        Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this!

      1. Thanks. I searched and they all look very sport or casual type for me , Most have white soles.

    1. Just worth mentioning Vans are not “good” quality shoes. Good quality shoes would be : Edward Green, John Lobb, Gaziano Girling, St Crispin’s, etc.

      I do endorse owning a good pair, just like owing 1 good MTO suit.

  1. What if you already did this but used your personal email address before listening to the “” part…lol just count ?

  2. Noah, check out John Sandford if you haven’t read his Pray series. Good alternative to Jack Reacher. Love Sandford’s writing, so concise.

    I’ve been using Boomerang for gmail but like the look of FollowUp so will give that a whirl. Thanks both for a great session.

  3. Noah is not only smart but he’s a good guy. I’ve purchased his products, done the “Coffee Challenge” and even gotten his personal feedback on email. He knew I was a Baby Boomer” and he talked to me anyway! His stuff has been really helpful in my latest reinvention.

  4. I don’t usually comment Tim but I had to write this. I work as a confidence coach for a company in London and one of the exercises we do is go into a coffee shop and ask for a free coffee. But do you know what? You would be AMAZED how often you can get a free coffee just by asking. That’s my challenge for you Tim 🙂

    1. Hahaha… I’ll give it a go. I wonder if free or discounted is easier? Could it be the case that since a discount requires some weird move on the registers, that free has a higher success rate? Interesting stuff, for sure.

      1. Discounted rate + batting those big ol eyes + a big ol smile = winning. Most service places have a “service industry” code for discounts. Girl barista vs guy barista impact conversion rates.

        If I recall correctly, Tim has a little blurb in the 4HW where he does essentially this with a maiden in a tree house for “lodging” (cough) if I recall correctly — he suggests to use senior student or adorable man discounts for car rentals and it works great for phone plans, internet, utilities, insurance.. more than you’d imagine. Point being: life is negotiable, ask before accepting the rules.

        Charm is the hack no one talks about.

        Thanks for so much value in everything you produce Tim.

        Loved the show and am anxious for more extras.


      2. I think free is easier because it can be written off as wastage. Coffee baristas rarely have their emotions spiked by customers so when you break the phatic pattern they’re running, you become instantly memorable and can score a lot easier (and not just coffee!)

    2. Being originally from London I thought you might have a your clients ask for ‘free cuppa!”

  5. two of my fav persons in one podcast..Hell Yeah !!..btw i would like to get Noah Spotify playlists link. Can he share it here too 🙂

  6. Tim – lot of people over here in the uk keen to watch the tv show – any progress in getting it available for the non-us based audience ?

  7. Increasing your trackpad sensitivity sounded like such a stupid suggestion.

    But after trying it out, never going back. IT’S Great…my computer is now on roads. Definitely recommended, just take the transition slow, and don’t pull your neck trying to keep up with the cursor.

      1. I like roads. Your comment made me feel your computer was James Dean in his Porsche 550 Sypder speeding towards death. Let´s make this a thing.

  8. Tim to reach much more people (maybe you can track it): for those like me who are e.g. from Germany, make sure the know what to do to see your TV show. I couldn’t “open” your link because of the COUNTRYSETTINGS – on the bottom of your start site there is a country flag and you HAVE TO choose the american flag!

    1. That’s why I have beside my German account also a U.S. account for all the sweet stuff you can not purchase in the German iTunes store. So if you have a credit card, no problem. But I would love if you would make the TV show available on YouTube.

    1. Surprise that same barista by going in a few days for your free coffee. You’d be amazed at what keeping someone to their word will do!

  9. Tim and Noah, awesome!

    I’ve commented on Noah’s blog here and there – I think – and feel that the dude is a boss. Great leveraging guy, like yourself, TF.

    As for the comfort challenge I dove in over the past few months. First, I deleted 3400 blog posts and my old blog last year. Then I started publishing eBooks; HUGE jump for me. Now I am publishing 1 eBook weekly, one, 5,000 word blog post weekly, a weekly podcast, I run my online businesses, blog comment like a mad mad, and do all the stuff one does in paradise, like fighting off spitting cobras and stopping dogs on the villa grounds here from killing chickens. Seriously, I tackled the spitting cobra last week. Not literally.

    As for what’s going on, going forward, maybe 2 eBooks a week. We’ll see. Perhaps an online course. But more than anything, diving into super uncomfortable moments is freeing because it proves to you what you CAN do, not what you CAN’T do, or shouldn’t do. I love it, although at times, the comfort challenge can be maddening, especially reaching out to influencers for promotions….but hey, I scored Chris Brogan’s endorsement for my eBooks and since he’s a NY Times Best Seller I guess that counts 😉

    Fab job guys. Keep on inspiring!


  10. #Noah

    Couldn’t keep up with his instructions. I had to stop, pull over, and rewind the podcast. Just started a mailing list and posted my pic and email address to start it! 0-100….lets go!

    The most important thing I have learned is the simplicity of developing a mailing list to get connections.Let’s take action.

    1. #NOAH

      I have grown my business and emails 0-1. I think the people that like me are just faking it. Lol, today I am putting it all into play on Facebook. Twitter didn’t listen to me that well so far.

      The biggest thing that I learnt was it felt good to put passion into words for the actual newsletter. I need to do my research more for that exponential growth in subscribers.

      Hey thanks for your time.

      [Moderator: link, etc. removed]

      to be continued…

  11. Awesome — just acquired 5 books from the recommendations mentioned in this p-cast. Loved this one – Noah was great!

  12. #NOAH Yes, I did the Coffee Challenge as a part of Noah’s 1k business course (which is pretty sweet). I went to a local coffee shop in my town(I live in a small town in Ohio. Only other place would have been McDonalds) and yes, this was very uncomfortable to do. I feel the reasoning why it is so uncomfortable is because what did I do to deserve 10% off? Other than asking, there isn’t a reason.

    But, what I learned out of it is this:

    1) It gets you out of your comfort zone. Going to a restaurant is a simple transaction, I order, I get my stuff and I pay. So, you never think about discounts for things like that.

    2) You can snowball it into bigger things. For the most part, I’ve sucked at negotiating. But, just by asking for this 10% for no reason it allowed me to put it towards big wins. Cars, homes, credit card limit increases (if you get the right people. You can do this) or raises at your job. You don’t have to limit it to just discounts.

    Now, the big question is, did I get my discount? Indeed, I did! A lot of places to give 10% for different things. It could be a student discount, a company discount, or you could just be a kick ass customer at a place and they want to give you something back. So, don’t be afraid to ask at best you get your 10% at worst, you have to pay full price for your coffee.

    1. #NOAH

      Hey Tim and Noah. Thanks again for setting this contest up. For ease of reading, here is my signup results in one easy-to-digest document.

      Inside you’ll find the results I got, what i did to get them and the lessons I learnt. And maybe a funny photo of Noah… maybe. 😉


      Happy niche building,


      And one more for good measure:


  13. Tim, How can we watch your TV series in Australia? Please help us we are starving for some Ferriss Crack over here!!!

  14. a question for noah,

    you said that it didn’t really matter if you have 500 friends or 5 on social media when sending out your new newsletter, but you never really elaborated. how doesn’t it matter? im a person who doesnt really use fb and literally have 10 friends. i also happen to be doing the keto diet, and i know that it would fall on deaf ears if posted. not trying to be shitty, just trying to understand. how does that not matter?

    1. I think what he means is that we all start at the same place, when he started APPSUMMO, he didn’t have a big list of people. You just start, and grow it from there, one person at a time.

  15. Great podcast Tim. I love how you’ve included the links to all the books and other useful materials mentioned in the podcast. I’m a musician, graphic artist and writer and looking to expand my reach in all these areas and the ideas you discuss really have me thinking in new ways.

    On a tangent, it was great to hear you mention playing D&D and listening to metal in high school, I was right into both as well!

  16. Great podcast Tim. I was already familiar with SumoMe and have bought a few of their online tools so it was interesting to hear you and Noah speak. I love how you’ve included links to the books and other materials mentioned in the podcast, it makes it so easy to check out further resources.

    I’m a graphic artist, musician and writer looking to expand my reach in all these areas. Listening to the ideas you discuss has really got me thinking in new ways, I’m hooked!

    On a tangent, it was great to hear you mention playing D&D and listening to metal in high school, I was also right into both. I still love heavy music, fantasy and sci-fi and hope to apply what I’m learning from your book and podcast to help me spend more time on music, concept art and writing fantasy fiction.

    I always look forward to seeing who you have on the podcast. The Arnold Schwarzenegger episode was a favourite of mine – great interview!

  17. you should try video record your podcast’s sort of like Joe Rogan does. Would love to watch a podcast of yours, it sounds like you have a lot of fun with all the wine haha

  18. Tim, I have listened to nearly all of your podcasts and I found this one the best one yet. After listening to this on my long drive to and from work today I rushed home open all the links and look up all the books you both spoke about

    Thank you

  19. Noah and I cover a ton, including his favorite tools, apps, books, routines, and more. It ranges from apps for preventing distractions, to how he blocks out time every Tuesday for learning, to how he gained 40 pounds of (mostly) muscle in the last six months or so

  20. Inspiring stuff by an order of magnitude having both you guys together!

    Thanks for being awesome T + N 😉

  21. Correction on show notes timecode for bedding recs: currently 17:08, but should be 20:55.

  22. #NOAH , I just moved to a new city a few weeks ago, and I had a business idea that I wanted to test. I created a simple landing page with an email sign up form and posted a Facebook ad. I just got my first signup in the same day! 0-1 in 24 hours. And hopefully a lot more to come..

  23. #NOAH

    My results:

    A very good list of 100’000 people (French speaking, on the subject of meditation).

    Lesson learned: give a lot of value, you will then have followers that will stay and interact for the long time

    1. 100k that is awesome Cedric what tactics did you use to get that many so quickly? I need to do whatever you are doing!

    2. If you adjust you settings on FB so that your posts can be seen by everyone (or maybe it’s anyone) that post will wind up in a general stream: friends of friends of friends) just do it! What have you got to loose?

      Mine’s going up in 5 minutes!

  24. Hey Tim,

    What was that Chinese acupuncture thing you mentioned in the episode? I forgot to bookmark it.

    Thank you!

  25. Wow. Last episode with S4my was my favourite ever. This one just blew that out of the water. Loved every minute of it. Thank you Tim and Noah for the tremendous blow of value.

  26. Clicked on the links. Led me to itunes channel. Everything promptly shut down four or five times whenever I tried to click on things. Are you on Youtube at all? Anyway, I tried . . . all of it sounds interesting.

  27. Just listen to the Podcast and took a picture of my current “office”.

    Location: Buxton, NC(middle of the ocean)

    About to post the pic to my insta and get a bunch of new emails for my iPhone photography blog!

    You guys are changing the world and disrupting the economy. I love it! Consider me a 4WW cult member

  28. #NOAH

    Awesome interview! Been loving Sumome – have added at least 30 emails since January of this year. Which is small to most but means 30 extra people in the audience for me! Definitely learned that you don’t need to wait. Use what you have now!

  29. Amazing episode! Noah and Tim, you did a great job making this the best one yet!

    – Loved the athletic greens triple up sell sales pitch before the purchase was complete. It had me cracking up so hard with the “No thanks, I’m okay with my current energy levels, my relationships…” Haha this HAD to be a business growth idea from Tim, amazing. (Thank you for the 50% off on athletic greens!)

    – The Count of Monte Cristo is awesome you have to watch it Tim!

    – LOVE how you make us take action on this episode (the way to get people to floss is by getting them to floss one tooth)

    – I agree with you Noah, I think Instagram is a great vision board.

  30. Noah,

    If you like Jack Reacher( i’m not a huge fan).

    try out

    you’ll blitz it in a single sitting, but now he’s on book 5, or so, so it’s ok. High action, non stop.

    Keep up the podcasts guys,

    Still listening to this one, but had to post about that book.

    As a side note: when reading at night, do you use a kindle? paperwhite? or a kindle with a booklight? or reading by lamplight?

    i only just got a paperwhite and am trying to assess its impact on my sleep, moving from a reading lamp.

  31. Hi Tim,

    You interviewed so many wonderful and interesting people. And most of them seem to be your friends. How come you feel lonely and isolated? 🙂 I think there is not enough hours in a day with your work intensity and number of friends to feel lonely. 😉

  32. #NOAH

    Just started hustling to grow my email list a few days ago. Went from 100 (collected in 7 months) to 207, as of today – that’s 107 emails collected in 5 days.

    Biggest thing I learned: Growing an email list has nothing to do with optimizing the opt-in bar and everything to do with, as Charlie Munger would say, assiduity – you have to sit on your ass and DO stuff.

    For this it was manually reaching out to friends on facebook, Twitter, Slack, Linkedin, wherever.

    Credit to Bryan Harris from Videofruit for showing me the strategies I used to finally stop adjusting the share button colors and hustle.

  33. Tim, you have a truly inspirational podcast series. Such great interviews with amazing people! Thank you, from Houston, TX.

    I appreciated the Richard Feynman reference. He is my favorite physicist of all time. More people need to know about him. He spoke about physics with such clarity and ease. There is speculations that he named his theory “Quantum Electrodynamics” (QED) as a play on the latin QED phrase “quod erat demonstrandum” which translates to “it needed to be proven” (or some variation like that). I wouldn’t put it by him because that’s his kind of humor.

    My email list challenge is starting slow, but I’m hoping it will gain some momentum. My network would rather reply with witty comments than actually sign up.

  34. #NOAH

    I went from 25 emails to 25 emails (that’s not a typo). It’s only been about 14 hours, but Noah got 2 emails within the length of the conversation about the technique, so I had higher hopes. I posted on FB and Twitter, a picture of myself, and a note asking others to join me in starting a business that also helps us fight GMOs in our food.I expected to get at least as many emails as Noah did by now.

    I learned 2 things: It’s not as complicated as I’ve been making it, but it’s also not quite as simple as Noah makes it seem.

    I’m here to learn, because I’m ready to take my family’s lifestyle out of the hands of our employers. I will take advice!

  35. #noah

    This episode was packed with so many gems! I included it in my new blog post of podcast episode pics for business growth. I’m starting a new online biz as a course designer – which I’ve been doing in my day job. My website is still in need of design and I have a list of zero followers today. I’m planning to start a 2nd podcast that aligns with my new biz. Will take the steps suggested to build a list of people whom I could get input from on podcast topics and who might like to create a course to serve their following. Very pumped! I would be psyched to spend a day working with Noah’s team!!

    Thanks Noah and Tim! And Noah, thanks for speaking at Social Media Marketing World. I attended your session. Gained several ideas and have been acting on them. Vickie

  36. #NOAH

    Results – I have an e-mail list I’ve been managing via MailChimp that is about 8 e-mail addresses. I am going to try the tactics of posting on social, change my signature, and also ask the posing question of “what problem can I help you with?”

    Lesson – Pick one goal. For a small start-up, I think it’s way too easy to concern yourself with a bunch of different metrics. I have been trying to take the “one metric that matters” approach, but it’s hard to stay disciplined. So it was good to hear this again. I also really liked the idea of scheduling time for learning. 🙂 Also, adding a link to your e-mail signature. Great stuff.

  37. #Noah

    Great takeaways from this talk! So much value! Got motivated, out of the couch and started an e-mail list revolving around my journey on becoming a Dive Master in Costa Rica. What I learned during the talk was how easily expensive and complex products actually might turn into excuses, while your simpler tools are waiting for your usage…

    Took Noah’s tip about contacting your “favourites”, which was an Australian Rotary Club in my case. Got one reply to my mail [Moderator: email address removed] in an instant – life is good and I can’t wait for more! Celebrate each win…

  38. Couldn’t catch the instructions on how to access the free course. Can’t find them here either. I’m sure it’s me, but could you please let me know? I’m super interested!

  39. I totally agree on not getting tools or doing stuff that will get in the way (for the mailing list). I don’t know if it’s a law but I if I buy something that I can rent or borrow prematurely it usually results in preventing me from doing the thing it was supposed to help with. For example I purposely have put off buying climbing shoes, knowing it’s better to put that effort into going climbing. I once bought a sail boat and immediately stopped sailing (used to go to the club to do so); now I just go to the club. I used to put off writing because I didn’t have the write “setup” but now I just type on my iPhone in the Notes app. Life is much simpler this way. Same goes for writing software, often people want the perfect “setup”. All the best engineers I’ve worked with start with what they know and what is easy and work from there. I once tanked my first startup by rewriting the entire system instead of just letting it be imperfect. Can always add optimizations later. Right now my brain is saying I need a web site just to post, LOL. How ridiculous 🙂

  40. #NOAH

    I did this exercise this morning and have gone from 0 to 2 e-mails in several hours. Okay, not amazing success, however I suspect that’s not the point of this exercise. What I like about this is the mental barriers of starting something are broken down by doing something so simple. I often think about sharing my knowledge and growing something, but that’s how it always ends: as thoughts. Now at least I have two people to create content for – that’s awesome, I already have motivation to continue and have started crafting content on biohacking. The most important lesson I learned from this simple exercise: don’t convince your self mentally of you limitations, because it’s so easy to do and you’ll become limited very quickly. Act now, starting with something that takes ten seconds (like this exercise) and cruise from there.


  41. Do Tim and Noah have to use a service like Constant Contact to avoid being labeled spammers when they develop and use these huge mailing lists?

  42. I will do the email list challenge, and the coffee challenge! But first I wanted to say that this is definitely my new favorite episode of the podcast!!!

    Thanks guys

  43. #NOAH

    I grew my email list from 2000 to 10,000 in ten months, after migrating my list from SBI! (yuck) to Aweber and using SumoMe popups. Note that the list was around 9,300 when I migrated, but I lost most subscribers because they thought the “please reconfirm” email from Aweber was spam.

    Most important lesson: content upgrade! I already had several pdfs (jazz guitar lessons) I was giving away for free throughout the website. I converted the ones that had the most downloads/traffic to Leadboxes (see Leadpages) and started to get 1000 new email subscribers per month. Ka-ching!


  44. Hey Tim / Noah,

    Great Podcast (as always). A quick note that I jumped out of my seat with excitement when Noah mentioned the Nutribullet. A quick shake everyday is about as fast as a glass of Green Athletics (which I also use), and love it.

    A note of caution for readers, I ended up changing my Nutribullet for the NutriNinja after reading consumer reports of Nutribullet blades breaking into smoothies. Loving the NutriNinja for over 1 year now.

    Simply search Google for Nutribullet Consumer Report.



  45. Should have Alan Weiss (author of Million Dollar Consulting) on some time. He happens to be a neighbor… Interesting man!

  46. Tim you should check out BeeKeeper for achieving habits, goals, etc and add to the list. It keeps you focused on doing the work daily (the processes) over pie in the sky goals. You can pledge dollars to keep it interesting.

  47. #NOAH

    2) 48 responses via google forms/sheets. After each user entry an email is sent to our inbox via custom google script. This is for a pre-verification form for a medicinal cannabis collective in Los Angeles.

    3) Biggest challenge is getting into the mindset of patients/members and incentivizing them to take advantage of technology for the sake of time and efficiency. Most important lesson learned: 1) what i think is best may not be 2) difficult to push efficiency for medicated patients

  48. Another excellent Pod with Noah.

    Most of us Boomers eye glaze with the apps stuff, but the body building resonates as we strive for blue zone immortality.

    Those of us who lift and run actually enjoy getting older.

    Of course, you legitimized the space amongst X’s and Millinials with 4HourBody, but the Rippitoes and Aragons–and even the experience of Mr Alexiev and the Bulgarians in several Olympics continued with Arnold, Franco and Lou.

    Hard to follow all the frantic entrances to the space –from the Marvel actors to the Rich Roll types and the banana loading fruitarian body builder in Colorado.

    My read is that you are forcing the medical infrastructure to more seriously consider lifestyle choices ordered by Ornish, Atkins, Onit and “The Starch Solution.”

    Look forward to what the body building young ones in Silcon Valley and Austin bring to the argument.

  49. heya. a note about your affiliate system with apple you may be interested in. I followed the link you gave in the podcast to, whereupon I had to download itunes (I avoid it like the plague, but am keen to watch your new show!). Anyway, it said affiliate in the url and on the webpage I had to click download. so I did. the next screen came up, but then no download occurred. wtf. so i went back to the page and clicked download again, which worked (yay) however I ran the .exe file and it was like, this download is for 32 bit windows and wont function on your PC. who the hell is using 32 bit windows anymore! anyway, I point it out because it’s possible apple are trying to wrought you of your affiliate $. My PC is clean and mean, with no bloatware etc and has no issues otherwise… Love your work, I own a couple of your books and looking forward to the tv series!

  50. Unfortunately I’m just getting people to like my photo. None of my folks are suscribing. Does anybody have any other advice on getting to go for free?

  51. Noah is an amazing guy….I found a ton of great plugins from SumoMe… Always knew him as a skinny guy too. 😀

  52. Long-time listener/fan, first-time commenting here. Hands down, my favorite episode. And most helpful. Changed my mouse speed as soon as I got to my computer after listening to the ep. Gamechanger. And plowing the rest of the recommendations. Love the high density of info. Great work!

  53. Tim,

    Love your book and everything that comes with it, and while I have used most of your strategies for my online store, I am closer to 104 hrs a week that 4 hrs!

  54. Have never bothered to read any of the comments or post my own until this episode. I’ve been a HUGE Time Ferriss fan for years, but this was one of the most inspirational conversations I’ve heard to date. That said, I was all the more inclined to post, hoping to fulfill Noah’s goal of making this the most popular episode yet! He did his homework and it payed off! I’ll be listening to this one again. Thanks, guys.

  55. #NOAH

    Current List has 24 subscribers, and starting a new one with zero for a different site.

    Will post my results on the 13th!

  56. #NOAH

    Got a post up and email’s to start list. Have a few ideas on newsletter but was stuck on how to get started with the traffic. BOOM done now we wait and do other things to get more people interested.

  57. Noah mentioned that he was going to share one of his book reports with Tim. Has anyone found that link. I’m missing it.

  58. #NOAH

    As I’m sure many of the readers on the 4 Hour Work Week blog are, I’m a fan of compounded learning, so I’ll be a case study for email subscription growth.

    I’ve had a blog, [Moderator: link removed], for the past few months, and tonight, 05/09, I added an email subscription feature.

    Every day, I’ll post a new Google Doc in the comments

    -detailing how I use the advice from the [Moderator: link removed]

    -showing day-to-day images of the process and results (Mailchimp & Google Analytics)

    -creating video “how to’s” of implementing Noah’s email1k course

    -jotting down lessons learned to help future students

    Here’s the first GDoc:

    [Moderator: link removed]

    If you have any suggestions or thoughts on what you’d like me to write about, leave a comment.

    *I see in the comment rules to not put personal URLs. If you’d like me to change anything or stop these daily comments, please let me know.

  59. Hello, really great podcast. Took lot of notes and learned a lot.

    I did not do the coffee challenge but I’m going to move to another condo soon. Visited one that I liked friday, listened to your podcast yesterday (saturday) and today asked a discount and got -8.xx% after negotiating.

    It may seems normal for a lot of you to negotiate the price when renting an appartment but I’m a social anxious introverted guy (working on it) and I never negotiate anything because I try to avoid “conflict” as much as I can.

    So many thanks to Noah for the challenge and you Tim for the podcast. As I said, I learned a lot but you also made me save many hundred Euros for the next 12 months, at least ( one year contract).

    Have a nice day.

  60. Want to see how the coffee challenge is done? I did not get 10% off, I got 65% off. Just cause I was chill, appreciative and laid back. Check it out here:

    Don’t worry Tim, I did not drop your name at the shop. I did have to give credit on the video edit tho. If you want me to remove the annotation, I will. Let me know dude.

  61. is a FREE very good alternative to ScheduleOnce for 1 person (Note: For teams you have to pay). I just started using it and I’m very satisfied with it.

  62. #NOAH

    Great Podcast Fellas! Ok so i have 15 subscribers on my list (out of 67 views).

    I’ve been kind of lazy, just set up a few things and let it run.

    I’ll give the full details for everyone to see and use when i hit my min target 100 which should be by tomorrow night or the next day. My mailing list is all about building muscle, getting stronger and burning fat, i’m all about the jacked and tan lifestyle so it works in my favor.

    List things i did;

    1. start a free wordpress dot com blog.

    2. got a free landing page with email capture.

    3. write one 750 word article about ‘the dark side of dieting’ posted it on three relevant forums.

    4. Went on 3 groups i’m joined in on FB posted a message outlining what i’m doing.

    5.Went to bed.

    6. Sunday night – checked my stats (did step 1 – 4 on friday arvo)

    I could be a tone more proactive – So in light of that i have 5 more free ideas i’m wanting to test and i’ll double up on the winning things i am doing. I really hope you guys have a crack, its actually FUN. It also occurred to me that if i cant get 100 people to take something from me for free, i should probably just give it up now. See you all at 100

    P.s any one who gets 500 i’ll buy them a beer legit!

  63. #NOAH

    In addition to 2-3 new contacts being captured through my website every week…

    …The most important thing I’ve learned from this activity is that growing your email list is one hell of a motivator. There’s nothing like receiving a brief reminder every few days that people are interested in your product!

  64. #NOAH

    I have grown my list from 0 to 10 in a short time in a luxury related site.

    The most important thing I learned was that it’s so important to a/b test the text in the opt-in box because it changes the conversion rate dramatically.

    I will be glad to be coached by Noah


  65. I tried the coffee challenge at Subway getting my family sandwiches after soccer. The girl said she couldn’t give me one. I asked who could. She said her manager. So next time I’m there I’ll ask him. Painless.

  66. #NOAH

    So I cheated a little because i’ve followed your stuff for a while, and installed some lovely SumoMe plugins last year. I started a UX design blog (ok last september) got it to about 120 subscribers… then got distracted with my other business and stopped.

    But then I heard this podcast and decided to spank out a few links to my older articles and guest posts with links back to my site and BAM… 202 subscribers (who are now getting autoresponded hard)

    No new content, just linked to old stuff.

    Here’s one of the articles I linked to on twitter:

    Love from Berlin!


    P.S. I was featured as a testimonial on SumoMe last year. Love that shit.

  67. I have never commented on a podcast before, but I just have to tell you how fantastic the content was! I will definitely be listening to it again and taking notes (I was running while listening to most of it). Thanks, Tim and Noah – so many great nuggets!

  68. #NOAH

    Email marketing is the 2nd strongest marketing method for my business (youtube is #1 for us), Our emails list has grown 259 users since this podcast. Total email list is 37K

    The most effective change we have made is using a popup window on our website to collect the email address for potential customers. I’d love to come to Austin to meet and work with Noah for a day.



  69. #NOAH (+Tim + readers): What are your thoughts on the “What’s one thing I can help you with” strategy if you are a musician about to release a new album? I’m interested in what business need would become revealed by this question, but it seems specific to new business creation. I am unclear how to tie it in to an extant offering. Any insights or advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.

  70. #NOAH

    0 emails. Posted and re-posted on FB. Considering ‘spamming’ all my friends on FB with the link yet done this is the past where folk have immediately ‘left the conversation’. Reactivated my Twitter account also and no emails! Either:

    a) I’m boring/can’t be taken seriously

    b) My friends aren’t interested/they’ve heard it all before

    c) Timeline on FB means not everyone sees what I post.

    d) All of the above and/or something else (topic, perhaps)

    Lesson learned: It’s much easier to actually start. But. Don’t get too hopeful on results (already aware of this from past failures/successes/delete as appropriate)

    Ran an unsuccessful kickstarter a couple of years ago (trying to punt my awesome cheesecakes, or were they that amazing?), and whilst it didn’t work, I should’ve realised I actually established twenty or so potential customers, and for free.

    Cracking podcast Tim (and Noah, of course), and to be honest, the only one I’ve listened all the way through (excuses, I do apologise).

    Cheers, E from Scotland!

  71. Another solid episode with a discussion about fitness. Don’t recall hearing a good description of the strenght, endurance, and flexibility standards that will help optimize life. Have I missed those details in this or another podcast?

  72. #Noah

    Two reasons for commenting.

    The Podcast is excellent and I wanted to help reach your goal of making it the most popular podcast ever.

    I have posted on Linkedin and on Twitter and have added the subscribe to my email list in my email signature (genius idea). Had 36 subscribers to my “Tips on Managing Aged Care patients” list and am hoping for 100 by the end of the week.

    Thanks to both of you.

  73. #NOAH

    I just heard this podcast today! Yikes! Tomorrow is the deadline, so I don’t know how much my email list will grow. As of right now, I have 2 subscribers. And I’m one of them.

    Here’s what I did today: I made one of my books FREE on Kindle. It’s the first book I wrote, and I also wrote a Volume 2 for it. To get the FREE book, you can simply sign up for my emailing list.

    The most exciting thing I learned from your podcast today: There were 2 things (1) the Gmail + address feature, and (2) the way you explained starting an email list from your phone. Amazing.

    Also – loved the story about Noah taking an ESL class. That’s hilarious.

  74. #NOAH – I am all in. Biggest thing I have learned so far is to simply push the post button and watch the reply’s- WOW it is exhilarating!!

  75. #NOAH

    Results: 4 subscribers to 1,128 subscribers and growing. The newsletter is how to hack your personal finances — the things you never knew that could cost you.

    What I learned:

    #1) Challenge your assumptions. After listening to this episode that you and Tim did together, I felt that there was more I learned than I could write down. I have helped build two different startups in San Francisco, but it doesn’t matter — I still felt I had learned an incredible amount. For example, I immediately implemented to key insights you shared: 1) having an accountability partner, and 2) focusing on only one metric.

    #2) You don’t need to pay for an expensive email solution. I use one that is up to 100 times less expensive, and yet has better delivery rates with all the functionality I need.

    #3) Understand the end-game before you begin.

    Entrepreneurship — building businesses that create value for people — is a lifelong quest for me. Your insight and mentorship would be invaluable.

    1. Congrats on the boost of subs. I am curious as to what your email solution is. It sounds like you have had great success with it.

      1. Hey Stephen, I’d be happy to send the email solution to you — let me know how to get in touch with you. I’m at

  76. PACKED podcast! Just implemented the simplest version of the 100 subscriber challenge and got some instant twitter response. (I’m using this too to measure interest in a concept – new emails and market validation in a one-two punch.) And I just handed off SumoMe info to my web designer for our new website. Thanks Tim and Noah. Watch for my post with directions followed on Wednesday after we’ve had time to build some traffic. (Thanks to 4HWW, I meet with clients back to back in one week each month, and build new stuff the rest of the time. Alas, this is my client meeting week, so I won’t get to fully exploit all the great SumoMe tools for the best shot at winning a day of mentoring with Noah. But I’ll get my marketing coordinator at least onto a social media campaign to build the list.)

  77. #NOAH

    I’ve just finished listening to the podcast!

    I immediately started working on an idea. this is what I came up with. what do you guys think?

    I’m starting a newsletter/resource page for people learning to code in Swift. Swift is Apple’s new programming language.

    I never studied programming at school so I know how frustrating it can be to go through tons of tutorials and feel like you’ve only copied code and not learned anything new. Things you can expect on my newsletter/page:

    *Collection or resources on learning swift and programming concepts. (There are a lot of tutorials and videos out there. I’ve gone through so many and I know which ones are worth your time)

    *Reviews of Bay Area Hackathons, Meetup events, development conferences, and programming events. (If you want to go to one with me, hit me up)

    *Interviews of real programmers. (I find talking to programmers very enlightening. I learn a ton of things about what real work environment is like, what people expect you to know as a software engineer, and etc)

    *I’ll be working on developing games / apps for the appstore. I’m planning to document that process. Not only the development, e.a. coding, but post production work like marketing, using social media, and etc

    If you are interested, send me a email I will add you to my list. [Moderator: email removed]

    PS: The most important lesson I learned was to validate my business ideas before committing money and time.

    1. After I validated my idea I got about 10 people signed up to my list. I stayed up all night and made the website and sent my first post to my list. I manually emailed each one of them but I felt so great for each email. Thanks Noah and Tim!

  78. This was the absolute best podcast episode I have ever heard. Thanks Tim and Noah! Noah – I hope you achieve your popularity goal for this episode. It deserves the recognition.