In 2013, I was first introduced to Tim Ferris when I randomly picked up The 4-Hour Work Week while visiting Barnes & Nobles one summer day. That book was my first glimpse into life design and I attribute my current entrepreneurship journey and healthier lifestyle to the contents of that book. Since then, my bookshelf has lined up with The 4-Hour Body, The 4-Hour Chef, and Tools of Titans. And today, I am happy to announce I’ve completed my collection with the most recent released book: Tribe of Mentors.
But I’m even more excited to announce I finally saw Tim Ferriss in person! Last night, I attended his book tour event hosted by Live Talks Los Angeles at Aratani Japan America Theater. As if seeing and hearing Tim Ferriss wasn’t rewarding enough, his special guest of the night ended up being none other than Terry Crews (yes, you’ve heard of him – even if you don’t follow NFL, you’ll recognize him singing A Thousand Miles in the movie White Chicks!).
The Tim Ferriss Show Podcast vs. Live Interview
As a long-time listener of The Tim Ferriss Show, I wasn’t sure what to expect in a sold-out theatre watching two men chat on stage. Was the experience going to be that much different than listening to an audio recording? The answer: YES!
Wow. Terry Crews was so lively, engaging, hilarious, and animated. I was certain he was going to fall out of his chair a few times as he displayed a rollercoaster of emotions from sharing really high highs in his life to really low lows.
Full transparency: I didn’t know too much about Terry Crews except that he was a very successful NFL star and actor. It was really beautiful to witness Terry Crews share so much vulnerability on stage, sharing about his difficult upbringing in the ghetto when the crack epidemic was at its height to seeing his drunk father physically abuse his mother throughout decades. Sometimes you see celebrities and you think they’ve had it all figured out… Terry Crews is definitely one who defied a lot of odds and reminds us to never judge a person by their exterior.
Why Terry Crews is the Ultimate Life Coach
Tim Ferriss made a really great point addressing the fact that celebrities on magazine covers make it a point to seem flawless in every aspect of their lives. In many ways, we can all relate to the perfect Instagram feeds. What makes Terry Crews the ultimate life coach (and interviewee) is this: not only has he experienced so much pain and pleasure in his lifetime, but he generously opens up the good, the bad, and the ugly to teach, motivate, and inspire others.
Here are the 8 Life Lessons I Want to Share from this Interview:
1. Always Be Intentional and Deliberate in Everything That You Do
I jotted this one down two minutes into the interview and I knew my notebook would be filled with wisdom by the end of the two-hour event (in case you’re wondering, I scribbled three pages worth of notes!). Despite Terry Crews having an extremely busy schedule, Tim Ferriss thanked him for being so intentional and deliberate in his responses. It was a really great reminder that busy is always a choice and a decision. If you’re going to do something in life, show up fully and see it through. People will recognize you for this.
2. Don’t Compete; Share Openly with Others
Based on socioeconomic conditions, even as a teen, Terry was wise enough to know that having support from others is the only way to get ahead in this beautiful game called life. He made a vow with his best friend to promise each other they would always share and teach new things they learned with one another.
I particularly love this nugget of insight because it’s really what led me to become a huge fan of Tim Ferriss. I love that he has scoured the internet, his network, and pages of research to share (in a digestible format) the best of the best to everyone else. In this model, he benefits, along with everyone else.
3. Vulnerability Does Not Equal Weakness
This was particularly touching and so important. Terry talks about the alpha male perspective and how men often bottle everything up and release through aggression. But in this way, he admires women because he’s realized, “You can’t fight your way out of it, you have to think your way out of it.” He continues, “Sharing heart and talking is one of the greatest forms of therapy.” Journaling around deep questions is a great way to gain clarity any challenges and can help you remain optimistic.
4. Be an Action Figure
Terry Crews boldly states, “I’m a motivational talker”. Whatever he says he backs it up with action and in that way, he is like an action figure. I think we all know (or may even be) that person who ‘talks a big game’. You know, they say they are going to do something but they don’t follow through or, worse, even start taking action. Life is all about starting and that’s the only way we can build and flex our confidence muscles.
On a personal note, when I make my mind up about something, I tell everyone and their mother about it. I use it as a method of accountability. I feel like, “Shoot. I’ve just announced this to the whole world. Now I better show up for myself so I’m not just talking a big game.”
Conversely, I know a lot of people who do the opposite and won’t share ideas or news until they execute it and its successful. I’ve interviewed quite a few people with this train of thought and their biggest worry is that they will look like a failure. My response is, “What’s so bad about failing?”
5. You are Original
This lesson really hit home for me. As an entrepreneur, I’m learning about ecourses, programs, FB ads, webinars, content marketing, blogging, social media giveaways, sponsorships, etc. and it’s all very new to me.
There seems to be online marketers on every corner of every social media platform sharing what they did to be successful. It seems the easiest option is just follow their blueprint but tweak it a bit to make it your own and slap your logo on it. It’s like that old adage, “Don’t reinvent the wheel.”
Yet in order to be a visionary, you have to scratch out anyone else’s model or product. Terry used a great example of Steve Jobs reinventing the record. If he had just tried to make a thinner or smaller record, the iPod would have never debuted. It was something so innovative and outside the box.
In Terry’s case, he was asked to design a chair and he made a table chair. Everyone’s response was, “I’ve never seen anything like this before!” It’s because he just put his pen to paper and became his own individualistic artist instead of looking at other chairs on the market to see which one feature he could tweak. By the way, I totally want one of these.
6. Failing vs. Self-Sabotage
Terry Crews shared a story of his high school basketball career and how missing the winning shot really shook him up for days. Everyone including his coach, teammates, and classmates blamed him and harassed him. It took him a long time to reflect and reframe his thoughts to realize he did nothing wrong. He didn’t fail because he tried. In the moment, he took his best shot and that’s all he’s in control of. It’s self-sabotage or lack of trying that is the real failure.
7. You Are What You Are NOW
From one of his favorite books, The Master Key System, Terry Crews shares a quote: “In order to have, you have to do. In order to do, you have to be.” While this philosophical quote might be difficult to comprehend right away, Terry finally understood it! He shared an example of when he was completely broke and said, “I want to be rich.” He started to ask himself, “What would a rich person do?” When he did these things… he became rich!
This reminds me of a story I heard recently about a low-income man going into the café of a 5-star hotel. He didn’t order an expensive meal, just a coffee. The experience of being placed in that environment opened up a whole new level of perspective and possibilities. Not only did it inspire and motivate him, it helped him meet the people he would want to network with.
“You never want to be the smartest person in the room.” Seek to surround yourself with people you admire.
8. Nervousness is a Good Thing… It Means You Care
It’s kind of reassuring to hear a man who has been on prime-time TV, Hollywood box offices, commercials, and interviews for over 20 years still feels butterflies, or as he calls them, bubbles. Terry shares that flow comes from facing the fear. And that flow or that high is worth the experience of fear. Nervousness is a good thing because it means you care. It’s when you don’t feel nervous then you should feel concerned because it may mean you no longer care.
The Journey to Become the Ultimate Life Coach
As a coach who has invested in a coaching certification program, I feel like Terry Crews captured so much wisdom in his closing remark: “People are not objects to be used, but people to be loved.” At the end of the day, we are all human and we all have emotions and thoughts. Show up fully, be deliberate in choices, and play full out for the things that matter the most to you in life.