Select Page

#111: Should You Start a ’Startup’ or Build a Cash-Flow Business?
The Tim Ferriss Show

00:00 / 01:04:13

“I should be used as a mercenary, not a lifer.” – Tim Ferriss In this episode, we have a change of pace… Expa (@expa) is a startup studio. It was founded by Garrett Camp, who co-founded Uber. Every once in a blue moon, they put together a night of education. I was invited to participate. In this episode, I discuss the topic of startup design vs. lifestyle design. Some of you may be aware that I’ve been involved with various startups ranging from Uber to Facebook, Twitter and DuoLingo, and other businesses that have grown to more than 100 million users and customers. Simultaneously, I have written many times about lifestyle design, and I’ve suggested that it should come before career planning. The question is, how do we reconcile these two different approaches to business? Should you focus on building your muse and creating cash-flow focused business to fuel your ideal lifestyle…or should you swing for the fences and bet it all on a startup that is equity driven? This podcast explores these topics — and many more — and aims to answer the questions that I think are under-examined. Show notes and links for this episode can be found at This podcast is 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 Body? Here are some of the impressive results. Click this link and get a free $99 upgrade. Give it a test run… This podcast is also brought to you by Wealthfront. Wealthfront is a massively disruptive (in a good way) set-it-and-forget-it investing service, led by technologists from places like Apple and world-famous investors. It has exploded in popularity in the last 2 years, and now has more than $2.5B under management. In fact, some of my good investor friends in Silicon Valley have millions of their own money in Wealthfront. Why? Because you can get services previously limited to the ultra-wealthy and only pay pennies on the dollar for them, and it’s all through smarter software instead of retail locations and bloated sales teams. Check out, take their risk assessment quiz, which only takes 2-5 minutes, and they’ll show you—for free–exactly the portfolio they’d put you in. If you want to just take their advice and do it yourself, you can. Or, as I would, you can set it and forget it. Well worth a few minutes: Mandatory disclaimer: Wealthfront Inc. is an SEC registered Investment Advisor. Investing in securities involves risks, and there is the possibility of losing money. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Please visit Wealthfront dot com to read their full disclosure.


If you enjoy the podcast, would you please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts/iTunes? It takes less than 60 seconds, and it really makes a difference in helping to convince hard-to-get guests. I also love reading the reviews!

For show notes and past guests, please visit

Sign up for Tim’s email newsletter (“5-Bullet Friday”) at

For transcripts of episodes, go to

Interested in sponsoring the podcast? Visit and fill out the form.

Discover Tim’s books:

Follow Tim:





Copy link
Powered by Social Snap
Send this to a friend