#16: What would you do if you knew you would not fail?

The Tim Ferriss Show has been on an absolute roll lately. He’s posted interviews in the past couple weeks with Naval, Matthew McConaughey, Seth Godin, and Yuval Noah Harrari.

I tweeted about how today, and Tim actually retweeted my tweet! It then became the most liked tweet I’ve posted in my short time of actively tweeting (since I started 2 weeks ago).

I finally understand why people get addicted to tweeting instead of just reading tweets on their timeline. It’s way more fun to actually say what’s on your mind.

For today, I wanted to write a review of my 3 biggest takeaways I got from Tim’s interview with Seth Godin (there were many more than this but I’m cherry picking my 3 favorite). If you are not familiar with Seth’s work, you should first check out his blog (which he has posted daily in for nearly 2 decades and one of the inspirations for me starting my blog) and then check out the many books he’s written, including his newest book The Practice: Shipping Creative Work.

This interview with Seth was another gem in the Tim Ferriss Show archives, especially for writers or creatives who are looking to get started with a new project or are already started. I highly recommend giving it a listen.

  1. What would you do if you knew you would not fail?

    Seth finds that the popular hacker question “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” is completely unhelpful and it becomes wishful thinking.

    Instead, he asks himself this question: “What would you do if you knew you would fail?“.

    Of course, I thought about my blog right after I heard that. I seriously wouldn’t care if this blog failed at all. On the contrary, the practice of doing it, learning more, and sharing with others is enough for me. Then after I thought about the question a little bit more, I realized that I really I can’t fail (unless I don’t make a post). I haven’t even set the parameters of what failure would look like.

    Which brings me to the next big insight…
  2. Constraints, constraints, constraints

    In everything that Seth does, he sets constraints for himself to be successful.

    Whether it’s his diet, relationships, or work, he’s been setting tight constraints for himself for a long time. For example, he chooses not to use Twitter or Tik Tok but posts a blog everyday. He said he doesn’t know why he chose that but that’s what he does and he sticks to it.

    For me, it makes me want to think about where I need to add constraints in my work. What topics should I narrow my writing down to? What time should I write everyday? How much time should I give myself write? What social media channels should I use consistently promote on and what channels shouldn’t I promote on? How long are my posts going to be? And now the new question is: how do I create a newsletter that people will find interesting, fun and insightful?
  3.  The 3 Questions you should ask before you start a business
    As it relates to constraints, Seth talks about 3 questions he thinks every entrepreneur or creative should consider before starting a new project:
  • What resources are you willing to put in this? These could be resources that you are willing to expend emotional energy or time into.
  • Who do you want your customers to be? 
  • What are you looking to get out of this? 

There’s much more, but I need to put a constraint on myself to get to sleep before midnight. In a lot of ways, Seth just reminds me of what I’m doing here in the first place: practicing and putting in the reps. I learned so much from this podcast episode and if you have some time to give it a listen, I hope you enjoy it too.

Cheers to constraints and shipping your work,


This was day 16 of the 30-day blogging challenge!

Are you interested in receiving a weekly email newsletter from me each week that will include links to my articles and other cool things I dig up? You can sign up here!

Published by Jonah Baer

Florida State student | Memphis, TN native

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