Total Read Time: 4 Minutes
Tim Ferriss’ Tribe of Mentors
Tim Ferriss’ previous work, Tools of Titans was one of my favorite books of 2016. Before picking up the book, I never listened to Tim’s podcast. I was pleasantly surprised by what I found! Tribe of Mentors had a similar format and similar feel. However, the content wasn’t derived from his podcast, and many of the ‘mentors’ had never been on his show.
Each chapter in Tribe of Mentors is a self-contained unit. In each, a single mentor answers a list of Tim’s questions, which he outlines before getting started. Woven throughout are pages filled with quotes Tim Ferriss is pondering during a certain week of the year. What I really liked about this format was each chapter was between one and five pages, with few exceptions. This let me bite off a little and then chew while going about my day.
Both Tools of Titans and Tribe of Mentors are over 500 pages. The formatting does helps make the book seem to go faster, while allowing ample time for digestion. If you aren’t jiving with one of the mentors, just wait a couple of pages. If you read Tools of Titans and liked Tim’s banter between sections, you won’t find much of that in Tribe of Mentors. Another thing that’s missing is a complete list of the books the mentors suggested. My copy of Tools of Titans is highlighted as I make my way through the list. It’s actually very satisfying.
The book lacks of a thread which strings the Q&A portions together, but I did gain insight from many of the mentors. In a book like this, if 5-10% of what I read is Earth-shattering, the book was worth every penny. If 25% is a pretty good read and interesting, I’m in. Tribe of Mentors succeeds here. Not every person was great for me, but I can see how each would be special to someone. Terry Crews was a real standout for me, along with Jocko Willink and Yuval Noah Harari.
I do wish, however, that Tim Ferriss would get away from these sort of omnibus tomes and create something original from within himself. Between Tools of Titans and Tribe of Mentors, I think I have enough to chew on so a third book might be unwarranted.
Tribe of Mentors vs. Tools of Titans
If you’re trying to choose between Tools of Titans and Tribe of Mentors, go with Tools of Titans. It has a great index, reading list, and tv/movie watch list that collates data from all of the interviews. Additionally, it has better, higher quality additions from the ‘Titans.’ If you’ve already read Tools of Titans, Tribe of Mentors is a nice companion piece, but doesn’t stand as well on its own.
Complete List of Mentors
|Andrew Ross Sorkin|
|Anníe Mist Þórisdóttir|
|Ayaan Hirsi Ali|
|Bozoma Saint John|
|Dita Von Teese|
|Katrín Tanja Davíðsdóttir|
|Laura R. Walker|
|Mike Maples Jr.|
|Mr. Money Mustache|
|Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks|
|Sarah Elizabeth Lewis|
|Yuval Noah Harari|
Something that wasn’t talked about during the press for Tribe of Mentors was the rejection (“I’m too busy”) letters Tim Ferriss received. He added their letters as good examples of how to say ‘no.’ These sections are at least as useful as the rest of the material in the book. A lot of people have trouble saying no. I know I can be one of them as well. These templates are great resources I’ll look to in the future.
The following people are featured for saying no well:
Danny Meyer (Restaurateur)
Wendy MacNaughton (Artist)
Tribe of Mentors has a lot of offer, and at 589 pages and over 100 mentors, it’s thorough. I have a feeling it is worth a second read, which I will test out in the next year or two. I can see that I could connect with distinct mentors at distinct points in my life to come. Tim Ferriss has written a book that’s worth keeping on a shelf just for that purpose. Whether looking for business or cooking advice, there’s something for everyone. It is a great addition to 2018’s Book Club is January’s Book of the Month!
If you would like to read 52+ books per year like me, here’s a guide to help you complete your goal.
If you’re looking to build your social media following, check out One Million Followers by Brendan Kane. My review here.