Home > Uncategorized > Penelope Trunk vs. Tim Ferriss

Penelope Trunk vs. Tim Ferriss

There’s an incredibly readable feature story in the Sunday Styles section of today’s New York Times–I highly recommend giving it a read–about self-improvement author Tim Ferriss, who was apparently a popular guest at this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) conference in Austin, Texas. Ferriss was in Austin to promote his new book, The 4-Hour Body, which is a textbook-like manual that purports to teach its readers how to become “superhuman”–or as Ferriss himself might say, how to hack the human body.

Interestingly enough, even though I have the Sunday New York Times delivered to my front door each weekend, I found out about this particular story through a Gawker post, which essentially made the argument that Ferriss is a self-obsessed asshole because of the unusual way he handles his personal email. There’s no doubt that Ferriss has a huge number of very fervent fans, but he has also managed to inspire a good number of serious haters over the past few years, and apparently Penelope Trunk, a popular work-culture writer who I happen to be a fan of, has been one of them for quite some time.

Here’s a recent blog post written by Trunk entitled, “5 Time management tricks I learned from years of hating Tim Ferriss”. One of the many reasons Trunk gives for “hating” Ferriss has to do with a meeting that took place between the two at a South by Southwest conference in 2007, in fact. At the time, Ferriss was aggressively marketing his first book, The 4-Hour Workweek, to influential bloggers. Apparently, Trunk feels as if she was tricked into having a coffee date with Ferriss, who wanted a chance to pitch his book to the sort of blogger who might be able to introduce it a wider audience. Read Trunk’s post, here, for the full story.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Ferriss recently put together an incredibly useful blog post about the ins and outs of dealing with haters, and if you happen to be a public personality of any sort, or if you happen to be especially successful in your chosen field, I seriously recommend reading it. One of very best points Ferriss makes in the post, as far as I’m concerned, begins with a quote from the sports agent Scott Boras, who said that, “If you are really effective at what you do, 95% of the things said about you will be negative.” If that’s a quote you can personally relate to, take the time to check out both of the posts I’ve linked to below.

Do you have any especially useful techniques–psychological or otherwise–when it comes to dealing with unnecessarily harsh critics? If so, please post them in the comments section.

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