James Piecowye thinking out loud

Ideas, inspiration and a bit of random.

Tim Ferriss and a Job

Posted on | January 15, 2015 | No Comments

Tim Ferriss is one of those people that make you as, “how does he do that”?

How do you find the best person for a job?

How honest do you need to be about a position?

Well, Tim Ferriss is looking for a managing editor and he is brutally honest about the up and down side of working for him.

It is a bit long but give this a read, then I will quiz you.

I’m looking for the perfect Managing Editor.

This person will be my right hand for all things related to content. Some of things you’d get to work with:

– One of the world’s most popular blogs (this one). Typically 1.5-2 million readers per month. See “The Tim Ferriss Effect” on Forbes for a funny description of what it can do.

– One of the world’s most popular podcasts — The Tim Ferriss Show — selected by iTunes as “Best of 2014? and often the #1 business podcast across all of iTunes (at times, #1 across all categories).

– Email broadcasts to nearly 500,000 people.

– Social media accounts that reach millions of people.

– New top-secret projects for 2015, including high-end video and new book stuff.

Things would start with a paid one-month trial, probably around 20 hours per week. If things go gangbusters, there would be potential to expand significantly from there. Competitive pay and tons of interesting options.

JOB DESCRIPTION

To help me focus exclusively on writing, interviewing, and other content creation, I need someone who’s expert at handling quite a bit.

The Managing Editor’s responsibilities would include, but not be limited to, the following:

* Spearheading the editorial calendar for the blog, podcast, email, etc. for the next 6-12 months. I’m too ad hoc and last-minute right now. It’s unnecessarily stressful. I need someone to manage most or all of it, including…

* Helping me reach out to would-be podcast guests and book them, prep them, confirm them, etc., whether celebritiesworld-class investors, or scientists.

* Helping me draft blog posts that I don’t otherwise have the bandwidth to adapt. For instance, great unused parts of The 4-Hour Body that are currently Word docs with footnotes, etc. A past example of such adaptation: The Truth About “Homeopathic” Medicine.

* Sourcing great guest posts and guest authors. Here are two different but equally successful examples:Hacking Kickstarter and 20 Things I’ve Learned From Traveling Around the World for Three Years.

* Helping plan and implement content promotion. This would include social accounts reaching millions of people, cutting-edge experimental stuff, and more.

* Experiment with different ways of increasing traffic (syndication, managing SEO/SEM contractors, etc.).

PERKS

* You’d be working behind the curtains on high-profile projects. You’ll see all of my projects first, and get to play a critical role in their creation and launch. This could range from interviewing icons to wordsmithing posts or book chapters that will be seen by millions of people.

* I will ask your advice and look to you for original ideas, new experiments, and more.

* If you’re in SF (or willing to visit), you will also be invited to spend time with the most impressive people in my network. In fact, that would be part of your job.

* I might send you great tequila, there will be strange assignments, and you get to work with a weirdo. That’s me. There won’t be a lot of boredom.

JOB REQUIREMENTS

Please note that most of the below are “must have,” not “nice to have.”

First and foremost, you need to understand and love the goal of my content — helping people unlock their latent potential, and providing non-obvious toolkits to that end.

These types of stories must make you excited to conquer the world, do huge things, and tackle big problems. Alignment with the above mission is the most important, but you should also:

1) Have at least 2-4 years of writing/editorial experience
2) Be a great writer and equally good at editing/improving other people’s writing.
3) Have managed tight deadlines and successfully put together editorial calendars.
4) Ideal: Have managed other writers.
5) Ideal: Comfortable with WordPress.
6) Ideal but not required: Live in or near SF. Remote is also possible.

I need someone with relevant experience. This is non-negotiable. I cannot take fresh grads or people who don’t check most of the above boxes. I’m hiring a pro, not looking to mentor someone from ground zero.

DOWNSIDES

A friend and well-known editor for a massive site cautioned me about this section. In his words:

“[It’s] great to tell people about these, but maybe be a little less brutal with your self-descriptions? These are reasonable expectations in my trade.”

Alas, I still prefer the Shackleton approach to job descriptions. Being my Managing Editor will not be easy. Rewarding? Definitely. Exciting at many times? Absolutely. Easy? Not likely. Think of it like a professional sports team. I’m not going to haze you or anything stupid, but my content works because I take it very, very seriously. We’re here to create posts that are more valuable (traffic-wise) two years after publication than the week we put them out. We want epic content that gets linked to by “real” media all over the world. If you have the right personality for it, you’ll love this. But…

Here are some fair expectations:

* I’m an unrelenting perfectionist. If you’re not the same, it will probably make you insane.
* I live and die by deadlines. They are absolutely sacred, and I am merciless about this.
* You will need to be self-directed and very self-organized. Besides inflexible deadlines, I won’t provide a lot of structure. I assume you’re bringing a lot of your own

How would you advertise your job?

If you were to write an add for your job, the one you are doing now, how would you sell it?

 

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