Drinks with Ben Franklin

By Melissa Tosetti

Anyone who’s been around me for any length of time over the last six months has heard me talk about Tim Ferriss’ Podcast.

Ferriss is the author of the The 4-Hour Work Week, one of my top 10 favorite success industry books.

His podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show, is almost always being played while I drive.

Here is a description Ferriss uses to describe the show: In each episode, I deconstruct world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, sports, business, art, etc.) to extract the tactics, tools, and routines you can use. This includes favorite books, morning routines, exercise habits, time-management tricks, and much more.

On the way home from a visit to Fresno last weekend, Dante and I listened to a twist of his usual show.  In this episode, Ferriss was actually the one being interviewed.  His interviewer was Stephen J. Dubner, the author of Freakonomics, who has his own podcast based on the title of his book.

It was a fun and inspiring interview, but it was one of the last questions that made me laugh out loud and solidified for me the reason why I enjoy Ferriss’ style so much.

Dubner asked Ferriss, if he had a time machine, where would he go and who would he talk to?  As Tim thought about his answer, my own answer to the question immediately came to mind.

If I had a time machine, I’d go to a tavern in Philadelphia, sometime around 1786, and have a few drinks with Benjamin Franklin.

Seconds later, Tim Ferriss said “I would go back in time and have a lot of drinks with Ben Franklin”.


Tim went on to say that his love for Ben Franklin is “Because he wasn’t afraid to be an amateur, and as an amateur with a beginner’s mind, I think a fresh pair of eyes, he was able to create many, many breakthroughs in multiple fields that have shaped civilization and the world as we know it today. And he was also, though, at the same time, a bit of a merry prankster and a bit of a showman. And I just really enjoy that combination. Being able to accomplish very big, serious objectives while not taking yourself too seriously is something I aspire to.”

My own love of Franklin has evolved over the last 17 years.

When I was still living in Extreme Frugal Mode, his early years inspired me with his advice on saving.

In 2004, when I launched The Savvy Life, I read and reread biographies about how he started his own printing company and what he did to grow his business to the point of being able to retire at the age of 42.

Now, I look at his later days and see that it was at this time of his life that he started to live savvy.  He continued to ensure that the financial foundation he built so hard in his early years stayed safe.  But, he was also willing to spend on what he found important to him… and he had fun doing it!  Of all of our founding fathers, it appears to me that Ben Franklin figured out how to enjoy the journey!

Because my own appreciation of Franklin evolved over time I’d like to meet up with him around 1786 for those drinks.  To talk with the mature Ben Franklin, in a relaxed environment and be able to ask very detailed questions about his philosophies on work, life and the world around him – now that would be a great podcast!