The 4 Hour Work Week

Author:
Tim Ferriss

Description

Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan - there is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, or just living more and working less, this book is the blueprint.

 

This step-by step guide to luxury lifestyle design teaches:

* How Tim went from $40,000 dollars per year and 80 hours per week to $40,000 per MONTH and 4 hours per week

* How to outsource your life to overseas virtual assistants for $5 per hour and do whatever you want

* How blue-chip escape artists travel the world without quitting their jobs

* How to eliminate 50% of your work in 48 hours using the principles of a forgotten Italian economist

* How to trade a long-haul career for short work bursts and frequent 'mini-retirements'.

 

This new updated and expanded edition includes:

More than 50 practical tips and case studies from readers (including families) who have doubled their income, overcome common sticking points, and reinvented themselves using the original book as a starting point

* Real-world templates you can copy for eliminating email, negotiating with bosses and clients, or getting a private chef for less than £5 a meal

* How lifestyle design principles can be suited to unpredictable economic times

* The latest tools and tricks, as well as high-tech shortcuts, for living like a diplomat or millionaire without being either.

Notes

One of my all time favourite books, The 4 Hour Work Week is the step-by-step blueprint to free yourself from the shackles of a corporate job, create a business to fund the lifestyle of your dreams, and live life like a millionaire, without actually having to be one.

Key messages:

  1. Be effective, not efficient. (80/20 rule / Pareto’s principle)
  2. Validate all of your business ideas. (make sure people will give you money for it)
  3. Charge a premium to make your life easier. (you want to be high quality, always)

 

"Ever tried. Ever failed. Doesn't matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. You won't believe what you can accomplish by attempting the impossible with the courage to repeatedly fail better."

Dreamlining

What would you do if there were no way you could fail? If you were 10 times smarter than the rest of the world?

1. Create two timelines: 6 months and 12 months

i. List up to 5 things you dream of having
ii. Up to 5 things you dream of being
iii. 5 things you dream of doing

  1. What would you do today if you had 100 million in the bank
  2. What would make you most excited to wake up in the morning to another day

iv. If having trouble, consider what you hate and fear in each and write the opposite

2. Using the 6-month timeline, start or highlight the four most exciting and or important dreams from all columns. Repeat with the 12
3. Determine the cost of these dreams and calculate your Target Monthly Income (TMI) for both timelines
4. Add 30% for buffer/savings. Can use the www.fourhourblog.com site for a calculator
5. Determine 3 steps for each of the four dreams in the 6-month timeline and take the first step now
6. Do the first steps now. Each first step should be simple enough to do in 5 minutes or less

 

80/20 Principle

80% of the outputs come from 20% of the inputs

  • What 20% of your life is creating 80% of the difficulties
  • More customers is not always the goal
  • Most things make no difference. Being busy is a form of laziness--lazy thinking and indiscriminate action
  • Lack of time is actually lack of priorities

Parkinson's Law

A task will swell in perceived importance and complexity in relation to the time allotted for its completion.

  1. Limit tasks to the important to shorten work time (80/20)
  2. Shorten work time to limit tasks to the important (Parkinson's Law)

These two combined: Identify the few critical tasks that contribute most to income and schedule them with very short and clear deadlines.

Questions to Help:

  1. If you had a heart attack and had to work only two hours per day, what would you work on?
  2. If you could only work 2 hours per week, what would you do
  3. If you had a gun to your head and had to stop doing 4/5 of different time consuming activities, what would you remove?
  4. What are the top three activities that I use to fill time to feel as though I've been productive?
  5. If this is the only thing I accomplish today, will I be satisfied with my day?
  6. Do not multitask
  7. Ask yourself throughout the day if you're inventing things to do to avoid the important

Automation

Each delegated task must be both time-consuming and well defined. A VA can't run around like a chicken with their head cut off.

VA mistakes to avoid

  1. Accepting the first person and not requesting someone with excellent english
  2. Giving imprecise directions. They should have 1 possible interpretation and be readable by a 2nd grader. Ask for them to rephrase the request back to you before starting
  3. Giving a license to waste time. Request a status update a few hours into it.
  4. Setting the deadline a week in advance. Shoot for 24-48 hours to avoid parkinson's law
  5. Giving too many tasks without an order of importance. Send one at a time, and no more than 2
  6. Example email:

TASK: I need to find the names and emails of editors of men’s magazines in the US (for example: maxim, stuff, GQ, esquire, blender, etc.) who also have written books. An example of such a person would be AJ Jacobs who is Editor-at-Large of Esquire (www.ajjacobs.com). I already have his information and need more like him. Can you do this? If not, please advise. Please reply and confirm what you will plan to do to complete this task. DEADLINE: Since I’m in a rush, get started after your next email and stop at 3 hours and tell me what results you have. Please begin this task now if possible. The deadline for these 3 hours and reported results is end-of-day ET Monday.

Getting an Assistant

  • US and Canada (20$/hr +)
  • www.Iavoa.com
  • www.cvac.ca
  • www.canadianva.net/files/va-locator.html
  • www.onlinebusinessmanager.com
  • NA and International
  • www.elance.com
  • www.guru.com
  • www.rentacoder.com
  • India
  • www.tryasksunday.com (20-60$ per month for 24/7 concierge, free one week trial)
  • www.b2kcorp.com ($15/hr+) Pure suit and tie/business only. No personal stuff
  • www.taskeveryday.com ($6.98/hour for a VA)
  • www.yourmaninindia.com ($6.25/hour)

 

Income Autopilot

Finding the Muse

Pick an affordably reachable niche market

1. Which social, industry, and professional groups do you belong to, have you belonged to, or do you understand. Whether dentists, engineers, rock climbers, recreational cyclists, etc.

i. Compile a list of all groups, past and present, that you can associate yourself with

2. The main benefit should be encapsulated in one sentence. "1000 songs in your pocket" keep it simple and don't move ahead until you can do this without confusing people

3. It should cost $50-200

  1. Higher price means we can sell fewer units, and thus manage fewer customers, and fulfill our dreamlines faster/easier
  2. Higher pricing attracts lower-maintenance customers (better credit, fewer complaints/questions, fewer returns, etc.) Less headache.
  3. Higher pricing also creates higher profit margins. It's safer

4. Aim for an 8-10x markup

5. It should take no more than 3-4 weeks to manufacture

6. It should be fully explainable in an online FAQ

 

Ways to obtain a good muse that is satisfying

1. Resell a product

  1. Purchase at wholesale
  2. Resell higher

2. License a product

  1. Find a great idea, sell it for them
  2. Deal intensive though

3. Create a product

 

Tools

1. Market Sizing

i. www.complete.com and www.quantcast.com

  1. Find the monthly visitors for most websites

ii. www.writersmarket.com

  1. thousands of specialty and niche magazines, including circulation and subscription numbers.

iii. www.Spyfu.com

  1. Download competitors online advertising spending, keywords, and ad-word details

2. Finding Products to Resell or Manufacture

  1. Alibaba.com
  2. Worldwidebrands.com | Extensive how-to guide for finding manufacturers willing to dropship product.
  3. www.shopster.com | Another dropshipper
  4. www.thomasnet.com | Searchable database of manufacturers for every conceivable product, from underwear to food to airplane parts
  5. www.ingrambook.com, www.techdata.com | Electronics, DVDs, books

3. Public Domain Information to Repurpose

  1. www.gutenberg.org
  2. www.librivox.org | audiobooks

4. Licensing Ideas for Royalties

  1. www.inventright.com
  2. www.guthyrenker.com

5. Searching Patents for Ideas for Products

  1. www.uspto.gov

 

Testing the Muse

Micro-Test Your Products

1. Best: Look at the competition, create a more-compelling offer on a basic one-to-three page website

i. Google the search terms you would expect someone to use to find your product
ii. Look at the competition, how can you:

  1. Use more credibility indicators
  2. Create a better guarantee
  3. Offer better selection
  4. Free or faster shipping

iiii. Create a 300-600 testimonial rich advertisement that emphasizes their differentiators and product benefits using text/photos

  1. See www.pxmethod.com for a good example

iv. Create a website, using whatever hosting.

2. Test: Test the offer using short Google Adwords advertising campaigns

3. Divest or Invest: Cut losses with losers and manufacture the winner(s) for rollout

4. Registera.com, great tool for quick way to market with an idea and way to test interest

 

Managing the Muse

Contract outsourcing companies that specialize in a function instead of freelancers when possible. This way you prevent disrupts from someone suddenly quitting

Ensure that all outsourcers are willing to communicate among themselves to solve problems, and give them permission to make inexpensive decisions

Ways to attract the right customers

  1. Do not accept payment from Western Union, checks, or money order
  2. Raise wholesale minimums to 12-100 units and require a tax ID number
  3. Refer all potential resellers to an online order form to be printed, filled out, and scanned over. Don't budge on price
  4. Offer low-priced products instead of free products to capture contact information for follow-up sales
  5. Keep it domestic

Having the right image

  1. Don't be the CEO or Founder, give yourself a mid-level title
  2. Put multiple email and phone contacts on the website
  3. Set up an interactive voice response IVR remote receptionist (www.angel.com)
  4. Do not provide home addresses

 

Promote your muse website in relevant facebook groups

"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination. —OSCAR WILDE"

"People don’t want to be millionaires— they want to experience what they believe only millions can buy."

"The manifesto of the dealmaker is simple: Reality is negotiable. Outside of science and law, all rules can be bent or broken, and it doesn’t require being unethical."

"These individuals have riches just as we say that we “have a fever,” when really the fever has us. —SENECA (4 B.C.– A.D. 65)"

"Money is multiplied in practical value depending on the number of W’s you control in your life: what you do, when you do it, where you do it, and with whom you do it. I call this the “freedom multiplier.”"

"I can’t give you a surefire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time. —HERBERT BAYARD SWOPE, American editor and journalist; first recipient of the Pulitzer Prize"

"“Someday” is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want to do it “eventually,” just do it and correct course along the way."

"If it isn’t going to devastate those around you, try it and then justify it."

"It is far more lucrative and fun to leverage your strengths instead of attempting to fix all the chinks in your armor."

"Look at what you’re currently doing and ask yourself, “What would happen if I did the opposite of the people around me? What will I sacrifice if I continue on this track for 5, 10, or 20 years?”"

"I realized that on a scale of 1– 10, 1 being nothing and 10 being permanently life-changing, my so-called worst-case scenario might have a temporary impact of 3 or 4. I believe this is true of most people and most would-be “holy sh* t, my life is over” disasters."

If you're nervous about jumping off, or fear the unknown, answer these and honestly as possible:

  1. Define your nightmare, the absolute worst case scenario that you're afraid of
  2. What steps could be taken to repair the damage and get things back on the upswing, at least temporarily?
  3. What are the outcomes and benefits, temporary and permanent, of both possible scenarios?
  4. What are you putting off doing out of fear?
  5. What is it costing you, physically, financially, emotionally, to put off action?
  6. What are you waiting for?

 

"What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do. As I have heard said, a person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have. Resolve to do one thing every day that you fear.

Doing the unrealistic is easier than doing the realistic, 10x thinking makes things easier. The rest of the world is insecure too, don't overestimate them and underestimate yourself.

"Excitement is the more practical synonym for happiness, and it is precisely what you should strive to chase. It is the cure-all. When people suggest you follow your “passion” or your “bliss,” I propose that they are, in fact, referring to the same singular concept: excitement."

"Doing something unimportant well does not make it important"

"Requiring a lot of time does not make something important"

"Love of bustle is not industry. —SENECA"

Define a to-do list and a not to do list. What 20% of actions get 80% of the results? What 20% of things cause 80% of stress and frustration?

  • If you had a gun to your head and had to stop doing 4/5 of your time consuming activities, what would be left?
  • If you could only work 1 hour a day, what would you do?
  • What are the top 3 activities you use to fill time to feel like you were productive
  • Start asking "if this is the only thing I accomplish today, will I be satisfied with my day?"

"Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. —ALBERT EINSTEIN"

Problems tend to solve themselves or disappear when you remove yourself as a bottleneck.

Turn off all notifications, set specific times for checking email.

Always define an end time for meetings and calls.

Take time to find something that calls to you, not just the first acceptable form of surrogate work. That calling will, in turn, lead you to something else.

  • Revisit ground zero, do nothing
  • Take a learning based "mini retirement"
  • Revisit and reset dreamlines
  • Test out new part time and full time vocations

Related books

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Analysis

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

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Hooked

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Analysis

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

The Compound Effect

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Analysis

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It