Our review and discussion on the January 2019 book club book – The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

The 4-Hour Workweek- How to escape the nine to five, live anywhere, and join the new rich. Here is a step-by-step process to use to reinvent yourself. It’s called DEAL- D for definition, E for elimination, A for automation, and L for liberation.

Challenge the status quo. The following rules are what Tim Ferriss uses in The 4-Hour Workweek to challenge the status quo and to keep in mind during reading the book. He sees retirement as a worst-case scenario insurance. It assumes that you dislike what you’re doing in your most capable years of your life. Most people will never be able to retire and keep their standard of living. Instead of putting retirement at the end of your life, think about taking mini-retirements throughout your life. Instead of keeping all of your money and time to enjoy at the end, do it throughout your life.

Tim’s The 4-Hour Workweek philosophies- Doing less is not an indicator of laziness. Focus on productivity instead of being busy. Timing is never right. Ask for forgiveness, not permission. Emphasize strengths, don’t fix weaknesses. Things in excess become their opposite. Money alone isn’t the solution. Relative income is more important than absolute income. Distress is bad, eustress is good.

First define our new rules and objectives in this new game. Figure out what it is that you really want. If it scares you answer- What is the absolute worst that could happen if you did what you were considering doing in creating a new life? What steps could you take to repair the damage, to get things back on track? What are the outcomes or benefits of more probable scenarios? What would you do to get things under financial control? What are you putting off out of fear? What is it costing you financially, emotionally, physically to postpone action, and what are you waiting for?

Now to build your 4-Hour Workweek. Tim uses a system he calls dreamlining. Create two timelines, a 6-month and a 12-month, and list five things you dream of having, being, and doing. If you draw a blank when doing this exercise think- what would you do if you had a million dollars in your bank? What would make you excited to wake up in the morning?

Take each of these things and turn them into an action item. What are the four dreams that would change everything? On the 6-month timeline, highlight the four most exciting or important dreams from all the columns. Repeat with the 12-month timeline. Determine the cost of these dreams, and then calculate your target monthly income for both timelines. Determine three steps for the four dreams in the 6-month timeline, and take the first step now. You have to be okay with the idea that the steps to make the changes are going to push you out of your comfort zone.

Increase your productivity with counterintuitive techniques. Now that you know what you want to do with your time, figure out how to make that time free. Effectiveness is doing the things that get you closer to the goals, and efficiency is doing it the most economical manner possible. Doing something unimportant doesn’t make it important, and requiring a lot of time to do something does not make it important. Focus on the 80-20 rule- 80% of the outputs result from 20% of the inputs. Put aside everything seemingly urgent, and do what is most important. Ferriss found this 80-20 principle applied to many different areas, including advertising. Apply the 80-20 rule to your time.

Free up time with a low information diet. Selectively ignore sources of information, turn off alerts from email, eliminate repetitive tasks/requests, and empower others to make decisions on their own. Drastically reduce the time you spend on email using a twice per day system of checking it, and then when you can, move it to once per day as quickly as possible. Free up more time by batching repetitive tasks. The next action is automation. This lets you put cashflow on autopilot. One way to do this is with outsourcing. A suggestion is to have a remote personal assistant do a lot of things for you.

To create an income-producing machine, first find an easily reachable niche market, then brainstorm on different products you could market to that niche. Test and retest the products and how they perform in that niche. After testing, you can roll out the product and use automation to generate cash flow. Now you should be able to have The 4-Hour Workweek for yourself.

The 4-Hour Workweek leads to liberation. This is where you use the idea of mini-retirement and combine it with the ability to work from anywhere or to not have to be involved in your automatic cashflow system.

Find the book on Amazon.

Learn more about the author here.