The 4-Hour Workweek – Timothy Ferriss [Book Summary]

by Nick

Many people donate their best years of life to an unloved job to ensure a comfortable old age and consider it worth it.

They think that work should be hard, and they will be rewarded for their efforts in the future. Putting aside all the joyful events of their lives, these people will one day wake up and realize that time is lost.

The “new rich” disagree with this way of life: they give up slave labor in offices and choose a luxurious lifestyle here and now.

And it’s NOT necessary to have millions of dollars hidden under the mattress. A full life is often much cheaper than people think. The things you dream about are not the prerogative of millionaires. All this is available to the “new rich.”

Tim Ferris believes You must be mobile and flexible.

To become a “new rich,” you must be able to do whatever you want and when you want. This requires only a moderate, automatic stream of income: a source of money that you can easily maintain from anywhere in the world.

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Live Your Own Rules And Always Set High Goals

“New rich” do not follow the rules of others. They set their own, ignore generally accepted expectations and are ready to “step on the tail” to anyone, if necessary. With this way of thinking, you can set high, “unrealistic” goals and achieve them: travel the world, become the world champion in tango, or learn a new language every year.

Do not be content with mediocrity. “Unrealistic” goals are much easier to achieve – only a few people dare to think big, which ensures a minimum of competition.

The “new rich” are trying to understand what might be the income from a daring decision in the worst-case scenario.

Example. If you decide to travel the world right now, and you didn’t succeed, what is the worst that can happen to you? People intuitively fear traveling to the unknown because they never consider the real risks. Take a critical look at the risks: even the worst “disaster” is not the end of the world.

Equanimity distinguishes the “new rich” from most people.

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Get Started Right Now And Leave Your Comfort Zone

For many, the safe way is to work for wear and tear, the illusion that they will enjoy life when they retire.

The right moment to start living your dream – right now!

Forget the expression “I’ll do it tomorrow.”

You should start doing the right thing today. You should be prepared to go beyond your comfort zone.

The blind belief that everything will be fine someday and somehow is mistakenly called optimism, but in fact, this is mental laziness.

It is born out of fear of the difficulties that you will encounter if you want to achieve great goals in life. Face your fears. Do something every day that scares you. Living a successful life is a willingness to do unpleasant things, conduct unpleasant conversations and neglect the generally accepted norms that other people adhere to.

What we fear most is often exactly what we must do to make our dreams come true. The most dangerous thing you can do is do nothing and wait. Act here and now, every day!

Even An Employee Can Live Like a “New Rich”

The life of the “new rich” is mainly characterized by unlimited mobility. This is a complete rejection of the life of a worker. Even as an employee, you can travel the world – try to get maximum freedom within the company.

  • Be indispensable. Make the company invest in you, attend training and become an expert that you can’t do without.
  • Reassure your boss that remote work is a great idea.
  • Make the transition to remote work as easy as possible. Define a test period: work out of the office one day a week for a couple of weeks.
  • Discuss the results with the boss. Prove that you work more productively at home. You don’t have to spend half a day on the road, talking with colleagues or attending useless meetings – you have to do much more in the same time period.
  • Increase the amount of remote work until the day you do not have to appear in the office.

Be Productive, Not Effective: Do Not Do Everything Right, But Do The Right Thing

Time is not an accurate indicator of labor productivity. Spending a lot of time on work does not mean doing the right things or doing them the right way.

It is difficult to evaluate the productivity of a mental worker. Time spent in the office is the most obvious indicator. However, often employees only seem to be busy with something, fill the day with meaningless tasks and spend a lot of time in the office, making their bosses believe that they are doing a lot of work.

The “new rich” rejects the absurd rules of corporate labor. He does as much as possible, spending a minimum of his time on it.

Spend your time productively on important tasks. Pay attention to completing only those tasks that will bring you closer to your personal goals and dreams.

Focus on important things, use the 80/20 rule: 20% of the work produces 80% of the results. All other work has very little effect.

Having got rid of all that is superfluous, spend the time you won on important tasks and a pleasant pastime.

Time Is Money: Get Rid Of The “Time Thieves” And Go On A Low-information Diet

Gathering information, such as reading newspapers, is time-consuming. Go on a low-information diet and focus on getting a little information that is relevant to your work.

Be sure to get this information in the most efficient way. Do not waste time studying the whole topic, if instead, you can call a specialist who will quickly answer complex questions. This saves time and gives better results.

“Time Thieves” are activities or people who use your precious time, giving very little in return. Get rid of them.

Example. Meetings are black holes in which time and energy disappear, while most of them are completely unnecessary. A meeting is only necessary when several people are required to make a decision. If this is the case, make sure that the agenda and schedule are outlined so that participants are focused on results and there is no idle talk. Do not attend meetings where you are not needed. If the meeting was successful without you, you can skip such meetings in the future.

Avoid meaningless chatter with colleagues or concentrate on the issue at hand.

When people turn to you, do not ask: “How are you?”, “How can I help you?”.

Tell people right away: “Sorry, but I only have two minutes, let’s get down to business right away.”

Get Rid Of Distractions, Make Others Play By Their Own Rules

Focus on what brings you closer to your personal goal. If you want to know how important the task is, ask yourself: “If this becomes the only thing I will do today, will the day be considered successful?” For each yes answer, make the task a priority and complete it before any others. With such an ideal schedule, you can complete all the important tasks in half a working day.

Never start your day with email verification. This is a “plunderer” of time, give him as little attention as possible. If you need to check your mail, do it only twice a day: once before dinner and once in the evening. Strive to reduce the check to once a week.

Notify people of your new policy. Write that your time is too limited and valuable to spend all day checking email, and therefore, your response may take some time.

Do not let people call you on every issue that bothers them, constantly interrupting your concentration. Most cases can wait. Let them contact you by e-mail or leave voice messages that you will check after completing more important tasks. Only urgent matters should take you away from work.

Group tasks. Allocate a period of time to deal with all the small tasks. Do not let them constantly distract themselves while you are working on something important.

Start A Business That Will Bring You A Steady Stream Of Income And Will Function Independently

If you want to make a living with only a few hours a week, you need an automatic source of income. Hire other people and waste their time instead of wasting your own.

Starting a business that can work without your participation is pretty easy.

Distribute the work by type and find a specialist to manage each part. Outsource some of the work. Take advantage of companies that specialize in manufacturing, shipping, or after-sales services.

Virtual assistants from India, for example, are very cheap, but highly professional. Such a personal assistant can do almost everything that you usually do yourself. As long as the tasks and goals are clear, the assistant will be able to complete them without your help.

By creating a business in which each task is assigned to a separate specialist, you can reduce your participation in it to a minimum. The following conditions must be observed:

  1. Everyone should be able to communicate with each other without you as an intermediary. Do not make yourself a link to any part of the process!
  2. Delegate authority. People can solve most problems without your help if you just let them do it. You will be surprised at how smart employees become when you ask them to take on a more specific responsibility and make an independent decision.

Find A Product To Sell And See If There Is A Market For It.

There are two fundamentals for such a business.

  1. Resale of goods that already exist on the market. It is easy, but the potential profit may be limited.
  2. Inventing your own product. It takes only a few brainstorming sessions to come up with a lot of ideas.

Having the product itself is not enough; you need buyers.

  1. Check the market: offer your hypothetical product to real customers. Create a fake online store: after the buyer clicks the Buy button, a message will appear stating that the product is not currently in stock. Be sure to keep the email addresses of these hypothetical customers, let them know when your product is truly available for sale.
  2. Organize fake online advertising campaigns. Compare a few advertisements to see which versions of your product generate the best response, get people to click the Buy button more often.

Never start selling a product without checking if there are buyers for it.

Act Like A Professional And Be Choosy About Your Customers

You must be convincing in the eyes of your customers. They must trust you in order to trust your product.

Academic titles, for example, Ph.D., are a good way to make yourself more authoritative. Prove your knowledge, write articles and conduct seminars on topics related to your product. If you want to sell health products, you first have to become a health guru.

People tend to trust larger companies rather than small firms. Make your company look bigger than it really is. Create the impression that the company has a large number of employees:

  • Please provide some contact email addresses on your site.
  • Use the names of the middle management personnel (“customer support manager”) to create the impression that the company has a multi-stage hierarchy with a large number of employees.

Always act as a professional and use high standards when choosing your customers. The 80/20 rule also applies to customers: 20% of customers often bring 80% of their income, while the other 20% account for 80% of troubles, complaints, and stress.

Find out which customers increase your income and take care of them.

Get rid of customers who bring a small income, but at the same time create many problems.

Inflate, Promise A Great Result And Achieve It

Promise your customers the attractive benefits of using your product and deliver on your promises. Having summarized these benefits in one phrase, you can start selling.

Make the purchase process as convenient as possible for your customers, save them from making too many decisions. The more choices a customer has — for example, between flowers — the sooner he will refuse to buy and leave.

Search for profitable customers means choosing a premium segment. Request a high price and create an image of top-notch. You can earn more and create a more profitable business.

The higher the profit from the products, the less you need to sell in order to satisfy your needs. In doing so, you will have to deal with fewer customers. People who are willing to pay a higher price rarely cause trouble, complaints, or refund requests. Even if the product does not meet their expectations, they are unlikely to bother you with its return.

You can even take a chance and offer such customers a full refund plus an additional reward if they want to return the product. If you choose the right customers, they will not want to take such an unfair advantage; rather, they will trust you and your product even more.


Who are the “new rich” and how to become one of them?

  • For the “new rich,” being rich means living a luxurious life here and now.
  • Live your own rules and always set high goals.
  • Get started right now and leave your comfort zone.
  • Even as an employee, you can live like a “new rich.”

How to be productive even with a four-hour workweek?

  • Be productive, not effective: do not do everything right, but do the right thing.
  • Time is money: get rid of the “time thieves”  and switch to a low-information diet.
  • Get rid of distractions like emails and get others to play by their own rules.

How to create an automatic income stream?

  • Start a business that will bring you a steady stream of income and will function independently.
  • Find a product to sell and see if there is a market for it.
  • Act like a professional and be choosy about your customers.
  • Inflate the price, promise a great result and deliver it.

Why You Should Read “The 4-Hour Workweek”

  • To find out how to live an extraordinary life without having 1 million $ in your pocket.
  • To save tons of time with energy and devote it to something you consider valuable.
  • To start living here and know.
  • To open a new world of possibilities for yourself and your family.

Get The 4-Hour Workweek:

Audiobook | eBookPrint