The 4 Hour Work-Week is high on the list for books on how to start a business, but this isn’t just any book on entrepreneurship. It’s one that has changed the lives of millions. Putting a different spin on the concept of entrepreneurship. The concept behind the book is to create a business that need as little intervention from you as possible so you can focus on what truly matters in life.
If you would like to watch the summary I made, watch the video below. Otherwise, you can skim through this post and find the aspects of the book that you like.
The 4 hour work week by Tim Ferris. Escape 9-5. Live anywhere. Join the New Rich.
I’ve narrowed the ideas in this book down to 5 essential key concepts that you can take with you and implement into your own life. So let’s get right into it.
Number one: Redefining the meaning of rich.
So let’s say we have two people. On the left we have Carl and on the right we have Joe. Carl works 10 hours a week and makes $50k/year and Joe works 80 hours a week and makes $100k/year. Which one’s richer? Everyone wants to be like Joe. Making a six figure income. It’s the American dream, it’s what society tells us we should strive for. From a monetary standpoint Joe is technically richer. This concept is called Absolute income. It’s based on one thing, and one thing only, the almighty dollar. Now let’s look at it from a relative income standpoint. Relative income uses two variables: dollars and time. Joe makes $100k/year, works 80 hours/week for 50 weeks a year. Thus, he makes $25/hour. Now Carl makes $50k/year, but works 10 hours/week, 50 weeks a year. Thus, he makes $100/hour. In relative income, Carl is 4x richer than Joe. Relative income is the measurement of wealth for the New Rich.
Money isn’t the only standard for wealth anymore. The new rich, as Tim Ferris calls it, are rich in time, money and location freedom(meaning having the ability to live anywhere, not tied down to a certain location). It’s not all about money anymore. Would you rather work 9-5 for the rest of your life and make 100k a year with no time to spare, doing something that you don’t truly enjoy. Or work 4 hours a week, travel the world, have all the time in the world to focus on what matters most to you in your life and only make $30k a year. The obvious answer is the latter. At least that’s what I would choose. Even if I’m not making bank, if I have enough to get by while also pursuing your dreams and aspirations then it’s definitely worth it. The crazy thing is, most people work a job they hate so that they can retire when they’re older and spend time doing what they love. They live for the weekends and don’t have time to pursue their passions because all their time is eaten up by their job. I would be immensely happy if I was doing what I love, working for myself and yet only making ends meet. Even at the expense of a nice car, house, etc. that society tells us we need. It means breaking free of the rat race altogether and living a dream life I’m down.
You see, it’s better to do what you love and make less money, than do what you hate and make more money.
Number two: Elimination
Forget about time management. It just makes us busier while avoiding the few critically important, but uncomfortable actions in our life. Instead, start with elimination: accomplishing more by doing less. The goal isn’t to manage all the tasks in your day, it’s about changing your tasks to align with your long term goals and doing what makes you uncomfortable. It’s to decrease the amount of work, while increasing the amount of results. First of all let’s talk about being effective vs. efficient. Efficiency means to perform a task in the most economical manner possible even if this task is monotonous and doesn’t add any value to your life, while effectiveness means doing things that get you closer to your goals. The goal is to be more effective. It’s alright to be efficient, but make sure you’re also effective. Make sure you’re efficient at tasks that lead you to your goals. Most people are efficient but not effective. If anything, Just remember that “What you do is infinitely more important that how you do it.”
Another Elimination Method is the 80/20 principle, stating that 20% if inputs yield 80% of outputs. Let me give you an example, if you were to look at a successful youtube channel, 20% of their videos would be yielding 80% of their total views. The goal is to find your strengths, the few parts of your life that yield 80% of your results and then cut out the rest.
Another key principle to elimination is called Parkinson’s law. It basically states that the less time you have to do something, the more important it’s going to seem. For example, If you have a 5 page paper due in 4 weeks than it’s not going to seem like that big of a deal. On the other hand, if you have a 5 page paper due tomorrow than it’s going to seem extremely important and complex. But that can be used to your advantage. See the person with the paper due tomorrow will be infinitely more productive because they’ll cut out all the unnecessary crap and get right down to the nitty gritty of the paper and focus on the most important aspects of the paper that will yield the most results. Tim Ferris best states these points like this:
Limit tasks to the important to shorten work time (80/20)
Shorten work time to limit tasks to the important(Parkinson’s Law)
Here are some practical ways to put these principles into action. Constantly ask yourself, Am I being productive or just Active? Am I inventing things to do in order to avoid the important? If this is the only thing I accomplish today, will I be satisfied with my day?
Number three: Automation / Outsourcing
In this part of the book, Tim Ferris talks about hiring a virtual assistant, usually in India, China, etc. for a cheap price and have them do the mundane monotonous tasks in our day to day lives so that we can focus on the important aspects of our lives that get us to closer to our goals. While this is probably not practical for most of us, the baseline message is that it’s possible to automate your business and have other people work for you. It’s possible to create a business that runs itself and puts money in your pocket with little intervention from you.
Number four: Liberation
Which is referring to Liberating yourself from the 9-5 workplace. Or just liberating yourself from the rat race altogether. The goal isn’t to save up all our money for the end.
The goal of life isn’t just about finding more time, it’s about living more and becoming more/growing as a human being. According to Tim Ferris, life is all about:
Service. To others. To the community. To something other than yourself
To Live is to learn. Learning anything, mental or physical has the capacity to change your life. Whether it’s from animation videos like this, books, a documentary, a new language, a new experience. No matter what, learning is an crucial part of a good life. It means that you’re growing. Because as the old saying goes, if you’re not growing your dying.
Now I know that this lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but no matter what, it’s something to take into consideration. You might have a hard time traveling around the world because you have kids, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t start a business on the side that works for you and gives you an alternate source of income.
Are you undervaluing your time and overvaluing your need for money. Are you working for works sake and not working to get closer to your goals. All of these things are valuable ideas to think about to start bringing your closer to your goals and creating a truly amazing lifestyle.
Ok guys, Thanks so much for watching. If you enjoyed make sure to hit the subscribe button and also the bell icon to get notified of new videos the minute they’re released. Please comment below your thoughts on this book and on the topics in this video. And I will see you guys in the next video.