What’s there to learn from the 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss?
4HWW is by Timothy Ferriss, these days usually shortened to Tim. 4HWW teaches a lot of actionable tips which have helped many entrepreneurs around the world, myself included.
Let’s discuss more.
4HWW more or less redefines the principle of productivity, taking it back from the growth-hacking world. Instead of earning more as a consequence of turning nearly every waking hour into a perfectly efficient process, Tim’s philosophy is working less for more money. He calls this “effectiveness”, and places it above the typical concept of productivity.
Another key element of the book is how one can create a dream lifestyle and attain financial freedom, a concept that has become better known in the years after its publication. The principle behind escaping nine-to-five typical office routines and working for only a few hours a week has been presented very well, and it shows that such a thing really is not only possible but offers fairly few real obstacles, the most common being the psychological pressure of actually taking a chance.
Even for someone who works full time and could never have imagined such a lifestyle, the option is there, and it’s not as hard or out of reach as you may think. I have been successful in implementing most of the principles of the book, and it has improved the quality of my life above that of my friends and family, to a level that I will never go back from. I make more than enough money doing very little work compared to the average person (in my case, by running a business, but that’s not the only option available to you). You can be an employee and just improve the arrangement with your boss, using Tim’s advice to a similar end goal.
Finally, a third and final important aspect of the book is Pareto’s principle, also known as the 80-20 rule, which gained newfound meaning when it was contextualized for online business and money-making. 80/20 means 20% of your effort gives 80% of your results, or that 20% of anything is the majority producer. For instance, among plants in gardens, often a special 20% produce the most flowers, and the remaining amount is spread out, produced by the majority. Basically, Pareto is just about acknowledging the imbalance between effort and results in different aspects of an activity. Don’t aim to be busy, aim to be effective.
As one example given in the book, if you run a business, checking your email is low-effort and just a time sink for the most part. You shouldn’t be spending time regularly checking email multiple times per day. You might find that to get more money and more clients, the best way is to focus on client outreach through cold calling. That is your 20%, and you make that now the primary, or only, the thing that you do, if at all possible. Focus hard on the thing that really produces results. Success always leaves clues.
After learning that, I started observing my effectiveness points in almost all my official tasks. I put more and more of my time spent working into just the top 20% activities, and left the remaining 80 to apps, systems, assistants, employees, or simply changes in my attitude, whenever possible. You can apply the 80-20 rule to almost anything that takes time, effort, and money to make it work better. Do not obsess over feeling busy, obsess over the practice, and results.
I still have a lot to say in praise of 4HWW. In short, it’s a must-read. I have more insights into the book in a review of it that I have posted on my website. If you are interested, you can check this link to see it.
In conclusion, 4HWW is one of the oldest and best books on modern entrepreneurship.