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The 4-Hour Workweek Book Summary – Tim Ferriss

Under 30 Words Summary: Tim Ferriss wrote The 4-Hour Workweek as last decade’s most popular entrepreneurship book as a roadmap to help beginners build successful online businesses.

The 4-Hour Workweek Book Summary – Tim Ferriss

Many have hailed The 4-Hour Workweek as the ultimate book to read if you’re looking for the laptop lifestyle. Others have condemned it for being too much of a fairytale, essentially pushing the notion of easy work = quick retirement to the beaches of Panama. That ain’t’ gonna happen in my experience.

After I read the book, I’ll admit I did fall into this pipedream of living the easy life. That was in 2012. Today in 2020, I’ve finally made it.

And from my experience, the romantic dream isn’t that exciting. Today, by choice, I still do a 40ish hour workweek. Instead of aiming to work less, I work to optimize my day and stack my income.

That’s the crux of the book: Remove yourself out of your business as much as possible and do what you love. In my case, I happen to already do what I love!

My favourite Tim Ferriss quote

It’s a huge book and takes days to read effectively. With all that text, it was hard to pick a favourite quote for my blog, but here goes:

I’ve read this same quote across multiple social media platforms many times and it still gives me the chills (in a good way). This was at a time when I would binge-watch Instagram and Facebook, but today I largely ignore such platforms.

The 4-Hour Workweek Review

This book is huge at 500+ pages. You’re going to want to dedicate a few sessions to it. His follow-up book Tribe of Mentors is equally as heavy on the content.

It’s tough to really extract a solid summary here. There are many concepts and ideas that I’ll completely miss, but here goes:

  1. Use the Pareto Principle to your advantage. Spend 20% of the time on the 80% where you’ll get effective results.
  2. Optimism is often masking laziness. You can be motivated to do something, but that doesn’t mean you’ll actually do it. Those in MLM schemes will resonate with this one.
  3. Focus on building a business that requires less of your time involvement as it grows. A business that requires you, as the owner, to steer the ship at all times, is heading for the rocks.
  4. In business, aim for higher quality products or services. This type of customer/client is less hassle and often leads to loyalty.
  5. Check your business idea is scalable. Have people actually done it before? Can you find 3 examples of someone who is now living the good life (not just cool social media photos) with such a business? Validate before entering the marketplace.
  6. Know what you want after exiting. Tim has found thousands of people who, while they achieved the Four Hour Work Week, were actually bored (ahem…including myself). You need hobbies, interests and ideas…or just a bucket list.
  7. How to become a digital nomad as an employee. Look – as romantic as it is owning your own business, being an employee is NOT a bad idea at all. I personally loved the last job I ever had. Tim spends an entire chapter on how to negotiate with existing employers so you can hit the road.

There is significantly more than what I can cover here. What’s most remarkable is that Tim wrote this book 13 years ago. Clearly he was way ahead of his time.

Many call it a roadmap because it is. There is goal setting worksheets and challenges in each chapter to get you out of your comfort zone.

If living the laptop lifestyle is your idea of freedom, then this book is a goldmine.

Closing thoughts

Most people who have achieved Tim’s proposed lifestyle already had an existing business. They have staff who steered the ship in the owner’s absence.

This is a point that’s often overlooked in the book. Is it harder if you haven’t yet built your empire? Absolutely. Can you build it easily? No. That’s going to require work.

The best time to get started was 3 years ago. The next best time is today.

If you haven’t already, get started on the journey ahead. In 2020, the volume of opportunities available to us to live and work remotely is impressive.

Tim Ferriss spearheaded a movement which certainly isn’t slowing down.

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After doing this for 10 years, I’ve learned that online success doesn’t come cheaply, easily or fast. It’s merely consistent work, day in and day out, yet the rewards are certainly worth the constant grind.