How Tim went from $40,000 per year and 80 hours per week to $40,000 per MONTH and 4 hours per week.

Bias alert: I love pretty much everything Tim Ferriss writes. This book, 4-Hour Workweek, is no exception. It is nearly impossible to summarize one of his books, because his books are densely packed summaries already.  They’re absolutely chock-full of references, links, and actionable advice.  Because the latest providers of certain services change constantly, SOME OF THE LINKS BELOW ARE OLD (DEAD).  I notate which ones are dead, but list them anyway.  There are better, newer apps than some of the ones listed, but that is not the point.  Once you understand what you are looking for, it’s easy to find more recent providers of the same services. 


There are a LOT of great quotes in this book.  I will not requote all the quotes worth quoting because that alone would be a 10-page summary.  My goal in providing an outline is to demonstrate that it’s worth it to buy the book. Tim’s acronym is D.E.A.L. and the book follows this outline:








Chapter 1

Cautions and Comparisons: How to Burn $1,000,000 a Night

Tim defines “the goal” as having something meaningful towards which you want to work beyond just retirement. He believes in finding a way to take a mini retirement or be permanently retired; other people do all the work for you.  He compares the Deferrers (D) to the New Rich (NR). 


Attributes of the New Rich

  • Make a ton of money, with specific reasons and dreams in mind, defined timelines, following specific steps.
  • Put cash flow first and a big payday second.
  • Be the business owner who eliminates the least profitable customers and projects, outsources all operations and travels the world.
  • For example: develop an Amazon business that delivers enough income you can work part time doing something you enjoy in a job with benefits.
  • Your income should be measured by dollar per hour not an absolute total net annual income.


Chapter 2

Rules That Change the Rules: Everything Popular Is Wrong

  • Retirement Is The Worst-Case Scenario Insurance.
  • Interest And Energy Are Cyclical: alternate between activity and rest to thrive.
  • Less Is Not Laziness: “Focus on being productive instead of busy.”
  • The Timing is Never Right.
  • Ask For Forgiveness, Not Permission.
  • Emphasize Strengths, Don’t Fix Weaknesses.
  • Things In Excess Become Their Opposite.
  • Money Alone Is Not The Solution.
  • Relative Income Is More Important Than Absolute Income:
    • Absolute Income = Measured In Dollars, which is the measurement of the Deferrers 
    • Relative Income = Measured In Dollars Per Hour, which is the measurement of the NR
  • Distress Is Bad, Eustress Is Good:
    • Distress: “The harmful stimuli that make you weaker, less confident, and less able.” 
    • Eustress: “The stress that is healthful and the stimulus for growth” and progress.


Chapter 3

Dodging Bullets: Fear-Setting and Escaping Paralysis

“To do or not to do? To try or not to try? Most people will vote no, whether they consider themselves brave or not. Uncertainty and the prospect of failure can be very scary noises in the shadows. Most people will choose unhappiness over uncertainty.”

  • The Power of Pessimism: Defining the Nightmare.
  • Conquering Fear = Defining Fear.
  • Uncovering Fear Disguised as Optimism.


Chapter 4

System Reset: Being Unreasonable and Unambiguous

  • Doing the Unrealistic is Easier Than Doing the Realistic.
  • Correcting Course: Get Unrealistic.


  1. What would you do if there was no way you could fail and you were 10 times smarter than the rest of the world?
  2. Drawing a blank? What if you had 100 million in the bank?
  3. What does “being” entail vs. “doing?” Convert each “being” into a “doing.”
  4. What are the four dreams that would change at all?
  5. Determine the cost of these dreams and calculate your target monthly income (TMI).




Chapter 5

The End of Time Management: Illusions and Italians

Pareto Principle

Roughly 80% of consequences come from 20% of causes.  Other names for this principle are the 80/20 rule.

  • Get rid of bad customers
  • Dump more money into the advertising that works and fire the ones that don’t
  • Fire the low yield affiliates and focus on the few that provide you with income


Parkinson’s Law

The task will swell in complexity in relation to the time allotted for completion.

  • His tactics here include pretending you can only work two hours a day: what would you do? What are the top activities that move the ball forward?  Who are the 20% of people who produce 80% of your enjoyment and propel you forward?
  • Do not multitask.


Chapter 6

The Low-Information Diet: Cultivating Selective Ignorance

  • Stay on a low information diet.
  • No social media, news, web browsing, TV, etc.
  • Learn to speed read (instructions provided in the book)


Chapter 7

Interrupting Interruption and the Art of Refusal

  • Batch read emails
  • Say no to everything


Elimination Sources

Provides a cover phone number.

Provides the same for E-mail

Allows you to schedule meetings

(dead) Works similar to Calendly for allowing others to schedule you.

(dead) Inbox spelled backwards and it helps you manage Outlook

Allows you to capture thoughts, create to-dos, and sets reminders. You can also post voice message links on Twitter and Facebook

Dictate any message of the four minutes I have a transcription email to you with an hours.


(dead) Will shut off network on an Apple computer for up to eight hours at a time.




Chapter 8

Outsourcing Life: Off-loading the Rest and a Taste of Geoarbitrage

Outsourcing Life

Here he begins to outline outsourcing to India a personal assistant, specifically in this case YMII, whom I have called and now only works for bigger companies.  Brickwork Is the name of the other company he mentions and I believe I’ve called them too. They focus exclusively on business work.  Easy to find a virtual assistant on UpWork, however.


The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.


S.O.P. for Virtual Assistants

  • Throughout the rest of the chapter, he provides precise directions for managing virtual assistants (VAs).
  • Require a status update every few hours.
  • Set a deadline a week in advance or daily. Create deadlines of how far along they should be with confirmation updates.
  • Do not give someone too many tasks.
  • Set an order of importance for the tasks you issue.


Eliminate before you delegate

He provides a good email script for assigning tasks to a virtual assistant.


Virtual Assistant Links (dead) (now Freelancer) (now UpWork)


V.A. Management Links (dead)

To sync calendars cross Gmail accounts (dead)

Allows you to share your calendar online I’ll making personal appointments and can be synchronize with outlook.


Electronics manufacturing source

Flextronics is a Singapore-based engineer in manufacturing team that makes the Xbox as well as Kodak digital cameras


Limit the Number of Resellers

If you sell through resellers Tim believes the more competing resellers that are, the faster your product goes extinct. This is because they get in a bidding war with each other to lower prices.  He believes you should limit wholesale distribution to one or two resellers who can move serious quantities of product and agree to maintain a minimum advertised price. Otherwise, rogue discounters on eBay will drive you broke.  Then in exchange for exclusivity negotiate a higher profit margin.


Ryan Moran parrots this advice in 12 Months to $1 Million.


Chapter 9

Income Autopilot I: Finding the Muse

Step One: Pick an Affordably Reachable Niche Market

What groups do you belong to that you understand? Which of these groups have their own magazine?  Do they spend money on products?


Step Two: Brainstorm (Do Not Invest In) Products

Capture the main benefit in one sentence.  It should cost the customer $50-$200.  5x markup is standard.  He believes in 8 to 10 times markup.  It should take no more than 3 to 4 weeks to manufacture. It should be fully explainable in a good online FAQ.


Option 1: resell a product
Option 2: license a product
Option 3: create a product


He believes information products are the holy grail since manufactured products can too easily be duplicated even if you have to circumvent a patent.


You can create the content yourself, re-purpose content in a public domain not subject copyright protection, and license content or compensate an expert help create content. Loyalty-based net revenue is generally 5 to 10%.


If the content is from you, you need expert status within a limited market.


How to become an expert in four weeks

  • Join two or three related trade organizations
  • Read three top-selling books on the topic and summarize each on one page
  • Give one free seminar at the closest well-known university using posters to advertise
  • Do the same at branches of well-known companies located in the area.
    • Tell the company you’ve given seminars at the local college and are a “member of such and such trade organizations” as speaking credentials.
  • Record the seminars from two angles.
  • Write one or two articles for trade magazines, related to your topics, showing what you’ve accomplished in the first three steps.
    • If they decline the offer, interview an expert and write the article with your name as co-author
  • Join ProfNet which is a service journalists use to find experts to quote for articles.


Find a Mentor

Call at least one potential superstar mentor per day. Email only after attempting a phone call. Call before 8:30 or after 6pm.  He provides a pretty nice script for this.


Chapter 10

Income Autopilot II: Testing the Muse

Step Three: Micro-Test Your Products

1. Best.

Look at the competition and create a more compelling offer on a basic one to three page website.  Have people buy the product and spend money to market test.  The decision to buy is the only one that matters.


2. Test.
  • Test the offer using short Google Ad words advertising campaigns. Five days of passive observation.
  • Determine the best search terms using search term suggestion tools.
  • Aim for very specific terms like “yoga for sports“ versus simply “yoga”. Or “French sailor shirts“ versus “French shirts.” This will give you a higher conversion rate lowering your cost per click.
  • Also choose ad words that focus on your differentiators
  • He says to aim for second through fourth positioning but no more than $.20 per click.
  • Set up Google Ad words campaigns with a daily budget limit of $50 per day. Run it for 5 days ($250 investment).
  • You can use Google free analytical tools to track orders and page abandonment rates as well as what percentage of visitors leave the site and from which pages. If you’re simply selling newsletter sign-ups, you can use Wufoo to track email sign-ups.
  • In the headline and two lines of description, he suggests creating five groups of 10 terms each and test a number of ads.
  • Disable the feature on Google that serves only the best performing ads. This is necessary to later compared to click through rates from each and combine the best elements into a final ad.
  • Make sure the ads don’t trick the prospect in the visiting the site. You do not want window shoppers or tire kickers.


3. Divest or Invest.

Cut losses with losers and manufacture the winner.


Research Competition’s SEO

The best competitors? Do a Google ad words and click on approximate average search volume just saw results from most to least searched. Also try:

Google ad words


Make a Better Offer

  • Make a better offer such as more credibility indicators, a better guarantee, a better selection, free or faster shipping.
  • He believes in testimonial rich advertisements that are 300 and 600 words and one page long.
  • Use eBay auctions to test market value of your product.


Register your domain (dead)


Build Webpage

Use these websites to build your webpage but say you were sold out of your product if someone tries to purchase.


Confirming Sufficient Market Size


Find the number of monthly visitors for most websites, in addition to the search terms that generate the most traffic for them.

Writer’s Market

Here you’ll find a listing of thousands of specialty and niche magazines, including circulation and subscription numbers.


Download competitors’ online advertising spending, keywords, and ad word details. Consistent and repeat spending generally indicates successful advertising ROI.


Standard Rate and Data Services

Check out this resource for annual listings of magazine and company customer mailing lists available for rent. If you’re considering creating a how-to video for duck hunting, check out the size of customer lists from hunting gun manufacturers and related magazines first. Use the print version in libraries instead of paying for the somewhat confusing online access.


Finding Products to Resell or Manufacturing

Commission Junction

No inventory, no invoices. Experimenting with products and categories through affiliate networks such as Clickbank and Commission Junction, which pay you 10-75% of each purchase, is a fast method for doing a proof-of-concept using similar products. It’s often worth setting up accounts at both just to observe how bestselling items are being sold and promoted.


Amazon Associates

Amazon Associates averages 7-10% commissions, but bestselling books are excellent for testing target markets for more elaborate informational products. For all of the above: Do not get into bidding wars against other affiliates using expensive general keywords or overexposed brand names. Go niche or go broke.



Based in China, Alibaba is the world’s largest business-to-business market­ place. From MP3 players for $9 each to red wine for $2 per bottle, this site is the source. If someone here doesn’t make it, it probably can’t be made.


Worldwide Brands

Offers an extensive how-to guide for finding manufacturers willing to dropship product to your customers, which allows you to avoid pre­ purchasing inventory. This is where Amazon and eBay power users find not just drop shippers, but also wholesalers and liquidators.


DropShip Strategy
Thomas’s Register of Manufacturers

Searchable database of contract manufacturers for every conceivable product, from underwear and food products to airplane parts.


Electronics, DVDs, Books


Housewares and Hardware

For these product categories and related talent on-screen demonstrations, also consider attending local or state fairs.


Consumables and Vitamin Products


Finding Public Domain Information to Repurpose

Be sure to speak with an intellectual property attorney before using apparent public domain material. If someone modifies 20% of a public domain work through abridging and footnotes, for example, their “new” complete work can be copyrighted. Using it without permission would then be a punishable infringement. The details can get confusing. Do the beginning research yourself, but get a pro to look over your findings before moving ahead with product development.

Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg is a digital library of more than 15,000 pieces of literature considered to be in the public domain.


LibriVox is a collection of audiobooks from the public domain that are available for free download.


Recording Seminars or Phone Interviews with Experts for CD Downloadable Products

HotRecorder – PC
Call Recorder – Mac

Use these programs to record any inbound or outbound phone call via computer using…


…and other VoIP programs.

NoCost Conference

Provides a free 800 – number conference line, as well as free recording and file retrieval. Normal phones can be used for call-in, so no computer or web connection is required for participants. If you’ll have a Q&A, I suggest soliciting attendee questions beforehand to avoid issues with muting/ unmuting of lines.

Jing Project

If you’d like to record the actions on your screen for video tutorials, both of these free programs will get the job done. If you need advanced editing features, Jing’s big brother.


Is the industry-standard


Licensing Ideas to Others for Royalties


Stephen Key is the most consistently successful inventor I’ve ever met, with millions in royalties from companies like Disney, Nestle, and Coca-Cola.

He is not high-tech but specializes in creating simple products, or improving on existing products, and then licensing his ideas to large corporations. He comes up with the idea, files a provisional patent for less than $200, and then lets another company do the work while he collects checks. This site introduces his fail-proof process for doing the same. His techniques for cold-calling alone are invaluable. Highly recommended.

Guthy-Renker Corporation

GRC is the 800-pound infomercial gorilla. It brings in more than $1.3 billion per year in sales with mega-hits like Tony Robbin, Proactiv Solution, and Winsor Pilates. Don’t expect more than a 2-4% royalty if you make the cut, but the numbers are huge enough to make it worth a look. Submit your product online.


Searching Patents for Unexploited Ideas to Turn into Products

United States Patent and Trademark Office
Licensable Technologies Developed at Universities

See “view all listings” under “Technology Transfer Offices”


Inventors Groups and Associations

Call and ask if members have anything to license


Becoming an Expert


Receive daily leads from journalists and TV and radio producers looking for experts to cite and interview for media ranging from local outlets to CNN and the New York Times. Stop swimming upstream and start responding to stories people are already working on. HARO offers select leads at no cost, and you can mention Tim’s name with PR Leads to get two months for the price of one.


PRWeb Press Releases

The press release is dead for most purposes, but using this service has some serious search-engine benefits, such as appearing at the top of related Google News and Yahoo! News results.


Software for Understanding Web Traffic Web Analytics

How are people finding, browsing, and leaving your site? How many prospective customers are being delivered by each PPC ad, and which pages are most popular? These programs tell you all this and more. Google is free for most low-volume sites- and better than a lot of paid software-and the others cost $30 and upward per month.

Google Analytics

Tim uses CrazyEgg to see exactly where people are clicking most and least on homepages and landing pages. It is particularly helpful for repositioning the most important links or buttons to help prompt visitors to take specific next actions. Don’t guess what’s working or not-measure it.



A/B Testing Software

Google Website Optimizer

This is a free tool that, like Google Analytics, is better than most paid services. Tim used  Google WO  to test  three potential  homepages for and increased sign-ups 19%, then again by more than 16%.



Low-Cost Toll-free Numbers



Checking Competitive Site Traffic

I think most people have moved on to Ahrefs, Moz and SEMrush for things like this but here were Tim’s recommendations at the time:



Email  & Newsletter Opt In



Freelance Designers and Programmers



Chapter 11

Income Autopilot III: MBA—Management by Absence

Here he outlines his automation flow chart. The goal is not to create a business that is as large as possible but rather a business that bothers us as little as possible.  He outlines the budget for outsourcing your business.


How and when to remove yourself from the business.


Less than 50 units

Do it all yourself


Over 10 units per week

Add an FAQ to your site, subcontract local fulfillment company.  Find a small company and ask for 50% off and request the setup fee be applied as an advance on shipping.  Make sure they can respond to order status from customers using your customer service response verbiage.  To lower or eliminate miscellaneous fees, explain you need that money for advertising to drive more shipments and mention the competitive companies you’re considering and pit them against each other.


Ask for three client references. Ask those clients: Everyone has weaknesses.  If you had to point out where you had some issues and what they were? Say you expect this with your company so it’s no big deal and it’s confidential of course.


Insist on net 30 terms.


Over 20 units shipped per week

Now you have the cash flow and set up fees and monthly minimums the bigger more sophisticated outsourcers will ask for. Call the end fulfillment houses that handle it all from order status to returns or refunds. Ask for referrals to call centers and credit card processors they’ve collaborated with for file transfers and problem-solving. Set up an account with a credit card processor first for which you will need your own merchant account.  This is critical, as the fulfillment house can only handle refunds and declined transactions they process themselves. 


Set up an account with one of the call centers your new fulfillment center recommends. These often have toll-free numbers you can use instead of purchasing your own. Look at the percentage split of online phone orders during testing and consider carefully whether the extra revenue from the latter is worth the hassle. More often than not, it isn’t.  If you decide to use a call-center, get several one 800 numbers. Note the “make it or break it” factor is wait time. The phone should be answered within 3 to 4 rings. More than 15 seconds of hold will result in too many abandoned calls.


He believes that you should not offer too many options as this creates more problems and confusion. Less options equals more revenue.

  • A basic and a premium option is it.
  • Do not offer multiple shipping options.
  • Offer one fast method and charge a premium.
  • Do not offer overnight or expedited shipping.
  • Eliminate phone orders completely.
  • Do not offer international shipments.
  • He believes not all customers are created equal and that you should thin the herd. You may reduce the payment processing options available or set up purchase terms that reduce your workload.

GRKKT: Alan Dib would call this the “sales prevention department” but I feel Tim is probably right.  I don’t want to make “sales” to people who cost me money. That’s not a sale. That’s a cost.

  • Those who spend the most complain the least.
  • Do not accept payment via Western Union checks for money order
  • Raise wholesale minimums to 12 to 100 units and require a tax ID number
  • Refer all potential resellers to an online order form. Never negotiate pricing.
  • Offer low price products instead of free products to capture contact information for follow up sales.

GRKKT: Note this is the exact opposite strategy of Russell Brunson from DOTCOM SECRETS

  • Offer a lose/win guarantee as outlined on page 213. Instead of simply offering a money back guarantee offer 110% back. Surprisingly most people are honest and do not try to make money on you. Instead it significantly boosts your sales.

GRKKT: This is one area where he agrees with Alan Dib.


  • Do not accept orders from common mail fraud countries like Nigeria or do not ship internationally at all. Make your customer base an exclusive club and treat the members well once they’ve been accepted.

Tim believes in looking big or trying to look blue chip with one 800 numbers, multiple emails and giving yourself a title like vice president instead of founder and CEO.


GRKKT: Note this is the opposite again of Russell Brunson and the Indy hacker community who believes you need to look small, personal and approachable.


Looking Huge-Virtual Receptionist and IVR


CD/DVD Duplication, Printing, and Product Packaging

AVC Corporation
SF Video


Local Fulfillment

Mailing Fulfillment Service Association

Small time; 20 units or less per week


End-to-End Fulfillment Companies

More than 20 units shipped per week, $500+ setup

Motivational Fulfillment
Moulton Fulfillment


Call Centers per-minute and/or per-sale fees

There are generally two classes of call centers: order takers and commissioned reps. Interview each provider you consider to understand the options and costs involved.


Pioneer in home-based reps. Provides comprehensive service with agents, IVR, and Spanish.  Often used for one-step order taking instead of soft offers.

West Teleservices

29,000 employees worldwide, processes billions of minutes per year. All the high-volume and low-price players use them for lower-priced products or higher-end products with free trials


Highly skilled home-based sales agents that specialize in B2C and B2B, in­ bound and outbound programs. If performance, speed to respond, Internet Integration, and quality customer experience are your priorities, this is a strong option to consider

Triton Technology

Commission-only sales center know for incredible dosing abilities.  Don’t call unless your product sells for at least $100.

CenterPoint Teleservices

This sales force has experience to convert sales from hard offers, soft offers. and multiple offers upselling additional products after a caller agrees to purchase the advertised product originating from radio, TV, print, or the web.

Stewart Response Group

Sales driven call center leveraging the home-agent model for both inbound and out bound programs. Another high-touch boutique center


Credit Card Processors

TransFirst Payment Processing (dead)

Chase Paymentech (dead)

Trust Commerce


Affiliate Program Software

My Affiliate Program


Discount Media Buying Agencies

If you. go to a magazine, radio station, or TV channel and pay rate card “retail” pricing first given-you will never make it big. To save a lot of headache and expense, consider using ad agencies that negotiate discounts.

Manhattan Media Print

Great agency with fast turnaround. I’ve used them since the beginning.

Novus Media Print

Relationships with 1,400+ magazine and newspaper publishers with an average of 80% of rate card. Clients include Sharper Image and Office Depot.

Mercury Media TV

Largest private DR media agency in the U.S. Specialists in TV but can also handle radio and print. Offer full tracking and reporting to deter­ mine ROI.

Euro RSCG Cross Media

One of the worldwide leaders in DRTV media across all platforms.

Canella Media Response Television TV

Uses the innovative P/I per inquiry model for compensation, where you split order profits instead of paying for time upfront. This is more expen­ sive per order if you have a successful campaign, but it lowers upfront investment in media.

Marketing Architects Radio

The de facto leaders in radio DR but a bit on the expensive side. Almost all of the most successful DR products-Carlton Sheets No Money Down, Tony Robbins, etc.-have used them.

Radio Direct Response Radio

Mark Lipsky has put together a great firm, with clients ranging from small direct marketers to Travel Channel and Wells Fargo.


Online Marketing and Research Firms

PPC campaign management, etc.

Starting Small-Find a Local Individual to Help

See the member directory.


Mid Size Firms
Clicks 2 Customers
Working Planet


The Hard-Hitting Pro

Small Campaigns start at several thousand dollars

Marketing Experiments

This is his team.


Cost is determined by a percentage above monthly PPC spend.



FullService Infomercial Producers

Cesari Direct
Hawthorne Direct
Script -to -Screen


Retail and International Product Distribution

Want to get your product on the shelves of Wal-Mart, Costco, Nordstrom, or the leading department store in Japan? Sometimes it pays to have experts with relationships get you there.

Tristar Products

Behind the PowerJuicer and other hits. Tristar also owns their own production studio and can therefore offer end-to-end services in addition to retail distribution.

BJ Direct International


Celebrity Brokers

Want a celebrity to endorse your product or be a spokesperson? It can cost a lot less than you think, if you do it right. I know of one clothing endorse­ment deal with the best pitcher in Major League Baseball that cost just

$20,000 per year. Here are the brokers who can make it happen:

Celeb Brokers

President Jack King was the one who first turned me on to this fascinating world. He knows it all inside and out.

Celebrity Endorsement Network


Celebrity Finding

Contact Any Celebrity

It is possible to do it yourself, as I have done many times. This online directory and its helpful staff will help you find any celebrity in the world.




Chapter 12

Disappearing Act: How to Escape the Office

Here he outlines how to convince your boss to allow you to slowly work from home so you can start your own business. 

  • Find ways for your company to invest in you as much as possible to increase the potential loss of one leaving.
  • Prove Increased Output Offsite
  • Prepare the Quantifiable Business Benefit
  • Propose a Revocable Trial Period
  • Expand Remote Time


Chapter 13

Beyond Repair: Killing Your Job

  • Further encouragement to quit your job, find self-employed health insurance and how to resign.
  • He provides the parable of the Mexican fisherman and the American businessman.


Chapter 14

Mini-Retirements: Embracing the Mobile Lifestyle

  • He advocates mini retirements and extended one to six month vacations, distributing your end of life retirement throughout your life.
  • Clearly his idea of financial success means travel abroad.
  • He lists websites for brainstorming for mini retirement locations.


Chapter 15

Filling the Void: Adding Life After Subtracting Work

  1. Return to ground zero, appreciate the silence, slow down, and eliminate distractions.
  2. Donate anonymously to a service organization of your choice, serving others without seeking credit.
  3. Take a learning mini-retirement, learn a language or skill while volunteering locally.
  4. Revisit and redefine dreamlines, identify what makes you happy and excited.
  5. Based on steps 1-4, explore new part- or full-time vocations, rediscover childhood excitement in a new muse or hobby.


Chapter 16

The Top 13 New Rich Mistakes

  1. Losing focus on your dreams and settling for work without purpose (W4W).
  2. Excessive micromanagement by filling time with unnecessary emails and messages.
  3. Failing to delegate tasks to your outsourcers, employees, or coworkers
  4. Repeatedly dealing with the same problems or non-critical matters instead of setting up rules and systems.
  5. Pursuing prospects that may be unsuitable, challenging, or international, that do not maintain a healthy cash flow to support your desired lifestyle.
  6. Failure to use FAQs, employees, or auto-responders to handle unnecessary inquiries.
  7. Failure to create a clear separation between your work and personal environments to allow for relaxation and escape (living where you work).
  8. Failure to apply the Pareto or 80/20 analyses monthly to assess priorities and efficiency in both professional and personal aspects of life.
  9. Pursuing unattainable perfection in both professional and personal endeavors.
  10. Making minor issues as an excuse to keep working excessively.
  11. Making non-urgent matters appear urgent to justify additional work.
  12. Associating your entire existence with a single product, career, or project, as life offers more than that narrow perspective.
  13. Failing to recognize the importance of social connections beyond work and actively nurture positive relationships with others.



Best of the Blog

The art of letting bad things happen

After three weeks off the blog he finally checked email to discover one of his fulfillment companies have been shut down due to a CEO’s death. Missed several radio magazine appearances that’s upsetting the interviewers. Lost about a dozen joint venture partnership opportunities.


Things I’ve Loved and Learned in 2008

One of the most universal causes self-doubt and depression is trying to impress people you don’t like.  Slow meals equals life. Have at least one 3 hour dinner or drinks per week with friends,


The Not-to-Do List: 9 Habits to Stop Now

Do not answer calls from unrecognized phone numbers. Do not email first thing in the morning or last thing at night. Do not agree to meetings or calls with no prior agenda or end time. Do not let people ramble. Check emails in batches. Do not over communicate with low profit high maintenance customers. Do not carry a cell phone everywhere. Do not work more to fix your overwhelmed workload. Prioritize instead.


The Margin Manifesto

  • Niche is the new big.
  • Revisit Drucker and the metrics he advocates such as cost per order, media efficiency ratio and projected lifetime value.
  • Pricing before product. Plan scalable distribution. Limit distribution to increase profit.
  • Net zero – create demand versus offering terms.
  • Repetition is redundant. Good advertising works the first time. Sacrifice margin for safety. Negotiate late and make others negotiate against themselves.


Tim Ferriss Processing Rules

  • Be mindful of hyperactivity versus productivity. Fire high maintenance customers.
  • Prioritize deadlines over details and test for reliability before capability.
  • Outsource your inbox and have your assistant check and clear the inbox based on those rules. Set a time you will review with your assistant.
  • He provides examples of the rules he provides his assistants.


Case Studies, Tips and Hacks

Provides case studies of people who applied 4-Hour Workweek.


Restricted Reading: The Few That Matter

He provides a book list.



This book is a classic.  It’s an absolute staple in the library of every entrepreneur.  I’ve outlined the basics, but you will need to read the book to understand the actionable details. The author provides real world application examples that make everything easier to follow. 


Here’s a link to Tim’s podcast.  Here is his blog.  Here is his newsletter.  I can’t recommend the book highly enough.


The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich Hardcover – December 15, 2009
4.5 out of 5 stars    25,562 ratings

Author Bio

Picture of Benjamin Arritt

Benjamin Arritt

Global B2B sales & marketing executive that loves a fast-paced, customer-centric, high tech entrepreneurial environment. We help 50+ fractional CFOs and 93+ fractional CMOs find more work. Hire someone who has already done what you are trying to do. Follow me on X: @grokketship
The 4-hour workweek 16x9v2


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