The 4-Hour Workweek

06 November

The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

I read this book around 2008.  It completely changed my philosophy of working life.  The 4-Hour Workweek tells you how to create a roadmap to escape being overworked for little return.

To me, the key takeaway of this book is to work smart, not hard.  And here we go…

Tim Ferriss is a life scientist and a productivity expert, always experimenting how to get the best results with the least amount of effort.  Although it’s hard to label Tim (yes, he’s on a first-name basis in our household because of this book).  He is so many things: author, kickboxing champion, dancer, speaker, and philanthropist.

Core to the book is creating a “muse“: a low-maintenance business that generates significant income.  Tim says to find a market: define your customers, then find or develop a market for them.  And actually BE a member of your target market so you don’t have to speculate what others need or would be willing to buy.

He also covers dreamlining, outsourcing, and mini-retirements.  Dreamlining is creating two timelines (6 and 12 months) and list up to 5 things you dream of having, being, and doing.  In that order.  Outsourcing is having someone else do your tasks, for cheaper than you could do it.  And mini-retirements…taking little extended vacations while we’re still semi-young and can truly enjoy them.

Looking at my book notes, I was particularly interested in Tim’s specific guidelines for a successful muse.  Here they are:

  • Not service-related
  • Must be hard good product (or information)
  • Can’t take more than $400 to test
  • Lend itself to automation within 4 weeks
  • Once running, can’t require more than 1 day per week to manage
  • One sentence or phrase should describe product benefit
  • Price = $50 – $200
  • Take no more than 3 to 4 weeks to manufacture
  • Fully explainable in online FAQ
  • No ingestibles
  • Make it scalable
  • Low maintenance customers (80/20 rule)
  • Offer 1 or 2 purchase options
  • Do not offer multiple shipping options
  • Do not offer overnight or expedited shipping
  • Online orders only (do not offer phone ordering)
  • Do not offer international shipments

Have I used these guidelines to find my muse yet?  No, not yet.  This blog is a step in that direction!

Have you read The 4-Hour Workweek?  What’s your muse?


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