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?