The 4-Hour Work Week - Tim Ferris
Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017
D - Definition
E - Elimination: Time
A - Automation: Income
L - Liberation: Mobility
Focus on being productive instead of busy
The time is never right
Ask for forgiveness, Not permission
Emphasize strengths, Don't fix weaknesses
Luxury = the reward of those who have no fear of discomfort
What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do
It's lonely at the top
The opposite of happiness = boredom
What would excite me?
Propose solutions instead of ask for them
Develop the uncommon habit of making decisions, both for yourself and for others
What you do is infinitely more important than how you do it
80% of the outputs result from 20% of the inputs
Which 20% of sources are causing 80% of my problems and unhappiness
Which 20% of sources are resulting in 80% of my desired outcomes and happiness?
Being busy is a form of laziness - lazy thinking and indiscriminate action
Being selective - doing less - is the path of the productive
Time is wasted because there is so much time available
Parkinson's Law dictates what a task will swell in (perceived) importance + complexity in relation to the time allotted for its complexion.
Identify the few critical tasks that contribute most to income and schedule them with very short and clear deadlines.
Am I being productive or just active?
Am I inventing things to do to avoid the important?
Define a short to do list
Define a not to do list
"If this is the only thing I accomplish today, will I be satisfied with my day?"
to do list = piece of paper folded 3x (2"x3 1/2")
"Are you inventing things to do to avoid the important?"
shorten schedules and deadlines to force focussed action and prevent procrastination
Use impossibly short deadlines to force immediate action while ignoring minutiae ?
Learn to propose, offer a solution, stop the back and forth and make a decision.
"Can I make a suggestion?"
"Lets try... and then try something else if that doesn't work"
ability to be selectively ignorant
rediscover the power of the forgotten skill called "talking", it works.
less is more
1 week media fast, go cold turkey
reputation for being assertive
stop taking information abuse
limit email consumption and production
check email 2x/day, 12pm and 4pm
It is your job to train those around you to be effective and efficient
people are smarter than you think. Give them a chance to prove themselves.
"is that reasonable?"
the bottom line is that you only have the rights you fight for
do not let people interrupt you. Find your focus and you'll find your lifestyle
learn to recognize and fight the interruption impulse
the devil is in the details
when answering calls.. "how can I help you?"
What can I routinize by batching
Profit is only profitable to the extent that you can use it. For that you need time
Revisit the terrible terrible twos, say "no"
Each delegated task must be both time-consuming
VA Firm (Brickwork and YMII)
Never use debit cards for online transactions
ask foreign VAs to rephrase tasks to confirm understanding before getting started
request a status update after a few hours of work
Parkinsons Law - 48 and 24 hours
Get an assistant! even if you don't need one
Chapter 9 - Income Autopilot I
It is critical that you decide how you will sell and distribute your product before you commit to a product in the first place.
Pick an affordably reachable niche market
find a market, define your customers, then find or develop a product for them
be a member of your target market
"Genius is only a superior power of seeing" - John Ruskin
explainable in 1 statement or phrase. How is it different and why should I buy it? ONE sentence or phrase
It should cost the consumers $50 - 200
1 - 2 weeks for order placement to shippable product
choose a product that you can fully explain in a good online FAQ
"Creating is a better means of self-expression than possession; it is through creating, not possessing, that life is revealed." -Vida D. Scudder
*Best product = information
create the content yourself
Calling= "Hi this is Skyla __ Calling for ___, please"
might sound a bit odd
read his interview in ___Time out New York__
Im a longtime fan
courage to call
Chapter 11 - Income Autopilot III
Phase I: 0-5 total units of product shipped
Do it all yourself, put your # on the site for both general questions and order taking, later for FAQ
make product benefits (including what it isn't or doesn't do) clearer
answer all emails and save to "customer service questions" folder. cc yourself on responses and put the nature of the customers questions in the subject times for future indexing
Phase II: >10 units/week
Find local fulfillment companies
Tell them you need the cash for advertising that will drive more shipments
Phase III: >20 Units shipped per week
Call the end - to - end fulfillment houses that handle it all - from order status to returns and refunds.
Make test calls
Call each number at least 3 times
The Art of Undecision: Fewer Options = More Revenue
Henry Ford: “The customer can have any color he wants, so long as it’s black”
He understoof something that business peopl seem to have forgotten: Serving the customer (customer service) is not becoming a personal concierge and catering to their every whim and want. Customer service is providing an excellent product at an acceptable price and solving legitimate problems in the fastest manner possible. Thats it.
The more options you offer the customer, the more indecision you create and the fewer orders you receive.
Offer one or two purchase options
Do not offer multiple shipping options
Do not offer overnight or expedited shipping
Eliminate phone orders completely
Do not offer international shipments
Not All Customers Are Created Equal
Do not accept payment via Western Union, checks, or money order
The Lose-Win Guarantee - How to sell anything to anyone
“If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster.” -Clint Eastwood
Little Blue Chip: How to Look Fortune 500 in 45 Minutes
Don’t be the CEO or founder
Put multiple e-mail and phone contacts on the website
Set up an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) remote receptionist
Do not provide home addresses
“PO Box 555, Nowhere, US 11936”
“Suite 555, 1234 Downtown Ave, US, 11936”
There is no real technique involved. Just lie down and remain silent on the ground for about 10 seconds, and then get up and continue on with whatever you were doing before. I used to do this at nightclubs to clear space for break-dancing circles.
Don’t explain it at all, if someone asks, just respond “I just felt like lying down for a second.”
It isn’t enough to think outside the box. Thinking is passive. Get used to acting outside the box.
Step IV: L is for Liberation
Chapter 12 - Disappearing Act
Practice environment-free productivity
attempt to work for 2-3 hours in a cafe for 2 saturdays prior to proposing a remote trial.
If you exercise in a gym, attempt to exercise at home for 2 weeks
Practice the art of getting apst “no” before proposing
What would I need to do to (desired outcome)?
Under what circumstances would you (desired outcome)?
Have you ever made an exception?
I’m sure you’ve made an exception before, havent you?
If no - then ask, Why not?
If yes - then ask, Why?
“Make mistakes of ambition and not mistakes of sloth. Develop the strength to do bold things, not the strength to suffer.”
Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince
Pride and Punishment
Just because something has been a lot of work or consumed a lot of time doesn’t make it productive or worthwhile.
Pride is stupid
Don’t confuse the complex with the difficult. Most situations are simple - many are just emotionally difficult to act upon.
Like Pulling Off a Band-Aid: It’s Easier and Less Painful Than You Think
Go through all expenses and ask yourself, If I had to eliminate this because I needed an extra kidney, how would I do it?
“Would you like me to five you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure.”
-Thomas J. Watson, founder of IBM
The person who has more options has more power.
Chapter 14 - Mini-Retirements
Rather than seeking to see the world through photo ops between foreign-but-famililiar hotels, we aim to experience it at a speed that lets it change us.
One cannot be free from the stresses of a speed- and side-obsessed culture until you are free from the materialistic addictions, time-famine mind-set, and comparative impulses that created it in the first place.
Learn to slow down
Student ID card entitled me to over 40% discounts on all transportation
Fear Factors: Overcoming Excuses Not to Travel
It was perception, not reality.
Purchase tickets far in advance (three months or more) or last minute, and aim for both departure and return between Tuesday and Thursday
“To be free, to be happy and fruitful, can only be attained through sacrifice of many common but overestimated things.” - Robert Henri
Extended travel is the perfect excuse to reverse the damage of years of consuming as much as you can afford.
Clutter creates indecision and distractions
I hadn’t exercises my throwing-out muscles in some time
Take less with you
overpacking impulse is hard to resist. The solution is to set a “settling fund”
Pack as if you were coming back in one week
One week of clothing appropriate to the season, including one semiformal shirt and pair of pants or skirt for customs.
Backup photocopies or scanned copies of all important documents
Debit cards, credit cards, and $200 worth of small bills in local currency
Small cable bike lock for securing luggage while in transit or hostels; a small padlock for lockers if needed
“It is fatal to know too much at the outcome: boredom comes as quickly to the traveler who knows his route as to the novelist who is overcertain of his plot.” - Paul Theroux
Take an asset and cash-flow snapshot
eliminate what is seldom used or that creates stress or distraction without adding a lot of value?
Prepare for your trip. Heres the countdown
Three months out - eliminate
What is the 20% of my belongings that I use 80% of the time?
Eliminate the other 80% in clothing, magazines, books, and all else.
Be ruthless - you can always repurchase things you can’t live without.
What belongings create stress in my life?
Check current health insurance coverage for extended over-seas travel
Two months out - Automate
auto payments for regular bills
One month out
Two Weeks out
Scan all identification
print multiple copies, several to be left with family members and several to be taken with you in seperate bags. E-mail the scanned file to yourself
If you are an entrepreneur, downgrade your cell phone to the cheapest plan and set up a voicemale:
“I am currently overseas on business. Please do not leave a voicemail, as I will not be checking in while gone. Please send me an e-mail at ___ if the matter is important. Thank you for your understanding.”
Then set up an e-mail autoresponders that indicate responses could take up to seven days due to international business travel
One Week Out -
Decide on a schedule for routine batched tasks
Chapter 15 - Filling the Void
“Man is so made that he can only find relaxation from one kind of labor by taking up another.” -Anatole France
If you can’t define it or act upon it, forget it.
to love, be loved, and never stop learning
continual learning and service
To live is to learn
I rarely travel somewhere without deciding first how I’ll obsess on a specific skill
language acquisition and one kinesthetic skill
The most successful serial vegabonds tend to blend the mental and the physical.
Acquiring a new language makes you away of your own language: your own thoughts.
The benefits of becoming fluent in a foreign tongue are as underestimated as the difficulty is overestimated
Don’t miss the chance to double your life experience
Service for the Right Reasons: To Save the Whales, or Kill Them and feed the Children?
service is an attitude
“Adults are always asking kids what they want to be when they grow up because they are looking for ideas.” -Paula Poundstone
Slowing down doesnt mean accomplishing less; it means cutting out counterproductive distractions and the perception of being rushed
Whenever upset or anxious, ask “why” at least three times and put the answers down on paper.
What makes you most angry about the state of the world?
What are you most afraid of for the next generation, whether you have children or not?
What makes you happiest in your life? How can you help others have the same?
Revisit & reset dreamlines
What are you good at?
What could you be the best at?
What makes you happy?
What excites you?
What makes you feel accomplished and good about yourself?
What are you most proud of having accomplished in your life? Can you repeat this or further develop it?
What do you enjoy sharing or experiencing with other people?
Chapter 16 - The Top 13 New Rich Mistakes
Losing sight of dreams and falling into work for work’s sake (W4W)
Micromanaging and e-mailing to fill time
Handling problems your outsourcers or co-workers can handle.
Helping outsourcers or co-workers with the same problem more than once, or with noncrisis problems.
Chasing customers, particularly unqualified or international prospects, when you have sufficient cash flow to finance your nonfinancial persuits
Answering e-mail that will not result in a sale or that can be answered by a FAQ or auto-responder.
Working where you live, sleep, or should relax
Not performing a thorough 80/20 analysis every two to four weeks for your business and personal life
Striving for endless perfection rather than great or or simply good enough, whether in your personal or professional life
Blowing minutiae and small problems out of proportion as an excuse to work.
Making non-time-sensitive issues urgent in order to justify work
Viewing one product, job or project as the end-all and be-all of your existence.
Ignoring the social rewards of life
Surround yourself with positive people who have nothing to do with work
The Last Chapter
“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something… almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.”
The only rules and limits are those we set for ourselves.