The 4 hours workweek Timothy Ferriss Summary

If rich dad poor dad is a bible to MLM, then four hour work week by Tim Ferriss is a bible to "digital nomad".Every backpacker read somehow this book. Tim Ferris is known for coining the word "Lifestyle Design" and also know to define the current mentally of the Millennium group aka The New Rich.

It centric on defining differences between financial freedom from being wealthily rich. This book talks about how to escape the 9 to 5 rat race trap and living a more meaningful which is geographically unrestricted.

People don't want to be millionaires but want to experience what millions can do for them. - Tim Ferris
Being financially rich and having the ability to live like a rich is two different thing. You need to have the options and control over what you do when you do, where you do and whom you do it with.

The core 4 principles which are; Definition, Elimination, Automation and Liberation. Below is the summary of the book that I had read.


Everything popular is wrong, example retirement is flawed and most people will not be able to save enough for retirement. They are forced to become lower-middle-class life in their golden years.

New rich distribute mini-retirements throughout their life for recovery and work when you are effective, productive and enjoyable.

Doing less meaningless work, so that you can focus on things for greater importance, is not laziness.

Focus on personal productivity over personal sacrifice.

Focus on being productive instead of being busy.

The timing is never right when you think about quitting your job. Conditions will never be perfect hence the best timing is now. Don't give people the chance to say "No". Most people are fast to stop you before you start but hesitant to get in the way when you are moving.

Emphasize your strength instead of fixing your weaknesses. Use strength as multiplying results over incremental improvement on fixing your weaknesses.

Things in excess become their opposite. Too much, too many, and too often of what you want becomes what you don't want.

Relative income is more important than absolute income. Relative income takes money and time into account and absolute income looks at money alone. The new rich uses per hour basis to measure their relative income.

Distress is bad and eustress is good. Learn to remove stress and start finding the motivational factor that makes you euphoria and excited.

Fear setting and escaping paralysis

To conquer your fear first define your fear. Mentally plan out your worst case scenario. Most of them turn out to be temporary impacting but not life-changing.

Uncovering fear that disguised as optimism. Many avoid quitting their job thinking that one day they will become better.


Forget about time management. Being busy is used as an excuse for avoiding certain critical and important decision or actions. In the world of elimination, doing less is mandatory for accomplishing more.

Doing something unimportant well doesn't make it important. Spending a lot of time also doesn't make a task important. What you do is more important than how you do it.
Effective is doing things that get you closer to your goal and efficiency is performing a (regardless of importance) task in a most economical manner as possible. You need to be both effective and efficient.

Use Pareto's Law of 80/20. To have 80% of the output by using 20% of the input. Being overwhelmed is as unproductive as doing nothing. Being busy is a form of laziness, lazy to think and indiscriminate actions.

9 to 5 illusion or 8 hours a day working is arbitrary. Instead, an employee that work 8 hours daily has often no incentive to use time wisely unless they are paid on commission. Negotiating a remote work arrangement will make your work more effective and lesser of wasted time.
Parkinson's Law dictates that a task will swell in importance and complexity in relation to the time allotted for its completion. The end product of a shorter deadline is inevitable of equal or higher quality due to greater focus.

Be selectively ignorant. Ignore or redirect all information and interruptions that are irrelevant, unimportant or unactionable.

Develop and maintain a low information diet. Most information is time consuming, negative and irrelevant to your goals and outside of your influence.

Interrupting interruption. Eliminate or deflect those that waste or consume your time.
  1. Turn of audible alerts
  2. Check email twice per day
  3. Use e-mail autoresponse to train your boss and your clients
  4. Beg for forgiveness and don't ask for permission
Master the art of refusal and avoiding meetings. Meetings should only be held to make decisions on a predefined situation and not to define the problem. Suggest a phone call over in-person. Suggest an email with an agenda to define problem instead.

Use the Puppy dog close. It is based on the pet store sales approach: if someone likes a puppy but is hesitant to make the life-altering purchase, just offer to let them take the pup home and bring it back if they change their minds. Return seldom happens.

Empowerment failure refers to being unable to accomplish a task without first obtaining permission or information. It is often a case of being micromanaged or micromanaging someone else, both of which consume your time. Eliminate decision bottleneck for all things that are nonfatal if wrongly performed.


Getting a remote personal assistant allows you to learn how to give orders. It's a critical skill: remote management and communication. Using a virtual assistant as an exercise to learn management and entrepreneur. The cost is not an expense but an investment.

The goal of an assistant is to free your time to focus on bigger and better things. Preparing someone to replace you will cut remaining fat and redundancy from your schedule.

Becoming new rich is not just about working smarter. It's about building a system to replace yourself.

Eliminate before delegation. Never automate something that can be eliminated, and never delegate something that can be automated or streamlined.

Create a system process, outsource and delegate and remove yourself from the equation:
  1. Don't create a product then seek someone to sell it to Find a market, define your customers then find or develop a product for them.
  2. If everyone is your customer then no one is your customer. Find a niche market.
  3. Create advertising for the product and test responses from real customers before investing in manufacturing.
  4. Price product in premium, high-end image and charging more than the competition. Midrange product faces strong competition and low price product is shortsighted.
  5. Make the design architecture scalable.
You don't need to be an expert to sell products. You just need to know more about the topic than your target audience.

You will become a top expert in a topic in 4 weeks:

  1. Join two or three related trade organization with official-sounding names.
  2. Read the three top-selling books on the topic.
  3. Give one free 1 to 3-hour seminar at a well-known university, using posters to advertise. Extend to 2 well-known big companies. Record video as a potential digital product.
  4. Offer to write articles for trade magazines related to your topics. Or offers a written transcript of an interview with another known expert.
Fewer options increase revenue. The art of indecision.
Not all customer are created equal. Instead of dealing with problematic customers, it recommended to prevent them in the first place.
Offer low priced products instead of free products that attract time eaters.
30 days money back guarantee is dead. Use a lose-win guarantee.


Being bound to one place will be the new definition of middle-class. The new rich are defined by unrestricted mobility.

Demonstrate to your boss the business benefit of remote working. Or make it too expensive or difficult to refuse a request for it.

Perform disappearing act on your boss with these steps:

  1. Increase investment. Let the company invest as much in yourself so that the loss is greater if you quit.
  2. Call in sick and prove that you can increase output offsite when you are not physically present.
  3. Prepare and present your quantifiable business benefit. Show you achieved more outside office.
  4. Propose a revocable trial period.

Top 13 new rich mistakes:

  1. Losing sight of dreams and falling into work for work's sake
  2. Micromanaging and emailing to fill time.
  3. Handling problems your outsourcers or co-workers can handle.
  4. Helping outsourcers or co-workers with the same problem more than once, or with noncrisis problems.
  5. Chasing customers, particularly unqualified or international prospects.
  6. Answering e-mail that will not result in a sale or that can be answered by an FAQ or auto-responder.
  7. Working where you live, sleep, or should relax.
  8. Not performing a thorough 80/20 analysis every two or four weeks.
  9. Striving for endless perfection rather than great or simply good enough.
  10. Blowing small problems out of proportion as an excuse to work.
  11. Making non-time sensitive issues urgent in order to justify work.
  12. Viewing one product, job, or project as the end all and be all of your existence.
  13. Ignoring the social rewards of life.
Fun things happen when you earn dollars, live on pesos, and compensate in rupees, but that's just the beginning. - Tim Ferris
I personally quitted my job and backpack for 2 years being a nomad in South East Asia. The book didn't provide detail on how to earn income online but just the concept that income can be made online. Its recommended reading the book for the concept, definition, elimination and automation. Liberation is a personal preference. This book really provides a real insight into the lifestyle of digital nomad and people who earn income online. Like drop shipper, travel blogger, Youtuber and affiliate marketer.

P/S: If you like to buy this book on amazon and read immediately you may use my affiliate link so that I receive a kick back from the author with no cost on your side. Otherwise, check out my other book review like Rich Dad Poor Dad.



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