A book that changed my life
The 4-Hour Work Week (4HWW) by Tim Ferriss taught me how to live more fully, while working a 9-5 job. It ignited an entrepreneurial spirit in me and I began to develop a few different ideas (muses) since reading the book.
Here are the key learnings from the book, distilled.
4HWW lays out a simple plan that anyone can use to achieve their own definition of “rich”.
The plan is to always DEAL:
Use DEAL to build a fuller life, beyond your 9-5.
Be honest with yourself.
- What’s your end goal?
- If it’s money, why do you want to be rich?
- What do you need to do to make your dreams come true?
Money is not the end game — you will not live a full life if you have money, but have no purpose. When you’re making money, think about how much time you’re regaining for yourself.
Define your fears
What if you fail? Well, what if you don’t?
DEFINE your worst case scenario and you’ll find out it’s not that bad after all. Fear is only scary when you empower it with your imagination.
Write down your biggest fears, and identify what’s stopping you from doing what matters.
Calculate the cost of your inaction — financially, emotionally and physically. The combined cost of your inaction should be your worst fear.
There’s never a perfect time to start, so why won’t you start now?
Define your dreams
Don’t overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself.
Don’t aim for mediocrity — go for the big win.
Be specific with your goal and set a timeline on your dreams. Your action plan should have defined and achievable steps.
Don’t try to do more in a day. Do only what is necessary.
Use Pareto’s Law — the 80/20 principle can help you prioritise, and reduce the unnecessary.
Ask yourself 2 questions:
- What 20% of your problems are causing 80% of your unhappiness?
- What 20% of your work gets you 80% of the results?
Cut those problems away and do the work that matters well.
Use Parkinson’s Law to increase your productivity by giving yourself a self-imposed deadline.
These are some of the questions to get you started on setting a time-based goal:
- If you had 2 hours to work each day, what would you do?
- What are the activities you can eliminate right away to regain control over your time?
- What are the top 3 things that once completed, you’d feel more productive?
- What’s the one thing you’d need to do to feel more accomplished?
Trim the information fats
Say no to unimportant and irrelevant interruptions.
Don’t force yourself to finish books or articles that don’t add value to your life.
Don’t fall into the “busy” trap and eliminate time wasters and repetitive things.
The time that you save can be used for more meaningful activities.
Regain your time by developing your muse and automating your business.
Find a muse to live your dreams
A muse is a business idea for people who want to own their business and spend little to no time on it.
Once you’ve defined your dream, eliminated the unnecessary and automated what’s possible, it’s time to bring your dreams to life. A muse should give you more cash flow and time.
Don’t build a product and hope customers will come. Plan, test, and execute your ideas with care.
- Find and pick your niche
- Brainstorm your ideas: you must be able to capture your main benefit in one sentence.
- Aim for a high profit margin. Think of offerings that are low in cost, quick to market, and challenging for competitors to replicate. E.g. ebooks, licensing ideas for royalties, or be an expert consultant.
Test your muse
Microtest your products by advertising them on Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any platform.
This is how you test your market:
- Put your offer out to test if you have any prospects
- If no, pivot.
- If yes, launch.
Build a system to free yourself
Remember that beyond a steady cash flow, you’re aiming to have more time for yourself — so start your muse with automation in mind.
Most entrepreneurs fall into the trap of letting the business take too much of their time, because they never started with a mindset to make automation a key milestone.
The goal is not to create the biggest business, but one that sustains your lifestyle and bothers you the least.
Finally, remember your end goal is to live a good life, and not just add zeros to your bank account.
Take mini-retirements, don’t wait until you’re old. Life’s more fun when you’re young.
True freedom isn’t just more money and time, it’s freedom from distractions, addictions and scarcity.
Fall in love with real-world experiences. Go explore what the world has to offer.
Find a passion or a craft you want to master.
Add life after you subtract work. This is what 4HWW is about — Define, Eliminate, and Automate to Liberate.
Live and learn.
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