This The 4-Hour Workweek summary looks at one of the most important books to read in terms of entrepreneurship, particularly in the online world.
It’s hard to believe but Tim Ferriss published this book way back in 2007. Back then, his ideas were revolutionary and inspired many people to pursue a career online.
Fast forward to today and his book is still relevant as more and more people looking to become internet entrepreneurs.
In many ways, Tim was ahead of his time, as the blogging scene was only in its infancy in 2007.
I read this book in 2016 and it influenced a lot of my thinking towards my travel blog and future online ventures.
I only wish I had discovered this book sooner, especially after I graduated from university. I might have entered the online realm sooner.
If you’re thinking about starting a blog or an online shop, this is a book you want to read. It will tell how to do it and how to maintain it while working less and less.
Table of Contents
The 4-Hour Workweek Summary
Takeaway 1 – You’re probably going to work more than 4 hours a week
Let’s deal with the elephant in the room, it’s very unlikely you’re only going to work four hours a week if you set up an online business.
I’m not sure if that is how many hours Tim works, or whether he chose it because it would make the book more appealing, but it’s unlikely to happen.
As someone that is self-employed, I couldn’t imagine myself only working four hours a week. Even with shipping out various tasks, there is still so much to do.
There’s no doubt you can work less than 40 hours a week, but this won’t be possible in the beginning. You will have to work your socks off to make your online business viable.
It does depend on what your online business is. If you’re running a blog, then you’re never going to work just four hours a week.
However, if you run a Shopify store or do dropshipping, it might be possible if you automate as much as possible.
Even then, you’re looking at 16 hours a week, which I feel is a more realistic target, but that doesn’t sound as appealing as a four-hour workweek.
The content in the book is fantastic if you want to build an online business, it’s just not plausible you can work four hours a week.
Sorry to burst the bubble, but it’s very very unlikely to happen.
Takeaway 2 – There is a different way to work
Moving on from the number of hours a week you may work, the premise of the book is what’s important. Tim is stating that there is another way to work and live, and he’s right.
This may have seemed like a pie-in-the-sky idea in 2007 but today this is more realistic than ever. Never in the history of humanity has there been an easier time to start a business.
Traditional barriers to entry have been removed. All you need to start an online business is a domain name, and an idea, you’re good to go.
Tim states in his book that life is short and he’s right. This is how short life is.
On average, we get 30,000 days, which equates to 720,000 hours. If you’re not careful, it’s easy to waste that time.
What’s more a lot of us spend that time in jobs that we don’t like, doing work that we find uninspiring while wishing to do something else.
The fear of leaving a comfortable job and paycheck is what holds people back. We are afraid of stepping outside of our comfort zones.
But what’s worse, taking a chance and failing, or wasting the best years of your life doing a job you don’t like?
The working world has changed. It was changing in 2007, and in 2020 and beyond it will change even more. Traditional jobs are not as secure as they used to be and the rise of automation will render many people irrelevant in the workplace.
Starting an online business is a good way to broaden your skills, take back control of your life and give yourself the freedom you’ve always wanted.
The old rules of the working world are gone
Takeaway 3 – Use the 80/20 rule to make the most of your working time
The 80/20 rules state that you that roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. This is also known as the Pareto Principle and is a powerful way of looking at work.
Using the principle to improve our productivity would mean that we spend the majority of our time on the 205 activities that provide 80% of the results.
The conventional working world does not adhere to this principle. Most of the time we are twiddling our thumbs in office jobs, or in various meetings which do nothing to get things done.
With your own business that is taken care of. However, you still have to use your time effectively It might be tempting to do as much as you can, but this is counter-productive.
You want to spend the majority of your time working on the things that provide the most results.
This is how Tim has led his life and it has allowed him to lead it the way he wants, which if you’re reading this article, is probably something you’d like to do too.
- “Being busy is a form of laziness–lazy thinking and indiscriminate action”
- “Doing something unimportant well does not make it important.”
- “Doing less meaningless work, so that you can focus on things of greater personal importance, is NOT laziness. This is hard for most to accept, because our culture tends to reward personal sacrifice instead of personal productivity.”
- “The question you should be asking isn’t, “What do I want?” or “What are my goals?” but “What would excite me?”
- “Work wherever and whenever you want, but get your work done.”
The 4-Hour Workweek review
This The 4-Hour Workweek summary has looked at one of the most famous books of recent times.
Tim Ferriss’ book was a revelation when it was released. Looking at it more than 10 years since it was published, there is a lot that’s still true but a lot that isn’t.
The first issue is the title of the book. No matter how well you optimise an online business, you’re not going to be able to work just four hours a week.
It’s not going to happen.
Instead, you should look at the tips Tim provides and try to incorporate them into your own business. This is the real value of the book, not the fact you’ll work fewer hours.
Tim’s advice on how to get the most out of your working time is valid too. The 80/20 rule is a brilliant way of managing your time and getting the best out of yourself.
Overall, The 4-Hour Workweek is a good book to read if you’re starting out as an entrepreneur.
However, do not take everything in it as gospel. Some things will work for you and others won’t. The key is to extract what you can and take the rest with a pinch of salt.
Who should read The 4-Hour Workweek?
Anyone who is looking to become an entrepreneur or start an online business will get a lot of value from The 4-Hour Workweek.
Likewise, an existing business owner may also find the book useful. It does contain a lot of useful info and it’s worth mining it to see what might help your business.