The Truth Behind the 4 Hour Work Week

The thing that Tim Ferriss forgot to mention

I remember picking up the 4-Hour work week from the clearance bin on a summer afternoon. I was only a teen back then and snatched up the book as it was at least $20-$30 in all the other bookshop.

The person doing the clearance sticker was just trying to clear out stock and didn’t know its true, market worth at the time.

It’s not all that rosy

Almost a decade on, I’ve still the got the book somewhere in the garage. Perhaps I’ll go digging and see what new lessons I can glean from a tale told by a man more than ten years ago.

Back in 2007, setting up a 4 hour work week gig was a lot easier. There wasn’t as many competitors. The Internet was just exploding in places and the generation that grew up with technology is just starting to come out in the hordes and spend their hard earned money.

The reason it’s so hard to follow the leader is this: The leader is the leader because he did something remarkable. And that remarkable thing is now taken — it’s no longer remarkable when you do it.

Seth Godin, Purple Cow

The 4 Hour Work week idea has inspired millions into a new way of living and dreaming — giving rise to an industry that teaches others how to make money. It’s lucrative. It’s prying on the overly hopefuls who think that opening up a Shopify store and spending thousands on Facebook ads will instantly make you rich.

For some, the whole dropship scheme works.

For many, good chunks of money has been lost to courses, adverts that everyone clicks but no one buys and websites that no one visits.

So can it be done?


I believe that it can be done — just not using the methods that those spammy and yelling YouTube ads.

You know the ones — those ads that spawned in the masses around the same time the 4-Hour Work Week exploded into the consciousness of the new generation of entrepreneurs.

Those ads are like weeds.

I believe that a 4 hour work week is obtainable but it’s the set up stages that is the hardest, especially when you don’t know what you’re doing and have a million different ads try and selling you quick get rich schemes.

“Get-rich-quick schemes are for the lazy & unambitious. Respect your dreams enough to pay the full price for them.”

― Steve Maraboli

The first step is to stop searching things like ‘how to make money online’ — because the stuff that comes up with probably lead you to loose more money than make it.

Define your goals, figure out what you truly want

The 4 Hour week is focused on obtaining disposable leisure time with minimum on going maintenance. The idea works if you don’t mind doing whatever you want all day. For some it’s the ability to travel.

But for me, it’s the ability to spend quality and mindful time with the child.

Not everyone’s end goal is to travel. My current end goal is have enough for a place where I can plant an epic vegetable garden. It’s not your typical live in luxury on the cheap kind of dream.

I don’t plan to travel around the globe in the near future (although on the list of things to do) and I want to be able to do something with my brain to earn enough money to get a place of our own rather than live the renter’s life.

Many of us jump into the money making game right away without really understanding our personal desires and what are the things that truly make us happy. We splash our life savings around to avoid doing things we don’t understand.

We pursue money making schemes rather than work on our passions. We convince ourselves that if we do A, we will get B in order to get to C — with C being our passions and what we want.

Monetize your Passions

You don’t have to be good at everything to create a sustainable income stream from your passions.

We are lucky to exist in an age where anything can be monetized. Heck. Even your cat can become internet famous and make money for you. There are more platforms available now than 10 years ago that facilitates and connects a willing audience to a content creator.

All you have to do is create and consistently create.

It doesn’t matter what you do. Weather it be playing games, recording your outings with friends, teaching babies how to read or go as far as animating stories and infographics on the things you’ve learnt — anything you think of is probably possible. All you have to do is make it available and consistently create.

“Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that.”

— Norman Vincent Peale

And I think that’s where a lot of us go wrong when trying to create a 4 hour work week. The purpose of the 4 hour work week is to allow us to enrich our lives. Working on your passion isn’t work, especially when you get paid for it. We enrich ourselves doing the things we enjoy and if you can figure out how to get paid doing just that, then it doesn’t matter how many hours you end up ‘working’.

Stop worrying about the online part of making money. Focus on creating and delivering value because that is something that is greatly lacking in a space flooded with people trying to make a buck without doing anything.

About Author /

Editor of Hustle Thrive Grow. On a quest to become a better human and documenting the journey in digital ink.

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