The 4-Hour Workweek is the step-by-step blueprint to free yourself from the shackles of a corporate job, create a business to fund the lifestyle of your dreams, and live life like a millionaire, without actually having to be one.
Tim Ferriss needs no introduction. He’s like a digital Indiana Jones, and this was the book that brought him onto our screens.
Written more out of frustration, much less than for the love of writing, this book is Tim’s documentation of how he removed himself from his own company, in order to do what he loves: learn and travel.
It’s almost impossible to pull out just 3 things from this book, but I’ll do it anyway:
- Be effective, not efficient.
- Validate all of your business ideas.
- Charge a premium to make your life easier.
Let’s dig a bit deeper.
The 4-Hour Workweek Summary
Lesson 1: Be effective, not efficient.
If Tim’s life was designed around one rule, it would be the 80/20 rule or Pareto principle. Most people measure productivity by the time spent working, but that’s a bad indicator because we waste so much time at work.
Tim suggests spending your time effectively: on the 20% of things that get you 80% of the results, and not vice versa.
A famous quote of his is this: “Doing something unimportant well does not make it important”. So instead of focusing on doing as much as you can as best as you can, just focus on doing the few things that will lead to the biggest progress.
This is one of Tim’s major mantras in life and something you can adopt today that will make every single day of your life from here on out slightly better and easier.
Lesson 2: Always validate your business ideas.
Before you go out and build any product or service, make sure people give you money for it.
Will your idea for knitted coffee cozies be a hit? I don’t know, so go ask people to buy from you! This is more of a comfort zone challenge than anything else, and it’s scary – which is a good indicator that it’s important.
2 personal examples from 2015: First, a friend approached me with an idea for a shoe business. We would solve the following problem: People have different-sized feet. They need one shoe in one size, and the other in another size.
Our idea was to go to shoe manufacturers, collect all the leftovers in different sizes, pair them up and sell them for cheap. To validate, we asked all of our friends and family, who had this problem, whether they’d pay for odd-sized shoes.
What’s more, we went into 10+ shoe stores and asked them if people approach them with this problem.
The answer is no. No one cares, people just take the bigger pair and live with it, it’s not big enough of an issue.
Lesson 3: Charge a premium to need fewer clients and make your life easier.
Once you have validated your product and are set to start production, the next big question often is: Do I want to be high quality or the cheapest guy around?
Answer: You want to be high quality. Always.
Imagine you want to make $4,000/month, and are selling a nutritional supplement, like this one. If you charge $10 per bottle, you need to generate 400 sales per month.
If you charge $40 per bottle, you only have to make 100 sales. The hardest part of making a sale is moving people from not giving you money to giving you money.
The amount of money is very negotiable once they’ve made the decision to purchase from you. I bet you can find 100 people who are willing to give you 4x the money much faster than you can get an extra 300 people to buy from you in the first place.
That’s the first reason you should shoot for high quality and charge a premium. The second reason is that the people that are willing to pay a premium are low-hassle clients.
You will get a lot fewer complaints, returns, and angry phone calls. Even if they don’t like it, chances are they won’t bother returning it, because they don’t have to turn every cent twice before spending it.
So promise high quality and deliver!
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