How I Lived The 4-Hour Workweek (And You Can Too)

My friend Pete called me one day at 2:30 in the afternoon.

Pete: What are up to?
Me: Playing guitar.
Pete: I miss playing guitar, how often are you playing?
Me: Five hours a day.
Pete: What? Are you living the 4-Hour Workweek?
Me: Yeah, I guess I am.

This was in September 2010. I would continue until November 2012 at which time I would cut back from practicing guitar 5 hours a day to a mere 3 hours a day.

Dang, I got really good at playing the guitar.

In between playing guitar, I worked 30–60 minutes a day. Read on to learn how I was able to live

Read on to learn how I was able to live The 4-Hour Workweek as written by New York Times Best Selling author Tim Ferriss.

Where to begin

If you haven’t picked up a copy of The 4-Hour Workweek yet, buy it and read it. Tim Ferriss also has a great podcast over on iTunes. You have to buy into the program first and believe it can be done. (I did it!)

From $7 to 7-figures

One of my companies was started with a $7 domain name. My wife created the product, and I created the website. It took us about two months. Everything was online.

The idea for the product was born out of not finding any online products available in a niche. There were physical books and in-person training classes, but there wasn’t any digital products or online classes.

Tip: Looking for a business idea? Search out niches that have no or a very bad online presence.

We started with a single product. On our first day of launching the product, we made $350. We thought – ‘we might be on to something here.’ From there we churned out product after product for the next 2–3 years, working 70–80 hours a week.

Yeah – sometimes you have to put in the time to live the dream.

Outsourcing life

If there is one thing I don’t want to spend my time on it’s answering customer service calls and emails. There are some mindless people out there.

Customer: I can’t seem to get your software to work.
Me: Ok, what seems to be the problem?
5-minutes go by on the phone trying to figure out the issue.
Me: Wait, you don’t have a mouse?

Yeah, pretty hard to use a website without a mouse. Can’t help ya.

Hiring a full-time customer service person to deal with brilliant callers like this one freed me up to do anything other than speak with such brilliant people.

I’ve hired:
– people to teach my online classes
– work on my website
– create products
– record audiobooks
– graphic design
– proofreading
– accounting/taxes
– customer support
– marketing

My wife Katie was a rockstar at handling corporate sales. She worked 1–2 hours a day herself.

Lesson learned: When you can afford to, hire people to do what you cannot, or do not, want to do.

Income autopilot

Each successful business I started printed money 24/7.

When I went to sleep, I was making money.

When I traveled to Europe on vacation, I was making money.

When I was at Walmart grocery shopping, I was making money.

While some of my businesses had physical products (books, DVDs) the majority of the products were digital and delivered through the Internet, or service based and accessed from a browser or smartphone.

The great benefit of earning passive income online is you don’t have to be around for someone to buy your products. A person in Japan can buy my product when I’m sleeping at 3 a.m.

The key to income autopilot is:

  1. Having a website to sell products all the time
  2. OR –
  3. Hiring someone to manage your business, so you don’t have to

You see the 4-hour workweek is not limited to the virtual world. There are plenty of brick-and-mortar businesses where the owner just checks in with the manager. If you have a good manager, all you have to do is watch your bank account grow.

Lesson learned: Find a way to let your business run without you. Pretend you’re going to leave for the moon next week – what would you do to make sure the business carries on?

How do I find any idea worth pursuing?

Find a hole and fill it.

That’s the easiest way to build a business or find a product to sell. You could also refer to it as finding a pain in someone’s life and selling them a way to fix it.

What problem can you solve for someone?

  • Make life easier
  • Save time
  • Reduce frustrations
  • Save money
  • Make more money

When you can solve one of those problems – people will pay you for the solution.

Lesson learned: All the good ideas are not taken. You just need to find yours.

Can anyone do this?

I know what you’re thinking:

I can’t do this because of…

  • I have a family
  • I work 9–5
  • I don’t own a business
  • I’m in debt
  • I’m not smart enough
  • I don’t know what to do

I hear you. Hear me though – I conquered every one of those excuses, with the exception of I didn’t have a wife or kids when I started working nights and weekends on my first business.

When I had a wife and kids – I worked nights and weekends on my next business.

The list above is a list of problems. Tell me what your solutions are. Tell me why you can do it. If you’re not in a job that you think fits a 4-hour workweek – find one that does. Or start a side hustle that will allow you to quit your 9–5 job and be your own boss.

One of the greatest factors of success is your mindset.

I can do this because of…

I’m living proof it’s possible. I worked many hours over many years to achieve success. There is nothing unique or special about me. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, you can have a 4-hour workweek.

Question: What do you think about The 4-Hour Workweek?  Share your answer on Facebook or Twitter.

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