The Myth of The 4 Hour Work Week

The 4-Hour Workweek

The 4-Hour Workweek

The 4 hour work week is about as real as the tooth fairy or the Easter bunny.

I’m sorry to disappoint you if you really think you can make money and have financial freedom without hard work.

What’s perhaps most worrying about Timothy Ferriss’s book The 4 hour Work Week is how successful the book has been.

The title works so well because everyone seems to be looking to get rich without any effort.

It sometimes doesn’t seem as if five minutes goes by without me seeing an offer promising that you can make money without working. I keep seeing ads like, “Push Button Millainaire”.

If there really was a button that you could press to make money instantly I’m sure people would be busy pressing the button rather than e-mailing me about their get rich schemes.

The bottom line is that there is no “magic bullet” for making money online.

There are however tried and tested methods that you can work to create a successful online business. A great example is Copy and Profit Blueprint.

Is The 4 Hour Work Week worth reading?

Despite my concerns about the idea that you can really run a business on just 4 hours work a week, the book is well worth reading.

I recommend that you ignore the idea that you can work 4 hours a DAY, much less work just 4 hour a week and have a successful business.

As a teacher all the pupils I taught who did really well also worked really hard.

Some might have had to work harder than others, but even the very brightest students still had to work hard.

My experience is that business is just the same. You have to work hard to succeed.

Both of my brothers-in-laws, and my sister all have successful businesses and just like me they’ve had to work hard.

Yes, we’ve all enjoyed some of the rewards of success, but the rewards came as a result of hard work, not the magic of a 4 hour week.

The valuable lesson from the 4 hour Work week

That said I always advise working Smart, not Hard. For me this is the most valuable lesson that Ferris teaches.

I had a teaching inspector in my classroom once and he looked shocked when I said I didn’t want the class to work hard. I told them to work Smart, not Hard.

I got them to work in teams to solve a task that none of them could have done on their own. I did this to illustrate the point that smart work can be more effective than hard work .

4 hour Week Video Summary

Tim Ferris gives a great summary of the ideas contained in The 4 hour Week in this short video.

If you don’t have time to read the book, you really should watch this short video.

The main message of the 4 hour work week

In many ways the 4 hour work week is just a rehashing of the 80/20 principle or Pareto’s Law.

The idea of the Pareto Principal is that 80 of our results come from just 20% of our actions so we should just focus on the 20% of tasks that produce the greatest results.

Ferris suggest that we should “outsource” the tasks that need to be done but that can be done cost effectively by someone else.

Many of us already do this with things like house cleaning and ironing. Yet many new online business owners don’t outsource business tasks.

With highly qualified workers ready and able to do tasks from answering emails to SEO there really is no excuse not to outsource.

Yet I frequently see new internet marketers failing because they are trying to do everything themselves.

4 hour work week Review

The book is broken down into 4 main sections

#1 Definition

Ferris rightly says that you need to define your objectives, what you really want to achieve. In life and in business you need to decide what’s important and what isn’t.

You need to find out what you really want.

Next you need to set goals to achieve those objectives.

#2 Eliminate distractions

So that you can free up time to do the more important tasks you must learn to be effective, not just efficient. There is a difference.

It’s no good just getting things done you must focus on the tasks that are most important.

Learn to ignore interruptions, and be prepared to say “no” to things that don’t help you achieve your objectives.

#3 Automation

Automation is about achieving an income that doesn’t rely on your toil.

I went on a business trip with my sister to Africa paid for by one of her suppliers.

As we were sitting by the pool with white gloved waiters bringing us cocktails she made a sound something like Ka-ching.

“What’s that”, I asked. “The sound of my tills ringing”, she replied.

All the time she was sitting by the pool her business was earning her money on autopilot. Her business didn’t stop when she wasn’t actually working.

I learned a valuable lesson on that trip.

Ferris suggest that you should develop an auto-pilot run business like my sister had.

I think the reality is that most businesses take effort and hard work, but they should be built so that they don’t require your constant time and effort.

One of the keys to success is outsourcing.

Ferris argues that you should outsource your life — hire a virtual assistant to handle menial tasks.

I think that outsourcing tasks is critical to online business success.

#4 Liberatation

The book suggests that you can become liberated or free from all the traditional expectations in life.

You should design your work so that you have the flexibility to work from home, or by the pool anywhere in the world, and preferably where the cost of living is so low you can live the life of luxury.


I’ve bought 4 hour work week and read every word. The book will challenge and inspire you to look critically at your approach to business and organising your life.

There is valuable advice that is enjoyable to read and actionable…just don’t get sucked into thinking that you’re going to be successful just working a few hours a week.

Success comes at a price, and that price is investing both time and money in your business.

Your Action Steps

Read 4 hour work week and let me know what you think in the comments section below.

One thing the book is absolutely right about is the importance of outsourcing.

So your action step is to find at least one thing you are doing right now and outsource it.

Do it right away. Let me know what you have outsourced and how you get on.

David Francis

Related Articles:

Copy and Profit Blueprint Review

Online Success Depends On Investing In Yourself



Categories : Internet Marketing


  1. Dario Petkovic says:

    Quite accidentally found this article. That’s all fair enough however how much time did Tim Ferriss spend daily creating his book – I doubt it was only 4 hours per day.

    • David says:

      You’re right Dario. I’m sure Tim Ferris spent more time writing his book.

      I imagine he also works more than 4 hours a week. But the points he makes about time management and especially outsourcing are very valuable.


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