Currently set to Index
Currently set to Follow

4 Hour Work Week Summary – Tim Ferris (My Review of Top Lessons from the Book)

August 10, 2020

Wonderin' about Tim & his 4 Hour Work Week?

Yeah, me too. 

Here's the short on what I figured out. 

Tim's 4 Hour Work Week has some things going for it, but hypes other things up too much.

I broke down his 400 pg book broke down into pieces,  so you can get his gist super quick.

Here you'll learn whether this book is worth it's popularity, 'cause I analyze whether it's just a bunch of hippy hoppin' hype or if there's  bunny to pull out of the 4 Hour Work Week after all.

But you are probably wondering if Tim's 4 Hour WW will help you

It certainly helped me


Tim helped me optimize my time by thinking about hours differently. 

But before we dive into the good, the bad and the ugly of the 4 Hour Work Week,

A lil about me...

(just so you know who's behind the scenes)

 My name is Ippei...

From 2014 to now, I went from living in a studio apartment in Detroit to living in a nice apartment in San Fran by building and ranking simple websites that generate customers for small businesses, like the tree service site next to me. 


If you combine this online passive income business model with Tim's automation and outsourcing tactics and you've got the structure for a lifestyle of freedom. 

Want proof? 

Check this out:

Fact: 7 months after I went all into this lead generation coaching program, I left my 9-5 job for good.

Learn how I did it via the "Show Me How" below.

Let's get into the meat of the 4 Hour Work Week



About Tim Ferriss

Do you know where Tim grew up or where he graduated from? 


Quick Stats

Get the basic info like how many copies have sold, how much does the 4 Hour WW cost and more.

9 lesson summary of rich dad poor dad infographic

Key Concepts of Tim's 4 Hour WW

Get the Meat of the Four Hour Work Week via this summary of the 4 Steps 


4 Hour Work Week Video Summary

Listen to a 6 minute summary of the 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss himself . 

Free Book

Four Hour Work Week Book in PDF Form

Read this New York Times Best Seller Book via your computer or phone with this free pdf. 

Quick Stats on the Four Hour Work Week

Copies Sold:
2.1 Million (source)
Best Seller?
Yes! on the New York Times Best Seller List for 4 years (source)
Multiple Languages?
As of June 2020, 4 Hour WW is 35 different languages (source)
Average Rating:
4.2/5 - Pro: Lots of Helpful Concepts, Con: Similar to Infomercial (source)
Price on Amazon:
$14.29 (source)

Who is Tim Ferriss?

Tim grew up in East Hampton, New York. 

After graduating from a catholic high school, Tim went on to Princeton to study East Asia, ultimately writing his thesis about a practice in Japanese culture. 

Upon completing his Bachelors degree he worked sales at a data storage business. 

Tim's Takeaway from working Sales
Realizing when he was either unfocused or focused on the wrong things. (He credits his sales manager for helping him). p.101

While working this job, he began developing his own business, BrainQuick, which was bought by a UK investment firm in 2010 and is now being sold on Vitamin Planet

Following the sale of his business, Tim began investing in other startups, such as Evernote and Shopify. 

In addition to enjoying the sales of his 5 books (the 4 Hour series, Tools for Titans, and Tribe of Mentors), Tim has his own podcast (The Tim Ferris Show) and briefly had his own television shows, including "Trial by Fire."

Tim Ferriss's 4 Hour Work Week: 4 Part Summary

part 1 of timothy ferriss' four hr work week

Part 1: Distinguish What You Want From Where You Are

Tim begins the book by reframing the common duality of the rich and the poor, indicating that today's comparison is between the "New Rich" vs. "Deferrers" (aka "Slow Laners," according to MJ Demarco, author of The Millionaire Fastlane)

New Rich vs. Deferrers
New Rich
  • Ambition: To Have Others Work for You
  • Labor: To prevent work for work's sake, using the 80-20 Rule
  • Goal: to do that which excites you. 
  • Desired Position: To be neither the boss nor the employee, but the owner.
  • Possessions: To have more quality and less clutter. 
  • Freedom: Having the ability to pursue your dreams
  • Ambition: To Work For Yourself    
  • Labor: To Work WHEN You want to
  • Goal: to retire early or young. 
  • Desired Position: To be the boss, not the employee. 
  • Possessions: To have more. 
  • Freedom: To not have to do that which you don't like to do.  

This "recalibration" is the first step in the mindset change that Tim outlines in the 4 Hour Work Week. 

Throughout the rest of part 1, Tim upsets the traditional middle-class paradigm of working a job to obtain the goal of retirement, and redefines "laziness" as you allowing yourself to be directed by external forces, like your parents and the rules of your culture embed commandments by saying things like:

  • you must go to college
  • then you must get married
  • and then you must work 40 hours per week for the next 40 years
  • then you can retire in your twilight years

Traditional education teaches us to be "jacks of all trades," whereas Tim supports the now common idea of "building on your strengths" and "hiring your weaknesses," saying that to try to become perfect in everything is worthless in comparison to taking your in-born talents and practiced skills and running with them. 

That's not to say that Tim's saying not to do things that make you uncomfortable. 

One common mistake of society, says Tim, is saying 'all stress is bad.'

Tim scopes in on this "stressful topic" (catch the pun?), and makes a distinction between 2 kinds of stress: Distress (bad) and Eustress (good). 

You might be asking

"What, exactly is the difference?"

Two Kinds of Stress

"Distress refers to harmful stimuli that make you weaker, less confident and less able. 

Examples of Distress are:

  • Destructive Criticism
  • Abusive Bosses
  • Smashing Your Face on a Curb

(T4HWW, p.37)


" a word most of you have probably never heard. Eu-, a Greek prefix for 'healthy,' is used in the same sense in the word 'euphoria.'"

Examples of Eustress are:

  • Role Models who push us to exceed our limits
  • Physical training that removes our spare tires
  • Risks that expand our sphere of comfortable action

(T4HWW, p.37)

part 2 of timothy ferriss' four hr work week

Part 2: Eliminate the Crap to Get to the Core

Key distinction: effective vs efficiency

pareto principle

goal: maximum income from minimum necessary effort (how tim weeded out his customer base)

"Being busy is a form of laziness-lazy thinking and indiscriminate action" p.75 - Tim Ferriss 

Key Self-Reflection

Am I being productive or just active?

Refuse to be interrupted

Funnel all communication toward immediate action

Tim's Strategies for Eliminating Crap

-Use an email auto responder to notify collegues and customers that you only check email 2x per day, noon and 4pm. Do the same with your office phone. 

Tim's Advice: Move to once per day ASAP!

-Be Polite, yet Direct in conversation

Tim tells the story of when the data storage company hired a new sales manager who prioritized production over catching up at the water cooler. 

Part 3:  Automate the Basics

Income Auto Pilot 1: Finding the Muse (the Inspiration)

"This chapter is for those who want to own businessses and spend little to no time on them."

"Our goal is simple: to create an automated vehicle for generating cash without consuming time. 

Key Takeaway
The goal of the New Rich is to create income streams that simply bring in money, with only a few hours of time invested. 

One aspect of this chapter that I especially enjoyed was Tim's multiplicity of examples:

He tells the story of someone's dream business that didn't work and then explained why it didn't work (they didn't know their market well enough). 

Then Tim shares the success of another person who, by doing their due diligence and laying a strong foundation for their business, developed a 7 figure business that required little time, but took about 4 years to set up. 

Towards the end of this section, Tim details the structure of what MJ DeMarco (author of The Millionaire Fastlane) calls "the Fastlane" to financial freedom.

Tim walks through, step-by-step, showing how you can build a profitable income stream starting with niche research all the way through to retailing your newly manufactured product. 

I wouldn't call it a complete guide though, because as it's a book, there's no ongoing mentorship, no Q & A for when you hit obstacles (which is inevitable when you are starting a business).   

But Tim's instructions are sound. 

In fact, that's how he build his supplement company "BrainQuicken," which made him millions when European investors bought it in 2010. 

part 4 of timothy ferriss' four hr work week

Part 4: Reinventing Your Lifestyle

This section is for employees who like what they do, but would like more flexibility in their hours/location. 

Tim shows how to migrate from needing to be in the office 40 hours each week to working remotely with higher productivity in less time. 

Let's face it

Remote working is on the rise and will only become more popular

Especially due to the reality of Covid-19 lockdowns

So how does Tim say to start?

Here's the process he lays out in the 4th section the 4 Hour Work Week:

step 1
Become Super Valuable to the Company
part 4a of timothy ferriss' four hr work week

Many companies don't like change.

So when you decide you want to suggest your working remote, you'd better make sure that the company values you enough to not just fire you on the spot. 

Ferriss Tip:

In 4HWW, Tim shares the story of an employee who asked for extra training before he even brought up his idea of working remotely.

Here's why:

Then his employer would realize they'd had put some significant investment into him and not let him go after he made his request. 

step 2
Show Increased Off-Site Productivity
part 4b of timothy ferriss' four hr work week

After you've become a valuable asset to the company, take some time off by either taking a sick day or using some vacation time. 

And in that time away from the office, focus on being way more productive than you've ever been before. 

Ferriss Tip:

Use a timer and set yourself up with tasks you see yourself getting done in specificied periods of time, so that you make the most of your first day of remote work. 

Remember: The more you get done, the more likely your superiors will agree to letting you work from home in the future.

step 3
Reveal a Report that Uses Company KPI's
part 4c of timothy ferriss' four hr work week

When you go back to your work after having your uber-productive time at home, make sure you drop a report on your manager's desk, showing, in quantifiable metrics, how much you got done while at home when you were "sick."

Ferriss Tip:

Tim suggests using a line like:

"I just couldn't get this project off my mind, so I went after it and I ended up getting it done, plus this other [related] project."

5 Key Concepts of the 4 Hour Work Week

key concept 1 of timothy ferriss' four hr work week

1. Mini-Retirements

Another extremely valuable lesson that you’ll find in The Four-Hour Workweek is the concept of mini-retirements.

Definition of Mini-Retirement
Mini-Retirements are small breaks and holidays that you take throughout your life, in an effort to get the most out of life while you still can.

 One of the most tragic things about most people’s careers is that by the time they’re retired, they’re too old to be able to make their dreams come true.

It’s a fate that many retirees are realizing every single day, and Timothy Ferriss does us all a favor by suggesting mini-retirements.

His line of thinking is basically: 

"Why not tick things off your bucket list while you’re still young and healthy?" 


If you’re a freelancer or a “digital nomad,” you can take holidays whenever you please, and it’s a very healthy habit to get into.

 It can leave you feeling refreshed and more enthusiastic about your career.

key concept 2 of timothy ferriss' four hr work week

2. Low Information Diet

This is another lesson you’ll find within the pages of The Four-Hour Workweek, and it’s a little confusing.

But the general concept of a Low Information Diet is simple – don’t spend too much time keeping up on current events.

Principle of Low Information Diet
Tim knows that our brains have "X" amount of processing power. His point here is that we can either spend that energy on creating or digesting what others have created. He advocates the former. 

Remember, Timothy Ferriss defines wealth as free time, so he’s very serious about not wasting this valuable resource.

He believes that watching news and reading articles online is one of the best ways to waste your time, and he’s right.

It can be tempting to let your workday drain away by watching YouTube and reading viral articles – especially if you’re working online.

All of these temptations are just one click away, and all online entrepreneurs know that this can be a very dangerous thing. Timothy Ferriss argues that people can easily absorb all necessary information about the world by simply interacting with other people. If it’s a major world event, you’re going to hear about it. There’s no need to constantly refresh the homepage of your favorite news site.

But there is one area where some people think Ferriss goes too far. One of the exercises outlined in this book is actually one where you don’t read any books – not even non-fiction novels. Reading is always useful, and it can be peaceful and meditative. It can also be a great way to give our eyes a break from being in front of the computer screen all day long.

key concept 3 of timothy ferriss' four hr work week

3. Geoarbitrage

No, this isn’t the name of some fancy new garbage compactor.

Geoarbitrage is actually one of the most attractive features of a digitally nomadic lifestyle.

What is Geoarbitrage?
Geoarbitrage is earning money from a high income area while living in a lower cost area, thereby multiplying your incomes worth via the exchange rate. 

We all know that living in certain countries can be a lot cheaper – especially if you’re earning American dollars online.

This is why so many digital nomads are attracted to Southeast Asian nations such as Vietnam and Thailand.

If your expenses are low, that means that your earning potential goes through the roof.

But as Timothy Ferriss points out, this beneficial exchange rate gives you quite a few options.

You might choose not to save money, but to spend more money than ever before.

Extravagant, luxurious lifestyles are possible when the exchange rate is stacked in your favor.

Then again, you might also choose to simply work much less than you usually would, giving you much more free time to do whatever you want.

Of course, you can always take the slow lane and simply save/invest your money!

Whatever you choose to do, there’s no denying that this one of the main reasons why people get so obsessed with a digitally nomadic lifestyle.

Timothy Ferriss knows this, and he makes sure to get his readers excited about it in The Four-Hour Workweek.

It’s yet another inspiring section of the book, and every part of this particular fantasy is 100% true.

key concept 4 of timothy ferriss' four hr work week

4. Passive Income

Another one of the benefits of being a digital nomad is having Passive Income, and this is something that Timothy Ferriss makes sure to mention in The Four-Hour Workweek.

For many people, this is the ideal business.

And it doesn’t take a genius to find out why so many people desperately want to establish sources of passive income.

Once you’ve set these assets up, they require little to no actual work to maintain – and yet the money keeps on pouring in.

In the eyes of Timothy Ferriss, this is the ideal source of income for a digital nomad, because it requires less time than any other business.

Remember, free time is the real source of wealth according to this book.

 There is nothing inherently wrong with passive income, and it’s generally a great business to get into.

The problems start when you start dealing with scams, pyramid schemes, and other things of that nature.

There’s also the fact that earning an income in a more traditional way (by putting in hours of work) is almost always more reliable.

key concept 5 of timothy ferriss' four hr work week

5. Increasing Productivity

If you’re going to reduce your workload to just four hours per week, you’re going to need maximize your productivity.

This is something that Tim Ferriss is very much aware of, and he gives the reader quite a few tips on working much more efficiently.

After all, his definition of wealth is having lots of free time.

It makes sense to use valuable techniques to ensure we’re getting the most free time possible.

A lot of this revolves around the Pareto Principle, which states that 20 percent of the inputs should be responsible for 80 percent of the outputs.

key concept 5a of timothy ferriss' four hr work week

In other words you should be putting way less into your business than what you’re getting out of it.

Another interesting concept discussed in The Four-Hour Workweek is Parkinson’s Law.

key concept 5b of timothy ferriss' four hr work week

This states that tasks seem more important if we give ourselves a long period of time do complete that task.

By establishing clear deadlines, we ensure that no task becomes too important and time consuming.

This is something every good digital nomad knows, as you simply cannot let one project drain attention from everything else you’ve got going in your business.

“Batching” is another interesting technique that saves a lot of time.

Batching is simply doing tasks one at a time until they are complete – especially if they’re boring and unenjoyable.

Getting things out of the way as quickly as possible is very important, and it’s something that Timothy Ferriss relies heavily on.

Half finishing tasks before moving on to something else is very inefficient, and it lengthens your workday considerably.

Social Commentary

social commentary on the 4 hour work week from quora and reddit

What Are People on Reddit & Quora Saying About the 4 Hour Work Week?

Reddit Member kelly_wood commented saying the "book really did help me learn to streamline and delegrate things..."

Reddit Member magictravelblog commented saying "we've had some success although  I'm not sure it's textbook 4 Hour Work Week..."

Quora Member Jim Reggie commented saying "It was a pretty fun read..."

How the 4 Hour Work Week Helped Me Quit My 9-5 & Build My Money Tree

Having read the 4 Hour Work Week in 2013, it's easy to see the impact that Tim's thoughts have helped me scale my business and move from the rat race into the New Rich. 

Tim Ferriss moved my focus from getting a higher paying job to building an online scalable business that is almost completely passive (after initial set up) and very easy to scale.

Although I didn't have any prior experience on making money on the internet, the coaching program I bumped into was geared to help motivated people like me get started building and ranking simple websites, that are then rented to local service providers, such as tree service businesses. 

Each month, since 2015, I've been paid for the phone calls that this top ranking website.

Here's a few of the checks I've received. 

The great part about this business is you can scale it to the moon!

You can go into 10 or even 100 different niches (tree service, limo rental, HVAC, etc.) in a single city and then rinse and repeat to cover multiple cities.

Imagine after you've put together a dozen of these sites, and you're banking 10k a month. 

How does your life change? 

How would  you spend your time?


I spent a few months traveling in Europe and then relocated from Michigan to California. 

Traveling Europe with Friends

After you've ranked these websites, they don't require much upkeep to stay parked at the top of the page. You can just let it do its thing and they'll keep bringing in monthly mailbox money. 

I became a part of this lead generation coaching program 6 years ago, and today I control over 70 of these virtual rental properties.

Every year, I keep adding more, so my income is growing without me trading my time for dollars anymore

I simply focus on making more of these digital assets and my income continues to go up. 

Each month, money is delivered to my mail box because of work I did 6 years ago. 

Getting paid over and over again reminds me of the value I bring to small businesses, and that feeling is irreplaceable. 

But how many more businesses need help getting more customers? 


What kind of value can you create?!

The potential is unlimited.

Next time you are driving to work, look at the businesses that line the sides of the street, see the value that learning local lead generation can bring to them. 

An especially relevant opportunity because of Covid-19 is providing restaurants with take out customers, since most dine-in locations are either closed or restricted to a fraction of capacity. 

Become skilled in lead generation and you'll be able to create value for hundreds of other business owners and their employees, as I have and many in our community of 5,700 entrepreneurially-minded people have as well.

Patric recently posted in our group, sharing his story:

Patric has created lead gen sites that supply leads for over 4 dozen businesses throughout the United States, freeing himself from his day job as well as providing him with a positive, like-minded community. 

Local Lead Generation is the business model for those wanting to join the New Rich in 2020. 

If you'd like to learn more, click on the button below to learn how to get started building your digital assets today.

Follow Me
Ippei Kanehara

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2023, is to build your own lead generation business.

Share your experience with us.

Use below if you want to remain anonymous.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}