2 min read

The 4-Hour Workweek - Tim Ferris

Here is a quick summary of the New York Times bestseller "The 4 Hour Workweek: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich".

The Book in three sentences

  1. "You don't need to be rich to live a rich lifestyle."
  2. If you can build and automate a business to free up your time and location, your money is automatically worth 3-10 times more.
  3. Retirement is the worst-case scenario; working your whole life to enjoy your last years is fool’s gold.

Who should read it?

I reckon everyone should give this one a read! It challenges a lot of traditional perceptions around work and money.

How the book changed me

  • It inspired me to start my own website (where you are now reading this lol) and to give entrepreneurship a go
  • It also completely changed how I view money and how it's made

My top three quotes

"Doing something unimportant well, does not make it important."
"You don't need to be rich to live a rich lifestyle."
"Busyness is lazy thinking"


Define, Eliminate, Automate, Liberate (D.E.A.L) - A 4 step process

Define (Your goals)

Tim suggests asking yourself "What will I sacrifice if I continue down this path for 5, 10 or even 20 years?" If you don't like what you see, he recommends doing something to change your current trajectory now.


He introduces the concept of Dreamlining in which you "collect" all your dreams and aspirations, then create a 6 and 12 month timeline for achieving them.
Once you have your timeline, you plan out detailed steps for making them happen and take the first step now.


Eliminate all tasks that are not essential to achieving your goals.
For example:

  • Tim suggests asking yourself "Am I inventing things to do to avoid the important?" and "What are the top 3 activities that I use to fill time to make me FEEL productive?". Eliminate those activities.
  • The Pareto principle - 20% of the input equals 80% of the output. For example, you have 100 products. You get 80% of your profit from 20% of the products. You eliminate the other 80% and make more of the 20%.
  • Catch up, don't keep up. If you feel like you need to be updated on events everyday, try doing it every three days. You won't miss out on anything!


Create a self sustaining business and automate the required steps to maintain it. This can be via things like personal assistants, tools like Zapier etc.


Tim asks "How many W's do you have? What you do, When you do it, Where you do it and With whom you do it. "
If you can do whatever you like, whenever you like, wherever you like and with whomever you like, your money is worth 10 times more than if you have no W's. This is the freedom multiplier.

General life lessons

These are not related to any of the specific steps above, just scattered throughout the book:

  • Beg for forgiveness, rather than ask for permission
  • Emphasize strengths, skip weaknesses
  • Embrace criticism; people who avoid it fail
  • When you're frustrated with something, ask yourself if it's the driver or the vehicle
  • Most people will choose unhappiness over uncertainty. Tim suggests this is a mistake, because risks aren't that scary once you take them. What's the worst case scenario?
  • The timing is never right. For the most important things, the timing always sucks. The universe doesn't aspire against you, but it also doesn't go out of its way to line the pins up for you. Waiting until the time is right, takes your dreams and aspirations to the grave
  • Too much of something becomes it's opposite. Think of all the high-rollers who die in poverty!

If you liked this one, check out more summaries here.

Check out Tim Ferris at his website. It's got everything on it.