The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich

“Ever tried. Ever failed. Doesn’t matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. You won’t believe what you can accomplish by attempting the impossible with the courage to repeatedly fail better.”


What would you do if there were no way you could fail? If you were 10 times smarter than the rest of the world?

  1. Create two timelines: 6 months and 12 months
    1. List up to 5 things you dream of having
    2. Up to 5 things you dream of being
    3. 5 things you dream of doing
      1. What would you do today if you had 100 million in the bank
      2. What would make you most excited to wake up in the morning to another day
    4. If having trouble, consider what you hate and fear in each and write the opposite
  2. Using the 6-month timeline, start or highlight the four most exciting and or important dreams from all columns. Repeat with the 12
  3. Determine the cost of these dreams and calculate your Target Monthly Income (TMI) for both timelines
  4. Add 30% for buffer/savings. Can use the site for a calculator
  5. Determine 3 steps for each of the four dreams in the 6-month timeline and take the first step now
  6. Do the first steps now. Each first step should be simple enough to do in 5 minutes or less

80/20 Principle

80% of the outputs come from 20% of the inputs

  • What 20% of your life is creating 80% of the difficulties
  • More customers is not always the goal
  • Most things make no difference. Being busy is a form of laziness-lazy thinking and indiscriminate action
  • Lack of time is actually lack of priorities

Parkinson’s Law

A task will swell in perceived importance and complexity in relation to the time allotted for its completion.

  1. Limit tasks to the important to shorten work time (80/20)
  2. Shorten work time to limt tasks to the important (Parkinson’s Law)

These two combined: Identify the few critical tasks that contribute most to income and schedule them with very short and clear deadlines.

Questions to Help:

  1. If you had a heart attack and had to work only two hours per day, what would you work on?
  2. If you could only work 2 hours per week, what would you do
  3. If you had a gun to your head and had to stop doing 4/5 of different time consuming activities, what would you remove?
  4. What are the top three activities that I use to fill time to feel as though I’ve been productive?
  5. If this is the only thing I accomplish today, will I be satisfied with my day?
  6. Do not multitask
  7. Ask yourself throughout the day if you’re inventing things to do to avoid the important


Each delegated task must be both time-consuming and well defined. A VA can’t run around like a chicken with their head cut off.

VA mistakes to avoid

  1. Accepting the first person and not requesting someone with excellent english
  2. Giving imprecise directions. They should have 1 possible interpretation and be readable by a 2nd grader. Ask for them to rephrase the request back to you before starting
  3. Giving a license to waste time. Request a status update a few hours into it.
  4. Setting the deadline a week in advance. Shoot for 24-48 hours to avoid parkinson’s law
  5. Giving too many tasks without an order of importance. Send one at a time, and no more than 2
  6. Example email:
    1. TASK: I need to find the names and e-mails of editors of men’s magazines in the US (for example: maxim, stuff, GQ, esquire, blender, etc.) who also have written books. An example of such a person would be AJ Jacobs who is Editor-at-Large of Esquire ( I already have his information and need more like him. Can you do this? If not, please advise. Please reply and confirm what you will plan to do to complete this task. DEADLINE: Since I’m in a rush, get started after your next e-mail and stop at 3 hours and tell me what results you have. Please begin this task now if possible. The deadline for these 3 hours and reported results is end-of-day ET Monday.

Getting an Assistant