The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich, by Tim Ferriss
The 4-Hour Workweek, despite its title, is actually not just a book about how to work less. Instead, it is your guide for how to create and live the life that you want.
For many people, their goal may be to limit their work life to a 4-hour workweek. This book will help those folks with that. For others, myself included, and I am guessing equally for those entrepreneurs and business owners who are reading this article, that “lifestyle design” is more about having the freedom to decide when and to what you will dedicate your time and efforts versus having a job, boss or someone else decide for you. My goal, for example, has never been to simply work less. Instead, it has always been to remove the word “work” from my daily equation and replace it with dedication and commitment to businesses and projects that energize me every day. This book helped me believe that that freedom was possible.
My Own 4-Hour Workweek Story
Sometimes it takes one book, one anecdote, one trip or one great conversation to inspire a life shift that, in simple terms, changes everything. For me, it was this book. I read The 4-Hour Workweek for the first time in late 2016. At that time, I was practicing law as an attorney in a big law firm representing Fortune 500 clients and large investment banks in multi-billion dollar real estate and business transactions. Contrary to the experience of many of my industry peers, I actually did enjoy my job, but the repetition of it and lack of a tangible end product was sapping my potential for creativity. I think we all need that sense of craftsmanship that I was missing in order to feel alive in our work. In my opinion, entrepreneurship is the best way to get there. The 4-Hour Workweek inspired me to cut the employee cord.
This is where that decision led me. If my path motivates you, then I am just one other example of the life-changing impact that this book can have. Millions of people have read it. You should as well.
April 2017: I published my first book with the goal of helping to inspire young lawyers and to enable my own goals for passive income through a “side hustle” as encouraged by The 4-Hour Workweek.
May 2017: Traveled to Medellin, Colombia for a one month “mini-retirement”, as coined in the book, to explore emerging market real estate investment opportunities and to experience the challenge of living in a new country and learning a new language. The unexpected result was that I fell in love with the place and decided that Medellin would be my new home in a very short time.
June 2017: Returned to the U.S. Dedicated myself to making the move back to Medellin a reality. This required a commitment to saving capital, taking action on entrepreneurial endeavors to create cash flow to cover any gap from leaving my job and making key investments, particularly in real estate, to set up passive income streams.
September 2017: Connected with the same real estate firm in Medellin that I had visited as a prospective investor. Here I leveraged my eight years of high-level legal practice in the U.S. to begin to work with the firm on a part-time basis from the U.S. as its Chief Legal Officer.
January 2018: Was given the opportunity to become a partner at the firm in Medellin and head of legal for all international operations. On January 28, 2018, I arrived in Medellin to live full-time. This was only six months after making the no-going-back commitment to make this move. You can see how fast drastic change can occur if you just decide it is going to happen.
August 2020: At the time I am writing this in 2020, in just two short years, our firm, Lifeafar Capital, now has hotels and other incredible assets valued at over $50 million that we have acquired throughout Colombia, Puerto Rico and Portugal. With my business partners, who are like-minded entrepreneurs who also had the guts and tenacity to leave stable jobs with big U.S. companies, we have also, in this short time period, used the capital generated from our business and our talents to invest in other venture capital projects spanning many industries, including video gaming and Colombian coffee production. These wins all come on the heels of having created financial freedom for myself through book sales, the launch of two successful websites and constructing a personal real estate portfolio.
These big life changes pushed me to be creative. If I had not taken them, I would still be working for money instead of using it to give me the freedom to be an entrepreneur. I also now live with my Colombian fiancee who is an incredibly smart, fun and beautiful Colombian doctor who has an amazing family. Big changes can happen quickly.
Turning back to how I started this article, I do not work less than I did when I was in the U.S. But thanks to this book, I am now 100% focused on projects where I can dedicate my passions and highest skills. The challenge of building businesses gives one incredible opportunity for creative exploration. Building and developing real estate assets that we are proud of and that our investors and clients love gives us the satisfaction of craftsmanship and building something that can be experienced for, we hope, generations. No question, this book will inspire you to create your own version of a fulfilling life.
How You Can Get Started
The first step towards making any big change is to decide. Decide, with no option of turning back, that you are going to design your own lifestyle and then live it to the best extent you can. Easier said than done, right? Getting yourself to the point of making this decision is a simple mental exercise. The 4-Hour Workweek helps you overcome the sometimes uncomfortable feeling of big decision-making by having you ask yourself the following questions:
- If you do what you are wanting to do and it does not work, what is your worst case scenario? Describe it in detail so that you really know.
- How reversible would that worst case scenario be?
- You know your worst case scenario, but what is the more likely outcome?
- If the most likely outcome happens, what are the potential benefits?
- What are you losing out on by postponing action towards your dreams?
- What are you waiting for? How easily could you knock down this barrier?Everyone who answers these questions, I think, ultimately realizes that the fears that they use to justify not taking action are actually incredibly overstated. You owe it to yourself if you have big dreams to at least take the time to do this exercise.
When to Take the Leap
There is never a perfect time. You do not need to immediately rip off the band-aid. The important thing is to take action. The how and when will reveal themselves while you are on the path.Mostly likely your decision will be dictated by finances. What does your new lifestyle require in terms of capital? For those of us who will use this new freedom to build a new business, the capital required will likely have to include the amount that we have budgeted to begin this new business and what we need to support our needs until cash flows from business can replace that. Have you done the math? If it requires you to save, then save. Create income by selling unneeded things and limiting expenses. Build momentum towards your goals. The right time to take the leap is usually just a math question.
You Can Always Go Back
What is the worst case scenario for most people? Leaving a stable job in exchange for the uncertainty of entrepreneurship. If you pursued a dream with all your energies and it did not work out, how hard would it be to hit the reset button? Who would not respect your guts to take a shot at a life that so many people only wish they had the courage to pursue? You know all this intuitively.
I hope my story was motivational. If you want more examples of people who now live the life of their dreams, there is no better place to start than with The 4-Hour Workweek. It will forever change how you think. Support the site, get the book!