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The 4 hour Workweek, By Tricia Ryan


Happy New Year to everyone.

New Year’s Eve has always been a time for looking back to the past, and more importantly, forward to the coming year. It’s a time to reflect on the changes we want (or need) to make and resolve to follow through on those changes. Did your New Year resolutions make the top ten list?

1. Spend More Time with Family & Friends
2. Fit in Fitness
3. Tame the Bulge
4. Quit Smoking
5. Enjoy Life More
6. Quit Drinking
7. Get Out of Debt
8. Learn Something New
9. Help Others
10. Get Organized.

I know each year I make my resolutions on my birthday. Each September I set myself the goal of itemizing my goals and strategies for the upcoming year. I try to be disciplined and review them each morning before I start work to see if I am on track. When I look at the top 10 list above I know I could add a couple more to my already long list.

One of the goals I do have each year is that of continuous learning. My blog is one way for me to keep up with this goal. Each week I will be posting a review for all of you around something I have learned that week. Since I just came back from a fun filled week in California I was sitting for about 8 hours straight in airports and on planes. The gift of being captured is that I can read. So this week I am going to share my review of one of the books that caught my eye and Wall Street Journal as well…The 4 Hour Workweek Escape 9-5, Live anywhere and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss.

I loved this book and I could not put it down. The passion for the content was not around the desire to work only 4 hours a week, but because Timothy Ferriss at the ripe age of 30 has many of life’s mysteries figured out. Key learning from the book can be…

What the crucial difference is between absolute and relative income

How to train your boss to value performance over presence, or kill your job if it’s beyond repair

What automated cash-flow “muses” are and how to create one

How to cultivate selective ignorance and create time with a low information diet

What the management secrets of Remote Control CEO’s are

How to get free housing worldwide and airfare at 50% - 80% off

How to fill the void and create a meaningful life after removing work and the office.

Here is what I learned…

I love to work for work’s sake (W4W). Being busy is most often used as a guise for avoiding the few critically important but uncomfortable actions. Being busy is a form of laziness – lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.Lack of time is a lack of priorities. (Hmmm!)

Money is multiplied in practical value depending on the number of W’s you control in your life:
What you do, when you do it, where you do it, and with whom you do it. (I have many of these covered but not all)

People who avoid all criticism fail. It’s destructive criticism we need to avoid, not criticism in all forms. Similarly, there is no progress without eustress (role models who push us to exceed our limits) and the more eustress we can create or apply to our lives, the sooner we can actualize our dreams. The trick is telling the two apart. (I am thinking about Eustress!)

Many people will choose unhappiness over uncertainty. I could not stay in a 9-5 job and so uncertainty will need to be embraced this year.

FEAR itself is fear-inducing. Most intelligent people in the world dress it up as something else: optimistic denial. Most of us avoid quitting our jobs and entertain the thought that the course (the job) will improve with time or increases with income. This although a valid hallucination, when a job is boring or uninspiring it is pure hell. Pure hell should force action, but for many of us the job can be endured with enough rationalization.

Doing the unrealistic is easier than the realistic. 99% of people in the world are convinced that they are incapable of achieving great things, so they aim for mediocre. The competition for realistic goals is fierce paradoxically making them energy-consuming. Unreasonable goals are easier to achieve. Usually unrealistic goals give you an adrenaline infusion that provides endurance to overcome the inevitable trials and tribulations that go along with any goal. Realistic goals are uninspiring and will often get you to throw in the towel when the going gets tough. Best summed up as the fishing is best where the fewest go. The collective insecurity of the world makes it easy for people to hit home runs while everyone else is aiming for base hits. There is just less competition for bigger goals.

The opposite of love is indifference, and the opposite of happiness is – here’s the clincher – boredom. Excitement is the more practical synonym for happiness, and it is precisely what you should strive to chase. It is the cure-all. has automatic calculators and forms that help you get started understanding all this stuff.

There is a thing called the “comfort challenge” – the most important actions are never comfortable.

What gets measured gets managed. Pareto and his Law confirm that 80% of the output results from 20% of the inputs. Translated into my business…

80% of the consequences flow from 20% of the causes

80% of the results come from 20% of the effort and time

80% of the company profits come from 20% of the products and customers.

Parkinson’s Law dictates that a task will swell in (perceived) importance and complexity in relation to the time allotted. In other words the shorter the deadline is almost inevitably of equal or higher quality due to greater focus.

Don’t suffer fools or you’ll become one.

Now I would like to point out this only gets me through the first third of Tim’s book. I was hooked on how I could change my attitude and I was now intrigued at reading how I could then get to my 4 hour work week in the online world. For those of you that know me, you know I have spent the last 3 years studying the online world. From podcasting, telesemininars, traffic generation, SEO tools to affiliate programs and now blogging. I have to say that Tim’s four hour work week via might work for him. But I know there is a team of writers, art directors, web technicians and mentors behind me. The web is a fascinating world and one that I love as a marketer. I also know that outsourcing life online is available but the best results come from guided ones.

So I highly recommend Tim’s book to all you fellow Internet friends. You will get some great resources and reminders of things you can do. However, I don’t think I am in the position to get my time down to four hours a week yet. But I am open to being the 1% that has unrealistic goals. How about you?


Tricia Ryan
Principal - The Marketing Chefs

Need help to grow your online business? We show you how to use web marketing tools to attract, convert and connect with customers.” The Marketing Chefs explain the web marketing tools and strategies that go into killer website design, email marketing, publicity, and search engine optimization. Whether your business is new, or you’ve had a long web presence, we help improve online profits by sharing our creative thinking and recipes for success. Nourishing a business is a lot like creating a delicious dinner: it starts with gathering the right ingredients and, like a chef, knowing creatively what to do with them.

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