Summary and Review of The Four Hour Work Week

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Summary and Review of The Four Hour Work Week

Apr 04, 2022

In this post, I'll be giving a short and detailed summary of The 4-Hour Workweek (T4HWW) by Tim Ferris.

Let's delve in.

The 4-Hour Workweek is a self-help/ business published in 2007 by New York Times Best Selling Author - Tim Ferris.

The book sold around 2 million copies and spent more than three years on the New York Times Best Seller List. It has also been translated into over 40 languages. The book was inspired by Tim's personal experience as an entrepreneur, investor, and former workaholic. 


Unlike many business and self-help books, which were planned from the onset, T4HWW was a result of Tim's frustration at the prospect of his future as a workaholic who would not have the time and flexibility to do any of the things he loved. 

Two concepts that Ferris aimed to give his readers were more time and mobility to do what they wanted without having to wait till retirement.

Tim claims that the lifestyle of the "New Rich" was not necessarily found in their wealth or financial status, but rather in their ability to create and enjoy a luxurious lifestyle in their own time. He reiterates that this is possible for the average person too. 

He then shows how this can be achieved by freeing up time and automating one's income.

To be a member of the 'New Rich", Tim came up with a 4 step strategy summarized in an acronym, DEAL.

The first step, D, is short for definition

According to Tim, what separates the New Rich from the average person ( He called them deferrers; people whose goal is to have enough money for retirement) is the definition of their goals and philosophies. He claims that while the New Rich has goals towards living and enjoying life, the deferrers have goals to just live comfortably, and they hope to achieve this by chasing money blindly.

Going further, Ferris says money is multiplied practically by following the 4 W's:

  • What you do

  • When you do it

  • Where you do it

  • Whom you do it with

He postulates that applying these 4 W's in a way that gives you complete freedom over your life is the true power. He also goes ahead to give ten rules he believes are fundamental to success. The rules all bodes down to the fact that the ability to choose and determine our own freedom is the true form of power.

The second step is E, for Elimination

Ferris says that the notion of time management is a farce and that there will never really be enough time to do what you really want unless you create the time yourself. 

What you do with your time is more important than how you do it. He advises that the 80/20 rule be used. Identify tasks that provide more income, then shorten work time to focus on just the important ones and delegate the rest if you can.

He goes ahead to give a template to carry out the 80/20 strategy. He also talked about selective ignorance and how to avoid and fix interruptions.

The third step is Automation

He advises that you automate tasks. He gives a set of instructions to recognize tasks that should be automated and delegated.

He also talked about finding a business niche that can generate cash without consuming time. He advised that you define your customers, find a demand, then develop a product to fill that demand. This step talks about how to go about creating your business and steps to take to ensure its success.

The last step is L for Liberation

This step talks about staying away from the office using some smart approaches. It also talks about how to escape the office lifestyle loop and how to take mini-retirements and make them productive.

He ended the book by highlighting the New Rich's mistakes and how to avoid them.


The message Tim is trying to pass across in this book is how better it is to work smarter, not harder, and get more time for yourself. He does this by giving helpful advice and strategies to help you use your time better and hacks to enjoy life more.

I would recommend reading this book for those who feel overwhelmed and frustrated at the never-ending work loop. 

While it might not be possible to implement all of his strategies, you'd surely find something that would help you.

The opinions expressed in our published works are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the National Association for the Self-Employed or its members.

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