What Is the 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss? Is It Really Possible to Achieve?

What Is the 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss
Timothy Ferriss, the Author of 4-Hour Work Week

If you want to have an answer to questions “What Is the 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss?” or “Does it really work?” or “Could I have a 4-hour work week?” then you are in the right place at the right time. You will get my honest answers to all those questions in the next 5 minutes by reading this article.

What Is the 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss

What Is the 4 Hour Work Week?

When a few years ago I first time saw this book 4-Hour Work Week I thought, “Whoa! This guy must be lying. It can’t be possible. And even though it would be possible, I want to stay away from that book because we are supposed to work more than 4 hours a week.” So I didn’t even take a look closer and I forgot the book.

But then about a year after that, I saw that book again. I was thinking that this idea of working only 4 hours a week is so interesting that even though it would be a scam, I want to find out what is that guy talking about. So I downloaded an audiobook of 4-Hour Work Week on the Internet and started listening.

I remember it was one of the first audiobooks that I have ever listened and I was glad to listen to it. The book told many interesting stories that I couldn’t even know to be possible. There was, for example, a real story of a single mother who traveled around the world with his children. Money was not a problem.

Then the book started to tell ideas how to move anywhere you want in the world while earning passive income online. Think about earning dollars or euros while you are spending pesos or Vietnamese dong. Think about being able to live anywhere you want without working from 9 to 5. Think about quitting your job and laying under a palm tree and relaxing of the sunset. That’s the idea behind this book. But that is not the whole story.

We Work 8 Hours a Day – But Why?

Most of the people are working 8 hours a day from 9 to 5 or something similar. But why 8 hours? Why not 6, 7, 9, 10 or 12? Who decided that we should work exactly 8 hours?

There is one interesting thing in these 8-hour workdays. One study showed that people use less than 50% of that time really working. Most of the time goes to chatting with colleagues, scrolling websites or doing some useless things that don’t provide value for the employer.

Even though you would have finished all your tasks for the day in 6 hours, you need to sit there for 2 hours more because 8 hours is written in the contract. Is it wise to sit there for two hours without doing anything productive? Is it a meaningful way of using your precious time and life? No, it’s not but that what a big number of people are doing.

First of all, we need to get out of the thinking that we are being paid off the hours that we made. We are actually being made for the value that we provide for the employer. If you provide your employer value for $100,000, he can easily pay you $50,000 or much more. But if you are providing value for much less, why should he pay you more?

Elimination and Outsourcing – Become More Effective

What Is the 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss
Timothy Ferriss, the Author of 4-Hour Work Week

Let’s say that you are a salesperson. What is really the most important task of your job? Making sales. Okay, there are many things that you need to do in order to get sales: building relationships, networking, making research, pitching your products and so on. But even though you would do every other thing “perfectly” but not getting any sales, that’s not very effective.

What are the things that you could eliminate? What are the things that you are doing that you shouldn’t do? Tim Ferriss talks about Pareto 80/20 -principle. It simply means that 20% of your work produces 80% of your results. And 80% useless tasks provide only 20% of your results. 20% of your most important customers, provide 80% of your revenue. And so on.

You should be targeting on that 20% most important tasks. Eliminate other things. For example, if you are using time as an affiliate marketer for social media marketing on 5 different platforms. Then you notice that 1 of those social medias, let’s say Facebook, is providing better results than Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+ put together. Probably you should be concentrating even more on Facebook and not wasting your time on those platforms that don’t provide you any results. (Another option is, of course, dedicate some time to learn how to use those platforms and, for example, how to get more action on Twitter).

Eliminate useless tasks and concentrate on most important ones.

Outsourcing means that you let someone else do the tasks for yourself so you can use the time for more important tasks. Let’s say that you are making $30/hour. Some of the tasks that you are doing, make you 10$/hour and other tasks $50/hour. The wise move would be to outsource those tasks that are making you only $10/hour and concentrate doing those tasks are making you $50/hour.

I have, for example, outsourced some of our content by using Fiverr or HireWriters. Why would I use my valuable time on doing tasks that someone else would do for $5 or $10?

If you really want to become more effective and work only four hours per week, you need to eliminate useless tasks and outsource not-so-important tasks.

How to Start a 4-Hour Work Week in Practice?

Then Timothy Ferriss gives you some real examples how he and his friends started doing only 4-hour work week. Is that really possible? That what I was thinking a few years ago. But now after learning more about online businesses in Wealthy Affiliate it’s really possible.

Ferriss’ idea of moving to 4-hour work week is simply:

1.Creating an online business
2.Outsourcing and eliminating unimportant tasks
3.Rinse and repeat.

He tells, for example, about a man who created an online store where he was selling brand T-shirts. He was buying them for a cheap price like $5/each and selling for $50/each (I don’t remember the exact numbers but it’s only important that you understand the principle). He earns $45 for each T-shirt that he is selling.

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When he sells, 1,000 T-shirts, he makes $45,000. That’s already a great salary for a year. Especially if you have outsourced most of your work and you are living in a cheap country where your living costs are $500/month.

There are a different kind of online businesses that Tim Ferriss explains in the book. One other example is his own online business when he started selling fitness supplements with a big profit. It became very successful.

Even if you don’t have your own products, it is still 100% possible to make a big income (+$10,000/month) online. You can promote other people’s products with affiliate marketing.

Is 4-Hour Work Week Possible?

I would say yes and no. First, I will explain why it’s not possible and then I explain why it really can be possible for you.

If you want to create an online business or any other business, it requires hard work. I know that there are no shortcuts to success. You should stay far away from online scams that promise you +$10,000/monthly incomes without work. That’s not reality.

In those programs, the only one who is earning big money is the creator of the system who takes people’s money. Instead, you should go through a step-by-step training that teaches you real skills on how to create your online business. Yes, it requires more than 4 hours a week in the beginning BUT… Now we come to an interesting point.

Once you have built your online business and it’s up and running, you can achieve a stage when you need to work only 4 hours a week and still make massive income. If you have outsourced all tasks of your business, you just need to check that everyone is doing what they are supposed to do.

Then you can start living a 4-hour work week and lay on the beach 36 hours in a week. But then, are we supposed to lay on the beach 36 hours a week? Probably not. The point of the book is not the thing that you should work only 4 hours in a week but the freedom it can give to you.

What Is the 4 Hour Work Week
This is my future “office”. That’s my goal. What are your goals?

I know that Tim Ferriss is working still much more than 4 hours a week. But that’s not because he has to, it because he wants. If he would like to stop working he could do it. Having a freedom to choose is a big thing. That’s why I am building my online business to be able to work anywhere I want, anytime I want in the future.

Conclusion – What Is the 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss

4-Hour Work Week is a very interesting and an inspirational book that can really open your eyes to new ideas. Even though I have once listened to a whole book and read it once, I am still probably going to read it again to refresh the ideas from the book.

When you are reading the book, you don’t need to take all ideas literally but you can learn the principles behind them. Ferriss teaches some very important lessons of effectiveness, outsourcing and elimination that any entrepreneur should learn.

=> Get Timothy Ferriss’ 4-Hour Work Week Here!


Have you already read 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss? Which ideas did you like the most? Are you planning to start a 4-hour work week yourself? Leave a comment below!

By Roope Kiuttu

Hello! I am Roope "Robert" Kiuttu, the founder and owner of YourOnlineRevenue.com. I created this website back in 2015 to help you to make money online. You can ask me anything and I'll be happy to help you out. I help people daily to make more money online and I love seeing people succeeding. If you want to get my 1-on-1 support and help to make money online as well, get started HERE.


  1. I’ve read this book and I am a huge fan of the elimination strategy, although I’m still working on it myself. I feel like knowing what’s really important and what can be eliminated is not the easiest skill to learn but when mastered, it can make a huge difference! I feel like many people who want to do their own thing and become entrepreneurs try to do everything at once – anything that can get us out of the 9 to 5, like you said! But it’s only about doing a select few things that really matters 🙂 Have you mastered elimination? Or have you gotten better since you read the book?

    1. Hi Martina,

      I agree that if one wants to become an entrepreneur, he/she should focus the concentration for the most important tasks instead of trying do everything at once.

      Elimination is definitely an ultimately valuable skill. I am practicing it every day and I think that I am becoming better but never 100% ready. Every day we need to prioritize our tasks and decide what are the most important things today. That’s why I usually plan my day in advance. Otherwise the feeling of instant satisfaction can take over. Planning and setting clear goals is a key to mastering elimination, in my opinion.


  2. Hey Roope,
    I’ve heard great things about the 4-Hour Workweek and I’ve been meaning to try it since last year but didn’t manage to due to my busy schedule.

    This year I’m definitely getting it, I like how the productivity hacks really apply to any businesses we’re in and in Online Business, this is very crucial because we tend to lose track of time doing promotions that we tend to leave little time for content creation.

    1. Hi Riaz,

      it’s true that we can apply Tim’s rules very well to our online businesses. There are many tasks that we can outsource and concentrate on more important things. Then, there are so many distractions that by eliminating unimportant tasks, we become much more productive.

      There was a guy who was promoting his online business in many different social media channels. It took lots of his time to go through all those social medias and tell about his business. Then he realized that he is getting 80-90% results from only one platform. He decided to concentrate more on that platform and “eliminate” others. Then he started getting even much better results with less time.

  3. Hi Roope, thanks for sharing about Timothy’s book. I am one of those who would like to create my own passive income and doesn’t feel comfortable by only working 9-to-5 kind of life style.

    Affiliate marketing is a good way to earn some passive income and I am also taking part in WA to create my own website about the time management practice.

    About the content shared by Timothy in his book, I am eager to find out more. I have a quick view on this book at Amazon and it seems like the book mostly consists of text and less pictorial diagram for better illustration.

    1. Hi Tan,

      it’s nice to hear that you are also working hard to escape 9-5 -lifestyle. Honestly, that’s my goal too. As a single, it’s not a big problem even though work takes a lot of time. But if I would have a wife and children I really wouldn’t like as much as I am working nowadays. Now I am working like an animal so that I can escape the rat race and become a full-time online entrepreneur.

      TImothy’s book illustrates his ideas with pictures so ideas become easier to understand. But even without seeing the pictures you can understand what he is talking about because first time I didn’t read the book but I listened to it as an audiobook.


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