The 4-Hour Workweek Notes

I have just read The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris. Great book on lifestyle automation.
Here’s some notes I took on the book while reading.

– Limit tasks to the important to shorten work time (80/20 rule)
– Shorten work time to limit tasks to the tasks to the important (Parkinson’s Law)
Using a shorter deadline will force you to focus on execution.
Identifying the critical tasks and scheduling them with very short and clear deadlines is the best solution for becoming productive and efficient.

Ask yourself:
– Am I being productive or just active?
– Am I inventing things to do to avoid the important?

Compile a todo list that is not computerized for the next day. There should be never more than 2 items to complete each day. If there is, you must ask yourself “If this is the only thing I accomplish, will I be satisfied with today?”

Propose solutions to everyday questions, instead of asking for opinions.

I. Low information diet
A. Selective ignorance
i. Problems solve themselves or disappear if you remove yourself as a bottleneck and empower others.
ii. Increased output demands decreased input.
B. Actions
i. One week information fast; no news, no television, no unnecessary web browsing.
ii. Catch up news by asking colleagues
iii. Information should be used immediately and stored if it is important.
iv. Focus on “on-time” information and not “just-in-case”
C. Challenge
i. Ask random strangers for their number. The goal is to get out of your comfort zone.
II. Interrupting Interruptions and the Art of Refusal
A. Assertiveness
i. Learn to be difficult when it matters.
ii. Having a reputation for being assertive will give you preferential treatment.
B. Time wasters
i. It is your job to train those around you to be effective and efficient.
ii. Keep meetings less than 30 minutes, and have defined goals and objectives.
C. Time consumers: batch and do not falter
i. Batch same types of tasks together.
ii. Estimate the the value of your time and the amount of time you save by batching tasks.
iii. Calculate how much you earn by multiplying the amount of time saved by your per hour rate for different batching frequencies: 1 time per week, two weeks, month.
iv. If problems creating by batching tasks together cost more than the hours saved, scale back to less frequent schedule.
D. Empowerment Failures: Rules and readjustment.
i. Try not to micromanage.
ii. People are smarter than you think. Give them a chance to prove themselves.
iii. Empower others to act without interrupting you. Give them permission.
iv. Set rules in your favor. Limit access to your time.
III. Income Automation
A. The Renaissance Minimalist
i. Cash flow and times, without these two things, nothing is possible.
ii. The more resellers there are, the fast your product goes extinct.
iii. The more middlemen are involved, the higher your margins need to be.
B. Begin with the end in mind.
i. Find a market, define customers, then find/develop a product for them.
ii. Aim for a 8-10x markup
iii. Price range of $50-200 per sale provides most profit for the last customer service hassle.
iv. Should take no more than 3-4 weeks to manufacture
v. Options: Resell a product, license a product, create a product
C. Credibility snowball
i. Join two or three related trade organizations
ii. read the three top selling books
iii. give one free one-to-three hour seminar.
iv. offer to write one or two articles for trade magazines.
D. Art of Undecision
i. Fewer Options = More revenue
ii. Customer service is providing excellent product at reputable price and solving legitimate problems in the fastest manner possible.
iii. The more options, the more indecision created and fewer orders received.
iv. The more options, the more manufacturing and customer service is needed.
a. offer one or two purchase options.
b. do not offer multiple shipping options, offer one fast method and charge premium.
c. eliminate phone orders and direct to online ordering.
d. do not offer international shipments.
v. Policies towards low maintenance customers and attracting high profit.
a. Do not accept via western union, checks or money orders.
b. raise wholesale minimums to 12-100 units and require tax id number.
c. refer all potential resellers to an online form.
d. never negotiate pricing or approve lower pricing for higher volume orders, cite company policy.
e. offer low priced products instead of free products to capture information for follow up sales.
f. offer a lose-win guarantee.
g. Do not accept orders from common mail fraud countries.
IV. How to look Fortune 500 in 45 minutes.
A. Don’t be the CEO or Founder.
i. give yourself a mid level vp. For negotiation purposes, do not appear to be the ultimate decision maker.
B. Put multiple email contacts on the website.
C. Set up an interactive voice response remote receptionist.
D. do not provide home address

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