Cliff Notes: The 4 Hour Work Week Book Notes


The Intro 

  • Life doesn’t have to be so damn hard. It really doesn’t. Most people, my past self included, have spent too much time convincing themselves that life has to be hard, a resignation to 9-5 grind drudgery in exchange for (sometimes) relaxing weekends and the occasional keep it short or get fired vacation.
  • People don’t want to be millionaires, they want to experience what they believe only millions can buy.
  • $1,000,000 in the bank isn’t the fantasy. The fantasy is the life style of complete freedom it supposedly allows. The question and

The question and main hypothesis of this book is: How can one achieve the millionaire lifestyle of complete freedom without first having $1,000,000

What is the pot of gold that justifies spending the best years of your life hoping for happiness in the last?

Test the most basic assumptions of the work-life equation:

  • How do your decisions change if your retirement isn’t an option?
  • What if you could use a mini retirement to sample your deferred-life plan reward before working 40 years for it?
  • Is it literally necessary to work like a slave to live like a millionaire?


D is for Definition turns misguided common sense upside down and introduces the rules and objectives of the new game.

  • The New Rich (NR) can be separated from the crowd based on their goals, which reflect very distinct priorities and life philosophies.

1.New Rich Rules

  1. Have others work for you.
  2. Do the minimum necessary for maximum effect.
  3. Inactivity and early retirement is not the goal, doing which excites you is.
  4. To do all the thing you want to do and be all the things you want to be.
  5. To be neither the boss or the employee, but the owner. To own the trains, and have someone else ensure they run on time.
  6. To make a ton of money with specific reasons and defined dreams to chase with timelines and steps to get there. What are you working for?
  7. To have more quality and less clutter. To have huge financial reserves, but to recognize that most material wants are justification for spending time on things that simply don’t really matter.
  8. To think big, but payday comes every day. Cash flow first, pay day second.
  9.  Do not simply implement the bad or the things that you do not want to do, as this will only leave a vacuum. But to peruse the and experience the best in the world.

2. Getting off the Wrong Train. 

Money is multiplied in practical value depending on the multiple 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.

Options are limitless, but each path begins with the same first step: replacing assumptions.

3: Rules that change the rules: Beating the game, not playing the game. 

I win by reading the rules and then finding the loopholes.

Different is better when it is more effective or more fun.

  1. Challenging the status Quo: If everyone is defining a problem or solving it one way and the results are sub-par, this is the time to ask: What if I did the opposite? Don’t follow a model that doesn’t work. If the recipe sucks, it doesn’t matter how good a cook you are.
  2. Mini-retirements: I am to have to have at least one month of mini-retirement overseas intense learning: Tango, fighting, whatever for every two month of work projects. Work, when you are the most effective and the most productive, life, is more fun.
  3. Definition of laziness: to ensure a non-ideal existence to let circumstance or other decide life for you, or to amass a fortune while passing through life like a spectator from an office window. The size of your bank account doesn’t change this nor doe the number of hours you log. Focus on being productive instead of busy.
  4. Timing is never right: Conditions are never perfect, someday is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. pro and con list ar just as bad. If it is important to you and you want to do it eventually just do it and correct course along the way.
  5. Ask forgiveness, not permission: If it isn’t going to devastate those around you, try it and then justify it. Most people are fast to stop you before you get going, but hesitant to get in the way once moving. Get good at being a troublemaker and saying sorry when you really screw up.
  6. Emphasize strengths, don’t fix weaknesses: It is far more lucrative and fun to leverage your strengths instead of attempting to fix all the chinks in your armor. Strengths= Multiplying your results. Weaknesses = incremental fixes. Focus on better use of your weapons.
  7. Things in excess become the opposite: lifestyle design is thus not interested in creating an excess of idle time, which is poisonous, but the positive use of free time. Defined as doing what you want as opposed to what you feel obligated to do.
  8. Money Alone is Not the Solution: There is much to be said for the power of money. The problem is more than money.
  9. Relative Income is more important than absolute income: Is a calorie a calorie? Absolute income is measured using one only and inalterable variable: the raw and almighty dollar.  Jane makes $100,000 per year twice as much, thus twice as rich as Ross who makes 50,000 p/y.  Relative income uses two variables: the dollar and time, (usually hours) The whole “per year” concept is arbitrary and makes it easy to trick yourself. For example:
    • Jane makes 100k p/a, 2k p/w, works 80 hrs p/w = $25 p/h.
    • Ross makes 50k p/a, 1k p/w, works 10 hrs p/w = $100 p/h.
    • Of course, relative income has to add up to the minimum amount necessary to actualize your goals. The top NR make $5k p/h.
  10. Not all stress is bad: Distress: refers to harmful stimuli that makes you weaker, less confident and less able. Examples; destructive bosses, abusive criticism. Eustress: Role models who push us to exceed our limits


  1. How has being “realistic” or “responsible” kept you from the life you want?
  2. How has doing what you “should” resulted in subpar experiences or regret not having done something else?
  3. Look at what you are currently doing and ask yourself “what if I did the opposite of the people around me?
  4. What will I sacrifice if I continue on this track for 5, 10, 15 or 20 years?


The End Of Time Management 

  • Forget about time management. Results by volume approach are not effective. You shouldn’t be trying to do more and more each day. The options are limitless for creating businesses.
  • One can always do more each day, but not enough time is spent on prioritizing.
  • Being busy is often avoiding the more important uncomfortable actions.
  • Not only is possible to accomplish more by doing less, it is mandatory. Welcome to elimination.

Elimination & How to be effective 

  • The goal: Decrease the amount of work you perform while increasing revenue. This will turn your time into automation into liberation.
  • Effectiveness: Is doing the things that get you closer to your goals.
  • Efficiency: is performing a given task (whether important or not) in the most economical manner possible.

Two Rules:

  1. Doing something unimportant well does not make it important.
  2. Requiring a lot of time does not make a task important.

What you do is infinitely more important than how you do it. Efficiency is still important, but utterly useless unless applied to the right things. To find the right things: 80/20 the shit out of everything 🙂

Pareto & His Garden 

Pareto’s Law can be summarized as follows:

  • 80% of the outputs result from 20% of the inputs.
  • 80% of the results come from 20% of the effort and time.
  • 80% of company profits come from 20% of the customers
  • 80% of your happiness comes from 20% of your activities
  • 80% of your sadness comes from 20% of individuals/ activities

The Truth often hurts: Questions to ask oneself – Be brutally honest and truthfully with oneself. 

  1. Which are 20% of sources causing 80% of my problems and unhappiness?
  2. Which are 20% of sources resulting in 80% of my desired outcomes and unhappiness?

The goal is to find your inefficiencies in order to eliminate them and to find your strength so you can multiply them.

  • Being busy is a form of laziness – lazy thinking and little to zero action.
  • Being overwhelmed is often as unproductive as doing nothing.
  • Lack of time is actually a lack of priorities.
  • Time is wasted because so much time is available.
  • Being selective – doing less is the path to being productive. 

How to get shit done

  1. Limit number of tasks to the important, select using 80/20
  2. Shorten work time to limit tasks to the important.

Best solution: use both together; Identify the few critical tasks that contribute most to INCOME and schedule them with very short and clear deadlines.

How is it possible to spend so little time on income generation?

If you haven’t identified the mission critical tasks and set aggressive start and end times for completion, the unimportant becomes important.


  1. Define a short to-do list
  2. Define a not to do list.
  3. What are the top three activities that I used to fill time to feel as though I’ve been productive?
  4. Learn to ask “if this is the only thing I got done today, will I be satisfied with my day?
  5. There should never be more than TWO CRICITCAL TASKS EACH DAY.
  6. Do not multi-task. Ever
  7. Offer solutions

Low Information Diet 

  • It is imperative that you learn to ignore or redirect all information and interruptions that are irrelevant, unimportant or unactionable. Most are all three.
  • Lifestyle design is based on massive output.
  • More information is time-consuming, negative irrelevant to your goals.
  • Reading: find what you need that is relevant to your goals and get out.
  • Will I use this information for something immediate and important?
  • More is not better


  1. Create email auto response: Check email only twice per day: 11:00 am  & 15:00 pm:
    1. “Greetings (x), Due to high workload, I am currently checking and responding emails twice daily: 11:00 am and 17:00 pm. If you require urgent assistance please contact me on XXX-XXXX-XXX. Thank you for understanding, it helps me accomplish more and serve you better, Tim.
    2. Batch emails at these slotted times


  1. Should be held to make decisions on a pre-defined situation, not to define a problem.
  2. Set the time on a phone rather than in person.
  3. Get email agenda before hand.
  4. Should never take more than 30 mins.


  • Delegation is used as a further step to reduction.
  • Unless something is well defined and important, no one should do it.
  • Never automate something that can be eliminated.

Golden Rules for outsourcing.

  1. Each delegated task must be both time consuming and well defined.
  2. Have fun with it and experiment on rule one.
  3. Always set time limit.
  4. Limit number of tasks.
  5. Identify your top five consuming nonwork tasks & personal task and assign. 

Income Auto Pilot One 

Goal: To create an automated vehicle for generating cash without consuming time.

  • Can’t take more than $500 to make
  • Must take 4 weeks to make.
  • Can’t take more than 1 day per week management.

Product Principles 

  • He does not invest and hope for the best.
  • Test, test, and test.
  • Test one: A low prices book related to the target.
  • Once need of product was confirmed, No2 was priced at $79.99
  • The only distribution is through him. (so no resale price cuts.)
  • Fill demand, find a market, identify customers and develop a product for them.
  • Easy – be your own market. What would you spend money on?
  • Which social industry are professional groups do you belong to?
  • Which groups spend a lot of money? golfers?
  • Pick two markets you are most familiar with
  • Highlight the main benefits of the products – You should never be miss understood. 1000 songs in your pocket.
  • Should cost consumer $50-200
  • Should take no more than 3-4 weeks to manufacture.
  • Should be fully explained in one good Q&A.


  • Aime for a combination of products that will lend itself to a price of $50-200 (two CD’s + 40-page transcript + 10 page)
  1. How can you tailor a general skill for your market? What I call niching down.
  2. Or add to what is currently being sold successfully in your target magazines. Think narrow, rather than broad.
  3. What skills are you interested in that you and others in your market would pay for?
  4. Become an expert in this skill for yourself and then create a product to teach the same.
  5. What experts could you interview and record to create a sellable book? Offer a small upfront royalty.
  6. Do you have a failure success story that could be turned into a product for others?

How to distribute? 

  1. Resale the product: to vendors or distributors.
  2. License: Take a cut
  3. Create a product/ private label:
  4. Information product: Low cost, fast to manufacture and time to consume for all competitors.
  5. Do not accept payment via western Union.
  6. Raise resale order: 100 units require tax number. Dont run business school.
  7. Never negotiate pricing or lower pricing for higher volumes.
  8. Offer low priced products instead of free, offering free is the best way to attract time wasters and unwilling to return favor.
  9. Offer loose win guarantee.
  10. Treat your accounts well, and treat them like private members once they have been accepted.
  11. Come up with your own Loose-win guarantee “110% guaranteed to work within 60 mins of the first dose. 60-day return

How to look like a fortune 500 in 45 mins

  1. Be the Director, not the CEO
  2. Multiple emails on the website – all reverting back to same on. (media/sales/PR)


But I’m Not An expert: How can I sell

  • Expert in terms of selling product means that you know more than the purchase. No more.
  • $5,000 to dogsledding race in Alaska. Say if there are 15,000 readers in skill X and just 50 buy into your program at $100 that teaches your skill (x). Those customers are we called ” Minium customer base.”
  • Minimum customer base = a minimum number of customers you need to fulfill a Dreamline.

How to become an Expert Builder in 4 weeks. 

  1. Join two or three related trade organizations
  2. Read the three top selling best-selling books on your topic. Condense notes onto one page
  3. Give one free one to the three-hour seminar: University/ big company. Free to get leverage somewhere else.
  4. Write one to two articles for trade magazines.

Income Auto Pilot 2

Micro testing involves inexpensive advertisements to test consumer response to a product prior manufacturing.

  1. Look at the competition and create a more – compelling offer on a basic one-to-three page website
  2. Test the offer using short google adword/ facebook campaigns.
  3. Cut losses with losers and manufacture the winner for sales rollout.

How to differentiate themselves

  1. Use more credibility indicators (media, testimonials, associations)
  2. Create better guarantee
  3. Offer better selection
  4. Free or faster shipping
  5. Offer one or two products – basic and premium.
  6. Do not offer multiple shipping options. Offer one fast method.
  7. Do not offer over night
  8. Eliminate phone orders to ordering all online like Amazon.
  9. Do not offer international shipping.


  1. Market selection: Something you are a part of you spends money on yourself.
  2. Product brainstorm: $50-200
  3. Micro Test: Test on eBay, FB/ google.
  4. Rollout & automate: Print Magazine with results on above & reduce outsource everything.

Income auto pilot 3

  • Start out with automation with the end in mind. Remove the human element. Be the ghost in the machine.
  • How would this look like if you had 10,000 orders per week?
  1. Phase one: 1-50 units: Do it yourself, put your phone number on the website.
  2. Phase two: >50 Units: Find local fulfillment companies.
  3. Phase three >500 Units+: Call center


  • What is the 20% of my belongings I use 80% of the time
  • Automate as much as possible
  • If you can’t define it or act upon it, forget it. The meaning of life blah, blah, blah.
  • People will keep coming back to two things: Continual learning and service

Revisiting and reset dream lines

  • What are you good at?
  • What could you be the best at?
  • What makes you happy?
  • What excites you?
  • What makes you feel good or accomplished?
  • What do you enjoy sharing or experiencing with other people?