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The 4-Hour Workweek - Book summary

Most people are resigned to the 9-5 lifestyle, deferring their lives in hope that they’ll someday earn enough to retire and live their dreams. This book by Tim Ferriss shows you how to reinvent your life to create time, money and mobility, so you can focus on what truly matters to you now.  In this free version of The 4-Hour Workweek summary, you’ll get an overview of the key ideas to create your 4-hour work week and the 4-step “DEAL” process to create the New Rich lifestyle.

The 4 Hour Workweek: “DEAL” Process

The book is structured like a detailed step-by-step guide. Here’s an overview of the 4-step “DEAL” process.

The 4-Hour Work Week summary_redesign your life_4 steps


To redesign your life, you need to break free from norms, create an automated income stream, and liberate yourself from unproductive tasks. Only then will you have the time and resources to focus on truly meaningful things in life. This starts with an understanding of the rules and objectives of the new game.

The 4-Hour Workweek_Define

Define the New Game (and Beat the Rules)

The goal is not to stop work or do nothing, nor is it to work hard now to enjoy life later. It’s about creating the freedom of time, money and location, so you can design and live the life you want, now. In fact, time, lifestyle and freedom of choice are probably worth more than the paper value of money. Ferriss explains this in detail, along with 10 Commandments of the New Rich Lifestyle, covered in greater detail in our complete 14-page summary.

Define (and Overcome) your Fears

Most of us are held back by our fear of the unknown. To conquer your fears, start by defining them with questions like:
– What’s your worst fear and what’s the worst thing that could happen if it’s realized?
– If you were fired from your job today, what would you have done to manage your financial situation?
– What’s the cost of your inaction – financial, emotional, physical – relative to the cost of action?

Define your Dreams (with Dream-lining)

Rather than focus on your fear of possible failures, you should be concerned about wasting your life doing things that bore you. The most exciting options are often also “unrealistic” ones. But, rather than dismiss your dreams, use “Dream-lining” to break down your dreams into concrete timelines and actions. You can get the detailed breakdown and steps from our full  version of The 4-Hour Workweek summary. This is what your dreamline would look like:The 4-Hour Work Week summary_DreamliningIn a nutshell, dream-lining involves:
(i) Defining your dream (what you’d do if you could not fail);
(ii) Identifying the 4 key and most exciting dreams, how much they’ll cost, and breaking the numbers down;
(iii) Identifying 3 steps for each of the 4 dreams.


To free up precious time and resources for what matters, you need to declutter your life, in 3 key ways. You can get a detailed overview from the complete version of The 4-Hour Workweek summary.
The 4-Hour Work Week summary_eliminate-simplify

Be Effective: Free up your Time

Busyness is often an excuse to avoid doing what we should. The book contains many powerful tips to help you improve personal productivity and achieve “fat-free performance”.

Adopt a Low-Information Diet

We are surrounded by too much (and often wrong) information which hinders productive action. Ferriss manages to keep abreast of what’s going on, without reading the news and with only an hour on his business emails each week – the key is to focus only on information that’s relevant, important and actionable.

Learn to Say No

Constant interruptions are a major time-waster. The book lists several tips on how to master your time and set the rules in your favour e.g. how to limit your accessibility, reduce unnecessary time on emails/ phone-calls, meetings, and batching repetitive activities.


To design your New Rich lifestyle, you’ll need a steady source of income. The conventional approach is to find a well-paying job (even if it takes up the bulk of your time). A better way is to build amuse” – an automated revenue-generator that brings in cash without your hands-on involvement. Unlike a conventional business, a muse is in line with what you really want to do, and is less business-like.

The 4-Hour Work Week summary_automate

Learn to Outsource and Work with Virtual Assistants

If you recall, our goal is be able to run a business from anywhere in the world (ideally without your direct involvement). To do so, you must learn to outsource effectively. The key is to refine your rules and processes, so you can automate the process, delegate low-value tasks to focus on the high-value ones. Get practical outsourcing tips from our full version of The 4-Hour Workweek summary, to avoid potential pitfalls and get the best results.

Build your Muse

There are 4 key steps to finding and building your muse , which is broken down in detail in our complete book summary:
(i) Market Selection
(ii) Product Brainstorm (know the criteria for good products, and 3 ways to get them)
(iii) Micro-Testing your products (using the 3-part strategy provided), and
(iv) Roll-out and Automation (over 3 recommended phases).


Liberation means having the mobility to run your business from anywhere in the world. This involves 3 key components or phases: to free yourself geographically, take mini-retirements, and focus on something meaningful. Do get more details on how to liberate yourself from the full 14-page version of The 4-Hour Workweek summary.

The 4-Hour Workweek_Liberate

Get the Most from The 4 Hour Workweek

This is essentially a workbook to help you think about, and more importantly, take action toward your dream lifestyle. Although there are enough “how-to” tips to guide you through the process step-by-step, the biggest takeaway is probably the message that, by learning to think for yourself and break free from widely-accepted rules, you can create new options for yourself, and live an exceptional life. To get more details, do get a copy of our complete book summary bundle, which includes an infographic, a 14-page text summary, and a 28-minute audio summary.

The 4-Hour Workweek summary - book summary bundle

Loved the ideas in the book? You can purchase the book here or visit fourhourblog for more information.

Get more insights on remote work from our Remote summary, or find out how you can start a micro-business with The $100 Startup summary with minimal capital!

About the Author of The 4 Hour Workweek

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich is written by Timothy “Tim” Ferriss–an American author, serial entrepreneur and public speaker. In addition to speaking six languages, Ferriss runs a multinational firm from wireless locations worldwide. His eclectic passions include being a world record holder in tango, a national champion in Chinese kickboxing and a guest lecturer at Princeton University in high-tech entrepreneurship and electrical engineering. He has been profiled by The New York Times, National Geographic Traveler, NBC and Maxim. Ferriss is a graduate of Princeton University.

The 4 Hour Workweek Quotes

“Options – the ability to choose – is real power.”

“Doing less meaningless work, so that you can focus on things of greater personal importance, is NOT laziness.”

“What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.”

“Tomorrow becomes never. No matter how small the task, take the first step now!”

“Being busy is most often used as a guise for avoiding the few critically important but uncomfortable actions.”

“Efficiency is still important, but it is useless unless applied to the right things.”

“More is not better, and stopping something is often 10 times better than finishing it.”

“People are smarter than you think. Give them a chance to prove themselves.”

“Find your focus and you’ll find your lifestyle.”

Click here to download full book summary and infographic

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