Win Without Winning Manifesto

The 4 Hour Work Week

Author – Tim Ferris

Money is multiplied in practical value depending on the number 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.
→ “the freedom multiplier”.

Focus on being productive instead of busy.

→ Most things make no difference. Being busy is a form of laziness, lazy thinking, and indiscriminate action.

💡 It is not the speed, but the direction.
→ What you do is infinitely more important than how you do it. Efficiency is still important, but it is useless unless applied to the right things.

Two synergistic approaches for increasing productivity are inversions of each other:

  1. Limit tasks to the important ones to shorten work time (80/20). → important tasks first thing in the morning when you have the highest willpower battery charge.
  2. Shorten work time to limit tasks to the important (Parkinson’s law). → Never do something tomorrow that you can do today. Always look to decrease the deadline. The task will fill the deadline you give it.
Identify the few critical tasks that contribute most to income and schedule them with very short and clear deadlines.
At least three times per day at scheduled times, ask: “Am I being productive or just active?”

→ “Am I inventing things to do to avoid the important?”

Define a to-do list & Define a not-to-do list:

  1. What 20% of sources are causing 80% of my problems and unhappiness?
  2. What 20% of sources are resulting in 80% of my desired outcome and happiness?
  • If you had a heart attack and had to work two hours per day, what would you do?
  • If you had another heart attack and had to work hours per week, what would you do?
  • If you had a gun to your head and had to stop doing 4/5 of different time-consuming activities, what would you remove?
  • What are the top three activities to fill time to feel as though I’ve been productive?
  • Who are the 20% of people who produce 80% of your enjoyment and propel you forward, and which 20% cause 80% of your depression, anger, and second-guessing?
If someone isn’t making you stronger, they’re making you weaker.

→ You are the average of the five people associate with most, so do not underestimate the effects of your pessimistic, unambitious, or disorganized friends.
→ Boldly discard and spend less time with those who are not ambitious, organized, and optimistic.

Develop and maintain a low-information diet.

→ Just as a modern man consumes both too many calories and calories of no nutritional value, information workers eat data both in excess and from the wrong sources.
→ It is imperative that you learn to ignore or redirect all information and interruptions that are irrelevant, unimportant, or unactionable. Most are all three.

💡 Most information is time-consuming, negative, irrelevant to your goals, and outside your influence.

Develop the habit of non-finishing that which is boring or unproductive.

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

It is your job to train those around you to be effective and efficient.

💡 People are smarter than you think.
→ Give them a chance to prove themselves.
→ Do not wait for those who throw away your chance.

💡 Be a member of your target market and don’t speculate what others need or will be willing to buy.

Ask the following questions to find profitable niches:

  1. Which social, industry, and professional groups do you belong to, have you belonged to, or do you understand, whether dentists, engineers, rock climbers, recreational cyclists, car restoration aficionados, dancers, or others?
    → Look creatively at your resume, work experience, physical habits, and hobbies, and compile a list of all the groups, past and present, that you can associate yourself with. Look at products and books you own, including online and offline subscriptions, and ask yourself, “What groups of people purchase the same?” Which magazines, websites, and newsletters do you read on a regular basis?
  2. Which of the group you identified have their own magazines?
    → Visit a large bookstore such as Barnes & Noble and browse the magazine rack for smaller specialty magazines to brainstorm additional niches. There are literally thousands of occupation- and interest/hobby-specific magazines to choose from. Use Writer’s Market to identify magazine options outside the bookstores. Narrow the groups from question 1 above to those that are reachable through one or two small magazines. It’s not important that these groups all have a lot of money (e.g., golfers)—only that they spend money (amateur athletes, bass fishermen, etc.) on products of some type. Call these magazines, speak to the advertising directors, and tell them that you are considering advertising; ask them to e-mail their current advertising rate card and include both readership numbers and magazine back-issue samples. Search the back issues for repeat advertisers who sell direct-to-consumer via 800 numbers or websites—the more repeat advertisers, and the more frequent their ads, the more profitable a magazine is for them … and will be for us.
Price high and then justify.

→ A price range of $50~200 per sale provides the most profit for the least customer service hassle.
→ Try to aim for a 10x markup.

The most lifestyle for the dollar is underlined:

  • Argentina: Buenos Aires, Cordoba
  • China: Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taipei
  • Japan: Tokyo, Osaka
  • England: London
  • Ireland: Galway
  • Thailand: Bangkok, Chiang Mai
  • Germany: Berlin, Munich
  • Norway: Oslo
  • Australia:
  • Sydney
  • New Zealand: Queenstown
  • Italy: Rome, Milan, Florence
  • Spain: Madrid, Valencia, Sevilla
  • Holland: Amsterdam

Before spending time on a stressful inducing question, big or otherwise, ensure that the answer is “yes” to the following two questions:

  1. Have I decided on a single meaning for each term in this question?
  2. Can an answer to this question be acted upon to improve things?
If you can’t define it or act upon it, forget it.

The Top 13 New Rich Mistakes:

  1. Losing sight of dreams and falling into work for work’s sake(W4W).
    → reread the introduction and next chapter of this book.
  2. Micromanaging and e-mailing to fill time.
    → Set responsibilities, problem scenarios and rules, and limits of autonomous decision-making.
  3. Handling problems your outsourcers or co-workers can handle.
  4. Helping outsourcers or co-workers with the same problem more than once, or with non-crisis problems.
    → Give them if-then rules for solving all but the largest problems. Give them the freedom to act without your input, set the limits in writing, and then emphasize in writing that you will not respond to help with problems that are covered by these rules. At the end of each month, review how their decisions have affected profit and adjust rules accordingly, often adding new rules based on their good decisions and creative solutions.
  5. Chasing customers, particularly unqualified or international prospects, when you have sufficient cash flow to finance your non-financial pursuits.
  6. Answering emails that will not result in a sale or that can be answered by an FAQ or auto-responder.
  7. Working where you live, sleep, or should relax.
    → Separate your environments. Designate a single space for work and solely work, or you will never be able to escape it.
  8. Not performing a thorough 80/20 analysis every two to four weeks for your business and personal life.
  9. Striving for endless perfection rather than great or simply good enough, whether in your personal or professional life.
    → Focus on great for a few things and good enough for the rest. Perfection is a good idea and direction to have, but recognize it for what it is: an impossible destination.
  10. Blowing minutiae and small problems out of proportion as an excuse to work.
  11. Making non-time-sensitive issues urgent in order to justify work.
    → Focus on life outside of your bank accounts. If you cannot find meaning in your life, it is your responsibility as a human being to create it, whether that is fulfilling dreams or finding work that gives you purpose and self-worth.
  12. Viewing one product, job, or project as the end-all and be-all of your existence.
    → Life is too short to waste but is also too long to be a pessimist or nihilist. Whatever you’re doing now is just a stepping-stone to the next project or adventure. When in doubt or overwhelmed, take a break and 80/20 both business and personal activities and relationships.
  13. Ignoring the social rewards of life.
    → Surround yourself with smiling positive people who have absolutely nothing to do with work. Create your muses alone if you must, but do not live your life alone. Happiness shared in the form of friendships and love is happiness multiplied.

Let bad things happen. If you don’t you will never find time for the life-changing big things.

  1. What is the one goal, if completed, that could change everything?
  2. What is the most urgent thing right now that you feel you must or should do?
  3. Can you let the urgent fail even for a day to get to the next milestone for your potential life-changing tasks?
  4. What’s been on your to-do list the longest? Start it first thing in the morning and don’t allow interruptions or lunch until you finish it.

Author’s life advice:
Don’t accept large or costly favors from strangers.
→ This karmic debt will come back to haunt you.

You don’t have to recoup losses the same way you lose them.
→ Do you continue to try and make your money back when you lose in Texas Poker?

One of the most universal causes of self-doubt and depression: Trying to impress people you don’t like.

Slow meals = life. → Have at least one 2~3 hour dinners/drinks with those who make you smile and feel good. I find the afterglow effect to be the greatest and longest with groups of five or more.

💡 Adversity does not build character; it reveals it.

Money does not change you; it reveals who you are when you no longer have to be nice.

It doesn’t matter how many people don’t get it. What matters is how many people do.

You’re never as bad as they say you are.

Eat a high-protein breakfast within 40 minutes of waking and go for a 10~20 minute walk outside afterward, ideally bouncing a handball or tennis ball.

Do not invest in things where you cannot influence the outcome.

Are you having a breakdown or breakthrough?

Rehearse poverty regularly.

The Margin Manifesto:

  1. Nice is the new big; the lavish dwarf entertainment rule.
  2. What gets measured gets managed.
  3. Pricing before product; plan distribution first.
  4. Less is more; limiting distribution to increase profit.
  5. Net-zero; Create demand vs. offering terms.
  6. Repetition is usually redundant; good advertising works the first time.
  7. Limit downside to ensure upside; sacrifice margin for safety.
  8. Negotiate late; make others negotiate against themselves.
  9. Hyperactivity vs Productivity: 80/20 and Pareto’s Law.
  10. The customer is not always right; fire high-maintenance customers.
  11. Deadline over details; test reliability before capability.