I received a great question recently about whether or not the 4 hour work week lifestyle was real, or simply bullshit. This was a great question and I took the liberty of answering it from my experience in the video below. In case you're not aware, The 4 Hour Work Week is a book written by Timothy Ferriss, which is a fantastic book that shows people how they can escape the 9-5 and work only 4 hours a week, while traveling the world. But, are Tim Ferriss and these “internet gurus” really living this lifestyle, or is it just marketing? Watch the video to find out my answer.
My Experience Living The 4 Hour Work Week Lifestyle
I wrote a review about The 4 Hour Work Week years ago. It's one of the best books that I've ever read. It really made me realize that my goal should be in accumulating passive income streams, not trading my time for money. It also made me see the power of outsourcing and automating my lifestyle. I now employ virtual assistants from the Philippines that help run my businesses, and Tim Ferriss is the guy that made outsourcing cool.
At 24 years old, I achieved my dream of becoming “financially free”. I was making $5000 month as passive income and that more than paid for my apartment and lifestyle expenses. When I first achieved this goal, it was a dream come true. I remember re-attending a seminar called the Millionaire Mind Intensive, and when they asked the audience “Who here is financially free?”, I was one of the 3 people that stood up and received an applause from the audience. It felt awesome, as a few years ago I was admiring those that had achieved that kind of lifestyle.
So here I was, at 24 years old, working “4 hours a week”. My businesses didn't require much maintenance work at all. I could have retired if I wanted to. For how long? Who knows, as my earnings could have disappeared a few years later. But the point is, I was in a situation where I didn't have to work and could do whatever I wanted to with my days.
I soon encountered a number of challenges with being financially free, that I didn't expect.
First, I was bored. Really bored. It was fun to sleep in and watch movies all day or go out, but after awhile, it got seriously boring. Everyone else I knew was working and they didn't have the “free time” that I had anyways, so most of my time was spent alone. I traveled for a bit too, which was fun, but after awhile I encountered the second challenge.
The second challenge was that I was missing a real mission or purpose in my life. I realized that business gives me an incredible sense of PURPOSE and it's a way for me to grow and contribute. Growth and contribution are the two human needs (according to Tony Robbins) that gives us fulfillment, and I wasn't experiencing either of them. Sure, I was reading some books and whatnot, but it wasn't the same as being an entrepreneur and overcoming the challenges in business. No seminars or books can replace working several hours per day towards building something great.
I needed to be challenged. I needed to find something to do that I'd be passionate about and that would allow me to share my gifts with the world. I needed a mission. A purpose.
Not long after, ProjectLifeMastery.com was born. PLM was a passion project for me and I wasn't doing it to make any money. I wanted to share my gifts and inspire others. Every video and blog post I put up, I don't make any “immediate money” for it. It's basically work that I do for free and to serve others. Of course, down the road these people that get my content might buy something that I sell or recommend, but for the most part I don't get paid upfront for the work that I do. And it doesn't matter to me, I do it because I love it!
PLM gave me an incredible sense of purpose and fulfillment. It has led to some pretty remarkable things for me, such as launching my Kindle Money Mastery course, coaching, and even writing a book. I now work on my business harder than I ever have, not because “I have to”, but because I WANT to. It's my passion and I am seriously addicted to it. I can stay up to 2AM working on blog, recording videos or creating content, because it's something that gives me immense joy.
This experience of being financially free and living the “4 hour work week” lifestyle really opened up my eyes. I realized my goal is NOT to retire or just be financially free, while doing nothing. I tried that and it didn't make me happy. Instead, my goal is to fulfill my mission which is to grow and to give. What I do now fulfills that.
I also learned that many of the most successful people on this planet had the same experience. I began to notice that people like Donald Trump or Tony Robbins are in positions where they don't have to “work”, but do so because they WANT to. These wealthy and successful people don't have to work another day in their life if they wanted to. So why do they still work their asses off every day, harder than anyone you know? Simply because they LOVE it. Their work is aligned with their purpose and it's their way of growing and contributing. This was a big eye-opener for me.
Are There People Living The 4 Hour Work Week?
Yes, there are. I believe Tim Ferriss has at points in his life. So has many of these “internet gurus” out there. But, for how long?
Not long. These people that market the 4 hour work week (and I know many of them), all work their asses off. They, just like me, have found their passion and purpose and love doing it. They work HARD on their businesses and are immersed in it. They aren't sitting on the beach drinking martinis, they are WORKING.
The 4 hour work week is really a marketing ploy that speaks to people that are working the 9-5 and hate their jobs. It spoke to people exactly like me. But once these people achieve that lifestyle, they'll live it up for awhile, but soon realize that it won't make them truly fulfilled and likely discover their mission or purpose in life.
I remember reading about a study awhile ago from insurance companies that when people retire, a few years after they die. They die because they don't have a purpose anymore in their lives. Most people when they retire are BORED. If you want to learn more about the power of having a purpose, then read the book Mans Search For Meaning.
So to answer the question that I started this blog post with: yes, the 4 hour work week lifestyle is real.
Yes, you can achieve it and live it. But, understand that it's not a sustainable lifestyle to live and that it won't bring lasting happiness or fulfillment to your life.