September 23, 2020

how to work less and live more

Ever heard the term ‘you can’t have it all?’ 

You can’t have a sh*tload of cash coming in…unless you work 40-hour weeks and climb your way to the top in 20 years. 

Your secure, 9-5 job is great…until you only have 15 days off in a year to go for a budget vacation. 

You can’t have a flexible, easygoing schedule…because as a freelancer that = no clients and always a small chance your apartment’s landlord is going to kick you out for not paying rent one day. 

“You can’t have both sides.” 

“It’s life, just deal with it.” 

“You CAN’T have it all.” 

But what if I told you, that all of that is a lie? 

Buckle up, because the 4-Hour Workweek is living, solid proof that people around the world can indeed have it all. 

What is it? 

A lot of people have long since followed this trajectory. 

But the 4-Hour Workweek urges us to think differently. That our way of living (working till we’re 60 and retiring) should not be the default lifestyle to live. 

…And by joining this same group of people, Tim Ferriss became a multimillion dollar legend on his own. 

For those that don’t know yet, Tim Ferriss is the one responsible for the rapid-fire, super popular term the ‘4-Hour Workweek’. 

It’s exactly what it sounds like. And as a NY-Times bestselling author, Fortune’s 40 under 40 title holder, early stage Uber and Facebook investor as well as the deemed ‘Oprah of audio’ and podcasts…

…Tim explains how this new generation of ‘New Rich’ people manipulates time to their advantage. 

So they get to do the maximum number of things, earn the maximum income–just by following the set ‘recipe’ to escape the rat race. 

What is the 4-Hour Workweek? 

Right now, when the economy is going to be as unpredictable as it gets–The 4-Hour Workweek is the blueprint that can help you; 

  • Outsource your life to virtual assistants for $5/hour and do whatever else you want
  • Reduce 50% of your workday so you can even work remotely
  • Have frequent ‘mini-retirements’ so that you’ll never burn out again 

Listen to me when I tell you. 

This is EVERY entrepreneur (or budding entrepreneur’s) handbook! 

For me, there are two categories of entrepreneurs that can gain something from this book. 

  1. It’s the employee fantasizing about quitting their job to start a business. 
  2. It’s the freelancer just DREAMING about making more money (and not working like a dog). 

What can both of them start with to achieve the end goal? 

Tim calls this the DEAL (Definition, Elimination, Automation, Liberation) framework.

The DEAL process is designed to give you a total system reset. 

It’s life-changing, it’s going to make you question EVERYTHING you thought you knew about starting an online business (and then some!). 


Or as I like to call it, “un-learning and un-f*cking your brain.” 

Tim labels the Definition phase a way to turn misguided common sense upside down so that you know what the new rules of the game are. 

Like Tim always mentions. 

No one wants to be a millionaire because they want to see that $10,000,000 in their bank account. 

“People don’t want to be millionaires, rather experience they believe millions in the bank can buy.”

See the world in a different pair of lens, one that shows why you’re really doing what you’re doing (instead of just working aimlessly). 

The Before; “I want more money.” 

The After; “I want to make more money for specific purposes, and because I understand that I will have access to more things that make me happy.” 


Being busy does not mean that you’re being productive. And it RARELY even means that you’re doing something useful. 

To all those working in corporate, you might agree with this. 

If you could do the same amount of work in 10 hours, compared with someone who does that in 40 hours…

…You’re still expected to be working 40 hours a week, with a minimum of 5 days a week. This exactly the kind of sh*t that happens in a rigid, old working environment that you want to stay away from as much as possible. 

In your Elimination process, cut out the noise of all the ‘fake productivity’ nonsense that you’re doing. 

Some of them include; 

  • Replying emails for half a day
  • Sitting in meetings that don’t absolutely, urgently need you
  • Being distracted with too many ad-hoc or side projects
  • Replying text messages from your office’s group when you have urgent deadlines 
  • Allowing people to approach your table at all times

For freelancers and business owners that work on their own rules, here’s a total guide to outsourcing 90% of your life! 

(Think more profit, more clients, lower-cost team, and 80% more free time to yourself for vacations.)

The Before; I’ll spend an hour a day to clear emails, and then do my real work. 

The After; “I will focus more on urgent tasks only, limit my access to other people and work in shorter spurts instead of dragged out hours.” 


There’s a group of people called the ‘New Rich’, responsible for killing the ‘retire at 60, work-till-you-die’ narrative. 

These people are the online e-Commerce multibillionaires blogging from a Panama beach. 

Or million-dollar creatives behind a YouTube channel, earning $500,000/video for just vlogging 8 minutes of their lives. 

I run a digital workshop aimed at studying the habits of the most successful people right now. 

And the FIRST thing that brings them from successful > ULTRA, money-making machines is the ability to outsource their lives. 

You can start by hiring a virtual assistant. 

Tim suggests looking at websites like; 

  1. (about $200/month)
  2. Fiverr freelancers (starting from $10/hour)
  3. Brickwork India ($15/hour)
  4. Tasks Everyday ($6.98/hour)

Hire a virtual assistant even if you don’t need one. 

Not only will it get you comfortable with really, really feeling like a business owner…

It’ll help you clear up dead tasks on your planner, and help you organize your personal time much better too. 

Hiring a virtual assistant is also a fantastic idea for those looking to start a business, but who are still in the midst of a day job. 

This way, instead of worrying about side projects/messages/client issues at your 9-5 job (and being all out distracted)–there is someone else running it for you. 

The Before; “I need to work for myself.” 

The After; “I want other people to work for me.” 


There’s no rule that says a full-time employee can’t be someone who enjoys the life of the ‘New Rich’. 

Enter the Liberation phase, the final part of Tim’s DEAL framework to get you the life you want. 

So if you’ve ever wondered how to get more remote working days (and truly live that laptop lifestyle!), here’s how you do it; 

  • Increase your employer’s investment in you. Eg, asking your manager/team lead to enroll you in more training courses, seminars, online classes to help you get better at what you do. Reason being? The more a company invests in you, the higher they want to see you succeed, and the greater the loss if they were to lose you. 
  • Over-deliver when you’re out of office. If you request for time away from the office, get MORE work done out of it. Settle more tasks, finish up a few of next week’s goals, and exceed all expectations of a normal 9-5 workday. 
  • List down in bullet points all that you’ve done in the time away from the office. 
  • Propose a trial period for remote working. Start slow, one day/week working remotely. 

Read any ‘business’ book, and they’ll rush you into quitting your job, starting your empire, and then enjoying a beach life in Indonesia. 

So what I really, really appreciate about Tim’s book is the fact that he doesn’t rush you into anything. Rather, he starts you out with the ACTUAL skills and mindset that you can practice even as an employee.

The end goal, the achievement of a mobile lifestyle is the same. 

Yet, not everyone has to follow the same steps to get there. 

Only (and if ONLY) you’re ready to take the next step with an online business, read our full explainer article on an automatic income right here > 

About the author 

Reeve Yew

Reeve is the CEO and a Member of Forbes Business Council.

He has spoken on stages, both online and offline, alongside world class entrepreneurs and marketers like Gary Vaynerchuk, Brian Tracy, Kevin “Shark Tank” Harrington and Mark “Godfather of Internet Marketing” Joyner.

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