Is “The 4-Hour Workweek” Bulls**t?

Watch this video and let me know your thoughts in the comment section below…

(Here’s where you can get copy of “The 4-Hour Workweek” if you’ve never read it.)

Like I said in the video, there are two sides to this viewpoint.  Some people think it’s possible to earn a full-time income with only a few hours work.  Others, frankly think it’s bullshit.

I’m really curious to see what YOU think.  Please let me know your thoughts below…

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26 thoughts on “Is “The 4-Hour Workweek” Bulls**t?”

  1. Hi Steve,

    I think that with leveraging your time by automating things, and outsourcing you can cut the amount of hours that you work dramatically, but even if you do that you still have to manage the processes you’ve set in place.

    Like you said in your video, you also need to grow your business. If you aren’t growing your shrinking. There is no middle ground. Everything requires maintenance, otherwise it deteriorates.

    I can see spending 15-20hrs a week, but 4hrs… can’t see it.

    Maybe it’s just too far ahead for me to see. I also haven’t read the book yet 🙂 “contempt prior to investigation”.


    • Neil,

      Thanks for your comments.

      ….And you are right. In the businesses that I really LIVE off of I am working close to a ‘4 hour work week’ model. I spend more than that, but less than 20 hours a week on them. The problem like you pointed out is that while spending minimal amount of time tending to passive incomes is possible. That just tends to them. And as you aptly pointed out, if you aren’t growing you are dieing

  2. I think you can have a four hour work week after you have had 200 80 hour ones first. Like anything, solid foundations are required to create longevity in any business, online or off but I definitely think it’s possible.

    Love the title btw 🙂

  3. I think Alex has the right idea, where you have to spend thousands of hours in building the foundation before you get to the “4-hour workweek” stage. One also has to keep in mind how Tim Ferriss defines “work”. Work, for him, is basically the stuff that you literally don’t like doing, but have to in order to maintain your business. His primary example is always checking and responding to e-mail.

    4-hour workweek also assumes that you actually like the business you’re into, so you don’t consider it work. So, when he writes new updates to his book, or sells his website by adding a new post to his blog, he doesn’t consider it “work”. Therefore, you can consistently grow your business over time without doing too much “work”, since you like what you’re doing anyway. Tim, for example, is an Angel Investor, and genuinely enjoys exploring new entrepreneurial ventures.

    • Yeah I was being a little bit of devils advocate. I do believe that something like that is possible, since I have pretty much the same system going myself. I spend a lot more time than that…but all on this site, which is “growing” My passive businesses actually need very little tending and have been pretty good about maintaining their momentum. Like Alex said though, I had a ton of 80 hours weeks getting them there though…

      Good point about stuff you enjoy not being “work” too

  4. Hi Steve,

    I think most people by into a literal 4 hour work week, without realizing several things. The first being one is going to have to work long and hard before they get to this supposed easy street. A second being, as pointed out above, it will take more than 4 hours a week to grow your business. Finally, people are trying to find get rich quick instead of looking at the reality of building a business online.

    I personally think a 4 hour work week is bullshit because it is misleading. Most people (in my very unhumble opinion) are too simple to get the finer points of how to get there or the alternative definition of work used in the book. The few that DO get it will be the ones to achieve success. The rest will either slog away forever or quit. Survival of the fittest in online marketing?

    • Yeah, it is likely possible in some form. (if you are willing to not grow your business) but it does take a lot to get there and I think perhaps the people who are able to work hard enough to get there and work their way through the hard parts are not likely to be the types to be content to sit around and just do nothing though.

      It is a captivating idea and the book is great.

  5. I agree with Gurl. And those that get the alternate definition of work provided in this book already understand the concept.

    I’ve read “The 4 Hour Workweek” and enjoyed it. It did open my eyes to things I hadn’t thought of before, but I am nowhere near ready to implement most of them. Instead, I’m still in the foundation building stage.

    Great post!

    • It certainly doesn’t happen overnight, whether it is “really” achievable. I think one of the big problems are that people take the basic concept and believe it is a path to riches without effort, when in reality there is a lot of work that needs to happen first.

      An to be honest probably some luck.

  6. The 4 Hour Workweek is NOT BS.

    If you observe how much energy & time people put into their work compared to the outcome, you have to admit there’s more to it. Right? The whole inspiration/perspiration thing is totally different for each individual.

    We can’t overlook the importance of imagination, inspiration & playfulness. While some projects may be massively challenging, they practically complete themselves when we get carried away by our vision. We lose track of time entirely. It’s wonderful!

    A mentor wrote a book 35 yrs ago & still lives extremely well off the royalties. She need not work at all, yet she works herself more than she would allow anyone else to expect.. bc she LOVES what she does. When your work is your play.. what workweek?

    Some folks have belief systems that require they “work hard” or else they feel unworthy because they grew up watching others push through 40, 60, 80 hr workweeks & wearing the consequences like some hard-won badge of honor. Many people were raised with the concept that if you aren’t struggling then you should be ashamed and your efforts aren’t good enough. Working less than the usual 8 to 5 may cause them guilt unless they actively change their mind.

    I get paid to play. I have gifts, education & am personally motivated. It also helps that I live simply. So usually I have a 20 hr workweek. Sometimes more when I get excited about a project.

    Having said all that.. I have some specific dreams of less work/more play!

    • Lynn,

      You can work 80 hours a week and if you love it it really is not work. That is what is great about working at something that you are passionate about.

      I do think you are right about peoples conceptions playing a big part of of their views on what “proper” work is and should be.

      I was “sort of” playing devils advocate with my question because I do pretty much follow the 4 hours workweek myself. Most of the money I earn comes in the form of a passive income I actually do little to tend to. Most of my work (which I enjoy so I would debate whether it is really work) comes from trying to grow my business, namely this website.

      I am sure you will get to your dream of less work/more play. Simply by seeing the passion with which you responded. 🙂

  7. For most people, it takes way more than 4 hours a week to learn their foundation, to research, to know what they’re doing. I think eventually you can dwindle down to a few hours a week.

    Not to mention, 4 hours a week is just an attention grabber.. 😉

    • Yeah ultimately you can get it down to 4 hours. If you put in the time to bust your ass and build a foundation.

      Really with the 4 hour workweek the idea is that you spend 4 hours doing the stuff you dislike and the rest are really just your passion. Looking at it htat way it is much more doable

  8. VERY Interesting post. I don’t believe in the 4 hour workweek. I love what I do – so I can’t imagine only spending 4 hours a week doing it. Perhaps that’s the difference, I don’t see what I do as work.

    Now, my passion takes a ton of time – 70-80 hours a week. Outsiders see me working my face off. People who know me realize I’m having the time of my life.

    Here’s a caveat…I want to be the best in my niche. I hope to god that my competitor believes in 4 hour work weeks. That’s just taking candy from a baby.

    • Stan,

      I think you got it my friend. If you are busting your hump, but it is all in doing something you love, is it really work?

      I think any little problem I have with the “4 hour work week” is more from some peoples notions of it as a “get rich quick” method than anything else.

      Seeing these responses makes me think that most people do “get it” though

      Thanks for sharing Stan hope to see you again

  9. Hi Steve,

    While I think it’s very possible to set a 4-hour workweek, an important question to ask ourselves is this: do we want that?

    If we want to make a living out of writing, or doing consultancy work, or having a coaching program, and we find the work to be enriching and enjoyable, do we want to cut down on the number of hours we spend working?

    Having flexibility is important, and generating a passive income is a wise approach, but we shouldn’t approach work as something to dread and avoid at all costs.

    It really depends on the work we want to do, and the life we want to lead.

  10. Haider,

    When you really love your work, you wouldn’t want to NOT do it becuase it wouldn’t be work, it would just be your passion.

    That should be peoples goal, to be able to “work” at what they love, after all the man who loves his job never works a day in his life.

    Thanks for stopping by and the great comments Haider. Hope to see see you again soon.


  11. Great discussion topic. I think ultimately it depends on your niche, the level of investment you made and how you want to develop your business.

    For example some niches may go on for ever, but say you were operating a tech field (say iPad Apps). it’s unlikely you’re going to be able to sell the same app for 10 years, unless you invest in business development and produce new apps all the time.

    Certainly to work 4 hours you’ve got to leverage the efforts of others and use outsourcers.

  12. Matthew,

    I think I personally come down pretty solidly on the “you can” side.

    But I had not actually thought about tech. Yeah there is no way that you could have any sort of long term passive income from tech. It may be great for “today” but it really isn’t evergreen and tech moves pretty fast.

    Thanks for the great comment Matt

  13. Let me say first that I own a copy of the book and read it for few time already (just have to re-read it many times to fully understand it). The 4-Hour Work Week as a *concept* (emphasis on “concept”) makes sense. Now if you’re telling me that I a 4 hour-work every week is possible, I’d say that does not make sense. Every time you exert an effort towards a job – writing email, lifting the phone, reading reference materials, actual doing the tasks, etc – you’re working. If you are an ordinary office worker, and even if you’re working from home, the 4-hour per week doesn’t work.

    What the 4-Hour Work Week emphasizes, though, is automation and auto-piloting can free you from the minutiae and the unimportant redundancy in your life. The 4-Hour week can still be possible if you totally outsource all your concerns in life.

  14. I do own the book, both printed and audio. Read it once and listened to it several times. It is possible I think, approach a 4 hour week. But in reallity most of us will never see it. I could take my job, employer willing, and probably whittle it down to 10-15 hours a week, with automating some tasks. But because of insecure management, we are required to be present at work 40-45 hours a week, whether we have work to do or not. So there is no real incentive to even try.

    A lot will depend your situation. House payment or living in a tent. Car payment or public transportation. Genius or plugger. If you are single, or empty nester much easier. But if you have a family to support expenses can go out the roof.

    Passive income is the way to go, but as others have mentioned it takes a lot of up front sweat equity, that most people don’t have the health, support, ambition or a big enough dream for.

    If you are young, don’t go into debt for anything! Once you have four kids, a mortgage, 2nd mortgage, 2nd or 3rd jobs etc, it ALMOST impossible to break free from the day job.

    • Tony – I believe you summed up my exact thoughts! The truth is you’ll never get rich “working for the man”. So, a 4-hour work week working for someone else is going to be almost impossible unless you choose a very simple, live out of your backpack type of lifestyle. The idea is very appealing however.

      If you are working at what you truly love would you only want to spend 4 hours a week doing it? My companies are like my children and I want to spend time with them.

      PS. I have the book and do get inspired reading it…

  15. Steve thanks for this video. I myself believe you can work 4 hours a week. Or 5 or 10 to maintain your lifestyle. However before you get to that point you must spend lets say 70 hours a week to build a system that gets you to a ongoing income. At that point you have built an income that will continue, you then can reduce your hours per week to maintain.

    In my own life I spent many a years building up a income from rental home. Now in that i only work about 4 to 5 hours a week and it still gives me an income to live off. It is not at a rapid growth with that small amount of investment of time it just maintains. With the free time I now have I used to do other things that I have wanted to do before, like build my coaching business, write workshops, books and speak at events. And Let me tell you I work alot of hours on this one.
    I guess I would say it can work. but its only maintaining,if you want growth you will have to work more. If you do work you enjoy is it really work???
    Rock on my friend.
    Tim Gillette

    • Tim,
      thanks for your comments. YOu are right to have any sort of residual income worth a damn, work has to be done upfront…THEN you can go about maintaining it with minimal time investment. But the thought that you can have success with no effort will just never happen

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