10 More 4-Hour Work Week Case Studies

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On episode #351 of the Tim Ferriss Podcast – a “Real Four Hour Work Week Case Study” –  this blog was given some huge shout-outs thanks to ecommerce entrepreneur Allen Walton. It was a great episode overall, I’d recommend reading his reflections after having been on the show here.

The basic point of those specific mentions: that this blog, our conferences (e.g. DCBKK), and Dynamite Jobs represent natural landing points for fans of 4HWW style principles and who are looking to grow their businesses, create new ones or meet others doing the same.

At the very least, for fans of Tim Ferriss’ work, thinking of the TMBA Podcast as a place where 4HWW style case studies are collected and discussed, and DC live events as places where people living those lives get together, makes a lot of sense.

One thing I reflected on in our Ten Year 4HWW Retrospective is that – thanks to our endless interest in blabbing on about location independent businesses – we’ve probably seen more successful case studies of 4HWW style businesses than just about anyone, save for a handful of people.

Below are 10 case studies you can check out today. Our archives are full of them (including our own adventure, which you can read about in our book / audio book).

It’s worth noting that I’m not 100% clear whether or not all of these entrepreneurs would identify themselves as doing business in the 4HWW style. In fact, our adoption and implementation of some of the book’s principles have led us, as a community, to both expand and critique them (naturally!).

In each case, I’ll list the business model up front, and then add a little about the episode. Please note our interviews aren’t generally laid out as “here’s an action plan for how you can implement this business strategy”, although I think occasionally there’s value in that, and you can see us attempt it many times in our archives. However, I believe it misses an important point about how success works if you’re always pushing stories for clear takeaways on a platter. Businesses, like life, are generally a lot messier than that. A point for another article!

Here’s the list:

  1. Amazon/Brokerage. Kevin Graham parlayed a successful foray in Amazon Associates websites into a significant web hosting business. He’s been on the show three times (perhaps best listened to in reverse order), to discuss how long it took him to earn significant income from his business, and two earlier episodes including how many young people are making generational wealth using the Amazon platform, as well as sharing some insights into the opportunities on the platform (this episode has a bonus case study of a boutique business brokerage).
  2. Ecommerce. – Of course, there is Allen Walton’s original interview with us which serves as a nice complement to the Ferriss interview– we go into Allen’s backstory and original motivations to start his ecommerce business.
  3. Platform for buying and selling businesses. Check out how Justin Cooke and Joe Magnotti’s small blog about building Adsense sites morphed into one of the most powerful platforms on the web for buying and selling websites (including how they run a 60+ person remote team).
  4. Boutique Ecommerce with Unique Products. How Jen Anderson’s journey took her from working in Silicon Valley startups to building her own product brand from scratch.
  5. Marketing services. Listen to how Eagan Heath built a local marketing services business by solving his client’s key problems. Marketing services are an enormous category here at TMBA, you can see a whole series of podcasts about how to start them on our best of page.
  6. Online marketplace. The story of how Greg Berry grew Municibid to a powerful 7 figure platform.
  7. Events. Hear from the founders behind the global series of cycling sportives called “GFNY.
  8. Podcasting/blogging. Most people making a living blogging and podcasting can’t be bothered to create training courses to teach you how to do it. You’ve got to get out there, observe success stories happen as they unfold and learn from them. Check out Jesse Lawler’s approach to building the Smart Drug Smarts brand.
  9. Software as a Service (Saas). A sexy business model, but not the easiest. The incredible story of Splitly’s founding and eventual exit.
  10. Info products and courses. Perhaps the 4HWW dream in a nutshell. Imagine starting an information product business on the side in just a few hours a week. Tommy Griffiths did it, and told his story here.

Of course, there are plenty more in the archives (including last week’s show whose founder was directly inspired by 4HWW), but these are the 10 that jumped out at me and represented a range of possibilities.

Dan

PS, we’re currently seeking podcast advertisers for Q1 of 2019. If you’re interested in partnering with us, reach out at Ian@TropicalMBA.com.

PPS, there are over 40 new jobs at Dynamite Jobs this week.

Published on 01.08.19
  • Anf

    Yep, definitely makes sense for 4HWW fans to engage with the DC and Tropical MBA. Cool case studies.

    Looking forward to digging into them as my wife and I go deeper this year into creating an online business that doesn’t suck up all of our time and energy, especially as we both have key projects/jobs that we both enjoy and that require most of our energy.

    Do you have any case studies of anyone killing it with affiliate marketing (not MLM or selling dodgy products)?

  • Cheers Anf good luck on the journey. Sometimes the affiliate space can be difficult to track down stories of because many of the success stories are offer or product dependent (not brand, so uniquely susceptible to competition). In this list above I’d start here: http://www.tropicalmba.com/makemoneywithamazon/

    Also worth exploring https://www.nichepursuits.com/

  • Dan, thanks for the post + 2 minor things. There is a typo in PS (should be 2019, not 2018). And about Jen from #4: her shop is not available now, no idea if it’s just a temporary glitch or sign of some trouble with the biz. Did you have chance to check current status of all those “case studies heroes”?

  • Jen Anderson

    I pivoted from Mai Tie into a new business: http://www.scrapbookingstore.com. My co-founder for Mai Tie was moving on and it was time for me to as well. Still on this journey but taking all that eCommerce learning & TMBA/Dynamite Circle knowledge into the next thing.

  • Hi Pavel thanks for pointing out that typo! The follow-ups unfold over time as we bring back guests who we enjoyed hearing from, Jen included!

  • cheers Jen congrats on the new project, open invite to come back on the show anytime! Let us know how it goes.

  • Hope you guys are going well Anf. Best wishes with your side ventures. Does Pat Flynn count? I know in the past he’s in a lot from affiliate marketing although his focus in the last couple of years has been launching his own products.

  • surely

  • Harry jack

    Your site is truly cool and this is an extraordinary moving article.
    8th class result

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