Four Hour Work Week? Try 100. post image

One of Sebastian’s recent posts put me in a nostalgic mood.

The quote that stood out for me is the caption to the photo, I’m just gonna steal it from his blog :)

You’re going to have to work while others are sleeping.

Some of you know I read the Four Hour Work Week and basically started my business the very next day. I still believe the book is pure genius. Before I read the book, I had the skills to start my own business, but I didn’t give myself permission to do so.

I encourage people to do an exercise that Ferriss advocates in the book: sit down and write out in precise detail exactly what you want in life. Do not write down what is realistic. Don’t qualify things. Just allow yourself 15 minutes to be a pure dreamer. There is plenty of time for reality later.

Once I was clear about what I wanted, I immediately strarted working almost non-stop to achieve my goals.

In other words, I read the Four Hour Work Week and immediately started working 100.

Here are some things I did:

  • I stopped going out with my friends.
  • I stopped partying on the weekends.
  • I hustled during my lunch break.
  • During my 2 hour commute, I listened to countless podcasts and audio books on SEO, SEM, Marketing, Business, Blogs, YOU NAME IT.
  • I took a very short jog upon returning home from work to jump start my system (but not long enough to tire myself out).
  • I worked on my business most nights after work, and every weekend day.
  • I started paying for a laundry service.
  • I stopped eating sugars and simple carbs to boost my energy.
  • I went to bed at 12:30AM and woke up at 6:13AM. <– the second number is seared in to my brain.
  • I stopped soliciting advice and seeking approval from people who were committed to the “old” version of myself. There were very few people who shared my vision and could support it in any constructive way. Very few people will give you the permission to be somebody new. In my experience,  almost nobody.
  • I pushed our first container of goods out to our market even though we weren’t 100% ready.

There are a million factors that stand between you and what you want. How much loot you have, where you were born, how good you are at Photoshop, how smart you are, what kind of family you grew up in.

The good news is that there is only one that you can do anything about:

Work.

Let people bicker about how much work is really required.

Let them gossip about how much work so and so *really* does versus what they say they do.

Let people sit around and run the odds. “If I do x work, what are my chances…” “Is it really possible to work 4 hours a week?” (BTW, of course its possible!)

Let them scoff. Let them “discuss.”

You’ll be busy.

If you aren’t where you want to be, for whatever reason, you are in the fantastic position of only having one question to answer.

How hard are you willing to work to get there?

Let me take a stab at the answer:

Very, very hard. :)

Hi from San Diego!

 

Dan

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  • http://almostbohemian.com/ David William

    yes! I agree! it is possible. thanks for helping folks see that. and for pushing me along too.

  • http://www.EatUrVeggies.com Elisa Eshelman Rodriguez

    Dan, I appreciate this post and hearing where you’ve come from. Its inspiring to see you doing so well! While I’ve never been a natural at much of anything, I do have this innate drive to work hard. In fact, I often say that the weekend is my time to catch up and get ahead ;-)

  • http://twitter.com/AlanPerlman Alan Perlman

    Right on Dan. Curiously, why 6:13a? Sleep has always been one of my biggest weaknesses. Was it a tough transition for you, to wake up early? Or is that something you’ve always done?

  • http://sebastianmarshall.com Sebastian Marshall

    Great post man, really good post. You know, I feel so much more alive when I’m engaged in those crazy 100 hour weeks. I’m in a busy cycle right now and I love it. Some really good advice on this one.

    Re:

    > I stopped soliciting advice and seeking approval from people who were committed to the “old” version of myself. There were very few people who shared my vision and could support it in any constructive way. Very few people will give you the permission to be somebody new. In my experience, almost nobody.

    Did you ever podcast about this? Very true. Seems to me that the only thing people respect are results… they’ll doubt, doubt, doubt… naysay… almost never encourage… later on, when you break through, then maybe you convert some people.

    Maybe not even then! People are funny. But yeah, you ever do a blog or podcast on that one? It’s a tricky thing that shocks a lot of people starting out, would love to hear more of your thoughts on it.

  • Darby

    Thanks for the kick in the ass! That is all!

  • Eugene

    Hi Dan – I’m as big of a fan as I can be after finding out about your work on Monday. I’m already through half of the podcasts and am starting to get myself moving in a similar direction. This post leads me to a seemingly obvious question – how many hours do you work NOW? And more importantly, how many hours can you easily cut if you felt like it NOW?

    Thanks for a great post,

    Eugene

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    Thanks a lot Eugene, I appreciate you listening to the podcast, that’s my favorite thing to do. It’s tough to answer your first question now that my business is starting to morph in to an extension of my life, a lot of the things I do for fun end up making their way in to my business (this blog is an example). To answer your second question– easily zero. The folks who run my business (not me) are very smart and don’t need my help.

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    Thanks for the thanks :)

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    I think I read / commented about this somewhere else on your blog as well, there is this grey conceptual space that you go through in the way you relate to others. I have so many thoughts on this that I haven’t yet talked about on the podcast or written about. I agree that results change the conversation, and honestly I’m really only starting to see the types of results that people outside of my blogging niche might find interesting. More to come on this for sure, thanks for what you do sir!

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    Alan, well I didn’t wake up early to work on my own projects, I wanted to be in my office by 7:45 and beat AM traffic, so that was just the time I woke up. I think 6:13 evolved because I considered it the last minute I could wake up and still get to my desk at the time I wanted to, so no snooze action.

    I sleep a lot more now and I don’t use an alarm. I’m not a particularly skimpy sleeper, I think at the time I was just super intense and I felt like I didn’t have enough time for anything so I had to get it from somewhere.

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    I actually remember that about you. I think about the weekends in a similar way, because “the world” isn’t working on the weekends I always consider work I do then “extra credit” or catch up.

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    Word :)

  • http://www.EatUrVeggies.com Elisa Eshelman Rodriguez

    Exactly, I knew you’d understand about the “extra credit.”
    And I like how easily you recall that nothing came natural to me! HA ;-)
    I joke about it because it’s a blessing and a curse. A curse, because everything takes so much longer, but a blessing because I know how to get a job done.

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    haha, I remembered your work ethic!

  • http://damianthompson.com Damian Thompson

    A month is 15 weekends, so there is almost 3 1/2 “extra” months a year!

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    I like the way your brain works Damian.

  • http://www.virtualbusinesslifestyle.com/ Chris C. Ducker

    Hey Dan

    Quote: I pushed our first container of goods out to our market even though we weren’t 100% ready.

    That’s it. That’s what its all about. You can ‘wait’, or procrastinate until you’re blue in the face (and someone else moves in on your turf – either online or off), but it aint gonna make you any money!!!

    I almost wanted this post to be longer, bud. Seriously.

    Great stuff, however.

    C

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    Thanks a ton for that Chris, I really appreciate that you read the blog :)

  • http://www.manvsclock.com Anthony

    Lovely post! I can relate to the beginning part because I am in the process of that now. I’m working my ass of and sometimes questioning my sanity. Me being in on a Friday night was once unheard of but it’s now commonplace, I’m having a half hour read of blogs as a “treat” haha.

    Cheers for writing this, it’s really inspiring for people who are in the foundation period of whatever they are working on.

  • http://www.manvsclock.com Anthony

    off*

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    Thanks Anthony :) I’ll take questioning your sanity as a good sign. Agreed RE: Friday night. John Mayer has this clip on youtube where he says “stay in on Friday nights and do your work…. the parties get better…” couldn’t agree more.

  • http://joelrunyon.com/two3 Joel Runyon | [BIT]

    So I can’t just work 4 hours and make millions of dollars? Shoot.

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    Sure :) Start with 10mil.

  • http://joelrunyon.com/two3 Joel Runyon | [BIT]

    GENIUS. You should have a marketing kit :)

  • http://www.badassyoungmen.com Brad Alexander

    There are a few nuggets of brilliance in here. For me the part about nobody sharing your vision. I struggle with that all the time. The million factors that stand in your way. And the fact that if you want something, really want it, you will make it happen even if it means working all night.

    That’s what annoys me about a lot of people. They don’t have the passion to be able to do that. Doesn’t matter what it’s for, they just don’t have anything in life that will inspire them that much to make such a sacrifice. And it’s sad.

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    Thanks Brad :) Nobody supported my new vision with the exception of 2 friends I can think of who were half a world away, I’d say seeking permission is really dangerous when you are making a big change, and in some ways its even a bit selfish to expect that people in your immediate circle could understand such a huge jump off. I’ve stopped seeking that kind of approval, in general… its still tough.

  • Eugene

    Thanks for the reply – that’s kind of what I thought (and hoped for). I’m actually in the first 50 DNA program, so I think I’ll be hearing from you very very shortly.

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    Cool! Talk Monday then.

  • http://www.virtualbusinesslifestyle.com/ Chris C. Ducker

    Of course I read it.

    Every post pretty much.

  • http://twitter.com/lornali Lorna Li Social SEO

    Wow, the 100 hr work week sounds like my life, but unfortunately anything less than 8 hours of sleep makes me kinda strung out.

    The hilarious thing about the 4HWW is that Tim Ferriss purportedly works 24/7 – see this hilarious video Hitler Finds Out About AngelGate http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlZOfHCpFFs

    I think 4HWW is a myth, or more realistically, work your ass off for 3 years to reach the 4HWW.

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    This totally cracked me up. I got way too many of the references, and by way too many, I mean I got all of the references.

    True on 4HWW. I can 100% honestly work zero now, and so can many people. It’s about owning valuable assets, bottom line.

  • Rob

    Yeah i really loved this post. You gotta work round the clock and keep your focus really tight. I’ve got this callus at the bottom of my right hand, near where the arm and hand meet, from moving my mouse round all day. I think it’s a good thing… Kind of like my stripes!

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    haha, yeah that’s probably the kind of thing I’d be in to as well :)

  • http://adsenseflippers.com Justin

    Love this post…it candidly shares the “outrageous” things you did to make it happen.  You didn’t care…you just made it happen, that’s awesome.

    It’s true everyone will think you’re crazy and it’s not the easiest thing to do.  I love how you discuss letting everyone else debate how many hours are needed, whether they should do this or that.  Best suggestion…just do SOMETHING…and do lots of it!

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    thanks man!!! agreed… keep hustlin’! :D

  • KevinGomes

    Amazing. I’m reading the 4HWW now and it has actually kicked my butt. I’ve never heard so much truth about life from anywhere else.  I was employed on contract for a year after college and it was probably the worst year of my life. 9-5 FOR SOMEONE ELSE is not the way to live for me. Ever since my contract ended I’ve been getting into Niche sites (thanks Justin, whose twitter link sent me here). I thought that I had to read every single article I could find to get work done when I was just making up busy work. I still read everything I can get my hands on, but thanks to 4HWW, I’ve kicked it in overdrive.   Now I’m actually dreading an appointment I made with a friend, I’d rather work on my own projects.

  • Guest

    This is a great post. I will read the 4HWW immediately. The self-given invitation is a great mentality to have.

  • http://www.myonlineincomejourney.com/ Dionne

    Wow, you really started grinding and I see why your blog is so successful today, congrats man

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com/ Dan

    thanks !

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