Cold Remedy: 18 Real-World Lifestyle Design Case Studies (Now It’s Your Turn)

If not in 2010, then when? (Photo: jphilipson)

The video case studies that I asked for in the last post really caught me unprepared.

I…am…so happy that it’s hard to put it into words.

From Denmark to India, from college students to retirees, from yoga instructors to engineers, the stories poured in. Narrowing them down to finalists, even with several people, was excruciating, but below you will find 15 of our favorites. Many more are worth watching (I watched them all) and can be found here, or by searching “4hww success” on YouTube. There are also 150 comments on the last post full of practical how-to implementations.

The below videos represent a real-life crash course in the many paths and practicalities of lifestyle design. I hope you love watching them as much as I did…

Happy New Year, y’all. Decide today that 2010 will be the year when everything changes.

It can be.

Gary Misner (below)

Gary is a 22-year old from Long Island. He left his family’s autobody business to start his own businesses, travel the world, redesign his body, rediscover his love for his family, and enjoy the best the planet has to offer, including philanthropy and the little things we so often undervalue. Philosophically, I think he nailed what I was hoping to impart — it’s about living more, not just working less — as did many of the other case studies below.

Chuck Holton (below)

From Chuck:

My attempts at leaving the corporate world met with very limited success until I read the 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. In the last few years, we’ve successfully done the following:

1. Left the corporate world for good.

2. Taken a 1-year mini-retirement (with 5 kids!) to Panama.

3. Paid off our house through the application of geoarbitrage.

4. Diversified our cash flow into more than ten different streams

5. Automated over 50% of our cash flow (passive or semi-passive)

6. Cut my work hours from 70+ per week to however many I feel like (closer to 20/wk)

7. Implemented 4hww strategies into my children’s home schooling, teaching them to structure their own lives to attain freedom.

Two of Chuck’s children–both under 15 years of age–are also earning $300-500 per month with their own companies.

The World’s Best Fruit (below)

This video doesn’t include a name, as the narrator wants to quit her job in person 🙂

She and her husband put in 4-6 hours per week and earned an extra $2,200 in their first month of testing. Our anonymous lifestyle designer, whom we’ll call “The World’s Best Fruit” for obvious reasons, shares the following:

I did it Tim! Until 14 months ago, I was destined to retire in 30+ years. Twenty days from now I’m giving notice of my intention to leave in May. Thank you!!

I want to be an example of possibility for others that are just getting started. In this video I’ve shared how I applied the following techniques:

-picking a muse

-becoming and expert

-adding a VA (or an intern in this case)

I have also highlighted the first techniques I used to improve my life.


-Speed Reading


-Surrounding myself with like-minded people

These helped me in the early stages when I was stuck trying to figure out a product, but knew I wanted to become part of the New Rich.

Ki’une (below)

[Ed. note (2021): Video no longer available.]

Ki’une’s video needs to seen — and listened to — to have its full impact. Recorded over a year of traveling, it also showcases why his dance muse has been successful. That’s some damn fine locking.

Oh, and in case you miss it, don’t forget the sunscreen.

Jose Castro-Frenzel (below)

Think your business is too bricks-and-mortar for lifestyle design?

Using several principles he describes in this video, Jose transformed his concrete company, Omega Masonry Inc., into a virtual company. He also added more than 40 hours per week of free time and has started a new online product based company. Jose also helped me and others (like Matt Mullenweg and Andrew Rosca) build a preschool in Vietnam, which we visited together in 2009.

SoulTravelers3 (below)

From the mother in the family known as SoulTravelers3 (edited for length):

We are beyond thrilled that we are one of the case studies in the new expanded 4HWW & we are a family traveling the world non-stop, on an open ended world tour since 2006!

Unlike someone who mentioned in the comments that it could not be done once these men were married and had families, I am here to validate that it not only can be done, but might also be the most rewarding way to do marriage and family and probably the best possible education for future 21st century global citizens!

…We have traveled over 175,000 miles (most overland) to 4 continents, 32 countries since we left in 2006…

I think [this video] “talks” to the 70% of families that dream about extended travel, inspires many of every age & gives hope to women who love freedom and travel, but fear they must give that up when they have a child.

YES! Families can and DO live the 4HWW dream too! 😉

On the video, which has been viewed more than a million times:

It took 18 months to make this video and it was hard enough to get the film, let alone decent sound in these crowded, noisy environments. Thus we did a montage cover song as all do in these kinds of videos. She is young and it takes great concentration to play such sophisticated songs under such circumstances, but her nature is one of great joy as you can see in our other videos or website. We are not rich and travel and live on a total of 25,000 dollars a year.

Bolding is mine. Living richly does not require riches.

Dane Low (below)

Dane used Facebook to get incredible press for Room to Read and build a school in Vietnam in the process. His approach is an incredible model for the future of giving back and karmic capitalism.

Alex Climent (below)

[Ed. note (2021): Video no longer available.]

Alex, who read the Spanish version of 4HWW in Valencia, Spain, used Pareto’s and Parkinson’s Laws to shoot an independent, low-budget film in 8 locations in 4 days. The script had been in a drawer for 4 years.

The Ren Men (below)

[Ed. note (2021): Video no longer available.]

The Ren Men have created a 3-day workweek (9am-3pm), built a net wealth of $2-million, take 10+ mini-retirements per year, and much, much more. This video explains the 3 principles they focused on to automate a brick-and-mortar business.

Maneesh Sethi (below)

Maneesh has created a digital lifestyle that has allowed him to live in Italy, Spain, Brazil, and Argentina, among others. His video includes an exact screencast of how he has created automated income based on Google Adwords and outsourced article creation.

From Maneesh:

I currently work exactly 3h59m per week (11am-2:59pm on Monday), and in the video I show EVERYTHING—my entire job, the software I’ve written to automate myself out of existence, and how my VAs literally do everything without me. I’m about 4 weeks away from outsourcing the final 3h59m, as well. My business is an SEO SEM biz, writing articles based on keywords that people are searching for on google. My business is monetized by adsense and ad revenue—i literally go to sleep, wake up, and check how much money I’ve earned. I’m serious–no matter where I am in the world, my work is getting done, and I am getting paid, no matter what the hell I do.

So what do I do with all this time? I travel—for 2 years straight, I’ve been living in a new country every four months, studying the language, and just enjoying life. (I have lived in Italy, Spain, Argentina, Brazil, India—and I speak Italian, Spanish and Portuguese). I do pushups in every city (my life goal is a pushup in every country).

Now, with all of this free time, I’m trying to change the lives of others and give them an opportunity to do the same. I founded an NGO,, and I am building a classroom in Upli Badi village near Udaipur, India—an extremely poor shanty town. I’ve raised over $1500 to buy these children laptops, and I’m going to begin giving them personalized classes starting January 16. I was lucky enough to be introduced to computers at a young age—hopefully, these poor kids will be able to learn to use the computer, break out of their horrible cycle of poverty by working a good technical job, be able to raise money, and bring back this money to their parents and friends in Upli Badi. Until they do, my NGO will be around helping more and more children.

Austin Evarts (below)

Austin created two profitable companies while traveling abroad and having the experiences of a lifetime. This video showcases his muses and how he designed them.

KEG (below)

KEG used Parkinson’s Law and the 80/20 principle as a musician to finish his long-postponed album, and he then used techniques in the book to get on both NBC’s America’s Got Talent (twice) and Cooking Along with Gordon Ramsey.

Long live rock.

Pete Williams (below)

Pete from Australia applied his newfound “free” time back into his business. He first focused on building his business faster instead of mini-retirements, and now he’s embarking on the latter. From Pete:

I’ve really embraced the 4HWW principles in by “business life” with to two full time Philippine Virtual Assistants and a range of part-time specialists across the world taking care of all the day-to-day stuff; so I can spend more time working on the 3 businesses I own (rather than in them) – This process culminated in being named Global Runner up in JCI’s 2009 Create Young Entrepreneur Awards (ceremony in Tunisia) and a mini-retirement to the Halloween Party at the Playboy Mansion.

The first three dreamlines I’ve set in place and booked for 2010 are 1. Join the circus and learn how to trapeze, tight rope walk, handstand etc (Jan-March) 2. Trek the Himalayas to raise money for charity (April) 3. Train for the NYC marathon.

In a show of good humor, Pete also asked one of his virtual assistants to post a video:

Nathan Jurewicz (below)

[Ed. note (2021): This video is no longer available.]

This is a hysterical video. The theme, however, is practical: shifting from presence to performance. From Nathan:

Book changed my life!!

This really is my lifestyle no joke!

I do whatever I want, whenever I want and I am semi famous!!

Thanks Tim!!

– Nathan Jurewicz

Lee Burrell (below)

[Ed. note (2021): This video is no longer available.]

Lee gets into logistics around 1:30, and he gives outstanding examples of low-cost and highly effective product development. He is now on track to have a million-dollar muse within 15 months and is a full-time student. Note the video suggestion to take customer phone calls in the beginning stages to compile a FAQ — this saves hundreds of hours later in e-mail exchanges and customer service. Suggestions from Lee include:

– Figure out what customers want – and give it to them. By first performing seminars and getting detailed student feedback, I was able to determine where other companies product’s were falling short. Keeping their feedback in mind and building a list of FAQs based on the most commonly asked questions/concerns, I developed a product that people want and are willing to pay more than 8-10x mark-up for.

– Outsource. Outsource. Outsource. I outsourced the website creation, content creation, have a VA, professional proofreader, powerpoint expert for building presentations, and customer service “center.” All of was done using the books principles and recommendations. (Elance rocks)

If sales continue to grow as expected, I will have a million dollar muse in 15 months (at the ripe old age of 24) and will be helping people reach their dreams along the way.

Can’t thank you enough Tim.



(Btw I came in 2nd in your “Trail By Fire” contest. The Planet Earth DVD’s you sent were awesome! I’m definitely excited about the possibility to win a plane ticket to see some of those places in person :p)

Alex from Montreal (below – turn up your audio volume)

In this video, Alex shows exactly how he left a sales job at a Fortune 500 company to travel the world and live like a rockstar (literally), meeting with both billionaires and celebrities. Brilliant use of local Chambers of Commerce. The audio is frustratingly low, but it’s worth the watch.

David Walsh (below)

[Ed. note (2021): This video is no longer available.]

David has grown a venture-backed start-up from 2 to 14 people, written a book, created an audiobook, launched a language learning tool, and produced a popular podcast. Most recently, he founded an early-stage venture investment firm like Y-Combinator.

He must be constantly connected, right?

Nope. David got rid of his mobile phone 4 months ago and is loving life without it.

Brad Kirr (below)

Brad filmed and edited this video from Morocco on his Sony k100i phone. Cool.

What do you do when you need to add 800 products to a new site but each product takes a fully day? Outsource your life, of course. Brad explains how and underscores the under-mentioned importance of making your instructions teachable.

Now he’s surfing, snowboarding, and skating the world over. From Brad:

I talk about three principles from the book as it applies to my life including outsourcing your life as it applies to technical aspects of product addition and seo of my web business, dreamlining and the use of “My Fantastical Autobiography” to initiate my dreamline of starting a skateboard company in Dubai, and finally the 80/20 principle as it applies to my current dreamline of becoming a big wave surfer.

You can make my next dreamline happen by sending me to the Mentawis buddy!!!



Happy New Year all!


Get the brand-new Expanded and Updated 4-Hour Workweek, published 12/15, which includes more than 50 new case studies (including families) of luxury lifestyle design, muse creation, and world travel. Make 2010 the year when you make the leap.

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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333 Replies to “Cold Remedy: 18 Real-World Lifestyle Design Case Studies (Now It’s Your Turn)”

  1. It’s a few hours before New Year’s here so I haven’t exactly got the time to watch through the videos, but just reading the summaries/main points has gotten me excited to check ’em out tomorrow morning. 🙂

  2. Thanks Tim, I’m really loving being able to make more money than ever, and I don’t really even know much. It’s crazy how I can live such an awesome lifestyle without working hard or even contributing to society. I know that sounds bad, but I mean it in a good way. I’m a lazy, unproductive person by nature, so this book inspired my business of getting the business … I’ve finally found my purpose in life, instead of just drinking all day.

  3. Great stuff!

    How inspiring to watch!

    One question: Is there any chance to see the answers to the google moderator questions somewhere?


  4. Booooyaaaa!

    Makin money like it ain’t goin outta style.

    I can’t wait to get a copy of the revised book too. Just reading the summaries and main points has gotten me excited.

    My advise: Make 2010 the year when you make the leap.

  5. Thanks Tim, I’m currently rereading 4HWW and these case-studies are helping a lot!

    Finishing up university 2010 is going to be my year 🙂

  6. It’s amazing how one person can inspire so many just by telling his story and offering some tips along the way. Thanks, Tim, for all your imparted knowledge and inspiration to change so many lives! You almost make it TOO easy! 😉

  7. Oh my gosh, these are incredibly inspirational. My brain is exploding with questions, ideas… time to get the new book, and get cranking.

    Now, to vote for just one? Jeez…

  8. Wow, great video’s Tim, I should have made one myself now that I see how well they turned out. Are you going to do this again or is it a one time thing?

  9. I LOVE the motivation that this stuff brings to the table. Should be very interesting to see who win’s but all in all it’s all about the success that can out of hard work and the idea that breaking the habit is the first step.

    Staying disconnected is not easy, and I give David Walsh all the credit in the world for that one.

  10. Thank you for sharing everyone! And thank you Tim for putting everything up.

    All these experiences are truly inspirational. I had quite a hard time choosing a favorite. 🙂

    I’ve often found myself in a place where I knew with confidence what I wanted to do and become, and I was always postponing my plans and procrastinating for reasons (read: excuses) x, y or z. I also believe that it’s something a lot of us experience on a regular basis.

    Between these videos and the Shopify contest, you’re putting up a lot of “Much needed kick in the ass” value for everyone, and that’s just great! Plus I have a feel this might get some very nice bonding going between all of us NRs and NRs wannabes.

    Let’s all make 2010 the best year to date!

    Cheers from France,


  11. wow..reminds me of trips I took this past year to Boston, Canada, Haiti and Japan..places I had never been to before…your blog has been really motivating me more than usual lately..once again, can’t thank you enough Tim

    In the words of Arsenio Hall: “Let’s. Get. Busy!!” [blogs]

  12. Wonderful, inspiring, moving videos.

    These testimonials make your book’s ideas ever more real and close. They add a totally new dimension to your message and philosophy. Thanks to all of them and may the best win.

    I also very much appreciate that you posted this December 31st. What better “New Year’s resolution” than to promise oneself to stop delaying it, stop the excuses, and start doing like you and these amazing people did!

    You did it again Tim.

    I for one thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    You rock!


  13. Interesting videos, but since I can’t find a way to contact you directly, I found a bug in your blog: while reading an individual post in firefox, if you increase the text size the background disappears. This results in grey text on a black background and makes it hard to read. Bizarrely, the main page doesn’t share this problem.

  14. Four Hour Work Week book on $11.00

    Testing your “muse”: $250

    Roundtrip plane ticket to Curitaba: $716+

    Inspiring people around the globe to embrace entrepreneurship as a tool for ideal lifestyle design and world change: PRICELESS.

    Kudos, Tim. You’re doing more for the economy and society than any President, Fortune 500 CEO, politician, lawmaker, lobbyist, and the like. Pat yourself on the back and have a stellar New Year’s.

    PS…It was a tough choice, but Brad Kirr gets my vote (above).

  15. This is AWESOME!

    Cannot wait to make a video like that of my own! I just bought your updated and extended book and I am reading as I write!

    Simply amazing! I know it will change my life!



  16. Fantastic set of case studies!

    Tim Ferriss deserves phenomenal credit for bringing the idea of lifestyle design to the masses.

    We truly do live in amazing times. This is a world of infinite opportunities and overwhelming abundance. If we choose to live on less we can experience more.

  17. This is the post that clinches it for me, the final shot of confidence and motivation I need. It’s time to make it all happen! Thanks so much.It’s going to be an amazing year.

  18. I can’t watch these until this evening — still some major tasks to do for year end tax planning. But I will watch everyone of them and vote. In fact, I think I will make it our family evening activity — five kids and a skeptical husband.

    My kids have already been dreaming. I have a plan based on my current business to automate a 7 or 8 figure income. My daughter wrote a story for her (part-time) public school class talking about all the things we are going to do when I reach that goal.

    FOR FUN: for the next 14 hours and 52 minutes, you can buy You Bars from Tim’s Christmas list for 52% off here:

    This free service sends coupons for usually over half off on cool places to eat out and spa stuff, etc., in many of the major US cities — so for those of us who travel a lot as part of our 4HWW, that’s cool!

  19. There so many good videos, Tim. Makes it difficult to choose just one!

    But I love seeing just how the 4HWW has changed many of lives. I hope I will soon be one of them. 😉

  20. So inspiring! I’m 19 and in school right now, but I’m currently co-running two businesses (one established that’ll earn about 200k this year, and a 2 month old startup that’s on track to clear over 600k in sales this year.)

    From the start I’ve applied a lot of 4HWW techniques so I spend no more than 4 hours per week on both businesses, and I can’t wait to continue to do so. We’re about to get some VAs to do a lot of our research for us, so I’m glad to see how it’s worked out for so many of you!

  21. Hey,

    although (in my opinion) it is quite utopian in a long term (and especially when you start having a real family with kids, they go to school, etc.), it is a great achievement and good to see that people do what they want with their lives, at least for some time ;). No business is sustainable in a long term, and you don’t stay bachelor for life so either you make it and become retirement independent when you are still young or not. Also, I strongly believe that all these guys would do it w/o your book Tim; it’s not to criticize you – you put the proper label on certain things that people who live similar life to yours do in a way they want; this is brilliant and needed; optimism that comes from you book is worth it; and just in case, I lived in a few countries so far, I have a lot of free time and I do what I love together with love of my life, so – no matter how you do it, and whether you needed this little kick from TF book – as long as you live your life in full, that’s great; Happy New Year life designers!

  22. Hey Tim,

    Creating your ideal lifestyle is easier than you think.

    Yes, it requires work.

    Yes, it requires dedication.

    Yes, it requires creating a plan (and sticking to it).

    But, as these case studies (of many, MANY in the world) show, it’s possible. Not just for privileged or gifted people, but for anyone with a desire and work ethic to make it happen.

    No tricks. Just actually doing it. And with time, the ideal lifestyle will come to fruition. For some, it could be faster than others, but living your passion-filled and fulfilling life isn’t a race – it’s something personal.

    The biggest block is simply giving yourself permission to live how you want to. You don’t have to settle, you don’t have to stick to a job you hate “because that’s the way things are.”

    Just knowing the possibilities will get you on the right track. I know it has for me. And I have your book to thank.

    Thanks Tim, for opening up my eyes on how I can live more (like you said, not just work less) and do it on my own terms. I don’t need bucketloads of money or to spend 22 hours a day building a huge business to do the things I want to.

    Looking forward to watching these case studies of fellow unconventional and remarkable people 🙂



  23. These were fantastic! And to choose just one, for me, was really difficult. I went with Maneesh. Great energy!

    “When I first read Tim Ferriss’ book, about 3 days after reading it I bought a ticket to Buenos Aires; why? Well first because I was a little bit drunk…” LOL

    Good stuff and nice to see how he’s helping out less fortunate children with laptops and learning. Giving back is something I want to do more of in 2010.

    I’m now all fired up and off to pick up the new-revised 4HWW…

  24. Thank you Tim, for the book and the motivation you give constantly.

    My small case study: I picked up the book this June 2009 after my wife took a student loan and we both went to England. While I haven’t created a muse yet, the book has motivated me into working from home, doing more with less time, plan a muse, and generally be on the lookout for new ideas, by watching things differently.

    What lies ahead? I plan to finally launch a muse this new year 2010. I have to admit that I have my fear and doubts: things will get in the way, maybe it will be a success or not, etc. But three things are for sure: 1) if I fail the first time, I’m going to try again and again; 2) even if I fail through the whole year, at the end of 2010 I can look back and be proud that I just didn’t sit idle, with hands crossed; and 3) in the end, the experience and principles stay: I still will be applying the stuff that I’ve applied so far. Once you start walking this path, it’s hard to take steps back.

    So again, thank you Tim.

    P.S. I liked the photo of this post for its meaning: “Take the leap”.

    Also, I want to congratulate Chuck Holton. Many of the case studies (including you, Tim) are single people and that surely makes stuff easier for them. But applying the principles in the book when you have a wife and *five* kids, that’s another game.

  25. Tim, I love what you have created and allowed for people to accomplish with your book. I’m 22 right now and a college senior. I’ve been building a business for the past 2 and a half years and have been applying outsourcing techniques to help build my business while I was in classes. I’m hoping that upon graduation I will be able to further pursue my passions and enjoy life the way that it is meant to be lived! No more “working for the man” and being a slave to the system for me. I’m waiting for my copy of the new updated version to arrive and I know it will only benefit me.

    Thanks for allowing us to take a part in your life and I can’t wait to share a video about how you’ve helped me to live my dream life(coming soon)

    Thanks again! You rock man.


  26. Can’t wait to see the results! Awesome idea Tim! Thanks for making this contest I think I am going to do the exact same thing for my subscribers!

    – Nathan Jurewicz

  27. Good job on the video Nathan, your like one cool and crazy guy, now send the book to me free since I just pluged you, you crazy guy ,> Mark Duncan best regards , you wild and crazy guy ( signed the dead broke unemployed redneck that hates the industrial construction confined super sucking job that I hate,looking for a better way to make it guy, ( Mark D) the voice crying in the wilderness! HELP!

  28. Great inspirational stuff for the new year! Thanks to you all for putting the possibilities out there! Creative choice has it’s limitations when you’re in that conditioned/mired-in-the-day-to-day-bs state. I have 1 mini-retirement down, many more in the making!

  29. Thanks so much for this contest and for posting these wide-ranging videos. I’ve been using your ideas for the last year and a half and they’ve helped me to move forward, but it’s been far slower than it should have been… Re-reading your ideas by getting the new edition has kicked me up to a whole new level. (I’m in the midst of getting the new Shopify set-up going at full speed!) I’ve also been able to share your first edition with some friends who were curious about what I’d been reading and working on. This made me realize how amazing it is to have a community of people who are trying to do roughly the same thing–it’s invigorating! And these videos are a great extension of community. They are helping me to keep my mind open, and I hope it will do the same for my friends, as they’ve already been hitting mental blocks, doubting that this is even possible. Thanks for the kick in the ass.

  30. I think Nathan Jurewicz is the coolest. He does some of the

    wildest things. Nathan is definitely my choice for the best.

    Connie B.

  31. Wow, after getting a torrent of new book orders in the past 3 hours, I started digging to find out why. Seeing my face among the 15 here explains it all.. Tim, thanks brother and happy 2010.

    There’s some killer videos/entries on here.. definitely take the time to check them all out. Pete tasking his VA to produce an entry for him – brilliant.

    @Steve, getting disconnected is a huge adaptation but totally worthwhile. More face-to-face human interaction, less noise and disruption. Give it a go!

  32. Congratulations – these videos are awesome! Can’t help noticing they are a little male-dominated…!

    The Ren-men are energetic and fun – thought they were great – real ‘go hard or go home’ types – love it! They have my vote…!

    1. Hi Lynda,

      Thanks so much for both the comment and the video submission! Others should check it out here:

      I agree that it’s male-dominated. There were only a few female submissions, even though I know of many women out there applying the principles (also in the last post). I wonder why that is? Any hypotheses? Do you think it’s because more men are eager to share, more men are testing muses, or other? I honestly don’t know.

      Plenty of women send me and my assistant email case studies, but it seems they’re less likely to share publicly. I wish that weren’t the case 🙂

      Warm regards,


  33. Great, just great. Now I’m totally screwed!

    Reading the new edition, watching these videos. I just don’t know what to do with myself.

    No, that’s not true, I know *exactly* what to do with myself.

    The motivation to actually follow through on the dreams I’ve had for years is what 2010 is all about.

    Thank you, Tim, for helping show the way to do this.

    Next year I’m moving back to Japan, starting 2 new businesses and then using all the free time I’m quickly discovering I have to travel.

    Is it easy? I think that all depends on what you consider to be easy. Is sticking to the same job for another 30 years easy? I don’t think it’s nearly as easy as working a bit harder for a few months to never have to work so hard ever again.

  34. Thanks Tim!

    Watching all of these videos was quite an inspiration. I too am following your advice and slowly cutting the bonds of traditional employment.

    I think that biggest thing that I learned from all of these videos is that I am not thinking big enough. I seem to be limiting myself, I keep thinking that I need to have small successes before I can have a big one.

    I need to leap frog this way of thinking, any suggestions?

  35. oops! Thanks for the comment Tim – and the link – yikes! NZ’ers are a typically self-effacing bunch so when the contest was over I took my video down – as it required a bit of ‘discomfort’ to put it up in the first place – and breathed a sign of relief! However, now that you have linked I better put it back up! Here tis:

    I think the lack of girls thing is just a case of ‘like attracting like’ – meaning that you Tim, are likely to attract males of a similar age and stage as an audience ‘cos they can relate to you. Nothing more complicated than that I wouldn’t think…

    This has been lots of fun – thanks for the inspiration…Lynda.

  36. I just watched all the video’s twice and they are outstanding and inspirational, and a great way to end 2009

    2010 is going to be my year, I have read both editions of your book and implemented many of the tips, i.e. I have been in Canada, the USA, Panama and Colombia all this month (well, ok, my wife is from Colombia and I am from Canada, but still, not a bad start!), and I have negotiated Friday’s as work from home days. But now its time to kick it up to the next level.

    Thanks for all the great ideas and inspiration! Happy New Year.

  37. Tim – This is a terrific way to start 2010… so inspirational.

    Something else about about Pete that he didn’t mention in his video.

    He gives up 30 days every August to to put on the ‘Thirty Day Challenge’ and share everything they know about marketing online – and they do it all for free. I think it’s a great additional resource for the 4HWW, and takes a lot of their time (and money) to make happen.

    I know your book is more about creating a muse so you can spend 90% of your time on vacation; and that’s not the route Pete has taken, as he is one of the hardest working people I know of – BUT this guy is a real inspiration. I don’t know of many other people who just seem to ‘do everything’, but I guess it’s your principles that allow him to fit so much into his week.

    Thanks again Tim.

    Best of luck in 2010 – i’m working hard to implement everything… there is just so much to do.

    1. Hi Charlie,

      Thanks for the additional info on Pete. I hope to meet him sometime in 2010. Seems like a great guy all around. I would, however, correct your statement. You wrote that my book is most about “creating a muse so you can spend 90% of your time on vacation”.

      This isn’t the case. The stated objective of the muse chapters is to create a muse so you can spend time on what’s exciting and important to you. It’s highly personal. For some, it’s traveling; for some, it’s family; for some, it’s putting new businesses into hyperspeed or going for the big exit. All fair play.

      Happy new year 🙂


  38. Oh yeah.. Pete and the gang have also raised over $27,000 USD for KIVA via the Thirty Day Challenge in the past 3 years.

  39. Thanks Tim! Absolutely great timing on the videos as I’m preparing to launch one of my muses. It’s New Years morning where I’m at and I’m super pumped.

    My vote goes out to Maneesh. Your video cracked me up and it looks like you have more like a 1 minute work week! I definitely have to get in touch with you.

    The best thing I’ve got from these case studies is how fast everyone has implemented the 4HWW principles into their lives and made it work. I picked up the book in 2008 around the time I was making some personal changes to the way I did things but for the most part procrastinated a lot throughout 2009. Re-reading the new expanded version, I’m going for gold in 2010.

    Happy New Year everyone! If you haven’t gone the 4HWW way yet, let’s make it happen.

  40. I read 4HWW when it first came out and although I thought it was an interesting read, I didn’t get it. I thought Tim came across as a bit of a jerk and I thought the whole thing was unrealistic–“What right does this guy have to not work, and get people in third world countries to do all his dirty work?” I pretty much forgot about it–except for the blog, which I find entertaining and returned to once in a while.

    But lately I’ve been thinking about starting a business, so I re-read the book, because I remembered he had some good tips on that. OMG–it is finally sinking in! This is not just a fad or something that worked for a quirky guy like Tim–this is a revolution in world commerce. Granted, Tim didn’t start the revolution. Outsourcing and the internet have been happening for a while. What I see that Tim adds to this is the ability to step back and propose answers to the questions: What is work? Why do we do it? How do we REALLY want to live our lives? And–he gives us a step-by-step handbook for creating a 21st-century business! Never before in history have we had such easy access to information, expertise, and tools to make entrepreneurship a reality–but beyond that, to redefine entrpreneurship and what it means to be rich.

    It’s all still gelling–so many muse ideas. These videos are just great. Thanks Tim, and thanks to everyone who shared their story.

  41. First, I vote for Nathan-he’s become such a master of wild and zanny videos.

    As for ordering the book… Amazon will not allow me to order the new edition, only the older one. Very frustrating!!!

    So if you know of a way to order the Dec, 2009 edition please let me know and I’ll buy it tout suite!


  42. I am kind of sad because the audio on this site is not working and when I click on the you tube video posted by Tim it says the video was removed by the user but I am able to hear the audio when I go to you tube and type in case studies for 4hww I love the book it is very inspiring and life changing

    Blessings and Light


  43. I am on the way to fulfilling my life’s dream of becoming a successful musician. I would like to thank Tim Ferriss and his insight for inspiring me. Life is about to become 1,000 times more easy and fun.

  44. Tim, et. al!

    Have a truly wonderful, and blessed 2010 and beyond! Our lives are what we make of it, and our families and friends help fuel our success and happiness! Special thanks to each of you who have shared your insights to a life FULL of life…

    To you and yours at the start of the new decade!



  45. Tim,

    I’m in Iraq (Army Officer) and have a very limited download capability but I am burning thru it fast watching these great videos! I voted for the Ren Men show contribution but was very much torn as I really appreciated seeing M Sethi’s entire system! (I would have liked to have gotten an idea of how much his system nets him each month)

    I think its time to expand the 4HWW from print and audio to a full video presentation. Use the 4HWW to build a framework to present these and other user provided videos. Hmmm maybe I just found MY muse?

  46. Chuck Holton’s concepts are simply and practically awesome. I visited his home in Panama and an the US. He is walking the talk.

  47. Wow this has to be one of your best informational posts. I’m gonna watch all the videos. Great post Tim.

  48. First of all, thanks for these examples – they’re fantastic! I especially love Alex Climent’s video about the short movie – I’m a screenwriter myself and hoping to produce a short in 2010 so that was really inspirational.

    Regarding why more women haven’t put themselves forward as examples, I’m a female screenwriter and as such, very much in the minority. Screenwriting and playwriting are totally male dominated, and I think it’s because they require a lot of self-promotion, something a lot of women clearly find hard.

    Time to lose the modesty ladies – we only get one shot and it’s the things we don’t do that we tend to regret….

  49. Tim,

    You have inspired me beyond measure. These videos only cement that inspiration. I hope you do something like this annually because it is simply awesome.

    I’ve read both books and have either given copies or recommended them to hundreds of people. Thank you for the eye-opening philosophies as I am hell-bent on executing them to live a richer life, and to show my kids how they can live up to their own true potential (not society’s version of their potential).

    Have an amazing 2010, and thank you.


    ps – i voted for the renmen, Nathan and Lee were a close 2nd & 3rd

  50. I vote for Chuck- part of understanding something is teaching it to your kids. He seems to get that. Very cool.

  51. Anyone who can find a VA who can hook him up with playboy party tickets gets my vote 😉

    Where can I find a VA who can hook me up with that kind of swag.

    Tim, where was that in the book?

  52. Hello. I was wondering if it is appropriate and legal for an individual who is competing in your video contest to be soliciting votes from the members of a message board he owns?

    He is not even asking the members to view all the videos and vote for the best one but is arbitrarily asking the members to vote for his video……without viewing any of the others.

    Personally, I think it unfair to the other entrants.

  53. I vote for Chuck and his family! Nothing better than learning solid principles and teaching them to your children.

  54. I’m surprised nobody has congratulated Tim on coming up with a contest like this. It’s brilliant.

    Book trailer videos usually cost between $2,000 and $4,000, and that is just for the product – it doesn’t guarantee anyone will watch the thing.

    So for more or less the same amount of money, Tim’s found a way to get dozens of promo videos and have them seen by tens of thousands of people – all of which are getting personal recommendations from a friend.

    Sheer genius. I can’t wait to try this with my next book launch.

    Kudos, Mr. Ferriss!

  55. TO: Tim or any other business gurus out there.

    4HWW has taught me a lot about how to automate life and work, but one thing still eludes me and that is: How do you automate lead generation/new client business?

    Any answers to this would help tons!

    Cheers and a Happy New Year!

  56. I watched all of the videos yesterday and voted for Chuck Holton. Many of the entries were excellent and inspiring. Maneesh Sethi was good and hilarious. But it takes a special person with guts to implement the 4HWW principles and redesign your life when you have a wife and kids. So, Chuck gets my vote.

    Please keep the videos coming in future posts.

    Dr. John

  57. This is for Nathan:

    My cousin and I were watching your video (great job!) and we want to know: which came first, the hair or the Snuggie?

  58. I chose the “The World’s Best Fruit” simply because this was probably the rawest of examples. This couple clearly got inspired by this book and started out from scratch and achieved success. All the others are inspiring, but none as inspiring as The World’s Best Fruit–this success story makes you want to read the book again.

    Second and third runner-up were Misner and Holton respectively. It was a tough choice between these 3 but The World’s Best Fruit just seemed to be the rawest of examples….

  59. Tim,

    Chuck is right, you should be proud. After seeing the videos, I told my cousin that you should be on top of the world. You have made a HUGE difference in many lives. I would have sent a video, but I’m not quite there yet. I bought a home care franchise before I read your book. I was not able to adapt it. Home office did not like absentee owners. They actually called my staff to ask how often I was in the office! So I got rid of it, am currently working on a muse and moving to Italy next month to study Italian cooking. Thanks Tim!

  60. Thanks Mary! Actually the snuggie inspired the hair. I also have a Leopard skin Snuggie and I have had a leopard skin haircut thanks!

    As for the comment from “Anonymous”,

    You need to go back and read chapter 2 of Tim’s book “Beating the Game, Not Playing the Game”. Tim won a Chinese Kickboxing championship using Dehydration techniques to get weigh in at 165lbs then bulke back up to 193lbs and then just simply pushed people out of the ring and won by default. He simply read the rules and found a loop hole!

    Exact words from book… “But , isn’t pushing people out of the ring pushing boundaries of ethics? Not at all – it’s not more than doing the uncommon within the rules. The important distinction is that between official rules and self-imposed rules.”

    I think Tim would probably agree the same with this contest. The rules didn’t say you couldn’t do anything to improve your vote score by asking people to vote for you. That’s just the great competition of life and if you don’t use every competitive advantage with the available resources available to you (like for example starting a blog with a ton of traffic use to your advantage), then your probably going to get passed up in life in more ways than one.

    – Nathan Jurewicz

  61. I watched them all and there are so many good ones it was impossible to vote — but I voted for Maneesh because he was sort of the archetypal 4HWW case study! And very fun to boot.

    The other great ones were Gary Misener and “The World’s Best Fruit,” plus a couple more.

    Chuck’s case study was good in many ways, but there was no concrete information on how he generated income, so that was a major shortcoming.

    This was a brilliant idea and all of the video case studies were inspirational!


  62. My vote is for Maneesh — his use of outsourcing is amazing. And I love that he is teaching in India with his spare time.

  63. Tim,

    It’s hard to even begin describing how motivating not only the videos are, but also these comments as well. I have learned so much from the book last year (2008) and the blog this year (2009), that it’s almost unbelievable that I find myself where I am today in my thought-process as opposed to a year ago.

    This group of videos is highly, highly, HIGHLY motivating. I’ve saved this page as the go-to spot when I start seeing myself as “the fat guy in the red BMW” as you’ve put it. What an awesome community!

    Not only the videos but again, all those who have commented as well throughout the year have made a huge impact on my life. Thanks to this blog and the 4HWW book, I now have learned from (whether by book or blog) Ramit Sethi, Seth Godin, Neil Strauss, David Walsh, Cody McKibben, Pam Slim, Cali Ressler & Jody Thompson (the ROWE team), Gary Vee, and a host of others. I have learned more ACTIONABLE things (knowledge that has led directly to an outpouring of physical changes and improvements) this past year than possibly any other time in my life. To this group and to you Tim, I am extremely grateful!

    That being said, a simple “thanks” seems like a cheap way to express my gratitude, but as English is my best language (for now, with 1 or 2 newbies coming in 2010…thanks again to TIm’s methods of language learning), it’s all I can do for now. Maybe the best way I can thank Tim is to duplicate, innovate, and implement the results and methods seen here in these videos and in the new version of the book.

    Thanks to everyone who is a part of this community, and to Tim for helping to show the way!

    Cheers to a brand new decade of lifestyle design!


    P.S. – I am more than excited to get in touch with anyone from these videos or comments to connect with and learn from over the next few months! (@josh_crocker on Twitter) Thanks again…SO much!!! 🙂

  64. Hello, all –

    I discovered Tim on TED tonight and it’s just in the nick of time! I’m wondering if anyone has advice: I have a horrible fear of exams because I failed a 4-5 during grad school before I got my LD diagnosis, since then I’ve done ok.

    Now I have a licensing exam that should be simple in three weeks. I’ve already put if off 3 times and I’m out of time. I can’t seem to make myself study unless someone else is in the room with me, it’s that scary for me! I know from Tim’s video that I’m supposed to do the things I fear, but part of me wonders if I just don’t want to practice after all, if that’s why I’m stalling.

    I’m going to B&N tomorrow to pick up the book (which might be a form of avoiding the anxiety of studying, but whatever), but any advice from you pros at attacking scary things would be very helpful.

    I’m all for the 4 hour work week, let me tell you. My training has been killer. =)