How to Bribe People to Start Companies (Plus: Kimono Event Scholarship)

Once upon a time, two entrepreneurs had an idea: what if we used traditional bookbinding to make iPad cases?

It was a fun idea.

Then it suddenly became very, very profitable. The two entrepreneurs, Patrick Buckley and Craig Dalton, named the idea DODOCase and soon had sold more than 10,000 iPad cases at $60 a pop.

Soon thereafter, they were featured in The New York Times and had a multi-million dollar business on their hands, to the tune to $4-5 million a year.

That could be you.

See, DODOcase was far from alone. They were part of a simple experiment, a business-building competition I launched jointly with an incredible start-up called Shopify.

The results were amazing:

Revenue PER HOUR for the duration of the contest: $696.38

Total number of orders placed: 66,503

Most important — Total businesses created: nearly 1,400

1,400 &^%$ing businesses, created by people just like you.

People who’d become comfortable in a routine. People who’d dreamt of starting their own company… someday. People who just needed a quick slap to get off the tranquilizers of their 9-to-5. But did I say “people just like you”? Scratch that — 1,400 businesses, many of them created by people far less capable than you.

The Shopify Build-a-Business competition is back, bigger and better than ever. There are more than $500,000 in prizes, including:

$100,000 Grand Prize

VIP trip for two to New York City, where Seth Godin will cook you dinner

One-hour power session with Gary Vaynerchuk

VIP trip to San Francisco, where you’ll visit the Googleplex and have dinner (and wine, of course) with yours truly at one of my favorite restaurants in the world…

This time, it’s also international!

The contest is open to residents of the U.S.A. (excluding residents of Arizona, Maryland, Vermont, and Puerto Rico), The U.K. (excluding N. Ireland), Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Regardless of location, EVERYONE can participate to take advantage of the educational portion. You don’t need any experience starting or running an online store. Forget the “prizes.” Those are just window dressing. The real prize is creating a profitable business that could be the next DODOcase, the next 4-Hour Workweek, or far beyond both.

GigaOM noted today:

“The competition isn’t simply about the money. Shopify is teaming with marketing guru Seth Godin, wine video blogger and author Gary Vaynerchuk and angel investor Tim Ferriss, along with sponsors Google, MailChimp and PayPal to offer advice and counseling to start-ups. That along with AdWords credits help bring the total payout to $500,000.”

To reiterate the dilemma and solution, as I wrote last time:

“This competition is intended as a benevolent and encouraging kick in the ass. This stuff isn’t rocket science, but it does require stepping outside your comfort zone for a bit to realize: this isn’t that hard. It’s just unfamiliar. If you do it now, a lot of people will be in the same boat and you’ll take the trip together.”

Ready to join the ranks, shed a little blood with your brethren (mere papercuts, guys), and fundamentally change your life forever? If not now, when?

Go here. Get excited. Pull the trigger.



Looking for ideas? Browse some of the case studies in the “Engineering the Muse” posts, or successful examples on Shopify.

Learn lessons from past winners and runners-up

Odds and Ends: ONE Scholarship for $10,000 Event

As promised, I’ve thought a lot about financial aid requests for the $10,000 “Opening the Kimono™” event in August.

I take your feedback seriously, but I also take the attendee selection seriously. I’ll therefore be offering one “scholarship” (covering attendance fee) to a qualified doer. To separate the talkers from the doers, and to reward loyal readers, here’s how a single winner will be chosen:

1) Upload a video to YouTube, no longer than 3 minutes, titled “4HB success story” or “4HWW success story,” followed by your full name.

2) In the video, describe the results you’ve created from implementing something from 4HB and/or 4HWW.

3) Then, leave a comment on this blog post with “SUBMISSION” at the top of your comment and a link to your video.

4) My elves and I will choose 5-10 finalists.

5) Those top 5-10 will be voted on by the blog community to determine the winner.

Your video must be submitted no later than this Sunday, May 1, at midnight PST. Earlier submissions get priority in the case of any ties.

I will ask the winner for their last year’s tax return and bank statements. If you can clearly afford it, the scholarship will go to the #2-ranked finalist. If #2 can clearly afford it, it goes to #3, and so on.

We look forward to seeing your videos, and to seeing one of you in Napa wine country in August!

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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Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation! (Thanks to Brian Oberkirch for the inspiration.)

183 Replies to “How to Bribe People to Start Companies (Plus: Kimono Event Scholarship)”

  1. No AZ again? That’s it–I’m moving! Actually I am, in July to a state that DOES allow the contest, so since I see the deadline is in December, I’m in the running…

  2. I was still in school and in Canada last year when this competition was held… I’ve been hoping it would come back in 2011 when I graduated! This is so awesome!! Thanks Tim, for pooling your resources together and making this awesome contest 🙂

  3. Brilliant competition, once again inspirational. I’ll be in the Shopify competition for sure with my muse/charity.

    I love that the real inspiration for this competition is the financial independence and kickstart, not the prize pool.

    Great that I can participate this year as an Aussie 😉 Thanks heaps for that.

    Is the Canadian prize pool separate because of lottery laws again?

  4. Sounds like a fun competition.

    What is your “favorite restaurant in the world” that you speak of? I would be royally peeved if it consisted of a 5 minute fast food diner.

  5. As a resident of Maryland, I have to ask… why not? What’s the deal?

    Not to sound like an accusation, but what is the prohibition concerning my home state?

    I understand the gist of what you’re saying, so far as the “transfer” that comes from building one’s own business, but in a legal sense, wassup?

    1. The Canadian prize is $5000….. Grand prize is $100,000 I’m assuming Canadian’s are not eligible for the grand prize?

      1. Hi Adam,

        Canadians are not eligible for the Grand Prize and the Industry Prizes as that would be against the law. Canadians are competing amongst themselves for the Canadian prize.

        The approximate value of the Canadian prize is $25,000. The $5,000 is just the Apple gift card part of the prize.

  6. $696.38/hour and 66503 sales divided over 1400 companies is a mean hourly wage of a bit more than $0.497 with 47.5 total sales per company over the course of the contest. That the winner grossed $600,000 over 10,000 sales means the median will be far lower than the mean.

    The real value here is in finding out what everyone else failed to do.

  7. I think I will enter this time…last time I found out about it to late….I have already been toying with some ideas….Tim you btw are possibly the coolest guy I think I have come across in a long time…funny I’ve never met you

  8. Hurray! I am so excited to bust out the camera tomorrow! I really want to go to the seminar and soak up info, and sip some wine! Maybe this chance at a scholarship will be it! Thank you Tim for being so generous and inspirational!

  9. Hi Tim,

    This is completely unrelated to this topic but I figured this would be the best way to get in touch with you. First off, I just started reading your blog, and I’m amazing at what you have accomplished. I just ordered my copy of the 4-hour workweek and can’t wait to read it and then after the 4-hour body. Had 2 questions: Have you ever tried picking up a musical instrument? Have you ever tried to make yourself taller? I’ll be interested to see what your answers are.

  10. I had questions about the contest? I am not sure if this is the place to ask, but here goes anyway do all orders need to be placed through the shopify website in order to count? I thought I read something about the dodo case being marketed directly to customers standing in line to by the ipad? would it be possible to have a designated buyer make purchases via shopify for person to person sales. Example: I find a few clients that want to purchase my product to put in their store but they don’t want to go through the trouble of going to a site to make the purchase when they could just write me a check and have the product delivered. The sale would benefit me but would I get awarded “points” for that?

    1. Though the dodo case was marketed directly to customers standing in line, I think they did not take orders there. It was to build buzz, but what I envisioned was the street team did not take orders.

    2. Hi Wes,

      Only sales that go through a the Shopify store count towards your sales total. In the case of DODOcase last year, we only took the sales they made through their Shopify site.

      This isn’t to discourage you from selling directly or elsewhere, it’s just that there is now way for us to accurately track any of those sales.

  11. This is fantastic, thanks for doing this again. I needed the slap across the face to get started and this helped — I’m starting an information product business so I won’t be officially taking part in the shopify contest, yet I’ll be along for the ride with everyone else.

    This would be a perfect time for you to post another Muse Examples post with emphasis on info products, it would definitely spur those of us in the info product realm.

    1. Hi Aidan,

      Sorry, Republic of Ireland doesn’t count as the UK 🙂

      Hopefully next year, we’ll be able to spread the contest to even more countries. It took a lot of legal work to get it expanded to the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada this year.

      1. That’s disappointing, I don’t think there’s anything I wouldn’t do to have Seth Godin make me dinner ha! I’m still gonna start a company though. Exams end in a few weeks, then let the games begin! 🙂

  12. Seth Goodin cook for you? There may never be a prize like that…ever. I’d love to know how that idea came about. 🙂

  13. WOW – my top three author crushes in one tidy prize package!? Love it. Thanks for the fun opportunity; will spread the word to my clients.

  14. “The contest is open to residents of the U.S.A. … excluding residents Maryland” But why?! Guess it’s just not for me….

    1. Hi David,

      Maryland has laws about these kinds of contests that make it so that we can’t run the contest there. We tried, but our lawyers advised us that we couldn’t do it.

  15. Hi Tim, this competition is really challenging but it seems entrepreneurs outside the US and UK are been sidelined. I don’t think its fair. All the same, keep up the good work.

    1. Hi Ajaero,

      Running contests like this requires a lot of legal wrangling. Every country has different laws concerning contests (and even some regions within countries).

      This year we tried really hard to expand to more countries. We had to work with 4 law firms across the globe to get it expanded to the countries that are included.

      The real prize from this program is starting a sustainable business, and that’s available to everyone.

  16. There is conflicting information between the rules and the sign up site.

    Rules: “Entries are subject to disqualification at any time if Sponsor reasonably determines in its sole discretion that the business being operated was conducted in the same or a similar form prior to submission of the entry.”

    Sign up site: “Already have a store with Shopify

    and want to participate in the contest? Please enter your url.”

    Would hate to see someone with a prior business let to enter by the sign up form and then win only to be disqualified.

    Please clarify if businesses existing prior to contest start are or are not allowed.

    1. Hi Scott,

      Sorry about that confusion. Accounts created by new businesses from March 26th on may enter the contest and win prizes.

      We are allowing older stores, and those outside the eligible countries, to sign-up and participate in the other aspects like the educational resources and smaller contests along the way.

      Thanks for the feedback, we’ll take another look at the wording.


    Tim, I’m super excited about this, I turn 21 on August 18th so what a great way to celebrate if I get selected to attend the Opening the Kimono event.

    1. Wow.. thats actually pretty cool Tito.. I’m going to tell my wife to go to your website to see if we can get Nursing school books cheaper.


  18. Woo! Definitely the spur one needed…I’ve been half arsedly plodding along with 2 ideas for the last year but always getting sidelined by “work” (of which there is none)

    *fires up the soldering irons*

  19. Tim

    What a kick in the pants way to get us your readers off of our asses and get going. Thank you for allowing us Canadians to participate in this contest.

    I want to give a added incentive. I’ll challenge any Canadian who ever wins I’ll send them 3 litres of Maple Syrup made right on my family farm in Kingston Ontario. We’ve been making this great gift of nature for over 150 years.

    Any other Canadians want to accept and add to this challenge?

    Find me on face book.


    Leonard Irwin

    Kingston Ontario

    1. Hey Leonard,

      That’s awesome. Why don’t you send me an email (contest at, we love maple syrup at Shopify.

  20. Stoked for round 2 of this contest. Last business did not explode, but taught me invaluable lesson. Plus, I just moved from VT to OR which to me is just yet another star aligning.

    I dig the video intro. Thanks again for the friendly kick! Cheers -George-

    1. Hi Todd,

      Arizona has very strict laws regarding contests and therefore, we weren’t able to open it up to residents of Arizona.

  21. Great idea. We all need a kick in the ass at time to get us moving and outside of our comfort zones.


    I am so thrilled about the opportunity to attend this event! I can barely sit still. Please see my submission at the above link, and thanks again Tim for everything. What a rabbit hole indeed…

  23. Tim,

    It’s so great to see a competition where winning is based not on luck or by virtue of simply entering, but instead on process, effort and creating value. What a great paradigm shift. This ensures that people get something out of the competition even if they don’t win, in terms of lessons learned and experience, and likely profit. Awesome idea!



    I was so disappointed when you first announced the “Opening the Kimono” event because I knew I wouldn’t be able to come up with the money. Now, with this opportunity, I know my dreamlines are destined to come true!

    I’m also going to enter the Shopify contest. The timing couldn’t be more perfect since I’ve been developing and testing a few muses recently. Thanks again for all of these great opportunities. God Bless


    Well this is embarrassing – please excuse the lighting and edits – but I’ll think of it as a Comfort Challenge.

    So here it is.. “4HWW success story – John Konrad OR… A Thank You To Tim and (as an extra bonus) how he changed my life and possibly the world”:


  26. Yay! I can enter even though I’m in Australiaaaaa!!!! Now if only my mind hadn’t gone blank and I could think of a product to sell!

  27. Awesome the contest is running again, it seriously changed my life when I entered last year!

    I also created a free course that teaches people how to set up their own Shopify store if anyone is interested.

    Good luck everyone!

  28. Woo-hoo! This timing is perfect! I read 4HWW a few years back and have been accumulating muses since then with no time to pursue them but I’m wrapping up sale of my current time-sucking venture in just a few days, so I’m rarin’ to go now! Yeeha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. Tim,

    Greatly appreciate your work and what you’re doing with the 4hr ideas, but I just cannot support the Shopify scam.

    Let’s do the math (from the last event):

    Shopify had nearly 1400 new clients from this event.

    Shopify charges these clients $29-$99 per month.

    Yes, there are cheap folks who will only pay the $29, but there are also clients who will gladly pay more.

    1400 people X $29/mo = $40,600 of new monthly revenue for Shopify.

    1400 people X $99/mo = $138,600 of new monthly revenue for Shopify.

    We may also be able to extrapolate that the average new client would want to keep their account around for longer than 1 month so that this new business venture has a chance to succeed.

    If each client kept their account for only 3 months, Shopify could have raked in a minimum of $122,400.

    Of course they wanted to partner with you to get their name out there, its a no-lose situation for them, and basically money-for-nothing.

    1. Hi, tim.

      I don’t think it is necessarily a scam. Shopify is positioned gain to recognition and money from this contest, no doubt. I don’t see it any different than a “Toyotaton”, “sweepstakes”, or any other promotional event. In the end, It’s just a excuse for people to scratch that entrepreneurial itch, whether as a newbie, or an serial entrepreneur. The 1 month investment is not big, but some sunk cost will always be expected with any start up venture. Good practice.

      I liked your break down of Shopify’s potential profits from this contest. It shows you are a thinking individual. I wish I could create $122,400 profit by holding a contest too. (don’t we all) But you did forget the cost of prizes involved. Of course, $500,000 in prizes does not mean it cost $500,000 to arrange. It could of cost the organizers only $100,000 or as little $10,000. The prizes could be all donations, costing the organizers nothing at all. Smart move, organizers.

      Of course, the chances of winning one of the prizes are really low. It would be especially difficult if you don’t already have a product and have to develop one on the fly. Also, entrepreneurs who already have networks, customers, email lists or other businesses will have a tremendous advantage over the brand new entrepreneur. So if you don’t already have a good product, the network, distribution, client list and the business chops, your chances of winning any of the prizes are very very slim.

      But it seems Tim and the other “experts” act on the principle that the more impossible the goal, the more effort people put in, and the better chances of success. It is a interesting concept, and it seems to work for them. For you, matt, I’d say forget about the prizes. Put $30 down and see if you can make it back in a month. Or put $60 down and see if you can make it back in 2 months. Put out the most ridiculous product you can think of and see if people would actually buy it. It could be a lot of fun for $30. Think about it.

  30. Hey Tim,

    Love the idea. I actually recommended shopify to a client of mine and I use it to run and manage their store. But have found some limitations with the store and seems some suggestions which other members have made have not been addressed. Granted I know not every suggestion is one a company wants to go with, some suggestions are things that just need to be done (ie. coupon codes that work for specific products instead of right now which is sitewide).

    Makes me want to launch my own online store sooner than I planned and rethink using shopify instead of testing out other providers.

    Awesome contest and best of luck to everyone doing it.

  31. @matt

    People lose money in a scam.

    People make money in the Shopify contest.

    In good business everyone benefits:

    – the customers get a product they want

    – the sellers make money from selling it

    – Shopify make money from facilitating the transaction

    – Tim benefits from being an investor

    It’s a win-win-win-win situation.

    This is wealth generation, as opposed to wealth destruction which caused the financial crisis.

    1. Hi, Benedict.

      I also wrote a long reply on Matt’s comment, but it’s stuck in moderation. To an extent, Matt does have point. Is the contest a scam? No. It’s no different than any other promotional event. But in a strictly financial stand point, your argument of a win-win-win-win situation is incorrect. It is an overly optimistic analysis void of reality. It is not ‘wealth creation'(a marketing lingo) and I don’t think the financial crisis is much to do with this contest.

      As this is a contest, majority of the participates will not win a prize. In fact, most of the participants will not recuperate their initial investment. Sure, every start up venture has costs with associated with its launch. But it is no longer a win-win-win-win situation, but a lose-lose-win-win. Again in a strictly financial context, most participants will lose but Shopify will always win.(monthly fees plus a cut of the transaction) There is be few winners. And I don’t think a contest where majority of the participates lose by design can be glorified as “wealth creation”.

      Does that mean no one should participate? Of course not. As I already stated in my previous comment, the opportunity cost is rather small. Risk is a part of entrepreneurship, and no one entering this contest is doing so to lose or lose their investment. As long as people enter into the contest without illusions, I think it is a great opportunity to give a entrepreneurship a try.

  32. Tim, i started this diet three weeks ago. first week I lost 6 lbs. Week 2 1 lbs week three I am showing I gained two more lbs which I am not worried about because it is maybe water weight. Going to the gym 5 days . this week nothing. I am following the diet exactly as you said. how am I not losing anymore weight. I really need to lose 55 lbs. It’s baby weight stuck for a year and half now. This is making me crazy.

  33. I want to do this so badly, but every time I try and think of what I would sell I draw a f***cking blank! Would anyone like to be partners half way down the middle? Every time I think of something, I research it and find out it’s over-saturated or profit margins aren’t high enough to make it worth the time to uit my job. Help!!!!!!

    Twitter @JimAntonyDotCom

  34. UNOFFICIAL SUBMISSION (the real one coming soon…)

    Hi Tim and Fellow Readers,

    I’m the best candidate for the scholarship, hands down. I’ve set up a page for the purpose of aggregating videos of my experiences with the 4HWW and the 4HB. I want to share these with you. Please click my name on the lest of this comment to check these videos out and learn more about me.

    I will be uploading more videos throughout the week.

    Official submission video coming soon.

    I hope I can earn your vote.

    James Taylor

  35. Oh…It is ON!!!

    I’m at the firehouse until Saturday AM, but I’ll have my vid submission up by that deadline.

    Love it! So excited!

    Can’t wait to see all of the submissions.

    Thanks Tim…You are a complete rockstar!

    Ok…I’m calm now.


  36. Hi Tim,

    I ran into you at stumptown roasters yesterday morning with my brother. Just wanted to let you know that your book (4HWW) & blog inspired me to

    quit my job in 2007 and start my own blog, (now one of

    the top men’s style blogs) and corresponding style coaching business

    in nyc.

    The blog started as a means to fill a gap in the market to serve

    average, everyday men who so badly needed fashion and classic style

    tips but weren’t necessarily interested in getting bombarded by runway

    news and designer trends that filled most of the style websites and

    publications for men. Our “how to tie a tie” article got featured on, and the rest is history. In just a year, we hit over

    100,000 visitors/month, and after getting dozens of requests for style

    coaching services, we decided to start a image consulting company

    driven solely through the traffic from the blog. It’s really a dream

    job or “muse” as you call it since it requires minimal work (writing a

    few blog entries, and meeting with several clients for coaching in NYC

    every month).

    The entire business is bootstrapped and employs a lot of the techniques,

    resources, and philosophy mentioned in your book, 4HWW.

    Since then, we’ve been approached by MTV producers for a show,

    featured in magazines, radio. The craziest thing was when we ran into

    a couple of fans halfway across the world in a club in Seoul, Korea.

    It turned out there were quite a few, so we ended up organizing a

    short seminar and even doing a radio show while we were there.

    All this, thanks to you and 4HWW.




    1. It was great to meet you, Justin, and… congratulations! Great idea and great execution. On behalf of fashion-challenged men worldwide, I thank you 🙂

      Pura vida,


    2. Hi, Justin.

      You need to do a case study on this blog.

      There are loads of people you want to know how you did it. (myself included) It would be great exposure for your business plus web traffic and it would also be great content for Tim’s blog. Win-win. Only thing I would ask is to share the nitty-gritty good stuff.

      Congratulation on your many success!

  37. Great idea and example of an outstanding marketing mind. This is a win for the recipient who gets a free seminar. A win for all the other contributors who organize their thoughts and make a video–great learning opportunity. And a win for Tim with video testimonials. I love it.


    My 3 kids and I made the video!! It was a lot of fun.

    Hope you like it.

    Gonzalo, Timothy, Lydia, & little Andrew

  39. Can we do the contest with out using Shopify? From an SEO perspective I would like to have a lot more control over my site.


  40. For anyone planning to source products in China, I have an inexpensive ebook guide on on the topic of finding a manufacturer. I was actually inspired to write it due to everyone’s stories of how they started their business after 4HWW.

    My background is in international business and when a few people here mentioned the supplier search as a source of trouble, I decided to put something together.

    If anyone is interested in shortening the China learning curve, click my name to see the book.

    (Also if anyone wants a free review copy, I’m open to providing one, just email me at netwriterm AT gmail DOT com).


    1. Thanks Michelle,

      Just bought your ebook, I hope it is helpful, the big thing for me is who, what and realistic minimum orders as I do not want to go overboard on inventory.

      At this point I have a few ideas but just do not trust a lot of the manufacturers on Alibaba, i guess a lot of others would have the same feelings. So I will begin reading now and see where my nose points.

      Also, really looking forward to getting something off the ground and entering this competition, who knows where it will end up by the end of this year.



      1. Hi Ken. The book will definitely help you with who and what which will, in turn, help avoid overstock. It’s short, it’s to the point and it’s inexpensive, things all small businesses need.

        Alibaba is a cesspool. I know people do business there, but if you look at their forums, it’s like a dark alley filled with too many pickpockets.

        Try Global Sources if you have to go the internet route. None of the online sites are perfect, all are magnets for fraud and scams, but I think the odds are slightly better for the buyer at GS.

        Let me know if you have any questions that aren’t answered in the book.


  41. I am 8 days into the diet, and I am losing weight, but I am also constipated, going every 2 1/2 days instead of every day. I eat plenty of beans at every meal, and I drink 4 times as much water as I used to, and twice as much coffee.

    I also take AGG before very meal. I exercise an hour a day with weights and aerobics. I also take a colace and a senacot every night. Prior to going on the diet I used to eat a lot of fiber in high fiber oatmeal, breads, and pastas; plus fruits, and dried fruits, none of which I am eating now. I also drank a lot of milk, though not much water. Perhaps the beans are not doing the trick with regard to my bowels. I don’t lose lose weight much (a few ounces) on the days when I am constipated, but I do lose at least a pound on the days that I move my bowels.

  42. WEP: I follow a low carb diet which is similar (although not exactly the same) and constipation is common.

    Supplement with some magnesium 200-300 mg and see if that helps. If not go up to 400mg. You can use Milk of Magnesia or just get pills (I use pills).

    Low glycemic diets can cause low magnesium levels (and can affect potassium as well as salt) so supplementing usually takes care of the constipation.

    Also be sure you are drinking a lot of water, something like 3L per day. Beans have fiber and fiber can get stuck in the system if a) you aren’t used to the fiber or b) don’t have enough water in your system.


    1. I absolutely second what Michelle says about Magnesium! (I take 400mg pills… btw, Dr. Oz has made a point of suggesting that dosage on his show). Also, because of the potassium point raised, suggest you also look into a non-sugar electrolyte product (try a powder) that can be mixed with water… I use Alacer’s “electromix” (note: this is NOT the same as their emergenC product, which contains sodium and can be found at markets). Their electromix has “zero” sodium in it. If you are eating beans, even if rinsing the canned variety as Tim suggests you do, you will be getting plenty of sodium from your food and it isn’t normally a problem. Electromix has potassium as the primary ingredient, with magnesium and other minerals. Do check around and look at other products that are available with no sugar, I simply find that nothing dissolves as well or completely and nothing works as well for me except the electromix. If anyone knows of something they’ve compared and is less expensive than that, please share! Thank you. I have been on electrolytes since moving to the desert, and have been taking magnesium as a regular supplement too.

      My own results with the diet are as follows: Lost 9 pounds total after 19 days. Am going on it again when I return from vacation. Also, 3.5″ lost from waist, 1″ off hips, and more than 1″ off arms/legs.

      Surprise Note: these results achieved even though I cannot drink my British tea w/cream or without honey! I imagine my two mugs of tea per day using 1% milk and local honey is reducing the effectiveness of the diet at least a little, but I find cream in tea is just *gah!*…simply can’t drink it. Hats off to Tim for all he’s shared with us!! And good luck to you, and to everyone who is on this diet. To those of us creating/hacking a fabulous life, CONGRATS and carpe diem!!

  43. Tim,

    Here’s a slightly technical question from an ‘active’ skeptic about the 4 Hour Body. In your chapter on Occam’s protocol, you describe consuming a carbohydrate laden half serving of a shake (with a banana and 3 cups of milk) before bed.

    Doesn’t it spike insulin and suppress the growth hormone secretion in the middle of the night? If you have concrete reasons for doing so, could you share them? Or you could point me in the right direction and I’ll do the rest.




    Ok, Tim Timmay here it is. I think I could have said “awesome” a few more times. 🙂

    We love you man!

  45. NO-BRAINER: Here’s why you should take part in Tim’s Opening the Kimono scholarship. Are you getting this???



    Thanks for helping all these people take steps toward their dreams.

    Good luck to everyone else, and congrats to whoever gets to be there when the kimono opens. I look forward to your next product launch


    1. Hi Mr. K,

      We have nothing against Arizona 🙂

      There are very strict laws in Arizona for all kinds of contests and makes it particularly impossible to run this kind of contest.


    Thank you so much for doing this! As a “starving postdoc”, I’d love to be able to join the event, learn and share my perspective.

    Tim: my fiance approached you after the screening of “Bigger Stronger Faster” about a potential scholarship opportunity. I’m so happy it’s coming to fruition.




    Using 4HWW principles to teach music as a language:

    (You might have to use the pause button a few times. 😉 )

    There’s so much I didn’t have time to include:

    – Having started as Lenny’s piano teacher I used Tim’s negotiating advice to talk my way into co-writing the climactic song of the show

    – Using the principles of effectiveness and efficiency I designed my own worksheets that teach the fundamentals of music theory in an intuitive and easy-to-understand way

    – I discovered /all/ of the people I follow on Twitter through Tim: Seth Godin, Leo Babuta, Steve Pavlina and Khatzumoto

    – In Apr 2009 I became one of the few readers of Tim’s blog to be quoted by him in the original post

    – My girlfriend and I are on the slow carb diet, not because we need to lose weight but because we want to maximize our energy levels

    – I’m in the process of following Tim’s advice on how to get mentored by someone, and have already met the person in question

    My blog is currently in embryonic form (this competition came a little early for me!) but I’m hoping it will grow into a strong and healthy baby.

    Thank you, Tim, for giving us the opportunity to share our stories.

    Best wishes,


  49. Tim

    I recently saw a video of you on YouTube and also read your post about “Tim Ferrissing your love life” i.e. outsourcing your online dating

    You should sell THAT as a simple digital product, being as you have access to all the records and split-test data of what your VAs sent out to women, what pictures they used, and so forth.

    I had a miserable time trying to meet women online;only 6 responses out of the 215 initial contact emails I sent out to women (that’s responses, NOT dates, lol). I literally ran out of women I was attracted to to contact on both PlentyOfFish and Match

    I tried everything – long messages, short ones, asking questions, not asking questions, mentioning things I read in her profile and not mentioning them, teasing her, not teasing, different profile pictures etc etc etc

    When I heard you talk about how you had some VA’s contact women online for you, I couldn’t believe that they could bluff their way around being “you” and still educe some sort of connection with these women online in order for them to want to meet you in person.

    So my conclusion is that it’s got to be WAY MORE SIMPLE AND EASY than I thought it was.

    Long story short, I think you should sell an info product showing how it all went down, and your VA’s would already be up to speed on what you are trying to accomplish so they could pull it together easier.


  50. Submission

    My girlfriend will kill me if she ever see’s this video! This was actually really cool and fun to do since I’ve never put a video on youtube before.

  51. Submission

    4 Hour “Study Week”- How I doubled my graduate class load and finished the program in half the time as my peers by applying tools and resources presented in the 4-Hour Work Week.

  52. good timing, i think i’ll be moving Datsusara to Shopify in May, look out people, we’ll be rough competition 🙂

  53. Submission!

    Hi Tim,

    To begin with here’s my video:

    So a quick note, I have been using your book for 3 years, and it has pushed me to many limits.

    This contest, which I’m super grateful for, has pushed me again!

    1. I have been wanting to do videos but fear always kept me from it. Hooray, my first video is up thanks to you. It only took me 4 hours for a 2.5 minute video, but it was fun!

    2. I’m working on my new project, it’s all in the video, but again fear has kept me from moving forward and it’s now in the full on works. Again, thank you!

    3. In this video I mention other fears that your book and blog has helped me over come and that in itself is the best success there is!

    I sooooooooo hope to see you in California!!!

  54. Have so loved watching these submissions. Makes you feel part of some international team – the Ferriss family!! Amazing to see how leading by example can give others the confidence to take fundamental, life-defining risks. Hope some more ladies enter too. Good luck everyone!!! You’re inspiring… 🙂


    Sorry for talking bad English too fast… 😉 I had to speed things up a bit to hit Tim’s “three minute video” target. Won’t be a problem for any speed reading freaks on here.

    Cheers from Switzerland

  56. What an interesting and exciting project this was! Especially since it was my first time uploading onto Youtube. Crazy to think that a couple days ago, I just happened to be clicking through the site and saw this…

    Good luck Everyone : )



    A humorous, animated look at the results I’ve achieved by implementing some of the insights of Tim Ferriss’s The 4-Hour Work Week


    That was difficult to do in under 3 minutes…so much to say about this diet. Thank you Tim for the opportunity to see you in Napa!!

    – Derek Shebby

  59. Hi Tim & fellow readers!

    My family and I had a lot of fun making the Submission video.

    After reviewing the videos with my kids, we chose the funniest outtakes and uploaded them.

    It put a smile on my face and know your readers will enjoy.

    Link to Outtakes:

    Warm Regards,

    Paternoster Family

    P.S. Here is link to original contest submission:


    I’ve seen some great submissions and figured I’d toss my hat in the ring…good luck everyone!!!



    It’s been a pleasure recording these videos.

    Tim’s Readers,

    I wish you all the best of luck with your submissions. It is inspiring to see the passion in your stories.

    James Taylor

  62. Submission:

    Thank you Tim for this opportunity.

    Here is the link to my You Tube Video

    How I used your book 4 Hour Work Week to have 2 successful businesses, one small Day Spa, and now an Online Diet Coaching and Supplement Company!

    Aloha ~ Cheriess Bugado


    i’ve enjoyed watching everyone’s submissions — the enthusiasm is palpable and it’s obvious that there’s some stiff competition out there! i wish you each the very best of luck 🙂

    thank you, tim, for this opportunity AND for the kick in the butt.

  64. Tim

    I am not too familiar with shopify although I ‘know’ them from your last competition. Although the competition itself isn’t open to residents in Germany and/or Greece, I am tempted to take part this time, for the educational experience. I do have an idea that has been swirling around in my head lately so I could as well give it a shot within this context.

    My question: for the ones thinking of participating with a 100% digital product, does it make sense to participate and to use shopify?? Or is shopify suitable only/mostly for physical products?

    Would suppose I am not the only one with that question, so thanks for letting me/us know!

    Best regards / Schöne Grüße aus Griechenland,



    Game on.

    Not sure if midnight meant the end of Saturday night (early Sunday morning) or Sunday night. In either case this video was uploaded to youtube before midnight Saturday.

    It was a blast to make!


    Here’s my submission to win the coveted prize!

    Thanks for watching bloggers!

  67. Hi Tim,

    Fantastic idea…but why not for us South Africans…my wife and I have an idea that we think could be a boon for at least half of the worlds poorer population but do not have the finances to get it off the ground. Obviously we don’t want to dicuss it with anybody as the potential is so huge that anybody with finances might just run with the idea themselves…what to do???

    Perhaps you would like to contact us and discuss???

    We are currently reading your four hour work week and think this is the product that will enable us to live the “ideal life”

    Thanks for your book…it feels like we have finally been given permission to LIVE our lives!!!!




    Hi Tim and everyone. Here is my submission. Thanks for the opportunity of the “scholarship”, the generosity of all the great content on this blog and for the great group of people gathered around the common project of leaving better and fuller lives thanks to you 🙂


    Boris, Australia.

  69. Submission!!!

    Yikes! So here is a new link for my Testimonial Video. So Sorry TIM but my last one some how got an audio commercial over it and you could not here what I was saying. My fault, still learning to use my new MAC.

    Anyway, I have a great Testimonial for you as your book, The 4 Hour Work Week helped me to achieve 2 successful business, and now, because of your Shopify Contest, I think I am going to have a third! 🙂

    Hope my second submission wasn’t too late for your deadline.

    PS. I am now an aspiring writer (not published yet) but really feel like your event “Opening the Kimono” would truly be the lift I need to reach the next level. Thank you again Tim…



    I hope I didn’t add this twice but I didn’t see it come up the first time.

    My link to the video can be found here:

    Thanks for being a role model Tim. Not only did you push me to travel the world solo for 6 months but also to start a great blog and my first muse: canadian free flyers. Thanks!


    Tim and all,

    It has been the holy grail to download this video from a village without internet connection in the south of France, but I REALLY wanted to submit this so I kept trying for the last few days!

    That’s my blog where I record my experiments

    Good luck to everyone!


    Hey everyone, check oout the video I posted for a free prize giveaway!

    I learned about this Kimono event and sent in an application a day (almost sent in 3 a day but there’s a difference between persistent and annoying : ) I got an email from one of Tim’s assistants and I sorta read between the lines that I may not get an invite, and also that they got the message with all the applications…

    “no need to continue posting daily applications. I totally understand your intent and admire the hustle :)” .

    I’m doing anything and everything I can to go to see what’s under the Kimono! Thanks so much Tim for the books, the blog, and saving my life! History will remember you well.


    Flow with the Go

    I’m a ‘doer’ who also likes to talk, as a professional speaker and coach I’m living proof that success can be found through setting unreasonable and unrealistic goals.

    My book ‘Flow with the Go’ will help others understand that by focusing on what you love, you allow money and all things wanted to flow into your life. Using success stories from people of all walks of life is sure to make for an inspiring read.

    Now join me backstage at one of my celebrity client’s concerts while I announce my next unreasonable and unrealistic goal–to win the 1 scholarship to the weekend in Napa with Tim.

    Get ready to take it to ’11’…

  74. Submission:–9I8HnEX

    I am honored and grateful to be able to apply for this scholarship.

    I appologize the video is blurry. This was done on an i-phone as I am traveling and do not have access to better video. we did it 4 times and this is the best we could get the focus to be.

    Best of luck to all!