Now that’s a happy kid. (Photos: Brandon Pearce)
One common challenge for readers of The 4-Hour Workweek is the creation a “muse”: a low-maintenance business that generates significant income. Such a muse is leveraged to finance your ideal lifestyle, which we calculate precisely based on Target Monthly Income (TMI).
Despite the dozens of case studies I’ve put on this blog, and the hundreds elsewhere, one knee-jerk objection always crops up: “That might work for a single 30-something guy, but what about families? I have a mortgage, kids, and…”
The following is a guest post by Brandon Pearce. Brandon has three kids and first appeared on this blog as a muse case study for his business, Music Teacher’s Helper, which generated more than $25,000 a month at the time.
Things are even better now.
He and his family have now been leisurely traveling the world for 1,128 days. They are currently living like royalty and surrounded by palm trees.
This post explains exactly how Brandon spends his time over one week…
Have you implemented The 4-Hour Workweek with your family? If so, please let me know in the comments!
Three years ago, I’d already moved abroad with my family, automated my businesses, and was living the 4-Hour Workweek lifestyle. At one point, I decided to track every minute of every day for one week to help me visualize how much time I was spending on what really mattered to me.
Many people seem to think that if you only have to work a few hours per week, you must be spending the rest of your time relaxing in a hammock drinking piña coladas. I mean, what else is there to do? Actually, everything!
As you’ll see, I do spend my fair share of time relaxing, being with family and friends, and even doing “nothing.” But I have plenty else to keep me busy, and I enjoy the freedom to adjust my activities according to my changing interests.
While it takes some effort to track each minute of every day, when I’ve done so, I’ve found it helps me be aware of what I’m doing in the moment, and I feel less pressure while doing tasks I don’t enjoy. I also realize that time will keep moving on, no matter what I do. As long as I’m enjoying life, growing, and helping others where I can, I feel like I’m living my life well.
With that introduction, here is one full week of my life, organized by task.
Disclosure: Even though these tasks are recorded to the minute, they’re not always accurate to the minute. Sometimes I forgot to switch my timer right when I switched tasks, so had to modify it later with a little guess work. Being off by a few minutes for several things has led to being off by a couple hours overall. But it will have to do. For this exercise, I used SlimTimer, a free on-line time tracking tool.
I define “work” as activities done specifically to help produce income. This week I “worked” a little more than usual because I was getting some video tutorials written for one product, and launched a special offer with another. I also planned some important new features to work on next. For me, it’s normal for this category to be under 5 hours per week total.
– Business: Music Teacher’s Helper: 5 Hours, 18 minutes. This includes advertising/marketing (1:35), checking programmer’s work (1:30), customer support (0:48), and the rest in business planning, finances, and checking stats.
– Business: Studio Helper: 2 hours, 1 minute. This includes working on video tutorials (1:27), business planning (24 min), and the rest dealing with feature requests and checking stats.
– Other: 33 minutes. This includes times spent researching a new business idea.
Total Work Hours: 7 Hours, 52 Minutes
Update: I’ve since hired more programmers and support staff, a project manager, and a marketing director, so I’m doing different tasks, but still working about the same amount of time each week.
[Note from Tim: Before you literalists scream “But that’s more than four hours per week!” read the book for context. Greatly simplified, the goal is to increase your current per-hour output 10x.]
One of the things I like most about my lifestyle is that I have so much time to spend with my family. We’re together pretty much all day, even if we’re not doing the same thing. Meals, driving, and time with others outside the family are under “Personal Time.”
– Playing with kids: 11 hours, 32 minutes. I try to play with my kids a little every day. Much of this is computer or iPad games with one daughter while my wife is doing homeschool with the other one. But it also includes reading to them, playing hide and seek, “restaurant” and other imagination games.
– Watching Movies: 6 hours, 51 minutes. We watched a few movies with the kids this week, in the evenings, including the 1969 Doctor Dolittle, and Tarzan in Spanish.
– Family Outings: 5 hours, 15 minutes. This includes a little hike up the mountains behind our house, and a trip to the park to ride ponies and bicycles. We also spent time together with our friends, which I’ve included in the Personal: Visiting with Friends section.
– Talking with Wife: 3 hours, 56 minutes. Jen and I enjoy just sitting and talking, as well as reading together.
Total Family Time: 27 hours, 34 minutes
Update: My kids are older now (9 and 7), and we have another baby who is almost two years old. Our two oldest daughters attend a homeschool group most weekdays. And we now enjoy the services of a full-time nanny, housekeeper, driver, and chef. Consequently, my wife and I get more time together, we each get more personal time, and we enjoy different types of activities with our kids.
Even though it looks like I have lots of time left over for myself, I don’t feel like I have much “free time.” I guess that’s because I try to fill my time up with things that I like to do and am passionate about. I still have a full to-do list, and do spend time on things I’d rather not, but I try to work on the most important items first each day. Overall, I’m doing what I love with the majority of my time.
– Sleep: 57 hours, 21 minutes. That’s just over 8 hours per night. This week, we’ve been sleeping in a different room where the sun hits us warmly every morning around 6:30 through the windows. It’s not conducive to sleeping in, but is a very relaxing way to get up.
– Visiting with friends: 11 hours, 22 minutes. We had some friends over for a late lunch one day this week, and we spent an afternoon out with another friend.
– Meals: 11 hours, 2 minutes. We ate out a lot this week (almost every day), and took time to enjoy our food. The meal with our friends is included under “Visiting with friends”.
– Reading: 9 hours, 8 minutes. I have some really interesting books I’m reading right now, although half of this time was spent reading articles and blogs on-line.
– Personal Email: 8 hours, 13 minutes. I had a LOT more time-consuming email than usual this week. I’ve been getting lots of emails from people starting businesses who want advice. I’ve enjoyed being able to help people in this regard. Maybe soon I will have to start charging for consulting and move this into the “Work” category. 🙂
– Writing: 4 hours, 31 minutes. This was time I spent working on my new book about how to create an online business. I suppose this could also be considered “Work” since I will eventually sell the book, but that’s not my main purpose in writing it.
– Daily Hygiene: 3 hours, 27 minutes. It’s amazing how much time this takes. But I do love a hot shower.
– Sex: 3 hours, 9 minutes. No, it wasn’t all at once.
– Meditating and spiritual time: 2 hours, 41 minutes. I have a great place to sit for my morning meditation overlooking the hills and the city view. Very relaxing.
– Finances: 2 hours, 3 minutes. This is higher than normal because I’ve been working a lot with my accountant trying to figure out taxes, and have been looking at other investment opportunities.
– Exercise: 1 hour, 47 minutes. This includes my daily stretching and tai chi, and a little weight lifting. This doesn’t include all the hiking and walking we did as a family this week.
– And I spent anywhere from 10 minutes to 1 hour, 30 minutes on each of the following: cleaning and organizing, house maintenance, driving, facebook, games (pool, and angry birds), journal, playing the piano, shopping, time tracking, vacation planning, writing on my blog, and selling stuff on Craigslist.
Total Personal Time: 128 hours, 52 minutes
Update: About a year ago, I started charging $150/hour for consulting and it reduced my email while increasing my income. I’ve also put my book on hold for the time being. And these days, I’d probably count “Finances” as “Work,” since it’s income related. Lately, I’ve been spending more time meditating, reading, and journaling, and am learning more about myself in the process. I’m also taking Qi Gong (Chi Kung) lessons, learning the guitar and ukelele, playing in a small band, studying dreams, and experimenting with connected breathing and emotional awareness techniques to help me be more present to enjoy each moment fully.
How to Improve In the Future
Now that I’ve gone through all the effort of tracking my time for a week, it would be a shame to simply write a blog post about it and not use the data to see where I can improve. In the weeks ahead, I would like to make the following changes:
– More time with my wife, especially reading and talking with her.
– More family time together with the kids at home. We spend a lot of time together outside the home, but when we’re inside, we tend to do our own thing. I also want to take a more active role in homeschool, helping the kids with their blogs, music, as well as math and reading, etc.
– More time working on my book. I’m excited to complete this project and hopefully it will help a lot of people looking to create a business.
– Less time reading online. I want most of my reading time to be focused and intentional, not jumping from item to item.
– Less time on email. I had built up a practice of checking email just twice a day and leaving it alone the rest of the time. But I didn’t follow that so well this week, and found my productivity waver because of it.
Update: I definitely spend more time with my wife now, but probably less with my kids. I’ve stopped working on my book, but have put more time into other interests. My reading is more focused now, and I spend less time on the computer. I still think I have too much email, but most days I can get it all done in one sitting.
Have you ever tracked your time? If you’ve ever charged per hour, chances are you’ve tracked your time working, but have you ever measured what you’re doing with the rest of your time? Yeah, maybe it is a bit fanatical. But I think there is value in it at least every once in a while. If a week seems like too much, even tracking your time for a single day can reveal insights and help you see areas you want to improve.
I’m interested to hear your thoughts below, and what changes you’d like to make in how you spend your time.
[Note from Tim: An older version of this time table originally appeared on Brandon’s outstanding blog. If you liked The 4-Hour Workweek, you’ll enjoy his personal stories of entrepreneurship, travel, and more.]
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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198 Replies to “Case Study: What Does a Real 4-Hour Workweek Look Like…With a Family?”
Thanks for the post Tim.
Brandon – I like that beyond being a good business man you have a good sense with your priorities, ie spending time on your health, family, and friends.
I have an ecommerce and blog [Moderator: link removed]. However, I am currently living in China and pursuing entertainment.. and wondering if there’s some way to apply the four hour work week principles to being an actor / action choreographer / producer.
Would LOVE to hear feedback on this.
Cheers and keep up all the inspiring work!
It´s always inspirational to see muse examples in families. I became father when I was 21 and I´m 23 now. And for me it´s one of the reasons, why I want build a muse and be able to choose where we want to live and for how long.
I think time tracking is a useful tool, as changing habits can be soo hard sometimes.
Thanks for sharing. I’m a father of 4 with a job that pays me well, but I can’t shake the feeling that something is missing. I’ve been following Timothy for several years now and although I believe in the message the 4HWW conveys, I’ve been “stuck” in trying to apply it my particular situation (family with significant income needs).
You’re example provides me with that additional belief that I need to apply 4HWW to my family’s life.
So I’ve been working on my “muse” (actually 4) and I recommend to anyone else that is working on their “muse” to look for additional resources on building what I like to term a “sustainable business”. I have been introduced to a great set of books that are helping me tremendously: “Business Model Generation” and “The Lean Startup”. I now know how to create the business model(s) I need in order to turn my ideas into sustainable businesses. IMHO, finding your muse is probably the most difficult action item in the 4HWW!
What a truly inspiring story ? How did you know when you had your muse?
I’m struggling with so many different ideas and can’t seem to pinpoint the path I should follow .
Great reading! Stumbled upon it while doing research on small businesses. Just want to change career and to start one; and have a general question about using mobile apps to promote small business (is it worth to invest efforts in it, have anyone done it?). I know it is expensive to develop apps and I am gonna try to develop it on one of the web based platforms (most likely on ibuildapp.com) for free.
Thanks in advance!
I’m a developer and I can tell you from experience that developing an app is not the most difficult part. Creating a sustainable business around your idea is more difficult. I recommend generating a business plan around your idea before spending a lot of time and money developing a product.
I applied the principles to homeschool our kids, and our oldest, a 14 year old, finished high school last year and is now taking college Clep tests.
This is a cool and insightful about the Four Hour Workweek. I personally like the aspect of improving the future, so that we can have more time with wife and kids as well as other projects.
Tim, it was a great choice on your part to post this case study of Brandon. It’s very informative. Thanks.
I just finished Tim’s wonderful book this week and last night read this blog post and have been putting the principles into action! I realized I have a potential assistant right under my nose, someone who stays rent-free in exchange for doing renovations on my home. Because he is really trustworthy, I realized I could off-load a lot of the things I don’t like doing to him and today wrote 4 pages, detailing out very precisely, what he can do for me. What a relief!!!
Next, I had called Girl Friday and Brickwork yesterday but was not impressed by the high prices ($20/hour for simple blog and discussion posts) and the fact they kept trying to sell me more complicated services. (I’m guessing they are getting so much traffic from people like us that they quality is going down and prices are going up.) I had called them yesterday but today, I happened to get a marketing tip from Success Marketing (that I follow and love) and it was all about an amazing outsourcing web site!!
Here, is affordable and entry level outsourcing! A full database with almost 20,000 people to choose from! I couldn’t believe it!!!! Many of them do great stuff for $1.00 and up!!! The services I was asking for started at $1.50/hour!
I’m now on my way to a far more productive life!!!!!
Last week, I eliminated so much “noise” out of my life!!!
I haven’t stopped telling people to buy and read your book!!!!!
What a great concept!!!
I’ve always wanted to have more time. I have made a living working for 8 hours every day for so many years. Thanks to the world wide web and also to some of your tips, it has become a lot better.
I thought I was set getting a job at a 40 billion dollar entertainment company…I repaired 17 different electronic devices and there were some ridiculous metrics involved. You would get 20 minutes for repairing one type until you turned it on, gave the thing a “hit” and it would not respond…Check the Unit’s Address in Diagnostics and …Bad Unit address…This meant after replacing countless capacitors, which took the required 20 minutes, you would instead be alloted “4” minutes…Every night you were expected to reach 420 minutes of total repair time…This was unique to a couple of the models. Other models were simple fixes and if you worked on them you could easily get 600 to 700 minutes of repair time! This kind of rat race led to many not following protocol and not testing each part of a unit to beat the system…I could not do this…it bothered me too much. Because I didn’t always make my numbers, I was banished to only repairing the unfair machines…They were old fashioned and clunky/heavy…When they came out of customer homes they were often filled with bio hazard and cat hair and even cockroaches! I made the mistake of touching my nose with my work glove after some of these and contracted something that started eating it!
While I was out being hooked up intravenously to antibiotic cocktails, my supervisor through away my contaminated gloves after rifling through my locked drawer…When I got back I noted this in my head and went back wrestling with these machines and at the end of the day I would barely make the alloted time and my shoulder started hurting especially after they lowered my bench for day shift and because it looked uniform! Slouched over trying to fix these cockroach/cat infested machines! Finally I complained…They told me this was a young man’s job…I wanted to vomit but kept my sang froid…
I had thought this job was my ticket to a great retirement…I was on a hit list! My manager was telling me that my supervisor was talking about me to the big kahuna! (My manager’s manager) well, I was doing this for my wife and kids and I thought myself…The benefits were great (So I thought) I had always as a hobby for 29 years learned everything I could of all things drumsticks! The wood, the history, the machinery, the manufacturers, the family history of the manufacturer’s families…I made pilgrimages to factories, I invented a drumstick with a grip…(Was copied by a huge company) I made a machine that made drumsticks with a stone and water, I learned how to shape tool steel and all the geometry…I collected hundreds and hundreds of different sticks from the 1930’s to the present and learned how the major drumstick companies copied each other with many models, just by making tools to make them…This was what I really wanted to do…Make drumsticks..
I even got to the point where other drumstick companies would fly in from other parts of the world their employees to see how I did things! I was sent to other countries to train people how to make drumsticks as a consultant…but was never offered a full time gig…
So I quit about 3 weeks ago from this monster entertainment company and started taking orders! That’s all I do now make drumsticks! I put graphics on them and can make any shape…My problem now is figuring out how to enjoy life with my kids and wife…I have been trying to figure out mini vacations and have paid my mortgage off already months in advance, have a great accountant…I want to have enjoy life…I have been learning Nepalese and want to go to Nepal with my Nepalese teacher.. That’s about it…
Hmm… now if I could figure a way to apply this to my business….
This is such an inspiring story – and what a gorgeous family.
Thanks for breaking down the time they spend per week on the various tasks. It shows how when priorities meet action, success is inevitable.
Congrats to Brandon and his family.
Every time I read one of these profiles I am inspired to continue my quest for a more satisfying lifestyle.
I know that it’s out there, I’ve just got to dig it out of the much that’s hiding it at the moment.
I love that Brandon’s family time is higher than his work time. So many people do not even realize that’s possible. I’m so grateful for a husband that was passionate enough about that concept to do something about it. My husband and I still look a each other and say “FYI we’re going to the beach as a family in the middle of the day”. I’m grateful to Tim for being the first person to inspire my husband into this journey. For some reason this post has inspired the grateful side of me 🙂 thanks Tim for featuring Brandon and continuing to inspire us all!
Hi i saw my son reding 4 hour work week and we spoke about the book and what it contains, i am all getting ready to go and do something really what i will enjoy and change my boring life.
thanks for inspiration and motivation.
Hi! Me again! So, I’m still in the “Creating Your Muse” phase and not only do I have a product I’m passionate about, I paid close attention to Tim’s “comfort challenges”. Thanks to that, I was not afraid to call up the CEO of a company that is a major player in the outdoor industry. I now have a meeting setup with him to present my idea. If all goes well, his company will be a key partner to the marketing and sales of my product. Working on the presentation now! Wish me luck!
On the flip side, my family is planning a month long trip to Rome, Italy set for 2 years out.
So inspiring! Thanks for the article.
This is a good one. If only everybody can have a chance to get out from the 8-12 hour work daily and be able to manage their own time with work so that they will be able to spend time with what matters most and that is family. In my own experience growing up with parents that are both working and has no time to travel and see the world together got me envious of other families. Not that I do not appreciate what they have done for us but it was a lost time not well spent. Now that we are grown ups we realized that if it weren’t for them working that hard we wouldn’t be the people that we are today and we realized the value of family and now we get to spend more time together with my parents.
I was wondering if there was anyone out there who’s done this kind of stuff thats willing to mentor a young student as I’ve never really had a strong mentor in my life. I pretty much just got all 3 of 4 hour books over the past month and I’ve learned a lot but I’ve yet to develop a muse. Would greatly appreciate any advice, thanks in advance.
I think it’s great you are seeking a mentor!
As for finding your muse, I know how you feel. After reading the book, I too was befuddled for a while trying to find my muse. What I did was the following, I took an inventory of what skills I posses and what interested me most. When you combine the two, I think you’ll discover that there are an infinite number of possibilities out there for you.
My first muse (yes, 1st of many to come!) was a web site I put up over 6 months ago. About a month ago I was ready to give up on it and shut it down when suddenly I began getting traffic as well as real paying clients. Granted, it’s not enough to retire off of, but it is enough to fund my next muse project. What I’ve discovered is that it’s better to have a lot of ideas rather than just one big idea. Keep a journal (I use Evernote) and jot down every idea you dream up and share them with others. You never know what great ideas someone around you can contribute.
I also got myself plugged into a network of like minded positive encouraging people in my area through meetup.com. Maybe you could form a “4 Hour Work Week” meetup group in your area?
Try hitting singles and doubles. What automated service could you provide that could generate $1000/month? What products and services do you really like and enjoy that you could possibly be a reseller of? Take a look at your world around you and ask yourself what could you do to make it better?
I’m still pretty new at this and would not recommend myself as a mentor. Perhaps in a few years when I’ve become a master like Tim and Brandon!
It does seem more daunting to live this lifestyle as a parent. However, like Brandon, at this point my family of four could not live any other way. There are two things about this lifestyle I wanted to mention.
1. Live on nothing. However, living on nothing as a family of four is a little more expensive than surfing a couch as a 20 year old. Seeing how low you can cut your expenses is a game of sorts for us. Our kids love picking feral apples that we then use for jam for the year. We eat a lot of jam.
2. Taxes: There are huge benefits to making good money one year and not the next by leveling out your income using tools like 401k and RRSPs. In the past, this has given my family a ‘raise’ of 6 to 15%.
I am now living in New Zealand and fly fishing for several years, one of my lifelong dreams. And I am glad I did, I will not be able to fish these rivers when I am 65.
It is really cheerful to see the formula of 4HWW works for a father of a family, this really motivates a single, like me!
What was your best resource for finding programmers and what would be your advice on finding the right info product?
Very inspiring, my daughter and her husband (Emma and Tommy) have done it!!!! Thye have a small holding (Quinta) in Portugal where they grow vegetables and live off the land, bartering their stuff for goods they need and time for money. All my excuses are the usual ones for not doing the same, but at least I get to sample their life for two weeks a year and we copy them in some aspects in out suburban garden, with a permaculture, wildlife friendly layout and chickens that roam freely most days, (thanks Brandon and Tim 🙂 )
It inspired me to create my ideal week and compare it to what I guess I’m actually doing – eating and sleeping are good, everything else is WAY out of whack. It was a real eye opener to do this – Thanks!
Very Inspirational Article! Its amazing how much free time you actually have and how much money you are actually making. Thanks for the article!
I read about Brandon’s business in the $100 Startup. I was wondering how he got Intuit to include a copy of QuickBooks on his site? I’ve never seen that before. That was impressive because Intuit is a huge company and could have said get lost.
Very interesting post. I just started reading the book can’t wait to get there.
Just started reading the 4hww book and was absolutely amazed with Tim. I have read many many self help business books and this one was gripping. Once I started reading, I was not able to put it down as Tim was connecting with me. Currently in sales and have made more money this year than any other year in my life. Currently creating my own muse and hope to be launching very soon. Wish me luck!
Sorry. I can just see you now with a timer in your hand before and after sex. AND I assume that is WITH a partner. 🙂 Congratulations, Kid. One day you will be able to do that in one session. Keep it up, 😉 And thanks for your inspirational story. Carry on!
I’m retiring from the game of basketball and living all the over the world has pushed me to awesome cultures, people and experiences. I’d love to keep living this lifestyle and am looking for places to start this education!
How does dribbling a basketball turn into a muse? Anyone have suggestions?
Cool post Brandon. Thanks for sharing. Trevor
Ps. Reading with the wife aloud, or just reading silently across from one another? I’m going to have reread 5 love languages on that one or find me a woman that thinks that is quality time!!!
Thanks for this post. It’s inspiring to see how others are making the 4HWW happen with kids.
I used to work 60+ hours per week as a COO of a web development company. I was stressed all of the time. The moment my son was born I decided to make a significant change in my life. I quit my job and started a mobile app development company. It was difficult at first. I went an entire year without a salary while I was building the technology. When I sell apps directly to schools or sports teams, I charge a one-time build out fee and an ongoing monthly service fee. The over the past 1.5 years, I have built my on-going monthly service fees significantly.
Just so you know, I still work more than 4 hours a week, partly because I am still trying to curb my workaholic tendencies and partly because my business is still growing and I need to implement more areas of automation. The difference is that now I decide when I work, how long I work, and I can work from anywhere. I know this situation will just continue to get better and better.
Nice job Brandon. Sometimes we forget on our way to making money that TIME and FLEXIBILITY are often more valuable commodities, especially for those with a family.
Thanks so much Brandon, I was very pleasantly surprised to come across your fresh and authentic blog. In a nutshell, we live the ‘ideal life’ with a really great, fun, loving marriage, most magnificent son and daughter, strong faith, gorgeous house, super-special extended family, great job (on paper) with one of the worlds largest corporates, etc etc, however, how ideal is it? We are pretty-much locked in to our existence. Our bond holds us hostage, our very weak exchange rate (R10 : USD 1) makes travelling internationally exceptionally challenging, you know the deal. I had breakfast with an amazing man recently who was shot and left for dead while travelling from the source of the Amazon river to the sea and he said something about ‘selling out’ to the corporate existence which made a light bulb turn on in my head. I realised that that is exactly what we’ve done. Ironically as a representative of John Kehoe teaching his Mind Power practices I thought I was living my life consciously, however it was within these restrictive parameters. My grandmother was a Romany Gypsy, so I have huge waves of Wanderlust that surge through my veins. As I sat looking up at the night sky from our gorgeous (perfectly manicured) back garden this evening, I realised that most of the time we are simply working to keep all of this afloat and it is simply an existence, and not an adventure. We are given one lifetime, we were not instructed to play it safe, and yet that is exactly what most of us do, terrified to even consider leaving this behind in the search of life. My heart is beating faster at the possibilities out there. There is so much more to our lives and having been introduced to you and Tim, I’m determined to bring about change in our lives. I will not let my husband continue to spend the rest of his working days in a place of ‘quiet desperation’. Thanks so much for sharing your life with us and for the inspiration to change.
Is your book on starting an online business available yet? If so please kindly let me know the name – thanks. [Moderator: Email Removed]
Warm regards from a sweltering South Africa,
This is really inspiring – gives me great hope. The 4-hour workweek has got me thinking really outside of the box – finding new ways to do things with max efficiency so there is time left for the truly important stuff. I’ve published a few books myself to help people get the most work done in the least time. Life is too short to waste.
Brandon, your story inspires me, as I have a family of three (wife and son 8yrs old) I would have liked it to be bigger by about two additions, but finances and and a hurried lifestyle hindered us from expanding.
Personally, I have been struggling with the 4HWW for the past 3 going on 4 years and wouldn’t mind getting some tips and pointers from you or anyone in this forum of getting out there. Maybe its because, I haven’t dedicated my time and energy enough to execute the “jump”, and I am holding on to my “old life”. Within the 3 year period, I’ve changed jobs, started and currently finishing up my MSc. part time, worked full time as a mechanical engineer, doing work with my local church and balancing family life and all the stuff that goes with it.
I must say, though, that even though I am not fully launched into my ideal lifestyle, I have many take aways from the 4HWW that I apply daily.
1) Practiced to limit my information over-intake
2) I am conscious of how I spend my time
3) I try more getting others to help me do things instead of doing it all myself
4) I don’t read my emails first thing in the morning and I manage them according to priority and importance, not just reading because they’re in my inbox
5) My desire to own stuff has diminished tremendously
6) I constantly recognize opportunities to create income (execution is my shortcoming)
7) I seek more interaction and living in the moment, than getting caught in the rat race of activities
8) I stay away from activities or tasks that add little value
9) I wear my headphones in the office even though I may not be listening to anything
4HWW has truly influenced my life in a positive way, so even though I may be still “locked” into a job, I am experiencing the 4HWW in my life and change in mentality. I am really hoping to make a breakthrough this year, as I will be done with my thesis in June and will seek to dedicate the focused time necessary to get my 4HWW lifestyle design off the ground.
Looking for a willing coach, mentor, accountability partner as well 🙂
Joel – I know the feeling. Very much in the same boat but have started the process of eliminating time wasters.
Great article to get inspired further more. I almost done reading the 4HWW book and I wanted to know if all the advice on building the business is still current to date? like using Google Adwords, PPC. By no means I am teachie and will totally will need to learn how to do that if it still current. My family and I are at a very critical point in our lives financially after losing our jobs in Corporate America. I’ve always being interested in having a business, seeing my kids grow enjoying a fun adventurous lifestyle/travel. An online business will be so ideal for us. Is everything in Tim’s book still applicable to date? *Thank You* to anyone who can respond.
I read 4hww along with Chad Mureta’s App Empire. All sounded fab – a mobile business run from your pocket taking a minimal time once set-up. Automated income, the thing we all dream of…
I wasn’t giving up a full-time job to fit this in, but being a full-time mom trying to get a work balance back. Ideal opportunity to start a business as I wasn’t ‘working’ as such.
The app launched.. It is flexible around the family. I could work just 4hrs a week as no matter what I do it isn’t putting $ in my pocket.
One word. Beautiful.
I love this post! What a great breakdown Brandon. Thank you for the detailed information. Due in large part to the 4HWW, my wife & 3 kids now live in Cozumel (have been for 2 years already) and I spend on average about 5-10 hours/week on my business. I could get it down even further if I just focused more. But I admit, island life and the “manana” attitude have affected me just a bit. 🙂 I LOVE seeing other families doing the LD thing. It really works!
Worked in a big corporate company previously as an AVP and implemented many of the 4hww methods there. Now I am setting up my own business and is in the process of automating much of the workflow and outsourcing tasks. The 4hww gave me the inspiration and kick in the ass to start saving up money and preparing for a totally new lifestyle. I have never enjoyed life as much as I do now and have a degree of freedom I never thought was possible. Now I spend my time on all my passion….the biggest one being creating a remarkable product. But all the boring tasks of running a fashion brand is outsourced so I can spend my time doing what I love. Thanks Tim!
One word, thanks.
That sounds like Brandon is consciously aware with every minute he is given. Sounds amazing! I have a question for Brandon, when you say you spend time studying your dreams could you clarify?
I work 4 hours as an AT ‘acaemic tutor’ per week @ £40 per hour, plus online exam marking (£20 per script). I don’t require a phd, i don’t run around University debtaing the world problems – i spend long wekends thurs-monday travelling the UK coastal areas. great, i’m not sure why anybody accept their life as a 9-5 sucker. Take control , don’t buy crap you don;t need. DO you really need a smartphone, tablet and laptop? no, a laptop and PAYG £10 call phone is fine. Life changes when you control your destiny – you are not competign against anybody
Hello, this site is so expansive and it seems most of the threads are quite dead at this point. I’m a family guy trying to set up my own product. Another company sells but does not manufacter what I’m looking to alter and sell myself. After emailing them and requesting to order an INSANE amount of product that I assume they would not be able to supply. They said they don’t reveal who their manufacturer is. How do I find out on my own? If I can get them my life and product will be Mich easier. Thank you to all who reply if any.
Josh – I’d like to follow your progress as I’m always trying to learn. Do you have a prototype?
In July of 2009 I read the 4HWW, in October I had the first customer and in October 2012 (finally) quit my other business.
A family of 5 with kids now 3, 6, and 8 we traveled the US in an airstream for 14 months and just wrapped up this past September.
It is doable.
It is distinctly different from traveling without kids….
In the end we decided we wanted the stability and comforts of a (albeit much smaller than our previous) home base.
Seems most of the time when I hear about people wanting to do something like this (but aren’t) most of the roadblocks they’ll mention have more to do with mindset, fear of the unknown, and struggles with conformity.
As an aside, if I knew when I was single, or at least childless, what I know now I’d have traveled much more extensively and would have foregone all the bougeois shit I was aspiring to at that time in my life.
You are not your f-ing khakis
I’m interested in stories like these, but I end up wanting the spouse’s schedule as well. Do both partners have a similar balance?
I just finished your audiobook of “4 hour work week” and am very inspired! However, I’ve been trying to find the answer to an apparent mental roadblock with reducing hours working my job. I am an engineer in consulting and account for every hour of my day, putting it towards a specific contract number. If I work remotely and spend 4 hours getting what I would spend 8 hours completing in the office, I don’t bill the client for 8 hours and I only get paid for 4. Do real salaried employees actually work less and earn the same amount of money from that job? Is the design to work (and earn) less at that job as you create an automated source of income, effectively freeing up time? Has anyone reading this overcome the risk of an employer having a problem with an employee working less despite getting less out of them?
Hi Tim and Brandon.
I am new to this and only starting on this journey. I have limited business experience and am not very tech savvy.
I have 3 kids , a 20, 16 and 3 year old all boys and am happily married. I also have an auto immune disease called RA which forced me into resigning from my job as an exec PA to a top financial person. I’ve been at home for 1 year and I can’t spend any more time sitting around waiting to get more I’ll or die. I am bigger this illness! I am bored and itching to start living a fulfilled life. This hollow existence is driving me crazy. I have talents and creative things I’m brilliant at. Everyone tells me this all the time. I’m very creative and have done everything I’ve ever set my mind to it.
But where do I start?
So excited and fear as I really want and need to make e changes
I’m hoping to hear from you soon.
Thank you for this great article.
Love this. We practice the four hour work week with our family of 4 kids. We decided to take it a step further this year and apply it to their schooling.. home schooling while traveling and living the four hour work week and the five hour school week.. results are happy so far
Thank you!! Wow!!! this hit right and at the right time!! Now I need a “muse”…. thank you for your honesty
I get a lot of reading these things but truly this self down comes slapping days and I feel a bit out of my depths and unsure. Then normal and unhappy thoughts start To set in but I am not happy there ?? Help??
Hey 4HWW family!
I’ve heard Tim mention clergy creating muses. As a church leader, I’d love to not take finances from the church. Like many others I’ve struggled with the muse brainstorm process and would love to hear of successful stories of muse creation in that field.
Thanks in advance!
Great implementation of the book & certainly inspiring to me!!
I realise this is a really old post but I am new to your work. I have just read the four hour work week on my husband’s recommendation and I loved it! I am also loving your podcast. I particularly liked the one with Susan Cain as I am a true introvert!
The reason I am posting is because my husband lost a lot of money to fraudsters last year. The bank refused to take any responsibility for this or pay it back, which was very distressing especially as it was the money we had put aside for our wedding.
Despite complaining, contacting our local member of parliament, the police and financial ombudsman…we had gotten no where in 12 months!
After reading your book, I decided to write an email of complaint but this time send it straight to the top… to the CEO whose email address I was able to track down. Within 4 days we had all the money back plus compensation and I can’t begin to describe how relieved we are! Thank you so much for the inspiration…it has really made a significant impact to our lives. I look forward to continuing to read and listen to you in future!
Mind Blowing stuff. I really enjoyed your article.
Cheers from Canada
This is sweet! Thanks so much for sharing!
When I read your book in 2009 I owned a demolition company and worked 60 hours per week. I now work 1 hour per week and make 5X the income that I did then. I can attribute 100% of this to your book. Thank you!