Marketing Lessons from the 4-Hour Workweek

The following article is a guest post by Marc McDermott.

The 4-Hour Workweek, by Timothy Ferris, introduces a whole new concept in time planning and the ways work affects people’s lifestyles. Author Tim Ferris has mastered the art of combining powerful principles for economizing on time with outsourcing to arrive at an extremely short, while at the same time highly lucrative, work week.

This book is a must for anyone who is interested in reducing the amount of time they spend working at a job and increasing their freedom to pursue their creative interests. The book is tailor made for people in the marketing field as well as many other lines of work. In a step by step and easy to understand way, Tim points out both the reasons for going for a much lighter work load and the ways in which this can be accomplished.

Attitude Shifts

The book discusses various attitude shifts that Tim has identified which apply a revolutionary new way of looking at work and time usage. A large part of creating a dream lifestyle is finding out the attitudinal factors that are keeping an individual in the daily grind. People make all kinds of assumptions that make a work filled and moderately productive life seem inevitable. Even individuals that are making enough money from the work they do are not happy in such a lifestyle. Ferris points out that a much realer measure of success is the amount of free time one has after the work is completed. In this sense, someone making a large salary by working long hours is less wealthy than someone working much shorter hours and making only moderately less money, but who has much more free time to pursue their interests.

The 80-20 Ratio

As an example of the types of principles the book discusses, Ferris describes a ratio that can be used to reduce the amount of work an individual has to do to accomplish a certain goal. The basic idea here is that, as a general rule, about 80% of real productivity comes from only about 20% of work that is undertaken by an individual. This means that the other 80% of the work most people are involved in yields little or no result and is essentially wasted time and energy. The key is to eliminate that wasted 80%. It is not hard to see how this frees up huge amounts of time while allowing for the same amount of productivity or accomplishment.

In marketing terms this would translate into time spent making sales efforts toward unresponsive leads and pursuing strategies that do not produce high conversion rates. The 20% of marketing efforts that do work can be singled out and expanded on (without significantly increasing the workload) and the wasted effort minimized or eliminated.


Another area that Tim deals with extensively in the book is outsourcing. Outsourcing is made even easier these days by the internet. The book goes over a number of different ways in which outsourcing can be used to reduce someone’s workload to almost nothing. For a marketing professional, this might include outsourcing tasks like prospect generation, telemarketing, or web optimization to others to complete. Tim demonstrates just how to do this in a variety of easy ways.

Timothy Ferris’ book is a fascinating and refreshing journey into the possibilities of what he calls lifestyle design. Whether someone is involved in marketing or some other field, this book will open the reader’s eyes to all kinds of potentials and possibilities for achieving financial success while designing a much freer lifestyle. Read it!

Marc McDermott is the Marketing Manager at Merchant Express, a provider of merchant account services and payment processing technologies with a specialized approach to accepting credit cards, merchant bankcard processing and transaction processing services. He is a SEMPO Certified SEM Professional and Google Analytics Certified Individual.

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