Late one evening last March I was on my way home listening to Pick Up Podcast with AJ and Jordan (absolutely love those guys). On this particular show they were highlighting the achievements of the great book The 4-Hour Workweek.This caught my attention because I had just finished working for 12 hours on my feet at a retail store that I will keep confidential. Once I got home, I looked up Tim and his book. Three reviews later, and I began downloading the kindle e-book. I couldn’t put the book down.
When I woke up I was reading how Tim went to Princeton, left, and went again. How he left his 40k/year job to make 80k a month from home. On my breaks at work I was reading about 80/20 analysis, and about effective leadership. When I was home I was reading about being an expert, outsourcing and this thing that I’ve never heard of before, “automation.”
Before I picked up Tim’s book, I was comfortable in my less than comfortable life. I had a job that paid me well every couple of weeks, one that lead me to the same house every night where I lived alone with no distractions. I absolutely hated my job and I was praying for a way out. My life was boring. I was 21 with a boring life. I think the kids nowadays say “WTF” to stuff like that.
I made it through about 3/4 of the book and tried to share my newfound knowledge with my managers at work. I tried to do an 80/20 analysis for our entire store. I tried to implement the changes that needed to be made, but I received no support from my superiors. They were actually more concerned with doing things the way we’ve always done them. I thought this was insane. Actually Albert Einstein thought so too, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
I couldn’t take it anymore. Tim made me believe that it was possible to get out of this meaningless, dull life. I mean what was the difference between Tim and myself? He went to an Ivy League Institution. I went to Morehouse College. So what? If Tim could do it, then I could do it. I could no longer read about Tim Ferris’ lifestyle of freedom, full of travel and excitement, so I quit my job. Unlike Tim, I was back in my parent’s home within a month.
I would not advise that anyone quit their current job to work on an entrepreneurial adventure, whether that be a startup, selling products online, or internet or network marketing. You always need a stream of livable income. We don’t live in a free society that will just shove out handouts because you are working on the next big thing. Often times, I have seen this with my own two eyes: when someone quits their job and goes to start something on their own, they end up at another job that they hate and with less pay because they just need something to make sure that they can eat. I was in the same boat. Don’t jump in that one.
Rather, figure out a way to prioritize your time. Be at work while at work, and then outside of your job work on the things that will make your new business profitable, which I will touch on later.
Sense of Entitlement
Too many of us see these Tim Ferris stories and immediately throw ourselves in head-first and expect that next week we’ll inherit a $10,000 check just because we decided to give the finger to the man. I heard Lewis Howes say it best, “No one is going to hand you a million dollars, and if they did you would blow it anyway.”
The truth is anyone who has made it in any entrepreneurial field has put in a lot of work and made many sacrifices to get to where they are currently. The public only sees the glamour. Many went through months, if not years, of failed attempt after failed attempt until they got it right.
When starting out, expect that failure is to come, but learn from each failure. Never quit. John C. Maxwell has a book titled Sometimes You Win–Sometimes You Learn where he discusses how life’s greatest lessons are gained from our losses. Learn from the losses.
Work vs. Productivity
Those of us who begin our journey towards entrepreneurial success who are aware that we have to put forth massive effort to receive a massive return, are usually more focused on being busy rather than being productive. When we come from a world that pays us for time (i.e. dollar amount/hr jobs), it is hard for us to transition to the world of “production income.” So, instead of working on income-generating activities, we are only concerned with being busy and looking like we’re working, which neglects the time that we should be spending creating the income we truly want.
To help with this common mistake, Tim Ferris often does an 80/20 analysis to cut out the things that aren’t bringing him the most revenue. He explains it in this video.
What Tim Really Did for my Life
Tim Ferris messed up my undesirable and boring comfort zone. He woke me up, and challenged me to do something that matters to me, and many others. He opened a door of opportunity that I thought was only reserved for a select few. It took me a while to get adjusted to the new lifestyle, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. For anyone just starting: keep going, your return on the investment is definite.
Tim no longer makes 80k a month; he’s now a deserving millionaire. Tim Ferris did it. Yes, you can too.