Leno Book Spoof, Tim vs. Donny Deutsch, and First Live Q&A with Tim


The last week has been surreal.

It all began with an e-mail from a reader last Thursday at 11:34pm tipping me off to the impossible. Fumbling for the remote, I caught it just in time — Jay Leno spoofing The 4-Hour Workweek! [Update: the link I had here has been deleted or exceeded bandwidth, so please post a new link in the comments if you find one!]

12 hours later I received a call from my publisher and was, 24 hours later, on a plane to NYC. Enter the Tim Ferriss and Donny Deutsch death match, moderated by Matt Lauer on the Today Show! It couldn’t have been better, and I ended up looking — comparatively — as calm as a Hindu cow. Warning: the videos seem to take eons to load.


Despite Donny’s aggressive style, and the many funny responses to it, he was actually very encouraging and nice both before and after the show. That evening, I was called to CNBC for “On The Money,” and I’m now booked solid with traditional media for tomorrow, at which point I’m disappearing to Costa Rica to purge my mind of massive media overdose. I’ve had enough. No mas!

I actually canceled Thursday and Friday in NYC to make this escape, and I’ll be doing the few radio shows that remain from beachside in Central America, after which it’s off to tour an active volcano and drink mojitos. The flights, which I bought three hours ago and include the return to CA, were the same cost as two more nights in my NYC hotel. Which would you rather have?

Better yet–what’s the worst thing that could happen if you arranged to take Thursday and/or Friday off?

Don’t answer now, but give it some thought. Those who dare (I encourage you) can give it a shot and share their results here.

Free Live Q&A with Tim Ferriss:

Due to the overwhelming number of e-mail my poor virtual assistants have been receiving, I’ll be holding my first ever live public Q&A to answer some of the most common questions about the 4HWW, some never-before-answered questions about origins and mistakes, and also questions from listeners! Sign up and send us your question here: http://www.timferrissbooktour.com/

Posted on: June 26, 2007.

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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)

67 comments on “Leno Book Spoof, Tim vs. Donny Deutsch, and First Live Q&A with Tim

  1. Donny Deutsch is typical of the success-obsession of New Yorkers. I’ve watched lots of his interviews and, while I do agree with many of the things people have said on his show, he comes off as really pushy a lot of times–like asking Bill Gates what he carries in his wallet! Hey Donny, duh, what does everyone carry in their wallet? “Oh yeah, Donny, about $1 – 2 million in large bills to buy things like groceries and gas for my car.” Donny is a success but he also took over his Daddy’s ad business too. Don’t buy his “I did it all myself” schtick. He sold his business, an advertising firm, for a ton of cash. So what? People do it all the time. Hey Donny, there are people who define their success in terms other than financial. I know that may be hard for you to grasp, dude, bein’ a New Yorker and all. But hey, good for you man. We’re talking about living life while it’s here, not spending al of it locked in some skyscraper thinking of ways to sell crap that people don’t need anyway. Simplify Donny, simplify.


  2. That guy Donny is such a Freakin’ D**CHE BAG! Who is that guy kidding saying that the happiest people in the world are people who work 80-90 hours a week. He’s typical of the type of person who won’t retire cause all they know how to do is work. Pleasure outside of work consists of the odd round of golf and sitting on your ass at some beach house in the Hamptons – what is now referred to as the OLD RICH.

    Even if you don’t try and pursue a 4 hour work week, the insight and info, and reflection in this book are invaluable!


  3. Donny is just wrong; in truth, the happiest people are those who choose how they spend their time, and who have something they care about that fulfills them. That may be work, but it could be family, volunteering, a hobby, and so on. Donny appears to be trapped in his paradigm.

    On another note, the interview highlights how worthless most media is. If they had spent just 10 minutes more and had let you explain your ideas just a bit more fully, viewers would begin to comprehend your plan, and see that it’s not a scheme. Donny added nothing to the discussion.


  4. Tim , have you noticed that Donny was already on the defensive against your ideas before the segment started? I think it is because your concepts challenged the very foundation of his ‘business’ … he said it indirectly himself when he started out with ” Find something you love and work HARDER than the next guy ” ….
    The funny thing is that I think he KNEW you were right because more hours does not make the work more important or more ‘effective’ … ( as you say in your book ). And anyone that has ever debated knows exactly WHY he was doing his best to steal the time away from you. He didn’t want to hear what you had to say. Heheeheheeh… Beautiful job!! Everyone that paid attention to what you were saying had to be curious about your confidence in your truths – in spite of the flailing Donny next to you and the crazy folks behind you making faces and acting goofy. …. you were incredibly smooth.


  5. Wow, pretty strange that they put you in a situation like that. Great job keeping your cool, but my opinion is you were setup. Donny kind of discounted the whole productivity thing, which in my mind, is the entire point. You even say in your book that you can use the techniques to decrease your workload, or simply increase your results. You would think a CEO would want to implement some of your ideas in the company to increase results, not talk about how great hard work his.

    So why did Donny talk so much about hard work?:

    I would guess he doesn’t know what that means. Most people in the world do not have rich fathers that hand you their media companies. I am sure he works a lot, but he never had to work from the ground up like most people, so his perspective on work is one of always being the boss/owner/front man. Donny knows this and puts up a great front to make people think he is self-made and has sage business advice.

    90 Hour weeks are great for the self-obsessed, no family, no kids, defined by the bank account types, especially when work is simply being famous and talking on a studio set. But please, don’t tell me America is built on people like him. It is built on self made business owners like yourself, and hard working families who know what hard work means.

    It is fairly simple to work all the time and make lots of money. But can you manage a family and children at the same time? That’s when the true value of productivity and your bookbecomes apparent.


  6. The funny thing about this conversation is that it really didn’t get to the point. Both realities from Tim and Donny were true. It’s not that one is right and the other is wrong, or that Tim’s any smarter than Donny, for only working “4 hours” a week (which I don’t think is true a good portion of the time, especially now there’s a book in play that’s changing the world), or that Donny is smarter than Tim for working 70.

    Tim’s learned how to set his lifestyle up so that he can be mobile. Tim has a unique business. It’s a fully automated product business (I believe its nutritional supplements) and he’s leveraged outside service providers to enable him to get free of his businesses day to day. A bunch of other saps, NOT living a 4-hour work week are doing all the work. And it took Tim Ferris more than 4 hours a week to set it all up.

    Is it a multi-bullion dollar company? No. It’s an automated business selling stuff. Yes. Donny’s not doing that, he’s running a multi billion dollar ad agency and a TV show and that takes more than 4 hours per week.

    Is Tim’s core business changing the world as he refers to in his book? No. But I can tell you writing that book, which is changing the world, and doing media takes more than 4 hours per week. But he says that in the book! And I paraphrase…if you’re going to change the world, it will likely take you more than 4 hours per week.

    Tim’s talking about creating businesses that sell stuff that you can fully automate to free up space and time to experiment with living your life the way you want. And, you can apply these principles whether you do that or not, to simply live a better quality life.

    Most people wouldn’t know what to do with the other 56 hours a week. It would fill up quickly; with other life and business as Donny talk about. But I don’t think that’s the point of the book or Tim’s pure message. He’s showing people how to experiment with a better lifestyle design leveraging a certain kind of business model.

    Streamlining and Simplifying is a big part of a Performance Lifestyle that works for you AND the achievement of your goals. As long as you’re able to take care of yourself at the level you need, and you have the quality of life you want, if you want to work 60 hours a week and you love it, Rock and Roll! There’s nothing wrong with that.

    Everyone’s life and lifestyle is going to be different and only a certain number of people are going to be successful or even able to realize a “4-hourâ€? workweek let alone something close to that. After all, who’s going to be left to support your 4-hour workweek? Eventually we’d all have to *&^%$#-it, I’m not working!

    I personally don’t think I’ll work only 4 hours per week, or that I have a business where that’s even possible. But the idea has gotten me to think differently, and I’m already minded this way. I’m taking my lifestyle design to new levels!!


  7. I wish I could keep this whole idea to myself, I won’t of course. But, after reading, I just want to be the lone ranger laughing at the rest of America. Now that’s true greed.

    I left clinical medicine because of the requirement for long work hours alone. I actually had work weeks in residency that were over 120 hours. I left and took my knowledge of medicine and in particular orthopaedic surgery and went to industry to find a different opportunity. Since then, much of my life has been gravy and I had been working closer to your books example for the last 4 years at perhaps 20 hours a week, without stress, and happy. I spent nearly 5 of those hours a week by myself critically thinking about how a technology could be used to advance the surgical decision making process in orthopaedic surgery. Because of this focus and energy, I ended up with 12 patents for the company just this last year alone, and now my future with the company not even dependent on any singular activity anymore. considered by the company to be the guru and that’s enough to keep me well paid and around.

    Your book however, has opened my eyes to the fact that i could do much better. that my fear of failure kept me from attempting to make it on my own. That if i outsourced a component of my work for this next year, that i could redirect some, if not all, of my energy towards my two other ideas that i want to create on my own. One is to start a business for myself using technology married with performing physical therapy at home, and second is to allow an older idea that i had patented that i have continued to leave on a back burner because it did’nt seem to be the highest priority.

    Ultimately, even now i feel as though my life will be so much more successful after reading your book, and want to thank you for confirming in writing just how great the path your describe in your book really is. Thank you.


  8. I watched this video. I don’t want to be the other guy. Simple. He appeared nervous, anxious, stressed and not very well composed. These are the questions I asked myself: So how much money does he need to feel successful? If he loves to work fine. I love my job too. Does that mean I want to eat up 8 to 12 hours a day doing it? I have many other activities I love as well. For example I am traveling to Italy in October, and I am loving learning Italian.

    If work stops being one of my loves at this place, I am gone, and I am 49 years old as I say this. I am not afraid because I have wonderful knowledge, skills, and attributes to offer. I refuse to live in fear.

    Since I began reading your book 3 weeks ago Tim, I have reduced my work week from 40 hours to 30 hours. I work at home as much as I want, and I will get an even bigger time reduction in the near future, I am certain. Next week, I’ll bet I am down to 25 hours. This isn’t mentioning the amount of clutter I am removing from life. It feels like a great burden is lifting off my shoulders. Did I mention, I have eliminated all my debt?

    The point is what do I want to be doing now? If work, fine that is a personal decision. For me, I want to enjoy my work and keep it to a minimum spending the rest of the time living and doing the many other things I love.

    Good For You Tim! Definitely try this at home, at work, and anywhere else!

    Thanks Tim!


  9. Just wondering how this book could help out a college student. I’m wondering if it would require me getting automated income on the side as a student by outsourcing non-traditional jobs??


  10. I did not see the video, must have been funny though. I like Donny’s show because as an entrepreneur, I learn a lot from his guests.

    You might be interested to watch the YES movie at my website. It’s a film by Louis Lautman in his journey to become a successful entrepreneur.


  11. Tim,
    I am amazed at your intelligence and productivity. You are a master of living life to the fullest. You make it look so easy. Hopefully one day I’ll finally get there. You’ve really found and explained the answers I’ve been looking for, for so many years.
    Absolutely amazing few minute video with Donny and Lauer!
    It was so entertaining to me, how irritated and annoyed Donny was, to see that you had the audacity to sit there and tell the world that working smarter is more productive and fulfilling than just working harder.
    I got the impression that he felt he had to defend his way of thinking ( to himself) so as not to completely explode out of frustration.
    The realization that he had sacrificed “his life” ( and maybe the life of his loved ones as well) already, for “success” ( or his definition of it) was too much for him to bare or accept without a fight.
    Thank you- for your work and continued assistance for the rest of us trying to respect ourselves, our lives and loved ones, by changing traditions and learning about ways to start living the way we were made to.


  12. I’m a little late posting this but after watching this video, how can Donnie honestly say the “happiest people work the hardest”? He clearly was referring to himself but he is so wound up and under so much pressure he can’t fathom such a concept. Tim, your relaxed attitude proves once and for all, working less creates if not more happiness, but more serenity and a clearer mind.

    And we all thank you for that.