How to Be In My Next Big Book

Photo Credit: Sarah Dippity

Photo Credit: Sarah Dippity

The 4-Hour Workweek is coming up on its 10th anniversary in a few years (insane), and the time is ripe for a killer companion.  Therefore…

My next book will be a monstrous encyclopedia of success stories from readers of The 4-Hour Workweek.  There are innumerable stories I couldn’t have predicted. Taking multiple companies to IPO? Getting to the Super Bowl? Building a seven-figure muse and traveling the world with a family of 3-7…as a single parent?!

That’s just the beginning.  Now, I want to hear your story.  And I want to put you in my next book.

If you don’t yet have a success story, keep reading and I’ll show you how to create one.  I’ll also give you a benevolent kick in the ass (i.e. amazing bribe).

Please read this entire post.  To start off, there are three ways to share your story with me:

1) If you already have a success story to tell, please fill out the form at  Easy peasy.

2) If you joined the latest Shopify Build-A-Business Competition that started last year, you can select the “Muse Category” and compete. Read below.

3) If you haven’t yet created a “muse” (automated cash-flow business), keep reading.  Things are about to get very interesting for you.

The prizes for sharing are simple: potentially be in my next book, and (if in categories 2 or 3 above) get flown to Richard Branson’s private island for billionaire coaching.

And here’s how it all works…

If you have not joined the latest Shopify Build-A-Business Competition, do this:

  • Read The 4-Hour Workweek if you haven’t.  
  • Still not sure what business to start, or which product to choose? Read this guide from Shopify and then come back to this post.
  • Create a new business: Launch an online store with Shopify by using this link. You *must* use this link or I can’t track you properly.
  • Start selling, change your life, and keep records: After the eight-month competition, Shopify will calculate your best two months of sales. From there, based on a $5K-per-month minimum, Shopify will compile a list of 20 finalists. Tim Ferriss and his magic elves will judge each of the 20 finalists using the following criteria: gross sales during the top two months (60% weight), Lifestyle Design (25% weight – i.e. how much your improve your life), and recording (15% weight – This could include YouTube clips, blog posts, Instagram pics, Twitter, Facebook, Vine, or whatever, but it should track your experiences and lessons learned. Use #4hourlaunch and link back to this blog post.)
  • Get support: Use all of the Shopify support resources, how-to guides, and community forums to learn how to grow, grow, grow.

If you’ve already entered the Shopify Build-A-Business Competition, and you want to join the Muse Category:

  • Just click this link. Enter your Shopify URL there, and you’ll be added into the Muse Competition.
  • Read The 4-Hour Workweek if you haven’t.
  • Follow the above steps from “Start selling…”  Same rules and criteria apply.

The Prizes (For Those Building Businesses and Competing):

For all competitors who sign up:

  • Private Facebook group. On February 15, 2015 at 5pm ET, Shopify will send me a list of all the email addresses of people who’ve signed up. Each person will then be invited to an exclusive and private “Muse” Facebook group, where I’ll also make occasional appearances.  It’s free, but you must sign up by Feb 15 at 5pm ET to be invited.

For the ultimate winners:

  • 5 days of mentorship on Necker Island, Richard Branson’s private island in the British Virgin Islands
  • A private jet from New York to Necker Island. Shopify will also cover the cost of getting you to NYC.
  • You can invite a guest (!), and their costs are similarly covered.
  • You’ll be joined by 5 other winners, and you’ll be mentored by Tim Ferriss, Sir Richard Branson, Daymond John (founder of FUBU), and Marie Forleo. You will get plenty of one-on-one time with every mentor.
  • Complimentary nearly-everything: meals and drinks, as well as all the island has to offer, including water sports, tennis, pools, and jacuzzi.
  • Seth Godin will hold an private group workshop on the island.
  • And many other surprises!


  • You must enter your Shopify store into the competition no later than March 31, 2015.  Obviously, good to get started ASAP.  Just click the damn link and get started. If not now, then when?
  • Last day to generate sales for the competition: May 31, 2015


  • Entrants must have opened a Shopify store after June 1, 2014 in order to be eligible
  • The competition is open to legal residents in any one of the United States, excluding Arizona, Maryland, Vermont, Delaware, Louisiana and Montana (sorry!). The competition is also open to legal residents of the District of Columbia, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Spain and Canada.
  • BUT — Even if you’re not eligible for the Branson-related trip, you can still join the Shopify competition, get support, and join the private Facebook group!

Videos, Just for Fun:

Ready for the adventure of a lifetime?  Sign up here and get started!

Look forward to raising a drink with you on Necker🙂

Posted on: January 27, 2015.

The Tim Ferriss Show is generally the #1 business podcast on iTunes, and it was selected for iTunes' "Best of 2015." Each episode deconstructs world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, sports, business, art, etc.) to extract the tactics, tools, and routines you can use. If you want to 10x your productivity, click here.

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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)

94 comments on “How to Be In My Next Big Book

    • From what it seems, the competition is opened to the U.S. (except the mentioned states) and District of Columbia, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Spain and Canada…


    • Hey Francisco, unfortunately this year the competition is only open to the countries listed. Competition laws vary from country to country, so we had to consult with legal counsel in each country. Shopify is growing all the time though, so keep checking back – in future years our competitions could expand to other countries. And in the meantime, feel free to participate for the additional motivation to grow your business, even if you’re ineligible for the prize.


  1. I am beyond excited. I am currently finishing The 4 Hour Work Week and this is the perfect opportunity to put into practice everything I have read. Prize or no prize, simply completing this is the best journey I could ask for.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am beyond excited. I am currently finishing The 4 Hour Work Week and this is the perfect opportunity to put into practice everything I have read. Prize or no prize, simply completing this is the best journey I could ask for.


  3. Hey Tim!

    Does a broke, depressed security guard with 4 cents in his pocket and being $50,000 in debt turning into a world traveling, pro blogging, NYU speaking, NYT Author Endorsement getting, dynamo, qualify as a solid endorsement for reading AND using 4 Hour Work Week principles?😉

    Love what you’re doing and I will run over to submit my story now.

    On a side note, I read your book about 7 years ago. Loved it but I wasn’t ready to use it. Some 4 years later I devoured the book when traveling from NYC to Cusco, Peru. I began to use it. Fast forward a few more years and you guessed it; I began to embody your principles, doing all that luscious uncomfortable stuff that folks do to free themselves.

    Tim, kudos to you for all that you do! I appreciate you from the bottom of my heart because you more than anybody has had the most powerful influence on me and my decision to leave behind the 9-5, and the 4-12 to Blog from Paradise.

    Keep on inspiring my man!


    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow. What a story. I am finally inspired to read the book. As a serial entrepreneur and avid reader, it should have been on my required reading list. But I’d heard a lot of negative feedback and resisted it. Hearing this story makes me want to run out and buy it.


  4. I see some people wondering why their country is not in the list. I am surprised as well of finding Spain IS in the list! It’s like the second time in history we make it into an “elite” group!

    I’ll do my best for the grandiosity of my Country. See you in the field. Wish you all the best.

    And if your country is not in the list, you may consider incorporating your company in UK and register under it. It may not work (Tim or someone from the competition could help here), but it’s a quite simple process.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Glad to hear you’re returning to your roots!

    I was listening to one of your podcasts and yet another guest said that 4HWW is the book that they give more than any other, I hope you take note of that. Top performers in so many fields still see you as “the fork in the road.”

    You’re work has shifted the direction of so many lives for the better – I hope you feel dearly appreciated! Un abrazo🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Tim – does selling digital or information products qualify to enter the competition?

    Shopify seems more geared toward physical products and the rules aren’t very clear “…The Categories are: 1. fashion and apparel; 2. electronics and gadgets; 3. art, jewelry and crafts; and 4. everything else”

    Would info/ digital products fall under category 4?

    Thanks for putting this together!


    Liked by 1 person

  7. Tim .im in costa rica with bifs and pieces of your book. took the life challenge with a 6 week jump out of my comfort zone ….traveling making Atenas C.R.
    with my desk in the jungle my adventure of working and living my dream


    • funny I’m also in C.R… wanted to do it years ago but it wasn’t until after reading Tims book that I actually had the courage to go for it! best of luck to you!!


  8. Tim.. I hope you for new books stop enticing people to leave reviews by offering prizes, trips.. etc. People who go leave reviews based on the hopes of wining something, will usually leave 4-5 ratings. They won’t be sincere or truthful. They have nothing to lose by leaving reviews like that. Reviews and ratings should be driven by the value and merit of the books themselves without dangling a carrot. I don’t believe most of the reviews anymore. I actually read bad reviews only because they are usually posted by people with a critical viewpoint then I check out the book at a store and decide if it’s worth getting.


  9. Hi Tim,

    Already signed up for the BAB contest! Looking forward to going kite surfing with Richard Branson in Necker Island.

    Also, just in case you’re interested, in the “If you have not joined the latest Shopify Build-A-Business Competition…” in the 11th line after “the following criteria” there’s a small typo “how much you* improve your life”.



    Liked by 1 person

  10. Absolutely cannot wait to read this! My general sense has been that building a business Tim Ferriss style had become near impossible the last few years to replicate the successes. This is going to be awesome and inspirational

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I read your original book when it came out and a year later I quit my job at GE, started a new career online and have been traveling ever since. I’ve had two kids along the way and my youngest picked up Mexican citizenship by being born in a beach town on the Pacific coast. I am excited for the new book but completely turned off by a competition with an online shop. I guess that’s one way to do it, and certainly it’s good for you and shopify, but is this really what the 4HWW was about? Following the same exact methods of thousands of other people to sell stuff via a shopping cart? It’s not how I did it… I know for the many travelers I have met on the road who have redesigned their lives it’s almost never how they did it either. We’re not all online marketers, far from it. I’ve met college professors, day traders, web designers, artists, writers, photographers, and small business owners. But I can’t even think of one person I met who did it by setting up a shopify page.

    It’s sad to me because your book was one of the most important things written on how to live on your own terms and here you are promoting the 10 year anniversary by encouraging cookie cutter ecommerce sites. Where’s the joy in that? Where’s the real reason we do this? The long days in a beach town, the salsa lessons, learning a second or third or fourth language, raising our kids overseas as bilinguals, having the time and energy to do all the incredible things that have absolutely nothing to do with making a living. Life as art. Where’s that?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Already read the 4 hour workweek and just finished reading the Product Guide from Shopify – I learned a lot!! Teaming up with my best friend who is also a Tim Ferris fan, hoping that we can come up with a great muse idea!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. HI! I’m ready to take the challenge however I’ve been told that I should patent my product/idea before trying to sell it. Fortunately, it’s a super easy product but the fear (am I allowed to use that word …?) is the imitators that will take over (reference expanded book page 166). If I take on the patent process will I have a chance to enter the challenge?!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi; I am about to open my online business and signed up for the competition, I am beyond excited to have the opportunity to participate, and learn and finally become a successful entrepreneur. I want to know where do I go from having designed a product to have it physically on my hands? I am starting and money is an issue, what would you do if success is guaranty with this product?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I’m convinced you need a 4-Hour DATING site🙂 I’m creative as heck, been referred to as a prolific inventor by a patent attorney mentor, but this stuff gives me anxiety. However , I’m on the verge of joining.

    Reading your 4-Hour book for the 2nd time. First time being 8 years ago. It and your emails gets me fired up-the right brain just need to follow and turn the stress to eustress.


  16. I’m convinced you need a 4-Hour DATING site🙂 I’m creative as heck, been referred to as a prolific inventor by a patent attorney mentor, but this stuff gives me anxiety. However, I am on the verge of signing up.

    Reading your 4-Hour book for the 2nd time. First time being 8 years ago. It, and your emails get me fired up–the right brain just need to follow and turn the stress to eustress.

    Cheers to all!


  17. I’m confused by the timeline. It says 8 month competition, but this was posted end January and it says the last month for generating sales is May 2015….so doesn’t this mean you would be judging the sales over just 4 months ie Feb/Mar/Apr/May?


    • Hi Donnah! The larger competition launched on Oct. 1, which provides the 8 month timeframe referenced. You are correct that for this Muse competition we will be judging based on sales during Feb/Mar/Apr/May. We’ll choose your top two months of sales, whether they are consecutive or not. Good luck!


  18. Moin Tim,

    its a pity one can’t use Shopify in Germany. Really bad news for all of us, your fans and followers in Germany, Tim. Is there any way we could take part in this?

    Schöne Grüße



  19. I have read the 4 Hour Work Week religiously, and am not trying to build a self-sustainable company or a “muse”. However, most of the sales outsourcing companies mentioned in the blog have now changed their business model and are charging a $7k-$10k/month retainer just to connect a sales pitch with no guaranteed sales. Does anyone know of any sales companies that only charge commission or know how I can grow my monthly revenue for product sales without paying a huge upfront retainer? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


  20. Wow, Great opportunity! What if we have a success story from the 4HWW but have not created a muse yet?

    I used the other tools and techniques to win NCAA team national title in wrestling, build and sell a $65m tech start up and also travel to 16 countries and 7 states in a year. I email Donna but how else can I reach Tim and his team to thank them and share my story?


  21. Tim,

    First…Thank YOU !

    Although I have yet to create my Muse I have changed my life dramatically for the better since reading 4hr and now reference it whenever making life choices.

    In 2003-5 I lost my mother/ father and sister which devastated me. In addition I owned a restoration business ( 50 plus employees / $ 10m in rev) successful but at the expense of my family and my own mental health when I picked up 4hr.

    I was really looking for insight as to what I could do differently in my life. After reading in the beginning of the book to avoid “service” businesses I immediately knew you were so right and I have never felt so hollow inside as I did then. I read on and was committed to following your insights.

    It took a few years but I was able to sell my business to my management staff and pursue a consulting career. I have now been able to work remotely and add pleasure time when I travel for work ( i.e., ski and then work from Whistler after being in Vancouver on an office visit.)

    My partner Trish, in turn, created her position at her work to be able to be remote as well. Last year she was able to do her work while we stayed at her fathers beach house in Puerta Vallarta after we skied at Big White BC.)

    Trish and I love the water and to ski. Now we have just bought a house near Blue Mountain Resort on beautiful Georgian Bay, Ontario, Canada and look forward to our remote work life built around our passions. We are one of the few who are able to move to a 4 season resort area before “retiring” as most do.

    Our future goals now include one of your mini retirements, learning to salsa dance in Argentina. We also have a few muse ideas to pursue to allow us even more freedom in the future. We will never retire.

    Without jettisoning my service business we would not be able to be living the lives we are now and have you to thank for that.

    Trish Duncan
    Mike McCabe

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Hi Tim and Courtney,

    Would a service oriented product be eligible?

    Rather than digital or physical? Like a service that would a be gateway to simplify transactions between two other services?


  23. Hey Tim/Fellow readers,

    So, will this be a new edition of the 4HWW, or a different book entirely?

    If it is a new edition:

    I was wondering when would this edition of the book be coming out? I want to buy 4HWW (I already have the other two), but I don’t want to get it if there’s a new edition coming out soon.

    Any extra information is welcome. Thanks!


  24. Hey Tim. Great competition. We’re Kiwi’s, vagabonding from NZ to America and Spain with our two kids while it’s on but thats the beauty of working online, something we’ve started mostly thanks to your book. Our Shopify site is going up today so here’s hoping we get to meet on Necker. Honestly though, thanks for writing a book that gave us the kick in the pants to do what we love. Gracias!.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Dear Tim,
    why do we have to join Shopify? What’s so bitchen about them and their monthly FEE, why can’t I sell my product on instead for free?
    One reason I joined AppSumo was because they offered a one time fee of 300$. Monthly fees are the devil! Brgs Eric


  26. Hi . . I was wondering when I would receive my invite to the private Facebook page? It was my understanding we would receive the information on the 15th of February. Thanks for all your help.


  27. Hey Tim🙂 I can’t get access to my Shopfly account!:( IM YOUR WINNER! help! Mark my words; I will win this🙂 Sincerely: Maryellen


  28. Hi Tim, loved this post and the fact that you are on board with shopify for the most recent “Build a Business” competition. I just wanted to check as I had registered through your block for the competition however I never got the link to the Facebook group sent through… Not sure if that it up and running or if it is because I already had the build a business competition app installed on my store prior to reading your blog… Any advice would be amazing as I wouldn’t want to miss out on any tips you have… Thanks in advance, Emma


  29. I registered to the competition but don’t have a an invite to the Facebook group, the email address I used for my store is not the same as my fb account…is that why?


  30. Hi! We signed up but didn’t get invited to a facebook group, is there any additional steps we need :)? [Moderator: link removed]

    Thanks! Look forward to the challenge!

    PS: 4HWW = my favorite book.


  31. I’m lost. I could cry my eyes out because of how unhappy I am with my career and personal freedom. I can’t believe I need to work without passion in this field to pay for healthcare and bills. I am in desperate need of an opportunity. I have so much potential bit I can’t break out of this rut. Help!


  32. The competition states that determining a winner will be based on Lifestyle Design (25% weight – i.e. how much your improve your life). How will I prove my Lifestyle Design and what will you use to track it?


  33. I was just accepted into the competition via the shopify link but would love to get some confirmation because I was a few days late in registering (only just saw this post today)

    Tim could you please confirm if I am in the comp and if so send me an invitation to the FB group! I am beyond motivated to win this!



  34. Hi everyone, just wanted to let you know that the Build A Business Competition is now closed to new entrants (as of March 31). The good news is that if you’ve already entered, you still have until May 31 to sell as much as you can! Good luck in the final weeks of the competition!


  35. Tim, love your book! It’s like a Bible to Wannaprenurs & Entrepreneurs. However, please consider following when writing next one. Not all your readers are US based. There are some misleading instructions in your book or they are just not applicable to readers outside US. If you have no intention of focusing on other markets, than you might want to consider a note explaining that it might not be applicable to all countries worldwide. Cheers, I.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Hi Tim,
    What is the best way to pass on a great ‘4HWW success story’ which could potentially be valuable for the new book?


  37. I’ve only started reading the book and I have lots of ideas spinning in my head! I would have loved to join the competition – any chance of having a rerun in 2016?

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Hi Tim,
    I am reading 4HWW for the 2nd time now. The first time around I could not figure out my muse, but now I think I have one (finally)! Here’s hoping to finally quitting my stressful sales job and being a part of the NR, fingers crossed.