How to Be In My Next Big Book

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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 fourhourworkweek.com/success.  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!

Timeline:

  • 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

Restrictions:

  • 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 :)

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Two E-Mail Autoresponses That Work

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E-mail is the single largest interruption in modern life.

In a digital world, creating time hinges on minimizing it.

The first step towards controlling the e-mail impulse is setting up an autoresponse, which indicates you will be checking e-mail twice per day or less. This is an example of “batching” tasks, or performing like tasks at set times, between which you let them accumulate.

In this post, I will share two of my own tried-and-true e-mail autoresponses, one short and one long.

Your success with batching — whether laundry, phone calls, or e-mail — will depend on two factors: your ability to train others to respect these intervals, and, much more difficult, your ability to discipline yourself to follow your own rules.

So what works?

Before my current examples, let’s look at a basic template from The 4-Hour Workweek. Readers have tested this one in 30+ languages:

Greetings, Friends [or Esteemed Colleagues],

Due to high workload, I am currently checking and responding to e-mail twice daily at 12: 00 P.M. ET [or your time zone] and 4: 00 P.M. ET.

If you require urgent assistance (please ensure it is urgent) that cannot wait until either 12: 00 P.M. or 4: 00 P.M., please contact me via phone at 555-555-5555.

Thank you for understanding this move to more efficiency and effectiveness. It helps me accomplish more to serve you better.

Sincerely,

[Your name]

The above is simple but works. Furthermore, bosses respond better than you’d think. Here’s a real-world example.

Now, on to my current faves… Read More

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How Authors Really Make Money: The Rebirth of Seth Godin and Death of Traditional Publishing

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What do the economics of publishing look like… really? (Photo: thinkpanama)

(Special thanks to my agent, Steve Hanselman, and my anonymous sources within the world’s biggest publishing houses)

Print is dead!

This has become a popular headline, and a great way to get quoted, as Nicholas Negroponte has shown. Iconic author Seth Godin, after 12 bestsellers, just announced that he will no longer pursue traditional publishing, and the writing seems to be on the wall: the e-book is the future, plain and simple.

But what are the real concrete numbers? How are established authors actually making money, and what should new authors do? Go straight to e-book?

In this post, I’ll look at real-world numbers to discuss some hard truths of publishing, explain economics and pay-offs, and provide a few suggestions for aspiring authors.

To start, some contrasting numbers… Read More

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Cold Remedy: Free Flights Anywhere in the World

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Where would you go if you had a free ticket anywhere? The island of Bohol in the Philippines? (source: WisDoc)

Not long ago, I received the following comment — edited for length — from Ryan N.:

I hate you Tim. I had a secure future ahead of me, and I left my job, my reasonably well paying professional career all because of your book. Best thing I’ve ever done!!

I was wondering if you might be able to put up a blog post where people could post their ideas or muses as case studies. I’m sure there are a lot of people like me who would like to share their stories and listen to others living the 4HWW.

Here’s to 2010 being the year everything changes.

Indeed. Here’s to 2010 being the year everything changes.

I decided to take Ryan’s advice. Below is a post of just a few select video case studies. This is also where you can win a round-trip ticket anywhere in the world.

That would be a nice way to start 2010 with a bang, right?… Read More

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How I Did It: From $7 an Hour to Coaching Major League Baseball MVPs

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Jaime Cevallos and the MP30 Training Bat (Source: Jaime Cevallos)

“Cevallos told Zobrist [Tampa Bay Rays MVP] he could turn him into a power hitter…The results have been remarkable.”
– ESPN The Magazine

This article will tell the inspiring story of Jaime Cevallos, who went from $7 an hour to coaching MVPs in Major League Baseball, automating his income in the process.

Jaime is now — in many respects — set. But how did he do it?

Some of the questions I asked Jaime include:

1) What is your muse [automated business]?
2) How did you contact the initial MLB players, and what exact wording did you use?
3) What things were much easier than expected, and which things were much harder?
4) To those people who haven’t yet tried to create a muse, what 3-5 pieces of advice would you give them?
5) What mistakes did you make, and what did you learn from them?… Read More

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No More Excuses – How to Make an Extra $100,000 in the Next 6 Months

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The Wilburns have created a multinational from their home.(Photo: Dana Smith)

“So, do you have any ideas?”

“Well, if we’re going to do something, it should be big. It should make people sit up and say OMFG. Make people actually do something,” I responded.

The conversation continued in front of the Thai restaurant, me pacing on my cell phone in San Francisco — foregoing food in excitement — and Tobi in his offices in Ottawa, Canada.

We decided in the subsequent 10 minutes to offer $100,000 cash as a bribe to you all. The overview?

* $100,000 for the grand winner
* $120,000 total in prizes
* 6 months starting January 1 but you can (and should) get started now
* Even if you don’t win the prizes, you should end up with a viable business at the end of 6 months

The details make it even better… Read More

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Sneak Peek: The New and Expanded 4-Hour Workweek is Here

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The 4-Hour Workweek was first published April 27th, 2007.

I did my best to cover all of the bases when it debuted, but there were gaps. Though I included cases studies of families using lifestyle design, for example, it was hard to find more than a few the first time around.

Not anymore. Things have changed. There are more than 30,000 comments on this blog, hundreds of people have shared their successes and failures via detailed e-mail, and both case studies and experiments continue to flow in from around the world.

This doesn’t mean that the current edition doesn’t do the job — it does — but more than 40 printings and 35 languages later, a new and expanded edition has finally been completedRead More

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