Reflections on The 4-Hour Workweek, Q4

Katie Corbett holds the book, "The 4-Hour Workweek"

By Katie Corbett

Since I owe a lot of my success—and future planning—to the book, “The 4-Hour Workweek,” by Tim Ferriss, I have decided to revisit the book each quarter in 2019. Here are my thoughts as we enter the fourth quarter. I hope this inspires you to pick up a book that helps you live your dreams. Enjoy!

Reflections on The 4-Hour Workweek, Q3

Katie Corbett holds the book, "The 4-Hour Workweek"

By Katie Corbett

Since I owe a lot of my success—and future planning—to the book, “The 4-Hour Workweek,” by Tim Ferriss, I have decided to revisit the book each quarter in 2019. Here are my thoughts as we round out the third quarter. I hope this inspires you to pick up a book that helps you live your dreams. Enjoy!

Reflections on The 4-Hour Workweek, January 2019

Katie Corbett holds the book, "The 4-Hour Workweek"

By Katie Corbett

Since I owe a lot of my success—and future planning—to the book, “The 4-Hour Workweek,” by Tim Ferriss, I have decided to revisit the book each quarter in 2019. Here are my thoughts in the first quarter. I hope this inspires you to pick up a book that helps you live your dreams. Enjoy!

The Joys of Automation and Outsourcing

Katie Corbett holds the book, "The 4-Hour Workweek"

By Katie Corbett

When I was twelve, we moved to a house without a dishwasher. A small thing, I know, but it was super annoying to spend at least an hour each night doing dishes. I made a promise to myself that I would never live in another place that didn’t have a dishwasher. On the one hand, it was fun getting to chat and listen to music with my sister each night. On the other hand, it just took so stinking long to do the dishes! The week I moved to my college dorm, my parents remodeled their kitchen and installed a dishwasher. (It’s nice to know where I stand, guys.) Anyway, this whole experience made me think a lot more about automation, and how it can improve our lives.

In “The 4-Hour Workweek,” by Tim Ferriss, the concept of automation and delegation is taken to areas of life other than the kitchen and laundry room. I even saw a blog post where Tim automated the online dating process!

I’m definitely not at total automation yet, but just developing the mindset that I don’t have to do it all has helped tremendously. When I was looking to build this website, for example, I hired a web developer to write the code and install WordPress plug-ins, a graphic designer to draw up a logo, and a freelancer to design and print business cards. I even sent said business cards out to a company in Canada to have braille put on them.

Having other people help me with my work was excellent because, not only did I get to know a few awesome fellow entrepreneurs, it freed up my time so I could do what I do well–write blog posts, coach clients and plan for the future of my business. This did cost money, but in total I spent less than $600. The time I got back and the knowledge and expertise of great people made the investment worth it.

As I got deeper into my coaching, I recognized the need to automate one aspect of my business: scheduling. I started working with people from overseas and in different time zones. I found Calendly, which is a platform that shows anyone with a link to my Calendly page all the available slots on my calendar—in their time zone. This eliminated the back-and-forth of trying to find a time that worked, and freed me up to reach out to new clients and host coaching sessions.

Whether you own a business, work full-time for someone else, or are looking for your next job, consider in what ways automation and outsourcing can help you in your daily life. Would you love it if someone cleaned your house on a regular basis? Took your dog for a walk? Delivered your groceries? Ask around in your community about these and other services you might find beneficial. And if the service doesn’t exist, maybe you’ll be the one to create it.

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You Really Need to Sort Out Your Priorities

Katie Corbett holds the book, "The 4-Hour Workweek"

By Katie Corbett

In the craziness of daily life, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. Between work, school, family life, friends and all the other responsibilities that come with adulting, it can be a struggle to get back to what is really important. In “The 4-Hour Workweek,” by Tim Ferriss, I found a tip that changed the way I think about my life and the tasks I need to accomplish each day. It goes something like this:

If someone said you only could work for two more hours, and after that you needed to stop everything and recover from a fatal illness, what would you get done in those two hours? Put another way, if someone held a gun to your head and told you that you could only do two things that day, what would you do?

I know these are extreme questions, but sometimes getting extreme is enough to make you pause and really think about the answers. Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed, I like to stop and ponder those two questions. That way, no matter what else happens that day, I’ll know I’ve accomplished the two things—or the two hours of work—that really needed to get done.

I have a long to-do list today, but I know that I absolutely had to write this blog post and I’m planning to make some phone calls as soon as I’ve finished writing it. So if the world ended, or I got stuck in traffic, or my computer crashed, I will have at least gotten those two things done. To me, that’s worth it—not to mention a lot less stressful.

So, what two things do you absolutely need to get done today? What would you do if you could only work for two more hours?

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Developing a Goal Plan

Katie Corbett holds the book, "The 4-Hour Workweek"

By Katie Corbett

I am a goal-oriented person. I get satisfaction from crossing items off to-do lists and being able to tangibly see myself moving forward. I realize that not everyone feels this way, and I even recognize the appeal of being a bit more spontaneous. In one of my favorite business books, “The 4-Hour Workweek,” by Tim Ferriss, I think I’ve found a happy medium. It’s a technique that involves some planning so that you’ll continue moving toward those things you want to do in life, but is not so rigid that you’ll need to cross items off a list each day, or even each week. I’ve done this twice, and I’m excited to share the concept with you.

First, take a piece of paper and divide it into three sections. Label each section, “To Have,” “To Be,” and “To Do,” respectively. Write 3-5 things in each category. Some examples from my own list:

To Have: A work-at-home job, a product prototype, an updated Linked-In profile, Trim and Burn weight-loss supplements, and a braille display; To Be: A remote worker, thinner, an interviewer, a product designer, and a hand model; To Do: Learn Filipino, finish latch-hooking project, join a young adult book club, finish editing the novel I wrote, and work with new coaching clients.

After that, pick the four most important items you’d like to achieve in the next three or six months. (I have always chosen three months as my target, because the immediacy of the closer deadline spurs me into action.) Write these down. Be sure and write the date of the specific day you would like to attain these goals. When you do this with goals from the “To Be” category, phrase these items as specific goal statements. For example, I wrote the desire to be thinner as a goal to fit into a specific pair of dress pants. This will help you measure something that might seem intangible.

After that, determine the financial cost of accomplishing each of these goals. Add the costs up and multiply by 1.3. This extra 0.3 will help account for emergencies, or if something turns out to be a little more expensive than you had previously anticipated. Divide the total by the number of months you set for yourself—so either 3 or 6—and there you have the cost per month. This should hopefully make you feel like the goals are easier to save for and you can justify putting money toward them since you’re planning ahead. Finally, I like to write down the first step I need to take in order to accomplish each of the goals. Mark the projected completion date on your calendar or put it in your phone so you can track your progress once the day comes.

Tim definitely lays this process out more concretely in his book, so I highly recommend picking up a copy. And even if you don’t get his book for this success secret, he has a million other nuggets of wisdom in there which are definitely worth getting a copy for yourself. It’s one of the most thought-provoking career and lifestyle design books I’ve ever read. I was so inspired after reading it for the first time that I went skydiving—something I had always wanted to do. Sure, I was unemployed, probably considered broke, and didn’t have a clear direction for my life, but I found a friend, took advantage of a Groupon and made time during the day on a random Friday in April to jump out of an airplane at 1300 feet. I lost one of my shoes on the way down, which still makes for a funny story. So take a chance and read the book—or at least decide what things you want in life by the next 3-6 months. Who knows what could happen?

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How “Fear-Setting” Leads to Goal-Setting

Katie Corbett holds the book, "The 4-Hour Workweek"

By Katie Corbett

It was a few days after a really big women’s conference, and I had just met a woman who could help me bring my product from idea to reality. I sat at the computer keyboard, getting ready to email her and reconnect. On the one hand, I was excited, because something I thought was merely a dream was so much closer to becoming a reality. On the other hand, I was terrified—because something I thought was merely a dream was so much closer to becoming a reality. The only thing to fear is fear itself, right?

I’ve found that when I’m setting a personal or professional goal, especially one that seems daunting, a million questions run through my head: What if my project is a complete failure? What will other people think if I set out on this journey and don’t achieve this goal? What if I do achieve it? It turns out, answering these questions is often just what I need to get me started.

In his book, “The 4-Hour Workweek,” Tim Ferriss suggests a strategy called “fear-setting.” He asserts that brainstorming your worst fears and coming up with solutions to them can be the catalyst for you to feel more prepared to start working toward your dreams. I found this to be true when working to develop that allusive product I keep talking about.

After defining the absolute worst that could happen—someone stealing my idea, the product failing, me never getting around to making it in the first place—and finding solutions to each situation, I decided it was better to try than to do nothing. Plus, I had met this woman who could help me, so the universe was begging me to start, right? I know it sounds too good to be true, but I seriously wouldn’t be doing what I am today if it weren’t for the fear-setting exercise. That’s why I’m going to tell you to check out the questions for yourself.

Yep, that’s right; I’m dying to share Tim’s fear-setting exercise with you, but I’m not sure what is required in terms of copyright law compliance, so I’ll include a link to Tim’s blog post about it so you can see the questions. Read his post, answer the questions, and work toward tackling those long-put-off goals. If you don’t start, who will? No one cares more than you

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