The 4 Hour Workweek Lie?

51 replies
Hi everyone,


As IMers, internet network marketers, or your average forum lurker, I believe we're all in the end looking for something like what the writer of The 4 Hour Workweek describes.

I'm halfway through the book right now and it has impressed me a lot!

It is like he is talking about why I got involved in network marketing. And then internet marketing in general.

For any others who have read this work, what do you think of it? Do you think what he preaches can be done?

So far I think the answer is a resounding yes. Especially with our industry. Perhaps the most able automated industry in the history of humanity, also full of outsourcing possibilities.

What are your reviews of this #1 bestseller? Are you any closer to your 4Hour Workweek because of it?


To the top,
-Gregory
#hour #lie #workweek
  • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
    this book seriously changed my approach to business. My friends, family and neighbors don't see how I can work so little, yet apparantly not have any financial concerns

    I much prefer spending my time doing things with my son this summer, working on some car projects, brainstorm new business ideas, etc -vs- working all day
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    -Jason

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  • Profile picture of the author GregtheWriter
    Hey Jason,

    That is awesome.

    Did you go through all the exercises he talks about in his book?

    I am a serious vagabond and want to put these tactics into action as fast as possible in my own life.

    Some of his stuff has literally made me laugh out loud reading it. Great writer.

    What are your goals now that you have a 4 hour work week?


    To the top,
    -Greg the Writer
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  • Profile picture of the author VegasGreg
    Even if the exact methods don't work as described, the overall book and thoughts created by the book have definitely altered the way I do things.

    I love that book and everything it stands for.
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    • Profile picture of the author Pete223
      The first time this lifestyle really hit home, was last March. I decided
      to attend Willie Crawford's B-Day bash in Florida and I took the whole
      family up for the ride... after the 3 day event, we brought the kids to
      DisneyWorld and to see the ocean!

      Long story short, I made more money in the 14 days we were gone then we
      spent on the trip!!!

      Sure, I had to bring the laptop along and check emails every night, but that
      was more then a fair trade for the memories we created for the family and
      wouldn't of been possible without my Online ventures!

      After having a taste of the 4 hour work week, I just need to make all 52 weeks,
      4 hour work weeks... but the beautiful thing is, I Know It's Possible!!!

      Cheers, Pete
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  • Profile picture of the author GregtheWriter
    What has it changed for you Greg?

    And I love it too. I didn't buy it for the LONGEST time because it is such a majorly talked of book in the personal finance and network marketing industry, didn't want to give into the hype.

    One day was at the bookstore and read the first two chapters... I was sold.

    Two days into it and halfway read.


    To the top,
    -Gregory
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Grossman
    I read the book, but didn't get anything out of it. I was already at the "4 hour work week" point in my life at the time. Other than working on new ventures, work I assign myself and don't have to do to maintain my income, I have less than 4 hours a week work to support existing operations.

    I wanted to try the virtual assistant ideas after reading the book, but none of the assistants I tried could actually do anything useful. The research they did was crap and writing jobs came back at a quality I'd never publish.
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeAmbrosio
    Personally, I don't think I could EVER work only 4 hours in a week.

    Actually, let me rephrase that - I don't work at all. I don't consider what I do as work.

    Anyway, if I truly "worked" four hours per week, I would be completely bored after, say, a month. Maybe two.

    I guess I'm weird
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    • Profile picture of the author GregtheWriter
      Originally Posted by MikeAmbrosio View Post

      Personally, I don't think I could EVER work only 4 hours in a week.

      Actually, let me rephrase that - I don't work at all. I don't consider what I do as work.

      Anyway, if I truly "worked" four hours per week, I would be completely bored after, say, a month. Maybe two.

      I guess I'm weird
      Hey Mike!

      You know the writer actually talks about that. He says you can't just put your work schedule down to that little amount without actually having something to do.

      He is pretty persistant on that idea that idle time is bad time.

      So I guess, in a way, you're at where he says to be! lol

      Me personally, love to only have to work 4 hours a week, even if I did love it. To be able to generate a good livable income like that, and teach others (As a network marketer I'd be bound to do that by honor code haha), and just travel.

      Vagabond at heart!


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      -Gregory
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  • Profile picture of the author abelacts
    The concept of outsourcing is vital if you want to live a life of your choice - rather than work your ass out. In fact, the concept is nothing new but the author makes it more practical by providing steps how he did it, not just a bunch of theories.

    However, the challenge for the readers lies in the implementation... as I guess everyone's situation is unique. I have to agree with Dan that it's not easy to find reliable freelancers.
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
    I agree - I really liked the guy's writing style. His personal story is pretty cool as well.

    No - I didn't really do his excercises. But between reading his book, and reading the article on the guy who started "plenty of fish", I 'saw the light'

    I'm in the process of launching a new business, and from day 1 my entire model was based on being able to be as hands off as possible. My partner keeps wandering off this path, so just tonight I loaned him my copy of 4 hour work week
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    • Profile picture of the author Dan Grossman
      Originally Posted by jasonl70 View Post

      But between reading his book, and reading the article on the guy who started "plenty of fish", I 'saw the light'
      Very little of what you read about Plenty of Fish is true. The site's not run by one guy, he doesn't handle all the support alone or with his girlfriend, and he didn't make as much as he claimed. He just keeps up that story for the media attention, since that's profitable.
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      • Profile picture of the author GregtheWriter
        Originally Posted by Dan Grossman View Post

        Very little of what you read about Plenty of Fish is true. The site's not run by one guy, he doesn't handle all the support alone or with his girlfriend, and he didn't make as much as he claimed. He just keeps up that story for the media attention, since that's profitable.
        Hi Dan : )

        Perhaps this is true. There could be half truths in the story, such as Donald Trump is not nearly as rich as people think he is. It is merely a branding strategy for his name to be able to negotiate powerful deals easier.

        Nonetheless, the creator's story is amazing. It appeared in Entrepreneur as well.


        To the top,
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      • Profile picture of the author Dan Foley
        I like the concept of the 4 Hour Workweek but with having a family who I love, living as a vagabond wouldn't hack it. The other problem I have is finding reliable outsourcing people too.

        I think once I get the outsourcing act together, it will help a lot. I'm also very hands on with my clients so in order to accomplish something akin to the 4HWW I'll also need one or more full time employees. Its one of the difficulties of personal care.
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  • Profile picture of the author Creative Thinker
    We are always drawn to something which is new and uncommon yet has a reasonable point of view.

    When I read the book 6 months ago, I was inspired. But you cannot really live a life like that. Its good for imagination and not for reality.

    There are many people who derive satisfaction and joy from a work well done. If everyone behaves like he does, there would be no real accomplishment in the world.

    Alright, don't start defending him... I really loved that book and there are a lot of takeaways... like the 80/20 rule. But you may think twice before following his every advice.
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    • Profile picture of the author GregtheWriter
      Originally Posted by Creative Thinker View Post

      We are always drawn to something which is new and uncommon yet has a reasonable point of view.

      When I read the book 6 months ago, I was inspired. But you cannot really live a life like that. Its good for imagination and not for reality.

      There are many people who derive satisfaction and joy from a work well done. If everyone behaves like he does, there would be no real accomplishment in the world.

      Alright, don't start defending him... I really loved that book and there are a lot of takeaways... like the 80/20 rule. But you may think twice before following his every advice.
      Hey Creative Thinker : )

      I agree and disagree. I do believe it would be impossible for the whole world to live on his model, but then what model can the whole world live on?

      When I was in college I hung out with a very smart crowd who talked of philosophy. There has never been a single life philosophy that I've seen that could be applied to everyone I knew, much less the entire world.

      It then comes down to personal values. Which do you value more? The freedom of experience, or something else?


      To the top,
      -Gregory
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  • Profile picture of the author GregtheWriter
    Great stuff guys.

    I find it empowering beyond imagination to know others can truly grasp this concept.

    Life is about experience. The memories, whether good or bad. Like how the writer of The 4 Hour Workweek suggests, it is not about happiness, it is about excitement.

    To know that this lifestyle exists is an enriching experience.

    Outsourcing may be a hit or miss experience, but they're out there.

    There is also technical automation that makes outsourcing absolete.

    Auto responders are a golden example of it


    To the top,
    -Gregory
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Grossman
    I think a better guide to reducing your involvement in your business while growing it is Michael Gerber's classic

    The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses...The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses...
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  • Profile picture of the author GregtheWriter
    Ah yes, everyone's situations are different aren't they?

    I think one of the things he talks about is just having time freedom moreso than being a vagabond. The writer and I just connect very deeply on that level.

    That is a lot of time to fill. Very powerful stuff can be done to create those life experiences.


    What would you guys do if you an unlimited amount of money and time freedom to do anything you want?


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    • Profile picture of the author Focused Action
      I think he "works" 40 plus hours a week promoting the book.

      Good ideas though in the book to leverage your time and maximize your return on your time!
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      • Profile picture of the author Jeff Noel
        For me the thing that I got the most out of is how you use your time. Meaning that in one hour the average person will read his e-mail go to his favorate forums talk on the phone.

        I set my tasks at two hour intervals now and I turn off all my distractions everything. I then do what I set out to do and it creates this momentum where I am able to complete so much.

        What I use to do in eight hours I have cut in half by not having so many distractions.

        As far as outsourcing I haven't really applied that yet in my business. Before I do I want to create a system that I can easily teach my VA's first.
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        • Profile picture of the author ExRat
          Hi,

          I love the comment I saw not long ago -

          'The 4 hour week - how to work four hours a week, written by a guy who works 16 hours a day.'
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          • Profile picture of the author tyroneshum
            Hi Greg,

            Great question and topic. I was like you at first hesitant to buy the book, but I was sold on the first few pages and had to buy it to read further. I have been successful in implementing what time has said and found myself V.A.s, web designers and programmers and book keepers to manage my business. What I do most of the time is now interview experts to post on my blog and it's very rewarding to do.

            I'm just wondering if anyone could name the experts they know that teaches Outsourcing for Internet marketers? - I have heard of a few such as:

            John Jonas
            Jeff Mills

            Any comments would be appreciated.

            Thanks.
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          • Profile picture of the author stgga
            Originally Posted by ExRat View Post

            Hi,

            I love the comment I saw not long ago -

            'The 4 hour week - how to work four hours a week, written by a guy who works 16 hours a day.'

            that's great!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Joey Frat
    I have also read the 4-hour Work Week and gotta say it has been one of the most influential and dynamic resources I have used to build my business. I would also say absolutely YES that Timothy Ferris gives it to you straight and is not kidding when he says you can get your work week down to only 4 hours, or less!

    Some of the most powerful suggestions Tim gives you deals with time management and the different between staying busy and staying productive. You can seriously use technology and resources to outsource many of menial daily tasks, while focusing on the most important daily tasks that will get you closer to your goals.

    He also makes mentions of Paretos Principle or the 80/20 rule. I'm sure most of you have heard of this. It basically means that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. This may even be true with the wealth in America. 20% own 80% of the wealth. The principle is pretty consistent throughout.

    Alright I'm rambling now, either way this book is a must have if you hope to gain financial independence and create a new lifestyle for yourself. Plus Tim's writing style is very enjoyable.
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  • Profile picture of the author mattybee
    Probably one of the best books I have ever read. Changed the way I manage my business both online and offline.
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  • Profile picture of the author TelegramSam
    The trouble with the 4 hour work week, is that by the time I have checked my emails, checked the news, made a coffee, checked the forum and checked my emails again, there is no time left to do any work.

    So it would be hopeless for me.

    Sam
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    • Profile picture of the author Dan Grossman
      Originally Posted by TelegramSam View Post

      The trouble with the 4 hour work week, is that by the time I have checked my emails, checked the news, made a coffee, checked the forum and checked my emails again, there is no time left to do any work.

      So it would be hopeless for me.

      Sam
      That's the first thing the book covers, cutting things like e-mail down to once a week or less.
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      • Profile picture of the author David.M
        For people that run a membership site or other products that require constant updates weekly/monthly, I don't think the 4 hour work week is possible.. but who cares? Even a 15 or 20 hour work week is better then a 40 hour work week..

        The reason that he has a 4hour work week is because it is possible with his business..

        he runs a supplement company.. he made it.. now he can pretty much forget about it.. unless he decides he wants to create/add another..

        Ya dig?
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      • Profile picture of the author Steadyon
        Quote:
        Originally Posted by TelegramSam
        The trouble with the 4 hour work week, is that by the time I have checked my emails, checked the news, made a coffee, checked the forum and checked my emails again, there is no time left to do any work.

        So it would be hopeless for me.

        Sam



        Originally Posted by Dan Grossman View Post

        That's the first thing the book covers, cutting things like e-mail down to once a week or less.


        Dan,

        I think Sam was being sarcastic :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author vuedoolor
    Do you guys think he wrote the book himself or did he outsource that too?? LOL
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    • Profile picture of the author Dan Grossman
      Originally Posted by vuedoolor View Post

      Do you guys think he wrote the book himself or did he outsource that too?? LOL
      It's been a long time since I read this, but I think the book itself says that one of the book chapters was written by one of his virtual assistants, or something along those lines.
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    • Profile picture of the author pauljeaston
      Yes, maybe he outsourced it, lol!
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  • Profile picture of the author peterzhang
    I haven't read that book, but it's impossible for me to work only 4 hours per week. I have lots of things to handle and sometimes I hope God bestow another two hands upon me. Only my boss can work 4h per week because most work are to be done by employees like me...
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  • Profile picture of the author TheMole
    It takes me 4 hours to read my mail. Ferriss reads mail only once a day. He outsource everything I do everything myself. He works 4 hours per week I work 44 hours per week. I've read the book and it didn't change anything
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    • Profile picture of the author Dan Grossman
      Originally Posted by TheMole View Post

      I've read the book and it didn't change anything
      Reading never changes anything, only the reader can do that.
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  • Profile picture of the author RoyChan
    Did you know the name of book "4 Hour Workweek" is decided based on several months' of marketing split testing? Hence, the author may not be "working" 4 hours, it is simply a marketing plot to hook the buyers. BTW, how do you define "working", thinking/ reading into how to set up the process, would that include as "work"? It's definitely a marketing plot for the sake of framing "outsourcing" beatifully.

    If you are interested in outsourcing, I recommend you to buy a script in Macro.com

    Test run it yourself and see if you can "program" your work in such a fashion that it runs on autopilot, then, you may consider whether outsourcing is good for your biz.

    If you can't control a script, do not expect working with a person will be easier.

    It would take some months or years before your plan of "4 hour work week" is finalized.

    Cheers
    Roy
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    • I did try his exercise which involved laying on the floor in a crowded place of business, and was surprised at the level of concern I received from those around me. This was definitely the toughest of them all.
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  • Profile picture of the author jkadams
    I think you will find that Tim Ferriss used many of the techniques used in internet marketing to successfully launch not only his book but his blog. I read the book two years ago and it drastically changed the way I think about business and life in general. Tim Ferriss is a self-promoter, but a really good one. He does what all promoters must do: provide unique, valuable information. I often go to his blog to live "vicariously" through him.

    If you have any desire to improve your time management skills, get better control of your life, and put together a business plan, you need to read The Four Hour Work Week.
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    • Profile picture of the author frankgotgame818
      While on my way to the 4 Hour Workweek I have been using the egg timer method to help me stay productive.

      I set the timer for 33 minutes and get busy. No interruptions and no stopping. After it goes off then I can either continue or get up briefly if I need to.

      33 minutes is about the max for my attention span. I read this idea somewhere and it works for me.

      Frank C
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  • Profile picture of the author dfreedom
    It is absolutely phenomenal.. the book has been life-changing for me. If anything, it asks you to rethink your priorities and your desired outcome of your business. Is it to work harder for yourself instead of someone else? Tim teaches you to put a value on your time.. I definitely know it is doable, and know several people who are already living the lifestyle. If it makes sense to you, why would it be a 'lie?'
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  • Profile picture of the author davebo
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    • Profile picture of the author dfreedom
      Originally Posted by davebo View Post

      4HWW is a great book for the overall idea of how to run your business, but I still think E-Myth does a better job of it. Doing what he describes is not quite as easy as he says, but it's good that he at least makes you mindful of the fact that you don't need to do most of the things you're doing. So even if you cut down from 40 hours to 35, you're in the right direction.

      I don't really care for guys like Tim Ferriss though. I feel like they do things just so they can chalk it up and appear interesting. I don't doubt that he enjoys the things he does, but he seems to enjoy even more telling everyone about all the great things he does.
      This is true, but then again, self-promotion is the name of the game.. so I can't fault him for that. The book at least gives us something to aim for: an automated, or at least semi-automated business that frees up our time and gives us the freedom to live wherever we want. Definitely not easy, but neither is working for someone else for 30+ years
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  • Profile picture of the author highprofitdi
    The 4 Hour Work Week is definitely a masterful example of marketing to the dream lifestyle of just about everyone.
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  • I loved the book for this reason: He said you need to start living now, and not worry about retirement. Do the things you love now because someday never comes. It's been said before, but not as clearly as in this book. Basically, I love his idea of creating the life you want, then finding a way to pay for it...Instead of making money so that someday you can live the life you want. It's a must read, I think.
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  • Profile picture of the author jacksonlin
    The book is fantastic and really changes the way you think about life and work in general.

    As for the 4 hour work week being a lie, I would disagree.

    He talks about total automation of a BUSINESS SYSTEM.

    As internet marketers this is what we should strive to achieve, build SEO friendly sites with great automated backlink strategies and just sit back and collect pay checks.

    I think it's definitely possible, however would you like to work 4 hours a week when "work" consists of FUN time - making sites and watching money come in?

    =]
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    • Profile picture of the author Dan Grossman
      Originally Posted by jacksonlin View Post

      As internet marketers this is what we should strive to achieve, build SEO friendly sites with great automated backlink strategies and just sit back and collect pay checks.
      The book does not talk about SEO or backlink building. These are not components to the system.

      I work less than 4 hours a week for a six-figure income. I simply run advertising (ongoing, without need for regular maintenance) for sites which sell products that don't require my involvement or significant support to provide. My oldest ecommerce site, about 6 years old, does over $200k a year in gross sales and has almost no backlinks. All its traffic comes from unmanaged advertising and affiliates.

      I've many times, even before reading the book, used the system he does describe -- spend half an hour creating a website selling some new product or service, spend some money advertising it for a few days, and only if you make sales (or capture leads interested in the product, if you can't actually prepare to sell it in an hour), put the time in to set up the real site and ramp up for more sales.

      Now if you want to do this in a more traditional business, with employees and vendors, or in a line where providing the product or service takes considerable time, this isn't the best book for you. "The E-Myth Revisited" does a better job of preparing you to take yourself out of a business like that, so that you end up owning the business instead of personally spending all your time running it.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mark McClure
        4 hours or 44... Tim seems to be getting the best from his personal sandglass of time.

        Just think! He coulda ended up as a high tech wage slave (he was in sales for a famous data storage corp) but now gets to talk to the Googleplex staffers. I wonder if they comp him with PR juice ;-)

        This 5 min talk's on 'practical pessimism'
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      • Profile picture of the author mannex
        Originally Posted by Dan Grossman View Post

        I work less than 4 hours a week for a six-figure income. I simply run advertising (ongoing, without need for regular maintenance) for sites which sell products that don't require my involvement or significant support to provide. My oldest ecommerce site, about 6 years old, does over $200k a year in gross sales and has almost no backlinks. All its traffic comes from unmanaged advertising and affiliates.
        Dan, are you using online or offline advertising? Google Adwords and other PPC systems require so much competitive babysitting now it's ridiculous. Just curious how you are able to make it work.
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        • Profile picture of the author Dan Grossman
          Originally Posted by mannex View Post

          Dan, are you using online or offline advertising? Google Adwords and other PPC systems require so much competitive babysitting now it's ridiculous. Just curious how you are able to make it work.
          Online. My AdWords account has been essentially unchanged in over a year. Google manages the bids for me with Conversion Optimizer. I set a cost-per-acquisition goal, it always beats that goal, and that goal is low enough that there's a healthy profit margin. I used w3roi (in my signature) to eliminate some keywords and reduce the hours I advertise during to the most profitable ones and now make even more sales for the same spend. That took just a few minutes to do.

          I stopped worrying about what the competition was doing a few years ago. It doesn't matter. I already spent the time testing and tweaking to make sure I convert visitors to customers better. I already spent the time testing and tweaking to make sure I get a bigger average sale up front. I already spent the time testing and tweaking to make sure I get more repeat sales from existing customers (the average customer that has ordered more than once orders 4 times; acquisition is costly, repeat orders are much higher profit).

          So competition can try outbidding me (costing them more) and undercutting my prices (cutting their profit margins) -- as long as they're not too smart, they price themselves out of business doing so. Since I make more on all fronts, I can afford to keep my ads in top spots without having to manage a thing.

          Luckily, there aren't that many smart companies out there. The majority of them either don't test at all, or only test and optimize one metric without considering all the other places they can improve (optimizing ads, keywords, geotargeting, day parting, landing pages, site performance, checkout flow/resistance/abandonment, upsells during and after purchase, repeat sales, pricing and average order size...).
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  • Profile picture of the author tommyp
    I just want to sneak in and out to say that the 4 Hour Workweek is a GREAT name when I think about it and if you do also you might come to the same conclusion. Think about why that name works even when it may immediately seem like nothing spectacular and it might help you come up with good names also if you have trouble doing that.
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  • Profile picture of the author vagabondette
    Couldn't finish it. I tried to read it a few times and it just didn't grab me. But, from what I've read of reviews, I already knew about most of what was in the book - which may be why it didn't grab me.
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  • Profile picture of the author samuraiwriting
    I was inspired by the book too. Although I listened to the Audiobook and the guy they got to read it --- wow! He was very authoritive and really got me off my bum to do what I wanted to do instead of slave at an 8 hour job. I like working for myself a lot better! Thanks Timothy Ferriss!!!
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