Can you transform your life in four hours? According toTim Ferriss, four is the magic number when it comes to working productively, exercising and losing weight and now conquering the art of cooking and pretty much any other skill. Is the man a magician? No, just an innovative and driven thinker who will probably make you feel lazy when you read his bio.
Ferriss has been listed as one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Business People of 2007”, Forbes Magazine’s “Names You Need to Know in 2011,” and is the 7th “most powerful” personality on Newsweek’s Digital 100 Power Index for 2012. He is an angel investor/advisor (Facebook, StumbleUpon, Twitter, Evernote, Uber, and 20+ more) and author of the #1 New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and BusinessWeek bestseller, The 4-Hour Workweek, which has been sold into 35 languages. He’s also author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, The 4-Hour Body. He is listed as #13 in the“100 Most Influential VCs, Angels & Investors” rankings.
And now this man is attempting to teach people, in his new book The 4-Hour Chef, who work 80 or so hours a week to cook great meals after coming home from a long day that are actually edible. Plus, he says that through cooking, he can teach us techniques that can apply to learning other skills. Anybody who has convinced the world that we only need four hours per week to get stuff done is definitely worth listening to. We were lucky enough to chat with the man, that Marco Canora called a cross between Jason Bourne and Julia Child, about the magic of the number four, the work habits of entrepreneurs and why watching Lost all day instead of reading the news is actually good for you.
Does the whole four hour workweek theory apply to entrepreneurs when they are launching a startup?
Tim Ferriss: In the very early stages of launching a company you really don’t know what you’re good at, what your customers will like, even who are your customers in some cases. So in the very early stages, I mean the first two to six months maximum, you have to throw a lot against the wall. You have to try many things to discover the answers to those questions. What are my best selling products? Who are my highest profit/lowest maintenance customers, etc., But once you’ve passed that then you absolutely can apply all the principals of lifestyle design and lean startup methodology to your business. Meaning doing an 80/20 analysis to determine which 20% of your customers are producing 80%-plus of the revenue of profit. Then looking at which services and products are producing a disproportionate and positive upside and conversely looking at which 20% of my customers are consuming or processes or activities are consuming 80% plus of my time and removing those. The broader principal can be applied to any business whether it’s a single mom whose trying to get out of a job and not only create her own business but also travel with her kids, to the CEO, male or female, with 1,000 employees. The techniques still apply in both of those cases.