The 4 Hour Work Week? Not Exactly…
A few years ago, Tim Ferriss wrote a book called The 4-Hour Work Week, which began his rapid propulsion into the nether regions of success. To this day, that book has a strange way of igniting a little fire deep inside my stomach every time I pick it up. That little fire is called entrepreneurial spirit.
The problem is that the book is a bit too much like a fairy tale. While I still consider Ferriss to be one of the most influential teachers in my own entrepreneurial path, he neglects to discuss the most important part of creating the dream-like 4-hour work week: Work. And lots of it. If you attempt to start and maintain a fire with nothing but fuel poured over a few small twigs, your fire won’t last long. If you want to keep your entrepreneurial flame burning for ages, what you need to do is invest your time, energy, and effort in cutting down and collecting high-quality wood. You need to put in hard work before lighting the match.
It’s not that I don’t believe in the 4-hour work week. I do. I just think that it takes lots of 60-100 hour work weeks to get there first. Systems that are capable of passively generating income are easier to talk about than actually create. Most people don’t even exercise 4 hours a week. By the time someone is ready to press play on their money making system, thousands upon thousands of hours have been invested. It takes hard work to get to the 4-hour work week. And this is a good thing.
Simply being given money won’t make you happy.
You chuckled and said “bull$&*%” after reading that didn’t you? That’s okay. I get it. Everyone dreams about winning the lottery, but when that lucky person’s numbers are called, study after study and report after report show us the opposite. Lottery winners are less happy after they strike it rich. Shortly before he died, Mahatma Gandhi wrote a letter to his grandson which identified the 7 Blunders of the World. Number one on the list was “Wealth without work”. There is more to life than money. Here are just 1, 2, and 3 perspectives on the lottery being inversely correlated with happiness topic.
Financial reward is only one consequence of those that achieve wealth through hard work. Working hard to create something provides a sense of pride and fulfillment that makes you feel like your limited time here matters. It’s your thoughts, creativity, vision, and dreams manifesting themselves into reality through a long process known commonly as ‘work’ that too many people want to avoid.
So why does chasing the shortcut sound
so much more appealing nowadays?
Being a huge advocate of finding meaningful work, I find it hard to define a person’s daily grind as ‘work’ in the negative light that it has been placed. When you are passionate about what you do and love your job, it could consume 16 hours of your day and you would still go to bed at night with a smile on your face. Working through the grind is something everyone has to deal with it. When you see the light at the end of the tunnel and understand that the hard work will mean something in the end, it’s easier to swallow the tough pill and move onward. In the end, there’s always gonna be hard time to put in. Better to do it with a good attitude than trying to find the easy way out.
There is inherent danger in chasing the 4-hour week with only a superficial understanding of what the finish line looks like. It ignores the process that provides all the educational experiences, experimentation, failures, challenges, obstacles, adventures, successes, and life lessons that will allow you to enjoy the fruits of your labor with a deep sense of fulfillment and gratification. These processes, without a doubt, were experienced by the most famed success stories, Ferriss included, en route to creating their own 4-hour work week.
It was by sheer coincidence that I met Kelley Coughlan and Jenn Deese in 2011. LEAF was in the market for a PR agency, and Melrose PR came highly recommended. There’s nothing that excites me more than working with another young and energetic start up. When one company succeeds, both succeed. Their passion matched our own, so I was hopeful it would work out.
After our initial meeting, I emailed Kelley and told her why I was not moving forward with them and listed several mistakes they made throughout the process, from meeting until sales pitch. She asked for the truth. Who was I to deny her? When Kelley emailed me and requested a meeting to help her with her processes, I knew I had found the right team. The relationship has been in full bloom since. But that is neither here nor there. This story only serves to communicate the kind of hard working, driven and creative individuals responsible for Pursecase, a new iPhone case about to hit shelves. It’s worth telling the story to illustrate what a little hard work can do, and how quickly vision can turn into reality.
From idea to reality is a time frame of only 4 months. Seems easy, but the highlight reel rarely represents the behind the scenes action. I watched as these two girls spent long hours creatively problem solving and handling manufacturing, distribution, design, branding, website development, 5 rounds of product changes, focus groups, and countless brainstorming sessions en route to a final product that even I called “pretty cool”. While it’s not up my alley, I know a certain demographic this will surely strike a chord for… teenage girls.
Eventually, someone will probably come in and buy the finished system created by Kelley and Jenn. That’s great news from both parties involved, especially Kelley and Jenn. But the most important part of the process would not be the sale. The amount of experience, knowledge, and wisdom gained from such an experience will carry over to every future project, almost ensuring that the same outcome will occur with the next project. Once you’ve done it once, it’s certainly a lot easier to do it again.
Check out more details and back them on Kickstarter as they get ready for launch! As Kelley and Jenn would say, you’ll be #stylinanddialin
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