5 Hacks from Tim Ferriss That Will Revolutionize Your Home Business

Books to Read for Productivity

Running a home based business can be super hard, and you are responsible for every part of the business and there is never enough time in the day.

From content creation, to selling the product, to customer service..You have to wear many hats to be successful which can easily become overwhelming.

Being bogged down with issues wastes time and puts increased stress on your life. 

But what if there was a way for you to reduce being overwhelmed and at the same time drive your business forward with more page views, more sales, and less dealing with fires?

Enter Tim Ferriss and his 4-Hour Lifestyle..

This might sound too good to be true, but this idea is exactly what kicked off the 4-Hour Workweek revolution in the mid-2000s and the ideas still work to this day.

Who is Tim Ferriss? 

In 2007, Tim Ferriss burst onto the entrepreneurship scene with the release of the 4-Hour Workweek. 

Nearly two decades later, Ferriss is one of the more recognizable entrepreneurs with five #1 New York Times bestseller and one of the largest podcasts in the world. 

Tim Ferriss is known for taking big picture views of problems and then finding shortcuts to fixing them. 

Rather than constantly being stressed dealing with fires each day, his hacks or principles help reduce the noise and move your business forward.

After reading every Tim Ferriss book and listening to hundreds of hours of his podcast, I have found 5 principles that will help revolutionize your home business today. 

5 Tim Ferriss Principles to Use in your Home Business: 

Principle 1: Set a Deadline and Hold to It 

Set a Deadline

Did you ever have a paper in school that was due in several weeks that you completely dreaded? You couldn’t even force yourself to start it until the last second (or even the night before). 

Let me guess – You still got it done and turned in that paper (Even if you had to pull an all-nighter). And writing the paper probably wasn’t actually as bad as you expected. 

This is Parkinson’s Law at play, which basically means that we will use all of the time available to get a project done (even if we need it or not). 

The more time we have, the more complex we make the project in our brains (even if it isn’t really that big of a deal). The less time we have, we just knock it out and get it done.

So what does this mean and how does it apply to a home business?

For any project that you are dreading, set a clear deadline that is sooner than you feel comfortable with and hold to the deadline. 

For your home business, this will cause you to get things done much quicker. There is no time for over analyzing, debating, or procrastinating.

I’ve used this trick in my personal life when getting the courage to sign up for an Ultramarathon. 

My original plan was to run a few shorter races and decide if I wanted to go for a true Ultramarathon, but I knew deep down inside that I was just procrastinating.

Instead – I found a race 15 weeks in the future and signed up. At this point, it was official and I had no other choice but to figure it out. Surely enough, I crossed that finish line at the Ultramarathon (Even if it was painful, I got it done). 

Set an aggressive deadline and get it done. Done is better than perfect.

Principle 2: 80/20 Rule (Pareto Principle) 

Pareto Principle 80/20 Rule

As home business owners, we have a tendency to take on every part of our business and treat everything equally.

If you are responsible for content creation, marketing, shipping the product, and customer service..The reality is, there isn’t enough time in the day to do it all. 

This is where Tim Ferriss recommends the Pareto Principle (or 80/20 rule).

In simple words..80% of results come from just 20% of inputs.

So how does this impact my home business? Examples:

  • 80% of your sales come from 20% of the customers
  • 80% of your complaints come from 20% of the customers 
  • 80% of your stress is coming from 20% of the business 

The best way to use this to your advantage is to spend a bit of time reviewing your business each week. Simply take 30 minutes each week to think about how things are going at a high level.

  1. Which part of your business is bringing you the MOST joy?
    • Can you double down and spend more time on this?
  2. Which customer or platform is bringing in the MOST revenue?
    • Can you focus all of your efforts on this and increase revenue?
  3. Which customers have the most complaints and cause you the biggest headache?
    • Are these customers driving the most revenue? If not, can you fire them? 
  4. Which part of the business is causing you the most problems, stress, and anxiety?
    • Are these parts of our business critical? If not, can you cut it? If so, can you outsource?

I use Sundays as a review for both my personal and work life. This healthy habit helps keep my stress in control and my brain focused for the new week. 

Principle 3: Hiring Experts to Improve Your Skills 

Before I became interested in Tim Ferriss’ work, I had never even considered hiring a coach or mentor to help me achieve goals faster.

In “The Four Hour Chef”, Tim Ferriss writes about rapid learning and how you can become world class at any skill in 6 months.

One of the key ideas is that you can hire world class experts in any field and learn skills at a much faster rate than teaching yourself.

In “The Four Hour Chef”, Tim explains this through cooking and learning from some of the best Chefs in the world.

Not Many People Know This: With Social Media, you can find a world class expert to teach you any skill (Business, Health, etc) for extremely fair pricing. 

In 2022, I set a personal goal to run a 50 mile Ultramarathon. Prior to 2021 I had never run over a 5k. 

Since I knew nothing about running, I reached out to one of the best female Ultra Runners in the USA and she agreed to coach/consult me for a price less than a Starbucks Latte per day. 

I crossed the finish line of my 50 mile race in December 2022 and the #1 reason for my success was  the monthly guidance I received from my coach. 

How can you apply this to your Home Business?

  • What skill do you need to develop? Is it Copywriting, SEO, or Website Building? 
  • Who are the top 5-10 experts in this field?
  • Can you DM them on Social Media and ask if they are willing to be your coach?
  • Can you join a Course or Mastermind dedicated to this skill?

What is the most important skillset you could learn to help take your business to the next level?

Can you find an expert in this field and hire them to reduce the learning curve? 

Principle 4: You Don’t Have to Do Everything Yourself  

You Do'nt have to Do Everything

Fifteen years after being released, “The Four Hour Workweek” is still a top 100 book on Amazon.

The book grew so big that it was spoofed on the TV show “The Office” where Darryl makes reference to outsourcing warehouse workers.

Perhaps more than anything, “The Four Hour Workweek” is known for the idea of outsourcing which means hiring people to do parts of your business.

While it’s been turned into a funny joke meme, outsourcing can be a HUGE win for your Home Business. 

Some simple ideas for outsourcing:

  • Hire a Virtual Assistant to help with repeatable tasks (Meeting Setup, Emails, etc)
  • Hire a Bookkeeper to keep track of your finances 
  • Have a professional Logo made for your company 
  • Hire a specialist (SEO, Marketing, etc) 

Even if outsourcing a key function of your business seems like too large of a step, can you pick something small like bookkeeping and try outsourcing? 

Principle 5: Hold Yourself Accountable 

Hold Yourself Accountable

In “The Four Hour Chef”, Ferriss calls out that one of the largest keys to success is the ability to hold yourself accountable (or setting stakes). 

It’s easy to set big goals or say you will get that project done tomorrow, but do you actually do it?

We talked through the idea of setting deadlines earlier in the article, but the key to this working is being able to hold yourself accountable. 

So how do you hold yourself accountable?

Three immediate ways to set stakes for yourself:

  1. Accountability Partners
    • Find someone you trust that is in your space and become accountability partners. Simply commit to each other what you need to get done and by what date, then hold each other accountable on that date!
    • If you can’t find anyone, you can also hire a coach to hold you accountable at Commit Action
  2. Put Your reputation on the Line 
    • Post on social media that you are going to complete your project by a specific date.
    • Simply putting this out into the world will hold you accountable as it is human nature to not want to fail in public. 
  3. Make a Bet
    • Put your money where your mouth is and place a small financial bet on your goal. If you don’t do what you say, you will lose whatever money you put up. 
    • You can use Stickk to place this bet and make it official. 

Final Thoughts

Tim Ferriss has been around for over 15 years, yet his core principles from the mid 2000s are still applicable to this day.

After reading all of his books and listening to hundreds of hours of his podcast, I am confident that these 5 principles can help revolutionize your home business. 

While all 5 principles are powerful, you can make great strides in your business by just selecting the 1 or 2 of these and applying them this week! 

Kevin Martin

Author: Kevin Martin is obsessed with optimizing health, fitness, and wellness through simple habits and writes about it on kevinjohnmartin.com

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