Episode 39: The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss: Lessons + Takeaways

The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss: Lessons + Takeaways

A few weeks ago, I was feeling really lost with my blog. Again.  Even though I’d only recently revamped the way that I was producing content, I still felt something was off. I was putting a heaps time into my blog and yet it was stagnating. I knew it was time to reexamine the way I was doing things and when I saw The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss in the book store, I knew it would be the perfect book to help.

I originally read The 4-Hour Work Week a few years ago, as an audiobook, and learned A LOT from it. But because I didn’t do the journaling exercises, those lessons were quickly forgotten and my life stayed about the same. This time around, I went to this book with highlighters and tabs in hand, and it’s completely transformed the way I approach my business and my personal life. And I’m going to be sharing those lessons with you!

The 4-Hour Work Week is a book with a gimmicky title – but please don’t let that put you off. It’s really just a book about how to be effective and actually enjoy your life, rather than working for work’s sake and accumulating stuff. And if you’re anything like me, you have a lot to learn!

If you’re interested in reading the book (which I 100% recommend), I advise getting yourself a physical copy so you can really digest all the wisdom in this book and do the journaling exercise – the magic in this book is in the application.


The Tim Ferriss Show Podcast

The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss’ Fear-Setting Exercise

The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss

The 4-Hour Chef by Tim Ferriss

Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss

Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss

My podcast episode on Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss

How I make the most of self-help books

My instagram account


Listen to the episode on the player above, click here to download the episode and take it with you or listen anywhere you normally listen to podcasts – just find Episode 39 of The Smart Twenties Podcast!


Welcome to Episode 39 of The Smart Twenties Podcast. This is a podcast where Sam share personal growth and life advice for women in their twenties. And today, she is going to share her thoughts on The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. If you haven't heard of this book before, don't be put off by the title. I know it sounds super gimmicky and if you're listening to my podcast you are not the kind of person that wants to spend a lot of their time not being productive.


Hi, and welcome to Episode 39 of The Smart Twenties Podcast. My name is Sam Laura Brown and this is a podcast where I share personal growth and life advice for women in their twenties. And today, I am going to be sharing my thoughts on The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss.

If you haven’t heard of this book before, don’t be put off by the title. I know it sounds super gimmicky and if you’re listening to my podcast you are not the kind of person that wants to spend a lot of their time not being productive. So, working four hours a week probably is in your goal you want to be working on something that’s actually having an impact in the world, and that you enjoy doing, but put all of that aside because this book is actually about how to be effective, how to do what matters and how to actually create a life that you enjoy living and that you’re not just doing work for work’s sake, and you’re not just doing work, because you haven’t taken the time to think about what you actually want to do with your life outside of work or business or whatever it is you’re doing to make money.

So I read this book about six weeks ago, I was in need of taking a step back in my business because I just felt like I really wasn’t being effective, I had stopped having a day off, so I was working all the time, but that did not mean I was being productive because I was working all the time. It’s called Parkinson’s Law, and Tim Ferriss actually mentioned it in the book that a task will expand to the time you allotted.

So I didn’t actually have any time that I wasn’t allowing myself to work, so all of my tasks just took way longer. I was procrastinating more, and I just really felt like I needed to take a look at everything I was doing and make sure that I was doing the right things- the important things, not just being efficient at things that didn’t matter. And I also had a feeling before I read this book for the second time that I was filling a lot of my time with tasks, just so that I could avoid uncomfortable tasks so I was filling my time with writing blog posts and filming YouTube videos and all of that kind of thing.

When even that is helpful for my business, I was doing that and doing it in a more complicated way, that needed so that I could avoid uncomfortable tasks like creating products selling things, pitching myself to be featured in the media, and on other people’s podcasts, and all of that kind of thing.

So, as I mentioned, this was me reading it for the second time, I read it for the first time about three years ago, I listened to the audio book and I really found that for this kind of book, listening to it on audio is still better than not listening to it or not reading it at all but it has so many amazing journaling exercises in it that when I was listening to it, it was nearly impossible to do them because I listened to things like podcast and audio books when I’m multitasking, so I’m either out walking or at the gym, I’m in the car, I’m cleaning, I’m just never really sitting and listening and doing nothing else. So if there was a journaling exercise that came up, I was never in a place to do them. And it’s so hard with an audio book. You can’t shuffle through and see where things are. So I just didn’t do any of the exercises the first time that I read the book, and it really is applying that makes a difference.

So you might read this book, and might feel inspired, but unless you do the journaling exercises, you’re probably not going to get a heap out of it. The journaling exercises in this book are really great. Tim Ferriss is really thoughtful with the questions that he asks. And they have just really had a huge impact. It was very challenging to do a lot of them. I felt super stumped, I just couldn’t even think of answers, but I force myself to not say, “I don’t know,” but to actually think, “Okay, well if I did know what would I say?” And I got so much out of it because of those exercises. So I just want to mention that if you are thinking of reading it, I definitely recommend picking up a physical copy so that you can do the journaling exercises, because it’s the application like with any book that is what will make the biggest difference.

So this book, as I mentioned, is about how to be effective, how to make sure you’re doing the tasks that really matter, it’s also like a step-by-step plan if you are working in a nine to five, how to become really effective. So you’re only doing the task that matter and you’re only doing the tasks that will have the biggest impact, how to eliminate essentially all of the stuff that doesn’t matter, and then how to outsource and essentially, how to then be able to work while you’re traveling around, even if you’re in a corporate job. Obviously, you couldn’t do that if you are like a nurse or a doctor or something where you need to be physically present but a lot of office jobs that you could work remotely, it’s really designed for that. That’s not the situation that I’m in, but there are so many good things in this book that it doesn’t matter and I don’t think you need to be in a typical nine to five for this book to have a big impact. You can have your own business and be your own boss and still get so much from this book. And I read all the sections even the ones that might not have been as relevant.

I got so much from basically every section of this book, so I’m just going to be chatting through the biggest things that I learned. It’s not going to be a book review, but just sharing the lessons and takeaways that I got really the second time from reading it, and it’s all base, of course, more at my own personal development journey, and my life because you only hear things when you’re ready to hear them. And I think a lot of this stuff three years ago, I was working full-time as an accountant, and I was in a very different place with my business and with so many different things.

So it’s always so good to revisit a book. If there’s a book that you read a few years ago you liked and you’re like, “I didn’t really get heaps from that book!” sometimes it is so good, instead of trying to find a different book to go back and really see if there’s anything else you can get and make sure that you’re doing all of those journaling exercises, because all the self-help books have recommended actions and exercises and it’s really easy to just read them and think I’ll do that later and never do it but that’s the thing that makes the biggest difference for sure.

I also wanted to mention that in the book as well, he talks about having many retirements throughout your life, instead of leaving retirement until the end of your life, which is an idea that I definitely like the thought of because I don’t really like retirement isn’t ever in my goals and I’m sure they’re not for you either, you just want to be doing something, you want to be working and making an impact. So yeah, it’s about having breaks from your life, and actually being thoughtful enough with your life that you would know what you want to do if you’re not working which for me has just been a huge realization that I have so much of my identity wrapped up in my business and even though I absolutely love doing this, I love personal development, there’s still other facets of my personality and other things I enjoy doing that I really want to explore and I’m still trying to figure out what the hell they even are. I feel like it’s not talked about that much, but so many people don’t even know what they want to do, if they’re not working. I do feel that I really have been really working for work’s sake.

He also said, I’ve just written out this quote, he said, “If only I had more money is the easiest way to postpone the intense self-examination, and decision-making necessary to create a life of enjoyment now, not later, which is basically we use the phrase, if you have more money, or if only I had more time, or if only I didn’t have so many responsibilities- as an excuse to avoid the challenging and uncomfortable task of figuring out what we actually want to do with our time.”

He’s got so many great stories in this book it’s the updated edition. So it came out 10 years ago. He’s put in stories of people in all kinds of situations, like single parents with kids and all of that kind of thing who have been able to essentially travel the world and do what they want to do, even though a lot of those people fall into the category of too many responsibilities or don’t have enough money. So it’s really great as well that now, it’s got examples of people who’ve applied The 4-Hour Workweek stuff.

Because it was written 10 years ago, a lot of the technical tools that he talks about are out-of-date, but I’ve heard on his podcast, he has talked about how he doesn’t want to update that kind of thing because he’ll constantly have to keep updating it and also because he’s scared of ruining the magic of the book. And I don’t think it really matters that a lot of the technical tools in this are now out of date, it was actually really interesting to read how much harder it would be to have an online business ten years ago and there are so many amazing programs now that help. And yeah, it was just… I don’t think that really matters, is all I really wanted to say about it. So I’m just going to chat through a few of the different principles that he mentioned and basically how I have applied them.

So there’s the Pareto principle, which is also known as the 80/20 principle. It’s not something that Tim Ferriss came up with, but he does mention it in his book, because it is a principle that guided a lot of his decisions. So, Tim Ferriss before he was doing what he’s doing, now, if you don’t know who he is, I’m talking about him like you guys know, because I talk about him all the time, but he is an online entrepreneur, he’s an author, he’s an investor or he’s not at the moment, but he used to be, he’s really into the whole tech space, and I love his podcast The Tim Ferriss Show. But before that, he had a supplement company, called Brain Quicken, well that was a product. And that’s really what he’s talking about in this book because that was where he was at when he was writing and it’s this book that really allowed him to do everything that he’s done since then.

So in it, he’s talking about this Pareto principle which is basically that 20% of the work you do creates 80% of the result. It applies to heaps of other things too, like you wear 20% of your wardrobe 80% of the time. Of course, it’s rough, like maybe you wear 10% of your wardrobe and 90% of the time, which is what I feel like I do. But it’s basically this principle that says that there’s only really a small amount of your inputs that creates a lot like the majority of your output.

And he talks about how he used that principle so that he wasn’t being a bottleneck for his business because he was saying that he was working like crazy long days and was just spending a lot of time putting out fires. I really loved as well the way that he talks about empowering people that you have working for you and that if you give people the opportunity to make decisions, they instantly become smarter. I know for sure that is true because when I have worked in jobs where all of my… I haven’t really been given any autonomy in everything has to go through like five hands. It’s really… you just feel like you are probably going to make a mistake and so you’re scared to suggest anything, but when you give people like he was saying, he gave his staff, the power like, if you can, if there’s a problem with the customer’s order and you can fix it in less for less than $50 you don’t need to ask me about it, you just decide if what you should do. And then he raised out to $100 to $200, he was telling them, “I’ll review your decisions. I just keep them in a spreadsheet. Or I’ll review them every month and then every quarter.” And then eventually he could just have them all making their own decisions about what to do with refunds and customer issues without him having to get involved, so he didn’t have to spend so much time in his business. And also it was decisions essentially, that he wasn’t even needed for but because previously he wanted to be in control, and he’d be scared of letting them make their own decisions, he was just having to spend all day doing it.

So I was having to look at the 80/20 principle and thinking like, “What are the 20% of tasks that I do in my business that really create 80% of the impact” and I had to look at… I’m doing like blog posts, YouTube videos, podcasts, Instagram posts, email newsletters, all sorts of things like that. And I had to look at everything and identified that, from my perspective, and considering all the analytics and all of that kind of thing. And the feedback that I get things that have the biggest impact for sure, of this podcast, which is amazing because also my favorite thing to do which is maybe why it is the best received, if you guys can maybe pick up that I just really love doing this and I just chat forever and ever. So the podcast and also my Instagram quotes because they’re different to what other people are putting out and they actually having a really positive impact and yes, my blog posts are good… and yes, the YouTube videos that people are watching them but I just sort of realized that I can’t be focusing, trying to focus on everything and actually doing everything well.

I really just need to choose a couple of things to focus on and let the other things sort of fall by the wayside, I’ll be doing blog posts probably every now and again I’m not sure when I’ll be uploading on YouTube again. I did really enjoy that stuff, but when I take a look at everything, I can’t be good at everything and I think that if I’m putting time into YouTube that time that I can instead dedicate to growing my podcast and recording more episodes and all of that kind of thing.

So it was really good because I felt like I was just feeling pulled in so many different directions, and the reason that I had done that is because those tasks were comfortable which kind of leads me to the next thing I had written down. There was a question in the book: What are the top three activities that I used to fill time to feel as though I’ve been productive? That’s the question, So what are the things that I use to basically keep busy, but they’re not actually getting me anywhere. And he also said, “What are your crutch activities?” which I really love the way he like…. “crutch activities” because I think my crutch activities were trying to just be focused really on the content side and not spending any time on the marketing side and that’s because the content side is super comfortable for me.

I love doing these podcast episodes, so it’s writing blog posts, doing YouTube videos, and I’d filled up all of my time with those tasks so that I didn’t have time to do marketing tasks and creating new products, promoting them, pitching myself to other people like to be featured on their podcast and in the media and that kind of thing. Like I was just letting myself stay super comfortable and super busy, with just content and not doing any marketing. And if I have a look at everything, and can see that, oh, well it’s actually really only the podcast and the Instagram quotes that at the moment or having the biggest impact, and if I can really go all in on them as well, they can grow even more, and then I can use the other time that I was spending on content, either on marketing activities or I can also spend it actually having a bloody day off. So that’s what I’m doing as well. But it’s a really great thing to think about what other 20% of tasks that you do that create 80% of your results.

And it’s also important to think about things like over-editing, so you have a blog, like if you spend time or editing a blog post and fiddling around with the graphics, like those things aren’t actually having the biggest impact. So really just getting clear on what are those 20% of tasks that create 80% of the results. And then Tim says, you just have to let small bad things happen. You have to be willing for there to just be a little bit of mess, a little bit of imperfection. He is a very type A person. This is written for type A people, which is great, because it’s definitely the mindset that I have been in, and working for work’s sake is something that I feel like only type A people really do. So that was a great thing to look at.

For me, I felt like it was really needed, because I had just really been getting in my own way and it’s… I always think about this with the podcast, I’m constantly showing what I’m working on and hopefully realize by now that it’s constantly changing and there are so many things that I’m like, “I’m doing this now” and then two weeks later, I’m not doing that anymore, and I have changed it, and I feel like most people work that way. There are a lot of things that I do that stay the same and I guess I don’t really talk about the things that are constantly the same but it’s okay to be trying things out. And a few months ago, maybe it’s like four or five months ago, now when I was like, “I’m going to be… I really want to be doing long form content” and so I’m going to be doing a series every week where I’m doing a YouTube video, a podcast, a blog post and a work book that are all just essentially one big long piece of long form content because that’s what I really enjoy doing. And the reason I decided that to some extent, was because I read Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss which I have done a podcast episode on and I will link it in the show notes at smart-twenties.com/episode39 but in that book people had really talked about… so that book if you don’t know it, he has interviewed I think about a hundred people, he emailed them the set of questions. It’s people who are considered the best of the best in whatever it is that they do, and it’s a really good book. I really enjoyed it.

So many people who were interviewed in that book said that they wanted, like they were really focusing on spending more time enjoying the process and what they realized over their journey of trying to become successful is that, of course, you never really get there, and you’re always in the process, so it is really important to make sure that you’re enjoying the day-to-day of it because at the end of the day that’s really all there is, as soon as we get close to our goals, we’ve already got our eyes set on the next one.

So when I read that and I was really thinking about things, and I was like, “Okay well, I’m going to really make sure I’m enjoying the content that I’m creating, and just create this very elaborate way to be creating content” but now I can see that the reason really, that I’d done that was so that I was so busy with creating content that I didn’t actually have to spend any time doing the really uncomfortable tasks that were actually going to move the needle with my business.

So even though it is sometimes challenging for me to say like “I’m going to do this” and then three weeks later be like, “Actually, I’m not going to do this, I’m going to do this” and at some point I do feel like maybe I lose a little bit of your trust because I’m constantly changing, but I hope that you can see that I’m really just evolving what I do, and basically I’m constantly self-sabotaging and then catching myself and then I just get better at holding myself back in a different way and then I catch myself and it’s just is constant evolution, so I hope that the things that I say… do you still have some weight to them? Even though I will say something and then a few weeks later, I will have changed my opinion but I think that’s part of being human, and part of growing and that if I was always doing the same thing, I don’t think I would be a very good example of someone who is pursuing personal growth because that is not personal growth if you’re constantly the same and as I was saying of course, are things that I do consistently and I just don’t really talk about them because they’re not at the top of my mind because they just the same.

But anyway, that was something I was really thinking about. Also work for work’s sake which he said, this is a quote from the book, “Being busy is most often used as a guise for avoiding the few critically important but uncomfortable actions” which is what I was just talking about that I was using all of that complicated way to create content, which would take me about a week to create the content for a week, so I didn’t have time for anything else, and I was doing that to avoid doing uncomfortable marketing tasks and other uncomfortable business tasks and just keeping myself in my comfort zone and it felt really… like, I couldn’t even see that that was self sabotage, and that was me to stay in my comfort zone because it was so justified and it just seemed like it felt really good.

But I think it’s okay to… I just think it’s okay to self-sabotage and then call yourself out on it, not saying that you should do it, but what I’m trying to say, I guess is I’m not beating myself up about it because that’s just like adding hurt onto hurt so I’m not doing that. And now that I’ve wised up to that, I’m moving to the next level, but I am sure now, I am self-sabotaging myself in some way that I can’t yet see, and will tell you about in future episodes when I do see it.

So working for work’s sake, definitely with having a day off every week, which I have been doing since the beginning of June, or basically actually now since I read this book, I was like, “I need to actually have that day off” and the reason that I hadn’t had a day off is because I didn’t even know what I enjoyed doing with my time. And that’s not a good enough reason to be working all the time, the fact that I don’t actually know what I want to do in my spare time and that I find it uncomfortable not to be productive isn’t a good reason to be working all the time and to not actually… as Tim said, “Do the intense self-examination, and decision-making necessary to create our life of enjoyment.” So I’m still really figuring out what am I interested in, what do I like to do in my spare time.

I am trying not to let myself read self-help books because I’m finding that that’s really what I want to do for some of it, but I think that’s also kind of being just falling back into something that’s as close to work as I can get, because it still feels productive to me. So when I’ve been reading, I have been reading fiction books. I’m reading After You by by Jojo Moyes, which I am nearly done I only have a few little pages left, then I’ve got sitting here on my desk Still Me by by Jojo Moyes, which is the third book in the series, so I’ve been doing that.

I have just been trying to figure out what I enjoy doing, I’ve been… actually, also enjoying doing meal prep, I’ve been watching Queer Eye, I’ve just been allowing myself to not be productive, and not feel bad about it and also allow myself this space to keep trying to figure it out, so I didn’t give myself a day off for two weeks, I was like, I can’t figure anything out, so I’m just going to go back to working, I’m just letting myself have that empty space in the hope that I will eventually develop what I like to do in my bed time. I know it’s probably sounds so weird, but I’m sure you can relate to not know… I’m talking about when your friends aren’t free, and you just by yourself, and you’re at home, what do you enjoy doing or do you enjoy going out by yourself, that kind of thing?

He also in the book talks about filling the void which is basically the same thing. Thinking about the question, “What would excite me?” instead of “What do I want?” because what would excite me, and what would excite me he’s saying as well is really a better question of what would make me happy, and I found that to be really true, when I was doing the exercise is thinking about what would be exciting. It really brings up a lot of experiences and those kinds of things that you look forward to when thinking about like what would make me happy? I just end up, I don’t know with this flat list of things that having running water makes me happy, but it’s not something to aspire to, at least, when I already have it and I don’t know if this is making sense, but the question, “What would excite me?” I have found is really helpful, and also kind of leaves me a bit stumped.

I definitely think at the moment, what would excite me, is the thought of renovating our house, which Steven and I have been talking a lot about. We’ve been watching so much current designs and just saying as well that everyone starts so optimistic and with this great budget, they’re like confident it’s going to fit in the budget then of course it takes double the time is double the cost and they ended up being super stressed throughout it with the thought of creating something like that, really excites me. Also traveling, visiting my friend, Lib, which I’m planning to do next year in London, and that kind of thing, but then I didn’t just want to have my list of things that excite me, just be like this list of travel destinations because I wanted to also find things that would excite me like on a week-to-week basis.

Not just things to look forward to for the whole year then it’s done in a week and then you know, I want a mix of things like bigger things and small things, so I’m still working on that, but he has a really good process in this book for actually going through it. It was very uncomfortable for me to think about because it kind of just this realization of shit I don’t actually know what I would do with my life if I wasn’t working. And I think to have a really full and satisfying life it is important to not be working all the time because, I don’t know, I love doing this stuff, as I said, but I just think that relationships are really important having other experiences.

Also as well, a lot of what I write about and talk about in the podcast like if I’m not having experiences that I’m kind of just trapped in this little bubble, and it gets a lot less interesting. So yeah, that was something I was thinking about as well. And he really does talk at the end about filling the void. Like if you did create this 4-Hour Workweek, what are you going to do in the rest of your time? Because unless you very intentionally have an answer for that, you will slip back into work for work’s sake or you will basically fall into being depressed and all of that.

If you are the kind of person that has been getting your self-worth from being productive and then you suddenly less productive and then you like sitting on the beach and you’re like, “Oh I actually don’t enjoy this” if you don’t actually think “Okay what would I enjoy? What I want to travel, what I want to volunteer, what I want to do my own project, what would I want to do” then you just slip back into working and do work just because you don’t know what else to do.

So, the other thing in this book that I adored is the fear setting exercise which I have spoken about before I’ve done a YouTube video, I’ve done a blog post about it. I talked about it previously, because I did it when I read Tools of Titans which is another Tim Ferriss book I have read. I have actually only read those three, so he has The 4-Hour Workweek which is this book that I’m talking about, he also has The 4-Hour Body and The 4-Hour Chef which I haven’t yet read but do want to read and then not actually about what they sound like they’re about. I know that The 4-Hour Chef isn’t actually really about cooking, it’s about how to learn acquire a new skill really quickly and that kind of thing and The 4-Hour Body, I’m not sure exactly, like it is about physique and that kind of thing, in fitness and health, but he’s always hacking things, and experimenting, and asking really good questions, so I definitely want to read both of those.

And then he has Tools of Titans and Tribe of Mentors which basically came from his podcast where he is sharing wisdom from the best of the best and I really enjoyed those. So I’m going to be reading his other two books, of course, because if you can’t tell, I’m basically like Tim Ferriss publicist at this point, I feel like I should be. But anyway, so he has his fear setting exercise and when I was reading this book and so the exercise, I was like… well, I would like to do it again.

So the first time I did it, I was doing the exercise, which is basically a journaling exercises about seven different questions that really help you define your fears. And the reason that he created this exercise for himself was because he realized that perhaps the reason that his fears had been holding him back was because they’re so vague. And once you really define your fear, then you actually get to see like… “Oh wait, that’s really nothing.” And I have found this to be so true. So when it came to quitting my full-time job for blogging, I did this series of questions, which is basically like it’s not just what’s the worst case scenario, it’s like, what’s the worst case scenario and then it’s the questions after that, that really powerful like what’s the probability of that happening then? What are more probable outcomes if the worst case in area happen, what could you do to get yourself back on your feet? And you really realize essentially that the thing you really scared will happen is actually reversible and improbable if it does happen for the most part.

And you also realize that you’re not actually sat of what you think you’re scared of when I did this exercise for quitting my full-time job for blogging before I did it, I was like for sure a hundred percent the reason I’m scared to quit my job football in is because I’m scared of what people will think basically because I didn’t have enough confidence in myself to believe it so I projected that on every one else was like, “Well if I didn’t believe it, no one else will and I’m going to be judged. People will think I’m stupid.” So, I had thought for the longest time that my fear was what other people would think.

Then when I did the exercise, I realized my fear wasn’t actually what other people would think, which is the amount of time I spent feeling scared of what other people would think about it. I couldn’t even believe that that turn out not to be the actual fear and that that was kind of just a big vague fear that I could have as an excuse to keep myself in my comfort zone. So the actual fear was that, my business would fail but that would be fine, but the thing that I was scared I was if it would fail then that would impact my relationship with Steve and then we’d break up, so essentially that I would lose Steve.

Now when I saw that, I was like, “Well, that’s just stupid, like that’s not going to happen.” So then I could just start in taking the steps to quit my job and then I quit weeks later, so yeah, that was super powerful. And since then I’ve been obsessed with the exercise when I was reading the book this time, I did it in working from a co-working space because I had been telling people like for the last year since basically, since I quit my full-time job, I do really like working in an office kind of environment, I like the routine of going to an office I like seeing the same people I having work friends and I really miss that not working in that kind of environment. I do in my part-time job, but for this blogging stuff, it can be really isolating. So I’ve been like, “I really want to work from a co-working space.”

If you don’t know that what that is, because I’ve actually been telling quite a few people are like, “What is that?” It’s basically a place where the people who don’t want to work from home, go to all work alongside each other or you can have small teams that don’t want to hire out a huge office space can work there as well.

So yeah, it’s basically like an office that you go to work to kind of like if you’re at a uni, you go to library, similar sort of thing in a sense, but then it’s like an office whether I have ten coffee and bathrooms, and showers and all sorts of things like that, like a normal corporate kind of office world, the one that I’m working from, has the most amazing indoor plants ever, ever, ever, which was a big selling point for me. It’s also dog friendly, which is lovely as well.

Anyway, I had been talking to people for a year saying, “I really want to work from a co-working space” all the while not actually doing anything about it, and it was really because I did this exercise on it. The fear setting exercise, okay, what I might actually scared off. And with this exercise, all you have to do is have in mind something that you’ve been putting off doing out of fear, you don’t even need to know that you’ve been putting it off out of fear, you need to think of something you’ve being putting off, doing or something even considering but haven’t made a decision on. It can be big or small, it could be like going traveling quitting a job, breaking up with a partner buying a dog, getting a haircut, whatever it is.

And so I did it on the co-working stuff and I realized that the reason that I had been putting it off, was basically because I felt like I would feel like a fraud because I didn’t have a legitimate business and so if I’m working from a coworking space for entrepreneurs for some reason I wouldn’t fit in, which is just completely stupid and not how it works anyway, because they don’t care if you pay the money to work from there you can work from them. There’s no criteria of like how much is your business making and all that kind of thing. So anyway, when I saw that, I was like, “Well that’s just stupid. That is not a good reason. Not to work from a co-working space.” And I had also, as I said, being really struggling with the separation between work and home and co-working, going to an office just seems like such a good solution for that because I am the kind of person that I really do enjoy working with other people even though I’m an introvert that doesn’t mean I want to be alone 24/7.

Like when I’ve been at home working, I’m like going to kitchen and doing laundry stuff and whatever, and then when I’m relaxing I’ve been… like I should be working and it’s just been so easy to end up doing work for work’s sake. But then when I am while not being super productive, because I don’t have to be because that’s this blah between it.

So I saw… when I did that exercise literally did the exercise immediately after sending an e-mail about when I could inspect a co-working space because I had already done the research I already knew basically which co-working space I wanted to work from, so I sent an email saying, “Could I please come for an inspection” did that, he replied, I did it that day signed up that day.

Now, was that I just as soon as I did this exercise in this book, which is why I’m saying journaling exercise is so powerful because I had thought about it for a year, but until I did this exercise and put pen to paper on it, I couldn’t see that I was withholding myself back just for a completely silly reason basically, so that was really good.

I’m going to revisit that exercise again. And I also… with offering coaching, that’s definitely something that I’ve done with that exercise. I have been thinking about offering coaching, for two years and have just been too scared to do it because I take about this in a previous episode, but I really think that I’m naturally good at coaching and I was like, I’m just scared to find out that that’s not true, you so I’ve just put it off and then when I’ve really looked at it and like that is dumb that is just really stupid.

So it’s such a great, amazing clarifying exercise. It’s my favorite, journaling exercise. If you’re only going to do one exercise I definitely recommend it. I know I have spoken about a lot before, but instead of always recommending new things I just want to recommend the things that really work. And this is one of them. So I really enjoyed reading this book. I’m not going to go through and read out different quotes and things there’s so much he covers that I haven’t even talked about basically as well. When I read this book, I started outsourcing some of my tasks because I just saw that there are a few things that I’m doing in my business that don’t actually need me to do them.

And it’s quite inexpensive to have someone else do the inexpensive in the sense that if I pay someone else to do them, then I have that time to do things that I can actually make money doing and that it will help me scale. So for example, when I was reading this bit and all the bit about out or seeing he talks about how to do it, so I thought I would do a little experiment and just have someone out. I would practice hiring someone by outsourcing a really simple task which is finding content for my Pinterest profile.

So I did that and then I was like, “This is really cool” because these things are getting done. A lot of them that I hadn’t even been prioritizing so they just won’t even getting done at all and now they’re just getting done without me having to worry about it. So I have now also outsourced the podcast production, so it doesn’t take that long, it may be only takes an hour after I recalled this episode… I don’t edit it as you probably can guess, because there’s so many stumbles in these episodes, but it does need to be edited in terms of the audio quality and have tags added to it and the description added to it. And a blog post created and a graphic created for Pinterest and all of that kind of thing. And I was doing that myself and because of that, it meant that I was able to produce less podcast episode than I’d like to.

Now, all I do is I sit down I record my podcast episode, I write the description for it and the links and stuff that are being the shoots, and then I put it in a Dropbox folder and it gets done and it’s the most amazing thing. So that’s something that has come out of this book as well. I will be outsourcing other things, but it’s usually a skill to outsource and I think, well, it’s so important, it’s something that I’ve been thinking about doing getting people to help me, but I knew that there was no point doing it until I identified the case that I actually need to… like the 20% stuff that were creating 80% of the results because I might be outsourcing tasks that I could just eliminate.

So I really wanted to go through this process first, before I decided what I would start outsourcing. So say for example, in the past, I considered outsourcing YouTube stuff having someone help me upload them, especially doing the daily vlogs because it was just taking a lot of time now. I’ve just decided, actually, I think it’s best to just eliminate that so I can save myself the time because it does take time to interact with the people that are helping you and to manage them and empower them.

Instead of having to worry about that and outsource something that wasn’t even important. I really did enjoy putting videos up on YouTube, and I probably will do it at some point in the future, but for now, I just think, going all-in on the podcast, and my Instagram and my newsletter, my weekly newsletter if you’re not signed up, I sent out… I really, I love writing them a really good email every week, every Sunday night. You can go to smart-twenties.com and you can find as a bar at the top where you can just sign up.

So that the things that I’m focusing on and now I’m outsourcing things that I have a clear process like with my podcast, I had already written out a clear process for myself of exactly the steps that I take that I found someone who was already familiar with all of that process and said, “Here you go” and it has just been absolutely magical. So that’s being great as well. I’m just having a little flick through the book to see if there is anything else I have mentioned. There’s just so much like a can even go through it all, but it’s great if you just feel like you’re caught in the rat race and you’re just working because that’s what you meant to do. And yeah, it’s a really incredible powerful book. I know I for sure that I will be reading it again, I will probably also be listening it to again on Audible now that I’ve read the hard copy and I’ve done a lot of the journaling exercises, I have more of a context to listen to it and I think repetition is so important, you probably already know that I do like repeating things as I mentioned, like this book I had read before, Think and Grow Rich, the last book that I did one of these episodes on I had already read before.

I do really prefer to revisit things I already know, and get as much out of them as possible than keep moving on to the next because as you know if you’re in the personal development world, if you’re just constantly looking for the next thing to inspire you and not applying any of it you feel good for a little bit, but then your life doesn’t change so I just like to find a few things and really squeeze all I can out of them.

So sometimes I worry that I am a little bit repetitive, but at the same time simplifying is really the key to applying and having only a few different teachers either a few different podcasts or a few different authors, that you read can really help because it can be so challenging to reconcile all of the different advice that people are giving and also the way that content creation is kind of setup is that people like me, feel the pressure to constantly be talking about new things and try this and you should try this, and you should try this. Which isn’t necessarily the best thing, sometimes I think it is better to say quit if you try that thing I’ve already talked about. Let’s talk about it again. So, you really get it but because a lot of people are looking for something new and they’re like, “I already actually know” like if you had me talk about this before this stuff like I already know all of this, it’s so important to think, yes, maybe I intellectually know it, but have I applied it? Have I actually been doing it?

Because it’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking that if you know something, then that’s enough, it is not enough, you have to actually be applying it, testing it, trying it. So I’m going to leave it here. I could go on forever and ever about this book, but I definitely recommend picking it up the physical copy, a hard copy you could do Kindle but even so I recommend the real deal because I just love physically flipping through a book. Maybe that’s just really old school of me but I so much prefer physical books than like Kindle, so you can get it anywhere, it’s super popular.

And if you haven’t listened to the The Tim Ferriss Show podcast, I definitely recommend it. I listened to an amazing episode with Aisha Tyler, I’m pretty sure is her name. I was recommended the episode and it was so good because she has a growth mindset. And so if you’re a perfectionist, you have the fixed mindset which is basically you only want to put in an effort, if you got a certain result, withholding effort, if you don’t think you got that result, procrastinating, people pleasing… all that kind of thing. Growth mindset is really focused on the process and effort for effort’s sake.

As in there is value in trying your best is something even if it doesn’t get the outcome you want, but of course, if you’re putting in that kind of effort you often do but that’s not really the focus. She just embodies that mindset, the growth mindset so well, it was an amazing interview… I loved every second of it. So I also check that out as well and I’ll link it in the show notes, that’s all from me today. And I will talk to you next time, bye!


Author: Sam Brown