First preview of The 4-Hour Workweek (newly revised)

Ramit Sethi · December 15th, 2009

Two years ago, I wrote a review of The Four Hour Workweek in a review called, “The book that changed my life in 2 hours.”

Since then, Tim Ferriss has become a good friend of mine and we’ve traded strategies on writing, testing, and automation.

The updated & expanded edition of his book, The Four Hour Workweek, comes out today. I convinced him to run the preface here — where he explains what’s new, including detailed case studies and updated resources for virtual assistants and automation. This is the first time you’ll see it anywhere.

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If you haven’t already read the book — or even if you have — this version contains all-new material to help you focus on the things that matter, and ruthlessly eliminate the unnecessary obligations from your life. I’ve read the new edition and it’s very good.

Below, see an invitation to get a private hour with Tim and me to answer any question you want — about virtual assistants, international traveling, automating your finances, marketing, or your own career questions.

Tim, take it away.

* * *

Tim Ferriss: Preface to the Updated and Expanded Edition

The 4-Hour Workweek was turned down by 26 out of 27 publishers.

After it was sold, the president of one potential marketing partner, a large bookseller, e-mailed me historical bestseller statistics to make it clear—this wouldn’t be a mainstream success.

So I did all I knew how to do. I wrote it with two of my closest friends in mind, speaking directly to them and their problems – problems I long had – and I focused on the unusual options that had worked for me around the world.

I certainly tried to set the conditions for making a sleeper hit possible, but I knew it wasn’t likely. I hoped for the best and planned for the worst.

May 2nd, 2007, I receive a call on my cell phone from my editor.

“Tim, you hit the list.”

It was just past 5pm in NYC, and I was exhausted. The book had launched 5 days before, and I had just finished a series of more than 20 radio interviews in succession, beginning at 6am that morning. I never planned a book tour, preferring instead to “batch” radio satellite tours into 48 hours.

“Heather, I love you, but please don’t $#%* with me.”

“No, you really hit the list. Congratulations, Mr. New York Times bestselling author!”

I leaned against the wall and slid down until I was sitting on the floor. I closed my eyes, smiled, and took a deep breath. Things were about to change.

Everything was about to change.

Lifestyle Design from Dubai to Berlin

The 4-Hour Workweek has now been sold into 35 languages. It’s been on the bestseller lists for more than two years, and every month brings a new story and a new discovery.

From The Economist to the cover of the New York Times Style section, from the streets of Dubai to the cafes of Berlin, “lifestyle design” has cut across cultures to become a worldwide movement. The original ideas of the book have been broken apart, improved, and tested in environments and ways I never could have imagined.

So why the new edition if things are working so well? Because I knew it could be better, and there was a missing ingredient: you.

This expanded and updated edition contains more than 60 pages of new content, including the latest cutting-edge technologies, field-tested resources, and—most important—real-world success stories chosen from more than 400 pages of case studies submitted by readers.

Families and students? CEOs and professional vagabonds? Take your pick. There should be someone whose results you can duplicate. Need a template to negotiate remote work, a paid year in Argentina, perhaps? This time, it’s in here.

The Experiments in Lifestyle Design blog ( was launched alongside the book, and within 6 months, it became one of top 1000 blogs in the world, out of more than 120 million. Thousands of readers began to share their own amazing tools and tricks, producing phenomenal and unexpected results. The blog became the laboratory I’d always wanted, and I encourage you to join us there.

The new “Best of the Blog” section includes several of the most popular posts from the Experiments in Lifestyle Design blog. On the blog itself, you can also find recommendations from everyone from Warren Buffett (seriously, I tracked him down and show you how I did it) to Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park and chess prodigy Josh Waitzkin. It’s a experimental playground for those who want better results is less time.

Not “Revised”

This is not a “revised” edition in the sense that the original no longer works. The typos and small mistakes have been fixed over more than 40 printings in the US. This is the first major overhaul, but not for the reason you’d expect.

Things have changed dramatically since April 2007. Banks are failing, retirement and pension funds are evaporating, and jobs are being lost at record rates. Readers and skeptics alike have asked: can the principles and techniques in the book really still work in an economic recession or depression?

Yes and yes.

In fact, questions I posed during pre-crash lectures, including “how would your priorities and decisions change if you could never retire?”, are no longer hypothetical. Millions of people have seen their savings portfolios fall as much as 40% or more in value and are now looking for options C and D. Can they redistribute retirement throughout life to make it more affordable? Can they relocate a few months per year to a place like Costa Rica or Thailand to multiply the lifestyle output of their decreased savings? Sell their services to companies in the UK to earn in a stronger currency? The answer to all of them is, more than ever, yes.

The concept of lifestyle design as a replacement for multi-staged career planning is sound. It’s more flexible and allows you to test different lifestyles without committing to a 10- or 20-year retirement plan that can fail due to market fluctuations outside of your control. People are open to exploring alternatives (and more forgiving of others who do the same), as many of the other options –- the once “safe” options — have failed.

When everything and everyone is failing, what is the resume cost of a little experimentation outside of the norm? Most often, nothing. Flash forward to 2011; is a job interviewer asking about that unusual gap year? “Everyone was getting laid off and I had a once-in-a-lifetime chance to travel around the world. It was incredible.” If anything, they’ll ask you how to do the same. The scripts in this book still work.

Facebook and LinkedIn launched in the post-2000 dot-com “depression”. Other recession-born babies include Monopoly, Apple, Facebook, Clif Bar, Scrabble, KFC, Domino’s Pizza, FedEx, and Microsoft. This is no coincidence, as economic downturns produce discounted infrastructure, outstanding freelancers at bargain prices, and rock-bottom advertising deals—all impossible when everyone is optimistic.

Whether a year-long sabbatical, a new business idea, re-engineering your life within the corporate beast, or dreams you’ve postponed for “some day”, there has never been a better time for testing the uncommon.

What’s the worst that could happen?

I encourage you to remember this often-neglected question as you begin to see the infinite possibilities outside of your current comfort zone. This period of collective panic is your big chance to dabble.

It’s been an honor to share the last two years with incredible readers around the world, and I hope you enjoy this new edition as much as I enjoyed putting it together.

I am, and will continue to be, a humble student of you all.

Un abrazo fuerte,


April 21th, 2009

San Francisco, California

* * *

Get a free, private hour with Tim Ferriss and Ramit Sethi.

Buy the new edition in the next 24 hours and you’ll get access to a special live 1-hour webcast where Tim and I will answer any question you can throw at us, including questions about finances, starting a business, writing a book, using virtual assistants, optimizing lifestyle design…or whatever you can come up with.

1. Buy The Four Hour Workweek expanded & updated edition today, December 15th, 2009
2. Forward your receipt to and I’ll send you instructions on attending the private webcast

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  1. David Turnbull

    This was a nice way to end the day with. I’m tempted to preorder the book soon just to get access to that webcast, but Amazon’s shipping essentially doubles the cost of the book for Aussies like myself…sort of loses the appeal.

    Anyways, still excited to pick up the book. May just wait to get an eBook version for my Kindle. 🙂

  2. Jonny |

    Ok Tim, am I really gonna get value for money buying your updated version. Your first book changed my life so perhaps maybe it will.

    Who am I kidding, I’m gonna get it…sign…

  3. Daily Fuel – Tuesday, December 15th « Live Relentless

    […] get entrepreneurial: Revised addition of the Four Hour Work Week is hitting the bookstores. A must-read book for the […]

  4. Excellent! Looking forward to reading all about the new case studies and success stories!

  5. Awesome! I am getting it.

    I am a big fan of 4HWW, and can’t wait to read the new one. My life was too changed completely after I read it, as was my business partners. It set us on the path of creating a new business.

    It would be great if everyone read the book and used its information to escape the eternal waste of wage slavery.

    Thank you, Tim!

  6. Dubary Brea

    I received the original 4hr Workweek as a gift, it is an amazing book that after I read it has caused me to become much more efficient in many aspects of my life. I will sell my version and get the updated edition.

  7. Greg Findley

    Excellent to see the new book being released, look forward to it making it across the pond to the UK!

  8. Cody McKibben

    Really really looking forward to the expanded edition, but unfortunately it’s awful tough to get the brand-new books here in Thailand! I’m in the middle of re-reading my old copy though, which will have to do. I have to thank Tim nearly 100% for the awesome lifestyle I’m living today, and wish I could be on that call. Thanks to both of you!

  9. i took this book on vacation with me; little did i know it was going to change my life and propel me to leave a cushy job which i grew to hate. if you haven’t bought the original, don’t be put off by the gimmicky title. it involves (gasp!) doing lot of work and breaking from the habits which have designed you life thus far.

    will i buy the revised version? you bet your ass i will. incredibly small amount of money for the value.

  10. Tim’s new book was item #1 on my Christmas wishlist, following closely by Ramit’s book. Looking forward to some excellent reading over the Christmas break!

  11. Mukul Verma

    I am going to get this today. This is the BEST book I have ever read…very few are down this way of life.

  12. MoneyEnergy

    Good stuff – on my holiday list for sure. Interested to hear what Tim has to add in relation to the financial crisis. Thanks!

  13. I was led to this site from Tim Ferriss’s Twitter with texts “1st chapter of the new expanded 4-hr workweek….”.
    I wonder whether the system goes wrong. I sign up for your newsletter and am expecting to get a glimpse of 4-hr workweek 1st chapter but instead I get 1st chapter of your book: “I will teach you to be rich”.

    Is there a system fault or is it planned in such a way ?
    Anyway, thanks for the 1st chapter of your book. Will take a look.
    Yours is also a New York Times best selling book.

  14. Average Joe Millionaire

    Original 4HWW was amazing and I ordered the expanded edition today. Tim and his lifestyle design is a great read for anyone interested in an alternate path. Working like a dog for 30-50 years and hoping for retirement is not for everyone. If its not for you, get this book.

  15. I just ordered the book and also a copy of Ramit’s book for an xmas gift. Can’t wait to read the new version. I have the audio version with me today.

  16. Mukul Verma

    WY….I got confused as well and was looking all over the place, I think it is the next above which is the pre-face…

    I am heading to the store now to buy it

  17. Tiffany Archer

    So why no updated edition for Kindle? Disappointing 🙁

  18. Tiffany, Here is a link to the Amazon Kindle copy of the book.

  19. So how did people’s lives get transformed by this book? Anyone care to share their story?

  20. Erica Douglass

    Thanks! I bought a copy.

    Someone needs to tell Amazon that their Kindle link is still pointing to the old version of the book. I bought it through the link in EODBingo’s comment.


  21. Barry Wright, III

    Like most other people; I’m excited to see the new content. Suggestion: anyone who has the original, donate your old copy to the local library, or any of many great book charities:,, etc.

    Failing that, give it to a friend who needs to read it.

  22. Thanks Mukul Verma but I still can’t find it.
    I have read the earlier version and wish to take a look of what is being changed.

    I think it is a gimmick to lead people to sign up for this newsletter and know about this book “I will teach you to be rich”. It’s an insightful book though. But I’m disappointed with the way it’s done.

  23. Mukul Verma

    Hey WY

    No it is not a gimmick, it is being techincal of first chapter and preface. I purchased the book today and the preface above is EXACTLY whats in the book


  24. I remember picking up the 4HWW while looking through the philadelphia airport. The cover is what first appealed to me, and enough so that I bought the book and nearly read it all on the plane ride. The book provides excellent stories, case studies, knowledge, etc, that will help any person at worst contemplate what they are doing in their life, if they need/want to make changes, to think about what will really make them happy and enjoy life to its fullest. I am looking forward to reading the expanded version.

  25. Hi Mukul Verma,

    OIC. Thanks.
    I think there is nothing wrong in this website. This website does give the preface. It’s Tim Ferriss’s Tweet that is misleading: “1st chapter of the new expanded 4-hr workweek….” and link it here.

    Anyway, never mind. Probably I’ll drop by a bookshop to take a look at the book.

    Thanks for your info.

  26. The 4HWW got me to evaluate everything , and I think thats its biggest value. This was also written at teh best possible time , with all the new global realities. People do need to think and reflect more. Any idea if a new audio revision is coming?


  27. I missed this blog entry yesterday due to mismanaged time… Go figure! Any chance the webinar was recorded so that those of us who order the book today can view the questions that were asked?

  28. Mukul Verma

    How we access the webinar, I purchased the book at a local store yesterday

  29. Gerald Fineman

    I am curious how you see your view of life in line with Tim’s. You suggest dumping all the money you can into planning for retirement. Tim’s focus is taking a bunch of mini-retirements because since (according to his statistics) most of us never make it there (or die shortly after we retire). Your plan is to save for later, Tim’s plan is to live now.

    • Ramit Sethi

      Gerald, great question. I actually don’t agree with your last line. My point has always been to spend extravagantly on the things you love, and cut costs mercilessly on the things you don’t. That’s why I travel to NYC/Vegas all the time, while still saving for other things. Tim and I both talk about automation, productivity, focusing on the things that really matter, and carving out your own path.

      This would be a great question to ask on the webcast!

  30. Mrs. Money

    Great interview! I will have to get the book off amazon!

  31. I agree with Gerald, you two seem to have view contrasting views when it comes to investing. You promote the long term (i.e. invest wisely and let it grow over time) whereas Tim does not stress that nearly as much. Definitely be an interesting discussion between you two for your readers.

  32. Hi Ramit,
    Thanks for the preview.. I’m going for the book though late by a couple of days .. however seems will have to wait for a week or so to receive the book in India

    The ‘4-Hour Week’ and ‘I will teach you to be rich’ has really made me rethink my life and approach as well.


  33. I’m picking it up.

  34. I am so getting this when it comes available. Thanks for the update.

  35. @Jonnie who claims “Your first book changed my life”.

    Can you be any more VAGUE ?

    How exactly did the 4-HR Book ‘change your life’ ???

    Tim Ferriss is nothing more than a clever salesman. All you people read books like this, feel good, but do NOTHING afterwards.

    It is that feel-good psychological factor that makes everyone like Tim.

    Tim says “I am, and will continue to be, a humble student of you all.”.

    But the opposite is true. Don’t believe me ? See how arrogant Tim is 1st hand in this post by our favorite career expert Penelope Trunk –

  36. Chad,
    As soon as you mention Penelope Trunk you lost all credibility. You also might want to check out Tim’s site. There is a current contest among people who have had their lives changed after reading his book. There are at least 40 people that took the time to record videos outlying how Tim’s principles have changed their lives.

    After reading Tim’s revised book, I’m currently testing my first muse with the end goal of quitting my current 9-5 job. My goal isn’t to work 4 hours per week but being able to work remotely anywhere in the world.

  37. runamok


    Not really. Trunk’s comments for instance about Tim’s autoresponders were pretty spot on. If we all behaved like Tim advises not much would get done. A basic precept of 4hww is that you too can take advantage of others by knowing just a little more than they do and sell the dumb masses a product. I DO like some of the things that tim advises though. Such as batching, negotiating, retirement as a backup plan. etc.

    Tim is a fantastic promoter of himself above all else. Perhaps I am just cynical but even the initial 20 comments all seem similarly written and all on the 15th when the article came out. Kind of like he got some of his “virtual assistants” to help out a bit.