Should You Be Able to Make 6-Figures Only Working 4 Hours a Week?


Should you be able to make 6-figures only working 4 hours a week?

This is a surprising hot-button for a lot of people I meet.

Several years ago, Tim Ferriss wrote a book called, The 4-Hour Workweek. His premise is that if we only did what only we can do and off-loaded the rest of the work to others more qualified, we could work about 4 hours a week and be more financially successful. The reason for doing this?  So that you can live a more balanced life. There’s more to life than just working…right?

I’ve met people who are so put-off by the concept of only working 4 hours a week that they can’t even finish the book!

Why?  I have a few ideas…

1)  The Puritan (or Protestant) Work Ethic.  According to Wikipedia this is “a concept in theology…which emphasizes hard work, frugality and prosperity as a display of a person’s salvation in the Christian faith.”  In other words, if you work hard you are more likely one of those chosen to go to heaven.

2) Things are only worthwhile if you’ve worked hard.  Many folks believe that the only things worth having are things that you’ve worked hard to get.

3) It’s too good to be true.  And we all know that if something seems too good to be true…

If it’s not too good to be true, why don’t we see more examples of people living this way?  Well, have you ever stopped to imagine yourself taking this approach? Hmmmm…..

Should you be able to make 6-figures only working 4 hours a week?

You tell me!  Please comment below…



Image courtesy of Sheila Mohan /

8 Responses to “Should You Be Able to Make 6-Figures Only Working 4 Hours a Week?”

  1. That’s an interesting question and perhaps a bit of a paradox. I believe to make six figures you first have to have a passion for your job. If you were passionate about your work; wouldn’t you want to work more than 4 hours a week?

  2. Thanks for commenting, Leissa! I agree with you that having a passion for your work is a huge part of making it to six figures. As for wanting to work more than 4 hours — maybe what’s most important is that you have the option to work as much or as little as you want. And maybe another good point is to be sure that you aren’t doing things you don’t want to be doing in the name of “being a hard worker.”

  3. That’s a good, thought – provoking question, Jen.

    I don’t think it’s possible to earn 6 figures in 4 hours per week, but it’s probably doable in 20. As for whether you should be able to, sure, if you do it ethically. You should only do it if you’re paying your subcontractors a living wage for their home country.

  4. Thanks, Debra. Yes – one of the controversial things I found in Ferriss’s approach was definitely his off-shore outsourcing. This brings up the question of values. Personally (as you know) I prefer to do business with people I know, like and trust, which are often my former career epiphanists. I also see opportunities to help struggling people forge a new path and like to support that as well.

  5. So, if we are doing “work” we love. It really isn’t work. How many of us count the hours we spend with anyone or any thing we love, and say after 4 hours…that’s enough I’m done? As for money…that is just energy. We always find money for the things we need or want. (quote from my Grandma…”A person can always find the money for booze, cigarettes or trip to Reno, if they want it bad enough.”
    As to out sourcing jobs to off Support good, talent, local business and people.

  6. Thanks, DeeDee – your grandma was quite wise! Like you, I would never suggest that anyone put an artificial time limit on doing anything that they love – and it’s also important to sense when it’s time to take a break and experience something else. You, as my personal creativity guru, have taught me that inspiration comes from all kinds of sources. If we aren’t exploring new things regularly, we may not be inspired to take our “work” to new and greater levels. Reminds me of “all work and no play…”

  7. I haven’t read the book, but I assume 4 hours is an artificial time limit. It’s not saying you only “work” 4 hours-you could work 20, 40, or more and have money commensurate with the time spent. I know that my fear of being able to support myself and my family keeps me from taking risks that might open up a new reality. When I think of all the good I could do for mankind with the right resources it makes me wish I were braver!

  8. Thanks, Susan – yes, I think the 4 hours was more for literary effect (4 vs. 40). From what I’ve seen in my 15 years as a career coach, financial security is the number one need that stops people from going for it. I’ve never had anyone that I’ve coached make less money at their new career than they made at the old one – at least, eventually. And by the way….I happen to know that you are extremely brave. You’ll see the path when the time is right. Hang in there!

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