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The Four Hour Body and You Like many of your Tim Ferriss fans out there, I've been very keen to try the Four Hour Body lifestyle change. I'm overweight by quite a few pounds, so I made a New Year's resolution to shed some pounds....

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Improvements and Fixes to WP E-CommerceImprovements and Fixes to WP E-Commerce Like many of you, I am a user of the WP E-Commerce plug-in for Wordpress as well as a Gold Cart upgrade customer. While WP E-Commerce has many excellent features and does wonders for the Wordpress-based...

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Credit cards: a lifeline for cash Hi all. It certainly has been a while since I've last posted. That's because in many ways the 4HWW concept has been shot given the urgency of making ends meet and scrambling to get whatever dollars are...

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Version 0.2 of Show User Level Content Plugin Now Available Making an update to the Show User Level Content Plugin ... finally on version 0.2 This version should allow multiple hide statements in the same post. This is a test of that functionality. The first...

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More on Banking... A while back I posted about business banking accounts, and asked the community what their thoughts were on the best ones for FHWW'ers. I never really did get a good response, but the post is out there,...

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Version 0.2 of Show User Level Content Plugin Now Available

Category : life balance, Uncategorized

Making an update to the Show User Level Content Plugin … finally on version 0.2

This version should allow multiple hide statements in the same post. This is a test of that functionality.

The first line below is going to be hidden for those below User Level 2.

Sorry, you can't see this unless you are at User Level 2 or greater

Here’s another hide statement:

Sorry, you can't see this unless you are at User Level 2 or greater

This seems to work! Download the new version of the plugin here (altho it might take time for the WordPress Plugin SVN to update):

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/show-user-level-content/

Enjoy, and provide feedback!

How a spreadsheet and a kitchen timer eliminated 40 hours of my work week.

Category : life balance, time management

In a few past posts, I mentioned that my primary task towards achieving the goals of the Four Hour Work Week is to reduce my 60+ hour work week down to 20. As evidenced by my recent trip to Denmark and Sweden, I was able to successfully do so. Of course, the big question is “how”?

First, in order to reduce your total work week, you have to find out where the time is going. Using a combination of my Time Audit Spreadsheet and the Personal Task Manager (PTM) application, I realized that much of my time was going towards tasks that could easily be eliminated, trimmed, or outsourced. I resolved that I would at that point force myself to focus on my “day job” from 9AM to 1PM only, freeing up the rest of the time for my new muse and new-business tasks.

Contunue Reading

Time Management: Sometimes Things Change (A Guest Post from Brick)

Category : life balance, time management

Editors Note: This is a guest post from Brick Andrews of Life Sutra: The 4-Hour Workweek Journal. Brick Andrews is the founder of Life Sutra: The 4-Hour Workweek Journal. The Life Sutra questions old assumptions and socially reinforced illusions about how to live a fulfilling life while exploring new ways to live and work smarter.

Inspired by both the principles of time management and The 4-Hour Workweek, I had developed the Life Management Matrix. This matrix classifies the activities we perform into four categories which I will summarize here:

Contunue Reading

Learnings from my printer…

Category : life balance

On a somewhat random note, I have a habit of taping interesting fortunes that I get from fortune cookies to a printer on my desk. Why? Because the printer is right in my field of vision and whenever I glance in that direction I can see all these little bits of wisdom reminding me to stop and think about what I’m doing. Or at least give me something to think about (or chuckle).

Printer Wisdom

I’ll let you in on my little bit of printer-wisdom. Here’s the “fortunes” I currently have attached to my printer:

Contunue Reading

Another great post… 20 Things Learned in Life

Category : life balance

I also came across today another great post that has more to offer to those seeking a 4HWW-enriched life. From the Dumb Little Man blog comes “20 Things I’m Glad Life Taught Me“. Some of the nuggets:

  • You must create and look for opportunities: Opportunities rarely ever come knocking on the door of someone who’s not seeking them. You have to create and seek opportunities for yourself. You have to take the initiative to get the ball rolling and the doors opening.
  • Negativity will only bring more of it: When you focus only on negativity, obviously that’s all you will see. You will not seek out positivity, and even when positivity comes into your life, you’ll look for the negative part of it.
  • Where you are does not determine where you can go: It doesn’t matter if you’re homeless or living in a mansion, poor or rich, or if you have a 4.0 grade point average or “failing”, it won’t make any difference in the future. There are countless rags to riches stories to back this point up. If you have the drive and talents, you can go anywhere. You create your own limitations and horizon.

Check it out!

Happy New Year! My Resolutions

Category : life balance

First, I would like to wish all readers a Happy New Year! I hope this will be a year of satisfaction, wealth, productivity, and less work for you all! But most of all, I hope this is a year of the Four Hour Work Week for myself, readers, and anyone else going down this path.

I think the timing of reading the book meshes quite well with the beginning of the year. Maybe it’s not coincidental — picking up the book in the first place was motivated by having more time on my hands due to the holiday season (more time to read) as well as being a very retrospective time of the year. (What can I work on / improve / eliminate in the year ahead?)  Regardless, I am really looking forward to making serious progress on my goals, and I have to say, reading the blogs of other 4HHW bloggers really is helping.

4HWW Resolutions for the Business

First, I have to continue working in my existing business, which is right now generating 90% of my income (the other 10% coming from investments and interest). But the goal will be to reduce the time requirement for that down to 20-30 hours per week from the 40-60 now. The primary way I plan to do that is by strategically outsourcing certain parts of the business.

One of the big parts that is consuming lots of my time is marketing some of our events and attracting attendees to a number of our upcoming events. This is something that is urgent and important (Quadrant I Covey), but not something that requires such an expensive resource as me to perform. I think this would be ideal for off-shore, outsourced resources (perhaps located close to the regions to be contacted). I’ll have to start my search on eLance.

Once that’s outsourced, the next activity is around delivery of some of the services and training, which I think can also be done through partners and other resources, leaving me to do sales and business development, my forte. But the big goal is to get the company sold in 2008. This will leave me to pursue the other businesses, which I think will be more aligned with my ongoing entrepreneurial drive, desire to enter the product business, and achieve the time (life/work) balance I seek.

More importantly, I want to start my other businesses in 2008. There are two businesses I am most interested in running. One is a Web 2.0 company that, if it actually manages to work and get traction, I could build into something with real value and potentially sell to one of the majors. The other has absolutely nothing to do with the IT industry and can potentially also prove to be very lucrative.

Oh, and I have an idea for a simple product (a fad, really) that I’d like to test market and develop a prototype. But I’ve never developed anything like it, so I need to gather some experience in doing that sort of product.

Is this too much to all be done in one year? Let’s find out.

4HWW Resolutions for this Blog

First, I want to learn from other 4HWW bloggers and hope that the community can continue to motivate me to my goals and increasing efficiency. In particular, I’m following the blogs of the Four Hour Trial (which looks very interesting – I think I might even ask for some advice!) and the Four Hour Work Week Journal, which seems to be just starting.

I will then endeavor to post what I learn about time savings, outsourcing, product development, marketing, and work/life balance. Hopefully this will encourage all to do the same.

And while this might be a long shot, I’d like to earn at least $5k in first-year revenues from the blog. This would be around $400-$500 a month in revenues, which would be from my primary revenue sources:

  • Google Ads (click on the links if you are interested in what they offer!)
  • Amazon.com Affiliate sales (buy they books if you want to help me out)
  • Cafepress Items (buy my items if you like the designs)
  • Adbrite (not quite yet set up)
  • Pay-to-Blog (I’ll try that soon, and let you know how that goes!)

If each of these contributes $100 or so a month, I’ll get there.
4HWW Resolutions for MADFUN

  • Restart my music hobby. I want to learn how to play guitar and mandolin (maybe banjo) as well as other instruments. I’ll see if I can get the weekly music lessons going and see how far I can get.
  • Enter an MBA program. This is the big “muse”. While not a revenue-earning muse as referred to in 4HWW, it is a good investment in myself. I found a good weekend MBA program that might be suited for my particular profile as an entrpreneur. It will take 2 years, but if I can prove I can run 4 businesses, complete an MBA, have MADFUN, and still have a life, I think this 4HWW concept will be well proven.
  • Continue my dance hobby. I love to dance. I’ll see if I can squeeze it in at least 2 nights a week
  • Cook more at home, take cooking lessons. Home cooking is not only more economical, but also healthier than the alternatives. I love to cook, so I will make it a goal to cook as frequently on my own or find a means to outsource the parts that are time consuming (groceries?) and see if that helps to optimize the schedule.
  • Leave weekends as free as possible. The end goal of the successful four-hour-a-weeker.
  • Expand my contacts and personal / business network. This is all a stepping stone to the next big thing. If I can succeed on the above, I will then take my efforts one notch further.

Resolutions for Me

So, what does this all mean? I’m being quite ambitious, and some of the above may have to fall by the wayside. After all, the idea is more revenue, less time, more enjoyment, less stress (eustress, not distress, remember?). But can that be done? I’m still less than 30 days into this experiment. But 2008 is when it all kicks in.

My Time Freedom Goal: MADFUN

Category : life balance

So, the first question people ask when I tell them I’m shooting for 4-hour work weeks (via the 4 hour work Day) is: “What do I plan to do with that extra time?!”

Of course, the first answer is: “Start other businesses”. The idea is to become a parallel entrepreneur. That can only happen with effective time management.

But there’s more to it than that. If it was work, work, work, even with good time management, life is just no fun. The idea is to lessen work so as to focus on living.

So, what do I want to do other than just expand the revenue opportunities? Have MADFUN. That’s what. What do I mean by that? Here you go:

Music – I am a musician and want to do more of it. If I’m not working, I should be playing, composing, and sharing more music.

Academics – I plan to enroll in a Weekend or Executive MBA program. With my extra time, I should be able to get more education, degrees, and opportunities! There’s no better investment than education.

Dance – I love to dance. It’s great exercise. It’s great social activity. It’s great stress relief. It’s great fun. Why not? So, with the free time, I should be Dancing.

Food – I love to cook. I need to find time to enroll in cooking classes, expand my cooking talents, and cook more.

Uninterrupted Family Time – When not having personal fun, have family fun, and make sure that every day has some Family time.

Networking – If I still have free time and not devoting it to work or any of the above true muses, I should be networking to increase my connections, knowledge, and opportunities. Networking increases opportunities.

So, there you have it. Increase available time, and allocate it to new businesses. When not doing new businesses, have MADFUN. In that way, maintain a proper work-life balance and spend more time with the family as well!