How Tim Ferriss Named “The 4-Hour Workweek”

4 hour week

After his book The 4-Hour Workweek became an international bestseller, Tim Ferriss told an interviewer he wanted to name the book The 3-Hour Workweek

…But, Ferriss quipped, “My publisher thought ‘3-Hour Workweek’ was unrealistic.”


I’ve read the The 4-Hour Workweek a few times. It’s loaded with valuable lessons.

But the most valuable lesson is one not even in the book. It’s the story about how he named the book.

Ferriss didn’t dream up the name by bouncing ideas around the publishing house conference room. He went straight to his market.

He spent a whopping $200 on a Google Adwords campaign. He tested six different ads, each headlined with a potential book title.

The title with the most clicks would be the winner. The 4-Hour Workweek won going away.

The lesson: Listen to your market.

So many businesses dish out content without doing this.

Content creators think they know — the best title for their book, the most interesting topics for emails and blog posts, the right stories to tell.

But they don’t know because they haven’t listened to their prospects and customers. They haven’t conducted the research. They haven’t heard what’s most important to the people who will read the book, visit the blog, see the posts. They haven’t discovered the right story to tell.

Ferriss devised a way to listen to his market, to hear what they wanted, to discover the story.

If you conduct the research to discover the story, you’ll generate more relevant content that will captivate prospects and inspire them to act.

Don't go away yet..

p.s. Coaches, authors, and consultants hire me to power-up their creative content and storytelling to captivate prospects, stand-out and book more business.

Whenever you're ready, here are several ways I can help you become a storytelling stand-out so you'll land more clients without pitching and prodding:

1) Get the Story Power Profit Pack -- 52 Strategies, Tips, and Tactics  to Transform Your Content from Ignored to Adored.

2) Watch the free, 7-minute Micro-Training: “The 3 Most Important Storytelling Keys to Captivate Prospects and Inspire Them to Act -- Without Pitching and Prodding.”

3) Become a Story Power VIP: Master how to discover, assemble, and deliver business-building stories. Twice-monthly live masterclasses. Members-only content. One-on-one feedback and consulting sessions. And more… If you'd like to learn more about our VIP program, just reply to this email and put "Story Power VIP" in the subject line. I’ll contact you with more details.

4) Work with me one-on-one: If you’re interested in working directly with me -- to discover, assemble, and deliver powerful, business-building stories -- simply reply to this email and change the subject line to "Private Client." Tell me a little about yourself, your business, and what you'd like to accomplish, and I'll reply to discuss options.

5) Invite me to speak at an event: I can tailor a presentation that meets the specific needs of your organization. Informative. Entertaining. Virtual or live. Potential for continuing education credits when applicable for your group. If interested, reply to this email and change the subject line to “Speaking Engagement.” I’ll circle back to discuss the possibilities.

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Tom Ruwitch

Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. For more than 30 years, he has helped businesses grow by delivering powerful stories using a variety of different media.