I suppose I should blame and thank Tim Ferriss.
It was after reading his book The 4 Hour Work Week, that he published a few years ago, that I set off on my quest to find a better work : life balance.
But much as I enjoyed the book I couldn’t help but feel that the 4 hour work week was a bit unrealistic. I did believe that occasionally you could work the 4 Hour Work Week but not full time. It just wouldn’t leave enough time to develop a business.
And actually if I was working on something I really liked and enjoyed, then it doesn’t feel like work the same way as grinding out documents for an ungrateful client feels like hard work.
So I thought, how about the 4 Hour Work Day?
Could that ‘work’?
That would be ideal. I could get all my work for the day done before lunch and pursue other leisure and social pursuits in the afternoon and evening.
Or I could have a long lie, eat brunch and work from midday to 4.00 PM and then go out in the evening.
Either way it would still allow me and my team (because this lifestyle needs a team to carry out lots of everyday tasks in a business) to produce meaningful, significant results - and get involved in ongoing new product development.
And you know, how about a 4 day work week too? I love long weekends so why not add this to the mix?
As the number 4 was rapidly developing into my favourite number, I added another part to my Freedom Formula.
It was a chance conversation with a business contact on the UK who mentioned another top marketer who had streamlined his business down to just two main roles - Ideas and Emails.
I liked this concept but with further inspection it could only work on an established business with a staff structure already in place.
It was no use for the online entrepreneur who was just starting out or indeed a solopreneur.
So back to the drawing board and once again the magic number 4 showed up in my life! I could actually boil the crucial business activities I needed to undertake as the CEO of my business into 4 main roles.
And after this the final part of the “4 For Freedom Formula” came into place - taking 4 holidays a year!
It was bad enough in the UK but in the USA most people only got two weeks vacation time a year! How could anyone live with that kind of holiday allowance?
So for my ideal lifestyle to be a reality I needed the scope to take 4 vacations or holidays a year; with a minimum of a week each.
In fact this was the easiest part of the Formula to achieve as once the other parts were in place this was relatively simple and more a scheduling exercise.
So that was the genesis of the “4 for Freedom” business system and formula, but it is the 4 Key Tasks - 4 vital business roles that YOU must concentrate on as CEO of YOUR business - that underpin the whole thing.