My 4 Hour Work Week Journey: Fear Setting

This is day 6 of My 4 Hour Work Week Journey. Please make sure you read the rest of the articles that came before this one to understand where I am in the journey. Click here to buy a copy of the 4 hour work week and go on the journey with me.

As far as psychology is concerned, one of the most powerful tools you will get out of the 4 hour work week, should you choose to use it is: fear setting.

NB: This post is rather long, but I really want to get to the meaty part of the journey, ASAP.

What is Fear Setting?

In a nutshell, fear setting is:

When you are being held back from doing something by fear:

1) Write down the absolute worst case scenario that can take place: This, in and of itself, makes you much more aware of what exactly you fear and more often than not you realize that what you fear isn’t all that bad.

2) Write down things you will do to recover the situation or take advantage of these worst case scenarios should they take place: This changes your focus from Armageddon to thinking about how you can either avoid Armageddon or use it to create a brand new better world.

Therefore, for the second edition of Question and Actions, you watch me perform some fear setting

Question and Actions: Fear Setting Edition

1) Describe the absolute worst, nightmare scenario that would take place if you did what you are considering:

  1. I would end up completely destitute and clear out my savings and waste all the money I intended on spending on the blog on keyword research and testing products during my 4 hour work week journey.
  2. My product would make me a laughing stock and ostracize me from my readers and community.
  3. My self confidence would drop to such a low level that I would spiral in a self-destructive manner and wallow in self pity for many unsuccessful, unfulfilling years long after this 4 hour work week journey fails.
  4. I lose faith in all marketing and all gurus and can no longer believe anyone or anything: my faith in humanity and society is shattered and self-destruction continues.
  5. I never get married or have a family and lose all my friends and readers because I am self-destructive.
  6. I begin to drink again and waste all my money for the next 60 years on alcohol and prostitutes, because my self-destruction and repugnance to members of all sexes completely cuts me off from any human contact or any sense of morality or community or caring.
  7. I shut down this blog absolutely distraught and ashamed and still have to pay for hosting and domains and services for the next 7 years.

2) What steps would I take to repair damage or put things back on the upswing (my own addition: or exploit any negative situations?)

1) I would work on one of the many minimum wage jobs that I recommended on the blog and ask all the members of my family to help me get back on my feet. I would sell my car that recently died. I would stop writing heavily for a while to focus on doing some freelance work and getting back on my feet. I would have sausage sizzles where I sell sausage sandwiches for a dollar each until I get back on my feet. I would look for a job on radio or a paper or any form of mass media using my blog as a credibility tool.

2) Make the product something that benefits the African community and other communities (because Africans are pretty tight with the pocket and Internet commerce is quite new to us). Create something that consistently brings three bottom lines: money, environmental improvement and social improvement.

3) I would immediately get to work on creating a membership site using Yaro’s teaching. I would learn from my mistakes how the Internet marketing world works before trying again. I would talk to Yaro and other members of Blog Mastermind about what I did wrong and keep that in mind as I move forward. I would read Jay Abraham’s material and other Internet marketing materials regarding the area I went wrong. Include it in my story once I finally succeed online to increase the drama.

4) Go to the church and stay there for a long time around beautiful people who are the light of the Earth. Completely cut myself off from any cynical sections of Western society and disconnect myself from the capitalist money making machine for a while to focus on re-building my trust in humanity. I will always have Yaro Starak who really had a great product that so far has done exactly as it promised: taught me how to write, how to bring in readers, how to make money and how much to expect: I even have an email list too.

5) I focus on successful relationships (intimate and non-intimate) and make it a focus of the blog for a long time while surrounding myself with wonderful church going people.

6) Refer to 4 and 5.

7) Refer to Number 1

3) What are the outcomes or benefits of more probable scenarios?

  1. I would be able to live out my ideal lifestyle (more on this next post).
  2. All the reading, thinking and preparing I have done over the past 5 years would be affirmed.
  3. I would have something that I can teach my fellow African immigrants that would give some better control of time and mobility and a much greater ability to contribute to Africa.
  4. My self-confidence would go higher as I live embody more aspects of my 4 hour work week journey.
  5. I would get more readers on account of the journey.
  6. I would learn how Internet marketing works.

4) If you were fired today, what would you do to restore financial stability?

Refer to either Question 2s answer or read this article.

5) What are you putting off out of fear?

Nothing, I am already up for it: I am merely fear setting as an example.

6) What is it costing you – financially, emotionally, physically – to not act?

I am eating an excess of junk and my body isn’t where it should be because I can’t afford organic food or personal training as I pursue my body building goal.

I still psychologically feel like a lot of people are ahead of me who shouldn’t be (mean to say, but I feel it).

I am not living my ideal lifestyle.

I have to juggle many things so as to fund the blogging lifestyle.

I am not able to get VAs to do some of the more, unenjoyable tasks.

I am not studying marketing from Jay Abraham, peak state from T. Robbins or exploring the world of PUAS or recording the history of Africa or becoming a public speaker or…..too many things to mention.

7) What are you waiting for?

You sold me already Tim, I am with you on the journey.

Moral of the Story

I think fear setting is an absolutely fantastic tool to use, not only when you are going on a 4 hour work week journey but also when fear is holding you back from doing something that can be of massive positive benefit to you.

So, next time you feel fear creeping in: try fear setting. Takes the fear right out.

To ensure you don’t miss a single moment of my 4 hour work week journey, subscribe to the site via RSS or email.

Have a fear-free day,



  • By rags, July 11, 2008 @ 5:44 pm

    I admire your willingness to be an open book and ambia the blogging community about the things you have written above.

    I am yet to sit down and write down my “Questions and Actions” (Q&A’s). I decided to read the book, decide if it was worth it and then soma it again if i happen to like what he has to sema.

    So far i have found some of what he says to be enlightening (e.g Parkinsons Law and 80/20 ), but some of what he says is just flat out loco as far as im concerned. e.g He doesn’t read or watch the news – he’d rather someone regurgitate it to him…. and the funniest is that he said something along the lines of emergencies don’t really exist.

    I get what he’s trying to sema but maze, that’s just naive. i bet you he would consider it an emergency if he was in Italy and he heard that his old lady was at the ER. Ama that’s not really an emergency?

  • By Mwangi, July 11, 2008 @ 7:07 pm

    @rags: I actually see the sense somewhat in his approach though there is probably some moderation to be found between his current approach and our culture’s obsession with the empty gathering and discussion of facts and news minus action.
    I am sure I told you this story, but once I was talking to people as they were watching the news, and I think this was about the time the mines exploded in China. So I asked, “So why have you just watched that? Are you now going to get up and go help the people of China?”
    “No, it’s just good to be aware!”
    “Then what?”
    After a much longer intermin discussion the conclusion was:
    “I dunno”
    As I said before, I find it sad that so many of us dedicate ourself to the pursuit of knowledge and fact gathering without any purpose or framework around which to shape our information gathering. I think once we have a higher purpose and framework we all of a sudden realize that 90% of what we watch on TV we kinda don’t need to know: the fact the iphone came out in China doesn’t affect me. Unless I am actually going to get on the ground or support people on the ground in Zimbabwe, my obsession with learning more about Zimbabwe and discussing Zimbabwe is irrelevant to the Zims on the ground (even though I just chose to have an action free philosophy rich debate on the blog).
    Yeah, I read the book before and immediately I finished it knew that at some point I had to try out his ideas.

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