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Customer Review

695 of 765 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 21st Century Snake-Oil Salesman, May 15, 2007
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This review is from: The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Hardcover)
First, I have to say that I was very enthusiastic about the first part of this book, as Tim suggests that people should consider other ways of living their life instead of working hard toward an eventual retirement. But later I realized after reading the book that the "live your life now, don't wait until later" concept is not new, and has been preached by everyone from philosophers to life coaches for decades now. [...].

Second, while the advice he has for people who already have a business is good (automating certain administrative tasks, checking e-mail less frequently even if you think your world might end if you do that), the ideas he dishes out to would-be entrepreneurs is much more troubling. Specifically product development, which he labels "finding a muse", could mislead some people into believing that you can make an instant-business every month with the help of affiliate marketers, drop shippers, and faking credibility (just check the forums on the book's website). Many things he suggests doing just contributes to the amount of crap we see every day on the internet and in infomercials, and probably isn't a very rewarding way for an entrepreneur to live their life or make their money. It's the equivalent of a how-to-become a 21st century snake oil salesman.

Finally, I know there is a lot of criticism about his ideas on outsourcing tasks, but we live in an outsourced world. The shirt your wearing was made in Indonesia, your fruits and vegetables were picked by migrant workers from Mexico, and your computer that you're reading this from right now was manufactured in China. Adjusted for the cost of living, the Indonesians, Chinese, and Indians make a good amount of money doing what they do to live the "middle-class" versions of their lives in their respective countries, just as you do mundane tasks and get paid much less than corporate shareholders to live the middle-class life in your own country. So don't talk about outsourcing as if it's a bad thing, cause if I can pay Jimmy down the street to mow my lawn for less than a landscaping service, he's gonna get that ten dollars so I can have the extra cash to buy Tim's book and waste time writing a bad review of it on Amazon.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 17, 2007 10:56:55 AM PDT
R. L. Mickle says:
"Tim has just taken this idea, branded it as 'lifestyle design,' and is charging $20 for it."

Perhaps... but the number of people actually living for right now, and not getting caught up in the neverending race of materialistic pursuits, is far too low. What differentiates Tim is the fact that he isn't writing about other peoples' experiences. He is telling the world how he managed to outsource an entire business, and waking people up to the fact that working smarter, not harder can lead to more personal freedom than one of which would we'd ever dream. I personally believe that we need more people like Tim to counter the overwhelming influences we have in our lives that tell us that life is about buying as much as possible, and working hard to support those activities.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 6, 2008 11:24:27 PM PST
Sunnyside says:
There truly is nothing new under the sun.

Ferris could have as easily written a book on how he became an actor, got into a few movies, and is simply living off royalties. Different industries, same "business plan," really.

I'm still going to read his book -- in the library...after reading all the reviews, alas, he's just proposing the same-old, same-old. Heck, as an aspiring fiction writer myself, I'd been dreaming what it appears Ferris proposes (and claims to have achieved) ever since high school -- only instead of an online business, I was going to sell my novels, LOL....

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2009 8:34:10 AM PST
Yeah, a quick 15 minute read in the library should suffice.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 2, 2010 3:53:49 PM PDT
B. Gordon says:
Tim outsourced an entire business but he didn't invent anything! He took an already in existence sport supplement pill and turned it into a great selling vehicle! He found a way to run the business by outsourcing it and eventually got bought out! Did Tim create any jobs? Well, perhaps for those in India but certainly not the United States! Tim is not benefactor. Everyone thinks they can create a business, outsource it and eventually sell it and make millions. Just not going to happen. And you're a sucker if you think it will.
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