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The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich Hardcover – December 15, 2009
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"It's about time this book was written. It is a long-overdue manifesto for the mobile lifestyle, and Tim Ferriss is the ideal ambassador. This will be huge."
—Jack Canfield, Co-creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul®, 100+ million copies sold
"This is a whole new ball game. Highly recommended."
—Dr. Stewart D. Friedman, Director of the Work/Life Integration Project, The Wharton School
"Stunning and amazing. From mini-retirements to outsourcing your life,
it's all here. Whether you're a wage slave or a Fortune 500 CEO, this
book will change your life!"
—Phil Town, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of Rule #1
"The 4-Hour Workweek is a new way of solving a very old problem: just how can we work to live and prevent our lives from being all about work? A world of infinite options awaits those who would read this book and be inspired by it!"
—Michael E. Gerber, Founder & Chairman of E-Myth Worldwide and the World's #1 Small Business Guru
“Timothy has packed more lives into his 29 years than Steve Jobs has in his 51.”
—Tom Foremski, Journalist and Publisher of SiliconValleyWatcher.com
“Thanks to Tim Ferriss, I have more time in my life to travel, spend time with family and write book blurbs. This is a dazzling and highly useful
—A.J. Jacobs, Editor-at-Large, Esquire Magazine, Author of The Know-It-All
"If you want to live life on your own terms, this is your blueprint."
—Mike Maples, Co-founder of Motive Communications (IPO to $260M market cap), Founding Executive of Tivoli (sold to IBM for $750M)
"Tim is Indiana Jones for the digital age. I've already used his advice to go spearfishing on remote islands and ski the best hidden slopes of Argentina. Simply put, do what he says and you can live like a millionaire."
—Albert Pope, Derivatives Trading, UBS World Headquarters
“This engaging book makes you ask the most important question that you will ever face: What exactly is it that you want out of work and life, and why? Tim Ferriss is a master of getting more for less, often with the help of people he doesn't even know, and here he gives away his secrets for fulfilling your dreams.”
—Bo Burlingham, Editor-at-Large, Inc. magazine and author of Small Giants: Companies That Choose To Be Great Instead of Big
"Reading this book is like putting a few zeros on your income. Tim brings lifestyle to a new level–listen to him!"
—Michael D. Kerlin, McKinsey & Company Consultant to Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund and J. William Fulbright Scholar
"Part scientist and part adventure hunter, Tim Ferriss has created a road map for an entirely new world. I devoured this book in one sitting–I have seen nothing like it."
—Charles L. Brock, Chairman and CEO, Brock Capital Group; Former CFO, COO, and General Counsel, Scholastic, Inc.; Former President, Harvard Law School Association
"Outsourcing is no longer just for Fortune 500 companies. Small and mid-sized firms, as well as busy professionals, can outsource their work to increase their productivity and free time for more important commitments. It's time for the world to take advantage of this revolution.”
—Vivek Kulkarni, CEO Brickwork India and former IT Secretary, Bangalore;Credited as the “techno-bureaucrat” who helped make Bangalore an IT destination in India
"Tim is the master! I should know. I followed his rags to riches path and watched him transform himself from competitive fighter to entrepreneur. He tears apart conventional assumptions until he finds a better way."
—Dan Partland, Emmy Award-Winning Producer; American High, Welcome to the Dollhouse
"The 4-Hour Workweek is an absolute necessity for those adventurous souls who want to live life to its fullest. Buy it and read it before you sacrifice any more!"
—John Lusk, Group Product Manager, Microsoft World Headquarters
"If you want to live your dreams now, and not in 20 or 30 years, buy this book!"
—Laura Roden, Chairman of the Silicon Valley Association of Start-up Entrepreneurs;Lecturer in Corporate Finance, San Jose State University
“With this kind of time management and focus on the important things in life, people should be able to get 15 times as much done in a normal work week.”
—Tim Draper, Founder, Draper Fisher Jurvetson; Financiers to innovators including Hotmail, Skype, and Overture.com
"Tim Ferriss’s book is about gaining the courage to streamline your life… But even more than that, it challenges the reader to seriously consider an essential–yet rarely asked–question: What do you really want from life?"
—Rolf Potts, Author of Vagabonding and Travel Columnist for Yahoo! News
"Tim has done what most people only dream of doing. I can't believe he is going to let his secrets out of the bag. This book is a must read!"
—Stephen Key, Top Inventor and Team Designer of Teddy Ruxpin, Lazer Tag; Consultant to “American Inventor”
About the Author
TIMOTHY FERRISS is a serial entrepreneur, #1 New York Times bestselling author, and angel investor/advisor (Facebook, Twitter, Evernote, Uber, and 20+ more). Best known for his rapid-learning techniques, Tim's books -- The 4-Hour Workweek, The 4-Hour Body, and The 4-Hour Chef -- have been published in 30+ languages. The 4-Hour Workweek has spent seven years on The New York Times bestseller list. Tim has been featured by more than 100 media outlets including The New York Times, The Economist, TIME, Forbes, Fortune, Outside, NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox and CNN. He has guest lectured in entrepreneurship at Princeton University since 2003. His popular blog www.fourhourblog.com has 1M+ monthly readers, and his Twitter account @tferriss was selected by Mashable as one of only five “Must-Follow” accounts for entrepreneurs. Tim’s primetime TV show, The Tim Ferriss Experiment (www.upwave.com/tfx), teaches rapid-learning techniques for helping viewers to produce seemingly superhuman results in minimum time.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
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1. Pretend you're an expert on... anything. He specifically explains that it doesn't even matter what you might or might not actually know. You do this by repackaging the works of others and selling "your" ideas on-line -- to the gullible masses. Seriously, he begins by admitting he first made his fortune selling (allegedly) nutritional supplements that cost almost nothing to make and weren't based on science, but were then hyped to the point the uninformed public was paying through the nose to get it. This gave him ideas on how to further hype his message to an even larger audience, without bothering to sell anything tangible. Just tell them how they, too, can get rich quick by pretending to actually know something. He then gives advice about "paraphrasing and combining points from several books," borrowing from the public domain, and/or compensating some other "expert." This way, you don't need to be bothered to actually learn anything, which brings me to step #2.
2. Stay uneducated. This is in the chapter entitled "The Low Information Diet." He admits he doesn't bother staying abreast on the news or any other kinds of current events -- even to the point that, during election seasons, he simply asks his more educated friends about whom will win their votes and then votes for those candidates. Not kidding. He justifies this by saying how the time it takes to, you know, LEARN THINGS, is time that could be spent running a business on autopilot or having fun. Apparently, not knowing a damn thing is a virtue he calls "Cultivating Selective Ignorance." I prefer to call it, "The Suicide of Democracy." If having an educated and well-informed populace is fundamental to having a flourishing democracy, this is how we'll end up with a plutocracy where the stupidest few prey on the desperate and stupid masses, while outsourcing all the jobs they might create. This brings me to point #3.
3. Outsource everything -- including your brain -- to a 3rd World Country: He hires virtual assistants in various 3rd World Countries, especially India, who are then given fabulous access to all of his personal information to the point they can pretend to be him and make all of his personal and business decisions. They send all of his correspondence, including e-mails and anything of an official nature (which causes me to assume they wrote this book for him. They certainly wrote many of the excellent reviews). Personal business which can be done remotely are always done by them. As he states he can't be bothered to think for himself, it shouldn't be surprising he isn't interested in working for himself, either. Hey, what could possibly go wrong by hiring complete strangers and giving them all information about you in order to think for you, do your work and run your errands? Finally, point #4:
4. Avoid those who want knowledge: If you can't be bothered knowing anything, why should they? Whether it's your boss or your client, do everything in your power to avoid those people because of how they drain your time. The boss wants you to attend a meeting? Just tell him you're too busy and further kill morale by then asking those other suckers - aka, co-workers - for a quick breakdown of what happened. Clients? Don't get back to them right away, if ever. If they demand to actually know something, have those remote virtual assistants send them just enough to get them to shut up.
There are a couple, minuscule, points the author makes that are reasonably valid, such as: It's good to streamline your many processes and it's good to have solid goals. Also, I could say that the book begins by being very motivational. If I were critiquing this on just the first few pages it would likely have 4 stars. As it's written, the unethical, stupid and lazy b.s. kills any chance of this even getting 2 stars.
I wish I hadn't bought this on Kindle.
I wish I had read the bad reviews, first.
D is for Definition
In this section Ferriss tells us to do an important task: define what you want. And I agree that most of us live through life not knowing what we want; just following the crowd like a herd of sheep. This section was the motivational, make you feel good section. This wasn't the how, it was the why, and it downright made me pumped.
E is for Elimination
Okay, so he basically says to eliminate all the junk in your life. For example: watch less TV, don't check your e-mail 50 times a day, don't look at your phone 100 times a day, don't surf the web 3 hours a day, etc. It's all good advice, nothing too fancy, or new, just plain old, "don't waste your time" advice. So far so good.
A is for automation
This is where I ran in to problems with Tim's method of creating a "4 hour workweek". First he tells us to outsource a big chunk of our lives using a VA (virtual assistant) from India or Shanghai or wherever. Basically a virtual assistant is a person who assist you in everyday task (checking emails, making reservations, doing research for your job that you got hired to do,set up appointments, etc) so basically an online-personal assistant you hire for dirt cheap. So if you are okay with some guy in India knowing your personal information (SSN, bank account number, phobias, any illnesses you might have, problems in life, and many more as Ferriss states) go ahead and outsource the things you can already do yourself to a guy in India you never met. But Ferris says that misuses of sensitive information are rare; well there could be bias behind that statement, but I'm not willing to find out if it's true or not. The irony of oustourcing your life is that you become dependent on your VA. You no longer have the urge to take control of your own life when it comes to paying bills, making reservations, or doing research for your job because your VA does it for you. So that's the paradox: out source your life, but become more dependent on a foreigner. And Ferriss quotes Ralph Waldo Emerson throughout his book as a motivational spice. But it's apparent that he never read "Self Reliance", the cornerstone of Emerson's philosophy. (Tim if you're going to use Emerson's words, how about not making a book that totally contradicts the philosophy of Emerson? Thanks).
A is for automation Pt. 2
Ferriss then goes on to tell us how we can make up to 40,000 dollars a month of automated income (little work). Basically you create a product and sell it. Plain and simple. He tells you to find a market, find the demographics of your product, make a product and sell it. Yup, your average entrepreneurship. It's nothing new, and Ferris is not an expert entrepreneur. He did have a company BrainQuicken which sells "Neural Accelerator" supplements. The site is 99% advertising and 1% scientific: It sells because it's precisely that. And the product that Ferriss started is not something revolutionary, I'll take my 200mg of caffeine before a workout any day than pay 50.00 dollars plus shipping for BrainQuicken. So if you want to make your own product, market it, sell it and make millions of dollars go ahead. Tim tells you exactly how, but what Tim doesn't tell you is that it takes a lot of work in the beginning, a lot more than 4 hours a week.
L is for Liberation
More like L is for not showing up to work, and being cynical. Now I'm against the 9-5 hours of work. I think that human beings are more efficient enough to get things done in a short period of time, and I believe that society is slowly catching on. But here's Tim's idea of "liberation". Escaping the office: not doing your job or worse, not showing up. Killing your job: quit your job. Mini retirement: take a month vacation every 2 months of work (or pattern that works best for you). Filling the Void: filling in the emptiness and the boredom you feel with fun stuff like becoming a horse archer, learning tango, and winning a fight championship by cheating.
So okay, let's say everything goes well: you are making 40,000 dollars a month, you are working no more than 4 hours a week... now what. Even Ferriss says that you will feel a void... well that sucks doesn't it? Why don't you go and talk to your VA about your problems?
Now obviously I'm against Tim's advertising methods, it's misleading. The book only sells because of the hope it gives 9-5 workers that it's possible. Oh, it's possible but unlikely. Tim is no Bil Gates, Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett, or Clint Eastwood he is nowhere close to them. You see great testimonials from people from Yahoo!, Wired, Silicon Valley, and hell, from Jack Canfield about Tim's book, but not from people like Gates, Jobs, Buffett, Eastwood, or any other highly successful people, why? Because those four know that true success comes from years of hard work, and building lasting relationships with people. Those four know that decreasing your work hours, outsourcing your life, and making a tons of money is not the road to true happiness. Those four people, even if they read this book, will probably throw it in the fire. But for the cynical, "how do I work little and make tons of money" people out there (which is most of the population) this book will initially look like the next Bible. The fact that this book sold well says a lot about our society.
This is a misleading book, there are tons of other great books you can read for true success: Talent is Overrated (no BS way how people become great at what they do), 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (classic), and How to Have Confidence and Power in Dealing with People... to name a few. Very few will read this review before buying, and more copies of this book will sell due to the cynical and lazy nature of people. Don't be one of those people, don't buy this book.