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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
First of all, when I picked up the book, I didn't expect that he was literally working only four hours a week. I thought he was just talking about ways to spend less time working, but that "The 4-Hour" just sounded good (since he now has a whole line of books with titles that start that way). Nope. Turns out he really only worked four hours every week for a few years. I hate him. Now, with his series of books and everything, that's not true so much, so I hate him less. Now his job is much more similar to what I actually want to do.
As I said, Ferriss has some great ways of eliminating clutter and busywork, including things you don't even think of as busywork. I've already started implementing some of these tips at work, and they've come in pretty handy so far. I keep meaning to get rid of a bunch of my physical clutter, but my laziness keeps getting in the way of that. I'll get around to it in the next few weeks.
I also appreciated his philosophy of taking mini-retirements throughout life, rather than one long retirement at the end of life. I never did understand the point of retirement, so Ferriss's plan sounds much more appealing to me. As he put it, retirement should be nothing more than a fail-safe in case something happens and you are physically (or mentally) incapable of working. My thoughts exactly.
My main problem with his philosophy is that it really only works if you have a product that you are not actually making, but that you can sell. For example, even if I were to quit my day job and write all day every day, I would still be working a lot. Granted, that would make my job a whole lot more portable, but I could never get away with only working four hours per week (at least not until after I sell that bestselling novel, which is such a realistic plan!) In order to do it his way, I would need to have something that is already produced, or that someone else is making (clothes, dietary supplement, etc.) where all I have to do is collect the money that comes in from those sales.
Of course, that's a lot harder than it sounds. His ways of eliminating the useless from his life are really quite impressive, and not to be underestimated, but I still wonder if someone in their twenties, who is just starting out in life, can really make his plan work? Some of his success stories include people negotiating working remotely, because they have built up value in their company. Someone who has only been working at their current job for a year or two does not have the kind of leverage necessary to do that.
Additionally, he talks about the trick to getting out of your job so you can go have that great once-in-a-lifetime adventure. He mentions considering the worst-case scenario and the fact that worst-case is not necessarily all that bad. One of his points he brings up is that, if he loses his job, he can get another one fairly easily. Well, great for him, but the original book was written before the job market collapsed, followed by this lovely "jobless recovery". I was recently unemployed for eight months and it was not fun. I, too, thought I could get another job within a few months, but that did not turn out to be the case. So, if I go spend all my money on a mini-retirement now, and then come back only to find that I can't get a job for another year, I'll be screwed. Yes, even that worst-case scenario isn't that bad. I could always move back in with my parents, but I'd really rather not. I love them, but they have enough to deal with right now, and the last thing I want to do is burden the people around me because I decided to go globe-trotting for a few months. Timothy Ferriss told me it would be fine!
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.