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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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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!
I believe that for most people, the idea of passive income, or finding a bloggers dream job so you can travel the world and not have a real life somewhere is a mirage. It simply does not work for most people. I have made numerous attempts to make money online, written books, and nothing has reached the pinnacle of a replacement of a full time income.
This is not to say that I have given up entirely on passive income. I am making some money on my side gigs, but not enough to go learn to tango. For that matter, what kind of life is this? It is more like a long vacation than a life. I think he took time off, did all the things he says he did, and went back to working full time on writing books and doing other business ventures.
The danger is that people have this idea that all of this is so easily attained. That is how he pithily explains it in this book. Don't get me wrong, I think he is a cool guy, and very entertaining, but I think that this book is so misleading and potentially catastrophic for people. It is a marketing hook. He makes it very believable.
If you buy this book, take it with a huge grain of salt. Do not quit your day job. Perhaps you cannot retire until you are old and bald, but you won't be a balding and broke person either.
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.