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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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The 30 Best Self Help Books
This list reflects books that have saved lives and have sold millions of copies. Learn more on AbeBooks.com
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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
The first 70 to 90 pages of the book are extremely engaging and well worth the price of the book. After that the book turns into a "lifestyle-for-dummies" book on setting up a shell company to sell someone else's products. Although I find it noble that Ferriss is attempting to give people pragmatic steps for implementing his "New Rich" lifestyle, I also find his suggestions impractical for two reasons:
* His business ideas rely on tiny, niche audiences. This works well unless his book becomes a best seller and many people decide they want to do the same thing (can you say, We Buy Ugly Houses?). Anyone who figures out how to make 5 or 10 times their money on a product that they exert little effort to produce will quickly find competition popping out of the woodwork.
* His business ideas are not sustainable. They rely on marketing strategies and promotions that have to work forever without any change to profitability or response rates, in order to maintain the "4-hour work week" lifestyle. In my experience the market is fickle and changes frequently, especially as it relates to the internet and online marketing.
I can't help but think that the entire "New Rich" concept is a branding ploy to roll out a series of self-help seminars. Let's hope not. If it does, it will distort the message of the book, for it would require that Ferriss trade in his "New Rich" lifestyle to be back in the rat race on a quest for the millions that he claims are not necessary to achieve one's dreams.
Perhaps that's the real lesson to be learned from the book: no matter where you are, the grass always seems greener on the other side.
Jeremy Ames, Executive Editor
I'm not saying he is a liar but come on! Most people wouldn't dream of doing something like that. There are some good tidbits in the book but I was completely distracted by his travel fetish. 30% of the book talks about International travel.
The theme of the book is how the author created a heath supplement company(no small feat), worked himself to near death, and realized he could hire VA(virtual assistants) to do his dirty work. I believe the author has great self confidence(a given for business) and is quite intelligent (went to Princeton, but claims he was admitted with a 40% lower SAT). The author is very smart, with a very above average IQ determined by his writing style and accomplishments.
The idea is to hire Indian VA/"slaves" who will do your work for under $10/hr. Yes, that is very possible to do. But developing a business idea, finding a market, and training your VA's to to the job right is a complex task. You also have to have ultimate trust, trusting total strangers with your credit cards, bank accounts etc.
Putting that aside, a four hour workweek is tantamount to the kickboxing situation described above. If you don't have the mindset for business - this book may as well be a James Bond novel. The book gives some examples but if you can't spot opportunities this will never ever work for you. You probably need a connection or two as well - imagine some relative who is a wholesaler for a hot item and can drop ship you a product dirt cheap. You still need the minimal skill to set up a yahoo/ebay store, deal with customers, learn SEO/Adsense, etc. If the market is competitive don't forget a nice chunk of change too!
He talks about Adsense - That could be a major money drain if you don't have the right product. The landscape changed so much in the past few years and Google is very serious about people trying to market junk (10 years ago it was like shooting fish in a barrel).
He talks about niche markets - simply type something into Google search and there are thousands of branches leading away from your search term. For example - Ice skating may be a hard market but Ice Skating for Seniors may be easier because there is less competition.
Then there is product creation. Most wouldn't even have a clue where to start. If you have an idea you can get some company in China (or the Thomas Register) to make it for you. You can also create information products/services as well. He even states to look for a product within your skillset, something which is highly dependent on your background and is not practical for most. The second challenge would be to install it into a non-competitive market with a large audience(something highly searched but there are few major websites purveying products). There is the google adwords tool that lets you check any search term and determine how many searches there are a month. From there you get other variations, and you can run the search in google to see how competitive (e.g. Authority websites) exist for that term. For example "Weight Loss" would be impossible to break into, since you would find hard hitters like WebMD at the top. However, weight loss for pregnant women in Albany, NY may have a much less competitive market (maybe not, but you get the idea).
One example in the book talks about someone who was a musician and set up a website to sell sound effects and made a killing. He would act as a middleman and ship the DVD to the customer. Here is someone who is both in the industry (connection) and took the time to learn the technical aspects of internet marketing. This case study is probably one of the better points in the book where he discusses testing and advertising.
When you read the news, you should be reading for hot trends and thinking in terms of new products and services that are on the horizon. The ability to spot things like that before they get big is essential to success. For example, people made fortunes selling "Grill" rapper teeth when they first came out. Again, the basic business info discussed applies.
There are some good ideas in the book but there is too much diversion and even as someone who is somewhat experienced in this I was left searching for details. The author is also an extreme risk taker that is way beyond what they average person would consider. Many entrepreneurs fit into that mold. I'm not saying you can't make some money online but trying to follow this guy is like trying to copy Steve Jobs or Richard Branson.
Finding something very profitable without connections or special skills requires business skill that would probably bring 6 figures in employment. What the book does not mention is how many people fail and lose 5 or 6 figures of money. I know people who lost 10K on adsense in a few weeks. That is the hard and cold fact. Not to discourage anyone from trying, but the tone of the book just makes it too easy (like most money making e-books) and does not give the whole story. The idea is not to think about failure and just suffer consequences until you make it. Big Corporations can run at a major loss for a quarter or two, pay all their employees and not have to worry their light are shut off. Then business picks up and they are in the black. Try not paying bills for 3 months, we all know what will happen. That will not fly for most people, but is required for business.
If you are really motivated, the ideas in this review should probably be enough to get you started! Most information can be found free on the web. The bottom line is, I don't care if you are Apple or the kid selling apple juice on his lawn, you need two things to succeed - A starving crowd who is dying for your product and either low competition or capital for major advertising. Post comments and I will be glad to answer them.