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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!
For the positives. This was the first time that I had been introduced to so many "try it out" tips and pointers in one resource. You could literally do one of the many things that are suggested, and improve so many areas of your life. The book is written very well in my opinion. I'm sure the authors motive wasn't just to motivate, but he certainly knows how to inspire. Take notes on everything, but…
… more importantly, I think people should be aware of how the book should be used. I would suggest reading it cover to cover once, really fast, marking pages that seem interesting. Then go back after you are done, and choose just one of those things and try it out. Some think that it is just a trap to overload readers with stuff that they cannot actually do, but it truly requires you to take note of something, learn it, then put the book down and do it. Seriously. Choose something from the book, hide the book, and do just that one thing (ironically this is a tip in the book) consistently for a while.
I don't even think I read the last third of the book… as I wanted to try out one or two of the things earlier on. I still loved it!
You cannot do all of the things in the book at one time, as cool as some of the things sound. That's not how it works. I kind of find it hard to understand why someone wouldn't want such a resource as this though…
I am embarrassed to admit that I found this book a frustrating read, despite it being a best seller.
I won’t go so far as to say that it was a waste of time, but I constantly had to force myself to push on through a monologue about a wonderful vacation style life, in an attempt to find and understand Tim’s deeper message.
Others might find it easier to relate to a lifestyle of motorcycles, ball room dancing, kick-boxing and more. These are not things I personally value very highly, but I accept that for some this is Nirvana and I respect that totally.
So what is Tim saying in the book? There are three main elements:
Start with defining your purpose.
Eliminate time wasting activity.
Automate your business. Liberate your mode of working (through taking mini-retirements and filling the void left).
Each of these are valuable contributions and there is plenty of good practical advice. I particularly like the concept of a mini-retirement – the traditional “retirement” at the end of a corporate career always seemed to me to be very wrong indeed.
Tim’s message is that you need to live life. This is good stuff.
My only problem with his philosophy is that he somehow seems to view work and life in some sort of conflict, hence the need for a new “balance”. His section on eliminating time wasting activities left me with the impression that you need to work frantically to compress the nasty bits into as short a time as possible (4 hours a week) which frees you to do anything you like in the remaining time.
For myself, separating work and life is not as simple. I therefore prefer thinking about work life integration, and perhaps that is what Tim actually wants too and I missed it in my interpretation.
I believe that everyone has a fundamental desire to work and to find real satisfaction and fulfilment in what they do. I would therefore not advocate a 4 hour work week at all. Instead I would suggest a changed perspective in which you balance your professional activities with your personal goals, talents and passions. In my own model you thereby work full-time and are better for it because you enjoy every minute.