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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated: Expanded and Updated, With Over 100 New Pages of Cutting-Edge Content. » User review

Interesting concepts that have a physical limitation...

  • Aug 4, 2007
At least in the blogging circles I follow, it's been nearly impossible to not notice the book The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss. It's gotten a ton of airplay online, so of course I had to read it for myself. There are some interesting ideas and options presented, but if you play the full program out to the logical conclusion, it breaks down at some point.

First and Foremost: FAQ - Doubters Read This; My Story and Why You Need This Book; Chronology of a Pathology
Step 1 - D is for Definition: Cautions and Comparisons - How to Burn $1,000,000 a Night; Rules That Change the Rules - Everything Popular Is Wrong; Dodging Bullets - Fear-Setting and Escaping Paralysis; System Reset - Being Unreasonable and Unambiguous
Step 2 - E is for Elimination: The End of Time Management - Illusions and Italians; The Low-Information Diet - Cultivating Selective Ignorance; Interrupting Interruption and the Art of Refusal
Step 3 - A is for Automation: Outsourcing Life - Off-loading the Rest and a Taste of Geoarbitrage; Income Autopilot 1 - Finding the Muse; Income Autopilot 2 - Testing the Muse; Income Autopilot 3 - MBA - Management by Absence
Step 4 - L is for Liberation: Disappearing Act - How to Escape the Office; Beyond Repair - Killing Your Job; Mini-Retirements - Embracing the Mobile Lifestyle; Filling the Void - Adding Life After Subtracting Work; The Top 13 New Rich Mistakes
The Last Chapter - An E-mail You Need to Read
Restricted Reading; Acknowledgments; Index

So when I first started hearing about this book, I thought it was about time management... do less and get more results. And while that's part of it, it's not the main thrust. Ferriss outlines a program whereby you can set up a continuous stream of income, remove yourself from the process, and collect the money. This happens with a combination of things like outsourcing, licensing, and "traveling light". The general concept is to create a program or product that can be delivered and serviced by a fulfillment company or a manufacturer. Allow offshore labor to represent your company in terms of call center work. And in as much as is possible, don't put yourself in a position where the company can't function without you on a hour-by-hour basis. This combination of elements means that you can restrict your "work" to just a few hours per week, and then spend the rest of your time doing things that really interest you, such as traveling. And even in the world of travel, he shows how living for three months in a place like Brazil might be far cheaper than living for three weeks in your home.

For those who are happy working a regular job, some areas of his book still work well. Selective ignorance can do wonders for freeing up time in your life that can be focused elsewhere. Restructuring your email and online presence can have the same effect. Don't let those things control you. Set the times you'll get back to people via email, and then focus on those items which make a difference. I was really intrigued about the offshoring concept. I didn't know you can actually have "virtual assistants" that will take over those mundane tasks like research, scheduling, or miscellaneous tasks. I can see how if you were a writer, you might find spending $5 an hour to have background material gathered would save you far more than that in time spent doing the actual writing.

Where I think the book and idea falls down is that *someone* has to do the physical labor. Yes, you could do the exact things that Ferriss outlines, and you could live his lifestyle. But someone has to be the virtual assistant, someone has to create the product, someone has to manufacture it, and someone has to deliver it. If everyone was focused on generating income in this fashion, then nobody would. So while it sounds easy, it's really not. And if it were that easy, it wouldn't work as nobody would be there to do the grunt work that underlies your income.

Worth reading? Yes... Are there ideas that can help you improve where you're currently at? Yes. Will this work for anyone and everyone? No...

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More The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded ... reviews
review by . October 05, 2010
Pros: Decent background story makes it a little more 'human'      Cons: Too many played out concepts, no fresh concepts, simply bad ideas.      The Bottom Line: While I feel the author had good intentions, this book is definitely far more damaging for the average person than helpful.      I have been a long time reader of self help, motivational, and sales related books for as far back as I can remember, including parts of even …
review by . April 06, 2010
This book funny on two levels. Level 1 is the author's wit. Level 2 is well, lets put it this way. Its nice to know that I have more on the ball than some of the people who let their publisists stick their names on this book as though it were the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. (Whew you missed that bullet Stephen Covey, or maybe you actually read the book and declined the rec?)      As John McEnroe used to say, "ARE YOU SEEERRRIOOUUS?"      …
review by . October 21, 2009
Any book that tells you not to quit your day job, but lie to your employer after getting them to let you work from home, while you are on a beach on the company's dime, is borderline criminal.    Work a full day like everyone else. If you can get above average work done for your employer in 8 hours, do it and demand compensation. If you can do an average day's work in 2 hours, you have not earned the right to steal from the company and slack off for 6 hours a day.    Most …
review by . October 03, 2007
This review may be a lot shorter than many of those I've posted for other books, because frankly I'm still not quite sure what I think of "The 4-Hour Workweek." Certainly, it has given me a tremendous amount to think about -- not quite to the level of career-crisis-inducing life angst, but definitely enough to make me wonder about what I ought be doing, or am capable of doing, differently.    Perhaps the biggest obstacle to someone achieving the enviable lifestyle Tim Ferriss …
review by . May 05, 2007
Comes with warning, Do not read this book unless you want to quit your job! On first reading this book , I realized that this 29 yr old had written up all my secrets and more! But it took me 40 yrs of working to find it out! Very enjoyable book and I recommend it to young and old, unless you are one of those bosses that expect employees to tattoo the Co. logo on their butt. (Those type of bosses breathe life into the ideas of Karl Marx!) Of course this book is another part of the author's building …
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Thomas Duff ()
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Thomas Duff, aka "Duffbert", is a long-time member of the Lotus community. He's primarily focused on the development side of the Notes/Domino environment, currently working for a large insurance … more
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About this book


"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 ofChicken 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 ofRule #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 ofThe Know-It-All

"If you want to live life...
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ISBN-10: 0307465357
ISBN-13: 978-0307465351
Author: Timothy Ferriss
Genre: Business & Investing, Health, Mind & Body, Religion & Spirituality
Publisher: Crown Archetype
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