Book Review: The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss

After seeing mentions of this book all over the blogosphere, I finally decided to go to my local bookstore and pick-up a copy to see what all the fuss was about. I ended up tearing through the book in 2 days flat and plan on buying copies as holiday gifts for friends.

Timothy Ferriss, entrepreneur/millionaire/wunderkind, shares his secrets of success on how to cut down your daily grind to (you guessed it) four hours a week so that you can free yourself to pursue your passions and live a life of leisure normally reserved only for the filthy rich.

The book can be divided into roughly three sections:

  • Work Smarter, Not Harder

Ferriss offers tips on how to increase productivity at your current job and negotiate flexible work hours so that you can spend less time in your cubicle and more time enjoying life. He suggests approaching work from an objective angle—if I only had 2 hours to work, what would I make sure to get done? Cut down your personal workload to the bare essentials and off-load the rest.

Ferriss recommends this approach not only to professional life, but to personal as well. He dedicates an entire chapter extolling the benefits of virtual personal assistants. I finished the chapter fantasizing about emailing a woman in India and having her doing all my Christmas shopping online while I slept.

  • Create Hassle-Free Income

Ferriss concedes that in order to emulate the life of the rich and famous, you must be rich yourself. However, his solution is not to work more hours for more money, but to set-up an automated stream of income so that you have the requisite financial resources and also the time to enjoy them.

He advocates e-businesses, speaking from personal experience, and outlines a relatively simple business plan (including a plug-and-play diagram) with explanatory business cases. Once you set up your e-business and the money starts rolling in, Ferriss claims you can outsource most of the personal inter-facing with clients and vendors and only have to check your email a few hours a week to pay the bills and keep the business running.

  • Travel The World In Your Free Time

The last section is dedicated to helping you figure out what to do with all this newfound free time. Ferriss provides practical advice on when, where and how to travel on the cheap. He also has a chapter or two of philosophical questions to help you prepare for the inevitable identity-crisis you’ll experience as part of the “new rich.”

While this book offered some very useful advice on productivity, starting a simple online business and inexpensive travel, Ferriss’ overriding theme of pushing off work to the little guy rubbed me wrong. Maybe I’m being overly sensitive, but something about sloughing my work onto others while I go out and play contradicts my naturally hard-working nature and makes me feel a little guilty and hesitant to try the strategies laid out in the book.



5 responses »

  1. Thank you for your comment. This was a very inspiring book that I highly recommend for anyone interested in freeing themselves from the corporate grind. It’s currently on special at your local Barnes & Noble bookstore.

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  3. Pingback: Gen-Y Changing the World: the Future of the American Workplace « Dandiksey’s Weblog

  4. As a hardworker, I can understand that one might be guilty to let others do your hard work. But you have to realize that in order to have an assistant, you must have something they do not such as more money to throw around.

    In order to be successful, you have to delegate. Delegate means getting other people to do your shit work.

    The situation is that if you can actually delegate it is good. There are people who are often out of jobs (like me) who will do almost anything for money. If you have so many more productive things to do that will make people happy, it pays off to delegate. You give another person a chance to make money. You beocome more productive and make more of whatever you make for people to enjoy. In short everybody wins. If people don’t want to do what you delegate to them, they’ll quit so you aren’t really stressing them out as long as you tell them before you hire them what they’ll be expected to do.

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