The 4-Hour Work Week
Author: Timothy Ferriss
Self-Help/Business; 299 Pages
The 4-Hour Workweek made the Bestseller list almost immediately, has glowing editorial reviews, and has been the topic of thousands of mini-discussions around the web.
Timothy Ferriss coined the term "The New Rich" and his book is the blueprint to show anyone how they can achieve this elite status. From business owner to employee to single mother, his step-by-step to luxury lifestyle is 'for everyone'...
I should say upfront that this is a very candid review and I realize that some will agree with my thoughts on the book, and some will not. Considering the buzz around this particular book, that's completely understandable...
Feel free to leave your comments below.
I am a firm believer in the concepts of "The New Rich". I have taught some of these same ideas through my sites and lists for the last 3 years: work smart -not hard, work less & make more, passive income, etc. I have achieved a level of financial & time freedom in my own life, which is why I expected I would enjoy Timothy Ferriss' views on the topic.
I cracked open The 4-Hour Workweek with these great expectations, but I must admit I was fairly disappointed through the first 100 pages.
Fortunately Timothy offered a tip for How to Read 200% Faster in 10 Minutes on page 85... which helped me through the rest of the book. By the time I reached the 85th page, I was grateful for this tip 😉
A combination of the writing style and very aggressive concepts with too little 'proof' would be the primary reason that it took me well over a month to work through this book. Personally I found it a bit of a chew. Not having the cant-put-it-down factor I get from most books that I have purchased.
Taking into consideration that Timothy Ferriss himself was 'miserable and overworked' just 3 years ago (p. 233), and the well-done marketing strategy that snowballed the buzz for this piece of work... it felt obvious to me that this book was nothing more than another of the author's many 'product launches'.
If you've read the book and have a feel for the authors morals and ethics, the idea of that takes the flavor right out of it.
That said, I did gain a few valuable ideas and resources from The 4-Hour Workweek and even some inspiration. The first actionable goal that I took from this book was to 'tame my inbox'. He shared some very good tips on creating an FAQ and being more efficient with communications and correspondence.
Another piece I particularly liked was the Lose-Win Guarantee (p. 195). This was one of the better tips in my opinion. The Tools and Tricks lists throughout Section 3 (chapters 9, 10 & 11) contained exceptional resources as well.
While I wouldnt recommend this book to someone who is already inspired, self-motivated and goal-oriented... if you already own a copy of the book I would advise that you pluck the gems that are valuable to you, and apply the rest cautiously.
If you are miserable at your job, The 4-Hour Workweek may very well inspire you to take positive action. If you are genuinely happy with the current direction of your life (not to be mistaken for 'complacent'), this book just may offend you.
The author states (p. 241) that he is 'convinced that people use their children as an excuse to stay in their comfort zones'. Having no children of his own, he obviously doesnt realize that is complete BS.
I have two children myself and I can tell you firsthand that if anything my children have inspired me to be more, do more and stretch every boundary under the sun. I started my first business with a desire to be more involved in my childrens' lives. I moved to a home office and internet-based business model to take care of my oldest child while he was ill for almost 2 years. I homeschooled my two children and traveled with them for several years.
I also took care of my grandmother during her last two years, around the clock. Those are experiences that were invaluable, and they were options that I had because I chose to create a flexible lifestyle. Something I never would have considered or even thought of if I wasnt a single mother to two beautiful children.
News flash, Ferris - there is no "comfort zone" once you bring children into the world 😉
I'm not alone in my feelings on this book. Just see the Reviews on Amazon. Here are excerpts from some of the reviews I agreed with:
"but is "The 4-Hour Work Week" as good as all the positive reviews would have you believe? Not by a longshot."
"and even if we could, we would not necessarily wish to emulate the author's morally questionable net-based pursuits and their accompanying baggage"
"we're not all in the same place in life. I didn't notice any mention whatsoever of children in this book. (Oops, there is mention of how to travel with them, but what I was trying to say was that this book wasn't written from a parents point of view. Some things you just can't outsource.)"
"about a third of this book was self-congratulatory, a third was filled with genuinely useful information, and a third was filler"
"I don't fully agree with some of the author's solutions (especially his concepts of outsourcing), but there's enough solid theory to have made the purchase worthwhile."
"But I wonder what his suggestions would be to someone who feels their mission IS the business they're in... and doesn't want to spend months away."
Personally I feel the book was over-hyped through the marketing buzz and that it is a tangible example of the values of the author.
In Jim Carrey style, I must say... I've read better.
p.s. I wasnt quite sure if the misspelling of the word "English" in Chapter 14 (p. 262 "Engrish") was a typo... or dry humor?