The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss (Review)

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated) Book Cover The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated)
Timothy Ferriss
December 15, 2009
Print / Hardcover

Brian's Review

The The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss is, in its most basic form, the story and path of how Tim Ferriss transformed his life of working more than a full time job and earning just $40,000 a year to working four hours a week for more than that in a month while he lives the life of his dreams.

Timothy Ferriss calls this the lifestyle of the “New Rich (NR)”, which he describes luxury lifestyle design. Now for someone like me, had I just been approached with a term like that without understanding the concept behind it, I would have expected it to be for late night infomercials.

Thankfully, I was exposed to the book’s reputation by many highly influential people long before I bothered reading a single synopsis or review. Otherwise I may have never even giving the book a chance.

The objective of Lifestyle design, as Ferriss teaches us, is to free up time and place. Tim teaches that the New Rich leverage time and mobility to achieve an immediate lifestyle now that most of the workforce can only dream of, including the very successful.

What the book is not:

The 4-Hour Workweek IS NOT a step by step how-to manual on how to quit your job, begin working for yourself just a few hours a weeks and have the life of your dreams.

What the book is:

The Four Hour Workweek is, at least to my understanding, a process to model from, which begins as a mind and belief shift. The idea that you can have your cake and eat it too and that the “9 to 5” system that expects you to work the best years of your life so you can “survive” your senior years is fundamentally flawed.

Tim goes to great lengths throughout the book to offer details of his story, the path in which he took, as well as the stories and lessons of others.

Who’s this book for?

What you expect: The 4-Hour Workweek has to be one of the most popular books among the circles I follow yet I have yet to meet a single person that actually works less than they play, with the exception of those that insist they are one in the same. Truthfully, I have read the book and listened to is twice and I still put in enough hours each week to qualify as two full time jobs.

So why read it? You should read it for reasons only you can’t understand. Yes, I said “can’t understand” because Tim’s book is designed to help you understand what’s possible, which is a far cry from what is expected. Personally, I don’t read and listen to the book over and over in hopes that it will propel me into a life of jet-setting, globetrotting, wine sipping luxury without stress of income or responsibility. That sounds exhausting to me just writing it down. I love the book because it helps remind me of the power of “me” and that the path society has planned for us is not an acceptable one.

Lifestyle Design - Not A New Concept

I need to finish up or this review will be a book in itself so let me leave you with this: The idea of living life to its fullest “right now” and refusing to wait for the ridiculous notion of the Golden Years is not a new concept nor is it restricted by monetary wealth (which is one of points Timothy Ferriss wants you to understand), education, or stature.

I’ve sat with friends that make a fraction of my income and have been amazed at how much they enjoy life. They have BBQs, hunt, fish, go bowling and on vacations. They seem to have a fraction of my stress too but the closer you get the more you begin to see that’s not the case.  The 4-Hour Workweek is more like that without fun being an escape from reality.

Seems like... One of my favorite fictional book series is Travis McGee by John D. MacDonald and that’s what the lessons of Tim Ferriss remind me of. Travis McGee was a self-proclaimed beach bum. He lived on a boat off the coast of Florida on a continuous vacation breaking only when he was low of cash. It was those moment when the adventures began.

Tim Ferriss is a like the Travis McGee of the digital age and his adventures happen when he isn't working, which is most of the time. ~Brian D. Hawkins

Without going into much more detail, I thought I just offer a handful of key takeaways I got from the book. These are my own observations and you will more than likely come away from the book with your own This little book review cannot do the book justice or even scratch the surface and, believe me, there is enough wisdom in The FHWW to overwhelm the curriculum of an entire college course.

My Takeaways from The 4-Hour Workweek (A few of them)

  • Practice Parkinson’s law
  • Follow The Pareto principle (80–20 rule)
  • Priorities over efficiency
  • Master outsourcing and empower others
  • Learn and practice “just-in-time” information gathering
  • Ask for forgiveness, not permission
  • Use systems like automation ad delegation but only after elimination

Seriously, if you feel you’re spending too much time spinning your wheels, buried in meaningless work, trading time for dollars, or just unwilling to accept the notion that you should be old and broke/n before you can start enjoying life, buy this book.

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