A Handbook On Lifestyle Design
Accomplish more, in less time. To many starting a business to make extra money often symbolizes more work and more effort. Instead of working long hours, stacking your day with never ending to-do lists and generally feeling like you’re not accomplishing anything, consider working less. With tools and technologies available today, it is possible to create a luxury lifestyle even in unpredictable economic times. The 4-Hour Workweek has made me rethink my perspective on time and the goal of money – which is ultimately a means to freedom.
The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss is a life hacking approach for anyone who wants to live life on their own terms. Life hacking refers to any method that increases productivity and efficiency, in all walks of life.
What Kind Of Lifestyle Do You Want To Live?
Time and attention are the most important resources that we have. Phones, tablets, computers and e-mail are all competing night and day to suck up your valuable attention. In addition, by participating in a job where you are paid by the hour or salary rather than actual value creation, one actually has multiple reasons to not work and instead spend their time doing trivial things. You are getting paid either way, right?
The bureaucracy of a corporate workforce oftentimes means that most time is actually spent in meetings, lunch breaks and commutes rather than value adding activities while hierarchal red tape limits power and slows down progress for hardworking employees. The person who benefits the most from working a job is the owner of the business. There is no incentive for a salaried or pay-by-the-hour worker to work harder. Why not finish the most important tasks related to your job, call it a day and leave early? You can’t, and therein lies the issue with a 9 to 5 .
Create a business for yourself (or a “muse” as Tim likes to call it), and the result (read: money) is a direct correlation of the work you put in. This passive income creates free time which can be redirected towards experiences such as learning languages, traveling the world, becoming an expert in martial arts, dance and even deep sea diving. Whatever it is you truly want to do.
The 4-Hour Workweek Methodology
- Definition – Taking a holistic approach to time, money and happiness
- Elimination – Strategies for selectively choosing the information you allow into your life
- Automation – The meat and bones of how to create an automated business
- Liberation – Hacking your way into the lifestyle you desire
Most business books focus solely on a system towards accumulation of wealth. With The 4-Hour Workweek, Timothy Ferriss takes a comprehensive approach to transforming work and life. After defining the problem, eliminating extra unnecessary activities and automating your “muse” business, Mr. Ferriss takes it one step further by introducing “liberation” as a step towards creating a personalized and fulfilling lifestyle.
The book begins by challenging old business concepts head-on and introduces the approach of the New Rich. The New Rich challenge the status quo by looking at business differently. Goal setting is pivotal. Fear is merely not having a plan.
Eliminate And Join The New Rich
Elimination is probably my favorite concept introduced. Concepts such as Parkinson’s Law defines the ability to accomplish a task as a direct correlation of time allotted and complexity. For example, if a term paper was given a month long deadline as opposed to a 24 hour deadline, it is more likely that it would suffer in quality. Pareto’s Principle is the 20/80 rule in effect, which states that 20% of the work you accomplish actually drives 80% of the results.
Combine these two laws in every decision you make and watch productivity escalate. Work smarter, not harder.
Tim refers to email as the ultimate time-waster as he strives to eliminate all the drama it brings. You will find the email autoresponder and voicemail templates to be equally as hilarious as they are effective.
“Being busy is a form of laziness–lazy thinking and indiscriminate action”
Automation And Outsourcing
In introducing automation, Tim highlights outsourcing as a new age concept. With services like YourManInIndia, elance and odesk (now Upwork), it is possible to outsource everything from research, email reading, forum posting, transcription to even Indian cuisine.
Then he guides the reader step-by-step with choosing a niche, building a product, testing and creating an automated virtual architecture. There is even a simple flow chart which highlights the entire logistical and monetization blueprint of his business. I found these maps to be a goldmine of information. The usage of the Internet to reach and serve millions of people is real. Since the release of this book in 2007, it is evident that it has inspired and spawned thousands, possibly millions, of similar passive businesses all over the world wide web.
Liberation is how you disconnect from the world and do what makes you happy. Telling your boss you want to work remotely overseas and increase productivity? Check. First class traveling on a budget? Check. Mastering cultural skills such as language, dance, music and sport? Simple and fun. These are all possibilities of lifestyles people work their whole lives towards, but in reality can be achieved with a bit of strategic maneuvering. Humorously, Tim even has a template for telling your boss off and quitting your job.
There are a few criticisms. The first is that Tim’s business is, in essence, one giant case study for how he built his business. While the use of virtual assistants is a pivotal part of his business model, it may not be the most effective method for your business. There are merits to outsourcing business tasks, however unless your business is completely automated and devoid of physical service then the majority of his methods probably aren’t completely applicable to most business models.
Overall, The 4 Hour Work Week is an inspiring, engaging handbook that will almost definitely lead you to take action.
Also, check out tools from the book on Tim’s blog.
(UPDATE: Tim has a new book! Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers is now available)
The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
More than 100 pages of new, cutting-edge content. Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan–there is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world trave...
More than 100 pages of new, cutting-edge content.
Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan–there is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, or just living more and working less, The 4-Hour Workweek is the blueprint.
This step-by-step guide to luxury lifestyle design teaches:
•How Tim went from $40,000 per year and 80 hours per week to $40,000 per month and 4 hours per week
•How to outsource your life to overseas virtual assistants for $5 per hour and do whatever you want
•How blue-chip escape artists travel the world without quitting their jobs
•How to eliminate 50% of your work in 48 hours using the principles of a forgotten Italian economist
•How to trade a long-haul career for short work bursts and frequent “mini-retirements”
The new expanded edition of Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Workweek includes:
•More than 50 practical tips and case studies from readers (including families) who have doubled income, overcome common sticking points, and reinvented themselves using the original book as a starting point
•Real-world templates you can copy for eliminating e-mail, negotiating with bosses and clients, or getting a private chef for less than $8 a meal
•How Lifestyle Design principles can be suited to unpredictable economic times
•The latest tools and tricks, as well as high-tech shortcuts, for living like a diplomat or millionaire without being either
(Disclaimer: Affiliate Link)
If you enjoyed this review of The 4-Hour Workweek, consider picking up a copy of the book on Amazon today.