The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

The 4-Hour Workweek

What do you do? Tim Ferriss has trouble answering the question. Depending on when you ask this controversial Princeton University guest lecturer, he might answer: "I race motorcycles in Europe." "I ski in the Andes." "I scuba dive in Panama." "I dance tango in Buenos Aires." He has spent more than five years learning the secrets of the New Rich, a fast-growing subculture w...

Title:The 4-Hour Workweek
Author:
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The 4-Hour Workweek Reviews

  • Kara

    I just started this book, and I can't even finish it. Aside from the author grating on my last nerve with each page turn, I find his outlook on life to be overly fantastical. This book appeals to people who are working in dead end jobs that are hellish to say the least, and offers a way out to people who have lost hope. But I'll tell you something. If making a ton of money, working a 4-hour work week, and living like a millionaire were easy, everyone would do it. The fact that he's one of FEW th

    I just started this book, and I can't even finish it. Aside from the author grating on my last nerve with each page turn, I find his outlook on life to be overly fantastical. This book appeals to people who are working in dead end jobs that are hellish to say the least, and offers a way out to people who have lost hope. But I'll tell you something. If making a ton of money, working a 4-hour work week, and living like a millionaire were easy, everyone would do it. The fact that he's one of FEW that do, tells you that it's not for everyone.

    He takes you through an exercise that makes you write down your worst-case scenario of things that would happen if you just quit your job today to live like this. I'm not sure how he can just sit there and think that losing your home, going bankrupt, having your credit ruined, etc. isn't "the end of the world", but it's damn near close. Something tells me he's never had to deal with anything like a mortgage or the a home foreclosure.

    I saw him on the Today Show once with Donny Deutsch who vehemently disagreed with everything this guy had to say. Donny, who is one of the "living dead" according to Timothy Ferris, is also a highly successful businessman. Just proof that life is what YOU make of it - not what someone else tells you to.

    Read this book if you think your life is totally in the toilet and you have no other recourse. Just make sure you realize you'll be one of about 1% of people who can actually make this work...

  • Otis Chandler

    I found this book on a recommendation from a good friend, and if it wasn't for that I might have put it down right away, because the tone is very markety, and the author makes a lot of big claims with little substance.

    That being said, the author must be a smart guy because there is a lot of good stuff in this book.

    Big Takeaways

    1. Most of us have the idea that we are supposed to work until we are 60, then retire and live the good life. Tim does a great job pointing out how backwards that idea is,

    I found this book on a recommendation from a good friend, and if it wasn't for that I might have put it down right away, because the tone is very markety, and the author makes a lot of big claims with little substance.

    That being said, the author must be a smart guy because there is a lot of good stuff in this book.

    Big Takeaways

    1. Most of us have the idea that we are supposed to work until we are 60, then retire and live the good life. Tim does a great job pointing out how backwards that idea is, and gives lots of suggestions for how to change your life to accommodate. He calls those who have done so the "New Rich", as they are rich in life - which is not related to being rich in dollars.

    2. Take 'mini-retirements' throughout your life instead of planning to retire at the end of your life (which I probably wouldn't do anyways). This means every 5 years take a year off to go on a big adventure. Tim's point is you don't need to be rich to do this, and gives a lot of advice on how to go about it. I don't think he'll convince too many people, but it does sound like he's starting to have a following.

    3. Be a business owner - not a business runner. One gives you lots of free time - the other consumes your life (which I can currently attest to :)

    4. Time is your most valuable asset. Tim gives a lot of good tips for time management - which aren't unique, but every time you read them helps you. The ones that stuck out for me were:

    - only check email 3 times a day at set intervals

    - outsource everything you can to 3rd parties (like a virtual concierge in India who works for $5/hr)

    - batch activities like paying bills for max efficiency

    - give employees autonomous rules/guidelines

    - avoid meetings whenever possible - use emails instead (works wonders)

    5. Try to start businesses that can be completely outsourced after you've set them up, so they run on auto-pilot. The author did it with a nutrient company - I'm dubious on this one though.

    6. 80/20 rule. 80% of your revenue probably comes from 20% of your customers. You can save a lot of time and make more money by focusing where it matters - on the 20%. This applies to most things in life, and although I've read it before it was a good refresher.

    7. Reach out to important people. Don't be afraid to reach out to important/famous people for advice. They are often more accessible than you think. Tim had good tips for this - like always uses phone's and not emails.

    8. Avoid excessive information: too much information input can overload you, so avoid reading news on subjects that don't relate to what you do. If something important happens in the world you will hear about it - or its good conversation when you meet with a friend ("whats new in the world?")

  • Maria Andreu

    A few weeks ago in NYC, I sat with two of the smartest people I know at a cool brunch.

    "But explain it to me," I said. "Just what is it about the 4-Hour Work Week that we haven't already seen?" Having a background in a "work-smarter-not-harder" industry (the coaching industry), what I'd heard about 4HWW had not impressed me as anything particularly fresh and new.

    "Well," said one friend, "It's just never all been put in a book like this before."

    "Okay." That didn't sound so compelling to me.

    "Well,"

    A few weeks ago in NYC, I sat with two of the smartest people I know at a cool brunch.

    "But explain it to me," I said. "Just what is it about the 4-Hour Work Week that we haven't already seen?" Having a background in a "work-smarter-not-harder" industry (the coaching industry), what I'd heard about 4HWW had not impressed me as anything particularly fresh and new.

    "Well," said one friend, "It's just never all been put in a book like this before."

    "Okay." That didn't sound so compelling to me.

    "Well," attempted the other. "It's Tim, too. His personality. The way he gets things across." Still unimpressed.

    But here's the thing - two people I really believe in and trust were telling me I HAD to read this book. So I sucked it up and ordered it from Amazon (who, I believe, I single-handedly keep in business, though my scant GoodReads list may not yet reflect it).

    So I decided to give it a shot and ate it up in a weekend. A fun and easy read. The premise is basically this: so many of us "follow the rules" and strive to tolerate the best job we can get for 40 years, holding off for retirement. Tim Ferriss, the 30-year-old author of this book, posits an entirely different worldview and a straightforward plan for achieving living it - set up automatic profit centers, and take "mini retirements" throughout your life (which he does, and explains in fun and interesting detail. He's studied tango in Argentina, martial arts in Berlin. Cool reading).

    The thing I most enjoyed about this book were the practical tips. I was familiar with many of them, having an internet entrepreneur background, but still found plenty of interesting information to make it worth my while. Lots of good detail on the travel side too. He gives you not just the theory, but the web addresses and the exact plan for setting up your own online business and "mini-retirement-lifestyle."

    It's interesting to look at the negative reviews of this book. A lot of them sound like, "Yes, that would be nice, but..." A careful read of the book should push you out of that "it could never work for me," mentality. Worth giving a shot.

  • Todd N

    Timothy Ferriss spoke at a management meeting last week where I work. A few of the managers came back pretty impressed, so I cadged a copy off of a manager and skimmed/read it one sitting Friday night.

    The effect of this book is like being trapped in a room with a manic-depressive during the manic part of his cycle. Imagine a cross between Brad Pitt in 12 Monkeys and a late-night infomercial. Then add a dash of narcissistic personality disorder to get an idea of the tone of this book.

    This book is

    Timothy Ferriss spoke at a management meeting last week where I work. A few of the managers came back pretty impressed, so I cadged a copy off of a manager and skimmed/read it one sitting Friday night.

    The effect of this book is like being trapped in a room with a manic-depressive during the manic part of his cycle. Imagine a cross between Brad Pitt in 12 Monkeys and a late-night infomercial. Then add a dash of narcissistic personality disorder to get an idea of the tone of this book.

    This book is one in a series of books lately -- including Rich Dad, Poor Dad -- that damns the middle class for a lack of imagination as demonstrated by showing up for work every day and upholding the social contract, among other things. The middle class, far from being admired for being the people that the economy and that this country is built on, should be pitied as they pathetically roll down 101 in their Civics and Jettas to their white collar jobs. Why build a career when you could be selling can openers at a profit through the miracle of AdWords?

    Offered as an example of the breakthrough thinking in this book is the time the author won a kickboxing championship by reading the rules, finding loopholes, and then winning on a technicality. It's hard to imagine an attitude further from the Renaissance concept of

    than this.

    The part of the book that I greatly enjoyed concerned "time management" and gave valuable tips on how not to be such a fucking patsy at work. I put "time management" in quotes because he believes that time management is part of the problem. He offers great advice on handling email (check only twice a day) and handling it (send clear if-then emails). He also gives great advice on how to make yourself valuable and productive enough to negotiate a better work-life balance, assuming you have the talent and energy to pull it off. But in this day of telecommuting, this is really less radical than he makes it sound. He makes a good case for quitting any job that doesn't allow working from home on a regular basis.

    Another highlight of this book is a reprint of a hilarious article from Esquire about outsourcing personal chores to India. It's too bad that the rest of the book couldn't take on the same humorous and likable tone while making its sometimes valid points.

    I guess you could sum up this book like this: "There's no TEAM in I."

  • Rasmus

    Although mr. Ferriss has some good ideas and goals, there is one word that describes why, I am not a fan of this book: Scumbaggery.

    While I totally agree with Tim Ferriss, when he says that most meetings are useless and should be avoided, I cannot agree with his recommendation of making up excuses and lies, in order to leave early or not show up. This is just one example of behavior recommended in this book, and it quite frankly disgusts me.

    I am all for automating the dull aspects of my life, tak

    Although mr. Ferriss has some good ideas and goals, there is one word that describes why, I am not a fan of this book: Scumbaggery.

    While I totally agree with Tim Ferriss, when he says that most meetings are useless and should be avoided, I cannot agree with his recommendation of making up excuses and lies, in order to leave early or not show up. This is just one example of behavior recommended in this book, and it quite frankly disgusts me.

    I am all for automating the dull aspects of my life, taking on personal assistants and applying to 80/20 principle where ever it fits, but I never ever want to do so at the price of my own dignity. The book has good ideas but is ultimately written for people without scruples of any kind.

    The author brags about winning a martial arts contest by bending the rules. He's being a scumbag and encouraging others to follow in his footsteps. I'm sorry, but that's not me.

  • Ryan

    Let ME save YOU a few hours.

    1. You're a game changer and a rule breaker.

    2. Quit checking your fucking email and get off the computer. No, seriously. Go.

    3. Outsource everything--even your soul. It's all about you.

    4. Retire, vacation, go mobile.

    5. Tim Ferriss is an ass.

    Questions?

    Ryan: Hey Tim, I work in a pickle factory in Poland and have a minimal education, how do I make the above program work for me?

    Tim: *head explodes*

    Seriously, some simple ideas are in here that can probably help you get thi

    Let ME save YOU a few hours.

    1. You're a game changer and a rule breaker.

    2. Quit checking your fucking email and get off the computer. No, seriously. Go.

    3. Outsource everything--even your soul. It's all about you.

    4. Retire, vacation, go mobile.

    5. Tim Ferriss is an ass.

    Questions?

    Ryan: Hey Tim, I work in a pickle factory in Poland and have a minimal education, how do I make the above program work for me?

    Tim: *head explodes*

    Seriously, some simple ideas are in here that can probably help you get things done faster and think about how you spend your time. But Tim Ferriss is still an ass.

  • Emma

    At first I thought this was the bee's knees, toes, and ankles. But as I read further I began to realize that this guy "wins" by cheating, "delegates" by leaving everything in the hands of his $5/hour personal assistant in India, and sells books by promising to tell you how to get rich, and delivers a book on how to get everyone around you to be really annoyed with you for shirking any responsibility.

    He encourages you to lease expensive cars so you can feel like you are living the "life of your

    At first I thought this was the bee's knees, toes, and ankles. But as I read further I began to realize that this guy "wins" by cheating, "delegates" by leaving everything in the hands of his $5/hour personal assistant in India, and sells books by promising to tell you how to get rich, and delivers a book on how to get everyone around you to be really annoyed with you for shirking any responsibility.

    He encourages you to lease expensive cars so you can feel like you are living the "life of your dreams". And then he puts Walden in his list of resources. I'm confused. I guess he's saying that if you really want to drive a fancy car, then make that your priority, and then when you can afford to lease it, you'll be happy. I'm hoping that would then teach you that maybe a car is not the most important thing in your life and you might want to spend your $2500 a month on rent, food, health insurance and the like. So you don't have to live in Borneo in order to drive your new car.

    Reading this book made me realize that I already have a life that involves meaningful work, setting my own schedule, and choosing whatever projects I want to do. And oh yeah, passive income. No, I don't drive a Ferrari and vacation in Argentina because the exchange rate is awesome. But you know? I don't really want to.

    I agree with some of his instructions on automation, especially the importance of not having decision-making bottlenecks. However, if you care about the reputation of your company you might want to have *some* input on its day to day operations. I guess now we know why he is described as a "serial" entrepreneur on the book jacket.

    I give him points for being honest. If someone wanted his kind of lifestyle, this would be a fairly good roadmap. Except for one thing: his sales ability. Which he doesn't really teach in this book.

    He definitely has a different take on business and the point of life, and perhaps it is useful just in that sense. He is definitely marching to the beat of his own drummer. I just am not sure I want to march with him.

  • Craig

    Instead of focusing on this book's lame contents (it was really bad) I decided to share my review of how it was otherwise used in the hopes that it might inspire others.

    First of all, I found the book's paper a little rough in texture. This precluded it from being used in the outhouse or camping, if you know what I mean. The raspy paper DID, however, have just the right stuff to be 'ripped and rolled' into some really effective starter wicks in the old fireplace. Went up like a charm and led to a

    Instead of focusing on this book's lame contents (it was really bad) I decided to share my review of how it was otherwise used in the hopes that it might inspire others.

    First of all, I found the book's paper a little rough in texture. This precluded it from being used in the outhouse or camping, if you know what I mean. The raspy paper DID, however, have just the right stuff to be 'ripped and rolled' into some really effective starter wicks in the old fireplace. Went up like a charm and led to a toasty warm fire in no time. Very little smoke produced and it left a good, clean ash.

    The pages and binding that remained sat limply and dejected by the hearth for much of the evening before inspiration struck once again. I tore the front cover off (I am reluctant to burn colored ink in my fireplace -- call me old-fashioned) and ripped it into some smaller pieces to fold and wedge into a drafty window to help keep it closed. I made sure to have the outer cover facing outward to better repel any moisture that might attack the paper from the window seam. Again -- like it was MADE for the task!

    Finally, and I'm not proud of it -- I like to minimize my footprint on Mother Earth -- I had to let the binding go. No good for burning and I doubt even a hungry squirrel would find it appealing. It was dropped in the trash by the light of the crackling fire on that dark snowy night.

    I sat by the roaring fire, light sleet pellets tickling the window with a silent powdery snow, pondering the fate of the environment. With so many copies of this book very likely suffering some form of destruction around the globe what's a species to do?

  • Jonathan El-Bizri

    EDIT: I've left my original opinion below. However, as time has passed, I don't really think I can recommend this book as anything but entertainment. Anything useful has been written elsewhere, better, and by people who aren't lying to you.

    -----

    I hesitantly recomend this book. The reasons why are towards the end of the review.

    The douchebaggery and straight up disengenuity espoused almost drips off the pages: quite remarkable even in the self-help, think-outside-the-box, start-your-own-business g

    EDIT: I've left my original opinion below. However, as time has passed, I don't really think I can recommend this book as anything but entertainment. Anything useful has been written elsewhere, better, and by people who aren't lying to you.

    -----

    I hesitantly recomend this book. The reasons why are towards the end of the review.

    The douchebaggery and straight up disengenuity espoused almost drips off the pages: quite remarkable even in the self-help, think-outside-the-box, start-your-own-business genre. Much of what Ferris recommends just plain doesn't work (I'm talking from experience). Other things are slightly ridiculous: an entire chapter is spent discussing how one can get people to stop bugging you at your cubicle by lying to their faces about how busy you are, or using other, more passive-aggressive methods to avoid them.

    Yet more suggestions are even more unethical and unsound: how to get your boss to sign you up to work at home, so you can go off and get your job 'done' in an hour a day and then get on with pursuing your just rewards. Apparently, as long as no one realizes what useless timewaster you >used< to be, Ferris thinks it is perfectly acceptable to use this new found time to your own ends, as long as no one catches on.

    According to Ferris, we should all use methods to arbitrage the actual productivity of others - such as email friends and colleagues for information rather than finding it ourselves, despite the fact he also espouses avoiding all such requests from others, getting them to 'channel' their communications into forms that you can either ignore or answer as quickly as possible, preferably through an executive assistant. As far as that secret 'get rich quick, live on the beach' lifestyle he promises? It involves the same arbitrage, only commercially. In other words, we should all start websites that dropship stuff and by google adwords and we'll all be rich. Life doesn't work like that: someone has to make shit, and the web is already saturated with stores.

    Why do I recomend this book anyway? Well, despite the shitloads of pie in the sky bad advice, and the loads of leeching & douchebaggery that Ferris seems to think he is the original source for, there is a lot to be learned in regards to automating and simplifying one's life, and practicing and developing an enterpreneurial outlook to improving one's situation.

    So, read between the lines, recognize the Ferris is an untrustworthy weasel frat boy out to promote himself and sell books. But, take note that while the lifestyle he espouses in his book just doesn't add up, his overall philosophy has served him well, and there is definitely utility in the tactics that serve this get-someone-else-to-do-it-for-you life strategy.

  • David Sasaki

    I don't know how else to put it. Timothy Ferris is a douche. There is, in fact, an entire genre of blog literature that explains why Timothy Ferriss is a douche. Even New York Times columnist Frank Bruni

    .

    Since I already heard Ferriss' insecure egocentricity on full display during

    , I came to this book expecting a self-obsessed hustler to peddle his "you-too-can-be-like-me" vision. But I still wanted to read the book. I wanted to understand why it became a b

    I don't know how else to put it. Timothy Ferris is a douche. There is, in fact, an entire genre of blog literature that explains why Timothy Ferriss is a douche. Even New York Times columnist Frank Bruni

    .

    Since I already heard Ferriss' insecure egocentricity on full display during

    , I came to this book expecting a self-obsessed hustler to peddle his "you-too-can-be-like-me" vision. But I still wanted to read the book. I wanted to understand why it became a bestseller and why Ferris, the arch-egocentic, has become so influential among ambitious American men of my generation. (If you haven't heard of Ferriss before, you probably don't spend much time reading tech and entrepreneurship blogs.)

    What I didn't expect was to come to feel a deep sympathy for Ferriss. Despite the fact that he's a jerk, he isn't a terrible writer and the biographic sections of the book are rich fodder for psychoanalysis. Like Ferris, I also grew up with an instinctive, acute resentment of authority and hierarchical structures. It is still the most defining characteristic of my personality, but I have learned to control the resentment and anger as I have matured. Like Ferriss, I too was also extremely motivated and reasonably precocious. This combination of wanting to accomplish so much while spending most of my energy rebelling against the institutions around me led to constant anxiety and insecurity. "Does not fulfill potential" was scribbled across all of my report cards, which led me to rebel against my teachers and parents even more, all the while internalizing the basic notion that I was letting people down.

    Like Ferriss, I knew that I didn't want to define my life by others' expectations. I wanted to find my own path and define my own expectations. Part of that — like Ferriss — was to travel the world.

    That is where our paths began to diverge. Ferriss embraced a deep individualism that prioritizes self-improvement as the definition of success. Among his conclusions: Don't search for meaningful work; find a way to make as much money in as little time as possible, and spend the rest of your time having fun. There is no meaning in life; what we really want is excitement, not 'meaning.' Don't let others interrupt your path toward personal perfection; if they start blabbering, cut them off and return to focusing on yourself.

    Ferriss is obsessed with his own image. He constantly reminds the reader that he is a world champion of kickboxing, the winner of a tango championship in Argentina, a polyglot, a motorcycle racer, a chef, and a weight-lifter. But he is driven only by extrinsic motivation. He does not appreciate the "

    " of his pastimes; that is, in the words of Richard Sennett, "the desire to do a job well for its own sake." For Ferriss, it's all about winning a trophy, bragging to his friends, or checking something off his to-do list.

    The collective, the individual, and the twilight of the elites

    Why has Ferriss' vision of "the good life" proved so appealing among my generation? Why has the

    become such a

    ?

    I am easily persuaded by Christopher Hayes'

    that the rise of American meritocracy over the past fifty years has led to extreme, individualistic competition among ambitious elites at the expense of our concern for collective well being. In order to be successful in America today you have to focus on yourself. The idea of placing one's community (or one's work team) ahead of one's self is passé.

    David Brooks has written a lot about the individual versus collective world views. From China, he penned a

    noting that Asian economies are challenging the assumption that a culture of individualism creates incentives for greater economic growth. Then, following President Obama's second inaugural address (which he calls "among the best of the past half-century"), Brooks

    . It is the cultural debate that underlies almost all other contemporary political debates.

    Like Ferriss, I too am deeply individualistic. The day after I graduated from high school I packed up all my belongings and drove to Alaska to spend six months by myself. I

    needed to disconnect from all institutions, responsibilities, and expectations. But unlike Ferriss, during my 20s I came to a deep appreciation of the satisfaction that can come from participating in a community that isn't defined by hierarchical structures or individual achievements. I am, of course, speaking of

    with

    , which finally gave me a productive channel to focus my energy toward the goals of a greater community.

    There is satisfaction that comes from individual accomplishments. But, in my experience, nothing is as satisfying as building something together as a team. I fear we are losing the "

    ." If there has one thing my generation has learned, it is self-promotion — and no one can out-self-promote Timothy Ferriss. I hope that one day he can take a break from perfecting his self in order to experience the pleasure of cultivating community.


Books Finder is in no way intended to support illegal activity. We uses Search API to find the overview of books over the internet, but we don't host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners, please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them. Read our DMCA Policies and Disclaimer for more details.