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The 4-Hour Workweek

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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 who has abandoned the "deferred-life plan" and instead mastered the new currencies-time and mobility-to create luxury lifestyles in the here and now. Whether you are an overworked employee or an entrepreneur trapped in your own business, this book is the compass for a new and revolutionary world.

Join Tim Ferriss as he teaches you:
- 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 freuent "mini-retirements"?
- What the crucial difference is between absolute and relative income?
- How to train your boss to value performance over presence, or kill your job (or company) if it's beyond repair?
- What automated cash-flow "muses" are and how to create one in 2 to 4 weeks?
- How to cultivate selective ignorance-and create time-with a low-information diet?
- What the management secrets of Remote Control CEOs are?
- How to get free housing worldwide and airfare at 50-80% off?
- How to fill the void and create a meaningful life after removing work and the office

308 pages, ebook

First published June 25, 2007

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About the author

Timothy Ferriss

65 books9,656 followers
Tim Ferriss is author of three #1 NYT/WSJ bestsellers: The 4-Hour Workweek, The 4-Hour Body, and The 4-Hour Chef. He is also a start-up advisor specializing in positioning, PR, and marketing (Uber, Evernote, etc.). When not damaging his body with abusive sports, he enjoys chocolate, bear claws, and Japanese animation.

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5 stars
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55,852 (20%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 8,763 reviews
Profile Image for Todd N.
337 reviews234 followers
September 6, 2009
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 virtu 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."
25 reviews20 followers
July 22, 2015
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.
70 reviews56 followers
August 9, 2008
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.
Profile Image for Ryan.
8 reviews19 followers
May 10, 2008
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.

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.
Profile Image for David Sasaki.
244 reviews346 followers
June 8, 2020
Screen Shot 2013 03 17 at 11 59 AM

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 got in on the action.

Since I already heard Ferriss' insecure egocentricity on full display during his Long Now talk, 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 "craftsmanship" 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 perfection of the self become such a popular pursuit?

I am easily persuaded by Christopher Hayes' argument 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 column 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 examines the pros and cons of the individualist versus collectivist society. 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 wanted 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 speaking of my time working at Global Voices, 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 "craft of cooperation." 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.
Profile Image for Craig.
Author 1 book93 followers
February 1, 2019
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 eliminated 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 as light sleet pellets tickle the window, 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?
Profile Image for Maria Andreu.
Author 7 books146 followers
January 7, 2008
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.
Profile Image for Rasmus.
18 reviews28 followers
December 3, 2008
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.
Profile Image for Otis Chandler.
388 reviews113k followers
March 22, 2017
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?")
Profile Image for J.F. Penn.
Author 45 books2,141 followers
August 22, 2013
The book that changed my life a few years ago. My aim was to be location independent, after a number of businesses and investments that tied me to one place. 5 years later, I am location independent and a full-time author-entrepreneur. This book helped me see it was possible.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.7k followers
May 4, 2022
The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich, Timothy Ferriss

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. Tim Ferriss has trouble defining what he does for a living. 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 that has abandoned the 'deferred-life plan' and instead mastered the new currencies - time and mobility - to create a new way of living. Why wait a lifetime for your retirement when you can enjoy luxury now?

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «هفته کاری چهارساعته: از ساعت کاری اداری بگریزید ...»؛ «چهار ساعت کار در هفته: هر کجا که می‌خواهید زندگی کنید و در جرگه‌ی ثروتمندان جدید باشید»؛ « ساعت کار در هفته (چهار ساعت کار در هفته)»؛ نویسنده: تیموتی فریس؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز سوم ماه می سال2021میلادی

عنوان: هفته ی کاری چهارساعته: از ساعت کاری اداری بگریزید ...؛ نویسنده: تیموتی فریس؛ مترجم: سارا حبیبی‌تبار؛ ویراستار: بهنام شهبازی؛ تهران، نشر نون، سال1399؛ در387ص؛ شابک9786226652582؛ موضوع خود اشتغالی پاره وقت از نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده21م

عنوان: 4 ساعت کار در هفته (چهار ساعت کار در هفته)؛ نویسنده: تیم فریس؛ مترجم: موسسه ترجمیک؛ تهران؛ نشر آدینه؛ سال1399؛ ترجمه خلاصه در34ص؛ شابک9786008610908؛

عنوان: چهار ساعت کار در هفته: هر کجا که می‌خواهید زندگی کنید و در جرگه‌ی ثروتمندان جدید باشید؛ نویسنده: تیموتی فریس؛ مترجم: مهدیه مهدیان؛ مشهد، نشر شمشاد، سال1400؛ در560ص؛ شابک9786227714098؛

نویسنده ی «ایالات متحده آمریکا»، «تیموتی فریس» در کتاب «هفته‌ی کاریِ چهارساعته» نکاتِ جالبِ توجهی در زمینه‌ ی مدیریتِ منابع برای به دست آوردنِ بالاترین میزانِ بازگشتِ سرمایه ارائه می‌کنند؛ توصیه‌ ی ایشان این است که از مسابقه دست برداریم، وسواس در موردِ کار را پایان دهیم تا عضوی از «ثروتمندانِ نوین» گردیم؛ و آسایش زندگی آنان را به دست آوریم، چگونه می‌توانیم کمتر کار کنیم و بیشتر درآمد داشته باشیم؛ «تیموتی فریس» باورمند هستند که ما باید سیستم کاری و طرز تفکری که مدارس در ما نهادینه کردند را رها کنیم، و با انجام چهار اقدامی که در کتاب هفته کاری چهار ساعته گفته شده است به سبک زندگی دلخواه خود دست یابیم؛ این نویسنده ی کارآفرین میگویند ثروتمندان جدید روش زندگی دیگرگونه ای دارند؛ آنان به این نتیجه رسیده‌ اند که کار در ساعات کاری طولانی (نه صبح تا پنج هصر) نمی‌تواند خلاقیت‌شان را شکوفا کند تا به نتایج خوب برسند؛ این ثروتمندان تازه به دوران رسیده جمله‌ٔ کلیشه‌ای «امروز کار کن و در آینده بازنشست شو» را رد می‌کنند، و سبک تازه‌ای در زندگی خود ایجاد کرده‌ اند که آنان را از افرادی ساده و کارمند به ثروتمندان نوین بدل کرده است؛ اکنون شما می‌توانید در این کتاب با پیروی از چهار راه حل گفته شده، گامی به سوی تغییرات مثبت بردارید

نقل از متن کتاب از کتاب «ه��ته کاری چهار ساعته» برگردان سرکار خانم «سارا حبیبی‌تبار»: (پیش از هر چیز: سئوالات متداول؛ کسانی که شک دارند بخوانند: آیا طراحی سبک زندگی به درد شما هم می‌خورد؟ باید بگویم شانسش هست که این‌گونه باشد؛ در اینجا به برخی از رایج‌ترین ترس‌ها و تردیدهایی که افراد پیش از خیز برداشتن، و پیوستن به جریان ثروتمندان نوین دارند، اشاره می‌کنم: آیا باید کار خود را ترک کنم یا از آن متنفر باشم؟ آیا باید ریسک‌پذیر باشم؛ پاسخ هر سه مورد منفی است؛ با به‌ کارگیری ترفندهای ذهنی جِدی، برای گریز از دفتر، تا طراحی مشاغلی که هزینه ی سبک زندگی شما را تأمین می‌کنند، راه‌هایی برای راحتی مسیر وجود دارد؛ چگونه کارمندی از فهرست فورچون پنجهزار و نه می‌تواند به سفر یک‌ماهه ی کشف جواهرات پنهان «چین» برود، و از فناوری برای مخفی کردن ترفندهای خود استفاده کند؟ چگونه می‌توانید تجارتی غیرحضوری راه‌اندازی کنید که بدون هیچ مدیریتی هشتاد هزار دلار در ماه درآمد داشته باشد؟ پاسخ تمام این سئوالات را اینجا می‌یابید؛ آیا باید و مجرد باشم؟ اصلاً؛ این کتاب برای هر کسی که از به تأخیر انداختن نقشه ی زندگی خسته شده، و می‌خواهد به‌ جای تعویق آنْ، زندگی را کامل تجربه کند، مناسب است؛ مطالعات موردی درباره ی یک راننده ی لامبورگینی بیست‌ و یک‌ ساله، تا مادری مجرد است، که به مدت پنج ماه به همراه دو فرز��دش، به دور دنیا سفر کرده؛ اگر شما هم از داشتن فهرستی از گزینه‌های انجام‌ نشده ی همیشگی خسته شده‌ اید، و برای ورود به دنیایی از انتخاب‌های نامتناهی آماده هستید، این کتاب مناسب شماست؛ آیا حتماً باید سفر کنم؟ من فقط می‌خواهم وقت بیشتری داشته باشم؛ خیر؛ این فقط یک گزینه است؛ هدف رهایی از زمان و مکان و استفاده از هر دوی آن‌ها به شکلی است که خودتان می‌خواهید؛ آیا باید در خانوادهٔ ثروتمندی به دنیا آمده باشم؟ خیر؛ درآمد والدین من روی هم هرگز بیش از پنجاه هزار دلار در سال نبوده و خودم از چهارده‌ سالگی کار کردم؛ من راکفلر نیستم، شما هم لازم نیست باشید؛ آیا باید فارغ‌التحصیل از دانشگاه‌های معتبر باشم؟ خیر؛ اکثر الگوهای نام‌ برده در این کتاب به هارواردهای دنیا نرفته‌ اند، و بعضی از آن‌ها هم از دانشگاه اخراج شده‌ اند؛ مؤسسات برتر علمی فوق‌ العاده هستند اما اینکه خروجی یکی از آن‌ها نباشید، محاسن ناشناخته‌ ای دارد؛ فارغ‌ التحصیلان دانشگاه‌های برتر، به مسیر مشاغل پردرآمد هشتاد ساعت در هفته هدایت می‌شوند، که باید با پانزده تا سی سال کار نفس‌گیر به‌ عنوان پیشفرض این مسیر کنار بیایند؛ می‌پرسید از کجا می‌دانم؟ چون خودم آنجا بوده‌ ام و این تباهی را از نزدیک دیده‌ ام.؛این کتاب چنین روندی را معکوس می‌کند.)؛ پایان نقل

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 13/02/1401هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Linda Robinson.
Author 4 books134 followers
March 12, 2010
Ugh. There are a few nuggets here, but digging for them is arduous. Because of the mild distaste I experienced reading the book, I took the time (wasted no doubt, in this lexicon) to count quotes. There are plenty. 92 from men, 7 from women, 2 from fictional characters (1 each Yoda and Calvin: note, males) 2 inanimate objects (1 each Fortune Cookie and AT&T), 1 Chinese Proverb, and 1 from an Italian rap group.

Guybonics. And tomfoolery. If you must waste time, don't do it reading this book.
Profile Image for Naveed.
47 reviews14 followers
March 11, 2010
This book is garbage. I donated it to my local library shortly after completing it. First off - the number of plugs Ferriss puts in his book is unbelievable. He's clearly getting a small cut from each of these people who want to "advertise" in his book. Secondly - he talks mostly about himself throughout this book. As opposed to Guy Kawasaki who might actually give instructions, and most likely will inspire, Tim Ferriss is so insecure about himself that he has to talk about his own dance skills before he gets into the meat of the book.

This is the plan that Timmy here recommends - get your company to let you work remotely. Once they say yes (because that's just SO easy for everyone apparently), then you stop actually delivering results because now you're working from home, you outsource all your tasks to do (yes he really tells you to outsource ALL your job work), you travel to countries where the dollar is quite strong, and then in your spare time on a beach lagoon you create a product that can sell. You sell this product in exclusive magazines and TV - you don't try and mass market it because then it becomes a commodity. By only advertising in select places, you control the price forever, as he says. Bear in mind - you're doing all this because your company is willing to turn a deaf ear to your lack of results.

Wait - there's more. Instead of creating a product - which can be easily replicated - create something else - INFORMATION, he says. Create an instructional DVD or CD (and of course he shows you the best places to produce them for you), or perhaps write an instructional book, and then sell this book to the masses. I'm sitting there reading this book and it occurred to me - this guy just DID EXACTLY THAT to me! He created so-called information, marketed the hell out of it via a blog and a catchy title, and then I lost my $19.99 to him. So I've been made out like a fool, and it was so easy that he explains how everyone can do it.

This book is so filled with garbage that Tim Ferriss actually spends several pages in his book writing a line by line SCRIPT that you can use with your boss when you persuade them to let you work from home. Save your time and your money. Guy Kawasaki is better - start a good business, claim tax benefits, and work hard, and you'll be happy. Did anyone really think you can make enough money to live and support a family when you only work four hours a week? Pure garbage.
Profile Image for Kara.
112 reviews9 followers
October 5, 2007
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...
Profile Image for R. B. Kiernan.
10 reviews7 followers
November 11, 2014
The book should be entitled, "Everything that's Wrong with this Country." All you need to do is cultivate ignorance, outsource everything, and never think for yourself. If you have absolutely no ethics whatsoever and want to con the masses, then you too can Get Rich Quick. Here's how:

1. Pretend you're an expert on... anything. He specifically explains that it doesn't even matter what you might or might not actually know. You do this by repackaging the works of others and selling "your" ideas on-line -- to the gullible masses. Seriously, he begins by admitting he first made his fortune selling (allegedly) nutritional supplements that cost almost nothing to make and weren't based on science, but were then hyped to the point the uninformed public was paying through the nose to get it. This gave him ideas on how to further hype his message to an even larger audience, without bothering to sell anything tangible. Just tell them how they, too, can get rich quick by pretending to actually know something. He then gives advice about "paraphrasing and combining points from several books," borrowing from the public domain, and/or compensating some other "expert." This way, you don't need to be bothered to actually learn anything, which brings me to step #2.

2. Stay uneducated. This is in the chapter entitled "The Low Information Diet." He admits he doesn't bother staying abreast on the news or any other kinds of current events -- even to the point that, during election seasons, he simply asks his more educated friends about whom will win their votes and then votes for those candidates. Not kidding. He justifies this by saying how the time it takes to, you know, LEARN THINGS, is time that could be spent running a business on autopilot or having fun. Apparently, not knowing a damn thing is a virtue he calls "Cultivating Selective Ignorance." I prefer to call it, "The Suicide of Democracy." If having an educated and well-informed populace is fundamental to having a flourishing democracy, this is how we'll end up with a plutocracy where the stupidest few prey on the desperate and stupid masses, while outsourcing all the jobs they might create. This brings me to point #3.

3. Outsource everything -- including your brain -- to a 3rd World Country: He hires virtual assistants in various 3rd World Countries, especially India, who are then given fabulous access to all of his personal information to the point they can pretend to be him and make all of his personal and business decisions. They send all of his correspondence, including e-mails and anything of an official nature (which causes me to assume they wrote this book for him. They certainly wrote many of the excellent reviews on Amazon). Personal business which can be done remotely are always done by them. As he states he can't be bothered to think for himself, it shouldn't be surprising he isn't interested in working for himself, either. Hey, what could possibly go wrong by hiring complete strangers and giving them all information about you in order to think for you, do your work and run your errands? Finally, point #4:

4. Avoid those who want knowledge: If you can't be bothered knowing anything, why should they? Whether it's your boss or your client, do everything in your power to avoid those people because of how they drain your time. The boss wants you to attend a meeting? Just tell him you're too busy and further kill morale by then asking those other suckers - aka, co-workers - for a quick breakdown of what happened. Clients? Don't get back to them right away, if ever. If they demand to actually know something, have those remote virtual assistants send them just enough to get them to shut up.

There are a couple, minuscule, points the author makes that are reasonably valid, such as: It's good to streamline your many processes and it's good to have solid goals. Also, I could say that the book begins by being very motivational. If I were critiquing this on just the first few pages it would likely have 4 stars. As it's written, the unethical, stupid and lazy b.s. kills any chance of this even getting 2 stars.

I wish I hadn't bought this on Kindle.
I wish I had read the bad reviews, first.
Profile Image for K.M. Weiland.
Author 31 books2,298 followers
January 7, 2015
Call me a cliché. A surprised cliché—because I really didn’t expect to join the cadre of readers whose lives were challenged and even changed by this book. I’m an efficiency nut, so I figured there might be a few good tips in here for streamlining my workflow (and there were). But what I wasn’t expecting was a call to reevaluate my life, my work, and my direction. I read it at just the right time, when I was shifting focus on projects anyway and ready for an overhaul. I filled up pages of notes reading the opening chapters and ended up with actionable daily, weekly, and yearly goals. Call me clichéd again: I highly recommend this book.
Profile Image for Heidi The Reader.
1,377 reviews1,440 followers
June 26, 2019
"I've spent the last three years traveling among those who live in worlds currently beyond your imagination. Rather than hating reality, I'll show you how to bend it to your will. It's easier than it sounds."

Timothy Ferriss promises the stars in the sky in his new-classic business/self help book, The 4-Hour Workweek. Though he gives some good productivity tips, he fails to provide a true road map to freeing yourself from the 9-to-5 grind. Partially, this is because there is no real road map to doing this.

But he does detail how he found his way into a life of his dreams. Readers can take whatever lessons and information from that as they will.

After Ferriss relates a timeline of his life story, he begins by detailing his "DEAL" plan to a four hour work week which consists of "definition, elimination, automation and liberation". Each step of this process, he says, helps guide the reader to a new world of free time. Though, he admits, traditional bosses may have serious problems with your new program and, perhaps, you should go more "DELA". Yes, understatement.

"Resolve now to test the concepts as an exercise in lateral thinking. If you try it, you'll see just how deep the rabbit hole goes, and you won't ever go back."

He examines the concepts of "busy work" and suggests boiling your workload down to the most important tasks you complete. Then, just do those as fast as possible. Don't allow yourself to be derailed by the internet or chatty coworkers. (Not a friendly method, but Ferriss seems to have his eyes on the prize rather than concerning himself with making friends.)

Out of everything he suggests in the first part of this book, I was most taken with the idea of only checking your email once a day or week. There is a definite time-suck there that maybe I have been blinding myself to.

After that, Ferriss enters more conceptual territory with an idea about creating a business for yourself that essentially runs itself or can be run by someone else, cheaply. For example, a website that sells something awesome. But, what exactly that something or muse is, that's for you, the reader, to discover on your own.

It reminded me of Godin's Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable. You know an awesome product or "purple cow" when you see it, but how exactly to make one isn't a clear thing. Interesting idea, but necessarily helpful for those looking for actionable items to improve their work life.

The most useful part of the book, in my opinion, is his encouragement to create a dream plan by "dreamlining". Write down what you want to do. Create a timeline. Crunch the numbers. It may cost less than you thought and, with it on paper, it takes on a bit of reality already. If you don't get started, how do you know what you might accomplish.

"It's lonely at the top. Ninety-nine percent of people in the world are convinced they are incapable of achieving great things, so they aim for the mediocre. The level of competition is thus fiercest for 'realistic' goals, paradoxically making them the most time-and energy-consuming. It is easier to raise $1,000,000 than it is $100,000."

Ferriss' tone in this book has been criticized by readers and I see what they mean. Some of his ideas are alienating. Sometimes he seems to say: I've done this-this-this and this, and it's so easy that if you can't figure it out too, especially with the book I've put in your hands, then you must be either complacent or dumb.

But I took this book to be written by someone who dared, a nod to Brené Brown, greatly. Ferriss believed his life could be something other than a slog and yours could too. He's written down some tips to help you along the way that he discovered through real life trial and error. Read it or not. He'll be over there, living the life of his dreams.

Recommended, with reservations, to folks interested in life-hacking their work/life balance. I think we can achieve whatever dreams we set our minds to while still being friendly.
Profile Image for Kyle.
10 reviews
August 9, 2009
I am always interested in life-hacks that can make work more productive and leave more time for leisure so this book grabbed my attention. Little did I know that reading it would feel like listening to a confessional from someone who will leave no corner uncut. If you have no qualms about out-sourcing work and under-paying people to do it, then this book may be for you. If not--and you have no anthropological interest in the delusional contours of petty bourgeois entrepreneurial capitalism at the dawn of the 21st century--then avoid at all costs.
Profile Image for Livia Blackburne.
Author 16 books1,269 followers
June 12, 2010
It does a good job of challenging people to rethink the status quo and evaluate what they're doing with their time. It's often hard to think outside the box and imagine your life as you'd really like to live it, and Ferris does a good job of shaking things up.

That said, many of the tactics Ferris suggests are morally questionable. You'll get more out of the book if you have no qualms about calling in "sick" at work, hiring overseas assistants at below minimum wage to do your busy work, setting up fake ebay auctions and canceling them at the last minute to assess consumer interest, etc.

At one point, Ferris encourages people to aggressively look up the personal email addresses/ phone numbers of famous successful people to get them to be mentors. Later on the book, Ferris gives his strategies for outsourcing his phone calls/emails and avoiding all but absolutely necessary calls. So is it okay to demand other busy people's time but not his?

There are some good life hacks here that might save time, although not as much as the title claims. He claims that you can get a week's worth of work done in less than a quarter of time, but the only solid suggestions I gleaned were 1)check email less often 2) don't multitask, and 3) avoid meetings like the plague. Good tips, but they won't bring you down to a four hour work week unless you were absolutely hopeless before.

So it's worth reading once for the tips, and I do intend to avoid multitasking and check email less, as he suggests. But much of Ferris' strategy relies on getting others to do your work for you. If everyone started doing it, the world economy would come to a screeching halt.
Profile Image for Nate Q.
75 reviews29 followers
February 20, 2021
***EDIT 2021*** I think even Mr. Ferriss has slightly tempered his approach with a dose of long-term reality: https://medium.com/inc./tim-ferriss-i...

The 4 Hour Work Week OR How My Life is Awesome, and Good Luck Replicating It - Even With My Quick and Easy Five Thousand Tips

One thing that really gets into the marrow of my funny bone is how often Tim makes reference to the Pareto Principle (or the 80/20 rule, which states 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts, and applies to efficacy in many areas of life), and how this book is precisely that: 80% of it doesn’t apply to me (or most individuals) whatsoever, and the 20% that does Is facepalmingly obvious information.

To do this as concisely as possible, I’m going to give you bullet points of the awfulness.

• 80/20 Rule
• Find Experts
• Cut Corners
• Learn Stuff Fast By Spending Lots of Time and Money Leaving Your Job and Traveling Internationally and Soaking in Other Cultures. You Can’t Do It? I Can Do It and Make Money Because You Bought This Stupid Book So I’m Rich.
• Learn a Language. (I’m sure his Spanish is immaculate, along with his martial arts prowess, bedroom lingo, and tango training.)
• Writing a Book + Public Speaking. (I’m awesome. Why aren’t you, yet?)
• Con Artist. Yes. Yes, you are.

Real piece of advice from this book: he has a house in San Somewhere, California – and it has been unoccupied for over a year, as there have been no potential buyers. Instead of renting it out, he draws a comparison to the blackjack table, saying that one shouldn’t keep playing at that table to win their money back. Ummmmm. This is the worst advice I’ve gotten since my mortgage lender suggested I cash in my 401K to come up with a larger down payment. (I mean, since stocks aren’t doing that well, why buy when the market is low, am I right? What a maroooooon.)
This single 30-year-old also gives advice on relationships and raising kids. Bet he’s figured out a way to create obedient children that never question authority and cut pregnancy down to 6 months!
Profile Image for C.
1,101 reviews1,046 followers
September 9, 2021
Timothy Ferriss explains how he freed himself from the rat race and slashed his working hours by delegating, outsourcing, and automating his businesses. He spends his new free time living on his terms, which for him means traveling the world. He wants you to do the same, and provides the motivation and action steps to do so. The basic message of this book: take shortcuts.

In most cases, those shortcuts involve working smarter. In a few instances, however, Ferriss promotes what I would consider questionable or unethical behavior (such as telling "half-truths" to your boss or others, or taking advantage of loopholes in rules). Ferriss comes across as someone I could never fully trust, and thus wouldn't want to emulate entirely.

Ferriss says that “Becoming a member of the NR [New Rich] is not just about working smarter. It's about building a system to replace yourself.” Ferriss calls this system Income Autopilot. He says the path to wealth and freedom is to own, not run, a business. An owner has people and systems do the work, while someone running a business is another cog in the machine.

Ferriss advocates creating a product business that you can quickly scale through delegation and automation. He discourages service businesses because they’re not as easy to scale. He says that if you have a service business, you should convert it into a product business by turning your services into information products like ebooks, webinars, audio recordings, etc.

One of Ferriss’ main ideas is that rather than postponing fun activities until retirement, you should take several mini-retirements that are weeks or months long, throughout your working life. This book was part of the reason that I quit my 9-5 job to start my business. I wanted the freedom of working when and where I wanted, so that work fits around life, not vice versa. I really liked The Parable of the Mexican Fisherman referenced in this book.

I really liked Ferriss' advice about going on an information diet. I’ve tried to follow his advice by frequently unsubscribing from email newsletters and RSS feeds. After reading this book the first time in 2008, I stopped reading the newspaper and news sites, and replaced them with NPR’s daily 5-minute news summary podcast.

Ferriss advocates effectiveness in place of efficiency. He says to eliminate all the unnecessary busyness that takes up most of our time, and focus on the tasks that actually matter.

Ferriss certainly presents an extreme example of the New Rich lifestyle. What if you love your job and have no desire to leave it? This book is still worth reading for the lessons about prioritization and time-management.

• DEAL: Define, Eliminate, Automate, Liberate.
• People don’t want to be millionaires. They want the millionaire lifestyle. You can have it without being a millionaire.
• Effectiveness is more important than efficiency; doing a few things effectively is better than doing many things efficiently.
• The seeming lack of time is actually a lack of prioritization. Focus on the important.
• Use the Pareto Principle and Parkinson’s Law to limit the tasks you undertake.
• Consume information only when the need is immediate and obvious. Use “just-in-time” learning.

• Eliminate before you delegate.
• Don’t let people interrupt you. Force people to define their requests before you spend time on them. Empower others to act without interrupting you.
• Batch routine tasks. Check email and phone messages only at predetermined times.
• If you have a service business, sell information products (ebooks, audio, video, etc.) for $50-$200 (a price high enough to increase the perception of quality).
Profile Image for Петър Стойков.
Author 2 books270 followers
March 7, 2023
Имах умерения късмет да работя с един американец, който беше почитател на Тимъти Ферис и не само беше чел 4-часовата работна седмица, ами усилено се опитваше да прилага описаното в нея на практика. Поради което аз имам може би уникални впечатления относно съветите, които тя дава…

Как да работиш по-малко и да отебаваш колеги, шефове и подчинени така, че да не те занимават с нищо, да не ходиш на служебни срещи и да не се вясваш в офиса – съветите на Тимъти Ферис относно това как да си отваряш имейла веднъж седмично, да си вдигаш телефона 2 пъти дневно, да си намираш винаги извинения да не ходиш на работни срещи докато колегите ти свикнат да не те очакват на тях изобщо, са неизброими.

Да следваш практиките, описани в 4-часовата работна седмица е най-добрия начин да започнеш да изглеждаш като несериозен мухльо, на който не може да се разчита да свърши нищо и който вечно си намира извинения, вместо да работи. Гледах това с очите си 2 години, докато работих с този американец и четейки книгата, виждах описани почти дословно извъртанията и селските хитрини, които той се опитваше да прилага.

Като му кажеш да дойде в 3 часа, той казва „супер няма проблем ще дойда към 3 – 3.30“ и се появява в 3.45 – не защото е имал да свърши друго, ами ей така за принципа, за да те дресира да не му поставяш стриктни условия. Като му дадеш да свърши нещо почва да опява колко много работа имал и какво трябвало още да върши, въпреки че аз отлично знам с какво се занимава и как няма ама никаква друга работа. Извърта по най-жалък начин за пропуснати крайни срокове и несвършена работа (причината за тях не е че не може да го свърши, а целенасочено не го прави).

Общото впечатление, което оставя следването на 4-часовата работна седмица е за жалък хитрец и мързеливец, който никой шеф няма да търпи, освен ако главата му (на шефа) не е постоянно в задника (което не е рядко срещано де), или не работи в бюджетно предприятие или администрация – там бюрократите и служителите са самородни специалисти в подобен начин на „работа“ и прехвърляне на отговорност.

Останалата част от книгата на Тимъти Ферис е пълна с някакви съвети за бързи и гениални схемички, далаверки и съмнителни бизнес практики тип как да се представиш че си експерт в дадена област, като се включиш в 2-3 организации плащайки членски внос, прочитайки трите най-популярни книги по въпроса и давайки 2 безплатни семинара в местни университети – и после пишеш в предсттавянето си, че си изнасял лекции в тия университети и си уважаван член на професионалната общност в тая област.

Докато в някои от съветите, които 4-часовата работна седмица дава има известен смисъл и могат да дадат ако не директен начин на поведение (който видяхме до какво води) то поне възможност за оптимизация на собствения ни начин на работа (познавам хора ��оито си проверяват имейла всеки 2-3 минути и съм участвал в достатъчно срещи, които се проточват в часове празни приказки), 98% от обема на книгата е откровени лъжи и изровени от интернет и изсмукани от пръстите теорийки.

Не е възможно човек да свали 20 кг вода за 3 дни защото ще умре, каквото и да приказва Тимъти Ферис за победата си в някакво кунг-фу състезание като свалил килата за кантара и се наредил в най-ниската категория, а после пил вода и си ги възстановил за боевете.

Една фалшива книга от фалшив „гуру“ за това как да се превърнеш във фалшив човек.
Profile Image for Vaishali.
1,032 reviews263 followers
January 19, 2019
One of the most useful books I've ever read. This is it, folks... THE playbook for a life by your design, under your exclusive control. I am truly grateful to the author for compiling this. Thanks, Tim !
Profile Image for Mehrsa.
2,234 reviews3,657 followers
April 7, 2018
Yes. I had a moment of weakness, downloaded and read the douchbag manifesto. Why 3 stars? Because there are some fantastic 5 star recommendations that I will follow, but the whole ethos of Ferriss and his army is antithetical to everything I believe in:

5 star tips:

1. For me, the most enlightening parts were how to deal with assistants and give instructions. I already have an assistant, but I have not yet given effective instructions and follow up and this will help me do that.

2. Scheduling all calls to a once a week window. And emails to twice a day. The one thing he doesn't explore is how to decide on stuff. Like "dealing with emails" isn't just about shooting back answers but responding to invitations and stuff. I already say no to pointless meetings and calls, but how do you decide on events and other engagements? I really liked Essentialism on that front. I feel like most of the oppression from my email inbox has less to do with answering people, but deciding what to do.

3. I already do most of the other "hacks" like avoiding meetings etc.

1 Star:

1. I think reading this book will definitely make you more efficient at work and maybe better at marketing your wares on the unsuspecting, but it will not make you a better human or even a happier one. Seems like Ferriss is constantly trying to "hack" and be more efficient by pushing off his chores onto other less fortunate people or just getting out of stuff. What about community? Wasting time in meetings with people not to be efficient, but to make eye contact and support and build friendships? What about wasting your days in community groups and leagues and inefficient communities because life is about building and loving within our tribes? In other words, Ferris wants to be an efficient and rich and successful island. But I'm not sure that's the point of life.

2. Most of his lifehacks border on the edge of ethics. Sure, it works if just he does it, but if everyone is constantly looking for loopholes, what happens to social trust and cohesion?

3. Because I read this late, this felt more like an explanation for all the douchebags techbros as opposed to a how-to guide. I get it now.
5 reviews1 follower
May 10, 2008
Overall, I appreciate the idea he brings up in the fact that people waste their days with nonsense (this may come from the fact that I worked in the government for years). As a computer guy, I also appreciate the fact that many people don't fully harness the power of auto-replies, faqs, macros, scripts, batching, etc. to eliminate a good 80% of their work in an office environment. That being the case, the idea of doing all of this doesn't work everywhere (only certain office/sales jobs I suspect), and no boss I've had has ever really appreciated the work I went through to be more efficient either. Even when my work propagated to others and our unit had plenty of free time, all that happened was more filler was added to our workload to make us look busy, or our staff was assigned elsewhere to places not as efficient. So, I'd recommend following the advise he offers for being more efficient and less plugged in, but not necessarily making it known you're doing so unless you're forced into a corner.

The other part of the book espousing the benefits of Direct Marketing are much like the ideas of Rich Dad/Poor Dad for real estate - cute ideas, and I truly believe they will work for some, but not everyone has what it takes to get in on these 'get-rich-quick' ideas at the right time. I feel like success in these field requires a type of personality not everyone has, or wants to have (he references the 'Girls Gone Wild' videos as a good example of direct marketing)?? That may be a true example - but all the money in the world can't make taking advantage of a bunch of drunk girls appealing to me - so, for me it's not a good example.

I'll end by saying the book is short enough to warrant reading. It has some interesting enough ideas peppered throughout that if you can plow through the stuff that you don't like, get it out from the library and read it or flip through it at the book store to see if you get anything from it, but don't necessarily buy thinking it will change your life.
Profile Image for Jami.
537 reviews7 followers
December 27, 2012
I figure, having been unemployed most of this year, I'd see if there were any suggestions in this book that I could actually apply into the kind of career I actually want to do. Well, that and it was free on a holiday promotion.

There are words to describe my opinion of this book, however most of them would break the terms and conditions of this site. Suffice it to say, it's one big sales pitch for being an egomaniac, passive agressive jerk. It boils entirely down to outsource or eliminate anything you can, any way you can, handwaves at "creating" businesses with no actual, practical advice on how to determine a market need (which is the hardest part of any business: Figuring out what's needed in the first place!), and then spend lots of your time places where the exchange rate makes you comparatively rich.

Not even worth free.
Profile Image for Douglas.
182 reviews90 followers
March 3, 2008
Many of my friends have read this book and my friend Alex kept talking it up, so I picked it up.

Very few books have really changed the way I envision how I am going to live my life. So far, I have only two: Rich Dad Poor Dad and this one. Though Rich Dad introduced me to the concept of owning assets that pay you to free your time, 4-hour workweek dispels a lot of myths about the need to make millions to live the life that we all dream about. In actuality, its a lot closer than we all realize.

Everyone should read this book. Almost every single one of my friends has gone through the book. Some with criticism, but the rest gave it good reviews.

Get the book, it will deliver a message you should really chew on.

Profile Image for Aaron Minks.
7 reviews5 followers
May 30, 2008
One of the few books I have read more than once. Timothy Feriss does an excellent job of explaining the lifestyle and methods of the new rich. Not only that, but he provides web addresses, phone numbers, and more for manufacturers, drop shippers, and mentors. This is a life changing book for any person involved or interested in business.
Profile Image for Yevgeniy Brikman.
Author 3 books602 followers
March 11, 2017
In the last few years, I've sold all my possessions; lived in three different countries and traveled through a half dozen others; took a year off as a "mini retirement"; started my own company; worked completely remotely; and wrote two books. In short, I've done most of the stuff Ferriss recommends in this book, long before I actually read this book. I bring this up because I feel like I am uniquely qualified to make the following statement: Tim Ferriss' book does a great job of showing you the *value* of this sort of lifestyle, but it VASTLY understates the *costs*.


* Starting a company is a massive amount of work. Figuring out the legal details is hard (and lawyers are expensive). Figuring out the tax and accounting details is hard (and accountants are expensive). Figuring out a product that people want to pay money for and is profitable is hard. Hiring people is hard. Marketing is hard. Sales is hard. And despite all of this hard work, the vast majority of new companies fail. Don't take my word for it. Go speak with 100 small business owners in any industry and find out how many of them found it "quick" or "easy". Ask how many of them work just 4 hours per week. Ask how many of them live worry-free and don't bring their work home with them.

* Moving around the world is a massive amount of work. Selling everything you own is hard. Finding a safe and comfortable place to live in a foreign place is hard. Making friends in a new place where you don't speak the language is hard. Learning a new language is hard. Figuring out health insurance, local laws, and taxes--especially if you are running your own company while living abroad--is hard. Figuring out visas and work permits is brutally hard. In fact, in most countries around the world, unless you take a full-time (40h/week) job with a local company, and that company secures a work permit for you, you won't be able to legally stay more than ~90 days. That's enough for a vacation, but not to move somewhere.

Perhaps most importantly, despite all of this hard work, most people that try to achieve this lifestyle... Will fail. Ferriss succeeded not because everyone else is an idiot or because he has discovered a secret formula, but because a) he's a white, privileged, American male, b) he got lucky, c) he's willing to use shitty, unsustainable practices to make it happen.

In fact, I'd even go further and say that if everyone could achieve his lifestyle, it would be a disaster. Examples:

* He recommends starting shitty little companies to make passive income (e.g. he sells some snake oil supplement called BrainQuicken) and working only 4 hours per week; if everyone did that, no one would ever create any thing meaningful in the world. No great company, product, or innovation has ever been built the way Ferris describes. Also, he contradicts himself repeatedly: if you do the math on all the work activities he says he does per week, it adds up to VASTLY more than 4 hours. And that doesn't even take into account a) the learning curve to get good at those activities, and b) all the activities that he doesn't mention, such as taking the time to write a 400+ page book.

* He recommends checking email exactly once per week; if everyone did that, the smallest email exchange would take months. He contradicts himself repeatedly on this point too, at times saying he checks email 3 times per day, at other times saying he checks email from his virtual assistant nightly, and at still other times, talks about using phone calls instead, which in my experience, are VASTLY more distracting.

* He recommends that everyone tries to work remotely; if everyone did that, you'd quickly realize that it takes more than an occasional Skype call to make it effective. If 99% of the company is in an office but one or two people are remotely, those two remote works become outsiders. They are never part of the lunch time discussions, the hallway chats, the impromptu meetings, and all the other in-person interactions where the real business gets done. In most cases, they become isolated, irrelevant, and ultimately leave or get fired. Building a distributed company requires changing the culture to focus around writing everything down and async communication. It's hard to get right and it doesn't work in all industries. Moreover, while I love remote work and have built a completely distributed company, it's not without its downsides. Face-to-face conversations are fundamentally different than Skype calls and while remote work gives you the ability to focus and avoid distractions, you lose the serendipitous interactions which lead to some of your most important ideas.

* He recommends not checking the news and just relying on your friends to tell you what's important; if everyone did that, we'd all be totally ignorant. And guess what, he contradicts himself here too, as Ferriss posts on Twitter multiple times per day, which means he spends quite a bit of time every single day staring at a newsfeed.

* He recommends against reading too much, suggesting you should read "just in time" rather than "just in case"; if everyone did that, we'd be even more ignorant. What Ferriss forgets is that you don't know what you don't know. If you don't know a piece of information exists, you won't know to seek it out "just in time." That's why reading broadly and gaining exposure to new ways of thinking is *essential* to success and not something to be avoided. Yet again he contradicts himself, as his own book is full of quotes from a number of other books of all sorts of disciplines, and on top of that, he has a recommended reading list at the end.

OK, obviously the book has a lot of problems, but having gone through all the caveats and warnings above, as much as it hurts me to admit it, I have to say it: most people would benefit from reading this book. Ferriss may hide the costs from you, but he does a superb job of talking about the value of time. This is the one truly non-renewable resource in the world and this book does a *superb* job of making you appreciate that fact and teaching you how to be more efficient.

Be sure to skip the introductory chapters, which sound like an infomercial, full of boasting, chest thumping, "order now and your life will be changed forever", self-help book tropes. Get past that, and you'll discover some real gems, and some serious motivation for changing how you live and work:

* Retirement should be a worst case scenario. Instead of using the best years of your life to work and save money for old age, where you can't enjoy it, take mini retirements (e.g. 3 - 6 months) on a regular basis. I started doing this a few years ago and it's life changing.

* The worst-case scenario with most career and lifestyle decisions is not that bad; the risk is not that high; and the timing is never right. In short, shut up and do it.

* Follow the 80/20 rule. Find the 20% of tasks you do that bring 80% of value; alternatively, find the 20% of tasks that eat up 80% of your resources. Eliminate the waste accordingly. As a programmer, I'm always on the search for efficiency, whereas I see many other folks get stuck in the same time-wasting routines just because they've always done it that way.

* Batching. As a programmer, I'm keenly aware of the overhead of multi-tasking (i.e. "context switching") and have been batching my work in years to become vastly more efficient. I check my mail, email, and voicemail at set intervals rather than whenever it happens. I prefer asynchronous communication (e.g. email) for everything so I can respond to multiple messages in batches. I do all my calls and meetings on 1-2 days per week and block out the other days for focused, uninterrupted work (e.g. coding).

* Virtual assistants. This was a new one for me. I've always done everything for myself, but I'm realizing now that there is a ton of work I do that could be handled just as well by someone else. For example, scheduling meetings, filling in details in a contract template for a customer or employee, researching simple questions, responding to spammy/marketing emails, and so on. Hiring a full-time assistant for my small company would be too expensive, but a part-time, virtual assistant seems like a fantastic idea.

* Negotiating tips. Ferriss seems to understand human psychology very well and has lots of great tips on negotiating. For example, he recommended steps for asking your boss to allow you to work remotely are brilliant: first, have the company invest in you (e.g. get them to pay for trainings) so you seem more valuable; next, try to work from home without official permission (e.g. stay home sick for a couple days); then, show your boss how productive you happened to be on those days, and ask for a revocable trial period to work from home a couple days per week (this keeps the risk very small from your boss's perspective); be even more productive when approved; after a little while, show the increased productivity as a reason to expand remote time. What a great approach! He also has wonderful tips on negotiating deals, including a list of simple, but effective questions. Examples: What would I need to do to make XXX happen? Under what circumstances would you do XXX? You must have made some exceptions in the past, right?

* The book contains a huge collection of valuable resources and links for traveling, saving money, working remotely, testing business ideas, and much more. I had heard of many of the tools, but still found quite a few new ones, such as the virtual assistant services and expert services that journalists reach out to for quotes/opinions (e.g. ProfNet). You can find the list here: http://tim.blog/4-hour-workweek-tools

Finally, as always, I've saved some of my favorite quotes from the book:

“For all of the most important things, the timing always sucks. Waiting for a good time to quit your job? The stars will never align and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time. The universe doesn't conspire against you, but it doesn't go out of its way to line up the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. "Someday" is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it's important to you and you want to do it "eventually," just do it and correct course along the way.”

“People will choose unhappiness over uncertainty.”

“The opposite of love is indifference, and the opposite of happiness is boredom.”

“It's lonely at the top. Ninety-nine percent of people in the world are convinced they are incapable of achieving great things, so they aim for the mediocre. The level of competition is thus fiercest for 'realistic' goals, paradoxically making them the most time and energy-consuming.”

“If we define risk as ‘the likelihood of an irreversible negative outcome,’ inaction is the greatest risk of all.”

“The fishing is best where the fewest go, and the collective insecurity of the world makes it easy for people to hit home runs while everyone else is aiming for base hits.”
Profile Image for Amber.
40 reviews
April 13, 2008
Reading the first third of this book was one of the most self-indulgent activities I’ve ever done. (And yes, I read fiction.) It was so nice to hear that someone else in the world doesn't understand why we spend so much time on meaningless meetings and other time-fillers when there are so many meaningful things we long to do.

This book is worth reading though there are a few things you'll have to endure to finish it:
-potty-mouth words
-author-coined terms and antonyms that include the word “rich” (ug. is this some kind of prerequisite to publishing a business book?)
-and I’m sorry to tell you there are also self-help action plans at the end of every chapter

But my friends, it is WORTH it. Ferris starts with a message that rings true right to your soul. He says working nonstop for 45 years and then retiring and doing nothing makes no sense. He says you should figure out what dreams would fulfill you and then work on making enough money to accomplish those. And then he makes other completely sane statements that few people have been bold enough to make. It is moving, it feels revolutionary. Ferris then goes on to tell you task for task how to build a business you can run with just a few hours a week from anywhere in the world. Though I admire Ferris for being so bold as to back up his promise, and for actually filling the book with some meaty details, I have to admit the book often degenerates at this point and reminds me of "How to Get Anyone to Do Anything" (is that the title?). And although Ferris seems to miss the point that fulfillment can come from things other than international travel adventures (he mentions serving in charities abroad, but seems to overlook being kind to and serving the people around you), I still love this book. It wakes you up, and honestly, I think it would only benefit the world if a few more adults did interesting things and had an adventure every now and then instead of reading a lot of email and watching a lot of T.V. and news.

I'll end by sharing one of my favorite parts:

Challenging the Status Quo vs. Being Stupid
1. “Retirement Is Worst-Case Scenario Insurance…: in this case, becoming physically incapable of working and needing a reservoir of capital to survive.”

2. “Interest and Energy Are Cyclical…: Alternating periods of activity and rest is necessary to survive, let alone thrive. Capacity, interest, and mental endurance all wax and wane.” p. 31

3. “Less Is Not Laziness…: Doing less meaningless work, so that you can focus on things of greater personal importance, is NOT laziness. This is hard for most to accept, because our culture tends to reward personal sacrifice instead of personal productivity.” p. 32

4. “The Timing Is Never Right…: The universe doesn’t conspire against you, but it doesn’t go out of its way to line up all the pins either.”

5. “Ask for Forgiveness, Not Permission…: If it isn’t going to devastate those around you…Most people are fast to stop you before you get started but hesitant to get in the way if you’re moving.” p. 33

6. “Emphasize Strengths, Don’t Fix Weaknesses…: It is far more lucrative and fun to leverage your strengths…The choice is between multiplication of results using strengths or incremental improvement fixing weaknesses that will, at best, become mediocre.” p. 34

7. “Things in Excess Become Their Opposite…: Too much, too many, and too often of what you want becomes what you don’t want. This is true of possessions and even time.”

8. “Money Alone Is Not the Solution…: In part, it’s laziness. “If I only had more money” is the easiest way to postpone…self-examination.” p. 35

9. “Relative Income Is More Important Than Absolute Income…: Relative income [measures both] the dollar and time.”

10. “Distress Is Bad, Eustress is Good…: [Be] equally aggressive in removing distress and finding eustress.” p. 38
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