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Book review

Timothy Ferriss: The 4-Hour Workweek

“Escape 9–5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich”: The book cover promises a lot of things. But author Timothy Ferriss claims to have achieved all that, following a handful of simple principles.

Ferriss himself is an entrepreneur and passionate traveller. He was running a web-based business, and while travelling, he noticed over time that he could manage the business in as little as 4 hours per week by delegating and outsourcing, without jeopardising the company’s success. He has turned this approach into a whole philosophy of how one can turn a typical cubicle lifestyle into a life characterised by freedom and spare time.

Ferriss has found a neat way to structure the process for 4-hour aspirants. He calls it the DEAL:

  • Define what you want and what you do not want, what your worries are and what it really takes to get to where you want to be.
  • Eliminate time-consuming tasks with little or no value, and follow an “80/20” approach (according to which in 20% of the time you can achieve 80% of the results).
  • Automate, somehow, your income, or at least build something that will provide you with an income without requiring a substantial amount of time. The author’s prime examples revolve around web-based business ideads.
  • Liberate yourself from geographical and employment requirements.

Not all of his advice should be taken too seriously, and not all of his suggestions work for everyone. For example, employees with a strict supervisor may have a hard time shifting their work to the home office or ignoring all e-mails in their inbox until noon. And not everyone is fit to come up with a premium product to sell online and build a whole web shop operation around it. But overall, the book offers a lot of good ideas for readers that are trying to leave the “rat race” behind and commit to a more relaxed lifestyle.

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The 4-Hour Workweek
Timothy Ferriss
ISBN: 978-0-307-46535-1
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