Most books I read I do not finish. I finished reading the 4-Hour Workweek – Escape 9-5, Life Anywhere, and Join The New Rich, within 24 hours of buy it (Amazon.com, 5 stars, 111 reviews.) I strongly recommend you read this review if you:
a) You want to increase your productivity and profits.
b) Your current lifestyle blows.
Timothy had a business throwing off mid six figures but he was overworked. While attempting to sell his company he started outsourcing business processes rather than doing everything himself. Rather than profits dropping they jumped double digits. He took a short vacation to Europe which stretched out over a year.
I took away one big lesson from this book: outsourcing. Almost everyone spends too much time doing things that others can do better and cheaper. Consider this, English speaking MBAs from India can be hired for around $15 an hour. (Check out Brickwork India at b2kcorp.com for starters.) Bad quality? Big US service firms are already arbitraging cheap offshore labor, often charging customers $100,000 for $10,000 of work.
The second lesson is don’t work yourself to death. The old work 40 years and retire attitude is a bad deal. Those of us in our 20s will need 4-5 million dollars to retire comfortably anyways; most of your friends will work until they die. Spend more time with your family today by hiring a virtual personal assistant to take care of other redundancies, like dealing with customer service for 45 minutes (more info here.)
Destroying the four hour workweek slacker stereotype, Timothy points out that people get bored very fast being idle. Instead he suggests spending that “retirement” with intensive learning and physical activities abroad.
Most of the concepts in this book resonated loudly with me. Perhaps thats why I read until the last page. At the same time I am a huge advocate of working hard. I tell anyone flat out that if they want to make it in business they better be ready to bust their assess for years. If you want that 7-figure business there is no shortcut. You still have to travel down the hard path to get there.
This book definately delivers on its promise for a “Four Hour Workweek” but… many readers, if not most, are going to have a hard time with it. Some of Web Publishing Blog’s audience could begin that work week this Monday. Heck, I could. The agressive and adapting entrepreneur audience will completely understand Tim’s attitude. However, most people in the business world will continue to spend their life chasing dangling carrots, with or without this book.
Timothy comes from a direct marketing and internet background. I was suprised to hear references to one of my favorite sites, MarketingExperiments.com, along with my friends from PepperJam listed in the business resources references. There is discussion of both Adwords PPC and SEO in the section about business building. Most of us can skip this, but its just another indicator to me that he really knows what he is talking about.
Should you buy the book? It could fall into the category of “life changer.” I’m filing it under “positive reinforcement” for a path that I have been heading down for the past three years. At the very least, I urge you to check out Tim Ferriss’s blog. It is practically a case study of book promotion and PR for 2007.
A quick summery for those who love Cliff’s Notes. Working less is not sloth. Dirt cheap college-educated labor can operate your business better for you and grow it. We live better strengthening our minds, bodies, while spending time with friends and family — being a life-long workoholic is for suckers.