I specifically chose to read The Four-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris because it is such a large part of our collective knowledge at this point, or so I thought. I’ve heard the book referenced countless times in financial and personal and career development blogs. I thought I knew what it was about – creating efficiencies at work and eliminating distraction. What this book actually promotes is completely leaving a normal job and quite literally spending only 4 hours a week (or less) managing a business.
Here’s a quick summary: 1) start a business, 2) outsource everything, 3) live a fantastic life of luxury and travel. Seriously. Soooo I have to more or less give the book some thumbs-down. Ferriss advocates finding a “muse” – a business idea that can be fully automated and then outsourced. He offers three options for creating this “muse”: resell a product, license a product, and create a product. And then he tells you lots of ways you can make this happen. If you believe.
And no, I don’t. I think some people can get rich quick this way. And I think most will blow some money trying and go back to their 9-5s.
The value in this book – and I do find considerable value in this book – is in reexamining your life and lifestyle. I was inspired by this book to work toward a goal in my employment. I don’t want to put this on the internet, but I’ll let you know if it works. The book also gives lots of great details about how to negotiate, how to talk to employers, how to get the most out of long-term travel. I’d recommend it, but with a heaping tablespoon of salt. And if you can make his tactics work for you, I’m sure you’ll be glad you did.
This post comes to you as part of E‘s 12 books in 12 months project. The goal is to read 12 books in a year – 12 books that we might not ordinarily be too motivated to read, but that have been on our to-read list. I’ve got the Feynman book in my bag right now, so I’d say that’s our likely next candidate.
1. Story of O, Pauline Reage
2. The Four Hour Workweek, Tim Ferris
3. Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality, Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá
4. The One-Week Job Project, Sean Aiken
5. Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace
6. Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman?, Richard Feynman
7. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce
8. Light in August, William Faulkner
9. For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway
10. At least one book from my photography collection, TBD.
11. Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion
12. A Scanner Darkly, Philip K. Dick