Whenever I read books, I like to keep them in pristine condition. I hated pencil or god forbid pen marks in my books, but for some reason that all changed when I picked up the 4 Hour Work Week. I’ve heard the concept of highlighting and marking up books, much like you would a text book back in the school days. So for one reason or another I decided its time for a change and got our my trusty orange highlighter and went to town on this book. It turned out to be the single best decision I had ever made….
Not your typical self-help book
I am not new to Timothy Ferriss’s 4 Hour Work Week, in fact I have owned a copy of it for years, I just never bothered to read it. It was always a book that I said to myself, “One day i’ll read that book.” Its funny how that works, sometimes life isn’t ready to hand you something until you are ready to receive it. This book is unlike any other “self-help” book that I have read before. Its honest, crude and Tim is not afraid to get in your face at times, but perhaps the thing that sets it out from the majority is its more like a work book or almost text book like in the way that it gives you step by step introductions with homework to completely change your whole life, or even just part of it if you so wish.
The whole notion of working only 4 hours in a week can set some people off, but you have to understand what he is trying to get accomplished here.
He is showing you that there is another way to support your family, travel or whatever else you might want to do, which doesn’t include having to work your typical 9-5 with a 2 week holiday some where along the way.
To me the term 4 hour work week is not specifically working only 4 hours. Its about being able to work when you want at what you want and where you want. Its about taking control of your life, the part of your life that you spend the majority of your time in.
From the office to the beach
While I defiantly don’t agree with everything that he talks about in his book, I know first hand that what he talks about does work and thats why you should read this book! While I am not working only 4 hours/week nor is that my end goal, I was able to persuade my boss to allow me to permanently move my “office job” to my home and then from home I have been able to take an “extended vacation” to the beautiful country of Mexico along with my wife and baby girl all while maintaining productivity and getting the job done to my boss satisfaction. Yes that is right, I was able to relocate my job from my office in Vancouver to my new home office in Mexico all with my bosses blessing. This all from this book that sat on my shelf for a number of years, the only downside is not picking it up sooner. Now I am able to earn dollars and live on pesos, which in turn has increased my wage by 3 times. It also put the idea in my head of how to outsource some books that I am now publishing on Kindle which in turn generates some passive income for me as well.
What I love about this book is that Tim not only gives you examples of how to achieve this 4hr work week, but he gives you dialogue and even a back up plan for each step along the way, like when you need to ask your “boss” to make the adjustment possible. The amount of recourses in this book is incredible, every chapter is filled with resources to help you achieve what the chapter was talking about. For example it talks about how to get a virtual assistant for less then $5/day and then gives you a list of websites of where to find your VA.
Besides the things I have mentioned above here are some other take aways from this book.
He talks about taking action NOW and not waiting for “someday”. Someday is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you (pg 33). We all have a list of things that we want to get accomplished, why wait? Timing is never perfect, there is always an excuse. So forget the excuses and take action! When we decided to take our “extended vacation” (I say that cause we do plan on coming back to Canada at some point since we still have a house there) there were some hesitations, and things that we were unsure about, but looking back now the risks weren’t that scary once we took them (pg 39).
The book is broken into 4 main sections, the first 2 talk a lot about the mentality of the “New Rich” and focuses on the fact that you really don’t have much to loose by putting your current path on pause and chasing your dreams, whether those dreams are achieving the 4 hour a week lifestyle, travelling around the world or taking a tango lessons in Argentina for a few weeks. When you tell people, “I’m thinking about renegotiating where I get my work done and moving down to Chile for 3 months.” Most people will think you are insane. I know thats what the people I spoke to said. But remember this 99% of people in the world are convinced they are incapable of achieving great things, so they aim for the mediocre (pg 50). My challenge to you (and Tim’s) is don’t be like the 99%!!!
A year ago I was in an office sitting at a desk on the phone all day, now I am staring at the Ocean while still getting the same work done in a much more fun and productive way!
The second part of the book is about focusing on how to liberate yourself from the 9-5 grind and get out there to do or achieve what you truly want. Whether you are an employee or self-employed he gives you great examples and tips on how to get the most out of your days and become uber productive. I don’t think this review or any review on this book really does it any justice. I think its best to be picked up and read, cause there are so many examples that will touch everyone differently. That is what I really enjoyed about it. It’s a book that no matter where you are in your life, it can help you get more, become more, or just do more.
The 4-Hour Work Week challenges the status quo. It forces you to think different and outside the box then everyone else. Whether you want to work less hours or not, there are so many great ideas in this book that I think will benefit anyone who reads it.
Click here to purchase The 4-Hour Work Week