Review: The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

The main ideas behind the book can be summed up pretty simply:

  • Life is too short to spend doing something you don’t like
  • Why wait until retirement to do something more enjoyable?

Tim’s method for enabling you to have a more fulfilling life is basically:

  • Work more effectively to get more done in less time
  • Negotiate to work from home at least some of the time
  • Now the boss can’t see what you’re doing, use the time you’ve freed up to start a business to bring in additional income.
  • Profit!
  • Use profit to go off travelling while your boss things you are working from home.

OK, Tim Ferriss does give a little more detail than that! :-)

As others have argued in Amazon
the informational products Tim suggests you create do sound a lot like things
you’ve seen advertised in spam. However, to be fair Tim does describe more
than this and he does make it clear that the point of this business is simply
to make income in a way that does not require much time so that you can spend
more time doing the things you love (whether that be running your small
business or travelling the world).

As others have pointed
, some
of Tim’s exploits are less than
for example the way he supposedly won a national kickboxing championship (by
tricking the weighing process so he could fight smaller men and then
exploiting a technicality to win the fights) probably ruined the event for the
other participants.

That said there is good stuff in the book. It’s pretty no nonsense and you
won’t see any spiritual “laws of attraction” krap or claims that the
principals he describes are based on principals from quantum mechanics. The
ideas on automation and outsourcing were new to meat least. He doesn’t claim
that “muses” (mostly automated businesses designed to produce cash while
consuming little time) will make you an instant millionaire merely that they
can make enough cash to let you travel and that the travel can cost less than
you might think.

I got a bit annoyed at his insistence on travel in the second half of the
book. I like travelling too and I also like learning new languages but I don’t
think I’d be very likely to drag my entire family around the world just so I
can indulge myself.

Yes, you can probably find a lot of the material elsewhere, yes it’s probably
not as revolutionary as Tim claims but it is a good collection of ideas and it
does provide a bit of a kick to get you to do some thing more with your life.