I just finished reading The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris. I read it twice in fact.The first time to just see what all the fuss and hooplah about this book was about. The second time was to really dive into the material and study it like my life depended on it. I devoured this book!
At first I was quite apprehensive about even spending any time on it. The title alone can be a little off-putting. I mean really, work only 4 hours a week? I've been consistently putting in 80+ hours a week while helping to launch my businesses globally. So even the concept of working 4 hours a week right now was pretty much a slap in the face. But a 7 figure producing friend of mine suggested I read it and read it now! So that's what I did :)
II must say though that 'm an entrepreneur and I've often joked that I love working, but the reality is I also love goofing around and enjoying my life and spending quality time with the people in it. I'm not the kind of person that wants to do work just for work's sake. But when I get to work there aren't too many people that can keep up with me. I'm just saying....
So is it really possible to work 4 hours a week and NOT be broke??
I've read a lot of books in the last year or so, but I need to just make the point that The 4-Hour Work Week has probably had the biggest impact on me out of all the books I've been pouring through. I can't really understate that! The 4 Hour Work week is absolutely brilliant!
For those of you who may not be familiar with the 4 Hour Work Week or with its author Tim Ferris this is a book that has reached the top of the New York Times Best Seller list and has had some tremendous media coverage. In the 4 Hour Work Week, Mr. Ferris describes his philosophy of "Lifestyle Design" and helps guide the reader through the steps it takes to join the "New Rich" by building businesses with the sole purpose of creating time freedom.
Most entrepreneurs I know start busineses for a variety of different reasons; some want to help others, some want to provide a great product or service that fills a need in the market place, and others just want to flat out get rich. But Mr. Ferris suggests that the reason any of his readers should start a business is with the sole purpose of creating an entity that generates income with little or not input from the founder. He draws a definite distinction between people who run businesses and those who own businesses and spend no time on them.
Mr. Ferris is particularly qualified to discuss lifestyle design as he has built businesses that have created in excess of $ 40,000 in monthly income while only requiring 4 hours of work a week on his part to maintain.
Throughout the book Mr. Ferris shares stories from the lives of people who have implimented various lessons from his teachings and have achieved incredible lifestyle success.
A couple of highlights that stood out to me:
You don't need to be a millionaire in order to live like a millionaire - Most people (myself included) have assumed that a certain lifestyle (travel, time freedom, etc) comes from having a lot of money. And many people assume that it takes millions to really live a life of freedom and style. Mr. Ferris challenges this belief by pointing out that the New Rich of this world live a lifestyle that most people could only dream about, BUT it doesn't come with a million dollar price tag. In fact, many of the most sought after luxuries (time freedom and the money to enjoy it) are not beyond most people's reach except for the fact that most people have simply chosen the wrong vehicle to help get them there. For example, exotic trips to Thailand or Brazil are actually relatively affordable for the average person. The only problem is that they could not afford to take time off from their job to go on these trips! That's because they've chosen the wrong financial vehicle. Change the vehicle. Change the result....<- In case you're not sure what "vehicle" I'm referring to I'll be blunt. "jobs" typically do not result in time freedom. That's just how it goes. At the same time most businesses do not give time freedom either! Most of the business owners I know actually work harder than many of my friends who are employees. So to really live like the rich and famous it isn't enough to just be a business owner, you have to have a business that runs WITHOUT you!
Design businesses that replace you! - This was a real revelation for me. Throughout The 4 Hour Work Week, Mr. Ferris talks about creating "muses" or businesses that are designed with the sole purpose of creating time and financial freedom for their creators; and nothing more. Often our biggest hurdle in achieving time freedom is OURSELVES. For example, if we show up to our work we get paid. If we don't show up we don't get paid. It's really quite simple. The same is true for most business people as well. If they show up to work they get paid and if they don't show up for work they simply don't get paid. But now because they're a business owner they effectively own their own J.O.B! Ask any entrepreneur if they just stopped working tomorrow what would happen to their business and most likely they'd tell you that their business would go into utter catastrophe! I'd submit to you then that if you're in the category where you're business cannot run without your input, voice, or decision making that you actually run a business not necessarily own a business. In actuality your business owns you!
Live NOW - Most of us have been taught to go to school, get good grades, get good jobs and go out and work, work, work and one day retire and enjoy the fruits of our labor. Mr. Ferris challenges this traditional paradigm by asking why most of us don't live our lives "today" while we're still in the prime of our lives instead of putting off "living" till our golden years when our funds (and health) may not be at the level needed to sustain their dream lifestyle. Mr. Ferris makes a very strong argument that many people have no idea how far their "ideal income" can actually go. Many people get caught up in talking about "one day I'll do this and one day I'll do that!" Usually "one day" follows accomplishing a certain income level but sadly for most people "one day" never comes!
Outsourcing/delegating mundane and time-consuming tasks to someone else - This was a HUGE point for me. When I really sat down and looked over the amount of work I was doing in my business and started factoring how little of those activities were actual revenue generating activities and more administrative and management activities I almost threw up! It made me sick to think of how little time I was spending on actually driving my core business forward. Since completing the book I have to admit that I have become a lean-mean-production-focused machine! Now, I value my time in a way that I never had before. All the little things that I engaged in that really wasted my time and distracted me from the real profit generating activities have been rearranged or passed on to someone else to do. The amazing thing is now I find myself with more time to A. Enjoy my life or B. Focus more on the actual activities that make me money!
There are so many more nuggets that one can discover within the pages of The 4 Hour Work Week. One of the things I know you'll really enjoy through reading Mr. Ferris's work is the amount of actual case-studies that he uses to present his ideas. They are very inspiring and actually quite astounding!
I've decided to start my own case-study. I'll be reporting back on the results I get from applying Mr. Ferris's techniques in my life. I've already implimented several of them and I must say I'm flat out excited about the results I'm already experiencing.
I highly recommend you read The 4 Hour Work Week. Even if you're not an entrepreneur. Actually, alot of the principles in the book are written with employees in mind! You can get it on Amazon here.