‘The 4-Hour Workweek’ by Tim Ferriss – book review

Having recently written about Tim Ferriss’ TED talk about Fear Setting, I thought it might be a good time to write about his awesome book ‘The 4-Hour Workweek’.  This book is about setting up systems of passive income and ways to save time by outsourcing, and how ultimately you could be working a mere 4 hours per week with all the income you need.

4-hour-workweek-tim-ferriss-book.pngI love the idea of passive income and becoming financially free (where your passive income exceeds your expenses so you don’t have to work at all).  Although the norm is to be employed and work 9-5, it’s refreshing to know there is an alternative way to living life.  If you can achieve it.

Ferriss put in a lot of hard work in setting up his business, and figuring out what works and what doesn’t.  Having spent many hours on maintaining his business, he found ways of ‘stepping out’ and outsourcing so that things could run well without him.  This includes spending money to save your own time and effort, for example by using Virtual Assistants or outsourcing your business’ customer services needs to a call centre.

The book discusses potential business ideas, products, finances and provides many recommendations on how to get started and companies that can assist.

As well as offering lots of time-management solutions, this book is really inspiring for those who would contemplate making the leap to have a life with more free time to travel or do whatever they love.  Or maybe even keep their full-time job and start a side-hustle for some extra income.

I have a friend who started a side-hustle in selling electronic equipment (that he loves) worldwide, mainly for fun and to pursue his own hobby.  It turned out to be so successful that he left his job in the city, moved to Turkey with his wife and kids and now lives in a beautiful home in the sun and runs his business from home.  I don’t know if he actually read this book, but this is the kind of book that would propel this kind of business to be streamlined and make as much money as quickly and with as little effort as possible.

Ferriss’ strengths are in making complicated processes simple, finding the easiest and most efficient ways to achieve the desired results.  The prospect of starting your own business can certainly be daunting, but a bit of guidance and some successful examples can be all the inspiration you need.

Fortunately, this book probably won’t leave you quitting your job the next day, but it will leave you full of ideas of all the things you could do and achieve if you were willing to step out of the box.

You can find out more about the ‘4-Hour Workweek’ by Tim Ferriss by clicking here.

 

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Define your fears instead of your goals – Tim Ferriss TED Talk

I didn’t realise that Tim Ferriss, writer of the ‘4-Hour Workweek’, had contemplated suicide when he was 19 years old, or that he suffered from bouts of depression.  I have a lot of respect for Tim and his book that, in a way, focuses on making life more simple and encouraging people to consider a different type of working lifestyle.  One that doesn’t involve spending most of your week at the office.

tim-ferriss-ted-talkIn this Ted Talk, Tim speaks about a written exercise called ‘Fear Setting’ and analysing the worst case scenarios for things you are worried about doing.  By looking at the potential things that could go wrong, you can consider what can be done to prevent or repair these problems.

By writing this out, you can get a more realistic overview of how obvious pitfalls can be avoided or that the worst case scenario may not be as bad as you think.  The exercise also includes looking at the benefits of partial success and the cost of taking no action at all further down the line.  This process helped him to take a life-changing trip and later write the 4 Hour Work Week book.

There are three parts to the exercise, which should be written out and are described in detail in the video:

1. What if I…?

  • Define what you fear and what could go wrong
    e.g. go on holiday and miss a tax letter
  • Prevent – how can you prevent or decrease the likelihood of this?
    e.g. change the address at the tax office, so letters go directly to your accountant
  • Repair – if the worst case scenario happened, how could you undo the damage?
    e.g. speak to a friend who is a lawyer about how to resolve the situation

2. What might be the benefits of an attempt or partial success?

3. The cost of inaction – emotionally, physically, financially, etc.

  • After 6 months
  • After 12 months
  • After 3 years

In this way, you are having to think about not only the negative outcomes and how to avoid them, but also the potential short-term and long-term benefits.  Tim also mentions stoic philosophy, and how sometimes difficult decisions and conversations need to take place to progress in life.

The Ted Talk video can be seen here:
https://www.ted.com/talks/tim_ferriss_why_you_should_define_your_fears_instead_of_your_goals#t-844802

If you want to find out more about the ‘4-Hour Workweek’ book, you can click on this link.