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The 4-hour Work Week - Timothy Ferriss
Member Name: julwhite
The 4-hour Work Week - Timothy Ferriss
Advantages: Interesting read and motivational
Disadvantages: Not sure entirely relevant to most people
This review is for the paperback book "The Four Hour Work Week" by Timothy Ferriss. The book is sub-titled, "Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich", and that is exactly what this book aims to be, a business guide to help you get rich.
I happened to find this book in the library on the recently returned shelves, and wondered if the person who had just returned to it was now wealthy! Just in case I was missing anything, I thought that I should give it a read!
The style of the book is very informal, and the author uses a bragging style to show what he's done, and how he's done it. The book has been a great success and topped numerous best-seller lists. Given that the author is around 32, so if he really is wealthy, he has certainly done well for himself.
I found that the book was interesting to read, although the tone of the book is a little patronising. The author might though say that this attitude is one you need to be able to say to your boss that you only want to spend a few hours a week at work!
I won't go through every idea that the author puts forward in the book, but one is that you should out-source your work, and indeed even parts of your social life, to an agent in India. The author argues that this is cost-effective, and in theory this seems like a sensible idea, it's best to pay someone else to do mundane things so that you can focus on making money.
There are some problems with this, it might be a bit of a false economy, standards using a third party company in a different country really must be hard to keep. Let alone the language and cultural barriers, is it practical for most people to be able to use this method?
I did though check some blogs and web-sites to see if others had used these third party agents, and some had tried it, and found that it really didn't work. That was certainly my impression as well, although I'm sure that these problems can be partly overcome.
There are actually four sections in all, definition (defining what your project is), elimination (time management), automation (as mentioned above, really getting others to do work for you) and liberation (styles of work).
Within these sections, the delegation ideas were quite interesting. The elimination section was also seemingly quite relevant, making you focus on which clients and customers you have that actually make you the most money, and which might not necessarily be worth keeping.
The book claimed that it would help people only work for a few hours each week. For those already self-employed, I can see that this is possible, and the book does have lots of useful and interesting ideas. I'm a little unsure though how easy it would be for someone in full-time employment to convince their boss to use these new styles of working though.
Just as a note, the author is American, and the web-site links, pricing and ideas are really designed for the American market. Although this doesn't mean that the book isn't relevant for the UK readers, it does mean that you might have to do additional research. For example, the links to sales reps and fulfilment agents are all American, so you'd have to find your own equivalent UK businesses to partner with.
The book retails for 11.99 pounds, but at the time of writing, you can buy the book from Amazon for 7.74 including postage. If you're happy with a second hand copy of the book, then currently these are available on sites such as eBay and Amazon for around five pounds including postage.
Overall, I found this an interesting book to read through, and the way it was written was quite motivational. Given that motivational edge to the book, it's definitely worth a read, but I'd have to say, that I wasn't entirely convinced that this will work for a lot of people, but it's definitely worth people having a look to see if the subject interests them!
Summary: Worth a look if you want to get rich!
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