When I decided to start this blog, I knew that somehow The 4-Hour Workweek would demonstrate its influence on me in one way or another. I first read Tim Ferriss’ best-seller on escaping the 9-5 workday and building an income stream that fits into your desired lifestyle seven or eight years ago, and have gifted the book to friends and high school or college grads numerous times since.
Whether the catchy title actually becomes your reality or not, I am confident this book will seriously shift your thinking as to what is possible if your goal is to build an income stream that fits your lifestyle rather than follow the traditional 9 to 5 template. I have found the best thing about the book to be the detail in which the author explains how to go about gaining freedom from a current 9 to 5 job if that is where you are today. While these steps do not take up the entire book, the breakdown is basically a four step process:
1. Defining what your desired lifestyle would be and reframing the rules of work to better fit that lifestyle
2. Eliminating time wasters/tasks that don’t really matter from your workday
3. Identifying an income stream and then automating the process so you can spend as little (or as much) time as you choose on it. Tim does a great job of providing examples as well as detailed initial testing methods to help cut failed experiments short before you’ve committed much time or money to them.
4. Freeing yourself from your office (or any fixed work space that currently prevents you from getting out there and living life as you choose)
There is nothing that says you need to follow the step by step formula that is laid out, though. The goal, instead, is to show you – using dozens of real people as examples – what is possible should you decide the 9 to 5 schedule isn’t making you happy. If you don’t have a desire to travel you don’t have to take that step. The point remains, though, that once you have freed yourself from your office walls you can generate cash flow from anywhere, no matter if you choose to change locations each week or stay on your couch.
Finally, what gives Tim credibility here is that he has held office jobs that he hated. He has learned many of the lessons he shares in The 4-Hour Workweek through failing. The book in no way reads as an overly simplistic escape to fantasy land.
Overall, the book is a great read for almost anyone who hasn’t found happiness in their daily routine, despite a good salary or corner office. Most notably for young people, I think this book does an incredible job of demonstrating that there is more than one template to follow as you begin your journey into the working world. By starting with your personal lifestyle goals and then working backwards to build a cash flow system that supports them you will likely find yourself happier overall knowing that you are the one controlling how your time and energy are spent.
You can purchase the book for yourself or to give to a future grad here The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich.
Below are a few more interesting concepts covered throughout the book:
• Most people are fast to stop you before you get started but hesitant to get in the way once you’re moving
• Being busy is just a form of being lazy; being overwhelmed is as unproductive as doing nothing
• Avoid work for work’s sake; are you accomplishing anything or do you simply feel like you’re “supposed to” be working?
• Maximum income from minimum customers is the goal; building a list of prospects to follow up with who will never order just makes you feel busy
• Robert Frost quote: “By working faithfully eight hours a day, you may eventually get to be a boss and work twelve hours a day”