When Tim Ferriss‘ book The 4-Four Hour Workweek originally hit the airport bookstores in 2007, I must admit I scoffed at the ridiculous title and thought the author and content would also be ridiculous. I was not alone in my opinion, as his methods and advice have been controversial.
After hearing so much about the book, I did finally buy and read it, and I was pleasantly surprised! I just read it again on a recent trip to Rio (they do practice the 4 hour workweek in Brazil!) and thought I’d write a couple of Blog posts on the subject. While there are a lot of contrarian and unusual ideas in the book, Ferriss DOES render some excellent advice on a variety of matters including how to create or design a lifestyle. He does it in a very motivating “I did it so you can do it too” manner.
His basic themes are:
1. You CAN enjoy the lifestyle you want, and you can do it now
2. Simpify to create space and create attention (attention is more important than time because time without attention is useless) to apply to other things
3. Focus on what’s important in your life and that which makes you happy and fulfilled.
4. His 4-step “DEAL” formula: Defininition, Eliminate, Automate, and Liberate
Tim Ferris’ DEAL:
Definition – Define the life you want and how much it will cost for you to achieve it (in short, define your Goals)
Elimination – Eliminate stuff that’s not critical to your achieving your goals. Practice the 80/20 rule and focus on what will get you closer to your ideal lifestyle.
Automation – Outsource noncritical and basic functions. Find and build a business which generates maximum revenue with minimal time/attention. The key is to minimize your own personal involvement to free yourself up to do the things YOU WANT.
Liberation – Free yourself from a particular geographic location. The idea is to be able to travel, or work from anywhere. Mobility is a hallmark of what Ferris refers to as the “NR,” or “New Rich.”
Tim’s “Muse,” an income machine: Ferriss urges the reader to find his or her “muse” (a calling or business), and then go for it. Ferriss lays out a blueprint for starting your own business which can essentially run on autopilot. Apparently, he had done this himself and built a business that generated cash flow to pay the living expenses, while requiring a fraction of the time and effort. While I believe him, he makes it all sound too easy.
The Top 13 New Rich Mistakes
1. Losing sight of dreams and falling into work for work’s sake (W4W)
2. Micromanaging and e-mailing to fill time
3. Handling problems your outsourcers or-co-workers can handle
4. Helping outsourcers or co-workers with the same problem more than once, or with noncrisis problems
5. Chasing customers, particularly unqualified or international prospects, when you have sufficient cash flow to finance your nonfinancial pursuits
6. Answering e-mail that will not result in a sale or that can be answered by a FAQ or auto-responder
7. Working where you live, sleep, or should relax
8. Not performing a thorough 80/20 analysis every two to four weeks for your business and personal life
9. Striving for endless perfection rather than great or simply good enough, whether in your personal or professional life
10. Blowing minutiae and small problems out of proportion as an excuse to work
11. Making non-time-sensitive issues urgent in order to justify work
12. Viewing one product, job, or prospect as the end-all and be-all of your existence
13. Ignoring the social rewards of life
In summary, I believe this is a book worth reading, as it contains a lot of useful and highly applicable tips and advice, while proffering some proven scenarios whereby you can unchain yourself from a job or mundane lifestyle, in order to design and pursue immediately a life of your dreams.
Featured image courtesy of benjyfeen licensed via creative commons.