The 4 Hour Workweek (review: 3/5)

Good book. I posted a while ago about my initial doubts and then how excited I became about this book as I began to read it. It all turned out fairly well, though I think the glow is gone.
Despite the hokey title, 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich seems to be pretty well grounded. It isn’t so much about the nuts and bolts of financial managment—you won’t find a lot of financial info about IRAs or 529 plans or whatever. It’s more about what author Tim Ferriss calls lifestyle design. Here’s how it boils down:

    Find ways to minimize interruptions and maximize time for what you want.
    Don’t stay in a crappy job.
    Don’t wait to retire—take mini-retirements along the way.
    Start a business selling products online.
    Outsource or automate most of the business.
    Use currency arbitrage to live well elsewhere.

The business side all sounds easy enough—and he lays out the steps pretty clearly—but as with most of these schemes, the magic doesn’t happen until you… y’know… actually do the work. The sections on respecting and maximizing your productive time are solid, though. Those are the parts that got me the most excited, and probably the most worth re-visiting.

If I have one reservation, it’s Ferriss’ nonchalance about lying. It has to be at least a half-dozen times that he suggests prevaricating to some degree, whether it’s used to avoid interruptions, to work from home or elsewhere, or to take some other step towards the long-term goal in lifestyle design. I don’t mean to taint his character—I don’t think he’s dishonest—but to someone like me who prefers to just shoot straight, it seems like careless advice.

3 thoughts on “The 4 Hour Workweek (review: 3/5)

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