Title: The 4-hour Workweek

Author: Timothy Ferris

ISBN-13: 9780307353139

ISBN: 0307353133

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The 4-hour Workweek

Book review by Joy Hopkins

I received Timothy Ferriss’ hot bestseller “The 4-Hour Workweek” for Christmas and, cautiously optimistic, proceeded to read what I hoped would not be yet another rendition of a worthless get rich quick scheme.  While at times a bit pompous for my taste, I found the author succeeded to deliver readers an ambitious, executable plan that, with the right amount of effort, could actually work.  Unlike many others who have taken their stab at the genre, Ferriss does not package a timeless, one size fits all solution.  Instead, he urges readers to assess their personal goals and systematically assess, through use of tools and templates in the book and on the sister website, what exactly it is that prevents realization of those goals. 

What I found most compelling is that he does this within a context that challenges the widely accepted retirement framework that the vast majority of us submit to today.  With the advent of the internet and globalization, Ferriss maintains that the employable population is increasingly being filled with people who no longer are satisfied with the school, work 30+ years, and then retire model.  Unlike our parents and grandparents, who were largely concerned with maintaining a stable 9-5 job and saving money for retirement, Ferriss argues that the younger generations crave more of a work-life balance in every day life.  Ferriss proposes a solution to those who want to join what he calls the “New Rich,” whom the internet and other human advances have made into very curious beings, who demand more flexibility, and who have figured out how to travel now, not 30+ years down the line.  The goal is not to save the world, but to maintain a steady cash flow to support a more balanced life filled with things like shorter, more productive work schedules and “mini-retirements.”

The main point of the book is to actually do the exercises and complete the templates in order to figure out your own personal path to freedom.  However, once that is all said and done, the real challenge is coming up with that cash cow idea that will support your new lifestyle.  Ferriss suggests going into the products versus service industry, as providing a service is typically a more time-consuming endeavor.  He even gives marketing, pricing and supply chain tips to set you on your way.  Overall, I was impressed with Ferriss’ unconventional stance and determination to not only live a more balanced life, but help others do the same.


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