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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2011
What a great read... in a nutshell: "Do what you love to do; outsource the rest."

Ferriss is an inspiring persona and provides us real-life tools of how he was able to attain utopia--a four-hour work week (4HWW). However, my passion does not resemble a product that I developed or redesigned, that could be converted into a mailorder business... unless I start re-packaging my favorite whole bean coffee from the Okanagan Valley, brand it organic, fair-trade and bird-friendly.

Alas, for those of us in middle to upper management in a traditional organizations, a 4HWW is not readily attainable. For many of us in these roles, we have at least 6 persons reporting to us and you, in turn, report to another person (or maybe more in a matrix responsibility organization)... and they have at least 4 or 5 peers. The normal command and control organization, where work is done in teams, meetings and in person does not lend itself to a 4HWW.

We are then left with three options:

1) Muster all of your formal, informal, political influence and combine with a bunch of emotional fortitude (all guts; no fear)... and start a mini-revolution to redesign the way you work with your team and your boss(es).
2) Quit your job and engineer that new iPad app that doubles up on "Angry Birds"
3) Take pieces of Ferriss' techniques and apply them to your current job (take the "act first, prove it, ask forgiveness later" approach)

I elected to pusue #3 (with some forwarning) and have undertaken to implement or have already implemented several of the below. So far, my productivity has risen dramatically, OT hours dropped and more time devoted to family and personal hobbies.

- Virtual Executive Assistant (DONE! Best $13/hr I've spent with BrickworkIndia)
- Speed reading/learning (DONE! I thought I was fast before... 20% better now)
- EverNote (DONE! Way better than MS-OneNote... cloud computing taken to the next level, with interfaces to everyone of my devices: PC work; PC home; Blackberry; iPad)
- Batching email reading and writing (DONE... well almost; I have a poor habit that needs breaking)
- "Puppy Dog Salesmanship" = "Take them home for a day or week. Bring them back if you're not comfortable or satisfied." --> ditto for trying new things at work. Test, experiment, pilot... if it doesn't work for you or your manager, it can always revert back to the old paradigm
- Voicemail to Email via PhoneTag (TESTING right now)
- Google Calendar/AutoSync/TimeDriver - send an email with "Schedule Now" button to allow users to book into your open time slots (STARTED, but IT network won't allow me to install AutoSync on PC work; but I figured out a workaround using my iPad. TESTING right now)
- Xobni (inbox spelled backwards) - batching and hotspot email periods (haven't tried yet, but would force me to break the bad email habit of processing all the time)
- Virtual conceirge (haven't tried yet, but as the errands pile up, it may be worth a try at $10/hr)
- Virtual freelance services - define the scope of work; post it; answer Q&A to redefine scope; the service "bids" out the work; get quotes back; select the freelancer; get the work done (Haven't tried yet, but the first SQL or Oracle programming issue I uncover, I am all over it)

"Here are two trusims to keep in mind: (1) doing something unimportant well does not make it important; (2) requiring a lot of time does not make a task important"

"How to read 200% faster in 10 minutes" (really, a must read section)

"The vision is really about empowering workers, giving them all the information about what's going on so they can do a lot more than they've done in the past." - Bill Gates

"Income Autopilot" - for those who don't want to run a business, but rather for those who want to OWN a business

"Fewer than 5% of the 200,000 books published each year sell more than 5,000 copies" {So much for getting rich being an author}

Ferriss does get a bit scrambled at the end of his book... you can tell he wanted to add so much more of what he has learned. Check out [...].
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2013
This is not a lazy-man's guide to business, although that is the way it talks to get people to read it. This book is a "reality hammer" for people to wake up, open their eyes, and see the business world as it really is, full of higher tech allowing better work, smarter work, and above all, the elimination of wasted time.

I own successful businesses & this book was totally different from the snooze-fest that most business books have become ... it challenges the ordered business structures completely and challenges the person.

It tells you to wake up and smell the coffee, to look at your work and get objective. Further, it tells you to look at yourself in the mirror and get objective. I read it once ... then read it again a week later. Literally standing in my office looking at my desk with the piles of projects and assorted work for different companies I put the content of this book to work for me.

Virtual assistant: a Godsend. If you are a businessman without a virtual assistant you are an idiot. That said, I was an idiot putting off what technology gives us today, a smart, hardworking, tech-savvy assistant that goes through work like a chainsaw. There is no project that cannot be done better by a good virtual assistant. Examples: Organize all your photos including your business photos (personal), suggest additions to your LinkedIn community by researching peers (business), build up research your genealogy & family tree (personal), suggest books and ebooks to read for an upcoming lecture (business), collate and organize that book you have always wanted to write (personal), coordinate your calendar (business), organize birthdays w ecards for same (business + personal) ... the list is endless ... all at $13 per hour though I pay a little more.

This book is a welcome wake up call.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2007
As the author of the international bestseller "The Joy of Not Working" (over 225,000 copies sold) and "How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free" (over 75,000 copies sold) I follow the principles in my books. Indeed, I have a great lifestyle. I work only 4 to 5 hours a day and make a comfortable living. In my books I advocate that people leave corporate life as soon as possible and work less than half the hours of the average working stiff.

I always considered that the paradigm that I operate with is much different than that of the average working person. But after reading "The 4-Hour Workweek", I realize that my paradigm is much closer to that of the average working person than that of Tim Ferris. I now want to operate closer to the level of Tim Ferris.

I love this book. I disagree with most of the negative comments made by certain reviewers. There is a lot of valuable material in this classic that we all can use although we may never get to the point of working only 4 hours a week. We may be able to work only two hours a day, however, and still make a great living.

Some of the most important principles in this book are:

1. Get unrealistic.
2. Practice the art of nonfinishing.
3. Cultivate selective ignorance.
4. Do not multi-task.
5. Outsource as much of your life as you can.
6. Being busy is a form of laziness - lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.
7. Forget about time management.

This book is written for ordinary people who want to accomplish extraordinary things with minimal time involved.

Here are five of several favorite quotes from "The 4-Hour Workweek" that I intend to place on The Joy of Not Working Website ( [...] )

1. If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is, too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.

2. The blind quest for cash is a fool's errand.

3. It's lonely at the top. Ninety-nine percent of people in the world are convinced they are incapable of achieving great things, so they aim for the mediocre. The level of competition is thus fiercest for "realistic" goals, paradoxically making them the most time-consuming and energy consuming. It is easier to raise $10,000,000 than it is $1,000,000. It is easier to pick up the one perfect 10 in the bar than the five 8s.

4. The fishing is best where the fewest go, and the collective insecurity of the world makes it easy for people to hit home runs while everyone is aiming for base hits.

5. Tens of thousands of people, most of them less capable than you, leave their jobs every day. It's neither uncommon nor fatal.

In short, "The 4-Hour Workweek" can set you on a new course in life where you have a lot more leisure time and a lot more money at the same time. In fact, the material in this book, as in Richard Koch's "Living the 80/20 Way", can be much more valuable than an MBA if you would like to get what you want out of life without killing yourself for it.

But you will have to take risks and give up some of your most treasured beliefs. No doubt most people will read "The 4-Hour Workweek" and not consider making any major changes to get out of their stale, boring jobs. As Timothy Ferris states, "Pure hell forces action, but anything less can be endured with enough clever rationalization."

If you would like to be one of the few who enjoy a life filled with a lot of freedom and leisure, however, then read this book and adopt the principles that resonate with you. Follow these principles religiously and your life will likely change dramatically for the better.
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on May 28, 2009
Who it's for: If you truly love your job or your office is a "home away from home", then this book is not for you. But if you want to get inspired to work less or find a way to inject some well-deserved adventure into your life then get reading!

Despite the many criticisms that could be levelled at it, this book makes it mark by giving us a new definition of wealth: The "New Rich" focus on happiness and enjoyment now rather than waiting to retire, whereas "Deferrers" work their way up organizations, collect status symbols and wait to retire (or die). Which are you?

I skim-read the (personally rather tedious) sections on running an online business and Google adwords. And while amused by the occasional teenage-boy commentary (like suggesting you ask your foreign virtual assistant to harrass your boss in a funny accent) it won't be to everyone's taste. Some will even find his suggestions unethical.

Be that as it may, this book will both challenge the way you think AND get you thinking about how to make your life easier and more exciting. For me, that in itself means it's worth a read! Enjoy!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2010
This has got to be the absolute ultimate bible of Lifemanship. It has really opened my eyes to some fantastic possibilities. I get up in the morning and just glide thru life because I know I will succeed. I used to always have a cloud of doubt hanging over me, but now its blue skies positive,positive positive. I have read lots of inspirational and motivational books including the very excellent Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, but this is in a class of its own. It is fantastic to think what every individual is capable of when they are motivated and put their mind to it. Whether you are in business or are pursuing a career lift, this is the book for you. If you are in search of a career change you might like to check out Simon Ashley Richmond's very excellent Write Again Vol 1. Not exactly a business book, but the guy has some great ideas for writing to people you are fairly sure are going to say 'no'.
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on January 8, 2010
There are a lot of smart people in the world who have thought of a concept and put it to paper. However, very few of them continue to 'evangelize' their concepts after the book tour. As evidenced by his website, Ferriss' most impressive trait is his enthusiasm and seemingly unending stream of interesting ideas. The readers of this book can immediately add some fantastic ideas to their toolbox but more importantly, continue to 'Sharpen the Saw', as Stephen Covey spoke of years ago.

I encourage everyone to read with an open mind, to expect to be challenged, to be questioned by friends and relatives, and to come out the end with a slightly bent perspective relative to what the world considers to be standard operating procedure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2011
Really loved the book - This book identified for me a few major flaws in my thinking and allowed me to work on my business with a new perspective. Great Info - Unusual Approach - Refreshing Way of Looking at the world. Thanks
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2010
This book is simply brilliant and if you want to learn how truly "smart" people go about their day then this is a must read. 4HWW has definitely inspired and validated a career change I recently made.
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on April 3, 2009
I followed the instructions in this book and now have a business brining in $2500 per month working from home. Everything is automated. Other than updating some online ads occasionally, and answering the occasional email I rarely need to touch it.

So far I'm working about an hour a week on it. This system is brilliant!

Next I'm going to set up a 2nd business using exactly the same principles and I'm hoping that I can have $5k a month coming in by the end of the year.

At that point I'm off to NZ for 6 months. It's great. I can work from anywhere.

The book is genius. I'm free!
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on February 14, 2012
Employment throughput should be measured in terms of productivity not hours spent for the most part. This book teaches you how to negotiate with your employer to liberate your time from the location shackles of an office to give the employer maximum benefit while not compromising your own personal life and time. From how to start a successful online business to great tips, ideas such as checking email only twice daily. This book will transform your life and open up your mind to new possibilities. Highly recommended. worth every cent.
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