The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss is quite possibly one of the best books that we have read in the last six months.
Shani and I have a pretty biased opinion about this book. In the last six to eight months, we have been assessing how we run our businesses. In the last few years, we have gotten everything that we wanted out of our business. Unfortunately, that was the problem. We asked for success, and we got it in abundance.
I am quite sure that many married couples feel the same way. We had growing businesses, but we were tied to Blackberry’s, meetings at all hours of the day, and every clients whim and fancy had to be catered to. 14-18 hour days were not uncommon. A four hour work week was unthinkable.
We decided a while ago that we were going to restructure our businesses so that we can life the life that we really want. We want to be able to spend mornings with our four daughters. We want to be able to have lunch together a few times a week. We want to be able to take vacation and not have to worry about losing business. Does any of this sound familiar to any other married couples out there?
Then we had the pleasure of purchasing this The Four Hour Work Week. Tim’s book can be summed up in three simple statements:
1. Low Information Diet
We are taking in more information that we have to. Stop. Decide what makes you and your spouse the most money, using the 80/20 rule, and then cut the extra information out of your life.
2. Do only what is most important and outsource everything else.
From market research for your business to paying your bills at home, Tim Ferriss goes through the dos and dont’s of outsourcing and delegation. There is very little you have to do yourself- do that and nothing else.
3. Work less and get more.
Don’t waste your time on things someone else could be doing for you.
The Four Hour Work Week is a remarkably transparent guide to achieving that lifestyle you’ve always wanted but didn’t dare admit, rationally presented as a series of steps predicated on a fundamental rule: reality is negotiable…outside of science and law, all rules can be bent or broken. What makes The Four Hour Work Week more than the typical self-help book is that Ferriss also names the names of the outsourcers, services and brokers he’s used successfully in the past to build the foundation of his automatic income-producing engine. It’s all part of his meta-approach to planning and getting away with the ideal lifestyle.
We can speak about how great the ideas in the book are, but we will leave you with a little story. It is an excerpt from The Four Hour Work Week. It brilliantly highlights why we should all implement at least one of the ideas in Tim’s book. Enjoy.
An American businessman took a vacation to a small coastal Mexican village on doctor’s orders. Unable to sleep after an urgent phone call from the office the first morning, he walked out to the pier to clear his head. A small boat with just one fisherman had docked, and inside the boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of the fish.
“How long did it take you to catch them?” the American asked. “Only a little while,” the Mexican replied in surprisingly good English.
“Why don’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?” the American then asked.
“I have enough to support my family and give a few to friends,” the Mexican said as he unloaded them into a basket.
“But…What do you do with the rest of your time?”
The Mexican looked up and smiled. “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Julia, and stroll into the village each evening, where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, senor.”
The American laughed and stood tall. “Sir, I’m a Harvard M.B.A. and can help you. You should spend more time fishing, and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. In no time, you could buy several boats with the increased haul. Eventually, you would have a fleet of fishing boats.”
He continued, “Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you would sell directly to the consumers, eventually opening up your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village, of course, and move to Mexico City, then to Los Angeles, and eventually New York City, where you would run your expanding enterprise with proper management.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, senor, how long will all this take?”
To which the American replied, “15-20 years. 25 tops.”
“But what then, senor?”
The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right, you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions.”
“Millions, senor? Then what?”
“Then you would retire and move to a small coastal fishing village, where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, and stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos…”
Below is a 28 minute Fast Company interview of Tim Ferris:
by Sam Leccima and Shani Leccima