Does The 4-Hour Workweek seem like a gimmicky name and an impossible goal for life?
I thought so too until I read the book.
To make things worse it’s subtitled, Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich.
If you’re thinking, yeah, right, please bear with me. I was equally sceptical until I actually laid my hot little paws on this excellent tome.
Yes, despite the hype, I confess to being hugely impressed by this book. In fact, I totally recommend it as essential reading for people who’re dreaming of a better life.
Not only will The 4-Hour Workweek inspire you to aim high but it’s full of practical tips on how to get there.
So if you’d like to work for yourself, earn a decent income or even create a passive income so you have time to enjoy your new found wealth, then you should definitely read this book.
Author, Tim Ferriss, is something of a hero in the business, publishing and blogging circles.
He launched his book and blog at the same time and they both shot to success, with the book sitting on the New York Times bestseller list for two years and being translated into over 35 languages, while the blog quickly established him as an a-list blogger.
I know I’m a bit late coming to the party on this one – The 4-Hour Workweek was published in 2007 – but it’s a classic book for both business and personal development so if you haven’t already read it, there’s no time like the present.
On the back of the book there’s a stern warning:
Do not read this book unless you want to give up your job
The blurb continues:
Forget the old concept of retirement and saving for the future – there is no need to wait and every reason not to. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing first-class world travel, earning a monthly five-figure income with no management, or just living more and working less, this book is the blueprint.
Yes, it’s a bit hard sell but there are definitely concepts here that will prove useful to anyone.
Here’s an overview of some of the information that I found most enlightening.
1. The timing is never right
When it comes to change there will always be resistance, but knowing that the timing’s never right should give you courage to do it anyway.
2. Some stress is good
Ferriss introduces the concept of eustress, describing it as:
“Stress that is healthful and the stimulus of growth.”
It certainly sounds more appealing than the daily stress of a working in a job you don’t like, with people who don’t appreciate you and for hours which don’t let you have a life outside of work. That’s the kind of stress that gradually wears you down, saps your creativity, kills your joie de vivre and makes you an unhappy, unhealthy human being. That’s the type of stress none of us need.
But embracing the good stress can help us go places though.
3. Risks aren’t as scary when you take them
If you’ve ever taken a risk you’ll know the truth of this. Thinking about jumping out of a plane on your first parachute jump may be terrifying, but actually doing it is more likely to be exhilarating, life-affirming and a major confidence boost. The same goes for most fears, be it public speaking, quitting your job or moving overseas. I’ve written about Giving Fear the Finger myself if you want fear fighting incentives and tips.
Ferriss notes that people choose unhappiness over uncertainly, a statement that should give most people a kick up the arse and convince them that a life of unhappiness is not a life at all. To sum up courage to take a risk he recommends asking:
“What’s the worst thing that can happen?”
There, it’s not that bad is it?
4. Control the Internet, don’t let it eat up your life
No web surfing unless you need information that very day.
Yes, need! Needing information is different from web surfing to fill the time or for fun. Who surfs the Internet for fun anyway? Not me. When I want fun I hit the Pacific Ocean with my surf board, hop on my bike or meet friends.
The Internet should mainly be a tool for you to get the information you need. It’s brilliant for that, but limit it to information gathering. Nothing more and nothing less.
That’s why I keep my blog writing:
- Relevant to your goals
- Fast to read
- Uplifting and inspirational
5. Make decisions easily
Never sit on the fence about decisions by saying things like:
“I don’t mind.” or “Whatever you want.”
Use expressions like “I propose” or “I suggest” to do what you want to do when you want to do it and eliminate living in limbo.
6. Outsource your life
Ferriss recommends using personal or business services in India, or elsewhere, to do menial, irritating or time-consuming jobs for a reasonable cost, so you can free up your time for the important stuff.
Check out Ask Sunday if you’d like to have your life simplified. They’re even offering a free personal assistant for one week. I’m going to take advantage of it soon, so I’ll let you know how I get on.
Otherwise look for a personal assistant on Elance or run with Indian help such as B2kcorp for business, or Your Man in India, for personal and business services.
Dream Big, Start Small
I do recommend you read this book to keep your dream alive and help you get there. You can buy it on Amazon now for yourself, or as a gift for a friend who’s stuck in a rut.
If you think the 4-hour workweek’s not possible think again.
Ferriss’s model may be an ambitious one, but wannabe business owners know that their dream is not impossible.
I may not be working a 4 hour week quite yet, but I’m working from home, at the hours that suit me and in my nightgown, which is a pretty good start. Thanks to Ferriss, I now have more tools and tips at my disposal to keep me striving for more. Or maybe that should be less…
I might get dressed soon and go for a walk on the beach. It’s all part of the creative process.
What are you doing to stay on track with your dreams?
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