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Ratings and reviews for The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

Ratings and reviews for The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
based on 2270 rating(s)
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Price: $24.99 $14.21 (43% off)
Trade In Value: $1.50
Author(s): Timothy Ferriss
Release Date: 12/15/2009
Binding: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 416
Studio: Harmony
Manufacturer: Harmony
Dewey Decimal Number: 650.1
Product Group: Book
Edition: Expanded, Updated
Sales Rank: 309
Description: The New York Times bestselling author of The 4-Hour Body shows readers how to live more and work less, now with more than 100 pages of new, cutting-edge content.

Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan–there is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, or earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, The 4-Hour Workweek is the blueprint.

This step-by-step guide to luxury lifestyle design teaches:
• How Tim went from $40,000 per year and 80 hours per week to $40,000 per month and 4 hours per week
• How to outsource your life to overseas virtual assistants for $5 per hour and do whatever you want
• How blue-chip escape artists travel the world without quitting their jobs
• How to eliminate 50% of your work in 48 hours using the principles of a forgotten Italian economist
• How to trade a long-haul career for short work bursts and frequent “mini-retirements”

The new expanded edition of Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Workweek includes:
• More than 50 practical tips and case studies from readers (including families) who have doubled income, overcome common sticking points, and reinvented themselves using the original book as a starting point
• Real-world templates you can copy for eliminating e-mail, negotiating with bosses and clients, or getting a private chef for less than $8 a meal
• How Lifestyle Design principles can be suited to unpredictable economic times
• The latest tools and tricks, as well as high-tech shortcuts, for living like a diplomat or millionaire without being either
ISBN: 9780307465351
UPC: 0307465357

Reviews 1 to 10 of 2270
Pageof 227
amazon logo Get-rich-quick guide for the shallow
Reading this book is not a total waste of time and money, but pretty close. If you must, I recommend getting this one from the local library to at least eliminate the financial loss.

To be fair, the first 100 pages is a readable autobiographical reminder of an often preached but rarely practiced warning. Life is short. Do not spend every day in a job you hate to buy things you do not need. The author recommends reading Walden. Thoreau, the classic American minimalist, covered all the same material far more eloquently 150 years ago. So why not read Thoreau instead? Good question.

The rest of the book is essentially a money making plan for white collar workers who hate their jobs. If Mr. Ferriss had restricted this book to a discussion of how to eliminate unproductive efforts from the workplace and shorten the workweek for everyone, he could have written a much briefer and significant book. Instead, he starts with the premise that regular jobs are bad and instead you should start an online company that sells anything that will make money and then outsource every function so that you, as the owner, will not have to do anything.

I have two major concerns at this point:

1. If you are as smart and well-prepared as Mr. Ferris, there is money to be made using his strategy. But the same could be said for the stock market, real estate, or various other methods by which many people lose their shirts.

2. If everyone outsources their work, who is left to do the work? If all the farmers, doctors, and garbage collectors followed the advice in this book, eventually, we would all be starving, sick, and sitting in our own waste. The jet-set lifestyle enjoyed by the author only works because others are actually willing to work. Until robots can run the world, the ethical implication is that it is OK for some people to work, just not Mr. Ferriss or his readers.

Finally, throughout the book Mr. Ferris keeps referring to the New Rich. Despite all his attempts at creating a new paradigm, it appears that the only difference between the New Rich and the Old Rich is that the old rich are capitalists that actually produce things that society needs, such as railroads and software, while the new rich sell things like unregulated nutritional supplements.

3190 of 3748 people found this review helpful.
amazon logo For Sale: One Bridge in Brooklyn --EZ Payments

Where to begin? I actually had fun reading this book, to be honest. It is, if nothing else, a bit inspirational and motivational. To the author's credit he has (and I have emphasized this before) come up with a catchy title and gimick to sell you a book--good for him. What's inside, though, are things that you can find better handled by other authors in other books.

In the first part of the book one can't help notice what a great guy the author is. We notice this becasuse he tells us. We are to believe that he has gone through the Hero's Journey and back again before his late 20's. Now, dear reader, he has distilled the fruits of his vast experience and wisdom into this little gem. Read it, and you will never have to work again. Just be sure to purchase with the 8 minute ab workout.

We get a lesson on the Pareto Principle. If you have never heard of the Pareto Priciple before (otherwise known as the 80/20 rule) you should go back to junior high. BTW, Brian Tracy has discussed this principle and its implications ad nauseum. The author would have us believe that he personally redicovered in some forgotton tome (probably while motorcycle kung-fu rock climbing in Bora Bora--between kendo lessons) and was just about the first to ever apply it to his life.

Later in the book we get some basic info (all easily found in more detail in other books) about starting a web business, outsourcing your workload, etc.

I can appreciate some of this as I had a web business for several years. This section of the book is an interesting read, but little more. If anything, maybe it will inspire someone else to get started on their own enterprise. And that's perfectly fine. If the author accomplishes this, then good. After all, I don't necessarily think that he's a bad guy, just a shameless self promoter and a bit of a charlatan.

Authors such as Ferriss are common: someone falls a** backwards into a relatively easy existence and then decides that they are experts and proceeds to seel their "secret" to success to everyone else--which helps them get REALLY successful. But here's the deal: One hit wonders are not experts. When you've started 4 or 5 businesses and grown each of them to the point where they are self sufficient, THEN you can call yourself an expert. Striking it lucky one time in stocks, real estate during a bubble, or starting one business do not constitute experience.

In the end, I think that the author does his readers a bit of a disservice by telling them that work is not necessary to be financially successful. I have known both success and failure. I have seen others go, literally, from rags to riches (and sometimes back again). Over the years I guess I have given this subject some thought. My conclusion is that you will not get there (wherever "there" may be for you) by working four hours per week. Vision, hard work, and persistence are the 3 main "secret" ingredients for success. Just as exercise and eating right are necessary to be in shape. But telling people this doesn't sell books.

P.S. Can't help noticing how many 5 star reviews there are for this book from people who have only written one review. Hmmm...

2643 of 2807 people found this review helpful.
amazon logo There's a Sucker Born Everyday ( MUST READ BEFORE PURCHASING!)
The title and cover draws people in. 4 Hour Work Week, it's too good to be true. Then we read the first couple of pages, maybe the first couple of chapters. The first chapters are the typical motivational, "you can do it" montage. I'm not going to lie, I felt motivated to give this book a try after reading the first part of the book without even knowing what this book is all about. But as I began to get out of the fluff, and actually found myself reading the core subject of the book, I was utterly disappointed.

D is for Definition

In this section Ferriss tells us to do an important task: define what you want. And I agree that most of us live through life not knowing what we want; just following the crowd like a herd of sheep. This section was the motivational, make you feel good section. This wasn't the how, it was the why, and it downright made me pumped.

E is for Elimination
Okay, so he basically says to eliminate all the junk in your life. For example: watch less TV, don't check your e-mail 50 times a day, don't look at your phone 100 times a day, don't surf the web 3 hours a day, etc. It's all good advice, nothing too fancy, or new, just plain old, "don't waste your time" advice. So far so good.

A is for automation
This is where I ran in to problems with Tim's method of creating a "4 hour workweek". First he tells us to outsource a big chunk of our lives using a VA (virtual assistant) from India or Shanghai or wherever. Basically a virtual assistant is a person who assist you in everyday task (checking emails, making reservations, doing research for your job that you got hired to do,set up appointments, etc) so basically an online-personal assistant you hire for dirt cheap. So if you are okay with some guy in India knowing your personal information (SSN, bank account number, phobias, any illnesses you might have, problems in life, and many more as Ferriss states) go ahead and outsource the things you can already do yourself to a guy in India you never met. But Ferris says that misuses of sensitive information are rare; well there could be bias behind that statement, but I'm not willing to find out if it's true or not. The irony of oustourcing your life is that you become dependent on your VA. You no longer have the urge to take control of your own life when it comes to paying bills, making reservations, or doing research for your job because your VA does it for you. So that's the paradox: out source your life, but become more dependent on a foreigner. And Ferriss quotes Ralph Waldo Emerson throughout his book as a motivational spice. But it's apparent that he never read "Self Reliance", the cornerstone of Emerson's philosophy. (Tim if you're going to use Emerson's words, how about not making a book that totally contradicts the philosophy of Emerson? Thanks).

A is for automation Pt. 2
Ferriss then goes on to tell us how we can make up to 40,000 dollars a month of automated income (little work). Basically you create a product and sell it. Plain and simple. He tells you to find a market, find the demographics of your product, make a product and sell it. Yup, your average entrepreneurship. It's nothing new, and Ferris is not an expert entrepreneur. He did have a company BrainQuicken which sells "Neural Accelerator" supplements. The site is 99% advertising and 1% scientific: It sells because it's precisely that. And the product that Ferriss started is not something revolutionary, I'll take my 200mg of caffeine before a workout any day than pay 50.00 dollars plus shipping for BrainQuicken. So if you want to make your own product, market it, sell it and make millions of dollars go ahead. Tim tells you exactly how, but what Tim doesn't tell you is that it takes a lot of work in the beginning, a lot more than 4 hours a week.

L is for Liberation
More like L is for not showing up to work, and being cynical. Now I'm against the 9-5 hours of work. I think that human beings are more efficient enough to get things done in a short period of time, and I believe that society is slowly catching on. But here's Tim's idea of "liberation". Escaping the office: not doing your job or worse, not showing up. Killing your job: quit your job. Mini retirement: take a month vacation every 2 months of work (or pattern that works best for you). Filling the Void: filling in the emptiness and the boredom you feel with fun stuff like becoming a horse archer, learning tango, and winning a fight championship by cheating.
So okay, let's say everything goes well: you are making 40,000 dollars a month, you are working no more than 4 hours a week... now what. Even Ferriss says that you will feel a void... well that sucks doesn't it? Why don't you go and talk to your VA about your problems?

Now obviously I'm against Tim's advertising methods, it's misleading. The book only sells because of the hope it gives 9-5 workers that it's possible. Oh, it's possible but unlikely. Tim is no Bil Gates, Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett, or Clint Eastwood he is nowhere close to them. You see great testimonials from people from Yahoo!, Wired, Silicon Valley, and hell, from Jack Canfield about Tim's book, but not from people like Gates, Jobs, Buffett, Eastwood, or any other highly successful people, why? Because those four know that true success comes from years of hard work, and building lasting relationships with people. Those four know that decreasing your work hours, outsourcing your life, and making a tons of money is not the road to true happiness. Those four people, even if they read this book, will probably throw it in the fire. But for the cynical, "how do I work little and make tons of money" people out there (which is most of the population) this book will initially look like the next Bible. The fact that this book sold well says a lot about our society.

This is a misleading book, there are tons of other great books you can read for true success: Talent is Overrated (no BS way how people become great at what they do), 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (classic), and How to Have Confidence and Power in Dealing with People... to name a few. Very few will read this review before buying, and more copies of this book will sell due to the cynical and lazy nature of people. Don't be one of those people, don't buy this book.
2048 of 2170 people found this review helpful.
amazon logo Hypocritical
There's a lot of hypocritical advice and false values being promoted in this book. For example, the author advises you demand to get paid for the quality of your work, not the time spent on doing it, but then he suggests you outsource your labor overseas, paying somebody else $5 an hour to do it. If somebody actually has to do the work, then the "solution" he is promoting is false, because it's simply masking the fact that the work has to be done by somebody, somewhere. Worse, that "somebody"--most likely a poor person in the developing world--is actaully being exploited for another person's benefit. Similarly, the author lists ways you can live and travel for free. Again, these are what I would call false values. They promote a greedy ethic of something-for-nothing, an idea that will appeal to people who want others to work so that they can live the good life.
1280 of 2042 people found this review helpful.
amazon logo Highly recommended!
I don't often write reviews on Amazon.com but I felt compelled to write one for this book because the author has convinced me to change my assumptions about worklife and personal goals. This is an easy read. Althought I am a slooooow and easily distracted reader, I finished the book from cover-to-cover in a few sittings. I even spent some time researching the weblinks but didn't do all the challenges because I was eager to absorb all the ideas first.

It is probably best to read the book one time through quickly to grasp his point of view (the author even gives a brief blurb on how to speed read). Then after you "get it" take some time doing the challenges if you feel so compelled.

I have already implemented one of the author's recommendations in my daily life....check email only twice per day: right before lunch then again an hour before the end of the day. Process every email at the time you read it. Seems a simple challenge but I did suffer "withdrawal symptoms" from not constantly checking email. And you know what? Because I stayed focus on the task at hand and not constantly checking email I left work last Thursday (April 27) feeling less stressed and more accomplished. This is only a brief part of the book but to me was impactful.

Ferriss gives some great ideas about starting your own business even if you don't have or desire an MBA (like me). He provides lists of free and paid resources to help you along the way.

There is a simple roadmap for freeing yourself from the 9-5 grind. Is it attainable? I hope so. Maybe I'm just being an optimist but yesterday I took the day off from my "cube job" and spent part of my day setting up an online business following his "case studies".

The downside is that the book is provides a cursory glance at some topics that need to be expanded. However, I think he did a good job at presenting his view of how life can be. He's also opened himself up to "The 4 Hour Workweek 2.0" when he can go in more depth.

In all I found it an enjoyable read. I plan to follow his "roadmap" and see where it takes me. I already recommended it to two other friends.

Now, to the naysayers writing "reviews" about this book. First, Read the book. Second, write a review of the book not a review about other reviews. You are undermining your "cause" as Review Police by giving a 1-star without first reading the book and "just to balance the scales". In short you're being hypocritical. I think if you take your own advice and read the book you will "get it". Is there marketing going on here? DUH! Of course there is marketing! Ferriss is selling a product. Simply put, he practices what he preaches!

Read the book and find out!
722 of 998 people found this review helpful.
amazon logo Outsourced content - practice what he preaches but at price.
First of all, the book just arrived today and as per my verified purchase, you can see I've actually taken the time to read THIS version rather than only the first version like a couple of the early reviewers. Also, be sure to check out the number of reviews from some of the other reviewers...one review history...of this book only? I suspect that is a friend of the author. To that effect, it was a disappointment for those of us who actually purchased/read the first book and were expecting a lot of new information given the tough economy.

Long time four hour workweek fans are likely to be disappointed...looks like Ferris outsourced this entire book to someone who collected some interesting blog posts/testimonials and then corrected a few spelling errors in the last book. Readers deserve so much more! Seriously, although he is practicing what he preaches, isn't everyone sick and tired of being suckered by greedy people? I know I am...from bankers to dream peddlers, how about giving us our money's worth rather than simply adding the testimonials from readers plus a few added bits of inspiration.

This does indeed have over 100 pages of new content that makes the book much more substantial. The core of the book remains nearly the same as the first book...the additional 100 pages primarily consist of examples from others and testimonials taken from the blog. While these are certainly great additions - they don't change or update the core content. Former readers have little/nothing new to go on at a time when there is a need for even more (not less) REAL information. Not feel-good fluff.

New readers will absolutely want to purchase this version rather than the first version since it is packed with great examples, testimonials and other tidbits but prior readers will find very little additional value from reading this version. Bottom line - buy this book if you are new to his work. Former fans of the four hour work week should save their money as they will find little/nothing new. A major let-down to long time fans and blatant laziness that is an insulting cash grab.

For former readers that insist on ignoring this review and buying the new version anyway...you were warned. Like another reviewer said, "life is short"....why waste your time and money re-reading the same material twice. Want a life changing book? Go for one that has stood the test of time...Your Money or Your Life. Great stuff and no...I have no affiliation with those authors.
552 of 641 people found this review helpful.
amazon logo 21st Century Snake-Oil Salesman
First, I have to say that I was very enthusiastic about the first part of this book, as Tim suggests that people should consider other ways of living their life instead of working hard toward an eventual retirement. But later I realized after reading the book that the "live your life now, don't wait until later" concept is not new, and has been preached by everyone from philosophers to life coaches for decades now. [...].

Second, while the advice he has for people who already have a business is good (automating certain administrative tasks, checking e-mail less frequently even if you think your world might end if you do that), the ideas he dishes out to would-be entrepreneurs is much more troubling. Specifically product development, which he labels "finding a muse", could mislead some people into believing that you can make an instant-business every month with the help of affiliate marketers, drop shippers, and faking credibility (just check the forums on the book's website). Many things he suggests doing just contributes to the amount of crap we see every day on the internet and in infomercials, and probably isn't a very rewarding way for an entrepreneur to live their life or make their money. It's the equivalent of a how-to-become a 21st century snake oil salesman.

Finally, I know there is a lot of criticism about his ideas on outsourcing tasks, but we live in an outsourced world. The shirt your wearing was made in Indonesia, your fruits and vegetables were picked by migrant workers from Mexico, and your computer that you're reading this from right now was manufactured in China. Adjusted for the cost of living, the Indonesians, Chinese, and Indians make a good amount of money doing what they do to live the "middle-class" versions of their lives in their respective countries, just as you do mundane tasks and get paid much less than corporate shareholders to live the middle-class life in your own country. So don't talk about outsourcing as if it's a bad thing, cause if I can pay Jimmy down the street to mow my lawn for less than a landscaping service, he's gonna get that ten dollars so I can have the extra cash to buy Tim's book and waste time writing a bad review of it on Amazon.
563 of 614 people found this review helpful.
amazon logo Tim Ferris' Ode To Slackerdom
In "The 4-Hour Workweek", Tim Ferris tells us that anyone can live life like a millionaire by adopting the philosophy of the New Rich - working the minimum amount of time necessary, having maximum freedom and mobility, and starting a niche business that runs by itself. If you are unsure as to how to accomplish this ideal, "The 4-Hour Workweek" provides a step-by-step recipe. Enticing? Absolutely! But after a few chapters, the book seems more like an infomercial than a literary work.

Ferriss spends the first four chapters of the book redefining success in his own terms. The New Rich, he writes, "negotiates a remote work agreement to achieve 90% of the results in one-tenth of the time, which frees him to practice cross-country skiing and take road trips with his family two weeks per month. " The New Rich.... "aim to distribute `mini-retirements' throughout life instead of... the fool's goal of retirement." Furthermore, the New Rich, "ask for forgiveness, not permission. If it isn't going to devastate those around you, try it and then justify it". To many, it will seem that Ferriss is advocating self-centeredness and lack of concern for others. Poor ethics; however, does not preclude a book from becoming a best seller.

In the next section, the author instructs us on improving our productivity. He advocates doing only the 20% of tasks that "contribute most to income" and to schedule those "with very short and clear deadlines". He advocates a low information diet, avoiding time consuming people, learning to say no, and refusing to multi-task in order to apply the minimum amount of time to the absolute minimum of tasks. In Ferriss' view of the world, it appears the grasshopper is the hero of the fable; not the hard-working ant.

Chapters 8 - 13 offer a number of interesting ideas for putting one's life on easy street. Ferriss outsources much of his work and personal tasks to India or China. He tells us that "there are a million and one ways to make a million dollars" and presents his recipe for accomplishing this as: 1) Pick an affordably reachable niche market, 2) Brainstorm a product idea 3) Market test your concept and 4) Rollout your product while simultaneously outsourcing the operations to reduce your time requirements. Enticing? Yes, again; but can there really be niche, low maintenance businesses out there for everyone?

In the remainder of "The 4-Hour Workweek", Tim Ferriss advocates manipulating your boss into permitting you to work remotely using a variety of unsavory tactics. The objective is to obtain "unrestricted mobility" and to "work wherever and whenever you want." In this way, one can take trips and vacations while still being paid by an employer.

Lastly, and perhaps most believably, Ferriss addresses what to do when one becomes part of the New Rich, only to find that "emptiness and boredom" await them. He offers common platitudes such as taking a learning mini-retirement, performing charitable work, and volunteering. By this time, readers might just be wondering whether the Ferriss way is really the smart way at all. Certainly the conventional wisdom of hard work, integrity, and servant-leadership would more reliably lead to a fulfilling sense of self-worth and accomplishment.

The title of this book is catchy and the proposition interesting. However, from the recommended unethical tactics to the ultimate goal of leisure and boredom, there is little in this book that is worthwhile. The fact that it made the New York Times best seller list and received a host of endorsements from notables is a sad testimony to our times.

See published review at: [...]

404 of 472 people found this review helpful.
amazon logo Get "old rich" writing a book about the "New Rich"!
Ultimately I enjoyed the first half of Timothy Ferriss' book The 4-Hour Work Week. It challenged me to evaluate my perspective on the cost and availability of my own dreams. However I couldn't help getting the self-promotion stomach pangs while I read it. Hopefully you'll be able to look past that and enjoy the book for what it is: a challenge to the way we as Americans think of retirement and money.

The first 70 to 90 pages of the book are extremely engaging and well worth the price of the book. After that the book turns into a "lifestyle-for-dummies" book on setting up a shell company to sell someone else's products. Although I find it noble that Ferriss is attempting to give people pragmatic steps for implementing his "New Rich" lifestyle, I also find his suggestions impractical for two reasons:

* His business ideas rely on tiny, niche audiences. This works well unless his book becomes a best seller and many people decide they want to do the same thing (can you say, We Buy Ugly Houses?). Anyone who figures out how to make 5 or 10 times their money on a product that they exert little effort to produce will quickly find competition popping out of the woodwork.

* His business ideas are not sustainable. They rely on marketing strategies and promotions that have to work forever without any change to profitability or response rates, in order to maintain the "4-hour work week" lifestyle. In my experience the market is fickle and changes frequently, especially as it relates to the internet and online marketing.

I can't help but think that the entire "New Rich" concept is a branding ploy to roll out a series of self-help seminars. Let's hope not. If it does, it will distort the message of the book, for it would require that Ferriss trade in his "New Rich" lifestyle to be back in the rat race on a quest for the millions that he claims are not necessary to achieve one's dreams.

Perhaps that's the real lesson to be learned from the book: no matter where you are, the grass always seems greener on the other side.

Jeremy Ames, Executive Editor
407 of 439 people found this review helpful.
amazon logo Better Than The First Version By A Very Long Shot . . . Definitely Worth The Investment
I reviewed the first edition of The Four Hour Workweek and was surprised by the content, it was a fresh look at a new idea (Lifestyle Design) and it offered some really practical, useful advice that virtually anyone could implement. I recommended the book to many people, most liked it some didn't.

I eagerly pre-ordered this version of the book when I first heard about it mostly because I was curious if it would really be better . . . and boy was it!

I sat down with this book and read until the wee hours of the morning. Sure a lot of the material is the same, but there are around 100 new pages of material and that material is what the first edition desperately needed. The new material is solid examples, case studies, new resources and it addresses how to navigate lifestyle design in a rapidly changing economy.

Tim includes a list of things learned in 2008 along with lessons learned, this section of the book was priceless. Here are a few of the things he talks about:

1. Don't accept large or costly favors from strangers - Exceptions, uber-successful mentors who are making introductions and not laboring on your behalf.

2. You don't have to recoup losses the same way you lose them - An interesting discussion of mortgages.

3. One of the most universal causes of self-doubt and depression: Trying to impress people you don't like (This one really hit home with me . . . hard)

4. Slow meals = life

5. Money doesn't change you; it reveals who you are when you no longer have to be nice.

6. It doesn't matter how many people don't get it. What matters is how many people do.

7. I should not invest in public stocks where I cannot influence outcome (Another hearty agreement from me).

The list goes on as does the new information in the book. This one is a must read for anyone who wants to break the slave-save-retire cycle and live on purpose now.
344 of 402 people found this review helpful.

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