26 Jun 2014

Book Review: The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris

What it is about:
The 4-Hour Work Week is a 3 in 1 book: a non-fiction, a self-help, and a how-to. Amazon describes it as a 'step-by-step guide to luxury lifestyle design'. Forget working from 9 to 5 and life in an office cubicle, and transform your life into becoming a New Rich who is able to own a business without running it, costantly take 6-month vacations from work, and travel all around the world without spending much money.

What I think about it:
I heard about this book years ago while I was still living in Latvia. It was hard not to notice the books since even in the post-soviet side of the world everybody went nuts about it. In a good way? Not really. If in the U.S. Timothy Gerris managed to become a NYT betselling author and keep this title for 4 years, on the other side of the Atlantic he was constantly accused of being a bragged and a douchebag who detests middle class and those unable to escape from its clucthes. The reason for such difference in opinions doesn't require to dig too deep: Ferris simply aimed for too large of a target, without realizing that socio-economical models are different (sometimes like day and night) depending on every region. Think about it.

Start-up model that works in the U.S. will under no circumstances work in Ukraine or Belarus. You can never make a business selling yoga for climbers DVDs in Russia, because in Russia the pirate version of it will appear on the web within the first few hours. You will never be able to become a New Rich somewhere in South America by re-selling sailor T-shirts from France at $100 each, because people are generally way poorer and can't form a decent market. It's the U.S. where people are so spoilt with the luxury of choices - in way too many other countries the situation is completely different.

So a lot of people displeased with the book actually have a great point.

At the same time, I don't believe that Ferris really intented to write a universal guideline of how to succeed with little effort. What he, on the other hand, suggests is plenty of practical advice on time management, work efficiencty, priority-listing, automation, and, most important, on being more creative, on thinking outside the box, acquiring views on life that allow more perspectives and bigger possibilities. Stop being afraid to take more from life and reach out, is what I hear him saying. Tim Ferris is a greedy man - you can feel it from his constant self-advertising and bragging with his living-on-a-beach, travelling-with-ease life-style. But he is greedy for life, and this energetic enthusiasm is - at least for me - a contageous thing.

So I do recommend reading - but only between the lines.

PS. The book is loaded with quotations, real life stories, extracts from various articles, useful web links, etc. The latter can be found on Timothy Ferris' blog that is saturated with useful info of very different kind:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger.
Designed By Boutique-Website-Design