Are you tired of working day in and day out?
Are you sick of never being able to enjoy life on your own terms because you’re busy saving money for retirement?
Well Tim Ferriss’ Four Hour Workweek Expanded Edition (affiliate link) is your one stop solution for figuring out how to stop working endlessly and to live your life on your own terms NOW.
If there’s one book every person should read at least once for inspiration it’s the Four Hour Work Week.
Why wait to enjoy life until after retirement?
Why Where You’re Going Matters (Define)
In Tim’s book you start by asking yourself what’s important in your life.
What’s your dream?
What do you really want?
The only way you’re going to get anywhere is to know where you want to end up.
Tim uses his “dreamlining” method to do this while figuring out how much you’d have to make daily or monthly to reach your dreams.
Call it project management for your life (with budgeting).
How to Drop the Pointless Things in Life (Eliminate)
Tim makes a point of telling you to cut out the un-needed and unused things and expenses in your life.
At the same time he tells you to kill off the distractions: focus on the 20% of things that are important and ignore the 80% of things that aren’t.
As Tim would say: It’s okay to have small bad things happen while you’re focused on the big good things in life.
This includes learning to say “No” and to stop reading the news and other useless information about things you have zero power over.
If you want to learn something ask a real person.
How to Earn a Living and Avoid the Daily Grind (Automate)
Tim stresses that you should always delegate your work – whatever it is and whenever you can.
It’s the key to building something that runs itself while giving you more time to focus on your dreams.
Tim suggests you start small by hiring virtual assistants to save you time, which saves you money and then work your way up.
This is also a good tactic if you hire people who are better than you at tasks that you are bad at or that take up too much of your time.
It is better to focus on your strengths in one hour then fix your weaknesses over 10 (figuratively speaking).
On this point I totally agree with Tim.
How a Muse Helps You Make Money Without Thinking
Tim suggests that you should find and create a “muse” that makes money while allowing you to do very little work and focus more on living life fully or making the world a better place.
Find the DEAL Making Muse
Tim gives you the simple step by step methods to find this “muse”.
To be honest, it would take you at least 2-6 months to find and build the muse (based on my project management experience) and several hundred dollars at most.
It’s worth the investment however you’ll probably want to keep your day job until you’ve hit the right idea.
Some of the biggest challenges is positioning yourself to be an “expert” to become trusted and sell whatever it is you’re selling.
That takes at least another month and an investment of time too.
Turn on Automatic
The final challenge is making your “muse” run on automatic.
Tim tells you how to do this and how to outsource the work so you no longer have to be there all the time to deal directly with customers.
The outsourced companies and people do it for you.
This whole step frees your mind to do what you want to do and what you’re good at.
The book would have benefited from having more resources on using online advertising, Google Adwords, affiliates and search engine optimization (SEO).
Tim tells you to use Google Adwords and frankly it’s super tough to do (based on personal experience and having been banned once for a silly accident – Google is very unforgiving).
One book that I will be reviewing in the future is a great beginner’s guide called Get Going with Google Adwords (affiliate link).
In fact if there were whole example campaigns and templates it would have been even more amazing.
How to Be Free Now Instead of Later (Liberate)
The whole point of liberation is to stop doing what everyone else expects.
Tim tells you to change your job or the way you’re doing your current job so you can work from anywhere – at home, Columbia or somewhere else in the world.
Tim recommends that everyone take one or more “mini-retirements” by going to countries where it costs less to live, eat and play.
The book gives his top countries to visit or stay in.
At the same time traveling isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
Tim is a much more adventurous, thrill seeking person than most and traveling abroad has its own set of problems that some don’t enjoy.
Tim’s key point is that your find a way to free up time and be somewhere else that is not the cubicle, the office or some other corporate environment.
Enjoy life now instead of working to death and enjoying it later.
In economic terms, a dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow and people should see their happiness, health and freedom the same way.
That’s Tim Ferriss’ DEAL (Define, Eliminate, Automate, Liberate) in a nutshell.
Overall, the 4-Hour Work Week Expanded Edition (affiliate link) is a useful resource guide with dozens of links, tips, tricks and suggestions from Tim and readers.
It’s also a useful book for understanding how to be a more effective entrepreneur, freelancer or waged worker.
It gives you enough details to get you started and Tim recommends extra books at the end if you want more details on his ideas.
It is definitely a book to turn to if you want to live life on your own terms.
PS. A Thought on Outsourcing
Some of you may not agree with Tim’s outsourcing suggestions.
In fact it might rub some social justice and ethical minded people the wrong way.
Tim’s ideas say that you should play along with the current system of cheap labour overseas.
Unfortunately shipping many jobs overseas has caused a lot of local jobs to vanish.
It’s a sad fact of today’s world and likely cannot be fixed.
Tim however says nothing about this fact or fails to acknowledge the good or bad points about this.
This may be more about his idea of ignoring the bad things you are unable to change or the fact that he is a rugged individualist (you come first, everyone else last).
Tim does suggest that you can outsource locally or within your own country if you need perfect language dependent services because you’ll still save time and money (even if the costs are much higher at first).
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