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85 of 91 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Escape From Tony Robbins Island
For the average Brit the American style of self-help books has a number of things that grate: the need to name-drop, the appeal to authority, the need to portray oneself as wildly successful now but previously being close to defeat. This book has these in spades. It is also in parts rather disjointed and the author is fundamentally someone many of us would wish to avoid...
Published on 13 Jun 2011 by Charles Vasey

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123 of 130 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nuggets of wisdom have to mined from the not insignificant dross.
I love the idea of rejecting the "deferred life plan". The concept that one should pursue one's dreams and ambitions whilst still young enough, vital enough and financed enough to do so. These dreams should not be "deferred" to the time in life when we are becoming more infirm, more reliant and less energetic. So, the concept of the book is a noble one but the means...
Published on 17 Jun 2012 by Neil


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123 of 130 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nuggets of wisdom have to mined from the not insignificant dross., 17 Jun 2012
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This review is from: The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich (Paperback)
I love the idea of rejecting the "deferred life plan". The concept that one should pursue one's dreams and ambitions whilst still young enough, vital enough and financed enough to do so. These dreams should not be "deferred" to the time in life when we are becoming more infirm, more reliant and less energetic. So, the concept of the book is a noble one but the means prescribed in the substance of the book are deeply flawed. There are some nuggets of wisdom, but they seem to be deeply buried amongst pages and pages of checklists, references and resources that would take the space of a full time job just to review. Ferris's magic formula seems so saturated in heuristics that it beggars belief that he himself applies it in his own life. There are contradictions (travel with a laptop or don't travel with a laptop), there are poor recommendations (use easyjet and ryannair for cheap flights in the UK and Europe) and there seems to be an underlying assumption that everyone's dream is to travel the world and learn languages. There is an almost fetishistic leaning towards Argentina both in Ferris's own version of escaping the 9-5 but also in the case studies of his readers. Oh and by the way if he can't find a decent meal for 20 USD in London, he's not doing London right. There are some good resources (among the endless lists of website referrals) and there are times during the reading of the book that ideas get stimulated in the reader. Whether escaping the 9-5 is the aim or just freeing up more time in one's busy life, the material in the book could be used as a resource but it ultimately depends on the energy, determination and clear sense of direction that already exists within the reader. I guess the one lesson not covered in the book is that if you really want to make a ton of cash in order to swan around the world and ditch your day job then you need to write a book with a catchy title that taps in to the hopes and desires of the masses - I personally need to stop getting fooled by titles like this.
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85 of 91 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Escape From Tony Robbins Island, 13 Jun 2011
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Charles Vasey (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich (Paperback)
For the average Brit the American style of self-help books has a number of things that grate: the need to name-drop, the appeal to authority, the need to portray oneself as wildly successful now but previously being close to defeat. This book has these in spades. It is also in parts rather disjointed and the author is fundamentally someone many of us would wish to avoid (always assuming we could get through his maze of limited access measures). Additionally, the methodology by which one hits this status of New Rich is simply not attainable by any but a very small part of a very small part of the readership.

However, there is also a lot of value here if you can make it through another tale of the author's life and career.

Firstly, his model as to how you should prioritise yourself and how you should execute your tasks is a strong one. It applies whether you are an International Man Of Mystery like the author, or a wage-slave contemplating a list of tasks at Amalgamated Consolidated. It is essentially the Brian Tracy approach but you will benefit from it if you follow it.

Secondly, his approach to business planning is strong, essentially because he lacks the limitation of a vocation. Ferriss is in the business of business, to him it is a means to an end , and he therefore sees things clearly and dispassionately. He is thus uniquely fitted to a model of selling goods anonymously. You may be a true believer in what you do, and you may be delivering a service, but you can still benefit from him.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but unconvincing, 3 July 2011
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This review is from: The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich (Paperback)
Interesting ideas in this book, but why, in the intro, is he so pleased to get a book deal? If the ideas here work, what difference would a book deal make? I did enjoy this, but got the feeling it could have been called 'How to make a million by writing a book about making a million.'
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good for perpetual adolescents - and that's not a compliment, 13 Dec 2012
This review is from: The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich (Paperback)
The book has some good ideas - like being open to outsourcing more of your tedious work tasks, or cutting down on information overload by reducing reading the news, checking emails too often etc. But these ideas could easily be summarised on one sheet of A4. They do not merit a whole book, nor justify the cost of one.

A bigger problem is that Tim Ferriss's ideas will appeal to only two types of people - the terminally unimaginative, to whom it had simply never occured to follow their own dreams now, rather than waiting until they were retired, and adolescents (real or perpetual), who have no responsibilities to anyone other than themelves, and can imagine no more meaningful way to spend their lives than surfing on numerous beaches.

What this means in practice is that the whole life plan, the whole raison d'etre of what he selling here - to cut off completely and bum around in tropical locations - is of no use or interest to ordinary adults who not only have real commitments but ENJOY them, and find commitments to children, partners etc are what make their lives truly meaningful. It is no accident that Tim's books are written by a man with no children or even a long-term girlfriend - his life plan would simply not work for anyone who has grown up at all, or accepted responsibilities for others. One cannot 'outsource' quality time spent with one's children, whilst remaining a good parent, nor maintain a good relationship by 'outsourcing' time together.

Clearly Tim himself has lots of gumption, lots of chutzpah, and is not overly hampered by ethical considerations when he makes his money - if it fulfils his goal of raking in easy cash, then it is perfectly valid in his childishly unquestioning capitalistic model.

Anyone who feels at all uncomfortable doing things like pretending to be an 'expert' to shift products (as he both recommends and indeed practices in this book), or selling pills despite no medical training whatsoever (as he also does), might wonder if his methods will only work at the expense of something more precious than money - integrity; something the author appears not to really understand the meaning of.

One final word - don't buy this book if you are not American, as all the resources apply only in the US.

Don't say you haven't been warned.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars over-rated, 30 Oct 2013
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Highly over-rated this book. A bunch of non usable concepts that does not benefit much the reader, lots of contents that have no practical use. This book could have been written in a blog post, I noticed that the writer just kept on writing in order to have lots of pages to make a book. I was not too sure if I should have read it before I bought it, I guess it was a waste of my time, I didn't learn much if anything.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A disquieting insight into the world of the 21st Century snake oil salesman, 2 Nov 2013
This review is from: The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich (Paperback)
I borrowed this book from a friend. At the time I was trying to find a way to run a small business whilst juggling with the uncertainties of long-term health issues. The title of the book was intriguing.

And certainly, there are some sensible ideas in this book - albeit mostly concentrated in the first few pages - on time management. Like not answering your phone and only replying to emails at designated times. Obvious? Well, not always. However one of the best suggestions was to not feel obliged to read a book all the way to the final paragraph.

With regard to Ferriss' own book, such advice seemed well placed, for long before I got anywhere near the final chapter I felt myself losing the will to live.

I also had this disquieting feeling I'd accidently strayed into the territory of some rather nasty cult, the kind that would sell its own daughters to old men in exchange for something that would provide another quick high. The basic premise seemed to be, find something - anything, ANYTHING, ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING - that you can persuade (or con) large numbers of people into buying. Obviously, at the highest possible price.

Outsource everything to the third world, have various auf wiederzehn/plausible deniability strategies in place for when things go wrong, and away you go. Dead easy.

Consequences? In the snake oil salesman's world, there aren't any. Provided of course you remain appropriately out of sight (for more on this theme, read Howard Marks).

The irony seemed to be, that for all the eons of time Ferriss claims to have freed up in his own life - in order to pursue his various hedonistic but often vacuous interests, it doesn't quite ring true. He tries hard to make a convincing case but ultimately falls well short.

Instead, the picture is of a rather sad individual forever chasing that one final fix - whether it be a triad of nubile girls, the ultimate wave break or merely the acclaim he clearly thinks he deserves for being so incredibly incredibly brilliant - that will fix everything. And in this respect the growing collection of generic titles under Ferriss' authorship (most likely ghost-written by someone in Mumbai earning $6 an hour) seems little more than another means to that end, as in more snake oil.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly useful!, 24 Nov 2013
Some absolutely brilliant observations on quirky (and often remarkably counter productive) human behaviours. I recommend this book to pretty much anyone - however, it does become somewhat aggressive and pushy as it goes on - too much so for me, which is why I marked it down to a three. Worth a read though... Have to say it makes me think twice on a regular basis about how I go about my day to day work
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good fun, if a bit unrealistic., 19 Nov 2013
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Mrs. Danielle F. Kaye "Dani" (Herts, UK) - See all my reviews
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This book is a good laugh and has some fine ideas, but it DOES assume that you want to be rich and are willing to 'fleece/pull the wool over the eyes of your employer/s, which is not everybody's priority. It did, however, make me realise that I was more than ready for a fundamental shift in my aims and values, on the back of which I have left my 9 to 5 and launched myself on self-reliance. Well worth a read.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Get real - you will be working 80+ hours a week for years before you will know how to be rich by doing virtually nothing, 31 Oct 2013
This review is from: The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich (Paperback)
This is a good book to give you a great buzz, with some case studies and resources sprinkled in but don't ever think that Timothy himself came to the conclusions in this book by investing no more than 4 hours weekly of his time. After many years of trial and error, accumulating expertise and redesigning your life, building businesses, writing and marketing your books, etc. you could finally say that you can maintain your superb lifestyle with just 4 hours of work weekly. Let's say I have a broken airplane. A technician comes and replaces a bit in 5 minutes. He then proceeds to ask 1000...for a 5 minute job. Let's not forget that it took him years of education, money and time in order to know which bit to replace. Your journey will be no different.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Full of great ideas, 26 Mar 2010
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I was told about this book as it seems I was already living a little like the author ie home working, working from abroad etc however on reading it I was far from a 4 hour working week! The ideas in this book would be difficult for most people to follow in full but even if you took some of them, you could drastically save time and use it for yourself. Many of the websites are for US use as are many of the analogies and examples however if you get the general idea and use google to find UK equivalent services, then you can gain a lot. So since reading this I have outsourced to india, I have an administrator in ireland and I use a variety of free IT services to make my life easier. So read this book. Im off to the gym and for a coffee.
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