Customer Reviews


116 Reviews
5 star:
 (64)
4 star:
 (22)
3 star:
 (17)
2 star:
 (8)
1 star:
 (5)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


225 of 236 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book of two halves
This seems to me to be a book of two halves. In the first half, Ferris gives a step by step action plan for eliminating non-essential work, outsourcing a lot of the remaining work, and giving a detailed blueprint for designing, test-running and developing an 'automated' on-line businesses (or businesses) - that is, a business whereby most of the functions are performed by...
Published on 4 Jun 2008 by R. Reed

versus
491 of 517 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Directions for Hiding from the Boss, Starting an Automated Internet Business, and Being a Global Vagabond
Did you know that if the trends of the last two centuries hold, everyone's workweek will be four hours by 2407? What will people do with all that free time? It's a good question that this book recommends you consider.

Mr. Ferriss does a favor for those who hate their jobs but cannot find work they like by explaining how you can still draw a salary while working...
Published on 10 Sep 2007 by Donald Mitchell


‹ Previous | 1 212 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

225 of 236 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book of two halves, 4 Jun 2008
By 
R. Reed (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This seems to me to be a book of two halves. In the first half, Ferris gives a step by step action plan for eliminating non-essential work, outsourcing a lot of the remaining work, and giving a detailed blueprint for designing, test-running and developing an 'automated' on-line businesses (or businesses) - that is, a business whereby most of the functions are performed by outsourced companies, hence it is scaleable and allows the owner to keep only a very light hand on the tiller, through weekly or monthly reporting by the outsourcers. The idea is to free you up from the dull treadmill of routine work to allow you to focus on the important things in life now rather than waiting for some deferred gaol to be achieved (eg. retirement). I found this first half of the book excellent and have already started implementing his ideas - Ferris has definitely fired me up enough to give it a go.

The second part seems to focus mainly on what you should do with all the free time that you have managed to free up, and how to cope with the existential issues raised by having nothing to do. His solution is to travel extensively and keep learning (languages, martial arts, dance, etc), and so he gives a lot of tips on how to do that type of thing. It's quite a US-centric book and no doubt the concept of travelling widely is quite revolutionary to a lot of americans but I personally felt the second half of the book a bit irrelevent in the sense that a) I've been there/done that and b) I reckon I'm capable of finding my own life-affirming ways to make use of any free time the first half of the book creates for me.

But overall, I thought it was a great book, and I thought Ferris writes clearly and engagingly. I found it a gripping read and am feeling excited about implementing many of his ideas in the coming weeks.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


491 of 517 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Directions for Hiding from the Boss, Starting an Automated Internet Business, and Being a Global Vagabond, 10 Sep 2007
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 122,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
Did you know that if the trends of the last two centuries hold, everyone's workweek will be four hours by 2407? What will people do with all that free time? It's a good question that this book recommends you consider.

Mr. Ferriss does a favor for those who hate their jobs but cannot find work they like by explaining how you can still draw a salary while working very few hours (by hiding from the boss and using the 80/20 rule -- 80 percent of results come from 20 percent of efforts). His method is deliberately manipulative (possibly fraudulent is another possible description that comes to mind), so you'll have to watch out that you don't get caught or you might have to repay some of that salary.

What do you do while you are hiding from the boss? Mr. Ferriss recommends starting a highly profitable online retail business that's so highly automated it can be operated in only four hours a week. You'll find details of how to do this that matches what I receive in lots of spam e-mails every week.

After you've got half a million a year rolling in by selling expensive items at a high profit margin, Mr. Ferriss provides lots of advice on how to take six-month miniretirements in cheap places around the world (Argentina and Berlin are his favorites). I'm still puzzled by why Berlin can be a cheap place to live. The rest of Germany when I've visited certainly isn't.

The book's come-on explains how Mr. Ferriss has accomplished all kinds of world-class things to boost his credibility. Unfortunately, you'll find that it isn't always classy how Mr. Ferriss does this. For example, he won the Gold Medal at the Chinese Kickboxing National Championships in 1999. He dehydrated himself more than the other competitors did the day before the competitions for the weigh in so that he could compete against men much smaller and lighter than he was, and he then simply used his quickly regained weight the next day to push competitors off the platform (three times off the platform and you are disqualified).

I find several problems with this book:

1. There's almost nothing original in it. You're just reading summaries that might have been written by a $5 an hour researcher in India. And much of what he draws on isn't acknowledged. For instance, he uses some of Dr. Stephen Covey's seven habits as chapter subtitles . . . but never references or credits Dr. Covey once in the book.

2. He provides so little information on each aspect of his ideas that I doubt that very many readers can really implement what he recommends.

3. There's no moral center to the book. Mr. Ferriss comes across as a con man in several ways.

4. He achieves a 4-hour workweek by simply skimming the cream of a business model that any one of two billion literate people can implement at some level. Are we to believe this business model will be highly profitable for the next several years? I doubt it.

5. I've met very few small business people who simply wanted to retail something on the Internet so they could work only four hours a week. Usually, small business people see their businesses and work as a creative activity that energizes them.

I do admire the book's title. It's a real grabber. It's too bad that there's not more substance to go with it.

If you want to learn how to make breakthroughs in personal and organizational productivity that allow you to live the life you want, there are better resources out there such as The E-Myth Manager by Michael E. Gerber, The Success Principles by Jack Canfield and Janet Switzer, How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life by Alan Lakein, and Photoreading by Paul R. Scheele.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


236 of 252 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting mix of topics but nothing new, 12 May 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Tim's book has got me thinking. It has helped me re-evaluate my life and especially my working my life.

As I see it, Tim argues:

1. Life is short so enjoy it.

2. Realise that you are conditioned by society to work 9-5.

3. Don't wait until you retire to have some fun (lots of fun!).

4. Become much more productive at work.

5. Outsource much of your business and/or life.

6. Create an 'automatic' source of income.

7. Start to living the life you want (it may be cheaper than you think).

Where I have a problem is that this advice, whilst sound, is lightweight. Admittedly, the book points you to lots of (US) resources but you'll need to do a lot more work in order to create the lifestyle Tim offers. It is, after all, a 'framework' of a book and not a detailed, step-by-step, 500 page manual.

OK - I'm hard to please.

If you've not read this sort of material before then this could be the eye-opener you need.

But where I'm disappointed is that Tim suggests that the way to a regular stream of income is to create 'information products'. Mmmm, where have I heard that before?

Do a quick search on Google on this phrase and you'll find tons of better quality material. Believe me, I'm currently experimenting with this source of income and it's not as easy, or as simple, as Tim suggests.

Yes, I am hard to please but visit Tim's site and read his US Amazon reviews and you'd think that this book is somehow *totally* revolutionary.

Yes, it's a good book but it's a bit like eating another American product, a McDonalds burger - it looks tasty on the advertising but while you're eating it you realise that the bread is full of air and sugar and the whole experience leaves you with an unsatisfied feeling.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't give up the day job, 13 Jun 2009
By 
hbw (uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Work smarter, live smarter, start your own business. This book is about all these, but there are just too many things getting in the way.

There are too many rambling anecdotes. Real life stories (if true) about how people have applied the author's ideas in practice can be helpful, but they should be there to illustrate the content, not to pad it out.

Many of the suggestions about how to research the potential market for an idea or product are good - the principle being to tune your product to the market before you start selling. Unfortunately, Ferris has failed to take his own advice. This book is written for an American market with no concession to a UK or European readership. Most of the advice and information is explicitly American and is either irrelevant or seems designed to get you a starring role on "Watchdog" quicker than you could say "Advertising Standards Authority".

As with any book of this kind, most readers will find one or two useful tips, but, for my money, there are too few nuggets and too much dross. Don't give up the day job.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spend your time where your values are, 24 Jan 2008
By 
Tenna Merchent (Noblesville, IN USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ferris is an entertaining and flamboyant character. As you read his story at the beginning of the book you can see he has always thought big, and had an entrepreneurial spirit. He takes us through his analysis of his job, insane hours, abusive clients, and no end in sight. He then focused on the 80/20 rule, where 80% of your business comes from 20% of your clients, and he paired his clients to a manageable and productive level.

One of my favorite parts of his book are all the pull quotes that start each chapter. They're really great such as "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority it is time to pause and reflect." And "By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be a boss and work twelve hours a day." They set the tone for each chapter.

He tells a funny story about how he won the national championship of Chinese kickboxing by exploiting a technical rule, and knocking his opponents off of the elevated platforms. The Chinese officials were not happy, but he won, legitimately. This is definitely thinking outside the box.

He goes through some thought provoking issues, such as saving your whole life to enjoy retirement. Why not have lots of mini-retirements now? He points out that less is not laziness, because he advocates doing less meaningless work, and focusing on what is important. The timing is never right, that's the case with everything, even having children, just bite the bullet and do it. Ask for forgiveness, not permission; don't give people an opportunity to say no. Emphasize your strengths, and don't bother fixing the weaknesses. This one is particularly important because most people do focus on their weaknesses instead of maximizing their strengths. There is a whole book written on this subject alone called First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently.

He highlights unusual things such as 99% of people believe they are incapable of achieving great things. Therefore that is exactly what you should set out to do because the competition is low. That's hilarious! And, probably true.

He gives some good ideas on brainstorming before you start your own company, and making sure you do your research before you jump in. He talks a lot about outsourcing, and using things like a virtual assistant. It sounds like a really good idea to pay someone to do what you're not good at and focusing on what you are good at.

He has some cheesy exercises sprinkled throughout the book, such as go to a mall and ask people of the opposite sex for their phone number. To me they are the weakest part of the book, and they felt like they were added in afterward simply so there would be exercises in it.

But this is a book worth reading. He has lots of good basic tenets. Don't work at a job you hate. Everything popular is wrong. Don't spend all day organizing your e-mails into crazy little folders. Check your e-mail only a few times a day, and when you do, address the issue in the e-mail so you don't have to come back to it. That's like the old mail handling idea of only touch a piece of paper once, don't set it aside to come back to it.

He makes starting a business sound easier than it really is, but it is a thought provoking book. One that makes you look at how you are spending your day. I wrote down a question from the book at have it on my desk "Are you being productive, or just busy?" That and many others he raises are worth asking yourself.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Patchy, 13 May 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The first section is thought provoking, then the rest is padding. It is too narrow a prescription of how to outsource your life and really live, written by a single guy with no ties.

But it did have some good pointers that got me thinking about what non work things can I achieve in the next half year that would be exciting.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A change of Mind. liked it, hated it, love it., 5 Nov 2009
By 
Maximus "Max" (Geneva, Switzerland) - See all my reviews
This was an interesting book, not for everyone and I think that is why there is such a diverse selection of reviews. To start with I enjoyed this book and I found a few ideas that are good and thought provoking and could be applied to my life but the more I read the more dissatisfied I became, I was judgemental and I thought it suspect morally in respect of manipulating employers and so forth, I wondered, if you could live with yourself with some of the stunts he allegedly pulls. Someone has mentioned the Chinese kick boxing championship where Ferris dehydrates himself to make a weight class several below his true weight and then re hydrates so that he is much heavier than his opponents and then succeeds not by skill, training or athleticism but by reading the rules and simply pushing people off the stand. Sorry but for me that would be a hollow victory. There is a lot about hiding from your boss and using out sourced PA services in India to do your menial tasks, prepare your presentations etc. while you bunk off. Like many of these lifestyle gurus I get the impression that Ferris makes more money by selling his brand of lifestyle to the vast majority who slog away in unfulfilled roles through his books and web sites than he does by any other means. It is all a bit fluffy in places, e.g. here's an example of how to make money. Become a minor expert, plagiarise a few books on a specialist subject, like, let's say growing tomatoes, write your own ebook interview a couple of tomato growing champs on the phone and create a sound file then sell both on your tomato growing web site or through an advert in tomato growers monthly better still advertise it first then create it. It would probably work but it seems to be all about promising a lot and then selling as little real value as you can get away with; a bit "Del Boy for my tastes I thought and I am not sure that we Europeans are as gullible as the Yanks, this all lead me to giving it 3 stars originally.

Now I prefaced this review with to "start with" and after I wrote my original review I reread the book and I found much more in it, at the very least it is actually a great resource tool for lots of things to do with changing your life. and it's value is that it makes you think, I realised that my initial reaction was due to my rigid mind and thought process, business school background, work hard and if that doesn't work then work harder and I started to realise that the problem I had with the book is not Ferris's approach to life but my own. So if you read this book as if it is about Tim Ferris, you've got it wrong, this book is about you. In conclusion then a book that should make you question your life, presumably you buy it because you are not happy with your current lot and this book will, if you let it provide you with an alternative view. It's value is in making you think about yourself and may enable you to perhaps take an out of the box review of your life. Ferris is a clever guy and ultimately this is a triumph of marketing but rather than getting upset about it I now realise that's just what Tim Ferris does. Recommended
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A different view of work and life, 29 Aug 2008
I found this book great, not purely because of the actual content as a process to go through to reinvent your life, but more because it offeres such a different perspective and way of looking at life and people's priorities.

The process described is deceptively simple and challenging and there are some good points in there even if you don't make the whole jump. Plus there are some marevellous quotes along the way (I'm a sucker for quotations).

Reading this made me reevaluate how I prioritise work and life in general. I haven't gone the whole hog and joined the new rich (yet) but its already helped me with a more rounded view of the world and my part in it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


57 of 65 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I feel tricked, 18 May 2007
The book teaches to make money while working as little as possible, how to seem an expert on a subject, etc. Several times while reading the book I felt like the author just pulled the tricks he teaches on me by tricking me into buying the book. Someone may argue that this can seen as proof that it works.

The book shows lack of background research. Take for instance the chapter "The Last Chapter: an E-mail You Must Read". The author claims it contains piece of a letter from a terminally ill girl. This however is a widely known hoax chain letter (see for instance snopes.com). The contained poem is written by David L. Weatherford, an adult male child psychologist.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Practical Approach, 9 May 2007
By 
Alex Alvarez - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Timothy Ferriss offers the possibly of a 4 hour work week. At first when I read the title, I thought this was ridiculous. How can anyone work only four hours? So I had to buy this book just to see what Mr. Ferriss proposed.

Well he is asking us to not just dream of getting a million but to live the lifestyle of a millionaire where we rise above boring tasks and learn to live a life that allows time for fun, leisure, travel and other pursuits instead of being chained to an office all day. So what is his principle?

Well it's based on the Pareto principle or the 80-20 rule, which states that 80 percent of the results come from 20 percent of the effort, so instead of working hard, you learn to work effectively. Steven Covey also delves into similar ideas in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Covey encourages us to spend more time sharpening the saw because with sharp saw you can achieve more than working with a dull saw that yields minimal results even with great effort.

Ferriss gives a clear way to analyze where we can maximize our efforts and where we just waste time with needless tasks. For example, checking emails frequently is a low-priority activity and instead you may only need to check it once or twice a day. You can free your time to spend with people in both your personal and professional life.

Once you gain awareness into how to prioritize your activities, you can then eliminate the time-wasters and focus on the most effective use of your time. He recommends that you hire an assistant, find software or even outsource the activity and this a the controversial part of the book, since it gets into a number of ethical issues. Still I can appreciate his line of thinking that we can delegate the work in some way though I believe we must do so within clear ethical guidelines and with fair business practices.

I love this book for providing some sound advice on effective time-management strategies. I've also been reading "Nexus: A Neo Novel" and I recommend it for offering a powerful spiritual message of compassion and personal transformation. In "Nexus" Logan Andrews works hard to meet deadlines as a journalist but his emotional state leads to a breakdown. At a spiritual retreat, he is forced through many unusual experiences to re-evaluate his life. Both books are different and good in their own way.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 212 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xa2b71c30)

This product

Only search this product's reviews