488 of 515 people found the following review helpful
Directions for Hiding from the Boss, Starting an Automated Internet Business, and Being a Global Vagabond,
This review is from: The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (MP3 CD)
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.
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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 7 Apr 2008 11:18:14 BDT
Mr. Albert M. Hickey says:
Just finished the book and I must admit I agree with what you are saying. It all came across a bit vague. Interesting reading, but I wouldn't feel happy with some of his business practises.
I also feel the merit of his Chinese Kickboxing title is worthless as he won it by taking advantage of a loophole rather than by being able to kick box. He mentions on a number of occasions that he is keen on martial arts. My understanding is that all martial arts have a foundation of honour and fair play. Winning my pushing people out of the ring to me tarnished Tom's character and credibility and affected greatly how I read the rest of the book
In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jun 2009 17:44:44 BDT
Last edited by the author on 28 Jun 2009 17:45:40 BDT
If you read the book as I did..
1. His names Tim not Tom
2. The point about how he won the kickboxing match was to give an example of 'thinking and living' outside the box, not that you should just defy all practiced principles and disciplines in martial arts, hes trying to get you to understand his way of thinking. n.b.(I have studied & practiced martial arts for years, inc thai kick boxing)
In reply to an earlier post on 23 Jul 2009 12:28:49 BDT
J. W. Collett says:
>hes trying to get you to understand his way of thinking
To think and live outside the box is surely a worthwhile goal; but to to apply that approach to win by dishonourable means makes it a poor example.
Posted on 3 Dec 2009 22:41:37 GMT
Mr. A. Johnston says:
Superb! I wont be buying this 4 hour crap! Just had a year of Mini-retirement...Now want to positively enjoy working by doing something interesting,useful and engaging...This review is common-sense and I will follow up the books in the Bibliograghy listed. Many Thanks!
Posted on 18 Jan 2010 21:57:25 GMT
"everyone's workweek will be four hours by 2407? "
So Tim is only 400 years ahead of his time then? Oh well, lets all wait then and we can do it when everyone else does.
Posted on 10 May 2010 16:41:24 BDT
A. Ginever says:
Thanks for this incisive review. As a result of reading it, I have decided not to buy the book and will instead look at the ones you have recommened. Andrew
Posted on 11 Nov 2010 10:23:04 GMT
Paul Corr says:
This has to be the best pre-purchase review of a book I've ever read on Amazon.
I would recommend "E-Myth Revisited" as an alternative read.
Posted on 1 Oct 2011 15:11:21 BDT
David Tenemaza says:
Great feedback, saved me some hours in my life. E-Myth is definitely a great book, glad to see it in your recommendations. I also recommend it.
In reply to an earlier post on 3 Oct 2011 19:08:17 BDT
Viki the Salmon says:
Without commenting on the book - this is hardly thinking "outside the box", this is a very common practice in martial arts and indeed dishonourable.
Posted on 15 May 2012 13:42:04 BDT
J Walker says:
One note: Thing is if 2 Billion literate people can do it, why aren't they?