Friday, July 11, 2008

Review: Four Hour Work Week - Part 2

My first review on the Four Hour Work Week was to give an insight on how this book can benefit everyone in general.

However, this time round, I will share more on how this Four Hour Work Week book & concept has impacted me and many ways, cleared my mind.

First, some overview - when I received this book, I was again a lil skeptical. With so many motivational books out there, I've already read many. So, though their contents are usually good, beneficial & inspiring, however, I didn't want to read another similar must-do-to-achieve/ 101-ways-to-succeed type of book.

But then, this book is highly referred and is also in the New York Bestseller list. So I guess, things can't be wrong.

And when I started to read the book, I really couldn't put the book down (finished th book in 2 days). It was 'mind blowing' to one large extend, and more so, it has cleared many things which has been going through my mind. These points are mainly addressed via the New Rich concept:

1. One Man Show Is OK!
I've been grappling with this for a while now. Though I have many outsource employees, but indeed my business is still a one man show (ie self employed). And the thing is, people think that one man show businesses are small business. For a while I was disillusioned as well.

But then, Tim Ferriss explains that he too is a one man show, with over 200 other workers working for him (though not directly). And yet, he can earn a huge income.

This is where there is a parallel of thoughts - I believe that it is not how big a company is (in terms of workforce/ no of employees), but instead how much the owner/ director makes. A 20-50 people company owner may in fact earn much lesser than this 1 man show, Ferriss! In fact, many times, a 1 man show out-do even the experienced high ranking employess too!

Tim Ferris has helped clarify and made this concept much clearer. So now, there is no more worries about wanting to grow big for the sake of looking big & conforming to people's beliefs, or playing with the rules of the number of employees. Instead, as mentioned, it's back to basics - income.

2. Save The Trouble Of An Office
Over a year now I've been thinking about having & renting an office. This is mainly because I've been thinking that businesses should have office. Surprisingly, many have discouraged me from doing so, as they realised that my work can be done anywhere. Yes, literally anywhere.

Some examples: I've got very urgent things done while I was on holiday like contacting some high status contacts & writing some works. All these took was just 1-2 hours a day or sometimes just a few hours in the whole trip. And I managed to enjoy the place I'm visiting fully & happily :)

I didn't know that in fact, I've been applying this technique of his all along! And though at first it seemed weird, even to myself, but now, I know that that is actually a good working system!

So back to the office question - Tim is even bolder to mention that you don't even need a house (as you can work from your holiday hotel).

So now, I don't need to worry about having an office which will incur more expenses (and not a definite increase of income). And because of my work method of doing many things virtual, there really is no point having an office. A study-office would suffice.

This one really cleared my mind. Now, I can focus on work instead, from the comfort of being virtual :)

3. Doing It Like The Big Boys
This point combines the above two. Despite the size of any company (especially a one man show), however, this does not mean we have to play by the small league.

Tim again stresses to do what the big boys do - from outsourcing to production/ manufacturing & delivery. And also to get lots of assistants (virtual).

The idea here is to replicate a concept just like the big boys, and earn big despite being 'small'. Yes, it's really that simple, as there are many companies that do so.

In fact, I've been working with some Suppliers/ Customers who we've not even met before, but yet we are doing business. So again, this is something that I've been doing - including conducting interviews with some celebrities!

4. No Need To Be A MNC
A friend of mine once mentioned about how big corporations work - from their systematic approach to their global appeal. While it is nice to own such a big name (and brand), but I have always been thinking that it is quite a headache as well! And once again, Tim shares the same idea here.

There will be a lot more to do, and in fact, many big companies find hard to maintain their global appeal. And at times, these brands are no longer the same like the first vision of the owners.

So rather than going through all the hassle, the aim is to create simplicity - doing simple business in a big way. And for me, the benchmark is again simple - to earn at least higher than a CEO. Which CEO to benchmark - from MNCs to SMEs, that is for you to decide the type of lifestyle you want to lead.

Why benchmark against a CEO? Well, because CEO's do what most one man show people do, but then one is doing his/ her thing & realising his/ her ideas while the other works for someone else's vision. In any case, comparing with a CEO is a good benchmark as an apple-to-apple.

If not to benchmark against a CEO, the other method is to benchmark with your peers. Why? Because otherwise you'll be better off doing what they have done :)

5. Retire - YOUNG
This is not about making your pile before 30, but rather, Tim Ferris in his Four Hour Work Week book mentions about living a retirement life now (at whatever age you are) - with a steady flow of income.

Of course the former remains attractive, but here, Tim stresses on living a fulfilled & fun-filled life throughout rather than waiting till our retirement. And that is why he suggests on going for holidays often or learn new things/ take up a course.. simply do the things we want to while growing.

I realised this as well, and though still not in the same league yet, but he has a true & valid point about taking short & long breaks every now & then. And this can be applied by everyone - employees to entrepreneurs!

Tim Ferriss ideas may not be suitable for everyone. He lives in a near ideal world which many can only envy, and which I believe will include many CEOs who are receiving fat monthly pay cheques. And beacuse of this, many will not be interested to know further, as it may seem like a distant or unreal dream... or worse, like a fluke/ bluff.

But if you have that lil spirit & desire to live freely, then, I would say, let's hear him out - Tim has valid points in this bestseller of Four Hour Work Week which we can learn from :)


  1. Sounds like a good book to read, I need to be more effective with my time. Thanks for the insights you have given here.

  2. i guess everyone has tis time management problem lol. this book actually helps clear that so that we can really enjoy life!


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