What I hate about the 4-hour work week …

in On Entrepreneurship

Let’s start at the beginning.

I don’t hate Timothy Ferriss, nor do I hate his book, “The Four Hour Work Week.”

In fact, I think the book is excellent in many ways on a tactical level.

What I do hate is the underlying philosophy that makes an idea like The 4- Hour Work Week so appealing.

I will go so far as to say that the reason I am in business … doing what I love doing, sharing what I discover with other entrepreneurs … is to get as many people as possible away from this mentality.

Let me explain…

For years, we have been taught that work is something you have to do … so that you can do what you really want while you are not working.

Most of us, as kids, were indoctrinated in that industrial-age philosophy.

The skeleton of the myth is that you …

… go to school so you can get good grades
… so you can get into a good college where you get good grades
… so you can get a good job where you can work your way up the ladder
… so you can “suck it up and do your time” at work while you enjoy your life on the evening, weekends and eventually when you retire.

People who believe in this kind of work/life separation are also those most likely to say:

“It’s just business, nothing personal.”

It manifests in entrepreneurs who believe they can be bastards in business, but “as long as they show up at church on Sunday” … they are still “good people.”

And, most common of all, it manifests in entrepreneurs who mistakenly believe they have escaped the old “job myth” because they have their own business. Yet when they substitute “successful business” for “good job” in the above myth, the realization that they are still living by those old industrial age roles sinks in.

By the way, I’m not saying there is something “wrong” with that. Only that you should think accurately about what you are doing and why you are doing it.

…and ask yourself if that is really what you want your life to be about.

The whole traditional myth is summed up nicely in a country song:

I don’t have to be me till Monday
Friday, Saturday, Sunday
I ain’t gonna face reality
Three days without punching a time clock
Three nights of goin’ non stop
No work and all play
I don’t have to be me, till Monday

I find this myth repulsive.

It deadens the soul.

It “teaches” us to ignore our gifts and our passions in favor of what others tell us is possible.

It was “useful” for the industrial age.

But it’s bullshit.

And along comes the 4-Hour Work Week and some people think they have found sweet escape.

But it is really just the same old myth taken to a hedonistic extreme.

Work still sucks.

So do as little of it as you can.

And live your life on your own terms the rest of the time.

It is the same philosophy which permeates the “Internet marketing” world.

It is the core promise of the stereotypical “get rich quick” pitch.

Does anyone doubt the “1 Hour Work Week” isn’t far behind?

The “17 Minute Work Week” after that?

And they’ll sell a ton.

They’ll sell precisely because they are piggybacking on that tired, old myth that just about everyone is living through.

Here’s what I believe …

The world doesn’t need any more people selling crap so they can live a playboy’s life.

It needs people who are committed and passionate about who they are and what impact they want to be having. People for whom each day is an opportunity to do what they love, experience the ripples flowing from their efforts, and be well rewarded for it.

What is that thing that, if you were to choose to do it … fully and without compromise … would stir your soul?

Truth is … at this point, making one million or ten million or fifty million in a business is commonplace.

I’m not saying it is always easy. Only that the path is known and clear, and can be duplicated when you are willing to make the required sacrifices.

But building a business that is an expression of who is it you most want to be in this world … a business that actually makes a difference … that, to me, is truly something to celebrate. And I believe that is becoming more and more true as we shift away from a commodity-driven era and into one where, increasingly, our choices are made as much by ours values as our wallets.

Think Steve Jobs to John Scully …

“Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?”

Which brings me to an interesting point.

While I think the philosophy Timothy Ferris offers in the 4-Hour Work Week is a freshly-polished version of the same old industrial-age myth, my experience of how he does what he does is quite the opposite.

To be clear, I don’t know him and have never spoken with him.

I do think I’d like him a lot … he strikes me as the kind of guy who’d be willing to engage passionately in a conversation like this. And I respect smart people with big ideas who have the guts to put them out in the world, no matter whether I agree or disagree.

My sense is that Timothy loves what he does … feels strongly about his message and the impact it can and has had … and I believe he happily works a lot more than 4 hours per week at it as a result. I absolutely believe he does what I envision the highest form of entrepreneurship to be about … I just wish he were teaching it, too.

{ 179 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Danielle B March 22, 2012 at 6:14 pm

I totally understand this point of view. But I do believe people weren’t created to work for someone else with the “4 Hour Work Week Mentality” and earn much less than they should. It isn’t all about money, but life has more depth than just working. There is so much living to do that if you spent 40 years working for some company, you’d feel like there were better things to do with your time. Perhaps a person who does become fairly successful and wealthy may yearn for more education and to make a change in the world.

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2 Brian Gross November 8, 2012 at 12:09 am

People weren’t created; we evolved. If they’re making “less than they should” for someone else then they should work for themselves. Why not “yearn for more education” in order to “become fairly successful” not the other way around. I think you missed the entire message of this article. I enjoy the thrill of education even if it won’t make me a dime.

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3 Stan O March 12, 2012 at 4:13 pm

I have not read the book, but I did read your commentary. I WORK A 3 HOUR WORK WEEK. It is on my computer and I can do it from anywhere in the world. I put together a company that does service for a fortune 500 company. I brought in a business partner that did not pupu the ideal as so many others did (and I mean I talked to a lot of “business school grads from big colleges” that basically craped on the plan). In one YEAR we now have a cash flow of $120,000 a week and we split $25,000 a week. We have been invited to perform the same service for another large company which should double our size. Now I can pursue my passion = traveling the world. We do support two charities, one for animals and one for people. So there you are. It can be done. And to all you folks that turned me down, get back to work!

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4 Brian Gross November 8, 2012 at 12:11 am

I sincerely doubt that you’re not full of bologne. Does anyone believe Stan O?

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5 Brian Gross November 8, 2012 at 12:16 am

“fortune 500 company” , “grads from big colleges” , “split $25,000 a week” , “traveling the world”, “We DO support two charities”. It’s one thing to lie to someone you know but do it on this blog; what are you getting out of it?

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6 mattparo February 26, 2012 at 11:11 pm

Everybody works for her/himself. No matter what the job is, the main task is in my opinion to find what you love as many comments tell in similar way.
If you don’t like your job, get another one. It is hard to accept, and easier to complain about it. One does not need a lot of money to be happy, I guess.
Avoid giving someone else the task to advise you in what is best for you. Take responsibility for yourself unless you are a kid.

The “dancing record breaking Ferriss” is kind of signal effect for me personally. It is childish to seek popularity like that in my opinion.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9pWKB2D23k
Where is the passion for dancing? Would you want him as your dancing teacher? Maybe those things are kind of Ferriss’ way to share his creativity. The introduction of his book is a lot about his childhood.

Still, I find people who find that robot dance admireable will never understand the valuable implications of work ethic, honesty and self-concept. Talent does not seek records or awards. Passion talks for itself. They know it deep in themselves. Creative artists (whatever the industry) often work for their own pursuit of happiness. It’s the voice of the gullible, naive and bored who admire medals and judgement. The human spirit is the true power and that is in everyone of us.
Then, again, I know people who have a graduated and love to wash dishes. Whatever legitimate activity you follow does not make you a better/worse human being than someone else. Don’t think it’s important to become rich. It is incredibly easier to become happy in my opinion. Many very rich are from psychological perspective unhappy people. They just seem to never get it. Hamster in the wheel…

So, it is not important to be liked like Willy Loman did in “Death of a Salesman”. It is important to like yourself and be fulfilled in what you do. One important key to do it is to love your service/product and help your clients because you like it. When I see a new convincing feature in my service process I feel true happiness and become emotional from my heart. That is like seeing your baby develop. It is true passion like for the sport’s guy or marathon runner the endorphine comes up.
Awareness, consciousness and creativity make me happy! Not the money.

Get out there and make yourself happy!
matt

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7 thomas dekker January 16, 2012 at 11:48 am

I have to agree with you, usually people in business do what they love and it shows in their product or service. Although a 4hr work week sounds amazing to most, how much of yourself have you put into your work? There is a misconception that business owners do not work as much as their employees when in reality their whole lives revolve around it, they breath the work they do, they love it and it becomes more of a way of life, then a 9-5.

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8 Evan Kaufman October 9, 2011 at 11:35 pm

I appreciate your message, but the truth is that different people have different things that drive them and not everyone’s passion in life is their work.

I’m a software developer, I work in what basically equates to a startup, and I *love* my job. I do great work with amazing people in an incredibly positive environment. But it is still just a means to an end, a living rather than something to live for.

If you *can* do the same amount of work and still have an extra day of the week to put toward your real driving passions — a business day, no less — I see that as nothing but a win.

What else would you “live” for, you may ask. I’d say family, but there are so many different answers to that question, and for as many different people as are in the world.

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9 Justice October 9, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Mankind was designed by God to work. It’s a natural expression of what we are. Great post.

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10 Bill October 24, 2011 at 3:54 pm

good for you just keep working. I was designed by god to be lazy and do nothing. Suits me well.

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11 Brian Gross November 8, 2012 at 12:22 am

“What we are”. Who we are not what we are. When you know that living things evolved and were not designed you start to speak correctly and in turn your thoughts will change until you know that how beautiful it is to not be separate from nature. I love life and when I die I’ll rot in the soil. Take it from me, don’t lie to yourself and don’t be afraid of the truth to feel better.

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12 Sharn October 8, 2011 at 2:53 pm

I have my “dream job” and it sucks. I worked hard and passionately to get it. It’s just work in the end. The less time I have to spend doing the better.

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13 Realistic Thinker August 10, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Why would someone ever want to work harder not smarter? Thats just plain nonsense! You work to make money, so you can enjoy your life at whatever level you want. If you are preaching about loving what you do, then realize that you are talking about a hobby. Most people dont have their sites set on spending 70 hours at work a week and having no social life for family as a result. Loving what you do does not mean that you should not take every advantage available to you. You have expressed a very barbaric viewpoint. Lets be realistic, we have to grow up a little and realize whats going on around us instead of thinking that the times are going to go back to the way they used to be. Even still if it did, I am willing to bet that those guys from the industrial age would tell you to screw off with your work ethic plan. Things changed for a reason my friend. Stop trying to keep the little man down.

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14 Chris August 7, 2011 at 7:32 pm

What a fantastic commentary. Loved your article. I’d never heard of the four houw working week concept until recently.

Ironically, even without knowing about this book, I have developed my own business to the point where I can work as little as 4 hours a week, week after week. But I love what I do so I usually invest a lot more of my time in my work than that.

So I’d have to agree – doing something that you hate, but less of it, is not a life-affirming thing to do. The real trick is to DO WHAT YOU LOVE and then it will only FEEL like you work 4 hours a week, even if you work 40.

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15 Mike May 8, 2011 at 6:35 pm

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the book.

BUT with that said I hope I never work only 4 hours a week.

I enjoy my work(own a couple businesses) and really don’t live travel very much. Have traveled the US, South America, Europe etc.

I much prefer to work at home on the computer and do the things I like which is WORK! lol A 50 hour work week is the minimum I like to do.

I could work 4 hours and have more money than I would know what to do with but I am passionate about what I do and don’t want to ever stop or do anything else.

I STRONGLY encourage people to find a business you REALLY like doing. It IS out there and once you find it you wont worry if you never take a vacation because every day is a vacation, filled with joy and rewards.

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16 Andy April 2, 2011 at 1:59 pm

I agree in part with the article. You should be passionate about what you do and hence bring purpose to it. But I never felt that Tim Ferriss was trying to sell me something else then that. Too many people are stuck in jobs that 1) don’t interest them 2) suck time away from things they are passionate about. The problem is that passionate money making isn’t always possible. I saw 4HWW as a way to give yourself more time and to value time over making money. If I would rather focus on making great music then be a stock broker, 4HWW makes sense. The issue isn’t 4HWW concept but the definition of work. Tim Ferriss does PLENTY of hours, the man has 2 books!! But when passion is involved, hours aren’t counted anymore. In his case, “work” consists of all administrative stuff he doesn’t care about, and not the vitamins he selling since he believes in those. I think we all want to have shorter workweeks, to focus on passion.

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17 Mr. Tees March 16, 2011 at 5:41 pm

I am aiming at a life of the four hour work week but for now I am starting a business. I work 4 hours just to warm up for the 12 hour day. Nice post.

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18 kevin February 22, 2011 at 12:38 pm

This bloggers review is typical of the ‘work ethic’ we have ingrained in us, in that doing work, even pointless work like screwing on toothpaste caps all day long, is somehow better than doin gno work at all. I’ve yet to find someone who actually likes their job. There may be a small number of people who do, but it’s still work either way, even if it feels like a hobby. Work for works sake, is just another manifestation of the rubbish thats drilled into us all our lives; we must work or we are worthless.

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19 Dole February 5, 2011 at 7:18 am

I’m sorry but work still SUCKS. The book wasn’t written for people who need to find their “passion” in life. It was for people like me who know for a FACT that I will NEVER get any fort of satisfaction from work or career.

WORK BLOWS. The only thing that’ bullshit is that you seem to think just becasue you found something you love to do everyone must.

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20 Gmancrocker January 10, 2011 at 6:55 am

I AGREE, HE WORKS WAY MORE THAN 40 HOURS, JUST BECAUSE YOU LIKE IT DOESN’T MEAN YOU DON’T WORK. Pacing your self is the key and budgeting so you can have time to smell the roses. Greg Gman

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21 Steel December 12, 2010 at 6:04 am

Oh man….i can tell your future. You will be (and probably so now) broke and grumpy.

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22 Brandon M Dodd December 6, 2010 at 5:01 pm

I agree with the last part of what Mel said, I think that instead of aiming for a ___ hour work-week, or trying to separate work and the rest of our lives, we should just live life. The internet and social media has opened up word of mouth so much that it’s completely possible to find what you love to do, and do it.
I work with small business owners alot who tell me they love their job but can’t wait for retirement. Like you Michael I want people to WANT to do their job…because they love it, because it means something to people, because it’s part of who they are.
I appreciate your stance on this.

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23 Mel November 10, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Like others I found the ‘manilpulation’ of the martial arts rules questionable in the book yet I ‘get’ the idea of accelerating development. I’d love to take less time to learn a language, master latin dancing, spend more time with people I love. I’d just like to do it more ethically than the martial arts example!

What resonated with me were a few things:

1. you don’t HAVE to work 9-7pm every day in your business only to ask on your deathbed wondering “where did my life go?’

2. as a small business operator I often find myself being ‘busy’ and not productive. I am retraiing myself to enjoy the company of others rather than slaving away at tedious tasks others are better qualified to do eg my business accounting

3. we don’t all have to be millionaires: we just need to work out what money we need and generate enough income to facilitate that. A much better perspective in my view. Although we still need to put money away for an assumed old age.

If we look back at history, our ancestors didn’t slavishly grind away in a demarcated life … they worked a little, ate a little, worked a little, played a little. It’s about living a fuller life and seeing how you can do that without subscribing to the 9-5 mentality.

A 4HWW? Questionable. But the concept of rethinking how we do business/life strikes a chord with me.

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24 Leigh October 8, 2010 at 9:09 pm

I am totally down with your sentiment: The world doesn’t need any more people selling crap so they can live a playboy’s life.
While was enjoying Tim’s book, found my self thinking a couple of things:
1. Mind Quick sounds like a load of crap and why should I be listening to someone who would sell crap.
2. I love his life sculping concept and when I start my process, I’m going to make my company mean something positive to the world.

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25 John F September 29, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Right on the money. I would also add the fact that the book lacks a lot of structure and needs some serious editing. There is a lot of repetition, useless anecdotes which really don’t amount to much.
You focused on the main flaw which is this dissociation between work and life, and the idea that work is unpleasant and should be avoided or sent to a VA.

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26 Patrick Combs August 28, 2010 at 4:28 pm

good points. thanks. love the spirit of your idea.

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27 Marc Rodill August 6, 2010 at 2:26 am

You're right on all accounts.

He is a HUGE advocate of living life your way, which often requires being a GREAT salesman, IMO.

Games the system? Perhaps.

But don't forget that the “system” was created by people in the first place — people, much like Tim Ferriss, who wanted things in their life to run the way they dreamt it up.

It's called vision.

The “system” is not something concrete. It isn't a “thing.”

The system was made by your brother, your neighbors, mothers, forefathers… the great thinkers and doers who came before us, they made it all.

Life is a stage. You can watch. You can play.

We're here now. It's our turn to play…

IF WE CHOOSE TO DO SO (like you said)

No one is forcing you to pick.

Do whatever YOU'RE comfortable with. It's your choice.

Make the rules or follow them.

100 years from now it won't matter either way.

Change is progressive! Why stop?

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28 Ajg July 28, 2010 at 8:05 am

Oops. Couple of errors in there sorry (writing too quickly!). Most notably, in the last paragraph I meant to say: And what of those of us whose real passions [delete "don't"] happen to involve things that require time much more than they provide any real personal financial security? Deliberately choosing that is a big call.

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29 Ajg July 28, 2010 at 8:02 am

Of course some of the thoughts you raise ring true. I agree wholeheartedly people shouldn't all be leaving school / college with some entrenched depressing notion that work is shxte, best accept then, and then do as little as possible of it. We should be looking for what we can be passionate about, and hopefully finding it.

But for starters, I don't think (hope) Ferris' book is made for school leavers. For those who have already been working, perhaps for a long time, and perhaps in things which do little to get our enthusiasm firing….At least some of his book may be well more applicable in this case. Sure, maybe that's the individual's mistake – that they got themselves “trapped” on some path. But we don't necessarily have perfect knowledge when we leave school. We don't necessarily have great role models to encourage us in what's possible. And without a little magic, it's easy to find yourself well into the requirement to feed and house yourself well before you have a stable idea of what you're passionate about.

Besides, quite simply, at this point, it's already done. As great as the idea of a career change, and it is certainly an option, nonetheless to go chasing what gets you going more can be tricky. The more responsibilities one has (family, etc), the trickier it can be.

And what of those of us whose real passions don't happen to involve things that require time much more than they provide any real personal financial security? Deliberately choosing that is a big call.

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30 Alvin July 20, 2010 at 5:36 am

Michael,

Nice website you have here… And while I do agree with you that we've all been brought up on the idea that work = doing something you don't like but is necessary anyway to bring home the bacon/bread/rice (depending on which part of the world you're from–I'm from Asia), unfortunately, the idea that work can be self-actualizing is simply a dream that most of the world cannot afford. Most of the world, for better or worse, remains largely industrial. Huge factories, like those you find in China, hire workers by the thousands to pump out your favourite clothes, gadgets, or what have you so that people in the first world might enjoy material comforts the likes of which are beyond the reach of 80% of the world's population. (Ok, no statistics, I'm just generalizing). So the bottom line is, for most of the world's population, people do not work for self-actualization. They work to keep themselves alive. Granted, Tim is probably writing for an American audience (or at least those who can even afford to or bother to pick up his book), one that is probably not in the kind of dire economic circumstances that I talk about.

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31 Ajg July 18, 2010 at 8:16 am

Liked the post, very valuable topic in general, and would love to comment further. But….I can't see any dates..Hence, not sure if this is 10 years old and no-one's going to be reading at all!

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32 Mdf Dtf July 7, 2010 at 6:00 am

Thanks for sharing this post, it reminded me of the way I does my work, and your right. Internalizing the reason why you are working adds value or life to your work and to your career. Its more than just doing the work, but enjoying every single thing that you’re doing. Big or small, there’s joy in doing or accomplishing things… igniting one’s passion towards work can face any adversities in reaching the goal. Passion keeps you going… thanks Michael.

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33 juliacassidy May 11, 2010 at 10:44 am

I agree 100% with @Sharon Wilson, decision making is a whole subject by itself. And it is part of every one's life, and everyone's business life. It is important because it is always there, at the beginning, when we are going through obstacles, when selling, when buying, when hiring, when managing, when closing, etc.
So, decision making is basically one of the main activities when it comes to running a business no matter how small it is, and learning to make proper decisions will be the key to success.

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34 Michael April 24, 2010 at 6:13 am

My friend worked with Timothy and he most certainly works more that 4 hours per week and does what he loves. Great post – Let us do what we love, help others and get paid as a result of 'playing'. Love it

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35 Blackmore Media January 5, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Did you read the book? If so, perhaps you were distracted. Perhaps if you re-read the book, you will grow to love the concept.

Having read the book, I don't think Ferriss makes a point to get rich quick and retire early. I think the his point is to show that it's possible to blend work with pleasure and enjoy a life of semi-retirement.

In other words, Why spend your time working in a company for 50 years — waiting out the entire time so you can finally retire and start living the dream life — when it's possible with today's technology to run a business while visiting the very places you dream of?

Furthermore, one of Ferriss's stepping stones to living such a life is using the tools available to us to ensure that the time we spend working is put toward something meaningful. If you're a photographer, and it's your mission to be creative and photograph things, why waste time answering phone calls, setting up appointments, and tracking down receivables, when those activities have nothing to do with photography and probably aren't what you're best at? Doesn't it make more sense to hire someone to do those things, especially when that person could probably do them more efficiently than you could? The flip-side is that, when properly connected, an office manager could also be using technology to allow him or her to handle multiple office tasks, not from an office but from anywhere in the world.

Those are the points of the book, and I think you missed them.

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36 steven January 4, 2010 at 1:08 pm

Excellent perspective. I was on the fence about the 4 hour work week philosophy. Your post and insight happened at the perfect time. Thanks

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37 christian6888 January 4, 2010 at 1:04 pm

I recently read the 4 hour work week, and at first read was really inspired. I really liked the concepts behind the book – at first. More than anything, I was drawn to the idea of simplicity. Why over complicate things I asked myself. Keep it simple, and keep it moving forward. I have even implemented a few strategies. But, as time went on, I started questioning the moral issues of the book. Something just didn't feel right with some of the strategies. Then I hit your post, and it was like a camera coming into focus. Your perspective on the 4 hour work week helped clarify the big picture for me. I think there are some take away thoughts and concepts from the book that I will keep and even implement, but the reality is I am proud of what I do for a living, and don't want to hack my way through it. I put my stamp of quality on all things I do. I believe you can have balance and not have to be a career hack at the same time. Imagine the whole Nation hacking and taking short cuts through life. What kind of accomplishments would we achieve as a whole?

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38 Anonymous December 22, 2009 at 4:43 am

We are a vitamin manufacturer, and have been contacted at least 20 times with people looking to follow what was laid out in this book. How can anyone think that life is so simple as to allow for 4 hours of legitimate work a week…. without 90+ hours a week for 5 years setting it up.

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39 Des Vadgama November 4, 2009 at 2:53 pm

Good post, along with a few great insights related to the book – which I only recently read. Thanks.

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40 Mac Thomes October 24, 2009 at 10:46 am

I haven't read the book but I'm deeply sceptical about all these 'work a few hours and get rich schemes'. If people buy the book and find something that works for them then that's great, but I suspect they are more likely to loose motivation when they find out it's not that easy to make a fast buck afterall.

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41 Trevor A Page September 16, 2009 at 4:46 pm

This was a far better post, I'd agree with you. Things do “fall into place” when you are on the corresponding path to “who-you-really-are.”

This touches base with being authentic, joyous, present, and thus – successful.

Seek well-being throughout joyous interactions with yourself and all the wonderful physical conduits of energy (people) around you!

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42 John September 14, 2009 at 9:41 am

I've not actually read this book but reading these comments makes me want to simply because I also want to comment on it! John, eLottery Syndicate, UK

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43 Anonymous August 25, 2009 at 5:57 am

hi , Thanks for providing good information .

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44 Sharon Wilson July 22, 2009 at 5:40 pm

Nice post!  Decision making plays an important role in life and business.  In our business everyday, there are new decisions to make and multiple choices in front of us for different paths to pursue. Not only do we have large choices in our business but small business choices each day.
http://www.spiritualpreneurs.com/what-small-business-choices-are-you-making/

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45 Len Kiroplis July 21, 2009 at 10:26 am

I really enjoyed reading this post and all of the comments too.  It all comes down to having a purpose in life.  A four hour work week is fine if you find meaning in all of the other things you do the rest of the time.  Sitting around without a purpose would be the most destructive thing you could do to yourself.  Keep up the thought provoking blog posts!

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46 Epitesz July 7, 2009 at 1:16 pm

As I see it, we have an inner mechanism that pushes us to work, even if we don’t need to… It’s this social rule we have set up in our minds that is so hard to switch of…

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47 Kevin Combs July 7, 2009 at 6:55 am

Yes. Emphatically… YES. As a culture, we have gone so far down this road.The money for nothing mentality eventually gives you… nothing. It seems almost a revolutionary act to be willing to show up every day to build a small business. I’d love to see some truth in advertising results around people’s purchase of that 4 hour idea: what percentage of owners of that book achieved a 4 hour week with real income? Yes. A repulsive myth.

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48 Jacob July 6, 2009 at 12:37 pm

I read the 4-Hour Work Week shortly after it came out.  And it changed my life. 
How?
It made me finally realize that I can choose my own lifestyle.  I don’t have to follow pre-conceived notions that society places on us, especially in terms of work, and especially here in the US.
That’s what is so powerful about the idea of the 4-Hour Work Week:  That you don’t need to follow the rules.  You can make your own rules.  Live in your own system.  Set your own standards.
Before reading the book, I was often stressed out.  Worried about whether I was working hard enough.  Pushing myself in unreasonable ways to work even harder. 
But, when I read the book, I realized, hey I can transform my business so that it runs itself…so that it doesn’t require me….so that I can work WHEN I want, how much I want.
And…most importantly…I can WORK on the kind of stuff I enjoy the most.
I like playing.  These days I think of my business as a ‘toy’ I get to play with.  I get to push buttons and pull levers, and see results. (And I get to receive gratifying human feedback as a bonus!)
I will admit:  After automating my business, I became depressed.  I stopped doing much of anything. And let me tell you, too much free time is HARD on the soul.  It wears you down.  Day in and day out of NOT working is as depressing as being unemployed.
But then I realized…hey, this is all part of the process of designing the life I want. Of CHOOSING the life I want.  Experimenting with it.  Growing, expanding, failing, succeeding.
And that certainly isn’t easy.  No matter how much you work.  (And that’s why life is wonderful.) But it’s led to great things for me. And I am ever grateful to Tim Ferriss for the ideas he presented in the 4 Hour Work Week.

Reply

49 Anonymous June 23, 2009 at 2:02 am

Your post reminded me of something Seth Godin said in one of his posts.
About how he was in the lobby of a hotel in Jamaica checking emails in the early am hours. When a couple walked by and shot him a look of “poor guy can’t” leave his email alone even on vacation.
His response of course was that he loves what he does and couldn’t imagine anything he’d rather be doing at that moment then connecting with his audience.
As you suggested in the bottom of your post, I think that sometimes when we read ultra-hyped business books we need to be able to dissect the marketing from the content.
Just cause its uber-hyped does not mean it doesn’t contain valuable info.

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50 Mike - Music Notation Software June 18, 2009 at 9:49 pm

The truth is, if you want to be successful, you can’t just work 4 hours a week, no way.  Work does suck, I agree, but in order to keep the economy going, it is necessary.  Without work, and without competition, everything would be mediocre at best.  With that said, it is possible that employers do not know how to properly assign tasks to employees, thus making work less desirable.  If the employer or business owner had a better grasp of his own business and how to distribute work, this would increase efficiency, and it also would increase employee satisfaction.  So one main reason why people “hate” work, is because of this alone.  Many employers do not know how to use their employees effectively.

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51 chuck luffer June 4, 2009 at 8:24 pm

4 day work week, if you love your gig it is not enough time to get a good buzz. If you hate your job then get out.
Larry Ellison works 8 days a week and he’s one of the richest guys around save the other wealthy shakers who also work to the Max (seems like its above making money).
Anyway a bunch of global sales & marketing wizards are building a very cool list of industry segments that are doing great in today’s economy and we welcome anyone of you who have an idea to come to the link on my signature

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52 Joseph Ratliff May 21, 2009 at 1:24 am

Micheal,
Sage advice indeed…
Personally, I try to distinguish between “the concept” presented by something like The 4 Hour Workweek…and the “dream” that product sells.
In this case, the concept is the proven system of shaking the typical “wait till retirement” mindset…plus doing what you love on your terms.
And the “dream” sold is in the title…working less to do more.  Since what I do isn’t work to me…I don’t subscribe to working less.
But I enjoy living life on my terms using some of the concepts from the book.

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53 Cami April 15, 2009 at 8:59 pm

Hi Michael,
You are so right! I bought the book a while ago and never been able to finish it! As an entrepreneur doing what you like, passionately, it really doesn’t matter if you are working 4 hours or 10 or 24 since you love every minute of it! The work/life separation is a tragic mentality and I keep battling and trying to find ways so my kids will not become its victims! Unfortunately, they are set from school on this direction with homework and bribes like “do your work and than go for your free choice”! Sad!
Great post,
Cami

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54 Naruto April 8, 2009 at 8:50 am

Very nice post, been thinking about this a lot recently.  I’ve been wondering what life will be like when I finish uni and get into a proper job, probably in the office most of the time. 
In my summer vacations as a student I would be in jobs such as labouring and grass cutting, going around in a van and to be perfectly honest I really enjoyed doing it, its a bit extra manual labour compared to office work but who cares.  I look at older men who are plumbers or joiners and their lives seem to be a lot more enjoyable compared to the office workers – manual labour is the way forward!!

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55 ryan conlon March 25, 2009 at 1:56 pm

Great post and Great comments. I love hearing from like minded individuals.
I love my business – the ups and the downs. Life is a journey.

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56 Anonymous March 3, 2009 at 3:09 pm

I have started to read that book to realize that in the middle of it I would still be selling crap to other people to get myself thigns that make me feel comfortable. My goal is to start several online sites that I can manage from anywhere in the world while I travel and educate myself further in the esoteric path.

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57 Trevor Shipp January 6, 2009 at 10:10 am

Interesting thoughts. Thanks a lot.

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58 Troy Bingham Dialer January 5, 2009 at 8:31 am

Simple and True. There are many different reasons why someone wants to be their own boss. Not having to work is probably the number one.

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59 Barbara Saunders January 3, 2009 at 12:53 pm

To all of those who said, “I love what I do” – doesn’t your contentment with a 100-hour week depend ABSOLUTELY on having control of your own time?
I, too, spend significantly more than 4 hours or 40 hours on my work. But, when “work” means accountability to someone else on their terms – another story.

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60 mmo January 3, 2009 at 12:43 pm

I hate that mentality as well..I have the 100 hour work week because I love what I do

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61 Anonymous December 18, 2008 at 5:45 am

Michael,
Good post. I’ve passed by the “4 hour work week” on bookshelves for several years. On one hand it appealed to me but on the other my intellect quickly shut it down. A 4 hour work is just stupid. Why? Because I enjoy work. I enjoy the challenge of entrepreneurship. I enjoy being hungry for a better business. Work isn’t my life but it is one of my hobbies.

Jared
http://www.fireandmotionblog.com

Reply

62 Anonymous December 18, 2008 at 10:45 am

Michael,
Good post. I’ve passed by the “4 hour work week” on bookshelves for several years. On one hand it appealed to me but on the other my intellect quickly shut it down. A 4 hour work is just stupid. Why? Because I enjoy work. I enjoy the challenge of entrepreneurship. I enjoy being hungry for a better business. Work isn’t my life but it is one of my hobbies.
Jared
http://www.fireandmotionblog.com

Reply

63 Anonymous December 17, 2008 at 12:35 pm

I really agree with you about this whole traditional myth. You are also right when you said that you should think accurately about what you are doing and why you are doing it. I believe that we can be successful if we love what we are doing….just like the saying that says, “don’t aim for success if you want it, just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.”

Reply

64 Anonymous December 17, 2008 at 5:35 pm

I really agree with you about this whole traditional myth. You are also right when you said that you should think accurately about what you are doing and why you are doing it. I believe that we can be successful if we love what we are doing….just like the saying that says, “don’t aim for success if you want it, just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.”

Reply

65 Anonymous December 4, 2008 at 7:37 pm

YES!

This is exactly what we decided to do with our own business.  Kyeli (my life partner and business partner) and I read The Four Hour Work Week and we got really excited!  We wanted to create a muse for ourselves so that we could only work four hours a week and use the rest of the time to follow our passion, which is helping people improve their communication skills.

But that was all based on this myth.  The myth that work sucks and you want to do as little of it as possible.

Once we got rid of the myth, we decided to do what we love for a living, and we’re doing it!  It’s working beautifully, and I love every minute of it!  (Well, maybe not every minute, but at least 80% of the minutes.)

Thanks for writing this post.  This is REALLY IMPORTANT.  In fact, I want to tell my readers about this too.  I’ll turn this comment into a full-fledge post, so expect a trackback. (:  Thanks again, Michael!

Reply

66 Anonymous December 5, 2008 at 12:37 am

YES!
This is exactly what we decided to do with our own business.  Kyeli (my life partner and business partner) and I read The Four Hour Work Week and we got really excited!  We wanted to create a muse for ourselves so that we could only work four hours a week and use the rest of the time to follow our passion, which is helping people improve their communication skills.
But that was all based on this myth.  The myth that work sucks and you want to do as little of it as possible.
Once we got rid of the myth, we decided to do what we love for a living, and we’re doing it!  It’s working beautifully, and I love every minute of it!  (Well, maybe not every minute, but at least 80% of the minutes.)
Thanks for writing this post.  This is REALLY IMPORTANT.  In fact, I want to tell my readers about this too.  I’ll turn this comment into a full-fledge post, so expect a trackback. (:  Thanks again, Michael!

Reply

67 Anonymous November 14, 2008 at 1:43 am

Great stuff!I think this blogs contain interesting points. Thank you Micheal.
<a >Martial arts shcools

Reply

68 Anonymous November 13, 2008 at 5:07 pm

If I could work 24 hours a day 7 days a week, I would I love what I do , my wife and family do come first thou.. and apparently if i don’t get a least 5 hours sleep a night I’m a nightmare to work with.

DaveN

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69 Anonymous November 13, 2008 at 10:07 pm

If I could work 24 hours a day 7 days a week, I would I love what I do , my wife and family do come first thou.. and apparently if i don’t get a least 5 hours sleep a night I’m a nightmare to work with.
DaveN

Reply

70 Anonymous November 13, 2008 at 11:05 am

I’m have been working 20 hours a week for the last 2 years and are currently working 10 hours a week, I have been developing myself and are now on an esoteric path.
My goal is to start several online sites that I can manage from anywhere in the world while I travel and educate myself further in the esoteric path.

Reply

71 Anonymous November 13, 2008 at 4:05 pm

I’m have been working 20 hours a week for the last 2 years and are currently working 10 hours a week, I have been developing myself and are now on an esoteric path.
My goal is to start several online sites that I can manage from anywhere in the world while I travel and educate myself further in the esoteric path.

Reply

72 Anonymous November 4, 2008 at 4:00 pm

Very helpful in my SIA license training company

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73 Anonymous November 2, 2008 at 8:21 am

I used to be a very highly paid consultant to large corporates on their business systems.  It was quite dry work, and I deliberately took about three months a year off wherever possible.  I’d potter about, tidying up the house, going on day trips and so on, but after a while the novelty of doing nothing wears off.
<a >bistro md reviews</a>

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74 Anonymous November 2, 2008 at 1:21 pm

I used to be a very highly paid consultant to large corporates on their business systems.  It was quite dry work, and I deliberately took about three months a year off wherever possible.  I’d potter about, tidying up the house, going on day trips and so on, but after a while the novelty of doing nothing wears off.
<a >bistro md reviews</a>

Reply

75 Anonymous November 1, 2008 at 7:20 pm

The best thing to come out of the book for me was the question “Are you being productive, or just busy ?” The 4 hour Week gets peoples curiosity by the title along, which is smart marketing by Timothy Ferriss even if you don’t agree with the book.

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76 Anonymous November 2, 2008 at 12:20 am

The best thing to come out of the book for me was the question “Are you being productive, or just busy ?” The 4 hour Week gets peoples curiosity by the title along, which is smart marketing by Timothy Ferriss even if you don’t agree with the book.

Reply

77 Anonymous October 19, 2008 at 7:43 am

When you do what you love there is no such thing as work!! The ultimate time during a person day is doing what you love to do.
Great post!!  Great Blog!!

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78 Anonymous September 30, 2008 at 1:57 am

“For years, we have been taught that work is something you have to do … so that you can do what you really want while you are not working.”
I strongly agree with you Michael.

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79 Anonymous September 21, 2008 at 12:44 pm

Something is better then nothing, this is what i observed from this, This is good, i like michael approach of this presentation. Great stuff!!

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80 Anonymous September 21, 2008 at 5:44 pm

Something is better then nothing, this is what i observed from this, This is good, i like michael approach of this presentation. Great stuff!!

Reply

81 Anonymous September 14, 2008 at 1:43 am

Four hours a week of working. I just want to get down to four hours a day. I am not much of a worker and never have been. I guess you could say I am lazy. That’s my goal four hours a day, then three and I am going to stop with 2 hours. Hey, even I can do 2 hours a day and then go play golf. I think!

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82 Anonymous September 14, 2008 at 6:43 am

Four hours a week of working. I just want to get down to four hours a day. I am not much of a worker and never have been. I guess you could say I am lazy. That’s my goal four hours a day, then three and I am going to stop with 2 hours. Hey, even I can do 2 hours a day and then go play golf. I think!

Reply

83 Anonymous September 8, 2008 at 9:45 am

Micheal,
Really inspiring well written post where complex ideas are in a very understandable way.
Regards
GIS Outsourcing in India
http://www.sblgis.com/about_us.aspx

Reply

84 Anonymous September 8, 2008 at 2:45 pm

Micheal,
Really inspiring well written post where complex ideas are in a very understandable way.
Regards
GIS Outsourcing in India
http://www.sblgis.com/about_us.aspx

Reply

85 Anonymous August 25, 2008 at 4:00 am

A 4 hour work week sounds great, but if you don’t find something to fill your time you will just get bored with your life.  I think that was the point.

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86 Anonymous August 25, 2008 at 9:00 am

A 4 hour work week sounds great, but if you don’t find something to fill your time you will just get bored with your life.  I think that was the point.

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87 Anonymous August 20, 2008 at 10:23 am

I think Kirk was being a bit harsh. You do what you love, and if you really love it you do actually work a lot more than you expect. Plain and simple.

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88 Anonymous August 20, 2008 at 3:23 pm

I think Kirk was being a bit harsh. You do what you love, and if you really love it you do actually work a lot more than you expect. Plain and simple.

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89 Anonymous August 18, 2008 at 7:03 pm

I agree with Kirk. Tim attacks the fundamental paradigm that “what I do for money” and “how I spend all of my time” must be the same. For some people, making work from a passion or cluster of passions works well. (For most people, that is a step way up from making do with full-time work in a life shaped by others.)

I have found that the “right livelihood” paradigm still neglects other, perfectly reasonable configurations for life. In addition to Kirk’s example, there is: “Music is my passion, and I don’t want to be in the music business at all. I want to shape a life with writing music as front and center. My goal in work is simply to finance that, and ‘waiter’ won’t accomplish that.”

Whereas the mainstream view says that non-job can’t be front and center if you expect to be respected, the entrepreneurial/RL view tends to dismiss that position as “low self-esteem” or something, which I do not agree that it is necessarily.

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90 Anonymous August 19, 2008 at 12:03 am

I agree with Kirk. Tim attacks the fundamental paradigm that “what I do for money” and “how I spend all of my time” must be the same. For some people, making work from a passion or cluster of passions works well. (For most people, that is a step way up from making do with full-time work in a life shaped by others.)
I have found that the “right livelihood” paradigm still neglects other, perfectly reasonable configurations for life. In addition to Kirk’s example, there is: “Music is my passion, and I don’t want to be in the music business at all. I want to shape a life with writing music as front and center. My goal in work is simply to finance that, and ‘waiter’ won’t accomplish that.”
Whereas the mainstream view says that non-job can’t be front and center if you expect to be respected, the entrepreneurial/RL view tends to dismiss that position as “low self-esteem” or something, which I do not agree that it is necessarily.

Reply

91 Anonymous August 18, 2008 at 5:33 pm

Work ethic my ass, sure find what you love.  I would love to be a ski guide, but not 150 days a year.  Ferris is talking about escaping a mind numbing job situation so that you can choose what to do with your time.  You may even like your job, but when you become a slave to your job doesn’t the end result become the same, wouldn’t the freedom to choose be a nice option.  Some of us have intrinsic joy without the constant drive to produce.  It is OK to love, laugh, travel, experience, and give back to the world without always creating capitalistic circumstances.

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92 Anonymous August 18, 2008 at 10:33 pm

Work ethic my ass, sure find what you love.  I would love to be a ski guide, but not 150 days a year.  Ferris is talking about escaping a mind numbing job situation so that you can choose what to do with your time.  You may even like your job, but when you become a slave to your job doesn’t the end result become the same, wouldn’t the freedom to choose be a nice option.  Some of us have intrinsic joy without the constant drive to produce.  It is OK to love, laugh, travel, experience, and give back to the world without always creating capitalistic circumstances.

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93 Anonymous August 17, 2008 at 6:44 am

A wise man once told me that the key to entrepreneurship is finding what you love and doing that.  The reasoning is that if you love what you are doing, you will be good at it.  If you are good at it, you will make money.  The key is to love what you are doing then it won’t even seem like work.  In fact, once you find that passion, you will gladly spend more hours doing that then you ever did “working”.

My business revolves around helping people save money.  I get great personal satisfaction from that and it doesn’t even seem like work when I can help somebody out.

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94 Anonymous August 17, 2008 at 11:44 am

A wise man once told me that the key to entrepreneurship is finding what you love and doing that.  The reasoning is that if you love what you are doing, you will be good at it.  If you are good at it, you will make money.  The key is to love what you are doing then it won’t even seem like work.  In fact, once you find that passion, you will gladly spend more hours doing that then you ever did “working”.
My business revolves around helping people save money.  I get great personal satisfaction from that and it doesn’t even seem like work when I can help somebody out.

Reply

95 Anonymous August 12, 2008 at 6:13 am

Totally in agreement with you, most gurus just tell you a bunch of fluff to sell books.  There’s no way in hell they’ll tell you the real stuff that would jeopardize their fortune, it’s that simple.

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96 Anonymous August 11, 2008 at 8:13 pm

Totally in agreement with you, most gurus just tell you a bunch of fluff to sell books.  There’s no way in hell they’ll tell you the real stuff that would jeopardize their fortune, it’s that simple.

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97 Anonymous August 5, 2008 at 1:45 am

Hi, I run a SIA Training company in London, it’s a new start up, and I am doing pretty well. I read 4HWW and my thoughts are same, I spend alot of time doing what I do, start up businesses. I tried working 4 hours a week, but all I had on my mind was my training company.

In short, 4HWW will not be liked or disliked by all. Tim Ferris has embedded NLP and Time Management combined with his oursourcing knowledge.

Reply

98 Anonymous August 5, 2008 at 6:45 am

Hi, I run a SIA Training company in London, it’s a new start up, and I am doing pretty well. I read 4HWW and my thoughts are same, I spend alot of time doing what I do, start up businesses. I tried working 4 hours a week, but all I had on my mind was my training company.
In short, 4HWW will not be liked or disliked by all. Tim Ferris has embedded NLP and Time Management combined with his oursourcing knowledge.

Reply

99 Anonymous August 2, 2008 at 8:21 am

This isn’t going to be the most eloquent post every, but i think there will be some validity to it.
Let’s look at the facts.
(1) Tim ferris is a PRINCETON grad….and yes I know we’ve all heard the myth that “brains don’t matter”…it runs rampant in the entreprenuerial world…but brains do help things along – think google – they are no slouches. Perhaps Tim can do things that other people simply can not do. Much in the same way that Shaq can write a “how to” on basketball.
(2) Tim GAMES THE SYSTEM. That’s his personality. He’s all about shortcuts. At the end of the day, do you want to look at your life and say – wow, I shortcut my way through life. Don’t believe me? He brags about winning a very well-respected martial arts tournament by manipulating his body weight and taking advantage of a loophole in the system that allows him to toss guys out of the ring. So you’ve got guys who dedicated their lives to this sport – and tim comes in – analyzes a weakness. A business lesson? Yes. A good way to live your life? Questionable.
(3) Tim values adventure. He’s an adventure seeker. And that’s cool. But not everyone is, some people like comfort, safety and security. Not because they are oppressed by the man, but because they like to sit by the fireplace with their wife and know that money will be coming in twice a month. Is this tim’s personal philosophy? no. But is it right for him to group everyone who thinks this way as a victim? no. Does he? Well, yea, sorta…
(4) Tim’s big message is this. LIFE IS A RACE. Screw the process – just get results following my “life hacks”. Work sucks. Don’t grow up. Don’t get a job. Don’t save – spend – because you might die. If you want a sports car get one – don’t worry about that because (insert smartly crafted, hard to refute arguement #94).  Think you really want to work? Think again. Look at me. I dance tango, lift weights, and travel using an american express. I don’t answer emails because im too busy figuring out how to beat martial arts masters, don’t bother me – i’m too busy figuring out how to launch my book.
(5) Oh an finally, i hate to say it but his fortune is in a bunch of pills that don’t work.  I used to wrestle back in high school, i watched kids as they popped his pills and then wondered where their money (and results) went. Seriously.
At the end of the day I think you need to, as michael suggests, figure out what you are really all about.
At the end of the day tim ferris is an advocate of SURFACE LEVEL THINKING – he’s just personally a very good salesman, and sharp as a knife.
The choice is yours…
Apologies for the vitriolic nature of this rant.
Didn’t intend for it to get like this.
Ciao
David Z

Reply

100 Anonymous August 2, 2008 at 12:20 am

Michael,

I discovered you on my friend Chris Haddad’s website—and am looking forward to reading more of your work.

I have to admit I’ve not read the 4-Hour Work Week, although many people have recommended it. When I first saw Tim Ferriss’ website, I was appalled by, as you said, the underlying philosophy. 

There’s something fundamental to work, something that allows us to be fulfilled as human beings. Work that has no meaning kills the soul. But meaningful work is enlivening, fulfilling. It makes us happy. It gives us purpose.

The language of work and play gets us all mixed up. A couple of years ago I said that I would no longer work. I play. And, there’s a relationship between some of the things I play at and the money in the bank account. It was a profound shift for me, and allowed me the freedom to design my life in a way that works for me, makes me happy, and allows me to make the kind of contributions that are most important to me.

And once that shift happened, I started spending a lot more time at things traditionally called “work.”

It seems to me that Tim Ferriss works or plays (however you want to describe it) very hard. The guy’s tangoing and dunking himself in ice water to test sleep patterns and writing books and skiing . . . that’s his work. Those are the things he does day to day, and some of them are related to that bank account. I suspect that all of them are related—they are all part of creating the brand and image of Tim Ferriss.

And that’s what he seems to be all about. Tim Ferriss.

Based on your recommendation on the tactics in the book, I’ll be picking it up this weekend. Thank you for your article, and I’m looking forward to reading more.

Reply

101 Anonymous August 2, 2008 at 5:20 am

Michael,
I discovered you on my friend Chris Haddad’s website—and am looking forward to reading more of your work.
I have to admit I’ve not read the 4-Hour Work Week, although many people have recommended it. When I first saw Tim Ferriss’ website, I was appalled by, as you said, the underlying philosophy. 
There’s something fundamental to work, something that allows us to be fulfilled as human beings. Work that has no meaning kills the soul. But meaningful work is enlivening, fulfilling. It makes us happy. It gives us purpose.
The language of work and play gets us all mixed up. A couple of years ago I said that I would no longer work. I play. And, there’s a relationship between some of the things I play at and the money in the bank account. It was a profound shift for me, and allowed me the freedom to design my life in a way that works for me, makes me happy, and allows me to make the kind of contributions that are most important to me.
And once that shift happened, I started spending a lot more time at things traditionally called “work.”
It seems to me that Tim Ferriss works or plays (however you want to describe it) very hard. The guy’s tangoing and dunking himself in ice water to test sleep patterns and writing books and skiing . . . that’s his work. Those are the things he does day to day, and some of them are related to that bank account. I suspect that all of them are related—they are all part of creating the brand and image of Tim Ferriss.
And that’s what he seems to be all about. Tim Ferriss.
Based on your recommendation on the tactics in the book, I’ll be picking it up this weekend. Thank you for your article, and I’m looking forward to reading more.

Reply

102 Anonymous August 1, 2008 at 10:21 pm

This isn’t going to be the most eloquent post every, but i think there will be some validity to it.
Let’s look at the facts.
(1) Tim ferris is a PRINCETON grad….and yes I know we’ve all heard the myth that “brains don’t matter”…it runs rampant in the entreprenuerial world…but brains do help things along – think google – they are no slouches. Perhaps Tim can do things that other people simply can not do. Much in the same way that Shaq can write a “how to” on basketball.
(2) Tim GAMES THE SYSTEM. That’s his personality. He’s all about shortcuts. At the end of the day, do you want to look at your life and say – wow, I shortcut my way through life. Don’t believe me? He brags about winning a very well-respected martial arts tournament by manipulating his body weight and taking advantage of a loophole in the system that allows him to toss guys out of the ring. So you’ve got guys who dedicated their lives to this sport – and tim comes in – analyzes a weakness. A business lesson? Yes. A good way to live your life? Questionable.
(3) Tim values adventure. He’s an adventure seeker. And that’s cool. But not everyone is, some people like comfort, safety and security. Not because they are oppressed by the man, but because they like to sit by the fireplace with their wife and know that money will be coming in twice a month. Is this tim’s personal philosophy? no. But is it right for him to group everyone who thinks this way as a victim? no. Does he? Well, yea, sorta…
(4) Tim’s big message is this. LIFE IS A RACE. Screw the process – just get results following my “life hacks”. Work sucks. Don’t grow up. Don’t get a job. Don’t save – spend – because you might die. If you want a sports car get one – don’t worry about that because (insert smartly crafted, hard to refute arguement #94).  Think you really want to work? Think again. Look at me. I dance tango, lift weights, and travel using an american express. I don’t answer emails because im too busy figuring out how to beat martial arts masters, don’t bother me – i’m too busy figuring out how to launch my book.
(5) Oh an finally, i hate to say it but his fortune is in a bunch of pills that don’t work.  I used to wrestle back in high school, i watched kids as they popped his pills and then wondered where their money (and results) went. Seriously.
At the end of the day I think you need to, as michael suggests, figure out what you are really all about.
At the end of the day tim ferris is an advocate of SURFACE LEVEL THINKING – he’s just personally a very good salesman, and sharp as a knife.
The choice is yours…
Apologies for the vitriolic nature of this rant.
Didn’t intend for it to get like this.
Ciao
David Z

Reply

103 Anonymous July 25, 2008 at 3:15 pm

He’s got an opinion just like your opinion and everyone else in the world.  That doesn’t make his B.S.  The fact is everyone has to find there own nitch and get a good break in life.  If you love what your doing you’ll be willing to put as much time as needed in it, but if you hate what your doing you won’t spend 5 min. in a work week on it.

Reply

104 Anonymous July 25, 2008 at 8:15 pm

He’s got an opinion just like your opinion and everyone else in the world.  That doesn’t make his B.S.  The fact is everyone has to find there own nitch and get a good break in life.  If you love what your doing you’ll be willing to put as much time as needed in it, but if you hate what your doing you won’t spend 5 min. in a work week on it.

Reply

105 Anonymous July 24, 2008 at 6:29 am

I must say I liked the 4HWW and found there is some solid takeaway in it. For many non IT folks, it sheds a lot of light on the power of outsourcing.

I also agree with you Michael as I have to be doing something business wise that is an extension of who I am. Ferris’ book speaks to many people that are unhappy with their occupation on a simplistic level – borderline infommercial. It’s easy to sell ideas to people in disdain of their current life. However, reading it from a different perspective, I found it to be useful more than inspiring.

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106 Anonymous July 24, 2008 at 11:29 am

I must say I liked the 4HWW and found there is some solid takeaway in it. For many non IT folks, it sheds a lot of light on the power of outsourcing.
I also agree with you Michael as I have to be doing something business wise that is an extension of who I am. Ferris’ book speaks to many people that are unhappy with their occupation on a simplistic level – borderline infommercial. It’s easy to sell ideas to people in disdain of their current life. However, reading it from a different perspective, I found it to be useful more than inspiring.

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107 Anonymous July 19, 2008 at 10:00 pm

Work is not work if you are enjoying it, that’s the secret to the 4 hour work week! It’s work if you hate it, passion if you love it. So the 4 hour work week is where you fill in your account book or call/answer the phone.

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108 Anonymous July 20, 2008 at 3:00 am

Work is not work if you are enjoying it, that’s the secret to the 4 hour work week! It’s work if you hate it, passion if you love it. So the 4 hour work week is where you fill in your account book or call/answer the phone.

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109 Anonymous July 18, 2008 at 2:51 am

Great post!
Still, I think 4 hours a week is a dream for many entrepreneurs. I expect some could achieve that work time.

I really liked your blog this is the first time I visited it. I going to subscribe for further information.

If you like you can visit my blog.
<a >Business Tips</a>.

Best Regards.

Reply

110 Anonymous July 18, 2008 at 7:51 am

Great post!
Still, I think 4 hours a week is a dream for many entrepreneurs. I expect some could achieve that work time.
I really liked your blog this is the first time I visited it. I going to subscribe for further information.
If you like you can visit my blog.
<a >Business Tips</a>.
Best Regards.

Reply

111 Anonymous July 6, 2008 at 6:53 am

For sure!  TF never even said he disliked his job.  He just wanted to see if the whole situation could be improved by focusing on the profitable parts and outsourcing the rest. Kind of like a “real” company is structured. His results were positive, his productivity increased.

As to everybody wanting a 4 hour work week…nah.  They’d sure like to lop 20 hours off the 60 hour week though.

Maybe the original book title was “The 85 hour work week” …but never found an audience.

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112 Anonymous July 6, 2008 at 11:53 am

For sure!  TF never even said he disliked his job.  He just wanted to see if the whole situation could be improved by focusing on the profitable parts and outsourcing the rest. Kind of like a “real” company is structured. His results were positive, his productivity increased.
As to everybody wanting a 4 hour work week…nah.  They’d sure like to lop 20 hours off the 60 hour week though.
Maybe the original book title was “The 85 hour work week” …but never found an audience.

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113 Anonymous July 4, 2008 at 2:07 am

REFRESHING! Thank you!!

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114 Anonymous July 3, 2008 at 9:06 pm

Wow! After reading the post and the first 10 or so responses I realized 90% of you missed the point (either you read the book too fast or you need to read it again).

1. Nowhere in the book did Timothy advise anyone to sell trash or do something they hated for a living.

All the examples… the French t-shirt guy, the yoga for rock climbing girl, his friend in Brooklyn NY music files/CD online business, even his own energy product business that used to consume more than 60 hours of his time each week he showed how he turned it around to 4 hours each week.

2. At no point did he tell anyone to go and live a wasteful life.

He only showed you an example of what he did with his life… Trained to become a pro-ballroom dancer, become a Karate champion, speak several languages, etc, all with the freedom of being able to go to the best (or ideal) places in the world to learn to do each effectively.

3. And last but least he even came up with a new term “Muse” to call it…(NOT Buisness) and stressed more than once in the book that it was not the “end all, be all” for anyone. He eluded to starting a business to “save the world” when you have the emotional, financial and time freedom to pursue it.

As exampled by his friend in Brooklyn New York who was working on a huge upcoming project and was/is involved with may other lucrative projects including “LimeWire.com” with a partner.

He also mentioned having more than one muse. His book to me may be his third or so muse as he did/do have a TV show in China or Japan (it’s unclear if it’s still running).

I am following his lead and am at my beginning/testing stages of my first official muse that I speak about briefly in my blog. I also have a few legitimate businesses I’ll be starting soon too but a muse will give me the opportunity to quit my current part time job PLUS the start up funding for my upcoming businesses.

Let me end by saying Timothy is a genius. His book is brilliant. I am happy he shed light on this for me because growing up I knew there had to be a better way than the 9 – 5 or working long hours in my own business I used to love.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to say my piece.

Future RPM millionaire

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115 Anonymous July 4, 2008 at 2:06 am

Wow! After reading the post and the first 10 or so responses I realized 90% of you missed the point (either you read the book too fast or you need to read it again).
1. Nowhere in the book did Timothy advise anyone to sell trash or do something they hated for a living.
All the examples… the French t-shirt guy, the yoga for rock climbing girl, his friend in Brooklyn NY music files/CD online business, even his own energy product business that used to consume more than 60 hours of his time each week he showed how he turned it around to 4 hours each week.
2. At no point did he tell anyone to go and live a wasteful life.
He only showed you an example of what he did with his life… Trained to become a pro-ballroom dancer, become a Karate champion, speak several languages, etc, all with the freedom of being able to go to the best (or ideal) places in the world to learn to do each effectively.
3. And last but least he even came up with a new term “Muse” to call it…(NOT Buisness) and stressed more than once in the book that it was not the “end all, be all” for anyone. He eluded to starting a business to “save the world” when you have the emotional, financial and time freedom to pursue it.
As exampled by his friend in Brooklyn New York who was working on a huge upcoming project and was/is involved with may other lucrative projects including “LimeWire.com” with a partner.
He also mentioned having more than one muse. His book to me may be his third or so muse as he did/do have a TV show in China or Japan (it’s unclear if it’s still running).
I am following his lead and am at my beginning/testing stages of my first official muse that I speak about briefly in my blog. I also have a few legitimate businesses I’ll be starting soon too but a muse will give me the opportunity to quit my current part time job PLUS the start up funding for my upcoming businesses.
Let me end by saying Timothy is a genius. His book is brilliant. I am happy he shed light on this for me because growing up I knew there had to be a better way than the 9 – 5 or working long hours in my own business I used to love.
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to say my piece.
Future RPM millionaire

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116 Anonymous July 3, 2008 at 4:07 pm

REFRESHING! Thank you!!

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117 Anonymous July 3, 2008 at 11:08 am

The 4HWW presumes that no work is enjoyable, and most of the commenters here are happy to disprove this, as I would myself.

However, there’s also a danger that we presume that it’s a simple thing for everybody to find out what they love to do and work out how to get paid for it.

I have a number of good friends who would never say that they enjoy their job. But they do it for the same reason that we all took on paper rounds or odd-jobs in our youth, in order to finance the things that we do enjoy doing.

While trying to find the activity that will enable a person to enjoy work and still get paid for it, doesn’t it make sense to work as productively as possible, even though it’s unpleasant for some, in order to pay the bills and pursue that which does give pleasure?

The book was not written for people like us. If a person never finds something they enjoy which they can earn from at the same time, then suddenly ‘early retirement’ sounds quite appealing.

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118 Anonymous July 3, 2008 at 4:08 pm

The 4HWW presumes that no work is enjoyable, and most of the commenters here are happy to disprove this, as I would myself.
However, there’s also a danger that we presume that it’s a simple thing for everybody to find out what they love to do and work out how to get paid for it.
I have a number of good friends who would never say that they enjoy their job. But they do it for the same reason that we all took on paper rounds or odd-jobs in our youth, in order to finance the things that we do enjoy doing.
While trying to find the activity that will enable a person to enjoy work and still get paid for it, doesn’t it make sense to work as productively as possible, even though it’s unpleasant for some, in order to pay the bills and pursue that which does give pleasure?
The book was not written for people like us. If a person never finds something they enjoy which they can earn from at the same time, then suddenly ‘early retirement’ sounds quite appealing.

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119 Anonymous July 2, 2008 at 9:00 am

Michael, I have just come across your blog and wanted to say how engaging it is. I love the writing style. Great work.
Internet Marketing for Local Business – Local Advertising – Small Business Marketing

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120 Anonymous July 2, 2008 at 7:35 am

Word!

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121 Anonymous July 2, 2008 at 2:24 am

This is one of your best blogs yet.  It can be enormously frustrating to encounter ‘entrepreneurs’ who care more about the ‘flip’ than what they are doing in the 1st place.  I don’t know why any VC would fund a company where the founders aren’t passionate about what they are doing.

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122 Anonymous July 2, 2008 at 7:24 am

This is one of your best blogs yet.  It can be enormously frustrating to encounter ‘entrepreneurs’ who care more about the ‘flip’ than what they are doing in the 1st place.  I don’t know why any VC would fund a company where the founders aren’t passionate about what they are doing.

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123 Anonymous July 2, 2008 at 2:03 am

On target, or as on target as a person who has never read the book can say.. My husband owns a small business to which I contribute heavily. I also work for an entrepreneur. I have always accomplished my “tasks” in less time than I was paid for, but only now do I find myself in a position where nearly everything I do has an underlying current of, “How will this apply to the business,” my passion.

What I remember from growing up was the adage of “doing what you love,” seems like that is the answer, whether the end goal is money, weight loss or notoriety.

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124 Anonymous July 2, 2008 at 7:03 am

On target, or as on target as a person who has never read the book can say.. My husband owns a small business to which I contribute heavily. I also work for an entrepreneur. I have always accomplished my “tasks” in less time than I was paid for, but only now do I find myself in a position where nearly everything I do has an underlying current of, “How will this apply to the business,” my passion.
What I remember from growing up was the adage of “doing what you love,” seems like that is the answer, whether the end goal is money, weight loss or notoriety.

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125 Anonymous July 2, 2008 at 6:59 am

Thanks for starting this conversation Michael.
You make some great points. I think the title was what sold this book. I have it, read about halfway through- and let’s face it Tim works more than a 4 hour week- but as you say he does what he loves.
Are you writing the 17 minute work wee- yes i garre it would sell like hotcakes

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126 Anonymous July 2, 2008 at 1:48 am

I love it when people like you take on the opposite point of view! Thank you.

Then I like to come in and support aspects of both sides. Tim had his own business, and loved it too much you could say – many of us entrepreneurs struggle with stopping each day precisely because we do love it, because we get immersed in it. So point one is that even with or perhaps especially with, a company/job you have poured your heart and soul into, there is a place for artificially imposed boundaries to help make room for *other* things we love. These actually can and do enhance the experience of the beloved work/company.

Secondly, as Rita said, some of this is marketing spin to get our attention. Clearly, Tim “works” more than 4 hours a week, and a key part of his strategy is being successful enough to pay VA’s and others to do a lot of his “work” for him. Nonetheless, because he has a dramatic story and a catchy title, and lots of specific actionables, he has opened up a new territory to enable each of to be more conscious about how we approach the day to day experience of our lives.

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127 Anonymous July 2, 2008 at 6:48 am

I love it when people like you take on the opposite point of view! Thank you.
Then I like to come in and support aspects of both sides. Tim had his own business, and loved it too much you could say – many of us entrepreneurs struggle with stopping each day precisely because we do love it, because we get immersed in it. So point one is that even with or perhaps especially with, a company/job you have poured your heart and soul into, there is a place for artificially imposed boundaries to help make room for *other* things we love. These actually can and do enhance the experience of the beloved work/company.
Secondly, as Rita said, some of this is marketing spin to get our attention. Clearly, Tim “works” more than 4 hours a week, and a key part of his strategy is being successful enough to pay VA’s and others to do a lot of his “work” for him. Nonetheless, because he has a dramatic story and a catchy title, and lots of specific actionables, he has opened up a new territory to enable each of to be more conscious about how we approach the day to day experience of our lives.

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128 Anonymous July 2, 2008 at 1:42 am

Great great post Michael. I wonder how long it’s going to take to break that stigma that work is work? If you are pursuing your passion in life and pouring yourself into something you believe in, you don’t really work a day in your life.

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129 Anonymous July 2, 2008 at 6:42 am

Great great post Michael. I wonder how long it’s going to take to break that stigma that work is work? If you are pursuing your passion in life and pouring yourself into something you believe in, you don’t really work a day in your life.

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130 Anonymous July 1, 2008 at 9:35 pm

Word!

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131 Anonymous July 1, 2008 at 8:59 pm

Thanks for starting this conversation Michael.
You make some great points. I think the title was what sold this book. I have it, read about halfway through- and let’s face it Tim works more than a 4 hour week- but as you say he does what he loves.
Are you writing the 17 minute work wee- yes i garre it would sell like hotcakes

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132 Anonymous June 25, 2008 at 5:11 pm

Barbara, I am in total agreement with your post. I noticed the cause of this problem at my very first job, working for Wendy’s. Even when there was NOTHING to do, our manager had us “wiping the counter.”  This meant we had to wipe a rag across the imaginary dirt on the counter for however long it took for the next customer to come in.  The problem is that employers want to feel like they are getting their money’s worth.  You’re on THEIR clock.  What they don’t realize is that they would get fewer hours, but overall more productive employees by letting them be efficient and enjoy more breaks…or as you say above: more work/responsibilities.

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133 Anonymous June 25, 2008 at 10:11 pm

Barbara, I am in total agreement with your post. I noticed the cause of this problem at my very first job, working for Wendy’s. Even when there was NOTHING to do, our manager had us “wiping the counter.”  This meant we had to wipe a rag across the imaginary dirt on the counter for however long it took for the next customer to come in.  The problem is that employers want to feel like they are getting their money’s worth.  You’re on THEIR clock.  What they don’t realize is that they would get fewer hours, but overall more productive employees by letting them be efficient and enjoy more breaks…or as you say above: more work/responsibilities.

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134 Anonymous June 23, 2008 at 11:57 pm

I think Tim Ferris is consciously playing with a paradox. The real target audience of the 4-Hour Work Week is not people who don’t want to work; it’s people who love to work but find themselves twiddling their thumbs, doing busy work, and putting in face time for the majority of the day. I used to lament that I would be ecstatic if given the opportunity do 3 jobs like the slow-paced one I had in 40 hours, even for just twice the money.

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135 Anonymous June 24, 2008 at 4:57 am

I think Tim Ferris is consciously playing with a paradox. The real target audience of the 4-Hour Work Week is not people who don’t want to work; it’s people who love to work but find themselves twiddling their thumbs, doing busy work, and putting in face time for the majority of the day. I used to lament that I would be ecstatic if given the opportunity do 3 jobs like the slow-paced one I had in 40 hours, even for just twice the money.

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136 Anonymous June 13, 2008 at 10:45 pm

Great post – and I am in complete agreement.  I believe that work is so beneficial to giving each of us a sense of accomplishment and achievement outside of our family life.  It challenges us and makes us contribute something to this world.  It should be one or the other, work and life can actually be good partners and the more people learn to try and like their jobs, the better the quality of their life will be.
Jeff Archer
http://the-tonic.blogspot.com

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137 Anonymous June 13, 2008 at 12:45 pm

Great post – and I am in complete agreement.  I believe that work is so beneficial to giving each of us a sense of accomplishment and achievement outside of our family life.  It challenges us and makes us contribute something to this world.  It should be one or the other, work and life can actually be good partners and the more people learn to try and like their jobs, the better the quality of their life will be.
Jeff Archer
http://the-tonic.blogspot.com

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138 Anonymous June 13, 2008 at 12:10 pm

Who will pick up the garbage?

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139 Anonymous June 13, 2008 at 2:10 am

Who will pick up the garbage?

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140 Anonymous June 12, 2008 at 6:27 pm

Wow.  I don’t think I want a four hour work week; I have too much fun doing what I do.  I recently sold my event business and now I write and perform ceremonies (mostly weddings) full time.  My clients are incredible, my work is flexible and creative, and I make reasonably good money.  Most of all, my time is my own and I feel rewarded in freedom.

Part of being able to do what you love is not having huge expenses; Mcmansions, the latest car, lots of new clothes, even (for some of us) cable tv.  It’s not a move towards deprivation, just a conscious choice to decide what is more valuable; 450 channels and a pair of Jimmy Choos or the freedom to do what you love. Seems like a pretty obvious choice, doesn’t it…

Celia Milton   http://www.celiamilton.com

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141 Anonymous June 12, 2008 at 11:27 pm

Wow.  I don’t think I want a four hour work week; I have too much fun doing what I do.  I recently sold my event business and now I write and perform ceremonies (mostly weddings) full time.  My clients are incredible, my work is flexible and creative, and I make reasonably good money.  Most of all, my time is my own and I feel rewarded in freedom.
Part of being able to do what you love is not having huge expenses; Mcmansions, the latest car, lots of new clothes, even (for some of us) cable tv.  It’s not a move towards deprivation, just a conscious choice to decide what is more valuable; 450 channels and a pair of Jimmy Choos or the freedom to do what you love. Seems like a pretty obvious choice, doesn’t it…
Celia Milton   http://www.celiamilton.com

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142 Anonymous June 12, 2008 at 9:53 pm

Great post!
And the secret that many people don’t realize is that it’s possible to be very well rewarded for doing what you love.

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143 Anonymous June 12, 2008 at 4:57 pm

I think it’s interesting to here others views on this matter. I’ve found that a better book for discovering what one wants was “The Purpose Driven Life” which has been a best seller for years.
If I wanted to know why something was made, I’d refer to the manual, Right? Well we as human beings were created for a purpose but many times look everywhere except to Emanual. The Bible.
http://www.RZIM.com – is a great resource for an honest sceptic.

Have a Wonderful day everyone,
and God bless,
in Jesus Christ my Lord.
http://www.ControlHollywood.com

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144 Anonymous June 12, 2008 at 11:53 am

Great post!
And the secret that many people don’t realize is that it’s possible to be very well rewarded for doing what you love.

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145 Anonymous June 12, 2008 at 6:57 am

I think it’s interesting to here others views on this matter. I’ve found that a better book for discovering what one wants was “The Purpose Driven Life” which has been a best seller for years.
If I wanted to know why something was made, I’d refer to the manual, Right? Well we as human beings were created for a purpose but many times look everywhere except to Emanual. The Bible.
http://www.RZIM.com – is a great resource for an honest sceptic.

Have a Wonderful day everyone,
and God bless,
in Jesus Christ my Lord.
http://www.ControlHollywood.com

Reply

146 Anonymous June 12, 2008 at 6:29 am

Excellent! I am in the process of starting my own business, a bakery, because it is my passion and I love doing it. Living life day to day and being unhappy doing so isn’t what life is about. Have fun everyday, every hour, every minute. Thats what it is about. Fantastic read, thank you!

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147 Anonymous June 12, 2008 at 11:29 am

Excellent! I am in the process of starting my own business, a bakery, because it is my passion and I love doing it. Living life day to day and being unhappy doing so isn’t what life is about. Have fun everyday, every hour, every minute. Thats what it is about. Fantastic read, thank you!

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148 Anonymous June 11, 2008 at 7:33 am

I hate the whole concept of the 4-hour workweek. It’s not sustainable and I agree with you – if you don’t want to work at your business, get a job and slack off on someone else’s dime.

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149 Anonymous June 11, 2008 at 12:33 pm

I hate the whole concept of the 4-hour workweek. It’s not sustainable and I agree with you – if you don’t want to work at your business, get a job and slack off on someone else’s dime.

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150 Anonymous June 11, 2008 at 6:43 am

I have a job I enjoy, working for a company run by people I would not leave alone or as a group in a room with my wallet or anything else I valued.Unless I were there to guard it myself and even then I believe I might need to be armed a 4 hour work week sounds pretty good to anyone who does need to work.

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151 Anonymous June 11, 2008 at 11:43 am

I have a job I enjoy, working for a company run by people I would not leave alone or as a group in a room with my wallet or anything else I valued.Unless I were there to guard it myself and even then I believe I might need to be armed a 4 hour work week sounds pretty good to anyone who does need to work.

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152 Anonymous June 11, 2008 at 2:39 am

Wow – great post! I think the 4 hour work week book is just a response to how bitter we are towards work and how much empty our lives are both in our jobs and outside of our jobs.

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153 Anonymous June 11, 2008 at 7:39 am

Wow – great post! I think the 4 hour work week book is just a response to how bitter we are towards work and how much empty our lives are both in our jobs and outside of our jobs.

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154 Anonymous June 10, 2008 at 11:29 pm

Tim Ferris is a snake oil salesman.  there is no substance to his ideas.  even on his blog he tries to con people.  check out the post of adding 30pounds of muscle in 30days.  a bunch of people read that and did exactly what he said to do and ended up pretty much the same.  then some fitness experts weighed in and explained the con. 
plus, look at the vid of him breaking the tango spin record…it is super lame.  he just found a record that either didnt exist or was easy to break and now he can put that on his resume.  he’s a con.

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155 Anonymous June 10, 2008 at 5:24 pm

Great post. I think the 4hr work week was targeted to a different segment of the market though. From your post it seems like that you have an option to not work and do whatever you want. However, I believe he meant to write his book for the ones that do work because that they have to do it. It his advice to free up your time from doing something you have to do to something you want to do.

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156 Anonymous June 10, 2008 at 10:24 pm

Great post. I think the 4hr work week was targeted to a different segment of the market though. From your post it seems like that you have an option to not work and do whatever you want. However, I believe he meant to write his book for the ones that do work because that they have to do it. It his advice to free up your time from doing something you have to do to something you want to do.

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157 Anonymous June 10, 2008 at 1:29 pm

Tim Ferris is a snake oil salesman.  there is no substance to his ideas.  even on his blog he tries to con people.  check out the post of adding 30pounds of muscle in 30days.  a bunch of people read that and did exactly what he said to do and ended up pretty much the same.  then some fitness experts weighed in and explained the con. 
plus, look at the vid of him breaking the tango spin record…it is super lame.  he just found a record that either didnt exist or was easy to break and now he can put that on his resume.  he’s a con.

Reply

158 Anonymous June 10, 2008 at 1:47 am

Hey Michael…long time no speak…interesting post.  This makes me think of a friend of mine who spent many years studying a very esoteric form of acupuncture…it took him to Europe, China, and all around the US.  He settled in Portland, OR and had a practice for a number of years.  He didn’t make a great deal of money, but he was really learning how to help people.
At some point, his commitment to Tibetan Buddhism substantially increased beyond mere interest and he realized that if he really wanted to help people maximally he would have to learn to teach them to fundamentally change their thinking (in the Tibetan mythology this is a massive ontological shift) which would first require him to change his own thinking. 
This became his priority in life and consequently he became a real estate broker.  He already had a license from buying and selling his own home, and people would just show up and get him to buy/sell their homes.  They recognized he operated with a core level of integrity and hired him without reservation.  He never solicited a bit of business, set himself up so he didn’t have to work much (so he could practice with his teacher, go on retreats, etc) and made more than enough money to subsidize the lifestyle he wanted.  In some ways a true ‘4 hour work week’. 
I read the 4HWW and agree that it descends into a certain hedonism…kind of like an applied version of The Secret.  And yet, depending on what one wants (I think this is really the crux of the matter: What Do You Want?…sound familiar?), this could be a brilliant use of technology.  A way to subsidize altruism and philanthropy…a way to bankroll one’s spiritual or service pursuits. 
Maybe the difficulty here is that people don’t know what they really want and so they get sold a bill of goods that allows them to continue believing that more toys or trips are the things most worth aspiring to.

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159 Anonymous June 9, 2008 at 3:47 pm

Hey Michael…long time no speak…interesting post.  This makes me think of a friend of mine who spent many years studying a very esoteric form of acupuncture…it took him to Europe, China, and all around the US.  He settled in Portland, OR and had a practice for a number of years.  He didn’t make a great deal of money, but he was really learning how to help people.
At some point, his commitment to Tibetan Buddhism substantially increased beyond mere interest and he realized that if he really wanted to help people maximally he would have to learn to teach them to fundamentally change their thinking (in the Tibetan mythology this is a massive ontological shift) which would first require him to change his own thinking. 
This became his priority in life and consequently he became a real estate broker.  He already had a license from buying and selling his own home, and people would just show up and get him to buy/sell their homes.  They recognized he operated with a core level of integrity and hired him without reservation.  He never solicited a bit of business, set himself up so he didn’t have to work much (so he could practice with his teacher, go on retreats, etc) and made more than enough money to subsidize the lifestyle he wanted.  In some ways a true ‘4 hour work week’. 
I read the 4HWW and agree that it descends into a certain hedonism…kind of like an applied version of The Secret.  And yet, depending on what one wants (I think this is really the crux of the matter: What Do You Want?…sound familiar?), this could be a brilliant use of technology.  A way to subsidize altruism and philanthropy…a way to bankroll one’s spiritual or service pursuits. 
Maybe the difficulty here is that people don’t know what they really want and so they get sold a bill of goods that allows them to continue believing that more toys or trips are the things most worth aspiring to.

Reply

160 Anonymous June 7, 2008 at 6:20 pm

I think the author of is just trying to sell books, and this idea grabs people’s attention.  Let’s face it, people start businesses and work to make money. Bottom line. So if you find an opportunity to make the most money in the shortest amount of time, this frees up your time to do other things, not that you’ll be sitting around eating bon bons, but you can then spend time “working” in other important areas of your life. Like spending time with family, friends, exercising, etc.

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161 Anonymous June 7, 2008 at 6:09 pm

4-hour? You mean 4-day ???

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162 Anonymous June 7, 2008 at 3:12 pm

An excellent piece!
My colleague and I started our company *because* we had a passion for good code and intelligent IT.  Not because we wanted to work as little as possible.  In fact, because we both have a passion for what we now do we work incredibly long hours – I’ve never worked so hard in my life!
I used to be a very highly paid consultant to large corporates on their business systems.  It was quite dry work, and I deliberately took about three months a year off wherever possible.  I’d potter about, tidying up the house, going on day trips and so on, but after a while the novelty of doing nothing wears off.
As you say, working four hours a week is only appealling if you have a dull job that fails to ignite your passion.  Of course, many people have just those kinds of jobs.  They’ll be the ones who buy this book in large numbers.

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163 Anonymous June 7, 2008 at 8:20 am

I think the author of is just trying to sell books, and this idea grabs people’s attention.  Let’s face it, people start businesses and work to make money. Bottom line. So if you find an opportunity to make the most money in the shortest amount of time, this frees up your time to do other things, not that you’ll be sitting around eating bon bons, but you can then spend time “working” in other important areas of your life. Like spending time with family, friends, exercising, etc.

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164 Anonymous June 7, 2008 at 8:09 am

4-hour? You mean 4-day ???

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165 Anonymous June 7, 2008 at 7:19 am

I never quite bought into the idea of a 4 hour work week. That’s 4 more hours than I work now and just seems like too much effort.

What I do now is, generally speaking, play. But I am finding ways to play that other people will pay me for. My blogs. My woodworking. Landscaping design & implementation.

It’s all good … and allows me time to be a family man, travel some, worship frequently and surf my face off. :-0

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166 Anonymous June 7, 2008 at 12:19 pm

I never quite bought into the idea of a 4 hour work week. That’s 4 more hours than I work now and just seems like too much effort.
What I do now is, generally speaking, play. But I am finding ways to play that other people will pay me for. My blogs. My woodworking. Landscaping design & implementation.
It’s all good … and allows me time to be a family man, travel some, worship frequently and surf my face off. :-0

Reply

167 Anonymous June 7, 2008 at 6:26 am

Michael I love you grin

I mean…. brotherly…. because you expressed some elegant and complex ideas in a very understandable way.

I will write on this on my blog too!

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168 Anonymous June 7, 2008 at 11:26 am

Michael I love you
I mean…. brotherly…. because you expressed some elegant and complex ideas in a very understandable way.
I will write on this on my blog too!

Reply

169 Anonymous June 7, 2008 at 5:12 am

An excellent piece!
My colleague and I started our company *because* we had a passion for good code and intelligent IT.  Not because we wanted to work as little as possible.  In fact, because we both have a passion for what we now do we work incredibly long hours – I’ve never worked so hard in my life!
I used to be a very highly paid consultant to large corporates on their business systems.  It was quite dry work, and I deliberately took about three months a year off wherever possible.  I’d potter about, tidying up the house, going on day trips and so on, but after a while the novelty of doing nothing wears off.
As you say, working four hours a week is only appealling if you have a dull job that fails to ignite your passion.  Of course, many people have just those kinds of jobs.  They’ll be the ones who buy this book in large numbers.

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170 Anonymous June 7, 2008 at 12:58 am

I agree 100% with yoru thoughts. I have started to read that book to realize that in the middle of it I would still be selling crap to other people to get myself thigns that make me feel comfortable.

The world cannot afford this kind of behavior anymore I think…. We need more peopel taht are willing to give back.

Meanwhile…. Timothy is just a little more rich.

Leo

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171 Anonymous June 7, 2008 at 5:58 am

I agree 100% with yoru thoughts. I have started to read that book to realize that in the middle of it I would still be selling crap to other people to get myself thigns that make me feel comfortable.
The world cannot afford this kind of behavior anymore I think…. We need more peopel taht are willing to give back.
Meanwhile…. Timothy is just a little more rich.
Leo

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172 Michael Cage June 6, 2008 at 4:41 pm

FYI, I tracked down the post Leo was referring to—-> http://www.davidbullock.com/137/where-do-i-start/

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173 Michael Cage June 6, 2008 at 9:41 pm

FYI, I tracked down the post Leo was referring to—-> http://www.davidbullock.com/137/where-do-i-start/

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174 Michael Cage June 6, 2008 at 9:40 pm

@Xavier, I’m glad you liked it. For me, the key was figuring out not only what I loved … but who it was that I most want to serve. That is the first step that takes “do what you love” out of the dream world and into the results-world.
@Leo, thanks!
I have never met David, but from what I have heard he is a brilliant guy. He and I share a good friend in common, Perry Marshall … and even shared the stage at an event a couple of years back, but never really talked.
I used to very strongly believe as David believes. It is what all of my mentors in business and marketing taught as the “right way” to be.
Aside from my personal reasons for shifting (which I’ll write about sometime) … I have evidence piling up to the rafters of the built-in limitation of companies built from a premise of work/life separation … and the amazing possibilities for growth that emerge once a business in congruent with regard to its “purpose” in the world. I’ll write about it at some point …
I guess the question ultimately was posed to me by a great mentor/teacher/friend of mine, Joseph Riggio. http://www.josephriggio.com/ The gist of it was:
Do I want a business so I can have a life?
Or do I want a life … where a business is the natural expression of who I am and want to be in the world?
The answer was hard for me to swallow. I had to give up a lot to shift to the latter. And every moment has been worth it.
Michael

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175 Anonymous June 6, 2008 at 2:09 pm

Michael:

Great post, very thought-provoking and insightful.

I always find an intelligent discussion on the under-pinnings of one’s work ethic fascinating (it’s kinda funny because David Bullock argued the contrary view in his blog just a couple days ago which may just mean that the seminar business is way more fun than the Taguchi business).

Me personally, I tend to oscillate between both poles.  I guess that it all comes down to how the individual views and deals with adversity: does it get ya down or do you see it as a challenge…

My $0.02 ($0.0197 Canadian)

-leo

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176 Anonymous June 6, 2008 at 7:09 pm

Michael:
Great post, very thought-provoking and insightful.
I always find an intelligent discussion on the under-pinnings of one’s work ethic fascinating (it’s kinda funny because David Bullock argued the contrary view in his blog just a couple days ago which may just mean that the seminar business is way more fun than the Taguchi business).
Me personally, I tend to oscillate between both poles.  I guess that it all comes down to how the individual views and deals with adversity: does it get ya down or do you see it as a challenge…
My $0.02 ($0.0197 Canadian)
-leo

Reply

177 Michael Cage June 6, 2008 at 11:40 am

@Xavier, I’m glad you liked it. For me, the key was figuring out not only what I loved … but who it was that I most want to serve. That is the first step that takes “do what you love” out of the dream world and into the results-world.
@Leo, thanks!
I have never met David, but from what I have heard he is a brilliant guy. He and I share a good friend in common, Perry Marshall … and even shared the stage at an event a couple of years back, but never really talked.
I used to very strongly believe as David believes. It is what all of my mentors in business and marketing taught as the “right way” to be.
Aside from my personal reasons for shifting (which I’ll write about sometime) … I have evidence piling up to the rafters of the built-in limitation of companies built from a premise of work/life separation … and the amazing possibilities for growth that emerge once a business in congruent with regard to its “purpose” in the world. I’ll write about it at some point …
I guess the question ultimately was posed to me by a great mentor/teacher/friend of mine, Joseph Riggio. http://www.josephriggio.com/ The gist of it was:
Do I want a business so I can have a life?
Or do I want a life … where a business is the natural expression of who I am and want to be in the world?
The answer was hard for me to swallow. I had to give up a lot to shift to the latter. And every moment has been worth it.
Michael

Reply

178 Anonymous June 6, 2008 at 1:32 pm

Inspiring!
Thanks a lot. I am in that mode now in my life trying to decide what to do with it.

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179 Anonymous June 6, 2008 at 3:32 am

Inspiring!
Thanks a lot. I am in that mode now in my life trying to decide what to do with it.

Reply

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